Recent Posts

Gas Fireplace Hazards

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighters trying to put out a big house fire from the outside of the fireplace. It could happen to anyone.

Did You Know? 

Gas fireplaces might be safer than wood burning fireplaces, but everyone should still take precaution. Fire damage is possible even though you are not burning wood in your fireplace. The misleading thought of “Oh, it won’t happen to me” causes people so much heart ache when it does happen to them. Do not be left in the dark about your gas fireplace. Know the risks and be prepared. Some things you need to know about your gas fireplace is:

The Possible Faulty Gas Valves

Fireplace explosions exist with gas fireplaces. Scary right? Faulty gas valves leak flammable gas into the air and cause explosions that leads to major fire damage in your home. 
How does fire place explosions happen? Well, when the valve's "On/Off" switch fails, it continues to seep gas into the fireplace pilot light area. Any little spark or flame can cause the gas in the air to immediately catch fire, and create a powerful explosion.

Chimney and Flue Design Mistake

Another cause of fire explosions in gas fireplaces may be because of chimney and flue design. If you don’t know what a flue is, it’s a duct for smoke and waste gases. Some chimneys are unable to withstand high temperatures, contributing to soot and creosote buildup, because they are designed for natural gas. Creosote is a black, sticky substance formed from liquefied gas. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires. Double venting systems worsens the issue and can cause gases to back up into flues connecting to other stoves or furnaces. The resulting backup causes an explosion or leaks carbon monoxide into the home.

Accidental Plugged Burners

Paint and building materials can form over the burner hole port. Ceramic coals or mineral wool may inadvertently be placed over the ports, creating a blockage and unbalanced flame. Consequently, the plugged burner hole can delay fireplace ignition, and cause gas in the fireplace to explode.

Precautions

Call a professional service technician to remove creosote buildup from chimneys and fireplace walls. Gas valves and hose connections leading to the fireplace burner and tank should also be inspected by a professional technician. Moreover, check for cracks in the flue lining and firebox, and look for signs of rust and corrosion. Your fireplace should also be equipped with a thermocouple, which shuts off the gas in case the pilot light is extinguished.

At SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia, we are eager to help you in any way possible! If this unfortunate disaster happens to you, call us immediately! "Faster to Any Size Disaster"
(601) 823-1100

Via Hunker.com

Water Damage Tips for Your Business

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage in Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia, MS, is a common cause of destruction to many businesses every year, and a flooded company can be difficult to clean. It costs time, money and energy to restore a business, but there are several steps you can take to make cleaning your business after water damage a less stressful, easier process.

Air Out the Space

When cleaning your business, it’s important to try to dry out as much as possible as quickly as possible. If it will not cause any further damage, opening windows can help increase the airflow in your business and will help items inside dry out more quickly. If the ceilings have not been affected by water, you can also use fans to help everything inside your building dry quickly. Clothing, however, should be removed and taken to dry cleaning.

Don’t Wait To Call

As overwhelming as you may be with your flooded company, it’s important to start cleaning your business as soon as it is safe. Keep an eye out for what could be the cause of loss such as broken pipes. When you know where the source is, then that helps in resolving the problem. The sooner you call for help, the sooner the cleanup begins and can reopen your business. 

Avoid Using Electrical Items

Though you may be tempted to try and see if various appliances still work, using electrical items that may have been damaged by water can be incredibly dangerous. Avoid the temptation to test out any appliances you may have and instead focus on safely moving other items. Make sure you also don’t use any sort of electrical items to try and clean up the area, as outlets in your business may be damaged.

As you clean your business, make sure you work with professionals who can help you safely make fixes. Although cleaning a flooded company may seem impossible, if you are mindful of working quickly and safely, you can quickly open your business’s doors again. For more information, visit our commercial water damage page on our website.

Water Damage Causes During Winter

1/12/2020 (Permalink)

A bathroom faucet dripping water. DON'T LET THE COLD SNEAK UP ON YOU.

Don't Forget About Those Pipes!

Down south, our winter is all over the grid. One day it is warm and humid, the next it’s cold and sleeting. That’s Mississippi for you! But here at SERVPRO, we want to help make sure you take care of your home or business by not forgetting about your pipes in the freezing weather.

The most common winter weather damage is frozen pipes. An average of a quarter of a million American families have one or more rooms in their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter by water pipes freezing and breaking, according to State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. Frozen pipes can burst and cost you devastating water damage and money loss. Here are some helpful tips about your pipes during the winter season.

Prevent Freezing Pipes:

  1. Consider installing specific insulation for pipes
  2. Drain and detach any water hoses from exterior spigots.
  3. Check your basement, crawl space, attic, and garage for any uninsulated pipes. Make sure to keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines located there.
  4. Check under kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well.  Open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. .
  5. Let water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes since this will help prevent them from freezing.
  6. If you will be gone from your home during cold weather, don't allow your thermostat below 55 degrees. 
  7. Make sure you drain water from a water sprinkler system or a swimming pool.  There are typically manufacturing directions on how to do so.

"I Think I Already Have a Frozen Pipe"

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, chances are good that your pipe is frozen.  It will most likely be located near an exterior wall or where your water service comes into your home.

  • Apply heat to the pipe with an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer or a portable space heater (maker sure nothing flammable is close by).  You can also wrap the pipes in towels soaked with warm water.  DO NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene, propane heater, for any other open flame device.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and water begins to melt, it will then begin to flow through the frozen area.  It will also help to melt additional ice in the pipe.
  • If you cannot thaw the pipe, aren't able to locate the frozen area, or you can't get access to it, call a licensed plumber.
  • Be sure to check all other faucets in your home because chances are if you have one frozen pipe, most likely you have others as well.

What to do if your pipes burst:

  1. Do not panic.
  2. Call SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia at (601) 823-1100.
  3. Let us make it “Like it never happened.”

Winter Weather Tips for Business Owners

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Don’t let the winter weather affect your business!


Nothing is more inconvenient when your business is put on hold because of a water damage due to the weather. Here are some tips our SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia Technicians want to give to you to help prevent any accidents.

  1. Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain and ice, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  1. Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  1. Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas.
  1. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  1. Wrap any pipes to help prevent them from freezing.
  1. Do not turn your heating unit completely off at night, or your chances of freezing pipes are higher.

What To Be Aware of During New Years

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fireworks on the ground, shooting up sparkles Don't start the new year off with a disaster!

Happy New Year!

SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia would like to wish everyone a new year full of happiness and free of disaster. Every New Year’s Eve, America gets in the spirit of popping fireworks in celebration of the New Year.

Believe it or not, fireworks are a fire hazard! SERVPRO would like to help you avoid any accidents that could lead to a fire.

Firework Safety Tips:

  • If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) - hot enough to melt gold.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Steer clear of others - fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
  • It is not safe to throw or point fireworks at someone.
  • Aim fireworks towards an open sky – avoid aiming anywhere towards your house, vehicles or trees.
  • Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and do not relight a dud.
  • Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can

SERVPRO Saves As Much As Possible!

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

A stain on a club chair from being water damaged. Even if it looks ruined, SERVPRO has the products and equipment to try to salvage your upholstery!

Salvaging Upholstery 

Whether it's your grandmother’s mother’s antique chair or a new chair from your local furniture store, don't assume the water damage has ruined it! It doesn’t matter if it is fittings, furniture, or other decorative accessories such as carpets and curtains, water has no mercy.

It’s Not “Just Water

  • If the water spreads to the upholstery, it can stain or leave watermarks on the fabric.
  • Mud and silt can also penetrate the fabric and padding if the furniture stays in the water for several hours.
  • Water buildup can lead to the growth of mildew both internally and externally.
  • Finished wood surfaces become cloudy, while joints in the frames turn loose.
  • If the disaster is a flood, it can also lead industrial chemicals, pesticides, and sewage into the house.

What Could Possibly Happen?

Upholstery:

Water damage can affect your upholstery in several ways. Wooden framing, in particular, is susceptible to cracking and swelling. Water can also compromise glue and cause damage to your furniture. In case there are water spots on the fabrics, we may have to wet the entire piece of furniture to avoid water lines. This process can lead to stains on the floors or carpets. Our technicians apply spot removal procedures to get rid of these stains. This step is important to prevent the color bleed from causing a permanent tint.

SERVPRO also follows IICRC guidelines to carry out mildew control procedures when restoring upholstery affected by water damage. This step involves rapid drying to eliminate the source of water. For this purpose, we use dehumidifiers and air movers to speed up the drying time.

Wood Furniture:

Excessive water can leave water spots on your furniture or cause cracking, swelling, or weakening of the joints. To deal with the water spots, our specialists use specialized wood care products to clean and dry the surface. Water damaged furniture frames are slightly more expensive to repair – sometimes even more costly than replacing them. SERVPRO technicians can assess and advise accordingly.

The "Need-to-Know" on Holiday Decorating

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why Taking Safety Precautions During the Holidays is Important

Christmas trees aren't the only thing that will make your holiday go up in smoke!

Holiday Decorations: 

That's right, your decorations can be hazardous too! It's averaged, per year, that 780home structure fires began with decorations in 2013-2017. That's excluding Christmas trees.

As we always warn with Christmas trees, decorations were also too close to a heat source such as a candle or equipment in more than 44% of those fires.

A good portion of the decoration fires started in the kitchen. Sixteen percent of those fires started in the living room, family room or den.

Candles: 

Yes, your candles too! Though it may be obvious, having your candles placed & lit all in your garland, or whatever decoration, can be very regretting. On average, 22 home candle fires were reported each day between 2013-2017.

60% of those candle fires started when something that could burn, burned by being too close to the candle, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations.

A whopping 18% of December candle fires started in the living room and 8% started in the dining room, whereas for the rest of the year, fires are 14% and 3% for those areas. That's quite a difference when we are taking about actual fires, and those are only the ones that are reported!

The two peak days for candle fires were Christmas and Christmas Eve. Definitely not the way you'd want to spend your Christmas.

Holiday Cooking:

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, as we've cautioned you about before. But of course, with all the families and friends gathering together again, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve follow right behind Thanksgiving for fires caused by cooking.

Decorations pose a problem here too, causing 19% of home cooking fires. That is one of every five homes that was devastated by the damages of fire. The cause? Decorations that are left on or too close to a stove or other cooking equipment. 

Please don't take this information lightly! This is your need-to-know information to help keep you from being one of these numbers.

[via nfpa.org]

Rain Water Damage

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

A cut out in the water damaged ceiling with a later underneath the cut out Rain water can enter into your home through a damaged roof!

When It Rains It Pours

Water damage can be just as devastating as fire damage. The water damage that rain can cause is one of the costliest repairs to a home due to its devastating effect on foundations and contribution to mold development. It’s almost like a domino effect. At SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia, we want to ensure the safety of your home and family.

How do I protect my property from rain damage?

Check Everything:

It’s easy to forget about your roof since you hardly ever get on it. But, it is important to remember that rooftops are the primary structure that keeps rainwater from entering a home. A damaged rooftop can cause water damage inside your home, so check all aspects of the rooftop and ensure its construction is not damaged in any way. Even a tiny opening is enough space to allow leakage in your home or business.


Make sure all gutters are cleaned regularly. It is important to direct downspouts away from the house, and hopefully the slope of your yard should be directed away from the foundation to ensure rainwater is directed away from the home and not into the foundation. Trees, hail, and other objects can create weaknesses that might lead to leaks in your roof, so check for missing shingles and other issues. Because trees can fall during a rain storm, cut off branches that are dangerously close to a home’s rooftop. Of course, you’ll want to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed also.

Why check your chimney and sump pump annually:

Two things that allow rain damage if they fail are a home’s chimney and sump pump. For those who don’t know what a sump pump is, it’s a pump used to remove water. If you have a sump pump, it should be inspected by a professional annually. Not only that, but your sump pump should also be checked visually and operationally more often during long periods of heavy rain or more extraordinary climates, like hurricane seasons. 
Chimneys should also be checked to ensure bricks have no gaps and are tightly sealed. To prevent water damage in your home, bricks should be waterproofed to ensure water and moisture is not absorb from the outside. It is a good idea to install a chimney cap prior to the stormy season to prevent rainwater from coming in at all.

Then What Do I Do?

If your home received water damage you should call SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia to come help restore your home back to normal. (601) 823-1100

Tips to Avoid Christmas Tree Fires

12/15/2019 (Permalink)

A close up on a Christmas tree that is placed in front of a fire place Fact: Christmas tree fires can happen in the matter of SECONDS

The Stats

According to NFPA.org, between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees PER YEAR. The biggest portion (25%) of those Christmas tree fires started because of some type of heat source, such as a candle, fireplace or equipment, was too close to the tree. We hope to see these numbers go down!

We want to help you avoid your holiday from going up in smoke! 

Tips:

Picking the tree

Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source (like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights).
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit!
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect. 
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

Why you should get rid of the tree after Christmas:
Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards. Doing this also helps your Christmas light last longer.

via NFPA.org

SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia will help save your Christmas from going up in flames! 
(601) 823-1100

Winter Water Damage Prevention

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Airing out a water damaged bathroom with the cabinets and drawers open and about to set equipment Tip: Keep an eye out on the weather so you can wrap those pipes before a freeze occurs!

Be Aware

Down south, our winter is all over the grid. One day it is warm and humid, the next it’s cold and sleeting. That’s Mississippi for you! But here at SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia Mississippi, we want to help make sure you take care of your home or business by not forgetting about your pipes in the freezing weather.

The most common winter weather damage is frozen pipes. An average of a quarter of a million American families have one or more rooms in their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter by water pipes freezing and breaking, according to State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. Frozen pipes can burst and cost you devastating water damage and money loss. Here are some helpful tips about your pipes during the winter season.

Prevent Freezing Pipes:

  1. Consider installing specific insulation for pipes
  2. Drain and detach any water hoses from exterior spigots.
  3. Check your basement, crawl space, attic, and garage for any uninsulated pipes. Make sure to keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines located there.
  4. Check under kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well.  Open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. .
  5. Let water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes since this will help prevent them from freezing.
  6. If you will be gone from your home during cold weather, don't allow your thermostat below 55 degrees. 
  7. Make sure you drain water from a water sprinkler system or a swimming pool.  There are typically manufacturing directions on how to do so.

"I Think I Already Have a Frozen Pipe"

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, chances are good that your pipe is frozen.  It will most likely be located near an exterior wall or where your water service comes into your home.

  • Apply heat to the pipe with an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer or a portable space heater (maker sure nothing flammable is close by).  You can also wrap the pipes in towels soaked with warm water.  DO NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene, propane heater, for any other open flame device.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and water begins to melt, it will then begin to flow through the frozen area.  It will also help to melt additional ice in the pipe.
  • If you cannot thaw the pipe, aren't able to locate the frozen area, or you can't get access to it, call a licensed plumber.
  • Be sure to check all other faucets in your home because chances are if you have one frozen pipe, most likely you have others as well.

What to do if your pipes burst:

  1. Do not panic.
  2. Call SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia at (601) 823-1100.
  3. Let us make it “Like it never happened.”