Recent Posts

Why We Restore Your Belongings

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Stacked, white washing machines lined in a row Our textile cleaning facility can clean most damaged soft goods. We take every precaution possible to save your damaged belongings!

We recently had customers whose entire home was damaged by an electrical fire. In fact, our repair team had to completely rebuild most of their house. For the homeowners, the recovery process was long and stressful.

But for the wife, it was particularly difficult because her cherished cabinet—passed down from her grandmother—had been lost in the fire. Or so she thought.

Our team had actually managed to locate a specialist who was able to completely restore the cabinet. The moment we finally revealed the restored item was one that many of our employees still remember.

At SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties, we put an emphasis on restoring your belongings—not replacing. We believe this approach is often cheaper and helps you keep the items you hold valuable.

Restore vs Replace

You can’t replace sentimental value. That’s one of the reasons our team takes every measure we can to try and restore your belongings. If you replace an item, you may get a similar—or sometimes better— version of the one you had before, but that’s often not enough for customers.

For example, if the aforementioned customer had purchased an exact replica of her grandmother’s cabinet, it wouldn’t be the same one that her grandmother had given her. It would be an identical copy, but the customer would know it wasn’t the same.

Even if sentimental value isn’t a concern, restoring an item can often be cheaper. If the insurance company had paid for an identical cabinet, they might have had to pay $3,000, for example. But if it only cost us $1,000 to have it restored, then the insurance company can save $2,000.

This matters because your policy will have a coverage cap, so once your insurance company pays a certain amount, you will be on your own for anything that hasn’t been recovered. The cheaper it is to have things replaced/restored, the more items you can potentially save.

The Restoration Process

Although we had to hire a specialist to restore the cabinet, we can actually restore most items ourselves. Our team is IICRC-certified, plus we have a variety of specialty equipment and products we can use to restore your valuables.

Surface Cleaning

If your belongings only have surface-level damage, we have a few different options for cleaning them. In some cases, we wipe items with rags and dry sponges. If the damage is heavier, we will use proprietary cleaning products to help remove residue.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Some items require more substantial cleaning that can’t be done by hand. In these cases, we may have to use our ultrasonic cleaning equipment. During this process, qualified items are placed in water or a specific solvent and agitated by sonic waves, which helps remove contaminants from the items. This works especially well for jewelry, electronics, and other sensitive objects.

Textiles Cleaning

SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties is one of the only restoration companies in the region with a dedicated textile cleaning facility. At our facility, we are able to clean most damaged textiles, including clothing, linens, and even stuffed animals. We even have an Esporta, which is a machine capable of cleaning more than 90% of soiled soft items!

Odor Removal

Depending on the incident, your belongings may have a distinct odor. We have proprietary products and equipment that are capable of eliminating virtually any smell. If your belongings have odor problems, we can take care of that through our ozone chamber, CLO2 treatments, or other options.

Calling the Restoration Experts

At SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties, we care about you and your valuables. Although some items are beyond saving, we exhaust every option available. If your home has been in a disaster, don’t assume your belongings are lost forever. Call us at (828) 396-1070, and see what we can do to have them restored!

Disinfecting Our Local Fire Departments

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee in PPE holding a tube inside a fire truck Our team has cleaned multiple businesses in the area, including some of our local fire departments!

Once COVID-19 spread to North Carolina, most of us were asked to stay home with few exceptions. Although many of those restrictions have been lifted or relaxed, our local first responders have continued to serve our community through it all.

While we rely on their services, this unfortunately puts them at risk of being exposed to COVID-19. In fact, the Sawmills Fire Department recently had 6 confirmed cases on their force. While the department has been able to continue serving the community, it has highlighted the risk these men and women face.

SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties has always supported our local fire departments. That’s why we have offered to disinfect our local departments for free. We started with Sawmills Fire Department after their confirmed cluster, but we have also begun to clean and disinfect others throughout the community. Our cleaning process involves fogging and wiping down high-traffic areas with EPA-approved products!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

At SERVPRO, we believe in supporting our community—especially during times of need. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned initiative is a defensive pathogen cleaning program that is aimed at building confidence in business owners, their employees, and their customers. Even if you’re not a first responder, you can call us today at (828) 396-1070 to get a quote for a professional cleaning!

Tornado Watch vs Tornado Warning

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Tornado running alongside a road Tornadoes are extremely dangerous, so you should follow local advisories!

Meteorologists use a lot of different terms to describe weather patterns and conditions. In some cases, however, these terms convey important information to local audiences. As we approach summer, we might hear more about tornadoes and other storm systems. That’s why it’s important you know the difference between a “tornado watch” and a “tornado warning.”

Tornado Watch

Authorities issue a tornado watch when conditions are right for a tornado to form. While there isn’t an imminent threat in this situation, the conditions could worsen. In any event, when a tornado watch is issued, move indoors and keep an eye on the local news for updates.

Tornado Warning

A tornado warning is a more urgent alert that is only issued when a tornado has actually been spotted or when one is imminent. When this has been issued, you should move to a safe place in your home or shelter and wait there until it’s been deemed safe to do so.

Your Disaster Cleanup Professionals

Tornadoes are extremely powerful storms, so even if you and your family are safe, your home may not be. Fortunately, if you do have storm damage, our professional team is available 24/7 to clean up and restore your home!

The Water Damage Cleanup Process

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Man in black shirt aiming a hose-like object at a wall in a room with air movers During the water damage cleanup process, our team applies an antimicrobial treatment to your home to prevent mold growth!

The first time you have water damage, you’re likely going to be caught off-guard. Most people aren’t prepared to handle this kind of incident, and it can seem overwhelming. Your first step will be to call a water cleanup company, but what does that process entail? If you call SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties, you can expect a quick but thorough cleanup.

Assessing the Damage

When our techs first arrive on-site, they will conduct an initial inspection. During this assessment, they will:

Water Removal & Extraction

After the assessment phase, our techs will begin extracting water. In addition to removing excess water, this phase helps us prepare for the drying process. The steps in this phase can vary based on the extent and severity of the damage, but in general, you can expect our crew to:

  • Inspect and remove carpet (only if necessary to protect the subfloor)
  • Move or block furniture to prevent rust or stains from wet carpet
  • Pack out and transfer your belongings to our cleaning facility (if necessary)
  • Vacuum & extract as much excess water as possible
  • Cut out 2 feet (or more) from the base of affected walls to access and remove wet insulation and hidden moisture

Antimicrobial Treatment

Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be necessary to apply an antimicrobial spray to the affected areas. This treatment is necessary to prevent mold growth, which is highly probable in water damaged areas. Additional treatments may be applied during and after the job process if the water is highly contaminated.

Drying & Dehumidification

This final phase is the longest but one of the most important parts of the restoration process. During this stage, our techs will strategically place air movers (high-powered fans) and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process and mitigate the damage. These machines will need to run uninterrupted until the techs have determined the area is sufficiently dry.

Cleanup and Completion

Our techs will routinely return to the property to check on moisture levels by using a moisture meter. Once the affected areas have met the target drying goals, our techs will remove the equipment and present you with final paperwork. The job is then complete!

How We’ve Helped During the COVID-19 Pandemic

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Hallway sealed by black plastic walls and PVC pipes We set up a containment unit at a local healthcare facility so their staff could safely change out of PPE!

We’re more than a month into the governor’s stay-at-home order, and each of us has been impacted to varying degrees. Due to the virus’ threat, menial tasks—such as going to the grocery store—have now become a coordinated event. At SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties, we’ve taken some steps to help make things easier on the community.

Near the end of March, we implemented safety policies to keep our customers and our employees safe. These policies have allowed us to continue serving customers that have had fire and water damages. But we’ve also done some work in the community to help slow the coronavirus’ spread.

Commercial Cleaning and Disinfecting

Since the virus made its way into North Carolina, we have had dozens of local businesses call us for cleaning and disinfecting services. While we cannot kill the coronavirus, we are following CDC guidelines and using EPA-approved cleaning products to target known hot spots. This process helps slow the spread and provides peace of mind to a business’ employees and customers. If you are interested in having us clean and disinfect your business (either proactively or because of a known case), call us any time at (828) 396-1070.

Helping a Local Healthcare Facility

When we work with mold, our team sets up a containment chamber to keep mold spores contained. A local healthcare facility reached out to us and asked us to create a similar containment unit so their staff would have a safe place to disrobe their PPE after working with patients. We happily designed a custom unit—one with multiple zones so they could disrobe and change without putting themselves at risk.

Always Here to Help

At SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties, we believe in helping during times of need. We’re continuing to serve our customers when they have disasters, and we’re continuing to identify other ways we can serve the community. If you need our services during these difficult times, know that we’re always here to help!

Water Damage and Mold: What You Need to Know

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growing on the base of a white wall Water damage can lead to mold growth, just as it did in this home!

Water damage incidents can be expensive to clean up, which is why many people try to handle it on their own. While this is doable in some cases, it can also lead to additional problems. In our 11 years of service, we’ve seen many cases where people have canceled our services, only to call back weeks later with mold. In fact, water damage is one of the most common reasons that homes have mold problems.

What Causes Mold Growth?

A little known fact is that mold spores are virtually everywhere. Although you can’t see them, spores can even be found all throughout your home. Fortunately, they don’t typically cause issues until there’s a very high count—generally a sign that you have active mold growth in your home or business.

Spores generally have access to food (organic material), so it’s when they are exposed to moisture that they begin to activate and grow. Water damage incidents are especially great for mold because they supply plenty of needed moisture.

Why Can’t I Take Care of Water Damage Myself?

Water tends to permeate porous objects, such as drywall, wood, carpet. Unless you have the equipment and the know-how to dry this hidden moisture, you’re likely setting yourself up for mold problems. If materials aren’t sufficiently dry, it can give mold spores the needed moisture to begin growing. One of the main advantages of hiring a professional water mitigation company is that they will be able to completely dry affected areas and deter mold growth.

Hiring a Disaster Restoration Company

Flooding, leaks, and other water damage incidents can seem daunting, but a professional restoration company will be able to quickly handle the problem. If you live in the Lenoir, NC area and need cleanup services, know that SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties is available 24/7!

Services You May Need if You Have Fire Damage

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Two women wearing masks and gloves cleaning items at an industrial-type sink Our team can clean your damaged items after a house fire!

Fires can cause a lot of damage, and the cleanup and restoration process can be extensive. Over the years, we’ve had to help many homes and businesses recover from fire damage, so we know the many pain points our customers face. There are actually many different problems that fire damage can create, but we offer many services that can alleviate those issues.

  1. Odor removal. Besides bringing up bad memories, the smoky smell that lingers after a fire can cause headaches and other discomfort. This odor can be extremely difficult to get rid of, but we offer odor removal services that completely eliminates any offensive smells.

  1. Duct cleaning. After a fire, soot and other contaminants will settle all throughout your home—including your duct system. These particles can lead to health issues and should be immediately addressed. We perform HVAC cleanings that remove and seal contaminants in your ducts. This keeps your ducts clean and your air fresh!

  1. Carpet and upholstery cleaning. Soot and smoke can soil your carpet, curtains, and upholstery. Improper cleaning can actually lead to more permanent damage, which is why our team offers professional cleanings. We use industry-standard products and techniques to remove soot and return your belongings back to its pre-fire condition.

  1. Contents cleaning. Your belongings are what turns a house into a home. Fire and smoke can cause seemingly irreversible damage to your possessions, but our team has both an on-site textile cleaning facility and a contents-cleaning warehouse. We use cutting-edge technology and techniques to clean your belongings and make it look “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties has proudly helped the Lenoir and Taylorsville communities since 2009. We have seen first-hand how devastating house fires can be, which is why we are available 24/7 to help you and your home recover. If you have fire damage and need professional help, call us anytime at (828) 396-1070!

How SERVPRO is Keeping Your Business Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Two women wearing face masks, gloves, and partial PPE sweeping white substance on the floor Our employees are required to wear masks and gloves when they are working around other people!

The last few weeks have been a difficult and unprecedented time for many of us. The coronavirus outbreak has slowed or halted most local businesses, which has been a strain on everyone—us included. In addition to serving local homes, we are committed to continuing to serve local businesses. We have taken several precautions to keep our employees and our customers safe!

We Perform Commercial Cleaning and Disinfecting Services

Although we have always offered cleaning and disinfecting services to local businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed its importance. Dozens of businesses have already contacted us to either schedule proactive cleanings or to prepare for the potential of a confirmed case.

Our team follows CDC guidelines to target hotspots that are known for spreading pathogens. Although there is no product that has been tested against this particular strain of coronavirus, the CDC has recommended the use of labeled hospital-grade disinfectants with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. We have several EPA-approved products that meet those standards.

We Have Implemented Safety Policies

Safety is top of mind at SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties. We believe it is our responsibility to protect our employees and the customers we serve, so we have implemented several policies designed to prevent the spread and exposure of the virus.

For example, we are requiring all employees to wear masks and gloves when they are working around other people. Our employees are also required to disinfect their vehicles in between jobs. We have asked employees to keep 6 feet away from each other, and we have closed some of our warehouses to prevent our employees from congregating.

In a previous blog post, we outlined more of our safety policies in detail.

Getting Professional Help

Despite the circumstance, we are committed to serving our local homes and businesses. Disasters will continue to happen, so if you need professional help, we are available 24/7. Call our team any time at (828) 396-1070!

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighter directs woman using a fire extinguisher, both of whom are standing in front of SERVPRO vehicles We had our team learn how to use fire extinguishers from our local fire department!

Every week, we respond to calls from panicked customers who have had fires in their homes. Our team is specially trained to clean up these disasters, but the process can be lengthy and stressful. In many cases, the fire damage is worse than it needed to be. While you should always call your local fire department, there are times when you can take action yourself. If you don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher, now’s your chance to learn!

The PASS System

Using a fire extinguisher is as simple as following a four-step process, conveniently known as PASS. If you witness a small fire and have access to the correct fire extinguisher, use the PASS system to extinguish the flames!

  • Pull. Fire extinguishers have a pin in the handle that keeps the locking mechanism in place. Pull this pin to unlock the mechanism.
  • Aim. Hold the nozzle and aim it at the base of the flames.
  • Squeeze. While aiming, squeeze the trigger to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep. At the same time, sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. You will continue this until the flames have been fully extinguished.

Professional Fire Damage Cleanup Services

Even if you act quickly, you may still have fire and smoke damage in your home. Fortunately, our team at SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties is certified and has years of experience cleaning all types of disasters. If you have fire damage, call us anytime at (828) 396-1070!

Our Safety Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Two people in Tyvek suits standing in front of a brick wall Our employees are taking extra precautions to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19!

We Value Our Customers and Our Employees

The coronavirus outbreak has caused major disruptions in both our communities and the world. SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties is still fully operational and is available 24/7 for your cleanup and restoration needs. However, the presence of COVID-19 and the potential threat it poses requires that we make some changes. We have adopted several new policies that are designed to protect you and our staff from the risk of infection.

Sick Employees Must Stay Home

It’s important that our employees take care of themselves and prevent the spread of any sickness to others. We have required that any employees who show symptoms of an acute respiratory illness stay home. They must be symptom- and fever-free for at least 24 hours before they are allowed to return to work.
Additionally, any healthy employee who lives with a family member with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is also required to stay home.

All Customers Will Be Pre-Screened

Our services require our employees to enter homes and businesses. That’s why we now ask screener questions to all customers before the start of service. Specifically, we’ll be asking customers if they or somebody in the home has recently been sick, and we’ll ask if they have recently traveled outside of the country.
If the customer answers “yes” to either of our questions, we will still serve them. However, we will require our employees to wear additional protective gear and to take extra precautions to reduce the risk of exposure.

Mandatory Social Distancing

Social distancing is an effective way of reducing the spread of pathogens, so we’re limiting the amount of contact our staff has with each other. For starters, we have eliminated all in-person meetings and have moved them online. We have also asked all capable employees to work from home.

We’ve also placed restrictions on the number of people allowed in certain buildings, and we’ve asked that they stay at least 6 feet away from each other when possible.

SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties is Here to Help

Our team is well-equipped and ready to handle any disaster during the coronavirus outbreak. If you need emergency services or would like a deep-cleaning of your business, call our team anytime at (828) 396-1070!