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How Your Toilet Can Damage Your Hickory Home

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Wood-floor bathroom with white toilet, sink, and walls If your toilet isn't properly maintained, you can have water damage and other issues!

Loo. John. Commode. Whatever you call it, the toilet is an important feature in every home, yet most homeowners aren’t aware that these fixtures can cause a lot of damage. In fact, toilet-related damage can be some of the most expensive kinds of water damage to clean up and restore. That’s why it’s vital to understand how yours can create a disaster in your home. As your local cleanup and restoration professionals, our team here at SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties is sharing some of the ways your toilet can damage your Hickory, NC home.

Toilet Overflow

Nothing makes your stomach sink more than a toilet that backs up and overflows. While this can sometimes be a minor issue, it can also become a much larger problem. In situations where it’s only a low volume of clean water, you can likely dry it up yourself. But if there’s a lot of water or it’s contaminated (i.e. you just used it), that’s where you have a problem.

For starters, dirty toilet water contains bacteria, which we strongly recommend you call a professional to clean up. Even if you’re not worried about touching your own waste, the remaining bacteria can thrive and cause future health effects for you or your family if it's not properly cleaned up.

The other problem is that even if the water is clean, it can be too much for someone to handle if there's enough of it. Water will enter porous materials like drywall, which can cause them to warp and/or hold the moisture and foster mold growth. So even if the water appears to have been dried, it can eventually become a problem.

Toilet Leak

Your toilet isn’t likely to last forever. Like most things in your home, they eventually wear out and parts can fail. Whether it’s from the base, the supply line, or anywhere else, a toilet can cause a lot of water damage, especially if it goes unnoticed for an extended period of time. While this water is generally potable, it still poses a major threat to your home in the form of structural damage and mold growth.

Sewage Backup

Nobody wants to discover their main sewage line clogged and backed up their toilet. Yet this is a problem that plagues many homeowners each year. Like any case involving biohazardous materials, professional cleanup is required because they pose a major health risk. In addition to sewage cleanup, there will likely need to be extensive restoration work, depending on the extent of the damage.

Prevent Toilet-Related Damages

As we’ve demonstrated, your home’s toilet can be a potential source of unwanted damage. Because we often take these fixtures for granted, it’s important you remain alert to any changes and perform routine maintenance. But if your Hickory home does have a disaster, be sure to call our team here at SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties!

Signs Your Home Have Water Damage

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growing where drywall had been removed If you see mold, you either have or have had ongoing water damage. You'll want to find cleanup professionals near you!

No Morganton homeowner wants to discover their home has water damage, but they want it to be shortly after it occurred if they do. That’s because the longer water damage is left unaddressed, the more destructive it can be to your home. Unfortunately, it’s now always obvious that water’s present, so how do you know if your home’s been affected? SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties has dried and restored thousands of water-damaged homes, so here are a few signs to look out for!

Water Damage Symptoms

1. Bubbling or discoloration in your walls, floors, and ceilings. Short of seeing the incident yourself, one of the easiest ways you can tell you’ve had water damage is by noticing changes to your home’s walls, floors, and/or ceilings. For example, wallpaper may bubble, paint may peel, and hardwood floors may buckle. These and others are signs that you’ve had water damage.

2. You have mold. Mold spores are everywhere — even in your home — but they don’t pose a threat until they’re exposed to moisture for extended periods of time. Without water, mold spores wouldn’t be able to grow and spread their colonies, so if you notice mold around your home, you’ve more than likely had water damage.

3. Unusually high water bills. Paying attention to your water bill can help you save money, but it can also warn you of potential leaks in your home. An unusually high water bill indicates that — short of a billing error — more water is being consumed than usual. Oftentimes, this extra usage is caused by a pipe leaking somewhere in the home.

Your Water Damage Professionals in Morganton, NC

Water damage is problematic and often leads to other issues, which is why it’s crucial to call a disaster restoration company like SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties if you detect it in your home. Our professional team is always ready to serve any Morganton, NC resident, so give us a call today!

Understanding Flash Floods

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded creek in the middle of the woods Creeks and other bodies of water can quickly overflow, causing flash flooding to local homes.

Flooding can be a major problem, even here in the Unifour area. If that seems unlikely, recall that both Caldwell & Catawba Counties declared a state of emergencies due to flooding for the past two years. Because these incidents don’t happen very often, we’ve discovered many aren’t aware of how destructive flooding can be, or, in the case of flash flooding, how fast it can occur.

What is a Flash Flood?

While flooding can gradually occur over a long period of rain, it can also happen very quickly. Known as a flash flood, this type of flooding occurs within 6 hours of rainfall, but according to the National Weather Service, it often happens in as quickly as 3 hours. This type of natural disaster can happen anywhere — in a creek, your neighborhood, or even the main roads.

Driving & Flash Floods

Flash floods are a major problem when it comes to roadways, and they are responsible for many accidents. These waters are unpredictable, which is why it’s strongly recommended that you avoid driving when a flash flood warning is issued. So be sure to adhere to any warnings, and avoid driving at night, when it’s harder to see flooding.

Being Aware of Weather Events

Weather can cause a lot of damage to both you and your property. In fact, during each of the last few flood events, we received more than 300 calls from customers who had damage to their homes. While not all disasters can be avoided, having advance warnings can help you mitigate the effects. That’s why it’s important to regularly keep up with weather news, such as on Ray’s Weather. If you do have a disaster, though, be sure to call our professionally trained team here at SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Flood Cleanup Process

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Man uses a vacuum-like machine on living room carpet We extracted water in this Lenoir, NC apartment building after it had flooding.

Flooding can happen to anyone for a number of reasons. Storms, for example, can cause heavy rains to infiltrate your home. Frozen pipes are another problem because they can burst as they thaw. Regardless of how it happens, flooding can cause significant damage to your home — and that’s not even considering the eventual mold growth. Fortunately, disaster restoration professionals such as SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties in Lenoir, NC can clean up and restore flooded properties using an industry-standard process!

Step 1: Assessing the Damage

Once our crews arrive on the scene, their priority is to assess the damage. They’ll need to identify the cause of the incident, make sure it’s addressed, and identify which rooms have been affected. At this point, they will also get initial moisture level readings. All of this information is essential for our team to develop a customized game plan for your home or business.

Step 2: Extract the Water

Once our crew has finished assessing the damage, they’ll start extracting the water. We have different extraction machines — both truck-mounted and portable — that can suck up large volumes of water from carpet and other types of flooring. Once we’ve removed all standing water, we’ll begin drying out your property!

Step 3: Drying Out Your Home

Once the excess water has been extracted, we’ll set out air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out your home. These machines work collaboratively by pulling moisture into the air and then cooling it and converting it back into water — this time into a controlled container! This process exponentially speeds up the drying process, which can prevent structural damage and lowers the risk of mold growth.

Step 4: Cleaning Your Belongings

Your belongings have sentimental value, which is why we do everything we can to protect them. Our team will remove all furniture and other possessions from affected rooms and safely transport them back to our warehouse to be cleaned and stored. If items have been completely ruined and cannot be salvaged, we will properly dispose of them — always with your permission!

Step 5: Restoring Your Home

Once the drying process is complete, our technicians will remove the equipment! If you also decide to use us for the repairs, our reconstruction team will assess the damage, provide a quote, and then begin the final step of the process. And of course, we’ll return all of your salvageable possessions—cleaned and restored!

Your Local Disaster Restoration Team

SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba County has helped thousands of homes and businesses recover from disaster since we opened our doors in 2009. We’ve seen how devastating floods can be, but we’ve also seen how homes can be cleaned and restored. If you have flooding at your Lenoir, NC property, call our team today!

Grilling Safety Tips

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Meat being cooked on a grill Grilling can be fun and rewarding, but it's important that you do so safely!

Grilling is an American pastime that anyone can enjoy, especially during the summer and as we enjoy time with our friends and family. While a grill can be a great tool to prepare your favorite foods, it can also be a fire hazard. If you plan on grilling, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind.

How to Use Your Grill Safely

1) Grill at least 10 feet away from your home. It doesn’t matter how careful you are — accidents can happen. That’s why you should keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home and other property. Otherwise, a small flame could quickly get out of hand.

2) Never leave your grill unattended. Fires can get out of control in a matter of seconds, so you should never leave a grill unattended while it’s still in use. If you need to leave the area for any reason, have another adult keep watch, or turn off the grill until you can return.

3) Keep a fire extinguisher within close proximity. If you have an incident, you can potentially keep it from getting out of control with a fire extinguisher. Always keep one within a couple of steps so you can quickly access it if needed. If you need to use one, be sure to follow the PASS method.

4) Clean your grill regularly. Grease makes a great fuel source for a fire, which is why a clean grill is a safer grill. Always clean your grill after each use to prevent grease buildup.

Fire Damage Professionals in Hickory, North Carolina

Last year was especially difficult, but now that things have returned to some level of normal, you don’t want to make life any tougher by having an out-of-control fire. The above tips can help mitigate your risk, but it’s still possible you’ll have an accident. If your home has fire damage, you’ll need professional cleanup and restoration services. Fortunately, if you live in the Hickory community, SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties is available 24/7 at (828) 396-1070!

3 Ways to Prepare Your Hickory Business for Disaster

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

Chairs and tables in a white-walled room with windows Fire and water damages can disrupt your business operations, but you can plan ahead to mitigate the disruption!

There’s no telling when—or if—your Hickory, NC business will have a disaster. You could have a fire, your pipes could burst and flood your office, mold can disrupt your operations, and so much more. Unfortunately, more than 40% of businesses that endure a disaster don’t reopen their doors, and many that do, close down a short time later. But if you’re prepared for the inevitable, you can mitigate the risk and increase the odds of your business’ survival.

How to Protect Your Business

1. Make sure your business is properly insured. For many people, insurance is one of those things you don’t want until you really need it. Even though it’s an extra expense up front, if you ever do have a disaster, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. While you have the opportunity, call your insurance representative and review your policies — and discuss other options that might be beneficial!

2. Develop an emergency plan. Do your employees know what to do if you have flooding or a fire? Do you? If not, work with your team (including other executives, HR, and marketing) to devise both an operational and a PR strategy in the event of a disaster. Once the plan is devised, it should be regularly reviewed and updated, so if something does happen, you can immediately respond and mitigate damages.

3. Keep backup copies of all documents and data. Equipment can be replaced, but not all documents can. Vital records can be damaged or destroyed in a disaster, so be sure to back them up and store them in a safe location. Generally, it’s recommended to keep digital copies of everything and have them backed up in the cloud.

Your Restoration Professionals

The last thing any business owner wants is to have a disaster on their property. Although disasters can’t always be prevented, you can take steps to mitigate the damage. If your Hickory-based business does have a disaster, though, our team at SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties is always here to help!

3 Steps You Can Take to Prevent Rain Damage in Hickory, NC

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Rain falling on a road Rain can cause a lot of damage, but you can take steps to prevent it!

Rain is great for our grass and plants, but it can be problematic for our homes. Each year, rain causes flooding and other damages in homes in Hickory, NC and the surrounding areas. While there’s nothing we can do to stop the precipitation, there are at least 3 steps you can take to prevent damage to your home.

How to Prevent Rain Damages

1. Regularly clean your gutters. We get it—nobody likes to clean their gutters, but they’re not just for decoration. This important system redirects rain away from your home and prevents it from pooling. Fallen leaves, bird nests, and other debris can cause blockage, which can ultimately result in leakage or other complications.

2. Grade your yard away from your home. Your yard should be sloped away from your home; otherwise, gravity will redirect rainwater back to your property. This is especially problematic for homes with basements, but this can affect any home. If you aren’t familiar with grading, it’s always best to hire a landscape professional.

3. Install and maintain a sump pump. Basements tend to be the most susceptible to flooding, but a sump pump can mitigate the damages. This device is installed into the floor of your basement, where it captures and redirects water away from your home. As long as it's maintained, it can save you the headache!

Your Flood Professionals

Rain might be nice to watch from your back porch, but it can lead to unwanted water damages. If rainwater does disrupt your peace, you’ll want a water damage cleanup company to clean up the mess. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burk and Catawba Counties is available 24/7 to serve the Hickory, NC community!

How We Train Our Team

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees watching a man attach plastic to a wall We also hold training sessions to keep our technicians current on the latest trends and best practices!

At SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties, we have a team of more than 70 well-trained employees. We believe that in order to provide the best possible customer service, we need to invest in hiring and training the right people. To accomplish this, we have our employees go through multiple programs, such as through SERVPRO HQ, the IICRC, and, in some cases, NADCA.

SERVPRO’s Training Program

At our corporate headquarters in Gallatin, TN, we have a state-of-the-art training facility where SERVPRO employees can experience the mitigation process first-hand. We have a dedicated house that is intentionally flooded so crew chiefs and technicians can learn how to extract water and dry out a home. When possible, we send our crews to this special facility to get the full SERVPRO training experience.

IICRC and NADCA

In addition to SERVPRO’s rigorous training program, we also have our field staff get relevant certifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This organization sets the standards for training and certification in our industry, and we encourage all our employees to get their certification.

Some of our employees also have certifications from the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), which sets the standards for the duct cleaning industry. This allows our technicians to be knowledgeable and use the most current methods for cleaning HVAC systems!

A Team of Quality People

SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties’ mission is to develop a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect. That’s why we push our team to be knowledgeable in the services that we provide. If you want professionals to help you clean and restore your Morganton, NC property, call us at (828) 396-1070 today!

3 Digital Resources for Storm Events in Newton, NC

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Hand tapping on tablet in front of a computer When there's a storm event, there are several online resources to check!

In the age of information, there are thousands of resources available at your fingertips; conversely, that means there are thousands of resources to sift through. At SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties, we've seen how storms have caused significant damages to homes in the Newton, NC community, and it’s not always obvious where to look when you need help. That’s why we’re providing 3 of the top online resources for nearly any weather event.

Where to Find Help and Information

1. National Weather Service. The National Weather Service is a government agency that provides weather forecasts, warnings, and other related information to organizations and people across the nation. Their website offers in-depth information and forecasts for any region, including our own here in Newton. If you’re looking for reliable weather updates, this is the place to go.

2. FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is responsible for helping people before, during, and after disasters. Their website is particularly great if you are looking for information on dealing with many different types of disasters, such as flooding or hurricanes. If you are eligible for federal assistance, you can also visit their site for more information.

3. Catawba County Government. When Catawba County declares a state of emergency, they put all relevant information on their website. In fact, residents were able to file claims if they needed assistance. If there’s any kind of major event, be sure to check their site for news and updates.

Storm Damage Professionals Serving Newton, NC

If there’s a storm event, it’s a great idea to get information from sites you can trust. And if you need cleanup and restoration services, that site is here at SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties. We’re available 24/7, so call us anytime at (828) 396-1070!

3 Ways Water Can Damage Your Conover, NC Home

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growing behind drywall Water damage caused this commercial property to have mold growth and other problems!

If you spill some water on the floor, you can probably just dry it with a cloth or paper towel. But if your dishwasher has been leaking for the past few hours, you’re going to need a certified, water mitigation team. In general, people tend to underestimate how water can affect your home, especially in large volumes. The reality is that it can be quite destructive.

How Water Damages Your Home

If your home Conover property has water damage, you should be aware of how it can affect both your home and your belongings.

1. It can ruin wood. Wood is a very porous material, so when it’s exposed to water, it absorbs it, which in turn causes warping and expansion. If you’ve seen wood flooring buckle, that’s because it has absorbed too much water and can no longer fit into place. This is why wood tends to be one of our top priorities when drying a home.

2. It causes mold growth. Although mold spores are everywhere—including in your home—they don’t generally pose a problem until they’re exposed to moisture. When this happens, the spores activate and begin growing in colonies. When we visit a water-damaged home, we apply an antimicrobial treatment to help prevent mold growth.

3. It can be a health risk. Water is a great breeding ground for many bacteria, which can pose health risks, especially for people with compromised immune systems. Even if the water is initially clean, it can deteriorate within a couple of days. And if the water was already contaminated to begin with, it’s even more important you stay away from affected areas until our team has it cleaned up.

Your Cleanup and Restoration Professionals

Water damage isn’t something to ignore, especially as time goes on. If you have water damage in Conover, NC, our professionally trained team is available 24/7. We can take care of any size disaster, so give us a call today!