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Do You Have Water Damaged Documents? SERVPRO Can Help!

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Office under Water Keep your Documents Safe by Following these Tips.

No matter how many precautions you take to protect it, your Rocky Mount, NC, commercial building is always susceptible to water damage. Unfortunately, water and excess moisture can result from many different occurrences, most of which are out of your control, including:

  • Flooding from heavy rain
  • Fire sprinklers activating
  • Water pipe bursting
  • Roof leaking

It doesn't help that most of your contents are probably not waterproof. It doesn't take much water to inflict severe damage on some materials, particularly paper-based items like essential documents and irreplaceable photos and artwork. Fortunately, all hope is not lost for some of these priceless materials, thanks to SERVPRO and its state-of-the-art document restoration techniques.

What Are SERVPRO's Restoration Methods for Water-Damaged Documents?

Time is not your friend when it comes to the mingling of water and paper-based materials. Every second counts, and SERVPRO's skilled technicians and industrial equipment go to great lengths to restore anything possible. These extraordinary document drying methods include:

1. Proactive Digitizing

To avoid as much devastation as possible from a water disaster, you can hire SERVPRO's professionals to digitize your photographs and important paper documents before anything happens to them. Digitizing can allow you to go completely digital to save on physical storage space in your office by decreasing the number of paper files.

They can also simply serve as backup copies. You should keep the digital copies in an off-premises location, including the cloud, to ensure their protection in the case of a disaster at your commercial building.

2. Vacuum Freeze-Drying

SERVPRO's vacuum freeze-drying is a unique process called sublimation that vaporizes solids (i.e., ice) so that the liquid state can be avoided. This method is beneficial because standard drying methods must concentrate on drying liquids, which is what initially caused the damage to the documents. Paper dried using a traditional document restoration method will often incur additional water damage during the restoration process.

The National Archives and Records Administration approves this method. The Library of Congress uses vacuum freeze-drying to dry the one-of-a-kind historical documents and books that it houses.

3. Cleaning and Gamma Irradiation Disinfecting

Gamma irradiation is an excellent technique SERVPRO water damage restoration professionals use to sterilize paper-based materials. Materials that have come into contact with toxic chemicals or sewage will benefit from the gamma irradiation disinfecting process.

4. Deodorizing Using Archival MicroChamber Paper

After thoroughly drying water-damaged paper-based materials, technicians use a deodorization process. This technique uses Archival MicroChamber paper to eliminate lingering musty odors or other foul smells (e.g., smoke). This unique paper is constructed from 100% cotton and is also helpful in removing odors from photographs. Often, technicians will also use activated charcoal to remove odors.

5. Re-jacketing

If you've ever had a book severely damaged by water, you know the frustration and devastation of seeing it fall apart before your very eyes. SERVPRO's technicians can not only completely dry a book, but also put a new cover on it to keep it bound.

SERVPRO offers several outstanding document restoration services that can be beneficial if your business endures a water disaster. Its talented technicians are ready and willing to help at a moment's notice.

Tips for Securing Your Commercial Building After a Fire

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Property destroyed by fire Be more prepared for damage to your business. If you have more questions, just contact us.

You may breathe a sigh of release and frustration when your fire crews extinguish a fire within your building. The sparks die out, smothered with water, but now you face other obstacles such as security issues, operational concerns and repairing the fire damage.

Therefore, there is no time for owners to stop. Instead, proprietors must work on safeguarding the facilities from intruders, nature and secondary damage. So, if you face the aftereffects of a fire, use the following tips to secure the premises right away.

Tips to insure your business if a fire happens.

1. Keep Unauthorized Personal Away From Fire Damage

Many people see a vacant building and get curious about the inside, especially after a fire or disaster. However, the site remains hazardous with smoke, ash and structural concerns. In Rocky Mount, NC, owners need to ensure that trespassers do not enter the area for several reasons.

First, criminals may see the company as an easy target. They could enter, looting the premises for equipment, product or documentation. This situation hurts the operations, adding the property loss the amount. Minimize this concern by working with a fire restoration company. The experts should evaluate the location for vulnerabilities such as weak doors or busted windows. The crew can place thick plywood over these spots to make it harder to enter.

Secondly, children and adults may think they can check out the fire's damage. These trespassers could get hurt. If that happens, they can file a lawsuit. Therefore, continue to board up and post no entry signs.

2. Eliminate Exposure to Animals and Nature

The land remains at risk to nature, becoming very tempting for the local critters. Openings in the walls and ceiling may seem like a welcome invite to animals who need a place to create a nest or habitat. Squirrels and birds can squeeze through minor breaches, finding nooks quite cozy. Specialists with the fire remediation team can hunt these weak spots down, sealing them off by boarding walls and tarping the roof.

Consider the weather too. If rain or snow gets into the premises, they add to the secondary damage, saturating equipment, files and structural material. This situation adds to the cleaning expenses and jeopardizes an insurance claim. Close off as much as possible to show the insurer good faith and mitigate loss.

3. Reduce the Effects of Lingering Water and Smoke

Focus on the present and the future, arranging for professional fire cleanup. Work quickly to clean, dry and sanitize the impacted space. Remediation employees can scrub and deodorize the affected rooms, removing additional discoloration and ash.

In addition, the fire crew used hoses to drench the flames. This tactic, although helpful, led to water saturation. This moisture needs prompt attention as it quickly absorbs into drywall, flooring and other porous objects.

Unfortunately, this dampness encourages mold growth and harms the materials unless dried or removed promptly. Allow crews to take out anything concerning and replace it with new materials. This measure reduces the chance of fungus, protecting the property from future complications.

In Rocky Mount, NC, owners have a lot on their plates when they face fire damage. The initial calamity has passed, but proprietors must now protect themselves from aftereffects such as water damage, unwanted trespassers and crime. Safeguard as much as possible by closing up openings and notifying others to stay away.

How To Prevent Supply Line Leaks?

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet repaired and in perfect condition. Avoid Supply line damage by Following These Tips.

Supply lines are hoses that bring hot and cold water into your home. These lines are attached to appliances that utilize water, such as your washing machine and toilet. Supply line damage can lead to leaks or floods that can cause damage to your home. To avoid this, periodically change your supply lines.

Avoiding a Supply Line Leak

Sink drains and supply lines are the most common causes of a bathroom leak. There are steps you can take to avoid this problem.

1. Replace Supply Lines Periodically

Replace plastic supply lines every five to eight years. Steel braided lines often come with lifetime warranties, but if your braided lines have plastic cores, you may need to replace them every 10 years.

2. Make Sure Connections Are Secure

A loose hose connection can cause a leak. Periodically check connections to make sure they are still tight, particularly if you have noticed any water pooling or dripping around your supply lines. If you have any loose connections, use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nut. Do not overtighten. This could crack the nut. If you still have a leak, loosen the nuts and use plumber's tape or pipe joint compound to coat the ferrules or threads.

3. Drain Your Lines

If you have a leak at a connection and tightening doesn't help, shut off the water and drain the line. take the supply line off and use plumber's joint tape or a joint compound to wrap or coat the ferrule. Reattach your supply line and test it. If the leak persists, replace the supply line.

4. Install Shut-Off Valves

If your toilet doesn't already have a shut-off valve, install one. This allows you to quickly stop a leak caused by supply line damage by shutting off the water without having to shut the water off to the entire house.

5. Install Flow Sensors

Flow sensors can detect a leak in your plumbing and shut off the water for either the entire house or a specific appliance. This can prevent a large amount of water from leaking into your home before you notice there is a problem.

6. Don't Overfill Your Cabinet

Many people store cleaning supplies, towels and extra toilet paper under the bathroom sink. However, putting too many things under your sink can loosen the connections on your supply lines, leading to leaks.

7. Don't Put Off Repairs

Small leaks may not seem like a big deal, but over time the water can rot or warp your flooring, cause mold growth, cause tiles to peel up and may even attract insects. Fix leaks promptly. Dry out any wet surfaces completely. If you notice any musty odors, contact a mold remediation company in Rocky Mount, NC, to check for and remove mold.

8. Call a Plumber

Some problems can be fixed easily, but others may require more specialized skills. If you have tried to fix a leak and have not been successful, contact a plumber to take care of the problem.

Supply line damage can lead to leaks that can damage your home. Regularly maintaining your supply lines can help you avoid this type of damage.

Learning more about Smoke and Soot Damage

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Burnt Kitchen. Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, our specialists of Rocky Mount, NC will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

We are here to help you and your family. If you have more questions, just contact us.

What Is Spreading Mold in Your Home? 4 Essential Questions To Consider

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

 Owner finds Mold on her Wall. Prevent Mold Spreading in your Home by Following These 4 Tips.

Fungus is a natural organism that breaks down organic material. It's helpful to break down old logs, leaves and debris. Outside the home, the microbes serve a valuable purpose, helping nature in the circle of life. However, inside the house, the spores are not so friendly. An active growth could mean your drywall and wooden structures face decomposition.

Therefore, it's critical to know what is spreading mold within the home so you can minimize damage. Take some precautions now, and understand the main contributing factors. This knowledge allows you to recognize growth early and respond appropriately. The following are four significant factors to consider.

Factors to consider about the spread of mold

1. Are You Spreading Mold?

Yes, you very well could be bringing mold inside. Microbes exist everywhere. They are outside on the ground. They are on branches and trees. It's probably even on your shoes. Any day of the week, they could hitch a quick ride into the house. However, this spread isn't likely to cause too many issues. The fungus doesn't decompose material until it reacts with moisture and organic material.

Don't touch it with your hands if you see discoloration or smell an unusually foul odor. Don't wear those shoes throughout the house. Call in mold technicians instead to handle the situation.

2. Is the Air Current a Concern?

One of the most common methods for mold to migrate is through the air. Their microscopic size makes it easy for wind and air conditioners to impact their location. If an active growth starts within the space, the air movement could influence the overall impact.

Contacting a mold remediation company in Rocky Mount, NC, is essential. The professionals assess the fungus and ducts. If needed, they can scrub and close off some vents to avoid further contamination. The HVAC system can offer benefits too when active growth isn't present. By limiting the room's moisture, owners may reduce the chance of spore growth. Use it to maintain a cool, dry climate.

3. Are Your Cleaning Habits Making Things Worse?

Bleach and other household cleaners kill surface germs. Use them to freshen countertops and scrub away the grime. They do not, however, penetrate porous materials. Spores do. Therefore, household cleaners do not eliminate infestation. They hide it.

Instead of spraying it down, turn to experts who can evaluate the space. The specialists look for the water source, determine how to fix it and extract the infected material.

4. Do You Have Lingering Plumbing Issues?

If you don't want to see black mold, concentrate on keeping the property dry. Many owners shrug off minor plumbing troubles. The sink drips a bit. The bathroom grout may have a few blackish spots. These minor problems, however, are sources or signs of fungus. If you leave them unattended, microbes prosper.

Take proactive measures. Check under cabinets regularly, ensuring faucets and lines work correctly. Observe water bills for unexplained price hikes, catching signs of leaks early. Clean up dampness immediately.

Can you stop what is spreading mold? You can work against it by limiting the catalysts and air movement. Keep your home cool, the air conditioner working correctly and the ducts clean. In addition, eliminate spores appropriately with professional services who fix water damage as soon as possible.

The 4 Steps of Operating a Fire Extinguisher

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Woman using a Fire Extinguisher in her Kitchen. Learn more about how to Operate a Fire Extinguisher by Following These 4 Steps.

A fire in your home in Rocky Mount, NC, can cause immediate panic. You may not know what to do right away. You may have a fire extinguisher in your home, but do you know how to use it? It is a good idea to understand the basics of operating an extinguisher to be prepared in the event of a fire.

The Four Steps of Using a Fire Extinguisher

It is easy to remember the four main steps of operating an extinguisher if you keep the PASS acronym in mind:

  • Pull
  • Aim
  • Squeeze
  • Sweep

Pull

The first step is to pull the safety pin from the extinguisher. This action also breaks the tamper seal, the plastic strip wrapped around the safety pin. It ensures the extinguisher is ready to go when you need it.

Aim

When you use the extinguisher, be sure to aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, not at the top. You can help prevent fire damage and put it out more quickly by aiming low. This area is the fire's source. If you are using a CO2 extinguisher, take care not to touch the plastic discharge horn. It gets very cold and can cause skin damage if you contact it.

Squeeze

Once you have aimed the nozzle at the fire's base, squeeze the handle. This step releases the extinguishing agent.

Sweep

Use a side-to-side sweeping motion to discharge the chemicals at the base of the fire. Keep sweeping back and forth until the fire is out.

Watch the area closely, though, and don't assume that the fire is entirely out right away. Flames could start up again. If this happens, repeat the Aim, Squeeze and Sweep steps as needed.

What To Know Before Fighting a Fire

It's essential to know what is burning before you attempt to extinguish a fire. A kitchen fire, for example, may involve grease or cooking oils. An out-of-control campfire in the backyard probably involves wood and paper.

Knowing what materials are burning helps you determine which type of extinguisher you need to use. They come in four different classes:

  • Class A extinguishers are rated for wood and paper combustibles.
  • Class B extinguishers are designed for flammable liquids such as oil, grease and gasoline.
  • Class C extinguishers can put out electrically charged fires.
  • Class D extinguishers are made for use on combustible metals.

You can purchase extinguishers designed for multipurpose use, such as an ABC extinguisher. It is a good idea to have multipurpose extinguishers in several places in your home. That way, you are ready for different types of fires.

If you are not sure you can fight the fire, or if it has gotten out of control, evacuate immediately. It is possible to have a professional restoration service come in and repair your home after fire damage. However, your personal safety is the most critical factor.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can save you a lot of time and worry if you ever have a small fire in your Rocky Mount, NC, residence. Keep the PASS acronym in mind to help you remember what to do.

Is Your Business Prepared For a Flood?

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Be Prepared Poster Follow These Tips, be Prepared For a Flood, and Protect your Business.

Flooding is a lurking disaster that could happen at any time. When it does, is your Rocky Mount, NC business to handle the aftermath? Below are three essential ways to help make it easier for your business to thrive even during an unexpected event.

Important Tips to Protect your Business From Flood

1. Know the Risk

The first step is to determine if your business is located in a floodplain or near one. There are FEMA maps that make it easy to find out, helping you better understand how high of a risk you face. If your business is not in a flood-prone area, that doesn’t mean you are safe. Flash floods are called what they are for a reason. Heavy rainfall and snowmelt also create flood conditions. The building itself also needs to be factored in. Consider hiring a surveyor to determine the elevation of the foundation. If it is different than the surrounding ground, it may be more prone to water leaks.

An additional item to consider is the electrical components. Ensure they are not close to the ground to minimize fire risks associated with a flood. With the knowledge gained, you can then work with your insurance company to determine if additional coverage is needed for flood damage.

2. Establish a Disaster Plan

Every successful business should have a disaster plan established. It should encompass all the potential what-if situations, including an evacuation plan for fires and floods. This should be a detailed document that factors in vital business operations, employee safety and securing equipment.

A key component should be a contingency plan, which will help your business stay afloat during and after the event. If the power goes out, will it result in too much downtime? Consider establishing an alternate location to keep operations going, as well as have all data backed up via the cloud or off-site. Once the plan is established, it can never be overcommunicated. Ensure all employees know what to do in case of an emergency and establish key players to help ensure evacuation or hunkering down happens smoothly.

3. Mitigate the Risk

While flooding may not be avoidable, there are ways to minimize black water damage. There are many options available to help floodproof a business. From simply keeping sandbags on hand to purchasing flood barriers, it may make a big difference. Reinforcing the property is also essential. Ensure that gutters and storm drains are regularly checked for any debris. A backflow prevention check valve should also be installed to keep unwanted water coming up through pipes. Finally, check out the landscaping.

If the area around the foundation is barren, it means water may more easily slip through any cracks. The addition of mulch, plants, flowers and shrubs will help absorb excess water.

While flooding may be something a business owner hopes to never have to deal with, Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. Although total prevention is not possible, having clear knowledge of the risk level, a plan in place in case the event happens and reinforcing the structure are three ways to minimize unexpected downtime and water damage restoration.

5 Steps for Cleaning After a Toilet Overflow

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

A person Cleaning with a Mop a Bathroom Floor Follow these steps if you experience a Toilet Overflow. If you have more questions, just contact us.

A toilet overflow, especially in case of sewer damage, can be one of the worst situations your Rocky Mount, NC, home can sustain. It will not only potentially cause water damage, but the added sewage adds another layer of urgency to the situation. It'll be extremely unsanitary, so you need to make sure you handle it in the safest, most efficient way possible.


Once you've stopped the flooded toilet from overflowing and turned off the water, take these steps for cleanup. 

Steps To Cleanup After a Toilet Overflow

  1. Turn Off the Electricity

If there are any electronics or appliances in the flooded area, you must turn off the electricity before stepping in there. Water can carry an electric charge. If you can't safely navigate to the circuit breaker, you'll need to call a professional to do it before you can start cleaning. Depending on the cause of the backup, you may also need to notify the sewage company.

  1. Extract Standing Water

You'll need to extract all of the standing water. A wet/dry vacuum is typically the safest, quickest and most efficient way to remove water and smaller debris.

  1. Remove Contents

Once the standing water is gone, as many of the contents as possible must be removed from the area. Many of the items that have sewer damage won't be salvageable. Anything that can be thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and dried within 48 hours should be salvageable. Carpet usually has to be replaced. Water-soaked drywall often has to be cut out above the water line and replaced. Depending on the severity, you may need the services of water damage restoration professionals.

  1. Wash and Sanitize Area Thoroughly

Thoroughly wash and sanitize the affected area. Remember to clean smaller spaces, walls and anything else that came in contact with the contaminated water.

  1. Dry

Finally, you must completely dry the area. You can do this by opening windows and doors, turning on the heat and running dehumidifiers and fans.

Discovering a flooded toilet resulting from sewer damage can be overwhelming, leaving you questioning the next steps. Make sure you begin the cleanup process immediately to salvage as much as possible.

Things You Need To Do After a Pipe Break

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

A woman calling the Professionals while a Pipe Break is Leaking If you do not know what to do After a Pipe Break, just follow These Tips to prevent Water Damage.

Bursting pipes are not something you want to come home to. Whether the burst from cold, corrosion or a clog, there are a few things that you need to do quickly to minimize the damage.

6 Steps to Minize The Damage After a Pipe Break

  1. Turn Off Your Water Main

Rather than wait to find out which pipes are causing the problem, turn off your water main to avoid further damage. Once you have the water off, you can look for the break.

  1. Drain the Water

Before you fix broken pipe, you have to make sure that it is not still under pressure. Open your taps up to drain the water out of the system. If your pipes burst because they are frozen, turn your heat on to warm the pipes slowly.

  1. Call in a Professional

Depending on the type of break and where it is, you might need a plumber to fix the pipe. Once the plumber is done, it is time to start thinking about cleanup. It is very important to fix any water damage as soon as possible. You can do this by calling a professional water remediation company in Rocky Mount, NC.

  1. Dry the Area

The water remediation professionals will bring in pumps, fans and chemicals that remove and dry your home. Bursting pipes can cause more problems if the area is not properly dried. It will eventually cause issues like mold and mildew that can cause health effects to your family.

  1. Remove the Debris

The water remediation company will normally remove anything damaged during the leak and properly dispose of it. They understand the laws in your area and will make sure all materials are taken to the proper location.

  1. Fix the Damage

Some remediation companies also fix anything that was damaged by the water. All water-damaged drywall and flooring will need to be removed and replaced.

Bursting pipes are not the end of the world. A professional cleanup company can help you get back to normal faster.

8 Tips for Cleaning Smoke Damage

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy Smoke. Follow These Tips for Cleaning Smoke Damage in your Rocky Mount, NC Home.

One of the most challenging issues to deal with after a fire is smoke damage. Stains and smells can linger for months or even years without proper cleaning. These tips can help you get your home odor-free.

8 Smoke Cleaning Tips

Smoke and soot damage can easily penetrate porous materials, such as curtains, carpets, furniture and clothing. Damaged areas may appear blackened or scorched or the damage may not be visible.

1. Sort Through Your Belongings

The first step in the smoke cleaning process is to go through all of your smoke-damaged possessions and sort them according to what you want to save and what you can throw out. You may want to take photos for your insurance company before you discard anything and talk to your adjuster to make sure that the insurance company doesn't want to see your stuff before you toss it.

2. Inspect Your House

Even if the fire was only in one room, there could be smoke damage throughout your home. Smoke tends to drift on the air and can spread surprisingly far from the location of the fire. Pay special attention to ceilings and walls. This damage often looks like black dust, black streaks or discolored paint.

3. Open Some Windows

Open as many windows as you can and turn on some fans to let some of the smoke smell out. This should reduce the amount of smoke odor you need to remove.

4. Remove Soot and Ash

Wear protective gloves, eyewear and a mask. Use a vacuum to remove loose soot around the damaged areas. A dry-vac works best, but you can use a regular vacuum with an attachment hose if you don't have one. Do not just push a vacuum over soot and ash. This can grind it into the surface.

5. Clean the Walls

Vacuum any large pieces of soot from the walls. Use a dry-cleaning or soot cleaning sponge to gently remove smaller amounts of soot from the surfaces. Next, use a soot cleaning solution and a rag to wipe the walls. Paint thinner or vinegar can also be used. Finally, use a degreaser or mild dish soap and hot water to scrub the walls and then rinse with hot water.

6. Clean Windows

You can clean smoke from windows by using a soot cleaner and then a degreaser. Wipe with a cloth or paper towel.

7. Clean Ceilings

The process for cleaning ceilings is similar to walls. Because you will be working on a ladder, it works better to go through all of the steps in each section, instead of trying to do each one for the whole ceiling.

8. Remove Odors

Minor smoke smells may be neutralized by using a bowl of baking soda or white vinegar. Stronger odors may require ozone treatment. If you are having trouble removing odors, you may want to contact a smoke remediation company in Rocky Mount, NC, to assist you.

Lingering smoke odors and soot stains can be difficult to remove. However, if you follow the cleaning process outlined in this guide, you should be able to eliminate most of your smoke damage.