Whether by accident, Mother Nature, or even just a well-intentioned child, house flooding or other emergency damage can occur to anyone, anywhere. Our new Cox Radio spot showcases why it pays to be prepared, and encourages listeners to take a moment to put our 24/7 line, 706-310-0097, in their phone. That way, you can skip the panic and rest assured the problem is resolved professionally and with industry-leading customer service.
When it comes to your home, average won’t do. There are far too many potential mold and structural issues to take any chances. For peace of mind, put Branch Emergency Services in your phone today.
The radio spot will appear through May on three separate channels, Country 106.1, Magic 102.1, and WGAU News 1340. Catch it on the airwaves or listen to the spot now by clicking the below link!
“Ready! Ready for anything! Ready to work, play, serve, obey, worship, live, etc.”
– Royal Ranger Motto
“Rain, sleet, flood or mud!” – Coach John Barnett
These two phrases have stuck with me since the day I heard them. I learned the Royal Ranger motto around the age of seven. I heard Coach Barnett’s famous saying when I was a senior in high school. There is a lot of meaning behind both of those quotes, and the combined takeaway for me is obviously: never be caught unprepared, but, rather, BE READY for ANYTHING!
That is what we do at Branch. We are prepared, and we will be ready. No matter what time, day or night, and no matter the extent or cause of damage. If you have the need for any emergency service, such as water removal, tree removal, vandalism board-ups, smoke removal, or any other incident, accident, or disaster: we are ready! Our trucks are stocked with nearly every reliable tool imaginable. That way, when we arrive to help you, we have everything we need to get the job done.
What would you do if a disaster struck? Would you be ready? We’re here to help. We invite you to learn more about our 24/7 Emergency Response Program and make a free appointment today.
It was my 15th year of being in business: our growth was steady, our gross sales were up slightly, our customer satisfaction was very good, and our product was of high quality. I had no idea where to turn. Looking back at that statement, it almost makes no sense. If everything seemed to be going fine, and the bills were getting paid, why would knowing where to turn be an issue? Well, it’s because I was stressed out and overworked. I knew deep in my gut that I was in way over my head and could drown at any minute. But something told me that it didn’t have to be this way.
My wife and I are against debt, and we would watch the Dave Ramsey Show on the Fox Business Channel. Many times I had said to her how I wished that Dave taught a course on business. Then one night, there was an advertisement telling of the EntreLeadership Master Series. Wow, that was exactly what I was looking for: Dave teaching entrepreneurial leaders how to run a business God’s way. I was in!
I signed up and went, expecting another “business conference” where a person sits through a long, drawn-out class full of different speakers giving their opinions on how a business should be run. But my expectations were way too low. Dave taught this course himself, and it was obvious that the information being given was not just a presentation to sell. Instead, it was a mirror image of Dave’s playbook that he had put together through the years: lessons learned from his bloody noses, and his victories. This stuff was real and, better yet, I could experience the first-hand application of it through his team. On one hand, I was extremely impressed. On the other, I was depressed and disappointed in myself that he had been able to do such an awesome job running his company while I had done such a relatively poor job running mine. Things were going to change, and I now had the tools to make that change.
Although I learned an invaluable amount of business how-to’s, I truly believe that the greatest impact I received was from the way I was treated by Dave’s team. I was served extremely well, but I didn’t feel as much like a customer but, rather, a friend. My biggest lesson came when I realized the reason Dave’s team made me feel like a part of the family. It was because that was the culture he had created within his organization. It is obvious that he serves his people, looks out for them, encourages them, and gives them something great: a model of servant leadership.
That is where it began. I knew that if this organization was to be all that it could be, and if it was going to fulfill the purpose that God has placed it here for, then I was going to have to make a change and that change would have to begin with me. And so the long journey began.
Since the first EntreLeadership Master Series I attended in 2009, this place has been undergoing a complete transformation. Although we have made some huge strides, we have not even scraped the surface on making this place what it is going to be one day. However, I do have a plan.
First, I have had to realize who I am and how my leadership, or the lack of it, affects each person here. I must learn to lead. Next, I have had to redefine my relationship with my team, understanding that we all have a purpose for working here. The least of which is the paycheck, but I also must reward them appropriately for their contribution. The list goes on and on, and it’s a process I embrace.
Have you realized your leadership role? Who have you chosen as a mentor or to be your “wise counsel”?
Many times when I am called to perform mold inspections, the building owner or tenant has no idea what is causing the mold or how far the damage extends. Often, I am called to inspect for mold and discover that the mold present is a result of a leaking water line or plumbing fixture, such as a toilet, shower, or water heater. When this is the case, the project is as much as, or more, a construction project as it is an environmental project. This situation typically requires two separate companies to handle everything. This is one situation that our customers benefit by using the Branch companies. Although Branch Environmental, Inc. and Branch Contractors, Inc. are separate entities and have different team members ( including our mold inspectors), the two companies are based out of the same building, have a close relationship, and collaborate to create the best repair and remediation plan that is easy and convenient to accomplish. The two companies are set up individually so that each team can concentrate its training and energy to excelling in its specialized field.
So no matter what your concern or need may be, the Branch companies are specialized to handle it. We invite you to read a popular post our friends at Branch Environmental wrote on this very topic:
A dirty jobsite is a pet peeve of mine. There is absolutely no excuse for a messy or unorganized project. The cleanliness and orderliness of a job is a direct reflection of the people doing the work. I used to be that guy who did the work, made the mess, and spent more time and money cleaning up my mess than I did making it. Working messy is no way to make a customer happy, and it is not the way to make money either.
I will never forget the last time that I did not take time to properly protect and maintain my work area. About 10 years ago, I had built a really nice screened-in living space. It had tongue and groove floors, wall and ceilings, a stacked stone full masonry fireplace with many bells and whistles. It was something I was proud of. As nice as it was, I still lacked the level of detail that, as a result of this project, I now have.
The job went great, but on the last day, after all work and cleanup was complete, I scheduled what I thought was the final walk-thru and had planned to pick up my last payment. The customer and I walked around the project, checked off each item, and then, out of nowhere, this customer, pointed out grit that had gotten between the boards. Now remember, this is on the exterior, it had pressure treated wood, which shrinks and causes gaps. Anyway, he handed me a paring knife and a pecan pick and said that as soon as I cleaned all of the grit from between the boards I could get paid. So, I took the pick, the knife, and a shop-vac and started cleaning. This was a Thursday and payroll was Friday, so I had to stay until about 10:00 p.m. cleaning this porch so I could get paid.
I will never forget this, and learned a lesson that I will never repeat. The point of this story: It takes a lot less time to cover and protect than it does to cleanup. So take the time and prepare.
Like many business owners, I began with the intention and focus of being my own boss and making more money. After all, some say that is the “American Dream,” and, to a degree, it can be. Simply from my upbringing, I knew that in order to be successful, hard work would be the key component. After all, hard work is very uncommon in today’s America. For me, keeping a heavy workload has never been a huge issue. How to keep up with the workload was the biggest problem. So, as I needed help, I would simply hire the next warm body to “help” me get more work accomplished. However, what almost always happened was I would spend extra time and money correcting their mistakes. Although the final product would be acceptable, it would come with a decreased profit and an increased stress load. Then the cycle begins, sort of like debt. It starts off as a small problem or a temporary state that I would address and “fix” as soon as I got a chance. But, with an increasing workload and a decreasing profit, I could not afford to take the necessary time to correct the negative path I was on. After a while, that miserable condition I had put myself in sort of became a way of life. Sort of like an old worn out boot: it hurts to wear and will cause long-term damage, but you keep wearing it because it somehow seems like a part of you. That said, things are now going great and I’m proud of my team.
Have you gotten stuck in a cycle at work or with any other part of life, and, although you know it’s destructive, you just keep pressing on?
Saturday afternoon we received an emergency service water damage call. The customer stated that his family had been gone for several hours and, upon their return, had found water to be in the majority of their home. Three bedrooms, the dining room, living room and bathroom all had standing water. The source was an improperly functioning toilet valve. [See: Where is the Shut-Off Valve?] Unfortunately, our customer had an abrupt change of plans, but fortunately, he did not have to spend the rest of his evening extracting water from his home. Instead, he knew just what to do: he called us. We had actually performed a near mirror image water damage repair job for this same customer about 4 years prior.
Upon arrival, he had already stopped the water flow and begun vacuuming some of the surface water. We began our typical, strategic attack to efficiently and quickly remove the water from the structure. There were five of our staff, and we divided into three crews. One crew moved furniture and clothes, the other pulled out all of the severely damaged carpet pad and laminate wood flooring, and our fifth man focused on extracting the water.
Once all water and damaged materials were removed, we collectively set up the fans and dehumidifiers. We reset some of the major furniture and the TV so that our customer could at least have a place to sit and maintain a sense of normalcy.
This is a very typical water damage situation that we face time and time again. Many times, something as small as a toilet valve can create havoc. I wish I could give advice or create a maintenance plan to keep these things from occurring. For some things, I can, but for others, accidents happen. When they do, all you can do is be prepared. If this havoc were to happen to you, would you know what to do?
I am grateful that this customer chose to call us again. I am also extremely grateful that my team performed with such quality and customer service.
Whether it’s water damage or a related issue, Call Branch Emergency Services and we will take care of everything with excellence. We strive to leave you and your home better than we found it!
Branch Contractors, Inc. is a 24-hour emergency repair services company, and fast, after-hour storm repairs are just what our greater-Athens GA customers need. Just last week we were called around 8:30 pm to make storm damage repairs caused by a fallen tree.
The tree was a dead pine that was blown onto the house from the strong gusts of wind during one of Georgia’s recent storms. We arrived quickly with four men. Within less than an hour, we had boarded up two windows and a door, patched the roof and cleaned up a lot of broken glass.
The work we did was relatively simple, but we tried to make the service exceptional. This customer has a little baby. Knowing this, we initiated our Child-Occupied Protocol (COP) which includes checking behind ourselves numerous times and vacuuming and mopping the floors. Not only did we vacuum the rugs, we took them outside and broom-beat them to ensure that we dislodged any small particles of glass that we missed with the vacuum.
Unfortunate things like storm damage are common to us, but not necessarily to the typical homeowner. Our Child-Occupied Protocol was easy for us to develop because many of us also have small children, so working conscientiously to protect them comes from our hearts. When we are working in your home, we make your family our priority and go above and beyond any typical repair company so that you and your family are kept safe.
You can trust that the Branch Team truly cares for its customers, and it shows by the way we handle every detail. This is what we call The Branch Difference, and we invite you to learn more about it.
If something as unfortunate as a tree falling onto your home were to occur, wouldn’t you want the peace of mind that someone who truly cares was in charge of putting things back together?
Many times, there can be soot damage without any structural fire damage. This can be caused from melted plastic or food left in a skillet that only burns the contents of the skillet. No matter the cause, the cleaning method for cleaning soot damage is for the most part the same.
At Branch, when it comes to cleaning soot damage our protocol is to first determine the extent of the soot particles. We do this by a simple “white glove” test. However, if we should have reason, such as a customer with super-sensitivity, we can perform air or air surface testing and perform a laboratory analysis to ensure that we locate even the finest of particles.
Cleaning soot damage begins with setting up containment by establishing negative pressure throughout the damaged area and sealing off all areas that are not damaged. This containment system stays in place throughout the project or until its existence is unnecessary.
The next step, depending upon the severity of the soot, is to detach all light fixtures and move all appliances, furniture and other belongings to a “clean area” so that proper and thorough cleaning can be achieved. We then vacuum, beginning with the ceilings, moving laterally. Next are the walls, and door and window casings. We repeat this method until we reach the floor.
For the finished surfaces in the structure, such as ceilings, walls, doors, etc, we begin “wipe down”. Dependent upon the degree of the soot or smoke, we will likely use a chemical sponge.
Depending upon the condition of the surfaces and components after, further steps may be necessary to get things back like they need to be. The need to paint, seal, and refinish or replace could still be necessary; this can be determined area by area and component by component.
Have you ever had soot in your house and made it worse by improper cleaning techniques? We hope this post helps. If you need more assistance, we invite you to learn more about our smoke restoration services.
What do you have attached to your roof? I performed an emergency roof repair recently that was a result of a satellite being bolted through the roof decking. Mounting a satellite dish to the roof is not only common but is almost a standard. It always seems to be the best place to get a direct signal without objects in the way. Anytime this can be avoided, I would suggest that you do so. However, I, too, have mine attached to the roof, and thought I’d share how to install yours to prevent needing an emergency roof repair down the line. I also took a few snapshots (below) so you can see the damage an improper satellite dish installation can cause to your roof.
The problem is that when the dish or other object is originally mounted, there is typically no leak. As time passes, however, and the roof expands and contracts with the seasons, the hole that is created by the mounting bolts also expands and contracts. The result is the loosening of the bolts and then a following leak, necessitating the roof repair. This is easily avoidable. Once the location of the placement is decided, mark the holes, tap a lag bolt through the shingles, and then thread it through the plywood decking.
Then, back the bolts back out and fill the hole with pure roofing tar (not silicone) and heavily coat the lag bolt with the roof tar as well. I then recommend installing a “slip sheet:” a rubberized waterproofing membrane. Even a piece of old rubber inner tube can work. Slip this piece between the shingle and the base of the item being mounted. This provides a resilient pad that will conform to the mounting base instead of the rigid base provided by the shingle. Once the bolts are tightened, simply apply a coat of tar over the tops of the bolts as well. Using galvanized bolts will prevent any gaps created by rust.
If the roof decking is an OSB material and the bottom side is accessible from the attic, I suggest adding a piece of wood, such as a 2×4, or whichever size is adequate to provide a stronger base for the bolts to grab in to. Below are some pictures I took to illustrate how a satellite dish can cause an emergency roof repair.