Can your business survive a disaster?
We consider ourselves lucky to live and work in such a beautiful and vital area as we do. Whether you spend most of your time in Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, Tabaccoville or any of the other neighboring areas we understand why you are choose to live and run your business here. As this area’s premier disaster recovery service we also understand the circumstances that can put your loved ones, your business and your investments at risk.
As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.
Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but businesses of all sizes. As an employer in the Winston-Salem, Forsyth County or any of the surrounding areas, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County would like to invite you to check out the Ready Campaign which is encouraging individuals, families, and businesses to take active steps toward becoming Ready.
Ready Business, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. The Business section of Ready.gov/business . There you will find more information and links where business owners can download or order free Ready information, publications, and much more.
For more information to help prepare your business visit our website for the ERP App. The app contains vital information for businesses on how to get started preparing their business for their unique needs during an emergency. If you have any questions feel free to contact Ed Dean directly at our office 336-946-1131
Flash Flood Safety
Earlier this year we have seen heavy down pours some as much as 2 inches per hour. July tends to be one of the wettest months for Winston Salem averaging 3.4 inches. We need rain in our area for growth and to sustain our lives. Flash flooding on the other hand can be a potentially dangerous situation. Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.
Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris. Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater or a possible levee breach and cause flooding in surrounding areas. It can also occur when rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry flood water away from urban areas.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.
Know your flood risk and elevation about flood stage. Do your local streams or rivers flood easily? You can see if you live close to a flood prone area here. This helpful interactive map can help you locate your home in Winston Salem or anywhere in Forsyth or surrounding counties.
Cleaning Up and Repairing Your Home
- Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
- Don’t ever drive through water that you can’t see the bottom of. Turn around don’t drown. You could lose control of your car in as little as 6 inches of water.
- Contact your insurance agent to discuss claims.
- Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the state or federal government or other organizations.
- Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth we have the capability and expertise to handle your water mitigation and restoration of your home or business.
It is always best to call us directly 336-946-1131
Is there a fungus among us
Have you ever heard that silly phrase, "There's a fungus among us?" Well, when it's actually true it's really not silly. In one of our other blogs we discussed mold types, counts and air quality. But where does it live? What conditions does mold like or better yet hate? Most of us don't realize it but mold is around us all of the time. It's common and travels easily so it really isn't possible to completely eliminate it from our environment. There are many different varieties of mold. Sometimes it becomes a problem and something needs to be done about it. Most health issues occur when there are high concentrations of mold in the house. Unfortunately mold spores are invisible and can be transported in various ways: through heating and air ducts, open doors and windows, on pets and even on our shoes.
To prevent mold from showing up uninvited to your house, make sure you properly ventilate those warm, damp, and humid environments.
Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid places like bathrooms, basements, roofs, pipes, windows and anywhere flooding has occurred. It likes some of the same environments we humans like. Mold needs three things to thrive. Some kind of nutrient (like cellulose), cardboard is steroid for mold. Water, to help break down or decay the nutrients. Last mold needs time to be left alone and feed and grow. Can potted plants be a source for mold? Yes, they add oxygen to our air but also, you guessed it, mold. The "yuck factor" is mold can grow in all kinds of environments: wood, wood products, paper, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, drywall, cardboard, carpets, upholstery, paint, insulation and even dust! Yeah, pretty much everything in your home! The main thing is that if you have a mold issue you probably have or had a water damage issue also.
- How do you find it? Usually either smelling its musty odor or finding spots of any color can find mold. An air quality test can also determine if you have a safe environment in your home or office. Once mold can be identified by sight, smell, or an air quality test its concentration may be high enough to present a health hazard. That's when something needs to be done. It's called mold remediation and it's something SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in. For more information on our mold services call us 336-946-1131 or read more on our website.
It's always best to call us directly
Replace V/s Restore how does it save costs?
Water is a vital part of life, when controlled properly it can be helpful and sustain us in our everyday lives. When out of control it can make our lives miserable, and can even do us harm.
If you have dealt with water damage before you know that water restoration services are not cheap. You also know how traumatic they can be, disrupting our lives and causing havoc in our home or business. However, if we look closely, the amount of money that you’ll be spending on water repair damage is significantly lower as compared to the cost of repairing structural damage and replacing personal belongings. Having SERVPRO of West Forsyth County guide you through the trauma efficiently by restoration rather than replacement, can give you piece of mind and save costs.
When water enters our home, it can come with germs and bacteria, it can even promote fungal growth if given enough time and conditions. Oftentimes, mold spores inhabit our home long after the water has disappeared from view. If you act quickly you can impact the amount of damage to your property and your personal belongings.
While there is no standard cost for water repair damage, the cost is based on several factors. This includes the type of water, the extent of damage and the size of the affected area.
Category 1 (Clean water): Water comes from a faucet, malfunctioning appliance connected to a water line or a supply pipe. This is the least expensive. However if left unmitigated fungal growth can occur in 48 -72 hours from the initial incident. When fungal growth begins this can change the category and add to costs as procedures to protect workers are also increased.
Category 2 (Grey water): Grey water contains biological and chemical pollutants that can cause illness. Common sources are water that is discharged from washing machine, dishwasher or toilet.
Category 3 (Black water): This is the most detrimental of the group and is also the most expensive. Water contains harmful bacteria that may cause severe discomfort or sickness. Common sources are overflowing rivers and streams, sewage and standing water. Category two water that is left stagnant for more than 48 hours falls under this category.
Restoring your home after water damage could be a frustrating experience. Water or excess moisture could harm your home and its content. The faster you take action, the less damage you’ll have in your home. Here are some tips you can use until we get to your home: http://www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com/water-damage-tips
From leaky roofs, basement leaks or frozen pipe bursts, the people at SERVPRO of West Forsyth are here to help make it “like it never even happened.” In these situations, time is critical. You don’t want your home to be destroyed by water, call us 24/7 directly at 336-946-1131. We commit to pick up your call or call back in an hour or less, be onsite in four hours or less. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County services Winston Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Rural Hall, Bethania, Pfafftown, Tobbacoville, and surrounding areas.
Plan for a disaster with the SERVPRO ERP App
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
If your home or business had a fire whom would you call after 911 and Winston Salem’s fire fighters have left? Your insurance agent? Your banker? The interior decorator that made your office the warm and inviting place you did business. Now here is the important question. Do you have all of the numbers you need at your fingertips to call all the people you need to help you get back into business or your home quickly?
You can with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile APP. This is free and only takes a little time to gather the info so you are ready for whatever could prevent you from enjoying your home or office.
? A no-cost assessment of your facility. Letting you know where you may lack preparedness thinking of things you had not thought of before.
? A concise profile that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
? A guide to help you get back into your building quickly following a disaster.
? Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
? Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
? Profile is viewable online or on your SERVPRO READY APP and is secured with a login and password. So even if you’re not onsite when disaster strikes you have a plan.
Don't wait until a disaster strikes.
Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to establish your Emergency READY Profile.
Or visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
It's always best to call us directly.
Mold Damage Cleanup and What to Expect
What is mold?
First off Mold is everywhere and not all mold is toxic, but all mold in your home or business should be dealt with. Mold is a fungus that loves damp and humid conditions. It spreads by producing mold spores which can survive many harsh environments. Mold and mildew are most often found in places that have high moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, crawlspaces, around water heaters or air handlers. It is not uncommon, however, to also find mold on or between walls, flooring, carpeting, furniture, or textiles. Often it is a result of a hidden leak, poor drainage or a past water damage. Sometimes the odor will tip you off, but other times it might go undetected until you see it or someone begins showing symptoms indicating possible mold. If water is leaking in between walls spots may form on the ceiling below the source.
Do I need to do a mold test?
Store bought mold tests aren’t terribly reliable. If you can see mold then you can be sure removing it is the only way to prevent further growth and avoid health risks. If however you suspect mold may be growing out of sight, such as inside a wall, ceiling cavity or beneath the flooring, a good air quality test can be very helpful. An air quality test will not only identify the specific types of mold but also let you know how much of it is present in the air in specific areas of your home. SERVPRO frequently recommends a professional air quality test be done prior to mold removal and again after mitigation is complete. Comparing the results before and after provides an excellent measure to ensure a healthy environment or identify any ongoing issues that need to be addressed. SERVPRO of West Forsyth does not conduct Air Quality tests themselves, we contract an independent third party to provide analysis that we have done a good job.
What happens if I hire SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to take care of mold in my home?
First we will dispatch one of our certified mold mitigation technicians to complete a visual inspection and initial assessment.
Our trained technician will try to help you identify and address the source of the moisture problem. This will help prevent a recurrence of mold or further damage to your home in the future. Not addressing the moisture problem is a guarantee to have a mold issue again in the future. We want to fix the root cause of the problem to ensure a total solution.
Moisture meters are used to pinpoint exactly what areas are wet – if any. Before mitigation begins, the first air-quality test should be performed by an independent contractor to ensure we have objective data on the type and quantity of mold present.
If mold is found, we’ll set up containment and air scrubbers to prevent spores from contaminating other areas of your home. Next we apply a professional anti-microbial product to kill existing mold spores and help prevent mold from returning.
If necessary, affected porous materials will be sealed in plastic and removed. Non-porous surfaces are then mitigated accordingly, wiped down and/ or sprayed with an anti-microbial one last time.
Once all debris has been removed and affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned, we’ll suggest a final air quality test. This final measure will be your assurance that your home is now a clean and healthy environment for you and your family. If for any reason the affected area does not pass the air quality test, SERVPRO will continue mold mitigation until passing air quality tests are obtained.
What does it mean to be a SERVPRO certified mold mitigation technician?
All SERVPRO technicians are certified through the IICRC. Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is the standard setter for the mitigation industry and considered the authority in mitigation by most insurance carriers.
In addition SERVPRO offers on-going training to all of its employees, enabling them to remain up to date on current mitigation and restoration practices and provide you with answers you can rely on.
As the preferred mitigation specialist for most major insurance companies; SERVPRO staff are experienced at communicating with you and your insurance company to assist in all steps of your insurance claim process.
Each SERVPRO employee is dedicated to ensuring your home is restored to its preloss condition and to your full satisfaction.
It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.
Business power outage preparedness
In the recent years there have been discussions regarding the infrastructure of our nation’s power grid. What would happen if your business was without power for an extended period of time? Every business should have a continuity plan. That is where SERVPRO’s ERP can assist by having key personnel and vendors on a list in one place to help you resolve a crises quickly.
Take note or inventory of the processes in your business that would be affected by a power outage. Computers are the first thing most business owners will think of. What about security systems, or alarms, HVAC, and elevators in multilevel buildings could also be impacted.
Do you need an alternate source of power to be operational during the outage? Uninterruptable power supplies to power down computers and save work. You should obtain and keep that system maintained. There would be nothing worse than preparing for an outage only to find that the generator does not work or is low or out of fuel.
Emergency lighting, most warehouses and cubicle farms have limited if any natural light. You need to consider if customers and office workers would be present during the outage. Their safety should be a priority.
Should a shelter in place order come from authorities do you have proper emergency supplies? Consider that same emergency kit you have for home for the office and keep it maintained. This should include flashlights, battery powered radio, first aid kit, food, water and blankets.
Education: Do your employees know what to do in case of an emergency? Inform them of what the emergency business plan is. Review it with them regularly. Keep in mind any special need employees who may need assistance evacuating the building if necessary. Make sure they know what to do with customers in order to keep them safe.
During an outage stay informed, listen for directions from authorities or news broadcasts to take shelter or evacuation routes.
Use the backup power safely. Never use a generator indoors. Doing so can be fatal causing carbon monoxide poisoning. The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Electrical surges or spikes can cause damage to sensitive equipment when the power is restored. These devices should be unplugged to avoid being damaged especially if critical to your operation.
After the power is restored turn on the most essential equipment first. Wait 10 -15 minutes to reconnect other lesser essential items. This will avoid overloading the electrical system and give it time to stabilize to the demand. Remember all of your neighbors are doing the same thing rushing to get power may put you back in the dark. Be sure all equipment is running correctly and safely. Most importantly be sure all personnel are safe and accounted for. Review with your department heads what went wrong with the plan what went right, be sure to take corrective actions to your plan.
Air Quality Testing Why Do I Need It?
Air Quality Results Before / After
In every home in Winston Salem there is a certain amount of mold. It’s everywhere the problem comes into play when it is in concentrated doses, and we spend more than 85% of our time concentrated indoors. If you want to know exactly how much, and what types there are in your home you should have an air quality test. There are a couple of types of tests, one available readily even on the internet is a swab test. Although economical, it only tells you if the presence of mold is present on the surface area that you swab. It does not however tell you the amount of spores in the air that you are breathing. That is why we recommend an aerosol canister test that draws air from the suspected room and is sent to a lab for analysis. Why is it important to get an air quality test? Did you know that 40% – 60% of the air you breathe is from your crawl space? When was the last time you were in your crawl space? Was there water standing? Is your sump pump working properly to keep it dry? With recent rains it may overwhelm your sump pump and cause it to fail. You should check it regularly in order to prevent fungal growth. With the heavy rains Clemmons and surrounding areas have had it could be a safe haven for mold and fungal growth.
There is no standard set by the government for what is acceptable limits of mold. But the EPA does state. “Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.” An EPA guide to mold can be found here.
SERVPRO felt like that there should be a standard and that standard is governed by IICRC . It is called the ANSI/IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Guide. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County does not conduct the air quality tests themselves. We do this for our reputation and to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. We would caution you to have independent third parties conduct the test and share the results with us and perspective clients. We work with and can recommend environmental hygienists with great reputations.
In the picture there is a before and after air quality test report for a basement that was remediated for mold in Rural Hall NC. The standard is that mold count should be below 500. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County tries very hard to get the counts below 300. This is how you know that a remediation expert has done the job properly. An air quality test and proper mold remediation services can give you peace of mind and keep you and your family safe.
Should you suspect that you have a mold issue, it’s best to call us directly at
336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.
Be prepared for a fire loss.
We have recently had friends and neighbors in the Winston Salem area who have suffered a fire loss. The recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii remind us that Mother Nature is unpredictable and devastating. So far 26 homes have been destroyed. Closer to home just two years ago wild fires in Western NC and East TN burned more than 45,000 acres and cost home and business owners $36.8 Million dollars. Wild fire season typically starts in March but resources say that it is a year round problem. Home fires peak at the holidays but can strike anytime. Being a 24 hour emergency disaster cleanup company has taught us that you never know when the worst day of your life will strike. This time of year also lends to an increase in home fires due to decorating with flags and cooking for the national holidays. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can't stress enough the importance of being prepared.
Make spreadsheets of valuable items with cost new & current value, copy receipts for major ones as you buy (you don't absolutely have to have them but makes it easy), take photos with smart phones, and prepare yourself for your WORST DAY. Have a conversation with your insurance agent about your coverage's, do they have any advice to prepare? Do they have an inventory guide? What are you responsible for? READY.GOV has this advice for ensuring that you get through a fire or disaster here. You can also send the information you will need in an email. From there you'll ALWAYS have it so long as it is in the cloud or an internet based email. Keep it in an email folder marked Disaster Day Insurance. This way you'll have it through fire, flood, or national disaster. You can also keep these documents in a fire proof box or safety deposit box. Digital copies will make it easier to discuss with the insurance company. Have it already done so you don't have to worry about wondering what you're missing. Nor have the stress of figuring it all out when everything is gone. Microsoft Office has a great home itemization spreadsheet.
You will need a team of people who will help get you back to normal. One that will be there for you on your WORST DAY. SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) can help you or a business gather that team for you. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hopes that you never need to put the plan into action, but knows that being prepared for a disaster is better than not being prepared.
Should you need our services it’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Tornadoes and Storm Damage, Are You Prepared?
Tornadoes recently in Greensboro have displaced folks and have made us think are we ready for storms and tornadoes here in Winston Salem? Preparing for an emergency beforehand is much better than trying to deal with one while in you’re in one. You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. If the power goes out avoid using candles if you must use candles do so in a safe manner by never leaving them unattended. A hurricane lame glass over a candle can also help. Keep walk ways clear to avoid a tripping hazard.
Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. This might be a good idea to put on the “to do check list” when changing smoke detector batteries and changing the clocks. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:
- Flashlights for each family member
- Battery-operated radio and clock
- Extra batteries
- Containers of bottled water
- Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
- Non-electric can opener
- List of important phone numbers
- First-aid kit
Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.
- Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Choose foods your family will eat.
- Remember any special dietary needs.
- Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
- Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to Tornado tips for before during and after a tornado https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes When storm damage strikes the Winston Salem area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of West Forsyth County arrives will make a world of difference. Call us directly at 336-946-1131