3 Steps to Take After You Have a Water Damage
Before SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties arrives, you should already begin extracting water and moving your belongings!
Even though flooding, leaks, and other water damages are common, most homeowners don’t deal with them on very frequently. So when disaster does strike, most property owners don’t know what to do or who to call. Fortunately, because we clean up and mitigate water damages daily, we can outline some important steps to take if you’re unfortunate enough to have this experience.
- Make sure the water source is shut off or otherwise resolved. Before any water mitigation can begin, the very first thing you need to do is make sure the situation isn’t getting worse. For example, if the source is a leaky or burst pipe, make sure the water has been shut off and the pipes have been fixed. Otherwise, any mitigation work will be quickly undone.
- Begin extracting as much standing water as possible. Even though your local disaster restoration company will begin extraction upon arrival, the faster this is completed, the less damage you will have overall. The objective is to get as much water out of our house as possible so the restoration company can begin drying as quickly as possible.
- Move furniture and belongings out of the affected room(s), if possible. If you have a way to safely move the affected room’s contents to a drier area, do so. When furniture, textiles, and other objects sit in water for too long, they can be affected by mold growth, staining, or worse. Once they are moved, you can do your best to dry them while help is on the way.
Water damages can be extremely stressful situations for property owners, but as long as you take a few simple steps while you wait for your local disaster restoration company to arrive, you’ll have the situation under control. If you have water damage in the Lenoir or Taylorsville, NC areas, call SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties at (828) 396-1070!
3 Ways SERVPRO of Alexander and Caldwell Counties Serves the Community
We go to many ribbon cuttings and other community events, like this one at Planet Fitness in Hickory!
As a member of the Unifour community for almost 10 years, we’ve witnessed and been part of amazing things. And because all of our employees reside in the area, we’ve contributed to numerous events and organizations that our company supports. We love our community and try to serve it in many different ways.
- We sponsor many local events. If there’s a major event in the area, you’ll almost definitely see SERVPRO listed as one of the sponsors. We set up booths at local golf tournaments, participate in the Christmas parades, and even sponsor the blackberry-eating contest each year at the NC Blackberry Festival.
- We serve on many boards. Several of our employees have roles beyond their normal day-to-day responsibilities. They also serve on advisory boards and boards of directors for many events and nonprofits. We often play an active part in some of the events we sponsor!
- We donate to many nonprofits. There are some organizations in our area that are doing amazing things, and we love to help them when we can. We regularly donate to the causes we see making the most impact!
We strongly believe in our community, and we show that each and every day. It’s also why we are committed to serving homeowners and businesses after they have water, fire, or mold damage. It’s our goal to make it “Like it never even happened!”
3 Common Sources of Water Damage
After heavy storms, this roof was damaged and allowed this building to flood!
Though it often happens when it’s least expected, water damage is a problem that many homeowners face. And while it’s not always the case, in many instances, water damage is preventable. We’ve found that while there are many different causes of water damage, there are a few sources that tend to be the most common offenders.
- Water Heater Leaks. While water heaters are essential in any modern home or building, they are also one of the most common sources of water damage. In many cases, they leak either due to old age or faulty parts and connections. The best way to prevent water damage from this important home appliance is to regularly inspect and perform routine maintenance.
- Pipe Damages. Water pipes—though great for transporting and supplying water—are another major source of water damage. Over time or due to certain factors, these pipes either leak or burst, which can cause flooding (and possibly mold growth). If you notice any pipe damages, address them immediately!
- Roof Damages. We’re often called by homeowners whose roofs have been damaged and allowed rain to pour into their homes. There can be many reasons for this roof damage, but it’s important that you regularly inspect it and quickly take care of any cracks or holes before it begins to rain!
Nobody wants to have water damage, but disaster rarely goes easy on us. While you’ll remain at risk, if you keep eyes on your home and ensure damages are immediately repaired, you can significantly lower the chances of flooding in your home. But if you do face disaster, you can call SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties any time at 828-396-1070!
SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties Deploys a Storm Response Team
When storms or other major weather events strike, SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties is ready to make it "Like it never even happened."
Hurricane Florence doled out major damage to the Carolinas, causing significant flooding and wind damage. As a result, several lives were lost and many have been displaced from their home. In fact, the coastal town of Wilmington was considered an island—largely inaccessible by car. Nevertheless, SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties is committed to helping our fellow North Carolinians.
On Sunday, September 20, we deployed an envoy of SERVPRO heroes to Wilmington, NC to assist with cleanup and recovery. Our large loss trailer—which is equipped for such occasions—was fully stocked with air movers, dehumidifiers, a makeshift office, and a generator to power our equipment. Our Storm Response Team will continue to help as Wilmington gets back on its feet.
In the meantime, we’re still fully operational at our Lenoir, NC office to help our local communities should disasters arise. If you need help with fire or water cleanup and restoration, please call SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties at 828-396-1070!
3 Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips
Kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fires each year! Take the necessary precautions and prevent one from happening to you!
Did you know that kitchen fires are the number one source of house fires each year? Despite this statistic, many people continue to have kitchen-related fires despite most of them being completely preventable. But it only takes a few simple precautions to dramatically lower your risk!
- Do not leave your kitchen unattended while it’s in use. If you’re like many people, you probably leave your kitchen for a few minutes while your oven is running. But oftentimes, that’s when fires start, and if they aren’t addressed immediately, they can become a major problem. That’s why it’s highly advisable that you or somebody else is in the kitchen while it’s still in use.
- Regularly clean off your stove. Speaking of ovens, be sure to clean yours every time it and your stove is used. When grease is allowed to stain and build up near heat sources, it poses a major fire risk. In fact, one of the most common kinds of fires we are called in for is grease fires!
- Keep flammable objects away from the stove. When most people cook, they focus on the task in front of them. However, they often fail to notice objects like paper and oven mitts that might be close to heat sources. Be sure to move them away so they don’t accidentally catch on fire!
Kitchens are an essential part of any home, but they can also be very dangerous. If you take the necessary precautions, though, you can prevent a kitchen fire from starting in the first place. But if a fire does break out on your property, call us at 828-396-1070 to make it “Like it never even happened.”
3 People to Call After a Water Damage
Water damages can be stressful, but if you call the appropriate people, you can mitigate the overall damage!
It always happens when we least expect it, but it does happen—water damage. Whether it’s due to flooding, a broken pipe, or some kind of leak, water damage can be a nuisance, or in some cases, a real disaster. And if you’re unfortunate enough to have one in your home, you probably aren’t prepared to handle the situation. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of 3 people you should call after you have a water damage.
- A plumber (if applicable). If you have some kind of leak or broken pipe, a plumber is essential for repairing the issue. In fact, if the issue has not been addressed before you call the other two, they will instruct you to call a plumber anyway.
- A local disaster cleanup and restoration company. The faster your water damage is addressed and treated, the less damage you are likely to have overall (especially when it comes to mold growth). Your local disaster restoration company will also work with your insurance to make the process as smooth and painless as possible!
- Your insurance. In most cases, your insurance will cover water damages in your home, so it’s a good idea to reach out to them. They will also refer you to contractors or other resources if necessary, so they are a great tool!
Water damages can be very stressful, but by calling the right people, you can get back on your feet with as little stress as possible. If you do have a water damage and need a disaster restoration company to perform water restoration work on your home, now that we are always here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
3 Signs Your Business Needs Its Ducts Cleaned
HVAC systems need regular cleanings and maintenance to run efficiently. Fortunately, our team has a high-powered vacuum to do just the trick!
HVAC systems are an essential part of any building, but most property owners neglect to perform regular maintenance. When a system doesn’t undergo cleaning and maintenance for an extended period of time, it tends to overwork and becomes less efficient. If you’re not sure if your business’ ducts need to be cleaned, check out the 3 indicators below.
- You can’t remember the last time it was cleaned. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, your ducts should be cleaned every 3-5 years. If nobody in the building can remember the last time a cleaning was performed, you likely need to do so.
- Your staff notices increased allergy symptoms. Over time, your HVAC system will build up debris and dust particles. When the system is running, it recirculates these contaminants through the building, which can prompt allergies and other problems.
- You have verified mold growth in your ducts. When mold is actively growing, it releases spores. When these spores are in the duct system, they can be circulated throughout the building, which could lead to growth in other areas. It’s best to have a professional apply an antimicrobial and clean your system.
Most people don’t mess with their duct system unless they have to, but regular cleaning can maintain the system’s efficiency. If you believe your duct system needs to be cleaned, call SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties at 828-396-1070!
Mold Q & A: Do I Need a Mold Inspection?
Eric Hershberger--one of our team members--uses an infrared camera to detect signs of moisture, a key ingredient for mold growth.
Nobody wants to find mold growth in their home, but it’s a common problem that affects many Americans at least once. Of course, once a homeowner does discover mold growth, they often want to perform a test or inspection so they can begin treatment. But most homeowners will be surprised to learn that step may not be necessary at all.
Do I Need to Perform a Mold Inspection?
The short answer is that it depends.
If you can actually see mold growing in your home or property, then no test is needed. That’s because the mold remediation process is the same no matter what species of mold is growing your home. So if you can see it, a test will only confirm what you already know. Instead, skip that step and address it yourself (if the growth is small and shallow) or call a mold professional to begin the remediation company.
On the other hand, if you do not see mold growth but suspect you have a problem, an inspection would not be a bad idea. This inspection will identify high levels of mold spores or other issues that might need to be addressed.
If you have a have or suspect you have a mold growth issue, call SERVPRO of Alexander & Caldwell Counties at 828-396-1070!
5 Essential Items You Will Need to Prepare for Hurricane Florence
Hurricanes are natural disasters that can cause a significant amount of damage. Don't wait--start preparing for Hurricane Florence now!
Hurricane Florence has dominated headlines lately, but that’s no surprise—it’s set to be one of the worst hurricanes on the East Coast in decades. At the time this was written, the storm was classified as a Category 4 and was set to hit North Carolina. While it’s still not certain how much damage the western part of the state will see, officials are saying to prepare for the worst. So if you still haven’t prepared Hurricane Florence, make sure you at least have the 5 items below.
- Water. Whether you’re on well or city water, it’s never a guarantee that you’ll always have running water during a hurricane. It is recommended that you have at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of 3 days. (For example, if you have 3 people in your home, you should have at least 9 gallons of water.)
- Non-perishable Food. As with water, it’s never a guarantee that you’ll always have power in your home. That’s why it’s important that you have enough non-perishable food to last for at least 3 days. This includes, but is not limited to, canned meat, crackers, trail mixes, peanut butter, and more!
- Non-electric light source. When the power goes out—especially at night—you’re going to wish you could see. Some options include candles, flashlights, and battery-powered lanterns. Just be sure that you have the items to fuel them (either batteries or matches).
- First-Aid Kit. When wind and road conditions begin to deteriorate, it will be important that you stay indoors. But when there is an injury or accident, you’ll want to be able to react. In addition to bandages, your kit should also include sterilizing pads, antiseptics, hand sanitizer, necessary medication, and more!
- Battery-powered TV or Radio. We now rely on our phones to remain connected with the world, but when the power goes out and cell towers are damaged, you won’t have any way of remaining current with formal weather updates. That’s when a battery-powered TV or radio becomes essential. Just make sure you’ve bought enough batteries!
The jury’s still out on what kind of damage Hurricane Florence will cause in Lenoir and other areas of western North Carolina, but there’s no reason why you cannot start preparing now. After all, they say an ounce of preparation produces a pound of cure!
What’s the Difference: Flood Warning vs. Flood Watch
Knowing the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning will let you know when you need to prepare versus taking action!
When there are heavy rains in our area, we might hear the words “flood warning” or “flood watch.” For many of us, either phrase tells us that we need to be alert to flooding. But did you know that there’s a significant difference between a “warning” and a “watch?”
A flood watch is an alert that indicates the conditions are right for flooding to happen. However, it does not mean that flooding will necessarily occur. When you see this alert, you should prepare for flooding since it is a strong possibility. Monitor the local news or other reliable sources for updates.
A flood warning is announced when flooding is either impending or already occurring. When you get this alert, you should take immediate action and monitor official channels to get updates on the condition. If you’re unsure what to do during a flood, check out the resources at Ready.gov!
Monitor News or Radio Stations
Because weather can be unpredictable, always keep an eye on your local news or radio stations. Many of them will also have apps or websites that offer real-time updates. As long as you are familiar with the phrases they use, you’ll be able to act accordingly when they issue alerts. In fact, they just might save your life.