Recent Water Damage Posts

What to expect when we arrive

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

When we arrive, we will assess the damage with state-of-the-art equipment. We will work with you on the priorities and order of events that need to happen in order to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. After some paperwork is signed, extract water if necessary and depending on the insurance requirements we may begin any demo of materials not salvageable. We will set equipment that will prevent secondary damage and professionally dry the structure. This equipment consists of commercial fans and dehumidifiers that are more robust than your normal box fan or standard dehumidifier. They are loud but it is important that you leave them running to dry the space quickly. You or your insurance is paying for them to run on per day basis. So, let them run to keep the cost of your damage lower, the sooner it dries to the standard the sooner we can pull the equipment from your home or business.  

Over the course of the next few business days, we will monitor the equipment and report to the insurance company our progress as they may require. Once a standard of drying has been achieved, and mitigation is complete we can help you move on to phase two, the restoration process.

You will want to act quickly to prevent any more damage to your home or even ensure that insurance will cover the damage. But the cost should be the least of your worries. Your deductible should be your only out of pocket expense for a covered loss.  Let us know if we can help you in a stressful time to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Call us direct at 336-946-1131

What to expect before we arrive

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

So, you have had a water damage in your home and you’re getting ready to call us 336-946-1131. What are the next steps? As this is most likely the first time that you have been through this, let’s explain the process and what to expect.  First off, we hope to gather enough information from you on the phone that we can arrive prepared. Giving us that information will determine how many people to send, how much equipment to bring, and the right equipment. Knowing the type of loss, you have had, the size of the affected area, (# of rooms) and what materials are affected, helps to determine the number of people and equipment we send to your home or business. Also, during the phone phase, we need to determine if this will be an insurance claim. This will help us know need permission from the adjuster for certain procedures, and to ensure coverage.

Because we work with most insurance carriers, we know their procedures and how they prefer to be communicated with regarding your claim.  Our goal is that your only out of pocket expense is your deductible on a covered loss. Because of the pandemic some insurance carriers are reliant on the mitigation service provider you choose to give them information. For this reason, you can rest assured that you have chosen the right one with us. Our communication system helps them throughout the process no matter where you adjuster may be located, even if working remotely from home.

 Call us direct at 336-946-1131

Minutes count when it comes to water damage

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

When water damage happens the clock is ticking, and is not on your side. This is why you must act quickly. Below we will breakdown a timeline of what can happen if you do not react in the time frame.

Within minutes

  • Within the first few minute items like photos, books, cardboard boxes (stored items), and art pieces become saturated and can be unsalvageable.
  • Water is soaked up into the padding, carpet walls and insulation. Possibly into upholstery.
  • Wooden furniture legs start to lose the stain and may damage the carpet permanently as well as damaging the furniture piece.

Within an hour to 24 hours, you can expect to see.

  • Pressed wood and sheetrock swell and show signs of breaking down.
  • Printed paper goods like magazines will stain other items from the inks being released from them.
  • Metal items will tarnish and lose luster
  • Smell of mildew or musty odors may become apparent

After 48 hours to a week of moisture being left without mitigation.

  • Mold and mildew production will grow exponentially
  • Doors and windows may swell to the point they can not be opened even warp
  • You may see signs of the paint blistering or peeling
  • Wood flooring will cup and buckle. At this point it is usually too late for drying mats.
  • Furniture may split from swelling and show signs of mold as well
  • The category of water contamination may change from CAT 1 or2 to CAT 3 creating a biohazardous condition.

After a week or more

  • Structural integrity may become compromised and more dangerous to work in. This includes ceilings falling in or walls collapsing
  • Costs of reconstruction are significantly increased
  • Safety of the structure may also be compromised posing risks to occupants and workers
  • Biohazardous contaminates continue to increase

So, minutes count not only to get your home or business restored quickly but to stay safe and save money. Call us directly as soon as you discover  water damage at 336-946-1131

4 places you might overlook water damage

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Where are the places in your home and business that you take for granted? By that we mean the places that you have to have but don’t think about until there is a problem. We can all agree that a car needs maintenance and deferred maintenance often costs us more money in the long run. For example, when was the last time you pulled out your refrigerator and dusted the coils? Doing this is also a good time to check the water supply line to your ice maker. We receive calls weekly regarding this costly cleanup. Catching a small drip early can make a huge difference in the cost of mitigation and restoration of your kitchen floors.

Heat and Air conditioning vents can also go unnoticed until it is too late. Changing the air filter regularly and more often when you have pets can save you costly repair bills. Black fuzzy particulates around the register can be a sign that your HVAC system is pumping moisture into your home. Again, we get regular calls regarding water condensation on walls and other surfaces.

We like to hang pictures in our home.  But do we use the right nail? Using a proper picture hanger will help so that we don’t put a nail into a drain pipe and cause a small leak that might not present it self right away. I like to use 3M Command picture hangers, they do not put holes in the wall or pipe.

When was the last time you took a look in your attic or even noticed your ceiling? If you have a water spot on the ceiling no matter how small, it is only a matter of time before it gets bigger. You need to find the source of what made the spot and stop it. Consider what is above that spot. HVAC and Roof are the likely on single story but if a bath room is above, it could also be a source. Don’t just dismiss that it is not the bath room if it is farther removed from the spot, water will take the path of least resistance.

So if you check around these places in the next few days and discover you have a water damage issue call us directly at 336-946-1131 we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

To file or not to file a water damage claim

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

We have talked about acting quickly when you have a water damage claim. “It was just a little water,” may be a subjective thought, but if you delayed maintenance and cleanup, then you may be negligent. When problems develop like mold or rot and you want to file a claim it may not be covered. Most insurance policies will cover water damage that is sudden and accidental. In most scenarios homeowners’ policies exclude losses that are considered continuous over an extended period of time. An example is a leaking water line, or leaving wet carpet and baseboard unattended to the point of mold or rot.

Before filing a claim, if you are unsure if the damage will exceed your deductible, you will want to ask us to come out. It will be better to spend a little money now or you may be faced with paying for a lot by yourself later. If you do have to file a claim then it helps to see a SERVPRO professional has been on site. In one such case, in one customer case, I was told by an adjuster that he sees that the homeowner took steps to limit the amount of damage by calling SERVPRO. In the event of a covered loss, insurance adjusters are grateful that SERVPRO is on the scene quickly to prevent further damage. We will also be an advocate for you to ensure that your property is restored to a preloss condition.

Some things you will want to know before filing a claim. What perils are covered in your policy? This will be important depending on the source of the loss. If you took the less expensive policy you may not have sewer backup as a rider on your policy and may not be covered in that case. So, knowing what you have covered is important.

What is the deductible? It is practical that you may not want to file a claim if the cost of mitigation and restoration is less than double your deductible.  Insurance is there to protect you from major losses and your deductible represents the amount of risk you’re willing to take. Our commitment is to ensure that this is your only out of pocket expense to return the property to a preloss condition.

This is just another reason to call quickly to SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to handle your water damage. Whether it is covered or not we can help with water damage. Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Falling trees can cause water damage

9/7/2020 (Permalink)

Tarped roof damage caused by fallen tree Tree falls on roof and breaches it during a storm

So, kids are going back to school, sort of, and that means fall is around the corner.  To make matters worse this may be the wettest summer on record. The ground is soft and trees are subject to come down, and have. Hurricane season is still going strong and doesn’t end until after Thanksgiving. Why am I giving you all this great news when 2020 has been, well, a 2020? We can use that term now to be synonymous with a bad, strange year, right? I am telling you this to prepare you for the things could always be worse and to prevent those worse things from happening to you.

Did you use your garden hose to water the garden or wash the car? Get into the habit of unhooking the hose. This will prevent you from having the pressure build up and splitting the pipe in the wall when freezing occurs.

Check your property for limbs and branches that have broken and may be damaging your roof. If they rolled in the gutter, they may contribute to clogging it up and causing water to go over the lip of the gutter towards the house. Over time that could cause rot and mold in the house.

Ensure the landscape of your home leads water away from the structure. If you have a basement ensure that there are no low spots that water can drain onto the foundation. We have seen cave-ins of the basement wall because of constant water pressure on the basement wall. Speaking of landscaping do you have trees that are potential hazards that may fall on your house? If you are unsure check with an Arborist there are several certified in the area.

Down spouts should also flow water away from the home. Ensure all gutters and down spouts are free flowing.

Having your HVAC serviced is also a good idea. Some home owners are not aware they have a drain pan and line that that collects water and routes it to an area outside of your home. We see water damage from clogged condensate drain lines on a routine basis.

So, there you have it we hope the rest of 2020 is uneventful and filled with happy moments around your house. But if water damage invades your home or business call us ASAP so we can make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Water Damage Restoration Done Right Can Save You Money

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Do you know what happens to water damage if not properly cleaned and professionally dried?  According to FEMA mold will develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure. Even worse, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture, and effectively deal with the mold problem. So, what are the steps you can take to prevent mold, AKA not paying more for mold damage repairs.

Call a professional mitigation company ASAP. You may ask yourself why can’t I do this myself? To which you should ask yourself do I have the proper IICRC certifications to handle water damage restoration? Do you have the right equipment such as air movers, dehumidifiers, demo tools, extractor, just to name a few? Do you know what your insurance company will and will not pay for and an online communication program to ensure that the aforementioned equipment was monitored properly?  Can you ensure not to over or under charge the insurance company for drying it to a standard of measure? And last do you have the time to deal with all of the stake holders and subcontractors later when it comes time to put it all back together.

Water damage is stressful enough because of the disruption, and it will cost, hopefully only your deductible. But it will cost you more if you don’t know how to go about it, and check the boxes that will satisfy your insurance, your mortgage company and most importantly you the home owner.  The other thing that will increase the cost is if you let it go for long periods of time. Slow leaks will not go away by themselves, and left unchecked will cost more due to the mold and maybe even rot.

Calling the professionals at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will give you piece of mind that we do have the right knowledge, equipment, relationships with insurance companies to make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”

When you have water damage, call us directly ASAP at 336-946-1131

DIY versus paying to have water damage done right the first time

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

The cost of DIY when it comes to water damage could cost you a lot more in the long run. As a water mitigation expert, you would expect me to say that to drive business. But I am not just telling you that to drive business. I’m saying that you the average reader have not had the training nor the equipment to do the job the right way. In the picture you see our tech using a wand to extract the water from the carpet. What you don’t see is the commercial grade extractor unit that is truck mounted and can pull more water out efficiently than a standard residential shop vac. That is just one piece of equipment that we have in our inventory. We mentioned in another blog that your mop is not qualified. But it is for some things, just not water that happens to get below the carpet or the floor laminate.  

If you have an upstairs water leak and it is enough to show a water stain on the ceiling how do you get the water that is between the floors out to prevent mold? That is where the experience and expertise of a company who’s job it is to do this on a daily basis would be valuable. Water damage is expensive enough with out the added cost of mold mitigation. Just 3 years ago according to a study by Verisk Analytics, Insurance companies in America paid more than $13 Billion dollars in damage claims in 2017. The average claim totaling $10,000.00. Mold mitigation caps on policies at $5000.00.

So, will it cost you more in the long run to take a chance and think you have all the water up? Yes, it definitely could cost you more money.  Call us quickly to get started on your water damage job.  Should you have to file a claim, we will help you. We work with the majority of insurance carriers and can help you through the process. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131   

Spring storms can potentially lead to water damage.

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Spring time in Winston Salem can bring storms that can cause flash flooding. When water stands it can cause additional damage.  This secondary damage can cost you even more money. 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, sheet rock, hardwood floors, vinyl floors, etc.  Once the moisture is allowed to sit, mold can begin to grow in as little as 48-72 hours.  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 Easter Sunday. 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."

The 8 Most likely sources of water damage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

We all have running water in our homes; it courses through the house like veins with life giving properties. Controlling how it flows is so very critical to having a dry safe place to live. What are the vulnerable places in your home or business that are susceptible to water intrusion? Have you checked them lately?  

We are going to tell you the 8 most common places that water damage can occur and what you can do about it to detect it early.

  • Dish washer – how many times have you loaded the dish washer and left the house or gone to bed. Recently the water from a leaky dishwasher was saturated the kitchen floor of an elderly woman’s condo while her and her grandson watched a couple of movies. It was too late water had penetrated the laminate flooring and it had begun to cup.
  • Ice maker – Supply lines in general are a consistent threat to have water damage. They are under pressure and will break down over time. You may not even know you have a problem till water is coming from under the refrigerator.
  • Washing Machine Connection hoses – Again these are supply lines under pressure and may be bending in a way that may eventually cause a pin hole rupture. SERVPRO recommends that you have steel braided hoses connected to your Washer and Toilet supply lines.
  • Toilet connection hoses – Again the supply line under pressure. Check to ensure the seal to the tank is not leaking. That you have a steel braided hose.
  • Hot Water Heater – Here we also have supply lines and an additional pressure release valve. Sediment can build up and shorten the life span of your water heater. If rust builds on it, then that could cause a leak. When is the last time you looked in on your water heater? Chances are it is just quietly doing its job. But you should have it serviced once a year.
  • Plumbing P-Traps – the more connections you have in your plumbing the greater the chance is for a leak to develop. Take a peek at your P-Traps through out the home and ensure a potential mold source is not developing.
  • Bath / Shower doors and curtains - we want to ensure here that we are closing them all the way. We don’t want the water that should be going down the drain splashing out of the ends of the shower. Splash guards can help as well as magnetic shower curtains.
  • HVAC – Your air conditioner and or heat pump has a condensate drain line that allows water to flow out of the house. Normally the one at or near the outside unit is running but there is a secondary flow that will be near the soffit of your home. In mine it is over a window so that if I see it dripping, I know I have an issue. But there is another thing you can do.

For all of these you can buy water detectors that can detect as little as a 16th of an inch of water. They will sound an alarm when water is detected so that you can shut it off quickly which is important to preventing further damage. When you leave for vacation be sure to shut the water off if you are going to be away from your home for more than a day or two. It is also important that after a storm event you check those areas of your home that you don’t often visit for signs of water intrusion.

If you have water damage to your home or business call us 336-946-1131 It’s best to contact us directly.

Does your house have water damage that is unknown to you?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Here are 6 signs that you could or about to have some trouble and you might not even realize it.

Sloping floor, if you have a ball, roll it across the floor if it does not roll straight then that could be a sign of a joist that has failed. This could be from wood rot or just plain broken. A structural engineer can help form a plan on how to repair this. If it is from a water damage fixing the source of the issue is the first step, calling SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is the second to professionally dry the structure that is restorable.

Washing machine hoses that develop a knot or bubble on them can be a sign of a problem getting ready to happen. These hoses are under constant pressure and like tires on a car have to be replaced to ensure they do not develop a leak. This could lead to flooding of your wash room and adjoining rooms or hallways. Braided steel hoses will last longer and stand up to the pressure better than cheap plain rubber hoses.

Have you ever gone down to the basement and seen a white chalky dust on the cinderblock or brick? That is called efflorescence and it is harmless. However, it could be sign that water is seeping in and causing the calcium to be pushed out of the brick or cinderblock. Proper landscaping and drainage away from the home can help resolve this but if it goes on to long it could get more costly in digging out the foundation to seal the foundation against further water intrusion.  If you see this on your chimney that could be an indication of a cracked flue liner, which could allow toxic gases to be entering your home. It could also be caused by an internal wall leak causing that pressure to show the efflorescence. Have your chimney looked at by a professional chimney sweep.

We may have that one slow drain in the bathtub due to hair but if you notice all the drains in the house are slow call a plumber right away. This could be the precursor to sewer back up into the home. Make sure not to flush or use the water till you have determined that the main sewer line is clear of any obstructions.

While we are on the subject of possible sewer backups, another sign is unusual noises from the toilet. Gurgling or bubbling can indicate that a clog is building negative air pressure in the line. Call a plumber and get them to investigate the noises they can best determine a course of action.

Are you getting ready to touch up a wall that the paint is cracked, peeling or blistering? You may want to investigate further. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County was called to an 3rd story condo unit that had blisters on the wall and actually had water in the blisters. This was dues to a roof leak. The water followed the path of least resistance and was not readily noticed until the blisters showed up.  This need for a paint job could also be caused by a water leak in the piping of the wall. We have seen pin holes in the pipe that caused this kind of water damage also.

 If any of these become a problem you can't handle call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131 it's best to call us directly. 

Farmers Almanac Says Above Average Rain

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

It has been a dry September and summer, but as they said on Game of Thrones “Winter is coming”. The Farmer’s Almanac  has normal or above average rainfall predicted. That is not to say that will be an exact forecast but are you prepared? Now is the time when the weather is good to ensure your home is prepared for winter rain or snow storms.

Gutters – be sure the gutters are clear and free to allow water to flow through them. Make sure birds, squirrels and chipmunks have not taken up residence and stored their winter supplies. Be sure the gutter is securely fastened to the house and does not sag.

Roof – Check the roof for tears in the shingles and cracks especially around vents. Ensure the flashing around the chimney is good, and the chimney cap is secure and no bird nests are built in or near it.

Garden hoses – be sure to remove any garden hoses from the spigots to prevent them from freezing and cracking a pipe in the wall.

Windows and Doors – be sure the windows are caulked and weather stripping is properly installed on the doors. Not only will this help with water intrusion it will save you on your electric bill.

Landscaping – after a good rain check if you have any pools of water near the foundation. This will tell you if you need to address sloping the ground away from the house. Any hills that lead to the house you may want to invest in a French drain to lead the water away.

If you have a water intrusion in your home or business be sure to call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at 336-946-1131

Don't Let Water Damage Sneak Up on You

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes, storm surge, flash flood all these terms bring to mind water damage.  It’s actually kind of amazing that we as humans moved out of caves and build houses out of wood. Cause if you think about it, wood is designed to do two things rot or burn. In both cases wood gets destroyed. We’re not disparaging the building material of wood. If not for fire and water damage there might not be a need for SERVPRO of West Forsyth County services.

We want to remind you that our homes need maintenance. Otherwise they fall into a state of disrepair. As we move into the fall of the year, we should look around the house and see what needs correcting around the ole homestead.

  • Landscaping – does water pool up next to the house? Does the grade from the street slope towards a corner for water to drain next to the foundation? Simple rubber matting and sloping dirt away from the home can be the difference in a basement or crawl space water intrusion.
  • Are the gutters clear of debris? Are downspouts leading water away from the home? Do any of the gutters sag? All of these can lead to water not being controlled properly.
  • Are underground pipe drainage or French Drains clear and operational? If these are clogged, water can back up next to your home and soak the foundation. This is not good as termites would prefer to eat moist wood rather than dry treated wood.

These are just three things to check around your home. But if you do suffer a water intrusion it’s important to call us quickly. We can see water and potential for damage in wet materials you can’t see. We know how to dry your home or business to IICRC standards to prevent secondary damage. Call us direct at 336-946-1131

Prevention is key

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flash floods from pop up storms can lead to water intrusion in your home. Proper maintenance and care for your home is key to ensuring that you don’t develop a mold problem. If you do develop a mildew or mold problem then it’s because you also have had a water intrusion.  Here is a list of things to maintain around your home to prevent water intrusion.

  • Gutters – ensure they are clean and free flowing. Make sure down spout lead away from the house.
  • Landscaping – This is important especially for homes with basements and crawl spaces. Again ensure the water is lead away from the home.
  • Roof – have it inspected once year. Check the rubber boots around vents ensure they are not cracked, split or dry rotted.
  • Paint – cracked or peeling paint can allow moisture to seep into the dark places in the home and allow mold to grow. Paint not only looks good it acts as a moisture barrier.
  • Sump pumps – are they in good working order what is the backup plan in case the power goes out?
  • Caulking around windows – are the casings in your windows water tight?
  • HVAC – have you had biannual maintenance performed? Insist they check the condensate drain line is working properly
  • Moisture detectors around key sources of water that are prone to leak i.e. toilets, dish washers, laundry room, hot water heater, sinks and the refrigerator.

Doing all these things will not guarantee you never have a water damage, but if you do call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131. It’s best to call us directly.

The cost of doing a water damage wrong can cost you more

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

There is no such thing as a stupid question. Folks who may ask things that are common to you because it is part of your job every day may sound idiotic. For example asking a mechanic can you change the oil from the top of the engine? That person knows or has heard they need to change their oil but they don’t understand the mechanics of it (pun intended). We recently were asked if we could tarp a roof from the inside? Now this might sound like a dumb question, but when you think about it maybe this person wanted to trace the water and where it was coming from, maybe.  It’s not the best way to find the leak but they were thinking outside the proverbial box.

When you feel like you need to ask questions about the maintenance of your home or business, are you qualified to handle it? If you do it yourself, will it save you time and or money? Will it be done right the first time? Does it come with a guarantee?  These are all things to consider and if you want these things they should have value to you, the home owner. When wanting to tackle water damage yourself as a DIY’er, ask your self is this job over my head? Is this beyond my scope of expertise?

We have stated before that your mop is not as qualified as our equipment.  Our truck mounted extractor, air movers, dehumidifiers, and most importantly our IICRC trained staff, have the qualified equipment and knowledge to handle any size disaster.  The other point of calling in professional is to save money. Doing a water damage wrong, can cause mold, which can cost you more money in the long run.

When a major storm events hit the triad we sometimes get, dare I say it, flooded with calls. So it’s best to call us directly and quickly when you suspect a water damage in your home or business. Getting to the damage quickly can also save you money.  

Call us directly at 336-946-1131 / 24 Hrs a day

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 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

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

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

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.   

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

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.“

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:

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. 

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

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

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

It's always best to call us directly.

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."