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Steps to Take After Water Damage

11/6/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a kitchen due to water damage When it comes to water damage don't wait so much call your local SERVPRO.

Steps to Take After Water Damage

Flood waters can cause immediate damage and long-term problems. The first step is to shut the water off at the source, then remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Take all loose items from floors, gather art objects to a safe place, and dry colored rugs. After you've taken these steps, don’t forget to turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access is safe from electrical shock.

Shut off the water source and electrical

  • Shut off the water supply at the main valve.
  • If you can’t find the main valve, call a plumber.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock. 
  • If you are not sure, call your local utility company.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or vacuuming. 

When you first notice water damage, it is important to remove as much excess water as possible. Use a sponge or cloth to soak up the moisture on the floor and in other areas. You can also use a fan to help dry out the room if you have one available. If possible, move furniture away from walls and carpeting so that these areas can air out and dry properly.

Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.

Protect carpets with plastic to prevent staining. If you can’t protect the carpets, remove them immediately and have them dried professionally in a high-humidity room. Before reinstalling, vacuum thoroughly and inspect for damage such as mold or mildew stains (they can be treated). Replace any damaged areas of carpeting, padding, and tack strips before installing new flooring over the existing one.

Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.

After getting rid of the water, it's important to remove any art objects from the area and place them in a safe, dry place. Place these items in a box or wrap them in towels (if larger than 4 feet), then move them to a different room with normal humidity levels. If possible, you should also place them in a dry area such as your garage or attic until you can get a professional assessment of the damage.

In most cases, artwork stored away from sunlight will not fade or deteriorate while it sits out of direct sunlight for several months; however, this is not true for all materials used by artists today. Some acrylic paints have been shown to fade within days under certain lighting conditions so removal should always be considered before placing any valuable pieces into storage after water damage has occurred

Gather loose items from floors.

What you should do next depends on where the water damage is located. If the water has only flooded a small area of your home, gather any items that can be salvaged and remove anything that cannot be saved. In general, it's best to save important documents such as insurance policies and photographs (in plastic bags) from these areas.

If the entire home has been affected by flooding, it's time to move on to our next steps for dealing with a flood disaster: salvage what you can!

The faster you act after a flood, the better your chances of controlling damage and costs.

Time is a critical factor when it comes to water damage. The longer you wait to deal with the problem, the more likely it will be that mold will grow and cause further damage to your home. It's also important to get in touch with an experienced contractor right away in order not only to prevent further damage but also because insurance companies tend to have specific guidelines regarding how long they'll wait before they consider water-related claims eligible for coverage.

We hope that we’ve been able to provide you with some information and insight into what you can do if your home or business experiences water damage. With proper water removal and restoration services from professionals, you can be confident that your property will be restored as quickly as possible.

How Do I File A Claim After A Fire?

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

severe house fire When you have fire damage in your Charleston, SC home or business get in contact with your insurance company.

How Do I File A Claim After A Fire?

Fires are devastating. Whether you've had a fire in your Charleston, SC home or business, it's crucial to act quickly and make sure that your property is restored as soon as possible. If you have homeowner's insurance or commercial insurance, then it's important to understand what steps need to be taken after a fire occurs.

Inspect Damage.

When you return to your home or business following a fire, there are several steps you should take to assess the damage. The first step is to inspect the property for fire, smoke, and water damage. Use this Fire Damage Inspection Checklist to help you determine whether there is any structural damage caused by the fire:

  • Check for visible signs of smoke and soot stains on walls, ceilings, floors, and other surfaces throughout the structure.
  • Measure room dimensions with a measuring tape to identify areas that may have been affected by heat from the firefighters' hoses.
  • Look at areas where furniture was positioned in relation to any windows or doors—they could have blocked access for entry into certain rooms where pets were kept (e.g., bedrooms).
  • Look at electrical wiring/cables inside walls as well as switches/outlets in rooms—if they've been damaged it could lead to dangerous conditions during reoccupation after repairs are completed

Understand Your Fire Insurance Policy.

  • Understand the terms of your policy.
  • Know what is covered and what isn't.
  • Check the conditions for filing a claim. For example, you may have to provide proof that any damage was caused by fire before you can file a claim for it.
  • Check the deductible. This is the amount of money you'll be responsible for paying out-of-pocket when you file a claim on your insurance policy, so make sure that you can afford it before proceeding with filing one!
  • Check the amount of coverage available under your policy.

Contact a Fire Restoration Company.

As the owner or renter of the damaged property, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. Filing a claim is the first step in securing compensation for your losses.

Your insurance agent will guide you through this process and help you prepare all the necessary paperwork. You should make sure that you have gathered all your receipts, invoices, and other documentation before calling them. This can save both time and energy when filing your claim so that it gets processed as quickly as possible.

To determine how much money should be paid out by the insurance company on behalf of their policyholders, they usually send out an inspector who inspects their home after they have filed a claim. The inspector will check what type of damage has occurred (such as smoke or fire damage) and then give them an estimate on how much it would cost to repair those damages at today's prices

Calculate Damage.

Once you have determined that a fire caused your property damage, it is important to calculate the damage. You will need this information to file an insurance claim with your provider. If you are unsure how to do this on your own, please ask us for help!

Contact Your Insurance Provider.

Once you have contacted your restoration company and received an estimate for the damage, contact your insurance provider to file a claim. Your provider will want to know:

  • The exact date, time, and location of the fire.
  • Information about any other property that may have been damaged in addition to your home or business.
  • What types of things were damaged (e.g., carpeting, furniture)?

The process for filing a claim varies from one insurance carrier to another but generally takes about 30 days from start to finish because there are so many steps involved in processing it—from getting an adjuster out on site as quickly as possible after a fire occurs through determining how much money should be paid out based on policy terms and conditions.

Conclusion

We have covered the most important aspects of filing a claim after a fire. You should now be able to get your insurance company involved, as well as contact a fire restoration company that can help put your home back together again.

Candle Safety at Home: 5 Tips To Prevent Fires

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Lidded candles To keep your home in safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions.

Candle Safety At Home: 5 Fire-Prevention Tips

Candles can be the perfect addition for relaxing at night, setting the mood or freshening the air. That said, using them does not come without risks. Between 2014 and 2018, candles caused approximately 7,610 residential fires. To keep your home in Johns Island, SC safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions. To prevent the likelihood of needing to call a smoke cleanup team after your next bubble bath, consider these five safety tips.

1. Stay Nearby or Blow Them Out

It is better to be safe than to be sorry. If you plan on leaving the room, make sure you blow out any burning flames. You never know who could pass by or what could happen that might accidentally start a fire.

2. Keep Flammable Items Away

Even if you are in the same room, you need to keep anything flammable at least one foot away. Be especially mindful of materials like paper and cloth to avoid a candle fire.

3. Use Candle Holders

When you use a candle without a holder, it can easily tip over. A sturdy holder or non-flammable container can prevent this from happening.

4. Avoid Using Around Children or Pets

It is also wise to ensure small children and pets stay clear of any areas where you have candles burning. In addition, consider where you keep matches and lighters. While your cat probably will not figure out how to use them, your son or daughter might.

5. Do Not Use Near Oxygen

If anyone in the house uses oxygen, candles can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, you may want to look into artificial options that do not have flames.

While many residential fires occur because of candles, they do not have to be unsafe. Fortunately, there are simple safety measures that can allow you to enjoy comfortable lighting and pleasant smells at home without starting a candle fire.

Tips for Buying the Best Air Purifier for Your Home

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Air Purifier Air purifier in a Fort Sumter, SC home.

Buying the Best Air Purifier for Your Home

It is important that the air inside your home in Fort Sumter, SC, is as clean as possible. This allows you to take every breath with confidence. It also helps you know that everyone in your household is taking in healthy air. An air filtration device is one way to improve the quality of your inside air.

When buying a device, it is important to consider several factors. Of course, you want maximum ease of use; this makes sure you are not always fighting how your machine works. Secondly, you want good airflow to ensure proper circulation through the device, and thirdly you want a high filter efficiency to remove airborne particles that impact air quality.

A Choice of Air Purifiers

There are many purifiers on the market that excel at air filtration. These come from many different manufacturers and carry prices that range from about $350 to just a little over $1,000. The goal is to get the air purifier best suited to your home. Any of the following devices are worthy of consideration:

  • The Oransi Max
  • The OV200 purifier
  • The Blueair 450E
  • The Amway Quixtar Atmosphere
  • The Rabbit Air Minus A2
  • The Trane Clean Effects

As with all other purchases, it makes sense to read the available literature and to consult reviews. Feedback from owners of the device can be especially helpful.

A Way To Remove Mold Spores

These microscopic particles can be as small as four microns or as large as 20 microns. A good HEPA filter will remove these items from the air and reduce mold spread in your home. If you do find patches of mold growth in your home, it is best to contact a professional mold mitigation team. Certified technicians will come right to your home and assess the problem and begin to eradicate mold.

Efficient air filtration is a good way to reduce your chances of having bad indoor air quality. A professional team can take this effort to an even higher level.

Overflowing Gutters In Your Charleston Home

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Rain falling on roof and water running down the gutter Overflowing gutters can result in moisture entering your attic space or into wall cavities causing unseen water damage in your Charleston, SC home.

How Overflowing Gutters in Your Charleston Home can Lead to Cavity Water Damage Issues

Gutters play a vital role in collecting rainwater in passages beneath the roof and transporting that water into an open sewer point. In the fall, leaves can get into these gutters, causing blockages, thereby preventing water from reaching the sewer point. During the winter months, high winds can result in debris or fallen branches from further clogging up the gutters. With the additional rainfall expectations throughout the winter, these blockages can become a significant concern for the interior of your home.

Overflowing gutters can result in moisture entering your attic space or into wall cavities causing unseen water damage in your Charleston, SC home. With the help of gravity, moisture overflowing into the structure migrates downwards. SERVPRO recommends that homeowners perform regular checks on both the exterior of their home and the interior walls throughout the colder months. Common symptoms of excessive moisture inside wall cavities may be peeling of wallpaper, musty odors, or disjointing between baseboards and floor.

Restoring wall cavity damage can be tricky. There needs to be practical measurements and understanding of where moisture is before the, often necessary, removal of drywall or baseboard. SERVPRO technicians can call upon thermal imaging cameras that provide readings of surface temperatures on walls, which can indicate where moisture might reside. Alternatively, our technicians may use boroscopes to see inside the cavity and assess the extent of mold or water damage.

It may be necessary for SERVPRO to provide advanced structural drying technicians to your property to restore wall cavities. These technicians are adept at using Injectidry systems that attach hose nozzles into the small holes drilled into the wall. From there, a centrifugal fan can circulate heated air into the cavity to address moisture issues and dry out the pit. In some situations, water damage may be too severe for non-invasive systems, and we must remove sections of the wall to provide drying access to more powerful equipment like air-movers, vent fans, and portable heaters.

If you notice any symptoms of cavity damage in your home, do not hesitate to contact a restoration company in your local area.

Getting to the Root of Mold

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage on wall Black mold damage in Johns Islands, SC.

Where there is water, there is mold. Mold can grow in any climate, even in Johns Island, SC. If mold is found in your business, following the proper protocol for fungus cleanup is of utmost importance to the health and productivity of your employees.

How Did the Mold Start?

Mold is microscopic, ubiquitous and fast-growing. In fact, mold begins growing within 48 hours, and what is seen on the surface is only the beginning of an extensive root system. Knowing how it takes hold and begins growing on surfaces is a great place to start. Here is a list of conditions that promote the growth of mold:

  • Areas of high humidity without proper airflow
  • Rooms or buildings with poor insulation, leading to water condensation on surfaces
  • Undiscovered leaks inside walls

The Myth About Cleaning Chemicals

When mold is found, it is common for a business to reach for frequently used chemicals, such as bleach. The problem with this approach to fungus cleanup is that the solution is not effective on all surfaces. Porous material, where the fungus grows best, soaks up the water in the product, bringing more nutrients down to the root system. The active agents, however, sit on the surface and evaporate quickly, allowing the body of the mold to continue growing unseen.

Proper Eradication

Effective cleanup of mold requires a business to act quickly and aggressively by removing the source. This process relies on techniques and equipment that are specially designed to keep airborne spores from spreading. Rather than risking costly mistakes, a business is wise to look to professional fungus cleanup specialists for this service. Specialists in Johns Island, SC, have the needed supplies and equipment, as well as knowledge of the local area’s mold cleanup protocols. Additionally, these pros can identify issues that may arise in the future, saving a business time and money and getting to the root of the problem.

If you have mold growing in your business, don’t pull out the bleach just yet. It’s usually best to contact professionals to take care of the issue.

Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage in a commercial building Learn about the different categories of water contamination

Categories Of Water Contamination

As a commercial property owner, damage to your property is serious business. In various parts of the country, storm damage is a real threat to your building and the contents therein for a significant part of the year. A severe storm in Ravenel, SC may leave you facing various types of damage from wind, precipitation, and flood water, among others. There are different types or categories of flooding with respect to contamination, and it’s important to understand the differences, especially when it comes to flood cleanup.

Examining Water Contamination Categories
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) categorizes water damage based on the level of contamination.

Category 1. This refers to water that originates from a sanitary source, such as the holding tank of a toilet or a water tank. Sometimes this is referred to as clean water.
Category 2. This includes dirty water that has some level of contamination, like that of a leaky dishwasher or washing machine. This is also known as greywater or sullage.
Category 3. This type of damage is commonly referred to as black water and includes wastewater and any water that has come in contact with human waste. Floodwater that comes from storm damage is included in this category.

If you experience Category 3 water damage, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to professional water cleanup and restoration service to bring your property back to pre-damage conditions.

Understanding Water Damage Cleanup
Category 2 and 3 restoration jobs should be left to professionals who are trained and equipped to remove floodwater and any associated damage. Typical cleanup methods aren’t adequate to remove the hazardous contaminants, especially in black water. While you can probably safely clean Category 1 damage, clean water can not only become greywater if left unattended for a certain time period but also lead to the formation of mildew and mold.

5 Tips for Preventing Residential Water Damage

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Hand turning off main water line Shut off your water main before leaving for extended periods

Five Tips To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

No homeowner wants to see their residential property fall victim to water damage. On top of the initial accident, floods and leaks can cause a lot of subsequent costs in secondary damages. The best way to avoid these types of headaches is to prevent the incidents from happening in the first place. Follow the tips below to help protect your home in Adams Run, SC.

1. Check Pipes Regularly for Leaks.
It's important to perform regular home inspections for leaky or broken pipes. These types of incidents are easy to overlook, which can cause a lot of damage over time. Inspect any exposed pipes in your basement and underneath all of your sinks.

2. Monitor Your Home's Water Pressure.
If your water pressure is too high, you run the risk of putting undue wear and tear on your pipes. You can obtain a water pressure gauge from your local hardware store that you can use to manually monitor the pressure.

3. Regularly Check Home Appliances.
Any home appliances that use water, such as your washing machine or dishwasher, need to be checked regularly for leaks or other forms of damage. Floods that originate from these appliances can cause gray water damage.

4. Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts.
Your gutters are intended to collect and redirect water that runs off of your roof. However, they can often become clogged with dead leaves, branches and other forms of debris. When this happens, water will pool and collect in your gutters, eventually running down the sides of your house and causing damage.

5. Shut Off Your Water Main Before Leaving for Extended Periods.
If you plan to go on vacation or some other form of extended trip, make sure you turn off your water main before you go. This significantly reduces the chances of you having to deal with a water cleanup issue when you return.

Water damage can be devastating to residential properties, so it's important that you learn how to protect your home. Contact water remediation experts for more information, or assistance resolving a water-related mishap.

Natural Disaster Preparation

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

FEMA Remember, the FEMA staff are there to help.

Natural Disaster Preparedness

Many homeowners in John Island, SC, understand that federal agencies such as FEMA exist to help citizens get their lives back on track after a devastating natural disaster. Consider the following extra details about their disbursal process.

1. Initial Stages

After a flood, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will send its own inspectors and assessors to the affected locations. This is because the government needs to create and maintain its own independent record of the damages to apportion limited aid funds based on need. These inspectors will look at individual homes and businesses to determine habitability and what materials and belongings can be salvaged. If the damage is moderate, a qualified local cleanup company may be more appropriate than a total rebuild.

2. Ownership

At this stage, the FEMA staff will likely ask the homeowners (if present) to verify possession of the home. This can be done with a physical deed or a request for public records from a courthouse in your municipality. Without proof of ownership, the distribution of federal aid becomes much more difficult. For the same reason, the prudent homeowner should keep vehicle titles and an inventory of home valuables in a secure location. If you need to evacuate, take these crucial legal documents with you to ensure they remain intact.

3. Insurance

The FEMA agent does not serve the same role as an insurance adjuster. The claim on your homeowner’s policy that you purchased as a private citizen will need to be verified by your specific insurance company. After the flooding has subsided and there is no immediate danger, an adjuster will arrive to assess your claim and take an inventory of damages. If you need to resolve a dispute with your agent, third-party public adjusters are also available.

Remember, the FEMA staff are there to help. Understand their response procedures so that you can quickly respond after a disaster in your area.

How To Remove Smells From a Microwave

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning Microwave Like any appliance, microwaves will last longer and perform better if you take good care of them.

How to Get Smells Out of a Microwave

Your microwave is probably one of the most-used appliances in your home. Microwaves are famously convenient and easy to use, but it is important to be diligent in keeping them clean and taking care of any unpleasant smells that occur.

Here are some tips to help you clean and maintain your microwave.

1. Clean and Replace Filters
Microwaves that are placed over the range often have two filters that need to be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis. Consult your owner's manual if you are not sure how to remove the vent grill or replace the filters.

2. Clean the Inside Regularly

Ideally, you should wipe down the interior of the microwave after each use. However, you may not always have time to do this, and there are other techniques you can use to prevent the microwave from becoming smelly. For example, you can create a steam-cleaning effect by microwaving a bowl filled with water and vinegar or water and lemon juice.

This helps not only to reduce odors but also to remove bits of food that are stuck to the inner walls so that you can wipe them up more easily.

3. Be Wary of a Smoke Smell

Food items cooked in the microwave for too long will start to burn and produce a smoke smell. Different kinds of potatoes, for example, have different cooking times. 

If a fire ever occurs in your microwave area, it is important to have a fire extinguisher ready. Once the fire has been extinguished and the smoke smell is gone, it is a good idea to contact a professional fire restoration company in West Ashley, SC, to help you assess the damage and restore the appliance to working condition if possible.

Like any appliance, microwaves will last longer and perform better if you take good care of them. Following these steps will help you create a clean and safe microwave area.