Recent Posts

Creating a Fire Safety Escape Plan for your Family

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

Teach Kids Fire Safety 3 tips from American Red Cross on teaching your children a fire safety escape plan.

Did you know it only takes a little under two minutes for a home to become completely engulfed in flames? Fire can spread quickly throughout a structure and the smoke that precedes it can become deadly for your family extremely fast. It is crucial that you create an escape plan for your family should you find yourself in the situation of a fire. Practicing it often to ensure that you make it out of the fire safely no matter how unlikely you may think it is for it to happen to you. The saying “better safe than sorry” applies directly to a situation like this. 

The first step in creating your plan is to draw up a grid of your home. Having a visual map of your home allows you to know all possible exits should you need to try more than one. The National Fire Protection Agency has a free downloadable resource to help you get started. Click here to be taken to their website. Next, establish all exit points including both windows and doors mark exactly where they are. Discuss them together to make sure all members of your family know where they are. If you have a multi-level home with bedrooms on the top floors, you should invest in escape ladders that attach to the windows. If you have small children, practice their escape routes frequently and make sure that they are familiar with the sound of the smoke alarms and know what it means. Doing this could save lives. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea and are not sure where to start, you can also try this link to find a free downloadable plan that can be specific to your family to get you started!  

At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we are experts at fire restoration, but even we cannot always save everything when it comes to fire. There is no “restoration” when it comes to your life, so we want to help you stay safe and have a plan in place. We never wish for disaster to come, but if it does, we would much rather restore and replace your home because your life is irreplaceable.  

How to Protect Your Pipes

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe Follow these steps so that your pipes do not end up looking like the ones above.

12/3/2021 

While cooler weather may be scarce here in lower Alabama, it does not mean we are in the clear for winter weather mishaps. If you are anything like a lot of people in our area, you are under the impression that since our temperatures do not drop very low that your pipes will not freeze. Unfortunately, that ideology is far from true. If you do not know what happens when pipes freeze, you can click here to check out this article from Live Science. Spoiler alert though, the pipes will burst and that is exactly what you do not want to happen. A burst pipe can cause various issues of water damage in your home. While SERVPRO of Mobile County can help with water damage and restoration, we want to help you avoid it at all costs.  

An article from State Farm discusses that there are three central causes as to why pipes freeze. You can view that article here.  

Causes of Pipes Freezing  

  1. Quick Drop in Temperature 
  1. Thermostat Set Too Low 
  1. Poor Insulation 

In order to avoid a pipe or pipes bursting, there are a few things that homeowners can do to protect their pipes. The most common tip people typically try is the first option listed below. Having a flow of warm or cold water will help the pipes to not freeze. This option is a solid one, but there are other avenues to explore as well that are listed below: 

Ways to Protect Your Pipes from Freezing 

  1. Let Cold or Hot Water Steadily Drip  
  • Preferably from a faucet on an outside wall. Doing this when the temperature drops will prevent pipes from freezing. 
  1. Seal Leaks 
  • You may find air leaks around dryer vents and pipes, or around electrical wiring. Search and locate any leaks that will allow cold air to get in. Once located, seal the leaks diligently with either caulk or insulation. 
  1. Open Cabinet Doors 
  • This simple concept can have a bigger impact than you may realize. Opening the cabinet doors allows heat to get to un-insulated pipes that may be under sinks or near appliances located near exterior walls.  
  1. Insulate Pipes 
  • This is an especially ideal option because it is great for homeowners to do that live in areas that are uncommon for freezing temperatures to happen. 
  1.  Adjust the Thermostat 
  • Consistency throughout the day and night is key for reducing the likelihood of your pipes freezing. This is the opportunity for the ‘thermostat police’ to put a lockbox on it with the rule to not touch the thermostat. This is their free pass!  

Hopefully you will consider implementing these tips in your own home. It will surely help the odds to be in your favor. If you are the type of person who prefers a visual example on exactly what to do, check out this video on how to prevent frozen pipes.  

If you do, however, find yourself in the event that your pipes do freeze, and they do unfortunately burst, we are here to help. When and if that were to happen, that is when you call us, SERVPRO of Mobile County at 251-343-0534. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is our hope that in this type of instance, you will not need our services. However, if you find yourself in the situation that you do need us, you know where to find us.  

Holiday Fire Safety

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Turkey on Fire We are here to make sure you know everything to do to prevent your turkey from going up in flames.

Did you know that house fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year? 

Don't let your holidays go up in smoke! Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions before cooking your bird for the holidays. 

Whether it is fried or baked, turkey is always a staple of many family holiday feasts across the nation. Almost always it is the centerpiece of a home cooked meal made with love and lots of preparation. It is vital to make sure when preparing to cook your delicious bird, that you take caution of the necessary steps of cooking to prevent a house fire. Cooking is the number one cause of residential fires in the United States. We do not want your family to be added to the list this year to become an unfortunate statistic. First and foremost, it is very important to invest in a few fire extinguishers and keep them easily accessible in your kitchen. Maybe under the kitchen sink in the cabinet, or in your pantry. While the hope is that the turkey does NOT catch fire, we want to make sure that you are prepared if it does. Shopping for things like fire extinguishers can be overwhelming. Check out this blog on picking a fire extinguisher to help you learn what you will need. Not sure where to get one? Visit your local Lowe’s or Home Depot to find exactly what you need! If you are unsure when and how to use a fire extinguisher, check out our blog on exactly how to. 

In order to avoid the tragedy, you want to be sure to never leave your stove unattended and keep loose fabric away from burners. Things like your kitchen towels, oven mitts, paper towels, or even a bag/purse away from the stove. It is also important to know that you should never fry your turkey indoors under any circumstance. 

Frying turkeys has become an increasingly popular method of cooking and along with it comes an increased risk for fire. Here are some tips for how to safely fry your bird:

  • Always be sure to fry your turkey outside.
  • Place your fryer on a stable, level surface.
  • Make sure the fryer is far away from flammable items and your home.
  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before frying.
  • Check the temperature of the oil often to prevent overheating.

For more tips on how to safely fry a turkey, visit the US Fire Administration website, by CLICKING HERE

It is our hope that taking these measures will completely prevent a kitchen fire from occurring in your home this holiday season, but if it does, SERVPRO of Mobile County will be glad to help in any way possible to help you pick up the pieces and get your kitchen back to its original glory. "Like it never even happened." 



Finding Hidden Damage

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

A visible example of water damage coming through a ceiling. A visible example of water damage coming through a ceiling.

Finding Hidden Water Damage in Your Home or Business in Mobile, AL 

11/8/2021  (Permalink) 

Thinking about water damage, you may visualize a pipe bursting and spraying everywhere, but some damages are not always dramatic as that would be. Water damage occurring in your home or business is not always visible. Believe it or not, a lot of times the most costly and significant water damage situations are those that you are not even aware are happening… 

Slow dripping pipes underneath cabinets or walls, a hole in the roof allowing a leak into the attic, or a refrigerator along the wall can all cause extensive damage because they are not visible while occurring. If you cannot see the water slowly leaking, it can go on for extended periods of time before any damage becomes noticeable.  

Water damage that occurs in hidden spaces may go unnoticed for extended periods of time and lead to secondary damages such as mold growth. 

While we know it can be difficult to catch, we want to make sure you have the knowledge of how to prevent a minor problem from becoming a major one. If not located and mitigated in a timely manner, mold may begin to grow. Here are a few warning signs of concealed water leaks: 

  • Water accumulation in unusual locations. 
  • Discoloration of ceilings or walls. 
  • Changes in the texture in your flooring (warping, buckling, expansion or sinking). 
  • Strange odors may indicate growth due to the moisture problem. 

If you suspect a moisture issue at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Mobile County 

Our IICRC Certified Water Restoration Technicians have the skills and equipment to locate any moisture issues quickly and easily within your home or business. Listed below are commercial grade devices we use to detect moisture: 

It is our mission to help you in your time of need. We pride ourselves on our ability to get in and get out. "Like it never even happened." 

Preventing the Thanksgiving Plumbing Nightmares, Mobile AL

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

water leaking under the sink, flooding the kitchen After the plumbing leak has been repaired and you're left with water everywhere, call the trusted leader, SERVPRO of Mobile County to finish the job.

Thanksgiving Plumbing Preparation Tips for Your Home

November is finally here, and with it comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is that wonderful Thursday in November where family gathers and great food is eaten. It's a festive holiday with an abundance of family traditions from parade watching, hours of football, and traditional preparations of the Thanksgiving Feast. With all the cooking, visiting family and friend members, your plumbing will be tested to its max. Thanksgiving is the most popular US holiday for family gatherings, but did you know it is the single busiest day of the year for plumbers? In fact, plumbing problems spike by 50 percent the day after Thanksgiving — and it’s no doubt why. With all the feast preparations, shower taking and toilet needs can really put a strain on your house hold pipes. When your plumbing is clogged with food or even hair, the potential for water damage is at an all-time high. There are some Thanksgiving plumbing prep tips to help you though. Water damage isn't 100% preventable but being cautious and taking care of your plumbing are great ways to reduce your chances of water damage.

Thanksgiving Kitchen Preparation Plumbing Ideas

The kitchen is the central gathering place for preparing all the  festive delights and treats. It’s is where all the food is prepared and cleaned up afterwards. The kitchen is also where one of the biggest plumbing mistakes can happen. Garbage disposals are fantastic devices that can churn up a lot of scraps in a short amount of time, but they are also delicate and unfortunately, they can turn into a massive headache on Thanksgiving. If you use the garbage disposal as your sole means of food disposal, chances are you're going to break it.

There are a lot of foods that you should never put down the disposal, including:

  • Potatoes Peels
  • Food like celery and lettuce (stringy texture)
  • Non-edible items like grease, oil, bones, and eggshells

The garbage disposal has a hard time breaking down these types of foods, which in turn can cause an issue such as a blockage, breakage, and leak. Most people don't always use the garbage disposal correctly, leading to obstruction and potential damage. The proper way to use the garbage disposal is to:

  • Turn on the faucet, allowing the drain to fill with water before you put food into it.
  • Turn on the garbage disposal until food is gone.
  • After you turn the disposal off, let the water run for a moment longer to prevent the waste from clogging the drain.
  • Use cold tap water to not promote overheating with hot water.

Thanksgiving Bathroom Preparation Plumbing Ideas

The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in your home on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is the one day of the year you're expected to overeat, which means your bathroom is overused. If your home is going to be filled with guests, make sure your stock bathrooms with easy flushable toilet paper and keep on hand fresh cotton hand towels.

Thanksgiving Plumbing Preparation Tips after the Plumbing Failure

If you took all or none of these Thanksgiving plumbing prep tips, and you've got a plumbing problem leading to a water loss, your first step should be to call a plumber to stop the water. But you also need to take care of the water itself, so your next action needs to be calling a water restoration company like SERVPRO of Mobile County.  A little bit of water can cause a lot of damage, and water damage is the second most common insurance claim filed by homeowners. If something leaked or gushed onto your floors or walls, SERVPRO of Mobile County will perform mitigation and restoration. Click here to find some resourceful steps on what you can do until help arrives.

Where to Find Mold Lurking in Your Commercial Business?

10/20/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Loss in Downtown Mobile, AL Hidden water damage can lead to bigger problems in your office.

Where to Find Mold Lurking in Your Commercial Business?

Mold growing in a business is not only a possible client deterrent, but could cause health effects for customers and employees. It is important for a business to know where moisture might be lurking and to have the mold issue addressed. Mold can grow virtually on any substance; it only needs moisture and air to thrive. If not properly removed, mold spores can be disturbed and sent airborne, affecting employees and clients visiting the workspace. So now the big question is where to find mold lurking in your business?

HVAC Units

Theses appliances are found in virtually all businesses across the United States. They provides ventilation, heating and condition the air (controlling humidity and temperature). When the HVAC is not properly maintained, it can malfunction causing leaks and increased humidity level inside a building. This is especially important in Mobile, Alabama where humidity levels are high year-round. A simple preventative tip is checking the drip pan monthly and changing the filter. If you suspect mold growth, your first step is contacting SERVPRO of Mobile County to inspect your property for signs of mold. Check out our website for information about our commercial mold remediation services, click here.

Windows and Doors

Doors are opened and closed hundreds of times a day by your employees and clients. Every time a door is opened, not only does it affect the HVAC, it allows particulates to enter the space. Don’t forget about your windows as well. Humidity and moisture will enter into a business through these passage ways as well, increasing the perfect place for mold to grow.  It is important to inspect seals around the doors and windows, minimizing the potential for unwanted moisture and particulates in your business.

Common Employee Activity Areas

Kitchens and bathrooms are areas where most clients won’t venture into, but these are areas where employees use daily. These areas can be especially vulnerable to mold growth because of the presence of multiple water sources and potential spills and leaks. When moisture accumulates around cabinetry and appliances in commonly used areas, they can remain hidden. It is important to clean these areas, and examine them for extra moisture.

When to Call SERVPRO of Mobile County?

If your commercial business has any mold growth that is larger then 2’ x 2’, it is recommended to call a certified mold specialist. SERVPRO of Mobile County is IICRC certified. IICRC is the international standard and guidelines on how to handle mold remediation. Not only our teams certified to handle your mold issue, we have the equipment, experience and extensive commercial mold remediation training.  Our goal is to minimize the interruption in your business and to protect the health of your employees if mold is present. 

How Long Does it Take to Dry?

10/10/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mobile County is IICRC Certified in over 20 categories SERVPRO of Mobile County has over 20 IICRC certifications, making us the leader in the restoration industry.

When Will It Be Dry?

Water damage in your home is not just inconvenient, it can often completely uproot your everyday routine.  If you have severe flooding or water damage in your home, you my have to leave the property while drying and restoration takes place.  

How Long will it Take?

One of the most common questions we get when we arrive on-site after a water loss is “how long will this take”?   Based upon our calculations and certain variables such as saturation levels, temperature, humidity, and materials affected, we can use the “science of drying” to give you a reasonable estimate.  One thing to keep in mind though is that every situation is different.  There is no “one size fits all” answer; however, in most cases, you can expect that most spaces can be completely dried out within five days.  Once drying is complete we can then begin the restoration process.  Depending on the severity of the damage and the restorations necessary, we will create a customized treatment plan for your unique set of circumstances.  Once the plan has been created, we can typically give you an accurate estimate of the time it will take to complete the entire job process.  It is important to keep in mind though, that there are factors outside of our control that may prolong the completion time.  This can include the responsiveness of your insurance adjuster/company and demands for emergency services in catastrophic event situations such as hurricanes or floods.  No matter how long it takes, you can rest assured that we can handle every step of the process and truly make it “Like it never even happened.”  If you experience water damage in your home or business, call the IICRC Certified experts at SERVPRO of Mobile County.  We are available 24/7 to help you get life back on track.

How to Get Rid of Mold in My House in Mobile, AL

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Growth on Carpet after a Hurricane inside a Church After Hurricane Ida there was a lack of power for several days causing mold to begin forming on all porous materials inside.

How to Get Rid of Mold in My House?

Along the Gulf Coast and in Mobile, AL the climate is humid and warm the majority of the year. With that, it is a perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold can be found from your shower tile, bathroom walls and even growing on the outside of your home. Most of the time, mold in small amounts is easy to personally treat, the big problem is when mold is found in large areas in your home or hidden behind walls. Keeping the rooms in your house, like the bathroom, dry and cool can help prevent mold from growing, but despite your best efforts, mold can still grow in unwanted places. If you find yourself with a small mold situation, there are many hacks on how to rid a small area of mold. It only takes a few steps, a little elbow work and the right ingredients to rid your small area of mold and preventing it from being a further issue.

Can I Remove the Mold Myself?

You can remove small areas of mold, but remember that mold spores can travel when disturbed. Wearing proper attire when removing mold is important, it limits your exposure by wearing protective gear.

  • Rubber Gloves-prevents mold spore spreading
  • Eye Protection-protects eyes from chemical spray

 If the area of mold is larger then 2 feet by 2 feet, you could have a bigger problem.  It is best to contact a professional like SERVPRO of Mobile County to have the area inspected for hidden water leaks or other underlining issues.

How Do I Remove Mold and Stain from My Wall?

 Many people think bleach is the best way to kill and remove mold on a wall. The problem with bleach is it only kills the surface mold; it doesn’t penetrate deep enough to kill to the roots. To kill beneath the surface, Bob Villa recommends using a vinegar and water mix.  Once you have properly killed the mold, it may leave a stain behind. Here is an easy treatment plan to get rid of the stain.

  • Clean the surface with detergent and water using a sponge or brush and let the surface dry completely.
  • Follow with a water and bleach solution: Mix ¾ cup of chlorine bleach to a gallon of warm water. Wearing rubber gloves, apply the water-bleach mixture to the stains with a sponge or brush.
  • Let sit five minutes, scrub, rinse, and air dry

Are there Natural Ways to Removing Mold?

If the sound of using bleach is scary, there are a few natural ways to treat small areas of mold. It may take a little longer to treat, but it is a just as affective.

  • Hydrogen peroxide: Grab a spray bottle and pour 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide into the bottle. Spray the affected area, allow it sit for 10 minutes, and then scrub the mold away.
  • Vinegar: Pour undiluted white vinegar in a clean spray bottle and spray the moldy area. Allow the area to sit for an hour, and then wipe the area clean with water and allow it to dry.

What to do if the Area of Mold is a Large Surface Area or the Mold Returns?

If the mold returns and you cannot determine the cause, it is best to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Mobile County. Our teams have been professionally trained and certified according to the IICRC Standard Guidelines. Check out our website at SERVPRO of Mobile County for further details about our mold remediation process.

What to do When your Kitchen Floods?

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded Kitchen in Mobile AL A flooded room in your home is a site no one wants to experience or see. SERVPRO of Mobile County is the trusted leader in water restoration.

My Kitchen Flooded, Now What?

Whether waking up on a busy weekday morning or sleeping on the weekend, walking into a kitchen to the sight of standing water can send a homeowner into panic mode. If a broken pipe, a forgotten running sink or a malfunctioning appliance causes the flooded kitchen, the end result can lead to serious problems if the clean up isn’t done properly.

How to Dry Out a Kitchen?

Whether it is a small water leak to a large area of standing water, rapid response is the first steps to take. Here is a list of best practices to further potential damage.

  • Identify the source of the water leak, and turn off the water supply to the house.
  • Turn off power due to potential electrocution issues
  • Remove all furniture and rugs to a dry area
  • Remove as much water as possible with a wet/dry shop vacuum, mop or towels
  • Open all drawers, cabinets, and closest that may have gotten wet to allow circulation
  • Encourage air circulation by turning on fans, opening windows and running the air conditioner.
  • If the damaged area is large, take photos and document the damage. Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent
  • Contact SERVPRO of Mobile County and check out our water damage tips on our website for further suggestions until our First Responder arrives onsite.

National Preparedness Month

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Being Prepared for a Disaster September is National Preparedness Month and is the best time to review with your family and employees. *Make a Plan *Build a Kit

Disaster Preparedness – Know Your Risks, Be Prepared

When it comes to being prepared, one of the most important steps you can take is to familiarize yourself with the type of disasters that are most common in your area.  For example, here along the Gulf Coast, we know that there is always the chance we could see a tropical system during hurricane season.  We got a vivid reminder of that with the arrival of Hurricane Sally and Hurricane Zeta in Summer of 2020.  Sally slowly meandered her way in our direction and left a path of destruction throughout Mobile and Baldwin Counties.  As she sat over us for hours with howling winds and pounding rain many residences and commercial properties suffered extensive damage.  

From wind and rain to flooding, being prepared for catastrophic storms is the best step you can take to protect your family and your property.  And the best time to educate yourself and prepare is BEFORE disaster strikes. Before the storm, you should put together a disaster supply kit and emergency plan.  On your property, be sure to remove damage trees and branches and secure loose gutters.  Have alternative charging methods for devices that require power. You can learn more about hurricanes and being prepared by CLICKING HERE to visit Ready.gov.   

At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we also offer a free service to create an emergency plan for your business.  Call us at 251-343-0534 today to schedule a consultation to get your Emergency Ready Profile!