The Ultimate Servpro Water Damage Specialists Review

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What do Servpro and Water Damage Companies Do?

Meet Servpro The Company

Servpro is one of the most well known and well-respected restoration companies in the residential or commercial restoration industry. They are experts in water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, storm damage restoration, and cleaning services and are considered one, if not the premier cleaning and restoration company in the world. In the COVID19 era, they now also offer COVID cleaning services. Servpro operates nationally and is highly regarded, even recommended by many insurance companies. 

Servpro was created in 1967 by husband and wife Ted and Doris Isaacson as a painting business in Sacramento, California. Their cleaning and restoration background led them to soon transform the company into a franchise organization of cleanup and restoration specialists. Servpro began selling franchises in 1969 and has continued to grow. The growing company now has more than 1700 franchises across the country, and few people don’t think of the familiar orange logo when disaster strikes. Servpro is headquartered in Gallatin, Tennessee, where they operate out of a 140,000 square foot modern facility. The company remains a privately-owned company that is led by the second-generation of the family. 

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What are cleanup and restoration companies?

Servpro is a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration company and offers 24/7 emergency service. When disaster hits your home in the form of water damage, mold, fire damage, flooding, or storm damage, reliable and trustworthy restoration and the cleanup company should be one of your first calls. A restoration and clean up company will be one of your first responders and will be ready to be your partner and walk you through managing your disaster. 

A restoration company like Servpro will respond 27/7 with a professionally trained team that is ready to identify your problem, then manage the entire process of stopping the problem, making sure you and your family are safe, and removing any damage, and perform the restoration required to get you back in your restored home. 

A reputable restoration company will work with your insurance company and help you manage your disaster. 

What services do a restoration company like Servpro offer?

A restoration company like Servrpro handles many home emergencies. They assist in emergencies such as water damage from a leak or flooding, storm damage, fire or smoke damage, or even dangerous mold resulting from any form of moisture. 

Their process is to respond as quickly as possible, which is why they are available 27/7. Their technicians have the training and the right equipment to identify the problem and assess the damage quickly. They will stop any further damage by stopping the leak or addressing whatever is causing the problem. Once they have evaluated the issue and mitigated the cause, they will provide you with a plan to take you from remediation through restoration and get you back into your home. This may involve removing any damaged materials in your home, removing or protecting your furniture and possessions, deep cleaning and sanitizing the area and your possessions, rebuilding or reconstructing walls, ceilings, or other essential parts of your home. 

Many restoration companies, including Servpro, also specialize in professional COVID cleaning. They are trained in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills. They are qualified to provide viral pathogen cleaning to guarantee the cleanliness and the safety of your home or other public and commercial spaces. They adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleaning and decontamination standards as well as any local authorities. 

What is Water Damage Restoration & How Can Servpro Help?

  • Water damage causes

Water damage can occur due to many sources. A broken pipe or lose connection to an appliance, leaky roof, or natural disasters such as flooding, storm damage, or hurricanes can quickly turn your home into an emergency situation. Other potential causes of water damage can be as simple as an overflowed toilet, sewage backup, or the flooding left from a firefighting effort in your home. Regardless of the source, time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. The damage can spread very quickly and lead to structural damage to your home, and dangerous mold and toxins can form as soon as within 24- 48 hours. 

This type of threat to your home is a stressful and confusing time, and a good restoration company will be your partner and walk you through it.

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Water damage remediation process.

A company like Servpro will quickly identify and stop the source of the leak. They will inspect the area to ensure that it is safe from contaminated water, electrical shock, collapsing ceilings, or other hazards. The type of water is critical as “black” water, which is contaminated, will be handled differently than white or grey. A key part of the restoration process is the emergency service you may require, like boarding up your house, tarping a leaky roof, or fencing in the air. 

The damage assessment process will include a full safety inspection and survey of the damage. This is the time when precautions like moving furniture, drapes, or other items take place. If a complete move out of the house is required, they will assist with the move-out and the packing out and often can even help with storage space for your things. 

The water removal or extraction step depends upon the extent of the damage. Professional commercial pumps and wet/dry vacuums are used to remove water. This equipment helps to shorten the drying time and prevent additional damage to your home. 

If your water damage is extensive, and restoration or heavy cleaning is done, they will handle your move-out to prevent damage to your possessions. They will remove wet or damaged carpets and carpet pads. 

Professional water restoration specialists have an arsenal of water detection and removal equipment, including moisture detectors, hygrometers, infrared cameras, submersible pumps, and truck-mounted extraction pumps.

  • Water damage drying and dehumidification

When the excess water has been removed, the drying process must start promptly. Most building materials like sheetrock or drywall are porous and will hold water. Industrial grade air movers and dehumidifiers will be used to dry these out. This must be monitored and completed as moisture can cause warping and other damage to floors or walls and ruin furniture, carpets, and other possessions. Moisture can also very quickly lead to toxic mold. You must be proactive in starting the water remediation process and restoration services immediately to prevent additional damage to your home and possibly, to your family.

  • Specialized drying equipment

A trusted leader in the water restoration industry, like Servpro, will have industrial-grade drying equipment like dehumidifiers and high-speed air movers. This equipment will prevent secondary water damage to your floors, walls, and furniture by creating an airflow that will speed up moisture evaporation. 

  • Cleaning and sanitizing your home

There’s a good chance that your home’s walls, floors, and other surfaces will need professional cleaning. A good restoration company will offer professional cleaning services for your carpets, walls, furniture and upholstery, drapes, and many of your personal items that can be restored. Often, damage from flooding and water will also require odor removal and deodorizing treatments. 

Some of the contents restoration processes they use are dry cleaning, wet cleaning, spray and wipe, foam cleaning, abrasive cleaning, and immersion cleaning. Their job is to save you money and emotional stress by restoring instead of replacing whenever possible. 

A restoration specialist is also trained to use air scrubbers and fogging equipment to eliminate the odors resulting from water damage. Their sanitizing treatments may require antimicrobial, antibacterial, or disinfectant treatments. It will depend upon the nature and extent of the damage and how quickly the remediation begins. 

They may remove contaminated and wet materials such as wallboard, carpets, carpet pads, and damaged furniture and personal items. They will promptly and adequately dispose of these materials. 

  • The restoration process

Once the remediation, clean up, and sanitization is complete, you are ready to start the restoration process. Depending upon the extent of the damage, this may be as simple as replacing carpets, or as complicated as replacing drywall, ceilings, rugs, or even whole sections of your home. Typical services include removing and replacing drywall, repairing hardwood or tile floors, painting, and carpet installations. They often also offer or partner with companies that provide more extensive building and construction services. 

What is Fire Restoration?

Another devastating form of damage many homes incur is fire damage. And sadly, often the water and action taken from the firefighting efforts will cause additional damage from flooding and other water damage. Smoke odor can be persistent and offensive, and you may require treatment for the smoke, even for a small fire. Soot removal is often also needed to restore your home to its original and livable condition. Fire and water damage specialists will have extensive fire and smoke restoration training, odor control, fabric, furniture cleaning, and water damage restoration experience. Their mantra is to restore vs. replace to help reduce costs, delays, and emotional stress for you.

  • Health and Safety
Damage Buddy Tip: SAFETY, FIRST! Do not enter your home unless the local fire officials have approved. Wear protective gear such as gloves, a mask, and boots are required!
  • Possible secondary damage from a fire

As with any damage to your home, prompt action is required to minimize secondary damage. Here are some of the types of secondary damage you may sustain and need to treat for in addition to smoke and water damage.

  • Soot staining

The main carbon byproduct of burned materials is soot. Depending upon what was burned, it can be acidic and can cause plenty of damage on any surface it touches, particularly porous or textured surfaces. It will discolor many materials, and the longer it sits, the less likely you can clean the stains.

  • Mold and mildew

Mold and mildew grow very quickly in damp areas and can quickly develop in darker spaces. It can also stain your carpets, furniture, clothes, and other possessions very quickly if left on the surface.

  • Rust and corrosion

When water sits against contact metal, it can oxidize, which results in corrosion. This can wreak havoc with small electronics, cause electrical shock or leave rust on your surfaces.

  • Air quality

The smells of fire and mildew are pervasive and offensive. Quick action with air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, and air movers is your best chance to remove these odors and restore healthy air quality. 

  • Health risks of smoke, soot, and mold

As with water damage, you must move very quickly in getting your remediation and restoration process underway to prevent secondary damage or even health problems associated with smoke and soot in your home. It will be smelly and unattractive, but exposure can be a threat to your health. The very you, elderly, or those with a weak immune system are at risk from soot and smoke, and toxic mold. Exposure can occur through the skin or eyes, inhalation, or ingestion. You may not even know you are being exposed to airborne soot. It can cause respiratory issues like shortness of breath, bronchitis, asthma, a heart attack, or cancer in your bloodstream. In infants, brief exposure can have long term health effects. These waste products can contain chemicals that are harmful to your health. 

Some of the toxic materials found in smoke and soot during restoration are:

Cancer-causing asbestos materials from older buildings

Carbon materials such as carbon monoxide, ammonia, and tar.

Sulfur that forms from hydrogen sulfide that can cause residual smoke odors.

Oxidation of released hydrocarbons can produce formaldehyde, ketones, alcohols, cresols, and more. 

Ask your fire remediation specialist about masks, gloves, boots, and other precautions you should take IF you must enter the home during the restoration process.

  • Prompt response

The fire restoration process starts with a quick response, inspection and assessment, remediation such as boarding up or tarping, water removal, drying, smoke odor and soot removal, cleaning, repair, and restoration of your home. 

Every home disaster, including fires, are different. A fire and water damage specialist will respond to your emergency 24/7. As with water damage, time is of the essence to prevent secondary damage and get your home restoration started.

  • Water damage remediation and drying

Their first step (after the firefighters have confirmed the fire is extinguished and the house is safe) is to inspect the damage and provide an assessment of the damage for you. Your insurance company should be involved at this point and will want to see the assessment and inspect your home for themselves. 

  • Debris and soot removal

Debris should be removed from the premises immediately and properly disposed of by your fire remediation specialists. A shop vacuum is often helpful in recovering powdery soot but must be rated for the job and a wet environment. Be very careful of potential shock, which can happen even if the device is unplugged due to their capacitors, which store electricity. 

  • Personal property removal

Your things may need to be packed and removed from the home in the case of a larger sized disaster. Your fire and smoke mitigation team are trained to clean your items or discard any that are too contaminated or too damaged. 

  • Tarping and boarding up

They will board up and tarp any openings that may have been left from the fire or from the firefighting efforts to make sure your home stays secure. 

  • Water removal and drying if needed

They will start in on the water removal and drying immediately if there is water damage. See “Water Damage” above for more information on water remediation, clean up, and drying above. 

  • Smoke and soot removal

Smoke damage can result from even the smallest fire. It is offensive and can be very difficult to remove from your home clothes, furniture, drapes, and other personal possessions, even if the actual fire has not touched them. They have state-of-the-art equipment to handle this job and are trained in the restoration of your possessions to assist in all aspects of that. 

  • Deep cleaning and sanitizing

Your fire damage restoration pro will know what items can be restored and remove any that can’t be restored from the property. They will use many cleaning techniques such as dry cleaning, wet cleaning, foam cleaning, abrasive cleaning, and immersion cleaning. They’ll also sanitize and deodorize using special equipment and processes, including antimicrobial, antibacterial, or disinfectant treatments. 

  • Restoring your home

Your restoration team will do what it takes to return your home to its pre-fire condition. Depending upon how extensive the damage, this may be as simple as cleaning and sanitizing, minor repairs such as replacing drywall, tiles, or painting, or as extensive as replacing sections of your home’s structure, roof, or entire rooms or areas of your home. Again, they will provide some of these services themselves or work with partners who handle more extensive restoration or building projects. 

How is mold cleaned?

Your home can become infested with mold within as little as 24 to 48 hours if standing water goes untreated. If you experience water damage from an overflowed toilet, burst pipe, storm conditions, or roof leak, the water can spread very quickly, leading to additional damage and even toxic mold. You may also notice signs of mold in damp areas without being aware of any leak or flood event. You must ask quickly to remediate this damage and prevent damage to your home and possible health hazards to your family. 

Where does mold come from?

Mold is found everywhere in the air. They are microscopic spores that are airborne and can find their way into your home through a window or door. These spores thrive on moisture, especially in dark places, which is when they grow into colonies. They produce a musty odor that you may identify with basements and dark rooms. 

Mold can attach to porous surfaces like wood, drywall, or carpets, And it can damage your clothing or other important papers and possessions if left to multiply. You must act quickly and contact the right mold removal professionals to protect your home and your family.

You’ll hear people talk most commonly about “black mold.” There are many mold species, but Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold is one of the most well known. Mold is most dangerous to the very young and the older population and those with weakened immune systems and bronchial conditions like asthma. Some signs of a mold reaction are sore throat, runny or red eyes, or trouble breathing.

Since there are many mold species, only a qualified mold remediation or testing company can test and identify its type. But testing is not always the most important thing. If you see and smell mold, you should be working on mold remediation and removal with a professional. If the mold is confined to a very small area and is on a hard surface, you may be able to handle it yourself, but it may well be in other places that you can’t see. Always wear protective eyewear, gloves, and a mask if you enter a moldy area or work with mold. We recommend you use a professional who is properly trained with the safe treatment of mold. 

What is the mold remediation process?

A mold remediation specialist will identify the problem’s size and scope, close off the area, and wear protective gear while testing your air. They will use advanced mold remediation techniques, equipment, and special training to address your mold issue. 

What is Biohazard Cleanup?

Biohazard cleanup is most often used in commercial settings but can also be applied to a residential situation. If you experience a sewage back up, or some sort of chemical spill in or around your home, That would be a situation where you would call in a company like Servpro to do biohazard cleanup. Sewage waste can be extremely harmful and toxic and must be treated accordingly. They can bring dangerous microorganisms into your home. They must be removed, sanitized, and dried. This requires specialized training and equipment to ensure the safe clean up of your home. Other potential situations that would require this sort of help are accidents, or crimes, animal waster, or even hoarding scenes. There are many bloodborne pathogens that require removal by professionals. 

What is vandalism and graffiti cleanup?

An act of vandalism can be as simple as breaking a window, which opens your building up to water and weather, or your property’s defacing with spray paint on walls, windows, sidewalks, and fence. This is something that a good damage remediation company can take on. 

Cleaning – Standards and Process

Restoration companies can assist by cleaning up after most situations. Some common reasons:

Carpet and upholstery, air ducts, odor removal or full water, storm, or smoke restoration.

What is Coronavirus Cleaning?

Many water and fire damage restoration companies also offer deep cleaning programs. The cleaning is used after water or fire damage and other occasions that do not include a disaster. They do specialty cleaning that often supplements janitorial services and can be contracted for cleaning carpets, upholstery, ceiling, floor and walls, drapes, blinds, removal, or other challenges.

They are trained to deal with biohazard situations and, most recently, have introduced professional COVID cleaning. That is the highest standard of cleaning and proactive viral pathogen cleaning that helps commercial places like restaurants, businesses, and other public places ensure their spaces’ safety and cleanliness. Their practices adhere to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and any local authorities and are certified by Servpro.

What’s the Servpro Business Model 

There are many good restoration companies. Servpro operates on a franchise model. Each local franchise is trained in the latest techniques and equipment. They are highly trained technicians that are ready to step in and help you through any home damage or disaster. They currently have over 1700 locations, so there is a good chance a Serpro location is just a call away from you. Servpro Training

Should I call my Insurance company for home damage?

When disaster strikes and you are experiencing damage to your home, one of your first calls (after calling emergency services if applicable.) should be to your insurance. They will want to inspect your property and often work with your damage remediation company to review an assessment of your damages and the plan for remediation and restoration. You will also want to know what part of the remediation companies’ service will be covered by insurance. Each policy is different, and it depends upon the cause of the disaster and the type of damage.

Getting a Free Quote

If you are thinking about a DIY approach, you should explore your options. A free quote and assessment from the restoration company will tell you how extensive the required treatment is and if it is beyond your scope. It often is. Your home is one of your most considerable assets, and you’ll want to protect it and your family’s health. Discuss it with your insurance company as well.