Recent Posts

Building a Fortified Home Along the Gulf Coast

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Building a Fortified Home 

Building a new home can be a big undertaking.  There are so many variables to consider and if you have never built a home before, you may not know where to start.  One of the first things that you may want to consider is what level of fortification you want to include in your home to protect it from catastrophic events.  Living here along the Gulf Coast, we know that hurricanes are an unavoidable peril.  How your home is constructed may mean the difference between minor damage and complete devastation.  There are now universal building codes that may make your home more resilient in the face of a storm.  You may even receive discounts on your homeowner’s insurance based on which construction standard you choose for your new home. Building codes may vary from state to state and this can lead to inconsistencies in the ability of a structure to bear the force of a major storm.  In 2010, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) developed the FORTIFIED Home to create a uniform, hazard specific standard to alleviate these discrepancies and make new homes more resistant to severe weather.  The program includes three levels for homeowners to choose from based on their needs.  The Gold standard ties the entire house together by tying the roof to the walls, the walls to the floor and the floor to the foundation.  This means the entire structure functions as one seamless system.  Silver requires additional fortification to the roofing system and the windows.  The Bronze level addresses only the roof.  At SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile, we have seen first hand the devastation that a natural disaster can bring with it.  If you are building a home, we would encourage you to do your research and make sure your home has the most protection possible.  You can’t predict the future, but you can be ready!  If you want to learn more about the FORTIFIED Home, CLICK HERE To visit the IBHS website.

Are you Covered?

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you Covered? Homeowners insurance and SERVPRO

Are You Covered? 

When it comes to your homeowner’s insurance policy sometimes it is hard to know exactly what to look for when checking your coverage.  Many times, the average consumer doesn’t consider all the variables and the multitude of “what if’s” that could occur and cause damage to their home.  SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile wants to help you make sure you are covered BEFORE disaster strikes.  One of the most common areas of gaps in coverage can occur in water loss situations.  An overwhelming majority of policies do not provide coverage for flood damage that is incurred from “rising water”.   This term is how most insurance companies will differentiate whether water damage is covered under the policy.  Rising water would be determined to be flood damage and most often only covered if you bought an additional flood policy.  Other water damage that would be covered would be water that filled the home as the result of a collapsed roof, broken windows etc.  If you aren’t sure of what your homeowner’s policy covers, we strongly encourage you to contact your agent to day and ask questions. 

Our Dream Machine the Esporta

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to cleaning up after a fire, we are the undeniable experts. Our team members undergo extensive training and certification to ensure they know everything about fire restoration. Using multiple techniques, procedures and equipment, we pride ourselves on the amazing results we offer to our clients. As part of our commitment to superior service, we have included in our arsenal, the Esporta washing system. This revolutionary machine can clean a wide variety of textiles and soft contents, saving items that would have previously been deemed non-salvageable. From drapes to purses, to shoes and even porcelain dolls, this machine can do it all. We are so excited to share this technology with you. If you would like to learn more about this machine and take a tour of our laundering facility, give us a call at 251-343-0534.

Dryer Vent Cleaning with SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Dryer Vent Cleaning (Commercial)

You do everything you can to prevent a fire in your business.  You have developed emergency plans, installed sprinklers, developed protocols for electrical and cooking systems, but what about your dryer vents? As a premier provider of commercial fire restoration services, SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile has seen fires from a wide range of sources.  Fires caused from clogged dryer vents are more common than you may think.  Especially in commercial buildings that use dryers on a regular basis.  How do clogged dryer vents cause fires?  The lint trapped in vents can cause limited air flow, making the dryer work harder than usual.  This causes the dryer to get hotter than usual, which makes it overheat and catch fire.  The good news is that annual dryer vent cleanings can prevent this from occurring.  If you haven’t cleaned your dryer vents recently contact SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile at 251-343-0534.  We can set up a cleaning and put you on a preventative maintenance schedule that will protect you and your business.

Protecting Your Investment

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Investment (Storm)

Becoming a homeowner is a great source of pride.  It is a goal that everyone looks forward too and it is inevitably the biggest investment you will ever make.  Protecting your home is always a top priority.  Where do you begin to protect your home when devastating weather is on the horizon?  Hurricanes are the biggest threat we face here in the coastal areas of Alabama.  We have been lucky in recent years, but at some point, our luck will run out.  What can you do to steel your residence for the storm?  First off, if you are building a new home, be sure to research the best building plans for hurricane safety.  You may be able to add optional items such as hurricane straps.  Doing this research before you begin building may also help lower your homeowner’s insurance premiums based on the options you choose to add to your home.  If you have an existing home, there are things you can do when faced with an impending storm. You can add hurricane shutters as a permanent solution, or simply board up to protect your windows when a storm is approaching.  Keeping trees trimmed is also an important step to take, although you would want to do this on a regular basis well before the storm is approaching.  Also, make sure to take an accurate inventory of your belongings.  If your home and possessions are damaged during a storm you will need this to report to your insurance company.  Even the most well-prepared home may feel the effects of Mother Nature if a storm situation does occur.  If you are ever affected by a natural disaster, we want you to know that SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile is always Here to Help!

Mold Tips with SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Tips (Mold)

No matter how diligent you are, or how many precautions you take mold may still find its way into your home.  Finding mold can be alarming and you may want to start tackling the issue right away; however, mold remediation is not a DIY task.  If you find mold in your home, there are steps you can take to prevent further damage.  First, you should stay out of affected areas. Although the terrifying stories of “killer” mold are myths, mold can cause adverse side effects.  Disturbed mold spores can cause breathing issues, coughing, wheezing or irritation to the throat, eyes and skin.  Some people are especially sensitive to mold and can have more severe reactions than others.  Next, turn off the HVAC systems and fans to prevent the distribution of mold spores to other areas of your home.  Your next step should be to contact SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile to schedule an inspection with one of our IICRC certified mold remediation specialists.  Our experts have undergone extensive training to evaluate your mold issues and develop a customized treatment plan catered to your unique situation.  If you suspect a mold issue in your home, contact us at 251-343-0534 to schedule your inspection.

Dealing with Mold Affected Contents

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with Mold Affected Contents (Mold)

Mold in your primary residence can be a headache, but fortunately it usually only affects the structure.  What happens when you have a part time residence, such as a vacation home?  You may be gone for days, weeks or even months at a time.  In our hot, humid climate, mold growth can expand rapidly and affect your contents as well if left unmonitored.  What happens when you arrive at your vacation home to find all your belongings covered in mold growth?  The good news is that SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile can help!  Our crews will pack up and inventory your items before transporting to our facilities for some deep cleaning.  After determining what items can be salvaged, our highly trained team members go to work using a variety of methods restore your contents.  Using our advanced Esporta washing system, we can even salvage many textiles or soft contents that would have previously been tossed out.  Once your items have been cleaned to their previous quality, our crews pack everything back up and deliver to your home.  If you have been affected by mold, call us today to find out more about how we can help you hang on to your treasured items.

Odor Removal with SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Odor Removal (Mold)

Often, when mold affects your home, the first telltale sign is a musty, damp smell.  Mold likes to lurk in hidden spaces or nooks and crannies that aren’t always visible.  It is common for leaks to occur behind walls or in hidden spaces.  You may not know you have a problem until something smells “off” in your home.   When you have a mold issue the first thing you want to do is call in a qualified mold specialist like SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile to handle the issue.  Our certified crews have been specifically trained and received IICRC certification in the proper methods to remediated mold growth and prevent future occurrences.  Once the mold issue has been resolved, you may still be left with an unpleasant odor.  SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile also has the training and equipment to rid your home of the last reeking remnants of your mold damage!  We can also take care of odors caused by pets, smoke or other contaminants.  Contact us today for more information on our odor removal services.

Protecting Your Business

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Business (Commercial)

Your business is what motivates you to get up each day.  It is more than a source of income for you and your employees, it is a source of pride.  You have worked hard to build it and just as hard to protect it. From risk management services, to insurance and even security systems, you have made sure everything is in place to prevent shutdown.  But have you? Did you know that nearly 50% of businesses may never reopen after a disaster? Even small disasters such as a water loss from a busted pipe may shut you down for days, resulting in lost productivity and revenue.  At SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile, we want to help you protect your business and keep it running if the unforeseen should strike. Knowledge is key to preparation. Here are some things to think about:

  • Maintenance - sheck sewer drains, floor drains and water collect systems regularly

  • Sump pumps - if you have these on site, make sure they are tested regularly and have proper battery backups

  • Backflow valves - make sure they are tested and maintained annually

  • Generator fuel tanks - make sure they are in elevated areas that aren’t subject to flooding

  • Sprinkler systems - should be equipped with flow systems and inspected annually

  • Water mains - label all branches to allow for isolation and include a valve diagram chart

Our Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) is a free service we off that can help you check many of these off your planning list.  Call us today at 251-343-0534 to schedule a consultation.

All About Soot

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

All About Soot (Fire)

As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, soot is “a black powder formed when something is burned : the very fine powder that colors smoke”.   Most of us know what soot is, but did you know there are various types of soot based on what has burned and what started the fire?  At SERVPRO of Southwest Mobile, we clean each item based on its material composition as well as the type of soot. In order to provide the best results, you must determine the type of soot before you begin the cleaning process to ensure the proper methods are used.  Contents may be affected by:

  • Wet soot - results from an oxygen-starved, low smoldering fire with high moisture levels.   

  • Dry soot - caused by high-heat, high oxygen fires with natural materials.

  • Protein soot - typically a fire in the kitchen caused by overcooked meat.  This is usually hard to see but covers all surfaces with a sticky, hard to remove residue.

When it comes to cleaning up after a fire, even a small one, it is a job best left up to the experts.  Our team has undergone extensive training to understand how each type of fire can leave behind its own calling card.  We have the tools and knowledge to make it "Like it never even happened.®"