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How Thunderstorms Give Rise to Lightning | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can cause damage in a variety of ways, with lightning being one of the most dangerous. The violent discharge of a lightning bolt can start fires, damage appliances and wiring, and even cause damage to a home’s structure when it strikes.

Between high temperatures, electrical charges and shock waves, everyone should be educated about lightning and how to prepare for it.

How Do Thunderstorms Give Rise to Lightning?

All thunderstorms have an electrical charge, which is the catalyst for claps of thunder and bolts of lightning. A quick discharge of this electrical energy can either strike across the clouds or toward the ground, manifesting as what we know as a lightning bolt.

Because oxygen is not an effective conductor, lightning often chooses to strike toward objects on its journey to the ground. In the case of this object being a building, it will use the water pipes and wiring as a conduit for travel, which is why it can cause such severe damage to a home.

How Does Lightning Cause Damage?

It is important to be aware of how lightning damages a home and what homeowners can do to stay safe.

Lightning can start fires. Because they reach temperatures of up to 500,000 degrees, a bolt of lightning can instantly ignite the wood of a home or building. As it travels through the electrical wires, its heat can also damage them and lead to the start of fires inside the walls. The local fire department should be called if your home is struck to test your wiring for hot spots and potential threats.

Lightning can damage electronics. Because lightning travels through the wiring in a home, it can transfer its charge to that wiring and anything connected to the circuit. This can cause damage to anything plugged into the wall, but can be avoided with a surge protector.

Lightning can cause property damage. Thunder is created by shock waves, which occur from the force of a lightning strike across the clouds. If lightning strikes the ground, shock waves occur then as well, which can explode masonry and shatter windows. If lightning strikes anywhere in the vicinity, it is important to inspect the home for structural damage.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

Picking the Right Company for Restoration | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Business owners who have experienced a natural disaster that affects their commercial property are in a precarious position. In a recent FEMA study, they found that up to 60% of businesses are unable to reopen after a disaster.

Because of the poor reopen rate of businesses, if your commercial property has suffered fire or water damage, it is important to work with a company that understands the nuances of commercial restoration to restore the damage. Here are a few ways to know you are picking a reputable commercial restoration company:

1. They Have a Fast Response Time

In most instances of damage, the longer it goes without being treated, the more time and money it will take to restore it. That is why we have a 247 emergency line, so we can be there at whatever hour you call to start the process. Not only does this give business owners peace of mind, but choosing a company with a quick response time also allows business owners to focus their resources on other aspects of disaster recovery so they can get back in business.

2. They Invest in a Highly Trained Team

When your business has suffered damage, you want to know you can trust the team of technicians tasked with its restoration. Our technicians are fully trained in accordance with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), as well as given access to continuing education materials and certifications to remain up-to-date in the restoration field. This allows them to be leaders in the commercial restoration industry and always continue to learn.

3. They Use the Recommended Equipment

Technological advancements have brought changes to everything in the past decades, and the restoration industry is no different. Thankfully, the IICRC has developed recommendations for the best equipment on the market, so we can ensure that the tools we are using are up to date and use the latest technology.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.

House Fire Prevention

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

House fires can cause serious property damage, but they can also be dangerous or fatal to members of the household. While the most important thing is making sure smoke alarms are always operational, there are other methods for preventing house fires as well.

House Fires in Numbers

Many people would likely underestimate how frequently house fires happen. The National Fire Protection Association reports that house fires occur at the rate of nearly three per minute.

Cooking incidents are the most common house fire cause by far, but there are many other things that can lead to a flame.

House Fire Prevention Guide

Because house fires can so rapidly spread, the dangers of a simple mistake can be grave. Methods for stopping a house fire from happening are important to be aware of:

Smoke alarm maintenance. Smoke alarms are the fastest way to make everyone aware that a fire could be starting. Perform battery tests monthly to ensure they are operational, and update the unit every 10 years.

Lint disposal. The inside of a dryer can get extremely hot, and if there is a build-up of lint in the collection tray, it can easily combust. Empty the lint tray after each load to prevent this.

Open flame precaution. Most people are around open flames each day without even considering it. Cooking or candle flames can easily get out of hand and should never be left out of sight.

Wiring checks. When frayed or compromised, everyday objects such as extension cords or phone chargers can become a fire hazard. Look at wiring frequently and replace once they are worn.

Chemical caution. Flammable chemicals are often in household products, which will typically be indicated on the label. Keep these products away from direct light or heat sources.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Things You Should Know About Water Damage | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water is vital for our survival, but it can also turn into a highly destructive force when conditions are right.

There are many possible ways water can damage your property—how many of them are you familiar with?

The Deal With Water Damage

During a six-year span from 2009 to 2015, The Travelers Companies Inc. found that the five most common causes of home claims were:

  • Exterior wind damage
  • Non-weather-related water damage
  • Hail
  • Weather-related water damage
  • Theft

As you can see, water damage appears on this list twice, but in two different ways. You can classify water damage as non-weather-related and weather-related.

Damage not caused by weather will be the most common and is generally caused by plumbing and appliance problems. Water damage caused by the weather can be as damaging but is not as common. This type of damage is caused by rain, snow and ice melt.

The most popular reasons for water damage in your home are malfunctioning plumbing, appliances that leak, insufficient water pipes, aged water heaters and, of course, weather.

Intervening to Prevent Water Damage

You already know that water damage is very expensive, now can you imagine if none of it was covered by your homeowners insurance? It’s best practice to review your policy so that you know exactly what is covered. Covered in a standard policy are:

  • Damages caused by winter weather
  • Water from discharge and overflow, including accidental
  • Disintegrating or damaged pipes for a steam heating system
  • Frozen plumbing

Luckily, preventing some water damage conditions is possible—this means less muss and fuss for you.

Make use of these preventive maintenance ideas and you can help keep your home as dry as possible:

  • Hire a plumber to install back flow valves and standpipes in basement drains.
  • Raise your appliances and personal items up off the basement floor.
  • Clean all gutters and downspouts.
  • Never place grease down the kitchen drain.

By following some of these suggestions, you will be taking positive steps to protect your property.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.

Damage Caused by Powerful Storms | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are not uncommon during the spring and summer months. These storms can also bring with them the possibility of storm damage.

How familiar are you with the different damages that can be caused by thunderstorms?

The Power of Thunderstorms

Annually, there is an average of 16 million thunderstorms worldwide. Here in the United States, the number of thunderstorm occurrences is typically some 100,000 per year, with 10% of those being strong enough to classify as severe.

The conditions necessary for the formation of a thunderstorm are moisture and rising unstable air that is accompanied by a “lifting” mechanism caused by either hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing a rising motion.

Thunderstorms go through three stages during their life cycle: the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. The mature stage is the stage that can produce the hail, heavy rain, frequent lightning, strong winds and tornadoes.

Types of Damage

Thunderstorms can pose many different dangerous aspects, but a top risk stems from the chance that high winds turn everyday items into flying debris.

It is possible for wind speeds to reach up to and over 57.5 mph, and those speeds are enough to result in much damage.

Any loose items in your yard, even those that are seemingly harmless, can turn into dangerous projectiles.

Here are some items that can prove dangerous:

  • Tree branches
  • Gravel
  • Mailboxes
  • Fencing
  • Lawn furniture

Be sure you check your yard for these types of items and secure them before a thunderstorm comes by.

Thunderstorms can also be responsible for the following damage in addition to wind damage:

Flood damage. You can count on rain to accompany a storm, and when heavy enough, that rain can lead to flooding. Flash floods are strong enough to damage structures and even rip trees from the ground.

Lightning damage. When lightning strikes a home, the electricity can work its way through the wiring and damage anything that is plugged in. A lightning strike can also pose a serious fire risk.

Tornado damage. With the capability of reaching upward of 200 mph, tornadoes are able to cause extreme damage. Able to cover a large amount of area in a short time, tornadoes can be deadly and destructive.

Hail damage. While the size of hail can vary, damage by hail can cost upward of $1 billion per the NOAA. Small hail can damage crops, while larger hail can damage vehicles, roofing and windows.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration.

Readying Your Home for a Flood | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Worrying about a flood is typically not on a homeowner’s to-do list, but considering 90% of natural disasters include some form of flooding, it is important for homeowners to know how to prepare even if they do not live on a historic floodplain.

How to Prepare Your Household for a Flood

The damage from floods can be devastating for homeowners, but with some advanced planning, it can be lessened. These precautions will help you [protect your home from flood damage]]( and keep your family safe:

Raise hazardous materials. Any liquids that contain hazardous chemicals should be elevated to prevent spills into the water. Substances like antifreeze or coolant can make the floodwater toxic and even lead to fires in some cases.

Anchor propane and fuel tanks. A rushing current can easily carry away a fuel or propane tank, even if it is mostly full. Secure them safely to prevent creating an explosion risk.

Prepare appliances. Bricks or cinder blocks can be utilized under refrigerators and dishwashers to keep their motors and internal workings from getting hit with water.

Turn off electricity. Water and electricity do not mix, even if you think it is unlikely to rise to the levels of electrical outlets. Cut the breaker off in any rooms that may be at risk.

Elevate valuables. Family memories cannot be replaced, but important documents might be very difficult to get reissued as well. Passports, social security cards and any precious items should be protected or kept off-site.

Discuss emergency procedures. Educate your household about what to do in the event of a disaster. Keep emergency food and water on hand, and know the evacuation procedures in your area.

Keeping your home and family safe is what’s most important during a disaster. By taking advance precautions and understanding evacuation procedures ahead of time, homeowners can help to protect their home from extensive water damage and keep their family safe from harm as well.

If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville is here to help. Our technicians are fully trained in water remediation, and our 247 Emergency Line means we’ll be there for you when you call.

What Should I Do With My Electronics After a Fire?

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

If you recently dealt with a fire in your home, you understand firsthand the destructive effects that fire and smoke can have. If you’re fortunate enough to stay in your home, you still have to deal with some fire cleanup issues. One of the most pressing questions is deciding whether you can salvage your electronic devices. Fortunately, there are specialists who can help clean, preserve and restore these belongings.

What Can the Pros Handle?

You rely on electronics every day for work and pleasure. If these suffer smoke damage after a fire in your North Lawrenceville, house, you need someone with the tools and expertise to help them function properly. Smoke remediation specialists can take care of the following items:

  • TVs
  • Computers
  • DVD players
  • Stereos 

How Smoke Harms Your Devices

First, it’s important to understand the negative consequences when smoke comes into contact with these electronics. Acid inside the smoke can corrode the metal in these machines. Without proper and swift intervention, the items will stop working. 

A Professional Approach

In the midst of fire cleanup, you should never try to operate your electronics. This could pose dangers to you and could further harm the devices. You can and should, however, call a professional cleanup team to inspect the damaged belongings. The team will evaluate the severity of the issues and determine whether they can be salvaged. The pros have the right blend of experience and techniques to carefully and effectively clean the devices. 

What The Pros Will Do

If the cleanup experts determine they can save your electronics, they will start with basic steps such as wiping surfaces with a cloth and using compressed air to blow soot out of vents and ports. If these interventions aren’t successful, the team will move on to more specialized tactics. 

Fire cleanup can be extensive enough, but when you add electronics to the mix, there’s a lot to worry about. However, it can comfort you to know that with the right help, you can continue to use these important devices.

Why Clean-up Professionals Should Be One of Your First Calls After a Pipe Break

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

One of the hardest parts of suffering water damage in your home is the loss of personal belongings and your home’s contents. You may have years of accumulated furnishings, clothing, and other items belonging to family members that you don’t want to say goodbye to. 

Why Call Professionals Early On?

As part of a pipe burst cleanup effort, you may be surprised what a sewer cleanup company in North Lawrenceville can do to save the contents of your home. Getting professionals on board as soon as possible will offer you the best chance of salvaging much of your property.

What Special Services Can They Offer?

A broken pipe can happen for a variety of reasons, and the ensuing chaos can be overwhelming. Calling a professional emergency restoration service can make things go more smoothly than you ever imagined. They can help find and eliminate the source of the flooding and get the ball rolling much faster toward mitigating damage and beginning the cleaning up your home. They will have powerful extraction equipment and large fans to help dry out rugs and floors, minimizing water damage. Pipe burst cleanup can entail dehumidification equipment to reduce the potential for mold and bacteria and ozone equipment to remove more bacteria and odors. Wallboard and structural elements will also be dried out and salvaged where possible.

Can They Save Your Belongings?

A sewer cleanup company will understand that your home and belongings are important to you and will work to ensure that as much as possible can be restored to usefulness. Because it is a clean water source, personal content can, in many cases be dried, cleaned and restored to their proper place in the home. Fabric items can be laundered and hard surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected.

So when a pipe leak or flood happens in your home, call in trained professionals as soon as possible to deal with your pipe burst cleanup. They can help meet insurance requirements and salvage much of your content, getting your life back up and running before you know it.

3 Do's and Dont's for Mold Cleanup at Your Commercial Property

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

When mold invades your North Lawrenceville commercial property, cleaning it up completely can be a challenge. Unlike other sanitation tasks, fungus cleanup requires several steps and a bit of know-how to ensure it does not return. If you are ready to tackle a mold invasion at its source, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind that can help you protect the safety of your property and its contents. 

1. Do Turn Off Your Building’s Ventilation Unit 

Cleaning up mold can send spores into the air, where they can travel and find new moist and humid areas to grow. While you may not be able to prevent this completely, turning off your building’s air ventilation unit while you clean can prevent spores from spreading through the ductwork. You may want to have the ducts inspected after any fungus cleanup job as well to ensure they have not been contaminated. 

2. Do Not Use Bleach 

When confronted with mold, your first instinct may be to spray any patches you find with a bleach-based cleaner. However, this may only exacerbate the problem. These cleansers usually contain a large amount of water, which will likely only encourage further growth. Mold also grows roots beyond the surface of building materials and other food sources, which means it cannot be simply sprayed and wiped away. 

3. Do Call a Mold Removal Service for Assistance 

Fungi cleanup can be difficult to handle on your own, especially when you are dealing with stubborn black mold. Calling in a mold remediation and restoration service may give you peace of mind that the problem is being handled by professionals who are experienced and can cleanup mold with machinery and processes that are typically not available anywhere else. 

Fungus cleanup at your North Lawrenceville commercial building can be a daunting task, especially when you want to ensure growths do not return. Knowing how to properly clean away mold may help you accomplish your objective and protect your property. call us at (678)376-5515

Cold weather storms can cause damages to your home

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Severe freezing with high winds are a recipe for downed trees which can cause property damage.  Every year the Puget Sound experiences a few storms that pass through leaving millions of dollars in property damage.

The biggest source of property damage comes by way of downed trees which fall onto the roofs of homes.

Damage to Gutters and Siding are just a couple of the types of damage a home will incur.  Broken windows and roof penetrations are two types of damage that require emergency mitigation services to cover up the opening in the structure.

When damage from the cold and wind occur SERVPRO is the choice for repairing your damaged home.


Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Seattle, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today