We hire Veterans
On this Veterans day we are pleased to announce that SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is the recipient of the Gold Hire Vets Medallion Award. Our efforts to recruit, employ, and retain our nation’s veterans have been recognized by the US Department of Labor.
By meeting the criteria required for a Gold Medallion Award, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County recognizes the value veterans bring to the workplace. The commitment and pride in their duty Veterans learned in the military, is the same as they bring to the workplace.
As the only veteran hiring award at the federal level, the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans (HIRE Vets) Medallion Program is a way for us to show that we appreciate the sacrifice Veterans have made for this country.
If you know of a Veteran in need of a job, have them send their resume to Office@SpWFC.com They may also contact our office directly at 336-946-1131
Your house is talking are you listening?
If you are of a certain age you remember a commercial that said, “When EF Hutton speaks people listen”. Well when your house is talking to you, then you should listen. Is your house letting you know there is trouble before there is trouble? There are some noises that simply should not be ignored.
Some things to listen to when your house is talking to you are.
- Your water heater sits in a closet or in the garage and is silently heating the water. When it is silent no news is good news. But if it starts to bubble or sounds like crackling that may be sediment rumbling around in the bottom of the tank. It may be a sign that it is getting ready to fail. One way to prevent this is to flush it out every few months. It will prolong the life of your water heater.
- You flush the toilet, wash your hands and hear the modern-day convenience of running water. Well what if no one is using water and you hear it running or dripping? Well then you might have a leak. Weather it is a freshwater supply or a drain you will need to call a plumber.
- Ever been laying in bed and suddenly hear scratching or scurrying in the wall or attic? Well this is not to be ignored either as mice, squirrels, or other critters can chew holes in walls or worse wiring that could lead to a potential call to SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.
- “Clang clang clang goes the trolley”, well this is not how your furnace should react when you turn it on. Normal clicking or ticks is ok for baseboard or hot water systems. But the pump and system itself should be relatively quiet.
- Cat call whistling is not socially acceptable anywhere, but especially with your furnace. When was the last time you changed the filter? You should use a high-quality filter and do so quarterly or monthly if you have pets.
- Boo hiss is usually a sound made at a ball game, but if your home has gas and it is hissing at you then you may be getting ready to lose the game. If you smell gas or hear it near the meter or at the home’s outdoor gas post, then get out and call the gas company immediately.
- If you have worked in electronics you know that sound a relay makes when it is energized, it clicks. It sounds like two decent sized magnets coming together. Well water users have a pump in the house or the yard that pulls water into a holding tank and stored for use. If you hear that click each time you turn on the water, that could indicate you have a leak. If it turns on so frequently that could wear out the pump prematurely.
- Things that make you go hummmmm. Appliances that have working perfectly normal and suddenly develop a hum should be considered for repair. Clothes dryers hum but if they start squeaking or making new noises time call the repairman.
- Birds chirping in the morning is ok but chirping from a smoke detector is never a good thing. This usually happens at my home around 2:30 AM but not having it ready could be a an even worse day.
Any of these could lead to a reason to need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. If you need to call us we are available 24/7 it’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131
Commercial maintenance is just as important as home maintenance
Power failure lighting
We changed the clocks back and hour and we hear the call to test our smoke detectors in our home. Well the question is do maintenance managers for your businesses do the same thing around the office? Many of the same maintenance issues you have around your home are needed and or required at work. So, if you are the owner of an office building what are you doing to keep your employees safe?
Most homes don’t have the luxury of power failure lights that turn on when the power goes out. But then again, they don’t have the windowless walls that a lot of offices have. But when is the last time you tested the power failure lights? These will be critical to helping employees escape a flooded building in a storm or a fire that has knocked out the power.
What about emergency exit signs are they illuminated? Are the exits clear of equipment or trash around them?
When is the last time fire extinguishers were tested? Have they expired?
Have you planned an evacuation route? Or put into place a plan to account for all of your employees, in the event they can not all get out the same door.?
Keeping your business, employees, and customers safe should be your top priority. Protecting your office and home is step #1 to prevent a disaster from happening but if it does, we can make it “Like it never even happened.” It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Fire damage that is not necessarily from the fire
After venting the roof to allow smoke out the hole was tarped.
We have heard it said a couple of times that what we do for restoration is not about the money it costs, but more about the time of loss. Time is the one thing you can not replace or restore. As much as we would love to give back the time lost out of your own home and bed, it is simply impossible. Fires in our opinion are the most time consuming. They bring not only the fire damage, but water damage as well, that necessary to put out a fire. But there are other damages that come with fire that also has to be restored.
Damage that is a necessary part of the job that brave men and women who fight fires, is caused in the effort to extinguish the fire. Sometimes it is necessary to vent the smoke out of the home by “venting a roof”. A fireman’s axe is a vital piece of their equipment. Not only does this help them clear smoke-filled rooms it can help them create escape routes to help save lives of both occupants and fellow fire fighters. They may also need to forcibly enter the home or business to start fighting the fire. Training with this equipment is key.
Some tips to keep in mind.
- Prepare for the event of a fire. Know what the plan is to evacuate your home or office.
- After the fire is out there is the business of figuring out what is salvageable and what is not. This also is a lengthy process. Keeping a high value items list of contents of your home off site will help.
- Never leave candles or cooking burners left unattended.
- Never overload a plugin circuit.
- Keep SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s number 336-946-1131 handy for all types of disaster restoration needs.
Cooking With Oil Safely
The Holiday cooking season will soon be upon us. With an increased amount of time spent in the kitchen comes an increased amount of opportunity for cooking related fire damages to homes. The number one thing to remember is to always stay with the food you are cooking. Keep combustible items away from the cooking area, such as oven mitts and paper towels. If you have an oven fire be sure to turn the heat off and keep the oven door closed.
Frying with oil tends to be the most susceptible to starting a fire. Here are some tips from the NFPA regarding cooking with oil.
- Stay with the stove top and frying pan.
- Heat the oil slow to the needed temperature.
- If you see smoke that is a clue that flash point is about to occur, and the oil is too hot.
- Add food gently to avoid splatter.
- Always cook with a lid close by to smother a fire should it occur. Never throw water on a grease or oil fire.
If the fire does not go out and it gets beyond your control to extinguish, get everyone out and call 911. If you do decide to keep fighting the fire, ensure you have a clear path to evacuate.
Once the fire is out and the fire department has cleared the scene as safe, call us directly at 336-946-1131 to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Farmers Almanac Says Above Average Rain
It has been a dry September and summer, but as they said on Game of Thrones “Winter is coming”. The Farmer’s Almanac has normal or above average rainfall predicted. That is not to say that will be an exact forecast but are you prepared? Now is the time when the weather is good to ensure your home is prepared for winter rain or snow storms.
Gutters – be sure the gutters are clear and free to allow water to flow through them. Make sure birds, squirrels and chipmunks have not taken up residence and stored their winter supplies. Be sure the gutter is securely fastened to the house and does not sag.
Roof – Check the roof for tears in the shingles and cracks especially around vents. Ensure the flashing around the chimney is good, and the chimney cap is secure and no bird nests are built in or near it.
Garden hoses – be sure to remove any garden hoses from the spigots to prevent them from freezing and cracking a pipe in the wall.
Windows and Doors – be sure the windows are caulked and weather stripping is properly installed on the doors. Not only will this help with water intrusion it will save you on your electric bill.
Landscaping – after a good rain check if you have any pools of water near the foundation. This will tell you if you need to address sloping the ground away from the house. Any hills that lead to the house you may want to invest in a French drain to lead the water away.
If you have a water intrusion in your home or business be sure to call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at 336-946-1131
Halloween Fire Safety
Halloween is just around the corner. And we want you and your little trick or treaters to be safe. When choosing a costume, be sure that it is flame retardant. Wispy materials for ghosts and mummies can catch fire easily if not made from flam retardant material. Be sure that you can see clearly avoid masks that limit your field of vision to reduce trip hazards. Costumes tend to be dark in color making them harder to see while driving.
Consider lighting your jack-o-lantern with LED battery operated candles instead of an actual candle. Electronic candles are better to decorate with than actual candles to avoid catching decorations on fire. Dried cornstalks and crepe paper decorations are especially susceptible to ignite around flames. Keep these materials away from heat sources such as space heaters or open flame candles. Two of every five fires reported were because decorations caught fire in the home according to the NFPA. Above all never leave a candle or open fire unattended.
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hopes you have a safe and Happy Halloween. Should you need any of our Fire Damage related services call us directly at 336-946-1131
Be Ready for an Emergency
Local SERVPRO disaster restoration specialist highlights no-cost tools to help property owners prepare and maintain a comprehensive emergency readiness plan
No matter where you live or work, emergencies caused by weather, fire, wind, water, and other natural or manmade disasters can strike at any time and are largely unpredictable. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County reminds Winston-Salem-area home and business owners that preparing in advance is the best thing you can do to help minimize a disaster’s impact on your loved ones and your property. Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month – a time to create, or update, your plan for when disaster strikes.
National Preparedness Month is a great time to resolve to create a plan, or review your existing plan, each and every year,” said Jeff Meadows of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County. “Everyone needs a comprehensive emergency plan. Business owners also need to plan for business interruption and continuation. But equally importantly, families and businesses alike need immediate access to data like emergency and insurance contacts, shut-off valves, electrical panel locations, and the line of command to authorize work so emergency responders can react quickly and appropriately during the emergency. This month’s focus on preparedness is a great incentive for both families and businesses to put a plan in place and review it regularly.”
Creating an emergency plan is straightforward, according to Meadows. No matter what type of threats exist where you live or work – wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural or manmade disasters – tools are available from FEMA (https://www.ready.gov) with guidelines for preparing emergency food, water, and medical supplies; planning for special needs; and creating communication and evacuation plans. These tools and others, like the SERVPRO READY app, also help you store essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.
Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Forsyth County as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.
“The key to getting your life or business back on track is timely response after a disaster strikes. That’s why it’s important to take the time to record and store your information electronically, and then commit to a time – like National Preparedness Month – to review and update your records at least once each year,” said Meadows. “Remember, filing cabinets and their contents may be inaccessible or even destroyed in an emergency situation, so don’t depend on them to keep track of critical insurance, property, or contact information in the event of a disaster. Store your data electronically. If disaster strikes, you’ll have the information you need literally at your fingertips.”
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, please contact Jeff Meadows at (336) 946-1131. For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.
Don't Let Water Damage Sneak Up on You
Hurricanes, storm surge, flash flood all these terms bring to mind water damage. It’s actually kind of amazing that we as humans moved out of caves and build houses out of wood. Cause if you think about it, wood is designed to do two things rot or burn. In both cases wood gets destroyed. We’re not disparaging the building material of wood. If not for fire and water damage there might not be a need for SERVPRO of West Forsyth County services.
We want to remind you that our homes need maintenance. Otherwise they fall into a state of disrepair. As we move into the fall of the year, we should look around the house and see what needs correcting around the ole homestead.
- Landscaping – does water pool up next to the house? Does the grade from the street slope towards a corner for water to drain next to the foundation? Simple rubber matting and sloping dirt away from the home can be the difference in a basement or crawl space water intrusion.
- Are the gutters clear of debris? Are downspouts leading water away from the home? Do any of the gutters sag? All of these can lead to water not being controlled properly.
- Are underground pipe drainage or French Drains clear and operational? If these are clogged, water can back up next to your home and soak the foundation. This is not good as termites would prefer to eat moist wood rather than dry treated wood.
These are just three things to check around your home. But if you do suffer a water intrusion it’s important to call us quickly. We can see water and potential for damage in wet materials you can’t see. We know how to dry your home or business to IICRC standards to prevent secondary damage. Call us direct at 336-946-1131
Prevention of a fire is better than putting one out.
Fire damage is not totally about the money or loss of things, most folks who own homes have insurance. The first priority should be the safety of the loved ones who live with you. Take a look around at what you have plugged in. The fire department is not fan of using extension cords or doubling the outlets with power strips. In fact it can lead to some serious issues to daisy chain power strips to one another. Don’t use damaged or frayed extension cords.
Do you have a clear path to evacuate the building should you need to? Our homes are lived in, kids may leave toys out or are you a collector. Are your smoke detectors connected to your security system?
What other steps can you take to prevent fires? Let’s look at another everyday thing we do, we eat, we cook. Be sure not to leave a stove unattended. If little ones are around be sure to turn handle away from the edge. Does your stove have an anti-tipping anchor device installed? Never leave any kind of open flame such as candles or fire pit unattended.
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety. We have placed some tips on what to do after a fire in an earlier blog. These are just a few tips for a checklist visit NFPA. (National Fire Protection Association). This list details what firefighters say can be done to prevent fires in the home.
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.