Why You Should Have Your HVAC Checked
It goes without saying that you rely on your HVAC system all year round, and when it stops working, your employees can become really uncomfortable. If you live in an area that becomes extremely cold or experiences blizzards, the failure of your unit could cause you to be in a pretty serious situation. Proper care and maintenance will help you to stay on top of any equipment failures and give you peace of mind.
For the care of your HVAC system, engaging a professional HVAC company to do maintenance on your system every fall, and again in spring, can help you to be sure that the heating and cooling of your property is running as efficiently as possible. Inspection and cleaning of the wiring and mechanisms of your HVAC unit will be completed by these professionals, and they can do a thorough check-up to ensure that your unit is in proper shape to face the colder months ahead, keeping you safe from any malfunctions.
Here are some things you can do yourself both monthly and seasonally to maintain and prolong the life and efficiency of your unit and its systems.
- Use pleated, high-efficiency air filters. These types of filters have an electrostatic charge that works like a magnet to attract particles, like the ones that carry bacteria. These filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days.
- Keep your HVAC unit free of grass, leaves, and pollen. Make sure grass isn’t allowed to shower on top of any exterior units on the grounds while you are landscaping.
- Clear two feet of space around all outdoor heating and cooling units.
- Inspect all refrigerant lines each month.
- In summer, turn off the water to the furnace humidifier. In the fall, replace the humidifier filter and turn on the water.
- Replace your carbon monoxide detector battery.
- Ensure the outdoor AC unit is on firm and level ground.
- Clean AC condensate drain with bleach/water mixture.
Have your professional maintenance company check all your ductwork to make sure it’s sealed properly when they come to tune-up your HVAC, and for even more energy savings you may want to pre-program the thermostats in your building.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we care about you and your business, and when it comes to caring for the HVAC system in your commercial building we are here to help.
How To Prepare Your Hotel For Inclement Weather
As a hotel owner in an area where the weather can be challenging, you need to have inclement weather policies in place so you can offer assurance to potential clients regarding re-bookings, refunds, and other concerns. If your customers are confident that you will treat them right, the weather won’t stop them from coming to visit.
For example, allowing your guests to rebook or cancel their reservations at no cost if they are prevented from traveling by inclement weather conditions is something your guests will truly appreciate. Being flexible with early checkouts when people have to change travel plans to avoid heavy weather is another.
An evacuation plan is another preparation you may want to consider. The government may issue warnings so that travelers can get to the airport or drive out of town in time. Your hotel can offer to provide transportation in these cases, since finding a cab or a ride-share for your guests may be next to impossible. If shelters are being made available for those who want to, or have to, stay through the storm, your hotel may assist guests here or help them find government-sponsored transportation.
When it comes to your property, you need to be prepared ahead of time by conducting regular, thorough inspections of all areas that would be affected by heavy weather, such as roofing, windows, and exterior doors. Landscaping should be kept neat and in good condition, since flying tree branches can be a real danger in high winds. Have a system in place that will ensure that items outdoors can be moved quickly, such as trash receptacles, pool chairs and other furniture, gaming tables, and the like. Designate a safe spot for them and be sure your staff knows the best way to get things picked up quickly. Choose a bad-weather crew and provide for them while they stay at your hotel. They will be available for all situations with your guests and your property. Have a plan to make sure they are fed and housed properly - they will be working hard!
These are just a few tips that can help you prepare your hotel for inclement weather, and keep your guests and staff safe, too. Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we are experts when it comes to cleanup after water damage, fire damage, and other weather-related issues. We are skilled in large cleanups, and are proud to say we are mold remediation specialists!
Choosing The Right Contractor For The Job
Finding a reliable and competent contractor to undertake your repair or renovation job is so important. Even with a great contractor, this process can be stressful and expensive, and can often include unpleasant surprises. The right contractor can help homeowners with these types of situations and avert disaster.
For projects that are too big or too complicated to do yourself, you need a general contractor. He or she will then hire subcontractors for specialty work, chosen specifically for their skill. They will know who is competent and experienced in completing your particular project.
Make sure you know exactly what you hope to accomplish before you get any estimates. Your estimate will be more accurate if you are specific about time and materials. Talk to friends and neighbors and others that you trust and get recommendations for a high-quality contractor. Interview at least three candidates, ask lots of questions and get bids from each one. Don’t be afraid to negotiate! You will want to check their licensure, complaints, and litigation history to make sure they are who they claim to be, and the BBB is a great place to start. Checking their references will let you know what their track record is when it comes to job completion, and level of excellence as well.
Make sure you know what the contractor’s area of expertise is. If you are renovating a bathroom or kitchen, you will want to work with a company that has a great track record here. If you are working on your decking or building a separate garage, you will want to employ someone that has done this kind of project in the past with impressive results.
When you have chosen your contractor, expect him or her to be too busy to start right away. A contractor that is highly sought after is always a good sign.
Make sure your contract is complete and clear, including deadlines, progress payments, and material lists. If anything is not documented, it will come down to your word against theirs if there is an issue.
Most renovation projects will require permits, and you need to make sure that everything is in place before the work starts. Never start work without a permit just to save money, even if your contractor suggests it. Tearing something down after it is begun is a waste of money, and the contractor will not do it for free. In many cases, you can also incur fines.
No matter how diligent you and your contractor are in preparing for the job, expect surprises that will add to the costs. It is wise to expect to pay 10-15% more than your contract states. Even the best contractors can get busy with other things and find it difficult to come back for the final details, so ensure that you only make the final payment after all work is fully completed to your satisfaction as per your contract.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is your full-service repair and renovation team. We are water damage and fire damage experts, as well, and we are here to help 24/7 with all your projects.
Deodorizing Your Condominium
You may be dealing with some unpleasant odors in your condominium. Funky smells from pets, foods, cigarette smoke or just plain old grime can make life in a small-sized living space truly unbearable. As renovation and home repair experts, here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we have a lot of experience in handling interior odor situations. Today, we would like to list some tips for you that can help you when deodorizing your condominium.
- Clean every surface, including behind your refrigerator and stove, and consider replacing your shower liner, bed linens, and mattress pad, too. Pantries and vanities can often hold old food and products that emit smells due to their age, so purging these items can really help.
- Make sure you clean fabrics like drapes, throw pillows, and zippered upholstery according to their cleaning instructions. Any rugs or carpeting should be professionally cleaned for a fresh start. SERVPRO of Belle Meade employs all the necessary equipment for deep carpet-cleaning.
- A fresh coat of paint can also go a long way toward making your condominium smell and feel like new. Clean and flat neutral colors will make your condo seem larger, as well.
- Pet odor has become the most common problem stinking up people’s homes, and has actually surpassed cigarette smoke! People smoke in their homes less often these days because they don’t want their furniture to soak in the smell. Smoke-free condominiums have a premium over smokers’ units, so your property manager will really appreciate your choice to smoke outside, too. When it comes to your pets, make sure they are using the proper facilities for their needs, and make sure to empty the litter box daily to help deodorize your condominium.
In a smoker’s residence, there can be instances where the smell becomes so entrenched that the sheetrock of walls has to be redone to avoid the home being completely devalued. If that is a possibility in your case, SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville can help you to deodorize your condominium. We specialize in carpet cleaning and large scale cleanups. We are a full-service repair and renovation company, and we handle water damage and fire damage, too.
How Hurricanes Can Still Affect Tennessee Residents
Tennessee may be far from the Atlantic, but that doesn't mean you can afford to relax during hurricane season. Some of the most dangerous and damaging hurricane-related floods can occur hundreds of miles from the coast. As hurricanes weaken to tropical storms and move inland, massive rainfall can cause flash flooding that can last for hours and even days in some cases. A tropical storm can produce more rain than a Category 5 hurricane!
Both Western and Middle Tennessee are approximately 400 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and over the years that has proved to be close enough to mean trouble. Some examples of how hurricanes can still affect Tennessee residents:
- In 2008, winds from Hurricane Ike felled a tree on a Nashville-area golf course and two men were killed.
- Tropical Storm Bill and the remnants of Hurricane Ivan dumped several inches of rain on East Tennessee during 2003/2004.
- Hurricane Opal caused $2 million in damage in the Volunteer State in 1995, half of that in the Chattanooga area. Rainfall in Middle and East Tennessee measured 3 or more inches.
- In 1977 Hurricane Babe drenched Chattanooga and almost four times its normal rainfall was recorded for that particular month.
- The Georgia-South Carolina Hurricane of 1940 sparked deadly, destructive flash flooding in the Southeast, including much of the State of Tennessee.
You should always make sure to pay attention to all local advisories and warnings and take steps to maintain preparedness for yourself and your loved ones.
- Create an emergency supply kit, and make sure you have an emergency plan. Practice a flood evacuation route and ask someone out-of-state to be a point of contact in case you are separated from loved ones.
- Get flood insurance. Make sure you are advised as to your risk, how to prepare for inland flooding, and discover how to purchase proper insurance.
- Establish contact with a professional restoration team who can be on-site to help with repairs and cleanup after water damage and flood-related issues.
Always keep in mind that SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is ready to help at a moment’s notice if you experience water damage from excessive rainfall or flooding here in the Nashville area during hurricane-related weather. We are a full-service restoration and repair team, and proud to help our friends and neighbors of Nashville.
Tips On Handling Water-Damaged Electronic Equipment
If your electronic equipment is accidentally submerged or splashed with a liquid, the very first thing you need to do is disconnect its power source as soon you can safely do so. As water damage specialists, we see all kinds of situations where electronics are adversely affected by water and other liquids here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville. Today we would like to share some tips with you that can help you in handling water-damaged electronic equipment:
- Safety first. Always use caution when disconnecting your device from a household current or any other source. If you are standing in water or your clothes are wet, remove yourself from any potential shock hazard before retrieving a submerged or soaked electronic device.
- Disconnect. If your device is still submerged and connected to an external power source, you will want to find a safe way to disconnect it, and a good way to do this is to use a circuit breaker or switch for that source of power and switch it off. Use caution if you choose to remove a plug or power adapter from an outlet that has not been switched off.
- Hazards. Retrieving a submerged or soaked electronic device that contains a battery can be hazardous. A shorted battery may be a fire or chemical hazard, or both. If you see or feel any heat, smoke, steam, bubbling, bulging, or melting here, avoid handling the electronic device for any reason.
- Turn it off. If the device is still on, turn it off.
- Drain fluid. Rotate and shake the device to try to let any fluid drain out, and remove the battery if it can be done safely.
- Disassemble the device. To allow any remaining liquid to drain and to begin cleaning the internal components, you will have to disassemble the device. This is particularly important with acidic liquids such as fruit juice or alkaline liquids such as laundry water.
- TIP: Rice will not help you here!
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we are water damage and fire damage specialists. We can be on the scene right away to help you with all water damage issues. Keep in mind that we are mold remediation experts, too, and we are proud to be your full-service repair and restoration team.
Have You Seen Us Around Town?
SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is proud to be ready and available to help with any of your water damage or fire damage needs, 24/7.
We are proud to serve the Belle Meade and West Nashville area. Have you seen us around town? Our trucks are hard to miss, with their trademark color scheme of orange and green. We hope that you experience some peace of mind knowing that our team is never very far away and can be there quickly if you experience a disaster, no matter what size.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide you with 24-hour emergency service. When fire damage or water damage affects your home or business, we respond quickly to bring you the help you need. SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is perfectly positioned and is equipped with the training, equipment, and experience to complete all your restoration or cleaning projects in a timely and professional manner in the Nashville area. We are locally owned and operated, and no one knows the ins and outs of Nashville and the surrounding communities better than our team. SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is also a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, as well as a recipient of Angie's List’s Super Service Award!
As a locally owned and operated business, we live and work in this community too. We are close by and ready to respond immediately when you need cleaning or restoration services. We’re also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which allows us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can even call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams for additional resources.
We are proud to serve our local communities:
- Belle Meade
- Green Hills
- Forest Hills
- West End
- West Meade
- Hillsboro Village
- Elliston Place
If you see us around town, come say hello! We would love to get to know you.
How To Keep Your Fall Bonfire Safe And Fun
Keep your bonfires safe and fun with these tips!
Fall is the time of year when the weather begins to cool off here in Middle Tennessee, and building a toasty bonfire in the backyard becomes a popular way to pass the time. Bonfires take some of the chill out of the frosty air and give us opportunities to spend time with friends and family outdoors. The following tips can ensure a safe, fun evening while gathered around your bonfire:
- Your fire pit. You’ll probably be using some type of fire pit for building your fire in your backyard. Whether you will be using a built-in or portable model, be sure to select one that isn’t too large for the area. Your firepit should be at least 10 feet away from structures and combustible materials, and you will also want to make sure you have room for a seating area that is large enough for proper comfort and ventilation.
- Your weather. Check your area forecast before lighting your fire. You definitely want to avoid starting your bonfire during extremely windy conditions, since a strong breeze could blow sparks onto nearby surfaces or people.
- Starting your bonfire. Never use accelerants such as gasoline or lighter fluid to start or re-light your bonfire, since this practice could cause your fire to burn out of control. Use a lighter to light crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks as kindling to get your fire started, and then add larger sticks and eventually a log or two to keep it burning. Never throw fireworks, batteries or other combustible items into a burning fire, either.
- Your bonfire control. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, garden hose and water source nearby in case of an emergency. You can also choose to fill a bucket with sand since sand is a very effective alternative to water to help extinguish a fire.
- Your clothing. Be sure to wear non-flammable clothing when starting, sitting by, or extinguishing your bonfire, and wear hard-soled shoes instead of rubber sneakers or flip flops; leaping sparks could cause them to ignite. Be sure no one goes barefoot around your bonfire!
- Your kids and pets. Pets and children are likely to be attracted to your bonfire. Show your kids a safe path to walk that keeps them far away from the burning fire, and put glow-in-the-dark collars on your pets to easily track their movements. It might be even better to just keep them indoors.
- Putting out your bonfire. As the evening winds down and the fire has burned out, use a shovel to spread out the ashes and let them cool down. Slowly pour water over the ashes and monitor them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain, and then place cooled ashes in a metal can designated for ash storage only.
Don’t forget to check to see whether your area has any rules in place regarding backyard bonfires. The last thing you want to do is start a fire during a burn ban! If you experience fire damage to your property, SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is here and always ready to help. We are experts in water damage and mold remediation, too.
How To Stop Mold From Returning To Your Business
Mold spores spread easily and can never be completely eradicated once they take hold. It can grow anywhere - on clothing, food, paper, and carpet, as well as places that we never see, like the back of drywall inside any wall that has a leak or pipes that are covered in condensation. It is a costly and difficult problem to fix, and it can add allergens and irritants that are very unhealthy for your staff and patrons.
As a business owner, you need to know how to stop mold from returning to your place of business, and we have some tips that will help. Keep in mind that the key to mold prevention is just this: moisture control.
- Problem areas. Do an audit of your business and find the problem areas, such as rooms or storage spaces that have been flooded recently. If you notice windows or doors that are frequently covered with condensation or see water stains and damp spots, you know that you have a leak somewhere. Once you’ve identified the source, take steps to make the necessary repairs that will alleviate this problem.
- Keep things dry. Seepage after heavy rainfall or even a spill will need to be dried up right away. Mold only needs 24 to 48 hours to establish a colony, and if there has already been an infestation, the time frame may even be shorter. Proper ventilation in all areas is a great way to hinder mold from returning to your business, and using dehumidifiers can be very beneficial, too. You may be tempted to run your AC less during hot, humid weather to try and save some energy money, but it may cost you in the long run if mold starts to encroach again. Keeping your interiors cool and dry will frustrate a mold colony and ensure that your business is free from issues.
- Mold-resistant products. If your business is undergoing a renovation or extensive repair project, choose mold-resistant products such as drywall, sheetrock, and paint to protect your business and prevent mold. Cleaning products for bathrooms and kitchens that are formulated with mold prevention in mind can go a long way toward keeping your business mold-free.
- Monitor. The EPA recommendation for indoor humidity is between 30 and 60 percent, and you can measure this with a moisture meter. Paying attention to telltale signs of excessive humidity will keep you aware of any potential mold issues.
The SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville team is here to help with home and business repair, renovation, and clean up after water damage or fire damage. We are mold remediation specialists, too.
How To Repair Hardwood Floors After Water Damage
The aftermath of a flood, whether it’s large or small, is going to be devastating to your home, and your wood floors will really suffer. When water sits on top of hardwood, the wood absorbs the water through its pores, causing warping and discoloration, and can be permanently affected. If you have experienced water damage to your home, you will want to follow these steps to repair your hardwood floors:
- Remove Water. Remove the water as quickly as you can. The longer the water remains, the worse the water damage will be. The first 24 hours are critical, but if you are able to remove the water and dry your floors completely, you may be able to save the wood. You will also be alleviating the possibility of a mold invasion, too.
- Sand and Refinish. More than likely you will need to sand and refinish the wood, and this repair can bring your floors back to pre-flood condition, or at least pretty close. This step will save you all the time and money involved in having your flooring removed and new flooring installed.
- Contact Professionals. If you have experienced serious water damage, perhaps from a tornado, hurricane, or severe flooding, your best bet may be to contact a professional water damage restoration service. They are experts in this area and will have the personnel and equipment necessary to get your water damage taken care of as fast as possible. Make sure you call them right away; if your area has suffered a weather disaster, these companies will probably have a waitlist.
- Preventive Measures.
- Find the source of water and plug it up.
- Remove all wet items from the flooring. If you have carpeting on top of your hardwood floor, remove both the carpet and the padding immediately. This is an area where mold can become a problem really quickly. Remember that your restoration professionals can help you with carpet-cleaning after a water damage event, too.
- Use a shop-vac or household vacuum to extract as much water as you can, and rely on your professionals if the amount of water is really large.
- Disinfect. Prevent mold and preserve your hardwood floors by using a non-sudsy disinfectant, and then vacuum again to remove standing water.
- Drying. Use a dehumidifier or run your heater or air conditioner constantly to keep the air dry inside the affected room(s).
These are just a few simple steps that you can take yourself when your hardwood floors are affected by water. SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is always here to help with repairs and renovations to your property when you are affected by water damage, no matter the size. We also handle fire damage, and we are mold remediation experts, too.