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Water Restoration Essentials: The Air Mover

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Restoration Essentials: The Air Mover Air movers are powerful and precise fans that can speed up the drying process tremendously!

At SERVPRO of Catawba County East, we’re called in nearly every day to visit a home or business where a water damage has occurred. Our expert team has the experience and training to confidently remove moisture and prevent mold growth, but how do we do it? A big part of our job is understanding when, where, and how long to run specialized equipment. Today we take a look at one of those essential tools—the air mover.

The Air Mover

An air mover is a powerful type of fan that creates high-velocity airflow to improve air circulation. There are multiple types of air movers, which allows for different configurations, but they all lead to sped up evaporation and drying times. Air movers are often used in conjunction with dehumidifiers to quickly remove moisture from a space.

Air Movers vs Home Fans

When our customers first see an air mover, they often ask if they could’ve used their own fans. While air movers are technically fans, they are much more powerful and effective than your standard home fan.

  • An air mover creates high-velocity airflow that no ordinary fan can compete with. Even though a regular fan could help with drying a room, it would take much longer and leave the space open to issues like mold.

  • Air movers are placed in strategic locations to ensure the room is quickly and efficiently dried. Part of the reason they work so well is that their airflow is refined and predictable. Your standard fan, however, often covers a wide range of space and offers less precision, which makes them less effective.

Drying Your Space Quickly

The goal of any water restoration professional is to dry your water damage as quickly as possible to mitigate the risk of mold. Air movers are versatile tools that allow our team to provide the best results and achieve our goal quickly.

When you call SERVPRO of Catawba East, you’re choosing a team that has about 450 air movers at its disposal. We’ll quickly make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Rescues a Fire Department in Catawba County

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial SERVPRO Rescues a Fire Department in Catawba County Two of our skilled technicians removed the wet insulation from a local fire department in Catawba County. This helps prevent mold growth!

It’s sometimes hard to imagine, but no home, business, or agency is immune to disaster. Recently, a local fire department in Catawba County called us because they had a water damage. A pipe above the fire chief’s office broke and leaked into his and the deputy chief’s respective offices. A large portion of carpet was soaked and the wall and insulation between the two rooms were wet. When the chief called us to take care of the problem, we promptly arrived at the scene!

Drying Commercial Water Damage

In addition to drying and preserving wet materials, it’s our main objective to minimize how much disturbance we allow the disaster to cause our customers. Upon inspecting the wet carpet and flooring, our technicians noticed that large sections of the carpet were already starting to come up in the chief’s office, so they removed the affected areas. If they had left the carpet as it was, it would have pulled away during the extraction process, anyways.

Our technicians then used a carpet extractor to draw out as much moisture from the flooring and carpet as they could. This process is very similar to vacuuming, but it uses special equipment to contain the water.

Since the walls were also affected, our team had to cut through the sheetrock of the affected area and remove the damp insulation. This step is crucial because moisture often sits behind walls and leads to mold growth when it’s not dried out.

Once the excessively wet areas were addressed, the team brought in air movers and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process for everything else. Air movers—essentially high-powered fans—were strategically placed around the rooms, following the guidelines set by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification). The dehumidifiers pulled the moisture out of the air and also helped increase the drying process while additionally keeping the humidity at a low enough level to prevent mold growth. The equipment was left for a couple of days to ensure everything was sufficiently dried.

After the Mitigation Process

Once our technicians confirmed the water damage was dried, they withdrew the equipment and cleaned up. In some cases, depending on the circumstance, our repair team will come in and make it look “Like it never even happened.” In this case, however, we left the restoration work to the fire department.

What Not to Do During a Snowstorm

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Not to Do During a Snowstorm Snowstorms might seem like fun, but they can lead to dangerous situations.

Tuesday marked the first day of spring, but we’re still facing winter weather here in Catawba County. Since snow still seems to be a possibility in the coming days (and possibly weeks), we think it’s important that we review some safety tips. Since we live in the south, we’re less equipped to handle snow than our northern counterparts, so below are 3 things you should not do during a snowstorm.

  1. Drive. We know that most people have some place to be, but since our roads and vehicles are not properly equipped to handle snowy conditions, it’s best to stay off the roads as much as possible. Even if you feel confident in your driving skills, you can’t assume that everyone else on the road is just as capable.
  1. Hot water on your windshield. It’s best to avoid driving, but if you really have to, you’re legally required to clear off your windows and windshield. When you do, however, do not use hot water to remove the snow. The difference in temperature can actually cause the windshield to crack. It’s better to wipe it off with an ice scraper or your windshield wipers if you’re able.

  1. Alternative heating. If your power goes out for any reason, you may be tempted to use a grill, a generator, or a similar heating source to keep warm, but these can lead to carbon monoxide poisonings, so do not bring these indoors. Instead, call your power company immediately (not 911), and use blankets and additional layers clothing to keep warm until your power returns.

Snow may seem magical, but it can also present safety hazards. The best way to get through a snowstorm is to prepare all of your essentials and wait it out in your home. That doesn’t mean you can’t go out and play; just exercise caution!

5 Common Causes of Home Fires

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Common Causes of Home Fires Matches and lighters should never be left out unattended. Curious children are one common source of home fires!

Each year, there are more than 350,000 home structural fires that cause over several billions of dollars in damage. Some of those fires only lead to minor damages, but many end up as complete losses. Nobody wants to deal with that kind of disaster, but each year the same sources cause the bulk of structural fires. So you can prevent this catastrophe from happening to you, we’ve identified 5 common causes of home fires.

  1. Cooking fires. You may have heard the phrase, “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen,” but don’t take that literally! Most cooking fires become major problems because people leave their kitchens unattended. If you are using any heating or electrical cooking equipment, be sure to keep it in sight until it is off and you are no longer using it.
  1. Heating equipment. You may want to warm yourself when it’s cold, but make sure you take the necessary precautions. In most cases, fires of this type start because chimneys and similar heat sources are not cleaned and properly maintained. Another factor is that heating elements are often left too close to flammable objects. Be wary of your surroundings!
  1. Cigarettes and smoking materials. Cigarettes and other smoking materials are the most common source of home fire deaths. If you do smoke, be sure to do so outside; most deaths come from fires that started inside. It’s also important that you put out the light before you discard your cigarette and ashes. The best way to do this is by dousing it with water or sand.
  1. Electrical and lighting equipment. Our lives revolve around electricity, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be dangerous! Frayed and exposed wires are often a reason these kinds of fires start, so be sure to replace those immediately. Also, never force plugs into outlets they don’t naturally match with (e.g. three-pronged plugs should not be forced into two-pronged outlets).
  1. Unsupervised children. Children are curious and often get into things that they shouldn’t. That’s why it’s important to keep matches and lighters out of their reach while simultaneously teaching them the importance of fire safety. If fire is going to be part of a child's activity, be sure that a responsible adult will be present.

Fires happen every day, often because of the reasons mentioned above. If you are mindful of your surroundings and keep equipment and devices cleaned and up-to-date, you can lower the chances of having a home fire yourself!

5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Natural Disaster

1/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Natural Disaster A little time spent on planning and preparation can save you thousands of dollars and keep your business afloat no matter the disaster!

Did you know that FEMA claims that more than 40% of small businesses that face disaster never open their doors again? In fact, of the ones that do reopen, only about 29% are still open after 2 years. As alarming as that is, it doesn’t mean that your business has to fail if and when disaster strikes. Below are 5 ways you can prepare your business for a natural disaster.

  • Develop an Emergency Ready Plan. First and foremost, create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) so you know how to respond quickly and efficiently in case of a disaster. You can make your own by using resources from, or you can call your local SERVPRO and have them do everything for you—for FREE. There’s no catch to SERVPRO’s service; they just hope you’ll call them if you ever need disaster restoration services.
  • Store digital copies of vital documents in the Cloud. Some documents are extremely difficult to replace, if they can be replaced at all. While SERVPRO can restore damaged documents, it’s much safer to make digital copies and store them in Cloud services like Google Docs or DropBox. This way, even if your computers are destroyed, you can still retrieve what you need.
  • Identify an alternative operations site. Even if your office is inaccessible, it doesn’t mean you have to stop your operations. For example, you could work from home, another branch, or wherever makes sense for your business. If at all possible, be sure to have another location in mind so you can temporarily relocate.
  • Make sure you have enough insurance coverage. You shouldn’t have to bear the full brunt of a natural disaster. Not only should you consider interruption insurance, also review your current policies to make sure that you’re sufficiently covered if you were to need it. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
  • Develop a communications system. Prepare a distribution system so information can be relayed to employees and other relevant persons quickly and efficiently. Make sure to inform them of any safety measures and operational procedures. You’ll also want a system in place to communicate with the public so your business can convey its plan for recovery.

Business owners have many things to worry about each day, so it makes sense that most don’t have a plan in place for something that only might happen. But since disasters do happen—often when we least expect it—it’s vital that you’re ready. If you don’t have time to prepare, then call SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504 and get your free Emergency Ready Plan today!

Protecting Against Flood Damage in Catawba

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Protecting Against Flood Damage in Catawba A clogged or damaged gutter can cause storm water to gather at the foundation of your home or seep into walls causing flood damage.

SERVPRO Can Help Perform Simple and Effective Tasks to Prevent Future Flood Damage

Storms are common around Catawba. They blow in and blow out pretty quickly, but they often leave lasting problems in homes and on property all over North Carolina.

Restoring a Catawba home with flood damage can be an extensive and expensive process. When SERVPRO is called out to bring a home back to its original condition, we do everything possible to not just remediate the effects of the last flood, but to secure your home against future storms as well.

Most damage from storm flooding does not come from nearby creeks and rivers breaking their banks. Often, we find that poorly installed drains and gutters or ones damaged by a previous storm are the cause. In a single storm, hundreds of gallons of water can be misdirected down walls to gather at the foundation of a home to cause long-term damage that goes unnoticed until someone finds floodwater in the basement.

The best way to stop this type of damage and the resulting flood is to prevent it. SERVPRO technicians are trained to repair most types of rain gutters and drains. Much of what we do is secure drain pipes to walls and make certain they are attached to the gutters. It usually involves no more than a few hours tightening or adding restraining straps and sealing the drains to the gutters.

The second most common task is to rejoin rain gutter sections that have separated from each other due to age or damage. Even a gap you can barely see allows an incredible amount of water to pass into attics or down walls where it affects the foundation.

If the foundation has already been affected, the same actions we take to stop any leaks also prevent further damage. After we remove any standing water, technicians check the inside walls for leaks and seeps. Next, SERVPRO technicians fill them with hydraulic cement and then cover the walls with masonry cement. They form an excellent barrier against further water intrusion.

As part of the team completes the inside barrier, the rest dig out the foundation walls. Once we clean them, specialists cover every square inch with liquid rubber. This forms a water barrier that does not leak unless the home somehow shifts off the foundation.

Protecting your home from flood damage is not a complicated process, but it does require the right tools and training. If you need our help, call SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504 today. We are here for you.

Click here for more information about the town of Catawba.

Sources of Water Damage And The Importance of Quick Water Removal Services in Newton

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sources of Water Damage And The Importance of Quick Water Removal Services in Newton Don't let a water mishap take over your home. Let SERVPRO help restore it "Like it never even happened."

The Importance of Fast Water Removal Services in Newton Residential Homes

When in overabundance supply, water can be very destructive to the indoor environment. As such, flooding and excess moisture should be a reason for concern for Newton residents. The problem intensifies when cleanup services are delayed or when the water is unsanitary. The results can be unfathomable damage to your electronics, upholstery, wood furniture, plumbing equipment, and household appliances. Water damage also puts you at risk of mold growth, which can be very expensive to treat.

Hiring an experienced water damage restoration company in Newton can significantly reduce the stress. With many years of experience in the restoration industry, SERVPRO is uniquely qualified to respond quickly and efficiently to your emergency. Our technicians are highly trained and certified by the IICRC, ensuring that their methods are up to par with industry standards. The idea is to return your property to its original state as quickly as possible, "Like it never even happened."

Our water damage restoration services may include water removal from furniture and other belongings to prevent additional damage. Once the mitigation process is over, SERVPRO technicians begin the drying process using advanced drying and dehumidification equipment. The exact method depends on factors such as airflow, humidity levels, and the composition of the wet materials.

In some cases, we may use heat sticks or heat mats alongside our standard equipment. In other cases, we may undertake the task of restoring certain parts of the site that have sustained severe water damage, for instance, drywall and ceilings. By using modern technology such as remote monitoring, SERVPRO professionals can take continuous measurements of humidity, temperature, carbon dioxide levels, and moisture content. This helps minimize the drying time and some visits to the site while keeping you updated at the same time.

For large-scale disasters, SERVPRO has a large stock of fans, dehumidifiers, and other equipment that are available 24/7. In case they are needed in the water damage restoration process, we can deploy them to the job site within no time. The emergency stock is unique and allows us to respond to major situations with immediate action.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

If you have a flooding situation at home and need quick water removal and water damage restoration services, you can count on SERVPRO of Catawba County East. We're Faster to Any Size Disaster, and we can restore your home to preloss conditions in no time. Call us anytime at (828) 465-6504.

For more information regarding Newton, click here

Mold Damage Can Happen In The Attic During Winter Months In Newton

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Damage Can Happen In The Attic During Winter Months In Newton Mold proliferates during any season whenever conditions become beneficial, including the cold winter months.

Mold Damage During Winter Months

When mold grows, most people think it only happens during warmer months in Newton, around pools, bathrooms, and other areas that remain damp or wet for extended periods. However, mold proliferates during any season whenever conditions become beneficial, including the cold winter months.

Because many homes have unheated attics in Newton, mold damage often remains undetected until someone needs something from storage. Discovery of mold often happens while looking for holiday items or winter sporting equipment. Finding microbial activity should signal the need for a call to remediation specialists.

SERVPRO technicians, highly trained in this and other home restoration activities, can eliminate the damage and restore healthy microbial activity. We work quickly so your family's routines and schedules can remain undisturbed. We know every household has their schedules to keep and we always do our best to work within your needs. If there is ever any concern regarding how our services might affect your family, please discuss this with us.

Before we eliminate the overgrowth of mold from your attic space, we use moisture detecting equipment to determine where the moisture comes. Sometimes this reveals a leaking roof, while other times we discover that the problem is inadequate or improper venting. We work with families to eliminate the problem so that it does not recur in the future.

Because heat rises, even in an unheated attic, it is often sufficient to allow mold access to liquid water. If the attic remained extremely cold, the water would freeze, starving the microbial population. Moisture can also travel on the air from hot showers, dryers, and even kitchens, adding to the moisture. No matter the sources of moisture, we can detect them. If the problem is ongoing and not easily eliminated, we install dehumidifiers, so the situation remains under control more easily.

For any concerns about mold damage in your attic, or elsewhere in your home, call SERVPRO of Catawba County East. We offer 24-hour services, every day of the year. Our number, (828) 465-6504, is local and always answered.

To learn more about Newton, North Carolina click here.

Why is it Essential to Act Fast After a Fire Damage to Your Catawba Property?

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why is it Essential to Act Fast After a Fire Damage to Your Catawba Property? Smoke and soot can severely damage your home, call SERVPRO as soon as the fire is out to restore your home "Like it never even happened."

Calling SERVPRO Immediately Can Lessen the Permanent Damage after a Fire

Fire damage can be devastating to your home. While a fire is an unfortunate event, a quick action is the only way to minimize permanent damage. If you do not act fast after an incidence of fire, your Catawba property can sustain severe cosmetic and structural damage due to the smoke and soot build up.

Fire damage restoration costs can dramatically increase if the cleaning process is delayed. Thankfully, SERVPRO professionals can help restore the fire damage to your Catawba property in no time. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster and ensure that any damage due to smoke and soot is minimized.

What happens minutes after a fire?

The first thing to happen after a fire is smoke and soot build up. Within a few minutes of the incidence, the smoke can fill your entire home and discoloration of your belongings can start almost instantaneously. The soot from burning synthetic material is acidic and can stain surfaces permanently if not cleaned promptly.

Even after the fire is put out, the smoke and soot can linger on and continue to wreak havoc on your furniture and other belongings. Metals begin to pit, corrode and rust, and the wood suffers surface stains that can be permanent.

Small, microscopic particles in the soot and smoke can penetrate surfaces if they are not cleaned promptly and efficiently. These particles can even cause structural damage to the floorboards and other wooden structures in your home.

What should you do after a fire damage?

The first thing to do after a fire damage is to seek professional help. Trying to clean the smoke and soot by yourself can worsen the damage. Here at SERVPRO, we have a team of IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified technicians that have years of experience in dealing with disasters of all sizes. Our experts ensure that the restoration process starts as soon as possible to reduce any permanent damage.

SERVPRO uses High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter technology to remove any traces of the minute smoke and soot particles from your upholstery and carpet.

Smoke and soot can permanently damage your property and belongings. Make sure that you act fast and seek professional help as soon as you can to avoid any permanent damage.

Call SERVPRO of the Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504 today to schedule an inspection. Our experts are here to help.

Click here to learn more about the Catawba Fire Department.

Commercial Water Damage in Your Newton Florist Shop from a Leaking Cooler

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Damage in Your Newton Florist Shop from a Leaking Cooler If your floral shop experiences water damage from a leaking cooler, rely on SERVPRO to remediate the damage quickly and thoroughly.

SERVPRO Acts Quickly to Dry Out and Remediate Water Damage

Your walk-in coolers are an essential part of your florist shop. You have to have them working at all times to keep the flowers fresh. If one of your coolers starts leaking, you have a two-fold problem – water damage to your Newton business and flowers in that cooler possibly spoiling.

The cooler could be leaking and leaving commercial water damage in your shop in Newton for a couple of different reasons. The drain line could become plugged, causing water to back up and spill over the edges of the coil. Alternatively, the coil assembly is not pitched back towards the drain hose, making water pool in front of the drain pan and leak from screw holes. Either way, you should contact us right away at SERVPRO so we can fix the problem and any water damage as soon as possible, so you do not lose merchandise or have further damage done to your shop.

Besides your flowers, the main thing you are worried about in a situation like this is your flooring. Painted concrete could blister or flake and then needs repainting. If the paint has lead in it, we hire a subcontractor who is qualified to remove the original paint. Concrete is a porous substance, so water could wick up and leave chalk-like calcium deposits on the surface which we can brush off. Surface films or dirt on concrete support mold growth, so we clean this by using a HEPA vacuum and an EPA-registered disinfectant if needed.

Ceramic tile and grout joints are usually waterproofed when installed. However, any cracks make it vulnerable to water damage. Water can penetrate the grout, causing expansion or warping to the subfloor, which means the tiles break apart and come loose. SERVPRO techs need to reinstall the tiles once the subfloor is repaired. It could be necessary for us to dry the floor from the bottom or to drill holes in the floor for proper monitoring. We use a nonpenetrating meter to check for moisture under ceramic tiles.

No matter the cause, SERVPRO of Catawba County East can stop your leaky cooler and get your shop dried out again quickly. Business owners in the areas of Maiden, Catawba, or Conover should call us right away at (828) 465-6504 when a problem arises.

For more information about the city of Newton, visit