Recent Posts

Ready to sell? Old tenants moving out? Let us help you get your home ready.

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Whether you are trying to sell your home or you have renters moving out or even after a water loss in your home, getting your house ready for new people can be very exhausting.

When it comes to selling your home, it can be extremely overwhelming working with realtors, inspections, and potential buyers.

Lucky for you, SERVPRO of Houston County is happy to clean your house and get it ready for showings and the sale. With our highly trained crews, we are prepared to help with any cleaning task ranging from mold remediation to deodorization to general cleaning services including carpet cleanings. We have helped many homeowners prepare and sell their homes with a top to bottom cleaning. We have also helped a lot of apartment complexes clean after the lease ends and a new one is beginning. 

Our thorough cleaning services can include wiping ceilings and walls, trim, the exterior of baseboard registers, and cleaning the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom appliances. Window cleaning and floor cleaning are a great way to finish the project up and add the final sparkle to your fresh home.

We would be happy to set up a time for an estimator to come onsite to answer any questions you may have, and to get you a good idea of what the project would entail and cost. SERVPRO of Houston County is always here to help.

Foundation problems due to water

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Do you think you have water damaging your foundation? Lucky for us you are a hands-on homeowner, who fixes and repairs things as needed. The problem is that water damage to foundations is not an easy water damaging problem to identify.

The key to minimizing the damage is to catch it fast and address the issue. But how? Below is a list of the some of the common symptoms of water damage within a house foundation.

A. Overly Damp Soil

If you have an idea that there could be an issue with moisture, take a look at the soil around the foundations of the property. If it is unusually wet without any recent rain, there is a good chance that groundwater is seeping into the foundation.

B. Water in the Crawlspace

Standing water and moisture building up within a crawlspace is a pretty good sign that something is wrong with the foundation, circulation of air, lack of adequate insulation, or a broken pipe. If it is too damp in this area, the quality of the air in your house can decrease, and it may give off a musty odor.

C. Mal-functioning doorframes or windows

This might sound like a surprising sign, but if your doorframes used to open and close correctly, but have recently started to stick, the problem could be moisture related. It may be a sign that the doorframes have begun to warp, from excessive water absorption.

If you notice one or all three of the issues, you may have a problem on your hands. SERVPRO of Houston County is here to help! 

Why board-up is important after a fire

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

  1. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
  2. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
  3. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.
  4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Here at SERVPRO of Houston County we will always put our customers first.

Mildew vs Mold

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Plain and simple, mildew and mold are fungi. Fungi can live in many different types of habitats such as in soil, on vegetation, and on surfaces exposed to moist conditions like a wall or ceiling after flood damage. Fungi reproduce by spores and quickly can spread.

What is mildew? 

Mildew is mold in its early stage and often the term is used interchangeably with the word mold. That whitish-gray, powdery substance sometimes seen on the leaves of a plant is mildew. Mildew is a surface fungi that grows on organic material like plants and food as well as wood or fibrous items like:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Cardboard/paperboard
  • Wallpaper
  • Fabric

How is it different from Mold? 

Mold ranges in color from green to gray, brownish and black. It may appear fuzzy, flat or even slimy. Green slimy mold may develop in the damp, shady areas of decks and even vinyl siding, while indoors, mold can develop on grout, tile and other surfaces found in and around bathrooms and other areas with high humidity and inadequate ventilation.

Commercial Smoke Damage

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Smoke Damage

Smoke damage can be one of the most lasting consequences of a fire that has occurred in or near a commercial building in Warner Robins, GA. Specialized smoke cleanup solutions and equipment are essential for getting rid of this odor, as is awareness of the many ways in which smoke odor molecules can stick around for weeks or months after a fire.

1. A Coating of Smoke Residue on Surfaces
Smoke residue can build up on fixtures, furniture, walls and floors in a commercial location. This sticky coating may be present throughout a structure that has experienced a fire, even in areas that were not directly exposed to open flames. While vacuuming may be able to eliminate soot damage, this resinous coating calls for the use of specialized solvents.

2. Smoke Odor Lingering In an HVAC System
Aside from the air and visible surfaces inside a building, smoke damage can also spread through the HVAC system. Whether or not this system is in use when a fire breaks out, particles of smoke and soot can find their way into vents and ductwork and spread as soon as the system is turned on unless ductwork has been cleaned.

3. Untreated Contents Posing Recontamination Risks
Any smoke-damaged contents that stay in a structure may prove a source of the persistent smoke odor. For this reason, contents are typically removed from the location of a fire, cleaned off-site using treatments that neutralize smoke odors and stored until the fire restoration is finished.
Smoke cleanup should take place after fire cleanup for a fire that has happened on-site at a commercial structure in Warner Robins, GA. It is necessary to eliminate charred materials and soot from a building before treating smoke damage on surfaces or in the air. If smoke odor continues to pose a problem after fire restoration, most commercial property insurance policies also cover smoke cleaning.

Here are Four Fire-Safe Candle Alternatives

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Here are Four Fire-Safe Candle Alternatives

Candles are used to create decorative lighting effects or release fragrances. Whether you are looking for safer mood lighting or a way to diffuse a scent without any risk of a candle fire, here are four fire-safe candle alternatives.

1. Battery-Powered Candles

A flameless electric alternative to candles can be placed anywhere for decorative or lighting purposes. Electric candles come in a wide variety of colors, heights, thicknesses and designs. Some battery-powered models are also designed to release fragrances.

2. Strings of Lights

Another way to get a candle-lit look is to string up Christmas or fairy lights. Strings of lights are designed with fire safety in mind. Choose from strands of single-color or multicolor bulbs. It is also possible to set up lights to blink or flicker if desired. Ultra-efficient LED bulbs make replacements affordable and keep energy costs low.

3. Candle Warmers

A candle warmer may be the best option among these candle alternatives for fans of scented candles. A warmer makes it possible to enjoy these fragrances with a much lower fire risk. A warmer may be a base on which a candle sits or resemble a lamp.

4. Diffusers

Reed diffusers do not resemble candles. For a different look, reeds in oil can be an attractive, creative and flameless way to release a scent. Diffusers have an even lower risk of fire than an electric candle warmer.

Most candle fires occur around the holidays. Battery-powered candle alternatives and strings of lights are safer options for illuminated decorations. Warmers and diffusers are useful for spreading a fragrance throughout a home with a lower risk of fire. If a fire starts due to a candle or any other cause, you should attempt to extinguish the flames or contact the fire department. Fire damage restoration experts can restore or replace damaged building materials at a residence in Houston County.

Steps To Prevent A Lint Fire

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Steps To Prevent A Lint Fire

While the kitchen is the most common room for house fires, dryer fires are another common problem. The heating of the dryer combined with lint build up can cause your dryer to burst into flames. A lint fire is scary, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent it.

Safety First

It's important to realize that even when the lint is properly cleaned from your dryer, there is still a chance of a dryer fire. For this reason, you should never run your dryer:

  • When you are sleeping
  • When you are not home
  • When you are going to be outdoors

Leaving your dryer unattended can cause the fire to spread further, which can cause extensive damage. In addition, unplug your dryer before you start cleaning out the lint.

Vacuum Out the Lint Screen and Dryer

You probably already clean out your lint screen every time you start a new load. However, a lot of lint can get past the screen, and eventually lead to a lint fire. Take your vacuum attachment and clean underneath and around the lint screen the best you can. Refer to your owner's manual to see how to safely vacuum out the inside of your dryer.

Cleaning Out the Hose

Pull out any lint you can reach after removing the hose from the back of your dryer and the wall. If you can't reach it all, use a dryer vent snake to push it all the way through. In addition, check the pathway from the hole in the wall to the outside of your house. Use the snake to ensure that all of the lint is out of the vent.

These steps can help reduce your risk of a lint fire. You should do this at least once every six months, and more often if you do a lot of laundry. If you do experience a dryer fire, let your fire restoration experts do what needs to be done to cleanup the mess.

We Have a Water Removal Plan Homeowners Can Count On | SERVPRO® of Houston County 

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

If you have sustained water damage, setting the restoration process in motion immediately is the best thing you can do. We understand just how important this is, which is why we guarantee a quick response. When you call us for water damage, we will dispatch a team to you, who will assess the safety of the scene and then move immediately into our water removal plan to prevent more damages. 

Here is how that works: 

A Pack Out Service for Your Belongings If the water damage to your home is extensive, we will be able to provide you with packing and moving assistance for your belongings. This will help you get your belongings to a location that is dry to prevent further damage to them, so you can trust that your items are safe. 

Emergency Water Removal We understand the importance of removing moisture as soon as possible, which is why we make it a high priority once we determine that the scene is safe for our technicians to enter. We have powerful, submersible pumps in addition to our industrial-strength wet vacuums that we will use. This is how we are able to reduce the time it takes for your area to dry and prevent additional water damage and mold and mildew growth. 

Inspection of the Flooring and Drywall After removing the water, we will do an additional inspection to determine the damage that is done to the surfaces of your home. We will inspect the floor to determine if any floor coverings or carpet must be removed in order to make sure the subfloor is protected, and determine how much damage there is to the drywall in case it is in need of patching. 

High-Tech Moisture Equipment Monitoring We have invested heavily in the equipment we use for water damage jobs so we never have to merely guess about how much damage is present. We have moisture detectors, hygrometers and other methods of determining how saturated the area has become with moisture, and we have infrared cameras to detect water damage behind walls, ceilings and other surfaces. This means that you can trust that when we restore your home, we are restoring every aspect that has been impacted by the moisture. 

If you’ve experienced household water damage, you can count on us. Contact us at any time to learn more about our process. 

Key Elements for Your Business’ Disaster Plan | SERVPRO® of Houston County

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

If you own a business, developing a disaster plan is a vital part of making sure you are covered in case an emergency were to arise. Not only will having a plan in place keep you and your staff safer in an emergency scenario, but it will also keep everyone informed and help you reopen your doors quickly once you recover. Making sure your plan has a few key elements can help you be certain that you are fully prepared. 

A Clear Path for Evacuation and Staying Put Depending on the type of disaster you are facing, it may be necessary to evacuate while other disasters may necessitate staying in place. To be fully prepared for whatever situation your business faces, it is important to have a procedure in place regarding both of these things. 

Make sure that you have well-marked evacuation routes in the building in case employees must leave suddenly in the event of a fire or flood, and practice evacuation drills frequently so everyone knows what to do. In the event that you must stay put, pack an office emergency kit with enough food, water and medical supplies to sustain you and your staff until official help arrives. 

A Communication Strategy for Management and Employees In the event of a disaster or emergency, there will likely be a lot of confusion from staff regarding what this means for the business and their livelihoods. Making sure that you and upper management have a strategy for communicating with staff will help you (most importantly) ensure everyone is safe, communicate pertinent information and keep any rumors at bay. 

A Clear Outline of the Recovery Process For business owners, your livelihood is likely on the line if your business has an unexpected closure—therefore it is recommended that you have a recovery plan in place in advance so you can expedite your time to reopening. 

Make sure you are aware of how to start recovery, including knowing your insurance information and what commercial restoration company you will be using to take care of the damage to get your doors reopened as quickly as possible. 

If your business has experienced a disaster, you can count on our restoration services. Contact us today to learn more about our commercial restoration process. 

What Types of Damage Can Thunderstorms Cause to Homes? | SERVPRO® of Houston County 

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are one of the more dramatic weather events, and they certainly make themselves known through the crashes and bright bolts of lightning. With all the chaos, you might wonder exactly how these storms can cause damage to your home so you can be aware of what to watch out for. 

There are several ways that a thunderstorm can lead to issues around the house, including lightning damage, flood damage and the development of water leaks. Being aware of what can happen is the best way to keep yourself and your home safe and damage-free when the next band of storms rolls through. 

Lightning Damage Thunderstorms are caused by electrical charges in the air, which produce the lightning and thunder we can see and hear—meaning every thunderstorm brings the potential for lightning damage as well. While many lightning bolts will strike from cloud to cloud, the ones that strike the ground can cause serious damage to buildings. Lightning that strikes on or near a home can send an electrical current through the wiring, which can lead to surges to electronics and even electrical fires within the walls. 

Flood Damage Floods can be caused for many reasons, but typically flash floods are caused by sudden, heavy rainfall that overwhelms an area, and they can cause serious damage. Flash floods are a big concern after thunderstorms because they can overwhelm any area—not just one that is considered vulnerable to flooding in general. They also often catch people off guard, so it is important to always tune into your weather radio if flash flooding is a possibility. While the physical damage they cause can be devastating, they can also be dangerous. 

Water Leaks Leaks around the house are extremely common after heavy rain, as the moisture can work its way into small vulnerabilities that homeowners were not aware of. Check your roof after every big storm to look for missing shingles, as that may be an indicator that there is a leak underneath. Also check around windows and doors to ensure their seals have held up and be sure there is no pooling water in your gutters or around your foundation. 

If you have received storm damage to your home, you can count on us to help. Contact us today to learn more about our storm damage restoration process.