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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

March is American Red Cross Month

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. Whether it is disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, or training and certification in CPR, life-guarding, first aid, and more, the Red Cross is committed to helping those who need it most. The American Red Cross is part of the Global Red Cross Network, the world’s largest volunteer network found in 187 countries, according to redcross.org.

Every year, March is declared Red Cross Month by the President of the United States. The American Red Cross celebrates by honoring the “everyday heroes” who support and carry out the mission of the Red Cross by donating, giving blood, taking a class, or volunteering. To learn more about the American Red Cross, or about how you can get involved, visit redcross.org.

Faster to Any Size Disaster: Cleaning After a Commercial Fire

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results—including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services.

Structural Cleaning

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. The experienced professionals at SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured’s structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insured.

Deodorization

SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties provides specialized services that rid your insured’s place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 

Be Flood Smart

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert-there is always potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any size disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties will help you take it back.

* Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3

Be Prepared with an ERP

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens.” In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas.

One of our Sales and Marketing Professionals will come to your site and walk you through the ERP process. They will collect the necessary information, compile it into the ERP, and provide you with your personalized plan of action, both digitally and in print. Call SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties to establish your Emergency READY Profile®! We stand ready to help you in your time of need.

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

• Flash Flooding

• River Flooding

• Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems

• Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)

• Ice/Debris Jams

• Snowmelt

• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)

• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3

Understanding Types of Water

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

• Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.

• Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.

• Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

• Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.

• Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.

• Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.

• Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.

• Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

• Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.

• Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.

• Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

• Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.

• Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties at 706-278-7378.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarms: Life Savers Source: American Red Cross

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 2

P.A.S.S.

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

  • Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 2

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties professionals arrive. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DO: 

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray & South Whitfield Counties will help you take it back.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 2

Follow These Mold Safety Tips if You Suspect Mold

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 706-278-7378

Winter Weather Worries

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Weather Worries This image shows the circumstances in which ice dams form on a roofline.

Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.

FROZEN PIPES

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.

To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:

  • Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.

ICE DAMS

Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.

Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”

Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.

If winter weather causes water damage to you or your insured’s property, the professionals at SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.

Source: redcross.orgTravelers.com

Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 1

Dangers of Extreme Cold

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

While your home can get damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.

Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold in 2015.

It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95°F, seek medical attention immediately.

To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.

Source: ready.gov/winter-weather

2019 Resolution - Plan Ahead

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” in 2019.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years of experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO® READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties to establish your Emergency READY Profile®, and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2019.

Advantages of the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Contact SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties - (706) 278-7378 - to schedule your ERP today.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 1

Hurricane Season is Here

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

It may seem early, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and also ends November 30.

Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 6

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

6/17/2018 (Permalink)

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties also offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup* and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.

SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism 
  • Sewage Backups 
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties today at 706-278-7378 for 24-hour emergency service.

*Services vary by location

**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 6

Managing Mold

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call the Team in Green

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection and Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with 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 utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents and Belongings

SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties understands mold and mold growth and has the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 6

A Salute to First Responders

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” This famous Mr. Rogers quote comes to mind when we celebrate first responders: those who arrive first on the scene of any disaster or emergency.

In the event of a disaster or emergency, there are many different agencies and people in your community who are ready to respond. Whether it’s a house fire or a hurricane, we are thankful every day for these first responders.

Firefighters, EMTs, and Police

Local fire and police departments, as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), are often first on the scene of an emergency. In the U.S., there are more than 29,700 fire departments with 1,160,450 total firefighters, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s 2015 U.S. Fire Department Profile.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are almost 245,000 EMTs and paramedics in the U.S. In the U.S. there are about 18,000 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, employing more than 750,000 fulltime sworn officers, according to the Uniformed Crime Reporting Program collected by the FBI.

Military

When events such as natural disasters strike, different branches of the military are often a first line of response. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard, with over 342,000 soldiers, respond domestically when deployed by their state Governor, often during states of emergency from weather-related events. They can also be called upon during terrorist attacks or civil unrest, or called overseas by the President of the United States.

Active duty soldiers can also be called upon for certain domestic events as well.

FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

As a part of FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), these volunteers are trained to be prepared for any disasters that may affect your local area in an effort to support professional responders. CERT volunteers are trained in “basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations,” according to FEMA.

With more than 2,700 CERT programs, over 600,000 individuals have been trained nationwide. Teams are managed locally, but supported nationally by FEMA.

SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties recognizes these and the countless other first responders in our communities for keeping our communities safe.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 4

Hoarding: A Serious Problem

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. One of our trained professionals will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.

Another way SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties today at 706-278-7378.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 4