Recent Posts

3 Factors That Can Increase the Chances of Flooding in Your Basement

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

If your home or business suffers water damage call the pro's that know how to make it "Like it never even happened." SERVPRO If you have a cracked foundation in your home you should get it fixed to avoid any flooding in your basement.

Some homeowners in St Clair County, experience the occasional basement flood more often than others. Homes where lower-level flooding happens regularly often show signs of at least one of the following factors.

Shoddy Work

If corners were cut during construction, it's likely that your basement will bear the consequences.Water damage experts recommend that you inspect your home for problems that need to be fixed:

  • Bad seals on basement floors and walls
  • Improperly positioned downspouts that direct water toward the house rather than away from it
  • Cracks in the foundation

Some of these problems may be expensive to fix, but doing so can save you more money in flood repairs in the long run.

Clogged Drainage

Regular home maintenance is important. It's more than just making your home look nice, though. Keeping your gutters clean can help your drainage system work properly during a heavy rainstorm. If they are clogged, water is likely to run down the side of your house, resulting in a basement flood. Cleaning the debris out of your gutters on a regular basis, particularly in the fall when leaves tend to gather there, not only looks good but also protects your home.

Poor Site Planning

A tendency toward basement flooding may go as far back as when the site for your home was chosen. If it was built in a low-lying area, you may have a flooded basement every time a big storm comes your way. Over time, sediment can build up to create a barrier against floodwaters. Until that happens, however, you can build up terraces in your landscaping plan to redirect the water's flow elsewhere.
Several factors can contribute to flooding on the lower levels of your home, and you may not be aware that any of them are a problem until the first flood happens. Your home may not be resistant to a basement flood now, but there are several things you can do to decrease your chances of water damage in the future

Every Second Counts

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire Practice your fire escape plan during the daytime and nightime

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan. The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
  • Practice your fire escape plan during the day and nighttime.

Call SERVPRO of St Clair County with any questions you may have.

Our Professionals Can Help After A Storm Has Damaged Your Home

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Services – Not Just Board Up for St Clair County Homes Give our technicians a call today at (205)-525-0332

St Clair County homes have benefitted from the fast response and expertise of our SERVPRO team. As leading storm response professionals, we can assess the immediate damages when we first arrive and perform several emergency services. In most cases, many homeowners might think that the most restoration companies can offer immediately following a storm is board up.

As beneficial as fast board up services can be following storm-related flood damages in St Clair County homes, the other actions that our professionals can take when we arrive can have an equally beneficial effect on the residence. Understanding what to expect both from our experienced mitigation specialists and our licensed general contractors arriving at the damaged household.

Temporary Fencing
One of the most pressing concerns of homeowners, when they must vacate their property, is what becomes of their house when they are not around. Our SERVPRO team keeps close tabs on your property and what it needs and can deter intrusion and even animal infestations when you are away from the house with the installation of temporary fencing.

Standing water is a grave concern for your home, primarily because of how prolonged exposure can weaken construction materials and irreparably damage contents in the house. Extraction is often one of the first focuses of the arriving water restorers of our team. We have multiple options regarding equipment, though, without the presence of solids to battle, the standard choice is the electric portable submersible pump.

Tree Removal
Trees can be catastrophic to homes, and their presence after the storm can hinder the immediate mitigation work that the property needs. Our in-house general contractors can remove this tree and its remnants to ensure that the work begins on the household as soon as possible.

As damaging as wind and storms can be to area businesses and homes, our SERVPRO of St Clair County team can help however you need. We have effective emergency services that can save you money and time. Give our technicians a call today at (205)-525-0332

Space Heater Safety

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Despite your best efforts to use space heaters safely, accidents can still happen. Dangers of plugged in space heaters

The ability to return to a cozy, heated home after spending time outside will become increasingly important as temperatures rapidly drop this winter in St Clair County. While many homeowners utilize central heating systems to maintain warmth in their homes, many seek additional heat through space heaters. Creating a warm environment, space heaters can be helpful in heating a specific room, but space heaters do not come without safety risks. Space heaters caused an estimated 25,000 residential fires and 300 deaths each year, according to a 2013 study by The Consumer Product Safety Commission. While this statistic is alarming, your home’s individual risk can be decreased and your family can be kept safe with a thorough understanding of space heater safety.

Combustible objects, such as curtains, rugs, clothes, or paper can ignite if they come into contact with a space heater. To prevent a fire from starting, remember to always keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from combustible items while in use. Additionally, you should also be conscious of keeping your space heater situated on flat, level surfaces and away from major walkways in your home, as a fire could ignite if someone were to trip over the heater, knocking it over onto an object. Always be sure to check your space heater, including its cords and plug, for damage prior to usage. Damage increases the space heater’s risk of malfunctioning and creating a dangerous situation. Therefore, if you discover that the space heater has sustained any damage, do not use the unit. Finally, space heaters should never be left unattended during use. A nearby person could most likely detect a fire early on from the smoke smell and initial flames, which would decrease the chances of the fire spiraling out of control and protect the home from potential destruction. Therefore, it is imperative that you power down the space heater and unplug the unit before leaving the room.

Despite your best efforts to use space heaters safely, accidents can still happen. Taking precautions such as installing smoke detectors on every floor of your home can therefore serve as beneficial backup plans and help to protect your home from destruction. Lastly, if you have children or pets in your home, be sure to keep a watchful eye while a space heater is in use, as they could burn or injure themselves if they get too close. If your home sustains fire damage as a result of space heater usage this fall, you can count on SERVPRO for all of your restorative needs.

Prevention of Water Damage When Your On Vacation

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prevention Checklist If you are taking a winter vacation, then be sure to insulate your pipes to avoid a water pipe repair

The last thing you want to worry about while on vacation is having to deal with a water pipe repair back home. Therefore, before you pack your bags, be sure to run through this water damage prevention checklist.

  • Thorough Home Inspection
  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts
  • Check Sump Pump
  • Insulate Pipes
  • Shut off the main
  • Ask someone to check-in

Thorough Home Inspection
Many a broken pipe starts out as small manageable repairs. Therefore, before you take off, go through your home inspecting under sinks, faucets, visible plumbing and even appliances. Then, contact a plumbing specialist in St Clair County and request an inspection. Any leaks or damage should be repaired before you leave.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Next, head outside and clean those clogged gutters and backed up downspouts. If water can run freely off of your roof, then it will seep beneath shingles and into your attic space eventually.

Check Sump Pump
Do you dread a flooded basement? Then, be sure to check and maintain your sump pump. While these small devices don't seem like much, they can ensure that your basement stays dry while you're away.

Insulate Pipes
If you are taking a winter vacation, then be sure to insulate your pipes to avoid a water pipe repair. Exterior and exposed pipes are especially vulnerable to freezing and bursting, so you should ensure that these lines are covered.

Shut Off the Main
Are you planning on leaving for several weeks or longer? If you are, then turn off the water main and drain the lines before you go.

Ask Someone to Check-in
Last, you can ask a friend to check on your property occasionally while you are away. Give them a key so they can do a walk-through every time they visit.
Preparation and taking preventative action is a sound way to reduce the risk of water pipe repair while on vacation. However, to make sure that all your bases are covered, consider having a professional inspection of your plumbing system before you leave.

St Clair County Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your St Clair County basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 864-292-6399

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of St Clair County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 205-525-0332

How to Have a Warm and Safe Winter

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Christmas tree with colored lights in the living room. Have a safe winter this year!

Everyone loves to be cuddled up on the couch with your favorite blanket feeling the warmth of your beloved space heater, right? According to NFPA’s latest U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, released in 2018,heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. 

What if I told you that more than half (53%) of all heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.

SERVPRO of St Clair County wants to ensure your holidays are merry and bright, and your homes are filled with joy. Here are seven precautionary tips you can take when using a space heater:

  1. Keep heaters at least 3 feet away from any flammable materials, including furniture, blankets, and wastebaskets.
  2. Buy a space heater that includes an automatic shutoff. 
  3. Do not plug space heaters under your desk on in other enclosed areas.
  4. Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater..
  5. Never leave a space heater unattended.  Turn off and unplug heaters when not in use.
  6. Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  7. Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.

If you do happen to experience fire loss of any sort in your home or business, we are here to help. Give us a call at (256)-378-1319, where we are available 24/7! Happy Holidays!

Drying Out Carpet Water Damage in St Clair County Homes

11/2/2019 (Permalink)

Carpets are an everyday staple for modern Dallas homes, and as such, become among the first materials to suffer the damages of migrating water losses. As challenging as it might seem to dry out saturated carpeting, our professionals have premier tools that can make the task much more efficient and thorough. With the right response to the situation, you do not have to lose portions of the flooring or the entire carpeted area due to irreparable damages.

As much as homeowners must also contend with other layers of water damage in St Clair properties when water loss incidents occur, not addressing the carpeted areas promptly can ensure that deterioration and decomposition of the material become too severe to salvage. There are multiple strategies that our SERVPRO professionals can attempt to remove moisture and saturation from this flooring, and it depends mostly on the type of material, the severity of the damage, and the accessibility of the saturated region of carpet.

As premier restoration professionals, we invest in the top-tier extraction and drying equipment available in our trade. For several inches of standing water, we might need to use portable extractors like wet-vacs or sump pumps before we can address the saturation of the carpeting directly. Most often, the moisture penetrates beyond the carpet itself into the subflooring, padding, and even the wooden joists, supports, and plywood beneath. While air movers and dehumidifiers can get placed underneath the affected floor when possible, this does not always adequately address the moisture concerns.

The ideal approach for restoring water-damaged carpeting in your home is to utilize self-propelled extraction tools. These are motorized so that they can offer the same level of pressure at a consistent rate as the unit moves along the carpeted areas. These tools use the weight of the operating SERVPRO technician to force moisture to the surface from the carpet and pad beneath it.

Restoring carpets is not always a guarantee, especially if water exposure has been a prolonged event. Our SERVPRO of St Clair County team can work with multiple strategies and tools to protect these flooring materials when possible. Give our professionals a call anytime at (256)-378-1319.

Water Removal Services for Homeowners

11/2/2019 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO team is here for you when water disasters strike. Our team is ready when disaster strikes!

Even if you do not live in a flood zone, St Clair County is prone to different types of water damage including backed up or burst pipes. If the excess water contains sewage, it can contaminate the area with dangerous bacteria. The water can also penetrate cabinets and spaces beneath them, causing damage to the wood and particle board, as well as hazardous mold growth.

When water damage threatens your St Clair County home, there is no time to waste. You need to contact SERVPRO at once to prevent additional damage and possibly, mold damage. We have a wide range of equipment for different types of restoration jobs, and our technicians are IICRC certified to ensure a smooth cleanup process.

The water removal process begins with a thorough inspection of your property, including a water damage assessment. SERVPRO technicians determine the scope of the damage to develop a proper plan of action. Being cautious and careful is also a priority, in addition to making sure sockets, appliances, and electrical items are not a hazard.

Our technicians check for the water source in your home and then stop it before commencing the drying process. However, we have to identify the category of water damage to restore your property safely to its original state. The type of water contamination affects the specific restoration process used to reverse the water damage. The main ones include clean, black, and gray water damage.

After inspecting your home for the extent of the water damage, SERVPRO professionals look for safety concerns and describe them to you. We then proceed to move furniture and other contents before blocking items to prevent rust or stains on the wet carpet. The water extraction process involves removing most of the water from your property. This step is important to avoid mold and secondary water damage. During this time, we use powerful vacuum units and pumps to quickly remove numerous gallons of water from your property.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

If you need immediate water removal services, you can count on SERVPRO of St Clair County. Our extensive stock of water damage resources is available 24/7, helping us restore your property to preloss conditions as quickly as possible. For any assistance, call us today at (205)-525-0332.

Stay informed of Weather Threats!

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delivered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities. The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area (e.g.  AMBER Alerts). 

Government partners include local and state public safety agents, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without downloading an app or subscribing to a service.  WEAs may be used to share extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

This is America’s wireless industry helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation through a nationwide text emergency alert system, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which will warn you when weather threatens.

The great piece of this is that there is no signup required, and Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during an emergency. With WEA, alerts may be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way.

A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.  The message will be no more than 90 characters.  WEA message will include a special tone and vibration, with both repeated twice.

The National Weather Service will send the following types of messages:

    • Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
    • Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings