Faster to Any Disaster
Storm Damage in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In August of 2016, Baton Rouge, Louisiana got hit with one of the worst floods in US history. In just a few hours, the flood waters were rising and homes and business fell victim to the flooding rain. Residents fled their homes and business owners had no choice but to evacuate as quickly as possible.
The area was completely devastated in a very short time. Communities of beautiful homes and neighborhoods were left with utter devastation in the wake of this storm. When home and business owners were finally able to enter back into their properties, the work that needed to be done to clean up what was left was truly overwhelming.
In the meantime, SERVPRO Storm Teams were already making plans to send production crews to the area to help these home and business owners with getting their lives back together. SERVPRO Anniston and Gadsden was honored to participate with the SERVPRO Storm Teams in the cleanup efforts for the Baton Rouge area. Within hours, we were packed, fully loaded with equipment and crew, and in route to Baton Rouge. Thousands and thousands of phone calls were flooding our SERVPRO call center from residents of the Baton Rouge area needing our help. As a crew representing our SERVPRO Storm Team, it was our responsibility to contact the customers, schedule on site visits to their home or business, provide a thorough job scope and estimate of required work, and if given the go ahead from the customer, start the cleanup and drying process. We talked to dozens and dozens of home and business owners who needed an expert to help them with the mitigation process. Our franchise worked around the clock for two weeks helping as many customers as we could. Our production crews provided demo or tear-out service removing carpet, drywall, etc., tested areas for moisture and set up air movers and dehumidifiers, hauled out damaged items, among other services. We monitored equipment daily to make sure the drying process was complete. Sometimes our help meant offering a shoulder to cry on or a hug as we walked through a customer's living room which had been completely destroyed by the floodwaters. To see large mountains of saturated carpet, damaged appliances, drywall, furniture, vehicles and toys lining the streets of these once beautiful neighborhoods was overwhelming to say the least. It was hard work both physically and emotionally to walk alongside the people we met and work hand-in-hand making a dent in the work that needed to be done. Our SERVPRO green trucks were everywhere. It was humbling in so many ways to be called upon to help in a time of need.
What struck us as particularly poignant, was how often, even in the circumstances, we heard the same home and business owners talk about how blessed they were. It says so much about the resiliency of the human spirit. Neighbors and communities are bonded together to move forward and rebuild. They will be stronger than before.
As we enter into the upcoming storm season, SERVPRO stands ready to help when disaster hits. FASTER TO ANY DISASTER and ready to work hand-in-hand with our fellow man.
What's Lurking In Your Ducts?
Before a SERVPRO duct cleaning
We all have tasks around the house that don’t make it to the top of our priority list. Properly maintaining your home’s air ducts should not be one of them. Regular duct cleaning can increase your home’s heating and cooling efficiency and improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe.
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:
- Dirt and debris
- Other contaminants
SERVPRO of Gadsden Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.
The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
- May help to eliminate offensive odors.
- Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.
In this photo our CE instructor, Daniel, is teaching some of our agents and adjusters on Mold.
One of our favorite ways to connect with our clients is to host CE classes. It gives us a chance to educate our customers on topics important to them and it allows our clients to complete required CE credits for their businesses. Throughout the year we hold various CE classes on the following topics: Fire, Water, Mold, and Ethics. We at SERVPRO have been approved by the insurance industry to host these classes for agents and adjusters. We follow strict guidelines on course content, course facilitators, and attendee certification procedures in order to meet all the requirements to host these classes for our clients.
The most recent CE class we held was in June at Silver Lakes Golf Course in Gadsden, Alabama, which is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. On a stormy rainy day in Alabama, what better topic to discuss than MOLD. We were pleased that despite the weather we had 20 agents and adjusters from all over the Anniston and Gadsden area attend the class.
Mold is a hot topic in our area because the weather conditions in Alabama are ideal for mold growth. It is something home and business owners are calling us about frequently. And certainly something that our agents and adjusters have to field questions about often. The class objectives are:
- Understand the evolution of mold awareness
- Acknowledge mold as part of our environment
- Understand the basics of mold remediation
- Understand the effect of mold on buildings
- Recognize how mold is affecting Insurance Professionals and the Insurance Industry
Mold is a reality in our area and being informed on how to handle it is the first line of defense! "Find and remove the source" is an important tip that was repeatedly emphasized in the class.
We are pleased to be a trusted partner with our insurance clients and look forward to more opportunities to host these classes. The upcoming classes are as follows:
August 8th, 2017 - Fire
October 10th, 2017 - Water
For more info on mold, go to www.SERVPROgadsden.com
As Featured in PrimePay's Blog
Our owner, Chris Lamey, was featured in PrimePay's blog.
"What started out as a typical trip to the gym for Chris Lamey, ended in a life-changing encounter. Boasting a 20-plus year career in the golf industry, Lamey took a leap of faith and bought a struggling franchise location after this conversation with a peer:
“Hey I know this is totally out of the blue, we've never even talked business, but there might be a couple of franchises that may be coming for sale. Would you and your wife be interested in talking to us?"
And according to his wife and co-owner Jenny, they’ve never looked back.
If you’ve ever experienced any kind of water damage in your home after a storm, you’ve probably heard of SERVPRO. Whether it’s fire or water damage, mold or a simple carpet cleaning, this cleanup and restoration company tackles the mess. And from what I learned in talking to Mrs. Lamey, it’s a really good franchise to be a part of.
So how do two people without true experience in owning and operating a business: “I mean I won't lie, that first couple weeks I'd get in my car and I'd drive back home, thinking about how overwhelming it all was…”
…Turn a failing location into one that’s about to outgrow its current space and surpass corporate standard sales goals?
Creativity, trust, and support.
Though I mentioned the lack of true business ownership experience, Mr. Lamey was a sales rep for a number of years and through that, perfected the craft of establishing relationships.
“For 23 years of his career he never went into an office, so he was running his territory. You're very much a part of your own success in that situation,” explained Mrs. Lamey.
She went on to explain their approach to business is that they are a marketing company that happens to provide cleaning and restoration services. For them, it’s all about the relationships they establish with the local Alabama adjusters and insurance agents.
They’re able to creatively combine their marketing and customer service skills to really exceed in this new life adventure.
How can you leverage your variety of skills to help run your franchise as smooth as possible? Look beyond what you think might be a practical business skill and tap into those other experiences to really make your business shine.
After undergoing six months’ worth of training that set them up with a great foundation to run the business, the Lameys were made aware of a hard-hitting reality.
“It was very overwhelming at first as each call and each job was a new experience for us. But it was a great way to hit the ground running and learn the business by doing it and not just learning about it,” Mrs. Lamey explained.
The SERVPRO franchise bases their training on a ‘stages model.’ It's been proven time and time and time again, that if you follow the stages, you will be successful. So the Lameys trusted the corporate franchise methodology and haven’t had any need to stray the course.
There’s a good chance whatever franchise you own is in business because of the solid processes in place on the corporate level. While there is some freedom in your particular location, don’t forget this idea of placing trust in your franchisor.
“Another great thing about being a part of the franchise system is the support of franchises all over,” said Mrs. Lamey.
When disaster struck in Louisiana, surrounding ‘storm teams’ (as SERVPRO calls it) packed up equipment and headed to work on helping those people out in a time of crisis. As you can imagine, that’s extremely rewarding to be able to help people get their lives back together.
With support from the community, staff members and even mentoring from I would say the late owner of SERVPRO Birmingham and the Wilson Trainership, David Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Lamey never have to tackle any challenge alone.
Not only that, but they get support from partnering with other companies… like PrimePay. Since they cover jobs in multiple municipalities around Anniston, occupational tax filing is tricky. But by leaning on the support from their representatives here at PrimePay, the Lameys can be confident in continued success with their franchise.
“Working with PrimePay has given me the peace of mind and confidence that you care about our business and will work with us as a partner to meet our needs,” Mrs. Lamey said."
Honored to Serve
I'm of the sappy sort. I cry at commercials. I normally can't get through church without my eyes welling up. It's just how I am. But when it comes to business, I am able to check my emotions at the door. Usually. That is, until SERVPRO happened. I wasn't quite prepared for the emotion that owning this business would stir in me. I wasn't prepared for the deep human connections we would make with our employees and with our clients. It's just that human element that makes what we do so very important. We come to do a job, to help in a time of need, quite possibly in a situation that is devastating to the person or family or business we are serving. We have been called in for fires in a home a family has lived in for decades where they see their memories going up in flames. We've been called in for water damage to a brand new home that a family was just about to move into, a home they have designed and spent over a year planning and building. We have been called into another state to help homeowners clean up after a flood that devastated an entire city in just hours of flooding rain. We have been called in after a death of a family member where family members are experiencing enormous grief and pain. We have been called to serve our fellow man and that's what this business is all about. We have been called and so we come.
It made me think that in our daily lives (not just in business) that each of us has a wonderful opportunity to serve those around us. Those in our families. Those whom we call friends. And those who live and work and raise their families in our communities. It's pretty amazing that at the end of the day we are just people helping people.
Because we get to do this everyday in the Anniston and Gadsden markets and other areas we serve, we are humbled and grateful that our communities depend on us, call on us to help in a time of need. So, while our crews may not be emotional when they show up to help (after all, they are there to get the job done), we hope that they stand out in the way they provide fast and professional service with your best interests at heart. I get a little emotional when I think of the people we are honored to serve! What a blessing it is for us!
How Did This Happen?
"How did this happen?" That's a question we often get asked when we show up to do clean up work at a home or business. Most often we are the first one the scene after the home or business owner and are in the best position to assess the cause of the loss. This is one of the first questions we ask also when we get the call at our office to provide emergency services. It's important that we ask it so that we arrive prepared with the proper equipment and tools to provide clean up services that exceed your expectations. It's equally important too, though, when our customer doesn't know the cause of the loss to ask us "How did this happen?" That lets us know that we need to wear our investigative hat and not only provide the clean up services needed but also determine the cause of the damage. Was the water leak due to an old water heater line that cracked? Was a new dishwasher installed properly? Is there water coming into the home from the foundation? We want to clean up the mess today but we also do not want you to call us back in 2 days because it happened again. Finding the source of the problem is as important as restorative your home or business to the way it was before. You can be assured that we will provide you as much information as possible to prevent further damage and be in communication with your insurance agent/adjuster keeping them in the loop for a covered loss. Regardless of how the loss occurred, we will help you put everything back "like it never even happened" so you can resume life as normal. Thanks for trusting us.
It's Time To Spring Clean!
Use newspaper to clean your windows instead of paper towels that leave behind residue.
Spring is in the air! With the warmer weather comes he tradition of spring cleaning, a time to organize and clean the environments- home, business, office- we encounter on a daily basis.
Perhaps you are selling a home and want to vanquish years of cigarette smoke odor that won't go away, or want to see if your ducts or HVAC system needs to be cleaned. Detailed articles on dryer vents, deodorization, and ducts are featured this month, but we always offer the following cleaning services:
- Carpet Cleaning
- Upholstery and Drapery Cleaning
- Ceiling and Wall Cleaning
- Hard Floor Cleaning
Whatever your spring cleaning needs, SERVPRO of Anniston is always here to help!
Faster to your Gadsden Water Damage Event
This water damage was caused by a water heater leak.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Gadsden 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 Gadsden 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 – 256-547-3778
Water Damage Timeline
- 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 Gadsden
SERVPRO of Gadsden 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.
Box It Up!
Boxes, Boxes, Everywhere!
Boxes upon boxes upon boxes. We didn't expect how many boxes of customer possessions we would be packing when we opened up our business in June 2016. But before we knew it, our warehouse was full of them. After all, when our customer has a water or fire event in his/her home or business, before we can start the clean up, we have to get everything else out of the way. This could mean moving couches or beds or bookshelves full of collectibles; either way, smaller items have to be boxed up and stored away safely by our packing experts. If items have to be cleaned due to damage done to them in a water or fire event, customer contents will have to be boxed initially on site, brought back to our warehouse, unboxed in order to be cleaned, and then boxed again once they have been meticulously detailed. Most days our warehouse is completely full of these boxes. Sometimes they stay stored in our warehouse for weeks and months if construction is necessary at the site of the damage after we do the initial mitigation work. My heart is happy though when we get a call from a customer saying he is ready for his boxes, furniture and other contents to be moved back in. That means that the mitigation and construction work has been completed and our customers are ready to resume life in their home as they knew it before. We are grateful to help our customers in many ways, and helping preserve, clean and store their prize possessions is something we take very seriously. So let us do the heavy lifting and the packing for you. It's what we do!
Rain, Rain Go Away!
Look at our desiccant going to work!
There is never a good time for it to be raining inside a building. But when it's July in Alabama, AND the building is an elementary school, AND over half the building is saturated, AND a new school year starts in just 7 days...we are really in a pickle! That's just what happened in July 2016 just weeks after we opened SERVPRO of Gadsden. But with the help of our Large Loss team and other neighboring franchises, we got to work and were on the scene within an hour of getting the call needing help. An in-depth job scope and work plan was developed quickly to get the water out and dry the interior. Industrial water extractors, a desiccant dehumidifier the size of a tractor trailer, plenty of staff, and SERVPRO know-how got the job started quickly and correctly. Working around the clock for days, our employees and hundreds of pieces of equipment labored to get this elementary school cleaned up and ready for the first day of school. What a sense of satisfaction it was to see this school opening right on time due to the hard work of our SERVPRO employees along with the faculty and staff of the school and the community!! It just goes to show that no job is too big or to small for our SERVPRO team. With over 50 years in the industry, we know just what to do in the case of a water event that causes damage to a school, business or home! We make it "Like it ever even happened"!!