Can you think of everything? No. Can you be ready for anything? YES.
From fires to storms to vandalism, your business could be disrupted. Can we think of every possible scenario? No, but we can prepare and surround ourselves with a team that will get us back into business as fast as possible. Now you have to ask what does that team look like? It should consist of all the key personnel that are needed to run the business. Do I have their contact information readily available? Most businesses have a file record of those folks but what if that file was compromised in the fire or flood? Can you retrieve those files from anywhere? If they are stored in the cloud you can.
What about key vendors that routinely are maintaining your building like HVAC or your Plumbing company? Would it not be convenient to call them and ask, can you meet me ASAP at the office I am on my way there? What about having the convenience of calling your insurance company and already knowing the policy number and having it available as well? What if you needed to order knew supplies to replace damaged inventory? Do you have those numbers and your customer account number handy?
Do you know the number to the water and power company? How about the non-emergency number to local police or fire dept.?
All of this and more is possible with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile App. (ERP). It is available on Google Play and iTunes Store. With some planning and preparation, you can be ready for anything even if you can’t think of everything you would need it for. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will be glad to assist in the planning and development of an Emergency Ready Profile plan. All you need to do is call us 336-946-1131 and we will be happy to assist.
Fire tips for a safe Halloween
We like to talk about safety especially here at Halloween. But this year Halloween is going to be a little different due the pandemic. But what is not going to change is that you and your neighbors will still decorate. You might still carve a pumpkin for your own enjoyment. If you do consider a battery-operated light. If you do use candles to decorate with never leave them unattended and ensure they are out of reach of children and pets. When decorating with string lights be sure not to overload the plug. Check the package for how may strings of lights can be safely used with the product. This will help avoid an electrical fire.
If you do a bonfire to gathering of 50 or less outdoors, be sure to check local restrictions and social distance. Keep sand and a water hose nearby. Ensure kids with long flowing costumes are kept back, well away from the fire and embers. You will also want to place it well away from the house or out buildings. Be sure to pick up loose and dead vegetation so that it does not lead the fire from a controlled area.
If you are trick or treating, costumes should be functional to avoid tripping hazards and flame retardant. Avoid passing by lit jack-o-lanterns that may be lit with candles. Be sure the wearer has good clear view to avoid tripping hazard.
The CDC is discouraging a conventional Halloween but offers these lower risk alternatives.
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
- Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
We here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hope you have a safe and happy Halloween! If you need us for fire damage to your home or office call us directly at 336-946-1131
To file or not to file a water damage claim
We have talked about acting quickly when you have a water damage claim. “It was just a little water,” may be a subjective thought, but if you delayed maintenance and cleanup, then you may be negligent. When problems develop like mold or rot and you want to file a claim it may not be covered. Most insurance policies will cover water damage that is sudden and accidental. In most scenarios homeowners’ policies exclude losses that are considered continuous over an extended period of time. An example is a leaking water line, or leaving wet carpet and baseboard unattended to the point of mold or rot.
Before filing a claim, if you are unsure if the damage will exceed your deductible, you will want to ask us to come out. It will be better to spend a little money now or you may be faced with paying for a lot by yourself later. If you do have to file a claim then it helps to see a SERVPRO professional has been on site. In one such case, in one customer case, I was told by an adjuster that he sees that the homeowner took steps to limit the amount of damage by calling SERVPRO. In the event of a covered loss, insurance adjusters are grateful that SERVPRO is on the scene quickly to prevent further damage. We will also be an advocate for you to ensure that your property is restored to a preloss condition.
Some things you will want to know before filing a claim. What perils are covered in your policy? This will be important depending on the source of the loss. If you took the less expensive policy you may not have sewer backup as a rider on your policy and may not be covered in that case. So, knowing what you have covered is important.
What is the deductible? It is practical that you may not want to file a claim if the cost of mitigation and restoration is less than double your deductible. Insurance is there to protect you from major losses and your deductible represents the amount of risk you’re willing to take. Our commitment is to ensure that this is your only out of pocket expense to return the property to a preloss condition.
This is just another reason to call quickly to SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to handle your water damage. Whether it is covered or not we can help with water damage. Call us directly at 336-946-1131
Do you need help with a business disaster plan?
September is national preparedness month, and we have talked about the Ready App by SERVPRO before. Preparing doesn’t mean that you should try and plan for every scenario that could disrupt your business, but to have the resources to get back to business quickly. Scenarios like flood, fire, or vandalism are certainly disruptions to your business, but having the Mobile Ready App with SERVPRO at your fingertips is a great first start. The Mobile Ready App places those contacts that you would need in an emergency to restart your business.
The question is, have you shared it with your employees? Do they know what to do in case of a business disruption? Are they on the plan and do they know their role? Key personnel can be listed on the Ready App for quick access. You should advise them when they are part of your disaster recovery plan and what critical roles they will play. Do they have resources that they use in their day to day operations that need to be in the recovery plan?
SERVPRO has resources to help you get started with a plan and recover should you face a disaster that disrupts your business. For assistance with setting up the SERVPRO Ready App call us directly and ask for Ed Dean. We will be glad to help you get started with preparing, so you and your company will be ready.
It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Disaster preparedness in the age of COVID19
Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month to promote the importance of family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.,” resonates strongly as local communities and communities around the world battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For disaster mitigation specialists like SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County, the scope and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of everyday life, health, and well-being have magnified the importance of SERVPRO’s ongoing message to the communities it serves: When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense.
Before COVID-19 exploded into a global crisis, ‘disaster preparedness’ for the everyday home or business owner was largely dictated by the hazards unique to their location or their business. For some, that meant preparing for hurricanes and water damage; for others, tornadoes, flooding, wind damage, or even wildfires. But COVID-19 taught us that everyone – individuals and business owners alike – needs to be prepared for a national emergency that may disrupt food and medical supplies, transportation systems, schools, businesses, and every single aspect of everyday life that we take for granted. We’ve learned that, no matter where you live or work, in addition to your ‘disaster’ preparations, making certain that you have a stock of some basic items on hand can make a huge difference if a national or global event suddenly disrupts – or even stops – everyday life.”
Everyone still needs to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. FEMA provides easy-to-use disaster planning guidelines at https://www.ready.gov, and home and business owners both can take advantage of free tools like the SERVPRO READY app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. 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.
COVID-19 has taught us we need to rethink and add to our disaster-preparedness toolkits. We are all still struggling with a ‘disaster’ that has disrupted not only our lives and our jobs, but our entire community, our society, and the supply chain that we depend on. While in retrospect, the shortages of some of these items have become the stuff of urban legend, it’s a good idea to stockpile a supply of items for which there are no easy substitutes. Toilet paper; yeast and flour for breadmaking; detergents; canned foods, fruits, and vegetables; pet foods and cat litter; fresh dairy items; diapers; and a host of other items were in short supply for weeks at the beginning of the crisis. Think back on those weeks and keep a supply of the things that you just don’t want to do without – along with some shelf-stable dairy items, dried beans, and frozen meals. Use them before they expire but be sure to replace them.
The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County extend their sincere sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or have been otherwise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Winston-Salem-area commercial and residential customers, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County continues to specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.” For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, please call (336) 946-1131. For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com.
The right equipment the right people.
Have you ever heard the term shade tree mechanic? Or fly by night outfit? They're all sorts of names for people that dabble in an area of service that maybe they shouldn’t. Recently we had a customer who had an HVAC issue that caused some water damage. The HVAC company may have been responsible for the damage, so they sent their preferred vendor to scope the work. According to the client, this vendor came out with tape measure and note pad. He stayed about 20 mins and later sent a three-page estimate for the mitigation only. For the repairs, the client would have to be quoted and repairs completed by separate vendor.
Unknown to that vendor, and as it should be, we had been on sight and spent some time going over all angles of the water damage (let’s just say it was more than 20 minutes). When SERVPRO of West Forsyth County does a scope of services to work for you, we will bring the right tools and knowledge to prepare an estimate. For example, moisture meters to measure water that has been absorbed into the floor and sheet-rock. Water that you can’t see may be causing damage to your home or business behind the wall or under the flooring. Mapping the affected area is critical knowledge to getting an accurate estimate of affected materials and those materials that may have to come out.
We will bring an infrared camera to see cold spots. If an area has an unusually blue area on the camera, it may indicate that water is behind the wall or material that hiding it. We also have a borescope that will allow us to drill a small hole to look into a cavity behind sheet-rock and see mold growth, if we need to. These are just a few of the tools in our tool belt that helps us to serve you better. If we bring this much equipment to bear on your water damage to quote it, know that we will have the equipment and expertise to deal with any size disaster at your home or business.
If you need a quote for services it’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Falling trees can cause water damage
Tree falls on roof and breaches it during a storm
So, kids are going back to school, sort of, and that means fall is around the corner. To make matters worse this may be the wettest summer on record. The ground is soft and trees are subject to come down, and have. Hurricane season is still going strong and doesn’t end until after Thanksgiving. Why am I giving you all this great news when 2020 has been, well, a 2020? We can use that term now to be synonymous with a bad, strange year, right? I am telling you this to prepare you for the things could always be worse and to prevent those worse things from happening to you.
Did you use your garden hose to water the garden or wash the car? Get into the habit of unhooking the hose. This will prevent you from having the pressure build up and splitting the pipe in the wall when freezing occurs.
Check your property for limbs and branches that have broken and may be damaging your roof. If they rolled in the gutter, they may contribute to clogging it up and causing water to go over the lip of the gutter towards the house. Over time that could cause rot and mold in the house.
Ensure the landscape of your home leads water away from the structure. If you have a basement ensure that there are no low spots that water can drain onto the foundation. We have seen cave-ins of the basement wall because of constant water pressure on the basement wall. Speaking of landscaping do you have trees that are potential hazards that may fall on your house? If you are unsure check with an Arborist there are several certified in the area.
Down spouts should also flow water away from the home. Ensure all gutters and down spouts are free flowing.
Having your HVAC serviced is also a good idea. Some home owners are not aware they have a drain pan and line that that collects water and routes it to an area outside of your home. We see water damage from clogged condensate drain lines on a routine basis.
So, there you have it we hope the rest of 2020 is uneventful and filled with happy moments around your house. But if water damage invades your home or business call us ASAP so we can make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131
Why get professional help for fire damage
Fire can be devastating and the last thing you want to consider is jeopardizing your family any further. Should you experience a fire staying safe should be your highest priority. We already talked do’s and don’ts of fire damage. Now we will let you know why. As we said fire can happen any day of the year, have a plan to get your family out of the home safely. Having a central spot to gather is important to knowing quickly that all family members are alright. Ensure that everyone knows the plan and meeting spot.
After the fire is out, is it safe to stay in the house? Most of the time the answer is going to be no. The reason it’s no is that there are a number of things in your home that when fire has reached them, they give off a gas or fumes that could be toxic. Another reason is that you should questions the structural integrity of your home and area affected by the fire. Has the fire affected the electrical? The local power company may have had to pull the meter if the fire was started electrically or affected the wiring of your home. Asking the firefighters may give you some answers as to weather you can stay, but for these reasons you are probably better off not.
With homes being lived in, and we know life happens, have items fallen in the floor? Wet materials are heavy and ceilings may be in danger of collapsing from being doused with water. These are even more reasons for safety to be exercised when moving about the scene. Soot can be ground in to carpets and be harder to save. Soot also transfers easily from a surface to your hands, then onto upholstery, again making it harder to restore. Count on the professional services of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to clean these items and walls, doing it yourself may cost more in the long run. Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
If the fire department did cut power to the home. Inventory and empty the freezer and refrigerator, and prop doors open. You may be covered for a certain amount of food in these items. Electrical items may have been damaged and create a shock. We have professionals who will safely go through, clean and ensure the safe operations of those items that you are unsure about. If the power is still on do not turn on lights or fans that have been sprayed with water, the wiring may have been damaged
Medicine, canned or packaged foods and beverages that were stored near the heat may not be safe to consume due to soot and toxic vapors. Contact you Doctor to let them know you will need a refill and why. Again, inventory these items as they may be covered under your insurance policy.
Metal items like nickel and chrome faucets and fixtures, guns, silverware, and jewelry can be protected from pitting by the soot if sprayed with a thin coat of oil or petroleum jelly. House plants can be saved if cared for properly by washing both sides of the leaves.
Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Regarding 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.
Has your wife said lately “it’s too hot to cook.” That means one of two things, either you’re going out to eat, or your doing the cooking on the grill. According to the NFPA there were more than 10,600 home fires that involved grills, hibachis or barbeques. (between 2014-2018) I would bet that number has risen since the COVID-19 crises just due to option 1 going out was not available, and 2 more people were home cooking.
Cooking with gas may be easier, but it did account for 84% of those fires. We’re going to take that to mean we need a higher level of safety when it comes to gas grilling. This video from the NFPA, shows how you can check for leaks in your gas grill. Here are some other grill safety tips, they may sound like common sense but you know the only reason warning labels are put on products is because at some point somebody tried it and probably with devastating results.
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
Never leave your grill unattended.
Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before turning on the gas or lighting it.
There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel. If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord rated for outdoor use. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Enjoy your summer holidays we hope that you never experience the trauma of a home fire, but if you do know that the experts of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help you make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131
How can SERVPRO help during COVID19
There is no doubt that the first half of this year have been tough on everyone. Words like unprecedented, uncertain and strange times have been bantered about. But we hope that you can take comfort that help is here to clean and disinfect your home or office should you need it. At SERVPRO of West Forsyth County we have been on numerous webinars and training's from our corporate headquarters in Gallatin TN. Understanding the protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have gained knowledge of the approved EPA products and ensuring that our proprietary labeled products are among the approved products listed on the EPA’s website.
Along with the experience of Biohazard cleaning, pathogen cleaning is simply another service we have offered for years. Standard janitorial services do not deal with biohazards in the workplace routinely. That is why you should call the experienced and well-equipped staff of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We will Consult with you on your work space or home. No two businesses are exactly alike and so a plan has to be created to ensure the best possible course of action. We will clean according to the agreed upon plan, again following CDC protocols and EPA approved products. We will certify that we have completed those protocols and leave you with branding and collateral that will give your employees and customers the confidence to visit your establishment, knowing that it is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Weather you want to do something proactively for your business or you have had an active case of COVID19 on premises the professionals of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help during these unprecedented, uncertain and strange times. Call us directly at 336-946-1131