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Commercial Systems Prone to Water Damage: SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County

4/28/2022 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO Disaster Response Truck filled with restoration equipment SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County is ready for whatever happens! We'll restore your business after any size of property damage.

Commercial properties present unique risks when it comes to water damage in Acworth, GA. Unlike residential homes, which are usually one story and have easily accessible crawl spaces and attics, commercial buildings can be many stories high with flat roofs and multiple storefront windows. They also often have expensive specialized equipment that can be very costly to repair or replace if damaged by water. In this blog post, we will discuss the different parts of a commercial building that are at risk for water damage, as well as some tips on how to prevent it.

Plumbing Systems

The first and most obvious risk for water damage in a commercial property is the plumbing system. Because commercial buildings have more bathrooms, kitchens, and other water-using fixtures, they also have larger and more complex plumbing systems. These systems are often located in hard-to-reach places, making them difficult to repair if they spring a leak.

One of the main water damage challenges according to The Hartford Insurance is an improperly maintained sprinkler system. By law, most commercial buildings must have a fire sprinkler system, but many building owners forget to regularly maintain and test these systems. While a well-maintained fire sprinkler system can help prevent extensive fire damage in the event of a fire, improper maintenance or disaster planning can cause extensive water damage that can flood multiple floors.

Another plumbing risk is burst pipes. Commercial buildings, especially high rises tend to run at a higher pressure than residential buildings. Therefore, a burst pipe has the potential to release significantly more water than a home.

One of the ways in which we help commercial property owners prevent catastrophic property damage before it happens is through our app-based Emergency Response Planning program (ERP).

Roofing Systems

In addition to the plumbing system, there are a number of exterior commercial building components that can experience water damage. One of the most common is the flat roof. Because flat roofs are not sloped like traditional pitched roofs, they tend to pool water instead of shedding it. This can lead to leaks and eventually, if left unaddressed, major water damage.

Some common commercial roofing systems include:

  • Built-up Roofing (BUR): Often called tar and gravel roofs, these commercial roofing systems are built with a semi-continuous membrane installed in layers, then covered in aggregate. While they are usually simple to maintain, best practices suggest inspecting the roof for deterioration and possible leak points at least twice yearly.
  • Thermoplastic Single-Ply Membrane Roofing (PVC & TPO): These roofs are installed in large rolls that are then welded together at the seams with heat. The material is very durable and oil-resistant. However, the heat-welding methods require skilled installation, which can lead to weak points and leak-prone areas if not performed correctly.
  • EPDM Roofing: Some roofers call these "rubber roofs" because the material they are made of, ethylene propylene diene monomer is very rubber-like. This kind of roof is derived from oil and natural gas, and appears dark gray or black. When installed correctly and with the highest thickness available, this type of commercial roof will last a very long time with little to no issues. Unless you experience storm damage in your area, an annual check for leaks around the roof penetrations should suffice.

Window Systems

Commercial window systems are built for durability and use, however, they can often present a unique water damage challenge for commercial facilities. Most aluminum glazing systems aren't intended to be 100% waterproof. Most commercial window systems are meant to limit water penetration during extreme circumstances while also weeping water back out to the exterior.

By directing all moisture to the sill flashing, storefront systems limit water penetration. It's critical that the sill flashing be installed correctly in order to avoid water damage. Making sure that sealant is put on the top of the rear leg before installing the sill is one of the most important aspects of a good installation.

The most essential aspect of maintaining water penetration with a storefront is end dam fastening and sealing. Water will enter the building through the jamb locations if end dams are not properly fastened and sealed. Improperly (or missing) end dams can cause significant water damage to the interior drywall or flooring around commercial storefront windows.

Like anything else in a building, time and the elements can cause wear and tear and failure of these commercial window water control systems.

Commercial Water Damage Inspection Services

So if you notice moisture or water damage around your storefront windows, you should consider calling SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County to inspect for potential water damage issues. Our technicians are trained to identify, troubleshoot, and restore all types of commercial water issues.

Call today to schedule your commercial service!

(770) 966-1442

Tips to Stay Safe during Fire Damage: SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green Disaster Recovery truck trailer parked outside of a property restoration project with four workers around it. No matter how serious your property damage may be, SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County is your local expert for restoring your home or business.

It's that time of year again - fire season in Acworth, GA, and surrounding areas. Between February and May, the weather gets hotter and drier, while the risk of house fires rises. A fire may start from a variety of sources, ranging from a faulty wire to an overloaded outlet to a kitchen mishap to a bonfire left unattended. It's critical to know how to react quickly and effectively if your home catches fire.

Here's What You Need To Know If A Fire Starts: 

The first line of defense against a house fire is to know how to use the proper fire extinguisher for the situation. This simple procedure can help save lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. If the fire spreads uncontrollably, evacuate immediately and stay away, then call 9-1-1. Leave all of your belongings where they are and save yourself and your loved ones.

If your clothing ignites, remember the old adage: Stop, Drop, and Roll.

It's critical to utilize the stairs if you live in a building with elevators in case of a fire. The elevator electrical system may be damaged by a fire, causing the shaft to operate like a chimney and rapidly fill up with deadly fumes.

Doors may be used to your advantage in a fire, potentially saving your life. If the doorknob or handle is hot, don't open it. If you can't exit through the primary route, look for another option. Do not open any doors that are warm to the touch.

Close any doors that might obstruct your exits, lay a wet towel beneath the doors, and call the fire department or 9-1-1 if flames, heat, or fire block your avenues of escape. Tell them exactly where you are so they can find you.

If you're near a window that you can't use as an escape, open it and wave a brightly colored cloth or use your phone flashlight to signal for help.

What To Do After a Fire

After a fire, it is important to contact a professional fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County. We have the training, experience, and equipment to properly restore your home - "Like it never even happened."

If you try to clean up the fire damage yourself, you could end up making the situation worse both in your home and with your insurance company's process.

Trust the experts, and call today!

Georgia and Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of Northwest Cobb County

3/25/2022 (Permalink)

an image with a cloudy, rainy, sunny and snowy sky Extreme temperature changes can lead to severe weather. SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County is a click away if you experience any damage.

The United States is one of the world’s largest countries, beaten in total landmass only by Russia, China, and Canada.

Seasonal climate isn't one-size-fits-all in a country with such a huge and varied territory under one roof; different regions of the country experience unique weather patterns, implying they face varying degrees of weather hazards at various times throughout the year.

Different parts of the country have different weather patterns. For example, in the springtime, warm and cold air masses often collide in different parts of the US. Let's take a look at what to expect in some key regions, as well as what we need to be aware of here in Georgia.

The Pacific Northwest is vulnerable to significant rain throughout the spring, which may cause floods and water damage to homes. Snow will continue to fall at higher elevations, with the melting and runoff from that causing additional problems.

The Upper Midwest and Northeast have the longest winters to face as cold weather will stick around for the whole season. Extreme cold and the threat of snowstorms and blizzards may be expected stretching from Maine to the Dakotas until late spring or perhaps early summer, when temperatures begin to rise.

Excessive heat waves will plague the southern West Coast, while the South Pacific, including Hawaii, will be on high alert for tsunamis triggered by tectonic activity..

The Midwest, from Iowa to Texas, will face many weather threats this year. These include wildfires, windstorms, and derechos. When the winds are strong and it is dry outside, wildfires can quickly spread. Of course, Tornado Alley is part of this region, which has a high incidence of tornadoes.

Finally, there is the possibility of extreme weather in the Southeast. This can include tornadoes, powerful thunderstorms, and dangerous rip currents. Georgia is often hit by thunderstorms. In addition, remnants of tropical storms that arrived via coastal states might produce significant flooding on occasion.

No matter where you live in the United States, property damage due to extreme weather is a risk. Your state may have different risks than your friend's state, but it is always a good idea to be prepared.

Help is only a phone call away if your property has been damaged by water, fire, or other elements in extreme weather. For prompt, professional recovery, contact your local SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County.

6 Simple Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home Safe From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Northwest Cobb County

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Smiling team of water restoration technicians posing for the camera in front of a green SERVPRO truck with equipment Our trained SERVPRO technicians are ready to support you immediately with all of your water damage restoration needs. Call us today!

Water damage is expensive and inconvenient. SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County, your local water damage expert, has seen this happen many times. If you take care of your property, it will help to prevent water damage and also minimize the cost. If your property floods, it's natural to feel stressed. However, you can help prevent damage and avoid the stress by following these easy maintenance suggestions.

1) Replace old caulk around your windows to avoid dampness and moisture.

We get a lot of inquiries for window caulk related water damage repair in Acworth, Georgia and in nearby areas. Caulking your windows not only prevents water leaks, but it also helps to improve your air conditioner's efficiency while keeping the outside air out of your home. It's a simple operation that any homeowner can complete. Caulking should last roughly five years before needing to be replaced, depending on the type; nevertheless, you should inspect your caulking yearly and replace it if it begins to fracture or come away from the glass.

Exterior door flashings should also be inspected to see whether there are any holes or rust that would allow water in. You can also help prevent early door flashing failure by properly caulking them.

2) Check your water heater for leaks to keep it from flooding and causing water damage.

Water heater failures are all too common when it comes to our emergency water cleanup services. Maintaining your house on a regular basis may help you avoid a major water heater flood. To prevent the formation of pressure, which might lead to a leak, make sure the water heater's thermostat is set to regulate temperature precisely.

Water heaters frequently develop rust or silt inside, resulting in a peculiar taste or odor in the water. If your water begins to make unusual noises, it's probably time for an inspection or a new water heater.

3) Replace any leaking or worn water hoses or connections immediately.

Look for any holes, kinks, fraying, deterioration, or corrosion on your plumbing's hoses and connections. If you detect any damage, get it fixed right away. Most manufacturers and plumbers recommend changing water hoses and connections every three to five years in order to prevent unexpected water damage issues.

(5) Check the roof and gutters for debris and that your attic is free of moisture damage.

The roofing material on your home may deteriorate if rainwater is not draining properly. This can allow water to seep into your house.

Look for dampness around vents, valleys, chimneys, pipes, and skylights. Anyplace on your roof with holes or connections is a potential source of leaks later on. If the flashing deteriorates as a result of weather, rusting, or losing its seal, water may flow into your home.

Examine the interior of your attic for moisture or mold growth. If you find damp, damaged, or moldy insulation, rotten or discolored boards or ceiling panels, or sheetrock puckering, you may have a leak on your hands.

(6) Clean and inspect the HVAC condensation lines to look for any leaks or clogs.

If your HVAC condensation lines become clogged, water leaks out and damages the surrounding areas of your home. Every month, check your condensation lines to ensure they're free of debris.

Pour one-half cup of plain, white vinegar down the condensate drain once to four times a year to clean out blockages and grime. Bleach should not be used since it can damage your metal drain pan and cause it to deteriorate. Our SERVPRO experts can help you with any water damage cleanup if you notice an accumulation of debris or mold.

We are Here to Assist You with All of Your Water Repair Needs

Contact our team at SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County if you or someone you know requires water damage repair services.

Our friendly, trained staff are always ready to answer any and all of your questions. Save our phone number for when you need assistance in the future, or contact us right now for a quick response from one of our IICRC-trained water restoration specialists.

We are always Here to Help!

How To Protect Your Property From Cigarette Fires

2/26/2022 (Permalink)

Hand putting out a cigarette, cigarette butt on Concrete floor, bare cement. Cigarettes continue to cause a high number of house fires each year.

How To Keep Your Home Safe From Cigarette Fire

Cigarettes continue to cause a high number of house fires each year, even though the number of smokers has dropped dramatically. Here are five easy ways to keep your property and loved ones safe from a cigarette fire.

1. Keep Lighters Away From Children

Kids, especially very young ones, may be completely unaware of the dangers of playing with fire. Make sure that cigarettes, lighters and matches are stored out of reach of children. Educate youth about fire safety.

2. Don’t Allow Smoking Indoors

Many objects and items in your home are highly flammable, including books, upholstery, curtains and carpets. To avoid the risk of starting a blaze from a spark due to a lit cigarette or hot ashes, make it a rule that smoking must be done outside of the house.

3. Never Smoke When Tired

If you smoke when you’re drowsy, you put yourself at risk of falling asleep and starting a cigarette fire. Even if you don’t feel sleepy, do not smoke while reclining or lounging to reduce the chances of dozing off with a lit cigarette in your hand. Always avoid smoking in bed.

4. Use Proper Ashtrays

Remember to use sturdy ashtrays when smoking, and fill them with sand if possible. Douse ashes and cigarette butts with water before emptying them into the trashcan to reduce the chances of an ashtray fire. Never extinguish cigarettes in vegetation, such as grass or leaves that could be dry and may present a fire hazard.

5. Avoid Smoking Near Medical Oxygen

Oxygen tanks are extremely flammable, and smoking around them could cause them to combust. Likewise, avoid lighting up around any chemical that may start a blaze.

Taking these precautions can keep your home in Kennesaw, GA, safe from a dangerous cigarette fire. If you need assistance or have questions about fire cleanup, reach out to a fire restoration company for help.

5 Ways SERVPRO Serves You Best

2/19/2022 (Permalink)

Team members of SERVPRO lined up in a parking lot, green trailer parked The leading restoration company in Acworth, GA.

5 Ways SERVPRO Can Help You

Assessing a claim from a client can be a complicated process. You don’t need the vendor that performs the restoration to throw a proverbial wrench in the mix. If you are an insurance adjuster in Acworth, GA, SERVPRO is provided up-to-date information and keeps costs as low as possible.

1. Nationwide Support

While your client may just be working with the local franchise, you have the backing of the company’s national resources. These include:

  • Call center
  • Standardized quality requirements
  • Exemplary record-keeping

2. Commitment to Restoration

While many remediation companies may default to tearing out and replacing materials, most insurance companies want to work with certified restoration experts who seek first to restore the existing structure and materials. Each item is tested to see if it’s salvageable to cut down on costs.

3. Accessible Records

As the insurance adjuster assigned to a case, you have access to the Claims Information Center. This is a record of all the documentation associated with your client’s claim, including photos of the damage, response time a detailed estimate of the final cost of repairs.

4. Immaculate Itemization

In addition to online records, you receive an itemized list of everything that needs to be replaced. This information is crucial to assessing the insurance claim made by your client.

5. Professional Service

SERVPRO technicians complete an IICRC-certified training program. As methods improve in the industry, they participate in ongoing education to ensure that they provide the highest standard of mitigation services. You can depend on your local franchise to respond quickly to your client’s call and start repairs in a timely manner. This minimizes the damage and, ultimately, your final cost.

An insurance adjuster is often the first person to assess the damage to a client’s home. The professional knowledge and experience of qualified restoration specialists can prove to be invaluable resources during this process. When it comes to assessing your client’s claim, SERVPRO is Here to Help.

Hail and Escalating Roof Damage

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Circles on a roof with chalk, hail damage on a roof Hail storms can cause significant roof damage.

Hail and Roof Damage

Roof damage can be a significant cost for businesses and one that can be avoided with vigilant and routine inspections. While many companies are likely aware of the potential for damage after a storm, they may not be as aware of the threat a hail storm poses to their roof. Hail comes in a variety of sizes and weights, and these ice balls can do lasting damage to your roof if not mitigated early.

1. Shingles

The most apparent signs of hail damage to your roof are broken or missing shingles. Hail stones can either create small divots in a shingle, or they can completely fracture and even break a shingle free of the roof altogether.

2. Underlayment

While missing shingles are not significant causes of roof damage, torn or missing underlayment can be. When a shingle is broken or missing, it can lead to the exposure or wearing away of the underlayment. Tattered or damaged underlayment can lead to water damaged sheathing.

3. Sheathing

Sheathing is the wood boards that cover your attic joist. These boards are your last line of defense against the outside. If your shingles and underlayment are damaged, then your sheathing is exposed to rain and other elements. Depending on the size of hail, it can severely damage your sheathing through both impact and melting.

4. Insulation and Attic

When the roof barrier is compromised, it leaves insulation and your attic space potential exposed. This exposure can lead to moisture buildup and possibly mold development. If you are experiencing this level of damage, you may want to call a disaster restoration specialist in the Mars Hill, GA, area.

Hail storms can cause significant roof damage. Routine inspections of your commercial property’s roofline should protect you from any obvious issues like missing shingles. However, you may want to seek assistance for more thorough inspections for underlayment and sheathing damage.

How To Recover After a Commercial Fire

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Red Rock, GA.

How to Get Back on Your Feet After a Commercial Fire

A fire can have a devastating effect on any business in Red Rock, GA. The loss of equipment and the cost to repair the damage can seem overwhelming in the aftermath, but with a little foresight and these easy steps, executing an effective fire restoration plan can be simple.

Plan Ahead

While you can't predict a disaster, you can plan for it. Take these four steps today to ensure your company’s future:

  • Make a business continuity plan.
  • Research and acquire sufficient fire insurance.
  • Keep up-to-date records of all business conducted.
  • Make sure the building occupied is up to code and safe.

Call Your Insurance Provider

After a fire, your first step towards recovery is enacting your fire insurance policy. Your provider will send an inspector to assess the damage before restoration begins. If you have accurate documentation of your assets and a sound insurance policy, you will then be able to file a claim to get the funds you need.

Determine the Extent of the Damage

If it is safe to go inside the building, make sure to wear protective gear, such as masks and gloves. Help your insurance agent and fire restoration service by taking a lot of pictures. You should include documents, computers, phones and building materials. Anything important to the survival of your business is worth documenting.

Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Service

After you've filed your claim, you can begin the rebuilding process. Restoration professionals will conduct an assessment of their own and establish an action plan. This can consist of several steps, including water removal if the fire burst any pipes, boarding windows that have shattered and soot and smoke cleaning.

The best thing to remember in a fire emergency is that you can recover. Having a plan and a clear head will dramatically decrease your stress. With the help of fire restoration services, a full recovery is just a few easy steps away.

Prevent Water Damage While You Are Away

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Standing water in a living room. Concept of a flooded home or water damage Flooded living room in Mars Hills after a pipe burst.

Have you ever traveled for an extended period of time and wondered what was going on in your home in Mars Hill, GA? In order to prevent the necessity of water pipe repair, it is important to properly monitor your home while you are away.

Steps To Prevent Water Damage

In order to prevent water damage from a broken pipe while away from your home, here is a list of things you can do to prevent coming home to a house that is flooded.

  • Make sure that your heat is on to prevent pipes from freezing while you are away.
  • Have someone check on your home while you are gone or utilize a digital home monitoring system that can be viewed using your smart devices.
  • Check all the pipes in your water system and heating system before departing to make sure there are no cracks.
  • Ensure that your heating system is working correctly, that all necessary repairs have taken place and that the oil tank is filled if your home is heated by oil.
  • Look at the connections to your appliances to determine they are secure and there is no chance of a leak occurring.

It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent a leak and do your best to ensure that water pipe repair is not needed when you return home.

What if Water Damage Occurs?

Even with all the preventative measures, there is no guarantee that you will not come home to a broken pipe or some sort of water damage. If something has flooded while you were away, it is important to take the proper steps to dry your home and personal property. Shut off the main water valve if the leak has occurred in a pipe in order to prevent further damage. If the amount of water damage is severe, a professional water mitigation company can help to restore your home and prevent future issues.

Sitting water can be harmful to your home. Prevent it if you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help with water pipe repair when it is necessary.

Roof Readiness: Protecting Your Roof Against Impending Winter Storms

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Maintain your gutters clean.

Roof Preparedness: Keeping Your Roof Safe During Winter Storms

While the inclement and frigid weather of Davis Crossroads, GA, is predictable and leads many homeowners to have emergency restoration services on speed dial, a home doesn’t have to be a victim to any looming winter storm. There are at least four practical steps homeowners can take to help ensure they quite literally maintain the roof over their heads.

1. Clear and Maintain Your Gutters

Cleaning out your gutters is not just a springtime gig. Maintaining clean gutters year-round helps to ensure that your roof remains structurally sound. In the winter, clogged gutters can lead to ice buildup, which eventually accumulates under your shingles and can lead to roof rot.

2. Trim Your Trees

The last thing you want to experience during a winter storm is the thunderous boom of a maple plummeting through your living room ceiling. Maintaining and trimming your trees at the change of every season can help you avoid the chaos and property loss from loose branches or rotted out trunks.

3. Replace Missing or Damaged Flashing

Missing or damaged flashing can allow the ice and snow of a blizzard to seep into your attic space. Once moisture enters in, it can lead to the development and spread of mold, mildew and rot. Before the winter settles in, you may want to perform a visual inspection of your roofline to ensure everything is hunky-dory.

4. Repair and Inspect Your Chimney

In addition to inspecting your roof for cosmetic damage, like missing shingles, you should also examine your chimney. A leaning chimney or a chimney with old and cracking mortar can cause significant roof damage if not dealt with before the cold sets in. Frigid temperatures and exposure to ice can cause old or already cracking mortar to separate and fail. Additionally, if your chimney is already leaning, then the added weight of snow and ice can cause it to collapse.

Before any winter storm has time to pummel your roof, take the time to inspect it and the surrounding area. Stay safe and keep your roof over your head.