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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Being ready is better than being ruined

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Your business has to be able to operate when you walk in. Do you operate on the weekends? What do you do when you unlock the door, head for the alarm system and you suddenly feel that your feet are wet? You just stepped in two inches of water.  Downtime is expensive, and rent doesn’t stop nor do any of the other operational costs of doing business.

One solution is being prepared prior to stepping into a mess, is to have the SERVPRO READY app. It’s available in the Google Play and Apple iTunes store.  This app places all the necessary resources for all the “what if” scenarios in the palm of your hand. You can call the experts at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We understand that you need to be operational ready quickly.

Depending on the source of the water you will need to call a plumber or a landscaper or maybe even someone who does waterproofing and structural repairs. The SERVPRO READY app can have those resources for you so that you can be ready to deal with unexpected emergencies.

If you do not already have the app and you would like assistance setting it up in the Winston Salem Forsyth County area feel free to call Ed Dean with SERVPRO of West Forsyth County  336-946-1131

Who can you trust with your home or business

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Not all restoration companies are the same. A guy in a truck can come up to your home and say he will help you through a claim with your insurance company for roof damage. How do you know you can trust him?  This is true also for mitigation and restoration companies how do you know you can trust the work will be done right? If you suspect a mold problem in your home and the mitigation company is performing its own air quality test is that a conflict of interest? Of course it is. So how do you go about choosing a trustworthy vendor to restore your home or business? In days before the internet you may have asked your family, neighbors or coworkers and you still might today. But now we have the ability to see what reputation a company has in the community and what the quality of work they perform is with the help of online reviews.

In our business getting reviews is somewhat difficult, not everyone wants to advertise the fact they have suffered a water or fire loss. With the help of satisfied customers we have garnered some of those fantastic reviews. With the help of the BBB our customers can place reviews with them and still be anonymous. The BBB is committed to telling consumers the trustworthiness of a company weather they are accredited or not.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has chosen to be an accredited member of the BBB in order to let our customers know that you can count on and trust, that we will complete your job with integrity and the standards that have earned us the positive reviews of customers before you. These include an A+ rating with the BBB. A 4.9 rated company on Facebook, and a 5 star reviewed company on Google.  

Checking the damage after a storm

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

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

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

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

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Drain leaking

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

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

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.

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

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

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

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

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

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

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

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).

For homeowners:

  • 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

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

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.

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

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

How SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Began

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Jeff Meadows is the owner of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. An engineering graduate from East Carolina University. After graduating Jeff spent 24 years in the corporate work sector. Jeff spent most of his career in engineering and operations management for industrial manufacturing companies. As you can guess this makes Jeff a highly detail oriented person. When I first arrived at SERVPRO West Forsyth County I heard two things that are of great importance to Jeff, details matter, and communication can prevent problems.

In August of 2010 Jeff opened the doors at SERVPRO in an office that would soon prove to be too small. Armed with the details and communication philosophy for customer service we quickly outgrew the starting office and moved to our current office near Hanes Mall. We have grown from one truck and four staff to a fleet of six vehicles and 12 staff to help service our customers in the Winston Salem area. We continue to improve our capacity and capability annually. With IICRC and SERVPRO headquarters training we are continually improving knowledge of our services.

Attention to details, communication, equipment and most importantly our educated and caring personnel is what makes SERVPRO of West Forsyth County the right choice to service your home or place of business.

Snow What

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Snow is a lot like liver and onions. You either love it or hate it. But, if you find yourself stranded in your vehicle in the middle of a snow event, you can either hate the fact that you weren't prepared for it, or love that you are. 

S'now what... 

Mother nature can be a real beast. In fact, she's a killer. And when it comes to a snow storm event, the best idea for safety is to stay off the roads and keep warm and safe at home. However, that isn't always possible. When you find that you must venture out on snowy and icy roads, you know to stay alert, drive a little slower, brake according to road conditions... But what if your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck and you must wait for help in a disabled vehicle in dangerously cold, wet weather? 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants you to be prepared in the face of any hazard that may cross your path, whether flood, fire or treacherous travel conditions. 

Please take a moment to look at the list (below) of suggested items to keep in an emergency go bag. Just a little bit of preparation can keep a little emergency from becoming a catastrophe. 

Stay warm and carry on! And tune in to local radio to stay alert to the latest weather conditions. 


SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
336-946-1131 

It's always best to call us directly 

Keep These Things in Emergency Go Bag 

Cell phone 
Car charger 
LED flashlight 
Bag of rock salt 
Shovel 
Wool blankets/one for each passenger 
Ice scraper 
Leatherman or Swiss Army knife 
Jumper cables 
Two quarts of oil 
Extra fuses 
Fix-a-Flat 
Paper towels 
First aid kit 
Prescription and OTC medications 
Winter boots, scarves, hats and heavy winter clothes for each passenger 
Water 
Snack bars 
Toilet paper 
Music/games for young passengers

The right equipment the right know how

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

The right equipment and knowledge on using that equipment should be of value to you, the consumer of our services. Our staff is trained in mold remediation to a standard. That standard is called the IICRC S520. This guide give us goals to reach so that you the customer know that we did our job the right. We use third party  air quality tests to give us and you empirical data to know that your home is safe from above average concentrations of mold spores.

The piece of equipment shown is a DefendAir HEPA 500 Air Scrubber. This uses HEPA filter that has an efficiency rating of 99.97% against 0.3-micron oily aerosol particles. Mold spore sizes range from 3-100 microns. This equipment provides air flow of 250 to 500 CFM (cubic feet per minute). We vent this to the outside and create negative pressure on the room by sealing it using plastic as a containment chamber.  All this means is that we bringing the mold count down to acceptable levels without contaminating the rest of your home or business.

If you suspect mold call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to discuss what your next steps are to get rid of it.

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

Commercial Equipment for Commercial Losses

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in your business can certainly effect your bottom line. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County understands this. We move quickly to remove the water and dry the area so you can get back to business quickly. Weather your production or office staff are effected, we will remove the water and prevent further damage. We will also use training and equipment to prevent mold from growing. When water is out of control we use proven methods to control the water and how it is removed. Our commercial fans promote evaporation of the water. But then the water is in the air and if a cold surface is around it can condensate on that surface. Depending on the material that can lead to secondary damage. That is why SERVPRO of West Forsyth County uses commercial grade dehumidifiers to pull the water out of the air to contain it safely.

If mold has already started to grow then we will mitigate that as part of the scope of work.  Here we see a SERVPRO employee using the extractor to remove the water we can see. The sheet rock was cut out to remove damage you don't see and prevent mold from forming behind the wall. Drying the entire area and structure to help prevent the production of mold.

If your business is affected by water damage call us directly at 336-946-1131

What to look for in a restoration company

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

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. There are some things you should do and things you shouldn’t. 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 is that it 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

Community service and a service to the community

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is more than a small business. We are a family of folks who care about the community we live in.  We are invested and committed to be a part of our community and give back whenever possible. From collecting for hurricane relief to collecting for the local food pantry we believe that it is important to help our community when times get tough.

Some of the areas of the community we are involved in include. Being on the board for the Lewisville Clemmons Chamber of Commerce serving as the VP of Community Service. At its monthly meeting the Chamber collects an item for a local group in need. For the month of December we are collecting items for Women Who Care. We are on the board of the Rural Hall Area Business Association (RHABA) each year the association collects for the 2nd Harvest Food Bank and for 12 years has raised money for the local elementary school with its annual 5K & 10K run. SERVPRO has helped with Generosity Feeds and Hurricane relief efforts through our BNI network.

As you can see we care about our community. We take that same care with our customers. Most times they have had a traumatic event happen to their home or business and need our help. So we do what we can to help restore their lives to normal and make it “like it never even happened.”

Should you have a need for our services  call us directly at 336-946-1131

Cooking Up a Safe Holiday Season

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Startling statistics underscore the need for caution in the kitchen

Holiday party planning begins now for many families, and Jeff Meadows of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers some important reminders to Winston-Salem residents to help ensure this season glows with the warmth of good food and good friends, and not with the glare of a devastating home fire.

“The holiday season is a time when many families plan big and elaborate meals for large groups of people,” says Meadows. “But all that cooking creates an extraordinary risk of fire. For a safe and festive holiday season, it’s important to understand that risk and take steps to minimize it.”

Cooking Fire Safety

Research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reveals that in 2017, on average, U.S. fire departments responded to a home fire every 88 seconds.1 Cooking equipment was the leading cause2 of home fires and fire injuries, causing 47 percent of home fires. These fires resulted in 20 percent of the home fire deaths and 45 percent of the injuries.

“Winston-Salem families should keep these statistics in mind as the holidays approach. According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve2,” says Meadows. “Families should also be aware that frying poses the greatest risk of fire, in fact, the NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.3 this video graphically illustrates the danger these devices can pose.

Meadows offers these additional cooking safety tips from FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration.4

  1. Keep an eye on what you fry: If you see any smoke or the oil starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  2. Stand by your pan: If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
  3. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so that no one can bump them or pull them over.
  4. Wear short sleeves or pull sleeves up: 18 percent of cooking fire fatalities in 2016 were caused by ignited clothing.2
  5. Keep a pot lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if it catches on fire.

“Taking common sense precautions like these and keeping kids and pets out of the kitchen during meal prep can help keep your holiday celebrations safe,” says Meadows. “The precautions you take could help prevent a devastating home fire, a tragic injury, or even the loss of life. While SERVPRO disaster response professionals are fire damage restoration specialists, they know how important it is to keep the focus on fire prevention, because for some types of loss, there is no remediation.”

SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s website. For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, please contact Jeff Meadows at (336) 946-1131.

Prepare for winter storms

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Here in the south east we weather storms like hurricanes and summer storms fairly well. But what have you done to prepare for winters wrath? The northwest part of the state saw its first glazing of ice recently and here in Winston Salem area we are waking to below freezing temperatures but warm quickly by noon.

In older homes an overnight freeze could be enough to rupture a pipe. Consider insulating your pipes, especially if on an outside wall. Now is the time to ensure that crawl space pipes are well insulated. If there are drafts blowing in on pipes be sure to caulk and seal up these drafty areas before it gets much colder. If your home is on a concrete slab, some of your pipes may be in your attic and ceiling area. These also should be insulated from the cold.  When they burst they can actually cause a lot of damage to ceiling and floors.

Heat tape is also an option and may already be installed if you live in a premanufactured home. Be sure to inspect it regularly for signs of fraying and wear.  If you install heat tape your self be sure to follow all the manufactures instructions. Never double wrap heat tape over itself or use on top of thermal insulation as this could be a fire hazard.

If the power goes out are your pipes prone to freezing solid?  If they are then be sure to turn on both the hot and cold water on dripping.  Keep outside doors and garage doors closed but inside doors should be open to allow heat to circulate throughout your home. Be sure to keep your thermostat at 55 degrees or higher both day and night. This is especially true if the home is vacant waiting to be rented or sold. If you open cabinet doors do let heat under a sink, be sure to put items like cleaners and choking hazards for pets and children away to avoid a problem of another kind.

If after you have taken these precautions and water doesn’t come out and you suspect a frozen pipe. Shut the supply off and call a plumber.  If water comes out of another area of your home you may be able to narrow down the pipe that is frozen this will be helpful to know for the plumber as we all know time is money especially by the hour.

Should you have a need for our services due to a burst pipe call us directly at 336-946-1131

Fire prevention maintenance

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Why do you change the oil in your car? To prolong the life of the car, right? Maintenance around your office or home is just as important. Fire prevention is a part of that maintenance. Some of these include  items that are often overlooked or placed on the back burner (pun intended). But they are key to avoiding the need for SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s fire restoration services.   

  • Be sure to test smoke detectors monthly. It’s a good idea to change the batteries when we change the clocks in the fall and spring.
  • Your Fire Extinguishers should be checked to ensure they are in date. The fire marshal will inspect and tell you if you have enough for your building. A company like Fire-Ade will test and certify extinguishers. Extinguishers can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Ask your fire marshal if you have to have your extinguisher certified.
  • Check the lights in Fire Exits and Exit Signs. Can customers and employees clearly see exit signs? Can they easily get to them? Have you practiced a fire drill to ensure guests and employees can easily get out of the building in the event of an emergency. Assign key personnel to ensure the safety of customers and visitors in the building in case of emergency.
  • State or Local Guidelines. Here are the Forsyth County inspections page and includes common hazards and violations. Take a minute to read up on these, check to see if you are in violation or have a hazard around your home or office. Talk to your local fire marshal to learn about the guidelines.

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.”  Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Cooking and Fire Prevention Safety

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

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 are by far the leading cause of kitchen fires. 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. 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.

Salt, a handful of salt, which cuts off the oxygen supply and smothers the fire.

Baking soda, 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.

Fire extinguisher. 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.

Water

If your towel or pot holder catches fire, put it in the kitchen sink and douse it with water. But 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.

Evacuate. 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.

Call 911 - 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 2017 Winston Salem has responded to 769 fires.  That is actually down from 2015 when they 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

Where’s the Mold?

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Moisture meter showing that the wall is saturated with moisture.

We get calls on a regular basis from customers who say “we smell mold or mildew but don’t see any mold, can you help?

We’ve learned over the years some people have a very keen sense of smell and do indeed smell mold even when they can’t see it. The challenge then becomes finding and eliminating the mold. If customers are not aware of any type of water damage event that could have led to mold growth inside their home we usually suggest they get an air quality test from a reputable Indoor Environment Professional. These tests are very objective and document both the types and quantities of mold present in the air. We then review the test results, consult with the customer and if tests say mold is present we begin the search.

Typically we would begin by scanning all areas of the foundation walls, near sinks, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, hot water heaters, etc. with infrared cameras looking for areas that appear cold or wet. This usually helps us determine the general areas that are wet and that could be leading to mold growth. The next step is to detail check the suspect areas with moisture meters to zero in on the wettest spots to determine where the water is coming from that allows the mold to live.

From there we would begin removing baseboards, shoe mold and other trim work looking for mold growth. If we still do not find the mold we can use borescopes to see inside the walls or demo a small area of the wall then take a photo inside the wall. Once the mold is found containment is set up to isolate the mold affected areas and mold mitigation begins per IICRC s520. (A standard to which we can show progress)

Mold requires water and an organic material to live and grow, without water it cannot live. So if we detect water leaks early we can minimize the chances for mold growth in our homes or properties. We recommend the use of Water Leak Alarms to help detect and alert us to small leaks before they become a major water or mold damage issue. The alarms are small, battery powered, cost less than $12 each in most areas and will emit a shrill alarm when contacted by even a small amount of water. We suggest putting them in the Laundry room near the washer, Near the Water Heater, under the Dishwasher, under all sinks and behind the Fridge if you have a water dispenser or ice maker. These alarms won’t prevent a water leak but they will alert you much sooner of a water issue than the smell of mold or mildew.

If you suspect mold or see it call us directly at 336-946-1131

Water you can't see.

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water, when controlled is a life sustaining resource. So why is that we should get water up and dry structure so quickly? We mopped up or squeegeed the floor? We got all the water up right? Are you sure?  In the picture attached it doesn’t look wet but the meter tells a different story. The tools we use can show us the water you can’t see. When water is not extracted thoroughly it can be an extremely damaging element. Since water flows on the path of least resistance it can seep into cracks and crevices you don’t even know you have. The insulation inside walls can act as a sponge and wick the water up the wall causing secondary damage to your home or business.  If left unattended the water can with in as little as 72 hrs start to form mold causing the cleanup effort costs to rise even more.

When we are called in after a leak it is easier for us to prevent mold growth and save you money by extracting the water, removing saturated wet materials that are easily replaced at a low cost, such as carpet pad, sheet rock, and insulation.  We will also dry the structure and prevent mold growth and wood rot. This process is called demoing. This prepares the areas damaged to be restored once drying has reached a measured and monitored goal.

Restoration of areas that would be costly to replace saves you and the insurance company money. These areas include, floor joists, wooden studs, even engineered hardwood floors when we can get to them quickly enough. Some items depending on the type of water damage are not salvageable such as soft goods like plush toys, sofa cushions and pillows. When these items have been exposed to contaminated water such as a sewer backup it’s best to discard and replace them.

Once the area has been mitigated properly then the restoration or repairs to the sheet rock, flooring and cabinets can be completed. This process can take some time but with our experts we can make the water damage to your home or business “Like it never even happened.”  

It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131 we are available 24/7/365 for emergency services.   

Halloween Fire Safety

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

One of the top reasons kids get hurt on Halloween is because they get hit by cars. Be sure to ensure they can see clearly and be seen clearly. If possible leave out the accessories to give the child a free hand to hold while you cross the street with them.  If you’re driving on Halloween be sure to keep this in mind that kids may be crossing the street and can’t be seen as readily.  

Be sure to use flame retardant materials in the costume. Some folks still light candles for their jack-o-lanterns. Loose ill-fitting costumes could be at risk for catching fire. They could also be a risk for a tripping hazard another good reason to leave the accessories out of hands to allow them to catch themselves.  Instead of lighting the pumpkin try using a glow stick or battery operated LED light.

Decorations are another source of materials at risk of catching fire. Many of these are made from paper, dried corn stalks or other dried flowers. Be sure to keep them clear of flames or other heat sources such as portable heaters. Also don’t block entrance and exits with decorations that may inhibit you from exiting quickly and safely in the event of a fire. Two of every five fires reported were because decorations caught fire in the home according to the NFPA.

If you do use candles be sure to use sturdy holders that will not tip easily, and use in uncluttered stable surface. Avoid the edge of the surface to not be knocked to the floor. Never use candles in a home where oxygen is in use. Keep Candles at least 1 foot from away from object that can burn, Most importantly never leave a candle burning 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

How do I know I need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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

Is there a fungus among us

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever heard that silly phrase, "There's a fungus among us?"  Well, when it's actually true it's really not silly. In one of our other blogs we discussed mold types, counts and air quality. But where does it live? What conditions does mold like or better yet hate?  Most of us don't realize it but mold is around us all of the time.  It's common and travels easily so it really isn't possible to completely eliminate it from our environment. There are many different varieties of mold.  Sometimes it becomes a problem and something needs to be done about it.  Most health issues occur when there are high concentrations of mold in the house.  Unfortunately mold spores are invisible and can be transported in various ways:  through heating and air ducts, open doors and windows, on pets and even on our shoes. 

To prevent mold from showing up uninvited to your house, make sure you properly ventilate those warm, damp, and humid environments.    

  • Where does mold lurk? 

 Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid places like bathrooms, basements, roofs, pipes, windows and anywhere flooding has occurred.  It likes some of the same environments we humans like.  Mold needs three things to thrive. Some kind of nutrient (like cellulose), cardboard is steroid for mold. Water, to help break down or decay the nutrients. Last mold needs time to be left alone and feed and grow. Can potted plants be a source for mold?  Yes, they add oxygen to our air but also, you guessed it, mold.  The "yuck factor" is mold can grow in all kinds of environments:  wood, wood products, paper, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, drywall, cardboard, carpets, upholstery, paint, insulation and even dust!  Yeah, pretty much everything in your home! The main thing is that if you have a mold issue you probably have or had a water damage issue also.

  • How do you find it?  Usually either smelling its musty odor or finding spots of any color can find mold.  An air quality test can also determine if you have a safe environment in your home or office. Once mold can be identified by sight, smell, or an air quality test its concentration may be high enough to present a health hazard.  That's when something needs to be done.  It's called mold remediation and it's something SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in.  For more information on our mold services call us 336-946-1131 or read more on our website

    It's always best to call us directly 

Replace V/s Restore how does it save costs?

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water is a vital part of life, when controlled properly it can be helpful and sustain us in our everyday lives. When out of control it can make our lives miserable, and can even do us harm.

If you have dealt with water damage before you know that water restoration services are not cheap. You also know how traumatic they can be, disrupting our lives and causing havoc in our home or business. However, if we look closely, the amount of money that you’ll be spending on water repair damage is significantly lower as compared to the cost of repairing structural damage and replacing personal belongings. Having SERVPRO of West Forsyth County guide you through the trauma efficiently by restoration rather than replacement, can give you piece of mind and save costs.

When water enters our home, it can come with germs and bacteria, it can even promote fungal growth if given enough time and conditions. Oftentimes, mold spores inhabit our home long after the water has disappeared from view.  If you act quickly you can impact the amount of damage to your property and your personal belongings.

While there is no standard cost for water repair damage, the cost is based on several factors. This includes the type of water, the extent of damage and the size of the affected area.

Category 1 (Clean water): Water comes from a faucet, malfunctioning appliance connected to a water line or a supply pipe. This is the least expensive. However if left unmitigated fungal growth can occur in 48 -72 hours from the initial incident.  When fungal growth begins this can change the category and add to costs as procedures to protect workers are also increased.

Category 2 (Grey water): Grey water contains biological and chemical pollutants that can cause illness. Common sources are water that is discharged from washing machine, dishwasher or toilet.

Category 3 (Black water): This is the most detrimental of the group and is also the most expensive. Water contains harmful bacteria that may cause severe discomfort or sickness. Common sources are overflowing rivers and streams, sewage and standing water. Category two water that is left stagnant for more than 48 hours falls under this category.

Restoring your home after water damage could be a frustrating experience. Water or excess moisture could harm your home and its content. The faster you take action, the less damage you’ll have in your home. Here are some tips you can use until we get to your home: http://www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com/water-damage-tips

From leaky roofs, basement leaks or frozen pipe bursts, the people at SERVPRO of West Forsyth are here to help make it “like it never even happened.”  In these situations, time is critical. You don’t want your home to be destroyed by water, call us 24/7 directly at 336-946-1131. We commit to pick up your call or call back in an hour or less, be onsite in four hours or less. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County services Winston Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Rural Hall, Bethania, Pfafftown, Tobbacoville, and surrounding areas. 

Plan for a disaster with the SERVPRO ERP App

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

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. Letting you know where you may lack preparedness thinking of things you had not thought of before.

?  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 quickly 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. So even if you’re not onsite when disaster strikes you have a plan.

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

336-946-1131

It's always best to call us directly. 

Mold Damage Cleanup and What to Expect

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

What is mold?

First off Mold is everywhere and not all mold is toxic, but all mold in your home or business should be dealt with.  Mold is a fungus that loves damp and humid conditions.  It spreads by producing mold spores which can survive many harsh environments.  Mold and mildew are most often found in places that have high moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, crawlspaces, around water heaters or air handlers.  It is not uncommon, however, to also find mold on or between walls, flooring, carpeting, furniture, or textiles.  Often it is a result of a hidden leak, poor drainage or a past water damage. Sometimes the odor will tip you off, but other times it might go undetected until you see it or someone begins showing symptoms indicating possible mold. If water is leaking in between walls spots may form on the ceiling below the source.

Do I need to do a mold test?

Store bought mold tests aren’t terribly reliable. If you can see mold then you can be sure removing it is the only way to prevent further growth and avoid health risks.  If however you suspect mold may be growing out of sight, such as inside a wall, ceiling cavity or beneath the flooring, a good air quality test can be very helpful.  An air quality test will not only identify the specific types of mold but also let you know how much of it is present in the air in specific areas of your home.  SERVPRO frequently recommends a professional air quality test be done prior to mold removal and again after mitigation is complete.  Comparing the results before and after provides an excellent measure to ensure a healthy environment or identify any ongoing issues that need to be addressed. SERVPRO of West Forsyth does not conduct Air Quality tests themselves, we contract an independent third party to provide analysis that we have done a good job.  

What happens if I hire SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to take care of mold in my home?

First we will dispatch one of our certified mold mitigation technicians to complete a visual inspection and initial assessment. 

Our trained technician will try to help you identify and address the source of the moisture problem.  This will help prevent a recurrence of mold or further damage to your home in the future. Not addressing the moisture problem is a guarantee to have a mold issue again in the future. We want to fix the root cause of the problem to ensure a total solution.  

Moisture meters are used to pinpoint exactly what areas are wet – if any. Before mitigation begins, the first air-quality test should be performed by an independent contractor to ensure we have objective data on the type and quantity of mold present.

If mold is found, we’ll set up containment and air scrubbers to prevent spores from contaminating other areas of your home. Next we apply a professional anti-microbial product to kill existing mold spores and help prevent mold from returning.

If necessary, affected porous materials will be sealed in plastic and removed.  Non-porous surfaces are then mitigated accordingly, wiped down and/ or sprayed with an anti-microbial one last time.

Once all debris has been removed and affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned, we’ll suggest a final air quality test.  This final measure will be your assurance that your home is now a clean and healthy environment for you and your family.  If for any reason the affected area does not pass the air quality test, SERVPRO will continue mold mitigation until passing air quality tests are obtained.

What does it mean to be a SERVPRO certified mold mitigation technician?

All SERVPRO technicians are certified through the IICRC.  Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is the standard setter for the mitigation industry and considered the authority in mitigation by most insurance carriers.

In addition SERVPRO offers on-going training to all of its employees, enabling them to remain up to date on current mitigation and restoration practices and provide you with answers you can rely on.

As the preferred mitigation specialist for most major insurance companies; SERVPRO staff are experienced at communicating with you and your insurance company to assist in all steps of your insurance claim process.

Each SERVPRO employee is dedicated to ensuring your home is restored to its preloss condition and to your full satisfaction.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Business power outage preparedness

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

In the recent years there have been discussions regarding the infrastructure of our nation’s power grid. What would happen if your business was without power for an extended period of time? Every business should have a continuity plan. That is where SERVPRO’s ERP can assist by having key personnel and vendors on a list in one place to help you resolve a crises quickly.

Take note or inventory of the processes in your business that would be affected by a power outage. Computers are the first thing most business owners will think of. What about security systems, or alarms, HVAC, and elevators in multilevel buildings could also be impacted.

Do you need an alternate source of power to be operational during the outage? Uninterruptable power supplies to power down computers and save work. You should obtain and keep that system maintained. There would be nothing worse than preparing for an outage only to find that the generator does not work or is low or out of fuel.

Emergency lighting, most warehouses and cubicle farms have limited if any natural light. You need to consider if customers and office workers would be present during the outage. Their safety should be a priority.

Should a shelter in place order come from authorities do you have proper emergency supplies? Consider that same emergency kit you have for home for the office and keep it maintained. This should include flashlights, battery powered radio, first aid kit, food, water and blankets.

Education: Do your employees know what to do in case of an emergency? Inform them of what the emergency business plan is. Review it with them regularly. Keep in mind any special need employees who may need assistance evacuating the building if necessary. Make sure they know what to do with customers in order to keep them safe.

During an outage stay informed, listen for directions from authorities or news broadcasts to take shelter or evacuation routes.

Use the backup power safely. Never use a generator indoors. Doing so can be fatal causing carbon monoxide poisoning. The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Electrical surges or spikes can cause damage to sensitive equipment when the power is restored. These devices should be unplugged to avoid being damaged especially if critical to your operation.   

After the power is restored turn on the most essential equipment first. Wait 10 -15 minutes to reconnect other lesser essential items. This will avoid overloading the electrical system and give it time to stabilize to the demand. Remember all of your neighbors are doing the same thing rushing to get power may put you back in the dark.  Be sure all equipment is running correctly and safely.  Most importantly be sure all personnel are safe and accounted for.  Review with your department heads what went wrong with the plan what went right, be sure to take corrective actions to your plan.

Air Quality Testing Why Do I Need It?

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Air Quality Results Before / After

In every home in Winston Salem there is a certain amount of mold. It’s everywhere the problem comes into play when it is in concentrated doses, and we spend more than 85% of our time concentrated indoors. If you want to know exactly how much, and what types there are in your home you should have an air quality test.  There are a couple of types of tests, one available readily even on the internet is a swab test. Although economical, it only tells you if the presence of mold is present on the surface area that you swab. It does not however tell you the amount of spores in the air that you are breathing. That is why we recommend an aerosol canister test that draws air from the suspected room and is sent to a lab for analysis. Why is it important to get an air quality test? Did you know that 40% – 60% of the air you breathe is from your crawl space? When was the last time you were in your crawl space? Was there water standing? Is your sump pump working properly to keep it dry?  With recent rains it may overwhelm your sump pump and cause it to fail. You should check it regularly in order to prevent fungal growth. With the heavy rains Clemmons and surrounding areas have had it could be a safe haven for mold and fungal growth.

 There is no standard set by the government for what is acceptable limits of mold. But the EPA does state. “Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”  An EPA guide to mold can be found here.

SERVPRO felt like that there should be a standard and that standard is governed by IICRC . It is called the ANSI/IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Guide. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County does not conduct the air quality tests themselves. We do this for our reputation and to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. We would caution you to have independent third parties conduct the test and share the results with us and perspective clients. We work with and can recommend environmental hygienists with great reputations.

 In the picture there is a before and after air quality test report for a basement that was remediated for mold in Rural Hall NC. The standard is that mold count should be below 500. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County tries very hard to get the counts below 300. This is how you know that a remediation expert has done the job properly. An air quality test and proper mold remediation services can give you peace of mind and keep you and your family safe.

Should you suspect that you have a mold issue, it’s best to call us directly at

336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.  

Be prepared for a fire loss.

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

We have recently had friends and neighbors in the Winston Salem area who have suffered a fire loss. The recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii remind us that Mother Nature is unpredictable and devastating. So far 26 homes have been destroyed. Closer to home just two years ago wild fires in Western NC and East TN burned more than 45,000 acres and cost home and business owners $36.8 Million dollars. Wild fire season typically starts in March but resources say that it is a year round problem. Home fires peak at the holidays but can strike anytime. Being a 24 hour emergency disaster cleanup company has taught us that you never know when the worst day of your life will strike.  This time of year also lends to an increase in home fires due to decorating with flags and cooking for the national holidays. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can't stress enough the importance of being prepared. 

Make spreadsheets of valuable items with cost new & current value, copy receipts for major ones as you buy (you don't absolutely have to have them but makes it easy), take photos with smart phones, and prepare yourself for your WORST DAY. Have a conversation with your insurance agent about your coverage's, do they have any advice to prepare? Do they have an inventory guide? What are you responsible for?  READY.GOV has this advice for ensuring that you get through a fire or disaster here. You can also send the information you will need in an email. From there you'll ALWAYS have it so long as it is in the cloud or an internet based email. Keep it in an email folder marked Disaster Day Insurance. This way you'll have it through fire, flood, or national disaster. You can also keep these documents in a fire proof box or safety deposit box. Digital copies will make it easier to discuss with the insurance company. Have it already done so you don't have to worry about wondering what you're missing. Nor have the stress of figuring it all out when everything is gone. Microsoft Office has a great home itemization spreadsheet

You will need a team of people who will help get you back to normal. One that will be there for you on your WORST DAY.  SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) can help you or a business gather that team for you.  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hopes that you never need to put the plan into action, but knows that being prepared for a disaster is better than not being prepared.

Should you need our services it’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Tornadoes and Storm Damage, Are You Prepared?

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes recently in Greensboro have displaced folks and have made us think are we ready for storms and tornadoes here in Winston Salem? Preparing for an emergency beforehand is much better than trying to deal with one while in you’re in one. 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 avoid using candles if you must use candles do so in a safe manner by never leaving them unattended. A hurricane lame glass over a candle can also help.  Keep walk ways clear to avoid a tripping hazard.

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.  This might be a good idea to put on the “to do check list” when changing smoke detector batteries and changing the clocks. 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
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods

These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to Tornado tips for before during and after a tornado https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes When storm damage strikes the Winston Salem area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of West Forsyth County arrives will make a world of difference.  Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Dryer Fire Safety

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

According to FEMA 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported each year. That is more than 240 a month! Of the causes the number one reason the fire started was because the lint collection tray was not cleaned. 34% of these fires could have been prevented by cleaning the lint. It is recommended that you clean the lint filter each time you use the dryer and clean the exhaust hose ductwork at least once a year.

Other things that you should NOT do when using a dryer are

  • Do not overload the dryer
  • Do not turn a load on before you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Do not cover the vent damper with a cloth or mesh screen
  • Do not dry anything the manufacture has stated “dry away from heat” These could be flammable.
  • Do not dry items that have come in contact with flammable liquids such as gas or oily rags

The picture this blog is attached to we can’t say for sure what the cause was but the dryer is where it started. What SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants you to take away from this blog is that most are preventable with proper maintenance service and operation.

Should you have a need to make fire damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131.

Time is critical even after the fire is out

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

The cost of smoke and fire damage restoration depends on a few variables even after the source is subdued. To prevent secondary damage call on a professional to help as soon as the fire department says it’s safe to start the mitigation process.

Soot, when left on surfaces can corrode and permanently discolor in the span of a few hours. If left for days, the issues can become irreparable and require the replacement of furniture, floor coverings, counter tops, and much more.

Beyond the soot; Burnt smells frequently linger, which make odor neutralization another important part of the process.

What many people don’t consider until they’ve experienced a fire first hand is the effects of the water used to put the fire out.  Parts of the structure and the contents that weren’t damaged by the fire itself may be adversely affected by the water and if not cleaned and dried quickly will need to be discarded and run the risk of mold growth.   

In order for smoke damage restoration to be most effective, the job should be approached as soon as possible by a professional in mitigation. Trained technicians can remove and neutralize odors, and quickly identify which items may be able to be restored.

Smoke, ash, and water all contribute to the devastation, so having someone with the proper training is crucial.  SERVPRO technicians with certifications in Fire and Smoke Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Fabric and Upholstery Cleaning, Odor Control, Mold Remediation and Prevention, and Applied Structural Drying will have all the skills necessary to salvage and return rooms to a previous state

SERVPRO® National Call Center served 313 insurance and property management companies and their clients nationwide in the last year alone.  We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year and helps lower your insurance rates too!

24-Hour Emergency Service; in our business, you need us fast! Professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Whether you live in Winston Salem, Clemmons, or Rural Hall, our trained, uniformed mitigation specialists are equipped to restore your property to preloss condition whenever possible and will walk you through the process until the work and your satisfaction are complete.

From large commercial environments to small residential losses, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County understands your loss is the job that matters most! 

Exhaust Vent Fire Safety

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

You have heard the phrase electricity and water don’t mix. Well lint, dust and hair can be hazardous also when combined with electrical items such as a bath room exhaust fan or dryer vent.  In an earlier blog we told you how an exhaust vent is a good thing to help prevent excessive moisture build up and mold growth in your bathroom. But like anything around your home proper maintenance will keep it in good working order and help prevent fire hazards.

According to NFPA.org (National Fire Protection Association) over 45,000 homes suffered a fire loss between 2010 & 2014 involving electrical failure or malfunction. These fires resulted in $1.4 billion in property damage and more tragically over 1300 injuries and over 400 deaths.  Those numbers are staggering when you consider that some are preventable with proper usage and maintenance of the electrical items around the house.

Exhaust vents can present a potential fire hazard if not cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Fans over time build up lint which can cause the motor to overheat and ignite the lint, plastic fan blades and the nearby combustible wood structure. How fast lint builds up is dependent on how often it is used and the amount of particulate in the air moving through the exhaust or vent.

Dryer vents and exhaust fans are used in both commercial and residential properties.  The original install of this equipment was not purchased for longevity nor are most of these devices thermally protected. Thermal protection causes the motor to shut off should they seize and overheat. This safety feature has been available since the late 1970’s, but was not widely used until the early 1990’s.  Along with changing batteries in smoke detectors you should clean the exhaust fans in your home or place of work twice a year. If it starts to make noises or smells odd, it’s time to replace it.

If you have Fire, Water or Mold damage in your home or business call us 336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. “Like it never even happened.”

Check list to recover from winter storms aka Spring Cleaning

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

The weather is turning nicer here in Winston Salem NC and you will want to do some work outside to maintain your home. We talked about winterizing your home in an earlier blog but what if your preparation didn’t hold up? Here is a check list of things to look for to minimize damage and maintain the value of your home.

Landscaping (shrubs) surrounding the house need trimming to make sure the wood behind them can dry out. Ensure the slope of the landscaping leads away from the home.  Pools of water next to the foundation are bad. They can lead to a water intrusion if not properly addressed.

Exterior faucets, we told you in winterizing your home to take hoses off and use hose bibs to prevent freezing. As you turn water on & check faucets for leaks. Be prepared to shut water off quickly as burst pipes are often inside the house and in the wall. If you have someone who can be on the other side of the faucet to check, that will help.

Gutters should cleaned once a year, twice a year if on a wooded lot. Many houses have different needs on each side of the house so clean as often as needed.

Roof – check for missing or loose shingles; check around chimney, vents & skylights for leaks, and long the eaves for evidence of ice dams. The vents should have good seals and no cracking looks for signs of dry rot and wear. Check the fascia (vertical) boards underneath gutters if icicles have formed on them that may indicate a leak.

Siding & paint – Paint is a seal against outside water intrusion, check for cracks, gaps and peeling. Repair/replace caulking if you find any gaps.

Doors & windows – Replace weather stripping as needed to prevent rain water from creeping under the door. Repair screens, install/swap screens for storm doors/windows.

Window sills and kick boards below exterior doors are the most vulnerable wood items, so check them carefully. If wet and rotting they could also be an invitation to termites. Replace and paint as necessary to prevent extending and invitation to further damage.

Deck – clean, repair and stain. Stain wears better & easier to maintain, i.e. doesn’t peel. Again rotting wood should be replaced and sealed / treated for termite prevention.

Mailboxes, etc – repair damage done during snow removal to mailboxes, fencing, stairs, etc.

Grill – clean outdoor grill; check to insure it’s working properly. Be sure to keep this a safe distance from your home and never leave it unattended.

Attic – If you found missing shingles during your roof inspection, check insulation for moisture and replace as needed. Add more ventilation to insure moisture doesn’t get trapped. Never cover vents or eaves as they allow airflow and reduce the chance of mold growth.

Bathrooms – ensure the exhaust fan is in good working order and dust or clean to ensure good airflow. Check caulking and grout, and repair as needed to prevent water damage or mold.

A/Cs – Change air filters if you have pets this should be done more frequently. Check window A/Cs have good drainage. Check central A/C duct work and insure no leaks. Have your system checked by a professional to ensure the condensate drain line is working properly and your HVAC system is ready for the hot Carolina summer.

Appliances – Dust and clean refrigerator coils, stove exhaust hood and dryer vents. A duct cleaning professional could also be of help with the clothes dryer vent checking off two important areas.

Ceiling fans – clean (lots of dust on top) and check to insure fans are operating properly.

Basement or Crawl Space – check walls and floor for dampness; address source of humidity where possible; run sump pump to insure it’s functioning properly before spring rain. Are there any standing pools of water? These can cause mold and affect the air quality in your home.

Dehumidifiers – Ensure the drain line is clear and flowing freely. Clean periodically and make sure they’re working properly.

Hot Water Heater – Can build up scale especially if your water is hard. Drain twice a year and clean out deposits on bottom. Check for leaks and place a water leak detector near this and other water sources i.e. toilets, dishwasher, behind refrigerator.

Safety – The time change to daylight savings is a good time to check batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Ensure your family knows the plan in case of an emergency. Ready.Gov has a checklist

These should help prevent disasters and add value to your home. A well maintained home is worth more.  But should a water, fire or mold situation invade your home call us direct at 336-946-1131 we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Don't get scammed! Call someone you can trust!

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

We have had a lot of rain lately and the winds seem to be picking up to, along with the wind picking up so to scammers. Jack and John Thayer trolled neighborhoods after storms, offering to fix damaged homes. The duo stole more than $770,000 in down payments from storm-traumatized homeowners — without fixing the homes. Many victims were elderly. The Thayers received up to 20 years in prison. This story ended in justice but all too often Winston Salem home and business owners are taken advantage of by less than reputable people.

Be wary of door-to-door and trucks patrolling a neighborhood after a storm or telephone sales people.  Recently the BBB of North West NC reported that consumers were victims after Hurricane Imra  one such scam where the homeowner was contacted by a gentleman who said they are currently working in the area and they notice that she had storm roof damage and they will send a representative so they can help her claim the insurance for this damage.

You can keep scammers away. Protect your family, bank account and yourself from crooks: Stay alert, ask questions and go slow and pay attention to details.

Contact your insurance agent don’t trust that the contractor will file the claim for you. No one should be filing a claim on your insurance but you. This is a good time to talk with your agent about if you should even file a claim or not. You may need additional information like estimates from a reputable company.  

After a damage to your car or home ... Take photos of the damage and passengers. You can prevent fake injury and damage claims.

Contact your state insurance department or National Insurance Crime Bureau (1-800-835-6422) to report a scam. You can also report a scam with the BBB 

Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Save all receipts, if temporary roofing repairs are necessary. Know what your deductible is and know when to file a claim.

Although you may be anxious to get things back to normal, avoid letting your emotions get the better of you. Don't be pressured into making an immediate decision with a long-term impact. Be proactive in selecting a business and not reactive to sales solicitations. It is common for storm chasers to call and knock on your door.

For major repairs, take time to shop around and get 3-4 estimates based on the same specifications and materials. Check out references that are at least one year old, verify with your local government to find out whether or not businesses are required to be licensed/registered to do work in your area, and check with your local building inspector to see if a building permit is required.

Be wary of door-to-door workers who claim to have leftover materials from a job “down the street” or who do not have a permanent place of business. If salespeople go door-to-door, check to see if your community requires them to have solicitation permits.

Be leery if a worker shows up on your doorstep to announce that your home is unsafe. If you are concerned about possible structural damage in your home, have an engineer, architect or building official inspect it. While most roofing contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work. This goes for Mold Remediation also. Contact an independent environmental specialist to perform an air quality test. Or ask if they do the test themselves or do they have a third party perform the test. If the mold mitigater does the testing or the roofer does the inspection what do you think the odds of them finding work for themselves to perform are?

Require a written contract agreement with anyone you hire. Be sure their name, address, license number, if applicable, and phone number are included in the contract. Read and understand the contract in its entirety, and don’t sign a blank contract. A copy of the signed contract is to be given to you at time of signature. What certifications does the company have?

Find out about reported scams in your neighborhood or report a scam using the BBB’s new Scam Tracker tool.

Check out SERVPRO of West Forsyth County A+ accreditation on the BBB 

 Call a trusted contractor call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at 336-946-1131

3 Tips to prevent fires in the home

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Growing up, we’re given important advice on preventing home fires: don’t leave candles burning; don’t leave your stovetop on; keep anything that can catch fire (like a pot handle) away from the stove.

Household fires are a growing problem in the U.S. According to the Department of Homeland Security, each year thousands of people die in home fires, which cause an estimated $7.3 billion in direct property loss annually.

Indeed, three often-overlooked household items can cause a fire: clothes dryers, batteries and power strips.

The Today show  spoke with Lt. Anthony Mancuso, Director of Fire Safety and Education with the FDNY to give us some helpful tips on minimizing the risk of house fires from these items.ip 1: Clean your lint screen

Dryers work best when the lint screen is clear. But did you know that a dryer full of lint is actually a fire hazard, too? Lint is extremely flammable, and electricity from a running dryer can be enough to spark it if the screen is full.

Luckily, it's easy to safeguard your home against this fire risk. Before starting the dryer cycle, simply open your lint catcher compartment and give it a quick swipe.

Tip 2: Carefully store your batteries

Batteries – particularly 9 Volt – pose a potentially serious fire risk. We tend to leave them lying around the house when they're not powering our electronics. We usually keep them sitting loose in a drawer somewhere.

But because of the design of 9V batteries - which feature both the positive and negative poles on the same side of the battery – they can be a real fire hazard.

Something as simple as a paperclip or coin coming into contact with both poles can be enough to overheat the battery and cause a spark, which can turn into a fire.

Even AA or AAA batteries should be stored in a safe way: store them upright, or cover the top with a piece of tape.

Tip 3: Be aware of what you plug into power strips or extension cords

Most people plug their devices into whatever open outlet is closest. But beware if that outlet is a power strip or extension cord! These devices can be mismatched with the voltage your device requires which could easily lead to a home fire.

This is especially a concern with items that heat up, like toasters, coffee makers or space heaters. These items should be unplugged when not in use.

When you start putting extension cords on some of these items, the extension cord may not be matched properly with the same size wire. When you’re pulling all that electricity through that other extension, it starts to melt that wire – and that’s when the fire starts.

What should you plug into a power strip or an extension cord? The power strip is for your computer, your flat-screen TV, any entertainment items. It’s not for space heaters or air conditioners; those items should be plugged directly into the wall outlet.

Take these tips into consideration to avoid a home fire. Should your home experience an unexpected disaster, visit SERVPRO® to contact the Fire & Water Cleanup & Restoration experts.

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

What to do for a frozen pipe.

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

When the temperatures are consistently below freezing what can you do to prevent freezing pipes? Turn the hot and cold water on a trickle. Open the cabinets so warm air can circulate around the pipes especially if the sink is on an exterior facing wall. Ensure that crawl space vents are closed and that pipes are well insulated within the crawl.  Preparation is key in our blog winterizing your home, we suggested inspecting for air leaks. Caulking around windows, doors, dryer vents and where electrical wiring comes into your home is a good idea to protecting pipes.

If the temperature is below freezing and your water doesn’t come on, you may have a frozen pipe, and you may already have a leak. The short answer is call a plumber. But some DIY people go too far. Never try to thaw a pipe with a blow torch or open flame.  A hair dryer could help but never use an electrical appliance while standing in water. If the pipe has burst be sure to cut the water main off. It’s a good idea to teach everyone in your household where the shut off valve is.

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. If you have had an issue with frozen pipes in the past then this may be an item to put on your to do list when winterizing your home.

If you’re leaving on vacation in the winter here are some tips. Never turn the heat below 55 degrees.  Remember that water main cut it off if you’re gone for more than a couple days. Even if pipes don’t freeze they can fail. A 1/8th inch split in a water supply line can dump 250 gallons of water a day into your home or business.  Not to mention you might have mold by the time you got back from your trip.  Asking a friend or family member to check on the house to ensure it’s not too cold is also a good idea.

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

Vacation Planning? Prepare your home!

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Your all packed but did you prepare your home to be away?

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.

Frozen Pipe and Spigots are you prepared?

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

The next couple of weeks are supposed to be bitterly cold here in Winston Salem.  And SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants to warn you against the hazards of frozen outside spigots and pipes.

When water freezes, it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if it's put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.

Why Pipes Burst

Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. It's not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream; between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end.  It's this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed. Upstream from the ice blockage the water can always retreat back towards its source, so there is no pressure build-up to cause a break. Water has to freeze for ice blockages to occur. Pipes that are adequately protected along their entire length by placement within the building's insulation, insulation on the pipe itself, or heating, are safe.

Water pipes in houses here the southern climate often are more vulnerable to winter cold spells. The pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside of the building insulation, and homeowners tend to be less aware of freezing problems, which may occur only once or twice a season.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold, outside air to flow across the pipes. Research at the University of Illinois has shown that wind chill, which is the cooling effect of air and wind that causes the human body to lose heat, can play a major role in accelerating ice blockage, and thus bursting, in water pipes. 

Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can provide access for cold air to reach pipes.

If you have a loss SERVPRO of West Forsyth can make it "Like it never even happened." Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Holiday Candles And Cooking Be Safe

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

The holiday season is here and Winston Salem families gear up for decorating their homes and hosting large gatherings of friends and family, Jeff Meadows of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County reminds homeowners to take note of some sobering statistics about home fire safety from the National Fire Prevention Association:

Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. The three peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1

Candles fires peak in December. The top three days for candles fires are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve2 .

“These statistics are a serious reminder of how the excitement of holiday entertaining can quickly turn into a life-altering fire or even a tragic injury or death,” says Meadows. “While glowing candles and elaborate meals set the stage for a great holiday get-together, homeowners need to exercise extra care in controlling the dangerous potential for fires.” 

According to the NFPA3, unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home cooking fires, with frying posing the greatest fire risk and electric ranges posing a higher risk than gas ranges. Range top cooking in general started the majority of home cooking fires and caused 86 percent of related civilian deaths for the reporting period.

While incidents of candle fires peaked in 2001 and have been falling since, candles are still one of the top 10 causes of U.S. home fires, according to the NFPA. As with cooking fires, unattended or abandoned candles account for a large portion of candle fires–almost 20 percent–but the most frequent cause of candle fires is placing the candle too close to something that can burn, like curtains, decorations or furniture. 

“It’s easy to see why cooking and candle fires both peak during the holiday season,” says Meadows, “and it’s also easy to see why homeowners need to take extra care when decorating their homes or entertaining. A moment’s inattention at the stove or a guest repositioning a candle on a tabletop may be all it takes to turn the festivities into a fight to save property and lives. While our business is fire and water damage restoration and we stand ready to help at a moment’s notice if disaster does strike, our sincere hope is that our friends and neighbors will enjoy a fire-free and festive holiday season.” 

For more information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit http://www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration . For more information on SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County, please contact us at (336) 946-1131

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking

http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fire-causes/candles 

http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking/Reports-and-statistics-about-cooking-fires-and-safety  

Holiday cooking fire safety

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Cooking fire

The holidays and cooking go hand in hand. But more time in the kitchen means an increased chance for cooking-related fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are nearly 4 times as many cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day as there are on any other typical day of the year. Cooking has long been the leading cause of residential fires and fire injuries, and while Thanksgiving is the peak day for residential cooking fires, folks tend to start heading into the kitchen more and more as temperatures drop. Halloween really marks the beginning of the season for baked and fried treats. A cooking fire is typically ignited by food or the grease and oils used to prepare the food, making cleanup more difficult. Turkey fryers can also lead to fire damage or injury.

A kitchen fire, regardless of the size, can be overwhelming. And while these fires typically begin on the stove, the damage generally affects the entire kitchen including, the walls, ceiling, air ducts and appliances. Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire loss condition. We can also remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. Proper remediation of fire, smoke, and soot and water damage can help prevent further damage such as lingering odors, mold growth and permanent discoloration of items.

Before attempting to clean any smoke or fire damage, contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131

It's always best to call us directly.

Winterizing Your Home

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Ahhh, fall is finally here! The leaves are changing, there’s a crisp coolness in the air, and our favorite pumpkin spiced-flavored treats line store shelves once more. We all look forward to fall’s festivities, and now that Halloween is over the winter Holidays are approaching fast. You have just a few weeks left to prepare your home for winter. Preparing can help ensure you’re cozying up by the fireside worry-free once cold weather rolls around. 

Decorating and meal-prepping might be the first things on your mind when it comes to preparing your home for the colder months Here are important fall maintenance tips that can make all the difference once winter’s first freeze hits.

  1. Clear out your gutters

All those colorful leaves falling from the trees sure are pretty — but they also pile up pretty quickly in your home’s gutters.

Even if you have gutter guard silt or excess debris can lead to clogs (or ice dams in wintery conditions), which can prevent gutters from draining properly. In turn, there’s a chance water could seep into your home since it has nowhere else to escape to, causing a multitude of issues like damage to your valuables, mold growth, and even structural rot.

Before winter hits, clear your house’s gutters of leaves and any other debris that might’ve accumulated during the summer months. It also helps to run water through the gutters afterward to check for any leaks or misalignments that could damage your home. Don’t forget to check the down spouts.

  1. Inspect for air leaks

Things like damaged weather stripping and small cracks in your home’s structure allow warm air to escape, causing your heater to go into overdrive to keep your place warm.

The solution to your chilly house and high utility bills is pretty simple: before it gets wintery outside, inspect your home’s windows, doorways, and any other places where air might be able to enter or exit.

You can use caulking to stop leaks in the stationary components of your home (like a crack in your doorframe) and weather stripping to insulate the moving components (like windows and doors).

  1. Have your heating system checked

Home just doesn’t feel like home if a malfunctioning heater is leaving you with the chills. And in parts of the country with freezing temps, it can be a much more serious situation.

That’s why it’s wise to have a licensed contractor come out to inspect your heater at least once a year, especially before the weather outside becomes frightful. Ask about the condensate drain line. “Is it clear?” “Is there an operating float switch?” Consider a moister detector that will alarm if water gets more than a 16th of an inch deep. This will let you know you have a potential problem.

  1. Prepare your pipes

Get to know where the pipelines in your house are located and make sure to inspect them every autumn (at least).

Simply patch any small leaks to help reduce weaknesses that might cause the pipe to burst in freezing weather. Have heat tape installed by professional who knows the applications. And you can further protect any exposed pipes by insulating them with foam or rubber pipe wraps, which can be found at your local hardware store.

For larger leaks or pipeline problems, it’s always a good idea to play it safe and call the pros.

Also prepare them when you leave for the long weekend to Grandma’s Turn the main valve off it can be the difference between a $800 repair and on in the tens of thousands of dollars. When you come back turn on slowly to prevent a sudden increase in pressure known as water hammer.

  1. Drain any outside faucets and irrigation systems 

Speaking of bursting pipes, it’s important to pay attention to the water systems immediately outside your place too. Undrained water in outdoor faucets and irrigation systems can expand when frozen and cause a pipe to burst.

Draining faucets is simple enough: just unhook the hoses from the faucets and pack them away in the garage for the winter and let out any remaining water — easy as that!

Irrigation systems, on the other hand, often vary in the way they should be maintained. It’s best to call a professional who has experience with underground water systems, just to cover all your bases.

  1. Have your roof inspected

For your safety, a full-blown roof inspection should be done professionally. The cost to hire an inspector can be as low as a little over $200 and can prevent seriously hefty repair expenses down the line if a winter storm wreaks havoc on your roof and you don’t have sufficient insurance coverage to cover repair costs.

Cut branches that overhang the roof or rubbing against the roof this can damage and cause problems for your home as well

Reinforcing and protecting your roof now can help you avoid a whole host of hazards, like air and water leaks, water damage, mold, and more — all of which could put a damper on your seasonal festivities (and your wallet).

  1. Restock cold-weather home essentials

Key items like rock salt or kitty litter, snow shovels, space heaters, extra batteries, and heated blankets can help make your home both more functional and comfortable during wintertime. Stock up on these helpful winter wares ahead of time to help avoid any extra hassle or stress come holiday season. You can also be prepared with a ready kit like the ones available at the Red Cross 

Related link: Tips for Before, During, and After a Winter Power Outage

  1. Take a peek at your homeowners insurance

Believe it or not, your homeowner’s policy could come to the rescue for a whole host of cold-weather mishaps. Whether a hailstorm leaves holes in your roof, a vandal breaks into your home and destroys valuables while you’re out holiday shopping, or the weight of snow and ice results in structural damage to your house, homeowners insurance could help pay to repair or replace your losses. Have a conversation with your agent about the “what if’s” and what you should be covered for.  

If you do all these and still have a Fire, Water, or Mold Damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County in Winston Salem. We make it “Like it never even happened." 

It's best to call us direct 336-946-1131

How ready is your business for a disaster?

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.  And it’s available as a mobile app in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

By working with SERVPRO®of West Forsyth County to develop your personalized Emergency READY Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call Ed Dean at 336-409-3060 Today for a No Cost Assessment 
of Your Facility!

Emergency planning can be the difference in open or closed

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Even with insurance coverage, disasters can shake the foundations of even the best-managed companies. Make a business assessment for the survival of your company. Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on being prepared to responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. Before any calamity strikes, you should know what tasks will need to be performed to get your company running again and who will be responsible for accomplishing them. While there is no one-size-fits-all recovery plan, every business’ strategy should include some basics. Laying the groundwork by preparing to handle insurance claims, scouting viable options for temporary operations and considering the implications of various financial alternatives before trouble strikes can make the process of recovery much easier. The impacts from hazards can be reduced by investing in mitigation. If there is a potential for significant impacts, then creating a mitigation strategy should be a high priority.

 https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/5.2.1.0%20Risk%20Assessment%20Process.png

Insurance Considerations

Depending upon the details of the policy that you have selected for your business, commercial property insurance may cover damage or loss of the insured property, time element losses, loss mitigation costs, and loss adjustment expenses. It may also cover costs for public relations, research and development, and other necessities. When a disaster occurs, it is crucial to take the steps that will preserve and maximize your insurance coverage. To ensure that you receive all the benefits that your business is entitled to, familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your policy before any problems arise. Work with your insurance company to create a checklist of your responsibilities after a loss to aid you in meeting deadlines and assembling documentation. Knowing what you are responsible for and being organized will make the recovery smoother and faster.

Making Your Claim

If your business is hit by disaster, set your recovery plan into motion by providing prompt notification of any claim to your insurance company. Be ready to meet any deadlines for filing proof of loss statements. If circumstances make the deadline for these statements unreasonable, get written approval for extensions. Be prepared to meet any requirements for preserving the evidence of your claim if destructive testing or immediate remediation is necessary. You will also want to record your loss mitigation efforts and the reasons that these efforts were needed.

Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has a FREE customizable app that can aid your company recover in a timely manner. 

Timing Matters

Timing is critical in insurance claims. While keeping your insurance company informed is important, you need to understand any time limitations in your policy and their potential consequences. Review your policy to see if there is a deadline for electing a valuation method. See if there is a time limit for rebuilding or replacement. You will also want to check your policy for a suit limitation clause. Most policies contain one, so you will want to be sure that it is conservatively calendared to give you time to maneuver if necessary.

Payment Possibilities

It is not surprising that cash flow is a primary concern for a business working to recover after a catastrophe. While it can take time for a claim to be settled, some insurance policies contain provisions for claim advances or partial payments. Search through your policy to see if these provisions are included and identify how you would invoke them.

Re-establishing Operations

A business impact analysis (https://www.ready.gov/business-impact-analysis) of your business before a disaster will plan and effectively get your business running smoothly again. Before anything bad happens, think about how your business could operate during the recovery phase. This may involve moving to a temporary location or finding storage for undamaged inventory or equipment, so it’s smart to be aware of the possibilities in your area. Make a note to analyze leasing and service contracts if you are forced to relocate so that you can try to tailor them to your business’s specific needs.

Property Considerations

Regardless of where you set up shop after a catastrophe, you will have to decide what to do with your original location. Is rehabilitating or rebuilding the site worthwhile? If you believe that it is, then you will need to arrange for professional remediation, design and construction services. If you decide against rebuilding, then you must figure out how to dispose of that property and acquire a new permanent location. Remember that a new location will still require design and construction services in order to modify it to suit your company’s needs. Don’t forget to review zoning issues for any new property to verify that your business will be able to build appropriate facilities and operate as desired at that location.

Financing Issues

Even with insurance, a recovery may require financing. Depending on your recovery plans, options might include a line of credit, an acquisition loan or a construction loan. In some situations, it may be possible to use legal actions to seek reimbursement from the party responsible for your loss. Weigh all the possibilities carefully and remember to consider the potential tax consequences. Understanding the pros and cons of your options before any problems start will make it easier to make smart decisions when a disaster hits.

When your business needs assistance dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophe, count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. Our professionals are prepared to respond, so when a significant event occurs, they’ll be there for you. Whether it is damage from flooding, a fire, a tornado, a hurricane, an ice event or a snowstorm, we have the resources and expertise to help in the Winston Salem, Forsyth County are.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County serves Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Rural Hall, Pfafftown, Tobaccoville, and surrounding areas. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131 Emergency Services available 24 hrs. a day. 

Lead paint renovations in your home or office

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

Doesn’t it seem like every time you turn around there’s something new that you should avoid because it’s “toxic”? In our industry we hear about mold and asbestos all the time. Lesser known is another substance known to cause health issues: lead.  The most common place lead is found is lead-based paint. Chipping or peeling paint that contains lead and lead contaminated dust are the main sources of lead poisoning. Houses and apartments built before 1978 may have lead-based paint on the inside, outside, or both. Lead-based paint can also be found on toys, furniture, playground equipment, older cars and boats. Soil, especially around the foundation of homes and near highways, and old water pipes may also contain lead. Hobbies such as making pottery, stained glass or refinishing furniture can expose someone to lead.

Exposure to lead can result in serious health issues. The Forsyth County Environmental Health web site has more information regarding the effect of lead on the body.

Can I just paint over existing lead-based paint?

Repairing damaged painted surfaces can temporarily reduce your family’s risk of lead exposure, but it is not a permanent solution. Never use a belt sander, dry scraper/sandpaper, water blasting, torch, flame, or heat gun on painted surfaces that may contain lead. A contractor who is certified to work with lead-based paint knows how to safely work around the potential hazard and should conduct any work needed. And SERVPRO of West Forsyth is a certified lead paint renovator.

In disaster situations, we sometimes have to disturb lead paint in order to properly dry your home and make it safe. There are many jobs that we tear out drywall, and therefore paint. Enter the EPA Department of Health Services. There are laws about how to deal with structures older than 1978: we assume that lead is present unless we test for it and confirm otherwise. We use lead safe work practices, which basically means contain the workspace and make sure it gets cleaned up per EPA regulations. This makes it a safe environment for your home or workplace.

Place your trust in SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to handle all of your water, fire, smoke, mold, and vandalism damage, lead paint renovation and restoration needs.

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

Halloween Fire Safety

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Autumn holidays like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children of all ages, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy bonfire parties, enjoy fall fruits and vegetables, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

Going trick-or-treating?

When using candles to decorate with never leave them unattended.

Keep fabrics and other decorations such as crepe paper and spider web decorations far from the candles.

Bonfires should have a way to extinguish the fire should it get too large. Sand or a water hose available is a good idea.

Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house.

Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

Look both ways before crossing the street.

Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult.

Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

Use battery operated candles in jack-o-lanterns when possible.

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes. 

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween from SERVPRO of West Forsyth County – 336-946-1131

What is Mold? How should I deal with Mold?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

What is mold?

Mold is a fungus that loves damp and humid conditions.  It spreads by producing mold spores, which can survive many harsh environments.  Mold and mildew are most often found in places that have high moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawlspaces, around water heaters or air handlers.  It is not uncommon, however, to also find mold on or between walls, flooring, carpeting, furniture, or textiles.  Often it is a result of a hidden leak, poor drainage or a past water damage. Sometimes the odor will tip you off, but other times it might go undetected until you see it or someone begins showing symptoms indicating possible mold.

Do I need to do a mold test?

Store bought mold tests aren’t terribly reliable. If you can see mold then you can be sure removing it is the only way to prevent further growth.  If however you suspect mold may be growing out of sight, such as inside a wall, ceiling cavity or beneath the flooring, a good air quality test can be very helpful.  An air quality test will not only identify the specific types of mold but also let you know how much of it is present in the air in specific areas of your home.  SERVPRO frequently recommends a professional air quality test be done prior to mold removal and again after mitigation is complete.  Comparing the results before and after provides an excellent measure to ensure a healthy environment or identify any ongoing issues that need to be addressed.

What happens if I hire SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to take care of mold in my home?

First we will dispatch one of our certified mold mitigation technicians to complete a visual inspection and initial assessment. 

Our trained technician will try to help you identify and address the source of the moisture problem.  This will help prevent a recurrence of mold or further damage to your home in the future.

Moisture meters are used to pinpoint exactly what areas are wet – if any. Before mitigation begins, an independent contractor to ensure we have objective data on the type and quantity of mold present should perform the first air-quality test.

If mold is found, we’ll set up containment and air scrubbers to prevent spores from contaminating other areas of your home. Next we apply a professional anti-microbial product to kill existing mold spores and help prevent mold from returning.

If necessary, affected porous materials will be sealed in plastic and removed.  Non-porous surfaces are then mitigated accordingly, wiped down and/ or sprayed with an anti-microbial one last time.

Once all debris has been removed and affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned or remediated, we’ll suggest a final air quality test.  This final measure will be your assurance that your home is now a clean and healthy environment for you and your family.  If for any reason the affected area does not pass the air quality test, SERVPRO will continue mold mitigation until passing air quality tests are obtained.

What does it mean to be a SERVPRO certified mold mitigation technician?

Our SERVPRO technicians are certified through the IICRC.  Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is the standard setter for the mitigation industry and considered the authority in mitigation by most insurance carriers.

In addition SERVPRO offers on-going training to all of its employees, enabling them to remain up to date on current mitigation and restoration practices and provide you with answers you can rely on.

As the preferred mitigation specialist for most major insurance companies; SERVPRO staff are experienced at communicating with you and your insurance company to assist in all steps of your insurance claim process.

Each SERVPRO employee is dedicated to ensuring your home is restored to its preloss condition and to your full satisfaction.  

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

Protecting your home against winter water damage

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Winter is coming and cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Although we had a mild winter last year here in Winston Salem, it is best to be prepared. The time to prepare is now before the chance of freezing temperatures. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. 

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits. 

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries. 

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. Areas that hold standing water can freeze and cause a slip and fall hazard.

Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present. 

Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems. 

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 

Ask your SERVPRO of West Forsyth County professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster. 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
336-946-1131 

It's always best to call us directly.

Why should my water damage be professionally dried?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

If you’ve recently had a severe water intrusion due to leaking pipes, storm flood or other causes, you might be thinking that you can handle it on your own. Keep in mind, though, that cleaning up water damage goes beyond wiping away the residue and letting everything dry. While we understand that you want to save money and maybe you’re a DIY type of person.  But water damage can cause serious health problems if not cleaned properly.  It can also cost more money if not done properly when you toss in mold remediation costs.  And then there is the problem that you can’t see beyond the baseboards and carpet to get the water you’re missing?

The following are some of the advantages of hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Safety

A lot of people fail to realize how dangerous standing water can be. Depending on the source it could contain bacteria and pathogens, causing you to get sick just by touching it. You could potentially contaminate unaffected areas of your home or business by walking through contaminated water damaged areas.

Hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is a smart choice since we have been trained to know what needs to be done and how to do it safely by IICRC standards. In addition to that, we have the necessary equipment and experience to get the job done right. Getting it done right is important because getting it done wrong or incomplete could cost more money down the road.

Mold prevention

Hiring the professional services of SERVPRO West Forsyth is beneficial, as you can be sure that the cleanup will be done properly. This gives you an assurance that you will not face any issues later on.

Mold growth is one of the biggest problems with water damage. Any dampness left in porous materials can create an environment that is susceptible to mold growth. Protect your home from the development of mold by hiring professionals, and having it dried properly.

We use hydrosensors, moisture meters, and infrared cameras to assure we find all the wet materials created by a water damage event.  Routinely check common areas that could potentially leak water, such as around the water heater, under sinks, and around toilets. Especially for areas that are not used routinely. Notify a professional if you find areas of concern.

Fast service

Clean up should be done immediately, preferably within the first 24 hours. Be aware that mold can start to grow within 48-72 hours after porous material are water damaged. Your home can even be a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew and other contaminants if surfaces stay wet for over 48 hours.

In the event of water damage, it should be in your best interest to hire a professional company as soon as possible. Water damage problems can become very serious if left untreated.  Our phone 336-946-1131 is monitored 24/7/365.  We will call you back within an hour and be on site within four hours for emergency services.

Protect your belongings

Water from leaks, pipe bursts or floods can easily destroy your belongings, furnishings and even your home. While some of your things may be destroyed by water almost immediately, hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth increases your chance of saving more of your belongings. We know that some things insurance money could not replace. We have restored items as common as the carpet saving you money on a claim, to one off painting of a family member generations removed from today.

For a free copy of a helpful brochure on “what to do until help arrives” call us at 336-946-1131

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County serves Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Rural Hall, Pfafftown, Tobaccoville, and surrounding area. 

Preparing for water damage

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Winston Salem Water Damage Tips from SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

Each passing year, water damage costs property owners in Winston Salem millions and millions of dollars. Water damage may be the result of plumbing issues related to pipe breaks, leaky toilets, showers, or tubs. Unfortunately, there are also many factors leading to water damage that you have little control over. Flooding, natural disasters, and the water left behind after a firefighting effort. Despite the fact that water damage can cause substantial problems to your business or residential property, there are several precautionary and follow-up procedures that you can implement to decrease the severity of the damage. To learn more about the appropriate course of action to take in the event that water damage affects your home or business, please read on.

Preparation Tips

There are several strategies you can implement to prevent your home from being heavily damaged in the face of the unwanted water.

• When you go on vacation, be sure to shut your main water line off. Doing so will decrease the likelihood of flooding that results from a break in a frozen pipe or washing machine hose.
• Allow your faucets to drip regularly when the weather is extremely cold. This will allow any water that freezes to have room for expansion without rupturing a pipe.
• Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly to safeguard against roof damage that results from the overflowing of water that may enter your home through the fascia or soffits.
• Have your hose connections and fittings inspected annually? Keep a good eye on your appliances.

Safety Tips After a Water Damaging Event

• Stay away from rooms in which the ceiling has started to sag as a result of water retention.
• Do not use electrical appliances that could have been damaged by fire or water.
• Refrain from using electrical appliances and equipment when you are standing on wet floors or carpet.
• Do not enter a room with standing water if the electricity is turned on. Be careful. More firefighters die from electrocution than from fire or smoke.

Recovery Tips

• Call for professional assistance immediately. Start with your insurance company. Obtaining prompt clean up services can help preclude extensive water damage. It can also prevent the emergence of unwanted mold and bacteria growth. SERVPRO's professionals are highly skilled in offering detail-oriented, expedient services that prevent your home from becoming susceptible to structural damage after initial exposure to excess water. 

 Although dealing with water damage can be a problematic task, knowing what to do and who to call can prevent the issue from inducing too much anxiety. When you're ready to hire excellent water remediation services at affordable prices, it's time to call the professionals of SERVPRO. We offer round the clock assistance and unprecedented customer service, so call now to obtain the results-driven, client-centered remediation assistance you deserve!

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in Winston Salem too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is close by and ready to respond to your water and flood damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the community.

We use scientific drying principles and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete. We are here for you. (336) 946-1131

Limit water damage by acting quickly

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Summer time in Winston Salem NC humidity and summer storms. When water stands and causes damage it can continue to cause damage and cost even more money to repair the secondary damage. So, the old adage is never truer than when dealing with a water-damaged home or business. Every minute matters, because every minute the property is wet could turn primary damage into secondary- or even permanent damage.  That's why emergency response, and time matter.  

Secondary water damage occurs when the moisture from the primary event (flood, leak, etc.) begins to evaporate on its own into the air.  Over time the air will no longer be able to hold the moisture from the evaporation.  The moisture will have to go somewhere and a very basic principle behind psychometrics is that wet goes to dry.  The moisture may go into your drywall, cabinetry, sheetrock, hardwood floors, vinyl floors, etc.  Once the moisture is allowed to sit, mold can then begin to grow.  This is why emergency action is so incredibly important.

Storms, floods, burst pipes, and leaks simply don't abide by the 9-to-5 workday.  So why should your restoration provider?  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the state-of-the-art equipment and proven methods and training to get the job done right as quickly as possible. This includes every holiday, even 4th of July. You can call us and we will be there.

If the unthinkable happens, call your local SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals at (336) 946-1131 seven days a week 24/7 to help you avoid the cost and hassle of secondary damages.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Is your work family ready for a disaster?

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Businesses should take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. Recent events in Texas show us the importance of preparing for as many contingencies as possible. From terrorist attacks to natural disasters anything could happen to disrupt your business.  Despite a national campaign of activities, resources and information each year less than ½ of all households surveyed could boast a plan of action already in place.  52% of businesses say it would take them 3 months to recover from a substantial loss.  But 75% of them do not have a plan in place to minimize that time or even know where they would begin to recover. Of business polled, if a disaster were to occur, 44 percent of small business owners say they don’t have access to generators — and 66 percent don’t even have business interruption insurance.

The numbers are staggering but they can be planned for and minimize the amount of disruption to your home or business. Are you ready?  On the Home front, FEMA offers lots of information for adults, children and teachers to help them assist in educating and formulating a plan for themselves and those in their care at:  http://www.ready.gov.  This site offers everything from checklists to coloring pages as well as information on how best to plan for those with special needs.

For business owners, SERVPRO of West Forsyth wants to ask Is your business ready?  50% of the businesses that suffer a disaster that causes a disruption in transactions never reopen, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that do survive an overwhelming majority had a preparedness plan in place.   A disaster recovery plan is a detailed, step-by-step course of action for getting a business back on its feet quickly following either a natural or manmade disaster. Where are your documents?  How recently was your information backed up, or updated and how do you gain access to it?  Can you reach your team members?  Answering questions like these ahead of time could be the difference between getting up and running quickly and smoothly or perhaps not at all.  Get started;   http://www.ready.gov/business offers business specific planning and resources.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County would like to help.  By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you’ll have an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key in minimizing how disasters can affect your business.  Customize your ready plan data on your mobile device for quick access during an emergency.  Our Emergency Ready app is available as a free download at:  http://www.SERVPRO.com/disaster-recovery

Our location off Stratford Road and I-40, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is strategically located to quickly respond to your call anywhere in the Winston Salem area.   Call us directly at 336-946-1131

7 Tips for preparing for a disaster

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

#1 Make a Plan. Living here in Winston Salem, NC, you’re less likely to face an earthquake than a severe storm that could cause flash flooding. Knowing what you could face will help prepare you for emergencies as you go throughout your day to day routine.  Red Cross has thought of a number of them and are listed here.  Flooding in Texas and Louisiana reminds us that you may not have as much warning with flash floods or sudden storm systems.  It doesn’t take much time, but it will save you valuable time should an emergency happen. Make, print and practice a plan.

#2 The Details matter. Know the details of how you escape a disaster. Planning the route of where you are going while the fire is burning is not the time to plan your route. Knowing if you are going to a shelter, motel or friends home will help get you there quickly and safely. Ensuring that everyone knows the details of the plan will ensure that your family will meet you at the prescribed place. Does your family require special needs? Do you have pets? These are the types of details that matter. The goal is to ensure the whole family is taken care of. Medications needed? Does the shelter or motel take pets? Consider all of the needs of the entire family.

#3 Stay informed. Ensuring that you are informed of impending storms by listening to NOAA or the local news alerts will keep you aware of changing weather. Being informed is part of being prepared. Local news agencies are committed to alerting their listeners and viewers of dangerous situations. 

#4 Communicate. Most people say I’ll just pick up my cell phone, but that may be down. If local phone lines are overloaded or out of service it is sometimes easier to call or text long distance. Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones. If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know you are safe. You may also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and select the prompt for "Disaster" to register yourself and your family. Speaking of communication, sign up for emergency alerts. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA’s) are designed to be short and an effective way to save lives by giving warning and direction to people in the affected area. Don’t turn them off because they are less annoying than the alternative.  Social Media may give you some information and allow you to contact family but don’t count on it exclusively.

#5 Emergency Kit. Having a plan but no tools to implement it with is ineffective. What are some of the basics you need? Water, Food, and Shelter are the big three but what about other necessities?  Do you have medicine that you need?  A small child to care for? What are other items to help you along the way? Think first aid items, rope and flashlights. FEMA has a list of items that will be helpful here. Do you need to be a doomsday prepper? Probably not, but depending on the severity, you may have to rely on your own for 3-4 days before infrastructure is restored.  Be sure you are familiar with what is in the Emergency kit and how to use the items in the kit.

#6 Get trained. Knowing some basic emergency training will also help in a crisis situation. Know how a fire extinguisher works or how to perform CPR. The American Red Cross has education on a number of topics that can be useful in an emergency situation. Learn where the shut offs are for utilities in your home or office. Cutting them off may prevent further damage or making a bad situation even worse. Be sure that your family and coworkers are educated on the plan of what to do in case of an emergency.

#7 Now that you are planning what to do when you are at home, what about if you’re away from home? Talk to your child’s school and ask how they plan or evacuate the school? How do they communicate with you about emergencies? Does your business have a plan?  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help you with that. The Emergency Ready Profile can go right beside your employee handbook and be carried with you on your mobile device. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Call us to get started on your plan 336-946-1131.

Quickly Protect Your Home After A Storm

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Following a storm flood or fire, water cleanup in Winston Salem, Clemmons or Rural Hall is the first and one of the most important processes that you will need to have done. In the event that you don't complete the water removal process immediately, your property can be subjected to a plethora of unwanted, unnecessary complications such as mold growth, loss of possessions, and structural damage. If you find yourself in need of water damage services, it's important to find a skilled team of restoration experts like SERVPRO of West Forsyth. We can expedite the water extraction, cleaning, repair, and restoration components of the process. Learn more about the importance of water damage cleanup by reviewing this short reference guide:


Water Cleanup Prevents Mold and Mildew Growth

One of the reasons for securing the services of an experienced water damage cleanup company is inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew in your home. Unfortunately, these fungi can begin thriving and expanding on your property 48-72 hours after the initial water intrusion. Moreover, the moist, warm conditions created by water damage make your residential property a prime location in which mold can grow and thrive. 

Prevent or Diminish Secondary Water Damage to the Structure of Your Home

Another great benefit of rapid water removal is that it prevents structural damage from adversely impacting your property. When left unaddressed for an extended time, the water can wick into walls, and studs, rust appliances, and damage the electrical system. If a natural flooding disaster occurred, then the foundation could also have been compromised. 

Why You Should Secure Professional Assistance 

Although some people attempt to complete the water cleanup process on their own, this approach is not advisable if it means more than using a mop and a bucket. For volumes of unwanted standing water, our water removal process is expedited and optimized through the use of specialized equipment. Truck-mounted water pumps and portable vacuums are the means of rapid water extraction. The quicker the removal, the less the water damage to furniture, walls, flooring, electronics, and personal possessions. This helps to remove water and treat damage that you can’t see.

Let SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Assist You Now.

Each of our IICRC-certified professionals utilizes advanced skills while offering excellent customer service to expedite and optimize the water damage restoration process for your home in Winston Salem and surrounding areas. We work well with insurance companies by offering professional communication, official documentation of our findings and procedures, and follow-up inspections.

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

September is National Preparedness Month

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month and SERVPRO wants to make sure you have a plan set in place in case of an emergency. Safety should always be the first priority, so establishing evacuation plans in your home and office ahead of time will get you ready for any emergency that hits Winston Salem and surrounding Piedmont.  SERVPRO can help you with an Emergency Readiness Plan, our mobile app. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County for more information 336-946-1131 or click the link.  

What if you are separated during an emergency?

Your family and coworkers should discuss two places to meet. One should be outside of your home or business in case of a sudden emergency like a fire and another should be outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate. An out-of-area emergency contact should be chosen to make it easier if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. This emergency contact should be saved in your cell phone. Also, make sure to save SERVPRO of West Forsyth County as your emergency services contact so you can call and report any damage that is done to your home or business.

Plan what to do if you need to evacuate.

Decide what route you would take to get to your evacuation route. Choose something like a hotel/motel, friends or relatives house, or an evacuation shelter if necessary. Practice your evacuation plan at least twice a year, this way you can plot alternate routes on your map incase roads are impassable. If you have pets, make sure that your plan can accommodate them as well. Compile a list of pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

Let Your Family Know you’re Safe.

Inform friends and family so they do not worry about you once you have reached your point of evacuation. The Red Cross also offers services to let your family know you are safe and well.

Stay Informed.

It is helpful to know the types of disasters that are likely to occur in your area and know just how authorities will notify you during a disaster. Know the differences between the various weather alerts as well so you know which actions to take. Your community can change in an instant when an emergency occurs so brushing up on first aid and CPR would be beneficial for you and your family. The Red Cross can also help with classes. Be sure to communicate the plan to all who could be effected by a disaster.

If a natural disaster does occur, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will be there to clean up the mess and restore your home or business to a preloss condition. Whether it be flood, mold, or fire, SERVPRO will make it like it never happened. Call us at 336-946-1131

#NatlPrep

Storm Flood Terminology / Safety

8/19/2017 (Permalink)

Flood Mapping of Winston Salem and Forsyth County

Flash Flood or Flood Watch

Flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated area. Be alert to signs of rising water and be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Tune to local TV and Radio for updates on conditions and forecasts from the National Weather Service.

Flash Flood or Flood Warning

Flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent. When a warning is issued for your area, or the moment you realize yourself that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly to save yourself.

Urban and Small Stream Advisory

Flooding of small streams, streets, and low-lying areas, such as railroad underpasses and storm drains, is occurring.

Flood or Flood Statement

Follow-up information from the National Weather Service regarding a flash flood or flood event.

Flood Safety  

If advised to evacuate, do so IMMEDIATELY. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.

Get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, washes, etc.

Avoid areas of flowing water. The water can rise quickly. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet. A depth of two feet will lift a car and make it float. NEVER try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. STOP, turn around, and find another route.

If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and sweep it-- and its occupants-- away.

Be especially cautious at night when it's harder to recognize flood dangers. The reflection of still water in your headlights will give you no indication of the water's true depth, and the road bed may be washed out under the water.

After a Flood  

If fresh food has come in contact with flood waters, throw it out.

Contact your local public works department about water safety. Boil drinking water before using. Wells should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking.

Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.

Use flashlights-- not lanterns, torches, or matches-- to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.

Report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.

Before a 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 you home in Winston Salem or anywhere in Forsyth or surrounding counties.

Install check valves in building sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.

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

Store drinking water in clean bathtubs and various containers if water service may be interrupted.

Keep a stock of food that requires little cooking and no refrigeration in case electric power is interrupted.

Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps.

If your home or business suffers water damage from a flash flood call us directly 24/7 at 336-946-1131. SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County Professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

We make it “Like it never even happened.” It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

After the Firemen have left, What are you to do with the mess?

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Firemen putting out the fire

The cost of smoke and fire damage restoration depends on a few variables even after the cause of the fire is out.

Soot, when left on surfaces can corrode and permanently discolor in the span of a few hours. If left for days, the issues can become irreparable and require the replacement of furniture, floor coverings, counter tops, and much more.

Beyond the soot; Burnt smells frequently linger, which make odor neutralization another important part of the process.

What many people don’t consider until they’ve experienced a fire first hand is the effects of the water used to put the fire out.  Parts of the structure and the contents that weren’t damaged by the fire itself may be adversely affected by the water and if not cleaned and dried quickly will need to be discarded and run the risk of mold growth.   

In order for smoke damage restoration to be most effective, the job should be approached as soon as possible by a professional in mitigation. Trained technicians can remove and neutralize odors, and quickly identify which items may be able to be restored.

Smoke, ash, and water all contribute to the devastation, so having someone with the proper training is crucial.  SERVPRO technicians with certifications in Fire and Smoke Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Fabric and Upholstery Cleaning, Odor Control, Mold Remediation and Prevention, and Applied Structural Drying will have all the skills necessary to salvage and return rooms to a previous state

SERVPRO® National Call Center served 313 insurance and property management companies and their clients nationwide in the last year alone.  We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year and helps lower your insurance rates too!

24-Hour Emergency Service; in our business, you need us fast! Professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Our trained, uniformed mitigation specialists are equipped to restore your property to preloss condition whenever possible and will walk you through the process until the work and your satisfaction are complete.

From large commercial buildings to residential losses, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County understands your loss is the job that matters most!

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

Fire Safety Do's and Don'ts

7/19/2017 (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. So 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 first, yours should be also:

  • 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 Franchise 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 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 prepared is like creating your own good luck

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

 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). 

 

For homeowners:

  • 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 .

Are you Prepared for a power outage?

2/26/2015 (Permalink)

Ready Kit

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

•Peanut butter

•Dried fruit

•Nuts

•Crackers

•Canned juices

•Non-perishable pasteurized milk

•High energy foods

•Vitamins

•Food for infants

•Comfort/stress foods

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

Giving back to the community is important.

2/6/2015 (Permalink)

Home Repairs for those in need.

The CCC (Carolina Cross connection) is a Youth Ministry Camp that completes home improvement projects for families in need. Since 1988 Carolina Cross Connection has ministered from tool sheds and front stoops to provide a summer home repair ministry to help youth and adults put their faith in action.  The CCC strives to connect local churches and small groups to neighbors in need, CCC seeks to develop communities who nurture and take care of one another. These projects help make homes handicap accessible, or badly needed home repairs for families who could not otherwise afford to do so.  The CCC serves 20 western counties, Asheville’s homeless, and cares for orphans in Honduras. In the past 27 summers the CCC has seen 28,000 volunteers assist over 16,000 families and individuals in need.  The values are empowering the youth to serve and lead in the name of Christ. To give back and be a part of the community while having fun and providing excellence in the service projects they complete.  

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County owner Jeff Meadows has participated in week long CCC mission trips in the past and believes in this philosophy so much the company will be sponsoring the Morning Watch 5K, Fun Run. This will be held on March 14th at the community of Clemmons West Subdivision 3376 Middlebrook Drive Clemmons NC. For more information and discounts for early registration go to http://www.carolinacrossconnection.org/5KClemmons .

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