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What Is a Sump Pump, and Do You Need One? | SERVPRO® of Downtown Charleston

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

a sump pump in a concrete basement showing signs of not working If water damage happens in your home and causes damage, SERVPRO of Downtown Charlestown is here to help.

There are a lot of tools and systems that play their part in keeping your home free of leaks, bursts and water damage. From pipes to hoses, drains and more, there are a bevy of instruments and utilities at work to keep your water situation under control.

An unsung hero in the water damage prevention space is the humble sump pump. Many people don’t really know what it is, or what exact purpose it serves. It kind of has a weird name that’s not great for marketing (but hey, it’s better than cesspool), and it’s in a not-often considered area of the home.

But it can save or preserve your basement or foundation all the same. As many as six out of every 10 homes have an existing underground moisture problem, which can lead to foundation damage, mold issues and basement flooding the same as above-ground flooding or pipe bursts.

What’s a sump pump?

A sump pump is an electric pump that is installed beneath the lowest part of your home, in either the basement or crawl space, which drains excess water that would otherwise damage your foundation.

Some are powered by electricity alone, while others operate with a battery backup for situations in which a flood or weather event might cause a power loss. Some sit completely underground, while others sit partially above-ground.

How does a sump pump work?

A sump pump has a similar shape to a trash can or a popcorn bucket, with a basin in the bottom to hold water. As rain or moisture collect under your foundation due to rainfall or floodwater, the basin collects the water that would threaten your home.

A float switch, similar to what you’d find in a toilet tank, triggers the pump mechanism when enough water accumulates in the basin. The activated pump then pulls the water up and above ground via a tube system, and releases the water above ground level and away from your home.

You can see it happen in a simple video here.

How much does a sump pump cost?

Between the cost of the pump and the labor to have it installed, the national average for a sump pump is about $1,200. But considering the destruction and potential costs involved in repairing a foundation crack, and Charleston’s propensity for flooding,, it’s likely well worth it to have one installed.

If water invades your home and causes damage, you’ve got help a click away. Contact SERVPRO to find out how we can help.

3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Flooding | SERVPRO® of Downtown Charleston

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

a long roadway completely submerged in flood waters When flooding presents an issue, SERVPRO of Downtown Charlestown is here to help.

It’s widely known that Charleston is prone to flooding. Because our city is flat, surrounded by water and barely above sea level, it’s difficult for even modern drainage systems to overcome the natural laws of how rainwater accumulates and flows.

As a business owner in the Lowcountry, it’s crucial for you to understand that being affected by coastal flooding is not only possible, but maybe even likely depending on where your business is located.

So what should you do? Start with these three things:

Check Your Risk Factor

Knowing your flood zone risk is step one, as Charleston floods from both Atlantic waters and area rivers. This information is always a little in flux, and FEMA is regularly updating it—but the flood maps and zones will let you know areas of particular risk.

And knowing your risk will help you know the degree to which you may need to plan and prepare for future flooding.

Develop a Continuity Plan

Up to half of all small businesses don’t recover from disasters like flooding, and part of the reason for that is that many don’t have a continuity plan, which is a strategy for continuing business workflow and enacting recovery measures during a disruption.

Your continuity plan should include instructions for teams about building and city evacuation, shutting off main power to avoid electrical fires and damage, and the backup of important documents. It can also include a blueprint for how your business can use alternate locations and vendors while normal operations are disrupted.

And don’t forget to share and practice this plan with your teams and employees—you may know the plan, but it’s not going to operate effectively unless everyone knows their role and how the plan is supposed to play out.

Do Some Flood-Proofing Now

Things like battery-powered sump pumps, extra drainage valves and raised electrical outlets can all help minimize the impact of future flooding, and while their installation may add cost upfront, they can save you a lot when hurricane season or heavy rains bring flood waters in.

You can also install flood doors and barriers, and employ the use of sandbags and other tools to try to stop flood waters from breaching your exterior.

When flooding presents an issue, we’re here to help you recover from damage and restore property and documents. Click or call today to see how SERVPRO can serve your Charleston business.

Fire Safety for the Colder Months | SERVPRO® of Downtown Charleston

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

a burning tree engulfed in flames If a fire issue pops up during the holidays, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry, SERVPRO of Downtown Charlestown.

Summer is fully in the rear window, Halloween has come and gone, and all eyes are now on the closing weeks of the year—you might even be ready to decorate for the holidays. But keep fire safety at the forefront of whatever you do this fall and upcoming winter.

Let’s run though a few reminders to keep you safe as colder weather sets in.

Campfire and Fire Pit Safety

The weather is still reasonable for some camping adventures, and many homeowners like to build backyard fires this time of year for warmth and recreation.

Your fire needs a 25-foot clearance from any tents or other structures. Ignite your fire only with old-school tools like matches or a lighter—kerosene or lighter fluid may get things going quickly, but they can get out of control just as quickly.

Always ensure that any fire is tended by an adult at all times. Keep a water bucket nearby for any errant embers or flames, and use it to properly douse any and all embers when your fire is finished. You’re not ready to leave the fire for the night until it’s cool to the touch and no embers are left glowing.

Space Heaters

For the crisp mornings while you sip your pumpkin-spice coffee at your home office (or really anytime for the cold-natured among us), portable space heaters are a great solution to save energy but still provide some extra warmth. But they are also one of the most frequent causes of winter fires, so be careful to use them properly and turn them off when they’re not needed.

Keep all heaters at least three feet from anything that could catch fire. Never run space heaters in areas where children play, or they may get tipped over. And space heaters draw a surprisingly high amount of power, so avoid extension cords or only use cords properly rated for their use.

Consider upgrading to a newer model with extended safety features, and never, ever leave your space heater running while you go to sleep.

Decorations and String Lights

When you’re decorating for the holidays, it’s important to be aware of the presence of candles and their proximity to any decorations or wrapping paper. Whether it’s Advent candles, a menorah or something else, keep anything flammable at least three feet away.

When stringing lights or putting up a tree, upgrade to modern LED bulbs that draw less power—older lights can present a strain on your home’s electrical system, causing shorts and sparks, especially if left on for long periods. Turn off any lighting decor when not in use.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Deaths related to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning rise in winter because more heat sources are being used, and the incomplete burning of fuel creates the toxic gas. Always be sure your home and heat sources are well-ventilated, and that you have a CO alarm installed at home.

If you use a generator during power outages, make sure you run it outside, never indoors or in the garage, as it creates an acute CO hazard.

If a fire hazard should threaten to ruin your holiday season, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored.

How SERVPRO Can Help After A House Fire

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke damage to a home's walls after a fire SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is always here to help!

House fires can cause extreme amounts of stress on home owners. SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is ready 24/7 to jump to action to help you and your family after fire affects your home or business. Smoke and water damage are likely if your fire is large enough and our team is certified to handle all of these and make your home "Like it never even happened." Smoke's fine particles, from even the smallest of fires, can linger in your home and on your belongings if not mitigated by certified professionals. SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is prepared to help remediate smoke, fire, and water as soon as you call. If you have had a fire in your home and would like to get a professional out immediately, please call our office at 843-577-2470.  

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston: Your Number One Choice for Biohazard Remediation

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians in PPE entering building Our SERVPRO team is trained to safely and effectively remove hazardous substances.

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston have certified professionals on our team so that we can offer you fast, reliable biohazard, vandalism, an crime scene cleanup and remediation services. 

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston can help with: 

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

Our professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove hazardous biological substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. 

Get to know our professional team a little more by clicking here.

Call SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston today at 843-577-2470.

Who to Call When Heavy Rain Causes Flood Damage

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is ready when you need us! Heavy rains in Charleston can cause severe water damage to your business or home. According to The Post and Courier , “Charleston flooded one out of almost every five days in 2019.” When this happens it can be very stress inducing. You may not be prepared for all that follows what happens when disaster strikes, but SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is staffed with fully trained and certified technicians to walk you through the process of mitigation and even assist guide you through your insurance claim process. We can be to your home or business to extract water, dry carpets, hardwood floors, walls, ceilings, and assure mitigation is completed to prevent mold growth. 

When you need help fast call the pro you know at SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston 843-577-2470! 

Have You Prepared Your Charleston Business for Hurricane Season?

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Stop sign blown over from hurricane wind in Downtown Charleston Damage to Downtown Charleston after Hurricane Dorian

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is ready when disaster strikes. As a business owner in Charleston, SC you may not be expecting damage but it always a good idea to be prepared for it. With being so close to the coastline, we are often in the bull's eye for Hurricane winds and flooding. 

Building back after a natural disaster is difficult enough, but who will you call to handle the steps before building back? Who will extract the water, clean up and remove debris, check for and clean microbial growth? SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for emergency response to your commercial damage needs. 

What SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston Can Do For You: 

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Cleanup and Restoration

Water Removal and Dehumidification 

Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup 

Mold Mitigation and Remediation 

Contents Claim Inventory Service 

Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning 

Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care 

Stain Removal

Odor Identification and Deodorization 

Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods 

Call us today to see how we can help you prepare! SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston 843-577-2470

When Storms or Floods Hit Charleston, SERVPRO is Ready!

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles in front of historic building with storm damage Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Charleston, SC.

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Charleston, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 843-577-2470

Why you can trust SERVPRO

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians discussing a living room fire with a homeowner SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston understands your loss is the job that matters most!

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston understands there's no such thing as a small emergency when it can negatively impact safety, revenue loss and business continuity. Timely mitigation is key to minimizing damage, business interruptions and recovery costs. You and those who depend on you will appreciate the rapid response, expertise and training that enables SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston to help get your facility back to operation quickly! 

You Can Trust SERVPRO!

SERVPRO has been serving America since 1967 and helping business owners and home owners recover from fire and water damages across North America. 

With over 1,700 Franchises in North America we are able to offer faster response times. 

We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore, the less that needs to be replaced. 

Click Here to read about our SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston team.

Charleston 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

Air movers directed toward daycare walls to dry after water damage SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Charleston, SC.

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 843-577-2470

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew:

Certifications at SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston: 

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • HST - Health and safety Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • OSHA - 30-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • OSHA - Other Training
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
  • RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
  • UFT - Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician