Recent Posts

The Why Behind the Danger of Thunderstorms | SERVPRO® of Houston County

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

a large lighting strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Houston County if you experience any damage.

While thunderstorms are incredibly common, especially this time of year, they can be very serious in terms of the damage they can cause. Though some storms can make their way through without much collateral damage, some don’t—and they can turn deadly within moments due to forceful winds, hail, lightning and flash flooding.

thunderstorm is defined as a transient storm of lightning and thunder, usually with rain and gusty winds, sometimes with hail or snow, produced by cumulonimbus clouds.

For a thunderstorm to be classified as severe, it will contain one inch (or larger) hail and straight-line winds of at least 58 miles per hour. Let’s look at some ways this weather may present hazards so that you can plan for ways to stay safe the next time one comes through Houston County.

What Damages Are Associated With Thunderstorms?

Lighting strikes can cause serious damage and injury. One of the most dangerous components of a thunderstorm are lightning strikes, causing upward of 300 injuries every year. This does not even count the damage that lightning strikes may inflict on homes or businesses. The most common effects of lightning are house fires or trees that can fall on these structures. By definition, a thunderstorm produces lightning, so even if it’s not within your range of visibility, there is a possibility that it can appear quickly.

Hail damage to property. Even the thought of hail can be a dreadful experience because it can do serious damage to anything it touches. In a very intense thunderstorm, hail that is an inch or larger, there could be damage to uncovered cars, injuries to people who are not sufficiently sheltered and significant damage to sidings, roofs and other structures on private and commercial property. Hail can be a powerful and unpredictable force that falls at a tremendous speed, making it one of the most impactful elements of a thunderstorm.

Property loss or injury due to flash flooding. While flooding is a major concern, even for those who do not live or work in an obvious flood plain, it can cause many serious problems. Flash floods are known to happen without warning any time heavy rain saturates an area. It is oftentimes able to become a life-threatening scenario in the event of a storm drain backing up or nearby roadside ditches filling with water. Although it’s incredibly dangerous, many people still attempt to cross flooded roadways, causing damage to their cars and possibly having their car carried away by the tide.

Thunderstorm damage can happen at any time and is capable of causing significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. Our team is here to help should you have any damage due to a thunderstorm. Contact us 247 for more information on how we can serve your Houston County home or business.

How Can I Identify Water Damage in My Basement? | SERVPRO® of Houston County

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

a grey basement showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of Houston County is a full restoration company. Our team is on call and ready to help you determine the best course of action.

A basement is a great addition to a home for a number of reasons. The extra storage it allows for can be a fantastic resource, and it can also be a safe place to go during a thunderstorm or tornado. Especially during hot Georgia summers, it can be another livable space or workout area.

However, basements can bring their own share of challenges, particularly in the way of experiencing water damage. Basements are more likely to have water damage than other parts of your home, so being vigilant in checking for signs of damage can help prevent compounding problems later. Here we’ll look at some ways that you can identify water damage in your basement.

How to Spot Water Damage in Your Basement

Pungent odors. Basements are commonly perceived as having a distinct musty smell. However, most of the time, this smell happens when there is mold or mildew in the environment. Standing water can create a very unpleasant and pungent odor after it has evaporated, so even if you don’t see mold or mildew, the smell will give it away.

Chipping paint. Homeowners and landlords alike will often apply waterproof paint in an effort to prevent damages in a basement. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned plan will only mask water damage for a while and then lead to other problems down the road like peeling, cracking or bubbling in the paint.

Cracking in the foundation. As homes settle over the years, the possibility of shifting can cause hairline cracks, but foundation cracks are not normal and can be a sign of water damage. Cracks can appear in the floor, ceiling or walls and are many times a sign of water putting stress on the home in a way that is causing the cracks. While hairline cracks are not a cause for immediate concern, if they become larger, they should be professionally assessed immediately.

If your home has experienced any of these, especially in your basement, contact us today to see how our expert water restoration technicians can help you set a plan of action to treat it properly.

Keep It Fire-Safe This Spring & Summer | SERVPRO® of Houston County

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Houston County to learn more.

Spring is undeniably beautiful. The weather is pleasant and mild, the flowers and trees are really showing off their plumage, and nature beckons us outdoors after the long, cold winter.

There are lots of reasons for backyard gatherings as well. We love to celebrate everything from graduation day to wedding engagements, church socials and family reunions, and many of these events all but necessitate a meal cooked on the family grill.

But springtime activities in the backyard also lead to an increased fire risk. In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. But with just a little effort, you can take the necessary steps to host your home activities safely.

The grill. Grills are the greatest need for care in regard to spring fire safety, as they’re the top cause of accidental fires. Anytime you combine high heat, grease, gas and flammable materials in close quarters, there’s a risk. Keep your grill in good working order, make sure it’s away from anything that might catch fire and don’t forget to clean it between uses. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning!

The fire pit. When you’re gathered in the backyard roasting marshmallows, make sure you have a bucket of water on hand, both to douse the fire slowly when you’re finished and to take care of any flames or ashes that might hop out of the pit. Be attentive to the fire at all times, and never leave pets or kids alone by the pit. And don’t add pine needles or leaves to a burning fire, as they easily break down to tiny embers that can be carried on the wind.

Chimneys and dryer vents. You clean your dryer lint trap every time you do laundry (you do, don’t you?), but sometimes lint can sneak past and gather in your vent pipe. While you’re thinking about fire safety, go ahead and clear that bad boy out. And you’re done with your chimney until fall, so get rid of built-up ash and soot so you’re not starting fires in a hazard when it gets cold again.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

Provide a Safe Environment for Returning Customers and Employees | SERVPRO® of Houston County

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee placing a CSC sticker on building glass If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, get in touch with the SERVPRO of Houston County team.

As recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues across metro areas like Macon smaller cities like Warner Robins, communities and families highly anticipate the full return of “normal” life, and business owners are hopeful for a full return to economic normalcy as well.

But a new challenge for business owners has emerged in a post-pandemic landscape: It is now crucial for you to provide an environment which is safe and protective of your employees and clientele, and they have to know and feel that they are cared for.

That’s why you need to get Certified.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program gives you a building sanitized with a custom cleaning agent that’s proven effective against threats ranging from MRSA to anthrax,, and also equips you with tools to reach out to your customers and employees to give them peace of mind before they even walk inside your business.

It’s all possible because of the three C’s:

Consult. There’s no one-size-fits-all situation for commercial cleaning, and we’re well aware of that. We’ll sculpt a custom plan for your business based on the specific needs of your location and context. It helps that SERVPRO of Houston County is locally owned and operated, so we are already acquainted with many of the intricacies and challenges of central Georgia.

Clean. Once we create a tailored plan for you, we’ll be hard at work putting it into action. We’ll disinfect your building with hospital-grade cleaning methods you can’t get anywhere else, giving you the ultimate level of cleanliness, meeting or exceeding strict CDC guidelines.. And it’s bigger than COVID-19 protection—we’re coming for disease-causing agents of all kinds. We’ll have that place so sanitary, germs will run away in fear.

Certify. Now that you’ve got the cleanest business in town, you can let everyone know by displaying the special, exclusive Certified: SERVPRO shield. We’ll provide you with physical and digital resources you can display in windows, on doors and on websites to let your returning employees and customers know that you’ve gone the extra mile to take care of their health. They’ll be glad to be inside a place they know they’re safe.

If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side.

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.