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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

2/27/2022 (Permalink)

words on a black semi-transparent screen, orange servpro below, words talking about mold policy Perils covered by homeowners insurance policies vary. SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis cleans microbial contamination. For a free estimate: 901-382-0900.

The perils covered by homeowners insurance policies vary depending on the insurer.

Mold damage can be costly and happen anywhere, so several insurance companies have restricted or eliminated coverage for this risk under standard policies. If you are concerned about fungus growth at a residence in Memphis, TN, try to identify the problem's source first, then check your policy for mold coverage.

The Cause of Mold Damage Matters

Restoration experts commonly refer to mold as secondary damage, as fungal growth typically results from direct water damage.

Insurers are more likely to cover mold damage that results from one of the following covered incidents:

  • Appliance leaks
  • Broken or burst pipes
  • Pipe leaks

Even if a policy does not cover the cost of fixing the problem, the resulting damage may be covered. Check your policy and contact an insurance agent or adjuster.

3 Ways Insurers Limit Mold Coverage

Many homeowners insurance providers have removed or limited the amount of coverage for fungus growth because it is a higher risk peril. Since mold can grow practically anywhere, anytime in the right conditions—it’s not exclusive to one geographical location. Because of this an insurer may restrict coverage in these ways:

  • Exclude mold damage completely
  • Only cover microbial testing or cleanup
  • Refuse coverage on properties with a history of mold

Read your policy carefully to determine whether there are any conditions under which mold is covered. If mold is not covered, you may want to add an endorsement.

What Is an Endorsement?

It may be possible for policy holders to pay for limited mold coverage. Ask your insurer whether any endorsements are available. This option may be costly, especially if your residence has a history of mold.Homeowners should determine the limitations of their coverage and decide whether to obtain additional mold insurance.

Paying for remediation out of pocket can be very expensive. The best way to prevent mold growth is to mitigate water damage and potential damage. Don’t be caught without the right mold insurance.

SERVPRO Removes Pet Odors

2/27/2022 (Permalink)

golden retriever underneath a blanket, text in orange box overlayed, "pet odors" orange servpro logo bottom center Fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis is Here to Help®.

Don’t Live a Life Full of Unpleasant Smells.

Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition, or mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn’t necessarily get rid of these smells. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by smoke, mold, or other sources. Our professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the odor's sources.

Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO’s proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Our proprietary line of cleaning products, SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis, uses various techniques and equipment to treat odors.

These techniques are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.

Some of Our Tools to Neutralize Odors

Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke, and more without chemicals. Though the room being treated cannot be occupied while in use, the generator works quickly to clean, sanitize and remove offensive odors. 

Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main benefit is that the room being treated can be occupied during the deodorization process, though it does work slower. The Hydroxyl Generator can be used to treat fire and smoke and biohazard jobs, water damage, crime scene situations, and animal odors. 

Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. This helps clean the air and remove odors.

Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or a homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, getting rid of offensive odors is a high priority.

Fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis is here to help make it, “Like it never even happened.” 

Who Cleans Water-Damaged Senior Living Facilities?

2/27/2022 (Permalink)

senior living facility after a pipe break, servpro air movers strewn on the floor of medical hallway, drying out the facility Call our certified technicians at SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis: (901) 382-0900. We clean senior living facilities.

Dicey weather from storms has caused many pipes to freeze, thaw, and burst, so SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis gets numerous calls to perform common services this time of year.

If you own or manage a senior living facility or some other caretaking property, a storm and its results are plenty to deal with without other complicating factors that come with the caretaking sphere of business. 

The building itself is likely one of the last items you may consider in the event of a catastrophic emergency at a senior living facility. While a flood could put an average business out of the office for weeks, a caretaking facility has more on its plate. Timely water mitigation is a necessity.

SERVPRO is well-known for professionalism and service. It is in our name! We work with our clients to ensure their safety and satisfaction with our work.

Our Past Experience with Senior Living Facilities

Our SERVPRO worked on a senior living facility where a pipe burst causing flooding in four different resident's rooms. We arrived within the hour and got to work moving residents and their uncontaminated items to dry rooms, extracting water, setting up equipment, cleaning resident's affected items, packing it safely for the move, and ensuring all steps to dry and restore the structure were done in a timely manner! 

We know each moment counts, and we are proud to say we are Faster to any size disaster™ for that very reason. 

About SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis

We are a completely turn-key company. We even do rebuilds and renovations. Our certified technicians stay in contact with our customers every step of the way to make sure our customers have the best experience and clearest answers! 

Call our certified technicians at SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis: (901) 382-0900

How to Protect My Business from Utility Room Fire or Electrical Fire?

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

aerial view of a brown roof that has had fire damage, orange SERVPRO logo on image Your business will emerge triumphant over fire damage if you use professional fire restoration. Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis! (901) 382-0900.

A business is affected in a uniquely difficult way when the business suffers fire damage. The damage leads to loss, but it destroys the infrastructure for recovering that loss. For example, when a restaurant’s utility room or electrical system catches fire and burns a facility, the income the owners could have made to pay for that loss is uprooted, having a chilling effect on a commercial property. 

This highlights the importance of buying the right insurance.

In an effort against fire loss, most buildings have measures to protect the property from utility room fire or electrical fire loss. A fire sprinkler system is one of the strategies that play an essential role in fire suppression

A Sprinkler System’s Job

This system has sensors that detect a change in room temperature. If the temperature reaches a critical level, the alarm turns on, the valves open, and water jets are sprinkled in the rooms. The fire sprinkler system is the first line of defense against fire before the arrival of backup, like firefighters.

You’ll Need More Than a Sprinkler System

The fire sprinkler system alone may not curb utility room fire or electrical fire outbreak from spreading. If no secondary response team comes quickly to help the sprinkler system, the fire can easily consume the building. Calling 911 should be the first thing you do after exiting the building.

Did You Think About Water Damage?

After the fire, the reality of what transpired inside becomes clear. Apart from the fire damage, there is soot damage, water damage, and visible smoke damage. The fire hose pressure can destroy contents and walls, too.

This devastating scene can only be properly rectified by professionals who are familiar with commercial fire damage restoration.

Professionals Know What To Do

Hiring professionals for fire restoration gives peace of mind. Professional commercial fire damage services like SERVPRO® take a record of the items destroyed and remaining. SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis repairs and cleans content that can be salvaged. They wrap and store those items and appropriately dispose of the rest. They also find out where data backups could be salvaged, such as the computer hard drives. 

The soot damage, water damage, and smoke damage are some of the things that must be cleaned fastest to restore the interior. Soot damage is cleaned using a dry brush. Water is drained and vacuumed from the rooms. This drying prevents mold from growing. The smoke is pulled from upholstery and other areas that could have absorbed odor. After the main cleaning is done and our construction team has rebuilt any remaining damage, items that underwent repair are brought back. 

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis is Here to Help® when you need us. When fire and water take control of your life, we help you take it back.

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis Handles Large-Scale Commercial Loss

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

two men in orange SERVPRO vests walking toward a commercial building, school, backs facing us Give us a call at (901) 382-0900 for 24-hour emergency service.

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis specializes in turn-key commercial restoration and reconstruction. For 15+ years we have worked in the Memphis community restoring local businesses

There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your business. We understand that every hour taken away from productivity equals lost revenue. That's why the franchise professionals at SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis have your Memphis area business covered from the time of loss to job completion. 

From schools to movie theaters, office complexes and hospitals, no job is too large for SERVPRO.

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

SERVPRO is mindful of legal and environmental concerns

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis

We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Give us a call at (901) 382-0900 for 24-hour emergency service. Our commercial large-scale loss team is standing by to return your business to preloss condition.

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis’s Storm Damage Cleanup & Restoration

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

fallen tree on ground after a storm in memphis tn, SERVPRO logo in corner, curly tree, gnarled You can trust our highly trained professionals at SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. (901) 382-0900

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis is:

  • A 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster™
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated

Restoring storm and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which minimizes secondary damage.

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis has:

  • Water Damage Restoration Technicians
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call us today at (901) 382-0900.

When Storms Hit Southeast Memphis, SERVPRO is Ready!

We Have Resources to Handle Storms

When storms hit Memphis, TN, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We have access to equipment and personnel from a network of over almost 2000 franchises across the U.S. and Canada as well as our elite Disaster Recovery Teams.

Clean up of Water Damage After a Storm

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, and furniture. SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis arrives quickly to start the water extraction process almost immediately.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

You can trust our highly trained professionals to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. Let us take this burden off of your shoulders. We assess the situation, clean up the mess, deal with insurance, clean and store your property’s contents, and walk with you through every step of the process. You don’t have to go through storm damage effects alone!

Storm Damage vs Flood Damage: What’s the Difference?

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

large billowing clouds, dark and stormy, over a field in Memphis, Tennessee, orange SERVPRO logo in corner Don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis if you have property damage. Call (901) 382-0900.

Property owners in Memphis, TN, may have a hard time differentiating storm damage from flood damage—which is important when considering insurance coverage. Commercial properties can sustain water damage from both flood and storms, but there are a few significant differences to keep in mind that may help you manage these risks.

The most general distinction is that stormwater comes from above, whereas flood water overspills natural bodies or watercourses and covers at least two acres of ordinarily dry land.

Storm damage to a commercial property may originate from a variety of causes such as:

  • High winds
  • Heavy rain
  • Hurricanes
  • Snow
  • Tornadoes

Most business insurance plans protect from storm damage. Property owners need additional coverage to offset the expenses of flood damage. If your property is located on a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the policies necessary to protect your property investment.

Flooding occurs when water overflows a body of water or watercourse such as:

  • Creeks
  • Dams
  • Lakes
  • Storm-water channels

In order for water to be considered a flood, it must cover two acres and affect at least two properties.

If a commercial property is located in a high-risk zone, and the owner has a mortgage from an insured and federally-regulated lender, they must maintain flood insurance. Risks tied to flooding and storms should be known, minimized, and dealt with as soon as possible. Regardless of a moisture source, the risk of mold and other secondary damage within a building can be looming over the aftereffects of large, disastrous water events.

Restoring Damage From Storms and Floods

Restoration specialists can help property owners determine the precise causes of damage and the best solutions. If a property in Memphis, TN, experiences flood damage or sustains damage during a storm, contact SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis at (901) 382-0900 as soon as possible.

SERVPRO Removes Spray-Painted Graffiti

2/20/2022 (Permalink)

colorful spray painted graffiti on wall, orange SERVPRO logo in top left corner To see a list of our services, visit our website. https://www.SERVPROsoutheastmemphis.com/

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis is known for cleanup after major disasters, but we are more than just water and fire cleanup. Because of our construction division, we provide building services that a lot of companies in our field cannot. For example, we remove graffiti.

Vandalism and graffiti can range from relatively minor pranks to major and malicious destruction of property. While larger destruction may seem more pressing, small vandalism acts, like breaking a window, can still cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed properly.

That is why SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis acts quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to boarding up broken windows and removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.

Our highly trained technicians can offer the following services:

  • General cleaning and graffiti removal
  • Brick, stone, and concrete cleaning
  • Odor removal and deodorization
  • Debris removal
  • Water damage restoration
  • Fire and smoke damage restoration
  • Mold damage restoration
  • Contents cleaning
  • General construction
  • Sewage cleaning
  • Crime scene and biohazard cleaning
  • Air ducts and HVAC cleaning

Sewage Backup Causes and What To Do

2/20/2022 (Permalink)

faucet pouring dirty sewer water out of the spout, silver in left corner above the sink, orange SERVPRO logo in corner If your sewer line backs up and leaks water into your home, avoid the water and call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis for immediate response.

Homeowners and business owners in Memphis, TN can often contend with slow drains, poor water pressure, or blocked pipes. If these problems sound familiar, you've probably used household solutions to overcome them. For more serious concerns, like a backed-up sewer or significant blockage in your plumbing lines, you may need more professional help with sewage cleaning.

Common Causes of Plumbing Issues

Even small plumbing problems can frustrate you, so it is helpful to know how these start. Once you know the root of the concern, you can develop a game plan to solve it. Here are a few:

  • Buildup in pipes from sediment, human waste, hair, and food, causing a clogged pipe. 
  • Flushing “flushable” wipes—No! They should NOT be flushed and will likely cause a clog.
  • Faulty appliances.
  • Cold weather freezing pipes, causing them to burst.

Overflowing Toilets

You can face a toilet overflow for several reasons. Your toilet may overflow when you turn on the water in the shower which indicates blockage somewhere between the toilet and the sewer. 

How does this happen? Water backs up in the waste lines and exits the first place it can: the toilet. Repairing this could be as simple as using a plunger. If that is ineffective, you could try using a sewer snake tool. You might have to call a plumber if the job gets too big. If you don't resolve this overflow, you could face significant damage and should proceed to hire a professional sewer cleaning crew. 

If your Sewage System Backs Up

If the main sewer line into your home or business backs up, you'll notice it pretty quickly because of the foul odor. Luckily, if the blockage is under the street and not on your property, your local water and sewer company should take care of it. 

If sewage water enters your home, we recommend treating the situation as an emergency and immediately calling a sewage cleanup company, like SERVPRO at (901) 382-0900. Sewage water is considered Category 3 water, which can cause health effects. Our team has the protection and knowledge to safely clean up and restore your home or business after Category 3 water damage. We respond immediately, giving you peace of mind and reducing your stress during a sewage overflow. 

Pay attention to common plumbing issues and how you can spot and repair them. If you experience a water leak emergency, call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis. We are Here to Help® 24/7!

SERVPRO Conducts Routine HVAC Maintenance and Cleaning

2/13/2022 (Permalink)

silver air ducts in a ceiling of large commercial building near me, servpro logo house top right Did you know that SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis can inspect and clean your air ducts? Call us today!

Inspecting Your HVAC Unit Can Save You Time and Money

HVAC repair is costly and if the damage is severe enough, it can prevent you from doing business. SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis recommends that business owners schedule professional HVAC inspections each fall and spring. Routine inspections will help you stay abreast of potential problems with your unit, minimize expenses on repairs, and keep your business up and running. 

We have identified some simple maintenance chores that you can do to prolong your system's life and increase its efficiency between professional inspections and maintenance. 

Routine HVAC Maintenance 

  1. Get a high-efficiency, pleated air filter for your system.
  2. Keep your heating units and AC free of pollen, leaves, and grass.
  3. Keep two feet of space clear of your outdoor AC and heating units.
  4. Inspect refrigerant lines every month.
  5. Replace air filters at least every 90 days.
  6. In the summer, turn off the water running to the furnace humidifier.
  7. In the fall, replace the humidifier filter and turn the water back on.

Annual HVAC Maintenance

  • Replace the carbon monoxide detector battery. 
  • Make sure your outdoor AC unit is on firm and level ground. 
  • Clean AC condensation with a bleach and water mixture. 

Caring for your HVAC throughout the year will keep your work environment air quality and atmosphere pleasant, which keeps your staff happy and content. It will save you money by improving and maintaining your energy efficiency throughout your building.

SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis is always ready to inspect and maintain your HVAC system. We're here to answer any questions you might have. Call us today at (901) 382-0900.

Emergency READY Profile: How to Prepare Your Business for a Disaster

2/13/2022 (Permalink)

text on green background with SERVPRO logo, "50% of businesses may never re-open after suffering a disaster" Download SERVPRO's ERP app today at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/Home/MobileApp.

Being a property manager or landlord isn't a 9 to 5 job. Mishaps don't care if you're on vacation or out of the office. Problems can arise 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Be prepared before disaster strikes. Deal with unforeseen circumstances by implementing our Emergency READY Profile (ERP), as many as 50% of businesses have to shut down after a disaster.

Being Prepared is FREE

Your company's ERP profile is FREE and can help you in the event of a disaster. We simply take down a few basic pieces of contact information and we are at your door in case of an emergency.

What Does an Emergency Ready Profile Look Like?

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Businesses that survive a disaster had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. ERP helps your business have a plan in place and helps keep you and your staff members informed on handling fire and water damage.

For additional information regarding SERVPRO's Emergency READY Profile (ERP), visit http://ready.SERVPRO.com or call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis at (901) 382-0900.

Preventing Water Damage on Vacation

2/13/2022 (Permalink)

woman walking along beach at sunset with text box "Avoid a Vacation Disaster" If you experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis as soon as possible at (901) 382-0900.

7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage While Away

According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky or busted pipes and appliances cause millions of dollars in damage during freezing weather and storms. Leaky pipes don't take a vacation when you do and can burst, generating hundreds of dollars of repairs. Prevent water damage while your on vacation by using this checklist:

Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation

Check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should check the seals by your windows to make sure there are no cracks. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see the condition of your roof shingles. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.

Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances

You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers/dryers, and refrigerators.

Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters

Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won't have any blockages that can cause overflows which can lead to foundation problems and water damages while you're away.

Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump

Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. Run a few tests, listen to the sounds it makes, and ensure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you're away.

Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes

If you plan on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.

Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home

Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.

Step 7. Ease Your Mind By Turning Off the Water

Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. Drain the pipes so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. Open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.

If you experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis as soon as possible at (901) 382-0900.

What is Wet and Dry Smoke?

2/13/2022 (Permalink)

smoke damage to a kitchen above an old 80's looking stove, servpro logo in corner Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis today at(901) 382-0900.

Did you know different types of smoke damages emerge based on the type of material burning? These smoke types determine the measures professional fire restoration technicians take when cleaning up after a fire. We break down the types.

Wet and Dry Smoke?

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, a professional like SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pre-testing. 

Wet Smoke:

Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke:

Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue:

Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extremely pungent odor. 

It's important to survey all areas of a property because every part has the potential for damages. Smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure, and smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action to restore your property to its preloss condition. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis today at(901) 382-0900.

What to do About Roof Water Damage

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

blue water drops coming from the roof of a home in Memphis, TN Know when and if your roof is damaged to prevent future water damage to your home or business.

Homeowners know how expensive roof repairs and replacements can be. When looking to buy a new home, one of the first questions often asked is “how old is the roof?”. Different roofs typically last different lengths of time. Generally, asphalt shingle/composition roofs last around 20 years, fiber cement shingles last around 25 years, and wood shake roofs last around 30 years. Since it can thousands of dollars to replace a roof, it is important for homeowners to keep their roofs in the best shape possible.

How to Know if Your Roof is Damaged

Things like heavy rains, storms, and any type of adverse weather can reduce the life of a roof or require repairs along the way to keep it functioning. Some of the most common signs of water damage on your roof include:

  • Ceiling is discolored
  • Mold begins to grow in rings
  • Smelly odors coming from the walls
  • The texture of the flooring begins to change
  • Water begins to accumulate

Roof damage signs can be misleading since they often appear in places other than the roof. For instance, you may have roof damage but the issue appears on the ceilings, floors, attic, walls, around home appliances, or even along with the home’s exterior or foundation. The most important thing to know about roof water damage is the need to act quickly. If left untreated, damage repair can become extremely costly as the fallout reaches different areas of the home.

What to do When Your Roof Leaks

If roof water damage is discovered in your home, it is extremely important to take specific safety measures. 

  • First, catch any dripping water with buckets. 
  • Then, determine whether or not the leak is coming from the roof. 
  • Next, talk to a roofer to decide what the next step should be.
  • Finally, reach out to a water damage restoration specialist to address the issues caused by the roof problem.

At SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis, our water damage repair and restoration team is highly trained and has many years of experience in restoring a home after roof damage. Contact us today at 901) 334-9209 and we will send our team out to get your home back to normal in no time.

Black Water, Grey Water, Clean Water: The Three Types of Water Damage

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

gray flood water outside of a Memphis, TN home For any type of water damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis.

Types of Water Damage

Water damage comes in many forms. It can occur quickly or slowly; it can be a quick fix or a significant, time-consuming property issue. When your property has water damage, SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis wants to help you!

Being educated about water damage types can help give you peace of mind and help you attack the issues quickly and efficiently. There are three general categories of water damage.

1. Clean Water

This water is clean and comes from an uncontaminated source. If this occurs, know that it is not dangerous if consumed by pets or people. This type of water damage may occur if an incoming water line bursts, you have a bathroom flood due to an overflowing sink or tub, or have a small leak from an internal water pipe. SERVPRO can help extract the water and dry surfaces out for you. It's essential to have this done by an expert, as any remaining wet areas can bring on further issues such as mold, fungus, or rotting materials.

2. Grey Water

Grey Water comes from a source with some contaminants in it. If a leak or puddle of "Clean Water" is left for too long, this can turn into Grey Water. Other sources include sump pump failures, overflowing washing machines, and even some sewage pipes. This water type may cause people and animals to become sick if their exposure is high or consumed. 

3. Black Water

Black Water is the most hazardous type of water damage that can occur. This water is too contaminated and likely comes from a natural disaster or sewage plumbing. This water may sometimes look clean but can contain microbes that can cause health effects. When it comes to home flooding emergencies, Black Water floods can be the most destructive. This is due to the water's unsanitary conditions, causing bacteria, chemicals, and toxins to absorb into the porous items in your home. Carpets, upholstery, and drywall are often destroyed in this unsalvageable disaster.

Clean and Grey Water has the potential to even turn to Black Water if left standing or unattended. Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis to help remove water and disinfect your home immediately if this affects your home, and avoid exposing you and your household as it can cause illness. Our team of professionals can help in any circumstances needed! We’re available 24/7 at (901) 334-9209.

3 Step Plan for a Flooded Furnace

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

furnace and water heater in a basement in Memphis, TN A flooded furnace is overwhelming. SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis can help you clean up and give you peace of mind.

A small amount of water from a broken pipe can flood a functional basement and result in a water damage nightmare, especially if the water permeates your furnace. SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis identified three steps to help keep you stress-free and organized when dealing with a flooded furnace. Following these steps will make the claims process run smoothly and help your business or home get up and running again.

1. Document the Damage for Insurance

The furnace can be the most costly loss in a flood, other damaged property also needs to be considered when documenting damage for insurance. Use the following process to record losses and assign values in a notebook or spreadsheet.

  • Photograph the damage.
  • Write down the serial number or another unique identifier if available.
  • Assign a value.

Don’t forget to include items that may have little to no monetary value but are still of high value to your business, like important documents. Search professional recovery services within the area to save irreplaceable items such as documents or photographs.

2. Investigate Coverage and Decide to Repair or Replace

A burst pipe resulting in a flooded furnace is an insurable event, so be sure to check with your provider that you are covered. If a natural disaster occurred, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency to inquire if government aid is available. FEMA offers financing options to those who qualify for HVAC and furnace replacement costs.

According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, flooded furnaces should be replaced rather than repaired. For a professional opinion, contact a qualified heating and cooling contractor to inspect the damage. They may advise that the furnace will be operational after a total dry-out and minor electrical repair. However, the life of the unit reduces. You likely don’t want to choose repair over replacement and have a related problem surface a couple of years later, long after the claim closes.

3. Take Care of the Air Ducts

The air quality from a furnace is often only as good as the ducts it travels through. Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis at (901) 334-9209 to schedule a professional air duct cleaning to ensure ducts are clean, dry, and free of mold and debris.

Tasks associated with a furnace flood are something nobody wants on their to-do list. Take this systematic approach to efficiently ensure the return of a safe and comfortable environment in your commercial or residential property in Memphis, TN for years to come. To ease your mind even further, Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis specializes in cleaning, restoration, and construction. Whether big or small, we can make your disaster feel, "Like it never even happened." On top of that, we are local and ready to respond immediately when you need us. 

Common Signs of a Shower Leak

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

dripping shower head in Memphis, TN Don’t let your leaky faucet lead to water damage!

A shower or bathtub leak can lead to structural issues in your Memphis home's walls, flooring, and ceiling. Some shower leaks are hard to catch early on. If you know the common signs of trouble, you may be able to start investigating the source of water before the leak causes too much damage.

Water Damage

When water pools where it isn't supposed to, it can cause building materials to start breaking down. Common signs of water damage around a shower include the following:

  • The stained ceiling below the second-floor bathroom
  • Damaged flooring in bathroom
  • Stained spots on walls adjacent to the shower
  • Cracked grout in tiled showers

Mold growth could be another sign that moisture is building up inappropriately in your bathroom. If you notice any of these signs of water damage, you may want to call in some residential restoration specialists to help you fix your space.

Obvious Drips

A continually dripping faucet or showerhead is a visible sign of a leak. However, in some cases, homeowners may not be able to hear the leak. Leaky pipes can be located in the walls around your shower. Gaskets and valves that reside in the walls can deteriorate and start allowing water out. If you can't see a shower or bathtub leak, don't assume it's not there.

Malfunctioning Shower Pan

The shower pan is your shower's last line of defense. This membrane catches water and directs it to the drain. However, a shower pan leak can start due to poor installation or new cracks. If you plug a shower drain, a damaged shower pan may still allow water to flow out. Fixing this issue can get quite expensive because you may have to redo large portions of your shower or tub.

Keeping your eyes peeled for signs of a shower or bathtub leak may be a good idea. If left unchecked, these water drips can lead to severe amounts of damage to your home. For additional information regarding water damage, contact SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis at 901-334-9209 today!

How to Save Your Belongings After Water Damage

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

two men in green boots standing in water in a home in Memphis, TN Following these recommendations will help save your belongings after a water leak and, in the long run, save you money!

Water in home settings can be devastating, whether from leaking pipes or backed-up drains or toilets. While there may be nothing you can do to prevent your items from becoming waterlogged in the event of an unexpected water leak, there are some things you can do to restore your belongings after water damage occurs. Here are a few ways you can clean up various items in your Memphis home.

4 Steps to Save Your Belongings After a Water Leak

1. Separate Items

Before you officially begin the cleanup process, separate your items into those that are porous and nonporous. Porous materials may include wood, paper, rugs, and other types of fabric. Generally, these are more likely to harbor mold and bacteria from broken pipe water, so it’s essential to clean them quickly. Nonporous items are usually much easier to clean since they don’t absorb water and are less likely to harbor bacteria and mold.

2. Dry-Clean Nonporous Items

Dry cleaning may be appropriate when removing light water residue from nonporous items in your home. Items can also be dry cleaned before floor restoration professionals come in and thoroughly clean your items. 

3. Air-Dry When Appropriate

If you’re not dealing with dangerous water, such as sewage, it may be appropriate to gently air-dry most of your belongings. If possible, do so indoors unless the weather outdoors is ideal. You can increase the airflow inside your home using open windows, air conditioners, and fans. 

4. Toss Dangerous Items

Depending on the nature of floodwater in home settings, it may be dangerous to keep saturated items. If there is a high likelihood of the floodwater containing harmful bacteria, it may be best to throw away contaminated objects. In other cases, professionals may be able to safely clean and salvage some of your valuables. 

While you may be able to clean some of your belongings that water has damaged in your home, safety should always be your top priority, whether you’re dealing with a broken pipe or a sewer backup. It’s best to wait for professional help to arrive for help with dry-cleaning or salvaging contaminated items. 

Need Help with Water Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis at 901-334-9209 for additional information regarding water damage. We can professionally clean and restore the contents of your home. We are experts in water damage restoration and have top-notch equipment to dry out your home and get your life back on track as quickly as possible.

3 Tips to Prevent Your Home From Wind Damage

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

tree fallen on power lines and house in Memphis, TN Know how to protect your home or business from wind damage and save time and money.

Many areas in the United States have experienced heavy winds and storms this past year. The intense, powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home. Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property, from broken windows and fallen tree branches to severe damage to the roof, garage, or car. It can happen from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common cause of wind and storm damage. However, winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are more robust and can cause severe damage. It can produce many types of adverse weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding, etc.

Thunderstorms are responsible for wind damage cases in the U.S. However, storm damage repair may be costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage. Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year. Understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.

It's important to know when and what type of storm is approaching in your area. You'll learn the potential level of damage to expect. These wind damage facts will help you better understand the likely wind damage and how to prevent it. Here are some steps you can take to minimize property damage when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

1. Flying Debris

Most wind damage starts with unsecured flying debris. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes, such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects, are secured or brought inside. Secure your doors and windows to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

2. Roof Materials

Roofing material should latch to the deck. Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck. Siding damage reduces at the construction phase. Fastened siding isn't as likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a more robust storm-resistant structure.

Roof damage reduces during the construction phase when the roof deck, shingles, or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind.

3. Tree Maintenance

Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of structural damage. Trees, at times, won't shift positions. If it does, it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nails over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up. Fallen trees may cause other severe safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If your home or business sustains wind or storm damage, contact a restoration professional. SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs. Call us 24/7 at 901-334-9209.

Cleaning Your Business for the New Year

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

orange gloved hand from a SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis technician cleaning a window with green cloth Follow these tips and for a deep clean this new year, call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis at (901) 382-0900.

The turn of a new year inspires us to clean out the clutter. Homes, garages, and sheds are usually stocked of old unneeded or forgotten items. As we make room for new outdoor equipment and begin pulling out the things we haven't used most of the past year, we sometimes forget about our office spaces? Often, work is seen as separate and those spaces can often become stagnant.

This new year, SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis wants to remind you that having a clean and organized office space is just as important as a clean and organized home.

Getting rid of old papers, creating a new organization system, and removing the clutter can help make your work more efficient and easier to handle.

Tips to Help Get You Started

  1. Gather and redistribute

Gather up every item that isn't where it "belongs" and put it where it does. If it doesn't have a home, give it one or toss it.

Note: Consider an adhesive hook for hanging coats, scarves, lanyards and other items that take up space or look cluttered. It's an inexpensive way to make your office space tidy.

  1. Clear off your desk

Remove everything, clean it thoroughly, and put back only those essential items for daily use.

  1. Organize your desktop

Now that you've streamlined your desktop, it's a good idea to organize it. Use desktop organizers, baskets, and file folders to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, and boxes for smaller items.

  1. Organize your drawers

Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc. Use drawer organizers for small items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

  1. Proximity

Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

  1. Sort mail

Don't just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now and toss the junk before it begins to pile up. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or handoff.

  1. Assign discard dates

You don't need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded. 

Note: Legal or financial documents must be kept for a specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

  1. Filter your emails

Some emails are essential to read; others are just not that important. When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and reply first.

  1. Consider going digital

How much of the paperwork that you have could be scanned and saved? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you've used in the past by scanning and uploading them to your computer. Make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

  1. Straighten your desk

Do a quick straighten at the end of the day, so you have a clean start the next day.

Deep Cleaning

Now that you've decluttered and organized your space, you may notice the dirt and dust left behind where you've moved your desk from, or the path you take to talk to and from your office might look a bit dirtier than others. Let SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis take it from here, cleaning the carpets and furniture in your office and business to make it all look fresh and new again.

Freshen Up Your Walls

You spend a lot of time in your office space, so give it some TLC. Add photos of family or beautiful paintings to the walls. Ceiling and wall cleaning should also be part of the cleaning maintenance of your home or business, too. If you're thinking about adding a fresh coat of paint to your office to help freshen it up after you've reorganized, you should also clean walls before painting so that the primer and paint can adhere properly.

Whether you are preparing to paint or just looking for professional cleaning, SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis can help. Schedule your cleaning today by calling (901) 382-0900.

Can the Smell of Smoke be Removed after a Fire?

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

soot covered clothing in a closet in Memphis, TN Smoke and soot damage can cause a pervasive odor in your home. Call SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the damage's extent to develop a comprehensive plan of action. 

Smoke and Soot Facts

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.

  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.

  • The type of smoke may significantly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises; therefore, smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is slightly different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care. We’re available 24/7 for your fire damage emergency. Call us anytime at (901) 334-9209. 

Easy Ways You Can Prevent Your Home From Water Damage

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

drain snake being pulled out of a drain clogged with hair to prevent water damage, SERVPRO logo Follow these steps to help prevent water damage to your home.

Water damage is one of the most costly disasters your home or business can experience. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that billions are spent on water damage each year. View these suggestions from SERVPRO of Southeast Memphis for preventing water damage

1. Be careful where you plant.

Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.

2. Clean out roof gutters.

On a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some severe water damage So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. If your gutters are too high, be safe, and get a professional to check them.

3. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals.

Most folks don’t realize these chemicals are eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is an excellent solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.


4. Never pour grease down your sink.

It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water; grease can still cling to your pipes and could even cause some severe damage and blockage. The safest thing to do is pour your grease into an empty can and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens, you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done. However, we know that water and flooding emergencies can happen any time, so we’re ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays. Contact us at  901-334-9209.