3 Ways Your Business Can Prepare for a Potential Disaster
Disasters occur when we least expect them, which is why it's important to plan ahead. Look for an alternate operations site before it's too late!
It’s not something a business owner ever wants to happen, but it often occurs when they least expect it—disaster strikes. According to FEMA, between 40-60% of small businesses never reopen their doors having suffered from a disaster. Even knowing this, many businesses fail to prepare or have any plan in place for when an incident does occur. If your business is in this situation, here are 3 things you can do to prepare your business for a potential disaster!
- Develop an Emergency Ready Plan. One of the best ways you can prepare your business is to have a document that details emergency contact information, utility shutoff locations, and other essential information—all in one place. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO franchise will create an Emergency Ready Plan for your business for free!
- Identify an alternate operations site. If a disaster does enough damage to halt your business’ operations, you’re likely to lose a lot of money (and potentially hurt your reputation). Before that happens, identify another space you can use to resume some or all of your operations, at least temporarily. For example, this could be a rented office space, a friend’s unused warehouse space, or wherever it makes sense for your business.
- Ensure you have sufficient insurance coverage. When your business has a disaster, insurance is your best friend. Not only do they pay for some or all of the damage costs, but they are also a great resource center for finding the necessary services and accommodations. It’s important you review your coverage now, as you won’t be able to get assistance once it’s too late!
Disasters can be devastating, but you can reduce the impact it has on your business with the right preparations. However, if you need assistance cleaning and restoring property affected by a disaster, you can call SERVPRO of Catawba County East today at (828) 465-6504!
Driving After a Winter Storm
Many people think they can handle road conditions in a snowstorm, but the roads are often more treacherous than they might think!
In the South, we typically only get snow once or twice a year, but even when we do, it’s usually only a couple of inches (unless you live in the mountains, of course). That’s why we are often not equipped to handle the often dangerous road conditions—during or after the storm. If you aren’t used to driving in wintery conditions, here are a few tips.
- Avoid driving, if necessary. Despite what we wrote, it’s actually best not to drive on the roads after it has snowed or iced over. Of course, this is not always an option, but if it is, we highly recommend you stay off the roads.
- Drive slowly. One issue that drivers have in icy conditions is that they tend to drive the same way they would in optimal conditions. Unfortunately, ice is a major obstacle that often causes drivers to lose control. That’s why it’s important to drive slowly—to lower the risk of sliding and to quickly regain control.
- Allow extra distance between you and the car in front. Because it’s not always guaranteed you’ll be able to stop quickly, it’s imperative that you allow more space in front of you. If you need more time to stop or lose control, that extra space can be the difference that prevents you from having an accident.
Winter storms can create dangerous road conditions, which is why we have to drive differently than we normally would. If you do have an accident, however, call the police and your insurance agent to resolve the issues quickly!
3 Commercial Properties We've Restored
Most of Lee-McRae College's physical education center was damaged by a fire, but we quickly reacted to make it "Like it never even happened!"
We’ve been a part of this community for nearly 10 years. Over that period of time, we’ve helped countless businesses recover from disaster and continue their operations. Below are just 3 of the many commercial properties we’ve assisted.
- Lees-McRae College. In early 2017, a fire broke out in the laundry room of the Williams Physical Education Center that consumed nearly the entire building. Our crews responded immediately and worked continuously to restore the building back to its original condition!
- Martinsville Speedway. Earlier this year, heavy rains flooded the track at Martinsville Speedway. Our team was summoned to the Virginia racetrack and began extracting and drying the water. We worked almost non-stop for 3 days to get it back to normal.
- Grace Baptist Church. Hurricane Florence took a heavy toll on Wilmington and other coastal cities. We deployed a team and stayed there for multiple weeks. Grace Baptist Church was heavily affected, but our team worked diligently to make it “Like it never even happened.”
At SERVPRO of Catawba County East, we respond to a variety of disasters. We work with large commercial damages like the ones above to smaller residential incidents. If you need disaster recovery services, call us today at (828) 465-5604!
3 Types of Winter Storm Damage
Snowstorms might seem pretty, but they can cause a lot of damage!
We were just hit with a winter storm stronger than any in over two decades, leaving more than a foot over snow throughout our communities. In the days following, we had several calls from homes and businesses that had sustained damage. Below are some of the kinds of damage we typically experience after a winter storm!
- Collapsed Roofs. One of the major issues with a flat roof is that when enough snow builds up, the roof can collapse. That’s why it’s very important to address snow accumulation immediately—before it becomes a major problem.
- Burst Pipes. When temperatures drop below freezing, pipes have a tendency to freeze. This pressure can eventually cause the pipes to burst once they begin to thaw, which can cause substantial water damage. It’s best to take preventative steps if temperatures are expected to drop!
- Leaks and Flooding. When snow melts—especially when there is as much as we had—it can produce a lot of water. If there are cracks in the roof/structure or water is not diverted from the home (such as through a gutter system), water will likely enter the home and cause damage.
While it may look pretty, winter weather can cause a lot of damage to homes and property. If you need help with damage from any kind of storm, you can call SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504!
Why SERVPRO of Catawba County East Should Handle Your Commercial Disaster
Our teams prepared to head to Wilmington to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence! We are capable of handling any size disaster!
Disasters strike this area on a regular basis, even at commercial properties. Fortunately, there are disaster restoration companies in Catawba County who can help you return your business back to normal operations. If you’re unsure who to call if you have fire or water damage, here’s why we believe you should call SERVPRO of Catawba County East.
- We offer more than fire and water damage restoration. Many of our competitors have the capacity to restore fire and water damage, but there are usually other issues that arise from said damage. For example, mold growth, strong odors, and even contaminated HVAC systems can become an issue. Fortunately, we have the ability to resolve those issues and many more!
- We have over 50 employees. One of the advantages our franchise has over other local restoration companies is our size. With over 50 employees and hundreds of equipment, we are capable of handling any sized job. In fact, we have helped clean up after some significant disasters, such as the fire at Lees McRae College and the flooding at Martinsville Speedway.
- We have served our community for nearly 10 years. In our nearly 10 years of operations, we have worked with numerous local homes and businesses. As a result, we’ve built a solid reputation and continue to be active members of the community.
At SERVPRO of Catawba County East, we believe it’s important to help our community when it needs us most. Over the years, we’ve gained a lot of valuable experience and continue to grow. So if you need a professional to make it “Like it never even happened,” call us today at (828) 465-6504!
SERVPRO of Catawba County East Wishes You a Merry Christmas
Owners Kim and Randy Williams wish you a Merry Christmas!
From your friends at SERVPRO of Catawba County East, we wish you a Merry Christmas! We hope you spend time with friends and family, and that you stay safe.
Even though many stores are closed today, we know that often disaster strikes when you least expect it. That’s why SERVPRO of Catawba County East is still available for emergency services today if you have fire or water damage. Because damaged areas can deteriorate if they are left untreated for extended periods of time, it’s important to call us immediately after a disaster occurs, even if it's on Christmas Day.
If you have fire or water damage today and need our assistance, call SERVPRO of Catawba County East now at (828) 465-6504!
Mold Q&A: Is Black Mold Toxic?
This black mold was growing on the back of a ceiling tile. Fortunately, black mold is not toxic!
The last thing a homeowner wants to hear is that they have black mold in their home. Especially in recent years, black mold has become known as a dangerous, if not deadly organism. But there’s a lot of misinformation about this kind of mold, and we hope to clear that up.
Is Black Mold Toxic?
Despite what you might have heard or read, black mold is not toxic. In fact, according to the CDC and other experts, no species of mold is toxic. While certain species can produce a byproduct known as mycotoxins, they are only produced in certain conditions and should not be regarded any more hazardous than other mold byproducts. In fact, black mold species are not the only kind to produce mycotoxins!
Black mold has unfairly received a lot of negative attention, but it should not be regarded as more dangerous than other mold species.
Remediating Mold Damage
Even though mold is not toxic, it can still pose a threat to your health or your home. That’s why we still recommend you have growth remediated as soon as possible. If you have mold growth in your home, call SERVPRO of Catawba County East today at (828) 465-6504!
What is This Mold?
Most homeowners want us to identify the mold in their home, but it is impossible without taking it back to a lab!
Mold can be a major problem. Even if you do not suffer from allergies or have pre-existing respiratory conditions, over an extended period of time, mold growth can cause structural damage or even destroy your possessions. That’s why we still recommend you have it addressed, even if it does not seem like a major issue. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about mold, and there’s one we’d like to address.
What Kind of Mold Do I Have?
When a customer identifies a mold problem, one of the first things they ask us is to identify the kind of mold they have. There are two issues with the question.
First, while it is possible to identify a mold species, it is not something that can be done on the spot. Some characteristics are not exclusive to particular species, so it is impossible to identify the species based on appearance alone. Instead, samples will have to be taken and sent to a lab to be identified under a microscope. The cost and the extra steps are often more than what most property owners are willing to pay.
Second, the remediation process is the same regardless of the mold species, meaning the growth can be addressed even if you do not know what species you have growing in your space. Identifying the mold is an extra, unnecessary step.
Remediating Your Mold Growth
Simply knowing you have mold growth is an important first step in the mold remediation process. If you can know or suspect you have mold growth, we can quickly help you treat and stop it. Just call SERVPRO of Catawba County East today at (828) 465-6504!
Holiday Cooking Fire Safety Tips
Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires each year, so be sure to take precautions!
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires each year. And because most people will be cooking their holiday traditions, many homes are at risk. If you plan to cook this holiday season, here are some tips to keep your home safe.
- Never leave the kitchen unattended. Many times a cooking-related fire occurs, nobody is watching the kitchen. If you’re actively cooking something, don’t leave the area unsupervised, even if it’s only for a moment.
- Don’t put out grease fires with water. You’ve been taught that water extinguishes fires, and while that’s true in some cases, it isn’t always true. Grease fires are one such example, which can actually get worse when exposed to water. Instead, turn off the heat source, put a lid over the pan, and use either baking soda or a Class B fire extinguisher, depending on its size.
- Make sure all appliances are turned off after use. When you’re not paying attention, it can be easy to forget to turn the oven off. But when it’s left on for so long, that’s when disaster strikes. So be sure to double-check that all appliances are turned off after you are finished using them.
We know you’re looking forward to delicious Christmas treats, but remember that safety comes first. If you have a fire in your home this holiday season, call SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504!
How We Dry Your Home After a Water Damage
Air movers (left) and dehumidifiers (right) are an essential part of the water damage restoration process!
If your home floods, leaks, or has some other kind of water damage, it can be very stressful. After all, your goal is to return your home to normal as quickly as possible. Fortunately, as your local disaster restoration company, SERVPRO of Catawba County East is here 24/7 to make any disaster “Like it never even happened!”
When our team first arrives at your home, their first task is to assess the damage and determine what course of action they need to take. In many cases, there is standing water that needs to be immediately addressed. Using either a truck-mounted or a portable extractor, we will suck up and remove as much water from your home as possible.
Assessing the Damage
After all standing water has been removed, our technicians will assess the moisture levels using a moisture meter—a tool that offers a reading of an object’s relative moisture level. This reading will be the base number our technicians work with so they can determine when your home has been adequately dried.
Drying Your Home
The last phase of the mitigation process is drying out the moisture remaining in the affected areas. To do this, we deploy both air movers and dehumidifiers. The air movers speed up the evaporation process and move moisture away from the area, but the dehumidifier draws the moisture out of the air so materials can dry and mitigate the risk of mold growth. Our technicians collect moisture meter readings daily, and then they remove the drying equipment when the target goal has been met.
Peace of Mind
Our drying process is designed to be quick and effective so you can have your home back as quickly as possible. If you have water damage and want professionals to make it “Like it never even happened,” call SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504!