Recent Posts

Continuing Education Credits for the Southwest Georgia Insurance Community!

7/5/2022 (Permalink)

Chalkboard with the Words "Continuing Education" written on it Are you an insurance professional in need of continuing education credits? Give us a call!

Are you looking for a new, interactive way to earn your Continuing Education credits?  Ready to get ahead of your credit requirements instead of packing in numerous hours at the last minute? Are you ready to advance your knowledge of cleanup and restoration?  Look no further!  SERVPRO of Albany and Americus offers a variety of for-credit Continuing Education courses, FREE OF CHARGE! That’s right!  Our team is proud to be of service to our local insurance community, helping you to fulfill your credit obligations, while presenting relevant, real-world information that can help you to assist your clients when disaster strikes.

SERVPRO of Albany and Americus understands how busy and hectic your day-to-day schedule can be, so to accommodate more attendees, we are offering our courses BOTH virtually via webinar, and in person at a local business, at the same time.  By choosing the style of attendance that fits YOU and your schedule best, we hope to make the learning experience much more fun, memorable, and easily accessible along with all your other responsibilities.  We offer a variety of 2 credit hour courses throughout the year, including:

  • Biohazard Cleanup
  • Deodorization of Malodors
  • Mitigation Awareness & Response Seminar
  • Restorative Drying for Water Damage
  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry

and, coming up on August 10th, 2022, we will be offering two courses in a dual in person/virtual presentation: Ethics and Cleaning and Restoring Smoke Damaged Contents.  We invite you to attend!

To learn more about SERVPRO of Albany and Americus’ Continuing Education offerings, register for one or both of our upcoming courses, or for any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out by calling 229-439-2048 and asking for Alina, or emailing alina@SERVPROalbany.com.  Serving the communities of Camilla, Leesburg, and surrounding areas, our team is Here to Help when disaster strikes, and with helping to educate our local insurance community!

Did You Know? The Fire Extinguisher Edition

7/5/2022 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher hanging on the wall of a building Keep yourself and your property safe by having the proper type of fire extinguisher available AND knowing how to use it!

We have all been taught since a very early age the importance of having a working fire extinguisher nearby inside of every building, especially where cooking is taking place.  But do you know HOW to properly use a fire extinguisher? Did you know that there are DIFFERENT TYPES of fire extinguishers, specified for different uses?  Finally, are you aware that fire extinguisher should be regularly inspected?  These “fire extinguisher specifics” are very important to keeping yourself, loved ones, and property protected, so let’s learn more!

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

The U.S. Fire Administration suggests the acronym “PASS” as a means of properly discharging a fire extinguisher:

P - Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

A - Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

            S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly

            S - Sweep the nozzle from side to side

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers/Uses for Each Type

The U.S. Fire Administration defines five primary types of fire extinguishers used to put out different kinds of fires:

  1. A – used for ordinary material fires, such as wood, cloth, or paper.
  2. B – for use with combustible or flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, or oil.
  3. C – for use with electrical equipment like appliances and tools.
  4. D – for use with flammable metals.
  5. K – for use with animal oils, vegetable oils, and fats in cooking appliances.

Inspection & Maintenance

The U.S. Fire Administration provides the following information about fire extinguisher inspection.  At a minimum, inspection needs to consist of the following steps:

  • Make sure the extinguisher is visible or that there is signage indicating where the extinguisher is located
  • Make sure you can easily access the extinguisher
  • Ensure the pressure gauge is in the operable range or position
  • Make sure it is full, this can be done by just lifting the extinguisher or you can weigh it
  • Make sure the extinguisher is not expired

In the unfortunate event that you home or business suffers fire damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Albany and Americus for help.  Available 24/7/365 for emergencies, our highly trained team is “Faster to any size disaster.”  Call now to learn more or request assistance: 229-439-2048

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Fire-extinguishers

Practicing Fire Safety in Your Business

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Multiple Fire Extinguishers with Brick Wall in Background Fire safety is extremely important for your business, too!

One of the most devastating things that can happen to a business owner is to have their commercial property suffer damages.  Especially in the case of fire, there are a variety of measures that can be put in place to limit the amount of damage sustained and/or reduce the risk of a fire even taking place in the workplace.  So, what can you do to not only help ensure the safety of your employees, but also protect your building when it comes to fire?

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are one of the most common, and widely recognized, means of protecting property in case of fire.  It is important to make sure your fire extinguishers are in date, located in easily accessible areas of the building, and are the proper type of extinguisher for the possible materials that could catch fire at your business.  The National Fire Protection Association offers resources defining the different types of fire extinguishers.

Fire Suppression

Depending on the size and type of commercial building you own, a fire suppression system may be required, or recommended, for use.  This system includes strategically located overhead sprinklers that are triggered by high heat.  Additional suppression type systems, including chemical suppression, are available for properties like restaurants and catering halls where a great deal of cooking takes place.

Evacuation Plan

Knowledge is the key to success when it comes to preparation and planning.  Make sure all employees are knowledgeable about the protocols for building evacuation in case of fire, have evacuation routes mapped and displayed, and make sure all emergency exits are labeled.  Consider practicing fire drills on a regular basis, including instruction on where to meet once evacuation has taken place.

In the unfortunate event that a fire does cause damage to your business, know that the professional team at SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is Here to Help!  With extensive training, knowledge, and experience, our team is “Faster to any size disaster.”  Give us a call at 229-439-2048 to learn more about our fire damage restoration services or request assistance.

Summer Maintenance Checklist- Commercial Properties

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO disaster recovery truck parked in front of a high rise building Enjoy your Summer by being prepared! Call SERVPRO of Albany & Americus today at (229) 439-2048!

Prepare Your Property for the Summer Season – Use this Checklist to Get Ready!

Maintaining a commercial property is a full time job. There is always something to fix, check in on, or improvements to handle. Keeping up on routine maintenance during the change of the seasons is a perfect way to save time and money in the long run.

As the temperatures start to climb, commercial property owners should start to think about the annual maintenance from landscaping to checking HVAC systems. 

Use this handy checklist to keep your property in top condition for all seasons.

Commercial Property Summer Checklist

  • HVAC System.
    • Your building’s HVAC system should be checked regularly, but especially when it’s time to get ready for the summer weather. The air conditioning unit will get a work out during the summer. A proper check will ensure the system is working at its peak performance and efficiency.
    • During the check of your HVAC system, adjust thermostats as necessary for higher internal temperatures. Don’t forget to check and replace the filters. Be sure to keep an eye on the unit, especially during its first run. If you notice frost build up, the help of a licensed HVAC company is necessary.
  • Check the Roof for Damage.  
    • Inspecting the roof is an extremely important part of your summer checklist. Summer can bring in storms, and the last thing you want is a leaky roof! While you inspect the roof, check for damage like missing shingles, cracks, or even holes. Any type of damage to your roof requires the help of a professional restoration company. A leaky roof can cause mold problems. Calling in a professional as quickly as possible is necessary.
  • Water Spouts and Plumbing.
    • Check your plumbing thoroughly! During the summer, you can expect an increase in water usage, but the increase should not be due to leaky pipes. Start by checking any outdoor sprinkler systems for leaks. If there are standing puddles or areas of soggy soil, you may have a cracked pipe.
    • High and low temperatures can also cause shifting in soil. If your septic system has lateral lines, this can lead to broken septic systems and standing water.
    • Plumbing issues need to be handled immediately, especially if dealing with sewage leaks.
  • Check the lighting.
    • Summer means longer days, which means you can adjust outdoor timers accordingly. It’s a great time to replace burnt out bulbs or repair any frayed wiring. Cleaning the lighting fixtures is a great way to increase the appearance of the landscape of your building.

Call SERVPRO of Albany & Americus

Owning a commercial property can be a large job. Having a restoration company that you can trust in case of emergencies is important! At SERVPRO of Albany & Americus, we provide services like mold remediation, water damage repair, fire and smoke restoration, and even sewage clean up.

Our teams are fully trained and certified. We know the ins and outs of repairing and maintaining a commercial property. Since we are an emergency restoration company, we understand how important it is to be ready for any problem, at any time. Our EMERGENCY READY PROFILE will help you prepare for the worst.

Common Questions About Water Damage

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Carpeted hallway with water damage Questions about water damage restoration? Give us a call! 229-439-2048

Fortunately for many homeowners throughout Southwest Georgia, water damages are something that they do not have to deal with very often.  This lack of frequency, however, can make handling water damages when they DO arise stressful and confusing.  To help you through the process, SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is committed to staying in communication with both you, the homeowner, and additional stakeholders, including insurance representatives, to explain the steps taking place.  From the initial inspection through the completion of the project, our team will work diligently to provide the highest possible level of customer service as we mitigate and remediate your property.  While every water damage situation is unique, there are a few common questions that we are regularly asked:

  1. How long will it take to dry? This is dependent upon multiple factors, including the amount of saturation, the types of materials affected, and the atmospheric conditions surrounding the water damaged area.  The fundamentals of drying science are greatly affected by temperature and air movement.  For example, the more air movement present, the less time drying should take.  Your dedicated project manager will work with you to explain these factors and provide you with an estimated timeline for drying to be completed.
  2. Will demolition be needed? SERVPRO of Albany and Americus always first tries to restore vs. replace when possible.  Depending on the type, or category, of water damage, however, demolition may be necessary.  Category three, or grossly contaminated water, requires demolition of porous materials.  Also, depending on saturation level, there are times where clean water damaged materials may not effectively dry, and will instead require demolition.  Your project manager will analyze the conditions present, provide a scope of work, and communicate the recommended steps to be taken.
  3. Can I turn the equipment moved or turned off? To dry as quickly as possible, the equipment must be left running for the duration of the job.  Equipment should not be moved around, as it has been placed for optimal drying conditions by your SERVPRO technician.  We will monitor the equipment on site for proper functioning, record the drying progress daily, and remove equipment as materials begin to dry.      

When water damage strikes, trust the team at SERVPRO of Albany and Americus to help.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making us “Faster to any size disaster.”  To learn more about the services we offer, ask any additional questions, or request help, please give us a call: 229-439-2048. 

Going Away on Vacay?

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Wood floor with water pooled on top Don't return home from vacation to this! Make preparations before your leave to reduce your water damage risk.

…Reduce your risk of water damage while you are traveling!  Although there is no way to prevent water damages from happening, there are a variety of steps that can be taken to reduce your risk, especially while no one will be home.  With the stress, worry, and financial burden that water damages can cause, the last thing you want is to return home to a disaster!

SERVPRO of Albany and Americus suggests doing the following in preparation for your vacation plans:

Inspect Your Entire Home Before Leaving

  • Check for any existing leaks
  • Ensure appliance supply lines are securely connected
  • Look for signs of water intrusion – staining, rust, puddling
  • Check window and door sills for cracks
  • Ensure that your HVAC system is draining properly

Inspect and Clean Up the Exterior of Your Home

  • Clean our rain gutters and downspouts
  • Remove any limbs that could potentially break windows during a storm
  • Clear out drainage areas around your property
  • Consider turning off you water to the home at the main while you are gone

Plan Just in Case…

  • If something does happen, the faster it is caught, the less mitigation will be needed. You may want to plan for a friend to come and periodically check on the property
  • Know who to call when water damage does occur: SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is available 24/7/365 for emergencies.
  • Know where your insurance documents are for easy access in case a claim is required.

For all your water damage needs, SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is “Faster to any size disaster.”  Serving the communities of Warwick, Vienna, and surrounding areas, our team takes great pride in providing the highest possible level of customer service for those in need.  To learn more or request help, call us: 229-439-2048!

When Storms Strike Sumter County

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Debris and Sand inside a commercial building after a storm Storm Damage? SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is Here to Help!

From heavy thunderstorms to tornadic activity, and floodwaters from nearby rivers, storms in Sumter County can be both unpredictable and devastating.  For both home and business owners, having a professional cleanup and restoration expert to call when storm damages strike is imperative to getting your property back to its preloss condition.  SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is that local cleanup and restoration leader for your property.  With numerous years of experience, and a team with extensive training from the IICRC, we can handle storm damages of all sizes, and here’s how:

  • Emergency Board-Up & Roof Tarping. Once the storm has passed, our primary goal is to respond to your property and prevent any further damage.  This may include tarping the roof or boarding up broken windows.
  • Water Extraction, Drying & Dehumidification. If standing water is present, we will begin by extracting as much as possible.  Once extraction has taken place, we will place appropriate drying and dehumidification equipment inside of the structure.
  • Cleaning, Disinfection & Sanitization. Depending on the type of storm damage present, there may be a need for disinfection of structure and contents.  This step may also require removal or demolition of unsalvageable materials. 
  • Restoration & Reconstruction. Once the property has been properly dried, cleaned, and sanitized, it is time to restore.  This may include replacement of materials that were removed, such as drywall, or reconstruction of roofing, windows, and doors.  As a licensed General Contractor, we have the ability to provide your reconstruction services, allowing you to work with just one vendor from start to finish.

When disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is Here to Help.  With the support of 2000 franchises nationwide, our team has the resources to respond to even the most devastating of situations.  We welcome you to call and learn more about how we help with storm damages, both in Sumter County and throughout Southwest Georgia: 229-439-2048.

Hurricane Season is Here! Is Your Business Prepared?

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Information about ERP on a powerpoint slide Ready to Start your Emergency Ready Profile. Call today: 229-439-2048!

Although not directly on the coast, the communities of Southwest Georgia are no stranger to the effects, including property damage, that hurricanes and tropical systems can produce.  From high winds driving rain through windowsills, to tornadoes dismantling roofs, the variety of possible damages during hurricane season is vast.  The importance of preparation for this time of year is well known, but how can you specifically help prepare your BUSINESS for a damage disaster? With the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)!

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile…What’s That?

The SERVPRO ERP is a concise document that contains critical information about your business that may be needed in the event of an emergency.  Your ERP is secured digitally and accessible via the SERVPRO Ready App from a smartphone or tablet no matter where you are!

What does it include?

Facility details, including water, electric, and gas shut off valve locations and photos.

A list of preferred vendors for the property.

Facility key contacts, helping to establish the line of command for authorizing work.

Additional documents and photos as desired, such as insurance declarations pages, floor plans, or blueprints.

How does this help when disaster strikes?

By having all your pertinent business information in one location, you can more quickly access needed details during an emergency.  This can allow you to both locate and stop the cause of loss faster (such as a water main leak by turning off water to the building), as well as start the process of mitigation (by contacting your SERVPRO of Albany and Americus representative directly).  This immediate plan of action results in a reduction of business interruption for your facility.

How do I get started?

Call SERVPRO of Albany and Americus today!  One of our business development representatives will come out, walk your property with you, gather key information for the profile, and compile.  The best part of all…this is a COMPLETELY COMPLIMENTARY service that we offer!  That’s right, a no cost assessment!  We look forward to hearing from you soon and getting your Emergency Ready Profile established.  Call now to learn more: 229-439-2048

Where Did the Water Come From?

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Tile Flooring with Water Damage in a bathroom Water Damage? No matter the how or when, SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is Here to Help!

No one ever wants to feel the “squish” of wet carpet beneath their feet or see the staining of water dripping down the walls, but unfortunately, these are all too common of occurrences in both homes and businesses throughout Southwest Georgia.  It is important to address these damages as soon as possible to reduce the risk of additional issues.  To do this, you must first determine: Where Did the Water Come From?

There are a multitude of different sources that can cause water damage to a structure, both internal and external.  Understanding where the water came from, the level of contamination present in the water, and where all the water has traveled is imperative to formulating the right mitigation plan.  So, what are some of the most common water (damage) sources in our area?

  • Issues with water supply lines. Whether plumbing that brings clean water into the building or a hose running from the wall to supply the ice maker, sources of CLEAN water account for many water damages.  Cleaning up Category 1, or clean water, allows for much more of the affected area to be dried and salvaged.
  • Mother Nature. Including wind driven rain, rising flood waters, or leaking windowsills, mother nature can move water throughout many structures.  These waters can carry a variety of contaminants and must be treated much differently than damages from clean water.  Depending on the specific determined source of storm waters, different approaches may be taken in the mitigation and restoration process.
  • Clogs and Back-Ups. Toilets, tubs, sinks, dishwashers….the list goes on.  Anything that has a drain out of the building has the potential to back up into the building.  These back-ups can be grossly unsanitary and must be handled both professionally and carefully for safety.  Often, after a Category Three, or black water, damage, many porous surfaces must be discarded.

Here to Help with water damages of all varieties, SERVPRO of Albany and Americus offers 24 hour a day, 7 day a week emergency response.  Serving communities throughout Southwest Georgia, including Dawson, Sylvester, and Leesburg, our team of highly trained professionals will work diligently to make your damage “Like it never even happened.”  To learn more or request assistance, please give us a call, 229-439-2048!

Avoiding a Summertime Fire Disaster

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Photo of an outdoor fire pit with SERVPRO logo Practice Safety and Precaution when it comes to FIRE this summer!

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the season for outdoor celebrations, often including neighborhood barbecues, firework displays, and nighttime campfires.  All these wonderful activities bring family and friends together for a fun time, however, an accidental fire can quicky ruin the festivities.  Taking precaution to reduce the risk of fire associated with your summertime activities is not only important for the safety of your loved ones but can also limit the possibility of structural damage.  So, what can you do to make yourself and your property more fire safe?

  • Give plenty of space around flames, including grills, campfires, or gas cooking appliances (such as camp stoves). The National Fire Protection Association states that no grill or cooking apparatus should be “used or ignited on any balcony, under any overhanging portion, or within 10 ft (3 m) of any structure.”
  • Do not leave open flames unattended. Outdoor fire sources should be closely monitored by a responsible adult, and children and pets should not be left unattended around them. 
  • Be prepared to extinguish your fire if needed. This may include having a spray fire extinguisher nearby, utilizing a water hose or bucket, or having a method in place to smother your fire.
  • Think SAFETY FIRST with fireworks! Fireworks should only be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, should only be ignited in an open area free of debris, foliage, or structures, and should only be handled by a responsible adult.  After using fireworks, it is important to make sure they are completely extinguished before discarding.
  • Remember that while your property can be restored or replaced, you, your friends, and your family cannot. If you have a fire that is out of control, do not risk your safety to extinguish.  Call 911 and trust the trained professionals that respond to help.

If fire damage does put a damper on your summertime festivities, know that SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is Here to Help.  Our team is proud to be of service throughout Southwest Georgia, including the communities of Bainbridge, Camilla, Blakely, and surrounding areas.  Interested in learning more?  Need assistance?  Call us, we’re available for emergencies 24/7/365: 229-439-2048.