3 Things NOT to Do if You Have Fire Damage
Soot can be difficult to clean, but disaster restoration professionals are trained and equipped to do so!
Fires aren’t just destructive—they’re stressful. In the immediate aftermath, you’re still trying to comprehend the damage, the next steps, and every other facet that comes with enduring a fire. Calling a disaster restoration company is a great step towards the recovery process, but it’s important to know there are some things you shouldn’t do if you want to mitigate any lasting damage.
- Don’t try to clean soot damage on your own. Some people like to take the restoration process into their own hands. We understand—you want things to be back to normal as soon and as cheaply as possible. But attempting to clean up on your own can make things worse. Soot is very difficult to clean, and in some cases, it’s virtually impossible. Unfortunately, attempting to clean any soot damage on your own can cause soot to set in and cause needless damage to items and structures. Leave all of the cleaning to the professionals!
- Don’t touch anything (especially with dirty hands). As we mentioned, soot is very difficult to clean, but it’s virtually impossible once soot sets into any materials. If you touch anything in the home, you could cause the soot to set, or you could touch something else and transfer the soot. If at all possible, don’t touch anything, but if you must, be sure to wash your hands afterward!
- Don’t turn on your HVAC system. During a fire, smoke and soot particles will travel through your home, including your duct system. Even after the fire is extinguished, the particles will still be resting in the vents. Before you use your HVAC system, you’ll want to have a professional duct cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll just spread the particles throughout the home again!
In order to quickly restore your home, it’s important to avoid actions that can potentially add more damage. If you do have a fire, immediately call your local disaster restoration company. With their help, you’ll be able to get back on your feet in no time!
What to Do if You Have Water Damage
When you have water damage, our professionals quickly respond and start the mitigation process!
Although it seems like it will never happen to us, the harsh reality is that 1 in 50 homeowners will have water- or freezing-related damages each year. Yet many of us are unprepared when rain intrudes our basement or our water heater bursts. Fortunately, as disaster restoration experts, we’re here to lay out exactly what you should do.
- Address the water source. One of the first things you should do after discovering water damage is to address the water source. Even if you were to address the damage, if the root of the problem is not addressed, the damage will only return. In some cases, this may require a plumber or some other expert. In any event, if there’s flooding, first be sure to shut the power off in the affected rooms!
- Call your local disaster restoration company. Once the source of the problem is addressed, you should contact your local disaster restoration company. They will extract water and speed up the drying process to help you get your home back to normal and to prevent mold growth. The faster they are called, the better!
- Contact your insurance. Though you may decide to pay out-of-pocket, if you think you’ll need your insurance, it’s a great idea to contact them. They will be able to connect you with resources and guide you through the process as you reclaim your home!
- Begin extracting water. Even though a disaster restoration company is on the way, the faster you can address water damage, the better. Whether you have to use buckets or some other container, it’s a great idea to begin removing the water from your house. Once the experts arrive, they’ll take over from there.
Water damage is stress-inducing, but it’s not the end of the world. If you follow the above steps and work with the involved parties, you can get back your home and your life back to normal.
Common Sources of Mold Growth in Conover-area Businesses
Mold growth is never welcome in a business setting, but if you know where to find it, you can take preventative measures!
No business owner wants to discover mold growth has affected their operations. It can hinder employee performance, cost money, and, depending on the industry, can halt operations altogether. Fortunately, mold growth isn’t inevitable if you take some precautions, particularly in areas where it commonly occurs.
- Areas that previously had water damage. Mold needs moisture to grow—among a couple of other requirements. When a property has water damage due to a busted pipe or a leak, water tends to invade porous materials (such as wood or drywall). When this hidden water is not adequately dried, mold will likely grow. If you know you have water damage, be sure to have a professional come out and dry it immediately!
- Inside your air duct system. We often get calls from commercial properties that discover mold is growing in their HVAC system. Because of the dust and dirt particles, mold has an abundance of food in duct systems. But when the building has high humidity or water leaks into the system, the spores will activate.
- Around water sources. We’ve established that mold spores need water to activate and grow. That’s exactly why you’ll find mold growing near water sources such as sinks, water fountains, and similar spots. We’ve found this to be more common in restaurants, but it can be prevented with proper cleaning and drying.
Businesses are just as prone to mold growth as the average homeowner, but because it can be costly and affect employees, it usually poses a more urgent threat. If you discover mold in your Newton or Conover commercial property, you should call SERVPRO of Catawba County East today!
Testimonials from Our Customers
One of our customers sent us a thank-you card for the work we did on their home!
When we go to a customer’s home or business, we strive to offer the best customer service possible. We ensure our employees are highly trained and believe in going above and beyond. That’s why we are humbled when customers send us letters or visit our office to share how grateful they are that they called us. Below are some testimonials that we feel exhibit the values we try to instill in our employees!
“Today we had two gentlemen come to our home to inspect a mysterious leak. The two men that came were David and Richard, and they were awesome. My mother and I both commented that we have never been treated so lovely by any repair person. I will recommend both SERVPRO and these gentlemen to anyone in need, and thank you all. The leak ended up being something besides a pipe or things they are used to seeing. Yet these men stayed until they found the source of the problem. They truly cared, and again I am thankful beyond words to know people like this still exist in the world. God bless and thank you for the thorough customer service and honest help.”
– Virginia B. of Hickory, NC
“Cannot say enough about the level of professionalism and service I received from SERVPRO of Catawba County. We had a water leak from our ice maker. Every step of their service from restoration to repair to clean up was fantastic. We had sub floor repairs, hardwood floor repair/ refinishing, dry wall, paint and more. There cleaning crew was amazing and my house has never been so clean! All the contractors they supplied were excellent. They even worked out payment details with our insurance company. The attention to detail at every step was amazing. SERVPRO scheduled everything with special attention to making it work with my schedule. The teamwork they provided was outstanding in every way. They made a very painful/difficult situation, painless. If I could give them 10 stars, I would. Thanks to all at SERVPRO of Catawba County for you care, attention and service.”
– Cathy S. of Conover, NC
“We are very satisfied with SERVPRO and your employees. They are a really nice group and we had lots here to help us. All very friendly, kind, courteous and personable. Always checking if it was okay before doing something: use an outlet, leave their jacket inside, etc. Never complained about their duties. They appeared happy to be here and we were happy to have them. We hope they know how much they were and are appreciated.”
– Audrey M. of Morganton, NC
“Our project was very large, but everyone we worked with was very professional and work with us on our schedule. We are very pleased with the work that was done. You can't even tell there was damage.”
– Philip A. in Lenoir, NC
If you’ve ever had an experience with us, we hope to hear from you as well! We encourage you to leave us a review on Facebook, Google, or directly on our website!
How to Prevent Your Home from Flooding
Rain can cause a lot of damage when your home is not adequately prepared. Act now and prevent flooding!
Flooding can destroy property and induce a lot of stress. But because it isn’t a common occurrence in our area, most homeowners don’t take the steps to prevent it from happening to their home. But as disaster restoration professionals, we have a few tips to help!
- Clean your gutters. If rain is the culprit, your gutters are your first line of defense. When your gutters get a buildup of leaves and other debris, this prevents them from functioning and can lead to flooding.
- Seal any known cracks or vulnerabilities in the structure. In some cases, we’ve had customers who’ve called us because water flooded in through a previously known vulnerability. The best way to prevent these incidents is to address them before a storm arrives.
- Landscape your property. If your home is positioned at the bottom of a slope, rain will likely buildup and pool around it. To prevent this, you may need to do some landscaping or install some sort of draining system.
Flooding can be devastating, but in some cases, it can be prevented (or at the very least, the extent of the damage can be minimized). But if you do have flood damage, SERVPRO of Catawba County East is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
3 Cooking Burn Prevention Tips | National Burn Awareness Week 2019
Burns happen all the time, especially when it involves cooking!
The first week of each February is National Burn Awareness Week, which is sponsored by the American Burn Association (ABA). According to the association, each year there are hundreds of thousands of burn injuries in the United States. To aid the (ABA) in its efforts, here are 3 cooking-related burn prevention tips!
- Don’t let pot and pan handles hang over the stove. Many people probably don’t think about it, but it’s very important that no handles hang over your stove or counter. If you or somebody else in the kitchen accidentally knocks into one, hot contents could be dumped onto a person!
- Place hot beverages or food away from the edge of the table. 85-90% of all scalds are caused related to cooking or hot beverages. While these incidents can occur for a number of reasons, one of the easiest ways to prevent them is to put hot materials away from the edge of a table. This reduces the likelihood that they are accidentally knocked over!
- Remove lids away from your face. Steam will likely accumulate in a hot, covered pot, which can burn your skin if it’s released directly towards you. If you need to remove a lid that contains steam, be sure to open it away from your face to avoid potential injury!
Cooking-related burns can occur in a number of different ways, which is why it’s important to follow safety protocols while you’re in and around the kitchen. If you want to read more burn prevention tips, check out the American Burn Association’s website!
Upcoming CE Class on February 19, 2019
This picture was taken at one of our most recent CE classes—we do our best to provide a warm and friendly environment for our agents!
Every quarter, we host free Continuing Education classes for insurance professionals in the area—it’s just one of the ways we support our local insurance agencies. And this quarter, by popular demand, we are hosting two brand new courses: Introduction to Workers Compensation and Employers Liability (#209845) and Errors and Omissions Risk Management (#201902).
As usual, instructor Chris McLeod will return to teach these classes, which she specifically wrote for us! If you’re interested in attending this free event, we are hosting the class at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Hickory on Tuesday, February 19. We provide snacks, a free lunch, and a welcoming atmosphere. So if you need credit hours to maintain your insurance license, visit our registration page and sign up today!
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!