A Fire Disaster is One Mistake Away
Every fireplace should be inspected and cleaned before using. Always have a professional service your chimney once a year before the winter season.
Winter is coming! So are the fires…
Here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina it’s not typical to use a fireplace. It is typically reserved for the very coldest part of the year, which is a pretty brief period between January and February. With such infrequent use of fireplaces, it becomes even more important to consider fireplace safety. Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County we have seen our share of home’s ravaged by fire and smoke due to improper use of a fireplace. With the winter season approaching we thought it was important to share some key tips with our community.
First off, before you even use your fireplace ask yourself a question, when was the last time you had it inspected? It’s exciting to think about the holidays and sitting by a roaring fire around New Years and all the warm and toasty feelings it creates but forgetting to take this critical step could risk lives, and your home. Have your fireplace inspected by a professional, and licensed, chimney sweep company. It’s so important to have a professional clean your chimney and check it for leaks or damage to the components that make up your chimney, like the flue, heat shield and top.
Here are some more important tips:
- Keep a clearance zone of a few feet. Items NOT allowed in this zone would include any items made of paper like books and magazines; fabrics, including drapes and blankets; and wood.
- Always use a safety screen made of metal or glass. This prevents flames or burning embers from escaping the fireplace, and keeps flammable items from getting in.
- For electric fireplaces always use a grounded heavy duty power cable with the proper gauge and wattage rating.
- For wood burning fireplaces, always use dry wood. Freshly cut wood has high levels of moisture which means more smoke and the potential for deposits collecting inside the chimney.
- Keep a metal container handy for removing hot embers and ashes, and always store it outside at a safe distance away from the home.
- NEVER use gasoline, kerosene or lighter fluid to start your fire. Only use newspaper or dry kindling.
- Keep your chimney clean, look for soot or creosote buildup regularly.
Everyone should get to enjoy an evening around the ambience of a fireplace, just always make sure you take the necessary precautions to enjoy it without the risks of starting a fire. And even if you don’t have a fireplace and prefer to stand around a fire pit outside, take the same level of precaution and follow local guidelines and laws. There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a nice winter season using your fireplace and fire pit without causing a fire. Stay safe out there!
Critical Response - 24/7 Emergency Water Removal
When you are in an emergency we want you to speak to a valuable member of our team to start the critical response from the very first call.
When you are struggling with a disaster like a bad leak or a flood that has caused your property to experience standing water we understand what it means to be available to help. Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we provide a 24/7 Emergency Water Removal service and we want to make sure that you are speaking with one of our personnel every time you call.
It's important to us to know that we are providing the best care possible when a customer is experiencing an emergency where your home or business is flooded and the race against time, and water damage, has begun. Our care starts with making sure when you call our business that you are speaking with an actual member of our team. Sometimes you may find that businesses provide a 24/7 service but when you call them you are speaking with an answering service and not an actual employee of the company. We make sure that your experience with us is personable and thoughtful from the very beginning.
Our water removal is a critical service but here are a couple tips to be aware of before you make that call to have us come out to extract water:
Stop the Leak – Is the water still coming into your home, has the leak not been stopped? You will want to make sure the source of the flood and standing water is stopped before having us come out to extract. You will either need to have a plumber come out to fix the issue, or you will need to try to stop it yourself.
Start a Claim – If you are experiencing a flood and have standing water, you will want to notify your homeowner’s insurance or property insurance company of the issue and start a claim. They will provide you with a claim #. You will want to have that insurance information handy when you call SERVPRO. It makes your life easier. We can work directly with your insurance company and you avoid being charged our emergency response fee.
And for those times where you just aren’t sure what to do, call us. That’s why we provide a live 24/7 phone service where one of our team members will help you through your emergency, providing you with the proper information and getting a team dispatched to your address.
We truly believe in a critical response that starts as soon as you call us. That’s why we don’t outsource our phone service and you can always speak with a SERVPRO team member who works here when you call. Always keep our number handy, in times of emergency you will be glad you did, 843-552-1226.
Staying Ahead of Leaks and Floods
After removing the drywall we discovered the culprit of water damage and mold issues. Always make sure your plumbing is inspected annually.
So many of our customers who have experienced water damage in their homes typically find out that it was preventable and avoidable with a bit of maintenance. Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we look not only to help you after the disaster but we also try to help you before the disaster strikes. This is a reminder to always make sure you are on top of your property and the maintenance required to keep it in top shape.
The little investments that you make now can save you a lot of money and headaches down the road. One way to prevent disaster is by making sure your plumbing throughout your home or business is running properly and not experiencing any leaks or decay. It’s a good idea to either check your pipes yourself or have a professional plumber come in for an inspection.
Many leaks start in the bathroom so that’s the first place you want to keep an eye on. Look for bad calking around your sinks, toilet and bathtub. That is something you can remove and replace yourself with some proper online instruction, at minimal cost. It’s also important to check the grout in the bathtub, on the floors and walls, this assures that water isn’t escaping and causing issues behind or underneath your tile, this is a typical issue that causes a lot of mold where you may not be able to see, yet. And always check the piping under sinks as that is another cause of leak and moisture intrusions.
If you have a crawlspace have it inspected at least once a year to assure there is no damage to your pipes underneath the house. You will also want your HVAC checked as well, we find a lot of ducts that are not properly fitted and allow condensation and moisture to build up, which causes mold and water damage.
And another important area to have inspected and maintained throughout the year is your water heater. This is one of the number one culprits that cause flood and water damage. Please make sure your water heater is properly drained and flushed out annually. This will prevent sediment from building up in the tank and causing it to prematurely decay and breakdown.
SERVPRO cares about our customers and making sure they are aware of their responsibilities for homeownership or property management. These basic tips above can save you from a disaster and a lot of headaches down the road.
Fire Solutions – Step One, Securing the Scene
A home with fire damage to the roof and exterior requires tarping and a board-up to secure the property and location.
One of the ways we provide assistance to our local fire departments and first responders is being able to provide them with immediate help with services like Board-ups to secure a scene where fire or an accident has occurred. Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we pride ourselves on our ability to provide relief and support during the immediate aftermath of a house or business fire.
Fire is one of the worst disasters that can befall a homeowner or business owner. It destroys everything it touches and requires a lot of water at times to put it out. Which means you are left with a sometimes burnt out and sopping wet environment that you have to figure out what to do with. The first thing we do is help secure the scene from intrusion or further damage.
Board-ups are a service that we provide to fire and police departments, and to the community in general, as it shores up the devastation that might have been caused by the fire. Where you may no longer have windows or doors, or even walls or ceiling, we provide either plywood or tarps to cover and secure the spaces from intrusion by people, animals or weather. It can take some time for insurance companies or the fire or police departments to conclude their investigations before any restoration and construction work can begin. Board-ups provide temporary security until our teams can come in and start putting things back together.
We can also have fencing provided and put up around a location for extreme cases where people need to be kept away for their own safety, and the security of the scene. Standalone chain link fence is an option for situations where you may have a community to keep safe from a building that may be at risk of collapse or poses direct danger to anyone venturing close to it.
It’s a good idea to keep our number handy for moments like these when disaster strikes and you need the location secured before the restoration process can begin. Call us today to inquire more about the services provided for fire damage and securing a scene – 843.552.1226
When Every Dollar Counts
Our SERVPRO Technicians take great care with your belongings and contents after you have experienced the hardships of fire and flooding.
Whether you are a business owner or a homeowner, experiencing the hardship of property damage due to fire or flooding, can be quite devastating. Not only does is disrupt your life and business, but it also potentially damages and ruins your belongings. That is why SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County prefers the mentality of “restore” versus “replace”.
SERVPRO has the ability with its expertise in mitigation and restoration, to provide a clear path to helping you save money wherever possible. One area where we can help is assessing whether your property and belongings needs to be replaced, or whether we can work to restore the item back like it was pre-disaster.
Our technicians are trained to help you determine if something like a chair or couch is salvageable, where ultimately you decide if you want us to restore it back to how it was pre-disaster or have it replaced altogether. If a belonging is not going to be covered by insurance, and will come out-of-pocket, then consider our ability to restore, and the cost savings that come with that decision.
We provide a pretest of belongings and contents to determine which can be restored, we use different methods to clean your belongings, this includes:
- Dry Cleaning – Cleaning light residues or a pre-wipe before wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning – A cleaning method used on moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe – Used for items that cannot withstand getting wet.
- Abrasive Cleaning – The surface is cleaned using agitation by brush or bristle.
- Foam Cleaning – Used when upholstery fabrics will shrink or color bleeds with wet cleaning.
- Immersion Cleaning – Contents are cleaned via dipping into cleaning solution.
Beyond our different methods of cleaning to help the restoration process of your property contents we also have the ability to assist with move-outs and pack-outs where belongings are placed into temporary storage to protect them during property restoration and construction.
SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County cares about your property, and the contents within it. Our team has the skills and tools to help you take the appropriate steps towards getting your life and business back on track. Whenever we can save you money and employ our “restore” versus “replace” mentality, we will.
If you have experienced fire, water or mold damage to your property call us today for an assessment: 843-552-1226.
Building a New Tomorrow, One Home at a Time
New homes are popping up everywhere around Summerville, South Carolina! Can we assist on your new home construction?
It is no surprise to anyone living in the Charleston and Summerville areas how quickly the region is growing. The construction trucks have been busy for years now and it does not look to be stopping anytime soon. Entire neighborhoods are being built right before our eyes, home after home are popping up all around Berkeley and Dorchester counties and here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we have been on the front lines of new home construction assisting contractors with our post-construction cleaning and maintenance services.
One of the great ways we can assist new home builders is with our ability to clean up a site and get it ready for living. From cleaning up heavy debris and dust to doing deep carpet cleaning, we are ready to assist. We work hard at developing relationships with Project Managers and Construction Managers in the area to provide support in assuring the houses they build are ready for their new homeowners.
Another way we support local construction is during the pre-drywall phase. Sometimes lumber can be impacted by rainy weather either during storage or at the construction site during the build. SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County provides drying and mold remediation services for framing and trusses. This can mean the difference between keeping your build on schedule and assuring the lumber is not negatively impacted by moisture and mold.
And the final service we are going to talk about today is our light construction work during the warranty period of new home ownership. This is another way that we help support and assist new home builders in our community with our ability to do light construction and maintenance on homes that need repair while the home is still under warranty. If the home has been damaged by mold, water or fire, we are able to come out and mitigate the problem and restore the property. This allows the contractors to focus on new projects while we work to keep the properties they’ve just built in tip-top condition.
If you are a new home builder or construction company, please reach out to us today to discuss how we can assist you on your next big project.
Emergency Ready Profiles are perfect for Hurricane Season
Preparing for rain in the South Carolina Lowcountry is a crucial aspect of living in the hurricane-prone region. Have an Emergency Ready Plan!
One of the ways we help our customers, and our community, is by providing property owners, or their facility or property managers, with a functional tool called the Emergency Ready Plan, aka, the Emergency Ready Profile.
Here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, along the Atlantic shoreline, we are in direct threat of major storms for a good portion of the year that stretches from May into November. Not to mention, we also see some pretty nasty thunderstorms on an almost daily basis in the spring and summer seasons. So having a plan for storms is an important step to being prepared.
Our franchise territories stretch from North Charleston to Summerville, South Carolina, and from Moncks Corner to Ridgeville. Our community is large and apt to see storm damage of some kind across the region when big storms come through.
One of our community members is Palmetto Rail, and we recently worked with them to provide them with Emergency Ready Profiles for each of their facilities. Each facility has critical equipment and staff that need to know what to do in case of a storm. Bad storms can cause all sorts of trouble for people, from down wires and trees, to flooding and wind damage. Our ERPs will create a visual aid for Palmetto Rail’s staff with critical information like key contacts, infrastructure cutoffs and directions for staff to follow. Those directions can include where to store loose materials, to where the water and electric cutoffs are during an emergency.
An Emergency Ready Profile comes in a hard copy that you can keep on site, or you can use the app version which allows the Property Owner or Manager to update information and contacts, and share with staff and employees. It becomes an important tool for those managing large buildings or multiple properties like Palmetto Rail.
And if our customer, or community member, is in need of help extracting water or mitigating disaster, the ERP gives our SERVPRO teams the lay of the land to plan and respond accordingly. So whether you have multiple properties and facilities under your management, or you’re simply a homeowner, the Emergency Ready Profile can be an invaluable tool to prepare for the worst case scenarios.
Call us today to set up an appointment for a FREE property assessment and Emergency Ready Profile @ 843-552-1226
Flooding and the Ramification of Waiting Too Long
Waiting too long to extract water and start the drying process on residual moisture can cause serious damage to your home and property.
If you have been the victim of flooding, then you are in a race against time, damage and mold. It is never too late to start the process of mitigation and restoration when your home or property have been impacted by water incursions. But waiting to respond and fix the situation can make your life that much more difficult if you wait too long.
One of the biggest challenges of water incursions is drying everywhere that moisture is now residing. Water loves porous materials like cloth, wood and drywall where the water can be soaked up like a sponge. Unfortunately, the longer it takes to extract water and start the drying process the higher the propensity for bigger problems to start arising.
Water damage can start ruining your home and property within the first 24 hours of getting wet. Mold will begin growing, and damage will worsen to floors, walls and electrics unless the extraction of water and drying processes has begun. If water is left unattended long enough, it can even start eating through concrete, and wood will begin to rot within a month in some cases. And if a leak persists through multiple floors you will see additional damage as the water collects between floors and causes infrastructure collapse of insulation and ceiling panels.
If you have walked into a water loss at your property you will want to call your insurance company as soon as possible, that’s the first step. The second step is to call a water restoration company like us to come out and assess the situation, start emergency water extraction and mitigation processes right away. The sooner you start extracting and drying up the water, the sooner you stop the process of damage and mold growth.
Always keep our emergency phone number somewhere handy, or save our number in your cellphone. Saving precious minutes can greatly impact the cost of the water loss and the necessary work and repairs that will be required to fix your home or business.
Emergency 24/7 phone line: 843-552-1226
Leadership Day at Devon Forest Elementary
Student's welcome attendees on Leadership Day at Devon Forest Elementary school in Goose Creek, South Carolina.
SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County has the honor of working with a wide community in South Carolina that stretches from the city of North Charleston to Summerville, from Moncks Corner to Goose Creek, and to helping folks in Ladson and Hanahan it’s always a privilege to work with our community.
We were recently invited to join other local community leaders attending the “Leaders In Me” Leadership Day at Devon Forest Elementary in Goose Creek. And what an event it was, with the wonderful theme of being on a Jungle Adventure. We were greeted by a host of children waving large hands and shaking pom-poms as we all walked into the school. We were then lead to the cafeteria for a very generous breakfast of delicious doughnuts, fruits and beverages.
The event officially kicked off with a couple small performances by the students. The children expressed how they grew as leaders throughout the year focusing on seven key habits; Being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, think in win-win terms, seeking first to understand and then to be understood, synergy, and staying sharp. These are all great habits that will absolutely lead these young leaders to success.
We were then taken on a tour of the school where we got to learn firsthand about how the children have worked towards their goals this year. Our young Jungle Adventure tour guides took us to different classrooms where the children showcased displays that highlighted their activities, from collecting can tabs for a donation goal to those in need, to the Kindness Crew and their efforts to do kind things around the school, all of the children did a fabulous job expressing themselves, and their efforts.
The last stop of our tour was to the 4th and 5th grader classrooms. We were provided with an opportunity to step into classrooms in action where the teachers worked their normal curriculum and the students showcased what they were studying or working on. Every classroom was very welcoming, and it was a marvel to see how the kids truly loved their work with “Leaders in Me” and how it helps them stay focused on achieving their goals.
The event concluded with the tour leading us back to the cafeteria for another rousing performance from the students. The school’s drumline did a wonderful native drum song, followed by the choir singing “You are never fully dressed without a smile” from the play Annie. The students finished the event with a speaker’s panel where they took questions from the attendees. Each student did a great job of expressing themselves and the importance of becoming leaders and sticking to those seven habits that will surely get them to their goals.
It was a great experience to be invited to a wonderful community event. It is so important that we as a company not only make ourselves available as a business but also as neighbors showing support to those who live in our community. SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County hopes each one of the students of Devon Forest Elementary grow up to be successful leaders and positive forces in their community because it was so obvious that they have already begun to take that path. Great job Devon Forest! See you next year!
To see more photos, and learn more about Devon Forest Elementary and Leadership Day follow these links!
The Quality of Honesty
A customer speaks with a SERVPRO Crew Chief about service options.
We have customers call us from all over the Tri-County area, from North Charleston to Summerville and from Ladson to Moncks Corner, and we appreciate every call we get because we know our customers have options out there. When you live in a disaster prone area that deals with hurricane season each year, you will find that there are a lot of restoration and disaster mitigation companies to choose from. And I’m sure a lot of you out there are thinking, well how do you make the right choice?
I could simply say, well choose us, because we are the best! But you will still be asking why? Well, one of the reasons we are an excellent choice to get you through any disaster is because we work to provide the highest quality workmanship through honesty. Being up front about the fine details of a job, and the timelines required to complete them, is an important way unto which we work with our customers. People who are dealing with disaster just want their lives back to normal, and they want that done as quickly as possible, and we absolutely understand that feeling, and need.
Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we go well beyond touting the color of our vans as a reason to choose us over the competition, we choose to focus on excellent customer service that guides its customers through the reality and hardships that come with disaster restoration. Being upfront about all the steps and time required to complete the job is very important for us to build trust with our customers.
One of the ways we provide quality work through honesty is by doing thorough estimates that truly break down all of the steps, materials and time it will take to complete a job, and making sure all of their questions are answered about the cost and time needed to restore their home. We also take great pride in working with insurance companies, providing support on claims to ease the burden for the customer, and then assuring the customer understands the process clearly.
It is critical to provide our customers with a clear path to restoring their property and belongings. We want our customers to feel they are working with someone they can trust. Honest communication provides that clear path to quality work that satisfies our standards and the customer’s expectations.
We know that you have options out there, and we want to be the option that gives you the confidence you need to get through your disaster, one step at a time. Call us today if you are dealing with water, fire or mold damage, we are happy to come meet you and discuss your options.