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Be Ready For Flooding

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

“Be ready for flooding” with a picture of a flooded road and sign that says “flood” with SERVPRO logo How to prepare for flooding

Flooding can come at any time so preparing in advance is always the best way to prevent damage and keep yourself and your family safe. 

Prepare Now:

  • Make a plan for where you and your family will go during a flood situation. When choosing a location make sure it is safe from floodwater and COVID-19.
  • Have a go-kit with clothes, non-perishable foods, medications, and other necessities. 
  • Sign up for community alerts to notify you in case of an emergency.
  • Purchase or renew flood insurance for your home. Keep in mind it can take up to 30 days for a flood policy to go into effect, so plan ahead. 
  • Keep important documents in a water and fire-proof container and create digital copies.
  • Protect important items by moving them to higher levels.

If you are under a flood warning, seek shelter immediately:

  • Walking, swimming, or driving through floodwaters is incredibly dangerous. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your car away. 
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water, there is a higher risk the bridge will collapse.
  • Evacuate if told to do so, move to higher ground or a higher floor

Be Safe After:

  • Return home only after authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving except in emergencies, keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles. 
  • Watch for snakes and other animals that may have entered your home during a flood. 
  • Be aware of electrocution risks, turn off electricity, and don’t touch anything with power. 
  • Mold can grow quickly and easily in wet environments, be sure to remove water and dry the area quickly to prevent microbial growth. 
  • Call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at 704-840-6112 to come and remove the water in your home.

For more helpful flood information head to Ready.GOV and learn more about minimizing flood damage on our blog.

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Decorate Your Home Safely

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

“SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County” in top left corner; “Fire safety during the holidays” in center of image w/ SERVPRO log SERVPRO Wants to Let You Know to Look Out for these Holiday Hazards

It is the 2021 holiday season, and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wants homeowners to stay safe as they decorate their homes for these upcoming festivities. Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Years Day are some of the top three days for home candle fires. In fact, around 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. 

Research shows that around 30 years ago, you had about 15-17 minutes to escape a house fire. Nowadays, that number has dipped to 3 to 4 minutes. Home fires are known to move faster today. It is believed that the two main culprits are cheap, modern furniture and synthetic fabric coverings. Additionally, as open floor plans become more common in modern homes it allows for easier oxygen flow and less barriers are set in place to stop a fire. 

There are several contributors that are the cause for there being more house fires during the winter season. Heating is the second-leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries. Because temperatures tend to dip below 40 degrees during the month of December here in Charlotte, NC, heaters are essential to homes. Space heaters especially contribute to this number. Another leading cause of home fires is the use of candles. More than 1/3 of home decorations are started by candles and around twelve percent of December candle fires began with decorations. Lastly, having a heat source that is too close to a Christmas tree is the cause of one in four winter fires, and around 52% of these fires result in deaths. 

During the upcoming holiday season it is now, more than ever, important to have a safety checklist in your Charlotte home. If you haven’t done a fire safety check in your home, now is the time! 

Use battery-operated candles. If you must use normal candles, make sure they are never left unattended, keep them away from anything that is flammable and put them out of reach from children and/or pets. 

Make sure your holiday lights are not frayed or broken. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect. Stringing too many lights together or using extension cords can lead to fires.

Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any sort of heat source such as fire places, space heaters or candles. 

If you are hanging stockings on your fireplace mantel, make sure to take them down when making a fire. They are highly flammable. 

Make sure all of the smoke alarms in your house are working. They should be placed in every sleeping area, outside every sleeping area and on each floor of your home.  

Before using a ladder to hang lights, indoors or out, make sure you get someone to spot you. The last thing you want to do is end up in the ER during the holidays. 

Keep small decorative pieces away from kids and pets. Many holiday decorations have smaller pieces that can fall or break off so it is important to monitor your home for items that could be ingested or cause choking. 

Any sort of injury or house fire can take the joy out of celebrating the holidays, so it is important to take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of your home and your guests. No matter what holidays you celebrate, consider these steps for staying safe during your holiday festivities. 

If a fire occurs in your home over the holidays our expert team is here to help. We are dedicated to serving our South Mecklenburg county locals in need. With specialized equipment and cleaning techniques, our “restore first” mentality reduces any interruptions and gets you back to your normal life. 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (704) 840-6112

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How To Deal With Smoke Damage From Nearby Fires

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

“How to deal with smoke from neighboring fires” with a picture of a neighborhood and SERVPRO logo Can smoke spread from nearby fires into my home?

Even the smallest of fires can create large amounts of smoke damage, and that damage isn’t just confined to the area of the fire. Fires can spread smoke for miles, so even that little fire a few doors down could cause smoke damage in your home. If your home or business has suffered smoke damage because of a fire near you there are some steps you can take. 

You should first speak with your insurance agent to discuss how damages will be covered. Smoke damage is often covered by most insurance policies, but be sure to check yours and improve your coverage if needed. 

Be sure to thoroughly document damages by noting the date of the fire, the location of the fire, types of damages and losses, injuries, and description of damages. Make sure to include images of all damage as well. 

It is also important to understand that even though some items may not appear smoky they may still need to be replaced. Electronics can make this especially difficult. Smoke can easily enter through the vents of electronics causing internal damage that may not be visible externally.

After you have documented damages, turn the rest over to professionals. There are often dangers associated with cleaning soot and ash from items that professionals know how to deal with. Smoke can very easily spread throughout your home if you aren’t careful, and some items need specialized cleaning to remove tough soot stains. Your technicians will have the right gear to deal with these dangers and protect your belongings. 

There are many factors that go into determining the extent of damage and without the experience and knowledge that comes from professionals it is possible certain damages will be overlooked. If you are unsure whether or not items can be saved, a fire restoration specialist can help you determine the extent of the damage.

If you notice a fire near you, take steps to keep your family, friends, employees, and others safe first, then call the proper emergency authorities. When it has been determined safe for you to return to your property, call your insurance company and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened."

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10 Steps To Feeling Better: #1 Get Out In Nature

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

“10 Steps To Feeling Better, Get Outside” with a picture of grass and trees with SERVPRO logo The benefits of being outside

It’s time to start our 10 Steps To Feeling Better series with step number one: Get Out In Nature! 

It’s easy to underestimate the benefits of even a few minutes outside. Even though most people know being outside can help improve their mood, most people drastically underestimate the benefit of a walk outside compared to a walk inside on the treadmill. 

Even living in an area with more green space can improve your mood. One study has shown that people who live with a higher concentration of greenspace near them have fewer health complaints and perceived mental health. This study showed that people who experience a stressful life event were significantly less affected by it when they were surrounded by more green space. 

Living near a large park or green space isn’t always easy in Charlotte, NC, but adding potted plants inside your home or on a porch can be a mood lifter as well. Researchers have found that flowers and potted plants in the workspace led to more creativity, ideas, and flexible solutions from adults. Children also benefit from plants as well and have been shown to engage in more creative play. Not only do plants boost your mood, but there is evidence to show that gardening can boost your mood just as much as exercise, and it only takes an hour and a half each week. 

Greenery in neighborhoods is important for crime too. Research has shown that greenery in housing developments resulted in significantly less violent and property crimes. Studies have also shown that the better those greenspaces look, the less likely crime is in those areas, so boost your mood and spend some time gardening, and reduce crime at the same time. 

Studies have also shown that greenery can help improve memory by up to 20%! Just going and taking a short walk through trees and greenery can improve memory as compared to going for a walk on a sidewalk through buildings. This effect is even stronger in children. Studies have shown that children with more access to greenspace do better academically. Living near green spaces has been linked to improved memory, mathematical ability, and spatial working memory in children. 

Keep checking back for our other 9 steps to feeling better. Our team will continue to share helpful tips that can boost your mood and help make life feel a little calmer. 

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Small Business Saturday

11/27/2021 (Permalink)

“Small Business Saturday” in a green circle with the SERVPRO logo beneath it Why You Should Support Small Businesses in the Local Charlotte Area

Because it is Small Businesses Saturday, it is now, more than ever, important to highlight the critical roles small businesses play in strengthening their local communities. They do a number of things to help and support those who live nearby in numerous ways such as providing a hometown feel and getting to know their neighbors. Spending money at local businesses helps to keep business booming in addition to stimulating the economy. Smaller-sized businesses create and sustain jobs for community members while keeping the area buzzing with shoppers and tourists.  

Because of Charlotte's entrepreneurial spirit and creative atmosphere, new businesses continue to be started and grown right here. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented several challenges for local businesses in Charlotte and across the nation. During these difficult times, it is important to interact with and support our neighbors. Many local businesses are providing online services that allow customers to show their support and shop safely from the comfort of their homes. For those that are shopping in person, many of these places have put several safety protocols into place. 

As a Charlotte small business, here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we want to help support other small businesses in our community. One of them being Charlotte’s Inc. in Myers Park. Known for its cutting-edge fashion options and home decor, Charlotte’s Inc. has in-store and online shopping now available to the public. Charlotte’s has been a premiere destination for its customers for over thirty years now in North Carolina. Through the support of their loyal customers, Charlotte’s has been able to open three stores with two locations in Raleigh and one in Charlotte. From costume jewelry to baby gifts to designer shoes, Charlotte’s has something for everyone. 

The 704 shop is a renowned pop-up and online store here in Charlotte. This company is dedicated to doing its part in bringing people together to support positive change and culture in the 704 area code. Created by three former UNC Charlotte college roommates, the 704 Shop ensures that their products and apparel connect their customers with each other and to the Charlotte region. With high-quality apparel and branded merchandise, the 704 has a store location in South End and has online shopping (with free shipping!) If you are a Charlottean looking to show off your pride, this is the place to go!  

The staff of smaller-sized businesses, like Charlotte’s, The 704 Shop and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, are more available to answer detailed questions about their products and services they sell. They treasure their relationships with customers and work to provide personal, friendly customer service. 

Because of the numerous benefits small businesses provide here in Charlotte, it is important that we serve and protect them. Sadly, Charlotte businesses can face flooding, fires and biohazardous dangers. These can all result in some form of serious damage to businesses and their products. Business owners and locals need top-tier restoration and clean-up services on call 24/7 when situations like these arise. Our team of certified technicians know how to handle any disaster. As a smaller local business, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County understands how any disruption to day-to-day operations can be disastrous, which is why we are here to help. 

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Prepare Your Home For Fall & Winter

11/25/2021 (Permalink)

“Prepare Your Home For Fall & Winter” with a half orange half blue background and SERPVOR logo How To Get Your Home Fall & Winter Ready

Fall is a great time to start preparing your Charlotte, NC, property for the cold winter months and the potential problems that they can bring. Take the time now during bearable temperatures to inspect and maintain your property to avoid frozen property problems later. 

Keep the Chill Outside

Check around windows and doors for any gaps in the insulation or caulking, your home can lose a significant amount of warmth through seemingly small gaps. Remember to change your HVAC system filters and have your unit inspected for debris or mold. At entryways have a no-skid rug or mat to protect floors and prevent falls. Inspect your roof and siding for gaps or damage from storms and make necessary repairs.

Maintain the Gutter System

Clogged gutters are a problem for your property any time of year, but during the winter those problems can be exacerbated. Freezing temperatures can create ice dams in gutters which lead to costly repairs. After the leaves near your house have fallen make sure to clear your gutters of any leaves and twigs. Make sure to inspect and repair any broken or sagging areas that may cause leaks. Once the leaves are cleared add a leaf guard the prevent cleaning gutters in the cold winter weather.

Protect the Plumbing

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and near outer walls are more susceptible to freezing in cold temperatures. Wrap any exposed pipes with extra insulation to prevent freezing. Don’t forget to add extra insulation to your water heater if it's located in an exposed or cold location. 

Prepare the Car for Cold Weather

There are several precautions to take to keep your car in good shape during cold months. Make sure to replace windshield wipers and switch to winter washer fluid. Check tire pressure levels regularly as temperature changes and don’t be surprised to see your tire pressure sensor light going off. Make sure your coolant and antifreeze levels are good. It is also a good idea to get an oil change to keep your car working properly. Have a car emergency kit with flashlights, warm blankets, water, and a first aid kit. It is also smart to keep a shovel, ice scraper, and a bag of sand. 

Prepping the Yard

Even in the cold weather your yard still needs to be maintained. Make sure to keep tree and shrub branches trimmed back from windows. Icy conditions can cause branches to break and damage siding and windows. It is also a good time to trim back flower beds and fertilize them for next year.

Protect Yourself From Snow and Ice 

Switch out Spring and Summer tools for Winter ones, keep snow shovels, roof rakes, blowers, and pet-safe ice melt on hand. Stock up on emergency supplies like batteries, ready-to-eat foods, and maybe even a generator. 

Fall and winter temperatures and storms can come on quick, often before you have time to prepare, don’t put off preparing your home for the Winter season. Taking some time to prep can prevent water and fire damage to your home. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is prepared to help property owners in Charlotte, NC, in case of a water or fire property damage emergency.

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Holiday Hazards: Safety Tips For Frying A Thanksgiving Turkey

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

“Holiday Hazards: Frying Turkey: with a cartoon of a turkey frying and SERVPRO logo How to safely fry a turkey

As we begin to prepare for the Thanksgiving season it is important to take safety measures when cooking your bird, and frying a turkey requires a few extra safety precautions. When using a consumer-grade turkey fryer there is a large quantity of oil at high temperatures, posing a risk for fire. 

One big danger to consider is to make sure the turkey is completely thawed. If the turkey is not completely thawed out and dry it will ignite when it hits the oil. When the ice hits oil it will cause the oil to spill over and catch fire, or even an explosion hazard. 

If you choose to fry your turkey make sure to put the fryer in an open area on flat concrete. Never use the fryer on wood surfaces or in a garage, or near flammable objects. 

Never leave the fryer unattended as most units do not have temperature control and will continue heating until the oil catches fire. 

Never allow children to go near the fryer and make sure to keep all pets restrained and away from the area. 

Never overfill the fryer, make sure to leave enough room for the turkey to fit into the fryer without causing oil to spill over. 

Cooking fires are very common on Thanksgiving, so make sure to take precautions to prevent a fire in your home, whether you are frying or baking your turkey. Even the stove or oven can start fires in a matter of seconds, so be sure you have the proper tools to deal with a kitchen fire.  

If a fire does occur in your Charlotte, NC, home, make sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.

For more information on frying turkeys, and what to do in an emergency check out the National Park Services website

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Are You Cleaning Dryer Lint Properly

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

“Dryer Lint Leads To Fires, Are You Cleaning It Properly?” with a picture of dryer lint and SERVPRO logo How to clean a dryer vent

Did you know that your dryer can cause a home lint fire? According to the United States Fire Administration, there are about 2,900 clothes dryer fires reported each year. The USFA also states that almost 35% of those fired could have been prevented if the dryer had been cleaned. Ensure that your Charlotte, NC, home doesn’t suffer the devastating effects of a fire by cleaning your dryer regularly. Here are three steps to follow to avoid needing to call a fire restoration company. 

Clean the screen

The first step to preventing lint fires is to clean the lint screen every time you use your dryer. Every dryer has a lint screen located on top or inside of the door. There are three ways to remove lint from the screen: run fingers gently across the screen, wipe a used dryer sheet across the screen or use a vacuum brush attachment. If you use dryer sheets we also recommend washing your screen with water every month to remove any residue. 

Deep clean the vents

In addition to cleaning the screen, it is necessary to deep-clean the vents at least once a year. Lint can get trapped and accumulate inside the vent. This leads to inefficient and longer drying times on top of the added risk of combustion. Fortunately cleaning dryer vents isn’t difficult. 

  1. Start by unplugging the dryer’s power supply
  2. Find the vent and disconnect it from the back of the dryer
  3. Use a vacuum and extensions to clean inside the dryer vent
  4. Head outside and remove the exterior vent cover and vacuum inside the vent
  5. If your vacuum extensions weren’t long enough find a dryer vent cleaning kit with flexible brushes to help clean the entirety of the vent
  6. Reconnect the vent to the back of the dryer and plug the power supply back in 

Clean the exterior and interior

Cleaning the outside and inside of the appliance prevents dryer fires. Remove the back panel off of your dryer and gently wipe surfaces with a soft cloth. Check inside as well to remove any lint in the drum. 

If you follow all these steps and still have the misfortune of a lint fire be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112 to get your Charlotte, NC, home back to normal.

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Are Your Gutters Putting You At Risk For Flooding

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

“Are Your Gutters Putting You At Risk For Flooding” with pictures of gutters and the SERVPRO logo Common cause of flooding

One of the biggest fears we hear about from homeowners is a basement flood during a big storm. This fear is very valid, a flood can cause many repairs and damage your things. There can be damage to flooring, drywall, furniture, antiques, family heirlooms, and, worst of all, mold can grow. Repairing this damage is time-consuming, costly and worst of all, stressful. 

Issues with foundation drainage are one of the most common causes of a flooded basement. However, the main reason we see for flooded basements is overflowing gutters. 

If your gutters are clogged with debris, the water has no way to reach the downspout. This causes it to overflow from the gutters to the ground next to your house, only a few short feet from the foundation. As the ground is settling and moving, it causes stress on the foundation which causes cracking, letting water enter your home. Pressure from this may force water through the cracks in the concrete. The best fix for this is keeping gutters clean. Keeping gutters clean will prevent overflows, and quality gutter guards and routine cleaning to keep leaves and other debris clear keep gutters functioning properly. 

When your gutters cause flooding in your Mathews, Pineville, or Charlotte home it can be very overwhelming. You need to have professionals from your SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team to come to remove the water and repair the damages. Flooded basements create the possibility of damage as well as stress for you and your family. At SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we understand this stress, which is why we are always “Faster to Any Size Disaster.” We have the equipment ready to remove water from your home and dehumidifiers to dry it out waiting for your call. Our moisture meters will also find any hidden water or mold growth in your home. 

When SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County restores your home after a flood, we make it "Like it never even happened." Just give us a call at (704) 840-6112 so we can get to your home as soon as possible.

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Smoke Damage From Adjacent Businesses

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage From Adjacent Businesses” with a burnt roof and SERVPRO logo Can smoke spread from nearby fires?

Even the smallest of fires can create large amounts of smoke damage in Charlotte, NC, and that damage isn’t just confined to the area of the fire. Smoke is a very light substance that can spread quickly and very far. If your home or business has suffered smoke damage because of a fire near your Pineville, NC, business there are some steps you can take. 

You should first speak with your insurance agent to discuss how damages will be covered. Smoke damage is often covered by most insurance policies, but be sure to check yours and improve your coverage if needed. 

Be sure to thoroughly document damages by noting the date of the fire, types of damages and losses, injuries, and description of damages. Make sure to include images of all damage as well. It is also important to understand that even though some items may not appear smoky they may still need to be replaced. 

Something that might not be visibly damages is electronics. They may appear clean and to be working just fine, but smoke can be sitting inside of electronics, causing damage over time. Be sure to have all electronics taken apart and cleaned professionally before using them again after smoke has been in the area. 

After you have documented damages, turn the rest over to professionals. There are often dangers associated with cleaning soot and ash from items that professionals know how to deal with. Using the wrong cleaning products could lead to soot stains that cannot be removed. Your technicians will have the right gear to deal with these dangers and protect your belongings. 

There are many factors that go into determining the extent of damage and without the experience and knowledge that comes from professionals it is possible certain damages will be overlooked. 

If you notice a fire near you, take steps to keep your family, friends, employees and others safe first, then call the proper emergency authorities. When it has been determined safe for you to return to your property, call your insurance company and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to clean up and restore your property.

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