Recent Posts

Restaurant Restoration.. Common Causes of Restaurant Fires

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are over 3,500 restaurant fires reported each year in the United States. These fires are estimated to cost about $84 million in property damage every year. The majority of these fires are started in the cooking area of the restaurants.

Even though the rates have reduced over the years, restaurant fires are still a major concern today. You may have your smoke alarms up to code and working properly, but we all know that commercial cooking operations have a multitude of fire hazards.

5 Common Restaurant Fire Safety Issues 

  • Vent hood doesn’t cover all the cooking appliances: When fire starts on a cooking appliance that isn’t properly covered by a vent hood, it can’t be easily controlled and may burn down the whole kitchen.
  • Inadequate cleaning of the exhaust systems: Exhaust systems usually accumulate grease which is highly inflammable and could pose a serious fire threat. Regular maintenance of the exhaust systems will come a long way in ensuring that your restaurant is safe from fire damage.
  • Incorrectly installed baffle filters: These filters are specifically designed to collect grease. If they are incorrectly installed, grease may accumulate on the hood and pose a serious fire threat.
  • Inadequate separation or partition between fryers and cooking appliances: Without adequate space between these two items, cooking oil can easily splash into flames and cause a fire. Ensure there is at least 16 inches of separation or use a thick noncombustible metal divider.
  • Dirty vents, ceiling, hoods, and work areas: Lack of proper hygiene and sanitation in a commercial kitchen is a major risk of restaurant fires. Dirty surfaces can easily be ignited by a small flame and cause a huge fire disaster.

Call SERVPRO for Restaurant Restoration

In addition to these common causes, lack of proper fire prevention equipment and skills is also another contributing factor. As a restaurant owner , ensure that your staff is properly trained on the basic fire prevention and safety practices. 

But if the damage is already done, you have a second chance with SERVPRO. We offer top-notch and quick restaurant restoration services in the Laurel area. Don’t let a mere fire shatter your dreams. We will restore your restaurant in no time.

Call us at 601-425-0119

How a Commercial Fire Damage Company Will Restore Your Business

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

How a Commercial Fire Damage Company Will Restore Your Business

Were you a recent victim of a fire in your home or a fire in your business? Are you dealing with a horrible smoke smell? Are you trying to clean up smoke damage and soot damage? Do not try to deal with the commercial fire damage and the fire cleanup process by yourself. You should not even enter your home or your business before calling a fire restoration company. There may be safety hazards. The structure may cave in at any moment, and there may be broken shards of glass that can hurt you. The smoke smell can also be dangerous.

It is imperative that you call a professional restoration company as soon as you possibly can. They will do an assessment of your burnt home and take in all of the fire damage. They will come up with a plan of action for the restoration of your home and for dealing with the commercial fire damage.

The first thing the restoration company will do is board up the holes in your walls and your broken windows. You need to board up the holes before you take care of the water damage, or else more water may enter your home through those holes when it rains, thus undoing your work. A professional restoration company will use tarps or wood boards to board up those holes. The holes that need boarding up include the holes caused by the fire and the holes caused by the firefighters; they often make holes to make sure that the fire is not still burning behind the wall. Boarding up the holes is the first step of dealing with commercial fire damage.

After doing that, the fire damage restoration service will start removing the water from your home. Water that was used to put out the fire in your home or the fire in your business can cause serious damage. It can soak your furniture and your walls. You will need flood pumps to pump out the water. You will need special tools to dry out your walls, your furniture, and your carpets. A professional fire damage restoration service has the tools that are necessary to deal with commercial fire damage.

The next step in dealing with the fire damage is dealing with the smoke damage, also referred to as the soot damage. Your walls will likely be blackened. They will need to be cleaned from all the soot that covers them. They will be grayed by the smoke, and you will need to clean that up as well, or else the smoke smell will not go away. You will need to repaint your walls and ceiling so that you totally remove the trace of the soot damage and smoke damage. You should probably also add new wallpaper. The good news is that a fire cleanup company will do all of this and remove the smoke smell for you in a professional and timely manner.

The next step in dealing with the fire damage, after dealing with the smoke damage and soot damage, will be repairing the structure of your home. The fire cleanup company will need to repair the walls and the ceilings, as well as the floors, of your home. It is likely that they were badly damaged. They may not be safe anymore. The fire cleanup company can replace weakened walls and beams. They can turn your home or business into a beautiful place that is safe again after the fire in your home or the fire in your business. They can turn your home into a beautiful place that you love living in again.

The fire damage restoration company will deal with other aspects of fire damage as well. They will make sure your plumbing service is working after the fire in your home or the fire in your business. They will make sure that your electrical system is working. They will help you repair and replace any appliances that may have been damaged. They will make sure your sprinkler system is working and will be ready in case anything goes wrong. The fire damage restoration service will not leave until you are satisfied.
Call us at 601-779-1070 for more information on fire damage.

Fire Extinguishers

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

You could save your home from fire with a fire extinguisher at your ready.

Close your eyes and imagine. You’re at home, or maybe in the office, and you smell ... smoke? Definitely smoke. Fire! You don’t panic, because you’re not the type and you’re prepared. You grab the nearest fire estinguisher, find the flames. You get ready, aim.... and suddenly realize you don’t know how this thing works.

Fire extinguishers can be the first line of defense if fire breaks out in your home or business, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use them or have the wrong extinguisher for the job. When it comes to fire, plan, prepare and remain calm. Knowing how, when and why to use your fire extinguisher—not to mention which fire extinguisher to use—will increase both your safety and peace of mind knowing you can protect you and your belonging from fire damage.

When to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Home or office, when a fire breaks out you have moments to decide: fight or flight? If you feel even the slightest doubt about handling it yourself, move everyone to a safe place and call 911. Ditto if you don’t know how to use your extinguisher or aren’t sure it’s the right class for the fire you’re fighting; better to let the pros handle it than to try to navigate the learning curve mid-fire.

If you decide you can safely put out the fire, grab the extinguisher and get busy, after you locate a safe way out. If you spot a clear exit but it doesn’t look to stay clear long, get out now.

What Kind of Extinguisher to Use
Home- and business owners can choose from five types of fire extinguishers:

  • Class A: for a fire involving normal combustibles and flammables, including cloth, paper and wood
  • Class B: for a fire involving flammable liquids like gas, oil, paint, paint thinner and solvents
  • Class C: to fight a fire involving electrical equipment/appliances that are plugged in and receiving power—electric drills, table saws, computer equipment, televisions, wiring and fuse boxes, for example
  • Class D: to put out a fire involving combustible metals—magnesium, sodium, zirconium, etc. (Note: Don’t try to fight this kind of fire unless you’ve been specifically trained for it!)
  • Class K: for fires typically found in restaurants, involving cooking oil and commercial-grade cooking equipment

Some fires involve several or all of the above. Fortunately, fire extinguishers are labeled not only with the types of fire they’re designed to fight, but with the types of fire you should avoid using them on. Example: Never use a Class A extinguisher on a Class B or C fire—the results could be deadly!

Fire Extinguisher How-to

  1. Stand six to eight feet away from the flames.
  2. Make sure you have a clear exit, in case the fire spreads or flames out of control.
  3. Pull the pin to unlock the operating lever.
  4. Aim the hose at the base of the fire.
  5. Press the lever located above the handle to release the agent.
  6. Use a back-and-forth sweeping motion to saturate the base of the fire until the flames are extinguished.
  7. Continue the process if the fire re-ignites.
  8. If the fire doesn’t go out or spreads, get to safety.

Extinguisher Safety Tips

  • Install fire extinguishers in areas where fires are likely to break out, including kitchens and break rooms.
  • Check periodically to make sure all fire extinguishers are fully charged.
  • Show every family member or employee where the fire extinguishers and fire alarms are located.
  • Train yourself, your loved ones and your co-workers to use the equipment properly.

Even with a fire extinguisher, some fire damage will occur. When this happens, call your local SERVPRO at 601-425-0119. 

What is Water Restoration

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

The following is provided by the IICRC. 

Companies that perform water damage restoration have to be skilled in a number of areas to stay current in their field. Technicians in the industry have to combat a number of threats, some visible and some invisible, before their job is done. Structural weakening, chemical runoff, electrical hazards, dangerous wildlife, and deadly microbes are all common risks technicians have to contend with. Without the proper education and equipment, a technician risks grave injury and may leave health risks behind for a family to encounter. Fortunately, technicians in the industry have access to the educational resources offered by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC.

After getting certified in water damage restoration and a number of related fields, a professional in the field will be able to identify and neutralize any problems they are likely to face at a job site. In most cases, a technician is called to a home following a flood or plumbing disaster. In either case, the initial threat a technician has to encounter is hazardous standing liquid. Floods and sewage backups are normally host to dangerous chemicals, like oil runoff, bacteria and viruses. Before any repairs can be done on the home, a technician will need to be outfitted with the proper safety wear and begin investigating where the liquid is pooling. Moisture meters can detect the level of moisture in and behind drywall, carpet, and other areas. Using minimally-invasive tools, a technician can quickly find pockets of heavy moisture in areas not readily accessible.

This is important because only thorough drying will ensure that further destruction does not occur. Most companies use a combination of industrial  air movers and dehumidifiers to extract moisture from both materials and the air. This process can take some time, but diagnostic tools like moisture meters help technicians monitor the drying process. Once all of the materials inside the home have reached safe levels, mold and other microbial growth can be halted.

The most severe threats a water damage restoration company has to deal with are molds and other pathogens. These  contaminants can remain a major hazard for years after they have taken root, and can cause health problems while remaining hidden in vents or behind walls. Trained technicians are capable of neutralizing molds and other pathogens by utilizing special  cleaning products and quickly removing compromised materials. Being able to identify mold growth is an important skill for a professional, and stemming the growth of a colony can be the difference between saving a home and having to condemn it. Certified firms are capable of quickly working through a property and disposing of anything that is beyond repair. Anything that is salvageable but soaked is separated, cleaned properly, and promptly dried. If the building’s structural integrity has been affected, these technicians can identify it and alert the homeowner and the insurance representative to its presence.

Without professional help, a homeowner will never know for sure that their home is safe to live in again. This is why the help of a certified technician is so valuable. They don’t just repair homes, they restore normalcy.

Though IICRC does not in fact operate its own school, it does recommend the best water damage restoration technician training courses per industry standards

Time is of the essence after a major water disaster. Though Journeyman-certified technicians may be the right choice for water damage that does not threaten structural integrity, it is vital to bring an IICRC certified Master professional to the scene of a major disaster as soon as possible. Certified professionals use the skills they’ve learned in the accreditation courses to examine the structure, textiles, and the belongings, and will likely be able to control the damage, so no further damage will occur.

Furthermore, knowing the fastest and best means of drying the structure and textiles is imperative. Familiarity with the most effective processes and safest compounds to stop the spread of molds and microbes is also needed to protect people and animals in the environment. Graduates of the relevant IICRC-approved classes excel in these areas.

The importance of providing customer satisfaction cannot be over-emphasized. Each  certified technician  must pass a stringent series of exams prior to acceptance, and continual training is required. Complaints are taken seriously and must be handled promptly to ensure continued accreditation as a certified firm.

Water damage restoration technician training is a surefire way to  insure the latest and greatest procedures are used to protect a customer’s property. There are various courses of study and ways to learn the information, so IICRC works with both the consumer and the professional to guarantee the best experience.

Holiday Season Fire Prevention

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving and Christmas are rapidly approaching and for most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving is a peak holiday for cooking fires, and the fire department responds to four times the amount of fires compared to every other day. One of the main contributors to this fire increase is leaving the kitchen while food is still cooking. Therefore, leaving the food unattended and able to cause more damage faster. The second leading factor is cooking equipment, so please be sure to make sure you are using the correct cooking utensils.

Safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Thank you to NFPA for safety tips.

SERVPRO of Laurel wants to be sure you are aware on how to prevent these unfortunate situations, but if a fire were to happen we are there for you 24/7 even on holidays. Of course, always making it like it never even happened.

Mold. DO's and Don'ts

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • DO stay out of affected areas.
  • DO turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • DO contact SERVPRO of Jackson for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Do NOT touch or disturb the mold.
  • Do NOT blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Do NOT attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Do NOT spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

We are prepared to help you face this issue when it arises.  Our team is prepared to deal with microbial growth and will help you take care of this issue quickly.  If you have any questions about microbial growth or have any concerns about your home or business, let SERVPRO of Laurel put your mind at ease.  Call us today at 601-425-0119 for any mold or mildew issues you are dealing with in your home or business! 

Mold and Wallpaper ..SERVPRO can help

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

Are you flipping a house? Do you find a lot of older homes have wallpaper? The wallpaper trend was very popular when those older homes were being built. Fast forward 20 years and you start to take that wallpaper off the walls and you see “Mold”. This is due to the long term moisture that could be trapped behind the wall paper and the sheetrock. This is more common in humid areas of the home such as in a bathroom. Such areas of mold are due to the inability of the areas to properly dry. SERVPRO of Laurel has the knowledge, equipment, and certified staff to help eradicate most mold areas. Call us @ 601-425-0119

***Please note that we do not know it is mold by just looking at it; to properly and scientifically say it is mold an Air Quality test needs to be performed to verify.

The Costly Effects of a Fire

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

Fire is one of our most valuable resources.  We use it to cook our food, heat our homes, power our world and so much more.  However, when it comes to our homes, fire can also be one of our worst enemies.  Each year, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), nearly 358,300 home-owners experience a fire.  Nearly, $10.3 billion in property damage and 3,280 deaths were due to residential fires in 2015 alone.  Residential fires accounted for three-quarters of all structure fires during 2015.  At SERVPRO of Laurel, we have seen first-hand the devastation that fire can cause.  We take pride in helping customers get their lives back on track in the wake of a disaster; but our wish is that they never go through that experience.  Knowledge is power when it comes to prevention and we want to share information that can help you protect your home.  Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires followed by home heating.  When cooking be sure to never leave anything on or near the stove and use caution when frying.  If you have central heating, make sure to have ducts cleaned regularly to prevent buildup and reduce the chance of fire. Dryer vents should also be cleaned annually.  Clothes dryers cause an estimated 2,900 fires each year, causing over $35 million in property losses. Call us today to schedule your HVAC or dryer vent cleaning and protect your home.

Can carpets be saved after a flood

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

After a flood, many homeowners and property managers wonder if their carpet and pad can be saved.  The answer is, it depends.  Factors such as the age and quality of the carpet and pad, as well as the type of installation used, have to be taken into consideration. However, the type of floodwater that caused the damage is most important when determining whether or not carpet and padding can be salvaged.

There are 3 floodwater categories that determine whether the carpet and padding can be restored to their pre-disaster condition:

  • Category 1 (clean water): non-contaminated water that may come from a broken pipe, sink, etc. After the water has been extracted, carpets and pads can be dried and restored in place.
  • Category 2 (gray water): dirty water that has been released by sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. The carpet can usually be restored if it has been wet for less than 48 hours. The pad is replaced in most cases.
  • Category 3 (black water): water containing dangerous contaminants that may originate from sewage and toilet backflows as well as from floods caused by natural disasters. To protect your family’s health, carpets and pads should be removed, discarded and replaced.

Since every water damage situation is different, you cannot know for sure if or when your carpet and pad can be salvaged until you have a professional restoration company inspect the situation.

The faster you report the disaster, the lower the costs will be. If you’re dealing with a flooding problem, contact  SERVPRO of Laurel today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist at 601-425-0119.

Why Does Mold Grow?

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Why does mold grow?

 Any discussion about mold cleanup should start with understanding why mold begins to grow in the first place. Customers with a mold damage problem are always surprised to learn that toxic mold spores are present not just in their home, but every home, and in fact almost every environment. It’s a naturally occurring element and in low levels is completely safe to humans and pets and your home in general. So when does it become a problem? When too much moisture is introduced in the organic surfaces mold feeds on to grow. Things like drywall, insulation, wood, cabinets, etc. become mold’s food source when mixed with water and the right temperature. While there are many strains of toxic mold, most thrive in temperatures ranging from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ll notice, the average temperature in home’s ideal to our own comfort sits squarely within that range. So when it comes to mold growth, 2 things are always present: the right temperature and food. It’s when you introduce that 3rd element, water, that problems can quickly grow out of hand!

Most common moisture problems that lead to mold

 If your home suffered a massive water damage event, you’re obviously going to know about it and hopefully you’re going to hire a competent water damage restoration company to fix it (hint hint, that’s us!). So the likelihood of that event unleashing a chain reaction that leads to a big mold problem is small assuming you have the moisture removed quickly. The real big mold jobs we see are from much smaller, long-term moisture problems that just never went diagnosed. Below are some of the most common persistent water damage problems we see that can result in a massive amount of black mold damage.

 Leaks under sinks

Whether it’s from a supply line with a loose connection or a drain pipe that has a small hole, slow leaks under seats (or any other sink for that matter) can go unnoticed for some time because your cabinets can hide the problem. It’s always a good idea to check under your sink cabinets to look for any signs of moisture or musty odors. If you detect a problem, it may be a good idea to have a professional come out and inspect things further. In some cases the problem is isolated and will be something you can handle on your own. But in some cases, the visible signs are only the tip of the iceberg. You’d be shocked what we have seen on and in walls and under flooring after pulling out cabinets!

 Small roof leaks

In some instances, the symptoms of a significant roof leak are discovered pretty quickly. Usually you see discoloration in the top floor’s ceiling or worse, it collapses entirely. But in other cases when you have a very small leak, the problem can go undetected for quite some time and never result in water damage you can see from inside the home. It’s usually discovered when someone goes up into the attic for some unrelated reason and sees the problem: mold growth everywhere. On the roof decking, insulation, support beams, you name it. At that point, you’ve got an expensive problem on your hands and your insurance company likely isn’t going to pay for the damages.

The best way to prevent this particular mold problem from occurring is to perform both an exterior as well as interior inspection at least once a year. For the exterior, actually walk the roof of your home (if it’s safe) to look for damaged or missing shingles. Replacing them is easy! For the inside, climb up to your attic and inspect the roof decking for signs of water intrusion.

 Pipe leaks inside walls

A lot of times we are called to a home to do a mold inspection because a homeowner noticed a small patch of mold growing on the floor next to a wall. When we dig further, we usually discover there is a plumbing pipe housed in that wall that is slowly leaking and depositing water on the floor inside the wall cavity. Once we start to remove the drywall, often times we discover the problem is much larger than just the small visible spot on the floor. Usually the mold has traveled throughout the wall cavity and inside the subfloor. The damage can be extensive and the costs high.

You obviously can’t go tearing out sections of your walls often to figure out if you have a problem, so what can you do? The main thing you should be doing is watching your water bill. If you notice a spike and can’t determine a cause for that spike, you may have an undetected leak. At that point, you may want to hire a leak detection company to come out and perform an inspection to determine if you have a bigger problem you need to deal with. They’re better equipped at finding the problem, at which point we would come in and remove the excess moisture and black mold as well as repair any surfaces or structures that were torn out during the process!

Mold In Your Home? Call SERVPRO of Laurel at 601-425-0119.