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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Spring Is In The Air. What's Inside of Your Air Ducts?

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

Mardi Gras season is officially over. Now, let's celebrate the best Springtime has to offer such as local festivals, the sun setting later, and Spring cleaning! As cleaning and restoration pros, we have one Spring cleaning suggestion for you that you may not have considered before. Have your air ducts professionally inspected and cleaned to improve indoor air quality.


When was the last time you had your air ducts cleaned? Have you ever? While tidying around your home, consider the quality of air inside of your HVAC system. Over time, dust, debris, and pollutants will accumulate inside your system. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends having your air ducts cleaned once every three to five years for maintenance, and when necessary due to specific circumstances like after a home renovation/remodel, after a home fire, or when microbial growth is discovered. 

At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we regularly perform air duct cleaning for our residential and commercial clients. This is a common part of our scope of work for fire damage restoration and mold remediation projects. Please call our office to learn more about why you should have your air ducts cleaned and to schedule an inspection today. You may even see an increase in energy efficiency once your system has been cleaned!

Missing This Endorsement on Your Insurance Policy Could Cost You

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

sewer system backed up debris on floor in bathroom SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in biohazard cleanup.

Water backup coverage, also referred to as sewer backup or sump pump failure coverage, is one of the most overlooked coverages in an insurance policy. Most insureds assume it’s a typical coverage buried somewhere within their lengthy declaration page. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist in the average standard homeowners or renters insurance policy. Water backup coverage is a special endorsement that needs to be added to your policy to ensure coverage.

What causes water to back up into your property?

A drain, sewer, or gutter clog can cause water to back up into your property. Often the clog is caused by debris buildup or heavy rain. Water can also back up into a structure when a sump pump fails.

How much does water backup coverage cost?

A water damage event caused by a sewer system backing up or by a sump pump failure can cost thousands of dollars for mitigation and reconstruction. These types of water losses involve category 3 “black” water and require specialized protocols due to biological contaminants. Thankfully, water backup coverage is inexpensive, often costing as little as $50 per year.

Do you have water backup coverage?

When reviewing your insurance policy, special endorsements are usually found on the last few pages. You should ask your insurance agent to verify that you have water backup coverage. If you don’t have a water backup endorsement, then ask your agent to add it to your policy immediately.

How to prevent a water backup loss

  • Regularly inspect drains and gutters. Remove debris
  • Do not flush anything besides toilet paper down toilets
  • Do not overuse garbage disposals or pour grease down drains
  • Have a plumber inspect the plumbing system every year to find and address any issues promptly

What to do if you have a water backup loss 

When a water backup loss occurs at your home or business, you must act fast to mitigate damages. First, contact a local plumber to find the problem and stop the sources. Then, call our office to have a mitigation crew dispatched to your property. Our team is available 24/7/364 for emergency services.  

How Can Wallpaper Lead to Mold Growth?

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

wallpaper peeling off of wall exposing mold growth SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in mold remediation.

Decorative wallpaper is back in style. Interior designers and DIYers are using this popular 20th-century material to create accent walls or add texture to their spaces. Unfortunately, every restoration professional will warn you not to. Why?  In certain conditions, mold will begin to grow behind wallpaper and can go undetected until becoming a major problem.

Buildings need to breathe. Air and moisture pass through building envelopes, diffusing slowly to stabilize water vapor pressure differentials between the environment inside and outside of the property. For example, weep holes provide airflow through brick and other masonry walls.

Wallpaper is essentially a vapor barrier. When moisture is trapped behind wallpaper, mold may begin to grow on the drywall, insulation, and framing inside the wall cavity. This is especially common in hot, humid environments where condensation may occur due to hot air outside and cold air inside clashing.

As mold remediation professionals, our team has found growth hiding behind wallpaper many times. If you choose to decorate with wallpaper, then our best advice is to avoid areas prone to water damage or rooms with high humidity. Never hang wallpaper on exterior walls or in bathrooms. The safest bet is to only apply wallpaper to interior walls that do not have plumbing running through them.

Some common indicators of microbial growth lurking behind wallpaper are stains or discolored patches, wallpaper edges curling upward, and a musky, mildew odor. If you notice one of these issues in your home or business and suspect microbial growth, then contact our office to schedule a site inspection today. Our team will help identify any moisture issues and create a  remediation protocol if microbial growth is discovered.  

SERVPRO® Named #1 Cleaning and Restoration Franchise 19 Consecutive Years

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo - cleaning, restoration, and construction SERVPRO® ranks #1 in cleaning and restoration franchises for the 19th year in a row!

SERVPRO® was once again named the #1 cleaning and restoration franchise by Entrepreneur magazine’s 2022 Franchise 500. This marks nineteen consecutive years of winning the title. SERVPRO® ranked #8 in overall franchise opportunity as well. Our SERVPRO® family is honored to receive this recognition as it emphasizes our commitment to both the brand and our customers.

Did you know there are over 1,900 SERVPRO® franchises across the United States and Canada? We also have large loss disaster recovery teams strategically placed throughout the U.S. to ensure our professionals are faster to any size disaster. From catastrophic storm response to a small kitchen fire, we are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Choosing SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville as your cleaning, restoration, and construction vendor means choosing a locally owned and operated company that is available 24/7/365 with a network of unlimited national resources. Since 2009, we have proudly served homeowners and business owners in Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Madisonville, Folsom, and the surrounding cities. And now, we look forward to providing the same excellent customer service to Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, Picayune, and Kiln communities. Please call our office to learn more about our services or to schedule an inspection today.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Voted Best Emergency Restoration Company in West St. Tammany Parish By Edge of the Lake Magazine Readers

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville office and warehouse with green vehicles in front Thank you Edge of the Lake magazine readers for voting us the best Emergency Restoration services provider for the 3rd year in a row!

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville was voted best emergency restoration services provider in West St. Tammany Parish by Edge of the Lake magazine readers for the third year in a row! Each year, Edge of the Lake magazine hosts its Readers’ Choice awards to highlight the best businesses and professionals in East St. Tammany Parish, West St. Tammany Parish, and Washington Parish. Since 2018, Edge of the Lake magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards has grown in popularity and has added a variety of categories to celebrate local businesses and professionals. Fans can now vote for dozens of their favorite businesses and service providers such as best insurance agent, best tourist attraction, best new restaurant, and best artist.

The category “Emergency Services” in West St. Tammany Parish was first added in 2019 for the 2020 awards and SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has won every year thus far. We thank our community for your support. Our team is honored by this recognition. We are committed to being your trusted emergency services provider for all your restoration and remediation needs. For those who may not know, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville offers an array of services other than water and fire damage cleanup and restoration. We also provide the following services for residential and commercial properties: mold remediation, biohazard cleanup, proactive and reactive COVID-19 cleaning, rebuild, carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning, and more! To learn more about our emergency services or to schedule an inspection, please call our office – 985-871-5375.

Common Causes of Wintertime Home Fires and How to Prevent Them

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

white chimney with fire damage SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in cleaning and restoring fire-damaged contents and structures.

Home fires during the wintertime are often caused by homeowners attempting to heat their homes. Space heaters and chimneys are usually the sources of these accidents. Follow our fire safety tips below to carefully warm your home and avoid starting a fire this winter.

Fire Safety Tips for Space Heaters

  • Only plug space heaters directly into wall outlets. Do not plug into surge protectors or power strips
  • Turn space heaters off at night and when you are not home
  • Keep space heaters three feet from flammable items like curtains or decorations
  • Unplug space heaters when not in use

Fire Safety Tips for Chimneys

  • Inspect chimneys once a year, either by yourself or hire a professional. Have the chimney cleaned and repaired when necessary
  • Make sure the damper or flue is open before starting a fire
  • Inspect chimney for debris, nests, or obstructions each time before starting a fire
  • Use dry and well-aged wood to avoid soot buildup
  • Place flammable items like decorations at least three feet from the chimney

If a fire does occur, then only attempt to extinguish the fire yourself if it is in the early stages and has not started spreading. Once a fire begins to spread rapidly, it is safer to exit the home and call 911. Do not reenter the home until firefighters and emergency personnel tell you it is safe to do so.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville’s fire restoration team has the knowledge and experience to make a fire disaster “Like it never even happened.” From restoring fire-damaged contents to removing smoke odors, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is here to help 24/7/365.

5 Water Damage Prevention Tips for Freezing Temperatures

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

frozen water pipe burst SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is here to help 24/7/365. Please contact our office for water damage mitigation assistance. 985-871-5375

Freezing temperatures and winter storms increase the risks of property damage claims due to water damage events. Water damages during winter are often the result of frozen pipes bursting. Follow our tips below to protect your property this season. 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes: 

  1. Leave one faucet slowly dripping water 
  2. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to promote warm airflow around exposed pipes 
  3. Keep your home thermostat set to at least 65 degrees both day and night, even when unoccupied 
  4. Cover pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulations and secure them with tape
  5. Remove garden hoses from outside faucets and wrap pipes

If your pipes do freeze and burst, first locate your main water shut-off valve immediately to turn off the water supply. Then, contact a plumber to locate and fix the broken pipe. Next, call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville for professional water damage mitigation. Our water damage production team will extract all loose water and dry the remaining materials to prevent secondary damages. From Covington, Louisiana to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, our team is here to help 24/7/365. 

3 Common Water Damage Causes and How to Prevent Them in Your Home

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

bedroom ceiling collapsed after water leak SERVPRO is the #1 choice in fire and water cleanup and restoration.

Water damage is the second most common reason why homeowners file an insurance claim, preceded only by fire and lightning disasters. According to Insurance Information Institute, about one in every fifty insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year. Chances are high that either you or one of your family or friends will one day experience a water damage event at home.

Since 2009, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has provided water mitigation services for thousands of homes and businesses throughout the Northshore and Greater New Orleans region. Our water production team has responded to water damages caused by almost every type of accident you can imagine, from burst water pipes because rats were chewing on them to a fire suppression system being triggered because it was simply too hot one summer day. But our typical water damage emergencies are caused by one of the following three reasons.

3 Most Common Causes for Water Damage Claims

1- Burst Water Pipe

Broken or cracked water supply lines are probably the most frequent culprits of water damage incidents our team encounters. To best prevent these accidents, routinely check exposed pipes under sinks and in attics for leaks and immediately make necessary repairs. Investing in a water leak monitoring and shut-off system will also help to quickly mitigate damages when a leak does occur. And make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut-off valve is located in case of an emergency.

2- Water Heater Malfunction or Explosion

Water damages caused by a broken water heater are usually significant losses since most water heaters are stored in attics. When a loss does occur, gallons of water spew from the attic down into living spaces below. Performing regular maintenance on your water heater will help deter a sudden incident. Also, inspect your water heater supply line about once a quarter for leaks. Replace supply lines when warranted.

3- Broken Appliances

The third often recurring cause for water damage claims is broken household appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines. More specifically, water supply lines to these appliances will sometimes leak or come loose altogether, resulting in water and or mold damages. Inspect the water supply lines to your dishwasher, refrigerator, and washing machine at least a couple of times a year. If your appliance seems to be overflowing or improperly working, then have it inspected and repaired as soon as possible.

When a water damage event does occur at your home, our team is here to help 24/7/365. Our water mitigation team is trained and IICRC certified to clean up water damages, dry your home back to preloss conditions, and prevent secondary damages like mold growth. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville services Abita Springs, Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Folsom, and Ramsey.

9 Home Fire Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

christmas tree on fire with presents under the tree According to NFPA, "between 2015-2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year."

Why are home fires more common during the holiday season? Every year we see an increase in home fires during the holiday season due to incidents caused by cooking accidents, dry Christmas trees, and decorations placed too close to heating sources. Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are the two most common days for home cooking fires, preceded by Thanksgiving Day. Also, according to NFPA, “Christmas is the peak day for candle fires with roughly 2.5 times the daily average.” These types of home fires are easily preventable though. Follow our winter holiday fire safety tips below to keep your family and home protected this year.

  1. Inspect indoor and outdoor holiday lights for frayed wires or broken bulbs. Discard cords with any issues.
  2. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended. Keep flammable items like decorations far away from the stove.
  3. Make sure to water your Christmas tree daily. A dry tree is a major fire danger.
  4. Test your smoke alarms before the holidays. Replace batteries if necessary.
  5. Keep candles far away from flammable items and blow them out when exiting a room. Flameless, battery-operated candles are a safe alternative.
  6. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned before starting your first fire of the season.
  7. Do not overload surge protectors. This could cause an electrical fire.
  8. Plug space heaters directly into the outlet. Do not connect space heaters to surge protectors.
  9. Keep one fire extinguisher near the kitchen and one close by the living room to quickly suppress a fire if necessary.

We wish everyone a safe holiday season. Please share our fire safety tips with your friends and family.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration. Our professional fire restoration team is here to help make any size disaster “Like it never even happened,” 24/7/365. For assistance, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

We've Expanded Along the Gulf Coast

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

graphic of outlines Louisiana and Mississippi with stars for Covington and Bay St. Louis SERVPRO franchises SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, est. 2009 SERVPRO of Bay St. Louis/Diamondhead, acquired 2021

Stuart Andrus, Coty Reeves, and Kenny Fourroux are the new owners of SERVPRO of Bay St. Louis/Diamondhead. With this acquisition, our professionals will be faster to any size disaster from Covington, Louisiana to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. We're enthusiastic to bring our one-stop-shop restoration solution to Mississippi. 

Kenny and Coty previously were project managers for our reconstruction company Complete Restoration Services. Combined, they have over a decade of experience in the construction industry, focusing primarily on post-mitigation rebuild projects. Their knowledge and niche expertise will support seamless restoration services for both residential and commercial clients. 

SERVPRO of Bay St. Louis/Diamondhead provides the same services as SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville including, but not limited to fire and water damage restoration, mold remediation, storm damage mitigation, and reconstruction. SERVPRO of Bay St. Louis/Diamondhead also provides emergency services 24/7/365.

We look forward to being a part of the Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, and Kiln communities. Please contact our office with any questions or to schedule a service. Our number is 228-467-4450. 

Hurricane Ida Recovery: Commercial Project Spotlight

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

office foyer with debris from flood on flooring SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville provides flood damage cleanup services following Hurricane Ida.

On August 29th, 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, causing significant damages throughout the state. The most severely affected areas were our coastal communities including Houma, LaPlace, Lockport, Grand Isle, and New Orleans. Dozens of SERVPRO franchises and large loss disaster recovery teams rushed in from all over the country to lend a hand in helping Louisiana homeowners and business owners recover.

While our team focused primarily on storm damage recovery throughout the Northshore, we did complete storm damage mitigation projects on the Southshore as well. One of our commercial clients in LaPlace incurred flood water and debris throughout their 4,000 square foot office. Upon notice of loss, our team quickly responded to begin mitigation. Our storm mitigation team removed all affected drywall, carpet flooring, and insulation. We applied an antimicrobial agent to the remaining structure and utilized professional drying and dehumidification equipment to prevent future damages while running air scrubbers to filter the air. The mitigation process was complete in one week. Our customer was thrilled we were able to get them ready for rebuild faster than any other business on their block!

2022 Edge of the Lake Readers' Choice Awards

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

photo of SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville crew with awards graphics for edge of the lake magazine We were awarded Emergency Restoration service provider in 2020 and 2021.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville needs your vote! 


Every year, Edge of the Lake magazine uses its Readers' Choice Awards to showcase local businesses in West St. Tammany Parish, East St. Tammany Parish, and Washington Parish.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has won best "Emergency Restoration" service provider in West St. Tammany Parish each year since the category was added in 2019. Our locally owned and operated small business would like to thank you for your support over the years.

We now ask you to help us win the award again this year! 

To vote SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville as best Emergency Restoration service provider:

  • Visit Edgeofthelake.com
  • Click on Readers' Choice Survey St. Tammany West 
  • Scroll to Services/Emergency Restoration
  • Enter "SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville"

Voting will end on November 30th. The winners will be recognized in the February/March issue in 2022.  

Water Damage Mitigation Basics: Understanding Class of Water

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

When a water damage event occurs at your home or business, our mitigation professionals begin the restoration process by inspecting and assessing the extent of damages. Which materials must be removed and replaced and how long the drying process will take depend upon the category and class of water intrusion. Category of water denotes the level of contaminants in the water. Class of water references the size of the affected area and is used to determine how much drying equipment will need to be utilized.  

Class 1 Water Intrusion 

Class one signifies the least amount of water absorption. In this case, the affected wet, porous materials only account for less than five percent of the total floor, wall, and ceiling surface area. Also, the affected materials are considered low evaporation materials. The drying process could take three days or less. 

Examples of Class 1 water intrusions include:

  • When there is little to no wet carpet or carpet pad
  • A concrete floor that has absorbed small amounts of water
  • Low porosity materials like plywood, framing, and concrete have been affected

Class 2 Water Intrusion

Class two is defined by a significant amount of water absorption and a significant rate of evaporation. A class two water loss is one in which five percent to forty percent of the combined floor, wall, and ceiling surface area is affected. The drying process could take three or four days.

Examples of Class 2 water intrusions include:

  • When 5% - 40% of carpet, carpet pad, and drywall are saturated
  • When water has wicked up the wall less than 24 inches
  • When a bathroom sink overflows but is stopped before affecting other rooms 

Class 3 Water Intrusion

Class three is the greatest amount of water absorption by materials. The wet, porous materials total more than forty percent of the combined floor, wall, and ceiling surface area. The drying process could take three to five days. 

Examples of Class 3 water intrusions include:

  • When entire carpeted rooms have been affected
  • When water has wicked up drywall more than 24 inches high 

Class 4 Water Intrusion 

Class four refers to deeply bound or held water that causes significant damages. Materials present in a class 4 loss have very low porosity or multiple layers. The drying process could take five days or longer. 

Examples of Class 4 water intrusions include:

  • Saturated plaster walls 
  • Drenched hardwood flooring with another layer of flooring underneath, on top of the subfloor
  • Deeply saturated stone or brick

At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, our water damage restoration technicians receive certifications for applied structural drying from IICRC, a non-profit restoration industry organization. Our certified, experienced crew is available 24/7/365 for all water damage emergencies. For assistance, please dial 985-871-5375. 

Stay Weather Aware: Hurricane Watch vs. Hurricane Warning

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

The Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and ends in November. Each hurricane season, homeowners are reminded about safety tips and preparedness planning strategies to help protect their properties and families. Understanding when to complete certain preparedness tasks depends on if a storm has formed and on the specific advisories that can be issued.

What to do before a storm has formed

At the beginning of each hurricane season, the following tasks should be checked off your list to prepare for a hurricane.  

  • Build or restock your emergency kit. Make sure there is enough food and water to sustain each household member for up to three days. Your emergency kits should also have items such as flashlights, a radio, and a power bank to recharge cell phones.  
  • Review evacuation plan with household
  • Discuss a couple of evacuation options, one east and one west of possible affected areas. Be conscious of special needs your family may have like hotels that are pet friendly.
  • Sign up for local weather alerts
  • Visit local and state government emergency preparedness websites, as well as weather.gov to stay aware of threats and resources.

What to do when a hurricane watch has been issued

A hurricane watch is issued when a tropical cyclone with speeds of 74 mph may pose a threat to the area within the next 48 hours.

  • Monitor NOAA, local, and state weather alerts via radio stations, local news stations, and official social media pages.
  • Prepare your home and property. Move outdoor furniture inside, trim loose branches, and test your generator.
  • Fill up your vehicle’s gas tank and a couple of extra gas cans if you will use a generator.
  • Withdraw cash from your emergency savings account in case banks are not open after the storm or if stores can only accept cash.
  • Gather important documents such as social security cards, insurance documents, lease or mortgage contracts, prescriptions in case you need to evacuate.

What to do when a hurricane warning has been issued

A hurricane watch is issued when a tropical cyclone has sustained winds of 74 mph or higher and is expected to make landfall within the next 36 hours.

  • Evacuate immediately if authorities have instructed your area to do so.
  • Stay inside if you have decided to stay.
  • Have your emergency kit and alternative lighting sources such as candles or flashlights handy.
  • Keep a radio or news station on to listen to updates.

What to do after a hurricane has passed

  • Obey local authorities’ directives such as staying off the roads unless you are essential to emergency or cleanup efforts. Emergency personnel must assess current road conditions are safe to travel on first. If you have evacuated, do not return until told to do so. 
  • Be mindful while assessing damages around your home. Look out for down power lines and dangerous materials like broken glass.
  • Check on nearby neighbors and family to make sure they are okay.

 SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in storm damage cleanup and restoration. If your home or business has been damaged by a storm, please contact our office for assistance. Please dial 985-871-5375 to reach us 24/7/365.

Hurricane Ida Recovery Update

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

four foot flood cut in home with fans and dehumidifiers SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville helps homeowners and business owners recover following Hurricane Ida.

Hurricane Ida first made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on August 29th, 2021. As a Category 4 Hurricane, Hurricane Ida caused damages throughout most of Southeast Louisiana. From northern parishes such as St. Tammany Parish and Tangipahoa Parish to lower-lying parishes like St. Charles Parish and Terrebonne Parish, many residents and business owners have a long recovery road ahead of them.

As of September 21st, some areas are still without power and the internet. We would like to say thank you to everyone who is working tirelessly to help us recover. We want to specifically thank all linemen, government officials, police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel, non-profits, and business owners who have stepped up to serve our community. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has been working diligently to help restore homes and businesses damaged by Hurricane Ida. Three weeks after the storm, our list of customers in need is still long. Please know we are doing our best to help everyone we can as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience during this difficult time. Please reach out to our office if you are still in need of mitigation or mold remediation services. Our office number is 985-871-5375. 

Hurricane Ida Storm Recovery Resources and Updates:

- FEMA

St. Tammany Parish Government Updates

- New Orleans Hurricane Ida Relief Resources

United Way Southeast Louisiana

Red Cross Louisiana Hurricane Ida Relief

- Operation Blue Roof

- Nola Ready Updates

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Becomes an Elite Sponsor of LASHFM

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

Professional organizations are a great way to stay up to date on industry news, network, and collaborate with trusted, accredited industry partners. For over a decade, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has maintained membership in numerous professional organizations including Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana (New Orleans and Northshore Chapters), Louisiana Claims Association (New Orleans and Northshore Chapter), St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, and Covington Business Association.

This month, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville joined the Louisiana Society for Healthcare Facilities Management (LASHFM). LASHFM brings together healthcare management professionals and industry partners to exchange ideas on the latest healthcare issues. As an emergency restoration vendor for commercial properties like healthcare facilities, we chose to sponsor this organization to assist their mission. 

The upcoming meeting will be held in Lafayette on August 26th. Contact our marketing manager Kayla Theriot if you are interested in attending a meeting or joining LASHFM.  

2021 National Preparedness Month

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

graphic for national preparedness month National Preparedness Month 2021

Every September we observe National Preparedness Month, intent on raising awareness about the significance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. The theme for 2021 is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” A specific theme is designated for each week and relevant tips are provided. Take time to work through each week's tips. Review the resources with every member of your household to best prepare for an emergency. 

Week 1- Make a Plan

Week 2- Build a Kit

Week 3- Low-cost, No-cost Preparedness

Week 4 – Teach Youth About Preparedness

3 Tips to Prevent Your Water Heater From Leaking or Exploding

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

white ceiling crashing down from water damage and exposing attic Performing regular maintenance on your water heater will help prevent water damages in your home.

Can you imagine 40 or 50 gallons of water gushing out of your water heater? Water heater leaks and explosions are two of the most common culprits responsible for water damages in homes. And where are water heaters usually located? That’s right. In the South, especially in Louisiana, water heaters are stored in attics. Storing your water heater out of sight in an attic is convenient. However, this positioning in your home often leads to a major disaster when the water heater leaks or explodes.

So, how do you avoid your water heater causing water damage in your home? Regular maintenance on your water heater can help extend its lifespan and avoid malfunctioning. Follow the three tips below to keep your water heater working properly. Be careful while attempting any maintenance on your water heater though. Contact a local plumber for assistance if you are unsure how to perform these tips or if you need help.

Tip 1 - Test the Temperature & Pressure-Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve (TPV) works to prevent an explosion by releasing pressure. If your valve is leaking or releases too often, you may have a problem. The best practice is to test your TPV twice a year. To do so, place a bucket below the discharge pipe on your water heater and gently lift the lever. Replace the valve if water does not release when you lift the lever. If water leaks after the test, move the lever up and down a few times to shake away debris that may be an issue. If the leaking continues, try lowering the temperature and/or pressure.

Tip 2 - Inspect the Anode Rod

If your water begins to smell or seems discolored, it may be time to change the anode rod. The anode rod is designed to corrode instead of deteriorating the lining inside the water heater. Because of this breakdown, anode rods should be replaced every few years.

Tip 3 - Drain the Tank and Rinse Out Sediment

If you hear gurgling, knocking, or popping sounds coming from your water heater, then you may have a buildup of sediment. Sediment buildup can lead to a malfunction and reduce efficiency. About once every few months, drain the tank to avoid sediment buildup. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to properly drain your water heater’s tank. Be careful because the water will be extremely hot.

Our water damage restoration team is here to help 24/7/365 if your water heater does leak or explode. When this happens, you must first turn off the water supply valve to stop the flow of water. Locate the cold-water supply valve and turn it off. Contact a local plumber if you are unable to do so. Then, call our office to have an emergency response team dispatched for water extraction and drying.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher: the PASS Method

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

fire extinguisher on wall with orange SERVPRO sign When using a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS - Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 353,100 home structure fires per year from 2014 to 2018 according to the National Fire Protection Association’s Home Structure Fires report from November 2020. Most of which were caused by cooking, heating equipment, and electrical or lighting issues. Being wholly prepared for a home fire means creating and practicing your fire escape plan, knowing fire safety tips to prevent a fire, and understanding how and when you should use a fire extinguisher to suppress the flames.

The PASS acronym was created to simplify how to safely use a fire extinguisher.

PASS – Pull, Aim, Squeeze & Sweep

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 other hand.

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

Only utilize a fire extinguisher on a small fire. Never attempt to suppress a massive fire. If the fire seems too big for a fire extinguisher to suppress, then quickly get outside and call your local fire department for help.

Every home should have fire extinguishers in kitchens, in workspaces or garages, and at least one for each level. Be sure to read the fire extinguisher label to know which class of fire it is meant to put out. And according to firefighterinsiders.com, “you can use a fire extinguisher more than once, as long as it is not damaged or expired, but it must be recharged between uses. It is important to check the label of the fire extinguisher, so you know if the one you have is reusable or not”.

After the fire is extinguished, our team is here to help with cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville’s fire restoration team has the experience and knowledge to make fire damage not only look “Like it never even happened,” but smell like it too. Contact our office for more information about our fire restoration process.

Your Water-Resistant Vinyl Floors are not Waterproof in the Event of a Water Loss

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

gray vinyl flooring half removed in room with two green air movers Affected vinyl plank flooring must be removed after a water damage event to ensure proper drying.

Vinyl plank flooring has become a popular choice for renovations and new construction. Both homeowners and business owners are opting for this low-cost flooring material for a few reasons. Vinyl plank flooring is easy to install, looks fresh and modern, and is easy to clean. Vinyl plank flooring is also advertised to be water-resistant. While vinyl plank flooring does resist water damages like warping, cracking, or peeling, this type of flooring presents other challenges when a water damage event occurs.

Common water damage events are caused by sources such as a broken water heater, an overflowing washing machine, or a burst water supply pipe. Despite the cause or size of the disaster, the water damage mitigation process is always the same. Our professional water mitigation team inspects and assesses damages, extracts the loose water, utilizes air movers and dehumidifiers to dry affected materials, and cleans remaining materials. Vinyl plank flooring interrupts this process, adding more required demolition to the scope of work.

Our team must inspect all potentially affected areas during the initial inspection to determine where the water has traveled and where it may be hiding. If not addressed, the water you can’t see can lead to future secondary damages such as mold growth. Water may not penetrate through the vinyl plank flooring, but it will almost always migrate under the flooring by way of the edges of the room. Water trapped behind baseboards will flow under the flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring acts as a vapor barrier, trapping the water beneath. This presents two issues. One, our mitigation team cannot extract water hiding underneath the flooring. The hidden water will not vaporize through the flooring to be extracted via dehumidification either. And two, the subfloor will not be able to dry properly with this vapor barrier holding moisture. Both issues can lead to future microbial growth problems. Therefore, all affected vinyl plank flooring must be removed after a water damage event to ensure proper drying. Luckily, some vinyl plank flooring is easy to reinstall once mitigation is complete. This depends upon the initial installation method though.

Our team is here to help if your home or business has incurred water damages. We have emergency restoration professionals ready to respond 24/7/365. Please contact our office if you need assistance.

Insurance Continuing Education Class- Cleaning and Restoring Smoke-Damaged Contents

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

adults sitting in a classroom listening to a man in a suit SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville offers quarterly continuing education classes for local insurance professionals.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is pleased to invite all local insurance agents and adjusters to our upcoming continuing education class - Cleaning and Restoring Smoke-Damaged Contents.

This class explains the different tools used by restoration professionals to clean contents damaged by fire and soot. Insurance professionals can also expect to learn about the various methods and products we utilize for restoration. 

This two-hour class will be held at our office located at 68424 James Street in Mandeville on August 26th. Registration will begin at 8:00 am. The class will start at 8:30 am and end promptly at 10:30 am.

We will provide coffee and a light breakfast for all attendees. Please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com to learn more and to register. 

What's Inside a Fire Extinguisher?

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

In the United States, fires are characterized by five classifications, Classes A, B, C, D, and K. Fire extinguishers are rated based upon the specific fires they are meant to suppress. This is important to note when purchasing a fire extinguisher for your home or business. Which type of fire is most likely to occur at your property? Read the fire class classifications below to determine which fire extinguisher would be helpful in each specific situation. 

Class A Fires

  • Involve common combustibles such as wood, paper, and cloth
  • Should be extinguished with a dry chemical fire extinguisher or a Halotron extinguisher

Class B Fires

  • Involve flammable liquid fuels such as oils, grease, gasoline, alcohols, and paint thinner
  • Should be extinguished with a dry chemical fire extinguisher
  • Do not use water to extinguish this type of fire

Class C Fires

  • Electrical fires
  • Should be extinguished with a dry chemical fire extinguisher
  • Do not use water to extinguish this type of fire

Home fires are commonly Class A, B, or C.

Class A, B, and C dry chemical fire extinguishers are usually filled with either mono ammonium phosphate ( yellow powder) or sodium bicarbonate (white powder). Mono ammonium is corrosive and should be properly cleaned up as soon as possible. Sodium bicarbonate is nontoxic and noncorrosive.

Class D Fires

  • Involve combustible metals like magnesium
  • Mostly occur in manufacturing and industrial facilities   
  • Class D fire extinguishers contain powdered metal such as copper, sodium chloride, sand, graphite, or sodium carbonate           

Class K Fires

  • Cooking fires due to cooking oils or grease
  • Should be extinguished with a wet chemicals fire extinguisher 
  • Mostly occur in commercial kitchens
  • Do not use water to extinguish this type of fire
  • Class K wet chemical fire extinguishers contain a potassium acetate-based agent which suppresses the fire with soapy foam. 

Please read the color-coded label on your fire extinguisher prior to use and always air out a room after using a fire extinguisher. Consult the Safety Data Sheet(SDS) before attempting cleanup. The cleaning method varies for each type of fire extinguisher chemical. Depending on the type of fire extinguisher used and the amount of residue, you may want to leave the cleanup to our experienced fire restoration professionals. While dry chemical fire extinguishers are nontoxic, inhalation of mono ammonium phosphate or sodium bicarbonate can cause health effects. To learn more about fire extinguisher safety visit https://www.poison.org/articles/fire-extinguisher-safety-184.

Please contact our office if you need assistance with fire damage restoration or cleaning up after using a fire extinguisher. 

2021 Flood Insurance Update- FEMA Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

guy on standing water extractor extracting water from carpet in office space with other guy walking by SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is a leader in flood damage restoration.

Have you heard about the NFIP's new flood insurance risk rating change? For the past few decades, flood insurance rates were mostly determined by a property’s elevation within a zone on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Utilizing decades of flood data and cutting-edge technology, FEMA Risk Rating 2.0 will now incorporate numerous factors to provide more equitable rates that better reflect a property’s flood risk. The new rating methodology will take into account a wide variety of variables like flood frequency, type of flooding, distance to water, and cost to rebuild.

FEMA’s Risk Rating 2.0 will be implemented in two phases.

Phase 1

New policies beginning on October 1, 2021, will be subject to the new rating methodology. Also, beginning October 2, existing policyholders eligible for renewal will be able to take advantage of the immediate decrease in their premiums.

Phase 2

All remaining policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022, will be subject to the new rating methodology.

According to FEMA, “under the new pricing system, 96% of current policyholders will see either an immediate decrease or an increase of $20 or less per month increase in their premiums”.

Contact your local insurance agent now to learn more about Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action and to purchase flood insurance. Remember, every property in St. Tammany Parish is technically located in a flood zone, every zone is simply either low risk, moderate risk, or high-risk area.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in flood damage cleanup. If your home or business has been affected by flooding or storm damage, contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375. We are available 24/7/365 for emergency services. 

Preparing for Hurricane Season - What is a storm deductible?

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

house with blue tarp on roof and part of roof crumbling into yard SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's emergency response team cleans up and restores properties damaged by storms.

Preparing for hurricane season includes understanding your property and casualty insurance policy benefits and storm deductibles. In Louisiana, insurance policies designate three different deductibles related to wind damage: hurricane, named storm, and windstorm and hail.

 A hurricane deductible is triggered when the National Hurricane Center reports a tropical storm has reached hurricane strength, 74mph. Named storm deductibles are activated when a tropical storm reaches winds of 34 mph. Windstorm and hail deductibles can be required for damages caused by any kind of storm, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, or other storms.

Policyholders must pay the required deductible before their insurance carrier will cover the expense of the claim. Storm deductibles are generally more costly than typical homeowner or business owner policy deductibles though. Storm deductibles are expressed as a percentage of the value of the home, usually a value between one percent and five percent. However, storm deductibles for coastal homes may be even higher.

We advise speaking with your insurance agent before you need to file an insurance claim, especially a storm-related claim. Ask your agent what your storm deductibles are. Prepare to have that amount saved.  Also, please keep in mind building material costs are substantially higher than normal this year. Ask your insurance agent if your policy will cover actual cash value or replacement cost. Replacement costs may be most beneficial in today’s market.

Our team is here to help if your home or business incurs storm damages. We work with all major insurance companies and are we are available 24/7 for emergency services. Please contact our office with any questions regarding storm cleanup or to schedule a service.

3 Reasons to Choose a Fire & Water Restoration Company vs. a General Contractor to Clean Your Fire Damaged Property

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Have you recently had a fire at your home or business? The cleaning and restoration process can feel overwhelming. So can understanding the claims process. Choosing a professional restoration company will help alleviate some of your stress and clarify the process for three significant reasons.  

 We Are Uniquely Experienced

Only after years of cleaning and restoring fire-damaged properties will someone understand the tedious, complex nature of the work. Often, the fire itself does cause most of the damages. After the fire is extinguished, smoke and soot particles travel throughout the property, affecting multiple areas untouched by the flames. The water used to suppress the fire adds another layer of concern too. The wet materials must be assessed and either properly dried or removed. The nature of the fire will also determine which materials can be salvaged and which materials need to be removed. Lastly, the source of the fire plays a major role in the cleaning process.  For example, the method for cleaning after protein or grease fires is more labor-intensive than the method for restoring a property after an electrical fire. Our fire restoration team understands how to navigate all these peculiar challenges.

We Utilize Professional Restoration Equipment

As explained above, the fire restoration process includes much more than simply removing fire-damaged materials. The remaining structure must be properly cleaned, dried, and deodorized. Our fire restoration team has an arsenal of SERVPRO proprietary cleaning products to effectively clean any type of fire. To dry the property, we employ our professional moisture detection tools, fans, and dehumidifiers. Most importantly, and sometimes overlooked by general contractors, our fire restoration team understands how to remove the fire and smoke smell from a damaged home or business. Our fire restoration technicians will clean and possibly seal the air ducts, seal the remaining structure after it is cleaned, and thermal fog with a deodorizing product. After our team has completed a fire restoration project, the property should not only look “Like it never even happened,” but also smell like it too.

We Understand the Claims Process

One of the most difficult aspects of handling the aftermath of a fire is often navigating the insurance claims process. Insureds usually have little or no experience managing an insurance claim. Because most of our customers decide to file an insurance claim, our team members are experts at communicating with insurance companies, insurance agents and adjusters, and third-party administrative claims management companies. We advocate for our insureds when necessary to ensure their property is best restored to preloss condition. Our project managers are known for being patient and thoroughly explaining the claims process.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is proud to be a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration. Please reach out to our office with any questions about our fire restoration services. We’re always happy to help 24/7/365.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Predicts Above-Average Atlantic Hurricane Season for 2021

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

chart of NOAA hurricane statistic updates NOAA's Climate Prediction Center now considers an average Atlantic hurricane season to have 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially started on June 1st. Again this year, experts at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) predict an above-average season. The NOAA's CPC will now use data from 1991-2020 to determine hurricane season averages. The previous averages were based upon data from 1981-2010. NOAA's CPC now considers an average Atlantic hurricane season to include 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes. The average for major hurricanes remains unchanged at 3. 

At this time, we urge every homeowner and business owner to review their hurricane preparedness plan. Know your evacuation route. Inspect your emergency kits and restock them if necessary. Review your plan with your household or employees. Call your insurance agent to review your policy and make necessary changes. Please keep in mind material prices have dramatically increased. Replacement costs may be higher than your current policy accounts for. 

For local business owners, we offer complimentary emergency planning services specific to your property to help mitigate disasters and prepare employees. Each disaster plan includes a 3D Matterport scan of the property for preloss documentation. Please contact me for more details about this no-cost service.

Our storm response team is prepared to help our community in the unfortunate event of a disaster. With unlimited resources through our national partners, no job is too big for SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. Our emergency restoration team is here to help 24/7/365.

Cleaning and Disinfecting with SERVPROXIDE

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

white gallon of cleaning product with green stickers next to it SERVPROXIDE is a safe and effective cleaning and disinfecting agent.

As a leader in the restoration industry, we employ various professional chemicals to effectively clean and restore properties. One of our most utilized products is SERVPROXIDE. SERVPROXIDE is a hospital-grade non-bleach surface disinfectant safe for commercial and residential properties. SERVPROXIDE kills harmful bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew on both hard and soft surfaces including air ducts. It is an EPA-registered product (82972-1-93012) and NSF-listed (156316). SERVPROXIDE boasts the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating, does not require PPE for general purpose use, and is safe for everyday use. Our cleaning professionals easily apply SERVPROXIDE by using a spray bottle or an electrostatic sprayer.  SERVPROXIDE is safe for use around food, children, and pets. It is also a 100% biodegradable surfactant. A couple of the common projects we use SERVPROXIDE on are mold remediation and COVID-19 disinfecting. Please contact our office if you would like to know more about the professional cleaning and disinfecting products we use or to schedule a service.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Offers a Variety of Commercial Cleaning Services

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

woman spraying around ellipticals in gym SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville manager cleaning and disinfecting local gym in Covington, Louisiana.

While SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is most notably known for our emergency services, our cleaning and production technicians are happy to help keep your commercial property clean year-round. We are able to offer more unique services than the typical janitorial company because of the complex and tedious nature of our water and fire damage projects. We utilize the most sophisticated professional cleaning equipment to optimize effectiveness and efficiency. From water and fire damage to dirty air ducts, our team can make any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened."

The following are some of the commercial cleaning services we offer every day:

  • Air duct cleaning
  • Mold remediation
  • Carpet and tile cleaning
  • Deep cleaning and disinfecting
  • Deodorization 
  • Biohazard cleanup 
  • Vandalism cleanup 
  • Post-construction cleaning 

Please contact our office to request an estimate. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Hosts SOS Blood Drive

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

logo for northshore food bank sos blood drive "Stock Our Shelves" Blood Drive and Food Drive for the Northshore Food Bank -

Once a year, we host a mobile blood drive at our office located at 68424 James Street in Mandeville to boost donations for The Blood Center. This year, our blood drive will be an SOS drive to raise donations for both the Blood Center and the Northshore Food Bank. Each donor is encouraged to bring three items to help "Stock Our Shelves" at the Northshore Food Bank before the trying summer months increase demand. 

The Northshore Food Bank is currently in dire need of the following items: dry beans, corn muffin mix (Jiffy), canned tuna, canned fruit, and canned okra.  The Northshore Food Bank is also asking for donations of toilet paper to assist families as well. We will have a large orange bin for the donations at our office. Help us fill the bin! 

We will also have community leaders present to talk about emergency preparedness and fire safety practices. Clarence Powe from St. Tammany Parish Government's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will be present from 9:40 am until 11:00 am to discuss hurricane preparedness. Jeremy Windom from Mandeville Fire Department will be present as well to discuss fire safety tips. 

Date: May 21st

Location: SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville

68424 James Street, Mandeville, LA 70471

Time: 9:30 am - 2:30 pm 

Please click here to register. 

Cleaning and Restoring Fire-Damaged Contents

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

silver cleaning ultrasonic machine with orange servpro logo on it SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville utilizes an ultrasonic cleaning machine to restore fire and soot damaged contents.

Having a fire in your home is a devastating event. Not only is the structure of your home affected, but your contents may be significantly damaged by fire, soot, or water as well. At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, our fire restoration professionals are extensively trained in various cleaning techniques to save your belongings. We utilize our proprietary cleaning solutions made by SERVPRO chemists and specialized equipment such as the ultrasonic machine pictured here.

This ultrasonic machine employs microscopic bubbles created through cavitation (the formation of bubbles in water) to create vacuum energy in the form of heat and pressure. This process allows the water and cleaning chemicals to reach into the most elusive inner workings of even delicate items.  Soot, dirt, and other contaminants are quickly and gently removed. With this machine, we can safely restore a wide range of contents including collectible items, antiques, window blinds, stuffed animals, and toys.

Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

sound the alarm. save a life logo with smoke alarm Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

Home fires claim seven lives every day, but we can change that. The American Red Cross’s springtime Sound the Alarm campaign runs from April 8th until May 8th this year. Sound the Alarm’s purpose is to educate families about the alarming frequency of home fires and to teach two life-saving tips.

Tip 1: Practice a 2-Minute Fire Drill

  • Use this home escape plan worksheet to draw a map of your home and plan your escape routes.
  • Each family member should know two exits in each room.
  • Practice your 2-minute drill – escape from your home and meet at a safe place

Tip 2: Test Smoke Alarms Monthly

  • Press the alarm button on each of your smoke alarms to test if they are working properly.
  • If the alarm doesn’t sound, then replace the batteries and test again.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are not functioning properly.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are more than ten years old.

For more information about the Sound the Alarm campaign or to get involved, visit www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm

Insurance Continuing Education Class - Restoring Contaminated Buildings

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

people in classroom listening to teacher SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville teaches quarterly continuing education classes for local insurance professionals.

We invite all local insurance agents and adjusters to register for our upcoming continuing class. Please see the details below. Send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com to reserve your spot. 

Restoring Contaminated Buildings - Continuing Education

Date: May 21st 

Location: SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville 

68424 James Street, Mandeville, LA 70471

Registration time: 8:00 am

Class time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am 

Course hours: 2 Credit Hours

Cost: Free for all local insurance professionals 

Breakfast and coffee will be provided. 

Course description:

This course has been specifically designed to teach and explain the special procedures used by professionals in storms, large losses, and contaminated water events. Storm events may significantly impact the local area they strike, causing not only property damage but also chaos and confusion.  While the cleanup and restoration following a storm event can be a long, tedious effort, mitigation efforts must begin quickly to prevent storm-damaged properties from escalating to contaminated properties.  We will discuss how the response required in a storm event or large loss must meet the challenges and complexities of those situations while focusing on safety for everyone involved – the restorer, the workers, the property owner, and the adjuster. We will also discuss the differences in responding to a contaminated water event and the special procedures required.

How Common Are Fires in Apartment Complexes?

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Fires at apartment complexes occur more often than most people think. In 2020, three apartment complexes in Covington were caught on fire. While the reasons responsible differed, each fire destroyed multiple units. Two of the apartment complexes had to have the entire building demolished due to structural concerns. 

According to an article posted on apartmentguide.com, most apartment fires can be attributed to the following five causes-  cooking, space heaters, electrical malfunction, arson, and appliances malfunctioning.

Most of these are easily preventable by following these fire safety tips:

  • Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended 
  • Check twice to make sure the stove is turned off before leaving the kitchen
  • Store a fire extinguisher in or nearby the kitchen
  • Never plug a space heater into a power strip. Only plug them directly into outlets
  • Do not overload power strips 
  • Only smoke in designated smoking areas and properly dispose of cigarettes
  • Do not use appliances with frayed wires
  • Contact the office or maintenance team immediately if experiencing electrical issues

For more fire safety tips, please visit nfpa.org.  

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Wins Northshore's Best Emergency Restoration Service Provider

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

blue and yellow logo for Northshore's Best 2020 winner SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville wins best Restoration service provider in Sophisticated Woman's Magazine

Since 2006, Sophisticated Woman Magazine has asked readers to vote for Northshore’s best businesses in certain categories to support local community entrepreneurs and business owners. The categories include Restaurants, Arts & Entertainment, People, Shopping, Services, Sports & Leisure, and Nightlife. Each category is also broken down geographically to specify East St. Tammany Parish, West St. Tammany Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, and Washington Parish.

This year was the first year “Restoration” was added to the service category list. We are proud to announce that SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville was voted the best Restoration service provider in West St. Tammany Parish. We thank all our friends, customers, and local business owners who voted for us. We are proud to be a part of this community. Our mission is to be your trusted partner before, during, and after an emergency. From helping local business owners better prepare for storms to responding 24/7/365 to water damage claims, our team is happy to be here when you need us the most. Thank you for your support!

St. Tammany Parish Awarded Ten Million Dollars in Flood Risk Reduction Projects

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding due to heavy rain or hurricanes has become a more frequent problem for residents and business owners throughout St. Tammany Parish. In the past few years, pockets within the cities of Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Bedico, and Abita Springs have experienced unforeseen flooding. These areas were not particularly at risk ten or even five years ago.

On Friday, March 26th, St. Tammany Parish Government announced the Louisiana Watershed Initiative has awarded St. Tammany Parish ten million dollars in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation for nonstructural projects. The state’s Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Action Plan will focus on natural flood management, flood control, and critical infrastructure projects.

This news brings hope to many after the unusual flooding incidents that are becoming all too common.

To learn more about your property's risk factor visit https://floodfactor.com/

Hidden Water Damage Can Cause Mold Growth

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

corner of white wall with baseboard removed revealing mold growth Trapped water can cause mold to grow in as little as 48 hours

When a water damage event like a broken water pipe or an exploding water heater occurs, water will flow into many areas that are hard to see. You may think you have cleaned up all the loose water, but only a professional water mitigation team is trained to detect where water may be hiding. For example, water will usually flow underneath baseboards and wick up the drywall. This can cause serious mold growth issues because the water is trapped, and the drywall will not be able to dry properly. During our initial investigation process, our water damage restoration technicians will remove baseboards to extract water behind them and allow the materials to dry. As pictured above, water was hiding behind this baseboard. The trapped water allowed mold to grow in a very short period. In the right conditions, mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours. Thus, it is best to contact a professional restoration company when a water damage event occurs in your home or business. Our water damage restoration team here at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and is highly trained and experienced in detecting hidden water to prevent future damages. Also, our emergency response team is here to help 24/7. For more information about water damage cleanup, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

How to Prepare for the 2021 Hurricane Season

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

graphic map of southeast states with hurricane in gulf of mexico with text overlay how to prepare for hurricane season Start preparing now for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1st. Preparing for a storm well in advance will help protect your home and family. Now is the time to assess your risks, make your hurricane plan, and practice your plan with your family. Follow our tips below to get started.

Inspect Your Property for Existing Damages and Make Necessary Repairs

You should fully inspect your home twice a year, once before Hurricane Season and once before winter. Three main areas to check for weaknesses are your roof, caulking around windows, and whether your gutters are properly draining water away from your home. Make all necessary repairs before storm season begins.

Discover Your Flood Risk and Purchase Flood Insurance

Just one inch of floodwater can cost up to$25,000 in restoration costs. Visit www.floodfactor.com to discover the flood risk for your home, neighborhood, and city. Speak with your insurance agent about your options.

Make an Emergency Kit

Your home emergency kit should have enough food and water for 3 days per person, extra batteries, a cell phone charger, backup phone battery, blankets, extra clothes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and trash bags. 

Secure Important Documents

Make sure you have copies of important documents like your insurance policy, mortgage, car registration, birth certificates, and financial documents saved online. Keep original copies in your emergency kit and take them with you if you need to evacuate.   

Create an Emergency Plan     

Create an emergency plan with your household. Discuss your evacuation plans. Plan where and with whom your household would stay if you need to evacuate. 

If your home does incur hurricane or flood damages, then please do not enter until it is safe to do so. Floodwater is contaminated and can pose health risks. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in flood damage restoration. Our emergency water restoration team is here to help whether your home incurs one inch of floodwater or four feet of floodwater. Our team will remove all damaged structural materials contaminated by the floodwaters. We will clean the remaining structure and apply an anti-microbial agent to prevent further damages. Then, we will utilize our professional drying and dehumidification equipment to properly dry your home. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Celebrates International Women's Day by Recognizing Female Leadership Team

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

five women in SERVPRO shirts standing in front of office building SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Female Leadership Team

On International Women's Day, we recognize the ladies who lead at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. This group of smart, enterprising women collectively boasts over 4 0 Y E A R S of experience in the restoration industry! They work tirelessly to help our customers and support our company's mission each and every day. We are fortunate to have such a stellar team leading our crew. 

From left to right: 

Laura Zelek- Fire Restoration Project Manager

  • Joined our team in November of 2016
  • IICRC certified - fire damage restoration
  • IICRC certified - water damage restoration

Kayla Theriot- Marketing and Sales Manager

  • Joined our team in January of 2017
  • IICRC certified - water damage restoration 

Courtney Callihan- Administrative Manager

  • Joined our team in February of 2017
  • IICRC certified - water damage restoration

Stephanie Lachney- Office Manager 

  • Joined our team in March of 2011
  • IICRC certified - water damage restoration 
  • Biohazard and crime scene cleanup certified

Jami Hufker-Delvalle- Biohazard Cleaning/Mold Remediation Manager 

  • Joined our team in February of 2020
  • IICRC certified - water damage restoration
  • IICRC certified - mold remediation

Common Water Damages Caused by Commercial Fire Suppression Systems

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

flooded room in funeral home room  with carpet Fire Suppression System Malfunction Caused This Water Damage at a Covington Commercial Property

Most commercial and multi-family housing properties have a “wet pipe” fire suppression system. This type of system activates when a fire occurs or when extreme temperatures over 155 degrees heat sprinkler heads. Water is then released to quickly suppress the source. Each sprinkler head is individually activated on a needs basis to minimize water damages. However, just one sprinkler can release 8-24 gallons of water per minute. Our restoration team often encounters the following three water damage events caused by fire suppression systems.

Water Damages Caused by Fire Suppression

Often, the fire itself causes less damage than the water used to extinguish the fire. Residential fires are most often doused only by firefighter hoses. Fires at commercial properties are usually extinguished by both the fire suppression system and water utilized by firefighters. This can result in thousands of gallons of water inside the commercial building.

Water Damages Caused by Fire Sprinkler Malfunction

While this is a less common incident, our team has helped several commercial clients after their fire suppression systems accidentally initiated. For one example, a commercial property in Covington was newly built, but the fire suppression system was not calibrated for the correct heat resistance. On a particularly scorching hot summer day, the fire sprinkler system was accidentally activated and leaked thousands of gallons of water into over 4,400 square feet of the building.

Water Damages Caused by Frozen Fire Suppression System

Many commercial buildings in South Louisiana are not constructed to endure below freezing temperatures. Every couple of years, an awful winter storm will bring extremely low temperatures to our area. These dramatically low temperatures will cause water supply pipes and fire suppression systems to freeze. Sometimes the pipes will safely defrost in a day or two, but other times they will expand so much that they burst.

The above disasters can be mitigated by properly maintaining commercial fire suppression systems and knowing how to turn off the system when an incident does occur.

No matter the reason why a fire suppression system has caused water damages, our emergency restoration team is here to help 24/7/365. With our professional extraction equipment, our water damage restoration team will quickly extract all loose water. Then, we will utilize our drying and dehumidification equipment to return the property back to preloss condition. In a matter of days, our water damage restoration team can make any size disaster seem “Like it never even happened.”

Edge of the Lake Magazine Readers' Choice Award - Best Emergency Restoration Service Provider 2021

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

front door with edge of the lake readers' choice award stickers from 2020 and 2021 SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville wins Edge of the Lake Magazine's Readers' Choice award for Best Restoration Service Provider for 2nd year

You did it! For the second year in a row, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has won Edge of the Lake magazine's Readers' Choice award for Best Emergency Restoration service provider in West St. Tammany Parish. 2020 was a wild year for all of us and SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has remained open 24/7/365 to help our community when you needed us the most. From starting a new cleaning program, CERTIFIED: SERVPRO Cleaned, to responding to the everyday disaster like water and fire damage restoration, our crew worked non-stop to be your heroes. Thank you for choosing SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville! 

To learn more about our emergency restoration services or to schedule an appointment, call our office by dialing 985- 871- 5375. 

Storm Damage Restoration- SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Helps Gulf Shores, Alabama Residents Recover After Hurricane Sally

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

condos on beach with blue tarp covering roof damages SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Helps Gulf Shores, Alabama Condo Owners Restore Properties Following Hurricane Sally

Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, 2020, as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum winds of 105 mph. While residents throughout the entire Gulf Coast region were affected, the coastal area between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida suffered the most damages. For weeks, many residents and business owners in this area were without power and seeking relief assistance. Our storm damage restoration team was contacted by a group of Gulf Shores beachfront condominium owners about two weeks after the storm. On September 27th, our team packed up and headed to Gulf Shores where they lived and worked for the next month.

Our storm damage restoration team spent the first-weekend assessing damages in each of the thirty-eight condos, organizing logistics, and devising a game plan to make it “Like it never even happened.” Most of the condos incurred similar water and roof damages, but some were more significantly impacted, requiring substantial demo work. Our crew began work on the most disastrous condos first to prevent further issues and worked their way to the least affected units. Some condominiums required multiple rooms to be left with bare studs and subfloor. After removing all structural materials deemed unsalvageable including drywall, insulation, and flooring, our team utilized drying equipment to stabilize the environment and dry the remaining structure.

On October 27th, our team completed the project and headed home, just in time to beat the incoming Tropical Storm Zeta. The condo owners were extremely pleased with our team’s work and thankful for our accommodations during such a difficult time. And our team was honored to be their heroes. From leaking dishwashers to category 2 hurricanes, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is here to help make any size disaster seem “Like it never even happened.”

Home Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

12/3/2020 (Permalink)


Thankfully, we are now officially finished with hurricane season. However, this time of year is almost just as busy for the insurance claims industry. While holiday decorations brighten our spirits, they are often the culprit of many home fires. Frozen temperatures lead to bursting water pipes. And not preparing your home before leaving for a holiday vacation sometimes makes for an unpleasant return.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is here to help you before, during, and after a disaster occurs. Follow the home safety tips below to best prevent accidents and to be prepared in case one does happen. 

  1. Use flameless or fire-retardant decorations
  2. Blow out candles when exiting a room
  3. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended
  4. Check Christmas lights for frays or hazards 
  5. Water your Christmas tree frequently 
  6. Test the batteries in your smoke alarm each month and change the batteries if necessary 
  7. Clean leaves and debris from gutters and drain sprouts to ensure proper drainage
  8. Only plug space heaters into wall outlets. DO NOT plug space heaters into surge protectors 
  9. Turn your home's main water supply off and drain the lines when planning to vacation for more than a couple of days.  
  10. Clean the lint from your dryer hose
  11. Practice your home fire escape plan with your family

If a water or fire event does occur at your home, our emergency restoration team can be reached 24/7/365 by dialing 985-871-5375. For water damage mishaps, please locate the source of the loss first and shut it off. You may need to contact a local plumber for assistance. For responding to a home fire, please do not reenter your home until it is safe to do so. Our fire restoration team can help walk you through the claims process and make any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened."

For more home safety tips or to learn how to prepare your business for an emergency, send an email to Kayla@SERVPROofCovington.com

Is Your Business Ready?

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Row of green SERVPRO trucks Is Your Business Ready?

Is your Business Ready?

A disastrous event can be detrimental to your brand and can put your property and customers at risk. Disasters, emergencies, and crises can happen anywhere and at any time. Business owners need to prepare for the impact of all potential hazards including hurricanes, fires, floods, mold growth, and other perils.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a disaster happens depends on emergency planning done prior to the incident. According to the latest industry research, it is estimated that 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster. This is mostly due to improper emergency planning. Preparing and pre-planning will give you an ease of mind knowing when a disaster happens you and your team are properly prepared to mitigate damages.

Here at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we offer all local businesses our emergency planning services at no cost. Our disaster response experts work with business owners and risk managers to create detailed SERVPRO Emergency READY Profiles for each of their properties. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business you will be able to mitigate damages in a timely manner, saving you money when disasters happen. Timely mitigation minimizes the effect of damage, allowing your business to be restored sooner, lessening business interruption and loss of use.

Emergency READY Profile Advantages

No cost assessment of your facility

One benefit of creating a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is that it is of no-charge. When you request an ERP, one of our risk assessment experts will identify main utility shut-off valves for your building including the water, gas, and electrical shut-offs. They will also work with you to document all critical information needed after a disaster like emergency contact information, chain of command reporting, and nearby resources. Our time and disaster response expertise are complimentary for all local businesses because we believe in helping our community remain resilient throughout any size disaster.

Profile document that contains critical information needed in the event of an emergency.

By organizing all critical information into one Emergency READY Profile, you and your employees will know exactly who to call and how to respond most efficiently. Creating an ERP with one of our disaster response experts will take less than one hour to complete!

Saves time during initial damage assessment.

By working with SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville to manage your risk, you can rest assured knowing our team is only one call away should you need our services. Our team will be familiar with your property and your unique challenges in the event of a disaster, allowing us to respond quickly and address all of your concerns immediately.

Identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

The sooner mitigation work begins, the less likely secondary damages may occur, saving you time and money. When creating a profile with our team, you will decide a clear line of command for responding to emergencies. This will be shared with your team so that everyone understands how to appropriately alert others of an incident and to speed up the response efforts.

Contact SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville to get your Business Ready

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is well-versed in disaster recovery and mitigation. Our highly trained and knowledgeable team is always ready to make any loss seem “Like it never even happened.” 24/7/365. Call us today to schedule an appointment to create an Emergency Ready Profile for your business.  

Why SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is the First Choice for Water, Fire, Mold, and Storm Damage

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Kid sitting on top of father's shoulders SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is your trusted, local restoration service provider.

After an unexpected catastrophe, restoring a home or business to its pre-disaster condition can be a stressful, tedious task. If you have ever experienced water, fire, mold, or storm damage within your Covington or Mandeville home or business, you know how important it is to hire a knowledgeable, reliable restoration company.

No matter what type of unforeseen loss you have experienced, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has the expertise and equipment needed to return your home to its preloss condition “Like it never even happened.”

We know there are many choices when it comes to restoration, so why choose SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville? What differentiates our team from other restoration companies?

Locally Owned and Operated

We have proudly served our fellow Northshore neighbors and business owners since 2009. As a member of many local organizations, our team is engaged in this community and we are involved in many charitable events. 

Highly Trained Team

Our technicians undergo extensive training and learn the best practices for mitigation as taught through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This organization is considered the highest standard of quality in the restoration sciences industry.

Unlimited Resources

With over 1,800 franchises in the U.S and Canada, SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry. With so many franchises, no size disaster is too big for us to handle. This means that when disaster strikes not only is the SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville team there, but we have resources within our network of franchises to get any job done. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to bring in more mitigation technicians, materials, and equipment.

Fast 24-Hour Service

It is very important to choose a restoration team that will arrive quickly when you call. Our emergency response team is available 24/7/365. Yes, this includes holidays, weekends, and even midnight calls. One of our project managers is always on standby to help when you need us the most.

Rapid response times help to mitigate damages and prevent future damages. This preemptive effort helps to keep overall restoration costs down and limits the amount of time the process takes overall. One of our SERVPRO mottos is “Faster To Any Size Disaster”. And that is more than just a catchphrase. We pride ourselves on our speedy response times.

How We Are Different

At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we believe in treating every home or business as if it were our own. We know that communication is key and we make it our goal to have someone available to answer any question you may have right away. We want you to know that as our customers, we work for you. Whether it is a small stain on your carpet or two feet of standing water, we will treat your loss with the utmost respect and professionalism. When you need help, you want to rely on a business you know and can trust. A company with a track record of doing the job right the first time. You want SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, a leader in the restoration industry. Call us today at (985) 871-5375.

How Soot Varies After a Fire

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Stovetop covered in soot Call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville today for all your fire clean up needs.

What is fire soot?

After a fire has blazed, fine black particles known as soot start to accumulate. When organic, carbon-filled materials burn, some of them do not burn completely. The incomplete burning of materials such as wood, plastic, coal, and oil results in the formation of soot.

During a fire, soot can spread throughout the whole property, attaching too many surfaces and leave a thin black layer of grime. Soot contains forms of acid, metals, soil, and dust. Not only is soot difficult to clean due to its stickiness, if not treated properly it can be destructive to furniture and the building structure. The most common types of soot residues that we encounter when restoring fire damage events are wet soot, dry soot, oily soot, and protein soot.  

Types of Soot

Wet soot- This occurs when low heat fires are oxygen-starved. It has high moisture content and can be composed of plastics, rubbers, and oils. It has a very strong smell and can be smeared very easily.

Dry soot- This type of soot is very oxygen-rich which means it occurs when there is a very hot fire. It is composed of natural materials and causes more damage to surfaces than other kinds of soot. The smell is not as harsh as compared to other kinds of soot.

Oily soot- Comes from puff backs and is known to attach to every surface. A puff back is a small explosion inside the burner chamber of your furnace when there is excess fuel that ignites. This causes smoke and soot to shoot into your home. If your gas or oil furnace is not properly maintained, you may be at risk.

Protein soot- When cooking, protein soot can occur and is virtually invisible to the naked eye. Since it is difficult to see, the pungent smell can be a good sign that you have protein soot in your home.

Benefits of Mitigation

As fire restoration professionals, our goal is to mitigate damages and restore your home and contents to their original condition. We believe in restoring rather than replacing as much as possible. Our fire and soot cleaning technicians can help restore antiques, valuables, and many irreplaceable belongings.  Some items can be cleaned in your home, while others may need to be brought to our office for more extensive cleaning. We also work with many local specialty restoration professionals that have extensive knowledge in restoring artwork and other sensitive items.

What to Do Before We Arrive    

-Do not touch contaminated surfaces.

-Do not attempt to clean walls, carpets, contents, or other contaminated surfaces.

-Do not use affected appliances or electronics.

-Do not use food, cosmetics, or medications exposed to soot.

How We Can Help

When fire strikes, lives are turned upside down. Often, the hardest part for residents and business owners is knowing where to begin and who to contact.

After a fire has damaged your home or business, you do not have to struggle to clean up the affected areas. The professionals at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can assist you to restore your home back to preloss conditions. Our technicians have the specialized tools and expertise required to salvage as much as possible from the aftermath of a fire. 

Tropical Storm Sally Update

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm Sally path prediction Tropical Storm Sally Update

The National Hurricane Center's latest update on Tropical Storm Sally predicts tropical storm conditions are likely to begin later today and hurricane conditions are expected to realize tonight. It is still too early to determine exactly where Sally's center will move onshore. TS Sally is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall. A flash flood watch is in effect for most of southeast Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, until Wednesday night.

A storm surge warning is in effect for:
• Port Fourchon, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border,
• Lake Pontchartrain
• Lake Maurepas
• Lake Borgne
• Mobile Bay
A hurricane warning is in effect for:
• Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi/Alabama border
• Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
• Metro New Orleans
A tropical storm warning is in effect for:
• Mississippi/Alabama border to Indian, Pass Florida
• Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the west of Morgan City
A hurricane watch is in effect for:
• Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is here to help our fellow residents and businesses recover from all storm damages. Our restoration and rebuild teams will assist with tarping, board-up, flood restoration, roof repairs, and more. For assistance, please call our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

National Preparedness Month 2020

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

2020 National Preparedness logo 2020 National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

If you knew a disaster would happen tomorrow what would you do today? National Preparedness Month, which is observed every year in September, provides us with an opportunity to identify risk and prepare for the unexpected.

This year’s theme is “Disaster Does Not Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

Make A Plan

It is important to talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Put a plan together by discussing the following questions

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation route?
  • What is my family/household communication plan?
  • Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

Consider the specific needs of your household when preparing for emergencies such as responsibilities for assisting others, dietary needs, medical needs such as prescriptions/equipment, and pets or service animals. Include unique needs in your plan.

Build A Kit 

One of the easiest things to do to prepare for a disaster is to assemble an emergency kit ahead of time. Your kit should include several days’ worth of food, water, and supplies.

Here are some essential items to include:

  • Water- one gallon per person per day for at least three days
  • Food- at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radios
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Moist towelettes and hand sanitizer
  • Cash to last for all members of your family for several days 
  • Masks  
  • Cell phone and portable power bank
  • Copies of important documents
  • Toiletries

You and your family may also need to include other items such as:

  • Prescription medicine
  • Pet food and extra water 
  • Sleeping bags and blankets
  • Activities for children

Prepare for Disasters 

Minimize the impact of disasters by knowing the risk in your area. It is important to check your insurance coverage, learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms, and have a plan in place. Sign up for local alerts and monitor the St. Tammany Parish Government’s Office of Homeland Security for emergency information.

Save documents before disaster strikes by safely storing important financial documents in a waterproof and fireproof container. Important documents include mortgages or leases, bank/credit card statements, tax returns, and insurance information. 

Teach Youth About Preparedness

Emergency situations can occur at any time or place. When these situations do arise, people have the best chance at survival when everyone, including children, knows what to do to ensure their own safety. Ready kids has tools and information to help kids prepare before, during and after disasters. These resources are perfect for families and classrooms.

Water Damage Restoration: Moisture Detection and Drying Equipment

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

green fans, dehumidifiers, and drying equipment in warehouse SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has a wide variety of moisture measuring tools, air movers, and dehumidification equipment.

Professional water damage restoration includes proper damage assessment, water extraction, and drying techniques. Our water damage restoration technicians receive certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization focused on setting standards for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. Certified, trained, and equipped with the following state-of-the-art restoration tools, our water damage restoration team makes any size disaster seem “Like it never even happened.”

Step 1: Damage Assessment- Utilize Moisture Detection Equipment

The initial steps in the water damage restoration process are to assess the damages and locate where water has traveled. Our water damage restoration technicians seek to understand which materials were affected and how saturated they are. During the investigation, the restoration professional notes all materials, building components, and contents affected by the water as well as saturation levels.

  1. Moisture meters- Used to measure the amount of water content in materials such as drywall, flooring, or baseboards. Moisture meters come in two main types: penetrating and non –penetrating.
    • Penetrating meters have surface-piercing prongs that work on the principle of electrical conductivity, which identifies trapped moisture on various surfaces. Penetrating meters like moisture probes determine the saturation on a percentage scale. By comparing non-affected materials to affected materials, our team determines the drying standards for specific materials.
    • Non-Penetrating meters are equipped with two sensors and use conductivity or radio frequencies to detect moisture. Thermal infrared cameras are non-penetrating tools our team uses to determine which materials are saturated. These cameras capture images in hard to reach locations and save images in a microSD card. Thermal imaging cameras are perfect for detecting water inside wall cavities and under cabinets. 
  2. Hygrometers- Used to measure both temperature and humidity concentration within the water-loss areas. Hygrometers help determine humidity levels which allow restoration professionals to determine how to stabilize the environment for adequate drying.

Once the extent of damages is determined and water class and category have been identified, our water damage restoration professionals will construct the water extraction plan.

Step 2: Water Extraction- Utilize Professional Extraction Equipment

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has a variety of water extraction equipment. Variables such as type of flooring, water depth, and power availability will determine which pumps and extraction tools should be used. Our goal is to extract as much water as possible as quickly as possible to prevent secondary damages.

  1. Extraction units- Are portable or truck mounted. Portable units can be taken almost anywhere but require an electric power supply. Portable units can hold about a dozen gallons of water before needing to be dumped. For larger jobs or those without a power source, our restoration professionals will opt to use our truck-mounted extraction equipment. The truck’s tank can hold seventy-five gallons of water.  
  2. Carpet wands- Carpet wands attach to all extraction units.
  3. Pumps- Remove standing water that is more than 2 inches deep. Submersible pumps can be used to quickly remove standing water in hard to access areas like basements, crawl spaces, and construction sites.

After all loose water has been extracted, the drying process will commence.

Step 3: The Drying Process- Utilize Drying and Dehumidification Equipment

Water restoration professionals strategically place drying equipment throughout affected rooms. We adhere to IICRC drying standards and Xactimate, a restoration software used by all insurance industry professionals, to determine how many pieces of each equipment are necessary and how best to arrange them.

  1. Air movers- Air movers are positioned to create a vortex of airflow to promote faster drying. Increasing the rate of evaporation, rapid air movement reduces the chances of secondary damages like mold growth. The two main types of air movers are centrifugal air movers and axial air movers. 
  2. Dehumidifiers- Used to remove water vapor from the air. Dehumidifiers intake moist air, remove water, and exhausts warm, dry air. Two types of dehumidifiers are low grain refrigerants (LGRs) and desiccants.
    • LGRs work on the premise of condensation and work best in temperatures between 70 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Moist air moves across cold evaporator coils and is cooled below its dew point, condensing water on the cold coils and fins. Water is drained off the fins into a collection tank and pumped out into a sink or water barrel.
    • Desiccant dehumidifiers work on the premise of condensation and are most efficiently remove moisture in temperatures below 70 degrees. Desiccants use a silica gel to absorb moisture.

Each day during the drying process, our restoration technicians will return to monitor material moisture content, check the temperature, and calculate the humidity ratio. All equipment will be inspected and rearranged if necessary. Equipment will be removed as specific materials and areas are deemed dry. The drying process is typically complete within three days.

If your home or business has been affected by a water damage event, then please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375. Our emergency water restoration team is available 24/7/365 to serve our friends and neighbors in Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Madisonville, and Folsom.

Hurricane Laura Disaster Relief

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

As we begin to assess the damages from Hurricane Laura, know our team and numerous other SERVPRO disaster relief crews are prepared to help. Emergency responders and supplies are on their way. We will be sending a team to provide relief as soon as it is safe to do so.

Please be aware that south Louisiana is still under a tornado watch. The storm's outer bands continue to pose a threat of heavy rainfall and flooding. Please do not attempt to drive on streets with high water levels. Continue to monitor the weather and heed the advice of government officials.

Our team is here to help Louisiana recover. Please call our office for assistance. We can be reached 24/7/365 by dialing 985-871-5375.

Monitoring TS Marco and TS Laura

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

As of Monday, August 24th, Marco has weakened to a tropical storm again. The National Hurricane Center warns Marco could still cause life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along the Gulf Coast. If you live in an area prone to storm surge and flooding, you may be safe evacuating until later this week. Several Louisiana parishes are under mandatory evacuations. A flash flood warning will be in effect until Tuesday morning for south Louisiana. 

We are cautiously monitoring tropical storm Laura that is expected to make landfall Thursday as a Category 2 Hurricane. This morning, TS Laura is just south of the Cuban coastline and will move over Cuba tonight. Topical Storm Laura is expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is prepared and ready to respond in the case of an emergency. We offer board-up, emergency tarping, flood restoration, and other storm damage services. Our emergency response team is available 24/7/365. For assistance, please call our office by dialing 985-871-5375. 

Filing a Damage Claim With a Retail Store? The Process May be More Difficult Than You Think.

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

dishwasher in kitchen with green SERVPRO fan Faulty installation of dishwasher leads to water damages in Covington home

You will probably experience a water damage event at your home at least once in your lifetime. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “about one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year”. The most common causes of water damage include broken pipes and malfunctioning appliances. Oftentimes, a water supply line to a refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine will disconnect and leak water throughout the home.

In the past month, our water damage restoration team has helped two homeowners who suffered a water damage loss due to the faulty installation of a dishwasher. Both homeowners had purchased their dishwashers from national retail stores and paid for installation. Typically, large box retail stores will subcontract the installation process to a local company. In each account, the dishwashers’ water supply lines were not connected correctly and caused water damages in each homeowners’ kitchen and dining room. The damages were not significant for either homeowner, but the claims process proved to be the most stressful.

So, what do you do when a subcontractor’s negligence leads to damages in your home? You can file a claim with the retail store’s claims department. The claims department will review the claim and determine if compensation will be rewarded. Keep in mind, regardless of if the claim is approved or not, you have the responsibility as a homeowner to begin mitigation as soon as possible. Homeowner’s insurance policies clearly state this, and future damages could be denied if you do not attempt to mitigate damages in a timely manner. Despite whom takes responsibility for the incident, the damages still need to be taken care of. Therefore, your first step should be to call our team to initiate mitigation promptly. Then, begin the claims process with the retail store.

National retail stores use third-party claims management companies like Sedgwick to manage their claims. And the subcontractors that install appliances often use third-party claims management companies as well. At the end of the day, you could end up with multiple claim numbers, adjusters, and little concrete information about your claim. Remember to take notes of each phone call with a claim representative or adjuster. Record the date, person’s name, and information discussed.

After the restoration process is complete, you will be required to send all documents, pictures, and mitigation invoices to the claims department for review. Our water damage restoration team documents every step of the restoration process for our customers. By choosing SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, you will have everything you need to prove losses to the retail store and third-party subcontractor. However, in our experience, each retail stores’ claims process is slow and troublesome. You may wait months for any resolution. We will help as best we can to walk with you through this process, reaching out to claims departments and following up with adjusters often.

Please call our office if you have any questions regarding our water restoration process or need assistance filing a claim. Our office phone number is 985-871-5375.

Insurance Agents- What You Should Know About the Claims Process

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

water restoration technician extracting water in commercial building As a leading restoration vendor in the insurance industry, our experts will guide agents and insureds through the claims process.

When an individual experiences serious water or fire damage to their home or business, they often do not know what to do. Feeling overwhelmed and unsure, they often rely on their insurance agent for answers. Their initial questions are who they should call for help and if the insurance company will cover the restoration costs.

As an insurance agent, it is important for you to provide clear answers about the restoration process and encourage them to begin mitigation as soon as possible to avoid future damages. Each individual loss and claim will have their own unique challenges and scope of work. However, general cleaning and restoration processes remain the same.

 The Water Restoration Process

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Our emergency restoration team is available 24/7/365. For assistance, please dial 985-871-5375.

Step 2: Water damage inspection and assessment

A water restoration project manager will assess the extent of damages and define the scope of work to be performed.

Step 3: Water removal and extraction

All standing water will be extracted, and any unsalvageable materials will be removed.

Step 4: Drying and dehumidification

Fans and dehumidifiers will be strategically placed to stabilize the environment and dry wet materials. The drying process is usually complete in three days.

Step 5: Cleaning and sanitizing

All the affected floors will be cleaned. When necessary, an antimicrobial agent will be applied to prevent future damages. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is registered with the state to apply all chemicals used during the cleaning and restoration processes.

Step 6: Restoration

After mitigation, our rebuild team at Complete Restoration Services can replace the removed materials and make it “Like it never even happened.”

 The Fire Restoration Process

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Our emergency restoration team is available 24/7/365. For assistance, please dial 985-871-5375.

Step 2: Fire damage inspection and assessment

A fire project manager will assess the extent of damages and define the scope of work to be performed.

Step 3: Roof tarp and Board-up service

When necessary, our team will provide board-up and tarping services to prevent further damages from weather or vandals.

Step 4: Water removal and drying

Oftentimes, the water used to extinguish the fire causes more damages than the fire itself. Our water restoration team will extract loose water and initiate the drying process.

Step 5: Smoke and soot surface removal

Utilizing specialized equipment and techniques, our fire restoration team will remove smoke and soot damages from the building structure.

Step 6: Cleaning and repair

Our team will determine which contents can be cleaned and restored and which contents need to be replaced. We will clean what is determined salvageable and discard the rest. Nothing will be thrown away without our customer's approval.

Step 7: Restoration

Once our fire cleaning team has completed their scope of work, our reconstruction team, Complete Restoration Services, will begin the rebuild process.

Our Commitment to Insurance Agents

Insureds have the right to choose any contractor they like to perform mitigation and restoration services. By recommending SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, insurance agents can rest assured knowing our team will provide the best customer experience. Locally owned and operated, our restoration team has served this community since 2009. Our technicians are highly trained and IICRC certified. Whether the loss is seemingly insignificant or a large disaster, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can make it seem “Like it never even happened.”

We work with all major insurance companies and are a preferred vendor for numerous third-party claims management companies. With extensive knowledge of the insurance industry, we can guide insurance agents and their insureds through the claims process. We work with adjusters to determine the best solution for the home or business owner.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville also offers no charge continuing education classes for insurance professionals to help educate them on the restoration and claims processes. For more information regarding claims, restoration, or continuing education classes, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Improper Water Cleanup Can Lead to Future Mold Damage

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

graphic showing water dripping from faucet and water droplets hiding under carpet and drywall The water you can't see could lead to future damages.

When a water damage event occurs at your home, your biggest concern should be the water you cannot see. Soaking up water with towels or using a shop vacuum to extract water will not remove the water hiding underneath flooring and behind baseboards. Water will always find its level. During a water damage event, water will flow into spaces you cannot detect by just glancing around.

Upon initial inspection of your home, one of our water damage restoration project managers will utilize a moisture probe to determine which materials are wet and how wet they are. They will check all flooring near the damaged area, along with the baseboards and drywall. If a carpeted room is reading wet, then the carpet pad will be removed because it cannot be dried. Usually, the baseboards in an affected room will also need to be removed to determine if water flowed behind them and is present. Once our team has determined which materials are still wet and the full extent of water damages, we will strategically place equipment to stabilize the environment and dry the affected materials. The typical drying process is complete within three days.

You can trust our professionals to find the water you cannot see when a water damage event, like one caused by a leaking water supply pipe or a water heater explosion, occurs in your home. Our water damage restoration technicians are IICRC trained to thoroughly discover the full extent of damages and properly dry the affected spaces to prevent future mold damages. We are also available 24/7/365 for emergency restoration services. Our office number is 985-871-5375.

Introducing Our Newest Restoration Tool- The Matterport 3D Camera and Platform

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

room with matterport camera on tripod in center Speeding up the claims process with our latest investment in technology- the Matterport 3D Camera & Platform

When a water or fire disaster affects your home, time is of the essence. Mitigation services should begin as soon as possible to prevent future damages. During the initial inspection, our project manager will sketch and scope your home so that the insurance company can understand exactly what your home looks like and which areas were affected. Our newest tool will allow project managers to sketch and scope homes and businesses in a fraction of the time so that our crew can get to work faster. With the Matterport 3D camera and platform, we can create a true-to-life rendering of your property in the most efficient manner possible. This accurate scan will give your insurance company and insurance adjuster a firsthand view of your loss and the damages incurred.

At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we are committed to investing in our team and the newest technologies to provide the best customer experience. The Matterport 3D camera and platform will help us make any size disaster seem “Like it never even happened,” even faster now!

Water Damage Mitigation Basics: Understanding Categories of Water

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

white toilet in commercial bathroom with black water stain on floor Water from a sewage system backup is considered Category 3 water.

Each water damage event is unique. The extent of mitigation required by restoration professionals depends on several variables such as where the water came from and which type of materials have been affected. Two of the most important factors mitigation and restoration professionals must consider are the category and class of the water. Category of water refers to how contaminated the water is. Class refers to how much of the area has been affected.

Water Damage Categories

Based upon the IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for professional water damage restoration, categories of water depend on the following:

  1. Where the water came from (source)
  2. How long the water has been in the structure
  3. The temperature within the structure
  4. Preexisting conditions of the structure (how dirty are the affected areas)

Category 1 Water

Category one water is considered clean water. This type of water originates from a sanitary source. It does not pose a substantial risk from exposure. Water damage events with category one water often require minimal removal of wet materials unless the materials are structurally or aesthetically damaged. 

Examples of category one water are:

  • water from a broken water supply line
  • bathtub or sink overflow with no contaminants
  • appliance malfunctions like a leaking ice line on a refrigerator
  • broken toilet bowl tanks
  • water from a clean source that is quickly discovered and extracted

Category 2 Water

Category two water is considered slightly contaminated due to a significant degree of chemical, biological, or physical contamination. It has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Water damage events involving Category 2 water often require materials like carpet pads to be removed and discarded.

Examples of category two water include:

  • water discharged from dishwashers or washing machines
  • water from fish tanks
  • overflow from the toilet bowl
  • water that has sat for more than a day

Category 3 Water

Category three water is considered grossly contaminated. This type of water can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other extremely harmful agents. It can cause significant adverse reactions in humans if consumed or contacted. Porous materials affected by category three water should be removed and replaced. Also, an antimicrobial agent must be applied to the remaining structure and materials to prevent secondary damages. 

Examples of category three water include:

  • water caused by sewage system backups
  • water from storm damages
  • water from rising rivers or streams
  • water that was present in structure for days

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's water production team is here to help 24/7/365 when a water damage event occurs at your home or business. If you need assistance, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

Tropical Storm Cristobal - June 8th Update

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm Cristobal has weakened to a depression Monday morning. As of 5:00 am, the center of Cristobal is over Baton Rouge. Bands of rain are still moving across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Flooded streets can be seen throughout both Ponchartrain lakefront neighborhoods located in Mandeville and New Orleans. While traffic has been blocked, more rain and storm surges are likely to prevent anyone from getting around the areas for several hours, if not a day or two. 

Please do not attempt to drive through flooded streets. If you're unsure of how deep the water is, then we suggest you turn around and find an alternate route. If you're home or business has flooded, we are here to help. Our emergency storm team has the training and experience to restore any size property. 

You can reach our office 24/7/365 by dialing 985-871-5375.

Phase 2 Reopening Louisiana - Cleaning Services

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

On June 5, 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced we will be moving into phase two of reopening businesses. 

According to gov.louisiana.gov

BUSINESSES THAT CAN OPEN:

Businesses that will be able to open at 50 percent occupancy include:

  • Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops
  • Shopping malls (including food courts, following restaurant guidance)
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Barber and beauty shops and nail salons
  • Movie theaters
  • Racetracks (not open to spectators)
  • Museums (including children’s museums), zoos, aquariums (no tactile exhibits)
  • Bars and breweries with LDH food permits
  • Massage establishments, spas, and tattoo establishments (under strict guidance from LDH), esthetician services (under strict guidance from the Cosmetology Board)
  • Pool halls, bowling alleys and skating rinks (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Event Centers and wedding venues
  • Outdoor playgrounds and play centers (children must be accompanied by an adult)

The following businesses remain closed: carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, fairs, contact sports, children’s indoor play centers, theme parks, concert and music halls, and other similar businesses. Live entertainment is not permitted inside any building or indoor function.

The Governor encourages businesses that can allow employees to work remotely to consider doing so, especially if an employee is at high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 or shares a household with a high-risk person.

Is your business prepared to reopen? Are you confused about which additional cleaning and disinfection measures you should take to keep employees and customers safe? SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can help. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program can help fill in the gaps of your current cleaning plan or provide all the cleaning services you need. Our cleaning technicians are trained in both proactive cleaning and COVID-19 reactive cleaning. Contact our office today to learn more - 985-871-5375

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Predictions

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

pie chart of 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season preditions 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a slightly more active season. NOAA's Climate Prediction Centerestimates a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

An average Atlantic hurricane season consists of 12 named storms. Of those storms, six are hurricanes and three are major hurricanes. The current outlook for 2020's hurricane season is 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes. Now is the time to beginemergency preparation for your family and business.

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Preparation Checklist

  1. Speak with your insurance agent about flood insurance. Every Louisiana homeowner and business owner should have a flood insurance policy to help them recover after a storm.
  2. Discuss your evacuation plan with your family. With the current situation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, your options may be limited. Shelters may not be able to accommodate a mass group of evacuees. Some hotels may limit extended stays. Plan ahead and do your research.
  3. Examine your emergency kit. Did you need to borrow from your emergency kit during quarantine? Restock any items you may have recently used.
  4. Conduct thorough walkthroughs of your home and business. Inspect areas common to wind and hail damages like windows and the roof. Make any necessary repairs.
  5. Create an emergency plan for your office. This plan should include contact information for each employee and vendors you may need to help with disaster recovery.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in disaster recovery and storm damage restoration. For more information about emergency planning, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

What are Soot Webs?

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

black soot chains that look like spider webs in a white ceiling corner After a fire, soot chains, a.k.a "soot webs", form in cooler areas like edges of walls and ceiling corners.

The aftermath of a fire is oftentimes more destructive than the fire itself. The remaining contents and structure of your home may be covered with soot particles and drenched with water from firefighters extinguishing the fire. During the initial damage assessment, our fire damage restoration manager will inspect each room to determine how extensive our cleaning and drying processes will need to be.

Our fire damage restoration project manager will test each room for soot particles with a dry sponge and look for soot chains, or “soot webs” as they are commonly called in the restoration industry. While soot chains may resemble spider webs, our professionals can spot the difference right away. Soot chains are ionized soot particles that bond together in cooler areas like edges of walls and ceilings. They must be properly removed to ensure no lingering smoke or fire smell.

Fire damage restoration is a tedious and time-consuming process. Our fire restoration professionals have years of experience and are detail-oriented experts at cleaning fire damaged homes and contents. We understand how stressful it is to recover from a home fire. Our team is here to help walk with you through the claims process and answer all questions you may have.

For assistance contact our office by dialing in 985-871-5375.

May 14, 2020 - Flooding in Covington and Goodbee

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Our hearts go out to those affected by the storm last night. Please know our team is working as quickly as possible to help and we are bringing in more resources now. Our office is available 24/7/365. 

If your home or business has flooded: 

  • Take pictures of all rooms and contents that have been affected
  • Contact your insurance agent if you have flood insurance to begin filing a claim
  • Do not throw anything away before taking a picture of it
  • Save receipts if you purchase anything to help with cleanup
  • Do not plug in or try to use any appliance that was submerged in water
  • Move contents off of the ground in case more rain comes tonight or this weekend

We have yet to hear if officials will distribute sandbags. If your home or business was close to incurring damages last night, then we suggest you procure some to setup around vulnerable areas outside your home as soon as possible. Please be careful driving around town today. Do not drive down flooded streets.

985-871-5375

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

green and orange sticker that reads Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Is your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry-leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high-frequency touchpoints, foot traffic, and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for the cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville today at  985-871-5375 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

We Are Cleaning Experts

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unusual time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is also licensed with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to apply said products. Our license number is 00132935. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville - 985-871-5375.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Tornado Rips Through Old Mandeville

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

On Easter Sunday, April 19th, a storm with strong winds and heavy rained passed through the Southeast United States touting severe warnings for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Lightning, excessive rainfall, and a few tornadoes damaged homes in each of the Southeast states as the storm moved north to Tennesse on Monday. 

In Louisiana, Old Mandeville saw the brunt of it. The National Weather Service declared an EF1 tornado with a maximum wind speed of 100 mph and a quarter of a mile wide path touched down and traveled 3.1 miles of historic Old Mandeville late Sunday night. About a dozen homes were damaged by fallen trees that night. 

As a licensed and insured general contractor, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is a one-stop-shop for storm damage restoration. If you need assistance with placing a tarp on your roof, boarding-up your home, water damage restoration, or repairing your roof, then please contact our office today by dialing 985-871-5375. Our emergency restoration team will help guide you through the claims process and make this disaster seem "Like it never even happened." 

3 Tips for Preventing a Fire in and Apartment Complex or Multi-Family Residential Property

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

caution tape across open apartment door where contents show fire damage SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in fire damage restoration for apartment complexes and multi-family residential properties.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2018 there were 86,500 apartment fires. While this number has significantly decreased from the previous three years that each totaled 95,000 apartment fires, the losses equate to over 1.5 million dollars in property damages and 360 deaths. The modern apartment complex stouts five to ten buildings with three or four floors each. If a single building were to catch on fire, then dozens of families could potentially be affected. Residents renting a unit in an apartment or multi-family residential property like a townhome or duplex should practice fire safety precautions to protect themselves and their neighbors. Property owners and property staff such as property managers, leasing agents, and maintenance crews should also do their part in preventing a fire disaster. Below are a few tips to help safeguard property and people living in multi-family residential properties from fire disasters.  

Ensure fire safety equipment is functioning properly

Fire safety equipment includes smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems. 

  1. Smoke alarms should be tested once a month, the batteries should be replaced once every six months, and alarms should be replaced every ten years. For more information on smoke alarms, watch our video "How and When to Test Smoke Alarms"
  2. Fire suppression systems (a.k.a. fire sprinkler systems) should be tested on an annual basis according to NFPA code 13. 
  3. Fire extinguishers should be present in every unit and should be easily accessible. Because most residential fires are caused by cooking, having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen is best. 

Create and communicate fire escape plans 

Residents and staff should be properly prepared for any emergency. 

  1. Give a list of important contacts to each tenant and have one displayed in the main office. The list may include contact information for property after-hours emergency personnel, property managers, the nearest fire department, local police, approved vendors like plumbers, HVAC professionals, and the local restoration professionals-SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. 
  2. Each building should have maps identifying fire escape routes clearly marked throughout common areas on each floor. 
  3. Encourage residents to create fire escape plans with their households and practice their plan regularly. In the event of a disaster, everyone should feel prepared to take the appropriate actions, especially young children. Visit our blog for fire safety tips for kids

Help educate residents about fire safety practices 

Most residential fires can be easily avoided by understanding certain dangers and taking extra precautions. 

  1. Since cooking is the number one cause for home fires, remind residents not to leave food cooking on the stove unattended. Turning the burner off when stepping away from the stove can be lifesaving. Any items that could easily catch fire like potholders and grocery bags should be kept away from the stove. 
  2. Candles are a common cause of accidental fires. Encourage residents to blow out candles when exiting a room or to invest in flameless candles.
  3. Sleeping with the bedroom door closed will slow down the spread of the fire and allow household members to find another way out of the room. 
  4. Never create an open flame or cook on patios or balconies. Only utilize portable cooking equipment in designated areas. 

Our team is happy to help any owners and managers of local apartment complexes and multi-family residential properties create an emergency plan tailored to their needs. For more information, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

For more fire safety resources please visit:

To locate your local fire department visit our blog about testing smoke alarms

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Remains Open to Provide Essential Emergency Services for the Community

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

five guys and one woman in black SERVPRO shirt and khaki pants standing on balcony with American flag and SERVPRO sign SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is committed to serving our community by providing emergency services.

In these unprecedented times, what constitutes business as usual changes almost on a daily basis. Last night, Governor Edwards mandated a statewide stay-at-home order. The order, going into effect at 5:00 pm tonight, allows for only essential critical infrastructure workers to continue operating while heeding precautions as necessary. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identifies 16 critical infrastructure sectors. As a provider of emergency services, including hazardous material removal, cleaning and sanitizing services, and other services that ensure the operation of both residential and commercial properties, our team will continue to respond to the needs of this community. 

We have instituted the following measures for the safety and well-being of both our team and our customers:

  • All employees responding to emergencies where they must enter a home or business are to have their temperature taken at the beginning of the day. 
  • Any employee feeling sick or experiencing symptoms is to stay home. 
  • Employees are to clean and sanitize tablets before and after having a customer utilize them for electronic document signing. Customers will be offered gloves as well. 
  • Before our team arrives, we are asking all customers if they or anyone at the property is feeling ill or has been exposed to someone with the virus Our protocol will change if a known risk is discovered.
  • Employees will clean and sanitize high touch areas, like light switches and door handles, upon leaving a residence or business.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is committed to helping our friends and neighbors in this time of need. Please call our office with any questions or concerns. Our phone number is 985-871-5375.

6 Tips for Preventing Water Damages in Apartment Complexes and Multi-family Residential Properties

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

drying fan with yellow hoses stretching to ceiling in white apartment SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville utilizes commercial drying equipment to properly dry apartment ceiling affected by water damage.

Throughout the past couple of decades, many Greater New Orleans region natives, including both East Bank and West Bank locals, decided to move to the Northshore. A large wave of families moved after Hurricane Katrina either damaged or destroyed their homes and businesses. Many other families have slowly found their way to the north side of Lake Pontchartrain for a variety of other reasons, including the award-winning St. Tammany Parish school system, ample outdoor recreational activities, and the benefits of living in smaller, less crowded cities. And now that St. Tammany Parish industry is thriving, our population is growing exponentially. 

In Covington, several apartment complexes have been built to accommodate the growing residential demand. Multifamily unit properties can present a higher risk for catastrophic damages, be that fire, water or mold damages. Water damages like those caused by broken pipes under kitchen sinks and overflowing toilets seem to be the most common. Apartment complex and multi-family residential property owners and property managers should take additional measures to help protect their property and save money in restoration costs. 

Tips for Preventing Water Damages at Apartment Complexes and Multi-family Residental Properties

  1. Inspect buildings regularly and address any needed repairs immediately. Roof damages and faulty window sealings are common causes for slow water and moisture intrusions. Have a maintenance manager or hired professional inspect around the buildings a few times a year. Before and after hurricane season are two important times to do this to minimize storm damages. 
  2. Check on vacant units once a week to detect any issues early on. Both time and money can be saved by quickly discovering accidents like a broken pipe leaking water or a water heater that has exploded. Open cabinets under sinks and inspect areas around water sources to uncover any slow water leaks. If a problem is found, then stop the water source immediately. 
  3. Clearly mark all water supply and fire suppression system shut off valves. Make sure tenants are aware of their locations and how to properly turn them off in the event of a water leak or system ignition.
  4. Notify tenants of any potential issues, like a sensitive sewer system or hidden water supply lines. Our team once received a call for help because an apartment resident had accidentally nailed into a fire suppression line while trying to hang a photo on the living room wall. The tenant assumed the fire suppression line ran horizontally and not directly down the center back living room wall. Thankfully, our team was able to able to respond quickly, drying the affected materials within a few days. 
  5. Remind tenants not to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilets. This is a common cause of sewage backups resulting in overflowing toilets. 
  6. Have a clear emergency response plan and communicate this with your tenants. Revise the plan as needed and update tenants once a year. Tenants should know how to respond quickly and efficiently in an emergency. 

Please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com for assistance with creating an emergency plan for your property or for water damage restoration help.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is Here to Help

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

image of virus graphic with words here to help layered on top SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is here to help.

SERVPRO® professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
SERVPRO® of Greater Covington and Mandeville professionals offer cleaning services including the removal of biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.

About Coronavirus


The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has spread to 60 locations internationally (as of this publication), including cases in the United States. The virus known as “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”)i is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.


Scope of Cleanup Protocol


SERVPRO professionals can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.


Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning


The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including:
• Kitchen/Food Areas
• Bathrooms
• Schools/Classrooms
• Offices
• Retail Spaces
• Water Fountains
• Shelving and Racks
• Sales Counters
• Carpets and rugs
• Stair Handrails
• Elevator Cars
• Playground Equipment
• Fitness Equipment


Cleanup and Disinfecting Procedures


Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to COVID-19.
SERVPROXIDE™, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more.
Porous surfaces that are not water-sensitive, such as carpet and other fabric material, cannot be disinfected but can be sanitized using SERVPROXIDE™.

Works Cited: 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html


https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html


https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html


https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Apartment Complex Fires in Mandeville and Covington

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

female emoji dressed like firefighter with text of fire safety tips Please practice fire safety tips with your family.

In just a matter of days, there have been two major apartment complex fires on the Northshore, Cypress Lakes Apartments in Mandeville, Louisiana and Maple Ridge Apartments in Covington, Louisiana. The causes of both fires have yet to be determined, but we want to remind the public to practice fire safety. We also want to say thank you to our local fire departments that responded quickly and efficiently to the fires, limiting damages and saving lives. 

Fire Safety Tips:

  • Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with your family 
  • Teach children fire safety tips 
  • Include pets in your fire safety plans and take precautionary measures to prevent pets from starting fires
  • Test smoke alarms every month and change the batteries in your smoke alarms once every six months 
  • Never leave unattended food on the stove when cooking
  • Do not overload power strips or outlets
  • Do not plug space heaters into power strips
  • Blow out candles when exiting the room
  • Make sure there is a properly working fire extinguisher in your kitchen
  • Do not throw water on a grease fire
  • Keep flammable items away from the stove and fireplace

For more fire safety resources, please visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education

Congrats to two of our SERVPRO rock stars!

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

male SERVPRO water damage technician holding certificate and female SERVPRO administrative coordinator Courtney and John celebrated their three year work anniversaries with us in February.

In February, two of our rock stars celebrated their three year work anniversaries with us. As our administrative coordinator, Courtney is the first friendly voice our customers hear when they ring us for help. Courtney assists by connecting each client with the appropriate department manager and initiates the job documentation process. She also works closely with our water damage restoration team to ensure customer satisfaction and help meet an array of standards unique to each insurance company. John Joyce was recently promoted from lead water technician to manager of our water damage restoration team. Any time or day, John is the leading hero for our customers when they experience a water damage event in their home or business. From efficiently managing multiple projects to strategically applying the science of drying for a fast recovery, John can make any size disaster seem, "Like it never even happened." Both John and Courtney are certified water damage restoration technicians through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization that governs industry cleaning and restoration standards.

Keeping an Eye on the Rising Pearl River

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

The St. Tammany Parish Government Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is currently monitoring the forecast along the Pearl River via the National Weather Service. We are also keeping an eye on the situation and reaching out to our clients who may be affected. At this time, we urge everyone along the river to consistently monitor the river gauges and take precautionary measures to protect lives, pets, and properties. Our disaster response team is on standby with the necessary equipment to respond quickly and efficiently to any size disaster. We have a local team of highly trained and experienced water damage restoration technicians, as well as access to resources from nearby SERVPRO large-loss disaster recovery teams. For immediate assistance, please call our office by dialing 985-871-5375. 

How to Prevent Common Water Damage Disasters in Your Home

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in every fifty insured homes has a claim related to water damage or freezing temperatures each year. It may surprise you that most of these water damage claims are not related to natural disasters, but are caused by ordinary accidents. Some common causes of water damage events in homes include old, cracked water pipes, broken frozen pipes, sewage system failure, and water leaks attributed to malfunctioning appliances. It’s shocking how common it is for either a washing machine to overflow or for a water heater to explode. Both of said events can cause significant water damage in a home.

In order to escape having an incident at your home, you should keep up with regular home maintenance repairs and do a complete walkthrough once a month to inspect appliances for any problems. Check under kitchen and bathroom sinks to make sure no water is slowly dripping from a cracked or ill-fitted pipe. Pull out your refrigerator once a month to see if the water line is properly connected and if there are any mold surprises growing behind it. This is a relatively common issue that most homeowners don’t discover until it’s an obvious, big mess.

Another helpful tip for catching water damage problems before they are huge disasters is placing water detectors underneath sinks, in the water heater drip pan, and in other areas prone to water damage. When water is detected the alarm sounds to alert you to locate the issue and fix it promptly.

If a water damage event has occurred in your home, then our water damage restoration technicians can help extract the water and properly dry any wet materials. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable team is available 24/7 every day of the year. For assistance please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

January Employee of the Month

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

orange image with picture of lady in circle shape, words read employee of the month Congratulations to our employee of the month for January, Cicerona!

Our employee of the month for January is Cicerona! She joined our fire damage restoration team in August of 2017 and has exemplified the spirit of a SERVPRO hero since day one. Cicerona always has a bright smile on her face and works hard to make sure our customers are well taken care of. As a part of our fire damage restoration team, Cicerona is responsible for cleaning and restoring contents that have been damaged by fire, smoke, or soot. She also assists with cleaning fire damages from the structure of a building, including top to bottom cleaning of the inside of property. Her job is extremely tedious and requires a meticulous, conscientious person. We are lucky to have her on our team and are excited to watch her grow. 

Edge of the Lake's 2020 Readers' Choice Award Winner

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

purple logo that reads "Edge of the Lake 2020 Readers' Choice Awards" in white font Edge of the Lake's 2020 Readers' Choice Award Winner

We are so excited to announce that our team has received Edge of the Lake's Readers' Choice award for best emergency restoration service provider! Thank you to all who voted for us. Over the past ten years, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has committed to being the number one trusted emergency restoration resource for both homeowners and business owners on the Northshore. Our goal is to make any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened", and we're thrilled to hear our community knows we can. Offering an array of services, such as water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, bio-hazard cleanup, and rebuild, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville truly is your one-stop shop for restoring your property quickly and efficiently. Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions regarding restoration or remediation projects. 

How are flood zones classified?

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classifies flood zones into three distinct categories: high risk areas, moderate risk areas, and low risk areas. High risk areas are labeled A or V. The federal government requires high risk or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) to purchase flood insurance. SFHA are usually found in coastal or beachfront land. Moderate risk zones are labeled B or X. Properties in these areas are not federally required to purchase flood insurance. Neither are insured in low risk areas, which are labeled zone c or zone x. However, sometimes mortgage lenders may require insureds to purchase flood insurance despite not being located in a high risk area. St. Tammany Parish participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure of the property and up to $100,000 for contents coverage. Excess coverage can be purchased through a private company to cover additional costs of restoration and rebuild following a flood disaster. Private flood insurance is also an option for communities that do not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. To purchase flood insurance speak with your local agent. To learn more about flood insurance visit www.floodsmart.gov

Buying Flood Insurance in St. Tammany Parish

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

The Census Bureau's report from 2017 estimates 256,327 people live in St. Tammany Parish. Over the past couple of decades, a steady population increase has warranted a surge in new development. Parts of the parish are met by Lake Pontchartrain and many other areas are home to our beautiful rivers and marsh land. According to the parish government website, "St Tammany Parish is subject to riverine flooding, ponding as a result of heavy rainfall, and flooding from tropical storm surge". In 2016, many areas around the cities of Baton Rouge and Covington experienced unprecedented flooding due to heavy rainfall and rising rivers. Some properties located in Special Flood Hazard Areas have now flooded multiple times. While St. Tammany Parish is less at risk of severe flooding as Orleans Parish or the handful of parishes closest to the Gulf of Mexico, residents should be aware of how to best protect their property in case of an emergency. If your home or business is located in a flood zone in St. Tammany Parish, then buying flood insurance would be a wise decision for you. Homeowners' insurance usually covers damages from wind and rain, but water damages from rising flood waters is only covered with a separate flood insurance policy. Because St. Tammany Parish participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, every home owner or business owner is eligible to purchase a separate flood insurance policy, even if their property has previously flooded. Following a flooding event, most materials in your home or business would need to be removed due to bacteria in the contaminated water. To remove and replace materials like drywall, flooring, cabinets, and appliances can be very costly. Just one inch of flood water can lead to restoration costs of up to $25,000. Flood insurance would help cover these costs and restore your property quickly. Every policy differs in expense based on several factors, but in the end paying for a flood insurance policy is well worth it. To learn more about flood insurance contact your local insurance agent or go to www.floodsmart.gov.  

Continuing Education Class: Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Are you an insurance professional in need of continuing education hours? On March 12, 2020, we will be offering the two hour class Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry at our office located at 68424 James Street in Mandeville. In this class, the insurance professional can expect to learn proper techniques for mold remediation, gain a better understanding of mold growth, and be more aware of how mold has affected our society. The class will be taught by the owner of SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, Stuart Andrus, free of charge for all local insurance agents and adjusters. Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided for attendees. Check in will begin at 8:00 am and the class will run from 8:30 am until 10:30 am. To register or for more information about the class please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Water Damage Restoration at Local Senior Living Facility

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

man in black shirt and khaki pants extracting water Water restoration technician extracting water at local senior living facility.

When a water damage event strikes your home or business on the weekend, you can't wait until regular business hours to begin mitigation. Most insurance companies require insureds to take reasonable mitigation measures to defend against secondary damages, like mold and mildew growth. At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we always have a team of highly trained and certified water damage restoration technicians on call to respond to emergency situations. Our commitment as the locally owned and operated trusted restoration vendor is to respond to an emergency as quickly and efficiently as possible. No matter the time of day, our team will respond to an emergency call within the hour of receiving notice of the loss. 

This picture was taken at a local senior living facility. On Saturday, their general manager contacted our on-call water damage restoration project manager because they noticed water leaking from the ceiling. Our crew was then dispatched to inspect the issue and begin the restoration process. Upon arrival, our project manager noticed the leak was coming from their sprinkler system. That problem was addressed and our water restoration technicians began extracting all standing water. Then, our technicians strategically placed drying equipment to restore wet materials back to normal moisture levels. The drying process was complete in just a matter of days. 

Most water damage events are caused by accidents like this one. Knowing a reputable restoration vendor who will respond quickly is key to minimizing interruption. Our team can be reached any time or day by dialing 985-871-5375. 

Continuing Education Classes for Insurance Professionals

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Once a quarter Stuart Andrus, owner and operator of SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, teaches either one three or four hour continuing education class or two shorter two hour classes. All local insurance agents and adjusters are welcome to attend the classes free of charge. 

For the first quarter of 2020, we would like to seek requests for which class most attendees would be interested in. The following options are all two hour long continuing education classes:

  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
    • In this class, the insurance professional will learn about mold, mold growth requirements and the goals of mold remediation followed by professional vendors. They will also be educated on the science of mold and the dangers/health effects of mold exposure.
  • Restorative Drying for Water Damage
    • In this class, the insurance professional will learn about the restorative drying process following a water damage event. This class provides a better understanding of psychrometrics (the science of drying), inspection services, and emergency services. 
  • Cleaning & Restoring Smoke-Damaged Contents
    • This course explains the different tools used by restoration professionals to clean and restore smoke-damaged contents. The insurance professional will be provided with an overview of various smoke-damaged contents cleaning methods, and the products used to clean smoke-damaged contents. This class provides a better understanding of processes a restoration professional employs to scope, estimate, clean and restore smoke-damaged contents. Key issues related to moving a customer’s smoke-damaged contents to a remote location for cleaning will also be discussed.

  • Bio-hazard Cleanup
    • In this class, the insurance professional will learn about the process of cleaning residential and commercial property that are or may be contaminated with viruses or blood borne pathogens. 

To request which class you would prefer or if you have any questions, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

All classes are taught at our office located at 68424 James Street, Mandeville, LA 70471. 

Happy New Year!

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

2019 was a big year for the SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville team. This was the first year we operated out of our newly purchased 15,000 sq. ft. office/warehouse located in Mandeville off of Highway 59 in Alamosa Park. Our new building has afforded us opportunities to teach more insurance agents and adjusters continuing education classes, the ability to safely store clients' contents in a climate controlled environment in-house, and has given us ample room for growth. Tristan White, our previous water damage restoration crew manager, is thriving in his new role as operations manager and his crew leader John Joyce has stepped up to fill his shoes as our water damage restoration team manager. We've also welcomed a few more water damage restoration and fire damage restoration technicians to our SERVPRO family. As of now, our leadership team has over forty-five years of experience in the restoration industry!

Another win for 2019 was our rebuild team, now established as Complete Restoration Services L.L.C., making a name for themselves, not just in the insurance industry as a reconstruction vendor, but in the construction industry on the Northshore and Southshore as well. While Complete Restoration Services specializes in insurance claims reconstruction projects, CRS is a full service licensed and insured general construction company available for any remodeling or renovation projects. From repairing and installing roofs to building a fresh, modern bathroom, Complete Restoration Services, L.L.C provides quality workmanship and superior customer service. 

Investing in our team's education and expanding our company to offer more services are just two of the reasons we are the leading restoration company on the Northshore. Our mission at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is to make any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened," as quickly and efficiently as possible so that our customers' lives can resume back to normal. We're humbled to have helped so many people this year and look forward to another year of being your trusted restoration vendor. 

Happy New Year from the SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville team!

7 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe While You're on Christmas Vacation

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Are you planning to visit out of town family this holiday season? While traffic routes or navigating the new Louis Armstrong airport may be top of mind, you should make sure your home will be just the same when you return. Follow our tips listed below to make sure your home stays safe if you're planning on being out of town for more than a couple of days. 

  1.  Don't let people know your home is empty. Suspend mail and newspaper services. You can sign up online to suspend USPS mail service and have your mail delivered to a local post office for up to thirty days. For trips longer than thirty days you should ask a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail. Contact your newspaper provider and ask them to temporarily postpone deliveries. You can also arrange for lawn care services while you’re gone for noticeable activity.
  2. Install exterior lighting or motion detectors to deter burglars.
  3. Wait to post vacation pictures on social media. This is almost impossible for most people, but you should resist the urge to let the world know you’re not at home. Enjoy the time with your family or friends and post pictures when you return.
  4. Check the batteries in home security devices, including motion detectors, cameras, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace them if necessary. Consider upgrading smoke alarms to home monitoring systems that will notify your local fire department of a fire.
  5. Shut off the main water supply. Often times a homeowner will call us upon returning from vacation because they have learned a broken pipe or malfunctioning appliance has caused water damages. After you turn off the water main valve you then need to empty the pipes by running water in your sinks and flushing your toilets. If you would like to leave the water on for an automated sprinkler system, then at least turn off the water supply to the dishwasher, washing machine, and to each toilet. You may think this is an uncommon event, but know this happens all too often. You don’t want to come home to a disaster. Save yourself time and money by being just a little overcautious.
  6. Prevent a power surge by unplugging your electronics or make sure they are plugged into a surge protector.
  7. Unplug space heaters, candle warmers, outside Christmas lights, and Christmas tree lights when you leave. 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Water Damage

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

man in SERVPRO uniform is seen extracting water in a pharmacy stock room Water Damage Restoration Technician Extracts Water from Covington Business

Water damage claims are one of the most frequent types of insurance claims in the United States, only second to wind and hail damage claims. Water damage claims are commonly caused by sudden or accidental damages, sewer system backups, overflow, and flooding events. Sudden damages are usually attributed to either a water pipe breaking, a water heater exploding, a water supply line to an appliance disconnecting, or other similar accidents. Please note that flooding events are not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies and claims must be made through flood insurance carriers. Water damages caused by sudden damages will more than likely be paid for buy your insurance company. However, gradual damages caused by slowly accrued water problems may not be covered by your homeowner’s policy. For instance, if you neglected repairing a hole in your roof and water is slowly leaking inside your home causing damages, then your insurance company may deny your claim. To learn more about your specific insurance coverage please speak with your local insurance agent. 

Below are a few frequently asked questions homeowners have for our water damage restoration technicians. Please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com if you would like additional information regarding water damage claims. 

Who is responsible for making repairs to the cause of the water damage?

Under most circumstances, the homeowner or policyholder is responsible for repairing the cause of the water damage. Most insurance policies only cover damages, not repairs to broken appliances or parts of the home's structure. For example, in the case of a water heater exploding thus causing a water damage event, the homeowner or policyholder would be responsible for repairing or replacing the water heater. 

How much will this cost?

Each water damage claim varies in cost depending on the extent of damages and type of materials affected. The average water damage claims cost $2,500. Our job as your restoration heroes is to restore rather than replace as much as possible. To the best of our ability and in the most efficiently, timely manner, we will work to prevent further damage and salvage as much as we can. However, sometimes materials can not be restored and we will need to remove them. Once we have completed work, we will send an invoice with documentation to your insurance company. 

Can you salvage wood flooring or carpet following a water damage event?

As previously stated, our goal is to salvage as much as possible instead of removing materials. We want to save you both time and money. However, in some instances we may need to remove wood flooring or carpet. We act to return your property back to “preloss” condition. For instance, if due to the water damage your furniture has left stain marks on the carpet, then we will speak with your insurance company or adjuster about removing the carpet. Wood flooring may or may not be able to be restored depending on how badly affected the flooring was. When a large amount of wood flooring begins to pop out of place it usually must be removed. Our team will attempt to dry wood flooring that seems to be salvageable utilizing our state-of-the-art Injectidry rescue mat equipment. If the property has been affected by grossly contaminated water from a sewage system or toilet overflow, we will follow IICRC standard cleaning protocol and remove items considered unsafe. 

How long will it take to dry everything?

After our water damage restoration technicians have extracted all loose water, they will strategically place fans and dehumidifiers throughout affected rooms. The drying process is typically completed within three days. The drying equipment will be noisy, but turning off the equipment will only prolong the process. 

Who can help if I need any rebuild or construction services?

We recommend our partner company Complete Restoration Services for all rebuild and construction services. The Complete Restoration Services team specializes in insurance claims projects and understands how to help you navigate your claim. Complete Restoration Services is also locally owned and operated, and works with all major insurance companies. To inquire about rebuild services please call their office by dialing 985-377-1877. 

5 Fall Home Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

It might still be ninety degrees in Louisiana, but the season is indeed changing. As cooler temps start to start greet us, take an hour or so to ensure your home is properly functioning, to help prevent damages, and to increase your energy efficiency. Below are a few maintenance and cleaning tips to help you get started. 

  1. Tis’ the season to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. As you know, twice a year the batteries should be replaced and alarms tested. Alarms should also be replaced every ten years. To learn more about how to test your smoke alarms or to request an alarm from a nearby fire department click here
  2. Clean leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water damages, especially in colder months. 
  3. Inspect windows and doors for any holes or cracks. Make necessary repairs to ensure an energy efficient home. 
  4. Freshen up your sink and faucet aerator. To clean your aerator remove it from your faucet and place in a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar overnight. To remove odor and sanitize your sink,  pour one cup on baking soda down the drain and flush with boiling water. Then, throw a few citrus rinds in and turn on the garbage disposal for a few seconds. 
  5. Check your heating and air conditioning filter to determine if it needs to be replaced. Air filters should be replaced at least once every three months. Vacuum area around air filter to prevent fires. Also, take a few minutes to vacuum dryer vent and hose. This is common cause of home fires that is easily preventable. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Celebrates 10 Years of Serving the Community

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is celebrating 10 YEARS of being the trusted, leading restoration company in our community. Our number one goal continues to be making any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened." so that your life can go back to normal as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our team is here to help before, during, and after a disaster. And we're going to be here for a long time. 

Over the past decade, we have helped thousands of homeowners and business owners not only clean and restore their properties following a disaster, but we have also built partnerships with many other locally owned and operated businesses in St. Tammany and Orleans parishes. We want to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this past decade. We're looking forward to many more decades of working together! 

The 3 other disturbances in the Atlantic to keep an eye on

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Dorian, which made landfall in North Carolina on September 6th, isn't the only thing forecasters are watching.

According to CNN, there are three other disturbances in the Atlantic:

  • Gabrielle is a post-tropical cyclone in the middle of the ocean.
  • Off the coast of Africa, there's a disturbance that has a 20% chance of a cyclone forming in the next 48 hours.
  • There's another could-be cyclone closer the Caribbean. That one has only a 10% chance of forming in the next two days.

Generally, the Atlantic hurricane season reaches a peak in the eight weeks surrounding September 10th. 

Two-thirds of all the storms produced in a typical season occur during this period.

Conditions in the tropics become ideal for storm development during this time. By the end of August, water has typically warmed to the mid-80s in many parts of the region.

For those affected by Hurricane Dorian seeking assistance please visit https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-dorian

National Preparedness Month 2019

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

2019 National Preparedness Month Logo. It says prepared not scared and has a picture of an emergency kit full of supplies. 2019 National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us all to prepare ourselves, our families, and our businesses for each kind of disastrous situation we may have to endure. The overarching theme for this year is “Prepared, Not Scared" and each week we are encouraged to focus on specific emergency preparedness tasks. 

Week 1: September 1st - 7th

Save early for disaster costs.

  • Review your insurance documents to make sure you’re properly protected following a disaster. If you do not have flood insurance, then make an appointment with your insurance agent to discuss your options. Remember, many who believed their home would never experience flooding were surprised in 2016 when massive amounts of rain caused heavy flooding in Baton Rouge, Covington, and other cities throughout Louisiana.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans do not have $400 in savings. Are you financially prepared in case of an emergency? Visit https://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness to learn helpful disaster financial planning tips. It is also a good practice to keep some cash on hand during an emergency in case ATMs or your local bank are affected by the storm.

Week 2: September 8th – 14th

Make a plan to prepare for disasters.

Write down your emergency plans. Create one emergency plan for your family that is inclusive of their specific needs. Families with special needs may require additional planning. Discuss and practice the plan with your family members.  

Your family emergency plan should answer the following four questions:

  1. How will I receive my emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is family/household communication plan?

Also, part of your home plan should include making an emergency supplies kit. Be prepared for a power outage by having at least three days’ worth of food and water for each person.

Create an additional plan for your office and practice it with your employees. As a business owner or an office manager, your plan should include contact information for each employee and identify whether the employee plans on evacuating during a storm.

Week 3:  September 15th – 21st

Teach youth to prepare for disasters.

Discuss ways your children can be prepared for an emergency while at home and when away from home. If your child has a cell phone, then make sure they are signed up for local emergency alerts. Visit https://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness for more information regarding youth preparedness.

Week 4: September 22nd – 30th

Get involved in your community’s preparedness.

Every community and major city have volunteer organizations focused on disaster response and emergency planning. To locate an organization in your community visit the websites:

https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer.html

 http://gohsep.la.gov/PREPARE/CITIZEN-CORPS

https://www.nvoad.org/

Frequently Asked Questions Following a Home Fire

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

We understand the stress and worry a homeowner may feel following a fire event in their home. Our fire damage restoration team has the knowledge and experience to help ease your worries during the restoration process. We do this every day and our purpose is to not only make it "like it never even happened", but also to be a resource for your during the claims process. Below are some frequently asked questions during the beginning of the claims process. 

How long will this take?

A complete recovery from a fire event at your home or business can take weeks or months depending on how extensive the damage is. How badly was the property’s structure affected? Does the roof need to be repaired? How much of the structure needs to be removed and replaced? The answers to these questions and several others will determine a clearer project timeline. Before beginning the restoration process, we will give you an estimated project completion date and update you along the way if any changes need to be addressed. 

How do you determine what was affected by the fire?

The fire may have been contained to one room in your home or business, but soot can travel via your air conditioning system to several other areas throughout the property. Soot is often hard to detect with the naked eye, but with time acidic soot will lead to discoloration and erosion of materials. Our fire project manager will utilize dry sponges to test areas in your home or business for hard to see soot. Therefore, if soot is discovered in a certain room, then the structure and contents of that room must be cleaned. 

How much will this cost? How do you write the estimate?

We use Xactimate to create our estimates. Xactimate is a software program used by all insurance companies for restoration project estimation. The prices for each line item are set within the program and accepted by insurance companies. All estimates include labor, time, and materials required. Again, we will send final estimate and any required supplements directly to your insurance company. The estimation process is exceptionally detailed, tedious, and dependent upon services rendered. That being said, a conclusive estimate can only be completed once the project is finished due to the nature of the restoration process. 

What is subrogation?

Subrogation occurs when the insurance company believes a third-party is responsible for the damages and seeks legal action to recover costs for the claim. When subrogation is necessary, the insurance company may not allow anyone to work in the affected area while the investigation is pending. The investigation process may greatly affect our ability to perform services and extend the projected completion date. Our team will have no control over this. Please refer to your insurance company for any questions regarding subrogation.

What should I do now?

If an insurance claim has not already been opened, then calling your insurance company and doing so is the first step. Request a copy of your insurance policy declaration page from your insurance agent or claims specialist to review your coverage. Learn how much coverage you have for structure (labeled dwelling) and for contents. You may need to find another place to stay during the cleaning process. Read your policy or ask your insurance agent to help you understand what is covered under the additional living expenses (ALE) or “loss of use” section in your policy. Ask your insurance company to give you a list in writing of what is commonly covered under these sections. We are not your insurance company and do have any control over your policy limits.

How do I know which items can or cannot be cleaned? 

Our fire project manager will help you understand which items are generally able to be cleaned after a fire and which items we suggest discarding of. Some insurance companies may not be willing to pay for our team to create an inventory list of your contents. If your insurance company will not cover the expense of our team inventorying your contents, then we will help instruct you as best as we can. You will want to create a list of all items that need to be discarded and take pictures of each item. Depending on your policy, your insurance company will either pay for the replacement cost of the items or an actual cash value. It will be your responsibility to negotiate an amount for your contents with your insurance company. One tip is to take the list of items needing to be replaced to a large box store and create a registry to show the total of those items. 

What is the adjuster’s role in this process?

The adjuster assigned to your claim is working for the insurance company either as an employee or a hired contractor through a third-party claim management company. The adjuster will create an estimate of the needed repairs and your claim will be awarded that amount. We will communicate our restoration plan and share any suggestions or necessary supplements with the adjuster. 

Who can help with the rebuild portion of my claim?

Our purpose as your trusted restoration vendor is to clean and/or remove materials affected by the claimed event. We work to mitigate damages to prevent any further damages from occurring in a timely and cost-efficient manner. We are only allowed to remove what is necessary for proper mitigation. Restoration and rebuild are two separate portions of your claim. Following our cleaning process, you will need to hire a contractor to finish repairs. We recommend our partner company Complete Restoration Services and would be happy to have someone contact you with more information. 

To learn more about our fire restoration process or for assistance with your home, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

3 Home Maintenance Tips to Help Prevent Water Damage

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Wood flooring buckling following a water damage event.

While sometimes water damages are caused by an accident, like a water supply line break or a water heater malfunctioning, some water damage is due to improper home maintenance. Follow these tips below to help protect your home from incurring water damages:

  1. Make sure gutters are cleared of debris and properly working to divert water away from your home. When gutters are clogged rainwater can accumulate around the foundation of your home and cause water damage. You should clean your gutters at least twice a year. The best times to do this are right before hurricane season begins in June and one day in November as fall is ending. Downspouts should be positioned 5”-10” from house.
  2. Hire a roofing professional to examine the condition of your roof once a year and after each major storm. You may be able to notice some major damages yourself without the help of a professional. However, a roofing specialist will be able to detect issues only a trained eye will notice, like shingles that should be replaced or faulty flashing around your chimney. Immediately repair any damages you may find. Often a roof leak may go unnoticed for a significant amount of time and lead to mold or mildew growth inside of the home.
  3. Check for water leaks underneath sinks, around window casings, and behind your refrigerator. Again, slow, persistent leaks can lead to mold and mildew issues. Water damages also attract termites and carpenter ants. If you notice any leaks, then find the source and correct the issue immediately. After, dry the wet materials or remove all materials that are damaged beyond repair. Our water damage restoration team is available 24/7 for any water damage emergencies.

Ethics Continuing Education Class

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Attention all local insurance agents and insurance adjusters:

By popular demand, the next continuing education class we will be teaching will be Ethics on September 12, 2019. This is a three hour class that will be taught at our office located at 68424 James Street in Mandeville. Registration will begin at 8:00 am. The class will begin promptly at 8:30 am and end at 11:30 am. There is no charge to attend the class. We are also happy to provide breakfast and coffee for attendees. After the class, your credits will be filed with the state within the week. 

This class is limited to thirty insurance professionals. To reserve your spot or for more information, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Blood Drive at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Office

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and just one donation can potentially save up to 3 people. Did you know our community is currently in dire need of blood donations? If you're able to donate blood, then please swing by our office on August 23rd to do so. The Blood Center's Bloodmobile will be parked in our parking lot from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm taking donations. We will provide snacks and drinks for those donating. 

Four Mold Myths Debunked

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Myth #1: Your house and business can and should be totally free of mold. 

Truth: Microscopic spores are all around us, both indoors and outdoors. Tiny, invisible to the naked eye mold spores enter our homes and businesses through open doors and windows, heating and air conditioning systems, and can even be carried in by our pets. If you were to have an indoor air quality professional or an industrial hygienist conduct a mold test in your home or business, then you would learn every indoor space has an acceptable or natural mold spore count. The problem arrives when you have an elevated mold spore count or see visible mold growing on materials inside your property. In those cases, you should contact us immediately for mold remediation services. 

Myth #2: Black mold is toxic.

Truth: Thousands of different mold species have been scientifically identified in the United States. Some molds appearing to be black are actually a dark green color. The most commonly known dark green mold species associated with health concerns is Stachybotrys chartarum. However, not all dark green or black colored molds are Stachybotrys. Regardless of which specific species of mold you may have in your home or business, you should have it removed. Also, despite the particular species, all microbial growths should be remediated using the same method: position containment around the affected area, stabilize the environment, removed affected porous materials, clean and disinfect remaining nonporous materials, and "scrub" the contaminated room with a HEPA air scrubber. Please note, the source of the issue must first be identified and resolved.

Myth #3: Bleach kills mold.

Truth: Bleach does not kill microbial growth. Bleach will discolor the mold spores for a short period, but the mold will continue on growing. Eventually, you will notice colored microbial growth again. Also, as previously stated, microbial growth is caused by a moisture problem and the original source must be corrected. Applying bleach to the affected material will only amplify the moisture problem. 

Myth #4: You can remediate mold yourself.

Truth: While you may be very capable of removing affected materials, like drywall and carpet yourself, without the necessary professional equipment and expertise you risk spreading the microscopic mold spores throughout more rooms in the property. Remember, the first few steps in our mold remediation process are to set up containment around the affected area and to stabilize the environment. Our protocol works to prevent the spreading of microscopic spores by protecting the unaffected areas. By utilizing negative airflow and air scrubbers with HEPA filters, our mold remediation technicians can not only remove microbial growth but also protect the rest of your home or business. Our mold remediation technicians are trained and certified to properly remove microbial growth. Trust our professionals. 

For questions regarding indoor microbial growth issues or for a mold remediation quote, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375. 

How to Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Bathrooms

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

One of the most common rooms in a home conducive for microbial growth is the bathroom. Mold only needs three things to grow: moisture, a food source, and time. Bathrooms are naturally more humid environments and grime left after baths and showers contribute as a regular food source for microscopic mold spores to feed on. To prevent mold from growing in your bathroom make sure to alleviate as much moisture as possible following each use. Use the vent while showering and leave it on for an extra five minutes or so when you leave. If you do not have a vent in your bathroom, then consider installing one or open a window or door during shower time. If it isn’t more humid outside, then this should help. However, this certainly wouldn’t be helpful during summertime in Louisiana. Installing and regularly using a vent is the best preventative action. Another way to remove moisture from your bathroom is to wipe down or use a squeegee in the shower, tub, and basin after each use. This may prove to be tedious but trust us it’s less of a headache than having to renovate your bathroom because of a mold problem. If you have recently discovered mold growing in your bathroom, then please give us a call now to schedule an appointment with one of our mold remediation technicians. Our office number is 985-871-5375.

Pet Fire Safety

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Pets are a part of your family and should be included in your family's home fire safety and escape plans. Follow the tips below to help prevent your pets from starting fires and to help protect them during an emergency. 

Preventing Fires

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets.  The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips to help prevent pets from starting fires:

  • Extinguish open flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Do not leave your pet unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flames before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cooktop is the number one piece of equipment involved in fires started by pets.
  • Invest in flameless candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure young pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Preparing for a Fire

  • Include them in your escape plan - Include your pets in the exercise when practicing your fire escape plan with your family.  Practice calling for your pets while existing your home. Teach young children to focus on existing the home as quickly as possible and to never reenter the home to search for a pet. Teach them the firefighters will help search for pets once it is safe to do so. 
  • Help firefighters help your pets- Put a decal on your home's front window showing the kind and number of pets you have. 
  • Make sure your pet can be found - During a fire emergency it may be hard to locate your pet if they run off. To prevent your pet from getting lost, make sure their collar has updated information on it. Also, having your pets microchipped will help relocate them if they do become lost. Keep leashes by your front door for easy access as your escaping your home. 
  • Use smoke alarms connected to emergency responders - Install a smoke alarm that will alert the local fire department in case no one is home. 

Important Information Regarding Tropical Storm Barry

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Over the past few days, our team has been meeting with other SERVPRO® disaster recovery team members to complete our response plan for Tropical Storm Barry. We understand the stress and worry both homeowners and business owners are currently feeling, but please rest assured SERVPRO® of Greater Covington and Mandeville is prepared to handle any size disaster. With our local resources and the help of our national resources, we are prepared and ready to help. Our emergency restoration team will be available 24/7 this weekend to help once it is safe to do so. 
We offer the following emergency restoration services:

  • Board-up
  • Roof tarping and repair
  • Flood damage restoration
  • Contents restoration
  • Document restoration
  • Mold remediation 
  • Project management
  • Rebuild 

As of now, we urge you to check off the following items from your personal emergency preparedness checklist as soon as possible:

  • Fill up vehicles with gas
  • Withdraw cash to keep on hand
  • Charge your phones and recharge portable phone chargers 
  • Stock up on enough food and water for at least 3 days
  • Stock up on toiletries (don't forget toilet paper or wet wipes) and refill your first aid kits if necessary 
  • If a storm drain is located outside of your home, then please try to clean it or reach out to someone for help. 
  • Pick up sandbags and stage outside any areas where water may enter your home
  • Continue watching the news and social media  for updates
  • Be home as early as possible (New Orleans residents are required to be home by 8:00 pm tonight) 

For tomorrow:

  • Due to the recent algae bloom in Lake Pontchartrain, everyone should avoid coming into contact with any flood waters around the lakefront in Mandeville.
  • Stay off the roads as much as possible. If you have to question whether you should drive down the street or not, then don't! Turn around and find another way. 
  • If your home or business does experience flooding:
    • Make sure the property is safe before entering
    • Take pictures of everything
    • Do not throw anything away before taking pictures and itemizing the items
    • Contact us immediately to begin cleanup and reduce secondary damages
    • Begin the claims process by contacting your insurance company and/or agent
    • If any important documents have been damaged by flood waters and you still have power, then place the documents in a freezer. We can help with document restoration.  

Important Resources:

Fourth of July Fun on the Northshore

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

This year the fourth of July falls on a Thursday and celebration events will kick off the weekend before. 

The partying will kick off on Friday, June 28th with the Columbia Street Block Party in downtown Covington. This free, family-friendly event is a great way to stroll down Columbia street, view classic cars, and show your support for local businesses. Columbia street blocks 200-500 will be blocked off from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 

On Saturday, June 29th the cities of Abita Springs, Mandeville, and Slidell will each offer family-friendly events with musical performances. Abita Springs will host a free Independence Day Celebration from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Presented by VFW Post 8720, the celebration starts with a decorated bike and wagon parade rolling through the town (patriotic costumes encouraged!) and features live music, a flag retiring ceremony, local civic organizations with fun activities and games, Abita Beer and concessions by a local restaurant as well as hot dogs, baked treats and snowballs. In Mandeville, people are encouraged to picnic and celebrate on the lakefront beginning as early as 10:00 am. The Old Mandeville Business Association Food Court will begin selling food at 5:00 pm. Entertainment on stage begins at 6:00 pm, with a special patriotic tribute to all who have served and continue to serve in our nation's military. The tribute will be followed by live music featuring Four Unplugged. Fun, free activities will be provided by Keep Mandeville Beautiful’s Kid's Tent, and the evening closes with fireworks over Lake Pontchartrain sponsored by The City of Mandeville, Lakeview Regional Medical Center - A Campus of Tulane Medical Center, and Baker Pile Driving.  The stage will be located between Coffee and Carroll Streets. And lastly, the Slidell Heritage Festival offers families music, entertainment, food, fireworks, and so much more to celebrate America's birthday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 4-12, and free admission for children 3 years old and younger. The festival is from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, with a firework show at 9:00 pm. 

On July 3rd, Pearl River will host a fourth of July celebration from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm throughout downtown Pearl River and at the Pearl River Town Hall. This celebration is free and will feature a pie eating contest, a petting zoo, a firework display dusk, and much more. Also on July 3rd, is the Sparks in the Park celebration at the Bogue Falaya Park in downtown Covington. This free, family-friendly event will be from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm and boasts music, a firework display, games, and even a hot dog eating contest. 

And finally, on July 4th, you can celebrate America at three different events across the Northshore. Bright and early at 7:30 am, there will be a Four on the Fourth Family Fun Run/Walk in Covington's Hubie Gallagher Park. The Land-O-Pines Campground will have a DJ and a firework display from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. And for a place to celebrate all day, you can head over to Madisonville for the Madisonville Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration beginning at 11:00 am. This event offers music, games, food, the Miss Madisonville Beauty Pageant, and a firework show at 8:30 pm.  

Dedication Ceremony for Ernest Cooper Memorial Fire Station

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

A brief Dedication Ceremony recognizing the completion of the 2-Bay expansion and the interior renovations at the Ernest J Cooper Memorial Fire Station will be held on Wednesday, June 26th at 10:00 am. Citizens of Covington, area first responders, and the general public are invited to attend. This finished project will provide for better fire protection for our community.

Did you know the Covington Fire Department has one of the best response times in the state of Louisiana and responds to over 1,700 emergency calls each year? Our Covington Fire Department firefighters and administrative staff members spend countless hours teaching fire prevention and fire safety throughout our community. Members of the department also help teach emergency planning for residents and business owners. To contact someone with the Covington Fire Department please visit http://www.covla.com/fire_department/contact_information2.php

Responding to a Water Damage Event

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

We see it every day, a pipe under the kitchen sink breaks or a water heater explodes and causes a water damage event in your home or business. Chances are that at least once in your lifetime you will deal with a water damage event at home or the office. So, what can you do to prevent unnecessary damages following one of these emergencies? Firstly, as an insured, you have the responsibility to immediately mitigate damages as best as you can. In the examples of a pipe breaking or a water heater exploding, your responsibility would then be to find the source of the water leak, turn the source off by shutting off the water supply line and to begin mitigation as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's water damage restoration technicians are available 24/7 every single day of the year to respond to water damage emergencies. After reaching out to our team for help, you can rest assured our team will help make your water damage event seem "Like it never even happened". By utilizing the science of drying techniques and our state-of-the-art drying equipment, most water restoration projects are complete with the drying process within three days. Next, while our technicians are in route to your home or office you can begin to move any furniture or belongings away from flowing or standing water, take pictures of anything damaged, and start documenting any items that may be ruined beyond repair. All of this information will be helpful should you choose to file an insurance claim. 

For more questions regarding water damage claims or water damage restoration, you can send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

American Red Cross: Pillowcase Project

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

The Pillowcase Project is a program that was developed in New Orleans after college students were seen using pillowcases to carry their belongings during a hurricane emergency. Now the American Red Cross is distributing pillowcases throughout the country and teaching children how to stay safe during emergencies specific to their region and how to respond during a home fire. Through the Pillowcase Project, children will learn how to prepare for an emergency, practice what they have learned, and share this information with their family and friends. 

In Louisiana, children taught the Pillowcase Project will learn about preparing for home fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Children will learn how to fill their pillowcases with items needed during an emergency, like a flashlight, radio, a change of clothes, medications, and other necessities. An American Red Cross presenter, be it a volunteer or an American Red Cross employee, will also help explain healthy coping skills so that the children can learn how to emotionally process an emergency. Pillowcase Project presentations can be done for a wide variety of groups, such as classrooms, girl or boy scout groups, and church organizations. 

To learn more about preparing your child for an emergency please visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/emergency-preparedness-for-kids.html

For questions regarding the Pillowcase project please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Networking on the Northshore

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Northshore Young Professionals Luncheon

Yes, “Northshore” is one word here. The Greater New Orleans Northshore area is comprised of St. Tammany Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, and Washington Parish. This region has become known not only as an idyllic place to live and visit, but also a community where both small and large businesses can thrive. St. Tammany Corporation explains, “St. Tammany boasts low business costs, successful workforce development initiatives, and responsive incentive programs”. As a small, locally owned and operated business located in Mandeville, the team at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is proud to be a part of this community and we believe working with other Northshore businesses has contributed greatly to our success throughout the past ten years.

According to the United States Small Business Association’s 2018 Small Business Profile, 30.2 million businesses in the United States are small businesses, accounting for 99.9% of all United States businesses. This statistic rings true for the Northshore’s business economic makeup as well. A casual stroll throughout charming downtown Covington or historic Old Mandeville will serve as proof. As the marketing and sales manager for SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, small business owners and entrepreneurs often ask me about networking events and referral groups around town. Everyone is surprised to hear me say that if you really wanted to, you could attend a networking event almost every day of the week on the Northshore. From networking opportunities specific to a particular industry to events more inclusive of businesses from a certain neighborhood, the Northshore hosts dozens of organizations focused on helping businesses grow. Below is a list of local organizations focused on helping business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Northshore Networking Organizations:

St.Tammany West Chamber of Commerce

The St.Tammany West Chamber of Commerce is a 5 star accredited chamber of commerce. Their mission is to help support and promote local businesses. The St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce offers members networking opportunities, seminars, business counseling services,industry-specific roundtables, and other member perks. Each month members can attend no cost networking events like Business After Hours, Business to Business meetings, and ribbon cuttings for new businesses. Membership prices are determined by the company size. For information regarding membership, please send an email to meredith@sttammanychamber.org.

Northshore Young Professionals

The Northshore Young Professionals organization is a subcommittee within the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce that promotes networking for young professionals within our community. NYP membership is available to any young professional who is a St.Tammany West Chamber of Commerce member free of charge. Admission to networking Pop-Ups is $15.

Covington Business Association

The Covington Business Association (CBA) is a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness of businesses operating in Covington and to advance their interests. At the monthly CBA meetings, local business owners and entrepreneurs can network and receive updates about local projects and upcoming events. Annual membership dues are $120. To join or for more information, please send an email to treasureer@gocovington.org.

Old Mandeville Business Association

Old Mandeville Business Association (OMBA) is a non-profit organization made up of a network of businesses in the Old Mandeville area and resident members which share the same commitment to serve, support, and advance the interests of local commerce while remaining true to the unique, soulful spirit of the Old Mandeville community. Throughout the year OMBA hosts a handful of networking happy hours and a few very well-attended events, like the Girod Street Stroll and Empty Bowl. Yearly membership dues are $125 for businesses and $45 for residents. For more information click here.

Referral Groups

If you’re looking to join a networking organization that meets more frequently and is strictly focused on passing referrals between members, then maybe joining a referral group would be best for your business. Two of the more notable networking referral groups in our community are BNI and Master Networks. BNI, Business Network International, is a popular international networking organization based upon the principle that “givers gain”. There are thousands of BNI “chapters” around the world and dozens located throughout the Greater New Orleans area. For more information about local BNI chapters please visit bnilouisiana.com. Master Networkers is also a referral based networking organization. While Master Networks is a referral based group, their mission “is to lead a movement of learning-based, service-orientated, entrepreneurs and business leaders”. For more information about local Master Networks groups go to masternetworks.com.

Industry-Specific Organizations

Joining an industry-specific group is another way to network with like-minded business professionals. Besides being kept informed with recent events or legislature concerning your industry, most organizations host luncheons, continuing education classes, happy hour networking events, and fundraisers throughout the year.

A few industry-specific organizations with chapters located throughout New Orleans and the Northshore area include:

I told you that if you wanted to, then you could spend almost every night of the week at a networking event around town! Hopefully, this list helps inspire you to get more involved with the networking scenes on the Northshore, Southshore, or both sides of the lake. For questions regarding a specific organization or upcoming event, please feel free to send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.

Kayla Theriot

Marketing and Sales Manager

2019 National Hurricane Preparedness Week

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2019

Hurricane season begins June 1st. This year National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 5th through May 11th. Each day we are urged to focus on specific emergency planning tasks to help prepare our families and communities for hurricanes.

May 5th – Know Your Risk

How at risk of hurricane damages is your home or business? Evaluate what you need to do now in order to best protect your home and business. Sign up for local alerts online or download a weather app, like the FEMA app or the WDSU weather app.

May 6th – Develop an Evacuation Plan

The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, then figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or unsafe home, and coordinate with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing for you and those you care about.

May 7th - Assemble Disaster Supplies

 A hurricane emergency kit should include all the necessities for surviving at least 72 hours and any unique items your family may need, like items for pets or seniors. In addition to storing copies of important documents in your emergency kit, you should also have documents stored on the cloud or saved as a Google document.

May 8th - Get an Insurance Check Up

Is your home properly protected? Read our latest blog about flood insurance to learn important facts about flood insurance that may probably surprise you. For instance, just one inch of water in your home can cause up to $25,000 in damages. Imagine having to cover the restoration and rebuild costs without having insurance. Also, flood insurance doesn’t go into effect until thirty days after the purchase date and insurance cannot be purchased when a named storm is in the Gulf of Mexico. So, plan a meeting with your insurance agent today to review your policy and make necessary changes before it's too late. 

May 9th - Strengthen Your Home

If you plan to ride out a hurricane in your home, then make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home. So, it must be able to withstand high winds. You can reduce property damage in the event of a hurricane by retrofitting (i.e., reinforcing) the roof, windows, and doors.

May 10th - Help Your Neighbor

Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions your community can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes by visiting ready.gov/neighbors.

May 11th – Make an Emergency Plan

Write down your full emergency plan and share it with your friends and family. Having a written plan will take the guesswork out of your response and allow you to calmly make decisions during a disaster. For help creating your emergency plan, you can visit ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Remember, it only takes one storm to change your life and community. For more information on hurricanes and hurricane safety, visit weather.gov/safety/hurricane

Create an Emergency Ready Profile for Your Business and Enter to Win Jazz Festival Tickets

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

2019 Jazz Festival Ticket Drawing

At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we often see disasters become major issues because of a lack of readiness. This is why we offer free emergency planning services to every business owner and property manager in our area. Our disaster planning services help businesses mitigate damages following a storm or accident while ultimately saving them time and money on restoration. This month, in an effort to promote business continuity within our community, we've decided to give away a pair of Jazz Festival tickets to one lucky person who participates in our Emergency Ready Program. 

All local residents, business owners, and property managers are eligible to win. To enter the drawing you must create an Emergency Ready Profile for your business or for a property that you manage with our marketing coordinator Kayla Theriot by April 12th. You can also refer a local business to create an Emergency Ready Profile. If that business completes an Emergency Ready Profile, then both you and the business owner will be entered into the drawing. Again, this service is free and only takes about thirty minutes to complete. We will choose one winner on Monday, April 15th. 

Together let's make sure every business is ready to respond to any size disaster! To learn more about our Emergency Ready Program or to schedule an appointment with Kayla please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.

NFPA's Most Recent Home Structure Fire Research Report

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

National Fire Protection Agency

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. NFPA is a great resource for fire safety tips, fire safety training, and fire research. In December of 2018, NFPA released their most recent research publication of fire statistics and findings from 2012 to 2016. Below are a few important statistics to note:

  • More than one-third of reported fires (27%) occurred in the home.
  • During this five-year period, firefighters responded to an average of 355,400 fire per year.
  • Roughly one of every 326 households per year had a reported home fire during this period. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day.
  • Leading causes of home structure fires from 2012- 2016 are as follows: Cooking equipment accounted for 48% of home structure fires. Heating equipment accounted for 15% of home structure fires. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for 10% of home structure fires. Eight percent of the fires were deemed intentional. And lastly, five percent of the home structure fires from 2012-2016 were caused by smoking materials.
  • Candles started an average of 8,200 fires annually, resulting in an average of 80 deaths, 770 injuries, and $264 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Someone, usually a child, playing fire or another heat source, started an average of 5,700 home fires annually in 2012-2016.
  • The kitchen was the leading origin in home structure fires.
  • Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in which either no smoke alarm was present (40%) or at least one alarm was present but did not operate (17%).

Ways to help protect your home from fire damages:

  • Pay attention when cooking. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Do not pour water on a grease fire, either use a fire extinguisher or baking soda to put out the fire. 
  • Do not overload outlets or power strips. 
  • Do not plug more than one heating appliance into an outlet.
  • Make sure flammable items are kept a respectable distance away from the stove, fireplace, and appliances. 
  • Teach children not to play with fire and other fire safety tips. 
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in each bedroom. 
  • Test smoke alarms every month and replace batteries every six months. Smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years. Check the back of the smoke alarm for the manufacturer's date. If not date is noted, then replace that smoke alarm and install a new one. 
  • Clean out the lint screen before each drying cycle. 
  • Unplug appliance when they are not in use. 

For more fire safety tips, please visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire.html 

No Job Too Big for SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in water damage restoration, mold remediation, and fire and soot damage restoration for both residential and commercial properties. We are also a leading restoration vendor for catastrophic storm response. With over 1,800 SERVPRO franchises and hundreds of SERVPRO large loss disaster recovery teams strategically placed throughout the country, help is always nearby. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is able to provide immediate disaster restoration services for any size property any day of the year.

We are committed to helping businesses recover faster following a disaster and to helping business owners better prepare for an emergency. SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Program was created to help business owners prepare for any size disaster by understanding their risks and formulating a plan of action. To learn more about our Emergency Ready Program please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

What is Black Mold?

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

"Black mold", formally known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, is only one species of mold. Stachybotrys chartarum often appears black or dark green in color. Stachybotrys chartarum can grow on materials with high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper dust, and lint. Now, there are thousands of unique species of mold in the world. Not every dark green or black colored microbial growth is Stachybotrys chartarum. Other species of molds may look similar in color. In order to be certain of which species of mold you have discovered growing in your home or business, you must have an Indoor Environmental Professional or Industrial Hygienist test for mold. The mold testing professional will take samples of the air quality inside of your home, of the suspected microbial growth, and of the air quality outside of your home. The samples will then be sent to a lab for testing. In less than one week, the professional should send you the test results and explain the findings. Any excessive amount of mold spores in your home should be addressed by professionals like our mold remediation team at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. "Black mold" or not, an excessive count of mold spores affects your home's air quality. For questions regarding mold remediation or to schedule an appointment with one of our certified mold remediation technicians, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.    

Have You Created an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Business?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Emergency Ready Program

Benjamin Franklin said, "by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail". This is one of our favorite quotes, as every day we are reminded of the importance of disaster preparedness. We understand accidents happen. Even with regular business maintenance, you can not prevent accidents from occurring, like water pipes breaking or appliances malfunctioning. Also, you can not control natural disasters, nor can you prevent damages following said natural disasters. As a business owner, your best defense for property damages is a strong offense of proper maintenance and emergency planning. Have you created a disaster plan for your business? If so, have you shared this plan with your employees? How would your team respond following an accident or disaster if they could not get in touch with you or didn't know about your emergency preparedness plan? SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville offers free emergency preparedness and business continuity planning services for businesses of all sizes in St. Tammany Parish. Our marketing coordinator will help you create an Emergency Ready Profile that will serve to better prepare you and your team to respond quickly following a disaster. A quick response will help you to minimize business interruption, minimize lost revenue from business interruption, and save you money from reduced secondary damages. For more information about our Emergency Ready Program or to schedule your appointment with our marketing coordinator, please contact Kayla Theriot by sending an email to Kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Notice a Moldy Smell in Your Home or Business? Here's How You Should Respond.

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Does it smell like mold is growing in your home or business?

Most people learn their home has a mold issue either by discovering visible mold growth or by smelling a “moldy” odor. Mold growth produces gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). Depending on the species of mold, the microbial volatile organic compound gasses can either be odorless or carry a distinct moldy smell. People often describe this moldy smell as musty, as if something inside of the pungent room is wet. If you notice this smell in your home or business, but do not see visible mold growth, then you should contact an industrial hygienist or indoor air quality professional to have the property tested for elevated mold spore counts. The professional will take air samples from multiple rooms in your home or business. They will also swab specific materials in areas believed to be affected and take samples from the air outside as a base to compare mold spore counts. Often the heating and air conditioning system is tested as well as mold spores will travel throughout the property through this channel. The samples are then sent to a lab for testing. Within a few days, the mold testing professional will send you a copy of the test results and explain their findings. Once the location of the mold growth has been determined our mold remediation technicians can devise a plan to remove affected materials and rid your home or business of an excessive mold spore count. To learn mold about our mold remediation process or to schedule an appointment with our mold remediation project manager please call our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's Rebuild Services

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville truly is your one-stop shop for restoration services. In addition to specializing in water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, and mold remediation, we also offer rebuild services to help replace materials affected by said damages. Our mitigation and remediation teams work to salvage as much as possible following an incident, but some materials are too damaged and must be discarded of. Our rebuild team is able to provide drywall installation, flooring installation, painting, and other numerous other construction services. By offering an array of remediation and rebuild services, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville ensures your restoration project runs smoothly and most efficiently. 

Our rebuild manager is Coty Reeves. To contact Coty please send an email to Coty@SERVPROofcovington.com Our rebuild project manager is Kenny Fourroux. To contact Kenny please send an email to Kenny@SERVPROfcovington.com. To contact the office please dial 985-871-5375. 

Severe Weather Warning for Northshore and Southshore Areas

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Follow these tips to thaw frozen pipes

A sharp cold front will be moving through our area late tonight, January 28th, and throughout the early morning hours tomorrow, January 29th. A flood warning will continue for the Pearl River near Bogalusa until tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. I urge you to prepare your home for the upcoming dangerous temperatures. Wednesday morning we will likely have freeze or hard freeze warnings or watches, according to WDSU. Also, please be mindful while driving as roads are expected to be frozen or slick with icy patches. 

For help with any water damage emergencies relating to this winter storm, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375. Our emergency restoration team is available 24/7 to make any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened." 

Fire Safety Tips for Children

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Most children learn about fire safety practices in school. Every year local firefighters make special visits to elementary and middle schools in St. Tammany Parish to teach children how to prevent fires and how to respond in case of a fire. But there's more you can be doing at home to help prepare your child for an emergency. Follow the tips below to help practice fire safety with your kids:

Fire Prevention 

Children should know that items like candles, matches, and lighters are for adults only. Teach them to notify an adult of any matches or lighters they find out of place. 

Test the smoke detector 

Have children participate in testing the smoke detectors in your home. Children should know that every month smoke detectors must be checked and that every six months the batteries should be changed. Also, by testing the smoke detector together your child will become familiar with the alarm sound, ensuring they know when a fire has been detected. 

Get low and crawl

Teach children to escape during a home fire is to get low on the ground where there is less smoke and crawl to safety. Because fire is scary some children may actually crawl into a closet or hide under their beds during a fire. Teach your child that they must escape to a safe place and not to hide. 

Find help 

Prepare them to find help after escaping by finding a neighbor and calling 911. Most importantly, teach them that they are not allowed to go back into a burning building under any circumstances. 

Stop, drop, and roll

Your child will most likely learn this fire safety tip at school, but you should still spend time going over it with them. The more they practice this tip,  the calmer they will be in if their clothes actually did catch on fire. 

Practice, practice, practice your escape plan 

Usually, children will return from a fire safety class with a fire escape map they have drawn of their home. Go over that map with your child. Make sure they are aware of two exists in each room. Have them draw escape routes and practice escaping a few times each year. Teach them how to determine which route is the best one to take, like testing to see if their bedroom door know is hot.

Children are eager to learn, especially when the information is presented in a fun way. Make games out of practicing these fire safety tips. Maybe you can make children race each other to see who can escape fastest!  Also, there are plenty of activities and games for children available at http://www.sparky.org/. And for more information about teaching children fire safety tips please visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/fire-safety-for-kids.html

Facts About Flood Insurance: Why you need to have it and what you need to know

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

green dehumidifiers and fans in empty room with sheetrock removed and studs exposed from the floor to four feet up the walls SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in flood damage restoration.

According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every single state. While hurricanes are mostly responsible for massive flooding catastrophes, other causes of flooding include snowmelt, heavy rain, dams or levees breaking, and new developments impacting water flow. In the past couple of years, many homes that are not in high-risk flood zones throughout the cities of Covington, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Denham Springs, and Baton Rouge experienced flooding simply because of heavy rainfall.  In case you didn’t know, your homeowner’s policy will not cover damages caused by flooding. Purchasing a flood insurance policy is a wise idea even if your home is not located on the lakefront in Mandeville or near the river in downtown Covington. Just one inch of floodwater in your home can cost thousands of dollars in damages. Floodwater is contaminated and according to professional cleaning standards every material affected by flood water must be removed and discarded. 

Picture a few inches of floodwater inside of your home. Imagine needing to replace your flooring, sheetrock, cabinets, furniture, clothes, electronics, etc. How much do you think this would cost? Purchasing a flood insurance policy will save you time and money, helping you and your family recover faster.

Below are a few facts about flood insurance and helpful tips to make you a more informed insured.

When should you purchase a flood insurance policy?

Do not wait for hurricane season to purchase a flood insurance policy. The average flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become active. However, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a policy may go into effect sooner: 

  • “If your building is newly designated in a high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area, and you buy flood insurance within the 13-month period following a map revision: One-day waiting period.
  • If you buy flood insurance in connection with making, increasing, extending, or renewing your mortgage loan: No waiting period.
  • If you select additional insurance as an option on your flood insurance policy renewal bill: No waiting period.
  • If your property is affected by flooding on burned federal land, and the policy is purchased within 60 days of the fire-containment: Possible waiver of the waiting period.”

But, for the most part, damages from flooding will only be covered after the thirty-day wait period. Now is always the best time to purchase a flood insurance policy.

What is covered by flood insurance?

Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners, and renters. For homeowners, your flood insurance policy will offer up to $250,000 for repairing the home itself and offer up to $100,000 for replacing personal items and your contents. Business owner policies will offer up to $500,000 for building repairs and $500,000 in building contents. Renters can purchase policies covering up to $100,000 of personal contents.

According to FEMA:

“Building coverage includes:

  • The insured building and its foundation
  • The electrical and plumbing system
  • Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring

Contents coverage includes:

  • Clothing, curtains, furniture and electronic equipment
  • Portable items such as window air conditioners, microwaves, and dishwashers
  • Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage

Policy prices will differ based upon deductible, the extent of coverages, flood risk, year of building construction, and other factors. The flood insurance market is evolving. Private insurance companies are beginning to offer flood insurance policies now. Speak with your insurance agent to see if you could benefit from purchasing a private flood insurance policy.  

How do you purchase a flood insurance policy?

Speak with your insurance agent to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program and private insurance policies. They should help you understand which options are best suited for your home and/or business.  If your agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661 for a referral.

What to do after a flood?

If your home or business has been damaged by floodwaters, then please do not enter the property until it is safe to do so. Once you can access your property again, start with contacting your insurance company to file a claim. Then, you can begin to inventory damaged items. Take photographs of everything. Write down each item’s purchase date and estimated value. This home inventory list will need to be submitted to your adjuster. Also, remember to take notes of your conversations with your insurance company and the adjuster. Jot down the date and time of each interaction, as well as specific notes about what was discussed.

If you do not have a flood insurance policy and your home or business has been damaged due to flooding, then you will be financially responsible for necessary repairs and restoration services. Only if a flooding incident has been declared a national disaster by the president will FEMA assistance become available. This assistance is usually in the form of a grant or low-interest disaster loan that you are required to repay.

The recovery process following flooding disasters is long and can be stressful. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville understands the worry you will feel after your home has incurred damages. As your neighbors and your friends, we offer our expertise, guidance, and 24-hour emergency restoration services for those in need of disaster recovery. For questions or to receive assistance please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program or what to do before, during, or after a flood you can visit:

https://www.floodsmart.gov/how/what-to-know-before-buying-a-flood-insurance-policy

https://www.floodsmart.gov/

https://www.iii.org/article/facts-about-flood-insurance

https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4310-4313/updates/facts-and-myths-about-flood-insurance

https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

Minimize Water Damage With This Product

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Leak Detector

"I just woke up and found my house is flooded with water! At some point last night a pipe under my kitchen sink broke and now there's water everywhere. Please help me." 

We get this phone call all of the time. It's more common than you think for a water pipe to accidentally break or for a hot water heater to explode, causing several gallons of water to leak in your home. Accidents do happen though. Pipes get old and break. Appliances often malfunction. So, how do you prevent waking up in the morning to wet, squishy bedroom floors? Water leak detectors work like smoke detectors in that they will sound an alarm to notify you of a water leak. You can purchase a water leak detector from a hardware store, like The Home Depot or Lowe's, or from an online retailer for about ten dollars. Simply leave the water leak detector in places prone to cause water damage like under sinks and in the drip pan under your hot water heater. If an accident were to occur, then upon hearing the alarm you should quickly act to find which alarm is sounding and turn off the water supply to that sink or turn off your hot water heater. This simple product can help to diminish a water damage disaster in your home, saving you time and money. 

If a water damage event has already happened in your home, then follow these tips to prevent further damages

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is available 24/7/365 for emergency water damage restoration. 

Responding Quickly to a Commercial Water Loss

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in commercial water damage restoration.

While renovating a new space at this shopping center a contractor accidentally broke one of the sprinkler heads. Gallons of water began spewing out of the fire suppression system and leaked into the neighboring retail store. Once notified of the situation the property manager called us for help. Our water damage restoration crew was on site within twenty minutes. We quickly extracted all of the water and then properly placed drying equipment where needed. In just three days both affected retail spaces were completely dry! 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville believes in the 1-4-8 customer service promise. Within one hour of receiving notice of an emergency one of our project managers will schedule a time to meet our customer at their home or business. Within, four hours of the original phone call our team will be on site assessing damages. And lastly, within eight hours one of our project managers will communicate our plan of action to our customer. We uphold this promise 24/7/365. 

Sewage Loss at Church in Picayune

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage Loss at Church in Picayune, Mississippi

On Sunday, December 30th our marketing coordinator received notice from one of our clients of a sewage loss at a church in Picayune, Mississippi. The sewage pipe system had malfunctioned and raw sewage was flowing from underneath the wall into the church sanctuary. Luckily, someone was able to quickly respond and shut off the water supply to the building. One of our project managers and part of our water damage restoration team was on site as soon as possible to help. As you may notice in the picture, only a small portion, approximately seven hundred square feet, of the main space was affected. Our crew removed all affected materials, including carpet, sheetrock, and insulation. The remaining materials were sprayed with a biocide to disinfect and prevent future damages. 

If your home or business has experienced a sewage loss, then please do not attempt to clean the affected area by yourself. Please call our trained and highly certified technicians to properly clean up and restore your property. 

Flood Warning Continues for St. Tammany Parish and Surrounding Areas

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Flood warning for St. Tammany Parish and Surrounding Areas

Last night's storm has caused several roads to be unpassable and we are now receiving many phone calls requesting help to restore flooded homes and businesses. The flood warning will continue for St. Tammany and surrounding areas until early next week. If your home or business has experienced flooding, then please call our office at 985-871-5375. Our water damage restoration technicians are ready to respond as quickly as possible.

According to Weather Underground: 

The Flood Warning continues for
the Bogue falaya river at Boston St in Covington.
* Until Monday December 31.
* At 9:30 am Friday the stage was 10.1 feet.
* Minor flooding is occurring and moderate flooding is forecast.
* Flood stage is 6.0 feet.
* Forecast... the river will continue rising to near 11.0 feet by
Saturday December 29. The river will fall below flood stage Monday
December 31.
* Impact... at 11.0 feet... there will be major flooding around christ
episcopal school and Bogue falaya River Park.
* Impact... at 9.0 feet... Bogue falaya River Park will be inundated.
Some ground floor classrooms at christ episcopal school grounds
will flood.
* Impact... at 7.0 feet... water will rise onto the West Bank flooding
property of the Bogue falaya towers at East Boston street and
threatening commercial property on the East Bank near military
Road. Bogue falaya River Park and christ episcopal school grounds
will begin to flood.
* Impact... at 6.0 feet... the river will leave its banks under the
Boston street bridge and begin to flood the Bogue falaya towers
property.

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO F1RST RESPONDER BOWL

SERVPRO is proud to announce the inaugural SERVPRO First Responder Bowl being played at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. The newly renamed bowl is designed to honor the sacrifice and service of the brave men and women who are the first line of defense in local communities when the unexpected or the unthinkable happens. Kickoff for the event, televised by ESPN, is December 26 at 1:30 ET.

It’s a privilege to have the SERVPRO name associated with an event that celebrates the dedication and selflessness of first responders. These men and women are true hometown heroes and first on the scene when disaster strikes, helping to save lives and protect property. The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl will honor first responders including police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue teams, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents, and military personnel who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide help at the scene of an emergency. Event organizers planned to distribute 10,000 complimentary tickets to verified first responders and their families who sign up at https://www.firstresponderbowl.com/first-responders. These complimentary tickets are possible thanks to corporate sponsors like SERVPRO and individual fans who chose to “Sponsor a Responder” with a $15 donation when they purchase their general admission tickets.
“The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is a celebration of the commitment to service demonstrated by the everyday people who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the lives and property of their neighbors,” said Sue Steen, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. SERVPRO is honored to have this opportunity to shine a spotlight on all of these hard-working first responders, and their families, and to recognize them for the heroes they are. For more information please go to https://www.firstresponderbowl.com/ 

Ethics Continuing Education Class for Insurance Agents and Insurance Adjusters

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

January 9th CE Class

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville offers free continuing education classes for local insurance adjusters and insurance agents. Our next class, Ethics, will be taught at our new office located at 68424 James Street in Mandeville on January 9, 2019. Registration begins at 8:00 am. The class will begin at 8:30 am and end at 11:30 am. To register or for more information please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com  

About Ethics Continuing Education: 

The premise for this ethics course is that although we may have solid ethical foundations and usually make rational ethical decisions, ethical lapses are likely to come when we are stressed, angry, upset, worried, or otherwise disengaged.

Each and every day we are faced with decisions that could cause harm to others or ourselves. Facing ethical decisions can be very difficult, especially when we make decisions that may seem correct at first, but we later find out were not so great. As we explore what “Ethics” is, you will be challenged to become involved in hourly group activities. The group activities will help reinforce what has been learned, as well as the ability to better deal with ethical decision-making in our own lives.

How and When to Test Your Smoke Alarm

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

smoke alarm with smoke around it Test smoke alarms once a month

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires per year between 2011 and 2015. Working smoke alarms give an early warning of fire, give people additional time to escape, and thus cut the risk of dying in a reported home fire in half. However, a significant percentage of residential smoke alarms fail to operate during a fire. The two main reasons for a failed smoke alarm detector are simply missing or disconnected batteries and dead batteries. Both cases are easily preventable. 

How to Test Your Smoke Alarm 

Most smoke alarms have a clearly labeled "test" button. Make a habit to press this button at least once a month to ensure the batteries are properly working. This sound will be loud, but make sure everyone in your family is involved in this exercise to learn what noise to expect in case of an emergency. If the alarm does not sound when tested, then it is time to replace the batteries. 

Once you've established that the smoke alarms are properly working, determine if it responds to smoke particles by using a smoke detector test aerosol spray can (be sure to look for one that is UL listed).

When to Test Your Smoke Alarm

You should test your smoke alarms at least once a month to make certain they are operating properly. Another good habit is to change the batteries in your smoke alarms twice each year, once in Spring when we turn the clocks forward an hour and once in Fall when we turn the clocks back an hour. Also, smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years. Dust and debris can settle inside of the alarm and cause the sensors to fail. If you have recently purchased your home, then you should replace all of the smoke alarms unless you can prove the manufacturing date. 

Need Assistance With Obtaining Or Installing a Smoke Alarm?

The state of Louisiana supplies each fire station with smoke alarm detectors for the public every year. If you can't afford a smoke alarm or cannot install them by yourself, then please reach out to your local fire department for help. Your local fire department will give and install smoke alarms in your home free of charge as a part of their program Operation Save A Life. 

Fire Districts in St. Tammany Parish:

  1. Fire District 1, Slidell
  2. Fire District 2 Fire Department, Madisonville
    • To contact someone in this fire department call the administrative office at 985-845-3330 or send an email here 
  3. Fire District 3, Lacombe
    • To contact someone in this fire department you can dial 985-882-5977 or send an email to admin@stfd3.com
  4. District 4, Mandeville
    • St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 4 encompasses an approximate 70 square mile region on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain in Southern Louisiana. The District boundaries are formed by the fourth ward of St. Tammany Parish. It is bordered to the east at Pontchartrain Drive on Highway 190, west to the Tchefuncte River, north to Ponchitalawa Creek (including additional areas along LA Highways 36, 59, Interstate 12, Helenburg Road and the River Oaks subdivision), and south extending 13.4 miles on the Greater New Orleans Expressway (Causeway).
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-626-8671 or send an email to contactus@mandevillefire.net
  5. District 5, Folsom
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-796-5266.
  6. District 6, Covington and North Lee Road Areas
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-809-1768.
  7. City of Covington Fire Department
    • To contact someone in this station dial 985-898-4727 or send an email to bnunez@covla.com
  8. District 8, Abita Springs
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-892-2065 or send an email to fd8admin@stfd8.com
  9. District 9, Bush 
  10. District 11, Pearl River 
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-863-3132 or send an email to contact@stfpd11.org
  11. Fire District 12 
    • The District’s boundaries wrap around the City of Covington to the south, east and north, and take in one of West St. Tammany’s busiest corridors – Hwy. 190 between I-12 and Covington. From rural areas north of Covington to the densely populated Tammany Hills and Crestwood subdivisions, FD12 provides service to more than 25,000 people and 1,200 businesses.
    • To contact someone at this department dial 985-892-5161 or send an email to info@fd12.org
  12. District 13, Goodbee Fire Department

Fire Facts and Fire Safety Resources:

Relief Efforts for Florida Residents Affected by Hurricane Michael

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

From left to right:Kayla Theriot (SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville), Kelly Dabdoub (Dabdoub Insurance and Investments), Alison Ceuvas(TWFG)

On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Flordia as a Category 4 Hurricane. Hurricane Michael affected Cuba, parts of Central America, Georga, North Carolina, Virginia, and caused devastating damages to the Florida panhandle. Mexico Beach and Panama City suffered catastrophic losses as Hurricane Michael was the strongest storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle. As numerous relief efforts began to organize, the Northshore chapter of the Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana gathered supplies and donations for those in need. Our marketing coordinator Kayla Theriot joined other members of Northshore PIA with a group of Louisiana residents on October 20th to help make and package meals for those affected by Hurricane Michael. Each day the group prepared between 1,500 and 2,500 meals. Numerous local volunteers picked up the meals and delivered them to first responders and Hurricane Michael victims who had to evacuate their homes. As of now, no other Northshore PIA members are scheduled to return to Flordia for relief efforts, but the organization is still raising money to send to those in need. If you would like to donate to the relief efforts, please visit https://myemail.constantcontact.com/You-asked--and-here-is-how-you-can-help---.html?soid=1118092548365&aid=BqQhtUHm_Mo 

Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

2018 Women Build Project

Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian organization that helps families in need realize their dream of homeownership. The homes are built with the help of donations from sponsors, profits from the Habitat Restore, and volunteers throughout the community. Women Build is one of Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West's annual projects that empower women to build homes. This year our marketing coordinator, Kayla Theriot, participated in one of the Women Build volunteer dates along with other professional women from St. Tammany Parish. We are honored to give back to our community by participating in local charitable projects. 

Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West is currently building three homes in Covington.

If you or your organization would like to get involved, then please send an email to Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West's Volunteer Coordinator Katie Melucci at kmelucci@habitatstw.org

 

Mold Removal with Air Scrubber

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores are filtered through an air scrubber

Part of the mold remediation process includes removing mold spores from the air of the affected space. This piece of equipment can serve as either a negative air machine or a HEPA air filtration machine. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. 

During the mold remediation process, we first set up containment around the affected area to prevent further spreading of particulates. Then, we either use this machine to create negative air and pump air outside of the area or we can utilize this machine as an air filtration device. When used as an air filtration machine, or "air scrubber" as it is commonly called, air passes through a two-stage filtration system and the HEPA filter captures 99.97% of smaller particles down to 0.3 microns. 

2018 National Preparedness Month

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us all to prepare ourselves, our families, and our businesses for each kind of disastrous situation we may have to endure. The overarching theme for this year is “Disasters happen. Plan now. Learn how" and each week we are encouraged to focus on specific emergency preparedness tasks. 

Week 1: September 1st-8th

Make and Practice Your Plan 

  • To learn how to create a hurricane evacuation plan click here
  • To learn how to create a fire escape plan click here
  • To learn how to make an emergency plan for your pets click here
  • To learn how to create an emergency plan for your business click here

Once you have created a plan specific to your needs, then remember to practice the plan with your family, employees, and pets a few times a year.

Week 2: September 9th-15th

Learn Life Saving Skills 

  • Check the batteries in the smoke alarm detectors in your home and business.
  • Learn how to help mitigate damages after a disaster has happened.
    1. Learn how to turn off certain utilities, like the fire suppression system, main water supply, and gas line.
    2. Compile a contact list for emergency service providers such as these:
      • Local fire department
      • Local hospital
      • Local police department
      • Plumber
      • Electrician
      • HVAC company
      • SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville 
    3. Create emergency disaster kits to keep in your home and car. Click here to see the list of supplies you will need to assemble a kit. 

Week 3: September 16th-22nd 

Review Your Insurance Policy 

Insurance plans can be hard to understand. Most people do not completely understand what situations they are covered for or the specific damages that may be excluded from their policy. Do you have flood insurance? Do you have mold coverage? Would your insurance company pay for the cleanup after your sewage system backed up? Did you know it takes thirty days for flood insurance to go into effect? Schedule a meeting with your insurance agent this week to discuss your coverage and to adjust your policy to better suit your needs.

  1. To learn more about homeowners insurance policies click here
  2. To learn how to create inventory lists for your home and business click here
  3. To learn more about flood insurance click here

Week 4: September 23rd-29th

Save For an Emergency 

Any size disaster can place a heavy financial burden on a homeowner or business owner. To help be better financially prepared for an emergency follow these tips: 

  1. Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. To learn how to do so please click here
  2. Build up an emergency fund. To learn how to do so please click here
  3. If you must evacuate, then remember to take certain financial documents with you. You can prepare ahead of time by gathering important financial documents, creating copies of them, and putting them on the cloud.  To learn which documents you should make copies of please click here

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is an IICRC Certified Firm

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

How to Prevent Further Damages After a Water Damage Event

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is the second most common insurance claim filed in the United States. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and it's fairly common for appliances and water pipes to break and cause gallons of water to leak into your home. If you notice a water leak in your home, then please follow these tips to prevent further damages:  

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact professional to do so
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs to prevent discoloration 
  • Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature
  • Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting to prevent staining
  • Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water
  • Do not leave books, magazine or other colored items on wet carpeting.
  • Call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville at 985-871-5375. We have water damage restoration technicians available 24/7 for emergency services. 

How Do You Know If It's Mold?

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Do you have visible microbial growth in your home? How can you tell if it is indeed mold or specifically which species of mold it is? There are at least twenty thousand different species of mold that have been scientifically identified. The only way to determine if the microbial growth in your home is mold or not is to have the growth tested by an Industrial Hygienist or an Indoor Environmental Professional. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville does not perform mold testing due to our ethical standards. However, we are happy to refer you to someone who is a trusted Indoor Air Quality and Mold Inspector in our community. When testing for mold the Indoor Environmental Professional will take samples of the air inside of your home or business and also a sample of the air outside to compare mold spore counts. The Indoor Environmental Professional will also swab the suspected mold growth. The samples collected will then be sent to an AIHA accredited laboratory for analysis and you can expect results in a few days. If you  have any questions or would like more information about hiring a reliable Indoor Air Quality and Mold Inspector on the Northshore, then please feel free to give us a call at 985-871-5375.

Mold vs. Mildew

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

What's the difference between mold and mildew? This is a fairly common question our mold remediation technicians are often asked. Both mold and mildew thrive in humid, warm environments. Also, mold and mildew are equally able to grow on an array of surfaces, from food to drywall to kitchen cabinets. Mold and mildew do  differ in size, texture, and color though. Mildew is a surface fungi that tends to be gray or white in color and is usually found on a moist surface. Mold is usually green or brown in color and sometimes may even seem to look fuzzy. Discovering mold growth inside of your home of business is typically the result of a much larger issue. While mold and mildew share a few similarities, their most significant difference is how they should be removed. Mildew can easily be removed by simply wiping down the affected area with store bought chemicals. Mold remediation needs the attention and expertise of trained professionals like our SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville technicians. We may need to recommend removing certain affected materials. Furthermore, we utilize antimicrobial agents specifically formulated by chemist for mold remediation. To learn more about our mold remediation process please click here. To prevent either from growing in your home or business read these tips. If you have suspect mold growth in your home or business, then please give us a call immediately at 985-871-5375. 

Is Your Business Hurricane Ready?

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

Is your small business prepared for an emergency? How would your employees respond? How soon after a hurricane warning do you need to close your business? 

Anyone who has lived in South Louisiana long enough has probably learned basic tips for preparing their homes and family members for a hurricane: 

  • Know your evacuation plan
  • Fill up your gas tank
  • Gather necessary supplies (food, water, flashlights, radio, etc.)
  • Bring all important documents with you when evacuating 

However, not everyone creates an emergency plan for their small business. Creating an emergency plan will help you communicate better with employees and reopen as fast as possible after a storm. 

Tips for readying your business for an emergency:

  • Inspect building and make any necessary repairs at the beginning of hurricane season
  • Make a list of emergency contacts for employees and establish where each person plans on evacuating to in an emergency 
  • Create an inventory list  of your business and office contents for insurance purposes 
  • Assemble insurance documents and financial records and bring with you when evacuating 
  • Relocate company vehicles to a safe area not prone to flooding

For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane please visit ready.gov

Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold spores can be found all around us, both indoors and outdoors. However, for mold to become a problem inside a home or business water damage must occur. Water damage can materalize in the form of an actual leak or spill, water buildup over time, or high humidity levels causing heavy condensation to accumulate inside. 

Controlling Moisture by Preventing Water Damage 

If you notice a water leak or spill, then you must act quickly to prevent mold growth and further damages. First, stop the source of the water intrusion. You may need to contact a plumber for help finding the root of the issue. Second, you need to extract the water and make sure to properly dry all affected materials. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is available 24/7 for emergency water damage restoration. Remember, in as little as 48 hours mold can begin to grow on wet materials. 

To prevent water buildup make sure to regularly inspect your home. Clogged or broken gutters can often leave to water damage and thus, mold growth. Every couple of months clean and make any necessary repairs to your gutters. Water can also buildup around your home if the ground does not correctly slope away from the foundation. If you notice water building up around your foundation, then take measures to guide water away from your home. To learn a few ways to keep water flowing away from your home click here. Lastly, inspect your air conditioning system on occasion to ensure water is not collecting in the drip pan and the drain lines are flowing accurately.

Controlling Moisture by Controlling Humidity 

Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent relative humidity. To measure the humidity level in your home you can purchase a moisture or humidity meter from a local hardware store for about ten to fifteen dollars. Utilizing your air conditioner and, if necessary, a de-humidifier will help to control the humidity in your home. Also, running the bathroom fan when showering and using the exhaust fan or opening windows when cooking will help decrease humidity levels. Lower humidity levels will help to prevent condensation from forming and potentially leading to mold growth. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in mold remediation for both residential and commercial properties. To learn mold about our mold remediation process, then please click here

Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. Just a few months ago we helped restore a home after the homeowners' dog accidentally turned on their gas stove while they were out running errands thus resulting in a small kitchen fire. Thankfully, no one or pets were harmed because of the fire. But now the homeowner knows to remove the kitchen stove knobs to prevent another accident from happening in the future.  

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
 

Water Damage Restoration in Amite

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

In July of 2018, a family in Amite returned home from vacation only to discover water leaking from their attic. Sometime while they were away their hot water heater malfunctioned. This caused hundreds of gallons of water to leak from the attic to both floors of their home. To be exact, a little over fourteen hundred square feet of the home was affected. Two hours after receiving notice of the situation, our team was at the home beginning the water damage restoration process. Out water damage restoration technicians extracted all of the water, removed the wet insulation and baseboards to ensure proper drying, and utilized our professional drying equipment. In as little as four days the job was completed and our customers were impressed. 

Before you and your family leave for vacation please follow these tips to properly protect your home from a similar disaster. 

Contents Restoration with the Highest Level of Care

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Pat Riley said, "excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better". We strive to always go the extra mile, to treat our customers like family, and to regard their belongings with the highest level of care. Pictured here are boxes of contents from a few of our customers' homes. All of the contents have been cleaned and deodorized. Now, they are being stored in our warehouse until the homes have been completely rebuilt and we can return them. Notice the brightly colored tags on each box. The orange tags have a QR code specific to each home owner. The other colored tags help our fire damage restoration crew to identify which room each box of contents should be returned to. Every extra step we take during the restoration process in intended to give our customers more peace of mind and to ensure a smooth recovery back to life as normal.

Is your home safe when you're on vacation?

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

According to a study by AAA, thirty-five percent of Americans plan on taking at least one family vacation every year. If you plan on traveling for more than a couple of days, then you should make sure your home is properly protected while you’re away. Of course, you already know to check and double check that each window and door is properly locked, but you may be missing a couple of steps that will ensure your home is truly safe while you and your family are elsewhere. 

Don’t let people know your home is empty.

  1. Suspend mail and newspaper services. You can sign up online to suspend USPS mail service and have your mail delivered to a local post office for up to thirty days. For trips longer than thirty days you should ask a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail. Contact your newspaper provider and ask them to temporarily postpone deliveries.
  2. Arrange for lawn care services while you’re gone. This will help make your home seem less abandoned to strangers.
  3. Install exterior lighting or motion detectors to deter burglars.
  4. Wait to post vacation pictures on social media. I know this is almost impossible for most people, but resist the urge to let the world know you’re not at home. Enjoy the time with your family or friends and post pictures when you return.

Accident-proof your home. 

  1. Check the batteries in home security devices, including motion detectors, cameras, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace them if necessary.
  2. Shut off the main water supply. Often times a homeowner will call us upon returning from vacation because they have learned a broken pipe or malfunctioning appliance has caused water damages. After you turn off the water main valve you then need to empty the pipes by running water in your sinks and flushing your toilets. If you would like to leave the water on for an automated sprinkler system, then at least turn off the water supply to the dishwasher, washing machine, and to each toilet. You may think this is an uncommon event, but trust me, this happens all too often. You don’t want to come home to a disaster. Save yourself time and money by being just a little overcautious.
  3. Conserve energy. Switch your water heater to vacation mode or turn it off completely. Most water heaters now have a pre-programmed vacation mode. If yours does not, then you should be able to manually adjust the temperature. Another way to conserve energy is to set your thermostat to either four degrees above or below your normal temperature. For summer months, set the thermostat in the upper 70’s. For winter months, set the thermostat in the upper 50’s.
  4. Prevent a power surge by unplugging your electronics or make sure they are plugged into a surge protector. 
  5. If you often lose power during a storm or day of heavy rain, then before you leave for vacation freeze a cup of water, place a penny on top of it, and leave it in your freezer. When you return home check to see if the penny is frozen on top of the cup. If the penny is not frozen on top, then this means your house lost power sometime during your trip. Inspect the food inside your refrigerator and freezer. You may need to throw several items away. 

    I hope these tips help to protect your home and give you more peace of mind during your next vacation.

Commercial Sewage Loss in St. Tammany Parish

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

In March of 2018, the sewage system backed up at a retail store in East St. Tammany Parish. The property manager for this commercial building reached out to us for help as soon as she received notice of the disaster. The building is little over ten thousand square feet and almost seven thousand square feet were affected by contaminated water. We definitely had our work cut out for us. Within an hour of receiving the phone call, our crew was on site assessing the damages and creating a plan of action. We began by moving the clothing racks and extracting the water. We placed drying equipment and dehumidifiers in position at the end of the first day. Later, the retail business's facilities manager asked us to remove all of the carpet. The store was outdated by at least decade. The managers decided to make lemons out of lemonade and to use this time to renovate the store. Our crew removed all of the carpet, properly dried the structure and all remaining materials, applied an anti-microbial agent to prevent further damages, and cleaned and disinfected all affected areas. In less than two weeks, we were able to complete the job and release the space for the next phase of renovations. Both the tenant and the property manager were extremely pleased with the work our team did. 

Tips for Responding to Fire Damage

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

First and foremost, staying safe is most important. Call the fire department immediately and do not enter the property until it is okay to do so. 

After a fire, the damage left behind by the water used to extinguish the fire and the lingering soot are often worse than the fire itself. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has many years of experience in cleaning and restoring fire damaged properties. We work hard to make it seem "Like it never even happened." 

What to do after a fire:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop open doors
  • Do not attempt wash any walls of painted surfaces
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water 
  • Call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville at 985-871-5375 

Why every family should create a home inventory list

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

In the unfortunate event of an emergency would you be able to list the contents of your home for your insurance company? How much is your home truly worth? What is the current value of your furniture, artwork, jewelry, kitchen appliances, etc?

Creating a household inventory list will help to prove your losses after a disaster, like a fire or a catastrophic hurricane. A detailed inventory of your home includes careful descriptions of each valuable item, receipts, and pictures. Copies of the list should be stored in a fire proof safe, shared with a family member, and sent to your insurance agent. You can even go paperless and download a free App to make your list. For more information about home inventory lists visit www.rmiia.org or www.howtogeek.com

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

According to the experts at Colorado State University, the 2018 Hurricane season is predicted to be slightly above average. So far we are expected to have 7 hurricanes, 14 named storms, and 3 major hurricanes.  

Follow these tips to help prepare your home and prevent any unnecessary damages:

  • Move furniture and electronics off of the floor or to a room upstairs if possible
  • Roll up area rugs and store them some place rising water can not reach
  • Examine the trees around your home for any weakened branches that could pose a threat during periods of intense wind or heavy rain and trim or remove them
  • Examine your roof for any needed repairs to prevent water leaks
  • Move lawn furniture, toys, potted plants, and any other heavy objects outside inside
  • Check doors, windows, and walls for openings where water could get in. Use caulk to seal any cracks, gaps, or holes.

If you plan on evacuating, then remember to bring these important documents with you:

  • Insurance documents
  • Driver's license and passport
  • Social security card
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
  • Home inventory list for insurance purposes

For more information on hurricane preparedness please visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

Spring Cleaning Tips From a Restoration Pro

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Happy Spring! Finally, winter is over and we can remember why we live in the beautiful state of Louisiana. It's time for crawfish, festivals, outdoor concerts, and tons of family friendly events. It's also time for Spring cleaning and giving your home a check up. 

Here are a couple of tips from a restoration professional to help keep your home or business in tip top shape this season: 

  • Daylight savings time = time to test the smoke alarms in your home and business. A couple of minutes spent checking your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can save your life. Visit www.redcross.org for more information about testing your smoke alarms and for fire safety tips. 
  • When tidying up around the house, remember to inspect the outside as well. Check your roof for damages and make any necessary repairs to prevent water damage from April showers. 
  • Make sure your gutters are clean of debris and properly draining water away from your home. 
  • Examine trees for any loose branches that pose a threat to your home and have them removed. 

Disaster Preparedness Tips for Commercial Property Owners

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Successful business owners are thoroughly prepared for any possible disaster or business interruption. In the event of a disaster, how ready are you to respond appropriately? 

To help mitigate losses during a disaster follow these tips:

  1. Regularly review and update emergency plans
  2. Regularly inspect buildings for repairs
    • Finding and addressing issues, such as leaking roofs or windows, can prevent unnecessary water damage or mold growth.
  3. Create an emergency contact list with approved vendors for repairs and restoration 
    •  The emergency list should include contact information for approved contractors, plumbers, electricians, water and fire damage restoration vendors, and other helpful vendors.
  4. Communicate well with employees
    • Communication is key to mitigating losses after a disaster. Each and every employee should your emergency plans and how to respond to a disaster, like a broken pipe or sprinkler system malfunction. 
  5. Educate employees on how to prevent unnecessary water, fire, or mold damages
    • For tips on responding to a water loss please click here.
    • For tips on responding to fire damage please click here
    • For tips on preventing mold growth please click here

If you would like to learn more about emergency planning for property managers please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

How Much of Your Belongings can You Save After a Fire?

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, over five hundred thousand structure fires devastated homes and businesses in the United States in 2015. These losses account for more than ten billion dollars in property damage costs. 
After the fire, the home or business owner's remains are left covered in soot. Acidic soot will cause even more harm to belongings. Thankfully, some items can be restored with the help of our professional fire damage restoration technicians. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in structural cleaning, contents cleaning, and deodorization. We are open 24/7 to respond to any disaster. Give us a call after a fire and we will work to make your house a home again.

For more information on fire damage in the U.S. visit http://www.nfpa.org/

Disaster Preparedness Tips for Property Managers

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in water, fire and mold damage restoration for both residential and commercial clients.

Successful property managers are thoroughly prepared for any possible disaster or business interruption. In the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane or fire, both commercial property owners and tenants rely on their property managers to facilitate an emergency plan. 

To help mitigate losses during a disaster follow these tips:

  1. Regularly review and update emergency plans
  2. Regularly inspect buildings for repairs
    • Finding and addressing issues, such as leaking roofs or windows, can prevent unnecessary water damage or mold growth.
  3. Create an emergency contact list with approved vendors for repairs and restoration 
    •  The emergency list should include contact information for approved contractors, plumbers, electricians, water and fire damage restoration vendors, and other helpful vendors.
  4. Communicate with clients 
    • Communication is key to mitigating losses after a disaster. Both property owners and tenants should be well aware of disaster recovery and evacuation plans. 
  5. Educate clients to prevent unnecessary water, fire, or mold damages
    • Commercial property tenants should be taught how to mitigate losses and prevent water, fire, or mold damages.
    • For tips on responding to a water loss please click here.
    • For tips on responding to fire damage please click here
    • For tips on preventing mold growth please click here

If you would like to learn more about emergency planning for property managers please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Creating a thorough emergency plan includes preparing for your pet's need as well. Remember, if if you must evacuate due to an emergency, then it is not safe for your pet to stay home either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be accepted. Make a list ahead of time of hotels that are pet friendly along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Some hotels and shelters do not accept animals. And lastly, build a travel emergency kit for your animals. This will help you save time when you must evacuate. 

Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:

  • leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport animals
  • food, drinking water, bowls, can opener
  • cat litter and pan
  • medications and copies of medial records
  • a first aid kit
  • current photos of you with your pet/s in case they get lost
  • information on feeding schedules, contact information for veterinarian, medical conditions, and behavior problems in case you have to board or foster your pets
  • pet beds and toys

For disaster preparedness tips for traveling with exotic animals or livestock, please visit http://www.humanesociety.org/?referrer=http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/pet-disaster-preparedness

Tips for Making a Helpful Hurricane Emergency Kit

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

You can never be too prepared when it comes to a hurricane. Besides readying your home and creating an evacuation plan, you should assemble a basic disaster supplies kit. A disaster supplies kit should include all the necessities for surviving at least 72 hours and unique items your family may need, like items for pets or seniors. 

A basic disaster supplies kit should include:

  • Water (one gallon of water per day per person for at least 3 days)
  • Food (at least a three day supply of nonperishable foods for each person)
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle 
  • Manual can opener
  • Garbage bags
  • Moist towelettes 
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Cell phone and extra chargers (power bank)
  • Copies of important documents (insurance policies, identification, bank account statements, etc.) 

Your family may need to include other items, such as:

  • Prescription medications
  • Pet food and extra water 
  • Glasses, contacts, contact solution
  • Infant formula, diapers, wipes, etc.
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Sleeping bags and blankets
  • Feminine products
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Books, puzzles, and games for children

Remember to store your emergency supplies kit in a cool, dry place and to asses your family's needs each year before hurricane season begins. 

For more information on preparing for hurricane season, please visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

The Mold Remediation Process

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

First and foremost, the moisture source of the mold growth must be eliminated or fixed before cleaning can begin. If you notice a water leak, please contact a plumber immediately. 

Mold remediation can simplified into three steps:

  1. Control Environment-Set up containment, air filtration equipment and negative air flow to control environment and prevent further contamination.
  2. Remove and Clean- Remove and properly dispose of all porous materials contaminated with mold. Clean all nonporous materials contaminated with mold, HEPA vacuum, and apply anti-microbial agent.
  3. Dry Structure- Dry structure to reduce moisture levels below that which enables growth. Obtain final clearance testing from Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP).

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in mold remediation for both commercial and residential buildings. If you notice mold growing in your home or business, please give us a call today at 985-871-5375. 

Fire Restoration Process

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

The fire restoration process is very detailed and time consuming. However, the process can be simply broken down into three main steps:

  1. Assess Situation- We identify what can or can not be salvaged. With the approval of insurance adjuster and client, we discard of certain materials. We test for smoke damage on structure and contents.
  2. Pretest and Clean-Utilizing professional products and tools we pretest and clean both contents and structure, removing soot damage. Air ducts will be cleaned of soot damage as well.
  3. Deodorize-After structure has been cleaned properly, we deodorize the property using a thermal fogger.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in fire and soot damage restoration for both commercial and residential properties. If your home or business has incurred fire or soot damage, please give us a call today at 985-871-5375. 

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes are against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation. If your pipes freeze, then try to thaw them following the tips below and call a professional plumber when necessary. If your pipes break, then immediately turn off the main water supply to your home or business to prevent further damages.

  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

Remember to check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is available 24/7 for emergency water damage restoration. 

985-871-5375

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,342,000 fires in the United States in 2016, of which 475,500 were structure fires. One home structure fire was reported every ninety seconds. Most businesses have fire escape plans to help saves lives during an emergency. Creating a fire escape plan for the home should be just as common, especially for families with young children or with special needs family members. Being prepared saves lives during an emergency.  

Thankfully, NFPA has created an easy how to guide for creating a home fire escape plan:

  • Draw a map of your home. Show all windows and doors.
  • Visit each room and recognize two ways out. 
  • All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside. 
  • Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Test your alarms regularly. 
  • Pick a meeting place for when you must evacuate. The meeting place should be in front of the home. 
  • Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.
  • Talk about the plan with everyone in your home. 
  • Learn the emergency phone number for your local fire department. 

Most importantly, practice the plan with everyone in your home. This can be a fun exercise for children. Have them draw a map of your home and color all the possible escape routes. Once or twice a year go over the plan with everyone in the home again. 

To learn more about fire safety in the home please click here

Interactive Mold House Tour

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

The United State Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website is a great resource for learning about mold and mold cleanup. For the most part, mold growth in your home or business is easily preventable. Moisture control is the number one key to stopping microbial growth in a property. Keeping the humidity level low, fixing any water damaged materials, and responding quickly to pipe leaks can save you a lot of time and money in dealing with mold damages. The EPA has created an interactive mold house tour to highlight how mold can become a problem in certain areas of your home and what you can do to prevent this from happening. To view the interactive mold house tour please click here

If you suspect mold growing in your home or business please give us a call today at 985-871-5375. 

Sewage Backup Tips

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

The most common causes for a sewage system backup are clogs, tree roots, and broken or collapsed sewer lines. Clogs can be easily prevented with regular maintenance and proper use of your system. Do not flush anything besides toilet paper in your toilet. Do not overuse your garbage disposal. Also, do not pour grease down the drain. Grease and fat will harden in your pipes and create a backup issue. Tree roots can compromise and break sewer pipes by growing into the pipes or wrapping around them. Unfortunately, you may not be able to prevent this issue so easily. Sometimes tree roots from a neighbors property can grow around your sewer pipes. Also, sometimes sewer pipes break simply because of time. Older systems were built using cast iron and clay piping which slowly weaken over time. If you have an older home this may present an issue for you in the future. To prevent your sewer system from backing up, we suggest you have a professional plumber check on the current condition of your sewer system and address any issues they find. Regular home maintenance is the key to preventing water damages to your home. 

Please note raw sewage contains harmful bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses. It is extremely dangerous for those with compromised or weak immune systems. Only the most trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. 

If your sewer  system has backed up and caused raw sewage to flow into your home or business, please give us a call today at 985-871-5375. 

Business Owners: Start This New Year Right

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

A broken pipe caused water to leak into several rooms of this office building.

In times of a disaster, like a broken water supply line or suspected microbial growth, are you equipped to respond quickly and appropriately as a business owner? Creating a plan and familiarizing yourself with certain utility shut off valves for your property can help save you time and money when an accident occurs. Knowing how to shut off the main water supply line to the building can minimize the water damage if a pipe were to break. Likewise, knowing how to turn off the sprinkler system can be helpful if the sprinkler system malfunctions or is broken. We have encountered many business owners who did not know any of this and unfortunately had to learn the hard way when something went awry. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can help any local business owner in the Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Lacombe, and Ramsey areas better prepare for an emergency by creating an Emergency Ready Profile for their business. This profile is free of charge and takes about an hour to complete. Our Marketing Coordinator will teach you, the business owner, how to respond to water, fire, and mold damages in your building and how to educate your employees on such situations. Knowing your risks and how to mitigate your losses can make or break a company after a disaster. If you are interested in learning more about creating an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, please call our office today at 985-871-5375. 

What Business Owners Should Know in Case of an Emergency

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

We all know accidents happen, especially when you least expect them to. Being prepared to respond quickly can help you mitigate the damages and save yourself time and money. For example, imagine the sprinkler system in your building malfunctioned or was initiated accidentally. What would you do? Do you know how to turn off the sprinkler system? What if you were not there? Do any of your employees know how to turn off the sprinkler system? Not responding to this accident in a timely manner can result in excessive water damage to your property. This scenario happened to a client of ours earlier this year. Only one employee was present when a sprinkler head was broken and starting spewing water at an impressively fast pace. For the next thirty minutes, said employee ran around the building searching for the shut off valve for the sprinkler system. In that time, about 100 gallons of water were released into the building. Luckily, after the water was shut off the general manager called us to swiftly extract the water and start the drying process.

Being prepared as a business owner or property manager means having a general understanding of your building. You should know how to turn off the main water supply, sprinkler system, and the gas line. You should also know who to call in case of an emergency. Do you have a vendor list prepared for your building? Again, if you were not present and your employee could not reach you, then who would they call for help if something like a pipe were to break or the sewage system backed up? We often receive phone calls from business owners who are on vacation and learn an emergency has happened to their property. Trying to facilitate the clean up and restoration while unprepared and out of state or country is no easy task for a business owner. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can help you be prepared for an emergency by creating an Emergency Ready Profile for your business. This is a free service we offer to all local business owners in St. Tammany Parish. Our marketing coordinator, Kayla Theriot, will help you create a plan for your business in case of an emergency. This process takes less than an hour and can help save you time, money, and the stress of not knowing what to do when something goes wrong. If you are interested in learning more about an Emergency Ready Profile, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Fire Safety Tips For The Holidays

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

'Tis the season to bask in holiday cheer and enjoy visiting with your family and friends. This time of year we love to decorate our homes and offices to brighten our lives. However, some of these decorations present major fire hazards. According to NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, "between 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees each year" and between 2009-2013 Christmas decorations started an average of 860 home structure fire each year. You can prevent fires of this nature by being a little more mindful around your home. Please take note of these simple tips to help keep you, your family and your friends safe this holiday season. 

Be mindful in the kitchen

Most holiday season home fires start in the kitchen. You should never leave food cooking on the stove unattended. Ask someone to watch over the food if you need to leave the kitchen for a moment or take a pot holder with you to remind you to head back to the kitchen soon. 

Check that your smoke detectors are working properly and make sure you have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. 

Be mindful of your Christmas trees

A well watered Christmas tree is almost impossible to ignite. You should check the water level every day. 

Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any source of heat, like fire places, space heaters, heat vents, or candles. 

Be mindful of your Christmas lights

Before decorating your tree with lights, inspect the lights. If you notice any cracked or frayed wires, then throw them away. 

Avoid using nails or staples when hanging lights outside. You should use clips or hangers to prevent damaging the wiring. 

You should also read the manufacturer's instructions for the allowed number of light strands to connect. 

Be mindful of your candles 

The top four days for fires caused by candles are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. 

Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn and make sure to put them out before leaving the house or going to bed. 

Also, do not let children play with matches or attempt to light candles themselves. 

Be mindful of your fireplace 

Have your fireplace cleaned, if needed, before starting any fires this year. 

Always screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out. 

To learn more about fire safety tips click here

Tips for Filing a Water Damage Claim with Your Insurance Company

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage is the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in every fifty homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing temperatures each year. The most common causes for water damage are broken pipes, faulty plumbing, and buildup in areas prone to collecting water (crawl spaces, attics, basements, etc.), defective household appliances, and malfunctioning HVAC systems. If something has caused water damage in your home, then you must begin to mitigate the damage immediately to prevent any future damages. 

Follow these helpful tips when dealing with a water damage claim:

  • You must stop the source of the damage immediately. If water is still flowing, then shut off the water supply to your house. 
  • Document everything. Take photos of the damage. Keep records of every phone call with your insurance company, including date, time, and other details. 
  • Save receipts. If you start any repairs yourself, then save the receipts for tools or equipment you purchase. If you need to stay in a hotel, then save receipts for the hotel and any living expenses you acquired because you were temporarily displaced.  
  • Do not make any permanent repairs yourself until the insurance adjuster has visited your home and assessed the damages. 
  • Do not throw anything away until the adjuster or insurance company has instructed you to do so. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in water damage restoration. We are available 24/7 every day of the year. 

            985-871-5375

Free Continuing Education Class- 2 credits

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

"Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry"

We invite all local insurance professionals to our upcoming continuing education class, "Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry", on October 24th. The class will held at the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce located at 610 Holycrest Blvd. in Covington. Registration is for 10:30 am and the class will be from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

What you can expect to learn:

The insurance professional will gain a better understanding of how mold affects today’s society.  They will also become more aware of the different entities that participate in the mold restoration industry.

The insurance professional will learn about mold, mold growth requirements, and the goals of mold remediation followed by professional vendors. 

For more information and to register please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Free Continuing Education Class - 2 credits

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Continuing Education

We invite all local insurance professionals to our upcoming continuing education class, "Biohazard", on October 24th. The class will held at the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce located at 610 Holycrest Blvd. in Covington. Registration is for 8:00 am and the class will be from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. 

       What you will learn:

This course is designed to assist you in understanding the processes that are involved in cleaning homes and buildings that are or may be contaminated with viruses and blood borne pathogens. This course also discusses appropriate ways to communicate with customers who have recently dealt with the traumatic event that has caused this contamination.

 For more information or to register please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Are you Financially Prepared for an Emergency?

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

September Is National Preparedness Month

This year's theme for National Preparedness Month is "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You can". You may have created an evacuation plan for your family and employees, but are you financially prepared for an emergency?

Follow these steps to help you financially plan for a disaster:

1- Gather all important financial documents 

  • Insurance documents for home and vehicles 
  • Mortgage or real estate deeds
  • Vehicle registration
  • Utility bills
  • Credit card bills
  • Tax statements 
  • Retirement account documents 
  • Estate planning documents

2- Try to build a specific emergency savings account  

3- Review your insurance policies with your agent 

  • Do you have flood coverage for your home?
  • Do you have full coverage on your vehicle in case of flooding or excessive wind and hail damage?

Take some time this month to make sure you, your family, and your business will be financially safe in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. For more information on National Preparedness Month click here

Tips For Preparing Your Business For A Hurricane:

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Is your small business prepared for an emergency? How would your employees respond? How soon after a hurricane warning do you need to close your business? 

Anyone who has lived in South Louisiana long enough has probably learned basic tips for preparing their homes and family members for a hurricane: 

  • Know your evacuation plan
  • Fill up your gas tank
  • Gather necessary supplies (food, water, flashlights, radio, etc.)
  • Bring all important documents with you when evacuating 

However, not everyone creates an emergency plan for their small business. Creating an emergency plan will help you communicate better with employees and reopen as fast as possible after a storm. 

Tips for readying your business for an emergency:

  • Before a storm inspect building and make any necessary repairs 
  • Make a list of emergency contacts for employees and establish where each person plans on evacuating to in an emergency 
  • Create an inventory list  of your business and office contents for insurance purposes 
  • Assemble insurance documents and financial records and bring with you when evacuating 
  • Relocate company vehicles to a safe area not prone to flooding

For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane please visit ready.gov

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's Satisfied Customers

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville proudly serves our community. We specialize in water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, and mold remediation. We understand how difficult and emotional it can be to deal with a disaster. Our crew works hard to provide relief for our customers and assure them we can make it "Like it never even happened." 

Here are a few customer testimonials of our water damage restoration services:

"I contacted Coty and asked him to be on standby while I called corporate for directions. We had an emergency situation. Coty had a crew working within two hours. I found it exceptional that they were here as quickly as possible and began working immediately." - Lisa 

"We are very pleased with the professionalism and the services provided, but I think what impressed us the most was the respect we were given by the two gentlemen who worked with us. Thank you for the exceptional work and for exceeding our expectations. I hope that God gives us other, if less messy, opportunities to work together again in the future." - a local Covington business

"Wonderful experience working with you guys. Thank you for everything!!" - Marc 

We love helping our community and are always thrilled to hear great customer feedback! 

Tips For Preventing Mold Growth

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. 

To prevent mold growth follow these tips:

  • Keep the humidity between 30 to 60 percent  
  • Provide for proper drainage away from building foundation
  • Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks
  • Keep gutters and drains clear of debris
  • Inspect the roof, windows, and other areas where water might enter the building
  • Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed 
  • Respond to all water intrusions immediately 

To learn more about our mold remediation process click here

We're Here to Help

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 985-871-5375

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Click here to meet our crew

Click here to learn more about our work around town 

Attention Louisiana Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

If you notice visible mold growth in your home we urge you not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the microscopic mold spores throughout your entire home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville 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. Bleach does not kill mold spores. 

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration.  Our crews are highly trained mold remediation 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 – 985-871-5375

To see examples of the mold remediation process click here.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Covington and Mandeville commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

To learn more about the commercial restoration process click here

2017 Hurricane Season

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

This year's hurricane season kicked off on June 1st. We were very fortunate to have incurred little damage with the first storm, Tropical Storm Cindy. However, the latest forecast issued by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project warns of even more storms to come than initially expected. The new report predicts fifteen named storms, eight hurricanes, and three major hurricanes this season. Now is the best time to solidify your emergency plans and make sure you are prepared for any size disaster. To learn tips for what to do before, during and after a storm visit RedCross.org and Ready.gov. Also, to learn simple day and weekend projects to help ready your home for a storm visit Flash.org

If you have any questions or need help cleaning up after a storm please give us a call at 985-871-5375. 

To learn more about storm damage cleanup and restoration click here

Water Damage Restoration Process

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Photographed is one of our technicians, Jared, monitoring the drying process at a local law office.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in water damage restoration for both residential and commercial properties. 

Steps of the Water Damage Restoration Process:

1- Identify Source

    We will check for the source of water. The source must be stopped before any drying or restoration work can begin. 

2- Identify Type of Water

    We will identify the category and classification of water damage to ensure we restore the property based on industry guidelines. 

3- Survey Extent of Damage

   We inspect and test the damaged area to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration. 

4- Move Furniture and Contents

   We move furniture and contents to prevent further damage to flooring and contents. 

5- Dispose of Unsalvageable Items

   With guidance from property owner and adjuster, we will help determine which items can or can not be restored. 

6- Extract Water

   We extract excess water from affected areas. 

7- Deodorize and Disinfect 

    Our process may require deodorizers as odor treatments or EPA-registered disinfectants as antimicrobial treatments. 

8- Utilize Drying Equipment 

    We utilize our drying equipment to remove moisture and bring the relative humidity back to normal. 

9- Monitor Drying Process Until Complete

   Once drying equipment is in place, we will periodically check the moisture level readings until the affected areas are completely dry. 

Emergency Water Damage Tips

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Pictured here is one of our technicians, Anne, extracting water from a home in Abita Springs.

When your home or business has incurred water damage you can help mitigate your losses by following these tips:

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact professional to do so
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs
  • Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature
  • Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting to prevent staining
  • Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water
  • Do not leave books, magazine or other colored items on wet carpeting.
  • Call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville at 985-871-5375

Broken Sprinkler Floods Local Indoor Sports Complex

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage

Late last night, around 8:30 pm,  we received a phone call from a local indoor sports facility. During a indoor soccer match, someone kicked the ball into a sprinkler head located on the ceiling. Immediately, water began flooding the AstroTurf covered building. Thankfully, someone in charge acted quickly to turn off the water supply and called us for help. When we arrived on the scene, water was covering a good portion of the soccer field and the gym area. We acted fast and began to extract the flowing water. Thanks to our professional equipment, we were able to swiftly remove over seventy-five gallons of water. Our equipment allows us to rapidly extract water from many types of flooring, such as carpet, hard wood, AstroTurf, basketball courts, and tile, without causing any damage. Thanks to our team at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville this local company will be back in business as soon as possible. Don't let a little accident cause your business a lot of money. We are open 24/7/365 to help make any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened."

Why choose SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville?

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is independently owned and operated and has been helping this community since 2009. We are open 24/7/365. Within one hour of notice of loss, we will contact you to arrange for service. Within four hours of notification of a loss, our SERVPRO professionals will be on-site to start mitigation services. Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will by communicated. We are IICRC certified and employ professional, knowledgeable technicians. Whether you have water, fire or mold damage we can help mitigate your losses and quickly restore your home or business back to preloss condition. We also specialize in crime scene cleanup, bio hazard cleanup, deodorization, air duct cleaning, reconstruction and much more.  We are here to help you with any size disaster. You can give us a call anytime at 985-871-5375 for help with an emergency. 

How Long Would it Take You to Reopen Your Business After a Disaster?

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Be prepared with an Emergency Ready Profile

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville believes having a plan for emergencies can benefit your company's future. As a business owner, you should have a risk management plan and be ready to recover quickly after any size loss. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than forty percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster. And,of those businesses, only twenty-nine percent are still operating after two years. Having an emergency plan will help you mitigate your losses and be back in business quickly. One of our many services offered at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is a free Emergency Ready Profile for businesses owners. This profile will help you plan for the event of water or fire damage to your property. We can help you identify the steps you need to take after a disaster and who to call. If you're interested in learning more about out Emergency Ready Program you can contact Kayla at Kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

You can learn more about how to prepare your business any size disaster at https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/emergency-preparedness/disaster-planning

Vandalism Do's and Don'ts

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Vandalism

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in vandalism cleanup for both commercial and residential properties. We can help make it seem "Like it never even happened". No disaster is too small or too big for us at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. Here are some tips to help you in the event of an act of vandalism:

DO:

  • Hose or wash egg or other residue damage from building exterior as soon as possible
  • Carefully vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery
  • Save containers revealing the ingredients of products used in vandalism damage
  • Record all damage and photograph when possible

DON'T:

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Operate damage lamps or appliances
  • Discard broken or damaged pieces from porcelain, furniture or other contents that may be used for repair

Post-Construction Cleanup

2/15/2017 (Permalink)

When the drywall dust settles, your new floors can look anything but clean.

A few weeks ago, we received a call requesting our floor cleaning services. The home owner was in the process of remodeling their living room and kitchen. During the construction project, drywall dust began to settle on top of their new floors. Drywall dust will quickly move into every nook and cranny amidst construction projects. This mess is especially troublesome to remedy. Drywall dust can not be cleaned up with a standard residential vacuum and mop. The fine particles of dust will eventually clog and destroy a home vacuum cleaner.

Our highly trained technicians and commercial equipment can cleanup drywall dust with ease. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in more than just fire, water, and mold damage cleanup and restoration. We offer post construction cleaning services for both residential and commercials buildings. If you have a mess too big to cleanup yourself, then give us a call at 985-871-5375 and let our professionals take care of it. 

Louisiana Flood of August 2016

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

Covington, La

On August 11, 2016 a slow-moving weather system moved across the Gulf Coast. After days of continuous rainfall, many Louisiana homes and businesses were damaged. This historic flood created damages in excess of eight billion dollars for Louisiana alone. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville helped many residents in St. Tammany Parish and Washington Parish cleanup and restore their properties. We acted quickly to help mitigate the water damage and allow Louisiana residents to begin the rebuild process. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is glad to be a part of this resilient community. We are honored to be trusted by so many home and business owners throughout South Louisiana. Whether it's a natural disaster or simply a busted pipe, we aim to make it "Like it never even happened."

For more information about the flood in August go to:

http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/homeowners-and-renters-insurance

and 

http://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/RestoreLA/SupportingDocs/Meeting-9-28-16/2016-August-Flood-Economic-Impact-Report_09-01-16.pdf

Louisiana Humidity and Mold Growth in Your Home

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold growth

South Louisiana is unique for many reasons. The South is colored with great food, spirited celebrations of life and diverse groups of people. The South is also known for being very, very humid. Sometimes this humidity finds its way into our homes. With the right conditions of humidity and a simple water leak, mold can begin to grow in your home and create an unhealthy living environment for your family. According to the United States EPA, molds can produce allergens, irritants and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. Reactions to molds in your home or business can be immediate or delayed. If you notice mold growth in your home or business you should contact SERVPRO immediately. Our highly trained professional technicians use advance mold remediation techniques and equipment. We're experienced with mold remediation after disasters and even common water leaks in commercial and residential buildings. Don't ignore the mold growth in your home or business any longer. Your health and well being can be affected. 

For more information on mold you can visit www.epa.gov/mold

 To learn more about our mold remediation process click here

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