Recent General Posts
Vacation Planning? Prepare your home!
Vacation time is either here or approaching. Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your house is secure before you leave for your trip. Be SERVPRO ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home provided by SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact
- Choose a close friend or neighbor you trust as your emergency contact and provide them with all of your itinerary information in case they need to contact you.
- Have them check on the house to ensure it is not to cold, check on water sources.
- A timer on lights will give the impression someone is home.
- Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
- Make sure your mail is collected; burglars often look for homes with overflowing mail.
- The Post office can suspend your mail and deliver the day you get back. Here is a link to the US Post Office
Take plumbing and electric precautions
- Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off water at the meter, supply tank or appliances.
- Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
- Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
- Turn Gas off unless it’s a winter vacation that could lead to freezing pipes.
- Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
- Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter 55-60, in the summer 75-80 should help control usage.
Right before you leave
- Notify your security company that you are leaving town.
- Take out the kitchen trash and other trash that could get smelly.
- Go on one last walk through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.
Bon Voyage !!
If you come back from vacation and encounter water, fire or mold damage within your home, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131. We clean up mold, fire or water damage to your home or business in the Winston Salem and surrounding areas.
How do I know I need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County?
The Crew of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
From micro burst storms, to pop up thunder showers it’s been wet by anyone’s standards. More than a few folks have had to deal with the soggy mess inside as well as out. 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.
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. 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 and water damage mitigation services and mold remediation 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: www.IICRC.org/consumers
For more information about SERVPRO of West Forsyth County: www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com
Be prepared is like creating your own good luck
SERVPRO Urges Winston-Salem Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2017
Local cleanup and restoration specialist shares no-cost emergency planning tools that enable fast and effective disaster response and recovery
New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but it is not too late to think about making just one more resolutions, according to Jeff Meadows, owner of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, Meadows says the single most important resolution both business and home owners can make for 2017 is to “Resolve to be Ready.”
“Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together,” says Meadows. “Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.”
Meadows encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost and easy emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (https://www.ready.gov/publications), as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com).
- FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.
- SERVPRO offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.
For business owners:
- FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
- For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.
“The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and the location of fuse boxes, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency,” says Meadows. “Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.”
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, or the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, contact Ed Dean at (336) 946-1131 you can also visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com .
Searching For a Fire and Flood Restoration Service
No one plans for a disaster, but quick action after a calamity and bringing on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to mitigate and repair everything can save both time and money. Most of the homeowners living in Winston Salem area who call a restoration company, are doing so for the first time. In many cases, these individuals are concerned about who will in their home. How will they help with this huge mess and where do I start. There are many things that cannot be fixed after a disaster and will have to be replaced. Though it may be difficult, this is a process that has to be dealt with swiftly, as the longer it takes to respond, the more damage will add up and make the situation worse.
The problem with burn damage is that it doesn’t end when the flame goes out. Ash left behind is highly acidic, and will slowly eat away whatever it touches. Silver and metal finishes can be pitted when left untreated with time. Within minutes, plastics are yellowed and any appliances in the vicinity of the combustion are discolored. This discoloration gets worse and worse, and begins to affect fiberglass and metals after several hours. Fire and flood restoration typically must begin before a few days pass, because metal corrosion takes root and wood furniture requires refinishing as quickly as possible.
After a few weeks, huge costs can be expected, because at this point, carpet needs to be ripped up and replaced, and metal and glass will be permanently etched, many times, beyond the point of being able to salvage it. Getting to the damage quickly is a SERVPRO of West Forsyth County trait. This means windows and appliances will need immediate attention to avoid replacing them. Piping may also be damaged beyond repair, and multiple leaks may cause water damage throughout the home. SERVPRO of West Forsyth is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration. We can keep this from happening. We are equipped to replace carpeting that is beyond repair and clean furniture in an effort to save it. Restoration is less expensive that replacement, so if we can save you money while making it “Like it never even happened” we will.
Another major disaster that many homeowners have to deal with each year is extreme water damage. This may happen following a hurricane or major storm that causes a river or lake to overflow. We have seen in recent month’s rain in the Clemmons NC area of 2 inches per hour. Flash floods can occur anywhere. Water can cause catastrophic and permanent destruction to a building, and it’s not unusual for those affected to be condemned and removed completely in the worst case scenarios.
The problem is that water accelerates the growth of many nasty organisms, from molds and fungi to bacteria and parasites. All of these represent major health hazards, and are difficult to remove if they are allowed to take root. While SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can stop the spread of these organisms by removing rotting material, a homeowner can help out by getting rid of some items in the home right away.
Anything that is textile-based will need to go if it is soaked by water contaminated by sewage. It is often difficult to tell if this is the case, we will err on the side of caution and remove them anyway. Carpeting in the home will need to be ripped up and discarded if it is not dried within 48 hours of being soaked, including the padding that lies underneath the fibers. Clothing, insulation, bedding, paper and stuffed toys will all need to be thrown out if they come in contact with contaminated water. Electronics will likely be destroyed if submerged, though it’s best not to test them, as wiring can be damaged and cause electrical shock. When a catastrophe such as either of these occurs, it is best to contact a reputable company to help as quickly as possible.
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the knowledge and equipment to help you and your family should they suffer a WATER, FIRE or MOLD Damage. It’s Best to call us directly 336-946-1131
Cooking and Fire Prevention Safety
The Holidays are upon us and we will be doing more cooking. And unless you live on takeout and fast food, cooking is necessary to feed your family. But not all of us were born Emeril Lagasse or Gordon Ramsay. We novice chefs need a little more help. And sometimes, accidents happen. According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. Before you cook up a disaster, know how to put out potential fires.
How to prevent a kitchen fire
Stay nearby, this sounds unnecessary to say but unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in fires between 2007 -20011.
According to the NFPA, unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. Don’t leave your boiling spaghetti alone!
Place your products elsewhere
Keep your towels, paper towels and pot holders away from open flames because they pose a fire hazard.
Have the proper tools
Besides a lid and a fire extinguisher, ensure smoke detectors are working properly test them biannually.
What to use to put out kitchen fire
When cooking on a stove top, always keep a lid nearby that fits the pot or pan you’re using. That way, if the food catches fire, you can put the lid on to quickly smother the flames.
A handful of salt, which cuts off the oxygen supply and smothers the fire.
Like salt, baking soda works to put out grease fires, Sexton says. For example, if grease falls to the bottom of the oven and catches fire, covering it with baking soda should put it out.
If you don’t have access to salt, baking soda or water, use a fire extinguisher. Keep one handy in your kitchen in case of emergencies, Reith and Sexton suggest. Know where it is and how to use it.
If your towel or pot holder catches fire, put it in the kitchen sink and douse it with water. Never use water to put out a grease fire. Pouring water onto a grease fire will make a bad situation worse. This can cause burning oil to splatter or even bigger flames to form. Burning drops of grease or oil can spread quickly out of control.
How to put out a kitchen fire
Smother the flames Fire needs oxygen to thrive. Thwart flames by cutting off their supply.
Turn off the heat
Remember to turn the burner off when a fire occurs. If the fire starts in an appliance, like your oven or microwave, immediately cut the power source and close the door, Sexton says. If you catch it early enough, there won’t be enough oxygen, and the fire will die.
Don’t be a hero. If a fire gets out of hand, you should get out of there. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 55 percent of non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried fighting the fire themselves.
Emergency service providers undergo many hours of training to handle these situations, so avoid putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Let professionals who know the risks and dangers handle it. According to the city website for the FY 2015 Winston Salem has responded to 819 fires.
Be sure to stay safe and for more information and tips on what to and not to do see our website SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. After the fire department leaves there will be damage, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to help make it “Like it never even happened.” It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131
Preparing for a disaster
Emergency contacts as close as your phone
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.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 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.
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.
Are you Prepared for a power outage?
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 keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.
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. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:
1. Flashlights for each family member
2. Battery-operated radio and clock
3. Extra batteries
4. Containers of bottled water
5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
6. Non-electric can opener
7. List of important phone numbers
8. 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
•Non-perishable pasteurized milk
•High energy foods
•Food for infants
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a winter storm http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather When winter weather strikes the Winston Salem area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of West Forsyth County arrives will make a difference. Call us directly at 336-946-1131
Are you ready for a disaster?
Gallery that had been flooded
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