Recent Posts

We Are An IICRC Certified Firm

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Restoration companies have a governing body that has set forth guidelines and standards on how each type of job is to be completed. This body is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration, but we just call it the IICRC. These standards are kept in our office. The book for water damage restoration is called the S500 and is in a binder roughly 6 inches thick. Each type of job (water, fire, mold, biohazard, trauma and crime scene, and more) has its own book.

Our staff are trained on these standards and sent to classes for certification. SERVPRO of
Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County collectively hold 24 IICRC certifications with many more to come in the near future. Both owners, all production managers, all crew chiefs, all marketing representatives and some office staff hold IICRC certifications in at least one field. We are an IICRC Certified Firm. 

Hurricane Zeta in Calhoun County

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

A tree fallen on a home causing damage to the roof. When the storms roll out we are #HereToHelp.

Last week we had a situation not common for us up here in the northern part of Alabama. Hurricane Zeta made landfall in marsh lands of the Gulf, but had a huge impact on us here. The speed Zeta was moving at allowed the storm to reach Calhoun County as a storm packing a serious punch. 

That night and the entire two days after our office was flooded with calls. Trees had fallen and damaged roofs leading to water damage. Others had water damage from the high winds. Our crews worked diligently to help as many as we could as fast as we could. Our office was operating with a third of our usual staff. We had staff members with storm damage to their homes. Some had trees down and could not get to work (like many in Calhoun County). 

We are proud to be able to provide emergency services to so many in their time of need. Our hard working and highly trained staff are #HereToHelp.

Protecting Your Business This Cold & Flu Season

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

It’s 2020 and one of the most widely discussed topics is COVID-19. But, it is now November and that means cold and flu season on top of the novel coronavirus. There is a way to protect your employees and business with an added layer of disinfecting, the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program. 

One of our production managers would come out to your business and assess the space and speak with you in detail about what services you are wanting. It could be a wipe down of high touch areas, micro-misting or ULV fogging, or a combination of wipe down and fogging. It just depends on what services you are interested in.

All of these services are performed by our trained professionals using EPA registered hospital grade disinfectant products. Our crews also wear PPE to protect themselves as well as provide another layer of protection for you, your staff and customers. This program can be a one time service or regularly repeated. We have several businesses we are providing these services for once or twice a week. The CSC program also provides you with signage to post so that your employees and customers will know you have chosen the higher standard of clean with SERVPRO, the industry leader. 

For more information call our office today at 256-236-8889, 256-547-3778 or 256-891-0177.

Priority Service Agreements With SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Two people shaking hands over a contract with a SERVPRO logo. Call SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County today for more information on Priority Service Agreements.

SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County offer Priority Service Agreements (PSA) for commercial properties in our service area. A PSA is a contract between SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County and the business who signs up for it. How could a PSA benefit your business?
In the event of a loss or disaster your business will get:
Guaranteed service within 24 hours of the loss.
During a natural disaster your business is moved to the front of the line for services.
Could have a predetermined number of days in which the job is to be completed (depending on what is worked into the contract).
Could receive a discount on the services provided (depending on what is worked into the contract).
Removes the question of who to call to provide emergency services.
For example, we have had several businesses sign up for these PSAs since COVID-19 came into the picture. Fortunately for these businesses they have not needed to call us in for COVID-19 disinfecting. However, in the event of an outbreak they simply call us and the signed PSA moves them to the front of the line.
For water damages, a PSA could have predetermined services lined out that we can perform without further approvals from a corporate office or facilities manager. This allows us to perform emergency services quickly and can prevent further damages.
If you already have a PSA with SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County or are considering one then you may want to add a free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) as well. For more information on either of these services provided by us, call our office today at 256-236-8889, 256-547-3778, or 256-891-0177.

Is There A Science To Drying Your Home Or Business?

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever had a water damage in your home or business, or known someone who has? If you have seen our equipment set up drying a structure, have you ever wondered how we determine what equipment to use? There is a science behind all of this. Psychrometry is what this science of drying is called. 

There is a formula that tells you how many pieces of equipment (both air movers and dehumidifiers) are needed to dry a space in a specific amount of time (which is normally 3 days). This formula takes into account how wet the space is, the air temperature, relative humidity and much more. As the air temperature increases the relative humidity decreases. Our air movers heat and assist in drying the surface of the wet materials. The elevated temperatures create evaporation. The dehumidifiers work by extracting the moisture from the air. The water is transported through a hose placed in a sink, tub or toilet. When a structure is in the drying process the air tends to be very warm and very dry. There is a fine balance to keep for optimum drying without added effects (yes it can rain indoors if the balance is way off).

Each day during the drying process readings are taken from inside the affected area as well as outside for temperature and relative humidity. This process is called monitoring and helps us to ensure that drying is being achieved. If not a determination of why has to be made and resolved. These measurements are logged in our system and can be referred back to later. These moisture readings are taken with specialized equipment each manager and crew chief has to carry with them. 

The IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) has standards we have to follow to achieve the desired drying. The book of standards is about 6 inches thick. Our production, marketing and some office staff attend IICRC Water Restoration classes to be certified in the drying process. We also teach Continuing Education classes to our agents and adjusters about this science of drying. 

How To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing This Winter

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

As the past couple of days have shown us, it is heater weather. When the heaters come out there is another aspect of our homes we need to be taking into consideration. Your pipes. Each winter we get countless calls from customers who suffer water damages due to frozen pipes that crack. Most people are aware that the best way to prevent freezing pipes is to leave your water dripping in the faucets close to the exterior of the home, but we have a few people new to the area. 

Should you leave hot water and cold water dripping? Well the answers vary on this. Some people say just the cold water since the water in the other lines is already hot. But one thing we have to keep in mind is that hot water freezes faster than cold water. In my home, I leave both hot and cold water dripping in the kitchen sink since it is right against the outside of my home. 

Another way to help prevent frozen pipes is to disconnect the garden hose from the outside of your home and ensure the water has been shut off. During extremely cold bouts a blanket around the water heater (if in a garage or against an exterior wall) and leaving cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach them can help to prevent frozen pipes. Not all frozen pipes lead to water damage, but sometimes the damage caused can take a little time to make itself known.

Should you suffer water damage due to frozen pipes, call SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County to mitigate that damage for you.

Reconstruction Services

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County has offered reconstruction services for over a year now? That’s right, a whole year. It’s been a wonderful year growing our reconstruction division. Clay Massey was hired to be our reconstruction manager shortly before we began offering those build back services. Quickly we realized Clay was going to need some help. That’s where Dennis Anderson comes in. Dennis had already been with SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County for two years as a production manager when he stepped forward saying he wanted to take on the reconstruction superintendent's role. We also had to fill the role of reconstruction job file coordinator. Each of these roles plays an integral role in ensuring this division runs smoothly.

Reconstruction Manager

Clay Massey joined our team as the Reconstruction Manager just over a year ago. Clay has years of construction experience and we knew he would be the right fit for this job, and he has proved to be even more valuable than we anticipated. Being the manager for the reconstruction division provides Clay with the most responsibility. He will begin with meeting a potential reconstruction customer while mitigation services are close to completion. He gets a detailed scope of work as well as a sketch that he uses to create an Xactimate estimate. This estimate will be sent to the customer as well as the insurance adjuster. Once the estimate is approved Clay has to create a budget for the job and assist the customer in selecting finishes such as paint colors, crown molding, cabinets, flooring and more. Clay then schedules a sit down with the customer to go over the estimate and scope of work line by line to ensure the customer understands what will be happening in their home or business.He will also obtain the necessary permits that may be required by each municipality. Clay is also responsible for ensuring the subcontractors understand the scope of services as well. He also keeps up with fluctuating material costs, verifies subcontractor invoices for payment and puts together a final profit and loss at the end of each job.

Superintendent

Dennis Anderson has been with the Lamey Team of SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County for 3 years now. He started as a crew chief and quickly moved to production manager. At the beginning of 2020 Dennis moved from the mitigation side of SERVPRO to join the reconstruction division as the superintendent. Like Clay, Dennis has years of reconstruction experience. As the superintendent, Dennis’ role has many responsibilities. Dennis will help to line up subcontractors for each job, taking into consideration what work is to be performed as well as location (we service 5 counties). He will walk through each job with the subcontractors ensuring they understand the scope of work to be performed. Dennis will order materials needed and if needed deliver those materials to the crew on the job site. One of the biggest responsibilities he has is to visit each job site daily. This allows him to walk through and ensure the subcontractors are keeping to the schedule as well as performing the services accordingly with the scope they are given. It also gives him an update to provide the job file coordinator with, whom in turn updates the customer. Dennis will also schedule the final walk through with each customer. This is his favorite part of his job, being able to turn the house back over to the customer with all damages repaired. If any issues are noted, Dennis will address those issues. Dennis also documents the job progress from start to finish with photographs. 

Job File Coordinator

Currently, the role of job file coordinator in our office is open. Our office manager, Kay is assisting with this role until an individual is hired to fill the role. The job file coordinator, we call them JFCs , has many important responsibilities. A JFC communicates with the production teams to determine whether a mitigation customer will need reconstruction services and if they have a contractor of their own. If the customer wants our services the JFC will enter the lead in the reconstruction manager software and call the customer to set an appointment for Clay to inspect the damages. The JFC keeps up with all documentation for each job (forms, insurance requirements and so forth) and uploads them into the digital job file. The JFC is also the main point of contact a customer has with our office. They call the customers to update them on the status or progress of the job and let them know what subcontractors will be out to their home and when. After each communication, whether it is with a team member, subcontractor or the customer, a note has to be entered in our system logging the communication and the outcome.  When the job is complete, the JFC conducts a self audit of the job file before closing the job out, and when needed uploading the file to corporate for a corporate level audit.

Each of these roles has to work together as a team for the reconstruction division to run smoothly. Each person has to be a problem solver. Many customers can get upset seeing their home torn apart after a fire or water damage. Being able to help the customer understand the process and ensuring them that we are doing everything we can to get them back to preloss condition. Each member has to have excellent communication skills to keep their team, the office, subcontractors and customers updated. This team meets daily to stay updated. They also meet with owner, Chris Lamey each week to keep the division on track and owners apprised of the goings on.

Could You Have Hidden Water Damage???

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Most of us pray we never become victims of water damage in our home. We would all love to think a water damage is noticeable the instant it starts. If it’s a blown water heater or pipe, it may be. But what if that pipe is under your house, or in a wall on an end you may not frequent? One of the most common water damages we see besides storm/flood damage is leaks in the supply line to a toilet or a pinhole leak in the ice maker supply line. These can take some time to notice depending on how severe the leak is.

  • Has your water bill started climbing?
  • Do your floors feel like they may be weakened in one area of your home or business?
  • Have your hardwood floors started to cup, bow, swell, sink or buckle?
  • Have you noticed a musty smell in your home?
  • Do you have standing water in places you don’t normally? This could be both inside and/or out?
  • Has your water pressure suddenly changed?
  • Do you have a spot in a ceiling or wall that is discolored or swollen looking?

These could be potential signs of hidden water damage. Should you notice any of these situations listed above, give us a call. SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County will come out and inspect the suspected damage and provide you with a free estimate. We can help you determine whether or not to file a claim with your home owners insurance. For more information call our office today at 256-236-8889, 256-547-3778, or 256-891-0177.

Are We Really 8 Letters Into The Greek Alphabet?

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

2020 has been a year for the record books. Countless new memes pop on social media each day with the numerous different woes of this year. One thing we here at SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County know (as well as the entire gulf coast) is that this year's hurricane season has held up to the 2020 hype. We still have one month left before the official hurricane season ends on November 30th and have already had 27 named storms, 4 of which have been major hurricanes. The record is held at 28 named storms from 2005 (the year of Katrina, Harvey and Wilma). 

What does an active hurricane season mean for SERVPRO? A lot of franchises traveling for storm events. This year, the gulf coast has been hit time and time again. Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Sally, Hurricane Delta and now we are preparing for Hurricane Zeta. No matter where a storm affects the United States, SERVPRO is here to help. Our franchise will send 1-2 crews, a marketing representative and a production manager for each storm we participate in. This year was a first for us as we had crews working Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Sally at the same time. Work was wrapped up from both of those just in time for Hurricane Delta to make landfall and re-affect half the homes we had just provided services for.

As Hurricane Zeta approaches the gulf coast our crews are loading a trailer and box truck with equipment just in case we are called in to provide assistance to the local franchises again. We are ready to roll whenever we are needed. We are also keeping those along the gulf coast in our thoughts and prayers as they brace for impact again.

Fire Safety & Slowing The Spread of Fire

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

To sleep with your doors open or to sleep with them closed, that is the question. And that answer changes depending on who you talk to. Some HVAC specialists recommend keeping the interior doors open as much as possible to help with airflow throughout your home (which is good for air flow when you are awake). However, firefighters will tell you that it is never a good idea to sleep with your interior doors open. You may ask why. It’s a simple answer for the firefighters, it slows the spread of fire.

It may sound crazy, but fire has been considered to “get faster” over the last 20-40 years. The materials used in the construction of homes as well as the materials our furnishings are made from are made from more synthetic materials than they were when our parents were our age. These synthetic materials burn much faster. It used to be said that on average a person had 17 minutes to exit their home after a fire started. That number is now down to roughly 3 minutes. That is a huge difference when the life of your loved ones is at stake.

Closing your bedroom door when you sleep can help slow the spread of fire drastically, which in turn increases your escape time. This is where a well planned and practiced fire safety plan comes into play, as well as those smoke detectors that need to be tested regularly and the batteries changed yearly. But just as important as slowing the spread of the flames, closing the interior doors also reduces the toxic carbon monoxide particles in the air by over 8,000 PPM (parts per million). It can also decrease the temperature by nearly 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit compared to a room whose door was left open.

Simply put, it’s okay to keep the interior door open during the day or when you are awake, but at bedtime it is best to close those doors. It could make all the difference.