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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Best Practices for Clean Up and Restoration after a Storm, Flood, or Fire

5/25/2023 (Permalink)

Flood sign Flood cleanup by SERVPRO of South Nashville

The weather in the South rarely gives us a reprieve as we navigate the seasons. We all have to prepare for what spring has to offer as soon as winter ends. Nashville has seen its share of significant weather events over the years, including flooding in 2010 and tornadoes in 1998 and 2020.  

While we hunker down to ride out what Mother Nature offers, our thoughts often gravitate to the massive cleanup that is sure to follow. Our SERVPRO South Nashville location provides comprehensive services to handle the cleanup for you. No matter the nature of the disaster, including storms, floods, and fires, or the extent of the damage, our team of cleanup, repair, and restoration professionals is ready to serve our customers' needs. Let’s take a look at some best practices for storm, flood, and fire damage cleanup, restoration, and repair so we can get your home, business, or property looking and functioning at its best.  

How to Begin the Cleanup Process 

Cleaning up after a storm, flood, or fire can feel like an overwhelming task with few easy solutions. Although the cleanup may seem daunting, the commercial cleaning experts at SERVPRO South Nashville follow a specific and detailed process to ensure that cleanup and restoration are as efficient and effective as possible. Our team moves quickly to minimize the damage and ensure the safety of the affected area. While the cleanup related to storms, floods, and fires entails similar processes, there will be notable additional components of each disaster to address. 

Safety First. The safety of the cleaning crew is always the top priority when starting a job. SERVPRO South Nashville ensures that the work area is safe for the crew to enter and work. Any potential hazards, including electrical wires, fallen power lines, gas leaks, structural damage, contaminated water, and sewage, are addressed before any part of the cleanup work begins.  A few steps we follow include: 

  • Turning off power and gas lines. 
  • Avoiding contact with any standing or contaminated water. 
  • Wearing protective gear, including gloves, boots, and masks, to minimize injury or risk of infection.  

Inspect the Damage. The next step your commercial cleaning company will take is assessing the damage from the storm, flood, or fire and creating an action plan for the cleanup and restoration process. Now let’s look at the cleanup best practices for each. 

Stormy Weather. Residents living in Nashville and the surrounding area are not strangers to massive storms, straight-line winds, lightning strikes, and tornadoes. Unfortunately, these meteorological events often leave behind a large swath of damage and debris. Fallen trees and branches, roof tiles, siding, and broken window glass require immediate cleanup because they are safety problems and can be in the way of inspecting other damage around the property.  

Further assessment of storm damage may also reveal interior and exterior water damage and possible structural issues. Our SERVPRO commercial cleaning team can take their process beyond the initial exterior storm damage and tackle any water or flooding issues within the home or business interiors.      

Five Feet High and Rising. Johnny Cash may have sung about the Mississippi River flooding, but Nashville locals are familiar with the Cumberland River and its tributaries overflowing their banks. Sometimes residential and commercial properties do not have to be near bodies of water to experience flooding. Torrential rain can inundate any area with floodwater and cause significant damage to the interiors and exteriors of buildings.  

  • Water extraction is the first critical step in floodwater removal to prevent further damage and mold growth. Standing water is also a health hazard as it may be contaminated with harmful microbes or chemicals. Specialized equipment such as pumps and dehumidifiers can remove water and moisture from the wet areas. We also ensure the space is well-ventilated and the air is circulating freely.  
  • Once the water has been removed, all affected areas should be cleaned and sanitized. Any surfaces that have come in contact with floodwater, including air ductwork, vents, and filters, must be disinfected with appropriate cleaning agents to remove anything dirty or potentially harmful, like sewage, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.  
  • The final phase of water extraction is the drying process. All surfaces with water and moisture must be thoroughly dried to prevent mold growth and allow for the repair and restoration to begin. Damaged walls and flooring can only be replaced after all surfaces are dry and there is no mold detection. If mold appears to be an issue, our commercial cleaning crew can begin a mold remediation process.  

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. And everywhere else. The cleanup process after a fire is an enormous task that should be conducted by professionals experienced in damage assessment caused by the flames and water as well as the soot and smoke residue left behind. Best practices for fire cleanup include: 

  • Ventilating the property by opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate. This will help to remove some of the smoke and soot particles from the air and reduce lingering odors.   
  • Anything damaged by the fire that cannot be repaired or restored, like furniture, carpeting, window treatments, and clothing, must be removed.  
  • Even a minor fire that is contained in a small location requires extensive cleaning beyond the initial source. All surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned, including countertops, cabinets, walls, ceilings, and furniture.   
  • Fire damage also means water damage. Property must be assessed for issues with drywall, carpeting, and flooring, and the appropriate extraction and drying-out phases must occur.  

SERVPRO South Nashville understands that all homeowners and property owners can be overwhelmed by the effects of storms, floods, and fires. Do not hesitate to seek the expertise of our team of professional cleaning team. We can help ensure that your cleanup process is efficient and thorough. Call today to begin the first cleanup, repair, and restoration steps.

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