Checking the damage after a storm
Were you disturbed from your sleep over the weekend? Storm season is here, and when cold and warm air collide it can cause devastating problems. Your local news station will keep you informed of the weather. But here are the signs of an approaching tornado.
Warning Signs that a Tornado May Develop
- A dark, often greenish, sky.
- Wall clouds or an approaching cloud of debris.
- Large hail often in the absence of rain.
- Before a tornado strikes, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
- A loud roar similar to a freight train may be heard.
- An approaching cloud of debris, even if a funnel is not visible.
Everyone has a cell phone these days and now they alert you to when a tornado warning has been posted for your area. Don’t turn this feature off as it is meant to keep you informed and safe.
Once the danger has passed and the light of day allows, inspect the roof of your home. Look for upturned shingles and or missing shingles. If you suspect you have roof damage call a reputable roofer. Be sure to check their reputation on sites such as the BBB (Better Business Bureau) or Google Reviews. Never accept the word of a door to door sales pitch from someone saying you “have roof damage and they will help you get a new roof through your insurance.” These are often scams and reputable companies often do not have to go door to door. Know your deductible for your insurance and don’t file a claim without getting the opinion of your roofer. Talk to your agent they will help keep your premiums low by knowing when it’s right to make a claim.
After a heavy storm be sure to check low areas of your home. The basement is an area you want to ensure has not suffered water damage. If power was interrupted be sure the circuit breaker did not trip to the sump pump. Check to ensure that it is still in good working order. After the basement is flooded is no time to find out it failed.
Of course if water breaches your home or office call us right away to make water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131
Pet Fire Safety
We think of fire damage mostly in the winter, because some Winston Salem folks use wood stoves and fire places for heat. But because we normally eat three meals a day, we cook and therefore have a risk of fire anytime of the year. Unattended cooking fires are the leading cause of fires in the home according to the NFPA.
We also have a risk during a power outage. Rather than use flashlights we use candles and lanterns during these extended periods without power. However the top three days for candle fires in the home are New Year's Day, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. Fire fighters across the US responded to approximately 8200 fires started by a candle each year between the years of 2012-2016. 60% or 3 out of 5 were because the candle was too close to combustible materials.
Pets can cause fires also, Preventative Vet reported in 2016 that pets started 1000 house fires. That’s more than 10% of the fires first responders were called out to put out. The biggest tip SERVPRO of West Forsyth can give you is never leave flames or cooking devices unattended. Be sure to reduce the number of cords that your pet and especially puppies can get to. Coat exposed cords with a deterrent like a bitter spray. If you do use candles ensure that the animal can’t jump up near it or tip it over. Dogs are attracted to food, couple food near a gas stove and you have a recipe for disaster.
We hope that you never have to deal with a fire loss, or worse the loss of a pet due to fire. But if fire affects your home or business call us directly at 336-946-1131
Get into the habit of prevention
We here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County like prevention. We also like to solve root cause issues so that they are not a repetitive money pit problem. We were reading an article by Bob Villa.com and realized they do to. This particular article spoke indirectly to preventing costly restoration repairs. Let’s go over them and how they can help.
Changing or cleaning filters. Dryer filters if left uncleaned or allowed to go through the exhaust can cause a fire. We discussed this in an earlier blog using a real world example from right here in Winston Salem. Now a fire is the extreme end of the spectrum. But energy efficiency and keeping your electrical costs in check should also be a motivator. HVAC filters are also a way to prevent water damage and maintain energy efficiency. One use a high quality air filter and change it every 1-3 months depending on your air quality conditions. If you have pets or lots of dust every month is probably required. Spring cleaning or summer time is not the only time to change them. If you have a heat pump the same air flow return and air filter gets used to clean the air.
Only flush toilet paper and be conservative. The back flow preventer valve may catch toilet paper or other items flushed and hold the path open for a sewage backup. Be sure children are supervised and taught early on that the bathroom isn’t a play area. Now we have dealt with this problem before, but if it’s preventable which would you rather do? Have a working septic system or pay costly biohazard cleanup? Don’t use harsh chemicals or bleach tablets to keep a clean toilet. They can cause more harm than good by breaking down seals and plastic components that helps to keep your plumbing in good working order.
Letting carpet stains set in, getting the spill up quickly can help. But, sometimes certain stains will need professional help. Not only do we cleanup after disasters we can clean the carpet after a fantastic party. We can also clean upholstery when you didn’t take your shoes off at the door.
Don’t ignore the gutters, lots of people think the end of fall is the best time to clean gutters, but spring also is a time when you should check them for debris. If the water can’t flow to the down spouts then water will take the path of least resistance, if that is over the side toward the house wall then you could be exposing your home to water damage and mold after a time.
Smoke detectors should be checked twice a year, the time change or day light savings time is a great reminder to ensure fresh batteries are installed. Not only will this habit save you costs it can save your life.
Landscaping and overgrowth can lead water back to the house. Ensure that the landscaping slopes away from the house to prevent water from damaging your home from the outside in. Are your walkways clear of debris and shrubs trimmed to allow safe passage and prevent the pooling of water? In the winter that water can become ice and cause falls. Are there any dead trees that could fall on yours or a neighbor’s house?
Not using garbage disposals properly can lead to an overflow and costly plumber bills. Again be careful of what you put down the disposals or your drains period. Cutting food while prepping, then washing it down the disposal is not a good idea. This can cause a clog and may even cause pressure on the plumbing joints and lead to a leak that you might not find until there is mold also.
Old habits are hard to break and accidents will happen, so if you need us call us directly at 336-946-1131
Prepare now for a storm
Spring storms can appear suddenly, being prepared and having a plan can be key to recovering from a flash flood. Flash flooding usually occurs within 3-6 hours of the onset of rain as defined by Weather.gov. How the rain is distributed and topography of the land can have a major effect on flash flood. Ensure that your landscaping flows away from your home or office. If hills make it impossible to slope it away, then a French drain may be in order. As part of your spring cleaning be sure to pull maintenance on drains to find out if they are flowing freely.
Check basement sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If you thing the power may fail what contingency plan do you have for pumping the water out? A standby generator battery backup? These are things to think about before a storm hits. For early detection of water intrusion leak detectors can help with alerting you to the spread of water and damage. We suggest that not only do put these near the sump pump if it quits working but also around common water sources in your home or office. Toilets, washing machines, behind the refrigerator and even near the HVAC condensate drain line in case it gets clogged.
If a flood is severe enough that you are told to evacuate the preparation you do now will help you. Because you never know when a flood will occur plan and tell your family what the plan is. Develop a family reunification plan. Kids go to school, parents’ work, what happens when disaster strikes while everyone is at their daily routine? Be prepared to answer. How will I communicate with Family, where will I go and which route will I take to get to emergency shelter? And how will I stay informed of the changing or developing storm? Ready.Gov has guidelines and suggestions to help you prepare for a storm.
If you’re affected by flood waters or storm damage call us as soon as you can do so safely. We are here to make it “Like it never even happened.” It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131
Faster to any size disaster.
One of our slogans is “faster to any size disaster.” And we have a commitment to respond by phone in an hour or less, be on site in four hours, and within 8 business hours of onsite arrival a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the adjuster. Often times we exceed these expectations. All of this timely assignment is designed to reduce secondary damage. When water damage just sits untreated it can grow into mold adding costly dollars to the price of cleaning it up.
Moisture control is key to preventing mold growth. When water damage occurs it is critical to move quickly to prevent this type of additional damage. It is also important to have knowledgeable well trained experts who have dealt with water damage before. Our staff has the training, IICRC certificates and best of all the experience to handle any size disaster.
We will prioritize the cleanup process to ensure the safety of the occupants and our staff. This not only makes safety our number one priority, it will ensure that there is a timely plan to get you back into your home or business quickly.
It’s best to contact us directly our phone is manned 24/7 call us at 336-946-1131
Preventing mold is cheaper than removing it
Preventing mold is cheaper and easier than removing mold. That is why it’s critical to call us right away when you have a water damage in your home or business. Getting to a water damage quickly can save you lots of money in costly repairs and clean up. Not to mention lost time from work or being able to conduct business if the damage is in your office. Cleaning up only the water that you can see and drying the structure or mitigating behind walls can cost you more in the long run.
That is why it’s important to call professionals trained in water damage restoration with the right equipment for the job. Our commercial dehumidifiers can reduce the humidity so that the chances of mold growth are greatly reduced. Mold likes 50% humidity or higher to propagate. By pulling water out of the air and discharging warm dry air we can increase the rate of evaporation and therefore prevent secondary damage to your home or business.
Studying air, and its properties is called Psychrometrics. Water vapor pressure, humidity, and temperature are measured and evaluated so that we can create a proper atmosphere for efficient and effective drying to a standard. We have the right equipment, the right training, and the right people to help you in a time of need.
The next time you have a water damage before it turns into mold damage or even if it has, call us directly at 336-946-1131. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Caring for our community
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is a local small business. All of us who work here obviously live here most were born and went to school here locally. We are an intricate part of the community. And that is intentional, because it is important to us as a business family to be a part of the community. We have made it our mission to ensure that we are part of helping people put their homes or business back together. And we also enjoy helping to improve the quality of our community by being an active member with organizations within the community.
The Rural Hall Area Business Association RHABA for example is a community of business leaders and owners who meet once a month at the Mayflower in Rural Hall to discuss topics of interest that impact business within the community. We support the local Elementary School, and have for 12 years with a 10K run fundraiser. For the past 4 years our Marketing Mgr. Ed Dean has MC’d this and other fundraiser runs. RHABA has an annual food drive for the 2nd Harvest Food Bank
Our commitment to assist has also been in the form of aid in packaging meals for local children in need. Collecting food for the local Clemmons Food Pantry in cooperation with the Lewisville Clemmons Chamber of Commerce. The owner, Jeff Meadows has used his expertise in assisting hurricane victims rebuild and mitigate water damage with the Clemmons United Methodist Church men’s group.
We do all this because not only do we love where we live we care about the community that we live in. Yes we provide a service and this community has used us because of our expertise. But know that once the green truck pulls up to your home or business the people in that SERVPRO vehicle care about helping you and your family.
Resolve to be ready for disasters
SERVPRO Urges Winston-Salem Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2019
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 visithttps://ready.SERVPRO.com.
Employee spotlight Nelson Evans
Nelson Evans - Estimator
We have talked about the equipment and training that SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has. One of the spotlights we want to highlight is our people. They are the most important and valuable part of our business. One of those persons is not even a full time employee. But Nelson Evans is an important spoke in the wheel that helps us keep rolling to help our customers in need of fire, water or mold damage restoration.
Nelson came to us with 30 years of experience in the restoration and insurance business. A property claims adjuster for a prominent Insurance company Nelson is very familiar with the claims process and how it is works for an easier process. Having this kind of expertise in on our staff helps to make for reduced stress and smooth claims processes.
During his career Nelson has attended numerous IICRC training certifications, NIDR Restoration, Structure Repair, and Xactimate Estimating software training. Nelson has even owned his own construction business. A Penn State Alumni and NAVY Veteran and most important a husband and father of 7 children and 2 grandchildren.
These life and educational experiences help to make your experience with SERVPRO of West Forsyth County a more complete and less worrisome process. Damage to your home or business is stressful enough, by the time we are done we want you to feel “Like it never even happened.”
It’s best to contact us directly 336-946-1131
Prepare for frozen pipes by preventing them.
It’s hard to believe that winter is here when the temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s some days. But, that is how it is here in a North Carolina January. Even though we had a foot of snow in December, technically it was still fall. You may recall that we had three “polar vortex events” a few years ago. An article in the Washington Post suggest that we will have more events of this nature this year in 2019.
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants you to be prepared for frozen pipes, should they happen to you or your business. If you have not already done so winterize your home. If you turn on the water and nothing comes out you may have a frozen pipe. Please don’t attempt to thaw a pipe with a flame such as a torch or grill lighter. A plumber is what you need but if you feel like you want to try it yourself use a hair dryer. Open flames are just asking for trouble and could possibly start a fire and cost you even more many than if you had called the plumber in the first place.
If you have had issues with frozen pipes in the past then it may be time to look for a permanent fix. While the plumber is there ask about the installation of heat tape. Heat tape is readily available at your local home improvement store, but we recommend that it be installed by a professional. Placing it on an already leaking pipe could result in shorting the heat tape and may also result in an electrical shock. Electricity is not a good hobby so have it installed by a professional. You also want to check insulation in and around pipes especially in attics and crawl spaces inadequate insulation can contribute to frozen pipes.
If you’re on a cruise or on vacation you should consider turning the water off while away. Coming home to a busted water heater that is continually trying to fill would not be a nice welcome home sight. Or ask a friend to check in on the home especially if you have pets that need to be fed and watered.
You can count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to be there should you have a water disaster. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131