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How do I know I need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

General How do I know I need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Crew

Whether you have Fire, Water or Mold damage; frequently homeowners wonder if it necessary to call a professional mitigation company or if they can do it themselves.  Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind while weighing your options for restoring your home.

First thing to determine is, are you safe?  Don’t enter rooms where electrical circuits, equipment, switches or outlets have been exposed to water.  If you can do so safely; turn off circuit breakers to the affected areas.

Secondly; what is the source of the water?  If possible without putting   yourself at risk shut the water off.   Keep in mind; contaminated water such as storm water or a sewer back up from the tub, toilet or sink can carry any number of contaminants.  Contact a plumber to repair the leak or clog and opt for a professional to clean up and sanitize. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is focused on root cause solutions so that you only have to deal with the damage once. Fixing it right the first time is a priority.

What if I can’t find the leak?  We have the tools to find the source. Most folks don’t have a $1200 infrared camera or a $300 moisture meter just laying around in there toolshed. These tools give us the ability to see water you can’t see.  Often times it’s hiding under or behind a floor, cabinet or wall some leaks go undetected for long periods.  Once the source has been identified, be careful not to expose yourself to mold.  A SERVPRO certified mold specialist in Winston Salem has the knowledge and tools to mitigate safely and contain it to prevent cross-contaminating other areas of your home. 

What about my carpet and wood furniture?  Place aluminum foil or unstained wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet and wipe excess water from wood surfaces. This will help protect the finish on your wood furniture as well as protect your carpet from staining.  

Are my valuables safe?  Professionals from SERVPRO will be working to lower the humidity in the affected areas; but in the meantime removing dry valuables like computers, cameras, artwork and documents to unaffected area will help protect them.  If some of these items are already wet, it is usually possible to dry and restore them.  Your certified techs are trained to assist you with these issues and will be happy to help provide you with    answers to your questions. 

What can a professional do that I can’t?  IICRC certified technicians from SERVPRO have the knowledge to test materials and the experience to ensure your home is carefully and completely returned to preloss condition. We monitor the drying process so you and your insurance company can be confident the job is done right the first time. Prompt and thorough mitigation will assure all structure is properly dried, help prevent mold growth and protect your home investment. SERVPRO’s 24/7 on call service offers fire, water and mold damage mitigation services in Winston-Salem and surrounding areas.

What is the IICRC?  The IICRC is a nonprofit organization that provides certification and standard-setting for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. 

For more information about the IICRC:  IICRC Welcome Video And IICRC Org

For more information about SERVPRO of West Forsyth County:  www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com

Or call us directly to ask about our scope service 336-946-1131 it’s best to call us directly.

Power Failure Plan = Business Success

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you experienced a power outage this week due to storms did you follow your plan? Did the plan work? Are there improvements to make in your plan?  In case you missed it here are the steps to creating a plan for your business.

Before the power outage.

                Have an emergency continuity plan.

  • Determine the processes and equipment that would be affected by a power outage. Electrical equipment such as computers, security alarms, elevators, as well as HVAC and lighting.
  • Inventory all equipment and keep it up date. What key equipment is used in your day to day operations? Prepare a list of equipment that need to be shut off during an outage to prevent damage to it when power is restored.
  • Back up computer data frequently invest in redundant cloud based service that backs it up off site and protects it from hacking and virus threats.
  • Make sure computers and other sensitive electronics are plugged into surge protection devices
  • Test your battery backup UPS systems, emergency lighting, phone, security and fire protection systems quarterly or a week before a weather predicted event.
  • Determine what the impact of the outage will be.

Have a plan for alternative power

  • Use a standby generator.
  • Portable generator
  • Or backup UPS (uninterruptable power supply)

Have emergency lighting available

  • Battery operated light sources. (flash lights or lights that turn on when power fails) Do not use candles and consider the installation of emergency lighting for the safety of your employees

Establish shelter locations in the business or on the business site

  • Should you have to shelter in place ensure there is enough space for all employees and allow for any customers that are visiting your establishment at the time the emergency is declared.
  • Ensure the shelter location has emergency supplies. i.e. flashlights, battery powered radio, first aid kit, blankets, water, and food.

Educate employees

  • Educate and review often the emergency plan of action
  • Ensure key personnel know the role they have responsibility for in the emergency plan. I.e. Mgrs. Should be able to account for their personnel who report to them.
  • Identify employees with special needs will they need assistance evacuating. If the power is out and elevator unavailable or cannot see well in low light.

What are your customers to do?

  • Determine the likelihood of customers being in your business at the time of outage.
  • Ensure that your emergency plan includes customers. Since you cannot review your plan with customers regularly be sure the employees who interface with customers are aware of their responsibility in the plan. They should guide customers to safety.

During a Power Outage.

                Stay informed of the conditions

  • Listen to the battery powered radio for situational developments.
  • Download the local news app for your phone.

Backup power

  • Use only approved indoor sources of power such as battery
  • Never use a generator indoors or any source of power that could emit deadly exhaust into your emergency shelter
  • Don’t go outside to start a generator if the weather conditions are unsafe.

Equipment safety

  • Go through your list of sensitive electronic equipment and turn it off and or unplug it to prevent damage to them.

After a Power Outage

Turn on the most essential equipment first.

  • Wait 10-15 minutes to plug in other equipment this will prevent the electrical system from becoming stressed and going out again. Turning everything on at once may overload it and cause it to fail once again.
  • Check your facility to ensure everyone is safe and accounted for
  • Ensure all equipment is operating correctly and safely
  • Review the preparedness plan to determine if any areas need to be improved and train appropriate personnel.

Should you need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County assistance after a loss event call us directly at 336-946-1131 #NatlPrep #SERVPROready

Heavy Rains Strike Again

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Normal rains don’t usually create problems for us but when we get large amounts of rain in a short amount of time it can easily exceed the capacity of our gutters and drains to remove the water fast enough. When this happens water pools or collects in areas it normally wouldn’t, then the problems begin. Water can start entering a home or building in a matter of minutes, through foundation walls or windows when puddled on the ground or through ceilings when it puddles on roofs in gutters.

The attached photo shows a recent example of this near Winston-Salem, NC. Too much rain too quickly overloaded the gutter/drain system capacity and water started entering the building through the ceiling and walls. So much water entered the building so quickly that the hardwoods began to warp and buckle within hours. The hardwood flooring had to be removed to expose the saturated subfloor below to assure the structure was properly dried per IICRC standards.

There’s little to nothing we can do to control the weather however with a little planning and prevention work upfront we can minimize the effects and damages typical of heavy rains.

  1. Make sure all catch basin type drains on your property are clear of debris before heavy rains arrive.
  2. If the grade or lay of the land around your property allows water to run toward or up to the foundation walls of your property during heavy rains talk with a local contractor about changing the grade of the land or adding catch basins to divert water away from the foundation walls.
  3. If you have underground drainage pipes connected to gutter downspouts make sure they are not clogged and free flowing. Blocked or obstructed gutter drains normally dump water from the roof at the foundation wall directly below the downspout.

Hurricanes have a degree of uncertainty but they do come with some advanced warning most of the time. Now is the time to prepare for the heavy rains that may accompany hurricane Florence. As the hurricane turns into a low pressure, heavy rains may stress your gutters and drains. Take this time before the storm to ensure your property is prepared.

If you experience water damage call us directly at 336-946-1131

#SERVPROready #NatPrep

Fire Damage Do's and Don't

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Although home fires spike around the holidays, a home or office fire can happen any day of the year. People eat every day and therefore cook every day. Maybe not every meal but the risk is there. What are some of the concerns after a fire damage to my home or office? The fire department has to investigate all calls they are called to. So, before the last fire fighter leaves, ask them if it is ok to call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to come and get started on the cleanup.

After any fire damage situation, our primary focus is safety of the people who live or work there and our employees:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house? 
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns. 
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. Did the fire go through the ceiling? Is there a danger of it collapsing?  
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!   
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome and other metal surfaces with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil. This could include silverware, guns, and expensive faucet fixtures
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers. 
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO of West Forsyth County professional. Smoke particles are different and may need special treatment in order to save costs.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Regarding a Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency - (336) 946-1131 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County proudly serves Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours /7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure. It is always best to contact us directly.

Be ready for a storm with proper drainage systems

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be ready for a storm with proper drainage systems Water collecting on a flat roof with clogged drains

It’s been a wet August in Winston Salem by anyone’s standards.  We average almost 5 inches of rain every August but lately it’s felt like we have got it all at once. One of the major things you can do to prevent water damage to your home or business is to ensure you have proper drainage. French drains will help funnel water away from the foundation. Ensuring proper maintenance on them should they become clogged or collapse is also important. Check them with impending weather to ensure they are working properly as after or worse during the storm is no time to find out your basement is now a swimming pool.

If your business has a flat roof with drains clear water you should ensure they are clear and free flowing. Just like gutters need to be cleaned, down spouts and drains that clear water in areas where it could pool are especially important. Water weighs 8 lbs. per gallon, how much weight can your flat roof hold? During a storm is no time to stress test the structural integrity of your roof. 

Leaf guards may help prevent you from having to clean the gutters, but when it rains as much and as hard as it has the water may flow right over the edge and not go into the gutter. This can cause issues with water not being directed to where you want it to go which is away from the foundation or basement.

If you should get storm water damage inside your home or office call us directly at 336-946-1131

Preventing Mold in a Bathroom

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Ahhhh a hot, steamy shower feels good to achy muscles, washing away your cares for a while. And while you’re relaxing and opening your pores in your skin the humidity level in your bathroom is rising, which can create an ideal environment for mold and mildew.

Preventing Mold with a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Many people think that the exhaust fan in the bath room is there to remove away unpleasant odors. While they can help with that, these fans actually serve a much larger purpose. Bathroom exhaust fans draw the moisture-laden air that fills the room after a steamy shower or hot bath out of the bath room, bringing the room’s humidity down to a healthier level. This is a vital step in preventing mold growth and averting mold damage.

Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment. One way to ensure that if comes on each time you enter the bath is to have an electrician hardwire the fan to the light switch. But for more efficient way of controlling humidity invest in a humidity sensor.

Most people turn the fan on when they enter their bathroom to shower and turn it off when they leave. Unfortunately, this does not always give the exhaust fan enough time to evacuate the steam and humidity. Ideally, the fan needs to run until the moisture level in the bathroom is back to normal. You could just leave the fan running and come back later to turn it off, but you run the risk of forgetting it. This wastes energy and can shorten the lifespan of the exhaust fan. Instead, consider installing a humidity sensor. The sensor will automatically cut the fan off when the correct humidity level is restored. It is an easy way to prevent mold damage.

Dealing With Mold
If you find that you have a mold issue in your bathroom, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Disturbing the mold may facilitate its spread and contaminate other areas of your home or business that can be prevented. Spreading and cross contaminating your home or business could end up costing more money in the long run. Instead, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County in Winston Salem NC. Our technicians have the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to address mold damage. They can inspect the area, identify the source of moisture, contain the mold, remove it, properly cleanse your belongings and restore your home or business to a healthy environment.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Preparing for flood damage

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a home or business that has a mortgage or loan regulated by the government and in a special flood hazard area deemed by FEMA you are required to buy flood insurance. The building owner must maintain insurance for the life of the loan. Most importantly the thing to do is prepare.

Safety is key, how are you going to keep your family and employees safe during a flood? Develop a plan, waterproof areas that are critical to your operation. Be sure to consider power to maintain critical areas, especially if they include pumps to keep rising water at bay.   Preventative maintenance and checks on this equipment such as sump pumps and generators will ensure that you can count on them in time of need.  Not all plans are mechanical check levees and berms for excessive vegetative growth and cracks also with walls that may hold out water. Ensure storm drains are kept clear of leaves and debris.

Develop a plan for a flood emergency. If you must leave the building for safety, do you have an evacuation plan? Who is assigned to do what?  Who is accountable to ensure everyone is accounted for?  Have the plan practiced periodically and assign alternative personnel incase key personnel are not on site at the time of an emergency. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers a plan that is easy to develop and customizable to your business.

Something to think about before you purchase a home or business site. Am I getting ready to buy in a flood prone area? Where are the sources of water nearby to be aware of if they do flood? Luckily there is an easy to use website by FEMA that can show you a map of the area. Homeowners' and renters' policies rarely cover flooding. Contact your insurance agency about getting flood insurance. Flood insurance is administered by FEMA and a helpful FAQ can be found here.

Should you need any of our water damage restoration services call us directly at 336-946-1131

Your mop is not qualified

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Your mop is not qualified You can't see the water, but we can.

We know how disruptive unseen water damage can be for your business or home. For this reason, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers 24-hour emergency response. We will find the source of the water intrusion and make suggestions on how to resolve the source of the damage to provide a root cause solution.  We understand how to manage the drying process and use the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices. (like the one pictured)  Once the root cause of the problem has been dealt with, we ensure your building is quickly and thoroughly dried. This helps prevent secondary water damages and allows you to regain control quickly ensuring your structure and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.

The thing is most of us in Winston Salem think “I will just get it up with a shop vac, or your mop”. The problem is water follows the path of least resistance, and you only got the water you can see up. What about the water you don’t see? In the picture associated with this blog the meter shows the plywood subfloor to be saturated with water yet looking around the meter the wood doesn’t appear wet. If left unchecked mold and wood rot would start to occur. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the tools to see where water is hiding, and by the time you smell the effects of water left in hidden sources it’s costing you more money in mold mitigation. By having a professional dry your home or business you can avoid mold growth and further damage by unseen water.  

Weather it is your commercial place of business or the home you love, let us help prevent risking further damage to the value of your building. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County and let us make it, “Like it never even happened.“

336-946-1131 
It's always best to call us directly!

Can your business survive a disaster?

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

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