Recent Posts

Putting a fire out: The PASS Method

8/18/2023 (Permalink)

Servpro fire restoration The PASS Method is easy and affective.

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s Home Structure Fires report more than 26% of reported fires from 2016-2020 occurred in a home and 75% of civilian fire deaths are caused by home fires. Most of these tragic disasters start from cooking, heating equipment, electrical issues, and lighting failures. Being confident and prepared for a home fire can make the difference in life and death. One small but highly effective way to be prepared for a fire is having the proper knowledge of how to put a fire out. The PASS method was created to help simplify the use of a fire extinguisher.

Pull – Maintaining control of the nozzle, pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher.

Aim – Stand back from the flames. With one hand, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.

Squeeze – Firmly squeeze the nozzle with your hand.

Sweep – Quickly contain the fire by making a sweeping motion with the nozzle.

Now even though a fire extinguisher can be effective it is important to only use it for smaller fires. NEVER take it upon yourself to put out a large fire. If a fire seems too massive and dangerous it is always best to call your local fire department. It is never worth taking the risk when you are one phone call away from having professional help.

After a fire is extinguished and everyone is safe, our SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville team is ready to help with cleanup and restoration. We have trained and certified technicians that can make the fore “Like it never happened.” Contact our office with more information.

3 Common Causes for Commercial Water Losses & How to Prevent Them

8/14/2023 (Permalink)

Servpro water restoration Water cleanup due to a busted pipe at a hotel

For business owners or property managers, large commercial structures require a lot of up keep, attention to detail, and organization in order to keep them running in tip top shape. It is crucial to stay up to date on reunion matience, having a mastered emergency plan, and having a strong team to support you. While most disasters are preventable if these steps are taken, some will happen no matter what. One disaster can disrupt your building for hours, days, weeks, and even permanently if you are not careful. There are three common causes for large water losses to look out for.

HVAC failures/Drain pan over flow
Your air conditioner removes moisture from the air and as a result, condensation forms. The condensation travels from the indoor coil to the drain pan and through the drain line. These drian pans can over flow for many different reasons. It is usually from a crack in the pan or excess debris causing a clog. In order to prevent these water damages there are a few small and easy steps to take. Install a float switch. This will shut off your air conditioning if water in the pan gets too high, giving you a clear sign that it needs help. You can also schedule maintenance appointments once or twice a year to insure a professional is keeping everything well maintained.

Plumbing leaks

Busted and leaking pipes is a constant issue for structures with stacked plumbing such as hotels and other hospitality facilities. A crack as small as 1/8 inches can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day! The average commercial water disaster can cost up to $500,00 so it is critical to take steps to keep pluming pipes in good condition. Making sure to replace any leaking fittings or drains, note and investigate any finding of standing water, keeping the pipes warm in a freeze, and add water flow sensors around toilets, bathtubs, washing machines, etc.

Roof leaks

The most common source of commercial water leaks is a roof leak. These commercial buildings usually have HVAC equipment, skylights, and vents that increase the amount of access points water has to enter the building. When preventing roof leaks it is important to never push the limit with the lifetime of your roof. Replace it when the time comes and do not push it off. Smaller preventative steps to take include cleaning out drains, removing debris, and scheduling regular roof inspections.

SERVPRO of Bay St. Louis/Diamondhead has trained and certified technicians to help with any water damage that might come your way. We can also help you plan for those emergency’s with our free Emergency Ready Profile service. Call our office today to schedule your ERP or anytime with any restorations needs! (228)467-4450

Continuing Education Class

8/11/2023 (Permalink)

Class room Our SERVPRO office has a large classroom designed for hosting these continuing education classes!

Attention all local insurance agents and adjusters, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is hosting a continuing education class and you are invited! The class will be The Restoration of Hoarding.

This class will cover a wide variety of topics such as the different types of hoarding, behavioral issues, the clean-up process, and much more. Insurance professionals will learn how a cleaning process can be implemented to professionally assess and mitigate the loss of a hoarding situation. They will also learn the proper steps needed to remain safe, how to face coverage concerns, how to best communicate and understand a hoarder, etc.

The class will be held on September 7th at our Mandeville office. The address is 68424 James St. Mandeville, LA 70471. Registration will begin at 8:30am with the class starting at 9:00am and ending around 11:30am. This class will provide two hours of credit for BOTH Mississippi and Louisiana agents and adjustors.

We will provide coffee, water, and a light breakfast and snacks for everyone in attendance. With space being limited please email to RSVP and save your spot. Come out a learn about the hoarding restoration process, network with other professionals in your field, and have fun. We hope to see you there!

Emergency Ready Plan

8/1/2023 (Permalink)

Disasters are one of those things that no one plans to have happen to them, however, they are virtually inevitable. It is not a matter of if but when will you experience a disaster and when that day comes, how many of you business owners can confidently say you have a well-thought-out plan in place? If your answer is no, then let SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville help you with this daunting task.

Whether your emergency is a powerful hurricane, accidental kitchen fire, or a busted pipe causing a flood, having a strong plan in place can often be the difference in whether your business survives or if it, unfortunately, does not. In fact, 95% of disasters that standard businesses suffer from are man-made, for example, an accidental internal fire or flood. Research shows that up to 50% of businesses never reopen after suffering from a disaster and the ones who do almost always have a response plan to thank.

Introducing the benefits of SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan (ERP)

  • This is a no-cost assessment for your business
  • Access your ERP from anywhere using the mobile app
  • It takes very little time to create and complete
  • Contains only critical information needed for disaster relief such as shut-off locations, priority contacts, building access, etc. No fluff added.
  • Will minimize business interruptions, miscommunication, and lost revenue
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Greater Mandeville and Covington as your disaster and restoration provider

Call our office at (985) 871-5375 to schedule your free Emergency Ready Plan today!

Hurricane Ida: A Recap and Claims Update One Year Later

8/18/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane Ida satellite image Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021

August 29th marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida making landfall in Louisiana. Hurricane Ida was the second-most damaging hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana behind Hurricane Katrina. A year later, many of our communities throughout the state are still recovering. As we continue to rebuild, we can assess the impact of Hurricane Ida and learn how to prepare for future storms.

Hurricane Ida Facts

  • Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29, 2021, near Port Fourchon, Louisiana as a Cat 4 storm with 150 mph sustained winds.
  • Hurricane Ida affected 25 parishes in Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast region before making its way up the East Coast causing damages in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • Hurricane Ida was the 5th costliest tropical cyclone on record and the fourth costliest Atlantic hurricane in the US causing at least $75.25 billion dollars in damages.
  • Hurricane Ida produced 35 known tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia.
  • In Louisiana, more than one million people were without power. In Mississippi, 113,000 people lost electricity on August 30th. Most properties had power restored within ten days.

Hurricane Ida Louisiana Claims Data

On August 1st, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) Commissioner Jim Donelon released the third measure of Hurricane Ida data. The following claims information is conclusive as of June 30th. LDI will continue collecting data from property and casualty insurers and will release a fourth and final Hurricane Ida claims data report this fall. Please note that the following facts do not include data from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as LDI does not regulate NFIP.

  • Insurers have paid or reserved to pay $13.1 billion on all types of Hurricane Ida-related claims in Louisiana.
  • Policyholders have filed 460,709 claims of all types. Of those claims, 299,440, or 65%, were closed with payment.
  • The total number of residential property claims is 359,548.  Of those claims, 88% are closed and 63% were closed with payment.
  • The total number of commercial property claims is 29,876. Of those claims, 71% are closed and 45% were closed with payment.
  • The total number of private flood claims is 662. Of those claims, 91% are closed and 52% were closed with payment.

SERVPRO's Response to Hurricane Ida

After Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville and every other SERVPRO franchise in our state were inundated with phone calls requesting restoration services. Our office alone received hundreds of phone calls within the first couple of weeks after the storm. Homeowners and business owners needed everything from roof tarping and tree removal to flood cleanup and water damage mitigation services. While SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville and other local SERVPRO franchises immediately began helping our community recover, SERVPRO franchises from all over the United States rushed into Louisiana to provide more resources.

SERVPRO’s corporate office received 5,683 phone calls from Louisiana residents after Hurricane Ida. Storm teams across the country quickly mobilized to lend a hand. Forty out-of-state independently owned and operated SERVPRO franchises with approximately one hundred restoration crews helped us provide emergency restoration services in Louisiana. From large loss teams to smaller franchise teams, SERVPRO crews helped restore thousands of businesses and homes.

Hurricane Resources

Other Reports and Data on Hurricane Ida  

How to Protect Your Home from Lightning-Related Fires

7/26/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning is hotter than the sun and can reach temperatures of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightning-related fires most often occur during the summer storm season, typically months June through August. However, lightning-related fires do happen all year long and in every state. According to NFPA’s latest report “Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes”, during 2007-2011, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes. While this data includes both structure and non-structure fires, nineteen percent of lightning fires were home fires.

Recent insurance claims data from the Insurance Information Institute reveals Louisiana is ranked the eighth state in homeowners’ lightning loss claims for 2021. In Louisiana, there were 2,372 homeowners claims due to lightning in 2021 which resulted in over twenty-eight million dollars in damages. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your home from lightning-related fires and to mitigate damages.

Prevent Lightning-Related Fires by Installing a Whole-house Lightning Protection System

Lightning protection systems work to intercept lightning strikes, provide a conductive path for the electrical discharge to follow, and safely disperse the energy into the ground.

A whole-home lightning protection system consists of:

  • Air terminals (a.k.a. lightning rods) mounted on the roof
  • Main conductors made of aluminum or copper wires to redirect electricity
  • A proper grounding system
  • A bonding system to prevent sparks or side flashes
  • Surge protective devices

Lightning protection systems should follow the national standards and requirements of the Lightning Protection Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories. Only experienced and reputable lightning protection contractors listed by Underwriters Laboratories and certified by Lightning Protection Institute should install these systems.

Prevent Lightning-Related Fire by Removing Yard Debris

Dry grass, plants, and leaves are highly flammable and should be regularly removed from your yard to prevent a ground fire from spreading to the home.

Prevent Lightning-Related Fires by Updating Wiring in Older Homes

Older homes can often experience electrical problems. Consult with a qualified electrician to inspect your home’s electrical and grounding systems. Without a proper grounding system, a lightning strike could cause a fire and affect your home’s electrical foundation.

How to Respond to a Lightning-Related Home Fire

If a lightning strike causes your home to catch on fire, your family’s safety is the top priority. Everyone must exit the home immediately. Once in a safe location far away from your home, call the fire department for help. Do not reenter your home until you are told it is safe.

After the fire is extinguished, limit movement in your home to prevent further damage. Do not try to clean soot or fire damage yourself without proper personal protective equipment. Fire damage cleaning and restoration are best left to trained professionals.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville’s certified and experienced fire restoration professionals are here to help 24-7-365. To learn more about our fire damage restoration services or to schedule an inspection, call our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

St. Tammany Parish is a StormReady® Community

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

storm ready logo St. Tammany Parish is a StormReady® Community

St. Tammany Parish is recognized as a StormReady® community in accordance with the National Weather Service (NWS) StormReady® program. The NWS StormReady® program was created to help communities throughout the United States better prepare for extreme weather and water events. StormReady® program provides community emergency managers with guidelines on how to improve their hazard weather program. Each StormReady® community must meet certain criteria to earn this designation, and they must renew every three years. A few of the program’s criteria include having an established 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center, promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars, and developing a formal hazardous weather plan.

Extreme weather events in St. Tammany Parish include hazards such as flooding, tornadoes, and wind and hail damages caused by tropical storms and hurricanes. Officials from St. Tammany Parish Government’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are responsible for maintaining our community’s StormReady® designation and for ensuring our residents and businesses are prepared for any size disaster. Below is a list of emergency resources to help St. Tammany Parish residents before, during, and after weather-related hazards.

St. Tammany Parish Storm Emergency Numbers

  • For storm updates, call 985-809-2300
  • To report storm-related issues, call 985-898-2323
  • After the storm, to report damages, call 985-898-2574 or email DAMAGE@STPGOV.ORG
  • For special needs shelter information, call 985-898-3074

St. Tammany Parish Sandbag Locations

(Possible locations – Opening of Sandbag locations will be posted at

  • Tammany Parish Government – Building – 21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville, LA 70471.
  • Tammany Parish Public Works – Airport Road Barn- 34783 Grantham College Rd. Slidell, LA 70460.
  • Tammany Parish Public Works – Fritchie Barn- 63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River, LA 70452.
  • Tammany Parish Public Works Barn – Keller Barn- 63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe, LA 70445.
  • Tammany Parish Public Works Barn – Covington Barn- 1305 N. Florida Street, Covington, LA 70433.
  • The Old Levee District Site – 61134 Military Road (Hwy 1090) Slidell, LA

St. Tammany Parish Storm Resources

St. Tammany Parish Storm Communications

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has provided emergency storm mitigation and restoration services for St. Tammany Parish residents and businesses since 2009. After storms, our crews are ready to respond immediately to prevent secondary damages to properties. Our emergency services include water and flood damage mitigation, board-up, securing tarps, and more. Please call 985-871-5375 to schedule emergency mitigation services.

Employee Spotlight: Welcome Our New Business Development Manager

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

man with servpro shirt and khakis pants standing in front of brick wall Welcome to our team, Brain Sharp!

We would like to formally introduce one of our newest team members! Brian Sharp has been selected and has accepted the role of commercial business development manager for both of our franchises, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville and SERVPRO of Bay St. Louis/Diamondhead. 

Brian is a native of St. Tammany Parish. He has lived most of his life in either Abita Springs or Folsom. He began his career in law enforcement in 1998 with the Abita Springs Police Department. After a few years, he joined the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office where he retired in 2019. His career in law enforcement includes multiple assignments, such as criminal patrol, training, detective, crime scene investigator, and crisis intervention. Prior to joining our team, Brian was most recently the director of operations of a locally owned service business in Covington, Louisiana.

Brian has many unique hobbies to keep him busy in his spare time. Most notably, Brian propagates a small animal farm in Folsom. He raises hogs and knows how to make his own sausage. Brian has also been a student of Asian Martial Arts since 2006.

When asked why he choose to begin a career in the restoration industry, Brian explained “the thing I love most about my career in the restoration industry is it gives me the privilege to serve others when they are suffering due to a catastrophe. I can live a life of service and subsequently prosper.” His response is exactly why we knew Brain would be a perfect fit for our team. Brian’s commitment to living a life of service is a core value at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. We do more than just restore homes and businesses following disasters. We help put people’s lives back together while guiding them through very difficult situations. His background as a leader, trainer, and director of operations will certainly ensure his future success with us as well. We are thrilled to have him on our team!

3 Common Causes of Commercial Fires and Tips to Prevent Them

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

bathroom with orange walls with fire damage on lighting equipment The bathroom lighting fixture caught on fire in this commercial bathroom. This ignited the sprinkler system and caused water damage too.

Owning a business or managing a property requires proper emergency planning. One disaster, such as a fire or hurricane, can seriously interrupt business or even temporarily close the doors. While natural disasters cannot be controlled, most fires are preventable.

According to data collected and analyzed by the National Fire Protection Association, in 2020 there were 111,000 non-residential structure fires across the United States totaling over $3.4 million dollars in property damages. Non-residential structure fires include fires at hotels, motels, restaurants, educational facilities, retail spaces, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, and other commercial properties. Three common causes of these fires were cooking equipment, electrical and lighting equipment, and heating equipment.

Commercial Cooking Equipment Fires

Commercial cooking equipment fires can be caused by the equipment itself not being properly cleaned or maintained. Always hire a professional to perform maintenance and regularly clean grease from kitchen equipment and vents. Commercial cooking fires are also commonly caused by food being left unattended while cooking. Turn off cooking equipment and remove food from the stove before exiting the kitchen. Unplug small kitchen appliances when not in use.

Commercial Electrical and Lighting Equipment Fires

Old or defective wiring, overloaded circuits, and faulty fuses are just some causes of electrical fires. Electrical equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained by a licensed electrician to prevent fires. If a problem is detected, like a faulty outlet or flickering light, the issue should be addressed immediately. Also, surge protectors are helpful, but be mindful not to overload or misuse them.

Commercial Heating Equipment Fires

Commercial heating equipment includes central HVAC units, boilers, water heaters, fireplaces, as well as other heating appliances. All equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained by a professional to avoid overheating problems. Portable heating equipment, such as space heaters, should be not allowed in commercial properties. If space heaters are allowed, then staff must be warned to only plug them directly into outlets and to turn them off and unplug them when unattended. Never plug space heaters into power strips or surge protectors.  

As fire damage restoration professionals, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has restored numerous commercial properties following fire disasters as described above. Most fires can be prevented, but accidents do happen. If a fire event has occurred at your commercial property, our fire damage restoration team will make it “Like it never even happened.” We will work around your operating schedule to avoid business interruption. Call our office to learn more about our fire damage cleaning and restoration services or to schedule an inspection today.

4 Tips to Prepare for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

pie chart for 2022 Atlantic hurricane season predictions Forecasters predict an above-average 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center are predicting an above-average season for the seventh year in a row. Specifically, NOAA predicts a sixty-five percent chance of an above-normal season, a twenty-five percent chance of s near-normal season and a ten percent chance of a below-normal season.

The above-average forecast includes a range of fourteen to twenty-one named storms, of which six to ten could become hurricanes. Three to six of the predicted hurricanes are expected to be major hurricanes. The World Meteorological Organization has designated the following potential Atlantic tropical storm names for this year: Alex, Bonnie, Collin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie, and Walter.

Understanding your risks and preparing early is vital to be ready this season. Follow our hurricane preparedness tips below to organize your hurricane emergency plans now.

  1. Create an evacuation plan with at least two options. As hurricane paths can change quickly, choosing multiple evacuation locations is wise to account for various storm routes. Review St. Tammany Parish evacuation routes and decide upon two options. Choose one leading east and one leading west as you may need to evacuate to either Texas or Mississippi to avoid the hurricane’s path. Research hotels along the routes to account for your household's special needs. For example, you may need to find a hotel that allows pets or offers extended stay options.
  2. Build an emergency kit. If you plan to shelter in place, then you should create an emergency kit with disaster supplies that can sustain each member of your household for three days.
  3. Stay weather aware. Sign up for local weather alerts and follow emergency orders from government officials.
  4. Save our phone number for emergency storm damage services. 985-871-5375. Since 2009, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has helped St. Tammany Parish and neighboring communities recover after disasters. Our storm response team provides emergency board-up, roof tarping, water damage mitigation, mold remediation, and other storm damage restoration services.

Follow us on Facebook and frequent our blog for emergency alerts and more disaster planning tips.