Recent Posts

The Process of Smoke Odor Remediation

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

After a house fire in Berryhill,NC, comes the tricky process of smoke cleaning. There are a number of factors involved, including the type and perforation of the odor, the tools used, and the time needed for odor removal. Understanding these factors may help make this process easier.

What are the Contributing Factors to the Smoke Odor

The type cleaning method is determined by the amount and nature of the smoke damage. This can vary based on several factors.

  • Material, the type of materials burned can change the odor left behind
  • Room size, smaller rooms will often have a stronger odor than larger ones
  • Fire size, larger fires create more smoke and may burn longer leaving more odor behind
  • Burn time, the longer a fire burns the more time smoke odor has to settle in

What Tools are Used For Smoke Removal

The tools used for smoke cleaning can vary depending on the amount of odor and the type of source fire. In most cases attempting to mask the smell will only create a temporary fix, so it’s best to work towards full odor removal from the start. An air filtration device can help. Many professionals also use thermal foggers or ozone machines during the cleaning process. Cloth items such as clothing, curtains, and upholstery may be washed with a special solution.

How Long Will it Take

The length of time it takes to remove smoke odor from a home can depend on the type of smoke damage. The larger the fire damaged area the more time it may take. A deodorization professional should be able to assess the problem and give you an accurate quote based on the problem type and cleaning method used.

The process of smoke cleaning can take some time, but with the right tools and understanding of the smoke’s source, your home can be restored to a clean and fresh environment. Remember, if you’re ever unsure about what needs to be done, a professional may be able to help.

3 Steps for Creating Green Flood Prevention

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Steps for Creating Green Flood Prevention Landscaping can serve as a first barrier to floodwaters in Berryhill,NC

With the extreme weather created by global warming, business owners in Berryhill,NC, now have to think about flooding. Flood damage is a major hassle. Fortunately for you, there are three steps that can help you create green protection from storm damage.

1. Observe

The first step is to observe water flow and drainage around your business. Watch where the water goes during the next storm. Look for sources of running water. You may need to watch out for a small river from further up your street or off a neighbor’s roof.

Drainage is important for avoiding storm damage. Keep storm drains clear of debris. Check with your local government to see who is responsible for maintaining drains around your business.

2. Assess

Assess the drainage capability of the area surrounding your business. Asphalt and concrete don’t absorb any rain water. Even if you have grass or other landscaping, take a poke at it after the next rain storm. How well does water drain through that soil?

Walkways and the base of stairs are notorious for creating small pools. Does this happen around your business? How do they dry up? Would they contribute to flooding?

3. Create

Your landscaping can serve as a first barrier to floodwaters. A high berm with well-rooted shrubbery is far more attractive than a wall of sandbags. The same can be said of raised garden beds that create a welcoming atmosphere for your customers and clients. A rain garden is also an attractive way to prevent flood damage. These gardens purposely hold onto water and allow it to drain into the ground below.

Pay attention to where you place landscaping. The last thing you want to do is redirect water into your building. Think of the spaces between green areas as pathways for water. If you share a building with other businesses, landscaping and flood prevention is a shared investment in which all have a stake.

Flood damage can be minimized or avoided by taking certain preventative steps. However, should damage occur, contact recovery professionals as quickly as possible.

3 Signs Your Carpet Can Be Saved After a Flood

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Signs Your Carpet Can Be Saved After a Flood Air mover drying carpet in a Charlotte,NC home

A pipe break can seem like the worst thing that could happen to your Charlotte,NC, home. After all, the damage done by this plumbing malfunction could require you to replace furnishings, floorings and building materials. When you work with a water damage expert, you can figure out exactly what needs to be replaced and what can be salvaged. If your carpets fit the following criteria, you may be able to clean them up and keep them after a flood.

1. The water was clean

A clean water source, such as a supply line, introduces fewer contaminants to your home than a dirty water source, such as a sewer line. When clean water gets on carpet, the flooring is simply wet and can likely be dried out and restored.

2. The flood was cleaned up early

If you noticed the pipe break shortly after it happened, you have a better chance of being able to salvage your possessions. The longer water is able to sit on your carpets the greater chance mold will start to grow. Once mold has started to grow, it's usually better to simply replace your flooring because it can be hard to completely remove the spores from such a porous material.

3. There is no padding

The padding underneath your carpets can pose a bigger problem than the flooring material itself. If the padding gets wet, it may not be able to dry out properly. In some cases, you can just replace the padding during the restoration process. Otherwise, you may have to replace all of the flooring materials.

After a pipe break, flooring often has to be replaced. Carpets are especially susceptible because they can soak in a lot of water. In some situations, you may be able to dry the flooring, clean it and put it back in rather than buying something new after a flood affects your Charlotte,NC, home.

Category 1 Water Damage: What Is It?

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Category 1 Water Damage: What Is It? Water damage on commercial building after water line break in West Charlotte, NC

If you are currently facing what is believed to be Category 1 water damage from a broken pipe at your West Charlotte,NC , business, you may be worrying about what that actually means. Is your building at risk? As it turns out, this type of damage comes from a clean water source. Read on to learn more about different categories, what they all mean and how you can overcome any current or potential loss related to wetness.

Water Categories

Water damage professionals typically identify three levels of water that can come from a broken supply line or other damaged source. These types are:

  • Category 1, or white water (safest)
  • Category 2, or gray water (clean water that sat too long)
  • Category 3, or black water (most contaminated)

Category 2 and 3 water damage is what requires quick and extensive clean-up and disinfection efforts. Leaks from toilets, sewer backups or old Category 1 puddles may be classified as issues that need quick and thorough cleaning. A recent pipe break typically will contain cleaner, Category 1 water.

Water Clean Up

Even clean water will usually require removal and even remediation if your commercial property has been damaged by it or is very soaked. Water damage specialists will typically use different drying techniques and restoration remedies to preserve whatever can be saved from your water incident. In some cases, areas with extreme destruction may require tear-outs and replacements. Some such areas may include thoroughly saturated walls or carpets.

Help Is Available

No matter what category your water damage in West Charlotte,NC , falls under, help is available. While everyone hopes their issue involves only clean water, the fact is that sometimes Category 2 or 3 leaks and floods may be present. Know that trained technicians are available to help you make the best choices to clean up any category level water damage so you can best preserve your property and get everyone back to working their normal schedules.

Please, Don’t Take My Sunshine Away: The Three Most Common Causes of Damage to Solar Panels

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Please, Don’t Take My Sunshine Away: The Three Most Common Causes of Damage to Solar Panels Trees can cause damage to your solar panel in Berryhill, NC

Solar panels are environmentally friendly and an excellent source of energy efficiency; however, they are not invincible. Panel damage can occur in the same way as roof damage, by exposure to the elements. While the placement of panels can minimize the risk to such exposure, it is hard to protect against everything; therefore, it is better to be aware of the most common causes, so that you know what to look for if you start experiencing less panel output.

1. Trees

While trees offer sweet relief from the summer sun, if your panels are located too close to overhanging branches, you risk potential damage. As the face of many panels is sensitive, the impact of small debris, like falling twigs, can scratch the surface, potentially exposing the delicate internal face to further damage from the elements.

2. Hail

Although many panels are put through rigorous testing before being sold to the public, panel damage can still occur from prolonged exposure to hail, especially if hailstones are larger than ping-pong balls. The impact, much like falling branches, can cause scratches and even cracks in the panel face. Beyond the initial impact of hailstones, any cracks or scratches leave the internal elements exposed to the remaining melting ice, which can lead to further damage.

3. Water

You may think that solar panels are protected from water damage; however, while that is true of the protective external surface, if that surface is compromised by falling debris, then water can seep into the more delicate elements of your panel and cause it to malfunction, leading to decreased output or a wholly failed panel.

Panel damage can be frustrating, especially for people who depend on solar energy for their day-to-day activities, and while there are many experts in the Berryhill,NC, area who can possibly fix a damaged panel it is better to avoid the damage in the first place by knowing what to look for.

5 Common Types of Household Mold

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 5 Common Types of Household Mold Mold damage in Charlotte, NC

Whether you can see them or not, there are mold spores somewhere in your Charlotte,NC, home. Whether they are able to flourish depends on how much excess moisture is available for mold growth. When they do, leaking pipes and areas of high humidity or dampness (like showers or laundry rooms) are the usual culprits. Sometimes mold growth occurs where there's been previous water damage that hasn't been repaired properly.

Let's look at some of the most common types:

1. Trichoderma

Trichoderma is a very common mold, usually found in damp carpeting, wallpaper or air conditioning filters. Usually, this mold needs a relatively high amount of moisture to thrive. Some strains are known to produce strong mycotoxins.

2. Cladosporium

Commonly found in floorboards, wooden cabinets, carpets and old fabrics, this mold can grow in both warm and cool areas. Sometimes found around windows or shower stalls, it is mostly green, brown or black in color. It starts to show up as small dots that will grow into a large patch of mold if not taken care of.

3. Stachybotrys Chartarum

Also known as black mold or toxic mold because of its heavy production of mycotoxins, stachybotrys chartarum is easily identified by its distinctively musty odor. It can appear to be slimy and greenish-black in color. Black mold is mostly found in parts of the house that are continually damp, like ducts for air conditioning, but can also be found in walls, carpets, and other areas.

4. Alternaria

Alternaria is a very common mold that can be found outdoors as well as indoors. It's mostly found in areas like showers and sinks, and can thrive in areas around the outside of the house where there's not much light. If not eradicated, it can easily spread from room to room.

5. Aureobasidium

Aureobasidium is a quick-growing mold that can appear pinkish or cream-colored at first and then later turn a dark brown or even black. It is slimy in appearance and is sometimes mistaken for stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold. It is a very common mold that's often found in caulk around windows, in wallpaper, and on wooden furniture.

This overview should help you identify any mold that might be growing in your home. You may be able to eliminate some mold growth on your own, but some cases are more dangerous and will require a mold remediation service to take care of the situation. In any event, it's important to see to the problem right away so that it doesn't spread.

Helpful Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Helpful Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Homeowners You can check if your sump pump is free of obstructions by pouring a few gallons into the basin.

As a homeowner in Charlotte, NC it might seem like the maintenance for your home never ends. Cleaning out the gutters and checking the roof for damage or leaks should already be part of your seasonal checklist, but have you thought to check your basement? More specifically, if heavy rains are in the forecast or spring is coming around the corner, it’s time to inspect your sump pump.

What Is It?

This device is used to remove any water that’s gathered in a sump basin, which is usually found in the basement. In the event of a basement flood, this pump is necessary to ensure that water is sent away from the house and into a place, such as a storm drain or dry well, where it will no longer be a concern.

How To Perform Pump Care

For your benefit and ease, you should be putting time aside every couple of months to confirm that your sump pump is working correctly. If you are unsure on how to go about conducting pump maintenance, look to the following tips:

• Occasionally flood the sump basin by pouring water into it to ensure the pump does what it’s supposed to do and drains the water quickly. Have it serviced if it doesn’t.
• Be sure that the pump is standing upright. Sometimes vibrations occur while the pump is running that can make it topple over or tilt to one side.
• Check the power cord to be sure it’s connected. It’s not uncommon for a breaker to trip in damp areas. If needed, reset the outlet.

The below can be limited to once a year:

• Clean out the sump.
• Check the manual (or online) to see if the pump bearings need grease or oil.
• Remove the pump from sump and clean and inspect it.

Learn Now, Protect Later

Though the preservation of your home is constant, the ease of knowing that you are capable of fixing your own sump pump is worthwhile. You can save time, money, and potential water damage to the rest of your home. Visit http://www.SERVPROwestmecklenburgcounty.com for more information on storm damage

Demystifying Fire Extinguisher Use

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Purchasing a fire extinguisher in Charlotte, NC or anywhere else in the country, should be easy to do at most home-improvement or hardware stores. Knowing how to use one, even in an emergency, is also simple enough to do with some easy-to-remember tips.

The PASS Acronym

Before attempting to contain the fire yourself, sound an alarm to alert others, and if appropriate, call the fire department. Keeping yourself and others safe is the first priority. Identify an evacuation path in case the fire becomes too large to address with a portable fire extinguisher. The four steps to follow are identifiable with the acronym PASS.

1. Pull the pin. This breaks the tamper-proof seal and prepares the unit for discharge.
2. Aim low. Point the hose and nozzle at the base of the fire.
3. Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent.
4. Sweep the base of the fire from side to side, repeating as necessary until the fire is out.

If the fire appears to be progressing, abandon your efforts, and get yourself and others to safety without delay. If the extinguisher runs out before the fire abates, evacuate immediately. Even if the fire appears to be out, back away carefully in case it flares again.

There are a few other safety considerations, depending on the type of extinguisher. If the unit uses CO2, do not touch the discharge horn; its extremely cold temperature can damage skin. A kitchen fire caused by overheated oils or fats can require a Class K extinguisher and cannot be put out with water. Learn extinguisher types.

If a fire can be addressed with a portable fire extinguisher, remembering the handy acronym PASS and the steps it represents can resolve the emergency in short order. If fire damage results from a blaze of any size, restoration and remediation services can go a long way in setting things right again. Visit http://www.SERVPROwestmecklenburgcounty.com for more information on fire damage. 

2 Ways To Ensure Mold Containment During Cleanup

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

With storms blowing through in places like Charlotte, NC mold growth in a commercial building can quickly become a problem that brings business to a standstill. After the damage has been identified and assessed, quick mold cleanup and proper removal is essential to avoid any type of mold contamination spreading through other parts of the building. The following are two approaches that can be taken to avoid the spreading of mold spores.

1. Proper Air Filtration

To make certain that mold cleanup goes without a hitch, the air filtration system in the commercial building should be utilized to stop cross contamination. Mold spores are transferred through airflow, which can cause the spreading of mold growth through cross contamination. All HVAC systems, including heating and air, may need to have their airflow systems blocked to maintain the containment of the affected mold area. Understanding this and putting a stop to the transferring of air throughout a building is important to avoid mold contamination.

2. Negative Air Pressure

Mold contamination specialists may also utilize further methods to avoid cross contamination of mold spores. Different approaches, such as the use of negative air pressure or physical barriers, may be employed to help in the cleanup process. Negative air pressure prevents contaminated air from leaving the room while allowing for outside air to flow into the isolated area. This introduction of fresh, uncontaminated air can help prevent further growth from occurring in the affected area while also ensuring the contaminated air does not leave the area.

Dealing with mold cleanup in a commercial building in Charlotte, NC can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Understanding the process and methods to avoid cross contamination can be crucial in helping to avoid unnecessary damage. Properly utilizing the airflow system in a commercial building and potentially manipulating air pressure is exactly what is needed to ensure mold containment during cleanup.

Visit http://www.SERVPROwestmecklenburgcounty.com for more information on mold. 

Broken Water Pipes Can Quickly Damage Wood

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Broken Water Pipes Can Quickly Damage Wood Give SERVPRO a call if you experience water damage.

If your home is like most others, it is probably filled with different types of beautifully stained hardwoods and softwoods typically used to create cabinets, floors, and furniture. Wood is also often used in most houses as part of the structural support beams, subfloors, and wall foundations. When a pipe bursts inside your home in Charlotte, NC water can begin attacking the fibers of any wood it touches within minutes as the liquid is absorbed. The result can be swelling wood that may weaken the very structure of the building.

Enemies

When it comes to building materials, water can be one of lumber’s worst enemies. When wood encounters water, the liquid can enter the strands in the wooden fibers and swell to three times their original size. The distorting fibers can then cause walls to weaken, floors to buckle, and subflooring to bulge. Minutes after a broken water pipe or damaged supply line floods your home, the standing water can also do the following:

• Seep into subflooring and basements
• Soak into insulation within walls
• Leak under cabinets and furniture

To alleviate the damage standing water can do, make the necessary water pipe repair as soon as possible. Once the flow of water is contained, the cleanup process can begin.

Professionals

Special water removal and restoration teams can generally clean and sanitize the flooded area within 24 hours. The professionals can also begin drying out the swelling wood with fans and dehumidifiers. As moisture leaves the drying wood, the professionals can assess your home’s structure and identify which pieces of wood have lost their integrity and need to be replaced.

Peace

Keeping your home safe from further harm and rebuilding what has been damaged can be a top priority after a flood hits. By having a knowledgeable professional remove and replace the swelling wood, you can keep your home’s structure sound and ensure your peace of mind. Visit http://www.SERVPROwestmecklenburgcounty.com for more information on water damage.