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5 Ways Hard Water Can Damage Your Cumberland GA Home

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician extracting water SERVPRO of East Cobb is a preferred service provider for most major insurance companies. We can can even help you file a claim!

So you’ve probably seen the late night infomercials advertising water treatments and devices that prevent hard water. You might have wondered to yourself, “What is ‘hard water’ and can it actually affect my home?”. Let's take a quick look at what “hard water” is and how it can affect your house.

SERVPRO of East Cobb is open 24/7. Our water restoration professionals can be at your door within an hour!

Hard water is just water that has a high content of minerals like calcium, magnesium carbonate, bicarbonates and sulfates (minerals commonly found in limestone and gypsum). These minerals are suspended in solution and are so small they can not be seen by the naked eye. To find out if you have hard water you can use a home test kit or by calling your local water department. Levels of hardness in water varies regionally. You can check to see if your water falls in line with Georgia’s average on the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) website

If your water has a slight metallic taste or smells like rotten eggs, you might have hard water. Hard water is typically not harmful to humans or animals, and some studies even suggest that water with slightly elevated mineral levels can be beneficial. The human body needs to take in many different types of minerals. The primary way we take in these minerals is through the food we eat and the liquids we drink. Household plumbing and appliances on the other hand are another story. Over time, hard water can cause major issues in homes, and can also cause minor discomfort to the occupants. Let's take a closer look at how hard water can affect your home.

5 Major Ways Hard Water Can Affect Your Home

  • Hard water shortens the lifespan of your hot water heater and other appliances. Minerals can build up inside of your hot water heater causing it to fail. This can result in costly and time consuming repairs. By having your hot water heater and other appliances regularly serviced according to the manufacturer, you can prevent mineral buildup and prolong the life of your appliances and hot water heaters. 
  • Hard water can cause faucets to drip and can discolor brick and other sidings. Hard water minerals can build up on just about any surface they come in contact with. Areas around water spigots, downspouts, and gutters are prone to discoloration for this reason. Exterior water sources are also prone to mineral buildup that can cause fixtures to drip. Having the exterior of your home pressure cleaned once a year will remove built up minerals on “high traffic water areas”, and can keep your home looking new. 
  • Hard water can leave behind shower and tub rings. Overtime, minerals build up along the fill line of the tub or shower and leave them with an ugly brownish-red slimy residue that can be quite difficult to remove. Cleaning your shower regularly can help prevent shower and tub rings, and in most cases using household cleaners like CLR will remove the unsightly ring/residue. This tip also works on toilets, by preventing toilet rings.
  • Hard water can cause slow draining Toilets, sinks, and shower heads. Not unlike the other examples, minerals can build up in side pipes, fittings, and connectors causing them to corrode and drain slowly. Being careful what you put down your drains is a good way of preventing blockages, but if you believe you have corrosion in your home plumbing system it would be advisable to call a reputable plumbing company you trust.
  • Hard water can cause cloudy drinking water. The reason hard water sometimes appears cloudy has to do with the high mineral content (the higher the mineral content the more cloudy the water). You should never use water that you feel has been compromised in any way, but hard water is safe to drink and can help with some of your daily intake of minerals. Hard water will however, leave your dishes spotty, cause laundry to look less clean or dingy, and can leave your skin feeling dry and itchy.

If you’ve experienced a water loss and need some help cleaning up, call SERVPRO of East Cobb. We have the trained professionals that can make it “Like it never even happened”! Check out some of our great reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook!

Winter Weather is Coming to Cobb County, Don't Let Your House's Pipes Freeze

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen tree branch winter preparedness Winter is coming and temperatures are dropping, make sure your home is prepared for cold weather!

Winter is fast approaching North Georgia and will be here before we know it. The best time to prepare for winter weather and the dropping temperatures is to assemble supplies and fortify your property before it arrives. Trying to gather supplies once the cold weather event is upon us results in more accidents on the roads and people stranded in the cold. Having a general all purpose disaster ready kit is a great idea and will help prepare your home and family for cold weather events.

One of the leading causes of water damage in winter months is due to pipe freezes. When pipes freeze fittings, connectors, or even the pipe itself can crack. When the pipes eventually thaw out the water leaks from the pipes causing water damage to the structure. The best way to prevent pipe freezes is to not allow the temperature in at risk areas to drop below freezing by heating these spaces. PEX flexible plumbing lines are better suited for cold weather and could be used in place of traditional PVC or copper pipes. Insulating pipes will also help prevent pipe freezes, and can also improve the efficiency of your hot water heater.

SERVPRO of East Cobb and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention want everyone in the Cobb County & Metro Atlanta areas to be better prepared for winter weather this year. Most Atlantans remembers “Snowmageddon” back in 2014, when we were caught off guard by a few inches of snow and ice. Almost the entire metro area was brought to a stand still because of impassable roads and wrecked vehicles. Hopefully some of these tips will better prepare us and keep us safe this winter.

  • Tips For The Home

You can winterize your home by installing insulation and weather stripping in areas that have gaps where cold air can infiltrate your home. You can also insulate water lines installed in exterior or exposed walls to help prevent pipe freezes. Having a working and well maintained heating system, whether it is gas or electric is very important. You should have your heating system serviced professionally once a year, and check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors monthly for charged batteries and are in good working order. Having a backup source of heat that can operate on alternative fuels is also a good.

  • Tips For The Car

The CDC has a few simple tips to prepare your vehicle for winter weather. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order and has a full tank of fuel. This will help prevent fuel lines from freezing and keep ice from forming in the tank. Use cold weather windshield washer fluid and radiator fluid to prevent your vehicle’s systems from freezing. Always carry an emergency kit in the vehicle with blankets, cell phone charger or extra batteries, flashlight, first-aid kit, and some food and water.

SERVPRO of East Cobb is here to help the Cobb County area with any water restoration projects that might come up. No matter how big or small, SERVPRO here to help. We are the restoration company that can get the job done right the first time. Check out some of our satisfied customers on Facebook, Google, and Yelp!

Cobb County Kitchen Fire Cleanup

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Tech and customer reviewing soot Our technicians will walk you through your fire claim step-by-step, explaining our procedures thoroughly along the way!

When it comes to fire restoration there’s not much that SERVPRO of East Cobb hasn’t seen. From commercial warehouse fires and large loss high rise restoration projects, to the more common house-hold fire restoration claims. The following is an account of one of our customer’s experiences working with SERVPRO of East Cobb

This restoration story began like too many others, in the kitchen. The homeowner was cooking dinner using the stove-top, which was located on an island in the middle of the kitchen. While he was cooking, the family dog came to him beckoning to let her outside to do what dogs do. The homeowner, thinking he could let the dog out quickly and return to the kitchen, got into a conversation with the next door neighbor that took longer than he anticipated. When he returned to his kitchen, flames were leaping from the stove-top. Black smoke had overwhelmed the vent hood and began to fill the room. Thinking quickly, the homeowner turned off the eye of the stove and used a fire extinguisher, that he kept in a cabinet under the sink, to extinguish the fire quickly and safely. 

*Taking your attention away from any open flame in your home is ill advised. Our customer found this out the hard way. While the damage was emotionally jarring, and the reality that his home could have just went up in smoke shook him to his core, he was quite lucky to catch the fire when he did. 

For more household fire safety tips check out our previous blog “Kitchen Cooking Fires: Prevention & Tips”

The homeowner called SERVPRO of East Cobb around 7:45 pm on a Sunday evening (same day as the fire). Our loss coordinator took down their information and informed the homeowner that we had technicians in route to his home and would be on site in less than an hour. Due to the late hour the homeowner preferred that we stabilize the affected area and return the following day to officially start the restoration process. Before leaving our technicians erected containment barriers to quarantine the affected areas (to prevent soot and ash from being transferred to non-affected areas), turned off the air conditioning unit, and place HEPA air filtration devices throughout the home and affected area to improve the air quality and reduce the smoke smell. 

The island was damaged beyond repair, and would have to be removed along with a small section of hardwood floors that ran along the front side of the island. The stove’s ventilation system also had to be removed as well as portions of drywall on the ceiling that bordered the vent hood. Odors from smoke damage were pervasive throughout the house, so walls and ceilings were cleaned using SERVPRO’s fire and chem-sponges. These sponges are specially designed to safely remove soot and ash from household surfaces. Along with the fire damage in the kitchen, a big part of the cleanup involved cleaning the fire retardant used to extinguish the fire. Fire retardants do a great job putting out fires but can be very messy to cleanup. Imagine taking a twenty pound bag of flower and spraying it all over your kitchen. 

Once the demolition and cleaning was complete our construction team created a scope for repairs and had them approved by the customer’s home insurance company. The homeowner’s kitchen was ready to be put back together, “Like it never even happened”. In no time, the whole ordeal was behind them and they were ready to get back to normal life, a little wiser for the wear.

If you or someone you know has a fire loss call SERVPRO of East Cobb - (770)424-0400

Cobb County Fire Claim Scope and Walk Through

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

5 SERVPRO Technicians cleaning a room with vacuum and brooms SERVPRO's team of technicians hard at work. Making it "Like it never even happened."

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), US fire departments responded to and estimated 365,500 home structure fires in 2015. Over 11,000 people were injured and over 2,500 fatalities due to home fires, not to mention direct damages totaling $7 billion. SERVPRO of East Cobb is here to help when one of these home fires strikes. Our staff of trained fire restoration specialists can return your property to preloss condition. 

The following is an overview of a fire claim SERVPRO of East Cobb completed for one of our customers earlier this year. While our customer did give us permission to use their story, we will not be identifying this customer or their property for privacy reasons. This overview will give you an idea of how SERVPRO goes about making it “Like it never even happened”.

Shortly after receiving the homeowner’s call, SERVPRO of East Cobb dispatched a team to secure the property by boarding up damages to prevent exposure to the elements. Before securing the property our technicians conducted a safety check to ensure that the fire was out, the property was safe to enter, and that any potential safety hazards were identified and addressed.Once the safety check was complete our mitigation manager conducted a mitigation assessment of the property and scoped the entire structure complete with documentation of conditions of the contents of the home.

This particular job was a pretty severe fire. The fire traveled throughout the main level of the home, damaging most of the furniture and contents beyond repair. The fire department had to use a good deal of water to extinguish the fire, so that brought an element of water restoration to the table as well. All three levels of the home were affected by this fire, but the structure of the home was actually in pretty good shape with only cosmetic damage to the support structure and exterior of the home. This is most likely a testament to the improved standards implemented in newly built homes and general advancement of fire retardant materials.

During fire restoration projects like this, our contents department will scope and pack-out the entire house. This helps facilitate the restoration process by clearing space for our technicians to restore the affected areas and gives them an opportunity to evaluate each item closely to determine if the item should be restored or discarded. Items that can be restored will be carefully packed for transport to our 10,000 sq. ft. cleaning and storage facility. Customers belongings are professionally cleaned using SERVPRO’s proprietary techniques and products as well as ultrasonic cleaning methods and thermal fogging treatments. The customers contents can then be returned or can be stored at our climate controlled facility until the customer is ready to take them back.

This fire started in the garage, where two vehicles were completely destroyed. It spread throughout the main level of the home damaging the hardwood floors, sheetrock walls, and contents. The garage, kitchen, dining room, and living room areas were pretty severely damaged by direct fire damage (fire damage that is caused by flames or ignition, not secondary damage like smoke or soot transfer). These rooms required an extensive amount of demolition and most of the contents like appliances, TV’s, food products, and furniture would have to be disposed of due to fire damage. Once demolition was complete and all sheetrock and hardwood flooring was removed, SERVPRO dried the structure using air movers and dehumidifiers then proceeded to clean and treat the fire damaged structure. After all traces of soot and ash were removed our technicians hot thermal fogged the rooms to deodorize the house.  

Aside from the main level, both the upstairs and lower basement levels suffered fire damage as well. These levels would also require some demolition, but was primarily damaged by soot, smoke, and water. The upper level consisted of the master bedroom, master bathroom, two additional bedrooms, and the attic, all of which would have to have the majority of the sheetrock and all of the carpet removed. Once demolition was completed our technicians placed drying equipment to dry the affected areas. They then cleaned and treated the affected areas and finished with a hot thermal fog to remove any trace of smoke odor. 

The Basement consisted of a home theater, guest room, a couple of storage rooms, and a bar. These were largely untouched by the fire but did suffer significant water damage. As you can imagine in order to extinguish the fire on the first two levels, an extraordinary amount of water was used. This flooded the basement with water carrying soot, ash, and several different types of heavy metals. The water was extracted and carpets removed. Drying equipment was placed in order to lower the moisture levels and dry out the basement. Once the basement was dried to IICRC Standards our technicians cleaned and treated the affected area using a hot thermal fog to deodorize the basement.

Once our mitigation team dried the structure and completed the restoration process, the house was ready to be turned over to our construction department for the rebuild process. For more information on our building services please give us a call (770)424-0400!

Small Office Commercial Water Loss in Kennesaw GA

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

commercial office space flooded by pipe burst Water damaged breakroom and kitchen flooded by pipe burst. SERVPRO made it "Like it never even happened"!

Drying a business after a water loss can be very different from drying a residential property. Commercial water losses can differ from residential claims in many ways such as size, scope, government regulations, and often timeline expectancy. When your business is flooded by a storm or has been water damaged by other means, call SERVPRO of East Cobb. We are the professional water restoration company that can help you get your business back up and running. SERVPRO knows that hours lost to down time can result in days of catch-up work, diminished or lost productivity, and missed deadlines. 

SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster! 

The following is a brief synopsis of an actual commercial water loss that SERVPRO of East Cobb mitigated and restored earlier this year. For privacy purposes we will not disclose the identity of our customer or reveal the address of their property, but express permissions have been granted for us to share their story.

SERVPRO of East Cobb responded to our customer's emergency water loss call, nestled in the back of an office park in Kennesaw, GA. The customer called our office early one morning after they discovered that over the course of the previous evening their office space was flooded by a pipe burst. Our loss coordinator immediately dispatched one of our commercial loss teams over to assess the damage and start the restoration process.

Approximately an hour after our first notification of loss, we had technicians on site that were able to temporarily turn off the water to the property, preventing additional damage to the building. Our highly trained technicians then assessed the property for safety hazards and began documenting the water damage. Safety hazard inspections are critical for the safety of our customers, their property, and our employees. Documenting the loss and completing an in depth restoration scope can prevent many issues associated with insurance coverage and allows our customers to make an informed decision on how they would like to handle the claim (or whether or not to file a claim in the first place). 

Now it was time to start the water extraction and demolition phase. SERVPRO’s professional restoration crew used two truck mount water extractors and an additional portable water extraction unit to suck out all of the free standing water from the structure. The floors were carpeted in an industrial high traffic glue down carpet, which would have to be removed using one of our commercial floor scraper/strippers. The four inch vinyl cove base would also have to be removed in several offices to allow the sheetrock to be ported for air circulation during the drying process. 

Air-movers and dehumidifiers were strategically placed throughout the affected areas to dry the building to IICRC Standards and antimicrobial cleaning products were used to clean and sanitize the entire affected area. Monitoring visits were scheduled with the customer's office manager to track and document the drying process. 

Once the building had been completely dried and drying equipment was removed, it was time for our construction team to start the rebuild process. First our construction manager scoped the job-site and built an estimate for re-construction using Xacitmate (industry leading construction estimating computer program). Once the approvals were made by the customer and their insurance adjuster, construction began almost immediately. Replacing and re-installing sections of sheetrock, high traffic commercial glue down carpet, and four inch vinyl cove base. Our construction department was able to complete re-construction in a matter of a few days and our customer was able to get back to business as usual.

Hurricane Dorian's Destructive Path

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

map of US and Hurricane Dorian's Timeline Hurricane Dorian's destructive path and timeline.

Hurricane Dorian was a devastating natural disaster that claimed an estimated 50 lives, displaced thousands of people, and left tens of thousands homeless. The true scope of Dorian’s wrath is only now coming into focus as rescue and relief efforts are well underway. Efforts by the The Grand Bahama Port Authority and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are leading the charge along with many other countries like the UK, Jamaica, and the European Union. Much humanitarian aid and work must be done to relieve the dire situation in the Caribbean.

Dorian hit Abaco Island in the Bahamas on September 1st as a category 5 hurricane with winds in excess of 180 mph. The next day it made landfall on the island of The Grand Bahamas, with powerful winds and the eye of the hurricane dumping between 6 to 14 inches of rain accumulation from it’s inner core. Along with Dorian’s high winds the progression of the storm began to slow, making it seemingly hover over the Caribbean, prolonging the battering the islands endured. 

In the US, Dorian did not make landfall until September 6th in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. From September 3rd through September 7th, Dorian pounded the East Coast from Florida to North Carolina, ranging in strength from category 4 to category 1 as it progressed up the coast. It even spun off almost two dozen tornadoes in the North and South Carolina leaving nearly half a million people without power temporarily. In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency for 21 counties and several roads and highways were closed due to the storm. Not to diminish the damage done to the East Coast but it was largely spared in comparison to the damage done in the Bahamas. 

If you feel so move please support the American Red Cross aid efforts by clicking here to help the people affected by Hurricane Dorian.  1-800-435-7669 

SERVPRO of East Cobb is here to help if you or your family experiences flood or storm damage in the Cobb County area or greater Marietta and Kennesaw area give us a call. We can make it “Like it never even happened."

Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles on commercial loss SERVPRO of East Cobb has you covered no matter what size disaster!

Commercial buildings that experience water damage, pose unique challenges not typically found in residential structures. Along with typically being physically larger structures, commercial buildings often require specialized solutions like desiccate dryers, supplemental HVAC units to control the environment, and/or power distribution for the facility. Commercial restoration projects require a great deal of communication, documentation, and planning. 

SERVPRO of East Cobb has both the know-how and the equipment to take on any size commercial disaster. If your office space is flooded and you need someone to come and extract the water, call SERVPRO. If your apartment complex has a sewage backup and you need a crew to come cleanup the mess, call SERVPRO. If your sprinkler system soaks your warehouse and you need someone to turn off the sprinkler head and dry the facility, call SERVPRO. We are here 24 hours a day and always have technicians available for emergency services. 

We can be on site within one hour in most cases!

Speed is essential when it comes to restoring a commercial property. Not just in the interest of drying the structure quickly to prevent mold, but so that the business can get back to running as usual. In some cases the cost of drying and restoring the property is really insignificant compared to the amount of revenue lost due to down time or limited productivity. SERVPRO of East Cobb knows that time is money and when it comes to commercial water losses there is no exception. That’s why SERVPRO prides ourselves on getting the job done right the first time and on schedule.

The following are a few of the most common types of commercial water loss we see most often. 

  • Toilet Backup - Toilet backups are hard to prevent and have almost become an accepted part of managing a commercial facility. Due to the frequency of use of the “facilities” in commercial settings, toilets and other plumbing fixtures are just more likely to experience issues that can result in extensive water damage. The best way to prevent these types of water damage is a strong cleaning and maintenance program.
  • Sprinkler System Malfunction - This type of water damage happens more than you might think. Between warehouse fire suppression systems malfunctions, to hotel rooms flooded by sprinkler systems. These types of events are very difficult to avoid and can cause millions in damages. The best way to mitigate the chances of this type of loss is to abide by all fire and sprinkler system codes/regulations, have your system regularly checked and well maintained.
  • AC Unit Leak - Water damage caused by air conditioning units tends to spike in the summer and warmer weather months. During warmer weather air conditioning units have to work harder and create more condensation than normal. This increase in condensation, along with a poorly maintained or malfunctioning system is a recipe for disaster. The best way to prevent your air conditioning unit from leaking water into your building is regular maintenance from a licensed and trusted service provider. 
  • Fire Loss - Many people don’t think about it, but when you experience a fire loss the fire department typically uses a ton of water to extinguish the fire. Justifiably so, nobody wants the fire to flair backup, putting people and property at risk. Some of the water evaporates but most of it stays in liquid form and has to go somewhere often causing its own damage. 

If your business experience a water loss call the commercial water loss professionals...SERVPRO of East Cobb! (770) 424-0400

First Hand Account of House Fire Cleanup in Marietta

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire restoration of customers second level One of the less thought of ways that fire damage occurs is due to “secondary soot transfer”. This is when someone touches, steps or otherwise disturb

So when a homeowner first calls SERVPRO of East Cobb after a house fire, they are typically looking for some reassurance that things are going to get better. They have hundreds of questions running through their heads and are dealing with a ton of stress, but the recurring thought in their head is, “I hope the person on the other end of this call cares about my home as if its their own.” SERVPRO professionals help homeowners regain a sense of control and will care for your home like it is their own. 

One of the overwhelming parts of restoring a home after a fire, is the fact that many homeowners have never dealt with a house fire before. Setting aside the possible life-threatening experience they just went through, the aspect of rebuilding and replacing your home and belongings can be very overwhelming. Take solace in the fact that you are not alone and there are people like SERVPRO of East Cobb to help guide you through the restoration process.

The following is an example of how SERVPRO handles and documents an actual fire restoration/cleaning job. While we will not be identifying this customer (or their property), we did get their permission to share their experience working with SERVPRO of East Cobb. 

This fire claim was isolated primarily to the master bathroom. The cause of the fire was determined to be an appliance that caught fire. Luckily no one was hurt and the fire was extinguished by the fire department quickly. When the Marietta Fire Department responds to a fire, “it is time to extinguish a fire”. They are not taking any chances on letting the fire flair back up so they use plenty of water to douse the flames. Inevitably the water used to extinguish the fire causes water damage. This is just the nature of putting out fires, and is better than the alternative.  

The first thing our team did once the inspection was completed was establish a barrier between the heavily affected areas and lesser affected areas. This was accomplished by isolating the master bathroom from the rest of the house using a poly sheeting barrier with a zipper-door to service as access door. A “decontamination room” was setup adjoined to the zipper door to serve as a transition, in which a technician can “decontaminate” themselves before exiting the heavily affected area. 

Demolition in the master bathroom consisted of removing the flooring, sheetrock, insulation as well as both sinks, vanities, marble countertops, and toilet fixtures. Once demolition was completed fans, dehumidifiers, and air-scrubbers were placed around the master bathroom to dry the studs and subfloor. Several days later, after inspecting and documenting that all materials had been dried to IICRC standards, our team of professional cleaners treated, cleaned, and sealed the studs, subfloor, and ceiling joists using antimicrobial treatments like Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution and Kilz Original Primer to prevent smoke odors.

The rest of the house and master bedroom, were primarily damaged by smoke and secondary soot transfer. Very little actual “fire damage” took place in the master bedroom, but the smoke and soot did travel throughout most of the single level home causing an overpowering smoke odor. SERVPRO of East Cobb isolated the HVAC system by turning it off, sealing the registers and returns, cleaning the ducts, and changing the filters in the system. Our restoration specialist documented and packed up textiles and furniture to be cleaned and professionally restored to preloss condition off site using ultrasonic cleaning and other professional restoration methods. The restored items would be repacked and stored in our climate controlled warehouse, ready to be delivered back to our customer’s home at their earliest convenience.

The carpet in the master bedroom was beyond repair due to secondary soot transfer and water damage that occurred during the course of the fire being put out. So the carpet and pad were removed as well as the trim and lower 3 feet of the sheetrock and insulation in the master bedroom. Again, equipment was placed to dry the structure and a similar antimicrobial treatment was applied to the affected areas to prevent mold from growing in the future.

The entire house was literally cleaned from top to bottom. SERVPRO uses a method of cleaning called “Top-to-Bottom Cleaning” which entails using HEPA vacuums, dry-chem sponges, and other professional cleaning products to clean a structure starting with the ceiling and working your down to the floors. Using this method, it reduces the likelihood of resoiling an area that has already been cleaned. 

At this point the property was ready for reconstruction. It had been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and deodorized. Our Building and Reconstructive Services Department, never ones to waste time, had already pulled the scope from our Fire Restoration Department and had an estimate ready for the homeowners adjuster almost immediately. Our construction department was even able to include some changes to the bathrooms original design at no additional cost to our customer.

If you’ve recently experienced a home fire, please give SERVPRO of East Cobb a Call today! (770) 424-0400

National Day of Service and Remembrance : September 11, 2019

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

In honor and memory of those who died on September 11, 2001, as well as the survivors and First Responders, the National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in 2009 as a day of reflection. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this is a day to come together as Amercians following the events of 9/11 to help neighbors in need and to honor veterans and First Responders in your community.

On this day and everyday, SERVPRO of East Cobb salutes those heroes who arrived in our nation’s most dire times of need and stand strong in the face of disasters. These heroes are the First Responders who keep our communities safe in trying times. They are the heroes that answer putting their own health and safety on the line for the betterment of our great country.

Give back and make a difference in your community this year. Click here to find a volunteer opportunity near you, or register your National Day of Service and Remembrance event, or visit

SERVPRO would like to that this opportunity to remind you about the First Responders Bowl. Mark your calendars for December 30, 2019 and join us in Dallas Texas at the home of the SMU Mustangs, Gerald J. Ford Stadium. SERVPRO is proud to sponsor the second annual F1RST RESPONDERS BOWL! Two of the NCAA’s finest D-1 schools fight it out for 90 minutes and leave it all out on the field. 

Support our First Responders and reserve your tickets today!

Cobb County Fire Claim Step by Step Walkthrough of Scope

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Cobb is one of the most trusted names in the fire restoration industry. We’ve earned this status by providing our customers with top notch service for over 17 years and by standing behind our work. We pride ourselves on being faster to any size disaster, and getting the job done right the first time. Let SERVPRO of East Cobb make your home fire or water loss “Like it never even happened”!

While we won’t be disclosing any of our customer’s information, we would like to share the following account which was directly taken from one of our actual fire claims. We will walk you through this claim, start to finish, so that you will know what to expect should you require our services.

SERVPRO of East Cobb Receives Your Call!

No matter the time, day or night, SERVPRO is here to answer your call and can have technicians dispatched to your home in less than an hour in most cases. If your loss does not require immediate attention our call specialist will be able to schedule a service call at your earliest convenience. Please keep in mind that the first 24 hours in many restoration jobs are critical, so schedule an inspection as soon as possible.

“The Smiths” called us shortly after the fire trucks left their driveway in need of a fire restoration/cleanup company. She had never dealt with a home fire before and had no idea where to start. Our helpful call specialist helped “The Smiths” by providing them with a list of things to gather for the insurance company like a copy of the home policy, title or deed for the home, and personal identification. Along with a list of items to gather for the insurance company, we provided the family with a list of common items they would probably need in the event that the house would need to be vacated (Like clothing, toiletry items, prescriptions or medications, even items for pets).

Secure Customers Property

The first thing one of our technicians will do when they arrive on site is a safety check. This is to ensure that the fire is in fact extinguished and to make sure that there are no other safety concerns on site. After the property is ruled as safe our team will call in the appropriate resources to secure the property. Boarding up or tarping windows, doors, and/or holes in the structures walls or roof are some of the common measures we use to secure our customers property. We secure the property to ensure that no further damage befalls your belongings due to exposure to the elements. Before leaving the site SERVPRO professionals will confirm all of the homes access points have been secured (on this initial visit and every other visit until completion of services).

One of our fire restoration specialists arrived on site within 45 mins and immediately confirmed with a fire marshal that the house had been cleared and that property had been deemed safe for re-entry. Our fire specialist proceeded to inspect the property for safety concerns like falling ceilings, compromised flooring, and possible hazardous materials. Once satisfied that the structure was safe, he began inspecting the damaged property. In this case there was no structural damage to exterior walls or roof so securing the property was not an issue.

Estimating Scope of Work & Planning Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of East Cobb uses estimating software called Xactimate to scope and quote services on all of our fire, water, and mold claims. Xactimate is widely regarded as the industry standard when it comes to home repair estimates and is actually used by most insurance adjusters to scope residential and commercial losses. Our highly trained technician will scope the affected areas and our claims specialists will be able to provide you with an estimate with in 24-48 hours. Our technician will also start developing a restoration/cleaning plan for the property. They will make notes of services and/or trades that will be required to return the home to preloss condition.

 The scope of loss was broken down into zones or levels. The first zone being the “Main Level”, and consisting of the kitchen, family room, laundry room, living room, dining room, bathroom, two closets, powder room, pantry, foyer, and a set of stairs. The second zone was denoted as “Level 2” and consisted of a hallway, linen closet, master bedroom, two storage rooms, three additional bedrooms and several closets. This scope of loss encompassed a total of 23 scoped rooms, each of which had an individualized plan for restoration. 

The first things listed on the scope were to clean the furnace, duct-work, and heat/AC registers. Once cleaned the furnace and AC systems were sealed up at the registers to ensure soot particles didn’t re-contaminate the system or other areas. The scope for the remaining areas was pretty straight forward, listing line items like heavy clean floors, baseboards, cabinetry, light fixtures, and doors. The scope also includes less common line items that less experienced companies might not think to provide (like heavy cleaning: chandelier; window blinds; fireplace; garbage disposal; microwave; refrigerator; dishwasher) or lack equipment and/or training to provide services like deodorizing thermal fog or ultrasonic cleaning.

During the scope process our highly trained technicians documented damages to determine salvageability of the building materials and contents. The process was also used to determine the cost effectiveness of restoring, versus replacing items and determining how much demolition was required to remove fire remnants and any water damages the property suffered during extinguishing the fire.

Once documentation was completed SERVPRO of East Cobb conferred with the customer’s insurance adjuster by providing them, and the homeowner, with a copy of the scope to make sure all services were accounted for, all items were approved, and that all parties were on the same page as far as the scope and job timeline were concerned.

Preform Services & Monitor Equipment

This is the step when things really start to move, both literally and figuratively. Our technicians will swiftly and methodically pack up, move and store (if necessary) the contents of the affected area(s) such as furniture and personal items. Testing the structure and contents moisture levels as they work ensuring the drying process will work correctly. They will then further assess the affected areas determining if any additional areas/items can be restored or cleaned or need to be disposed of and added to the well documented list disposed of items. 

Demo having been completed, the next steps are to clean the affected area using specialized equipment and professional cleaning products so that drying, and air filtration equipment can be placed. Once drying equipment is place, this marks the beginning of the drying process. The moisture levels of the home and contents are manipulated to dry all materials to IICRC scientific standards in order to prevent mold growth. The drying process will take place over the course of several days. Monitoring visits will be scheduled so that our technicians can better assess the drying progress, document the progress in our “drying logs”, and can alter the drying plan if necessary (add additional equipment or move/place equipment to better facilitate drying process).

Upon completion of the drying process our technicians will remove the drying equipment and proceed with the “final cleaning”. This step is also known as a touch-up or quality assurance step, consisting mainly of HEPA vacuuming, wet mopping, and dusting of debris disturbed by drying equipment, and removing containment barriers (if advisable or needed).

Approvals from the adjuster came almost immediately, in part due to our proactive documentation process and restoration plan, but also in part due to SERVPRO’s experience and positive reputation from working with most major insurance providers and adjusters. Our Cleaning technicians went to work cleaning and restoring the property using our specialized equipment, professional cleaning products, and SERVPRO’s inside-out & top-down cleaning methods to completely rid the property of all soot and smoke particles.

The first step was to clean and isolate the air-conditioning and heating systems by sealing the air registers after cleaning the ducts, HVAC components, furnace, and replacing air filters. Then demo began by removing any materials not expected to dry, be restored, or were otherwise unsalvageable. Drying equipment was placed after all demolition was cleaned up to facilitate drying over the next 5 days. Monitoring visits took place on the second and fourth days to document the drying process in our drying logs, and the equipment was picked up on the fifth day. This allowed our fire crew to meticulously clean all surfaces and perform a complete thermal fogging of the affected areas the next day. Finally, we HEPA vacuum, wet mopped and dusted the affected areas and our workspaces as part of our “final cleaning”.

 Re-construction Services

SERVPRO of East Cobb offers full remodel or re-construction services. Our construction managers will work with customers hand in hand choosing the materials to build back your home. This is where we truly make it “Like it never even happened”! Some homeowners take this opportunity to upgrade elements of their home as well. If your going to have your home torn apart you might as well put it back the way you want it right? Why not upgrade? SERVPRO of East Cobb has the experience and know-how to make this as much of a hassle and stress free process as possible.