Recent Posts

Our Job is to be Faster to Any Disaster.

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Our Job is to be Faster to Any Disaster. Our job is to get to you fast if a water damage occurs in your home or business.

Time becomes a precious commodity when disaster strikes your home or business. Waiting for help is stressful when it is your home or livelihood on the line—you need it right away.

Nobody understands a fast response like we do, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan to us.

The Importance of Cleaning Up Quickly

When it’s your belongings or business on the line, time is not a luxury you have regarding disaster cleanup. This is especially true when water damage has come into play.

It only takes mere minutes for water to spread throughout your property, where it will saturate everything in its path. The walls, the floors, upholstery and your belongings are fast casualties of water.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

The damage continues to worsen as time goes on. Between 48 hours and a week later, you could begin to see:

  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode
  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • The possibilities of serious bio-hazard contamination

Water damage that is left unchecked for over a week can lead to a dramatically increased restoration time and costs and can also impact structural safety.

How We’ll Help

We can provide an immediate response to any size disaster, which can help minimize the damage and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

Our trained cleanup and restoration specialists can be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.

Being a locally owned and operated franchise helps us be close by and ready to respond whenever the call comes in. 

If you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Here for you! 843.552.1226

Protect Your Home From Water Damage

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know water damage can be one of the most common and costliest disasters your home may experience? Bursting pipes, malfunctioning appliances or storm damage are just some of the ways water can damage your home.

While water damage can be a common issue to deal with as a homeowner, there are things you can do to protect your home from these difficult scenarios.

How to Protect Your Home

Not only will you find that water damage is a big headache to deal with, but it can also have a long-term impact on your home—namely, mold. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24–48 hours of water exposure.

As you begin to think about ways to safeguard your home, break it down by areas of impact to make the task easier. 

You can prevent water damage from happening in the basement by checking for water seepage. Look for vulnerable areas of the basement that may need resealing, make sure water drains away from your home and install a backwater valve.

In the kitchen and bathrooms, water damage can occur due to plumbing and appliance failures.

Be sure to regularly:

  • Inspect all appliances, correcting any issues with hoses and faucets
  • Check all seals and caulking around your showers and tubs.
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is in your home
  • Only run the washing machine or dishwasher while you are home.

Protecting your possessions from water damage can’t always happen, but there are steps to take that may decrease the amount of loss. Using waterproof bins to store items is always advised and, if using your basement for storage, keep items stored on shelving off of the floor.

How to Start the Recovery Process

In the event you do encounter a water damage situation in your home, you can stand a good chance at salvaging items if they can be dried out within 48 hours.

Make sure that you immediately contact your insurance company and evaluate the extent of the water damage in your home.

You will want to quickly dry your home out and dehumidify it following a water damage disaster. Be sure to remove wet objects and disinfect remaining materials. Working with SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston simplifies the entire process from drying to insurance claim for you as you work to put your home back together. 

It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston, who are here to make it "Like it never even happened!"  We are here 24/7 ~ 843.552.1226.

Protect Your Business From Fire Damage

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Protect Your Business From Fire Damage Have a plan for your business and employees. And remember we are here to help. 24/7

Business owners have plenty of safety factors to take into consideration regarding risks to their business, staff and visitors. Fires are one of those risks to your business that you need to spend a little extra time planning for and preventing.

Leading Causes of Commercial Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment were the cause of the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

Ways to Protect Your Business

There are many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires. By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you can work toward reducing the chance of a fire breaking out.

  • Assess your risk of fire hazards. There are some local governments that may offer a visit from a fire marshal to help you identify these risks and provide guidance on creating your fire prevention plan.
  • Have the right fire protection equipment in place, which would include an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
  • Create a fire plan and review it with your staff on a regular basis to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of fire.
  • Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep the fire safety protocol fresh. 
  • Take time to review evacuation plans and where the first-aid kits are.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."  Here for you 24/7 ~ 843.552.1226

What is your Family's Weather Plan?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What is your Family's Weather Plan? SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston is Ready 24/7 for any weather related emergency you may experience.

While we often receive advanced warning for some types of severe weather, there are also those times when severe weather manages to catch us off-guard.

There are steps you can follow and safety tips to take that will ensure your family is prepared for just those severe weather occurrences. 

One of the most important ways to ensure your family’s safety in severe weather is to have an established family emergency plan at the ready.

If your family already has an emergency plan, be sure to practice so everyone remembers what to do! 

If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, there are some things listed below to take into consideration when creating it:

1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?

Thanks to today’s smartphone technology, it is easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings on your smartphone through many weather apps. But if there is no smartphone available, you can still receive warnings through the radio or television.

2. What type of storm shelter do you have?

In areas where tornadoes are common, ideally, you’ll want to have a basement, but if that is not possible, then find an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes are not the only situations requiring a form of storm shelter, and you can learn about more of the situations where they are necessary by visiting ready.gov.

3. What is our evacuation route?

Put together a map of various evacuation routes and keep it handy in the event of hurricanes, floods or fires, which can force you out of your home in a hurry. Multiple routes are wise to have just in case one is impassable, and be sure to account for your pets and find out if there are places to stay with them along your route.

4. How will the family stay in touch?

You’re going to want an alternative communication plan for your family because reliance on cell phones can fail you in some circumstances. Cell phone towers can be damaged, phones could be lost or left behind, and phone batteries will not be able to be recharged if power is out.

Put a family emergency communication plan in place and choose a safe meeting place for your family so that you can all meet there if separated.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston to get the cleanup and restoration process started. Feel free to call 24/7, 843.552.1226.

Not All Water Is Created Equal.

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Not All Water Is Created Equal. Our professionally trained and certified technicians can help you identify the type of water and how to safely mitigate any damage.

It would be much simpler if we could think of all water causing damage as the same, but in reality, there are three different classifications for this water: clean, gray and black. Understanding the differences in these types of water will help you understand how to better handle the situation.

What Is Clean Water?

Much like its name states, “clean” water is not the type to pose an immediate threat to your health as this water is free of contaminants and resulting from:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

This is the easiest type of water damage to clean up after, as there will not be as many microbes living in the water, but after sitting for 48 hours and following contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water then moves up to a category two, which is gray water.

What Is Gray Water?

With “gray” water, water damage cleanup and restoration will become a bit more serious and involved. It may pose a health risk because it will contain chemical or biological contamination. 

Gray water can often come from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. Again, the 48-hour exposure time applies here as well because if it is not quickly treated, gray water will turn into black water.

What Is Black Water?

Black water is the third classification of damaging water and the most serious of the three classifications. Considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter, it would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is laden with contaminating microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more, which can be harmful to humans. Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember, when it comes to floods, assume that all water is black water since it will pick up contaminants as it travels along its path.

All three of these floodwater classifications are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), which is an organization that certifies and sets the standard for the cleaning and restoration industry. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!  We are here for you 24/7 ~ 843.552.1226

Turn Around. Don't Drown.

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Turn Around. Don't Drown. Check for road closures when flooding is a in the forecast for Downtown Charleston. Turn around, don't drown!

We have posted the information below in a previous post, but considering the forecast the next couple days, though it couldn't hurt to post again!

Flooding remains one of the top weather killers in the U.S., with the average number of annual fatalities totaling near 90. More than half of these fatalities are vehicle-related. The National Weather Service has been working to bring those numbers down and, for the past decade, has been doing so using its “Turn Around Don’t Drown” campaign, which is dedicated to teaching the public about flood safety.

Hector Guerrero, warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS San Angelo, Texas, forecast office, began formulating a plan for a program to raise awareness of the dangers of driving or walking into flooded areas in the early 2000s. While Guerrero worked at the NWS forecast office in Brownsville, Texas, he became concerned when hurricane evacuees from the Texas coast would relocate to the heart of Texas’ Flash Flood Alley. He was also aware of the dangers associated with flash floods having grown up in Austin, also part of Flash Flood Alley. “I wanted a catchy phrase along the lines of the fire-safety mantra "Stop, Drop and Roll,” said Guerrero. “After brainstorming with a group of firefighters from Harlingen, Texas, I chose ‘Turn Around Don’t Drown.’” 

Guerrero worked with a team from NWS Southern Region Headquarters and together they partnered with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, and the City of Fort Worth Fire Department. NWS launched the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” program in Texas in 2003. Once the phrase was officially trademarked by NOAA, the program made its national debut in 2004. 

Since then, hundreds of permanent “Turn Around Don’t Drown” signs have been established along roadways prone to flooding across the U.S. and the slogan has become an often repeated catchphrase in the media, classrooms and even the home. In addition to the NWS education materials, NWS partners also distribute resources bearing the phrase. 

For information on how SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston can help if you are facing flood damage to your home or business, please take a look at the Water Damage Restoration page on our website.

You can also Contact Us, 24/7, for help if your home or business is impacted by flooding.  (843) 552-1226

Atricle courtesy of NWS & NOAA

Common Causes of Water Damage to Your Home

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Common Causes of Water Damage to Your Home A broken pipe caused this Summerville, SC home's water damage.

While severe weather is one of the first things one thinks of where water damage is concerned, water damage can happen in other ways.

Storms and flooding can cause catastrophic water damage, but they are often not the main culprits. Everyday household items in your home can be responsible for many situations that result in water damage.

There are different types of water damage, storm damage, and gradual damage.  Gradual damage is something that has been happening over time, i.e. plumbing issues behind the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, this type of water damage is usually not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related and other emergency water damage usually is.

Common Water Damage Culprits

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the leading household systems that cause water damage are:

  • Frozen pipes can burst due to water pressure buildup caused by freezing water or when the supply system materials fail and results in pipes leaking or bursting. 

  • Plumbing drain system failures occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home or from material breakdown issues. 

  • Toilets are the second leading source of residential water damage loss after plumbing supply system failures and can range from faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. 

  • When an older water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to deteriorate and rust and corrode, resulting in leaking or bursting issues. 

  • Typically caused by water supply hose failures, machines overflowing and drain line failures, washing machines are one of the top 10 sources of residential water damage losses. 

If your home has experienced water damage of any type, the team at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration and make it look “Like it never even happened.”

Feel free to call our emergency line 24/7 ~ 843.552.1226 or through our Contact Us page.  We are always here to help!

Got Mold? Professional Remediation Can Help!

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Got Mold?  Professional Remediation Can Help! This mold grew over some time due to a small leak left undetected around the windows of this Goose Creek SC home. We were happy to help!

It takes no more than 48 hours after water damage occurs in a home or commercial property for mold to begin to grow. Especially in our warm and humid Charleston, SC climate.

That is why if you are faced with water damage and a resultant mold issue, knowing your next steps is very important.

Why Mold Remediation?

We’re sure you’ve seen those ads about mold remediation and mold removal, but the second of these two is false. Removing all mold from a home or business is simply not achievable. A qualified restoration company will, however, focus on mold remediation, setting the achievable goal of bringing mold levels back to a normal and natural level.

It is true that mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both inside and outside. These mold spores only become an issue when a minor problem is left untreated, which allows the problem to turn into a major problem.

The mold remediation process involves technicians isolating the contaminated areas and remove and discard the wet and mold-damaged materials.  Any areas that have been exposed to or affected by mold are then thoroughly cleaned and dried. In some cases, a HEPA vacuum may be brought in aid in the removal of contamination and debris.

Then the mold-affected area is treated with a biocide and left overnight to kill and destroy the mold spores. 

What to Do With a Mold Problem

If there is a good chance your home or business may have encountered a mold problem, you’ll want to act quickly. Evaluate the size of the problem, and if the affected area is larger than 10 square feet, it is best to bring in the professionals.

Be sure that the professionals you bring in are highly trained and certified in the following areas:

  • Applied microbial remediation
  • Water damage restoration
  • Applied structural drying

Sometimes, some minor mold issues can be successfully resolved by a homeowner or a business owner on their own, but it is always in your best interest to talk to the professionals to ensure the quickest resolution to the problem.

At SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston, our mold damage specialists are trained and certified experts in mold remediation. If your home or business is experiencing a mold issue, contact us to begin the mold remediation process.

Do you have a natural disaster plan for your business?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Do you have a natural disaster plan for your business? Call and ask about our Emergency Ready Program and make sure your business is as prepared as possible for a natural disaster.

Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes are enough to bring even the strongest business to it's knees when Mother Nature strikes out. However, you can survive in the worst of these scenarios if you are prepared in advance for them.

Being prepared is the key to surviving those scenarios, and being prepared means creating a natural disaster plan for your business. Let’s look at some ways to prepare and considerations when designing a disaster plan.

What to Think About

There are many things you will need to consider concerning a disaster plan for your business. Among these should be:

  1. How to protect your employees
  2. How to secure your assets
  3. How to get business up and running again

There are many checklists that have been created and are available from sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that can help you identify areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan.

Employee Safety Is Key

You must have a plan that has procedures and safety measures in place for employees and visitors if a disaster were to strike without warning. Here are a few steps to consider:

  • Make sure all evacuation routes and exits from your facility are all properly marked. 
  • Have an area that can serve as a shelter space. When choosing a shelter space, the ideal spot is in a basement or storm cellar in the event of a tornado or high-wind situation, but if there is no basement space available, a small interior room on the lowest level of the building like a closet or interior hallway should be your next choice.
  • Consider installing emergency lighting.
  • Designate staff volunteers to be “safety wardens” that are properly trained and ready to implement those procedures and safety measures and to guide and assist in all emergency efforts.

How to Protect Assets

  • No matter the type of location, there will be decisions that need to be made concerning protecting the assets inside of your business' building, like equipment or merchandise, for example. Everything is at risk when a natural disaster strikes but it only takes a bit of planning to minimize damage.
  • Be sure that there is a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of all items. 
  • Whenever possible, have photographs of both structure and contents, taken prior to a disaster as this will be helpful when fling insurance claims.
  • If you store assets on a computer server, ensure that the backup system is regularly backing up all data and look into a storage system like a cloud storage system, which cannot be damaged.
  • If you are the building owner, you should talk with a contractor concerning suggestions for possible safety upgrades and identify any areas that may need upgrading to withstand certain weather situation.
Getting Back in Business

Natural disasters can cause businesses to shut down for days or months until repairs can be made and structures are safe enough to enter and resume business. Every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. 

By building a relationship with contractors that would be available for repairs and knowing which cleanup and restoration service will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation, you will be well on your way to doing business again.

With SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.

Give us a call today to learn how we can help by implementing an Emergency Ready Plan, specific to your business - no contract, no charge.  Just our way of helping you be ready for whatever happens.  24/7 ~ 843.552.1226 or use our Contact Us page on the web. 

A Look at How Damaging Wind Can Be

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage A Look at How Damaging Wind Can Be Protect your home from wind damage.

When you think of severe storms, what do you think of? There are many concerns that accompany severe storms, including damaging winds. These winds, which can come with little to no notice, can cause many long-term structural impacts.

The Basics of Damaging Wind

Damaging winds can happen in all kinds of storms and have wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can be “birthed” by a strong thunderstorm.

You will often hear damaging winds referred to as “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage from tornado damage.

Because straight-line winds can cause loose, unanchored objects to become airborne, the damage from these winds can be especially destructive. Windows and roofs can take the brunt of this damage, and if extensive enough, wind can also cause water damage to a home as the outside elements are allowed come indoors.

Ways to Protect Your Home

Below are some of the ways you can help protect your property from damaging winds:

  • Use a professional service to have your garage door reinforced.

  • Properly store or anchor loose objects, such as trash cans, grills and outdoor furniture, on your property that could become projectiles by the wind.

  • Have large or dying trees and branches that could be blown over on your home removed by a professional.

Not all high wind circumstances come with advanced warning. But some of these action items can come in handy “just in case.”

Also, when building a new home or renovating an older home, be sure that windows, walls and doors are up to code for your area.

If your home should suffer damage from damaging winds and the resulting water damage, the highly trained specialists at SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston are here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home.

Call 24/7 ~ 843.552.1226 or use our Contact Us page on the web