Recent Posts

How to Get Permits and Safely Burn Leaves in Georgia

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

a person safely burning a pile of leaves in an open field If fire should damage your property, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta is here to help. Contact us to learn more.

It’s the time of year where you’re likely accumulating a yard full of brown and red leaves as they fall from the trees in their annual cycle. So what’s to be done with them after the kids have piled them up and run through them?

Many homeowners choose to gather leaves and yard trimmings and burn them, because it’s efficient, natural and doesn’t incur the cost associated with removal services.

Anytime there’s an open flame, however, there’s a risk of fire danger—in fact, the burning of debris is the top cause of wildfires in Georgia, causing more than half of the state’s annual fires.

Let’s talk about how to safely and legally burn those leaves and lawn trimmings.

Permits and Legalities

To everything there is a season, and the season for leaf burning begins Oct. 1. From October through the end of April, it’s legal in Georgia for you to get rid of leaves, fallen branches and other trimmings by burning. Summertime burns are not allowed due to considerations regarding air quality.

Even in burning seasons, you need a permit. This part is required, but simple enough. Contact the Georgia Forestry Commission to obtain a permit before you burn your leaves.

Note that there may be particular rules about what you can and can’t burn (such as household garbage) that apply not only to the county in which you live, but particular cities and townships as well. You may also want to notify the local fire department before you burn.

How to Burn Your Leaves

Choose a safe place 50 feet from any structures, and not underneath low tree limbs or power lines. Use a burn barrel if you have one, or choose a dirt area. Have a water hose ready and use it to soak the ground around the fire, and use a metal rake to manage the edges of your leaf pile.

Burn in small piles. You might have to do more burns this way, but it’s much safer than setting a big pile ablaze and having it get out of hand.

Don’t burn on windy days, as leaves and embers are prone to being caught up and carried off in ways you can’t control. Keep your unburnt leaves upwind from your burning pile to prevent them from catching fire due to traveling embers. And make sure there’s plenty of space between the two piles so your fire doesn’t get frisky and spread.

Knowing when and how to burn yard waste is crucial in preventing wildfires and backyard blazes that could threaten your home. Follow these guidelines to keep yourself in the clear.

If fire should damage your home or property, SERVPRO is here to help. Contact us to see how we can recover and restore damaged homes and businesses.

The Importance of a Fire Sprinkler System in Your Business

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

red fire sprinkler head inside commercial building Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties to learn more.

You’ve got so much invested in your business. When it comes to devastation, there are few things that compare to the anguish of seeing something as precious as your business damaged by, or lost to, a fire.

So you take the necessary precautions, you teach fire safety methods, you maintain extinguishers and you carefully monitor kitchen activities.

But the most important part of your fire plan is something you may not consider often, even though it’s right under your nose—or more accurately, above your head.

The Impact of Fire Sprinklers on Business Fires

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that something called a “sprinkler” could be effective against something as intimidating and destructive as a fire. But the facts bear out that sprinklers are a worthwhile investment, maintenance item and sometimes a requirement for your local business.

A 2017 study by the National Fire Protection Association shows in great detail the effectiveness of fire sprinklers in businesses. The study shows sprinklers to be operative in over nine out of every 10 fires large enough to activate a sprinkler system, and of those fires the success rate in controlling the fire was an impeccable 96%.

That should give you peace of mind as a business owner that your fire sprinkler system is a worthwhile investment—it’s almost always the difference between an operations slowdown and a full-blown fiery loss.

And of course, when it comes to assets, your most important asset is your team. Damage or loss to property or technology is one thing; injury or loss of your employees is quite another. But in businesses with installed and properly maintained sprinkler systems, the civilian death rate is 87% lower than the rate among fires with no sprinkler present.

The data is clear. Sprinklers are a must-have for business owners in the area. They protect structures, assets and most importantly, people. While the number of fires has decreased in recent years, the cost associated with the damage from those fires has increased greatly. The amount you spend on installing and maintaining your business doesn’t compare to the amount it will save you in a fire situation.

If your business has been damaged by fire, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is here to help restore any damaged areas to their original state. Click or call today to get your local SERVPRO agents at your side.

How to Mitigate Fire Risks Throughout Your Home

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

red fire extinguisher on wall outside bedroom SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties offers fire restoration 24/7—give us a call at any time to get a team of expert technicians out to your home quickly.

House fires are an extremely traumatic event for any family. Not only do they put those in your
household in serious danger, but they can also cause major damage to your home and
belongings inside. In regard to such a dangerous occurrence, prevention is the primary strategy
you should utilize in helping your family stay safe.

Understanding how to mitigate your household fire risk can go a long way in ensuring you do
not have to experience a fire in your home. These safety tips are key for protecting yourself and
your family while reducing the chances that a fire is going to occur at all.

Tips for Fire Safety in Your Household

Make sure everyone knows the risks. If you have multiple people in your household, it is
important to ensure that everyone understands the need to take fire safety seriously. Making
sure everyone is aware of the common dangers and prioritizes practicing fire safety throughout
their daily lives can go a long way in ensuring there are no careless errors that result in a fire.
Educating household members on simple habits, such as never leaving the stove on unattended
or always blowing candles out before leaving the room, can go a long way.
Test your smoke alarms regularly. Be sure you have smoke alarms installed in all the
recommended places and are testing your alarms at least once a month using the test function.
Smoke alarms are one of the biggest factors in alerting people in the home to a fire, and
considering you only have about two minutes to escape once a fire breaks out, getting as much
notice as possible is a must.

Install fire extinguishers throughout the home. Fire extinguishers are a great resource to
have on hand if a small fire were to start, so it is wise to stock up and put them in any high-risk
rooms you have. Keeping one in the kitchen, in the laundry room and near areas where any
flammable items are stored is a smart way to stay safe by ensuring you can quickly put out a fire if needed.

If you need help in the aftermath of a house fire, you can count on us. We offer fire restoration
24/7—give us a call at any time to get a team of expert technicians out to your home quickly.

The Astonishing Power of Water

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

a person with black rain boots walking through flooded water The power of water can wreak havoc on your home. If you have any damage, contact the SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta right away.

The most common type of natural disaster in the United States, and indeed, the world, is flooding. Globally flooding accounts for 40% of all natural disasters, but in the United States, an even more incredible 90% of all disasters involve flooding.

And yet for some reason we are often prone to downplay the physical danger of flooding or tempt fate when it happens. Flooding isn’t quite the same spectacle as hurricanes or tornadoes, so perhaps that plays a factor.

But whatever the reason, it’s good to be reminded that water is one of the most powerful forces on earth, and flooding is not to be taken lightly.

Flooding and Pedestrian Danger

You’re in every bit as much danger stepping into floodwater as you would be jumping into a raging river. You may think, “It’s only a few inches of water, how dangerous could it be?” The short answer: very dangerous.

Would you go outside in an EF5 tornado? When you step into floodwater traveling as slowly as seven miles per hour, you’re stepping into an equivalent force per unit area as the winds from the most dangerous cyclones.

You may not believe this, but it’s real: At 25 mph, floodwater carries the same brute force as wind traveling at almost 800 mph—that’s faster than the speed of sound.

Six inches of water is enough to take you off your feet, and six inches is enough to drown a full-grown adult, especially if you slip and fall face first. Don’t attempt to walk in floodwater.

Flooding and Vehicular Danger

First of all, simply don’t drive in storms that are producing floodwaters. Pull over on high ground if you’re already stuck out in it, but definitely don’t make any travel you don’t absolutely have to make.

If you see flooded roads, even if it doesn’t look deep, turn around. Nearly 50% of all flood fatalities are vehicular in nature.

Six inches of water is enough to stall or otherwise hinder most commercial cars, and a foot of water is enough to flip or overturn vehicles altogether. Two feet of rushing water is enough to carry trucks and SUVs completely away, leaving you in peril with absolutely no control.

Add to this inherent danger the fact that floodwaters can completely wash out roads and bridges, then cover it up so you can’t see. This level of danger is never worth the risk—turn around and stay safe.

The incredible power of water can also wreak havoc on your home, causing damage of all kinds. If floodwater makes a ruckus at home, contact SERVPRO and let us help you recover.

How Dangerous Are Lightning Strikes?

9/4/2021 (Permalink)

multiple lighting strikes coming out of dark stormy clouds If you have damage to your home due to fire, water or a storm, you can count on SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties to help.

If you are faced with a severe thunderstorm watch or warning, your concerns are likely focused around high winds, hail and flash flooding, but did you know that lightning is one of the most dangerous forces that a thunderstorm produces? Lightning is present in every single
thunderstorm, as it is actually lightning’s electrical discharge that causes a clap of thunder to be heard—and where there is lightning, there is the threat of injury, fatality and property damage.

Lightning has been reported to cause at least 43  fatalities every year since 1989, and it also
causes innumerable fires and other types of property damage when it strikes. Below, we will
look at exactly what makes lightning so dangerous to anyone in a thunderstorm’s path.

What Makes Lightning So Dangerous?

**Lightning is present during every thunderstorm.** While factors like high winds and hail are only present in some thunderstorm scenarios, lightning is a guaranteed threat if there are thunderclaps. Because lightning is pervasive, it has a much more frequent chance to cause
damage than other types of weather-related incidents.

**Lightning delivers major voltage.** Lightning carries an extremely high electrical current, which
can cause damage in a number of ways. You may be familiar with power surges that occur when lightning strikes a home, but lightning can also lead to water becoming electrified (which is
why swimming during a storm is dangerous) and can send electrical waves through the ground
or any other surface it strikes that can cause injury to those around.

**Lightning can cause fires to start.** In addition to being extremely charged, lightning is also
thousands of degrees and can quickly lead to a fire. When lightning strikes a home, building or
tree, it can ignite the object where it strikes and lead to serious fire damages.

**Lightning can lead to leaks.** Not only can lightning cause house fires, but it can also cause
household leaks. If your home is struck by lightning, it will likely leave an open area where it
came into contact with your roof or siding—and if it is storming, this can quickly lead to serious
water damage. If you suspect your home has been struck by lightning, be sure to carefully
check your exterior as soon as it is safe to do so.

*If you have damage to your home due to fire, water or a storm, you can count on us to help.
Contact us today to learn more about all of our restoration services.*

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

night time cars on highway with car trapped in flood waters When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties can help.
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

• Flash Flooding

• River Flooding

• Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems

• Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)

• Ice/Debris Jams

• Snowmelt

• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)

• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Making Sure Your Business Is Able to Recover Quickly After a Disaster

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

group around a table in a meeting If you need assistance after a disaster impacts your business, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is the team to call.

For a business owner, there are few things that can be more devastating than a natural disaster
impacting your area. Not only does a natural disaster put the safety of you and your staff
members at risk, but it can threaten the very future of the business you have worked so hard to build, too.

It is likely no surprise that small businesses are hit the hardest during natural disasters, so as a
business owner, it is vital to be sure you are preparing in every way you can.

If you are impacted by a disaster at your business, one of the best things you can do is ensure you are prepared to reopen again as soon as possible. By making sure in advance that you
have an adequate disaster recovery plan and insurance coverage in place, you can do your
best to mitigate the impact of a disaster and get back to business as soon as possible.

How to Prepare Your Business to Recover From a Natural Disaster

**Be sure you have proper insurance coverage.** The world of business insurance can be complicated, but it is one that is worth gaining an understanding of for any small business
owner. Generally, your property will be covered by your commercial policy, but there are other
things, such as flood damage, loss of income and interruption costs, that will require a different
policy altogether. It is important that you understand what is and is not covered so you can
purchase additional insurance if necessary.

**Understand the resources available to you.** Through the American Small Business
Association, business owners have disaster recovery loans available to them if they are in a
declared disaster area. These loans are often provided with very low interest rates and
generous repayment terms so you can use them as funding to tackle damage and get reopened
without the worry of going into extreme amounts of debt.

**Craft a plan for your restoration process.** Knowing who to call when you have damage to
your business is a must for having it handled quickly and efficiently. In a disaster scenario, there will be many private residences and businesses vying for damage restoration, so it is vital to choose a company that can handle the volume and respond to your damages quickly.

*If you need assistance after a disaster impacts your business, we are the team to call. We are
here 24/7 and have the resources to handle any size disaster. Contact us today to learn more.*

How Grill Fires Get Out of Hand

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

shocked man with flames coming from grill While grill fires can happen to anyone, taking the proper precautions can significantly reduce the chances that they will occur at your next cookout.

If you love to grill as much as we do, hearing about a grill fire taking place can be quite alarming. There are many reasons why grill fires can start, and they are far more common than people typically realize—the U.S. Fire Administration has found nearly 6,000 grill fires occur each year, with the most instances occurring during the summer.

While grill fires can happen to anyone, regardless of how careful they are being, taking the proper precautions can significantly reduce the chances that they will occur at your next cookout. Below, we examine the science of how these fires spread so you can consider how to best prevent them when you grill.

How Grill Fires Spread and Cause Damage

A grease fire starts due to improper cleaning. Cleaning your grill is one of the most important parts of grill owner maintenance, both because it helps your food cook better and reduces the chances that you will have a fire. If your grill grates and grease traps are not cleaned, a grease fire can start and quickly envelop your grill. You should always grill with a fire extinguisher nearby just in case, but cleaning your grill is the best step to prevention.

A flare-up ignites an object too close to the grill. Flare-ups are a normal part of grilling and they are typically not severe. Unfortunately, if you have your grill too close to a flammable object, a small flare-up can cause a disastrous fire. It is recommended you keep at least three feet around your grill empty of all flammable materials—this includes porches, siding and plants, as well as children or pets that could get injured.

An accident happened with an unattended grill. Fires can start and spread with a moment’s notice, and if your grill is unattended when one happens, you may not notice it until it has become too late. Never leaving your grill unattended is the best choice—even if you are just taking a quick break, always have someone take your place and watch it.

If your home has been damaged due to a fire, you can count on us to help you out with our proven fire restoration techniques. Learn more today and get in touch at any time of day to receive a quick response from our experienced team.

Why Should You Trust SERVPRO for Mold Remediation?

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

moisture on window showing signs of water and mold damage Whether it’s mold or natural disaster, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta has the technicians to make quick work of your restoration project.

Summer vacation was great. You went to that magical place for the kids, or maybe you had an island getaway for the adults.

You did the ecologically responsible thing and turned off your automated air conditioning, raising the temperature in the home while it was unoccupied. That’ll save you some money on electricity, and it’s good for the planet.

There’s one problem, though: When you got back, you noticed something that wasn’t there when you left, black mold. In the bathrooms, in the basement, the walls and corners are covered in the yucky stuff, because the combination of humidity and higher average temperatures allowed it to grow quickly.

You’ve now got a problem, and you need help getting rid of the mold. Here’s why you can trust SERVPRO to take care of it.

Speed Matters. It takes 24 hours for mold to start growing, and how much more will it grow every additional day you wait? Every second counts, and nobody is better at a speedy response than SERVPRO. With an elite team on call 24 hours a day, we’ll be on site right away to get your dangerous mold problem alleviated.

Expertise Matters. When black mold is the issue, you can’t just swipe it and forget it. Your SERVPRO technicians are skilled and highly trained to remediate or remove the mold safely and completely, and get to the root cause of the excess moisture that allowed it to grow in the first place. Mold isn’t safe for you to work with, but we’ve got more than 50 years’ experience dealing with it.

Location Matters. SERVPRO is both a national entity and a small business, and we have a locally owned franchise right here in Troup County, which means you’re benefitting from the knowledge and flexibility that comes when you work with a local provider, and supporting your community at the same time.

When you entrust SERVPRO with your mold remediation, you can trust us to do it quickly, safely, and thoroughly. And with our promise to restore things "Like it never even happened," you know it’ll be done with utmost care and without ruining your home interior.

Whether it’s mold, water, fire or natural disaster, SERVPRO has the techs and the technicians to make quick work of your recovery or restoration project. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.

How Tornadoes Form From Thunderstorms

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

a small tornado forming over an open field If thunderstorms or tornadoes cause water damage to your home or business, contact SERVPRO right away to get our team of experts on your side.

Residents and business owners in our area are freshly familiar with the need for tornado safety and preparedness after recent tornado activity brought major damage to the Newnan area.

Being fully prepared means, in part, knowing the conditions that may arise that can cause future storms, and knowing what to look for so as to recognize the threat of impending danger. Today we’re going to take a look at the formation of tornadoes and how they are birthed from thunderstorm cells.

First off, thunderstorms become more likely in spring and summer, because warm air begins to rise and clash with moisture and cool air in the upper atmosphere—this is called convection, which leads to moisture condensation, rain and the electrical charge disparities that cause lightning.

For a tornado to form within a thunderstorm, a few conditions must be met, an important one being wind shear. Wind shear is the formative stage of the rotation that results in a tornado: Winds at different speeds and at different levels of altitude blowing into the same area create unstable air and circular wind patterns, resulting in a larger thunderstorm and potential cyclonic activity.

Wind shear combines with the rising warm air create rolling, spinning air currents that begin horizontally, but can become vertical if updrafts are strong enough to disrupt them. This causes a storm cell to begin rotating, morphing it into a supercell. And that’s when we have a problem.

In all this rotation, funnel clouds can form and extend from the supercell as moisture and low pressure are drawn in by rotating winds. If a funnel cloud extends all the way to the ground, that’s when it becomes a tornado by definition.

The United States experiences an average of about 1,000 tornadoes per year,, and our area is part of a growing edge of what is known as Tornado Alley, which means it’s possible that more and more of these dangerous storms may be in our future. It’s wise to always be prepared, and to pay careful attention to any meteorological warnings that are put in effect.

Knowing the cause of these storms helps us know when caution is necessary, and readiness is the first step to staying safe in a dangerous situation.

If thunderstorms or tornadoes cause water damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to make the call. Contact SERVPRO right away to get our team of experts on your side.