Water Damage Essentials: Moisture Meters
Above, one of our crew chiefs uses a moisture meter to check the moisture content of this wall!
Our technicians use a lot of tools and equipment to inspect and dry your water-damaged home. Each tool has a unique function to ensure we have completely dried all affected areas. One such tool is the moisture meter, which helps both identify wet materials and determine when those materials are dry. In fact, you could say it’s one of the most important tools in measuring our goals and success.
Using the Moisture Meter
The moisture meter is a handheld device that provides our technicians with a numerical value for the moisture detected in a material. When we initially use these devices, we are looking for the drying standard, which is the value the meter reads for an unaffected material. We then use this value to determine how wet the affected material is and use it as our drying goal.
That can be a little confusing, so we’ll break it down in an example:
Let’s say there’s a home that had water damage in one of its rooms. When our technicians use the moisture meter on wet drywall, it reads “33%.” But when we measure unaffected drywall in a completely different room, it reads 13%. This second reading is our drying standard, which is the moisture percentage we aim for in the affected room.
Completely Drying Your Home
It’s difficult to thoroughly mitigate water damage if you don’t know how dry material is or needs to be. A moisture meter is an invaluable tool in the disaster restoration industry, and it’s why all of our technicians are equipped with one. If your home has water damage, know that our technicians are here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
We Support the Community
Our employees are involved in many local activities. Above, one employee volunteered with Habitat for Humanity!
At SERVPRO of Catawba County East, we believe it’s important to be a pillar in the community. When we purchased this franchise in 2015, we made it a priority to be actively involved in local events and organizations. As we’ve continued to grow, we’ve expanded our involvement and the commitments we make.
NC Fire & Life Safety Bowl
Each year, the NC Fire & Life Safety Bowl pits teams from local schools against each other to test their knowledge on safety. The winning school in each region wins a cash prize and moves on to the state finals. SERVPRO of Catawba County East serves on the planning committee and as moderators for the actual event. We’re excited to see the younger generations learn the importance of safety!
SERVPRO of Catawba County East is a huge supporter of Safe Harbor, a nonprofit dedicated to sheltering and rehabilitating battered women and their children. One of our employees serves on the Board of Directors, and we sponsor many of their events. We’re proud to have such a great organization in our community!
We encourage our employees to join their local Rotary club. This civic organization serves the local community through various projects (determined by the local chapter). Several of our employees are Rotarians and help run events and activities.
We’re Your Local SERVPRO
As a local business, we love to be a part of the community. In addition to supporting the above organizations, we sponsor golf tournaments, make monetary donations, and more! When you call on our team, you’re calling on your friends and neighbors. If you have fire or water damage at your property, call SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 322-4400!
Water Damage Q & A: Why Do I Have Mold?
This mold began growing after the basement had water damage from rain intrusion!
Mold can be a major problem for your home. In addition to causing some health effects, it can also cause structural damage and ruin your belongings. That’s why it’s highly recommended you immediately address any mold growth on your property. But how did your house get mold in the first place? The short answer: water.
Why Do I Have Mold in My Home?
The first thing every homeowner should know is that mold spores are found everywhere—even in your home. These spores are generally not an issue until they become active and begin to grow and spread. This process doesn’t occur until the spores are exposed to moisture.
If your home has recently had water damage—whether it’s from a leak or flooding—it’s at risk of having mold growth. In ideal conditions, mold can begin growing in as little as 24-48 hours after being exposed to moisture, which is why it’s important that any water damage is immediately dried.
If you notice mold but haven’t had water damage, moisture is still the culprit. In these cases, you might have an undetected leak (such as behind the wall), or the humidity levels might be too high in your home. Either way, you’ll need to investigate the water source.
Remediating Mold Growth
Mold’s never a good sign, but it’s not the end of the world. For over 10 years, our mold remediation experts have helped hundreds of homes and businesses with mold growth. The remediation process is a necessary step in regaining control of your home. So if you have mold growth in your home, call our team today!
How to Prepare for Hurricanes This Season
Hurricanes have done a lot of damage to our state. Last year, our team responded to the destruction caused by Hurricane Florence.
Hurricane Florence hit our state hard last year and became one of the costliest disasters in our history. While we’ve had a fairly quiet hurricane season so far, there’s still plenty of time for disaster to strike. Based on the lessons we learned last year, we want to share some things you can do to prepare for potential hurricanes this season.
Establish an Evacuation Plan
Last year, lots of people discovered how difficult it can be to temporarily uplift your life and move for the duration of a hurricane. In fact, many people found it difficult to evacuate due to having pets, medical issues, or due to several other situations. This task becomes even more difficult when thousands of other people are trying to make the same arrangements.
While it’s less urgent, now is a good time to start making arrangements for a potential evacuation. Identify a safe place farther inland or in another state completely. If you have pets and won’t be able to bring them with you, you’ll need to figure out somewhere to keep them until you can return home. And if you have medical issues, speak with your doctor about potential solutions. The more you plan now, the more time you have to react should a hurricane be imminent.
Stock Up on Supplies
If you have to stay behind for any reason, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully stocked on supplies. In addition to food, water, and a first-aid kit, you will need emergency equipment such as a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and even a fire-extinguisher. We encourage you to quickly purchase as many of these supplies as you can because they often become scarce once a storm is impending.
Take Inventory of Your Home
While we hope you’re spared, hurricanes can damage or outright destroy homes. In the event that you need to make a claim with your insurance, you’ll need to provide a full list of your belongings. To ensure you get paid for everything that was destroyed, you’ll need to keep a detailed list of all the things in your home. You can do this on paper as you move from room to room, or you can do this using several different apps. It’s recommended you do this now while you can still get an accurate account of your belongings.
After the Storm
Once a hurricane passes, it’s time to get your life back on track. While this might be easy for some, the realities of storm damage are hard to ignore. Fortunately, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East is always ready to serve the Newton & Conover areas!
2 Companies to Call After a Fire
Your insurance and your local disaster restoration company are there to help you recover from fire damage!
House fires are one of the most stressful things to live through. Many belongings are destroyed, lives lose any sense of normalcy, and the whole process is overwhelming. Now having served the community for 10 years, we’ve worked with countless homeowners to restore their homes. During that time, we’ve learned that customers often aren’t sure what the next steps are after the fire’s been put out!
- Call Your Local Disaster Restoration Company. Once the fire is out, the cleanup process should begin as soon as possible. Once you call our office, we’ll dispatch a team to walk you through the process as we begin to clean up.
- Call Your Insurance Company. Your insurance company will play a large role in ensuring your home and possessions are cleaned and restored. In fact, our team will be working closely with your insurance. Your insurance company can also help you with other questions, such as temporary lodging and some next steps.
If you’re like most people, house fires aren’t a common experience for you. That’s why it’s important to call the companies above and get professional help. Experts like our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East know exactly how to get your home back to its pre-disaster condition!
4 Appliances That Might Cause Water Damage
Washing machines are some of the most common culprits behind water damages.
We get it—water damage is the last thing anyone thinks about. After all, we’re less likely to prepare for a potential disaster than we are for an impending disaster. But the fact remains: about 1 in 50 insured homes have a water damage or freezing claim each year. So even if you don’t plan on preparing, it’s a good idea to at least be aware of potential incidents. So this week we’ll look at appliances and the ones likely to be behind the next water damage.
- Hot Water Heaters. We all like hot showers, but your water heater has the potential to flood your home with gallons of steaming water. As the heater ages, it begins to wear down, creating opportunities for it to leak or burst. Occasional inspections of this appliance can potentially prevent substantial damage to your home.
- Dishwasher. Your dishwasher might be a timesaver, but if it leaks, you’ll spend time and money trying to address it. In most cases, the door isn’t properly sealing the water inside; however, there could be other issues that might need to be addressed. As with the heater, it’s important to pay attention to any potential issues before you have a mess!
- Washing Machine. Your washing machine can have some of the same problems as your dishwasher. If parts age or are incorrectly installed, water can leak and do a number on your home. Like the appliances above, it requires occasional inspection and attention to any potential issues.
- Ice Maker. We all love iced beverages, which is why ice makers are so convenient. What’s not convenient, however, is when it leaks water and creates a breeding ground for mold or makes your hardwood floors buckle. These machines can leak for a number of reasons, but some of the most common culprits are age or damaged parts.
As you can see, your appliances—while great for improving your quality of life—have the potential to do serious damage to your home. While disasters can’t always be prevented, it helps to know where they can occur and how to respond. So if you have water damage in your home, call our disaster restoration team here at SERVPRO of Catawba County East.
What’s the Difference: Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning?
This home in Newton was flooded after we had heavy, extended rains.
After the flooding last month, many of us learned the importance of preparing for the worst. We received over 300 flood-related calls in a two-day period, and many people that initially handled the damage themselves are now facing mold growth issues.
It’s important we know how to prepare ourselves for future flooding incidents, but it’s just as important to be able to understand and heed warnings from local authorities. That’s why we’re explaining the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning.
A flood watch is a term local authorities use to inform you that conditions are right for flooding to occur. However, it does not mean that there will be flooding—only that there’s a possibility due to the weather. When a watch is announced, you should stay tuned for updates and ensure that you’re ready to act if necessary.
If a flood warning has been declared, you should begin to take action. This alert is only issued when flooding is imminent or currently happening. If you’re in a flood zone when a flood warning is issued, you need evacuate or get to higher ground.
Responding to Flood Damage
The most important thing when it comes to flooding is your safety, but that doesn’t mitigate the damage. If your home has flooding, our experts are able to extract and dry the damage. We have hundreds of pieces of equipment and over 60 fully-trained staff. If you have flood damage, call our team today!
Helping Flood Victims in Their Time of Need
Our team responded to hundreds of calls after the community was flooded! (Photo Courtesy of David Hewitt, News Topic)
“When it rains, it pours.”
No truer words were ever said when an onslaught of rain flooded much of Catawba County the weekend of June 7, 2019. The area received rain levels ranging up to 11 inches, which caused closures for many schools and roads in the county. In fact, Catawba County declared a state of emergency, allowing homeowners to claim any property damage they had as a result of the storm.
In all, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East responded to well over 300 customer calls in a two-day period—a volume we typically get in a span of about two months. All of our employees were called in to either answer phones or respond to emergencies. Within a few short hours of the initial calls, all of our crews and hundreds of equipment were deployed, but we continued to communicate with callers daily as we worked through our list.
As the weather and road conditions improved near the beginning of the week, our ability to respond improved, and we made significant progress as we responded to all of our customers. As of the writing of this post, we are still diligently assisting customers with flood damage.
We appreciate the patience all of our customers have shown, and we will continue to serve those that need our assistance. Although we hope an incident like this doesn’t happen again, if you ever need our help, know that you can call us 24/7!
Fire Damage Q&A: What Happens to My Belongings After a Fire?
We take great care to ensure all of your belongings are carefully packed before being sent to our warehouse to be cleaned and stored!
After a house fire, you only have one goal—to get your life back to normal. Although it can be a long and difficult operation, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East is available to ease you through the process. As we’ve helped many homeowners in the Newton and Conover areas overcome the journey, we’ve been asked many questions. Today, we’d like to answer one for you!
What Happens to My Belongings After a Fire?
Before we start any major cleaning on your home, one of the first things we do is “pack out” the items in the affected areas. During the process, our packout crew will inventory and box all of your belongings. Each box is assigned a unique QR code that corresponds to your home, so you never have to worry about your belongings being mixed up with another customer’s.
Some items, however, are considered unsalvageable—either because they are heavily damaged or due to the nature of the item. These items (known as “nonsals”) are still inventoried, but they are unable to be saved. Rest assured—we don’t dispose of any items without reviewing all of the “nonsals” with you!
Finally, we take all of the salvageable items to our warehouse to be cleaned and deodorized. In addition to our proprietary cleaning products, we also have an on-site textiles cleaning facility. We’re able to restore virtually any salvageable items to its pre-disaster condition!
Your Disaster Restoration Company
House fires can destroy a lot of sentimental items, but at SERVPRO of Catawba County East, we have the resources and the experience to restore most—if not all—of those possessions. After 10 years, we’ve learned what it takes to help those in need and to make it “Like it never even happened.” So if you have a fire or other disaster and need our help, call us today!
Common Sources of Water Damage
There are many potential water damage sources, so it's a good idea to be aware of the most common ones!
Water damages often occur when and where we least expect them. And while many people never expect an incident to happen with them, about 1 in 50 insured homes have a water or ice damage claim each year. That means it’s a good idea to be familiar with the most common culprits behind water damages.
- Appliance Leaks/Malfunctions. Perhaps the most common kind of water damage we experience is a result of old or faulty appliances. Dishwashers, washing machines, and even water heaters have the potential to release a lot of water. While some incidents are more abrupt than others, it’s a good idea to check your appliances for signs of wear!
- Rain intrusion. Rain is good for the plants but terrible for the inside of your home. That’s why it’s important to take preventative steps to prevent it from intruding in your home. First, clean your gutters, which serves as a first line of defense against flooding. Then check for any cracks or areas of known leaks and patch them so they don’t prevent further issues.
- Burst/Leaky Pipes. Pipes are a great conduit for transferring your home’s water, but they can also be the reason your house floods. For example, when the temperatures drop below freezing and poorly insulated sections freeze, the built-up pressure can actually cause them to burst once they thaw. Pipes can also leak due to age or damages, so be sure to periodically inspect yours.
It can be difficult to detect when and where you’ll have your next water damage, but regular inspections of your home and appliances can possibly lead to prevention. But if you do have water damage, call our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504!