What To Do Until Help Arrives After A Fire
WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and to tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change the HVAC filter, but leave the system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is a team of specialists, trained to professionally clean your home and personal belongings. If you experience a fire in your Downtown Charleston home or business, give us a call at (843) 577-2470
Preventing Water Damage
Here at SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston, we are water damage specialists, and we compiled a small list on how to prevent water damage from happening often in your home:
- Clean Gutters and Downspouts - Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof. Don’t forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.
- Know your Water Main - Know the location of your water main and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time.
- Check Appliances Regularly - Check and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Investigate Leaks Right Away and Fix Promptly - If you choose to ignore any water damage, or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home.
- Upgrade Washing Machine Hoses - Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours often throughout the year to avoid expensive damage.
- Check Your Water Pressure - If the water pressure to your home is too high, then your pipes and hoses may fail under the high pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure. Typical homes water systems are designed for a pressure of 40 – 70 psi. Anything above 70 psi will put your plumbing at risk.
- Monitor Your Water Bill - Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next, then there is probably a leak somewhere in the home.
If you do unfortunately experience water damage, we are here to help. Call us at (843) 577-2470.
It Doesn't Take A Lot Of Water To Cause Damage
It doesn’t take a lot of water to cause tremendous damage. Just an inch or two can destroy carpets and drywall, warp wood floors, damaged building components.
Water damage can be caused by many things:
- Sump pumps
- Water heater failures
- Broken pipes
- Washing machine
- Dishwasher leaks
- Ice maker problems
- Flooding due to heavy rain
- Groundwater seeping into the basement
- Natural disasters
Even after the water seems to disappear, excess moisture can hide in your floor coverings, foundation, wood structures, and walls—causing major damage to your property and creating the perfect environment for mold and other fungi growth.
That's where the SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston comes in. If you catch it in time, you can ward off a lot of the damage and save money and headaches down the road. It’s important that water is quickly removed and the property dried, ventilated and disinfected to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew and other microorganisms that are harmful. If you need us, we will be there. Call us at (843) 577-2470.
A Few Important Mold Questions and Their Answers
Mold is a common problem in many buildings. If you have noticed a fungus growth in your North Lilburn home, you may be wondering what you should do about it. Will your insurance cover the costs of removal? The answer to this can vary depending on your circumstances. Here are a few important mold questions and their answers.
- When Does Insurance Cover Mold?
In many cases, your insurance policy will not include mold, but there are some exceptions. In situations where it is clear that the growth of mold was caused by a covered peril, then the costs to remove the damage will likely be covered. This can include instances when mold is the result of leaks caused by ice buildup, damage from a broken pipe and accidents involving broken appliances. Some companies also offer added mold insurance policies for an additional price.
- When Is Mold Not Covered?
Unfortunately, your standard homeowner's insurance will more than likely exclude most mold coverage. Unless it was caused by a covered peril, you will be required to pay the costs of a mold remediation service on your own. Disasters such as floods are often not included in standard policies, so mold that is the result of a flood will not be covered. It can sometimes be difficult to receive coverage for mold if your home has a history of fungal growth.
- How Can You Prevent Mold?
Because getting rid of a fungus growth can be costly, it is better to prevent one from occurring. You can do this by limiting the moisture in your home. Make sure to keep appliances and plumbing fixtures dry. You can lower the humidity by using exhaust fans and opening windows in kitchens and bathrooms. Always fix leaks as soon as possible and clean your home regularly.
While it is unlikely that your insurance will cover a fungus growth, this is not always the case. Be sure to read over your policy carefully so you know exactly what is included. Creating an unsuitable environment for mold in your home will help prevent the need for professional cleanup.
If you suspect you have mold, give SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston a call at (843) 577-2470!
Disaster Recovery Team
Did you know that SERVPRO has a specialized storm team and large loss response network to provide the resources to your property when others can’t? In the event of a disaster, SERVPRO professionals have the resources to relocate crews with equipment to take care of all of our customer’s needs. SERVPRO strategically places mobilization teams across the country to travel when needed to support recovery after large storm events such as hurricanes. Our job as water damage restoration professionals is to limit the amount of business interruption. We understand that fast mitigation is key to getting your business back up and running. SERVPRO provides the resources in the event of a large storm event to make sure that the right equipment, procedures, and training are in place to ensure that the structure is dry the first time and saves you time and money.
Do you have questions about how SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston can help you prepare for a disaster? Contact us today at (843) 577-2470!
What Can You Do To Prevent Mold
Mold thrives in a warm, humid and damp environment. Mold or mildew is not harmful in small quantities; it only becomes harmful when its growth spirals out of control and increases in quantity. Your home is likely to have mold if there are leaking pipes, leaks in the roof, poor ventilation, condensation, flooding, and wet clothes. Dealing with these problems early enough can prevent mold from setting in and causing havoc on the property.There are ways in which you can prevent this menace from happening. Always ensure that you clean up the water as soon as it spills in large amounts because this will reduce the chances of mold growing there. Also, ensure there is ample ventilation in the house after you finish cooking showering or washing utensils. Insulate your house to quell condensation. Also, keep the basement dry always. If all these fail, you should seek the help of professionals to remove mold from your home. These are the telltale signs that you should look out for if you want to know whether you need mold services;
- If your home has experienced flooding recently due to excessive rain, broken appliance or pipe there is the likelihood that mold will grow. This can happen especially if you did not enlist the services of professionals to clean it.
- When you see mold growth, it is also a red flag that you should do something about it.
- The presence of an unpleasant and wet odor can be emanating from the mold.
- If you or anyone else living in the house start experiencing allergies that you did not have before
- The presence of moisture should also alert you to the imminent growth of mold and hence the need to call in professionals.
If you reside in the Downtown Charleston area and you have noticed some of these signs, you should give us a call at (843) 577-2470.
Is Your Business Ready For An Emergency?
If you own a business and suddenly have a water or fire damage, would you and your employees be prepared?
SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston offers the ERP: Emergency Ready Profile, a useful tool that can help prepare your business for anything that may happen. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile serves as a quick reference document, detailing important building and contact information. It can be an ideal supplement to any existing emergency preparedness plan. Rather than simply reacting to a disaster, businesses can be proactive by establishing a relationship with a restoration company. SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is a leader in fire and water damage response and can help you get your property back in working order.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile offers the following:
A free assessment of your facility's emergency preparedness.
Secure information in one location that will help you get back into your building following a disaster.
Facility details such as shut off valve locations, priority contact information and identification of the line of command to authorize emergency work to begin.
Call us today for your ERP at (843) 577-2470!
Happy Fall! Fire Pit Safety!
It's finally that time for outdoor BBQs, parties, and camp-outs and it's important to always keep safety at the forefront. Whatever type of fire pit you have in mind, make sure you follow all the rules for proper ignition. This will keep not only your family and friends safe but also those around you, like your neighbors.
Before you start digging to build your summer fire pit, think through the process. Where are you going to build your pit? How deep should you dig? What should you use to create the above-ground wall? When selecting your spot, take care not to dig too near other items that would easily flame up. So place your pit at least ten feet from other structures and avoid overhanging branches. It's important that if you are installing a prefabricated pit, you need to ensure your ground is level. Using pavers is a great way to ensure that any burning embers that may escape won't spread to other structures or brush.
When digging your own summer pit, ensure you remove at least one foot of earth. Place large stones or landscaping bricks around the outside edge of your site and cover-up at least one foot. Using concrete to secure your bricks will provide a safer, stronger pit. Once you have your pit completed, create a ten-foot circumference around it by clearing any brush, leaving only bare earth, or by using pavers to secure the area and help prevent drifting embers.
Enjoying Your Pit
Light your pit before the light is too dim. Twilight is a bit late, but with some skill, you should be able to get it lit. Make sure you have enough water stored near your pit to quickly douse flames. Finally, keep your wood well away from the pit. And it goes without saying; no horseplay should ever happen near the pit. While we would rather you enjoy your summer safely; the professionals at SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston can help you with any fire disaster--large or small. You can reach us 24/7 at (843) 577-2470.
Fast Action Is Crucial After a Flood in Your Charleston Property
Flood damage can accumulate quickly. Call the professionals at SERVPRO today for remediation assistance.
How SERVPRO Handles Carpeting for Flood Damaged Charleston Homes
Some of our most involved work when handling the effects of flood damage in a local home happens when we start to restore or replace the carpeting inside the building. Depending on the situation, the carpeting may need no replacements whatsoever, a partial "patched" replacement job, or full replacement across one or more affected rooms. We take care not to replace any material that can still be saved, but regardless of what treatments we can use for the project, we always have our work cut out for us.
Does the Carpet Need to Be Replaced?
One of the first evaluations conducted by our inspectors after flood damage hits a Charleston home is the state of the flooring. Flood damage that involves black or grey water (including all flooding that happens during a storm) forces us to replace any affected carpeting as quickly as possible. Many floodwater sources are contaminated with bacteria and fungal spores and can lead to mold growth and potential health hazards inside carpeting that is not thrown out. Even with clean-water flooding, we may need to remove carpeting that has warped and shrunk too far to be saved. Not all situations require full replacements, however - sometimes we can cut out a fraction of the room's carpeting and replace it with material that matches the clean side.
How We Save Clean Carpet
The first step in saving carpet is to dry it as rapidly as possible. For this part of the process, we bring in our air movers, powerful devices that create air currents above and below the carpeting to whisk away water. During this process, we keep an eye on the materials to prevent them from shrinking as they dry. Sometimes, we may need to replace tack strips that have absorbed too much water. This is one of our top priorities since fresh tack strips can help to keep the shape in drying carpets.
Putting Down New Carpeting
If we need to replace carpeting for any reason, we compare the styling of your floors to our internal database to find matching materials. We install fresh tack strips and carpet rolls after deodorizing the area to make the room looking "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston stays ready 24/7 to respond to local calls for help with flood damage from any source. Contact us at (843) 577-2470 for our emergency damage mitigation and restoration services.
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Our Experts Can Handle Any Size Disaster In Charleston!
Contact us anytime by dialing (843) 577-2470.
Why Charleston Residents Choose SERVPRO For Large And Small Scale Restoration Services
Charleston is home to historic churches and landmarks as well as bustling commercial centers and modern residential districts. We provide restoration services across South Carolina with an industry-leading team of technicians, crew chiefs, and customer-facing staff. At some point in almost every homeowner's lifetime, a property emergency occurs. We operate our call lines twenty-four hours every day to ensure that these issues are mild inconveniences rather than full-scale disasters. You can contact us to arrange services for mold, water, fire, or storm-related issues and trust us to use our experience, training, and equipment to bring your home back to its preloss condition.
The appearance of mold damage in your Charleston home does not necessarily mean a perpetual battle against microbial growth. However, it does mean you need to consider bringing in an Applied Microbial Remediation (AMR) technician to assess and control the contamination. Prolonged exposure to mold can rot wooden structure in your home, resulting in a much more considerable expense than it needs to be. Our restoration services for mold infestation revolves around containing, cleaning, and decontaminating the affected area to protect your home against future recurrence.
To effectively contain a microbial issue, we need to understand how fungi's spread and reproduce. Mold spores are microscopic organisms that are spread through the natural air flows of an indoor environment. SERVPRO control the spread of mold spores by using air-scrubbers with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. Practices that may make spores air-borne, such as demolition of contaminated porous materials, are completed by a SERVPRO restorer with a negative air pressure machine to prevent spores released during the procedure escaping into unaffected areas of the home.
The standard procedure for removing mold colonies from your Charleston home is through agitative cleaning methods. They are scrubbing surfaces, sometimes with corrosive chemical agents for stubborn soilings, before thoroughly disinfecting the affected area. In the right conditions, mold colonies can grow in as little as 48 hours. SERVPRO technicians thoroughly, However, and dry the source of your mold issue to make sure colonies do not recur after the service finishes.
When water is absorbed by a porous material, it can often distort the shape, which expands as water enters, and damages structural integrity. When we deal with water damage in Charleston, one of our first actions is to find and shut off the source to prevent further damages. SERVPRO restorers are experts at mitigating against losses and work with a restore over replace mentality.
We have specialist equipment for drying procedures as well as restoration services for wood flooring should you find it buckling and warping due to water problems in your Charleston home. Hardwoods naturally buckle cup or warp when they absorb moisture. SERVPRO technicians can take action to ensure that these distortions do not become permanent after the water is removed. Hardwoods need to be kept at a moisture content level of below 12% to avoid permanent deformation.
SERVPRO technicians can take regular readings of moisture content in materials by using the sharp probe of a moisture meter. The moisture content of flooring can be preserved at a natural level as the surrounding room is dried using dehumidification or rapid air movement. Returning hardwoods to a natural equilibrium below 12% can take months, but it is worth the effort. Buckling, warping, or cupping can successfully be sanded out in the most scenarios, then refinished to a pre-damage condition, “Like it never even happened.”
The aftermath of a customer-facing is a challenging experience for any homeowner. The priority for most people suffering fire damage in their Charleston home is saving possessions that have been collected over a lifetime. We operate an emergency line twenty-four hours a day for residents and commercial businesses who need restoration services for their home.
SERVPRO offers the restoration of damages to contents, structure, and valuables that you may have thought were irretrievable. Our specialty cleaning equipment includes ultrasonic immersion tanks for dense possessions like precious metals or ornaments as well as Esporta washing machines for fabrics. We can often carry out restoration services on site. In some cases, we may need to send items to an external storage facility in Charleston for specialist cleaning.
The structure of your home can often have a lasting, unpleasant odor caused by smoke damages. SERVPRO restoration services use a multi-faceted approach to odors that can get your back to its preloss condition. Thermal fogging equipment uses pairing agents to bond with odor particles and neutralize them completely. This equipment can be used in a controlled zone or through the entire house. During cleaning, SERVPRO technicians can direct spray surfaces and fabrics to control odor.
Emergencies need rapid responses and quick solutions. Our large loss recovery team is available to assist you with storm damage in your Charleston home. Over the years, our skilled professionals have gained a stellar reputation for hard-work, reliability, and expertise in recovering properties and possessions during extreme weather events. Restorers play a vital role in these events by performing mitigation tasks that can limit the chances of permanent losses being sustained.
In large loss scenarios, you may be temporarily relocated while work to restore your home is ongoing. SERVPRO technicians can digitally log and inventory your possessions and take them to an external storage facility while restoration work is carried out on your Charleston home. We take note of the items, the rooms the items were in, and their condition. Fragile items and valuables can be specially packed to avoid further damages. Once remodeling work is complete, our digital inventories mean we can return contents to their original places for when you return.
Reconstruction services are not uncommon after severe storms. As a homeowner, you want the procedure to begin as quickly as possible. However, contractors must be provided with a safe, secure, and powered property to carry out tasks. SERVPRO can restore power to the property or bring in portable generators, remove hazards, or perform vital drying and deodorizing of the property. Not only do these restorations services allow contractors to start work, but they also mitigate against permanent losses from water and mold damages.
SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston has a proven track record of restoration services that bring homes and businesses back to their preloss condition as quickly as possible. Contact us anytime by dialing (843) 577-2470.