Recent Posts

How To Repair Hardwood Floors After Water Damage

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

A flooding event of any size will have a negative effect on your building and property, and your wood floors will really suffer. Any time water saturates hardwood, the wood absorbs the water through its pores and this, in turn, causes warping and discoloration. If you have experienced water damage to your wood flooring, you will want to follow these steps to repair them:

  • Removing Water. Soak up the water as quickly as possible. The longer the water remains, the worse the 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 avoid serious and irreversible damage. You will also be alleviating the possibility of a mold invasion. 
  • Sanding/Refinishing. You will need to sand and refinish the wood. This repair can bring your floors back to pre-flood condition and will save you all the time and money involved in having your damaged flooring removed and new flooring installed. 
  • Contacting Professionals. When you have experienced extensive water damage, such as from a tornado, hurricane, or severe flooding due to a large weather event, your best bet will 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. 
  • Taking Preventive Measures. 
    • Find the source of water and take the necessary steps to stop the flow. 
    • If you have carpeting on top of your hardwood floor, remove both the carpet and the padding immediately and take care of any other wet objects, as well. You may have to deal with odors and discoloration after a water damage event. 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. Rely on professionals if the amount of water is really extensive. 
    • Prevent mold and preserve your hardwood floors by using a non-sudsy disinfectant, and then vacuum again to remove standing water. 
    • Use a dehumidifier or run your heater or air conditioner constantly to keep the air dry inside the affected areas. This will help to prevent unpleasant odors and may provide a deterrent to mold, too. 

SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville has the skills and equipment necessary to get your floors back to pre-damage condition, and we are always here to help with repairs and renovations to any area of your property when you are affected by water damage event, whether large or small. We also handle fire damage, and we are mold remediation experts, too.

How To Tell If Your Tree Needs To Be Removed

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Trees are beautiful additions to any yard, sheltering our property year after year. We can even become quite fond of them as they grow and change with the seasons. Our children play in them, and their branches have been hosts to birdhouses, treehouses, and windchimes.

But if a tree is posing a risk to people and property, the safest thing to do is to have it removed. How will you know when the time comes? Here are some ways to tell if your tree needs to be removed. 

  • Bark. Scratch a small piece of bark off of some twigs from your tree. If the layer under the bark is brown and dry, that is not a good sign. Some signs of a dead tree can include:
    • Decay-producing fungi, like mushrooms, growing at the base of the trunk around the roots. The roots of a tree are a strong indicator of the health of the tree
    • Chipped, peeling bark and cracks in the trunk
    • Cavities in the trunk
    • Dead or hanging branches in the upper part (called the crown)
    • Fine twigs with no living buds at the ends
    • The tree has developed a lean that it did not have before; this can be an indicator that the tree is dying and may fall

Once it’s determined that your tree is declining, or even no longer living, it becomes a safety hazard. It can lose branches or tip over in a storm, damaging your home or property, and it can be completely unpredictable. 

If a pest or a disease caused the tree to decline, it will be vital that it be removed so that other trees in the area don’t become infected. 

You may be considering taking the tree out by yourself, but it’s a big job with a lot of factors to take into consideration. Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville we are ready to help with tree removals. We are also fire damage and water damage experts, and we handle mold remediation, as well.

Preventing Mold Growth In Your Storage Unit

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Your storage unit can be a very susceptible area to mold growth, especially when you live in an area that experiences high humidity at certain times of the year. You’re not going to see the inside of your storage unit very often, and if things get wet or damp, a mold colony can become established pretty quickly. You’ll need to practice preventive measures to ensure that you don’t develop a mold issue in your storage unit. 

Here are some tips for preventing mold in the first place:

  • Paint. If your storage unit is on your own property, paint it with mold-resistant paint. Products of this type are readily accessible at your local hardware or home goods store. When doing any type of repair or renovation, check with a professional to find any available products that contain mold-resistant ingredients. 
  • Keep It Dry. Avoid standing water in your unit. If there has been a big rainstorm, drop by and see how things look. If there is standing water of any kind, make sure it all gets cleaned up and aired out before you leave. 
  • Smell. If you visit your unit and you can smell that telltale musty odor, check all the walls and corners to see if a mold colony has established itself. Any damp and dark area is prime mold real estate.  
  • Location. A storage unit company will most likely offer interior and exterior units, so if you are storing items that are valuable or that could be adversely affected by mold, you may want to pay the extra leasing fee and rent an interior space. Make sure that the location you are using is in good shape throughout the premises, with proper weather stripping and roofing that will withstand wet weather.  
  • Wrapping. Wrapping your items in plastic if at all possible is going to help a great deal in preventing mold growth. You can obtain large rolls of bubble wrap for furniture and large items if needed.  

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we have the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to help you with any mold damage or preventive practices. We are also available for cleanup after fire and water damage.

How To Keep Your Restaurant’s Carpet Clean

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

As the owner of a restaurant, you have many requirements when it comes to cleaning. Each cleaning checklist has to be completed fully and correctly so that your business is always in tip-top shape, ready for the next business day. Every item has to be thoroughly washed and sanitized each and every day, including the kitchen flooring, stovetops, ovens, utensils, pots and coffee makers, to name a few. There is also the front and the bar area - bathrooms, host stand, and all those wine glasses, as well. You have a great team, though, and everyone knows how to handle all of it. 

Flooring in a busy restaurant can be a separate issue, however. Many eateries these days opt for hardwood floors, which have to be treated regularly to avoid damage from high heels, spills, and scratches from table and chair movement.

If your establishment has carpeting, instead, vacuuming nightly, along with spot cleaning, will go a long way in preventing potential mold growth and other potentially unpleasant circumstances. The carpets will still need a regular deep cleaning due to all of the foot traffic. Spills on carpeting don’t come up quite as easily or as completely as those on a hardwood floor. We also know you put a lot of thought and money into choosing just the right carpeting for your place of business, and a carpet in need of deep cleaning can look dull and worn, which will reflect negatively on your guest’s experience. So make sure a regular deep cleaning for your carpeting is on your cleaning checklist.

You may opt to have your carpet treated with a product that will repel spills and stains, and this can be really helpful. Shop around and make sure that the treatment you choose has been cleared for areas with high foot traffic to avoid slips, trips, and falls. 

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we are equipped to handle the toughest carpet cleaning. Our team is well-trained and experienced with cleanups from fire and water damage in both homes and large commercial enterprises, and we also handle mold remediation.

The Most Common Causes Of House Fires

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

A fire can ignite in seconds and spread uncontrollably, decimating your home in minutes. According to reports, there are more than 350,000 house fires every year in the U.S. They can be started in many ways, generally falling into either of these two categories: combustible materials or chemical reactions. Here are some of the most common causes of house fires:

  • Cooking. This is probably the most common of all and is often caused by grease that is overheated on a stove or in the oven. Grease is very flammable and can combust spontaneously. Once it is ignited it’s difficult to control. Never leave the kitchen unattended when cooking in oil or if the food you are cooking produces grease.
  • Heaters. Space and baseboard heaters are common causes of fire as well, especially if items made of fabric or combustible materials are placed too close to them. Electrical heaters are also dangerous if the wiring is faulty or if flammable items get too near. 
  • Electrical Wiring. Short circuits causing arcing are another culprit, as are circuits that are overloaded.
  • Smoking. Cigarette butts dropped on furniture, carpets, or other flammable materials are yet another common cause of house fires. This often happens due to the smoker falling asleep. Smoking in bed is especially dangerous since it only takes a single stray ash to ignite bedding or clothing. 
  • Candles. During the holidays, candles are a common culprit of house fires. Always extinguish them when you leave the room, and keep them at least 12 inches away from any flammable materials. 
  • Chemicals. Residential chemical fires occur when vapors from gas and other petroleum liquids reach a high temperature or when the fumes contact a source of an open flame.   
    Store all fuels and other chemicals in their proper containers and keep them in locations that are protected from heat. 
  • Oily Rags. Another cause of fires is when oily rags spontaneously heat up. Never store oil-soaked or chemical-soaked rags after they are used, and never stack them in a pile. Heat can be spontaneously generated as the fumes combine with oxygen. These rags should be spread out in an outdoor location until the oil evaporates. Once thoroughly dry, they can be washed for reuse. 
  • Christmas Trees. Christmas trees are a holiday tradition for many families, but they come with risks. Real evergreen trees tend to dry out over time, and by the end of the holiday season, they can pose a very serious danger of flash fire. A hot light or a spark can immediately set the tree aflame, and such fires spread incredibly fast, engulfing a room in a matter of seconds. 

If you experience damage from fire or flooding, give us a call. The team here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville has the training, equipment, and expertise to get you back to normal as soon as possible.

Steps To Take If Your Power Goes Out During A Storm

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

A power outage is not that unusual during stormy weather, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared. We’re going to share some steps with you today that can help you keep your premises warm and safe when bad weather blows into town. 

Keep Warm. If you have enough advance notice, heat your building really well and guard those higher temperatures ahead of the storm’s arrival so that your interiors stay warm longer if the power goes out. Make sure to use your fireplace or wood-burning stove if available. You may want to stockpile thick blankets, pillows, and heavy clothing just in case this event requires everyone to stay put for a while. A blizzard or heavy weather that causes flooding can create this kind of situation easily. 

Charge Devices. Keep all cell phones, iPads, and laptops plugged in so that they are fully charged if you lose power. This step will guard your ability to get important information about the conditions in your area and enable you to contact emergency personnel if necessary. 

Recharging with Vehicles. Cars and trucks can be used to recharge cell phones if those batteries start to die. Ensure that the vehicles are not running in enclosed spaces to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Landlines. You may want to consider installing a landline ahead of seasonal bad weather. A cordless phone won’t work if the power goes out, while a corded landline draws power from the line itself and so is more reliable under these circumstances. 

Don’t Call. Working cell towers may be overloaded by others in the affected area calling to check in on each other or using the internet. Cell phone providers recommend text messaging rather than calling during a disaster, since text messages use much less network capacity or battery power. Getting on social media platforms for information might be tempting, but if possible, try to keep usage brief and use the phone's apps rather than web browsers to minimize network use and battery drain.

Battery-Powered Radios. If you have access to a battery-powered radio or car radio, use these to get your news updates rather than taxing the wireless network and your phone battery.

The team here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is ready to help if you have experienced damage from fire or flooding. We are large-scale cleanup experts, but we handle restorations of all sizes.

What Can Cause Water Damage In Your Commercial Building?

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage of any kind can be devastating to a business. Even the smallest of leaks left unchecked can create huge amounts of trouble and cost a lot of money to repair. As a business owner, you may be thinking about ways you can prevent this from affecting your business, so let’s talk about what can cause water damage in your commercial building:

Pipes. Your commercial building may be older, with plumbing that has seen better days. Leaky pipes can easily become an issue as the gaskets and seals wear out and the pipes themselves break down. 

Faucets. In kitchens, break rooms, bathrooms, and shops you are going to have sinks and water faucets. A faucet that is older and that has developed a drip can not only annoy you but can cause a lot of damage if it’s ignored for too long. 

Roofing. The roofing of your commercial building should be kept in top shape to guard against water damage. If a roof is not in the best shape and has developed weak spots and small holes, the walls and ceilings of your building are in danger. 

Spills. Spills of all sizes can cause damage if they are not cleaned up in a timely manner. Even the smallest puddle of water can seep into all kinds of materials, resulting in warped wood, discolored tiles, and flaking plaster. Keep in mind that it only takes a little amount of damp to attract a mold colony, and that just takes the damage to another level. 

Floods. When heavy, wet weather hits, a flood can occur. We’ve all seen the pictures of what a flood can do, and it can be devastating. From washing away walkways and trees to moving vehicles and even the building itself, a flood is a powerful force. 

If you experience water damage in your commercial building, call us here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville. We’ll be there right away to help you get back to normal. We are restoration pros, and we handle mold, too.

How To Properly Use Space Heaters

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

During the winter, your central heating system works overtime. Sometimes you may only need to heat one room and give your main heater a break by using a portable space heater - an effective option, and one that can save you some money, too. 

These units are high-wattage appliances, though, and they do have the potential to cause fires in your home if not used correctly. Today, we are sharing some tips on the proper use of space heaters so that you and your loved ones can stay safe. 

When Purchasing A Space Heater

  • Label. Check to see that your heater is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Smart Heaters. Purchase one with a sensor that will shut it off automatically if it overheats or gets tipped over. 
  • Preparation. Install smoke detectors in your home, as well as carbon monoxide alarms. These need to be tested monthly. 
  • Inspection. Inspect your heater and its cord and plug. Do not use it if you think it could be defective. 

Setting Up Your Space Heater

  • Placement. Place your heater on a solid flat surface, and make sure it’s at least 3 feet from anything flammable. If it is being used in the garage or workshop, keep it away from any paint, oil, and gas cans. 
  • Hazards. Don’t place the heater on furniture or cover it up, and be careful of high-traffic areas and doorways, where someone could trip over it and get burned. Never run a power cord under carpets, rugs, or furniture. 
  • Plugs. Plug your heater into an outlet directly instead of using an extension cord or power strip. Make sure the plug fits well and is the only plug in the outlet.  
  • Water. Always keep your heater away from water, and if you’re wet - don’t touch it. 

Running Your Space Heater

  • Check. Check your heater often to make sure that the plug, cord, outlet, or faceplate isn’t hot. If it is, stop using it immediately, and remember that a hot cord may mean it is defective and could ignite a fire. 
  • Time. Don’t run your heater 24/7. It isn’t made to work for long periods of time. 
  • Turn it off. Never leave a space heater unattended or in a child’s room, and turn it off while you are sleeping. 

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we care about you and your family, and we want you to be safe. If you do experience damage to your property from fire or water, call us! We are specialists when it comes to fire damage or water damage, and we can handle mold, too.

Keeping Your Business Organized For 2020

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

If you experienced some disarray and confusion in your business last year and you are really wanting 2020 to be different, we’ve got some tips to help you get your business organized for 2020. 

Your staff may be a real help as you decide where things should go, and what would work best for the business. Getting everyone involved will open up the floor for an organization discussion. If your workforce is involved in the decision-making they will feel a sense of ownership, and it is far more likely that after you get your business organized, you will keep your office organized. 

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Purge: Shred, empty, and get rid of everything you don’t really need. Take a good look around and identify those items you haven’t used in at least six months. Your archived records need to be kept, of course, but for how long? If you haven’t already, set up an archive schedule that allows for discarding records that are older than you need them to be. If anything isn’t in working order, and it can’t be fixed in a timely manner, throw it away. Encourage your staff to minimize their desktop knickknack collections. If they can’t find time to dust everything weekly, then some things will have to go!
  • Straighten: Gather up items around the office that aren’t where they should be and put them away. 
  • Zones: Determine the type of work that happens in each area of your business. From the main workspace to the reference area, make sure that the appropriate supplies and equipment are being kept in the places that best meet the needs of the business. Those items that are used the most should be easily accessible. 
  • Labels. Clearly label all storage boxes, bins, and shelving so everyone knows where things belong. This will help with the daily pickup that needs to be done to keep your business organized throughout the year.
  • Filing. If you find yourself duplicating your documents, or if your filing system can become digitized, you will be able to eliminate a lot of paper. This step alone can be a big help in keeping your business organized in 2020.
  • Work Stations. Organize all work stations, paying attention to all the places where items are stored. Make sure tools and materials are easily accessible so that labor hours aren’t being wasted searching for things needed to complete projects. Use trays for a neater desktop paper system, for example. Even if the staff member knows where things are, on a sick day the person filling in will have no idea unless it is clearly designated. 

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we are always ready to help with your large cleanup projects, with water and fire damage being two of our specialties. We are mold remediation experts, too.

Steps To Take After Major Flooding In Your Business

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding is a common occurrence in many parts of the country, and West Nashville is no exception. As a smart business owner we know you want to be ready should the worst happen. Flooding is dangerous, and kills nearly 100 people yearly, in addition to causing an average of eight billion dollars in property damage in the U.S. yearly. Being prepared can keep your business and your workforce safe in the event of a flood. 

  • Step One - Know Your Area. Even if you think the risk of flooding will be low, it’s important to be vigilant. Understand your location’s potential exposure. You can reference the NOAA Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s quarterly updates and maps to see what areas of Middle Tennessee are at higher flooding risk during certain times of the year. Historic flooding maps are also a helpful resource. Just knowing the potential rates of rising waters and how long it would take to drain off will be important pieces of information for you as a business owner.
  • Step Two - Have Your Information At Hand. Be sure you keep all copies of your insurance documents and other key business information in a flood-safe location. Using the cloud for storage of business-related information will be essential when it comes to the potential loss of documentation. 
  • Step Three - Be Prepared. Prepare your location for a flooding event. Investing in a sump pump could help to minimize damages, as well as maintaining gutters, drains, and roofing. Anchoring any fuel tanks is also a good step to take. 
  • Step Four. Create a flood evacuation route and share it will your workforce so that they know how to get themselves and any customers to higher and safer ground if it becomes necessary. Invest in an emergency kit and keep it well-stocked, in case people get stranded in the building. 

When it happens:

  • Step One - Roll Call. Make sure you know where everyone is and that they are safe. Do not encourage anyone to come to work if it is dangerous to do so, and keep people onsite if it isn’t safe to travel home. 
  • Step Two - Call Emergency Services. Contact your local fire department and police, and let them know the status of your property and everyone involved.
  • Step Three - Turn Off Electricity. If you have standing water inside or around your buildings, turn off all electricity and unplug appliances and computers, etc.
  • Step Four - Stay Informed. Stay connected to local news stations to get updates and important information. The most important thing is that everyone is safe.  

When it comes to a flooding event, SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville is here to help. We specialize in large-scale disaster repair and cleanup, so call us for assistance if your business experiences any kind of disaster.