Recent Posts

10 Tips for a Safe Summer Barbecue: The Do's and Dont's of Grilling

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 10 Tips for a Safe Summer Barbecue: The Do's and Dont's of Grilling Practice grilling safety this summer season!

Summer is finally here! While the warm weather welcomes pool days, bonfires, and cookouts, it’s always important to keep in mind the safety hazards of your favorite summer activities. I would like to point out one in particular- grilling. It doesn’t seem dangerous, right? However, it is estimated that every year, 7,000 Americans are injured while using backyard barbecue grills, usually due to the fact that the equipment was used incorrectly. 


1. Keep your grill away from your home, garage or carport, deck railings or overhanging trees and branches at all times. These factors play a huge part in accidental fires, and you may not be aware of the safety hazards that they present. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills. Also, make sure your grill is always on stable, level ground. 

2. Check for gas leaks. Test your grill for a gas leak before every use with a 50/50 solution of dish soap and water. Rub the solution on the hoses and connections then turn the gas on with the grill lid open. If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.

3. Clean your grill regularly. As you probably know, grease is a major source of fires in the home. Be sure to clean your grill thoroughly after every use to remove grease, food, and other buildup that could cause a fire.

4. Keep lighter fluids capped and a safe distance away from the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid and never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids directly to the fire. Additionally, turn off your propane tank first before turning off the knob on your grill when you are finished cooking.

5. Purchase long handed utensils like forks and tongs to help you cook meat. Long handed utensils can help you avoid splatters and burns when you are grilling. Avoid using all metal, as metal heats up quickly which can burn your hands.

6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill and know how to use it. In addition to the fire extinguisher, keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it.


7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. Turn the gas on while your grill lid is closed causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, it can create a huge fireball explosion.

8. Leave a grill unattended. Stay near your grill at all times while it is on. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.

9. Overload your grill with food. If too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire. Also, don’t try to ignite your grill immediately if it is not starting. Wait at least 5 minutes for the gas to dissipate before trying to start your grill again.

10. Use a grill indoors. Even small grills are not safe to operate indoors. Not only is it a fire hazard, but grills also release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. Carbon monoxide can be deadly if it is not vented in fresh air.

We hope you have a fun-filled summer! As always, we are Here to Help when you need us. Call us anytime at (423) 614-5552.  

Testimonial for a Commercial Water Damage in Chattanooga

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

In 2018, we received a call from a local roofing company who was in the middle of re-roofing a school. They had tarped the roof after a day’s work and planned to come back to finish the job two days later. That night, we had a storm come in with heavy rains and strong wind. The wind had pulled the tarp up and water leaked through the holes in the roof, ultimately flooding the top floor of the school. The roofing company immediately called SERVPRO of Bradley County when they were aware of the situation. We were able to get to the school that day and begin restoration services. We had all hands on deck to ensure that this school would be able to stay open for their students. We were able to clean up and dry out all the water damage within a week. The roofing company commented on our response time and efficiency, saying “They were very good at sorting everything- drying what they could dry. It helped save costs as well. The maps that they provide are very well written to where anyone that doesn’t understand what’s going on can see where the problem areas are. You always have someone on site to answer questions.” He goes on to say, “After seeing the response time with you all, we know that when we run into an issue, we will call you. We looked really good because of the response time that you guys had.” We’re thankful for our loyal customers and the opportunity to help those who need us everyday!

Three Main Classifications of Floodwaters: What You Need to Know

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Three Main Classifications of Floodwaters: What You Need to Know Storm water comes in various categories

Flood Water Classification Overview

There are three main classifications of floodwaters: clear water, gray water, and black water. Although their names imply it, these aren't wholly determined by the color of the water, but instead by a few factors related to how many contaminants are in the water. Clear water is somewhat rare, as most of the time it picks up enough contaminants to become at least gray, but black water is by far the most hazardous and damaging of the three. Never try to deal with black water yourself, as its interaction necessitates the kind of heavy gear and training that SERVPRO equips its technicians with. Here are a few key facts about each type of water. 
Clean Water 
Clean water originates from water mains, pipes, and other sources of relatively untampered water in your home. Flood damage with clear water is lighter and easier to restore than other types of damage, due to both reduced volumes of water and lighter safety procedures during the task. This water is usually identifiable as being clear and unclouded. However, time is important, as without quick removal clean waters can progress and become gray. 
Gray Water 
The awkward middle child of flood damage, gray water concerns water that may or may not have significant contaminants in it, and thus pose a potential health risk. More care is required in these waters, and they can be deceiving, as they too may sometimes be clear in appearance. 
Black Water 
The most dangerous and damaging type of water is black water, which can originate from a storm flood, a major health hazard such as a septic tank overflow, or when gray water is left untreated. This water contains dangerous contaminants, including fungi and microbes that may cause health effects. Black waters stain surfaces easily and are often more violent in their damage, so in addition to having the most restrictive safety precautions, this type of water also often causes the most damage. 

If you have experienced storm damage in your home or business, call the storm remediation experts at (423) 614-5552.

Health Hazards Associated with Water Damage in Your Business

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Health hazards caused by water damage to buildings in Bradley County can escalate quickly. Within just a few minutes, the water can seep into other areas increasing damages and costs for insurance claims. Items like drywall, wood, furnishings, carpet, and precious antiques will warp, swell and eventually split.

Quick Action is Essential

Hiring a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Bradley County as soon possible is essential to saving as many items in the building as possible. Once furnishings begins to swell and warp, it will be more difficult to save the items. Carpets absorb water like a sponge and require immediate attention. As the drywall begins to soak up water, more walls will need to be replaced. Once the drywall is wet, the building structure could become affected by mold, and a musty smell will be noticeable in the air. The longer the water sits, the more contaminants will be found in the water and the building.

Appearance of Mold and Fungi

If the water damaged building is not treated quickly, within days, fungi could begin to appear and develop a musty odor. When water is present, the relative humidity will also rise which creates additional moisture in the air. This excess moisture can damage desks, furniture, electronics, and even appliances. The conducive condition for mold proliferation increases as the moisture level rises. Also, people who have respiratory issues could become increasingly ill.

Black Water Contamination

Black water is raw sewage or converted gray water that has been standing within the building or pipes for days or up to a week.

Once water has been in an area for this length of time, mold spores have developed into fungi and mold. This growth will affect paper coverings, dry wall, books, paper and building materials. Quick action is required to stem the water damage to business data. Discoloration can also occur when water affects the chemicals in furnishings and other materials. The longer the water remains in the building, the more items will need to be discarded and replaced. Consider SERVPRO as the immediate response team to get your business back up and functioning. 

Commercial Building Restoration Services

We are available 24 hours a day to get your Bradley County business back up and running. Call (423) 614-5552 if you experience water damage in your business. 

Walking You Through a Water Loss- Cleveland, TN

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

The Hiawassee River runs right to the north of the town and empties right into the Tennessee River just a few short miles northwest of Cleveland. When heavy rains and flooding occur, the residents of Bradley County must deal with the floods and sewer backups. Nonetheless, residents of Cleveland have to be prepared for flooding and high water periods in their town and neighborhoods. So, how do you prepare for a flood?

The number one priority when a flood occurs is to save the lives; the health of the occupants and the property is secondary. The most difficult time during a flood is when water invades the interior of the home. Flood water contains all kinds of harmful substances like raw sewage, pesticides, fertilizers, mold, bacteria, petroleum products, and physical items such as sharp objects like nails and razor blades. Another possible hazard with standing water is the possibility of the water might be covering a live electrical outlet, and if anyone touches the water or walks into it, they could be electrocuted. If flood water starts entering your home, you should evacuate immediately.

The Healing and Reconstruction Process

Once the water of the flood has gone down to the point that the structure can be entered, the first order of business is to get the water out of the house, if there is still standing water. Water cleanup is usually done with high-speed pumps and it can be accomplished very quickly in most instances. Water damage and flood damage can be just as devastating as fire or wind damage, but the longer the water is in a home or business, the damage increases; which is why it is important to dry the contents as soon as possible. 

Drying Your Contents

The next step in the process is getting your home and contents dry and sanitized. Our SERVPRO Professionals use large air movers and dehumidifiers in the areas that have been affected. Over time, about three or four days, the air movement will dry most of the area.

While most of the surface areas will get dry, some of the items that soak up water will not get dry. These are contents that absorb water such as couches, pillows, cushions, drapery, carpeting, pads, pictures, papers and things that are going to hold water no matter what. If some of these items are salvageable, we will bring them to our facility to be professionally cleaned, dried, and restored. 

Reconstruction and Restoration

Now that the water in the home has been removed and the areas dried and cleaned up, reconstruction can begin. New walls, electrical panels, and sockets can be installed. New flooring can be placed along with new carpeting, paneling, fixtures, doors, and molding.

Currently, the city and the county is involved with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine what can be done to alleviate some of the stress that the constant flooding creates. Some of the solutions include the creation of retention ponds, bridge work, and overflow routes that would push water to other places than into the city.

With the planning in place, more solutions can be uncovered that will be both affordable for the community and workable for the diversion of the waters of the Tennessee and Hiawassee Rivers.

For more information on Water Damage Restoration visit

Why We Must Contain the Mold Then Decontaminate It

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Contains the Mold then Decontaminates

When you are dealing with any mold damage, there are particular steps and precautions that need to be taken. We at SERVPRO understand this, and we have the experience and knowledge to provide you with the thorough and safe remediation that you would expect from any professional.

Mold is dangerous and can cause adverse health effects if it is not taken care of right away. That is why if you have mold damage in Cleveland of any kind, you should contact our technicians at SERVPRO right away so we can come out and assess the damage, create a plan of remediation and take care of the issue. Below is a list of some of the major steps that are needed in the process of mold remediation. Other steps might be needed, but above all else, safety takes priority over all over procedures, and we pride ourselves in following all safety regulations.

Establishing Containment
Our professionals will first work to contain the mold to make sure it does not spread to areas which are uncontaminated and to protect you and your family. We will be careful not to introduce airflow to areas that are uncontained to avoid spreading contamination to other regions. Building containment can include the following:  

  • Installing sheets of plastic for containment barriers.
  • Making a negative air pressure in the contaminated area.
  • Sealing HVAC vents to stop contamination of the duct system.
  • Establishing rooms that are clean and decontamination rooms for entering, leaving and decontaminating materials and equipment.

Removing Mold Contamination
The process for removing mold depends on the kind of surface the mold is on. Materials that are nonporous can usually be cleaned. However, visible mold growth will many times need to be taken out of the home and discarded.

  •  We will remove porous materials that are extensively contaminated by mold, active mold growth on porous materials, like carpeting, fabrics, drywall, and insulation is removed by getting rid of the material itself.
  • We will get rid of mold from nonporous materials by cleaning. These materials include metals, glass, plastics and the like. Mold can be removed by HEPA vacuuming when we are dealing with a dry surface or by wiping with a damp cloth and detergent solution if it is growing in a layer of soils.
  • Materials will be HEPA vacuumed first to remove fragments of loose mold, and then if needed, materials will be agitated to get rid of mold. Semi-porous materials can be cleaned by damp wiping, sanding, wire brushing or other abrasive methods. Semi-porous materials include concrete and wood.
  • For long-duration and heavy exposures, wood materials might have to be removed if their structural integrity has been weakened by rot. Dust and settled spores will then be removed, many times by using HEPA vacuuming and damp wiping, even on porous materials.

Everything is then dried to stop any further growth of mold with air movers and dehumidifiers.

Because we at SERVPRO of Bradley County know and follow these procedures, you are aware that you will be getting thorough mold remediation when you give us a call. We can be contacted any time of day, any day of the year by dialing (423) 614-5552.

Free CE Class on March 21st!

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Free CE Class on March 21st! Join us at our CE class on March 21st!

Attention Insurance Agents:

Are you in need of Continuing Educaiton credits for license renewal? If so, SERVPRO of Bradley County has solidified a class on March 21st, 2019 teaching a 4-hour Fire Restoration course. If you would like to be added to the email list to receive emails about Continuing Education courses, contact Madison at

Each class is uniquely designed to aide insurance agents in understanding what SERVPRO has to offer as a water, fire, mold restoration company. Come join us for free classes with lively discussions, delicious homemade lunch, and BINGO!

If you would like to register for the March 21st CE classes, click here

If you have questions or concerns regarding CE information or general/emergency assistance, call (423) 614-5552. We offer emergency services 24/7/365. 

Contents Management in Our Ooltewah Facility

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Contents Management in Our Ooltewah Facility Our 15,000 square foot facility houses 30+ storage vaults for your damaged contents.

When you experience a fire or water in loss in your home, you might not realize the extent of damage to your contents. It can be overwhelming to deal with cleaning all of your damaged furniture, clothing, kitchen items, etc. Whether it is in-house cleaning or sending it to a specialist, our team is certified to clean and safely store your contents. Rest assured we handle your contents with care and precision knowing they are sentimental to you and your family.

Here are the steps that will take place after a fire or water loss occurs:

  1. Our team will safely pack up your property while our contents manager documents each and every item that we pack. When your property is damaged enough to require floor replacement, new drywall, or new painting, our team will bring your contents to our facility. Your contents are then safely cleaned and stored the SERVPRO of Bradley County facility in individual vaults while your house is being renovated. 
  2. After your contents have safely arrived at our facility, our team then works on drying wet items, wiping soot damaged furniture, and utilizing our ozone room. Rest assured that your contents are handled with extreme care by our highly trained restoration crew. 
  3. Once the restoration process is complete and your home or business is back to preloss condition, we will repack your contents after cleaning and bring them to your home to unpack and place the items in their original positions.

As your local SERVPRO of Bradley County, we strive for excellence with our employees and complete satisfaction with our customers.

We are here to better serve our community and customers in their time of need. Call us any time for questions, concerns, or emergencies at (423) 614-5552.

Early Signs You May Have Mold Damage In Your Cleveland Home

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Indications You May Have Mold In Your House

While most mold is discovered long after it has grown to a substantial size, there are an indicators of mold growth before serious damage can occur. In some cases, these signs can be a tip-off towards mold growing elsewhere in the home, or simply an early warning of mold in the immediate area. If you've noticed any of these in your home, they may be signs of an early or growing mold colony. To be sure, call SERVPRO if you've noticed any of these in your home.

White Or Discolored Patches
If you've noticed patches or spots on your walls, floors, or ceilings that are white in color or otherwise discolored, this could be an early indicator of mold damage. Most mold colonies start as a fuzzy white patch on a suitable surface, and other patches of discoloration can indicate a mature colony elsewhere in the home. If possible, however, you should try to verify if the patch you've found is, in fact, unusual and fresh. It could be possible that it's misplaced paint or a stain on the wall!

Unusual Smells
Mold can emit a number of unusual smells, to varying degrees of intensity. Most molds, if they do have a smell, are powerful and musty. Some types, however, can emit very different smells, so be aware of unusual odors of all kinds, especially in areas you know have been soaked or wet recently.

Mold In Neighboring Homes
Mold tends to travel between neighboring homes, be it through air displacement or as spores hitch a ride on people and pets. If your neighbors have encountered a severe mold problem, be on high alert in your home as well. Be sure to ask your neighbors how long ago they believe it began to grow, as well, so that you can know if any mold on your property has gotten a chance to mature or not.

SERVPRO of Bradley County is proud to serve the local community with quality, cost-effective and fast damage restoration services. Call us at (423) 614-5552 for our help and mold remediation services.

What Type of Commercial Services Does SERVPRO Offer?

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial What Type of Commercial Services Does SERVPRO Offer? Our equipment placed strategically at school to get the water damaged carpet dry over the weekend.

You know that we are a fire, water, and mold restoration company, but did you know about our additional services? We do commercial building cleanings plus air duct and HVAC cleaning, biohazard, odor removal, and vandalism. Learn more about our different services below!

As a company owner, you don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Bradley County for prompt service. Whether it is deep cleaning your carpets or removing an odor or biohazard, we are here to help.

SERVPRO of Bradley County offers cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:

Additionally, we can routinely inspect your heating, ventilation and air conditioning units (HVAC). As you may know, 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 on the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns that can save you money.

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.

When it comes to biohazards in your office, whether that be sewage backups, crime scene residues, blood or accident cleanup, chemical spills, or animal waste/remains, understand that exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Bradley County is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes, and offices. Call SERVPRO of Bradley County at (423) 614-5552 today!