Recent Posts

Holiday Travel Checklist

11/30/2022 (Permalink)

Your bags are packed, the vacation plans are made, and your furry friend is taken care of while you’re out of town. Just one more thing…have you prepared your home for possible water damage? 

Many people don’t consider home damage prevention when making holiday travel plans. However, nobody wants to come home to find water damage. Unfortunately, when you leave for long periods of time, your home is subject to damage from leaking or burst pipes.

You can feel relaxed about being away from home by following these steps:

  • Have a friend or family member check on the house while you’re gone.
  • Check for any leaks before leaving.
  • Insulate any exposed pipes to prevent freezing.
  • Turn off the main water valve if your home is going to be vacant.
  • Clean debris from gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding.
  • Inspect and test the sump pump if you have one to avoid returning to a flooded basement.

Don’t forget that holiday trip planning goes beyond your usual checklist. Stay prepared and create a plan anytime you are away from home. If your residential or commercial property suffers from water damage, call SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa to remediate the damage.

Why Most Home Fires Occur in the Winter

11/23/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know more home fires occur during the winter than any other season? The United States Fire Administration (USFA) says that winter home fires claim 905 lives per year and result in damages that cost upwards of $2 million.

Some of the most common causes of winter home fires are candles, holiday decorations, dry Christmas trees and fireplaces.

Keep these tips in mind when preparing your home for the holidays:

Follow safe heating practices.

  • Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off.
  • Use a screen for your fireplace and check your chimney regularly.
  • Keep heating equipment away from flammable materials.

Follow safe cooking practices.

  • Keep an eye on the stove and turn off hot burners or the oven if no one is home.
  • Don't let too many cooks in the kitchen!
  • Roll up your sleeves to avoid clothes catching on fire.

Practice winter fire safety during the holidays.

  • Don't leave holiday lights leaving all day, and don't connect more than three strands of lights.
  • Don't leave burning candles unattended, and make sure they are away from flammable materials.
  • Have family emergency and communication plans ready in case of a fire.

Avoiding Holiday Kitchen Fires

11/21/2022 (Permalink)

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is important to remember kitchen safety. For most, the kitchen is the heart of this holiday, but it can also be the most hectic room in the house before family time and celebrations begin. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for fires that start as a result of home cooking. There are more than three times the amount of kitchen fires on this holiday than any other day of the year.

Here are some safety tips from NFPA to prevent fires in your kitchen this holiday season:

  • Stay in the kitchen if you are cooking on the stove top to keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay at home while you are cooking the turkey to check on it frequently.
  • Test your smoke alarms, and make sure they are working properly.

Having a plan in place before a fire emergency occurs can relieve the emotional distress in these situations. If you have damage from a kitchen fire in your Tuscaloosa home, call SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa at 205-553-8377.

Storm Team Travels to Florida

10/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa's storm crew works at a job in Florida. SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa's storm crew works at a job in Florida.

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on November 30. With a little over a month left of the official time frame, it is important to remain aware of possible storms and prepared for the outcomes.

When nearby states experience damage from natural disasters like hurricanes, SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa bands together with an experienced storm team to help other communities. After Hurricane Ian struck Florida in late September, members of the crew from SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa traveled to Fort Myers, Florida to complete jobs in the affected area. Hurricane Ian is the deadliest hurricane to hit Florida since 1935, so the emotional and physical damage caused widespread pain across the state.

So far, our crew has been in the Fort Myers area for two weeks. Most of the jobs they are working on involve water damage to residential properties. 

Before Hurricane Ian, SERVPRO headquarters provided some tips to follow while waiting for professionals to arrive at the site of a disaster. Here are a few to keep in mind for the remainder of hurricane season:

  1. Avoid contact with items contaminated by flood water. This is considered black water and can be harmful to your health.
  2. Be extremely cautious when entering your home. If you must enter a flooded area, wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing.
  3. Throw away any food (even canned goods) that were in contact with flood water.

Preventing Grease Fires

10/18/2022 (Permalink)

In a home emergencies survey, The Zebra found that homeowners are most concerned about fires. Other options included natural disaster, theft, carbon monoxide and gas leaks.

Did you know most home fires start in the kitchen? This is an especially dangerous statistic since grease fires are the most challenging to contain.

Here are some kitchen fire statistics from National Fire Protection Association:

  • 51% of house fires are started by cooking.
  • Kitchen fires peak around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You can prevent kitchen fires by never leaving any food unattended, properly cleaning cookware to minimize grease build-up and unplugging all appliances to let them cool before placing them in any cabinet or drawer.

If you do experience a grease fire in your kitchen, don’t use water to attempt to stop the flames from spreading. Instead, SERVPRO recommends that you try to extinguish the fire by smothering or using baking soda.

Having a plan in place before a fire emergency occurs can relieve the emotional distress in these situations. If you have damage from a kitchen fire in your Tuscaloosa home, call SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa at 205-553-8377.

Do This if You Suffer from Water Damage

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage? Follow these tips for the best results:

Do:

    • Shut off the source of water if possible, or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
    • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
    • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
    • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
    • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
    • Remove any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture to a safe, dry place.
    • Pinup upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
    • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors. 
    • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Do Not:

    • Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
    • Do not turn on the ceiling fixture if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 
    • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
    • Do not use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
    • Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
    • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.

If you have water damage, call SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa at 205-553-8377. We are faster to any size disaster!

Choose Your Character: Your Roof or Heavy Rain

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Can your roof withstand harsh storms?  What about heavy winds? Extreme rains? We primarily get extreme heatwaves, but in recent years we've seen excessive rains that lead to some flash flooding. So... How can you tell if your roof is truly holding up? And how can you tell without hiring a contractor for a full inspection? 

We turned to Extreme Home Blog's guest post from a roofing company on some major signs like shingle curling, sagging roof, sunlight spotting, and more signs that your roof needs replacing. 

"If you noticed cracked shingles around the various parts of your roof, then that might be a hint that there’s something deeply wrong. Don’t neglect this problem, because cracked shingles increase your home’s vulnerability to water damage and mold growth from rain." (Webber. Extreme Home Makeover 2018)

If your Tuscaloosa or Northport home happens to suffer water damage from a roof leak, SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa is always Here to Help. Our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened."

Call SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa at 205-553-8377!

House Fire? Tips for After the Flame Dies

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

When it comes to a Fire Damage, "devastating" is an understatement. If it is a small isolated fire, getting the area cleaned and repaired should be a priority Not only is it difficult to deal with the loss, but the clean-up can be, too. 

The first thing to consider is the ash and smoke damage. These can lead to corrosion, unpleasant odor, and discoloration. Getting ash and smoke cleaned up immediately will prevent any of these from leading to an even larger problem.   

Take immediate action by following these steps if you find yourself handling the aftermath of a house fire: 

1. Contact your insurance company.

2. Contact your local fire restoration company – SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa.

3. Take photographs of the damage.

4. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurance company.

5. Make a list of everything you lost or that was destroyed.

6. Find a place to stay while your restoration company cleans up your property.

While a house fire is a difficult experience, it helps to have a game plan in place. So remember these steps for the next time you or someone you know is handling the aftermath of a house fire, and call SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa at 205-553-8377.

Endure the Storm, But First, Have a Plan!

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

There are several steps you can take to stay safe while expecting a tornado or other major storm. Below are a few tips listed to help protect you and your loved ones. After the tornado passes, SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa can help you clean up storm damage and restore your home.

Stay Informed During a Storm

Local television and radio stations are your best source for updates on how the storm is developing. However, if you hear a tornado siren, you should immediately head to the nearest shelter.

Look for Storm Warning Signs

Tornadoes typically occur when there is a severe thunderstorm in the area. Rain, hailstorms, and lightning strikes are some of the signs of a possible tornado. Some other warning signs of an oncoming tornado include:

  • Rumbling or Roaring Sounds in the Air 
  • Orange or Green Skies
  • Rotation of the Clouds
  • Damaged Power Lines or Debris 
  • Very Calm Conditions after a Storm

What is the difference between a Tornado Watch, Warning, and Emergency?

  • A Tornado Watch- a storm could be coming into your area soon because of the current weather conditions.
  • A Tornado Warning- a sign that one or more tornadoes are in the immediate area. Look for shelter as soon as you see this signal.
  •  A Tornado Emergency- the final step in the warning process. A tornado has been spotted near a populated location. Move to the safest possible place if you cannot get to a real shelter in time.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources 

SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa is independently owned and operated and we are part of this community, too! When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Tuscaloosa community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be! Call us at 205-553-8377! 

Upcoming Tornado Season and What to Expect

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

In Tuscaloosa and Northport, we typically see a lot of severe rain, wind storms, and sometimes, even hail storms. Unfortunately, a homeowner or business owner may not see any immediate damage to their property... but that storm can cause small holes and create long-term leaks that the homeowner or business owner may not find until the damage has spread severely.

There are other times when storms cause massive damage to a roof and cause immediate flooding of the home. Neither damage is preferred, but the immediate can prevent secondary damages such as microbial growth! 

SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa has had its own reconstruction division for almost three years. We are experienced and capable of large and small loss insurance claims and able to handle them from start to finish. This makes it easier for homeowners and speeds up the claim process, which also benefits your insurance company. Call SERVPRO® of Tuscaloosa today for any storm, water, microbial growth, COVID-19 cleaning, reconstruction, or fire damage!

Call us today at 205-553-8377!