December 12, 2018 - 4.4 magnitude earthquake
An early morning earthquake in east Tennessee early Wednesday December 12th was widely felt over the Southeast U.S.
The magnitude 4.4 quake struck around 4:14 am est and was followed about 12 minutes later by a magnitude 3.3 aftershock.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, light shaking was observed over most of the Atlanta metro area, and a number of states from southern Alabama to South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
This quake was one of the strongest on record in east Tennessee, exceeded only by a November 30, 1973 near Maryville, south of Knoxville which lead to minor damage near the epicenter.
Today's earthquake reminds us that it is always a good idea to be prepared for any type of emergency.
What is an earthquake? An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock. Earthquakes can cause buildings to collapse and cause heavy items to fall, resulting in injuries and property damage. Earthquakes can:
- Happen anywhere – though higher risk areas include California, Alaska, and the Mississippi Valley;
- Happen without warning;
- Cause fires and damage roads; and
- Cause tsunamis, landslides, and avalanches.
If an earthquake happens, protect yourself right away. Drop, Cover, then Hold On!
- If in a vehicle, pull over and stop.
- If in bed, stay there.
- If outdoors, stay outdoors.
- Do not get in a doorway.
- Do not run outside.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE THREATENS
- Secure items, such as televisions, and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves.
- Practice Drop, Cover, then Hold On with family and coworkers. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Crawl only as far as needed to reach cover from falling materials. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops.
- Create a family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-state contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated.
- Make a supply kit that includes enough food and water for at least three days, a flashlight, a fire extinguisher, and a whistle. Consider each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
- Consider obtaining an earthquake insurance policy. Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover earthquake damage.
- Consider a retrofit of your building to correct structural issues that make it vulnerable to collapse during an earthquake.
Making A Small Fire "Like it never even happened."
Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.
With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Gainesville professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Gainesville professionals do not coverup lingering odors with fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Ask your SERVPRO of Gainesville professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you. If you suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact us at 770-536-1010. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”
When Your Basement Floods
Gainesville, Georgia Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are several reasons why your basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today 770-536-1010
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Gainesville, Georgia and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a preferred vendor to many national insurance companies
- We bill the insurance directly – one less thing for you to worry about
- Our technicians are highly-trained in water restoration techniques
- We use s500 IICRC restoration standards
- Advanced inspection and extraction equipment
Basement Flooded? Call SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010.
Fires - Assessing the Damage to Properly Mitigate
When a fire starts inside your home, it is never a pleasant experience. Fires not only threaten the safety of you and your family but can also be costly to repair. The heat, flames, and smoke produced by a fire can cause extensive damage to your home.
Whether the fire is small or large, the best choice would be to have the professionals come in and assess the situation. SERVPRO of Gainesville is IICRC certified and have experience with different types of fire scenarios.
Both the heat and smoke created by a blaze causes several types of damage to your home. Flames can burn content and building materials inside the home. Smoke spreads throughout the structure leaving behind soot and foul odors. Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Gainesville are taught how to mitigate fire damage by putting each case into a category based on the severity of the damage.
No matter how severe the damage is in your home after a fire, hiring professionals can always get you the best results. SERVPRO of Gainesville can be reached at (770) 536-1010, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help you.
Floodplains What Are They and How to Protect Your Property
A floodplain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river which stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls, and which experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. The soils usually consist of levees, silts and sands deposited during floods.
Historically, many towns have been built on floodplains where they are highly susceptible to flooding for a number of reasons
- access to fresh water
- the fertility of floodplain land for farming
- cheap transportation, via rivers and railroads which often followed rivers
- ease of development of flat land
The extent of floodplain inundation depends in part on the flood magnitude. What should you do to reduce the potential amount of damage to your home if you live in a floodplain?
- Elevate and reinforce your home to make damage less likely during a flood.
- Check with a professional to:
- Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to floors that are less likely to be flooded. An undamaged water heater may be your best source of fresh water after a flood.
- Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. (As a last resort, when floods threaten, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.)
- Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and flood walls to stop floodwater from entering the building (if permitted by local building codes).
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.
- Use sand bags when flooding is expected:
- It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, creating a wall one foot high and 20 feet long.
- Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags, shovels, strong helpers, and time to place them properly.
- If a flood is expected, some communities will offer free sandbags to residents. Be sure to watch or listen to the news so you can access these resources.
Remember: standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Mold can grow anywhere: on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you can't see, such as the backside of drywall, areas inside walls around leaking or condensing pipes, and above ceiling tiles. Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated.
Not only is a mold problem difficult and costly to fix, but mold can also produce allergens and irritants (and, rarely, toxins) that may compromise your health.
What can you do if you're concerned about mold growing in your home?
The best approach is preventing mold before it becomes a problem. The key to mold prevention is simple: moisture control.
Here are nine ways to curb moisture indoors, and the mold that thrives on it.
- Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be costlier down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.
- Dry wet areas immediately.Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you've experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can't be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.
- Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering or run an exhaust fan.
- Equip your home with mold-resistant products.Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold, and removal and replacement can be expensive. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.
- Monitor humidity indoors.The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).
- Direct water away from your home.If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
- Clean or repair roof gutters.A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
- Improve air flow in your home.According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air can hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
- Keep mold off household plants.They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.
Finally, educate yourself on your region's climate — be it the cold and wet Northeast, the hot and wet South, the hot and dry Southwest, or the cold and dry West — and how it responds to moisture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step.
Common Causes of Water Damage
This Gainesville customer's bedroom carpet was saturated with water after a pipe burst in their home.
Water damage in the home, especially damage that is not identified, can cause serious issues to the home’s structure and even to you and your family’s health. Unfortunately, far too many homeowners are unaware of some of the most common causes of water damage and are therefore not prepared to prevent it in the first place. While some water damage is unavoidable, being educated on typical sources for water issues will make you more prepared to identify a problem and handle it before it becomes both costly and destructive to your home.
Residential water damage is extremely common, especially in homes throughout the Hall County, Gainesville, Georgia area. Understanding potential sources of water issues is the first step to prevention. The following are some of the most common causes of water damage:
- Washing machine supply lines pressure
- Dripping toilet
- Busted or leaking pipes
- Sewer lines backup
- Water buildup in crawl spaces
- HVAC problems
- Malfunctioning appliance like dishwasher, sink, refrigerator, etc.
- Heavy rains or major storms
While the above causes are the most commonly seen challenges for homeowners, there are a variety of additional causes of water damage. Being proactive is the best way to save money and maintain your home’s interior and exterior in optimal condition. If you believe that your home has suffered from water damage, our team of SERVPRO water damage restoration experts is here to help. Call us today to learn more!
The Mold Remediation Process
When mold is not visible, SERVPRO recommends hiring a hygienist to perform an air quality test to properly determine the affected areas in the home or business. But when the mold has spread more than 10 square feet then there is a process that begins towards addressing it properly and efficiently:
- Assessment-Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold and the water sources possibly causing it. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
- Containment- Different containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
- Air Filtration- Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO technicians use air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
- Removing- The process of mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it's on. Antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary.
- Cleaning- SERVPRO cleans your furniture, decorative items, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.
- Restoration- Depending on the level of mold damage, some building materials may have to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs or major repairs.
Smoke Damage in Your Commercial Property
Whether your commercial property in Gainesville, Georgia, has experienced a fire or a fire has occurred nearby, smoke damage is typically a covered loss. Depending on the proximity of the fire, soot damage can pose a threat to the condition of your property. The smell of smoke can also disturb employees and customers, but it is relatively easy to eliminate this odor with the right devices. Read on to learn about the specific types of damage that smoke can cause to a property and smoke cleaning methods.
Smoke can damage a property in several ways:
• Degrade air quality
• Discolor walls and contents
• Stain upholstery
• Corrode metals
• Degrade appliance finishes
• Strip wood finishes
Smoke can be particularly damaging if it has a high acid content. During a fire, hot air carries smoke and soot as it rises and expands, spreading both throughout the surrounding area. Layers of smoke and soot can form a residue on top of every surface that becomes more difficult to clean over time. It is important to contact restoration experts for smoke damage as soon as possible.
Hiring experts can prevent smoke and soot from lingering and causing damage over time. Cleaning experts will perform several steps to restore your commercial property to pre-fire condition, including:
• Inspecting and assessing the extent of the damage
• Removing smoke and soot from surfaces using specialized equipment and techniques
• Cleaning all restorable items and surfaces
• Filtering the air with air scrubbers and using ozone or fogging equipment to neutralize odors
If you are concerned about soot or smoke residue inside of electronics, ask the experts to take a look. Acidic smoke residue can corrode metal within devices and cause them to fail. Regardless of the extent of the smoke damage or soot damage, the right smoke cleaning service can eliminate the problem and completely restore your commercial property in
Do You Know Where The Water Shut Off Is At Work?
Many workplaces always call on the boss or the maintenance man when something goes wrong. What if they were home sick, or in a meeting and you need to locate the water shut off, where do you start?
SERVPRO of Gainesville, Georgia can help commercial property managers in planning for a water, fire, storm damage. How? With a free Emergency Response Profile created by the SERVPRO Marketing Department.
By having a plan of action and including it in your regular training at your office you can minimize the cost if an unplanned event happens like a frozen pipe, fire or any other type of disaster.
Some property managers use this as a tool to keep everything organized in one central location.
Is your business ready for a disaster? Even a simple pipe burst can cause a lot of damage and headache. With a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile it can have the critical information to minimize damages, provide the resources for the employees of the company, and provide property details and information. This is a FREE service that we provide to commercial properties.
Make an appointment today to get started!
If the unthinkable happens, call your local SERVPRO of Gainesville, Georgia at (770) 536-1010 seven days a week 24/7 to help you avoid the cost and hassle of secondary damages. We will help make it "Like it never even happened."