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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Will Water Cause Permanent Damage to my Electronics

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

 “will water permanently damage my electronics?” with a wet computer board and the SERVPRO logo What happens after electronics get wet?

 flood and water damage to electronics fall into 3 categories:

  • Submersion
  • Direct Hit
  • High Humidity

Which one occurs determines the amount of damage and what steps should be taken to either restore or replace the affected technology.

Submersion

Electronics are completely covered with standing water and/or mud-type sediment from a few short minutes to days.

  • Replacement is usually the best course for these situations for many reasons. If power was on at the time of the water damage, chances are electricity caused a short to the equipment. This would require parts replacement as well as cleaning, which may not be cost-effective unless the electronic equipment is high end such as commercial switches, routers, or audio and video equipment.

Direct Hit

Technology that had water rain down on it or was splashed by running water from a loss nearby.

  • Many times this equipment can be cleaned because very little water may have gotten inside the components.  It may LOOK worse on the outside than on the inside. Cleaning would be recommended for these components to remove any contaminants or minerals left behind by drying water.
  • The equipment (if allowed to dry long enough) will work for a while, however, minerals left behind from even “clean” water will sit on the circuit boards and cause corrosion if not cleaned properly. After a while, issues with the equipment will begin to appear.  This could be anything from audio not working right to loss of power or any number of “bugs” occurring.  Corrosion can be stopped, not reversed. 

High Humidity

This includes standing water in a room with electronics such as a basement, home theater, server room, computer lab, etc. Usually, the items are off of the floor on a table, desk, or entertainment center.

  • The equipment was not hit directly but may have been in a room that had a huge spike in humidity, for instance here in North Carolina our baseline outdoor humidity stands at about 70.6% while indoor humidity can range from 30-60%.  If a water loss occurs and dumps water into a room and jumps the humidity to 90%, the electronics in the area could be affected and need a proper cleaning to live a normal life cycle.
  • Dust is the enemy in this scenario, high amounts of dust inside electronic equipment is usually not a major issue aside from the fact that it doesn’t let the circuit boards “breathe” properly which could cause overheating issues. On a normal basis, dust could be blown out with a can of pressurized air. However, once high humidity is introduced into electronic equipment, it settles on top of the dust forming a “mud” type of sediment that will cling to the boards. This dust will not sit lightly on the boards but stick to them until removed by cleaning.

Conclusion

For those that have desktop computers, notebooks, game systems, or other electronics that may include hard drives, data recovery is an option.  The caveat to watch out for with this issue is to make sure the media containing the data (hard drive, thumb drive, SD card, etc) is cleaned and dried properly BEFORE trying to access the data.  If moisture is still present on the item and it is powered on before it is completely dry, damage can be permanent and data could be lost forever.

Electronic Restoration is a specialized service that requires experience with a wide range of technologies. Proper cleaning should include the inside (most important) and the outside of the equipment as well. Manufacturers clean circuit boards as part of their process. Those same techniques, if done properly can also save flood and water damaged electronics. Make sure whoever is helping with your loss is taking the circuit boards into consideration.

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10 Steps To Feeling Better: #2 Exercise

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

“10 steps to feeling better, exercise” with a picture of people outside walking and SERVPRO logo How exercise benefits your mood

It’s time for step number two in our 10 Steps To Feeling Better blog series: Exercise! 

I think we have all heard that exercise is important for mental health, but most of us still don’t exercise regularly. Only 19.3% of Americans regularly exercise each day. The benefits of exercising regularly aren’t only the numerous health benefits, but also make you smarter, happier, improve sleep, and gives you a better body image. 

Not only does exercise have so many benefits, but not exercising is also detrimental. Being sedentary can actually cause decreased executive functioning. Reaction time is also slowed with less activity. 

Scientifically, exercise is the best way to boost mental function. Exercise is even more effective than brain training, medication, supplements, and meditation. Exercise also has the added benefit of reducing the risk of dementia. 

Exercise is one of the best ways to improve happiness; it wards off depression and anxiety, boosts self-esteem, and improves sleep. Exercise is known to improve endorphins as well, which causes a diminished perception of pain. 

Studies have also shown that body image is improved after exercise. This positive body image was shown to happen even when there was no real physical improvement. 

The SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County challenges you to spend 30 minutes a day exercising this week. Check back next week for the next step to feeling better!

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10 Steps To Feeling Better: #3 Spend Time With Friends & Family

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

“10 steps to feeling better, spend time together” with a picture of a family at sunset and SERVPRO logo How Family & Friends Boost Your Mood

Harvard Happiness Expert Dan Gilbert has identified quality time with friends and family as one of the most important happiness factors.

It can be hard to understand just how important relationships are to happiness, so a study put a value on relationships to truly understand how important they are. This study found that friendships are worth over $130,000 a year, while a strong marriage is worth $105,000 in terms of life satisfaction. To learn more about how much relationships are worth, look here.

Feeling like you have friends, and having a sense of belonging is actually an IQ booster. Feeling lonely and having no sense of belonging is linked to death as much as major health risk behaviors such as smoking.

Loneliness has been linked to heart attack, diabetes, and strokes, something time with friends and family can help reduce.

It has been shown that the longest-living people all put strong importance on relationships. Good relationships have also been linked to being even more effective than exercise in living a long life.

Sharing good news with friends strengthens relationships, and doing something kind for friends can help improve your happiness immediately.

We challenge you to go share good news and do something kind for a friend or family member today! 

Our team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County loves spending time with our family with a bonfire and s'mores, what is your favorite family activity?

Come back to learn our other 7 favorite tips for a better life. And as always, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here for all of your restoration needs.

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Do You Know The PH of Common Fluids Spilled on Your Computer

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

“do you know the PH of what you spilled on your laptop” with water spilled on a laptop and SERVPRO logo Can My Laptop Be Saved After I Spilled This On It?

Oh No! You spilled, dropped in, flooded, seeped what into that electronic?  Is it ruined? Can it be salvaged?  I loved chemistry in school and when I saw this article, I knew I wanted to share it with our customers.  I was fortunate to study pH and the effects it has during the restoration process. 

pH of common fluids

A number less than 7 indicates an acid solution, while a number above 7 indicates an alkaline solution. Both cases are bad for electronic components. Knowing the pH of the fluid can help give you an idea of how severe the damage is.

  • Pure water neutral pH = 7.0
  • Sea water i.e. saltwater = about 8.2
  • Regulated pool water = 7.2 - 7.8 (Source)
  • Lemon juice = 2.3
  • Cola = 2.5-3.5
  • Fruit juice = 3.5
  • Beer = 4.5
  • Coffee = 5.0
  • Tea = 5.5
  • Hand soap = 9.0 -10.0
  • Bleach = 12.5
  • Other beverages

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH

What does all of this information mean? No matter what you spilled on your electronics the first thing you should do is turn the device off and unplug any power sources. Once the device is powered off seek professional help to restore your electronics. 

For more helpful information check our blog for all of our home and safety tips. 

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Is My Shower leaking?

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

“Is My Shower Leaking” with a showerhead dripping and SERVPRO logo Is my shower causing water damage?

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is frequently called in to Charlotte, NC, homes help mitigate damage caused by a shower. Often, there is no real visible evidence of what has caused the issue, but when we perform our inspection, we find it is the shower!

The nature of showers and bathtubs means there is a real risk of leaks and water damage that might be more difficult to spot until it’s a serious problem. Water can destroy drywall, warp subfloors, and lift tiles. If you notice buckling floors, a weird smell, or staining, you could have water damage in your bathroom. So how does water damage happen in the shower?

Grout & Mortar Aren’t Waterproof

People often think that grout and mortar, along with all other types of cement-like materials, are waterproof, but that isn’t the case. The main component of traditional grout and mortar isn’t designed to block water, instead, it is able to get when and be unharmed. 

Because grout and mortar aren’t waterproof, a safe shower or tub installation includes plastic sheeting or tar paper behind the tiles and over the subfloor. This waterproof material connects to the tub or shower drain, letting any water pass through without reaching the subfloor. If there is no waterproof barrier, every time water touches the tiles, water is likely reaching the subfloor. 

Waterproof Barriers Can Degrade

Another problem that can lead to water damage from the shower is the degradation of the waterproof barrier behind the tiles. While these barriers can last for years without issue, they can degrade in certain situations. Plastics can last a long time, but they aren’t indestructible. In some situations, plastic barriers can become brittle, break down, crack, and let water through. The same is true for tar paper barriers. 

There is also always a chance the installation of tile can damage the barrier before you even use your shower or tub. If screws have been inserted through the shower wall to install something like a grab bar or shower door there might be a chance that water could be getting through the barrier. 

Cracked Shower Floor

When tile is installed on a shower floor, there should either be a prefabricated shower pan that is made for tile, or a concrete shower pan that is created on-site. These shower pans keep water from reaching the subfloor, but if these pans crack, the water barrier cant hold water. 

Water Can Spread

On the surface it might seem like a bathroom leak will only affect the areas where water is visible, but the extent of water damage can be difficult to see. It may seem like a little mold or mildew on the surface of your shower is only a lack of cleaning, but if that mold keeps coming back, it might be a sign of a bigger moisture issue. 

With the help of tile, a leaky shower can allow water to spread for years unnoticed. Where you may notice the water is on the ceiling below the shower or the drywall on the opposite side of the wall. A more dangerous and hidden consequence is framing members warping and rotting. If there is a chronic leak it could require major structural and surface repair.

What Next?

If you suspect a hidden leak in your bathroom the best first step to take is calling a plumber. Once the leak is resolved, it’s time to begin the restoration process. The best way to make it "Like it never even happened," is to call a water restoration specialist. So call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112 day or night for all of your restoration needs.  

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Who SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Really Is

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

As multi-generational members of the Charlotte Mecklenburg area, we want you to know that even though nothing seems certain right now- YOU CAN COUNT ON US! We have been deemed essential responders and will keep our doors open to help you should you need us. We know that when you have an emergency- your first thought is “Now what?” The answer? Call us! We will be there with you through the entire process and do our best to help you in any way that we can! Like a good friend and neighbor, we are here to help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us at (704) 840-6112 - We will answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

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Wind Damage Prevention

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

“Wind Damage Prevention” with grass blowing in the wind and SERVPRO logo Storm Wind Damage Prevention

We have all heard of a blustery fall day- but that beautiful fall afternoon can bring wind that is potentially damaging and dangerous. High winds can blow objects (including you!) around, and these objects pose a serious threat to you and your property. There are steps you can take to prevent damage and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help!

Before there is a weather event, you should:

  • Clean up your yard
  • Assess your trees and address dangerous trees and branches
  • Have your roof inspected and repaired- high winds can lead to roof damage and water damage
  • Check and reinforce weather stripping around windows, doors, garage doors
  • Update your emergency supply kit
  • Secure important documents in a weatherproof box  and create backups in the cloud to protect against water damage

If there is a weather event, you will need to know the difference between a High Wind Watch, High Wind Warning,  and a High Wind Advisory.

A High Wind Watch means that it’s possible for damaging or life-threatening winds to occur.

A High Wind Warning is issued when damaging or life-threatening winds are occurring or will occur soon.

A High Wind Advisory is issued when winds are strong enough to cause difficulty for those outside, but likely won’t cause widespread damage.

Once you understand the conditions, you can:

  • Monitor the weather using radio, tv, and apps
  • Use technology to your advantage
  • Secure large and small items
  • Secure doors and windows
  • Find shelter in secure buildings
  • Don't drive and stay put in a safe place until the event has passed.
  • IF you must drive:
    • Slow down!
    • Pay attention.
    • Do not drive near trucks, buses, and trailers.
    • Watch for debris and fallen power lines and branches.

Once the storm or wind event has passed, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112 if you need us to come and clean up the mess.  We will make it "Like it never even happened."

For more weather safety information, head to Weather.gov.

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National Fire Pup Day

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

“National Fire Pup Day” with a Dalmation wearing a firefighter hat and SERVPRO logo The history of firehouse dogs

We all love seeing the firehouse Dalmatian in movies and tv-shows, often riding shotgun in a firetruck speeding to a fire, but do you know how they got there? In honor of National Fire Pup Day, we are going to share the history of the firehouse Dalmatian. 

The Begining

Before there were firehouse dogs there were carriage dogs. Back in the 18th-century dogs were trained to trog alongside carriages to protect the carriage riders from bandits. These dogs were trained to regard strange horses as dangerous and to attack them, giving their owners time to respond to the human dangers. 

Carriage dogs weren’t always Dalmatians, but they quickly became the favorite breed because of their long legs, sturdy bodies, high energy, and obedience, and endurance to keep up on the road. 

Part Of The Firehouse Team

They quickly became part of the firehouse team as horse-drawn fire carriages became popular in the 1700s to protect the expensive firehouse horses, and to clear the route to a fire. The Dalmatian is also known to have a calming effect on the horses, making them the perfect companion to ease the horse’s stress as the firefighters worked to put out the fire. 

The Age of The Fire Engine

As the fire engine beat out horse-drawn carriages, the fire pups were in need of a new job description. By this point, the public liked seeing the Dalmatians with the firefighters and the firefighters liked having the dogs around. The tasks of a modern-day fire pup can include: 

  • Companionship for firefighters
  • Guarding the firehouse, and chasing out rodents
  • Riding to fires and guarding the truck 
  • Acting as the firehouse mascot

Not only do fire pups have all the jobs listed above, but they also help with education. Dalmatians are great at helping demonstrate fire safety to the community, and especially to children. You can follow along with our local Charlotte Fire Dogs, Cat and Blaze, on Facebook. 

The Modern Fire Pup

One of the most important jobs a dog in the firehouse can have is being an “arson dog.” These dogs are “sniff out minute traces of accelerants (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) that may have been used to start a fire,” according to State Farm’s Arson Dog Program. These highly-trained dogs work alongside firefighters or law enforcement agents to investigate the scene of a fire after the blaze has been extinguished. 

More Than Dalmatians 

Today, fire pups don’t have to be Dalmatians. Any size, shape, or breed can be a fire pup, but of course, the Dalmatian remains the most popular breed in firehouses. 

One thing we can be sure of, no matter how advanced technology becomes, nothing can replace the companionship of the firehouse pup. 

For more information on your local fire station, like how fast they respond, or the services they provide, you can always find information on our blog, or directly on the Charlotte Fire Department or Pineville Fire Department firehouse websites. And remember, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is “Faster to Any Size Disaster” so give us a call (704) 840-6112 if you’ve experienced a fire in your home. 

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State Of The Art Equipment For Storm Damage

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is proud to share that we offer state-of-the-art equipment to make your storm damage "Like it never even happened," after you have had a water loss. So what equipment do we use?

One of our favorite state-of-the-art pieces of equipment is the Injectidry system.  Our Injectidry system dries walls, ceilings, and hard-to-reach areas (like crevices and cavities) by injecting air and/or removing moist air with negative pressure. 

Many people believe that replacement is the only option when materials in their homes are affected by water damage. Replacement is not always the only option! With the Injectidry system, we are able to save more of your home than ever before. With a water restoration specialist, you can expect a team that cares about you and your belongings. We will help save your home and your personal possessions if possible.

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will respond quickly to your storm-related loss before further damage can occur- like floor buckling and mold and mildew growth.  We use only the latest and most proven industry techniques, highly qualified technicians, and cutting-edge technology and equipment to ensure that we not only professionally and efficiently address your loss- we do so in the most cost-effective way possible! As a result, we have saved many homeowners thousands of dollars in replacement costs. 

What does this mean for you? It means that we are here 24/7 and that SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is committed to only providing the BEST for your loss!

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What Sets SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Apart From The Rest

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

“What Sets SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Apart From The Rest” with the SERVPRO logo Why Choose SERVPRO

Every evening- sometimes even in the middle of the night- we return to our facility after responding to a loss. We clean all of the equipment, including the vans and trailers, so that when we respond to our next customer, we are clean, organized, and ready to spring into action!

Why is this important? So that we can be “Faster to Any Size Disaster.” When we enter your Charlotte, NC, home or business, it is important that we are prepared to handle your needs immediately and efficiently.  We also treat your home or business like it is ours!  We believe everything should be fresh, tidy, organized, and ready to go- exactly what we would expect from someone responding to a situation at our home or business.

We are committed to giving each client "White Glove" Service. As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "White Glove" means to be marked by special care or attention: meticulous.  As you can see- we fit that definition precisely! We are meticulous- even before we get to your property! 

Call us today at (704) 840-6112 and we will provide "White Glove" service and make it "Like it never even happened," or maybe even a bit better!

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Will I Need New Hardwood Floors After A Flood

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

“Will I Need New Hardwood Floors After A Flood?” with hardwood floors and SERVPRO logo Can hardwood floors be dried?

When water enters your Charlotte, NC, home, whether, through a burst pipe or flooding, you are likely worried about the damage that the water will cause.  If you have hardwood floods you know the cost to replace them can be astronomical, so you might be worried that those beautiful oak floors will have to be torn out. So how can you tell if your hardwood floors can be saved after a water disaster? Keep reading to find out. 

How Much Water Is There?

When your hardwood floors get wet, one major factor determining whether or not they can be saved is how much water there is. Generally, hardwood floors should have a moisture content around 10%, but that number quickly begins to rise when water is present. If the floors are completely covered in water, that number can rise quickly. Once hardwood floors reach 12% moisture content they will likely begin to buckle. Once floors begin to buckle it becomes more and more unlikely that they can be saved. If only a few boards are affected, it may be possible to sand them down or replace a few boards instead of replacing the entire area. 

How Long Have They Been Wet?

When water enters your Pineville, NC, home you may think it can easily be dried with a few towels and a fan, but that will likely lead to long dry times, staining, and even irreversible damage to your hardwood floors. The longer water has sat on the floors, the more water the wood will absorb, potentially leading to the subfloor becoming soaked. Once the subfloor becomes soaked, it becomes much more difficult to dry, leading to potential mold growth and other problems. 

How To Save Hardwood Floors

Just because your hardwood floors got wet doesn’t mean they are ruined. The best way to save floors is to call your local Matthews, NC, water restoration specialists. Here is what they will do to help save your flooring:

  • Rapid removal of any water using wet vacs and other water removal tools 
  • Fully scrub and sanitize floors before drying to prevent mold growth 
  • Dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to remove moisture from the air and floors
  • Consistently check humidity to prevent overdrying which can lead to cracking

Substantial loss incidents require a water removal service as soon as possible. Our SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team is ready 24/7 to respond “Faster to Any Size Disaster.” Give us a call (704) 840-6112 day or night.

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What Is A HEPA Filter?

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

“What is a HEPA Filter?” with images of air filters and SERVPRO logo Why We Use HEPA Filters

You may have heard the term HEPA filter before, but do you know what it means? A HEPA filter is a type of pleated mechanical air filter that stands for High-Efficiency Particular Air Filter. Keep reading to learn how these filters work, how they are used, why they are used.

How HEPA Filters Work

HEPA filters are designed to trap 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. Based on the ability of a filter to capture particles, it is given a MERV rating. MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. HEPA filters always have a MERV rating of 17 or higher. That means HEPA filters deliver air quality that is higher than hospital-level air quality. 

How We Use HEPA Filters

HEPA filters can be used in air purifiers, face masks, airplanes, hospitals, cars, HVAC systems, and even vacuum cleaners. When SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County uses HEPA filters, we use them in vacuums. After the restoration work is done, there can be drywall dust and other debris left behind, which is why we always follow up with a HEPA vacuum. When we vacuum, we ensure every surface is vacuumed so no dust is left behind. 

Why We Use HEPA Filters

After a disaster, the restoration process can stir up dust, smoke, pollen, and other particles. These indoor pollutants can lead to bad smells and even allergies. But removing such small particles can be impossible with the average household vacuum, that is why we use professional HEPA vacuums. When we leave your Charlotte, NC, home, or business it should be free of those kinds of particles after we vacuum the entire affected area and ensure we left it like it never even happened. 

Our priority is to make it "Like it never even happened." So if your Pineville, NC home or business has experienced a water or fire emergency, we will always be “Faster to Any Size Disaster”. So give us a call (704) 840-6112, day or night. 



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What Happens When A Water Heater Bursts

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

“What To Do After Water Heater Bursts” with a water heater and SERVPRO logo Why Do Water Heaters Burst

Water heaters can last anywhere from 8 to 20 years. Gas water heaters have a shorter lifespan of 8-12 years, while electric ones tend to last 10-15 years, for an even longer lifespan, consider a tankless water heater which can last 20 years. But what happens if a water heater isn’t replaced before the end of its life? Older water heaters are much more likely to cause a major leak, or even burst, leaving severe water damage in its wake. 

If your water heater is leaking, taking immediate action can help save the contents of your home. Keep reading to learn how you can keep water damage to a minimum. 

Call A Plumber

Bringing in a professional is the first step in this disaster situation. Find an emergency plumber who can come out quickly to help solve the problem. While you wait for them to arrive, following along with the next steps.

Stop The Water

Stopping the water as quickly as possible is the best way to avoid further damage to your Charlotte, NC, home, or business. Locate the cold water supply pipe. This pipe leads from the main water line into the top of the water heater. When a water heater is working properly the water stops flowing as the tank fills, but when a tank bursts, the water is leaving the tank as quickly as it comes in. To prevent this water from continuing to fill your home, turn the water off by twisting the valve clockwise until it stops. This will stop the flow of water so no more water enters your home. 

Shut Off Power

Whether your water heater is gas or electric, shutting off the power should be the second step. Whenever there is a leak in your home, water and electricity can come into contact creating an unsafe environment. Shutting off the electricity will prevent electrical fires from starting. If your water heater is electric this will also prevent it from continuing to run the heating element. Once a tank bursts, the water heater likely won’t shut itself off, wasting energy and heating water that isn’t there. 

Turn Off The Gas

If you have a gas-powered hot water heater, shutting off the gas line is a necessary step for your safety. After a tank burst, gas may continue to be released without burning, potentially causing a natural gas buildup in your home. If you can smell natural gas in your home, vacate the area until the smell is completely gone. 

Call SERVPRO

A burst water tank rarely means a DIY job. When a water tank bursts, the amount of water that is released into your home greatly depends on how long the tank was leaking before the water was shut off. Generally, there are at least 20 gallons of water, from the actual tank, plus as much 5 gallons of water per minute is released until the water is shut off. With so much water entering your home, you need someone who is “Faster to Any Size Disaster”. Give our water restoration specialists a call at (704) 840-6112 so we can make it "Like it never even happened."

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Prep Your Home For Fall

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

“Prep Your Home For Fall” with a house surrounded by fall leaves and SERVPRO logo How to Prepare My Home For Fall

It’s the first official day of fall! And while the Charlotte, NC, temperatures might not feel like pumpkin patch and apple cider weather just yet, it’s still time to start preparing for the upcoming fall season. And no, we don’t mean fall wreaths and pumpkin spice everything. As the nights cool down and the days get shorter, the leaves will eventually begin to fall and your home needs to be prepared for the coming season. 

Here is our quick checklist for fall:

  • Deep clean and cover outdoor furniture
  • Plan bulbs for springtime flowers
  • Clean the gutters and install gutter guards to prevent falling leaves from clogging gutters
  • Clear the area around your HVAC unit from leaves, sticks, and other debris 
  • Prepare your chimney for fall fires with an annual inspection and cleaning
  • Stock up on firewood and store it in a dry area
  • Test and replace batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Replace any damaged weather stripping on doors and windows to prevent chilly air from making its way inside
  • Turn off outdoor faucets and drain any hoses and store them for the winter
  • Make sure your emergency ready kit is put together and check for any out of date items and update any new items you may need to add 
  • Empty fuel from summer lawn equipment to prepare for non-use during the winter
  • Trim any dead or damaged limbs from trees
  • Fix cracks in the driveway to prevent more serious damage 
  • Change air filters or wash reusable filters

It might seem too early to start prepping for fall, but use these last few weeks of warm weather from some preventative maintenance so you can spend time picking pumpkins and apples instead of worrying about your home. 

For more tips and tricks, keep up with our blog. For more hands-on help with water or fire remediation, give us a call at (704) 840-6112 day or night. Our team is always here whenever you need us for any disaster. 

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First Aid Preparation At The Office

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

“First Air Preparation In The Office” with a first ait kid and SERVPRO logo Does my office need a first aid kit?

Being prepared means being ready for a disaster no matter where you are. Most Americans spend 30% of their lives in the office, so you and your employees could be unprepared nearly 30% of this time without an office safety plan. 

No matter how many employees your Charlotte, NC, business has, meeting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards is necessary. So how can you meet those standards and keep everyone safe? Keep reading to learn more about office safety. 



First Aid Kit

One of the most manageable steps you can take towards a safer office is having a first aid kit ready. First, you will need to determine the number of first aid kits required by OSHA for your business. To determine how many kits you need, first determine whether your business is low risk, high risk, or remote high risk. For low-risk businesses like retail shops and offices, one first aid kit is required for every 50 workers. High-risk businesses like factories need one kit for every 25 workers. 

When selecting your first aid kit, remember that all first aid kits are not created equally. That pharmacy first aid kit might be great for your family, but OSHA requires a complete kit to ensure everyone’s safety. To ensure you meet those requirements, consider purchasing an OSHA-approved first aid kit rather than attempting to put one together yourself. 

Once your first aid kit is installed in an area that is accessible to all employees, don’t forget to maintain it. Checking the kit every month is a smart way to ensure any items that were used or may have expired can be replaced before they run out entirely. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

As we all know, PPE can save lives. That is why ensuring there is PPE available for employees is a wise decision. When emergencies happen, employees could be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials while using first aid supplies or other situations. The following items should be included in your PPE kit: Disposable gloves, safety glasses or face shield, face mask, CPR barrier. 

Emergency Eye Wash and Emergency Shower

If your Pineville, NC, puts employees or anyone on the property at risk for exposure to corrosive materials, OSHA requires an eye wash station or an emergency shower. For more information on whether this is required for your business, head to the OSHA website. 

For locations that do require an eyewash station or emergency shower, ensure that the facilities are maintained, flushed regularly, are not obstructed by doors or other objects, and are located within a 10-second walking distance to all employees who work with or near corrosive materials. If multiple eyewash stations are required for your business, consider placing eyewash bottles in first aid kits as well. 

Emergency Medical Plan

Your office being prepared for a workplace emergency means having an emergency medical plan. This plan should be posted in a location that is visible to all employees in the event of an emergency. Your plan should include: 

  • The address of your workplace
  • The phone number for the workplace
  • Locations of all first aid kits, eyewashes, and emergency showers
  • Names of employees trained in first aid
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • A list of at least three medical services close to the workplace 

Emergency Ready Profile

The most thorough way to prepare your business for any type of emergency is with an ERP. Our staff completes a no-cost assessment based on your facility so that all of your employees can be prepared. Ready to get started? Learn more about how we can create an ERP for your business when you click here

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How To Minimize Flood Damage

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

“How To Minimize Flood Damage” with a living room full of water and the SERVPRO logo What to do after flooding

When a major storm hits your home or business in Charlotte, NC, you may have more flood damage than you can handle. While you wait for certified flood specialists to get to your home, there are a few small steps you can take to mitigate damage. 

Sort

After water enters your home, one of the main concerns is mold growth. Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours after excessive moisture enters your home. The best way to prevent mold growth is to sort the wet items into categories:

  • Textiles
  • Wood
  • Glass 
  • Ceramic
  • Metal
  • Plastic

Non-porous items like ceramic, metal, and glass are likely to be okay. Even if mold grows, it is easily cleaned off. However, textiles, wood, and other porous materials are less likely to be okay. The mold spores will grow in the fibers and can be impossible to remove. 

Disinfect

Flood-water falls under a category 3 contamination level. Being a level 3 means the water is likely infested with microbes and bacteria. A thorough cleaning that sanitizes everything the water touches is necessary. The restoration company will handle this process to ensure your items are safe for you and your family to be around. Something you can clean yourself is clothing. Any contaminated clothing should be washed in hot water with fabric-safe bleach or a laundry sanitizer. Other surfaces that need to be cleaned professionally should be considered unsafe until the restoration company notifies you otherwise. 

Dry

To prevent secondary damage, all extra moisture must be removed. Technicians may use one of several techniques to remove excess moisture. If necessary, they will pump any standing water out of your home using specialized wet vacs and sump pumps; and then use industrial fans to dry the area. A dehumidifier may be brought in along with air movers and other equipment to lower the humidity to the 40-50% it should normally be. 

A flood in your home after a storm can cause a lot of damage, but with quick action and a remediation company, you may be able to prevent further problems. Call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112 so we can make it "Like it never even happened."

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Safe Candle Alternatives

9/18/2021 (Permalink)

“Safe Candle Alternatives” with tea light candles and the SERVPRO logo How To Prevent Home Fires

Candles can become dangerous in an instant, but people often take the risk of starting a fire to experience the lovely aroma and ambiance of candles. To keep your home safe without giving up the perks of lighting your favorite candle, keep reading about all of our candle alternatives. 

1. Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

With self-care becoming more and more mainstream, it should come as no surprise that many people are using popular spa treatments in their homes. Case in point: ultrasonic aromatherapy diffusers.

Utilizing the invigorating powers of natural essential oils, ultrasonic diffusers — such as the AromaOm Ultrasonic Diffuser — are essentially small humidifiers that emit cool, aromatic mist. Not only do they fill a room with aromatherapy scents, but (unlike candles) they’re safe to leave unattended, too. And unlike the humidifiers they share technology with, they won’t significantly raise the humidity of your home.

2.  Diffuser Sticks

Looking for a diffuser that lasts a bit longer? Consider a vase filled with diffuser sticks. This type of room scent not only makes for an excellent home accessory, but it also works well and isn’t too overpowering. Plus, the oil blend lasts a lot longer than an ultrasonic diffuser, so you can reap the benefits of natural scents without much fuss. Even better? These diffuser kits are easy to find at stores like Target and Walmart

3. Electric Wax Warmer

With electric wax warmers, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Like candles, wax warmers utilize scented wax to fill a space with invigorating scents. Only, they’re much safer than candlewick, as they don’t utilize an open flame to melt the wax. Wax melts come in thousands of scents, so you won’t be missing out by switching to this safer alternative.

4. Potpourri

With so many different options for room aromas, potpourri isn’t as popular as it once was. However, it still gets the job done and can look beautiful in an entryway or on a coffee table. Look for handmade potpourri on Etsy, or make your own to get the perfect scent for your home. 

5.  Slow Cooker Potpourri

In addition to traditional dry potpourri, slow cooker potpourri is another great way to add some festive scents to your home, and it’s much safer than using the stove. All you have to do is add some of your favorite aromas like cinnamon sticks, cranberries, apples, etc. — to a crockpot, fill it with water, and turn it on low. With time, the ingredients will begin to simmer and give off a warm, inviting aroma. Curious to know more? Try this slow cooker potpourri recipe from Don’t Waste The Crumbs.

6. DIY Essential Oil Room Spray

Another way to make your home smell nice naturally (and without the use of candles)? With a DIY room spray using your favorite essential oil scent. We love this recipe from Hello Glow.

7.  Incense

If you’re looking for a candle alternative that smells nice and requires (somewhat of) a flame, consider incense, this smoke-powered candle alternative brings a unique scent into your home with slightly less danger than a candle. One big plus? You can’t forget to blow it out because incense sticks only last for a limited amount of time.

Just be careful not to burn them close to curtains, and never leave them unattended. They may not have a flame, but the smoldering smoke can still spark a fire.

8.  Use The Microwave

If the goal of lighting a candle is to make your home smell amazing, the microwave offers a safe alternative that may even do a better job. Make your home smell like freshly baked cookies without the effort when you microwave 1 cup of water and 2 tsp of vanilla extract for a minute or two. For a fresh citrus scent pop some citrus peels in a bowl of water in the microwave for a minute or two. 

Keeping your home safe from fires should always be a top priority. So taking actions like swapping your candles for one of these great alternatives is a smart and easy way to keep your family safe. If fire struck your Charlotte, NC, home or business SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can make it "Like it never even happened."

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Can Electronics Be Saved After A Fire?

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

“Can electronics be saved after a fire” with lines and circles and SERVPRO logo What Happens To Electronics After A Fire?

Once the fire in your Charlotte, NC, home is put out by the Charlotte Fire Department, you might notice many of your electronics were damaged by soot. That is because soot can travel throughout your entire home, even if the fire was only in one room. So even a small fire, could mean most of your electronics are damaged. But can they be saved? Keep reading to learn the effects of fire on your electronics. 

Many modern electronics are sensitive and expensive to replace, so acting quickly can be the difference between saving them and spending thousands of dollars on replacement costs. Let’s look at the three different ways fire can damage your electronics:

  1. Fire Damage

Fires produce a significant amount of heat that most household electronics are not made to withstand. When your electronics get too close to the flames, the metal and plastic components can melt, causing the device to fail. 

  1. Smoke Damage

If smoke enters through the vents of your electronics it can leave a thin black film on the electrical components. This film acts as an insulator, causing electronics to overheat or even short-circuit, possibly resulting in another fire. 

  1. Soot Damage

Soot, different from smoke, is caused by the incomplete combustion of materials. Because soot is acidic it can lead to corrosion on the interior and exterior of your electronic devices. 

If your devices were in your Pineville, NC, home, or business during a fire, the best thing you can do is cut the power to all of your devices and DO NOT turn them on. Once you turn on a smoke-damaged device, the damage is irreversible. That is why it is best to leave all devices off and disconnected from power until they can be investigated by your insurance adjuster and your fire restoration expert. Our team of restoration experts can help determine if your devices need to be replaced, or if the soot and smoke can be professionally cleaned from your electronics. 

If there was a fire in your Matthews, NC, home or business, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is your choice for experienced fire restoration specialists. Give us a call at (704) 840-6112 day or night. 

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What Not To Do After Water Damage

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

“What NOT To Do After Water Damage” with pictures of people looking at water damage and SERVPRO logo How To Handle Water Damage

Water damage can be scary. Whether it’s a small drip or gallons and gallons of water entering your home, the effects can be long-lasting if not properly dealt with. When water starts entering your home, it can be easy to jump into action trying to remove the water, but taking the wrong action could make the problem worse. Follow along to learn what NOT to do if there is water damage in your home. 

  • Do NOT touch the water. Depending on the source, you could have category 2 or 3 water in your home. If the water is contaminated you could be putting yourself in harm’s way and spreading dangerous bacteria throughout your entire home. 
  • Never use a vacuum cleaner to remove water. Unless you have a vacuum specifically designed to pump water, you could risk damaging your vacuum and starting an electrical fire.
  • Do not use newspapers to dry the area. Not only will newspaper leave ink behind, but it is also likely to become fragile and tear, making an even bigger mess. 
  • Do not enter the affected area while the power is on, and do not bring any electronics into the area. When water and electricity are present, you are at risk of electrocution. 
  • Do not remove any carpeting. 

What To Do 

Once you make sure not to do any of the things listed above, be sure to call in a water restoration expert. Getting the problem solved as quickly as possible means avoiding more damage and reducing higher costs during restoration. Give us a call at (704) 840-6112, because we are “Faster to Any Size Disaster.”

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Why We Test Homes For Asbestos

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

“why we test homes for asbestos” with image of asbestos roof tiles and SERVPRO logo What If My Home Has Asbestos?

When you call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, one of the questions we will ask, is what year your home was built. We always ask this question because if your Charlotte, NC, home was built before 1970, there is a chance asbestos is present in your home. If you’ve heard of asbestos before, you probably have heard that it is a dangerous material. But do you know much else about it? Keep reading to learn more about what asbestos is, and if you should be concerned about it. 

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is comprised of six naturally occurring minerals. These soft, flexible fibers are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion, making it a highly useful material. While asbestos has many uses, it is also known to be dangerous. When the dust from asbestos is inhaled or ingested those fibers can become trapped in the body, possibly leading to a number of health effects. 

Why We Test For Asbestos

Because this material isn’t safe when disturbed we always need to ensure there is no asbestos in your home before any restoration begins. During the restoration process things like walls, flooring, and other materials that asbestos could be present in will be removed, which could cause dangerous dust to enter the air. When we are aware asbestos is present, we are able to securely seal the area, protect our team and the homeowner, and remove the affected area in the safest way possible. When we remove asbestos properly, we are ensuring the safety of everyone in your home.

What If Asbestos Is Present?

If asbestos is present in your home, there is no need for alarm. If the asbestos is undisturbed it doesn’t need to be removed. According to the EPA, undisturbed asbestos is safer than attempting to remove it. If the asbestos was exposed during a disaster, removing it professionally is the best way to keep everyone safe. 

How Is Asbestos Safely Removed?

When your local Pineville, NC, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County begins the removal process, we will do so in the safest possible way. Our team will create a sealed area to prevent any dust from leaving the area. We will then use a negative air pressure machine fitted with a HEPA filter, to keep everyone safe from airborne particles. 

Help Is Here

When disaster strikes your Matthews, NC, home, whether asbestos is present or not, it is always best to have professionals remediating the damage. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here for you day or night, just give us a call at (704) 840-6112. 

For more information about asbestos and how it affects you and your home, head to the EPA website

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Positive Thinking Wont Prevent Fires

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

“Positive thinking won’t prevent fires” with flames and the servpro logo How To Prevent Fires In Your Home

It’s Positive Thinking Day! And while we love having a positive outlook on life, positive thinking won’t always keep disasters from happening. Fires will strike no matter how positive your thinking is, which is why we want to share some fire prevention tips. 

Avoiding fires is possible, just put your positive thinking towards fire prevention. 


Prevent Fires

  1. Inspect Heating Equipment

Heating sources can easily trigger a fire in your home or business. Ensuring all heating sources are working properly can save lives. Check for frayed wires, missing parts, and have a professional inspect your HVAC system yearly. 

If your system has air filters, be sure they are changed regularly and keep the area around any heaters clean and free of flammable items. 

  1. Stay In The Kitchen

A fire can start within seconds, and leaving the kitchen with burners still on is a disaster waiting to happen. If you must leave the kitchen, turn off the burner or have someone else monitor the food while you aren’t present. 

  1. Check The Dryer

Maintaining the dryer is an essential part of fire prevention. Dryer lint can build up quickly, and an excess of dryer lint is the perfect fire starter. Make sure dryer lint is cleaned from the lint trap after each use. Have your dryer inspected once a year and have the dryer vent cleaned. Even with a lint trap, excess dryer lint can get caught in the vent, increasing the risk of fire, and making it more difficult for your dryer to work properly. 

  1. Properly Store Flammable Products

There are likely many items in your home that are highly flammable. Thinks like shaving cream, aerosols, as well as many cleaning products should be kept in a safe location to prevent further fuel to a fire. These items should be stored in a cool place, away from heat sources. 

  1. Maintain Cords

In a world of technology, you likely have many wires in your home. Be sure to check all of the wires in your home and ensure there are no frayed or chewed wires. 

If any wires are running below rugs or behind furniture, try to reroute them as cords can get hot and cause fires. 

  1. Opt For Candle Alternatives

While candles can provide beautiful scents and ambiance, sometimes it is better to choose a candle alternative. Our list of candle alternatives is a great way to bring the elements of candles into your home without the danger of fire. 

  1. Use Your Fireplace With Caution

A warm fire is one of our favorite fall activities, but the joy that fire may bring is nothing compared to the damage a stray spark could cause. When you light a fire in your fireplace, be sure to never leave the fire unattended, keep all flammable items away from the fireplace, and always dispose of ashes once they have cooled completely. 


Stop Fires

  1. Install Smoke Detectors

Having smoke detectors installed in the proper places is essential to keeping you and your family safe. Be sure to make sure all smoke detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries.

  1. Use Fire Extinguishers

Having a fire extinguisher in your home can make a significant difference in the size of the blaze. By using a fire extinguisher properly when the fire is still small, a total loss can be prevented. So make sure you and your family know how to properly extinguish a fire with a fire extinguisher

Fires can be devastating, but proper prevention and fire management can greatly minimize the effects of a fire. Make sure to check out our other blogs to learn more about fire safety. If you experience a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home or business be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112 so we can make it "Like it never even happened."

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How Lead Paint Affects The Restoration Process

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

“Does My Home Have Lead Paint” with peeling paint and SERVPRO logo Does My Home Have Lead Paint?

When your older home experiences a water or fire disaster, you might wonder how lead-based paint factors into the restoration process. There is always a risk that homes from 1978 and prior have lead-based paint. So what happens if your home does have lead-based paint? What steps should you take to protect yourself and your family? Keep reading to learn what you should do. 

Does My Home Have Lead paint?

The age of your home is the most important factor when determining if your home has lead-based paint or not. Homes built before 1940 have about an 87% chance of having lead paint. As homes get more recent the chance diminishes. Homes built between 1960 and 1978 might only have a 24% chance of having lead. If your home was built after 1978 it shouldn’t have lead paint, as it was outlawed in 1978. 

How Can You Tell If Paint Is Lead-Based?

Generally, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between lead paint and other types of paint visually.  Testing is required to determine whether or not there is lead present in the paint. Samples are usually taken from areas where the paint is chipping, or where the area will be repainted in the future. 

What If There Is Lead Present?

If lead is found in the paint in your home it will have to be removed safely during the restoration process. When removing lead-based paint, the most important thing is to reduce the dust that might come from the painted surfaces. We will first create a sealed area to prevent any possible contaminants from entering the other areas of your home. Our team will wear proper PPE, including glasses, a respirator, and gloves. We will then remove any damaged areas with low dust removal methods. When the job is complete we will vacuum every surface with a HEPA vacuum to ensure leftover particles are removed from the room, leaving you with a safe lead-free area. 

If your older home experiences a disaster, don’t despair, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. While older homes come with more challenges, we have the tools and expertise to handle whatever is thrown our way. Just give us a call at (704) 840-6112. 

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How To Operate Your Business During A Power Outage

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

“Operating your business during a power outage” with a lightning bolt and servpro logo Prepare Your Business For A Power Outage

Power outages can happen at any time but when the power goes out during business hours, it can feel like a nightmare. When the power goes out, even for a short period of time, many small businesses can feel a serious strain from even a few hours of being closed. 

With weather-related power outages doubling since 2003, preparing for a power outage is essential to keeping your business running. So what should you do if the power goes out in your small business? 

Create a Power Outage Procedure 

Coming up with a power outage procedure ensures that you and your staff are prepared in case of an outage, and can keep business running smoothly. 

Before The Power Outage

  • Have a plan: Make sure employees know what to do when the power goes out. Should cash registers and safes be locked? Do customers need to be escorted out of the building?
  • Make Sure Employees & Customers are safe: Ensure no one attempts to use elevators or escalators. If power lines are down, don’t allow anyone to approach them. 
  • Have an Emergency Kit: Have first aid supplies, flashlights, rope, and other basic items. Show employees where the kit is and how to use it. 
  • Check Backup Systems: Systems like smoke alarms, sprinklers, and safety signage should remain powered. Before a power outage, make sure the backup system is working properly and consider adding a battery-powered backup option for security systems. 
  • Know How To Operate Your Generator: If you have a generator, ensure someone on staff knows how to properly operate the generator. When operating generators proper safety procedures should be followed to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Invest in Surge Protectors: If a power surge affects your business, you could experience severe damage to electronics. Having a surge protector means you could save thousands after a power outage. 

During The Outage

  • Call Your Utility Provider: Your utility provider needs to know about outages in your area. They likely have a dedicated line to report outages. If there is an immediate hazard, call 911. 
  • Turn Off Equipment: If appliances or other electronic equipment is plugged in, be sure to unplug anything to prevent surges from damaging electronics. 
  • Have Hotspot Backups: Have hotspots or battery-backup powered WiFi to ensure there is still internet access during a power outage. Having access to the internet can help reduce the strain on your business. 
  • Keep Refrigeration Shut: If the power is out, your fridge and freezer will likely lose power. Food safety is imperative, and throwing out food can be expensive. Keep the doors shut and watch the internal temperature. If it goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, perishables are no longer safe to eat. If dry ice is available, it can help maintain a safe temperature for food. 

After The Outage

  • Once power is restored, start by turning on the lights. Wait 10 to 15 minutes to turn on any major appliances in case of a power surge.
  • Inspect equipment for damages
  • Turn off your generator safely. Ensure it is properly turned off to avoid electrocution and equipment damage. 
  • Keep track of losses. If your small business experiences damages during a power outage keep track of everything that was harmed. When initiating an insurance claim, having written records of everything can help make the process easier. 

Power outages can cause damages to electronics, but they can also put your business at risk for fires. If an electrical fire starts in your home, be sure you are prepared to properly put out small fires and evacuate the building. After the fire has been put out, be sure to call a local Charlotte, NC, fire restoration company to help with the restoration process. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here for you 24/7 365 days a year, but give us a call at (704) 840-6112.

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How Soot Travels Through Your Home

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

 “How Soot Travels Throughout Your Home” with specks on background and SERVPRO logo How to Remove Soot From Your Home

If a fire has occurred in your home or business you likely will notice soot throughout the entire property, not just in the area where the fire occurred. So how does this happen? How can you get rid of the soot? Keep reading to find out more information about how soot travels during a fire and what you can do about it. 

What Is Soot?

Soot is a black powdery or flakey substance that is produced when organic matter burns incompletely. This means that when things burn, they don’t completely disappear, they leave behind particles known as soot. Because soot comes from the burning of many different materials, it can also contain things like acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. These soot particles leave behind a mess and often a foul smell. 

How Soot Travels

When there is a fire in your home, soot can easily travel throughout your whole home. The ultra-light particles can float through the air and reach surfaces throughout your whole home. If the air conditioning or heat is running soot can even enter your HVAC system which will disperse soot throughout your whole home. When this happens air ducts should be cleaned to eliminate the HVAC system further dispersing soot throughout your home. 

Can Soot Damage My Home?

Because soot has acidic properties it can further damage your home and harm indoor air quality. Soot can continue to degrade the surfaces and air quality in your home if it is not cleaned immediately.

What If There Wasn’t A Fire?

If you notice soot in your home, but there was never a fire, you might be wondering where the soot came from. Even if there wasn’t a fire, things like fireplaces, furnaces, and excessive use of candles can cause soot building throughout your home. 

Is Soot Dangerous

Soot inhalation can be dangerous which is why you should only enter your home after it has been deemed safe by the Charlotte Fire Department and a fire restoration company. Improperly cleaning soot can lead to excessive inhalation of soot, and soot can be left behind, causing problems in the future. 

How To Clean Soot

Cleaning soot can be difficult to remove from many surfaces as it is a sticky substance and can stain fabrics. Additionally, cleaning soot improperly can mean breathing in soot particles. 

When cleaning soot, safety equipment is essential for reducing the danger of soot exposure. Specialized techniques such as air scrubbing may be necessary to reduce linger scents and restore air quality. 

Using household cleaners to clean soot isn’t enough. Soot particles will leave behind a smell and stain surfaces when professional tools and cleaners are not used. fire restoration experts will be able to save your personal belongings that can’t be cleaned with household products. 

If your home has experienced a fire and is in need of restoration experts, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Our expert technicians can make it "Like it never even happened."

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Labor Day Safety

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

“Labor Day Safety” with red and blue police lights and SERVPRO logo Labor Day Safety Tips

Labor Day weekend means a weekend of hanging out with friends and family and relaxing by the pool or on the beach. All that fun can mean more chances for disaster to strike. To keep everyone safe for the last weekend of summer we wanted to share some Labor Day safety tips.

Drive Safe

If you’re planning on venturing out of Charlotte, NC, and driving to your destination be sure to follow these safety tips. Even though Americans are driving less this year, there has been a sharp increase in car accidents and deaths related to driving. Keep yourself and your family safe as you travel.

  • Only drive when you are well-rested and alert
  • Ensure all passengers are using seatbelts properly
  • Observe speed limits and the rules of the road
  • Always turn on headlights at dusk and during inclement weather
  • Don’t drink and drive. Always have a designated driver available or take a taxi 
  • Avoid distractions like phones while driving
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.

Heat Safety

August is hot in North Carolina, and heat exhaustion can mean missing out on activities, or worse an afternoon in the hospital. 

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids like water or other hydrating drinks. Avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol as they can make heat exhaustion worse.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. Moving from an air-conditioned place to the hot afternoon sun can be a difficult adjustment.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to stay cool in the sun. 
  • Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day. 
  • Postpone outdoor activities for later in the evening once it has cooled down.

Beach & Pool Safety

There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than spending the day by the pool or on the beach. There is always danger present when spending time outside near the water, follow our safety tips to ensure the safety of you and those around you.

  • If you are swimming in open water like the ocean, lake, or river, be aware of currents, boats, and other dangers that are not normally present in pools and ensure you are skilled enough to swim in such an environment
  • Ensure that a lifeguard is present wherever you are swimming
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol
  • Don’t swim when you are tired, and ensure you always have enough energy to swim back to shore
  • Don’t dive into water unless you know the depth
  • Make sure everyone in your party knows how to spot rip currents, and what to do if they get caught in a rip current. Tell all children and adults to swim parallel to shore until they are out of the current and then swim to shore. If they are unable to swim to shore, tell them to float or tread water until they are free of the current, or someone can come help. 

Stay Safe Outside

If you are spending your weekend camping or in a remote area, you might find yourself with limited emergency access. Before you head to your destination take these steps to keep everyone safe.

  • Take a CPR certification course to help in case emergency services are delayed getting to your location. First aid courses can teach how to treat severe wounds, broken bones, bee stings, snake bites, and more
  • Plan your trip according to the skill level of those with you
  • Bring enough water to avoid dehydration
  • Share travel plans with a family member or friend
  • Bring a first aid kit 

The team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County hopes you have a wonderful labor day weekend. If you come home to a disaster give us a call at (704) 840-6112, day or night. 

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What To Do With a Leaking Light Fixture

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

“what to do with a leaky light fixture” with picture of a stained light and SERVPRO logo Why Is My Light Fixture Leaking?

Water dripping from your light fixture is probably not something you would expect to see, but when you do, it is important you stay safe. When water mixes with electricity it creates a dangerous situation, and this isn’t a problem that should be tackled with your DIY skills. 

If you spot water dripping from a light fixture, follow these essential steps.

  1. Alert Everyone Inside

If there is water dripping from just one light fixture, it can still be dangerous to be near other sources of electricity. Be sure to warn everyone to avoid electrical sources and close access to the affected room. 

  1. Turn Off Water & Electricity

Find your utility mains and shut off the water and electricity supply to your home. By removing both electricity and water from your home you are minimizing the risk of an electrical fire. 

  1. Call In The Professionals

When electricity and water mix, calling the professionals is the only way to be sure you and your family stay safe. Bring in a licensed electrician and a water restoration company like SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Your electrician will help prevent electrical fire and make sure no wiring is damaged. Our team will determine the source of the water. Some likely sources are a damaged roof, a leaking AC unit, or a broken pipe. 

  1. Start The Cleanup Process

Once SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is on the scene we will help clean up the mess. When dealing with water damage it is essential to have a professional restoration team. We will determine exactly what needs to be removed, how long to properly dry the area, and we even work with your insurance company throughout the whole process. If any of your belongings got wet during the leak, we can even help dry and restore the contents of your home. 

  1. Rebuild

Once SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County has finished the restoration process our recommended contractor can rebuild your home, so you’re home will be "Like it never even happened." 

Now that you know the steps to take when you see water leaking from a light fixture, let’s answer some questions you might have. 

How Dangerous is Water Leaking From A Light Fixture?

When water and electricity mix, it is no joke. Water conducts electricity, which means if someone touches the light fixture it could cause electric shock, which can be extremely dangerous. Not only is electrocution a serious threat, so is fire. Electrical wires can corrode in water, causing a short circuit and sparks. This can quickly cause a fire in your home. 

Is A Ceiling Leak Covered By Insurance?

While most ceiling leaks are covered by insurance, your policy and the source of the water may mean a leaking light fixture might not be covered. Your restoration company and insurance company can work together to help determine what your coverage will look like in this situation. 

We hope that you don’t run into a leaking light fixture, but if you do, we want to ensure your safety. If you see water dripping from the ceiling, give us a call right away at (704) 840-6112. We are always here to help those in the Charlotte, NC, area, day or night. 

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National Preparedness Month

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

“September National Preparedness Month” with orange and green shapes and SERVPRO logo Tips For National Preparedness Month

Every year in September we observe National Preparedness Month. In our industry, we know disasters can happen at any time and that being prepared can help prevent serious damage. Whether fire, flood, storm, or another type of disaster, there are steps you can take to prevent disasters and minimize the effects of disasters. 

For 2021 National Preparedness month, Ready.GOV has selected the theme “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” In alignment with that theme, we will be sharing preparation tips throughout the month so you know how to be prepared for any type of disaster. 

Ready.GOV will cover weekly themes throughout their month-long campaign. As they cover these themes, we will follow along with our own specialized tips for our local Charlotte, NC, community. 

Week 1: Make a Plan

Making a plan is essential to being prepared. Your plan should include every member of your family, even pets. Keep in mind that one plan doesn’t fit all disasters. For fires, you may need to have fire safety equipment as part of your emergency plan, while flooding might require different pieces to your plan. 

Week 2: Build a Kit

A huge part of creating a preparedness plan is having an emergency-ready kit. Having a kit on hand can help sustain you and your family for the time needed while you may be displaced from your home. Learn everything you need in your Emergency Supply Kit, where you should store it, and how to maintain it. 

Week 3: Prepare for Disasters

The purpose of week three is to limit the impact that disasters have on your family. Research the risk of disasters in your area and determine actions you can take to limit the impact on yourself and your property. Learn how to use your technology to its full extent during an emergency. 

Week 4: Teaching Children About Preparedness 

Keeping your children safe is one of the most important things you can do during a disaster, but teaching how to be prepared can be difficult. We have already discussed how to teach children about fire safety but be sure to check back for our week 4 discussion about teaching children how to prepare for all types of emergencies. 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is dedicated to keeping you safe, which is why we continue to provide you with our helpful blogs. Don’t forget to check back for more preparedness tips throughout September as we follow along with Ready.GOV’s campaign, and continue to share our own tips. 

If you do experience a disaster and need help to make it "Like it never even happened," give us a call at (704) 840-6112 anytime day or night. 

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Eat Outside Day - Grilling Out For Memorial Day

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

“Grilling Safety” with photo of meat on a grill and SERVPRO logo Memorial Day Grilling Safety

Happy Memorial Day! SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County hopes you are able to take some time to spend with family or time to yourself this holiday. With the end of summer quickly approaching this holiday weekend, savor the last moments of warm weather by celebrating Eat Outside Day!

Many people take Memorial Day as a chance to grill outside, and it’s important to remember grilling safety this holiday to keep everyone enjoying the day in the best way possible! 

Grilling is a great way to get outside! Invite friends and family and get out there and cook some meats and vegetables, but be sure to keep safety in mind.

The National Fire Protection Agency encourages grilling safety tips because nearly 9,000 fire department calls in 2014-2018 involved home grills. You can prevent the next grill fire by following these suggestions:

Check the Regulations

Some parks and outdoor areas have regulations on grilling and cooking outdoors. Be sure to check the rules before setting up and bringing a portable grill to an outdoor area. Some regions may be under a high fire danger rating, and it may be dangerous to light a fire.

Distance the Grill

Set up the grill a safe distance from objects and people. Be sure to keep the grill away from overhanging branches, lawn games, areas of high traffic, and places that children are playing. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grill to avoid them getting hurt. Also, keep trash and wrappers away from the grill to avoid them lighting accidentally. A safe distance is three feet or more.

Dispose of Charcoal

Dispose and put out anything used to start or maintain the fire before leaving. Douse the fire with water and make sure that the area is cool to the touch. Empty the coals into a non-flammable container such as a metal can. Never empty coals into a trash can or leave them burning. Be sure to pack them out with you once they are cool. 

Grill fires can be safer if you follow these steps! If you need help after a fire or have fire-related damage in your home, SERVPRO professionals can help. For any fire-related assistance and for questions, call us at (704) 840-6112. Happy Memorial Day from SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County!

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National Beach Day - Weekend Trip From Charlotte

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

“National Beach Day, Ocean Isle” with images of a dock and blue water, a beach, and SERVPRO logo Beach Trips From Charlotte

It’s National Beach Day and there is no better way to celebrate than to spend the day, or weekend, at the beach. To help you have the best beach day we picked our favorite beach, the perfect distance from Charlotte, NC, for a quick weekend away. 

The Beach

Ocean Isle Beach 

The Drive

This easy drive on I-74 can take anywhere from 3 hours to 4 hours depending on traffic, making it the perfect weekend getaway. 

Activities

  • Head to the beach! With the whole stretch of Ocean Isle being open to the public, finding a place to lounge on the beach isn’t difficult. View the public beach access map, and check the public beach access list for current closures and handicap accessibility. When you hit the beach, keep beach rules in mind, as they are in effect to keep you and those around you safe.  
  • Visit Town Center Park! If you are traveling with kids, this park is perfect for playtime. With a playspace and splash pad, and a covered seating area for parents, the whole family will love spending time at this park, just a short walk from the beach. You can even catch a movie in the park this summer! 
  • Catch some fish. Choose from four local fishing charters to bring home your very own fresh catch. 
  • Zip through the trees, glide through the swamp and tread through the mud at The Swamp Park. With activities for every age, this is a great way to get out of the hot afternoon sun.
  • Venture down to South Carolina for some fun in Myrtle Beach. With hundreds of restaurants, shops, and fun activities like Broadway At The Beach  Myrtle Beach is a great place to spend the afternoon. 

Dine

  • Save this handy list of local restaurants with options from breakfast all the way to dessert. 
  • Venture further out to Snooky’s in North Myrtle for a great bite on the waterfront. 
  • Get Causeway Gourmet for delicious sandwiches and a slice of cake. 

Stay 

Finding the perfect weekend getaway on Ocean Isle isn’t hard, with plenty of hotel and motel options for smaller groups to larger vacation rentals for the whole family. 

Wherever you spend National beach Day, we hope it is a relaxing day full of fun. If you are near the coast, don’t forget to check the weather and stay safe during summer storms and remember, hurricane season doesn’t end until November 1st. 

For any future fire, water, or other emergencies, remember SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is always here to help. We are always “Faster to Any Size Disaster” just give us a call at (704) 840-6112.

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National Dog Day - How To Keep Your Pet Safe During a Storm

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

“National Dog Day - How To Keep Your Pet Safe During a Storm” with a dog on a leash with the SERVPRO logo. Storm Safety For Pets

Happy National Dog Day to you and the furry friends in your life! Today is another opportunity for us to recognize and appreciate the positive contributions that dogs bring in our lives.

While their love and companionship never gets old, they also help us out in many ways: watchdogs for our safety, lead the blind, and aid in search and rescue.

Like us, dogs have strong emotions. One of them is anxiety, especially during the storms that Charlotte, NC can face in the summer. There are many ways that you, as a dog owner, can ease the feelings that arise as a storm approaches.

If you know a storm is heading your way, immediately bring your pets inside. Animals can become disoriented and overwhelmed when they sense a change in weather conditions, so they may try to wander away in this situation. If your dog is prescribed any anxiety medication, now is an appropriate time to give it to him or her.

In addition to wearing an ID tag, they should be microchipped in case they get away. It makes it much easier to identify them, and they can be quickly returned to you.

Dogs may find themselves shaken up when they hear thunder or feel the house shake from thunder or winds. If you have to leave home, bring your pet with you. Create a list of nearby places that are pet-friendly, or see if you can drop your pet off at a friend’s or family member’s home. When picking your pet up, you might find them hiding in unusual places like under beds, in closets, or even in the bathtub, start by looking in their favorite hiding spaces to avoid searching aimlessly..

If you are staying home, keep pets away from windows as much as possible to prevent them from trying to jump out or in the case something causes your window to shatter. Never put pets in crates during a storm as they may end up trapped if there is a situation in which they need to escape.

We hope that heavy rains don’t come inside your home, but if they do, move yourself and your pet to the highest location in your home. Your dog can take shelter even in cabinets or shelving.

Lastly, consider creating an emergency pet plan and putting together a first-aid kit catered to your pet’s needs in an emergency. ASPCA has a list of items that should be in the kit.

For other tips on fire and water cleanup & restoration, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to assist you. Call us, day or night, at (704) 840-6112.

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Fire Sprinkler FAQ

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

“Fire Sprinklers FAQ- Everything you need to know about fire sprinklers” With picture of fire sprinkler and SERVPRO logo Everything You Need To Know About Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are tools designed to immediately dispense water in the event of a fire. The sprinklers can be found in many public buildings including stores, schools, and restaurants, as well as residential buildings like apartments and condos. Considering these fire sprinklers are not as commonly found in homes, many of us know little to nothing about how these devices work. These sprinklers are an essential part of commercial fire safety and it is important for us to understand how they operate. We will cover some of the most common fire sprinkler related questions and give an easy to understand explanation, just keep reading.

Q: How are the sprinkler systems activated?

A: A large increase or spike in air temperature will cause the sprinkler to dispense water. A glass bulb filled with a heat sensitive liquid holds a plug keeping the water from releasing. As the heat reaches the sprinkler, the heat sensitive liquid will expand causing the glass to burst, releasing the plug,allowing the water to be dispensed onto the fire below.

Q: Will smoke cause the fire sprinklers to activate?

A: No, only an alarming spike in air temperature will cause the sprinkler to activate.

Q: Will the activation of one fire sprinkler result in all of them turning on at once?

A: No, an increase in heat will result in the glass tube breaking, releasing the plug allowing the sprinkler to release water. As a result, only the sprinklers located near the heat source (fire) will be activated.

Q: Do fire sprinklers accidentally go off?

A: This is extremely uncommon as the sprinklers are engineered to only go off when they detect temperatures upwards of 130 degrees fahrenheit.  

Q: Can fire sprinklers go bad?

A: Yes, just like most electronics they can go bad over time. It is important that these sprinklers are regularly checked by the authorized parties. 

Fire sprinklers are a very important aspect of fire safety and can be the difference in putting out fires. If you are ever near a fire sprinkler that begins dispensing water, find safety as soon as possible. As previously mentioned, these sprinklers rarely accidentally discharge, meaning that there is likely a fire very close by. These sprinklers can be used in residential areas as well to better protect them from fire related damages. If you are interested in fire sprinklers for your home, you can learn more about them here on the National Fire Protection Association website..

For other tips on fire and water cleanup & restoration, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to assist you. Find helpful information on our blog, and for any disaster, call us, day or night, at (704) 840-6112.

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What is Carpet Delamination?

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

“What is Carpet Delamination” with colorful carpets and the SERVPRO logo. Why Is My Carpet Bubbling?

Your Charlotte, NC home or property can experience damage from many sources, such as heavy rain, flooding, or malfunctioning appliances. A dreaded consequence from such wear and tear could result in ruined hardwood floors, paint, furniture, and worst of all, the carpet. 

More often than not, we receive calls from the community asking for guidance on what can be done when disaster strikes without having to hire a professional restoration and mitigation service. The truth is, there is a lot one can do, but we highly encourage you to reap the benefits of using a highly trained and experienced service such as SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. When you choose to bring in the professionals, the chances your belongings can go back to preloss conditions are much higher.

One of the most important advantages of professional treatment is the drying of materials, including your carpets. Fast and appropriate action in cleaning carpet can be the determinant of an expensive endeavor or a manageable one. Acting quickly will eliminate having to deal with some of the side effects that would otherwise arise if you decided to wait it out. One issue that could happen if not handled properly is Carpet Delamination.

Carpet Delamination

Carpet Delamination is when the primary and the secondary backings of the carpet separate from each other, leaving a carpet that looks lumpy.

How Does It Affect Carpet?

Once a carpet is delaminated, it can no longer securely attach to the floor foundation. It is essentially two separate elements at this point: the top layer, which is the part of the carpet that we can see, and the bottom later, which is what lays over the pad or another flooring. The two layers can shift and move apart because they are no longer secured to each other, which can cause wrinkles and make the carpet pull away from the walls it meets. Also, it can pose non-aesthetic issues like safety hazards to you and younger kids who can trip on upturned edges.

What Causes It?

Common causes of carpet delamination are improper installation, heavy traffic, and moisture. Here is an in-depth look into the moisture-related sources that can cause damage to carpet.

Flooding

Oversaturation of water on the carpet from heavy rains, plumbing, or a malfunctioning appliance can have detrimental immediate damage as well as tough long-term effects. While standing water raises many concerns, pollutants in the water can affect the adhesive that bonds the primary and secondary backings. Cleaning solutions like dishwasher liquid, laundry detergent, and other cleaning products can dissolve the adhesive as well. Also, microbial growth from the absorbed water can thrive off the adhesive causing it to break down even more over time. The best way to prevent carpet delamination after flooding is to dry carpets with professional equipment. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg will determine if your carpet can be saved, what equipment will dry the area most efficiently, and how long to dry the carpet for. 

Urine

If you have pets, accidents on the carpet come as no surprise. Urine starts out as acidic and eats away at the carpet fiber and latex. Over time, it turns into an alkaline substance and then causes even more damage to the threads and glue. Preventing carpet lamination from urine doesn’t have to be difficult. Use a specialized enzymatic carpet treatment designed for pet urine, this will help break down the acidic urine and help prevent future accidents in the same area.

Cleaning Supplies and Treatments

Chemicals from cleaning solutions used to clean up all sorts of messes and spills should be used according to their instructions. If a spot remover is left on the carpet for too long, it can begin to dissolve the adhesive. Also, powdered odor remover can cause issues if foot traffic pushes the powder down to the base of the carpet. This will make it harder to remove and it can potentially become food for microbial growth even in small amounts of water. If you clean your carpets on your own, you must make sure it is completely dry.

Proper care for your carpet does not have to be hard, especially with the experienced team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg only a phone call away at any hour. If your carpet has gotten wet during a water disaster call us at (704) 840-6112, day or night. 

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The Benefits of Business Interruption Coverage

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

“The Benefits of Business Interruption Coverage” with yellow caution tape and the SERVPRO logo How Business Interruption Coverage Helps After a Disaster

The goal is to never have to reap the benefits of business interruption coverage, however, we know that no one or no business is 100% safe from disasters. An unexpected fire or a flood in your commercial property in Charlotte, NC can leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially financially. Disasters can call for large payments to repair the building and the surrounding areas, and a loss of revenue if operations are slowed or paused can make that all the more difficult. Not to mention, there could be a period of time where your team is unable to operate at all or may be forced to operate at minimized capacity.

General insurance will likely cover a large percentage of your property losses, but it is the interruption insurance that will handle the costs of your basic operations. Listed below are four ways that an interruption policy can help to protect your business.

  1. Income Compensation: It is likely that your business interruption policy will replace most of the income you would have made during the time that your business is unable to operate at its full potential. The amount that you are eligible to receive usually depends upon financial statements and projections that are in place for your business. Interruption insurance will protect your business from going bankrupt while you work towards getting back into a normal routine.
  2. Temporary Relocation: If the repairs needed to make your building safe for employees and/or customers once again are extensive, you may have to relocate your operations temporarily. Interruption insurance tends to cover the expenses that come with having to move for a little while. It also may pay rent and utilities for an additional business operations center so that the productivity of your business does not have to be compromised any more than necessary.
  3. Utilities and Property-Related Expense: You may find yourself in a position to still have to pay for basic utilities and property tax or rent in the building that is being repaired. If so, you will need to pick an interruption policy that can cover these expenses.
  4. Employee Payroll: While the financial burden can be hard enough on you, it can also hit hard for staff and employees. Many workers fear that their jobs will be put at risk when a dangerous situation strikes the building, but a good business interruption policy will support you AND your staff by covering their paychecks.

The advantages of having interruption insurance lie in the fact that it will help you protect many elements of your business while allotting you plenty of time to make sure the repairs are done as they should be. With sufficient coverage, you do not have to rush the recovery process.

When you have a commercial loss, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County knows that it feels like your world is suddenly turned upside down. You need to get yourself and your team back to work as quickly as possible!  We also know you may not know what steps to take or even how to begin to put your property back together, so that is where we come in for any of your commercial property needs.

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Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors From Your Home

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

“Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors From Your Home” with the SERVPRO logo and a lit cigarette My Home Smells Like Cigarette Smoke, Now What?

When you think of home you probably think of a warm, cozy place that smells and feels great. Unfortunately, the smoke from a lit cigarette has a very distinct smell that can be very difficult to rid your home of. 

Cigarette smoke is the result of the components of a cigarette being burned. This smoke can permeate throughout the surrounding areas of the smoking area. The creation of tar is a result of burning a cigarette and tar can stain surfaces while carrying a scent. This can result in an oily substance that can only be removed from surfaces through the use of advanced cleaning solutions. 

There are both professional and DIY methods of eliminating the odor from your home. We have compiled a list of some of the best ways to get your home smelling like new. 

  • Candles are a great way to freshen up your home and are an extremely simple solution to mask smells for a short period of time. They quickly fill a room with a soothing scent that can last for hours. Unfortunately, candles are a fire hazard and should be used very carefully. There are many candle alternatives that get the job done just as well as candles, without the risk of fire. 
  • Wash and scrub all of the surfaces in the area you are trying to freshen up. This goes for the outside of the home as well. Repaint surfaces like walls and ceilings after a thorough cleaning.
  • Wash all clothing and other washable fabrics, as the fabrics can carry the scent throughout your home. Even clothes that may not smell strongly should be washed, as the smell of smoke can easily transfer from one item to another.
  • Clean all of your rugs, carpets, and curtains. Have them steamed and use an odor neutralizing agent to assist in the scent removal.
  • Leave your windows open for as long as possible so that the scent can be diffused by the air from outside.

While all of these DIY methods can solve a minor cigarette smoke problem, serious smoke odor requires a more serious solution.

Ozone generators can be extremely effective in eliminating odors from the home. These machines are portable and can be brought to and from a home with ease. The ozone generators produce unstable hydrogen molecules that are used to remove any unwanted odors from your home. The machine will not damage the property or leave any lasting marks and will permanently eliminate nasty odors. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County has an ozone generator and we can get your home smelling good as new!

DIY methods can be a wonderful solution to minor problems but, if you try these methods and are still noticing a lingering odor, call us at (704) 840-6112. Our expert team has the tools to thoroughly clean the contents of your home, and remove the odor from your home's structure.

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Basic First Aid Tips for Burns

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

“First Aid Tips” for Burns with SERVPRO logo and fire graphic How To Treat Minor Burns

When you are cooking, baking, or doing work around your home, there is always a chance you can get a burn from hot stoves or electrical appliances. It is important to know what to do in case you or a family member gets a burn to stay safe and provide proper first aid to heal. 

A burn is damage to the skin or tissue resulting from scalding, contact with flames, chemicals, or electricity, or smoke inhalation. 

For major burns, call 911 or seek immediate medical care. Major burns can be discerned from minor burns if you notice deep lacerations, or if the burn causes the skin to be dry and leathery. Major burns also appear charred or have patches of white, brown, or black, or are larger than 3 inches and cover the hands, feet, or a major joint. 

Some burns are able to be treated with first aid at home, and these tips can help you properly treat a burn wound. Minor burns that may not require immediate medical care may have redness similar to a sunburn, pain, blisters, and comprise an area of less than 3 inches in diameter. 

Treating Major Burns (Until Help Arrives)

Major burns are serious and it is important to call for medical help right away. These steps can be taken to keep the burn safe until emergency services arrives:

Protect the Burned Person from Further Harm

Make sure that the person you are helping is not still in contact with the source of the burn. For example, if a person burns themself on a pan in the kitchen, get them away from the stove and turn off the gas or electricity. For electrical burns, make sure that the power is off before helping the burned person. 

Cover the Area of the Burn 

To cover the area of a burn safely, use a cool cotton cloth or bandage. Apply clean cold water to the bandage or cloth and wring out before applying to the burn. Do not immerse severe burns in cold water, as this could cause more harm. Wait for emergency services to assist the person further.

Watch for Signs of Shock

While waiting for emergency services to arrive, be sure to keep an eye on the person to assure they are okay. Elevate the burn wound above heart level if possible. 

Burns are unexpected and painful, and it is important to ensure that they do not go into shock. Symptoms of shock include fainting, shallow breathing, and pale skin color.

First Aid for Minor Burns 

Minor burns do not usually require extensive treatment, and first aid can be done at home. These steps can be taken to treat minor burns:

Cool Water

Run the burn wound under cool running water briefly or until the pain slightly eases. Be sure not to use too cold or icy water, as this could cause hypothermia. A cool compress or moist cloth can also be applied to relieve pain.

Bandage the Burn

Cover the burn with sterile gauze. Wrap the gauze loosely to avoid putting pressure on the burned skin. Apply antibiotic ointment. Wait to bandage once the burn is cooled, lotion or aloe vera can also be applied to provide relief. 

Burns of all kinds should be dealt with with the appropriate medical treatment. As with all injuries, contacting a medical professional is always the safest way to treat any burns or other injuries. For more advice like this, visit our blog. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is experienced in handling any of your fire damage needs in your Charlotte, NC home. Give us a call at (704) 840-6112, day or night.

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Category 3 Water Damage

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

"category 3 water damage" with home flooded with dirty water and SERVPRO Logo How Dangerous Is The Flooding In My Home?

It is awful enough when the toilet overflows in your home or business. In addition to being nasty and damaging, toilet water, which is category 3 flood water, can be dangerous. It is imperative when dealing with category 3 floodwater to seek professional help immediately to assist you in the cleanup process.

Category 3 flood water, or black water, is highly contaminated water. This contaminated water contains harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and funguses. Category 3 water differs from category 1 and 2 water because it is the most dangerous and polluted category of floodwater. The pathogens present in category 3 water can cause illnesses such as norovirus, tetanus, and hepatitis.

When you call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County for flood restoration, our team will first assess the category of water involved in the flooding. If you suspect that the flooding maybe category 3, call for help immediately to stay safe. Professional help will be able to locate all of the water damage and have the tools to properly dry and decontaminate your property. 

When help arrives, they will assess and mitigate the damage with these steps:

  1. Inspection and Assessment

When a SERVPRO professional arrives at your property after a flood, the first thing they will do is carefully inspect the water damage. They will determine what category of water you are dealing with and what areas were affected and need to be addressed. Professionals will wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment) including rubber boots and a respirator to prevent further spread of contamination from the area if necessary. All utilities including water, gas, and electricity will be turned off to address the flooding safely.

  1. Water Extraction

After the assessment, the water is then extracted from the affected areas using pumps and vacuums. These tools are prepared to handle hundreds to thousands of gallons of water at a time. This will be done as quickly and effectively as possible to avoid mold growth or further contamination. Salvageable items will be separated out and sanitized in this step.

  1. Drying

SERVPRO professionals will use specialized equipment in this step to dry the water damaged areas after the standing water has been removed. Professionals will also use dehumidifiers to get rid of any remaining moisture. This step commonly takes three days but can take longer in more severe situations.

  1. Cleaning and Sanitizing

Water affects personal items such as furniture and clothing. SERVPRO, and when that water is unsanitary, properly cleaning personal items is essential. We will use a combination of detergents and sanitizers unique to your flood situation in order to disinfect your personal items and return them to being pre-flood condition.

Category 3 water damage is dangerous, and should be dealt with by a professional, and  SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is experienced in handling any of your water damage needs in your Charlotte, NC home. For more information on categories of floodwater, visit our blog, or give us a call at (704) 840-6112, day or night.



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Common Water Issues For Businesses

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

“Common Water Issues For Businesses” with a skyscraper and the SERVPRO logo. Protect Your Business From Water Damage

One of the responsibilities that comes with being a commercial property owner is understanding the threats that can cause damage to your business. One of these threats is water damage. With so many different ways water can enter your business, being prepared is important. Water damage professionals at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County are trained to help you assess, clean and repair any damages that come from flooding or leaks. We suggest noting these common water problems that businesses may face.

  1. Pipe Breaks - A pipe break can happen for a few reasons. The older that a pipe gets, the more likely it is to loosen or crack. Also, long-term use and extreme heat or cold can cause pinhole leaks. Lastly, a blocked pipe can result in enough pressure to make it burst.
  2. Plumbing Backup - If your plumbing becomes backed up, a consequence can be a toilet backup or an overflowing sink. When a pipe is blocked, water may take the shortest path out despite the path it should be taking. A few reasons blockages happen include the buildup of water minerals over time, or more commonly someone pouring a substance, like plaster or grease, down a drain.
  3. Weather - It is not uncommon for extreme weather conditions to break pipes or hinder how well they work. Cold temperatures can cause water in the pipes to freeze and expand, which puts pressure on the pipe and can cause it to crack and even burst. Follow our tips on weatherproofing your pipes, or contact a local professional if cold weather is approaching to ensure you are taking the appropriate preventative measures.
  4. Foundation Cracks - Foundation cracks can allow water to seep through and collect, leading to a domino effect of issues such as mold. Any and all cracks should be assessed as soon as they are detected in order to prevent more damage later on. 

The professionals here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County are ready and experienced to handle any of your water damage needs in your Charlotte, NC, commercial property. We are determined to keep your business running smoothly and safely. Give us a call at (704) 840-6112, day or night.

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Creating Your Own Little Free Library in Charlotte, NC

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

“Creating Your Own Little Free Library In Charlotte, NC” with two kids reading a book and the SERVPRO logo. How To Make a Little Free Library

Calling all bookworms in Charlotte, NC! As a locally owned and operated franchise, we are dedicated to bettering the community we live and work in. That is why we wanted to share an easy way to spread knowledge. If your community is lacking a book exchange, creating a Little Free Library might just do the trick. 

A Little Free Library is a neighborhood book exchange where anyone can take a book or leave one for someone else. Since the first one of its creation in 2009, there are now more than 100,000 libraries intended to inspire readers and connect communities. 

Anyone can take on the job of starting a Little Free Library. You can build your own and register it or buy a kit or pre-built library from littlefreelibrary.org.

There are just five easy steps, courtesy of Little Free Library, to starting your own set-up near you:

  1. Find a Location & Steward

Decide on a good spot where you can legally and safely put the library into the ground. It is recommended to pick somewhere where there is a lot of foot traffic and is very visible to anyone passing by. Pick the steward who will be the caretaker. The steward promotes the library and keeps it clean and welcoming.

  1.  Get a Library

You are free to build your own Little Free Library however you desire. You can also find someone to build one for you or purchase one through the Little Free Library’s online store. If you decide to purchase one through the website, it will automatically be registered and come with a charter sign.

  1. Register Your Library

When you register, you now have access to many benefits such as a support network and an official charter sign printed with a unique charter number. 

  1. Build Support

Your library will thrive if the surrounding community gets involved. Reach out to local sources such as newspapers and radio and TV stations, and draft a press release. Let your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers know in person or use social media to spread the word. Follow Little Free Library’s blog for more tips and resources to gain support.

  1. Add Your Library on the Map

Plan a Grand Opening Ceremony and invite the community to join! Go all out if you desire - have a ribbon-cutting, bring snacks, and of course, share books. Share photos on social media and join the Facebook group for LFL stewards.

Community endeavors like Little Free Libraries have successfully kept neighbors, families and friends connected. These are places where positive interactions are created, making people eager to keep coming back.

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County loves to share ideas to better our community. Our team’s most valuable contribution lies with all of your cleanup & restoration needs, so call (704)-840-6112 if you are in need of our expertise. 

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How Quickly Do Firefighters Respond?

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

“How Quickly Do Firefighters Respond?” With a firetruck headed to a burning house and the SERVPRO logo How Fast Do Firefighters Get To Your House

Whenever there is a fire, it is essential that the local fire department is notified as soon as possible. While we all know the red fire engine and firehouse poles, many of us have never had to rely on firefighters. If you find yourself in a situation that requires the fire department, there are some basic things you need to know. 

What is the Best Way to Reach the Fire Department?

In the event of a fire-related emergency, reach safety and call 911 immediately. Give them a detailed explanation of what's happening and they will notify your local fire department

How Quickly Do Firefighters Respond?

The National Fire Protection Association has a national goal of response times taking no more than nine and a half minutes. Firefighters are on-call 24/7 and each station has in-house firefighters at all hours of the day. The firefighters can be out of bed and en route in under 2 minutes.

What to Do if There is a Fire

  1. Once you have spotted the fire, immediately locate an exit and instruct others to make their way to safety as well.
  2. If you have a fire extinguisher on-hand, use it from a safe distance away to put out the fire. 
  3. When you have reached a safe location, call 911 and inform them about the fire.
  4. Once you have reached a safe location, DO NOT re-enter the area for any reason. Wait for help to arrive and assist anyone left inside.
  5. Help assist people in need and alert everyone nearby.
  6. Inform on-scene firefighters of any details you know about the fire (including origin, location, potential hazards, or any people or pets who may still be in danger).
  7. Allow firefighters to extinguish the fire and keep everyone in a safe location. 

After the Fire

Following the fire it is important to If your business or property has experienced a fire, be sure to contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Call our licensed fire restoration team at (704) 840-6112. We can help make it "Like it never even happened."

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Everything You Need to Know About Category 2 Water Damage

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

“Category 2 Water Damage” with photo of bucket and sponge and SERVPRO logo What is Category 2 Water Damage?

Having access to clean water is crucial. When storms and emergencies happen, it is often overwhelming and many are unsure of what to do next. When you do experience flooding on your property, it is important to be aware of what category of water you are dealing with, so that you can avoid any possible contaminants in the water.

There are three categories of water. Category 1 water is clean water that is drinkable from the source. Category 2 water is grey water, which contains some contaminants and can cause illness if ingested. Category 3 water is water that is highly contaminated and should not be dealt with unless you are a qualified professional. 

Category 2 water refers to water that contains enough chemical, biological, or physical contaminants that the water will cause discomfort or sickness when you are exposed. These contaminants can include bacteria, viruses, and mold. Category 2 water can be classified when it is contaminated straight from the source, or as a result of category 1 water coming into contact with contaminated materials.

Potential sources of grey water include overflow from washing machines and dishwashers, water flushed from sink drains, stagnant water, and it can also include sump pump failures. 

To be safe around potential sources of Category 2 water, leave the contaminated area alone immediately. Contact professional help to assist you in drying the flooded areas and getting your property to be safe again. Be sure to tell SERVPRO technicians accurate and specific information about the flooding so that they can properly assess and mitigate the damage. Do not attempt to touch the water, or try to clean any of the water up yourself. 

Sources of Category 2 Water:

Overflow

Washing machines overflow due to clogged drains or drain pipes that are too small in diameter to handle the volume of water needed.

Stagnant Water

Stagnant water is water that sits in place for days, weeks, or even longer. This is most common after a flood because water cannot drain properly in a flood. Standing water can soak into your home’s foundation and cause water damage. Seek professional help with stagnant water because it can be contaminated and structural damage could be present. SERVPRO can help you remove water and dry the affected areas after your home floods.

Sump Pump Failures

A sump pump’s job is to pump water out of a building so that the crawlspace or basement stays dry. When sump pumps fail, it can lead to flooding and standing water in these areas. Often this goes unnoticed in an unused basement, which can lead to stagnant water.  

These scenarios can quickly escalate into a category 3 water if not dealt with. Fortunately, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can help you to deal with flooding in your home or business! Just call (704)-840-6112. 

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Preventing Water Damage During Construction

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

“Preventing Water Damage During Construction” with blue watercolor and SERVPRO logo Can Construction Lead to Water Damage?

Whether you are building a new home or commercial space or renovating an existing structure in Pineville, NC, water has a way of sneaking in throughout the process. With wind, rain, heat, and more your building could be exposed through unsecured openings like windows, doors, and more. With water entering your unfinished structure your space may be more susceptible to mold, and the water can even damage the structural integrity of your building. Preventing water from entering your structure may not be as difficult as you think, keep reading to learn what steps you can take to ensure your new building is constructed without any water entering the process. 

How Can I Prevent Water Damage During Construction?

Water damage during construction most commonly comes from two sources, an opening in the structure like a window or door, or a broken pipe. The first step you should take to prevent water damage is ensuring that any openings are protected with plastic sheeting, and all doors and windows are closed when no one is on-site. Sometimes during construction, preventing a pipe from breaking can be impossible. Accidents happen and it may be unavoidable, but you can stop serious damage by turning the water main off when anyone will be working near pipes, and ensuring everyone on-site knows how to quickly turn off the water in case of a burst pipe. If a pipe bursts when no one is on-site you may not find out for hours, to quickly respond to the water add a monitoring device that will alarm you when a leak is detected, so you can take care of a leak early. 

How Can I Prevent Future Water Damage?

Many customers are surprised to hear how common it is for a faulty roof to cause water damage. When your roof is being built or repaired, ensure that you are working with a fully qualified and licensed roofing company in Matthews, NC. This helps to ensure that the roof is installed properly, and the work is insured if necessary. Selecting a qualified and licensed plumber is also essential to protecting your new building from any water damage that might occur during or after the construction process.

What Is An Emergency Response Plan?

An Emergency Response Plan is an essential aspect of preventing water damage during construction. Planning ahead is the best way to prevent damage from happening, and to assure you know what to do in case of damage. Having an ERP for your business includes planned evacuation routes in case of an emergency. When creating your ERP you can also make sure to include water and electricity shut-offs. 

What To Do After An Emergency

If you were unable to prevent water damage from happening on your construction site, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. As your local Charlotte, NC, water restoration specialists, we can help make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at (704) 840-6112, day or night so your construction plans can get back on track as quickly as possible. 

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Preventing Water Damage During Construction

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

“Preventing Water Damage During Construction” with blue watercolor and SERVPRO logo Can Construction Lead to Water Damage?

Whether you are building a new home or commercial space or renovating an existing structure in Pineville, NC, water has a way of sneaking in throughout the process. With wind, rain, heat, and more your building could be exposed through unsecured openings like windows, doors, and more. With water entering your unfinished structure your space may be more susceptible to mold, and the water can even damage the structural integrity of your building. Preventing water from entering your structure may not be as difficult as you think, keep reading to learn what steps you can take to ensure your new building is constructed without any water entering the process. 

How Can I Prevent Water Damage During Construction?

Water damage during construction most commonly comes from two sources, an opening in the structure like a window or door, or a broken pipe. The first step you should take to prevent water damage is ensuring that any openings are protected with plastic sheeting, and all doors and windows are closed when no one is on-site. Sometimes during construction, preventing a pipe from breaking can be impossible. Accidents happen and it may be unavoidable, but you can stop serious damage by turning the water main off when anyone will be working near pipes, and ensuring everyone on-site knows how to quickly turn off the water in case of a burst pipe. If a pipe bursts when no one is on-site you may not find out for hours, to quickly respond to the water, add a monitoring device that will alarm you when a leak is detected, so you can take care of a leak early. 

How Can I Prevent Future Water Damage?

Many customers are surprised to hear how common it is for a faulty roof to cause water damage. When your roof is being built or repaired, ensure that you are working with a fully qualified and licensed roofing company in Matthews, NC. This helps to ensure that the roof is installed properly, and the work is insured if necessary. Selecting a qualified and licensed plumber is also essential to protecting your new building from any water damage that might occur during or after the construction process.

What Is An Emergency Response Plan?

An Emergency Response Plan is an essential aspect of preventing water damage during construction. Planning ahead is the best way to prevent damage from happening, and to assure you know what to do in case of damage. Having an ERP for your business includes planned evacuation routes in case of an emergency. When creating your ERP you can also make sure to include water and electricity shut-offs. 

What To Do After An Emergency

If you were unable to prevent water damage from happening on your construction site, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. As your local Charlotte, NC, water restoration specialists, we can help make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at (704) 840-6112, day or night so your construction plans can get back on track as quickly as possible. 

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Fire Safety Equipment You Need For Your Home

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

“Fire Safety Equipment You Need For Your Home” with flames and the SERVPRO logo Fire Safety Devices For Your Home

Living in fear of a fire happening in your Charlotte, NC home is unnecessary if you have the proper fire safety equipment easily accessible. Our homes feel like our safe place; however, your home may possess multiple opportunities for fire threats. Instances that add to the risk of a house fire include open fires and chimneys, kitchen fires from unattended cooking, overheating appliances, faulty electrical wiring or overloaded electrical systems, candles, smoking, matches and lighters, flammable liquids, and aerosols. 

With so many possible causes of a fire, it is essential to have fire safety equipment to ensure that your home and your family members are always safe and protected from danger. Listed below are the five most important pieces of equipment needed to protect your home, your belongings, and your loved ones.

  1. Smoke Alarm - Every home should be equipped with smoke alarms because they are your first line of defense. If you already have a smoke alarm or plan to install one, check them at least once a month
  2. Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms - Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless and can be deadly even if only a small amount is inhaled for a certain amount of time. This kind of alarm will alert you when it detects danger with a high-pitched warning, so when you hear it, get outside as quickly as you can and take in deep breaths of fresh air.
  3. Fire Extinguisher - This tool is critical to have in your home to put out small fires.
  4. Fire Blanket - A fire blanket is a simple fire safety tool that can extinguish a blaze by smothering the fire, taking away its source of oxygen.
  5. Fire Escape Ladders - Sometimes, the safest way to escape a fire is to exit safely out of a window. If a fire is blocking doorways, a window could be your only way to safety. These ladders are usually stored near an escape window, and one climbs down it when an emergency strikes.
  6. Knowledge - The most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by knowing what to do when a fire occurs. Make sure you know how to properly extinguish a fire, and ensure any children are educated on fire safety

If your business or property has experienced a fire, be sure to contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Call our licensed fire restoration team at (704) 840-6112. We can help make it "Like it never even happened."

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Category 1 Water Damage

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded Laundry Room with SERVPRO logo and “Category 1 Water Damage” What is Category 1 Water Damage

If you end up with a flooded home or business in Charlotte, NC, it can be overwhelming to know what to do next. When you call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg, we will come out to your property to assess the damage from flooding and then we will categorize it as either type 1, 2, or 3. 

The water that is flooding your home in category 1 floods may seem safe to be in contact with, however it can quickly turn to category 2 water, and become unsafe and contaminated. Homes and businesses can suffer from category 1 water flooding in the form of leaks, supply line breaks, pipe breaks, and appliance leaks. These examples are all category one water damage that can potentially turn dangerous. It is therefore important to know the differences in floodwater categories to keep yourself and your family safe.

Category 1 water is clean water that is drinkable from the source. Category 2 water is greywater, which contains some contaminants and causes illness if ingested; and Category 3, also known as black water, is highly contaminated. 

It is not ideal to have any type of flooding, but category 1 is safer than the other categories of water because it has no contaminants. This type of water does not pose an immediate threat to humans or pets. While this type of water is not contaminated, it is still essential that you contact professional help immediately to avoid further damage to your property and household items.

Common Types of Category One Water:

Supply Line Leak 

Supply line leaks are typically from a clean water source. These leaks can often occur underneath sinks, but also from walls and ceilings depending on where they exist in the building. Be careful, because if freshwater touches or soaks other building materials, it is no longer classified as clean water because the building materials could cause contaminants to enter the water. Professional help may be necessary in these situations. 

Pipe Break

Broken pipes can also cause water loss from a clean source like supply line leaks. However, when water touches other household materials, it goes from clean to greywater. Even a tiny crack can release many gallons of water per day and cost you more in your water bill and damages to your home, and often goes unnoticed. Check in common places such as under your sink to ensure there is not a pipe break in your home.

Appliance Leak

Beyond supply leaks and pipe breaks an appliance leak is a common source of clean water flooding. For example, supply hoses fail and valves break, and this can cause pooling near the appliance. Unfortunately, some appliances you likely won’t notice a leak until you remove it. Check appliances such as the fridge periodically. If your utility bill increases, and you are unable to identify the reason, try checking behind appliances. 

Other sources of category one water include rain and snowmelt, broken sink and toilet bowls, overflowing bathtubs, and basement flooding from rainstorms.

Clean water, or category one, leaks can often be resolved by the business owner, however, it does not take much water, or much time, to turn into grey or black water. Contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County if you are not sure how to handle the problem. 

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What To Know About Basement Flooding

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

“What To Know About Basement Flooding” with background of water droplets and the SERVPRO logo. What to do if your basement floods?

No Charlotte, NC homeowner ever wants to see their property inches deep in water. It is important to deal with the flooding as soon as you notice it because the damage can affect your whole home and possibly the safety of your family members.

What To Do When Your Basement Floods?

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off electricity and gas to the area. If you do not know how to shut it off, or cannot reach the access point safely, call an electrician as soon as possible.
  2. Scout out the source of the water. Consider the two most common reasons why first - excessive rainfall or a burst pipe.
  3. We highly recommend that you do not enter the water in case the power is not turned off properly or the water is contaminated, so ONLY proceed if you are certain of these things.
    1. If safe to proceed, enter the water wearing protective gear - boots, gloves and a mask. Safely make your way to a drain if your basement has one. Check if it is clogged.
  4. Allow SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to come and clean up the water. The job is definitely easier said than done - even just an inch of water can be difficult to remove without the proper equipment, but our experienced team has all the necessary tools to clean up the basement. The water extraction may be done with just towels, a mop or a wet vacuum, if only a small area was affected. In more serious circumstances, a sump pump will work better. 
  5. Next, we will evaluate the damage. Without our help, items may end up drying with water stains, and slow dry times may lead to mold. Therefore, we will take care of your drying needs with professional equipment that dries items faster, increasing the chance of saving furniture and other belongings. Also, we will sanitize the items that came in contact with contaminated water.
  6. It is essential to keep air moving during the drying process. You can count on us to use professional equipment that can fully dry the area far better than at-home options can. 

How To Prevent Your Basement From Flooding

After assessing the damage and determining the cause of the flood, you will be more prepared to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. There are some measures that you can take to prevent flooding before it even occurs.

  • Keep your rain gutters clean. Point downspouts away from the foundation of your home
  • Check around your yard to see where water is pooling and being directed to during the next heavy storm. If the water is heading towards the foundation of your home, contact an expert to grade your yard so that it can handle the water volume during a storm.
  • If you have a window(s) in your basement, make sure each one is protected with a window well cover.
  • Get a sump pump! An automatic sump pump is set to trigger on when it can sense that there is water entering your basement even when you are not there. We recommend that families living in flood-prone areas should have a back-up sump pump and look into getting flood insurance.

It is better to be safe than sorry - we advise that you contact a professional at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County when your basement floods. If your basement is holding water that is even an inch deep, mildew is beginning to grow, or items are potentially ruined, call (704)-840-6112. 

We are committed to making your basement look "Like it never even happened."

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How To Properly Extinguish A Fire

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

“How to Properly Extinguish A Fire” with SERVPRO logo and someone using a fire extinguisher photo How to Put Out a Fire

We’ve all seen fire extinguishers in places such as our homes, offices, or the places we visit in Charlotte, NC. Even though they are commonly recognized, we rarely consider having to use a fire extinguisher, or other means to put out a fire, in an emergency. However, it is very important to know how exactly to properly extinguish a fire, if an emergency does happen. 

Portable fire extinguishers are classified by the type of fires they are designed to extinguish. Extinguishers are labeled on the outside with either letters or symbols to show which type of fire they are intended for. 

To know how to properly extinguish a fire, It is necessary to distinguish the differences between types of fires. There are four different classifications of fires, each requiring a unique way to put them out. 



Class A

Class A fires include ordinary solid combustible items. Some examples are paper, wood, cloth, and some plastics. Extinguishers with an A rating are designed to extinguish fires that involve these materials.

Class B

Class B fires are flammable liquids. Flammable liquids include alcohol, oil, gasoline, and grease. These types of fires are best smothered. Extinguishers with a B rating must put out these types of fires. Note that it is important to shut off the source of gas in a gas fire before extinguishing. It is safest to call emergency responders in gasoline fires. 

Class C

Class C fires involve electrical equipment. Do not use water on these fires, as electrical shock could be possible. Use only Class C-rated extinguishers. 

Class D

Class D fires are flammable metallic substances such as aluminum, potassium, and magnesium. These fires are common in industrial and laboratory environments. These fires should not be put out with water.

Class K

Class K fires are kitchen cooking fires that involve the combustion of liquids from food preparation. Greases, cooking oils, vegetable fat, and animal fat are all fuel sources in these fires. 



Once you assure you are using the correct type of extinguisher for the fire, using a fire extinguisher can be done in a few simple steps. It can be difficult to think clearly during an emergency, so use the acronym PASS to remember the steps to using a fire extinguisher:

Pull the pin. 

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. 

Sweep the nozzle from the side to side as many times as needed. Keep the nozzle aimed at the base of the fire.

Using a fire extinguisher is easier than it may initially seem, and knowing how to use one can help you in an emergency. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can help you with your home or business’ damage after an emergency. Simply call at (704)-840-6112.

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Common Causes of House Fires

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

“Causes of House Fires” with burning house and the SERVPRO logo What Causes House Fires?

Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we hope everyone is enjoying this much-needed summer and staying safe while doing so. Charlotte has been beautiful recently and most outdoor activities have fully reopened. Today we will be talking about the common causes of house fires as well as some ways to prevent them, so you can keep your family safe. 

The Culprits

There are many ways that a fire can be started by mistake. Some of these are the result of user error while others can be unpreventable by a homeowner.

  • One extremely common cause is by leaving a candle unattended, allowing it to catch something on fire
  • When cooking, make sure you stay in the kitchen from start to finish as unsupervised cooking can result in a fire. If children are involved in the cooking process it is essential that you keep an eye on them to keep everyone safe.
  • Smoking a cigarette carelessly or while falling asleep is extremely dangerous and poses a high risk of accidental house fires.
  • Heaters are also very prone to creating fires, making it essential that they are unplugged when not being used. If you are using a heater, ensure that you are awake and in the room to keep a close eye on it. 
  • Faulty wiring is one of the most common fire starters. Unfortunately, faulty wiring is nearly impossible for the average homeowner to spot. If you suspect faulty wiring please contact your local electrician immediately. 

Ways to Prevent Fires

Most fire prevention methods are quick and easy, and they just might save you from dealing with a house fire. Whenever you leave your home, make sure to blow out any lit candles and to unplug any appliances that pose the risk of overheating. If you are a smoker, make sure you smoke outside and away from any flammable materials. When cooking, make sure to stay in the kitchen throughout the process, and always supervise children when they are near the stove. Once finished, make sure that the stove and any other appliances used are turned off completely. 

If There is a Fire

We hope that you never find yourself in a situation where you are affected by a fire, but if you are, it helps to be prepared. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and always keep fresh batteries in your home’s smoke detectors. If a fire does occur in your home, it is best to safely exit the building and call the fire department immediately. Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we specialize in fire damage repair, and we are always here to help in your time of need. 

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What To Know About Basement Flooding

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

“What To Know About Basement Flooding” with background of water droplets and the SERVPRO logo. How to Prevent Basement Flooding

No Charlotte, NC homeowner ever wants to see their property inches deep in water. It is important to deal with the flooding as soon as you notice it because the damage can affect your whole home and possibly the safety of your family members.

What To Do When Your Basement Floods?

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off electricity and gas to the area. If you do not know how to shut it off, or cannot reach the access point safely, call an electrician as soon as possible.
  2. Scout out the source of the water. Consider the two most common reasons why first - excessive rainfall or a burst pipe.
  3. We highly recommend that you do not enter the water in case the power is not turned off properly or the water is contaminated, so ONLY proceed if you are certain of these things.
    1. If safe to proceed, enter the water wearing protective gear - boots, gloves and a mask. Safely make your way to a drain if your basement has one. Check if it is clogged.
  4. Allow SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to come and clean up the water. The job is definitely easier said than done - even just an inch of water can be difficult to remove without the proper equipment, but our experienced team has all the necessary tools to clean up your basement. The water extraction may be done with just towels, a mop or a wet vacuum, if only a small area was affected. In more serious circumstances, a sump pump or water extractor will work better. 
  5. Next, we will evaluate the damage. Without our help, items may end up drying with water stains, and slow dry times may lead to mold. Therefore, we will take care of your drying needs with professional equipment that dries items faster, increasing the chance of saving furniture and other belongings. e will also sanitize the items that came in contact with contaminated water.
  6. It is essential to keep air moving during the drying process. You can count on us to use professional equipment that can fully dry the area far better than at-home options can. 

How To Prevent Your Basement From Flooding

After assessing the damage and determining the cause of the flood, you will be more prepared to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. There are some measures that you can take to prevent flooding before it even occurs.

  • Keep your rain gutters clean. Point downspouts away from the foundation of your home
  • Check around your yard to see where water is pooling and being directed to during the next heavy storm. If the water is heading towards the foundation of your home, contact an expert to grade your yard so that it can handle the water volume during a storm.
  • If you have a window(s) in your basement, make sure each one is protected with a window well cover.
  • Get a sump pump! An automatic sump pump is set to trigger on when it can sense that there is water entering your basement even when you are not there. We recommend that families living in flood-prone areas should have a back-up sump pump and look into getting flood insurance.

It is better to be safe than sorry - we advise that you contact a professional at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County when your basement floods. If your basement is holding water that is even an inch deep, mildew is beginning to grow, or items are potentially ruined, call (704)-840-6112. 

We are committed to making your basement look like it never even happened!

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Ways To Support Local Farmers

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

“How to Support Local Farmers” with SERVPRO logo and photo of vegetables growing Supporting Local Farms in Charlotte

Summer is a great time to support the local community in Charlotte, NC, and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County suggests doing that by supporting local farmers! There are many ways that you can help support local farmers, and in return, you can have healthy fruits and vegetables to share with friends and family! Check out a few ways how you can support local:

Shop at a Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s Markets are a way for local growers to sell their produce and can be a large part of their income making it a great way to support them and the community. South Mecklenburg County has multiple farmer’s markets that can be attended by the public! There is the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm, that has a market venue with small-scale farmers, bakers, and artisans featured. Also, the Downtown Pineville Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm features vegetables, fresh flowers, baked goods, and fruit from local farmers. These markets are a great way to support local farmers.

Visit a Pick-It-Yourself Farm

Visiting farms directly to pick your own produce also supports farmers and the community, and it's a fun family-friendly activity. You can visit and pick your own fruit including strawberries, blueberries, and apples. For a fun day picking fresh strawberries, visit Hunter Farm in Charlotte, NC.

Sign Up For A CSA

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a great way to support local farmers directly. You directly support farmers by signing up for a “share” of the farm’s produce each week or biweekly for the duration of the summer. In return, you receive fresh vegetables and fruit each week. A local farm in South Mecklenburg County is Renfrow Farms that has CSA programs in the late spring, summer, and fall and features fruits, vegetables, and honey from 70 local beehives.

Supporting your local farmers in South Mecklenburg County is easier than you might think! For more local suggestions, recipes, and home tips, visit our blog. And don’t forget, if you ever experience a water or fire disaster in your home, give SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County a call day or night.

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Top 3 Ways to Clean Gas Ranges

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

“Top 3 Gas Range Cleaners” with cooking tools and the SERVPRO logo. How to Clean a Gas Range

It is hard not to love the joy of making home-cooked meals in your Charlotte, NC home, but the build-up of food debris and grease on the stovetop cannot be ignored forever. Glass-top electric ranges can be tended to with specialized cleaning solutions, but there are several household cleaners that can just as easily do the trick on gas ranges. Consider the top three cleaning solutions for a gas-top stove:

  1. Vinegar

A staple household cleaner is distilled white vinegar. Diluted acetic acid can dislodge the food that gets stuck on the surface of a gas range while dissolving cooking grease and dispelling the smoke smell. If your dirty stovetop needs a little extra attention, try sprinkling it with baking soda before adding the vinegar.

Many cleaning professionals advise making a one-to-one mixture of 5% distilled vinegar or 6% cleaning vinegar and water to clean a stovetop. Before spraying the surface, make sure to remove the grates. Let the vinegar sit for 60 seconds before wiping it off.

  1. Dish Soap

If you do not have any vinegar or prefer to use soap, try using dish soap to clean the areas with the most built-up grease. If accumulation is minimal, the degreasing agents in dish soap could then work to clean the entire stove. In this case, it is in your best interest to dilute the mixture.

You can also use full-strength soap on grease buildup by putting the dish soap directly on a scrub brush.

  1. Degreaser

Use a degreaser if it has been a long time since your last range cleaning. Degreasers are powerful cleaning formulas that can dissolve dense buildups.

There should be instructions on the bottle of degreaser that you choose to use, and we recommend following these directions closely. For most brands, spray the treatment on the dirty surface and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off.

In order to continue to safely cook in your Charlotte, NC home, it is important to regularly clean your gas range. An avoidable disaster, such as a kitchen fire, could result from a dirty stove and nearby combustibles. If you experience any problems in your kitchen, be sure to give SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County a call at (704)-840-6112. As your local fire restoration team, we are here to make it "Like it never even happened."

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Three Places to Look When Your Toilet is Leaking

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

“Three places to look when your toilet is leaking” with water dripping from top and the SERVPRO logo” Why is My Toilet Leaking?

Of the many machines that can be found in your Charlotte, NC home, a toilet ranks high on the list of reliable appliances. While a toilet can withstand many years with minimal serious maintenance, it is not uncommon for toilet parts to become worn and develop leaks after a long time. 

Most of the time, replacement parts or jiggling things back into place that may have been dislodged will do the trick. It is where the leak is coming from that determines what kinds of parts need tending to. Here are three common places that homeowners in Charlotte, NC should look for toilet leaks:

Leaking From the Base

If a toilet is leaking from its base, it could mean that there is a broken wax seal, loose closet bolts or cracks on the toilet bowl.

The wax seal is responsible for keeping water from seeping out of the pipes when you flush the toilet. A few easy tools can be used to replace this. Similarly, you can tighten closet bolts that have gradually loosened with just a wrench. Lastly, if a crack on the toilet bowl is small enough, it can simply be fixed with a porcelain sealant.

Leaking From the Shut-Off Valve

A leaking shut-off valve can  result in a puddle of toilet water accumulating around the base if the packing nut has become loose. The fix is easy - just locate the packing nut under the handle and tighten it with a wrench. Worst case scenario is the shut-off valve needing to be replaced if tightening with a wrench does not stop the leak.



Running Inside of the Tank

A toilet that does not stop running after it has finished filling up the toilet bowl is a sign that there is a misadjusted float, a tangled chain or a broken flapper. If this is your situation, first check that the float is not adjusted too high. If your toilet is set up correctly, then check that the chain is untangled and allow the flapper to close. If water continues to run after checking on the float and the chain, it is time to fully replace the flapper.

While toilet leaks can be minor, it is in your best interest to contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Water damage from a leak in the bathroom can cause avoidable mold which can then ruin your floor. If you have damage to your Charlotte, NC home, contact us at (704)-840-6112.

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What Moisture Readings Mean

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

“What Moisture Readings Mean” with a moisture reader and the SERVPRO logo What do moisture readings in my home mean?

When it comes to your home, it is essential to keep it as safe as possible. Typically, you can spot a potential hazard from a mile away. Anything from exposed nails to broken glass can be spotted by the naked eye. Unfortunately, not all hazards are visible, and excessive moisture within your walls can be a silent danger to your home. Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we want to teach you how to spot walls with too much moisture, and what to do once you find them. 

The Danger of Excessive Moisture

Moisture within the walls of your home is extremely dangerous for both the home and everyone living within it. One potential danger of moisture is the deterioration of the structural integrity of your home. It can result in walls deteriorating and eventually collapsing, resulting in significant damage to your home and potentially injuring those within. Additionally, moisture can result in the creation of mold, which can cause unwanted smells and also harm structural integrity. 

How to Spot Moisture in Your Walls

While figuring out if there is moisture in your walls may need a professional, there are a few methods that you can use purely through observation. Go throughout your home and see if any of the walls seem to be fading, cracking, or producing a musty smell. In some situations, you may even see watermarks on the walls. If your walls meet any of these guidelines, we suggest that you bring a professional in to test the moisture levels within your home.

How to Test Moisture Levels

Moisture Meters are devices that measure the percent of moisture within a material. If you spot any signs of excessive moisture within your walls, a moisture meter will either confirm or disprove your hunch. There are two types of meters, one type can be inserted into the walls of your home to give you an exact reading of the moisture percent, the other type of meter reads moisture from the surface of a wall. The type of meter used depends on a few factors, like the material being tested, expected moisture levels, and more. All walls will have some levels of moisture, typically between 5 and 15%, but if the percentage is higher than 17%, the wall will likely need to be replaced. 

What Next?

If you notice warning signs of excessive moisture in your home, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can provide you with accurate moisture readings. If there is an above-average amount of moisture, we can help properly replace and reinforce the walls in your home. We can be reached at (704)-840-6112 and will be ready any time day or night to help you in your time of need

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How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

“Homemade Ice Cream Recipe” with SERVPRO logo and ice cream graphics Easy Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

It’s summer and it’s hot in Charlotte, NC,! If you find yourself looking for a way to enjoy the day and cool off from the summer heat, ice cream could be the answer! Ice cream is the perfect way to cool off, and it can also be a fun way to make something new! Did you know that you can make your own homemade ice cream? 

Making your own ice cream isn’t as difficult as it may sound! You don’t need an ice cream maker to have your own frozen, creamy treat. Follow this simple “plastic bag” method recipe to have a cold treat: 

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream or dairy-free alternative

Any Desired Add-In (chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.)

Directions

  1. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream (or dairy-free alternative for vegan/lactose-free) with a whisk. 
  2. Add any flavors and toppings you may want! Some ideas include sprinkles, cookie pieces, cocoa powder, or chocolate chips! Simply add them to the heavy cream mixture before putting the mixture in the bag.
  3. Place the heavy cream mixture in quart size seal bags (can be purchased at the grocery store!), squeezing out as much air as possible. Seal tightly. 
  4. Then, place the quart size bags into a gallon size resealable bag and fill the gallon bag with about 4 cups of crushed ice and sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of coarse salt. The salt is added to lower the freezing point of the ice and creates an extra cold environment that absorbs heat, causing the ice cream to freeze. 
  5. Wrap the gallon bag in a towel and vigorously shake! Make sure that the ice is surrounding the ice cream mixture constantly. 
  6. Shake for 5-8 minutes or until the ice cream mixture is frozen. 



Add any toppings to your ice cream treat that you may want! Store your homemade ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container to prevent ice crystals from forming. You can save your ice cream and eat it later this way. 

For home improvement tips, recipes and more, go to SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County blog

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Teaching Kids Fire Safety

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

“Teaching kids fire safety” with a picture of child’s hand in adults hand and SERVPRO logo How to teach children fire safety

Would your children know what to do in the event of a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home? Making sure your children are prepared in the event of a fire emergency can help ensure their safety. So how should you teach your children about fire safety? Keep reading to find out. 

Smoke Detectors

Start by teaching your children about smoke detectors. Talk about why they are installed, how the smoke detectors work, and the sound they make. To stay safe, children should be able to associate the sound of the smoke detector with fire and know what to do when they hear that noise. 

Tip: Change the batteries in your smoke detector often to prevent the noise from startling children. 

Plan Escape Routes

When planning escape routes with children, creating two plans for each room is the best way to keep children calm and safe during a fire. For most rooms, this means using a door and a window in the escape route. 

Once you have established a plan for getting out of each room, select a designated meeting space outside your home, like your mailbox, driveway, sidewalk, or even a neighbor’s yard. Make sure the whole family knows the selected meeting space for emergencies. 

Tip: If your child’s instinct is to hide when they are frightened, teach them the phrase “Don’t hide, go outside.”

Practice Opening Windows

Many children are not taught how to open windows to ensure they don’t injure themselves, but in case of a fire knowing how to open windows can save lives. Ensure that windows are not stuck and can be easily opened and that screens and security bars can be removed quickly if necessary. 

Practice Using Escape Ladders

If your home has a second floor, escape ladders can be an essential part of fire safety. Keep escape ladders near second-story windows and be sure to practice using them with your children. If your children are young, practice using a first-floor window so they know what to expect. 

Check for Heat

Teach children to check how hot a door is before opening in case of a fire. If a door is hot, tell them how to find another way out, like a window. If they are unable to find an exit teach children to cover themselves with a towel and get low to the ground by their bed. 

Make Fire Safety a Game

If your children aren’t interested in practicing fire safety, try using a game to teach them how to safely escape from your home. Blindfold your child and have them make their way through your home. Set it up as an obstacle course with a treat waiting at the end for even more fun. 

Get Out & Stay Out

Make sure to teach children that once they have exited the house, they need to go to the designated meeting place, and stay there. Even if a family member or pet is missing, children should know they should never venture back inside. 

Stop, Drop, & Roll

Your children have likely heard of stop, drop, & roll, but it’s important that they are prepared to practice it in the event they get too close to flames. Many fire-related injuries can be avoided or minimized if a child stops, drops, & rolls rather than running. Be sure to act out the proper form and have them practice with you so they can be prepared. 

Practice

Creating an escape plan and teaching it to your children is essential to their safety, but so is updating the plan and practicing it. Schedule fire safety practice at least twice a year, or more often for younger children. 

What Next?

For more information on preparing your family for fire-related emergencies, the National Fire Protection Association is a good resource. Be sure you have the right fire extinguisher in your home, and that you know when how to properly use it.

If you and your family experienced a fire-related emergency, you might be unsure of what to do once the Charlotte Fire Department has put out the fire. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. As your local fire restoration, we are here to “Like it never even happened.”

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National Pet Fire Safety Day

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

National Pet Fire Safety Day” with photo of dog and a cat and the SERVPRO logo How to Keep Pets Safe During Fires

We love all of our pets, and today, July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day! On National Pet Fire Safety Day, it is important to remember to include your furry family members in your emergency fire plan. It is necessary to have a plan to figure out how you will get your family members to safety in addition to your pets. Here are steps to prepare for a fire and keep your pets safe too:

How to Prepare for A Fire Considering Pets 

To prepare for a fire in Charlotte, NC, first talk to your family and your friends to determine an emergency plan that includes them. Have emergency supplies readily available somewhere within your home, and keep them somewhere in your home that is easily reachable in an emergency. In an emergency supply kit, include supplies such as pet food, medication, water and also include a photo of your pet for identification, any leashes or carriers needed in case you must leave your home, and medical records for you and your pet. Discuss places your pet likes to hide with your family. Make sure everyone knows how to get them out quickly in case of an emergency.

During a Fire

If a fire does occur, be sure to grab your pet’s leash or carrier as you leave the building. Keep your pet nearby and secure once you are safely outside. Your pet may be overwhelmed, and it is important to keep them close to avoid them trying to run to a safer area. If it takes too long to locate your family pet during a fire, leave, and leave your home’s door open and call to your pet once you are safely outside. Do not delay leaving in order to assist your pet, once emergency services arrive, they will do their best to get your pet to safety.

If You Are Unable to Retrieve Your Pet 

Emergency situations are unpredictable, and in case you are unable to retrieve your pet or happen to not be home during a fire, put a sticker or decal in your home’s window that specifies how many pets you have and what type they are to assist the emergency responders in helping your pet. To ensure your pet’s safety, install smoke detectors that alert the fire department when they go off to automatically dispatch emergency services. 

Your pets are important, and keeping them safe should be a top priority. For more helpful tips to prepare your entire family for emergencies be sure to read our other blogs. 

If your home has been damaged by a fire recently, SERVPRO in South Mecklenburg County can help. For more information about our services, contact us at (704) 840-6112.

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What To Do if Your Business is Affected by a Flood

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

“What to Do If Your Business Floods” with graphic of flooded business with SERVPRO logo What to do After a Flood in Your Business

When it comes to your business, you want to do everything you can to ensure it succeeds. The last thing you want to experience is having something negatively impact what you have worked so hard towards. Unfortunately, this can often be unpreventable, making it extremely important to know what to do in the case of an unexpected setback. Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we want to teach you how to handle one type of disaster, floods. 

Causes of Floods

When a business experiences severe flooding, it is the result of either man-made or natural flooding. Man-made flooding can be caused in a number of different ways including overflowing the sink, a leaking water heater. Sometimes these can be the result of user error and other times they can be caused by overuse or wear and tear. Natural flooding is caused by an environmental factor such as excessive rain resulting in a temporary layer of water on the ground that causes damage to your business. Regardless of the type of flooding, it is important to know how to handle it in case it happens to your business. 

What to Do in the Event of Flooding 

If your business experiences severe flooding the most important thing to do is keep the employees and customers safe. It is essential to have an evacuation plan in the event that a flood occurs. Once everyone is accounted for and it is deemed safe to reenter the building, turn off the gas, appliances, and power within the building. This is essential as it can prevent further damage from occurring to your business. 

What to Do With Flooded Contents

When your business floods, important documents, and equipment can be damaged by water, but our technicians are experienced in water damage remediation. Every item affected by the flood will be cataloged and either salvaged, stored, or disposed of by our team. For any items that need to be replaced, we help deal with your insurance adjuster, to help replace the item without any headaches. 

What to Do Next

If your business has flooded, removing the water and beginning the restoration process quickly is essential to returning your business to its natural form. In the unfortunate case that your business is affected by any kind of flooding, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will be there to effectively take care of any damages caused. We can be reached at (704)-840-6112 and will be ready any time day or night to help you in your time of need. 



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Thunderstorms: How to Prepare

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of Thunderstorm with SERVPRO logo and “How to Prepare for Thunderstorms” How to prepare for thunderstorms

Summer heat is definitely here and that means thunderstorms are too. Thunderstorms especially in summer can pop up unexpectedly and it is important to be prepared. Thunderstorms can be very dangerous and cause significant damage

A thunderstorm is created by surface heating. In a thunderstorm, there is upward atmospheric motion that transports whatever is in the air along with it. A thunderstorm is a result of this convection. They are most common in the spring and the summer months during the afternoon and evening hours of the day. 

Many hazardous weather events are associated with thunderstorms. Lightning can be very dangerous and when it strikes it can cause fires. Hail during thunderstorms can also be a hazard. Hail forms when drops of water freeze together in the cold upper atmosphere. Large hail can severely damage cars and homes. Strong winds can also knock down power lines and cause damage. Thunderstorms are also often associated with flooding, which can cause damage to your yard and the exterior of your home as well as inside your home.

It is important to be prepared for these intense weather events, and fortunately, there are steps that you can take to stay safe during summer thunderstorms.

If You’re Indoors

If you are already safe inside of the house, avoid using corded items such as computers or power tools, as lightning can travel along electric currents and damage electronics. High winds and hail have the potential to shatter glass, so be sure to stay away from windows and glass doors in your home during a severe thunderstorm. 

If You’re Outdoors

If you are outside and see dark clouds or hear lightning, take shelter immediately. Head for enclosed buildings if possible rather than garages or pavilions. If there is nowhere inside to go, get inside of a vehicle and get off of motorcycles and bikes. If no shelter at all is available, squat low to the ground and find the lowest possible place to take shelter in such as a ditch or roadside. If you are in water, head to shore immediately, as water can carry electrical current. 

How to Protect Your Home and Belongings Before The Storm

Remove dead or overhanging tree branches that could fall on your house if the tree is struck by lightning. Put your entire house on a surge-protection system to avoid having your electronics damaged during a storm surge. Any furniture or toys should be brought indoors or tied down to prevent wind from blowing objects around. 

If your home has been damaged by a recent summer thunderstorm, SERVPRO in South Mecklenburg County can help. For more information about our services, contact us at (704) 840-6112.

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The Danger Of Soot After a Fire

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

“The Dangers Of Soot After A Fire” with a fire and the SERVPRO logo. How to Clean Soot After a Fire

Unfortunately, the effects of a fire in your Charlotte, NC home or business can reveal themselves well beyond the fire’s occurrence. The most common cause of house fires is from cooking, usually when an individual leaves a pot or a pan unattended until smoke emerges from the kitchen into surrounding rooms. Sometimes the resulting smoke and soot can leave more damage than what the actual fire left behind, but rest assured, our clean-up crew at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County knows just how to clean every crevice and stop the spread of soot and smoke.

What Is Soot?

Soot is a powdery, flaky substance that is composed mostly of carbon that can travel through the air and is the result of incomplete combustion of materials such as coal, oil, and wood. While it is harmful to those residing in the home or property, it also can be very difficult to completely remove because of its sticky consistency that can stain walls and surfaces if it is not treated quickly and properly.

How Do I Identify Soot?

Individual soot particles are very small; in fact, they are smaller than dust particles. When they accumulate into dark black dust spots is when it becomes visible to us. Soot build-up can be found in areas far away from where the original source of the fire is because it travels easily through the ventilation system or even just through the air. Soot also has a distinct smell - hints of smoke, ash, or a general smelly odor are usually a result of soot formation.

Is Soot Harmful?

Soot is harmful because the particles contain acids, chemicals, metals, and dust from the substances burned during a fire. These particles then latch on to the surrounding environment, leaving your walls and ceilings prone to side effects like unappealing odors and stains. 

If soot build-up is untreated for too long or improperly tended to, especially in your HVAC system, tiny amounts of soot can be circulated throughout your home, making the cleaning process more difficult.

Next Steps

It is highly recommended to hire a professional team to effectively clean up after a fire has occurred, such as those at SERVPRO in South Mecklenburg County. For more information about our services, contact us at (704) 840-6112.

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What to Expect When Your Apartment Building Floods

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

“What To Expect When Your Apartment Building Floods” with animated apartment buildings and the SERVPRO logo What to do After an Apartment Flood in Charlotte, NC?

There is no doubt that Charlotte, NC, has grown to become one of the best places in the nation for young adults to start their careers. Oftentimes, your professionals will resort to apartment-style living arrangements either by themselves or with a roommate or two. Amenities and perks that come with signing a lease with an apartment complex are great until disasters like a building-wide flood occurs.

When an apartment building floods, damage can be quite extensive and overwhelming for both you and apartment management. Here, we will prepare you for what to expect if there is flooding in your apartment building.

  1. Water Damaged Ceilings

When flooding occurs on one of the upper floors of the multi-level building, water in the ceiling is to be expected. The water flow will have no choice but to drip down and seep through carpet or hardwood and penetrate subfloors before affecting the apartments below.

  1. Water Damage to Floors

Anticipate replacing and drying wet carpets or pulling up hardwood floors.

  1. Electrical Issues

Flood water may have found its way into your unit through light fixtures or poured out of electrical sockets. If there was major flooding, it may be necessary to turn off the power for a designated period of time until it has been determined safe to turn it back on.

  1. Possible Mold Growth

Mold thrives in damp to wet environments, so it is no surprise that mold begins to grow in as little as 48 hours after water damage occurs. Keep an eye out for mold emergence, even after the flood’s initial impact is taken care of.

  1. Loud Equipment

Your apartment management team will likely call their preferred water damage restoration company to assess the damage and properly clean up and repair the property, and we hope it is SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County that is assigned to these tasks. Commercial grade fans and dehumidifiers will need to be stationed throughout the building and possibly inside your unit for 3-5 days so be prepared this process.

  1. Demolition

Water is likely to freely flow between the floors of the apartment building, so the water damage restoration plan may include opening up ceilings, pulling carpets up, removing trim and moldings, and possibly removing portions of wet walls. As stressful as it may sound to tear apart walls and ceilings, these actions are taken in order to avoid a widespread mold problem later on.

  1. A Flooded Basement

If the apartment building houses a basement where tasks such as laundry or storage take place, these amenities might be off-limits while it is in repair. Do not try to enter the basement until it has been inspected and deemed as safe.

  1. Possible Need to File an Insurance Claim

While you won’t have to worry about structural damages or the cost of drying out the complex, you may have to foot the bill for any damage to personal belongings. If you find yourself in this situation, you will have to file your own claim with your renter’s insurance.

If a flood or any other element causes damage to your Charlotte, NC property, you can count on SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to tend to your restoration needs. For more information about our services, contact us at (704) 840-6112.

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Charlotte in Hurricane Elsa’s Path

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

“Charlotte in hurricane path” with a phone with notifications about the storm and SERVPRO logo Will Hurricane Elsa Hit Charlotte?

As hurricane Elsa moves out of the gulf and onto land, the path is predicted to include Charlotte, NC. Before the storm gets closer to Charlotte, NC, make sure you and your family are prepared for what could come. Keep reading to learn the strength of Elsa, where the storm is headed, and how you can prevent the possible damage Elsa may bring. 

The Strength of The Storm

With sustained winds of 63 mph as of Wednesday at 9:20 AM, residents of the Pineville, NC, area can expect to experience some wind in the coming days, however, the storm will likely be much less severe once it reaches North Carolina. While the storm is a category 1 hurricane while it hovers over the gulf, it is expected to lose strength and be classified as a tropical depression. 

Where Will The Storm Hit?

Elsa is expected to pass to the right of Matthews, NC. Because Charlotte, NC, will not be in the direct path of Elsa, less than 1 inch of rain is expected in the area. For more information on Elsa as the storm continues to get closer be sure to stay up-to-date with the Charlotte Observer

Will The Storm Cause Damage?

There is no way to know what the damage from a storm will be, but it is always smart to be prepared. Make sure you and your family stay safe during the storm, and remember, your home may need to be prepped for the storm as well. 

Keep Your Home Safe

Even though living in Charlotte, NC, means we don’t often think of storm-proofing when a hurricane is coming our way, there are still a few easy steps you should take. Preparing for a storm can help prevent severe damage to your home. Before Elsa gets closer, head outside and make sure that any toys and other objects are brought inside. Heavier items like furniture should be secured to the ground to prevent things from being blown around in the wind and breaking windows. 

What if Elsa Damages My Home?

If your preparations were no match for the storm, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. Our technicians are experts at storm restoration, so you can feel comfortable knowing your home will be back to pre-storm conditions in no time. As soon as you notice damage to your home, give us a call at (704) 840-6112 so we can make it "Like it never even happened."

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What You Need to Know About Vandalism

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

“What You Need to Know About Vandalism” with images of acts of vandalism and the SERVPRO logo What to do after Vandalism on Your Property

During the summer many find themselves taking relaxing vacations, spending time with friends and family, and spending quality time outdoors. These are great ways for all of us to destress, but all of these activities involve being away from home. While vandalism may not be something you think about happening to you, it is more common than you think. Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we want to educate you on ways to prevent and handle vandalism should you experience it yourselves. 

Defining Vandalism 

Vandalism is the term used for the intentional damage or destruction one causes to another’s property. Vandalism can come in many forms, with varying levels of damage. It is important to note that vandalism can occur to one’s personal property as well as commercial buildings. 

 Common Forms of Vandalism

As previously mentioned, vandalism can come in many different forms. A common form of vandalism comes in damage to one’s yard, often caused by “pranks” committed by teens. This can be anything from covering a yard and house in toilet paper to destroying a home’s mailbox. Vandalism can occur in more serious cases as well with many cases involving spray-painting one’s belongings or downright destroying someone’s property. Regardless of the severity of the vandalism, it is an illegal act and should not be ignored.

Preventing Vandalism

The key to preventing vandalism is ensuring your property has proper security measures, similar to preventing burglary. A simple first step is to add outdoor lighting around your property. One way to effectively secure your property is through the installation of security cameras. These cameras can be as obvious or discreet as you would like, and video doorbells are becoming an extremely popular safety measure. Another simple method to lower your risk of being a victim of vandalism is by installing a fence around your home. This fence will make it more difficult for the vandal to access your property without being noticed. A very common preventative method is to place a security provider sign in your front yard. These signs show everyone that your house is protected and will make someone think twice before attempting to vandalize your property. 

 What to Do if Your Property is Vandalized

As vandalism is a crime, it is imperative that you contact your local law enforcement agency in the event that you experience vandalism first-hand. Law enforcement will look for the perpetrator and will ensure that they receive the proper punishment. It is crucial that you do not take matters into your own hands as it can not only make things worse but can also put you and your family in danger. Once law enforcement has been notified, contact your insurance agency about any property that has been damaged so they can give you proper compensation. Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we hope that you never fall victim to vandalism, but if you find yourself in one of these situations you can contact us at (704)-840-6112. We offer vandalism related clean-up and repairs so it will look "Like it never even happened." We can always be reached anytime day or night to help you in your time of need, just give us a call. 

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Happy Independence Day!

7/4/2021 (Permalink)

White, Red and Blue “Happy Fourth of July” with SERVPRO logo How to Celebrate The Fourth of July in Charlotte, NC.

Happy Independence Day! Americans come together on this day to celebrate the birth of American independence from Britain and the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

Not only is the Fourth of July a day to remember 245 years of American history, but it is also an exciting time to relax in the summer heat and spend time with family and friends. Read on for suggestions on how to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday in Charlotte, NC, this year!

1. Attend a Fireworks Display

A fireworks display is a great way to get outside and participate in a long-time tradition on the Fourth of July. Fireworks often are red, white, and blue representing the colors of the American flag! Many local communities host public firework shows that you can attend with friends and family. Be sure to bring your blanket or chairs to sit on and enjoy the display.

2. Go to a Local Parade

A parade can be a great way to engage kids or to hang out before the nighttime festivities of the Fourth begin. Parades often have candy, floats, and local emergency services such as fire trucks on display, which can be a great way to get involved and learn more about the community.

3. Have a Picnic

A picnic is a fun way to spend the day in the sun on the Fourth of July. Grab your picnic blanket, a cooler, and your favorite snacks, and head to a local park to enjoy lunch! We recommend classic summer foods such as grilling hot dogs and bringing potato chips and watermelon for a classic American experience. 

4. Make Fourth of July Treats

Making Independence Day treats can be a fun way to spend time with friends and get into the holiday spirit! Check out this easy recipe for Firecracker Bites to spice up the holiday!

5. Make Dinner/ Barbecue

End the day with a barbecue with your family. This is a perfect way to prepare for a long fireworks show and hang out outside in the summer once it’s cool. Get coals and a grill and get creative! Vegetables and buns can be grilled in addition to meat for a healthy vegetarian option!

Happy Independence Day from SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County! Be sure to be careful and to stay safe with any activity you do this holiday. If you or your family want to hear more fun tips from our team, be sure to visit our blog at https://www.SERVPROsouthmecklenburgcounty.com/blog or call (704) 840-6112.

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Firework Safety Tips

7/3/2021 (Permalink)

“Firework Safety Tips” with images of fireworks going off and SERVPRO logo How to Use Fireworks Safely

With summertime in full swing, many are jumping at the opportunity to set off some fireworks for our country’s celebration of independence. While fireworks are undoubtedly fun to set off and watch, they can be quite dangerous when used irresponsibly. An average of 15,600 people are hospitalized in firework-related incidents during the days before and after the 4thof July. As you celebrate your summer with your own firework shows, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wants to make sure that you practice firework safety when having fun this holiday weekend. 

Preparing for Lighting Fireworks

Considering many people go out of town to celebrate the 4th, it is vital to note the local emergency hotlines. Additionally, a first-aid kit should be bought and located nearby before the lighting of any fireworks. Considering fireworks’ ability to start fires, a fire extinguisher or buckets of water should be kept within close proximity to the launch site. 

Tips on Using Fireworks Safely

It is essential to ensure that the individuals in charge of lighting the fireworks are sober as it lowers the risk of putting those around them in danger. As fireworks are hazardous, children mustn’t be allowed to participate in the lighting of the fireworks. Those who light the fireworks should ensure that they wear eye protection and maintain a safe distance from the firework after lighting it. When using fireworks, ensure that there are no buildings or vehicles within a reasonable distance to lower the risk of property damage. If a firework does not go off as it is supposed to, wait a reasonable amount of time and then soak it in water before properly disposing of it. 

In the Event of a Firework Related Accident

In the event of a firework-related accident, it is essential that someone within your group has a phone so they can call an emergency response team. We here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County hope that you and your guests have a relaxing and enjoyable 4thof July. If you experience any fire-related property damage, we can be reached at (704)-840-6112 and will be ready any time, day or night, to help you in your time of need.

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How Technology Is Valuable During a Storm

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

“How Technology is Valuable During an Emergency” with small technology symbols and SERVPRO logo. Using Technology During a Storm

While the idea of technology seems simple on the outside, the constant updates and innovations can deter people from learning all that their devices can do for them. When emergencies or natural disasters hit close to home, it can be extremely advantageous to know how to make the best use of your technological devices. Technology allows you to stay updated on outside conditions as well as let family and friends know where you are. 

We recommend keeping portable chargers readily accessible so that you can make the most of your technology during an emergency. Keep these tips on how to effectively use your devices in mind.

Applications for News Updates

Checking apps for updates on your smartphone is a fast and easy way to catch up with the latest news in Charlotte, NC. Make sure you have reliable news apps downloaded before inclement weather hits so that you can stay posted on local weather conditions and national updates.

Mark Yourself Safe

Another helpful feature of social media that not a lot of people know to use is the ability to mark yourself as safe. Facebook offers a feature called Safety Check that lets users mark themselves as safe if there is a dangerous situation in or near where you live. Simply updating your status as safe lets family and friends know that for the time being, you are out of harm’s way. The Red Cross has a similar feature called Safe & Well, which is both an app and website, where users can be marked safe.

Use Online Storage

Websites like Google Drive and DropBox ease the stress of possibly losing important copies of identification cards, passports, insurance policies, medical records, pet records, etc. in the event of a disaster. Be sure to scan and save any important documents before inclement weather is expected. 

Make SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County your go-to team when your Charlotte, NC, home or business is in need of any kind of remediation. Call us today at (704) 840-6112.

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Stay Safe After A Flood

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

“Stay safe after a flood” with home in a flooded area and the SERVPRO logo What to do After a Flood

A flood within your home in Charlotte, NC, can be the result of external events such as extreme weather, or it can be the result of internal issues like plumbing failures. During storms, floodwater can cause significant damage to your property, but the main priority is to get your family and pets to safety in flooding scenarios. Once the flood has passed, you can return to your home and assess the damage and begin the cleanup process.

Your house and belongings flooding can be overwhelming, but there are steps you can take to ensure your belongings and property stay safe after a flood. 

Turn off the Electricity 

After you are certain that the flooding in your home has stopped, turn off all sources of electricity in your home. Locate your fuse box before an emergency so that you are prepared to turn off the electricity when it is necessary. Do not walk through the water in your home to get to the fuse box. If the power is unable to be turned off without stepping in water, wait and contact a professional. 

Evacuate the Premises 

If your house has standing water throughout, evacuate and find a safe, dry spot outside of your home. It may be as close as the home of a neighbor or friend. Make sure that everyone is accounted for and unhurt. In the case of a natural disaster, locate a temporary shelter. Help can be found by asking local authorities if needed. 

Avoid Contact With Standing Water

Floodwater can contain different types of contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and debris. Wear rubber boots and gloves if needed but otherwise avoid entering the contaminated water. If contact does occur, clean any areas of contact immediately with soap and water. Don’t allow the water to sit, as bacteria can multiply, and the structural integrity of furniture and home can begin to break down following a flood. 

Document Everything

Be sure to contact your insurer or landlord after a flood on your property. These agencies can sometimes assist with the costs of flood damage and recovering lost items in the flood. Document all of your personal belongings to show your insurer.

Flood water should be extracted as soon as possible to lessen water damage to your home. If you need assistance with your home after a flood, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112.



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Tropical Depression Danny To Move Inland, Missing Charlotte

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

"tropical depression danny to move inland, missing charlotte" with SERVPRO logo Will Tropical Storm Danny Hit Charlotte?

Danny, a Tropical Storm off the coast of South Carolina has now weakened to a Tropical Depression. The storm developed close to the coast, giving it little time to develop. As the storm made landfall Monday evening with wind speeds as high as 40 mph, speeds quickly dropped, lowering the classification to a depression. 

Even though the storm classification has been lowered, it will still bring a few inches of rain as it travels inland at 15 mph. 

The current path of the storm brings it North West towards Atlanta, GA, before it dissipates. Even though the storm won’t make it to Charlotte, NC, expect to see scattered storms throughout the week. 

While Danny likely won’t bring much wind or rain, it is always best to prepare for future storms. Danny is only the fourth named storm of the year, out of an expected 13 to 20 for the 2021 hurricane season. Make sure to prepare your home and yourself for the dangers and damage that can come with summer storms. When prepping for storms be sure to update your emergency ready kit to include all family members and their needs. Even pets should have their own emergency plan

For more information on hurricane season in Charlotte,NC, look at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Hurricane Guide. You can also find more information in our previous hurricane posts

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We Clean Your Business

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

“We Clean Your Business: with orange shapes and the SERVPRO logo Commercial Cleaning Services in Charlotte

While SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is known for water and fire remediation, our team specializes in commercial cleaning as well. 

Keeping up with the demands of cleaning your Charlotte, NC, business space might feel overwhelming. It can be easy to clean visible surfaces and forget about the dirt and grime that is building up behind cabinets, tables, and other hard-to-reach places.

Whether your office space is a bit dusty, your kitchen has months of grease buildup, or your building just underwent a major renovation that left a mess, we can help. Our cleaning process is about more than making your business look clean, it’s about actually cleaning every surface. Our team uses specialized equipment to clean safely and effectively. 

We clean:

  • Air ducts
  • Carpets & upholstery 
  • Ceilings, walls, and floors

Our other services include:

  • Odor removal
  • Contents cleaning
  • Biohazard removal & cleaning
  • Vandalism cleanup
  • Sewage cleanup

When you choose SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to clean your Pineville, NC, business, you don’t have to worry about closing your store or office. We operate 24/7 365 days a year, so we clean when your store is closed. 

Whether your business has been closed for a year and a half or you have been struggling to keep up with demand, it is likely time for a deep clean. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County has the tools to help. Our team gets your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! 

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Easy Packable Lunches for Jobs On The Go

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

“2 easy packable lunches from our team” with pictures of a wrap and pasta salad and SERVPRO logo Easy Packable Lunches for Work On The Go

With many people returning to work in Charlotte, NC, you might not know what to bring for lunch anymore. Our SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team never stopped working, which means we had over a year to perfect lunches that are perfect to eat on the go. 

The perfect lunch on the go meant no microwaving, and the meal had to be able to sit in a lunchbox until it was time to eat. With all that time and those two requirements it came down to two meals: the chicken & bacon ranch wrap and a greek pasta salad. Keep reading to learn how to make these two easy and delicious lunches.

Chicken & Bacon Ranch Wrap

Ingredients:

2 oz. deli sliced chicken

2 pieces of cooked bacon

½ cup lettuce

½ diced tomato

1 tbs ranch

1 tortilla

Instructions:

  1. Lay tortilla flat and line with lettuce
  2. Layer all other ingredients onto the wrap
  3. Roll the wrap tightly and cut it in half.

Tips:

Make sure the tomatoes are dried with a paper towel to prevent them from making the wrap soggy

Add avocado slices to upgrade your wrap. 

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

16 Ounces Bow Tie or Rotini Pasta

1 Cucumber Dices

1 Pint Grape Tomatoes Halved

1 Bell Pepper Diced

½ Cup Sliced Pitted Kalamata Olives

½ Cup Feta Cheese Cubed or Crumbled

? Cup Red Onion Diced

1 Cup Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta al dente according to the package. Once cooked, rinse under cold water.
  2. Combine pasta with all other ingredients in a large bowl and toss until evenly coated in dressing. 
  3. Refrigerate until ready to eat. 


Whether you are looking for an easy lunch recipe for daily lunches, or you are trying to feed a family after a water or fire emergency, we hope these recipes help. If you need help with water, fire, or any other type of disaster restoration, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at  (704) 840-6112, day, or night.

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Flood Safety Tips For People With Disabilities

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

“Flood Safety With Disabilities” with underwater disability parking spot and SERVPRO logo How to prepare for flooding with a disability

If you have a disability you may have planned for fire or other emergencies, but have you created a plan for flooding? If you, a family member, or neighbor have disabilities, creating a flood emergency plan is essential to keeping everyone safe. 

This list is a great way to start your flood safety plan:

  • Establish a personal support network. This can be family, neighbors, or other nearby people who can help get you to a safe place during a flood. Provide them with copies of your emergency plan and include all necessary medical information. 
  • Make a list of medication dosages, necessary medical equipment, and emergency contacts and post it in an easily visible location. 
  • Register with local emergency management, the fire department, and volunteer centers. 
  • Identify multiple evacuation routes from your home and work.
  • Always carry emergency health information and emergency contacts. Using a medical alert tag can help alert those around you if you are unable to. 
  • If necessary, have an alternate form of communication like a whiteboard or notebook and pen. 
  • If you are mobility impaired and live or work in a highrise building, ensure that there is a mobility chair installed in the stairwell. 
  • Create an emergency ready kit and include items like wheelchair batteries, oxygen, medication, food for guide dogs, or any other medical necessities. 
  • Keep a flashlight, whistle, or bell nearby to signal to others if you are in need of assistance.

When flooding occurs in your home it can feel overwhelming, but the most important thing is to stay safe. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to worry about the rest. If you have experienced a flood in your Charlotte, NC, home, give us a call anytime at (704) 840-6112. 

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Fire Pit Safety

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

“Fire Pit Safety” with image of fire pit and the SERVPRO logo How to use a fire pit safely

With summer in full swing, it’s time to roast some marshmallows over the fire, and a backyard firepit is the perfect place to do it. Whether you’ve used your fire put hundreds of times or just installed a new one, learning about fire pit safety is always important. Keep your friends and family safe when you follow these helpful tips: 

Select The Right Site

When you bring a fire pit into your yard, selecting the right location is essential to preventing damage to your property or injuring yourself or others. Fire pits should always be placed on level ground at least 10 to 20 feet away from any structure, or plants. Overhanging trees can easily catch fire when flying embers come into contact with leaves or bark. Trim back trees or find an open area for your fire pit. Some local laws may require a minimum distance from structures, so always check local Charlotte, NC, guidelines. 

To prevent the fire from spreading on the ground, keep the area clear of sticks and other flammable debris. If your ground cover is currently something like mulch or pinestraw, replace it with pebbles, sand, or brick. 

Use Proper Fuel

If you have a wood burning fire pit using the proper fuel is essential to your safety. Always use dry, properly seasoned wood. Using woods that are not intended for fire pits can release toxic fumes or burn too quickly and create dangerous flames. Using soft wood or wood that hasn’t been dried properly can cause pops and crackles. When preparing the wood, always cut the pieces to less than three-quarters of the length of the fire pit, and never use a fire starter or gasoline to get the flames started. 

Safe Seating

When choosing your seating for the fire pit area, opt for chairs that are secured to the ground, or heavier options that are more difficult to move. This prevents people from pulling the chairs too close to the fire. Avoid chairs with flammable materials like polyester camping chairs or flammable outdoor throw pillows. When shopping for furniture, search for non-flammable options that are designed for use near fire pits. 

Fire Blanket & Extinguishers 

In the unfortunate event the fire does spread from your fire pit, it is best to have the necessary safety equipment nearby. Having a fire blanket is essential if someone gets too close to the fire. A fire extinguisher should also be stored nearby, but be sure you have the right class fire extinguisher. A standard kitchen extinguisher isn’t the best choice for putting out multi-use fire, instead be sure you are using a class B or C extinguisher. Once you have the right class, be sure you and those around you know how to use a fire extinguisher properly

If your fire pit resulted in a fire that spread to your home, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. Call us at (704) 840-6112 anytime for all of your restoration needs. 

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What Goes in an Emergency Supply Kit?

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

 “Building an emergency supply kit” with outline of house, desk, and car with SERVPRO logo How to build an emergency supply kit

Being prepared for an emergency is essential. When there is a flood, fire, or other disasters it is easy to get overwhelmed and panic, but when you have an emergency preparedness kit you can relax knowing you and your family have supplies for the next few days. 

So what goes into a disaster supply kit? It is usually a collection of basic household items that are essential in an emergency. These supplies should be able to sustain your family for a few days if necessary. As you bring together all of your items together the best way to store them is in easy-to-carry containers like plastic bins or duffel bags. 

The Basics

When building your kit, start with the basics. These are items that you cannot go without if you are stuck without any other supplies for two days. The things on this list should be included in your home, work, and car emergency kit. These items should be stored in a water-tight container to ensure that they will not be damaged in the event of a water-related emergency. 

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (at least three days of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries and a battery-powered phone charger
  • Whistle
  • Masks (to filter contaminated air)
  • Can opener
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn utilities on or off)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties. 

Additional Supplies

Once you have the basics in your emergency kit, you can take it a step further to keep you and your family more comfortable. Below is a shortlist of the most common supplies to add to an emergency kit, however, your essentials list may look a bit different. Sit down with your family and discuss the items that each family member might require in an emergency. 

  • Prescription and nonprescription medications
  • Eyeglasses 
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes
  • Pet food and extra water
  • Cash 
  • Insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and other important documents (save these electronically and in a fireproof & waterproof container)
  • Sleeping bags
  • Extra shoes and clothes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches

Car Safety

Whether you are planning a long trip, or just preparing for an unexpected emergency on your normal daily drive, having an emergency preparedness kit in your car could save your life. Your kit should include the same basics of a normal kit, but you also need to add a few more items. 

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective cones or triangles
  • Ice scraper
  • Car cellphone charger
  • Blanket
  • Map
  • Sand or cat litter for traction 

Where to Store Your Kit

Knowing where to keep your kit can be difficult. We can’t always know where we will be when an emergency strikes, so it is best to make multiple kits for different locations. The largest kit with the most items should be kept in your home. This kit should be kept in a designated place so that all family members know where to find the kit in case of an emergency. It is best to keep this kit on a shelf in case water enters your home. The second kit should be stored in your place of work. Your work kit should include the basics to sustain you for at least 24 hours, as well as a pair of comfortable shoes. Finally, you should store an emergency kit in your car. This kit should include supplies for multiple different environments as you could be stuck in the snow or the heat. 

Maintain Your Kit

Just putting your kit together and leaving it could mean by the time you need it your supplies are no longer safe to use. It is important to go through your emergency kit once a year to ensure food or medications are not out of date. Rethinking your supply kit every year is essential. As children are born and grow older, pets are brought into the family, and health needs change, your emergency-ready kit should too. 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County understands that emergencies can be scary and can leave you unsure of what to do next. Once you and your family are safe and there is no danger present, be sure to call us at (704) 840-6112 as soon as possible. Any damage that may have occurred in your home should always be remediated as soon as possible. 

For more information on all aspects of your emergency ready kit, head to Ready.gov. Learn more about car safety here

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How to Storm Proof Your Garage

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

 “Storm Proofing Your Garage” with storm clouds and raindrops and the SERVPRO logo How to storm proof your garage

When a summer storm is heading towards Charlotte,NC, you should always check to make sure your home is ready for possible high winds, strong rain, lightning, and even hail. When you begin to storm-proof your home, be sure not to overlook the garage. 

Just one inch of floodwater can cause severe damage to your home, and a garage that is not storm-proofed can easily let in an inch of water or more. So what can you do to protect your garage from the effects of a storm? 

Replace Your Door

Even though Pineville, NC, doesn’t often experience high winds, speeds of 121 mph have been recorded as close as Grandfather Mountain, we still experience high winds during hurricane season. Upgrading your garage door to one that is rated for higher winds can help protect it from being bent and dented during high winds which can impact the seal and let water into your garage. 

Upgrade Your Door

If you aren’t looking to get a new garage door, you can retrofit your current one with storm-resistant upgrades. Retrofitting kits commonly include telescoping lightweight braces that sit vertically above the door and through floor mounts. The braces will also attach to the hinges of the door itself. Once you install the foundations of the kit, the braces can be put up in about 5 minutes, so you can easily prepare your garage doors before a storm. 

Check Your Windows

If there are windows in your garage, this can be a weak point. Check that all windows are in good condition and add weatherstripping where necessary. If your windows are not strong enough to withstand the pressures of a storm, consider putting up storm boards until the windows can be replaced. 

Install Drainage 

As one of the more vulnerable places in your home, sometimes water entering the area is inevitable. If water commonly pools outside of your garage door, consider adding a trench drain to keep water from putting pressure on your garage door. If your garage door is not able to keep water out of your garage, installing a drain inside the garage is a good way to prevent water levels from rising high enough to enter your home. 

Purchase Flood Vents

If your home is located in a flood plain or area that commonly sees quick-moving floodwater, adding a flood vent could save you thousands in garage door damages and foundation problems. When floodwater pushes against a garage door it has the ability to break and bend the door, allowing all of that water to enter your garage and possibly your home. When you add a flood vent to your garage door, it will open to allow water to flow freely between both sides of your garage door. By allowing the water to flow freely you are preventing large amounts of water from quickly flowing into your garage and causing damage. 

If these tips don’t protect your Matthews, NC, home from flooding, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. Our team is “Faster to Any Size Disaster” so your home will be restored in no time. 

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Will I Need New Tile After a Flood?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

“Will I need new tile after a flood?” with a water fountain and the SERVPRO logo Can you reuse tile after a flood?

A flood in your Charlotte, NC home or business never comes at a good time. If your home or business does flood, one of the vulnerable elements of your property can be the floors, which are often completely submerged during a flood. In the process, water seeps in and causes a domino effect of problems. 

Luckily, tile floors are known to fare the best in a flood - tile itself is a waterproof material, however, this does not guarantee that flood water won’t find its way to seep into the subfloor. 

Tile is Resilient

Tile happens to be the most resilient to water damage. While it is semi-porous like wood flooring, it is more likely to release water than wood. In some situations, ceramic tile will dry along with the concrete or plywood foundation below it. 

If the flood was relatively minor, and the floor was not submerged for too long, it may be sufficient enough to just dry everything out with dehumidifiers. 

Be aware of the fact that if water is trapped under the tile, mold can grow without proper mitigation techniques. To prevent this it is important to call your local water damage restoration company as soon as possible because every second counts. 

Why Tile Should Be Removed

The only time tiles may need to be removed is if the tiles and grout have loosened, or the plywood subfloor is too wet and cannot be dried properly. In this situation, the tile will need to be removed so that the plywood subfloor can dry properly. 

Can I Reuse Tile?

You may be wondering if you can re-use the tile if you find yourself in these circumstances. If you are able to remove the tile without breaking it, you technically can re-use it, However, the time it will take you to carefully remove the tile without cracking it, and then chiseling off the mortar that is on the bottom of the tile may not be worth all of the effort such a project would require.

What Next?

When disaster strikes following a storm, flood, or other source of water damage, it is crucial that action is taken quickly. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can assure you that an experienced team of technicians can respond to your situation as quickly as possible and assess the water damage properly. 

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Is Fire And Soot Damage Permanent?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

“Is fire and soot damage permanent?” with SERVPRO logo and fire damage photo. Can I remove soot damage from a fire?

After a fire is put out in your Charlotte, NC, home, it can be overwhelming to deal with the next steps in restoring your living space. The effects of smoke and soot are often unrealized after a fire. However, homeowners should be aware that smoke and soot can cause more damage than the fire itself. After the fire is out, smoke and soot will settle onto the floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, and other surfaces. This can cause severe tarnishing to your home and the belongings in it. Without immediate fire damage restoration following a home fire, these effects can become permanent. 

The Different Types of Fire Damage

Wet Smoke

Homes that experienced a smoldering fire burning at low heat may find wet smoke residue. Wet smoke residue is clammy and sticky, unlike dry soot found in other fast-burning fires. Wet smoke is more difficult to clean because it can easily smear without the right cleaning products. If you notice wet smoke in your home, do not enter the area as you can spread this hard-to-clean soot throughout your home. 

Soot Spreading 

As materials burn, chemical combustion occurs, resulting in soot. Soot is a powdery, black substance that is produced when a fire doesn’t completely burn its fuel source. When the fire occurs, the soot ionizes and becomes attracted to many different surfaces and can also enter your HVAC system and be distributed throughout your home. When the soot enters your air ducts, it is easily spread throughout your house, leading to soot damage in rooms where the fire may not have reached. 

Staining and Odors

After a fire, smoke damage will be visible, but other damage may initially be challenging to see. It is common for smoke-damaged walls to turn yellow after a few days. Marble and granite countertops and exposed wood can also become permanently discolored if not treated right away. Metal can also become tarnished as a result of smoke damage. Clothing and furniture may have residue of smoke and smell like fire because smoke particles settle on these fabrics. Many of these items can be restored if a professional fire restoration company can begin the restoration process immediately. 

When damage is found in your home after a fire, action must be taken quickly. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can assure you that an experienced team of fire restoration technicians can respond to your situation as soon as possible and assess the fire damage properly. 

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Why We Are IICRC Certified

6/12/2021 (Permalink)

“Why we are IICRC certified” with a silhouette in a hardhat with SERVPRO logo what is an IICRC certified company?

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) plays an important part here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Owners Jim Shuman and AnneMarie Shuman from Charlotte, NC pride themselves on employing highly trained restoration specialists with extensive experience.

The IICRC organization was founded in 1972 and has worked to improve the cleaning and restoration industry’s standards so that the customers always get the best service possible. Standards are constantly changing as feedback is received from professionals near and far.

The IICRC and its guidelines instruct how our team carries out most of the work regarding water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration services. 

IICRC Standards

Being an IICRC accredited firm means we have met a precise list of standards in business ethics and expertise:

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require that the technician on any job has been formally trained and has passed all of the required tests.
  • Require technicians to continue their education to keep up with the latest updates in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all of the parties if an accident were to occur.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar entity to solve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of this arbitration.

Our Standards

As alluded to, all SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County technicians must go to an approved IICRC training school to be awarded and learn more about specific industry techniques and standards, including water restoration, fire restoration, upholstery cleaning, carpet cleaning, and applied structural drying. Technicians must prove that they can perform at the highest standards in the safest manner.

Importance of Continued Education

Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we believe that every building is unique and requires different drying and cleaning techniques. We can assure you that our certified technicians have met the criteria to properly perform their jobs in your property.

How Our Certifications Benefit You

Our team being highly trained means that only the best technicians will be sent to your home or business. You can count on your property being in good hands. 

Please contact us at (704) 840-6112 if you would like to know more about SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County and the certifications that we proudly hold. It is important to us that our team is highly educated and trained to be able to handle any size disaster and make it “Like it never happened.”

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Flood Preparedness For Businesses

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

“Flood Preparedness For Businesses” with overflowing sink and SERVPRO Logo How to prepare your business for flooding

In the United States, both man-made and natural flooding are responsible for nearly a quarter of all insurance claims per year. These floods can leave your home or business with severe damage and can result in extremely high repair costs. It is essential for a business to have a plan in place in the case a flood directly affects their property. An effective flood preparedness plan can prevent a business from having to close its doors for more than a day or two following a damaging flood. 

Types of Businesses

Every Pineville, NC, business is unique, but none of them are immune to the dangers of flooding. From factories to restaurants to warehouses, flooding can severely damage any property. Due to the many types of businesses, it is of the utmost importance for a business to recognize their most susceptible areas and items. There is no one size fits all flood preparedness plan, so a business needs to create an individual one that works well for them. If you don’t know where to start, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can help. Keep reading for more aspects of a preparedness plan, and don’t forget, we offer custom ERP’s for your business.

Employees

It is necessary that every employee of a business is aware of what to do in the case of a flooding emergency. First, they need to know of evacuation procedures to prevent the risk of any injury occurring during an emergency. Additionally, each employee needs to know what to shut down/turn off during the exit process in an effort to prevent further property damage. A business should have emergency contact information available to all employees in case of a flood related emergency. 

Flood Preparedness Kit

In the event of any emergency, a business should always have an emergency kit prepared to protect and take care of the employees. More specifically, a business should always have a flood preparedness kit on deck just in case. These kits should contain everything from first-aid materials to tools and equipment. 

Fixing a Flood

In the case that your business is affected by any kind of flooding, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will be there to effectively take care of any damages caused. We can be reached at (704)-840-6112 and will be ready any time day or night to help you in your time of need. 

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Do I Have to Move Out After a Fire?

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

“Do I Have to Move Out After A Fire?” with fire-damaged house and SERVPRO logo Do I have to move out after a fire?

A fire in your home can cause serious damage. Your home and many of the things in it may be damaged by flames, heat, smoke, and water. Things not damaged by the fire still may be ruined by smoke and may end up soggy with water used to put out the fire. Firefighters may have broken windows and cut holes in the roof to slow the fire’s growth. They also may have to cut holes in your walls to make sure that the fire is entirely out and not hidden in the walls. 

Entering your home can cause further damage to the structure. Be very careful when entering not to touch or disturb the fire-damaged items.

When fire damages your Charlotte, NC home, you often can be unsure of what to do next. Fire damage can be dangerous, and life-changing. The fire department will determine if your home is safe to move back into after a fire. However, there are steps you can take to determine if it is necessary to move out of your home.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Family

Contact your local disaster relief service, they will help you after the fire to find food, clothing, medicine, and a place to stay. If you have pets, find and comfort them after a fire and be sure to keep them away from the house until clean-up has been completed to keep them safe. Do not enter your home unless the fire department says it is safe.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

Right away following a fire, it is important to contact your insurance agent and ask them what to do first. When you contact your insurance agent, ask and understand what is covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance, organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Community Groups can possibly assist you in restoration after a fire.


 SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County specializes in fire restoration. We remove any fire damage and clean and restore your personal items that may have been damaged. If you have experienced a fire in your home, give us a call any time, day or night at (704) 840-6112.

Day Trip To Grandfather Mountain

6/6/2021 (Permalink)

“Day trip to grandfather mountain” with watercolor mountains and the SERVPRO logo Daytrip from Charlotte to Grandfather Mountain

Here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, we recognize that work can take a toll. It is important to manage your time outside of work, and doing physical activities is a great way to better your mental and physical health. Following a year-long pandemic, getting fresh air is more important than ever. Today we will be discussing a potential day-long adventure that is both healthy and enjoyable for people of all ages. 

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is a 300-million-year-old mountain located in the Northwest Region of North Carolina. The mountain is home to a wide array of animal and plant life, and its peak is located 6,000 feet up. Located in Linville, the mountain is about a two-hour drive from Charlotte. Taking the family to the mountain would be a perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and enjoy a scenic hike. The hike can last anywhere from 4-5.5 hours, so combined with the drive, a trip to Grandfather Mountain can be expected to be a day-long adventure. With this hike being quite long, it is of the utmost importance that you bring water and stay hydrated throughout the day. 

The Three Peaks

This hike has three different peaks that each come with different time and distance requirements. MacRae peak is a more manageable goal for new hikers as it is the closest and least strenuous hike of the three. To reach Attic Window Peak, simply climb down the ladder from MacRae peak and continue on the trail for an additional .3 miles. For those looking for a challenge, Calloway peak will be right up your alley. Calloway Peak is the highest point on the mountain, reaching a height of 5,964 feet. 

Other Outdoor Activities

For those that don’t like to hike, Grandfather Mountain offers live wildlife exhibits as well as a mile-high swinging bridge for those brave enough to try it. 

Local Favorites

Following a strenuous hike, it is important for everyone involved to get much-needed nutrients in their system. Luckily there are a handful of highly-rated restaurants just miles from the bottom of the mountain. Old Hampton Store and BBQ is a perfect candidate with a 4.5-star rating. Additionally, Mildred’s Grill is well respected and less than a mile from the parking lot at the base of the mountain. If you are looking for something sweeter, Kilwin’s Ice Cream Shop will be the perfect destination. With a plethora of highly-rated restaurants nearby, we highly recommend taking a breather after exploring the historic Grandfather Mountain. 

What Next?

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County hopes you decide to take a journey to Grandfather Mountain in the near future! Don't forget to take proper hiking gear and plenty of fluids to stay hydrated during the hike. We hope that every day is as relaxed as this one, but If you happen to have water damage in the near future, feel free to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County

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My Bathtub Overflowed, Now What?

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

“My Bathtub Overflowed, Now What?” with white bubbles and a yellow rubber duck and the SERVPRO logo. Water damage restoration after overflowing bathtub

Routine activities at home that seem as innocent as bath time are not necessarily free from causing accidents. For instance, a busy parent juggling his or her responsibilities while overseeing a child’s bath could leave momentarily and return to the bathroom floor and nearby hallway covered in water.

While some of the overflow can be cleaned up immediately, some consequences do not reveal themselves on the surface or right away. Mold and microbes can develop within hours, and with enough moisture exposure, the flooring can delaminate.

If an accidental bathtub overflow occurs in your Charlotte,NC home, the skilled team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can restore your property back to its prior condition. Our technicians prioritize fixing all the damages and preserving your property so that you can return to living in your home in its best condition as soon as possible.

SERVPRO’s Cleanup Technologies

Our highly trained restoration specialists possess The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), meaning that they are certified to employ the best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, and other cleaning and restoration courses. The sophisticated cleanup and sanitation tools used to restore your home include:

  • Extraction tools to assess water removal for both the structures and the contents.
  • EPA-registered antimicrobial solutions that remove bacteria, mold, and other potential sanitation risks from water damage.
  • Moisture sensors, meters, and thermal imaging to measure moisture levels and calculate drying goals.
  • High-powered centrifugal air movers and dehumidification equipment to isolate and remove the moisture from surfaces and from the air.
  • Deodorization equipment, including thermal foggers, remove water damage odors at the particle level by penetrating the surfaces.

How SERVPRO Saves Your Home from Water Damage

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County’s extraction tools, including mops, squeegees, rovers, and extractor wands, can remove moisture from a variety of surfaces such as carpet and pad, drapes, upholstery, and drywall.

Water extraction is much more effective than relying on drying with just air movers and dehumidifiers. It also lessens the risk of secondary damages that could be created by overworked or underutilized drying equipment.

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is committed to making your home look “Like it never even happened.” Call (704) 840-6112 to begin the water removal and extraction process with our trained and certified technicians. 

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Tornado Watch VS. Tornado Warning: Know The Difference

5/30/2021 (Permalink)

"tornado watch vs. warning" with picture of rural area and SERVPRO logo Storm watch vs. warning: protect yourself from storm damage

Weather can change in an instant in Charlotte,NC , and you must be prepared when storms arise. Tornadoes can occur frequently in North Carolina. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes can be deadly. They are capable of completely destroying structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects as large as cars and houses through the air. Tornadoes can occur any time of year, but they are most common during tornado season, which is March through June. Tornadoes are most common in the central plains and the southeastern United States but have been reported in all 50 US states, including North Carolina. In fact, we have seen tornadoes as recently as a few weeks ago! 

If you know what to do before, during, and after a tornado, you can minimize your risk of injury. Being prepared begins with knowing when to properly take precautions during stormy weather. Stormy weather can quickly escalate from a tornado watch to a tornado warning.

Tornado Watch

A tornado watch means be prepared! Tornado watches are issued by county storm prediction sites, as they monitor severe weather. These sites will tell you whether tornadoes are possible in your area. If your area is in a tornado watch, first of all, remain calm. Take action by reviewing and discussing your emergency plans. Additionally, check on your supplies and make sure they are up to date, and make sure your safe room is ready if a tornado comes your way. Once a tornado watch has been issued, it can quickly turn to a tornado warning, so be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Being prepared before a watch turns to a warning can help save lives.

Tornado Warning

A tornado warning means it is time to take action. A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radars. Your life could be in danger in tornado warning situations. Tornado warnings encompass a small area such as a small county, so if a warning has been issued in your area that means a tornado is likely very close. Take action and move to an interior room on the first floor of a building, avoiding windows. If you find yourself outdoors or in an unsteady building such as a mobile home, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect and cover yourself from flying debris. 

Knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning can save lives. If you experience damage after a tornado or any type of storm, give SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County a call at (704) 840-6112.



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Memorial Day 2021 Safety

5/30/2021 (Permalink)

On Memorial Day this Monday, May 31st, we remember and honor those who fought and served our country. 

Memorial Day not only is a time to reflect and remember those who served our country, but also a time to take a moment to relax and spend time with loved ones. 

Memorial Day weekend is often when the weather begins to warm up in Charlotte, NC again for summer, and people begin to travel and spend more time outside. 

With the increased travel and activity for the long weekend, you can take steps to prepare and stay safe during Memorial Day weekend.

Driving Safety

Roads will be busier during the long weekend, especially with people having time off of work and traveling. To stay safe on the roads, be well-rested and alert when driving, use seat belts, observe the speed limit, and follow the rules of the road. Make sure you are extra cautious. If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who is not under the influence and can drive safely. Be sure to have enough gas to get to your destination, and always carry an emergency supply kit in your car in case of emergency.

Grilling Safety

Everyone loves to grill during the holiday weekend. When grilling during the holidays, be sure to always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Grills can become very hot, and if left unattended, could burn someone or start a fire nearby. To prevent this, never grill indoors, and do not grill around tents, campers, or other enclosed areas. Make sure that pets and children stay away from the grill to avoid getting burned. Use long-handled tools on the grill to keep the chef safe and away from the flame. 

Water Safety

Recreation in the water is often popular during Memorial Day weekend because the weather has just begun to get warmer. If swimming, be sure to always monitor children near the water and actively be within an arms’ reach to assist kids. If in the pool, be sure to follow rules and regulations and be aware of whether or not a lifeguard is on duty. On lakes and rivers, be sure to pack and wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. Come prepared for any situation, and know what to do if someone is in trouble in the water, and call 911 if needed.

Be safe this Memorial Day! For more safety recommendations, read all of SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County's blogs on our website, or call us at (704) 840-6112. We strive to keep your home and your family safe this holiday season!

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We Pack-Out Your Home or Business

5/29/2021 (Permalink)

One of the many services that SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County specializes in is pack-out and content restoration for your home or business.

Let’s say you have had a minor fire or flood in your Charlotte,NC home or business. One of your many concerns is keeping your sentimental items safe from damage. Photos from important events, indicators of big milestones, and holiday decorations passed down from many generations are just a few of the valuables that you hope are out of harm’s way.

When worries like this creep up, you need a reliable team that can assure you that they will relieve you of this stress - this is where our professionals here at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County come into the picture and make it "Like it never even happened."

When your home or business experiences fire or water damage, our professionals can properly pack out all of your belongings and perform content restoration. As always, we will treat you and your belongings with the same amount of respect and care.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your Charlotte,NC home or business is in need of extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire or water damage, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can conduct an organized, efficient plan of action. Move-out services can provide many benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protection of items from possible damage
  • Protection of contents from further on-site damage

If your home needs items packed and stored, we are there for the entire process. We safely pack and catalog all of your items so you can rest easy knowing your belongings will be safe. Not only will we pack your items, but we transport and store them for you so there is no hassle with storage locations. 

When the restoration process is complete, our team will work alongside you and your needs to coordinate moving back in. Such pack-out and move-in services may vary according to your insurance coverage.

Content Restoration

If any of your possessions are affected by fire or water damage, our expert technicians can restore them with our content restoration process. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County's expertise and priority to restore your keepsakes rather than replace them can help prevent the loss of irreplaceable items. Our team of professionals will assess your belongings to determine which of your items can be restored to its original condition. We utilize several methods of cleaning including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective method to remove moderate to heavy residues
  • Spray and Wipe - An effective method for items that cannot withstand wet cleaning
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface that is being cleaned
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product

If you ever find yourself needing such services after damage has been done to your keepsakes, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112. We pride ourselves on the fact that we can quickly restore your home to its desired condition in an efficient manner.

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2021 Hurricane Season Is Approaching

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

"2021 hurricane season is approaching" with image of palm trees during a storm and SERVPRO logo hurricane season storm damage

A hurricane is a rotating, low-pressure weather system that forms over tropical waters. When a storm’s maximum sustained winds speed reaches above 74 miles per hour, it is called a hurricane. 

The Atlantic hurricane season, which affects Charlotte,NC, normally begins on June 1st and goes until November 31st. It is important to be aware of and be prepared for hurricane season. Hurricanes can be extremely dangerous due to high winds and flooding, and can sometimes be fatal.

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center as of May 20th, there is another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2021. 

How Many Storms Will There Be?

In 2021, there will be around 13 to 20 named storms, where wind speeds are expected to be 39 miles per hour or higher. Of these, 6 to 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher. 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) are also predicted to occur. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. 

The National Institute of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences has urged residents of coastal regions to be prepared for a hurricane season full of unprecedented flooding and intense storms, much like the 2020 season presented.

How Do I Prepare?

Hurricanes can be dangerous and damage your home and property. You can prepare for these storms by always having emergency supplies readily available. Emergency supplies include everything you need in case of a storm, including water, a flashlight, a blanket, and enough food for you and your family to last until help arrives or the storm passes. 

Additionally, create a plan for disasters with the people that live in your household. In this plan, include where you will meet friends and family should a storm separate you, how you plan to evacuate if needed, and how you will secure your home and belongings in the event of an evacuation. 

Finally, evacuate as soon as possible to stay safe from the storm. If there is time, secure windows and doors on your home by affixing wood or metal to your windows to prevent glass from breaking in high winds.

If you have experienced home or property damage due to a hurricane or tropical storm, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can help, simply call us at (704) 840-6112.



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What To Do Until Help Arrives

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

"What to do until help arrives" with picture of a burnt house roof and SERVPRO logo Fire disaster remediation

Dangerous situations can arise in an instant in Charlotte,NC, and it may be necessary to call 911 in the event of an emergency. If you call 911, once the proper paramedics, fire fighters, or police have been dispatched, there are steps that you can take until help arrives. Many emergencies are unforeseen and can cause great harm and damage such as water, fires, and storms. Follow these three steps to stay safe and avoid further harm while you wait for help to arrive.

1 Don’t Panic 

The first instinct you may have in an emergency situation is panicking. Keeping calm is very important, as panic will only escalate the situation and make it more difficult to get the necessary assistance. It is easier said than done, however, taking steps such as taking deep breaths and focusing on the situation at hand can help you stay calm. 

2 Prepare for Help to Arrive

While waiting for help to arrive, make it easier for emergency services to find where you are located. Turn on porch lights to make your home  more visible, put pets away, and unlock the door to provide an easier path for anyone responding to the emergency.

3 Provide Comfort/ Aid

Provide comfort to the victim or victims in an emergency situation by reassuring them that help is on the way. Provide any necessary first aid to the victim with supplies that you have on hand.

What To Do After An Emergency Until SERVPRO Arrives

You may be at a loss of what to do with the damage to your home after emergency services leave, but before SERVPRO arrives. However, there are many steps you can take if you experience fire, water, or mold damage.

Fire Damage

After a fire in your home, limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded in upholstery and carpets. Keep your hands clean, so as to not further damage upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and carpet high-traffic areas. If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open.

Water Damage

After flooding in your home, remove any excess water by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood items. Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions. If it is summer, turn on the air conditioning for maximum drying. Don’t leave anything out in the water such as furniture, books, colored carpets, or loose items. If furniture is too heavy to move, simply place tin foil or wood blocks underneath the legs to keep water away from the furniture. Don’t use the television or other household appliances, because they could cause electric shock.

Mold Damage

If there is mold damage within your home, stay out of any affected areas. Turn off the HVAC system and any fans. Don’t touch or disturb the mold, or blow air across the areas that are suspected to have mold. Don’t attempt to dry or clean the area with disinfectants yourself.

Being prepared until help arrives can greatly assist in an emergency situation. If an emergency situation damages your Matthews, NC, home or business, give SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County a call at (704) 840-6112.



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Stay Safe During Summer Storms

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

While we most often think of spring as the time of year with the most rain, summer storms can be severe as well. In fact, hurricane season is quickly approaching. North Carolina’s hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. 

While storms can be unpredictable, there are still steps you can take to stay safe during all summer storms. If you need to prepare your business for summer storms or other emergencies, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can help create an Emergency Ready Plan. Contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to learn how we can help prepare your business for emergencies. Prepare for storms with these tips: 

Before The Storm: 

  • Put together an emergency supply kit
  • Unplug any electronics
  • Secure any objects outdoors
  • Shutter windows and secure doors

During The Storm: 

  • Seek shelters indoors 
  • Use a battery operated radio to stay up to date
  • Stay away from windows and doors

After The Storm: 

  • Never drive through flooded areas
  • Stay away from downed power lines
  • Stay away from areas that have sustained storm damage

For more information on hurricane season in Charlotte,NC, look at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Hurricane Guide. You can also find more information in our previous hurricane posts

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Levels Of Commercial Damage

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

“Levels of commercial damage” with broken glass and the SERVPRO logo Commercial water damage

One of the areas that SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County specializes in is commercial damage and restoration.

Many factors can cause commercial damage in your Charlotte,NC home, foreseen or not, including water, fires, and storms. Regardless of the source of the damage, the time needed to repair what needs tending to can be costly for a business, its employees, and its customers. 

There are three levels of commercial damage that we suggest you be aware of. This grading system is used to determine the level at which your property is evaluated and classified as so that proper mitigation can begin.

Level 1

Level 1 is small commercial losses that typically involve no more than 15,000 square feet of affected floor space. If the facility was completely affected, small commercial losses may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or an administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small segment of a larger structure.

Level 2

Level 2 is midsize commercial losses that typically involve between 15,000 and 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will usually be large multi-level structures or greatly divided spaces. Once again, if the facility was completely affected, Level 2 incidents may reveal themselves as a small multi-family property, a midsize school or church, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. Similar to a Level 1 loss, a Level 2 loss can be just a portion of a larger structure.

Level 3

Level 3 is large commercial losses usually involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floorspace. The involved building or buildings are normally large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, a Level 3 loss can be a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. At this level, it is appropriate to refer to the project at hand as a “large loss.”

Once our professionals determine the level of loss, the property will be further assessed, and a team will be assigned to get the job done quickly and efficiently so your business can continue operating. 

If your commercial property has experienced damage of any kind, give SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County a call at (704) 840-6112

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Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 Proudly Recognizes SERVPRO in Top 10 Ranking

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has recently been named by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #10 ranked franchise in their franchise 500. If this title was not enough to be proud of, SERVPRO has also been recognized as Entrepreneur’s #1 franchise in the Clean Up and Restoration division. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is honored to be a part of this notable brand, which currently has more than 1,700 franchises all over the United States and is still growing. Our network offers many service lines not limited to water mitigation, fire restoration, storm response, mold remediation and most recently, COVID-19 cleaning.

When you choose SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to provide damage remediation, our professionally trained team will quickly respond and provide nothing short of excellent customer service from the start of the mitigation process to the minute our team leaves. We value honest communication as we treat your property as if it is our own. Being a locally owned and operated location, we live alongside your family in the community, as do many of our employees. We are always here to help when any disaster hits our community. 

What Next?

If your Charlotte,NC, home, or business is in need of clean-up or restoration services, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is only a call away at (704) 840-6112. Our team serves the neighborhoods of Charlotte, Pineville, Matthews and the surrounding areas, and we look forward to easing the process of property remediation.

To read the full article, head to Entrepreneur.com

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Creating an Emergency Pet Plan

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County knows that pets are like family which is why we created this guide so you can keep your pets safe during an emergency. It is always a good idea to have a plan so you are ready for emergencies, but you should also include pets in that emergency plan. 

3 Things To Keep Your Pets Safe

  1. If it isn’t safe for you to be in your home during an emergency, your pet isn’t safe either. If you have to leave your home for any reason, be sure to take your pets with you. 
  2. Include pet supplies in your emergency supply kit.
  3. Have an emergency evacuation plan that includes your pets. If you need to evacuate be prepared with a list of hotels that are pet-friendly. Since many hotels will not allow cats or dogs, even during an emergency, it is a good idea to know the local hotels that will allow pets. 

Emergency Pet Kit

  • Leash, harness, and pet carrier 
  • Bowls for food and water 
  • Food, water, and any medications your pets need
  • Poop bags, litter box, and fresh litter
  • Copies of medical records
  • Current photo of you with your pet in case they get lost
  • Information on feeding schedules, medications, medical conditions, and information for your vet
  • Pet bed and toys

Emergency Pet Plan 

  • Have multiple hotels on your emergency plan that allow pets. During weather-related emergencies, hotels can fill up quickly so it is important to always have backup options. 
  • Have a list of friends and family who can care for your pet in an emergency.
  • Practice having your pets enter their carriers so that during an emergency they will not be scared. 
  • Have your pet microchipped or invest in a collar with a tracking device. 

For more information on creating your emergency pet plan visit the American Red Cross and the Humane Society website.

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Staying Safe As Temperatures Rise

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

As the temperatures rise, so does fun in the sun. Families travel near and far, go on outdoor adventures and cool off in the nearest pool or ocean. Wherever the warm days may take you, it is important to remember that high summer temperatures can pose a threat to the safety of you and your family.

Charlotte, NC summers can be long and hot, but with proper education, the heat doesn’t have to hold you back from your summer plans. 

How to Stay Safe During Summer Heat

  • Stay as hydrated as possible. Keep drinking water even if you do not feel thirsty and continue refilling that water bottle. 
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Lighter shades reflect light, while darker colors draw the sunlight towards you. Just remember, light colors will cool you off, dark colors will heat you up.
  • Limit your outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is at its hottest. Try to plan outings when it is cooler in the morning or in the evening. 
  • Know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, exhaustion, and stroke so that you know how to effectively react. 
  • Look for ways to help your community.  Share how you are staying safe this summer on Facebook or other social media outlets where your friends and family engage with your posts. 

Heat is not the only danger to you and your family during the summer. Summer storms and other weather hazards can put your Pineville, NC, home at risk too. As temperatures rise, so does the likelihood of certain weather hazards. The National Weather Service (NWS) advises you to be ready if the following weather hazards arise:

  • Floods
  • Drought
  • Rip Currents
  • Air Quality
  • Wildfire
  • Lightning

Be sure to check in next week for more information on summer storms and how you can keep your whole family and home safe. 

We hope these tips will serve you and your families well on the days when the temperatures are higher than usual, or when the summer storms are more brutal than you are used to. If your Matthews, NC, home does experience a disaster this summer, do not hesitate to give us a call at (704) 840-6112. 



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Creating An Emergency Ready Kit

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

Emergencies are never planned and not being prepared can cause more complications than necessary. Having an emergency ready kit or ERK can come in handy during many disasters. Whether your home has been flooded, suffered fire damage, or storm damage, an ERK can get you through the next few days. An ERK can be kept in your home, car, or at work. 

Create your own ERK with advice from FEMA. Add these supplies to your ERK so you and your family can be prepared for any disaster that comes your way. For more supplies that should be in your ERK head here.

  • Water (One gallon per person, per day for at least two or three days)  
  • Food (Three day supply of non-perishable food) 
  • Battery or hand crank radio 
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit 
  • Batteries 
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask 
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to make a shelter
  • Sanitizing wipes and garbage bags
  • Wrench, pliers, or other tools
  • Can opener
  • Maps
  • Battery powered chargers for cell phones
  • Prescription medications 
  • Cash or checks
  • Important documents (things like insurance cards and bank information)

Maintaining your emergency ready kit

  • Keep the kit in a cool dry place
  • Check the kit every year for outdated food
  • Update the kit as your family changes (think about things like formula or diapers) 

Where should you keep your kit?

  • Home: Keep the kit in a place that is easy to access when quickly leaving your home. Make sure the entire family knows where your ERK is located.
  • Work: Your work ERK should be enough to sustain you for at least 24 hours. This kit should include food, water, medicine and other basic necessities. 
  • Car: Getting stranded in your car could leave you without supplies for multiple days. Keep normal ERK supplies in your kit, along with these extras.

Download FEMA’s ERK checklist here

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Armed Forces Day

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

It’s Armed Forces Day, so we want to stop and say thank you to all of those who are serving our country. We recognize the sacrifices both you and your family make for our freedom. Thank you to all of those who are part of the Air Force, Army, and the Navy

How To Celebrate Armed Forces Day

If you want to do something special to commemorate all of our armed forces, you can plan your own picnic or party to celebrate the armed forces in your life. If you want to go bigger, join the Rowan County Veterans Council for their Armed Forces Day celebration. This Saturday, May 16th at 10:00 Am there will be a ceremony commemorating all of our armed forces. The celebration will take place at the Patriots Flag Concourse at City Park. 

For more information on the celebration, head to WBTV.com



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Is It Safe To Live In My House After A Flood?

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

If your Charlotte,NC, home has flooded, you may be wondering if it is safe for you to continue living there. Whether or not it is safe to continue living in your home depends on multiple factors, and may be best answered by a water restoration expert. To help you assess the situation follow along to learn what factors affect whether or not your home is safe to live in after a flood. 

Water Category

Depending on the source of the water, the water that enters your home could make your home unsafe to inhabit. If the water is category 1 or category 2, it is likely safe for you to enter the home. If flooding is caused by category 3 or black water you should not enter the affected area until after the remediation is complete. Depending on the situation, category 3 flooding could require you to vacate your entire home during the restoration process. To learn more about how water in your home can affect bacteria growth, head to the CDC website

The Affected Areas

If the affected areas are spare rooms, or rooms that are not necessary for you to stay in the home then it is possible you will be able to stay. If rooms like the bedroom or bathroom are affected, you may be unable to stay in your home. 

The Restoration Process

Depending on the extent of the restoration process, it may just be to loud or intrusive for you to stay in your home. During the remediation process there will likely be many fans and dehumidifiers throughout your home, as well as a team of restoration technicians removing any damaged materials or furniture. This process can be loud and could disrupt your daily life, especially if you work from home. 

In some situations chemicals are used to protect your home from any bacteria or mold growth, which could be hazardous to family and pets. 

No matter what the answer is to these questions, it is always best to have a professional water restoration expert inspect your home and help you decide whether or not it is safe to continue living in your home. If you have had a water-related disaster be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County at (704) 840-6112.

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We Are Faster To Any Size Disaster

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

No matter the type of damage, whether water, fire, or natural disaster, one thing is certain; the longer you wait, the costlier the repair. 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is a firm believer in timely mitigation to manage any damage to your property. Many other restoration services have you wait to be put on their schedule, leaving you out of luck when your property is in jeopardy. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County isn’t like that, here is our policy that sets us apart from other restoration companies. 

1 hour - Within one hour of notice of a loss, our admins will contact you to arrange for service that works with YOUR schedule and addresses the loss right away. 

4 hours - Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will be on-site to inspect and start services. 

8 hours - Within eight hours, customers will receive a briefing on the scope of damage and what mitigation efforts are needed. 

These guidelines are what every SERVPRO franchise expects to meet, including your local SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.

What Next?

If you have experienced an emergency in your home, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened."
(704) 840-6112 

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Happy Cinco De Mayo

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

It’s officially the fifth of May! That means it’s party time! But do you know why we celebrate Cinco De Mayo?

What is Cinco De Mayo?

Cinco De Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over France at The Battle of Puebla on May fifth of 1862. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco De Mayo is not Mexican independence day. Mexico declared independence 50 years before The Battle of Puebla. 

Why Do We Celebrate?

Today, we celebrate Cinco De Mayo in the United States to celebrate Mexican heritage. Celebrations often include parades, parties, mariachi bands, and Mexican folk dancing. 

Where To Celebrate In Charlotte?

There are likely thousands of great places to celebrate Cinco De Mayo in Charlotte, NC, but we have a favorite. Stop by RuRu’s Tacos & Tequilas for our favorite Mexican dishes and drinks. Make sure to go early to avoid long lines, and don’t forget to be safe!

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How Appliances Can Start Fires

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Our everyday lives would be made much harder if it weren’t for the appliances we surround ourselves with. Newer technology and appliances are equipped with more and more features, which means more circuitry. However, appliances can increase the risk of electrical fires in your Charlotte, NC home or business

Your home’s extensive electrical system and electrical appliances can cause an electrical fire.

Unlike a fire that starts with a visible flame, electrical fires tend to happen within a wall. They come to our attention after they have already broken through the barrier they started behind, and that is when action must be taken.

If you notice a fire break out in your home, be sure to follow our tips on proper fire extinguisher use and confirm that your smoke alarms are properly installed.

In 2015, the National Fire Protection Agency(NFPA) reported over 500,000 structure fires in the United States. Common home appliances that can cause a fire are dishwashers, dryers, microwaves, refrigerators and toasters. 

Prevent Appliance Fires With These Tips:

  • Ensure that the installation of your home’s electrical wiring system remains updated and sufficient.
  • Replace outlets when they are old or damaged
  • Avoid overloading power strips, using damaged power cords or running an extension cord under a rug.
  • Never remove the third prong from a power cord.
  • Look out for issues with your circuit breaker, burning smells, hot outlets, flickering lights and sparking or buzzing outlets.



If your home or business in Charlotte, NC has experienced an appliance fire, we are here t0 help! SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can help with additional questions or concerns at (704) 840-6112!



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National Military Appreciation Month

5/2/2021 (Permalink)

May is a month of remembrance and thanks, for those who have served our country, those who currently serve, and the families of our military members. Memorial Day isn’t the only time to stop and thank our military, there is also Armed Forces Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

Join SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County as we honor the service and sacrifice of the Arny, Navy, Air Force, Coast Gaurd, Marines, Space Force, National Guard, and their families. This is a month where we thank those who have sacrificed themselves for our freedom.

Since 1999 National Military Appreciation Month has brought the focus back to our military. This month is to remind Americans of the sacrifices that have been made for their freedom. 

The team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wants our military to know that we appreciate their hard work and sacrifices.

Baby-Proofing Your Home

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Are you expecting? We know that the top priority for Charlotte, NC, parents is to keep your children safe. To help keep your family safe we have created a helpful guide to baby-proof your whole home. So, whether you are expecting your first child, updating your home, or are moving into a new space, it is important to make sure your home is safe for your children. 

Start Big

When you start baby-proofing your home, start broad. Fix any broken windows or cabinet doors, check for splintering floors or loose nails, and look around for peeling paint. Check smoke detectors and install new ones if needed. If you live in a historic home, have paint checked for lead. Check your water heater for leaks and turn the temperature down below 120 degrees to prevent any baths that could be too hot for your baby. For any upright furniture in your home, add an anti-tip kit to prevent furniture from falling. 

The Kitchen

The next step is the kitchen. With sharp knives, heavy cookware, and cleaning chemicals the kitchen can be a dangerous place for babies. We recommend installing a baby gate if your home allows it. Whether you can install a baby gate or not, extra safety precautions should be taken. Install cabinet locks on all cabinets to keep little fingers out of dangerous places. These should be used on drawers too as they can contain dangers too. The next step is to remove any chemicals from below the sink, or other cabinets that are low to the ground and move them to a locked cabinet that is out of reach. 

If your dining table has a rug underneath it we suggest removing it until your children are older. Rugs can create instability which could cause your table to wobble or even fall over. You will likely also find yourself cleaning spilled food out of your carpet quite often. 

Living Room

The living room tends to be where families spend most of their time, and where children often play. With such a high traffic play area it is important to protect children from any collisions or falls. If you are shopping for new furniture, opt for soft corners and high-performance fabrics that resist stains and are easily cleaned. If you are keeping existing furniture, cover any corners with stick-on corner covers. 

Any unused electricals outlets should be filled with childproof coverings to prevent electrocution or a fire mishap. Blinds can also be a safety concern. Cords on blinds can easily become a strangulation hazard, prevent this with cordless blinds or swap them out for curtains.

The Nursery

Your baby will likely spend a lot of time in the nursery, so it is important to keep this space cozy and safe. Add plush carpeting to protect your baby from falls. Opt for an accent wall rather than hanging art on the walls above the crib or changing table. Accent walls are a great way to create interest in a room without having anything your baby can grab and pull down. 

Bathroom & Laundry 

The bathroom and laundry room can be dangerous with medications, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies. Move all of these dangerous items to locked cabinets that are out of reach of small children. Adding a lock to the toilet is a smart way to prevent curious children from coming into contact with germs or crushing little fingers. 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County knows that keeping your children safe is your number one priority. We are dedicated to keeping you and your family safe which is why we write these helpful articles. Keep checking in for more information on your home and safety. 



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Can A Curling Iron Start A Fire?

4/24/2021 (Permalink)

“Can my curling iron start a fire? Beauty with a potential risk” with a picture of a gold curling iron curling a strand of br That burning smell maybe more than just your hair!

What is that burning smell?  It might be something worse than just burning hair trapped in a curling iron!  As innocent as it might seem, a curling iron can do a lot of damage to your  Charlotte, NC home if not properly used and stored. 

Curling irons often exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit, despite safety regulations recommending a maximum of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooling down from high temperatures can take over 30 minutes. This puts many household items at risk of being ignited by a nearby curling iron whether or not it is powered on, so make sure you keep flammable items far from your hair tools.

Curling irons are heated by an electrical resistor, and if left on for too long, the iron’s circuit board could start a home electrical fire. Even curling irons with an automatic shut-off feature are at risk of starting fires. 

Numbers don’t lie - a report from the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) states that personal grooming appliances, including curling irons, caused an estimated 234,000 fires. 

Tips to prevent a curling iron fire:

  • Don’t overload bathroom outlets
  • When your hair is done, unplug the iron to avoid a fire or simply a burn to the surface it is placed on → make this a habit!
  • Use the built-in rests that are usually on the iron’s grip so that it doesn’t lay on the countertop
  • Buy a silicon mat if your curling iron does not have an attachment for it to rest on

Being one of the last items that people put down before going out, it is no surprise how often people forget to turn it off or unplug it from the wall.

To protect yourself and your family, always pay attention to where hair tools are, follow all safety instructions, and unplug any tools not in use. Using tools at high temperatures can risk a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home if you are not careful.

Don’t worry, if your Charlotte, NC home experiences an electrical fire, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is never more than a call away. Our highly trained technicians are experienced in fire damage restoration and can assure you that you’re in good hands.

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What Are Soot Webs?

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

When you are in the Fire Restoration business, you see a lot of damage caused by fires. Sometimes fire damage is hidden behind walls or in attic spaces, while other Charlotte, NC, fires cause more visible damage. We’ve seen all levels of damage over the years, and one phenomenon that mystifies some of our customers is soot webs. Soot webs also referred to as soot tags, are nothing to fear. 

While it might look like a gigantic “fire spider” has come into your home, we can assure you, that is not the case. Soot tags have nothing to do with spiders and are actually caused by a combination of air circulation and soot. 

Soot tags happen when petroleum or synthetic-based sources burn in areas with low circulation. When a fire is burning in your Pineville, NC, home, or business the hot air will move to cooler areas to create an equilibrium. As the soot from these petroleum or synthetic sources rises it travels with the air into colder areas with lower circulation. As the soot concentrates in these low circulation areas they are able to create long chains of soot. The long chains are created because the soot is charged from the combustion process, making it attract other similar particles. 

While you might be worried that soot has coated an existing spider web, or the elusive “fire spider” has been in your home, the reality is much more simple. 

If your home or business in Matthews, NC, and the surrounding areas experiences a fire emergency, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. We are always Faster to Any Size Disaster so that we can help restore your home or business to its original state. 

If you have more questions about soot tags or other fire-related damages, be sure to chat with us online or over the phone. (704) 840-6112 

Find more fire-related information from the National Fire Protection Association, the Charlotte Fire Department, or the Pineville Fire Department

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Three Summer Day Trips From Charlotte, NC

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

As the weather in Charlotte, NC, heats up we love the idea of taking a weekend trip and getting away from the city. Here are some of our favorite day trip ideas. 

Lake Lure

You may not have heard of Lake Lure before, but you might recognize it as the backdrop of Dirty Dancing.  

The drive east is under two hours from Charlotte, NC, making it the perfect day trip. At Lake Lure spend the day swimming and fishing or getting a boating permit for the day and spend the day out on the lake. 

Uwharrie National Forest

With over 50,000 acres, Uwharrie National Forest is a great place to explore on a warm summer day. The forest has so much to offer with Badin Lake and dozens of trails and camping sports. Only an hour and fifteen minutes from Charlotte, Uwharrie National Forest is perfect for a day hike or a weekend of camping. 

 Wilmington

Spend some time by the sea in Wilmington. The drive is on the longer side at about three hours, but the drive is worth the reward. Spend time at the Airlie Gardens or the First State National Historical Park.

Greenville

Just an hour and forty-five minutes away is Greenville. Just across the border in South Carolina, Greenville has dozens of top-tier restaurants and a beautiful river walk. Check out the suspension bridge and the Upcountry History Museum during your trip. 

We hope these three destination ideas helped with your next weekend getaway. As always, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is Faster to Any Size Disaster, so be sure to call us if your home or business experiences an emergency. 

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Flood Preparedness For Vacation Homes

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Do you have a vacation home? Whether that home is in CharlottePineville, Matthews, or somewhere else, there is always a risk of flooding. Is your vacation home prepared for a flood? Your safety considerations will help keep you and your guests safe. 

Think about the dangers of a flood and how that could affect your guests. Are there large trees nearby that could fall? Are power lines nearby? Think of all the possible dangers in the area when planning to prep your vacation home. 

Create a document for “What to do in an emergency” for your guests. Post this document in visible places like the fridge. Put maps, local shelters and emergency contact numbers and your contact information in case of a flood or other emergency. 

Write up a guide for emergencies with instructions for gas or battery powered items for use if the power goes out. Create a power outage kit with battery-powered flashlights, extra batteries, and a backup phone charger. Seal the items in a water-tight container. Add a fee that will be charged to guests who open the kit in a non-emergency situation to prevent guests from opening the kit unnecessarily. 

Consider providing emergency provisions like canned or dried food. This is an inexpensive way to ensure you or your guests don’t go hungry in a severe situation. 

Consider a limited liability policy in your rental agreement to avoid a situation where guests demand a refund if the power is out for an hour or two. 

Any emergency plan that you do create should be shared with anyone who works on the property or visits the property. 

Whatever you choose to include in your emergency plan and your kits, be sure to make all guests aware of the plan and supplies.

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A Recipe From Our Crew

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

"lily's old fashioned maple donuts" with a picture of donut holes and the SERVPRO logo Lily is an AMAZING Baker!

When our team isn’t working hard in Charlotte, NC, on water, fire or mold restoration, they spend time on their own hobbies. Our Social Media Manager, Lily Zay, loves to bake and she was so excited to share her recipe for Old Fashioned Maple Donut Holes. 

Donuts may seem like a daunting undertaking, but this recipe is easy, so even beginning bakers can make these delicious treats.

The Donuts

  • 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg 
  • ½ tsp cardamom 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ? cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Canola oil for frying 

The Glaze

  • 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 3 tbs grade A maple syrup 
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 3-4 tbs milk

In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt. Create a well in the center and set aside. 

In the bowl of a standing mixer beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and thick. Slowly add in the melted butter and beat until combined. Add half the sour cream and beat until blended, then add the other half. Once completely blended pour the mixture into the well in the dry ingredients. 

Use a spatula to gently fold the ingredients together until just combined. Put the dough into plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. 

Heat oil in a fryer or a heavy-bottomed pot to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to keep the temperature consistent throughout the entire process. 

Lightly flour a workspace and roll the dough to a  ½ inch thick. Using a small circular cutter, cut out the donut holes.

Once the oil is heated gently place 4-5 donut holes into the hot oil. Once the donuts float to the top wait 30-60 seconds for them to turn golden brown. Once they have browned, flip and allow to cook for an additional 30-60 seconds. 

Using the frying basket or a slotted spoon, remove the donuts from the oil and place them on a drying rack with paper towels underneath. 

While the donut holes are cooling begin the glaze. Melt the butter and using a whisk mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, and 3 tbs of milk. If the glaze is too thick add more milk as needed. 

Once the donut holes are cooled dip into the glaze and allow to dry on the cooling rack until the glaze is dry to the touch. 

Be sure to save this recipe and let us know if you try it!

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Fire Damage Can Cause Water Damage

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

When a Charlotte, NC, business suffers fire damage, the sprinkler system should put out the fire. However, after the fire is out there is often a lot of water left behind. 

When sprinklers go off they release 8 to 24 gallons of water per minute which can easily make its way to lower levels and damage your business. 

Once the building has been deemed safe to enter by the Charlotte Fire Department call in SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to be your fire restoration specialist. We will get there quickly to keep smoke and water damage to a minimum. 

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What is an ERP?

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

You may have heard the term ERP before but do you know what it means? An ERP stands for Emergency Ready Profile and it helps save your business time and money in the event of a disaster. 

Our staff completes the ERP on your business's property. Any maintenance employee or office staff can be present as we create the profile. Using an iPad our staff will go around to things like shut-off valves, electrical boxes, emergency exits and other important places. The ERP will also include emergency contact numbers for utility services.

In the event of a disaster at your Charlotte, NC, business you can open up the ERP and quickly contact SERVPRO or any other emergency contacts. If someone needs to know how to shut off the water or switch off breakers all of that information will be at their fingertips in seconds with the ERP. 

Contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to schedule your complimentary ERP today. 

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How Fire Extinguishers Reduce Property Damage

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

Once a fire has started in your Charlotte, NC, business, or home, it is important to jump into action quickly. Before taking action it is important to know the proper action to take. The size of the fire will determine what you should do next. If the fire is large, it is best to evacuate everyone from the building and call the Charlotte Fire Department to put out the fire. With a small fire, a fire extinguisher may be able to save your property from serious damage. 

It may seem scary to stop and put out the fire rather than leaving the building, but there are a number of reasons why this is recommended. Putting out the fire quickly can save thousands of dollars. If you stop the blaze early enough, there is an opportunity to reduce smoke damage, soot damage, and possible water damage. 

You could even prevent having to fully evacuate the premises. When using a fire extinguisher remember to use the PASS method. It is also important to properly maintain your fire extinguisher properly. When the fire is completely out or the fire extinguisher is empty stop and leave the premises until the Pineville Fire Department arrives. 

Whether your Matthews, NC, home or business was the victim of a small kitchen fire, or something much larger it is important to call in the fire specialists to perform cleanup and restoration services. Bringing in  SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County means our team of highly trained technicians can get your home or business "Like it never even happened," in the quickest more comprehensive way. 

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What Happens After A Sewage Backup

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

A toilet overflow is horrible enough, but if a clogged pipe causes a sewage backup, it is a much bigger deal. In addition to a plumbing bill and water damage, sewer water is also extremely unsanitary. In order to avoid even more damage, it is best to get the cleaning process started immediately. With sewage backups, we never recommend doing it yourself. Exposing yourself to category 3 water can be very dangerous and not following proper protocol can mean your home does not get properly cleaned. In the case of a sewage backup, always call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. When we begin the cleaning process this is the typical checklist: 

  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It is absolutely essential to wear PPE while handling the raw sewage cleanup process. Always wear rubber boots, coveralls, gloves, a respirator and goggles.

  1. Shut Off Utilities

Utilities must be shut off before any work begins. Water, gas and electricity should be shut off to the area. Always let a professional do this if it is in a dangerous area. 

  1. Extract Standing Water

If there is standing water it is essential to get the water out quickly and safely. A wet/dry vacuum is often the best method to remove standing water and any other debris. 

  1. Remove Contents

Once utilities have been shut off and water has been removed, belongings should be removed as well. Salvageable items will be separated from unsalvageable items. Anything that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and entirely dried within 48 hours should be disposed of. Carpet and upholstered furniture are generally unsalvageable in these types of disasters. Drywall also usually has to be cut out and replaced. 

  • Clean And Disinfect

Using a detergent we will clean the area as thoroughly as possible. Every crevice and area where water may have splashed will be cleaned. Once the entire affected area has been cleaned, we will then use a sanitizing solution to disinfect everything the water may have touched.

  • Dry

The final step of the process is to dry the area. It is always best to have the area completely dry within 48 hours as mold can grow quickly. Our technicians will use dehumidifiers and fans to remove any remaining humidity. 

If your Charlotte, NC, home or business sustains category 3 water damage, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County immediately to avoid extreme damage. 



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The Cost Of Water Damage

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

After a flood in your home, you should call your local water restoration company to assess the damage. When you call SERVPRO there are multiple factors that affect the quote you will receive. Whether the water came from a pipe or a river, water has permeated the walls and floors and any number of things can drastically change the restoration process and cost. 

The cost of restoration is based on two factors, cleanup and structural repairs. The cleanup is where SERVPRO comes in. Our team comes in to remove the water and repair any damage that was caused by the water. Once our experienced technicians have removed the water and dried the area it is time to call in a repair team. Often, the repairs drive the cost up more than the restoration. 

During the average water damage incident, the cost of restoration is between $1,100 and $4,500. This average does not apply to extreme cases which can be much more expensive than this range. Depending on your insurance, you may only need to cover the deductible. 

The cost of water damage can vary greatly depending on the square footage of your home. In general, the cost per square foot is between $3.75 and $7.00. The cost per square foot is heavily based on the type of water that flooded your home. If the flood is caused by category 1 water the price will likely be on the lower end of the spectrum. If the culprit is category 2 water you can expect something closer to $4.50 per square foot. For category 3 water the price will be closer to $7.00 per square foot. 

Every situation is different and prices can vary depending on many factors. The prices above are national averages and only SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can tell you exactly how much the restoration process will be. 

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For more information look at Basement Guides Average Cost of Water Damage Restoration and SERVPRO Prices

The Cost Of A Fire

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

After a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home or business one of your most pressing questions might be how much the restoration process will cost. There is no average fire, so it can be dangerous to start with only looking at the average cost and assuming your situation will match the average. Here are some questions that can help understand the cost of the restoration process:  

Damage:

Some fires may only damage a small portion of your home, others may distribute extensive smoke and some may cause serious structural damage. The extent of the damage is based on multiple factors and this is something that only a fire remediation specialist can answer. 

How The Fire Was Extinguished:

Depending on how the fire was put out, there could be more extensive damage than just a fire might cause. If the fire is put out with water there could be extensive water damage in the area of the fire as well as below it. A fire extinguisher may cause less damage, but is generally only used on smaller fires.

Looking At The Cost:

Once the damage has been assessed your local SERVPRO will create a quote for your insurance company. In most situations, insurance will cover all of the costs and your only cost should be a deductible. Your insurance company could be covering restoration costs that are as low as $2,000 to over $70,000, with an average of $37,000. For more information click here.

The best way to know what your cost will be is to contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to assess the damage and estimate restoration costs. It is also important to contact your insurance company after fire damage as well. 

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Does Home Insurance Cover Water & Fire Damage If You Are At Fault?

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

If your Matthews, NC, home sustains water or fire damage your first thought is likely how you will afford restoration costs. If the damage was your fault you may be concerned about what insurance will cover. Learn about how home insurance can help when water and fire damage in Charlotte, Mathews or Pineville is your fault. 

There are usually two types of coverage in a home insurance policy, dwelling coverage and personal property coverage. Dwelling coverage covers the damage done to the structure of your home while personal property coverage pays for personal items that were damaged. 

Every policy is different and many policies have deductibles that will have to be covered.

If a pipe bursts insurance likely covers the damage, however, if the burst happened because of a lack of maintenance, then coverage may not apply to the damage. Insurance will also not cover the item that broke. So if the washing machine breaks, insurance will cover the floor, but not the washing machine. 

Sewer backup damage is also not covered by insurance in most cases, but separate coverage is often available to protect from this. 

If there is fire damage in your Pineville, NC, home, insurance will cover the damage as well as any possible hotel bills if the home is unsuitable. Landscaping may also be covered if there is a wildfire. 

This doesn’t apply if you deliberately start a fire. If you start a fire on purpose and that fire gets out of control, you will likely be liable for all associated costs. 

If your Charlotte, NC, home does have fire or water damage make sure SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is your first call. 

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How To Prevent A Kitchen Flood

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

When your Matthews, NC, home floods, there is a good chance it originated from the kitchen. In most situations, there are multiple appliances that connect to water supply lines. It is important to know that if there is water damage in your kitchen, it can easily spread throughout the home and cause damage well past the kitchen. The best way to prevent this from happening is to periodically check appliances to reduce the chance of an incident.

Dishwasher: over time, the water supply line for your dishwasher can degrade. This degradation can lead to water leaking in the enclosed areas under and behind the dishwasher. The supply line could even rupture entirely. Checking this line twice a year is the best way to prevent any leaks. To find the water supply line by removing the kick plate at the front of the dishwasher and use a flashlight to inspect the area. If there is water, turn off the water supply and call a plumber. 

Under Sink System: In some homes, there is a water filtration system beneath the sink. Over time the lines can degrade and rupture. If this line cracks there can be substantial flooding in the kitchen. Check the filtration system and supply lines twice a year for any defects. 

Refrigerator: While it may seem like too much work to move the refrigerator, it is important to check all supply lines. When moving the fridge be careful not to kink or break the water supply line, pushing the fridge too close to the wall can kink the line while pulling it too far out can over-stress the line and cause a rupture. If your fridge has a plastic supply line it is best to replace it with copper or stainless-steel as they have better durability. 

Being prepared for a disaster in your Pineville, NC, home is the best way to prevent it. So make sure to regularly check appliances to avoid any catastrophic water damage in your home. If you do have a water disaster in your Charlotte, NC, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened." 

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Noisy Pipes? Here's Why

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever been trying to sleep and noisy pipes keep you up in your Charlotte, NC, home? Whatever the situation, loud pipes can be extremely disruptive. Hearing pipes move in your walls might cause some worry about expensive repairs. Often times the noise is caused by three fixable issues: 

  1. Loose Connections

The most common cause of a noise pipe near the faucet isn’t a burst pipe, but a loose or worn-out washer. This is often fixed by tightening the screw in the handle of the faucet. If the noise isn’t coming from just one sink it may be best to call in a plumber in Pineville, NC, to take a look at the issue.

  1. Faulty Ballcock 

If the sound is similar to rushing or hissing it is most often from a toilet. Often this is caused by an old ballcock in the tank of the toilet. Replacing the mechanism in the tank should correct the noise.

  1. Rapid Cutoffs

A loud hammering or banging when turning the water on or off could signify a rapid shutoff. That constant banging and movement can cause loose connections or leaks if it is not solved quickly. 

As you can see, there is often an easy solution to noisy pipes. Hearing a noise doesn’t necessarily mean costly repairs, but it does mean it is time to investigate the cause. 

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Are Renters Responsible For Flooding?

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

When you rent out a home in Matthews, NC, your tenants expect a safe place to live. In addition to maintaining your property, you need to be ready for a water loss. 

Your first question will likely be: are my renters responsible for any water damage? In most cases they are not. As the landlord it is your duty to keep the property’s plumbing in working condition. If the water damage is caused by a pipe, faulty appliances, HVAC units or a natural disaster the landlord is usually responsible. In some cases the renter can be at fault for damage if their personal appliance causes the damage. In most cases the landlord is not responsible for any damage to the renters belongings. 

Signs of water damage to watch for: 

Because you, as a landlord, are responsible for most cases of water damage it is important to be vigilant. As a landlord you probably already check your property at least once a year. During these inspections keep an eye out for these signs.

  1. Changes in wall and ceiling surface texture: any bending or sagging of plaster or drywall is a sign of water damage. Look for bubbles or cracks that may indicate water. 
  2. Odors: When water leaks behind walls it can often be slow enough that it is invisible. While you might not be able to see the damage, mold and mildew can grow causing odors. Mold can be cause effects to the health of any tenants, to it is important to contact a water restoration company to address both the water and mold. 
  3. High utility bills: If you or your tenant notice unusually high utility bills, it can be an indication of a hidden leak that needs to be addressed immediately. 

If your Charlotte, NC, rental property has experienced water damage, be sure to contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened."



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Fire Safety With Disabilities

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Living in a home when you or a family member has disabilities brings unique risks when a fire breaks out, here is how to prepare.

  • Sprinkler Systems: having a sprinkler system installed in your home can keep fires small and give people more time to escape a fire. When choosing a home look for one with a system already installed. 
  • Smoke Alarms: Install smoke alarms using advice from our blog post. It can also help to use sealed long-life batteries for people who are not able to change batteries easily. 
  • Escape Planning: Every home should have an escape plan and practice a drill with everyone in the home. Keep a phone near the bed to call for help if you are unable to escape by yourself.
  • Contact The Fire Department: Have your local fire department review your escape plan. Some fire departments keep a directory of people who need extra assistance as well as service animals. 
  • Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Smoke alarms with strobe lights are an important addition to a home with anyone who is HOH. Special pillows or bed shakers are also helpful when you are asleep. 

If your home or business experiences a fire disaster, be sure to contact a fire restoration company to remediate the damage. 


Additional resources are available on the National Fire Protection Association website.

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Fire Risks in Rural Areas

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Living in a rural area puts you and your family at higher risk for death, loss of property, emotional and economic impact from a fire. Here are common problems to look out for:

  • Heating is one of the more common causes of residential fires and deaths.
  • Heaters like wood stoves are the root of most heating fires. 
  • Barn fires and other farm building fires are most often caused by damaged electrical equipment. 
  • Rural homes and farm buildings are less likely to have smoke alarms. 

If your home or business experiences a fire disaster, be sure to contact a fire restoration company to remediate the damage. 

Additional resources are available on the National Fire Protection Association website. 

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Fire Risks in The City

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know living in a city has different fire risks than rural areas? Living in Charlotte, NC, means that there are areas of higher risk. Areas with limited resources, high-crime and multicultural communities have higher instances of fires.

Older cities and buildings are at a higher risk due to electrical equipment that is outdated or damaged. 

Rates of intentional fires are also elevated in larger cities. 

To read more reports from the National Fire Protection Association follow this link

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Can Air Condition Units Cause Water Damage

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Air conditioning is a must in your Charlotte, NC, but are you aware of the damage that A/C units can cause? Without regular maintenance air condition units can leak and cause significant water damage. So what are the causes of an A/C unit leak in your Pineville, NC, home?

Condensate Drain Line: The condensate drain is a critical component of the HVAC system. As your air conditioner runs it creates humidity, that moisture has to go somewhere so the condensate line helps remove the water from your home. If the drain is clogged, that condensation will back up and leak causing mold and other water damage. If the drain line has been disconnected or was not installed properly this can result in standing water. 

Drain Pan: Before water goes down the condensate line it is collected in the drain pan. If the drain pan is not cleaned or traded properly it can rust, crack or mold. Any of the issues can cause water to be pushed elsewhere. Once again, these issues can result in mold and other water damage. 

Condensate Pump: In order for water to travel through the drain line, the condensate pump has to push it through the system. If that pump fails, the water won’t be able to make it through the condensate line. 

Evaporator Coils: While the most noticeable effect of a dirty evaporator coil is a high energy bill and warm air, it can also be the cause of water damage. With buildup on the evaporator coils condensation can develop and cause leaks. Regular HVAC maintenance includes cleaning the coils to prevent issues like this. 

Any of these issues can be prevented by regular HVAC maintenance, but if you do have water damage caused by an A/C unit leak, be sure to contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, your Matthews, NC, water restoration company.

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Is There a Difference Between Partial and Total Losses?

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

After a loss in your Matthews, NC, home or business you may be wondering what the restoration process will look like. If you have had a partial loss there will likely be restoration and repairs required, if there is a total loss you may need a complete rebuild.

If only a particular area of your Pineville, NC, home or business has sustained fire damage, while other areas only have smoke or heat damage. The most common types of partial loss are burnt or charred building materials or contents, heat-damage or smoke damage. If the building is still structurally sound it can still be classed as a partial loss. A total loss is a situation in which the property damage is so extensive the entire building has burned down or is no longer structurally sound. 

In a partial loss, restoration is still an option. This will involve cleaning and restoring the building. Even if part of the structure needs to be rebuilt, as long as the remaining sections of the building remain structurally sound, this would be classed as a partial loss. 

Fire damage in your Charlotte, NC, home or business will likely damage some contents. Getting a professional inspection can help with your claim settlement. The assessment should include fire, heat and smoke damage. The best situation is when the insurance policy covers the entire replacement cost of the item, rather than the value with depreciation. 

If you have experienced a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts will help assess the damage. Oftentimes fire damage can appear more minor than it actually is. An experienced fire restoration company like SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can inspect and identify the extent of the loss and assist with the property insurance claim. 

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What Happens After a Furnace Flood

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Waking up in the morning to find a soggy mess of carpet and drywall. Where did it all come from? If your furnace is the source of the flooding it can be a major problem. 

After a furnace flood is not the time or procrastinate and it is not a DIY project. As a Charlotte, NC, business or homeowner you should seek help immediately. 

  • Is The Furnace Okay?

If there is water near a furnace it is always better to proceed with caution. Water could have gone near the circuits or gears, possibly causing an electrical fire. The best way to prevent fires is by bringing in a water restoration company like SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Our team will assess the damage and determine the best cleanup method. While waiting for the professionals to show up, it is important to shut off the gas and electricity and then leave the area while you wait. 

  • Will I Need a New Furnace?

After a furnace flood, there is a danger to the entire building. Most often it is recommended to replace the unit. After water comes into contact with a furnace there is a possibility of rust that replacing individual parts cannot repair. The safest choice is to replace the furnace with something new. 

  • What Other Steps Should I Take?

When there is a floor it is always possible moisture and microbes enter the duct system. It is always best to have your crew check the duct system for moisture as well as mold. 

After a furnace file, always call in the professionals to create a remediation plan to make it "Like it never even happened."

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The Danger of Power Outages

3/5/2021 (Permalink)

Power outages are a major annoyance, with no internet and no TV, but what about your home? When the power goes out there are some critical appliances in your home that will stop working. 

Sump Pump: these pumps, generally located in basements, prevent water from entering the ground. Without power no water is being removed, potentially allowing water into your home.

Heating Units: Both gas and electric units rely on electricity to keep your home warm, and without heat, your home can get cold fast. If the temperature is below freezing turn faucets on to drip to prevent freezing and bursting pipes. 

Freezer: Ice can build up in a freezer, and when it begins to melt, that water puddles. The best way to manage ice melt is to put a cookie sheet below the door to catch any drips. If you try to open the freezer to remove the ice, cold air escapes speeding up the process. 

The best way to prevent any issues during a power outage is to purchase a generator. If you do choose to install a generator, or you already have one, be sure to follow generator safety


If you experience storm damage, call in the experts at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County 


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How to Maintain Your Fire Extinguisher

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

It is always important to maintain fire extinguishers, checking your extinguisher occasionally can ensure it is in working order in case of a fire. Here’s how to keep your fire extinguisher working properly:

Easy Assess: Your fire extinguisher should also be easy to access. There shouldn’t be anything blocking it or limiting the ability to reach it.

Pressure Level: Many fire extinguishers have pressure gauges to show when the pressure is high or low. If the pressure is not in the normal range it may be time for a new extinguisher.

Damage: The can, hoses and nozzles should be inspected for damage, dents and rust to ensure all the parts are working properly.

Cleanliness: Dust, oil and grease should be cleaned off the extinguisher. 

Guidelines: Depending on the extinguisher they need to be maintained differently. Some should be shaken monthly, others should be pressure tested on regular intervals. Be sure to check the manufacturers guidelines to keep your extinguisher in proper working order. 

If a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home caused damage before you could put it out, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.

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For more fire extinguisher safety visit the FEMA website.

Do You Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher?

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Having a fire extinguisher on hand in your home can save lives, but even if you do have one, do you know how to use it? When a fire is burning through your home is not the time to learn how to use a fire extinguisher. When using a fire extinguisher use the word PASS:

Pull the pin. While holding the fire extinguisher, point the nozzle away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Whenever using a fire extinguisher it is important to be safe, never point the nozzle at another person and it is not recommended that children operate extinguishers. 

If a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home caused damage before you could put it out, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.

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For more fire extinguisher safety visit the FEMA website.

When to Use Your Fire Extinguisher

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers can save lives and stop fires before significant damage occurs in your Charlotte, NC, home. So when should you use that fire extinguisher? Before you use that fire extinguisher you need to answer yes to these questions:

  • Have I alerted everyone in the building that there is a fire?
  • Has the fire department been contacted?
  • Can I physically use a fire extinguisher?
  • Is the fire small and contained (like a pan or trashcan)?
  • Am I safe from smoke?
  • Is there a clear escape route?

If you aren’t sure about whether it’s safe to use a fire extinguisher, and for situations where you cannot answer yes to all of the above questions, alert others, leave the building and call 911. 

If a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home caused damage before you could put it out, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.

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For more fire extinguisher safety visit the FEMA website.

Did You Know There is More Than One Type of Fire Extinguisher?

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Having a fire extinguisher on hand in your home can save lives, but even if you do have one, do you know how to use it? When a fire is burning through your home is not the time to learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Here is what you need to know about fire extinguishers:

You probably have a fire extinguisher in your home, but do you know what kind it is? Do you have the right kind? There are five classes of fire extinguishers and they each put out a different type of fire.

The five types:

  1. A: These are used on things like cloth, wood and paper and are most commonly in homes and businesses.
  2. B: This class is used on combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gas and oil. These are also common in homes and businesses.
  3. C: Electrical equipment such as appliances and tool fires are best put out with a C fire extinguisher. C class is common in homes and businesses. 
  4. D: Class D is for use on flammable metals and is found in factories. 
  5. K: Commercial kitchens such as restaurants use K extinguishers as they are best used on vegetable oils, animal oils and fats used for cooking. 

While these are the most common types of extinguishers there are also multipurpose fire extinguishers that can be labeled as “B-C” or “A-B-C.” Class A through C is commonly carried at home improvement stores.

If a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home caused damage before you could put it out, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.

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For more fire extinguisher safety visit the FEMA website.

Greasy Sink?

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Leftover grease is something no one likes to deal with, so it can seem like an easy solution to pour it down the sink, here’s why you should never do that. 

No matter how much soap and hot or cold water you pour down with the grease, the grease can still congeal and cling to pipes. This can cause blockages in your pipes. Even heavy detergents that claim to be tough on grease may be no match for grease that clings to your pipes.

If grease backs up your pipes it can lead to leaks and cause water damage and mold.

The safest and easiest way to get rid of old grease is to pour the hot grease into a can and let it cool. Once it has solidified it can easily be thrown in the trash.

If a water leak in your Charlotte, NC, home has caused water damage, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened." 


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Do You Know Fireplace Safety?

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Fireplace with white brick surrounding Fireplace Safety Tips

Brrr...it is cold outside! A warm cozy fire can be wonderful in the winter but it can easily turn into severe fire damage in your Charlotte, NC, home. 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg county wants you to be both cozy and safe!  We have some tips to share to keep you that way!

Get your fireplace cleaned and inspected yearly. 

  • Over time, a sticky flammable substance released by wood-burning called creosote can build up in the chimney.
  • If a chimney isn't cleaned creosote can build up and the chimney can catch on fire.
  • Chimney fires are both dangerous to the inhabitants and to the chimney.
  • Leaves and animal nests can also build up in chimneys during the off-season.
  • A level one inspection will ensure a sturdy chimney and necessary cleaning for both gas and wood-burning chimneys.

Only burn dry, seasoned wood

  • For the best fire, your wood should contain about 20% water.
  • Fresh-cut wood can contain up to 45% making it hard to catch fire, produces more smoke and creosote builds up faster.
  • Properly seasoned firewood is cut and dried for six months to one year. It should have dark edges and visible cracks and be lightweight.
  • Putting other materials like paper, cardboard or foam can cause extreme flames and toxic smoke posing a danger to people nearby. 

Check the damper

  • A damper is a plate or valve that controls the airflow in your chimney. This is what keeps wind and rain out when the fireplace isn't in use.
  • Before starting a fire be sure to open the damper all the way to allow the fire to start and allow smoke to flow upwards.
  • After the fire is strong the damper can be closed partially to keep heat in while letting smoke out. 

Install carbon monoxide detectors

  • Carbon monoxide is produced from burning wood and if this builds up indoors it can cause serious problems.
  • Be sure to install a detector near the fireplace and in bedrooms to protect from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Be sure to follow all of these steps to enjoy relaxing by the fire safely. For more information on fire safety, the National Fire Protection Association is a good resource.

To see more fireplace safety tips in action check out this video.

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Three Ways SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Restores Items After a Fire

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

white couch cleaned and restored after fire damage White sofa restored to brilliant white after being covered in greasy soot!

You walk away from the stove for a moment, you leave a burning candle unattended, or you think the ashes from the fireplace are cool enough to throw away and in an instant, you have an emergency!

A fire in your Charlotte, NC, home or business may leave you worried about whether your property or contents can be restored. Fortunately, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County has multiple services and tips on how to restore items.

Here are three common methods our highly trained technicians apply to your contents to restore:

Washing

  • The most common way to clean items after a fire is washing with special cleaners.
  • Depending on the size of the item and whether they are mechanical or not we may use a rag to wipe the soot off, or we may soak the item.
  • Even upholstery can be cleaned with our special cleaners for furniture.
  • We also have a special chamber where we apply an ozone treatment to remove lingering odors.
  • After we wash and dry all of your items they will be moved into storage until the restoration process is complete.

Dry-Cleaning

  • Items that are sensitive to liquids like certain fabrics, mechanical items and electronics may be cleaned with powders rather than liquids.
  • This method involves laying powder over the surface and wiped away.
  • A fine scrub brush may also be used. 

Freeze Drying

  • Freeze drying is often part of the salvaging process for important documents that were damaged by water used to put out the fire.
  • This process removes the water from paper without exposing it to further damage.
  • The restoration service can also offer to make digital copies as well. 

If your home or business experiences a fire emergency, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened."  

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Winter Storm Hits Charlotte

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

With low temperatures, rain, sleet and ice it is important to be prepared. Here is what you should know about the storm.

  • Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect as freezing rain and sleet hit north of I-85. 
  • Freezing rain and sleet could cause ice on roads and other surfaces. Trees and power lines can be damaged and fall from low temperatures and ice. 
  • In addition to freezing rain heavy rainstorms may cause flash flooding.

With this dangerous weather be sure to follow our tips on protecting pipes from freezing temperature. It is also important to prepare your property for winter weather, read our blog post to protect your home.

As this weather continues in the Charlotte, NC, area be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County if your home or business has a water or fire disaster. 

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Is There Water Behind That Wall or Under the Flooring?

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

technician mitigating mold and water damage Water damage mitigation

Oh my goodness! We hear this question often!  It is usually followed with, "I dried the water up, so I think it is fine".  That is until a couple of weeks later when we get a call about a strange smell, buckled floors, and black growth on the walls.  Read on to learn how to avoid the later scenario!

Water damage can come from many sources in your Charlotte, NC, home.

  • Most types of water damage, like burst pipes and floods, are easy to notice, but leaks behind walls and under the flooring are not always so easy to see.
  • By the time homeowners see a leak coming from the wall, ceiling, or flooring, it has often caused a significant amount of damage.
  • Leaks hidden in walls can be especially difficult because flooring, drywall, support beams and sheetrock can absorb the water.
  • If a leak is left long enough it can cause structural damage in your home and raise restoration costs. 

Even though you think you have dried it up with that mound of towels and put a fan on it for a few days, the water is most like still there.  It can often seem invisible, but there are a few signs to look out for:

  • Musty odors
  • Flaking or peeling paint
  • Mold growth on walls, ceilings and baseboards
  • Visible water stains
  • Warping walls and flooring

If you notice any of these signs it is a good idea to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to use our expertise and state of the art equipment to help you discover the source and the extent of the damage.

A water loss is something that always requires immediate attention, and should be remediated by professionals.

If you suspect sudden or long term water damage in your home, make sure you call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened."

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Ladder Safety

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

image of ladder that says ladder safety and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Ladder Safety

After a water or fire disaster, chances are you will find yourself on a ladder at some point.  We would prefer that you let us assume the risk and perform the mitigation for you, but sometimes after a disaster, you feel like you need to "do something" to make things better. 

We understand how our clients may feel while they begin to face the damage from their water of fire loss. If you are going to get on the ladder,  SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wants to make sure you are following proper ladder safety.

We have an IICRC Health and Safety Certified technician on staff.  In addition, our teams always follow OSHA guidelines to keep technicians and our customers safe.

Here are OSHA ladder safety guidelines we follow: 

  • Always read and follow all labels, markings and warnings on the ladder.
  • Avoid electrical hazards - Always look above the area you are working in for power lines and never use a metal ladder when working near electricity.
  • Always maintain 3-point contact while climbing - Keep either two feet and a hand or two hands and a foot on the ladder.
  • Only use ladders and accessories for manufacturers' intended purpose.
  • Keep any slippery material off of ladders.
  • Always fully open and lock step-ladders or other self-supporting ladders before putting any weight on it. 
  • Place ladders on stable and level surfaces. If the surface is unstable, secure the top or bottom of the ladder to prevent falling.
  • Never place a ladder on top of boxes, barrels or other unstable elevated surfaces. 
  • Do not move ladders while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
  • When using a ladder to reach an elevated surface make sure the ladder extends three rungs above the surface. 
  • Place the base of the ladder a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or vertical surface. 
  • If the ladder is in an area where other work activities could move the ladder it must be secured to prevent displacement. 
  • Be sure extension ladders are properly locked. 
  • Never exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Make sure to factor in the weight of any tools. 
  • Have a second person to help spot you and steady the ladder.

Our SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team always follows OSHA and IICRC guidelines when remediating water and fire disasters. 

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Where To Install Smoke Alarms In Your Charlotte NC Home

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage in Charlotte NC

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wants you to be safe!

Having smoke alarms in your Charlotte NC home and business is an important way to protect your property from excessive damage and save lives.

Did you know that where you install them matters?

  1. It is important to place smoke detectors in the best locations to fully protect your home or business.
  2. Follow these steps from the National Fire Protection Association
  • Choose smoke alarms that are tested by a recognized laboratory 
  • Put a smoke detector in each bedroom
  • Install alarms in the living room, den, and or family room 
  • Place alarms at the base of any stairs 
  • Smoke alarms should always be at least 10 feet away from any cooking appliances
  • Never install an alarm more than one foot away from the ceiling 
  • Don’t install alarms near windows, doors or other drafty areas.
  • Don’t paint over alarms as it can interfere with the device 

To find more information on placement and testing smoke alarms please visit the National Fire Protection Association website. 

If your home or your business experiences fire damage, please call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened." Stay Safe!


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Generator Safety

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo SERVPRO Logo

Next time a big storm hits your Charlotte NC  home it may take the power out with it. Portable generators can provide the help needed to get through a power outage, however, there are some safety tips that should be followed when using a generator. 

  1. Keep Generators Outside and Away From Other Structures: having a generator running in an enclosed or even partially enclosed area can cause carbon monoxide to build up to deadly levels. Keeping generators at least 15 feet away from any open windows to keep any carbon monoxide from entering the building. 
  2. Keep Generators Dry: Never use a generator in a rainy or wet area. Operate the generator under a structure to keep water off and always operate on a dry surface.
  3. Disconnect Incoming Power: Before turning on the generator discontent the normal source of power to the structure. 
  4. Properly Ground the Generator: To prevent any shocks or electrocution ground the generator. Follow OSHA guidelines to safely ground the generator. 
  5. Never Use Extension Cords: Using heavy-duty out-door extension cords to connect appliances, never use indoor or ungrounded extension cords. 
  6. Safely Refuel: Before refueling the generator turn it off and let it cool completely.


SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg recommends following these safety guidelines when using a generator at your Charlotte, NC, home, or business. We also recommend you follow the advice from Energy.gov.

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The Tools We Use- The Ozone Generator

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaned Sofa after fire Cleaned Sofa after Ozone

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County takes pride in our ability to serve our customers. To do this in the best way possible, we have state of the art equipment to get your property back to preloss conditions.  Each machine is crucial to our restoration process.

Our technicians are highly trained to use all of our equipment in the most efficient way. Here is one of our most commonly used machines and their purpose.

The Ozone Generator: Portable ozone generators eliminate odors caused by animals. Cigarette smoke, mold and mildew, fire and water damage. This machine generates “ozone,” which consists of unstable oxygen molecules. These unstable molecules help remove the unwanted scent in your property. When using these machines our technicians follow all necessary guidelines and remove all people and pets from the environment. Once this process is complete there are no residues left from the process and the results are permanent. 

While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

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The Tools We Use- Respirators

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Technician in Respirator SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Technician in Respirator

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County takes pride in our ability to serve our customers. To do this in the best way possible, we have state of the art equipment to get your property back to preloss conditions.  Each machine is crucial to our restoration process.

Our technicians are highly trained to use all of our equipment in the most efficient way. Here is one of our most commonly used machines and their purpose.

Wearing and Fit Checking our Respirators: Safety is important not only for our technicians but also for our customers. We enforce that respirators must be worn during all times of exposure to hazardous situations. To be safe, our rule of thumb is: if the work environment is unpleasant or makes you dizzy, the whole crew must wear respirators. If we are using respirators on your property we will inform the customer of the precautions for their safety as well.

While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

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The Tools We Use- Dehumidifiers

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier and Dry Mats on Hardwood Floor Dehumidifier and Dry Mats Mitigating Wet Hard Wood floors

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County takes pride in our ability to serve our customers. To do this in the best way possible, we have state of the art equipment to get your property back to preloss conditions.  Each machine is crucial to our restoration process.

Our technicians are highly trained to use all of our equipment in the most efficient way. Here is one of our most commonly used machines and their purpose.

Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air after it has evaporated. Our techs know how to position dehumidifiers strategically in water-damaged structures so that the moist, humid air moves through the air while dry warm air is discharged to circulate back into the wet areas. This is very effective because dry air acts as a sponge to absorb moisture. By using dehumidifiers there is a continuous source of dry air to enhance the restoration process. All of our dehumidifiers are refrigerant dehumidifiers that work by removing water vapor through condensation. Using a small commercial refrigerant dehumidifier we can remove eight gallons of water per day from the atmosphere, while an extra-large one can remove up to 20 gallons per day. Most residential dehumidifiers remove between one and two gallons per day, often significantly less than they claim to remove. 

While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

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The Tools We Use-

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Technician with Air Movers and Monitoring Dehumidifier SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Technician with Air Movers

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County takes pride in our ability to serve our customers. To do this in the best way possible, we have state of the art equipment to get your property back to preloss conditions.  Each machine is crucial to our restoration process.

Our technicians are highly trained to use all of our equipment in the most efficient way. Here is one of our most commonly used machines and their purpose.

Air Movers: Air moves are used in water damage restoration to enhance evaporation at the surface level and help reduce drying time. These machines introduce airflow to help replace highly saturated air with drier air. Our crew has gone through training to learn the science of drying to position this equipment in the best location for drying. In some cases, when there are multiple wet walls, wet drywall and baseboards the air movers can be positioned to create a vortex of air circulating through the walls. 

While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

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Handling Grease Fires

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen after grease fire in South Mecklenburg County Grease Kitchen Fire Damage in South Charlotte NC with soot damage.

When cooking in your home or business in Charlotte, NC, there is always a chance of a grease fire. If a grease fire does start it is important to know how to extinguish the blaze and prevent serious damage to your home. 

  1. Never move the pan or pot where the fire originated from. Moving the source of the fire can cause the fire to spread.
  2. The first step should be to turn off the stove and move away from the fire.
  3. If the fire is small enough to get close, cover the pot or pan with a lid. This is the most effective way to snuff out the fire as it removes the source of oxygen.
  4. Leave the lid until the pan has cooled completely to avoid the fire starting again.
  5. Never throw water on a grease fire. This will cause the fire to spread quickly and can cause severe burns.
  6. Call 911 immediately to come and contain the fire. Even if you think you have the fire under control there is always a risk of the fire spreading very quickly. 

If you experience a grease fire, there will likely be damage to the surrounding area and contents. 

Once the fire is safely out and your property is cleared by the fire department, make sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to get your kitchen looking "Like it never even happened."

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Source

How To Get Soot Out of Clothes After In Charlotte NC

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaned Properly in Charlotte NC Fire Damage Cleaned Properly in Charlotte NC

If you have a fire in your home, we recommend you calling SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County first.  We are highly trained and specialized in mitigating fire damage. Smoke and fire damage reside is not healthy to be around.  We have the PPE and training to address these issues properly.

When you have a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home or business, smoke can very easily spread through the ventilation system and reach rooms that were not near the fire.

If your clothes have been stained by soot there is a solution. 

  1. Call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County and let us clean them so that you can be sure they are clean and safe for wearing!
  2. If you want to try it yourself, you will need:
  • Salt
  • Formula 409
  • Washing Soda
  • Borax
  • Ammonia
  • Soapless Shampoo

Still dirty? Soot everywhere?

Steps to Remove the Soot:

  1. Cover any soot in salt and let sit for a few hours. Launder the clothing as you normally would. 
  2. Soak the soot in Formula 409 and wash the clothing again. 
  3. Add half a cup of borax or washing soda along with the regular detergent. 
  4. Dilute ammonia to 10% with water. Dab the stain with a soapless shampoo and add several drops of ammonia to the stain. Use a brush to scrub the stain and rinse with water. 

If any stain remains after taking these steps try dabbing the stain with alcohol. When working with ammonia never apply it to wool and make sure to wear gloves and keep the area well ventilated. 

Source  


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How to clean smoke damaged books

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen after grease fire in South Mecklenburg County Fire damage is far more extensive than just the items that burn.

When you have fire damage in your Charlotte, NC, home it is likely smoke will damage some sentimental items including books. Smoke damage on books can be remediated with some time and care. Of course, we are ready to address any of your fire damage issues and save you the trouble.  However, if you want to attempt it, please read on...

Start the cleaning process with the book covers. 

  1. In a small bowl mix warm water and a small amount of detergent.
  2. Get a soft cloth or sponge slightly damp.
  3. Gently wipe soot from the book covers, careful not to scrub.
  4. Wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  5. Allow the cover to dry completely. 
  6. If the cover has dulled apply a very light layer of oil-based furniture polish. 

Cleaning smoke damaged pages changes depending on the level of damage, but it is important to never introduce moisture to the pages as it will make the process more difficult.

  • If there is only slight damage use a dry sponge to gently wipe off the soot.
  • If the damage is moderate using an art gum eraser rub the edges of the pages. If this is not working use a hard, rubber eraser.
  • If the damage is still persistent use a clamp to hold the pages shut and use a piece of sandpaper to gently remove the smoke damage. Move slowly and evenly to avoid waves in the pages. Using a dry sponge wipe away any dust from the sanding. 

To remove smoke odor:

  1. use either baking soda, fresh coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or white vinegar.
  2. Fill a plate or bowl with the chosen odor remover and place it in a box or bag. Place the books next to the plate or bowl and close the box or bag.
  3. Let it sit for several hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the odor absorber and if the smoke smell has not fully disappeared, repeat the process using a fresh odor absorber. 

Source 

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Why We Are Faster to Any Size Disaster

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage on Hard Wood Floors Water Damaged Hardwood Floors

When water damage occurs it is important for SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to be Faster to Any Size Disaster. The clock is ticking and it is easier, more cost effective, and more efficient to mediate your water loss as soon as possible.

What is happening?  Here is the usual timeline:

  • Within minutes of water entering your home, water contamination begins to spread, furniture finishes become damaged and begin to leach into fabrics. 
  • Within hours, furniture soaking in water will begin to swell and delaminate, causing permanent damage.  Odors are amplified by the humidity and fabric dyes begin to bleed.
  • If water has not been removed in a few days, fungi will begin to appear, wood floors and structures will begin to warp and be rendered unsalvageable, drywall, baseboards, cabinets begin to swell, and paint and wallpaper will begin to peel. 
  • After a few weeks of water in your Charlotte home, mold will begin to damage organic materials.  Affected materials will need to be properly mitigated or be disposed of for the safety of the inhabitants. 

Water can cause damage very quickly, that is why it is so important to begin remediation immediately. If your Charlotte, NC, home has experienced a water disaster remember, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help.

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Steps to Take After Water Damage in South Mecklenburg County

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Water being extracted from hardwood floors Water Damage needed extraction in Charlotte NC

If your Charlotte, NC, home has experienced water damage make sure to take these seven steps to protect yourself and your home. 

  1. Call Your Insurance Company- Calling your insurance company should be one of the first calls made after a water disaster.
  2. Calling SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County should be the second call you make.  You can even call us first, and we will help you through this process!
  3. An adjuster will be sent to your home to assess the damage and determine coverage. Don't worry, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will handle everything with the insurance company for you!
  4. After the insurance adjuster has appraised the damage they will communicate with us.

Important Note! It is important to know whether your home insurance policy includes flood insurance, as some do not. 

Immediate Actions! OR Save yourself the trouble and ensure your mitigation is done correctly by calling us!

  1. Take Precautions When Entering Your Home.  If there is water in your home it is important to keep yourself and your family safe when re-entering.
  2. Be sure to follow CDC guidelines along with these tips below.
  3. The first step should always be to turn off power to the home to minimize the risk of electrocution. 
  4. Make sure to wear protective gear such as rubber boots and gloves to protect against bacteria. 
  5. Protect furniture and other valuables by putting blocks underneath furniture and placing other items on higher ground.

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is “faster to any size disaster,” including your flooded home because getting water out quickly can prevent further damage and ensure your safety.

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Insulate Pipes to Protect From Freezing in Your Charlotte, NC, Home

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Water from a burst pipe being extracted Water extraction from burst pipe in Charlotte NC

BRRRR! It is definitely winter in Charlotte!  We may not get a lot of snow, but we do get hard freezes.  Do you know what to do when that happens?  Benjamin Franklin said in 1736, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”, and this saying definitely applies to our pipes today!

We all know water freezes, and if you have ever put a water bottle in the freezer, you know water expands when frozen. What many people don’t consider is that the same thing happens in your pipes as well. Whether you have the strongest material available for your pipes, or a regular PVC pipe, freezing water can cause a crack to form. 

Some pipes are more likely to experience a crack than others, most commonly frozen pipes are: 

  • Pipes that are exposed to cold air like outdoor hose spigots, sprinkler systems, and pool supply lines.
  • Water supply lines in unheated areas of the home like basements, crawlspaces, garages, attics and even kitchen cabinets. 
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls with little or no insulation.

Ounce of prevention...How to Insulate and Protect Pipes

Even though it is already cold in Charlotte, NC, there is still time to prevent a frozen pipe this winter. Protecting your pipes may take more than leaving a faucet on overnight, follow these steps to protect your home:

  1. Drain water from any swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines. Follow manufacturer instructions to do this properly. Unless manufacturer instructions recommend it, avoid using antifreeze in any of these lines. Antifreeze is a harmful substance to humans, pets and the environment. 
  2. Any hoses that are commonly stored outside should be drained and stored in a warmer area during the winter. Close all indoor supply valves to reduce water flow, and open any external valves to prevent any trapped water from freezing. 
  3. Adding extra insulation to easy to reach areas like attics, crawlspaces, basements and garages can help prevent frozen pipes and lower heating and air costs for your home. 
  4. Check your home for other areas where water supply lines may be in unheated areas. This may be under kitchen or bathroom sinks or behind washing machines. Both cold and hot water pipes should be insulated in these areas. 
  5. One of the easiest ways to insulate these pipes is with “pipe sleeves” or heat insulating tape. These materials can be found at your local home improvement store and can be easily installed over the weekend. 
  6. If you have exposed pipes in your home consider relocating them to more insulated areas. 

Ok...what else can you do? How to Prevent Freezing

  • Keep garage doors and crawlspace access closed as well as any other parts of your home that may have un-insulated pipes. 
  • Keeping kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open can allow warm air to reach the plumbing. 
  • If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time make sure heat is set to a minimum of 55o F. 


For more information on these frozen pipes visit the City of Charlotte Water website. If you notice an increased water bill after low temperatures you may have experienced a small crack, we recommend contacting your plumber or the City of Charlotte Water office to investigate.

If you find a pipe has frozen or is leaking, please do not wait- call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County immediately!  We will help handle "the pound of cure" for you!

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Turn the Water Off! Hurry!!!

1/30/2021 (Permalink)

Water Flooded Property Water Pouring From Wall

If you don't know where or how to turn off the water at your property, read on! 

If you experience a water loss at your Charlotte property, shutting off the water supply valve can help protect your home from severe damage. If you aren’t prepared to shut-off the water supply in an emergency, hundreds of gallons of water can enter your home while waiting for help!  We have seen this happen!

Where should you look for the water shutoff?

  • The master shut-off valve is located on the inside of the house near where the outdoor meter is located.
  • If your home has a basement or crawlspace the shut-off valve is probably located on the wall closest to the street.
  • If your home is built on a slab and has no basement the valve is most likely in the garage or near the hot water heater. 

Found it!  Now what?

  • Once you find the valve, it will either be a ball valve or a gate valve. What is a ball valve, you ask? A ball valve means there should just be a handle to turn perpendicular, if it is a gate valve turn the handle clockwise.
  • The water should turn off.

Now, take a breath and call in a water specialist to mitigate the water.  One call to SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, and we will handle the rest- and you can get some rest!

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When water damage strikes your business, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here for you

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage on Hardwood Floors Water Damage on Hardwood Floors

Do you know what to do when water damage strikes your business? It can be devastating. Not only does it have the potential of closing your doors for the short term, but many businesses are also unprepared for disasters like water damage and never end up opening their doors again.

How can you avoid being a statistic? Call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County! We will come to your property and perform and FREE inspection and provide you with an Emergency Response Plan!

If you do have a disaster at your home or business, rest easy knowing that we have the equipment, experience, and the expertise to get you back to "Like it never even happened." 

We are faster to any disaster, no matter the size, but we also offer a proactive tool so you can have peace of mind in the event a disaster does affect your life. Remember, a SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Emergency Readiness Plan (ERP) is 100% free, and 100% priceless!

Give us a call today and let us set up your ERP appointment!

While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

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Add Extra Insulation to Attics and Crawl Spaces To Protect Your Property

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

Insulation being installed in crawlspace Insulation being installed in crawlspace

Did you know that SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will add insulation after we have mitigated your crawlspaces or attics?  Well, we do!

There are many important places to insulate your home for optimal energy efficiency when it is being built, but what about an older home that needs a little extra help?

  • If you felt the chill this winter in your Charlotte, NC, home there is a better solution than turning up the heat.
  • We recommend adding extra insulation to your home.
  • The first place you should add more insulation is always the attic.
  • Placing insulation between and over floor joists helps seal off the living spaces below.
  • Some attics can benefit from insulating the rafters as well. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends loose-fill insulation for attics.

Crawl space insulation is another important place to insulate your home.

  • This insulation process can vary if your crawlspace is ventilated or unventilated, however, we generally recommend extra insulation between the floor and the crawl space of your house. 


No matter what part of your home need more insulation or what kind of insulation you use, be sure to always follow proper safety guidelines set by the Insulation Institute

Important safety measures should always include eye protection and gloves and respirators are often required for some insulation types.

By keeping insulation fresh there is an added layer of protection to pipes and you can protect your Charlotte, Pineville or Matthews, NC, home against property damage.

While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

Still wanting to know more about the importance of insulation? Check out this video:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x44nwyl

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Should you Really be Using Commercial Drain Cleaner?

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

We can all agree that clogged drains are gross and a chemical drain cleaner seems like the easy way out, but that may not be the case. Whether the clog is from hair, soap scum, grease or damaged pipes drain cleaners are not the best choice. Commercial drain cleaners may dissolve the clog it can also eat away at your pipes, even if they are PVC. A Licensed plumber can tell you what type of pipes you have and if a commercial drain cleaner is the right choice for you. If you are trying to avoid a plumber we recommend an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners were originally created for septic tanks, however, they can help with most clogs and are not damaging to pipes. If your clog persists after an enzymatic cleaner we recommend a professional sewage cleaning.

If it is too late for these options and you had a clog cause an overflow in your Charlotte, NC home or a burst pipe you likely need to work with a restoration specialist like SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. Whatever your situation it is important to know the possible dangers of commercial drain cleaners.

How SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County Dries Water Damaged Floors

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Hardwood floors being dried with dry mat system Hardwood floors being dried with dry mat system

If I had a penny for every time we have seen this situation happen...well, you know the rest!

Homeowners often make a very expensive mistake when they are faced with a water loss. 

The most common mistakes often involves hardwood flooring.  Hardwood flooring can be a beautiful low-maintenance flooring option, but there can be potential problems when water is introduced.

  • When water enters your home it can move very quickly and cause a significant amount of damage.
  • You need to act quickly to protect flooring from irreparable damage.
  • Water loss incidents require immediate extraction and drying to preserve floors, and our professionals can help. 

Substantial loss incidents require a water removal service as soon as possible. Our SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team is ready 24/7 to respond to all water loss emergencies as fast as possible.

Many homeowners believe that they can solve a water loss on their own in order to save money, but attempting to dry a home, especially hardwood floors, after a water loss puts your flooring at risk of mold, buckled floors, and other problems. 

Most often homeowners are unable to dry their flooring enough and are left with a persistent mold problem that will cause exponential mold growth.

A less common issue is overdrying floors. Sometimes homeowners are able to get their hands on professional equipment and without the proper training, it can be easy to over-dry hardwood flooring.

Oftentimes there is a belief that the drier the better, but unfortunately, hardwood floors have to have some moisture content to keep planks strong. 

While you might be tempted to handle a water loss incident on your own, we recommend seeking the services of SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. We get there quickly with the right tools for the job.

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While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

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What to do if your Carpet is Saturated

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

When water enters your home it is important to follow CDC recommended guidelines when reentering your home. After assessing the damage, be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened." 

If your home has experienced water damage from a clean water source such as a tub overflow or a cracked pipe, our team will start by extracting water from the carpet. It is never a good idea to wait for the carpet to dry naturally, even in the best-ventilated areas. Our technicians will use light wands and rovers (weighted extractors) that help us pull out as much of the moisture as possible. Instead of pulling up carpeting, we do whatever possible to use in-place drying methods.

If you have experienced a category two or three water loss, then the situation will have to be assessed before drying begins. Oftentimes with these types of water loss all porous surfaces, including carpet, need to be removed and replaced due to potentially hazardous substances.

If you have experienced a water loss and now have wet carpets, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County so we can get your home and carpets back to preloss conditions.

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Why is In-Place Drying Best After a Water Loss?

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Whenever possible, removing water with in-place drying allows us to dry any water without excessive disruption to the area. This drying must take place quickly after the loss, and our technicians follow a strict protocol to prevent any water from migrating further. 

In-place drying works by:

  • Using a wanded extractor and performing several initial passes to halt water from migrating into dry areas.
  • Using weighted extractors to help squeeze water from carpet and padding.
  • We always start in the center of the room, moving outward as we extract water, moving furnishings as needed. 
  • Continuously monitoring progress and testing carpeting and padding to determine water content throughout the process. 

With in-place drying methods, our crew can keep furniture in the rooms being treated. This avoids time added to pack up pieces and move things out for mitigation. This process also helps to ensure the carpet is at lower risk of stretching, tearing and delaminating. Our skilled team takes the time to deliver the best results under the best conditions. This cuts back on the potential for removing and replacing floor coverings.

If you experience a water loss in your Charlotte, NC, home be sure to follow all CDC guidelines when reentering your home. 

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What Happens to Personal Belongings After a Water Loss?

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Several factors determine whether various belongings in your home can be salvaged or not. Porosity plays a significant role when helping our team determine not only the potential of saving certain materials but also how to address the cleanup and restoration plan. We often group things into several categories, which are:

  • Porous Materials: These materials require immediate attention and have a higher permeance rating. Porous items and building materials absorb water fast and are prone to rapid deterioration. These items are the most often replaced after contact with water. 
  • Semi-porous Materials: These are mid-level materials in terms of permeance. This includes bricks and OSB boards and can take longer to pull moisture out of. 
  • Non-porous Materials: These items absorb little to no water. However, if left long enough for water to take hold, it can take a very long time to dry these items. 

Throughout your interior, there are multiple layers of porosity and permeance that pose a challenge for drying. Whenever faced with absorption differences our skilled water damage technicians have the training and equipment necessary to address them. We use a variety of drying tools including air movers, extractors and dehumidifiers to remove moisture and lower humidity in your home.

If you have experienced a water loss in your Charlotte, NC, home be sure to follow all CDC guidelines

The Tools We Use- Portable Water Extractors

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Water Extraction removing water Water Extractor extracting water

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County takes pride in our ability to serve our customers. To do this in the best way possible, we have state of the art equipment to get your property back to preloss conditions.  Each machine is crucial to our restoration process.

Our technicians are highly trained to use all of our equipment in the most efficient way. Here is one of our most commonly used machines and their purpose.

Portable Extractors: We use our extractors for cleaning carpets, upholstery and water removal. Extractors have three major parts: a heater, pump and a vacuum. Our techs use this for variable heat controlled cleaning, including to heat rinse solutions to clean more effectively. The vacuum system removes soils and moisture from surfaces and collects it in a tank. These extractors help expedite the removal of water and moisture from damaged materials. By removing water with this machine the necessity to replace belongings is lowered.

While there are many other machines and equipment accessories we use at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County, this is a great overall look at our most commonly used pieces of equipment. This machine helps us make it “Like it never even happened,” because we are always here to help!

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Why you Should Leave your Washing Machine Door Open and Other Tips

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Washing machine with dirty clothes Washing machine tips

Ewww- what is that smell and why do my clean clothes smell bad?

If you have a washing machine in your Charlotte, NC, home, especially a front loader, you probably know they have a tendency to grow mold over time.

  • The most important way to combat any mold and mildew growth is by leaving the door open whenever the washer is not in use. It is also important to pull out the detergent drawer at the same time.
  • Letting your washer dry out is imperative, so we also recommend transferring clean clothes to your dryer as soon as possible.
  • Moving clothes over quickly protects both the washer and your clothes from unwanted scents.
  • Wiping the drum, door and gasket monthly keeps scents out of the washer and off of your clothes. Using equal parts of vinegar and water is a safe and natural way to clean without putting your clothes at risk of stains.
  • When cleaning your washer you should also run an empty load with two cups of vinegar.
  • The right amount and kind of detergent is also important to avoid a buildup of residue.
  • Make sure you are only using a high-efficiency detergent in a high-efficiency machine, and always use the amounts recommended on the detergent bottle.

To watch this in action, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEgcgan9XOg

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What is Category 3 Water Damage?

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Have you heard the term black water? In the restoration business, there are three kinds of water, and as industry professionals, it is our job to know what kind of water we are dealing with at all times. The most severe type of water is category 3 also known as CAT 3, black water or dirty water. Category 3 is the most serious type of water because it is highly contaminated and is potentially toxic to those who come into contact with it. 

Water is considered category 3 if it meets any of the following criteria. The source of the water is sewage backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces or stagnant liquid that has begun bacterial growth. If category 1 or 2 has been left untreated for more than three days it is more than likely that it will develop into category 3. If your water damage is deemed as category 3, it is likely that many pieces of your property will need to be replaced. Anything porous, such as furniture, carpeting and drywall is grossly contaminated. Category 3 water, although referred to as black water or dirty water it is not always visually black or dirty. In fact, most times it is visually translucent. 

If you are ever faced with water damage in your home or business, act fast and call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. We will assess the damage and ensure that it is properly mitigated to ensure your safety.

To learn more about bacteria associated with flooding please review the CDC website.

What is Category 2 Water?

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

If pipe repairs are not done in a timely manner you could end up with a flooded Charlotte, NC, home or business. When SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County comes out the first thing they will do is assess the type of water; category 1, 2 or 3.

Flood water is categorized based on how contaminated it is with substances that pose a threat to human and animal health. Category 1 is clean water that is drinkable from its source. To learn more about category 1 water, check out our previous blog post. Category 3 water is highly contaminated. So, what is category 2? Oftentimes category 2 water is referred to as grey water. This is because category 2 water contains some contaminants that may cause illness if swallowed.

To learn more about bacteria associated with flooding please review the CDC website.

Where Does Category 2 Water Come From?

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Category 2 water can be classified as such straight from the source, or it can be a result of category 1 water from a broken pipe that has come into contact with contaminated materials. Potential sources for greywater include: 

  • Overflow from washing machines 
  • Overflow from dishwasher
  • Water flushed from sink drains 
  • Stagnant category 1 water 
  • Category 1 water that has come into contact with building materials 

Still a little confused? Let's say you had a pipe burst on the second floor of your Charlotte, NC, home or business. The water on the second floor would be classed as category 1, if water seeps through the floor and onto the first floor that water is then classified as category 2. An experienced water damage technician from SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County can help you deal with all types of water damage.

To learn more about bacteria associated with flooding please review the CDC website.

Do Electronics Still Work After a Fire?

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Electronics are often the most expensive office equipment. Computers, appliances, and other devices can drive up the cost of recovering from a fire, even if an electrical fire was not the cause of the damage. Smoke can damage electronics even if the fire never reached them.

Smoke carries soot, which is a very fine carbon residue powder that can very easily damage electronics. Even a small amount of soot has the ability to short out electronics by bridging circuits and providing an insulated covering on the heat-producing components, which will eventually lead to failure. 

If you experience a fire, after the Charlotte, NC, fire department has come, if you think soot may have entered your electronics, make sure to unplug and turn off all electronics before calling SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County

Our team of technicians will come out and restore your Charlotte, NC, home, or business after a fire so that you can focus on 

After experiencing a fire, many people want all new electronics, but most insurance companies won’t cover the cost to replace everything. Insurance companies know that many of these electronics can be salvaged and that the cost of salvaging is much lower than a full replacement. 

A licensed fire and smoke electronics restoration technician will remove:

  • Soot deposits
  • Aggressive deposits from smoke and chemical vapors (hydrochloric acid)
  • Deposits from water (lime, sludge, mud) 
  • Residues of chemical extinguishing powders
  • Dust deposits
  • Other pollution (environmental, operational, etc.)

Merry Christmas

12/25/2020 (Permalink)

Merry Christmas from SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County. We hope you have a lovely day whether it is with family or on video calls

Stay safe Charlotte, NC, and remember, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is faster to any size disaster, 24/7/365. If your holiday turns into a disaster give us a call so you can get back to celebrating.

Sustainable Wrapping Paper

12/25/2020 (Permalink)

This year we were wrapping presents and it seemed so wasteful to buy so much wrapping paper only to rip it off a few days later, so we started researching sustainable alternatives. Here are 5 options to try this year.

  1. Fabric: You can do a lot with fabric, try scarves, tea towels, handkerchiefs, large napkins or whatever else you might have around the house. If you don’t have any extra fabric lying around check out your local thrift store for some good options. 
  2. Old Maps and Newspapers: Old maps that are out of date and don’t have a use anymore make great wrapping paper, and they look cool too. 
  3. Other Paper: Parchment paper is a great neutral color and tape won’t cause damage when unwrapping so it can be saved. Old brown paper bags from grocery stores are another great option. 
  4. Newspaper: If you save up old newspaper now is the time to use it. You were already going to throw them away so why not use them for wrapping. For a fun twist have the kids paint on it before wrapping.
  5. Baskets: Check out your local thrift store and chances are they have a huge selection of baskets. These are a cheap option that can be dressed up with a fun ribbon. 

Holiday Hazards: After Christmas

12/25/2020 (Permalink)

Most homeowners are aware holiday decorations should be used with care. We often hear of fires caused by Christmas lights, frayed wires and candles during the holiday seasons. The team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wants homeowners to know that the danger of fire caused by holiday decorating actually increases after Christmas. The 10 days with the highest average number of fires are all after Christmas day. 

Often after Christmas, it is tempting to relax and stop watering the tree. Dry greenery, open sockets and decorations that have shifted closer to light sockets or fireplaces all dramatically increase the risk of fire. 

The number one cause of holiday fires is Christmas trees, according to the American Christmas Tree Association. Tragically, Christmas tree fires are particularly deadly, claiming an average of one life for every 40 fires, compared to one death for every 142 home fires from other causes. 

Because of the dangers live trees pose, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County recommends extreme caution when decorating with a live tree. Make sure to water your tree from the minute it goes up to right when you take it down. Our team also recommends keeping your tree away from fireplaces, candles or open light sockets.  It is important to remember that a Christmas tree fire, like any other fire, can result in very extensive smoke damage and are very deadly.

As we get closer to Christmas, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County reminds homeowners to take precautions to prevent holiday traditions from turning into a nightmare.

If you have experienced the misfortune of a Christmas tree fire, after the Charlotte, NC, fire department has arrived be sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened."

Four Types of Hail Damage

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

We all know hail can cause roof damage and inspecting your roof in Charlotte, NC, after a hail storm can help avoid more damage down the road. Left unattended, a small, unnoticed opening could become a big problem during the next storm. After a hail storm, check for loose, missing or damaged pieces of your roof. If you suspect any damage, call a roofing professional. 

  1. Roof Damage: make sure all roof covers, shingles and drainage systems are intact. Check for hail damage on skylights, HVAC systems and solar panels. Check for dings, missing pieces and any hatches that may not be operating as expected. 
  2. Cracked or Missing Shingles: Shingles aren’t only for looks, they also protect your home from damage. Shingles act as our first line of defense against water entering your home or business. Missing or cracked shingles should be replaced immediately. Some shingles with a metal core are rated as hail resistant, but even with these shingles, you should always inspect after a hail storm. 
  3. Water Leaks: Roof damage can lead to leaks in your building. If water gets past your shingles and underlayment, it can get inside your building. Water will follow the path of least resistance until it begins to pool or leak from your ceiling. Water leaks cause water damage that needs to be dried before mold or other problems have a chance to settle in. 
  4. Attic Damage: Hail damage may not always be obvious. Water can seep in and cause moisture problems where you can’t see it. Inspect the inside of your attic to make sure it is still dry.

If you have experienced hail damage, call a professional roofing company out as soon as possible to repair the damage, and make sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County if any water makes its way into your home.

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What Caused That Pipe to Break?

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Are you hearing a drip? As the weather gets colder, many residents will experience frozen pipes. While freezing temperatures are creeping upon us, it is important to know what to expect. If you happen to encounter a leak in your house, it could be due to a variety of causes:

  • An improperly installed appliance
  • Clogged drain 
  • Broken sink, bathtub, toilet, washing machine or dishwasher 

What you might not be considering? The very real possibility of a broken pipe. A broken pipe can cause an enormous amount of damage to your home. In particular, the most amount of damage occurs when you don’t find the leak immediately or you don’t have direct access to the location of the break. 

Broken pipes occur for a variety of reasons: freezing, corrosion and water pressure.

Freezing

With colder weather, extreme temperatures can cause pipes to expand and break. Once the ice melts, the water can flood your home. It’s important to note that pipes can freeze when they are exposed to temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit. In particular, the pipes that are most prone to freezing are found in unfinished basements and in attics. 

Corrosion

Older pipes tend to break down with age and require a trained professional to replace them. If ignored, it can cause an enormous amount of flooding. It is best to have a professional plumber to come in and inspect pipes before any leaks happen. 

Water Pressure

High water pressure can also be the cause of a pipe break in your home. When water enters your home it passes through a pressure regulator, and if that regulator is faulty, it can cause the pressure to rise exponentially. If the pressure gets high enough it can cause a pipe to break. 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is an expert in resolving water damage. If a pipe breaks we are there to help you clean up the flooding and dry out your home. Our project managers and technicians are able to help locate the source, clean the damage, and make sure to remove all of the moisture in your home.

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Why We Are Faster to Any Size Disaster

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

No matter the type of damage, whether water, fire or natural disaster, one this is certain; the longer you wait, the costlier the repair. 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is a firm believer in timely mitigation to manage any damage to your property. Many other restoration services have you wait to be put on their schedule, leaving you out of luck when your property is in jeopardy. SERVPRO isn’t like that, here is our policy that sets us apart from other restoration companies. 

1 hour - Within one hour of notice of a loss, our admins will contact you to arrange for service that works with YOUR schedule and addresses the loss right away. 

4 hours - Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will be on-site to inspect and start services. 

8 hours - Within eight hours, customers will receive a briefing on the scope of damage and what mitigation efforts are needed. 

These guidelines are what every SERVPRO franchise expects to meet, including your local SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.



Happy Hanukkah From SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

We want to wish you a very happy Hanukkah this year! Our team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County understands that without usual family gatherings this year, it is important to be home for the holidays. When disaster strikes your Charlotte, NC, home we are here to help so that you can get back to celebrating as soon as possible. 

Remember, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is faster to any size disaster.



Best Ways to Minimize Damage From a Major Leak

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

If you are responsible for a company, you will encounter plumbing issues at some point. They come in all sizes, some causing minor problems and expenses and a few creating major disruptions. A pipe burst cleanup usually falls into the latter category. This malfunction can happen behind walls and ceilings and can unleash large quantities of water into a facility. This can damage everything from walls and insulation to electrical equipment and electronics. In the worst-case scenario, the water that enters your business in Charlotte, NC, is contaminated with sewage or other harmful substances. 

One of the first steps to take in a water emergency is to stop the water. The most reliable way to do this is turning of the water with the nearest shutoff valve, but it can require a plumber. Next, look out for the welfare of all customers and workers in the building. After everyone has been removed from the building call for a reputable water remediation company. While you wait look for ways to increase the safety of the building, mark off wet areas so that no one enters, turn off power if necessary and any other dangers that may be in the area. Next, contact your insurance company to notify them of the water loss. Finally, monitor the progress of the water cleanup. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg takes photos throughout the entire process, and we recommend always keeping a visual record of the situation. 

Additional steps include checking your entire plumbing system for other possible issues. A qualified plumber can catch early signs of what could become a bigger problem later. Make sure you continue to stay in contact with your insurance agent. A good water remediation franchise will be able to assist with the insurance claims by providing documentation of damages and repair costs. 

Most importantly, with any water loss, a fast response is your best defense against water damage, so call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to get there fast.

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4 Tips for Preventing Water Damage While You’re Away From Home

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

A storm, leaking appliance, broken pipe, overflowing tub and flooded basement are events that can cause major harm to the structure and the belongings of your Charlotte, NC, home. Many of these disasters can happen while homeowners are away on vacation or traveling for businesses. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent damage from water while you are away from home.

Check for Leaks

Before leaving your home for a longer period of time, check sinks and appliances for any leaks or cracks in pipes. If you’ve noticed low water pressure, issues with appliances or higher than usual utility bills, contact a professional to repair the issue before you leave. Checking the roof, windows and shingles are important to prevent water damage. 

Inspect Hoses and Sump Pumps

Kinked or damaged hoses are an unexpected source of water damage. Look at the lines connected to major appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. If the hoses are damaged it is time to replace them. Make sure to check any appliances you may have recently moved as the hoses may have kinked or disconnected.

If your home has a sump pump, check that it is working properly. Run the pump for a while and listen for any strange sounds and make sure that the water is being pumped away from your home. It is a good idea to invest in a battery backup in case power is lost. 

Insulate Pipes During Cold Weather 

Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing during cold winter months. Protect your pipes from freezing by insulating them with sleeves made from rubber or fiberglass. These are easy to find at your local home improvement store. Failure to insulate your pipes may result in pipe repair or even extensive water damage to your home.

Ask a Neighbor for Help

After a visual inspection of your home, you should enlist the help of a neighbor or a trusted friend. It is best to have someone watch your home while you are away. Make sure they know where the water main is and how to turn it off. Make sure the heat is turning on in the winter months to prevent freezing, and the air conditioning comes on in the summer to prevent mold growth. 

Follow these tips to decrease your chances of water damage. If you do experience significant damage, after getting any necessary repairs, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to help with the cleanup.

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Why Mold Smells and What To Do About It

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

If you have a mold problem in your Charlotte, NC, home, sometimes the first indication is the smell. Due to mycotoxin emission, mold often has a distinctive odor. Fortunately, this smell can be remedied.

Why Mold Smells

During its lifetime mild will produce gasses. Some of these gasses are called mycotoxins, which produce a musty odor. Some people also identify the odor as earth, pungent or damp. 

Although these are the more common descriptions of mold odor, it is important to understand that not all mold smells the same. Some types of mold may smell sweet, rotten or somewhere in between. Mold may also produce different odors at different stages in its lifestyle. An unusual odor in your home should be investigated to rule out the possibility of mold growth.

How To Remove Mold Odor

While mycotoxin production will stop after the mold has been thoroughly remediated, the associated odor can linger. If possible, open windows and doors to let in fresh air. You can also run a fan to increase airflow. Remember to keep closets and cabinets open to let those smaller spaces air out. Air purifiers and odor absorbers, like baking soda and activated charcoal, can be placed around the home to trap those unpleasant odors. Remember to change filters and replace odor absorbers often. 

Run rugs and other fabrics through the washing machine if possible and add vinegar or baking soda to the wash to help eliminate odors. Thorough carpet cleaning can help if the musty odor is trapped in carpet fibers. Items that cannot be washed can be placed outside. Fresh air and sunshine can both help eliminate those musty odors. 

Whether you are working through the initial mold remediation process or dealing with lingering mold odors, an experienced restoration service can help. They have the tools and experience necessary to get your home fresh and clean.

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Preparing For A Storm: Apartment Style

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

There is a common misconception that large storms don’t have as much of an effect on big cities and that a building as large as an apartment complex is too big to have any real damage. While this might seem easy to believe there are actually a number of storms that hit Charlotte, NC, each year.

We have compiled a few tips on how to prepare for a storm from the safety of your apartment. 

  • Keep canned and pantry-safe food and drinks on hand. 
  • Have flashlights and extra batteries ready. 
  • Make sure you have a first aid kit with bandages, pain relievers, and other essentials that are up to date. 
  • Keep in touch with loved ones, and have an emergency contact set.
  • Pay attention to relatives with special needs, small children and pets.
  • Find out what emergency plans your community has in place and what the notification system is for emergencies. 
  • Store all important documents such as insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers and social security cards in a fire and water proof box. 
  • We also recommend having cash, a checkbook and credit cards readily available. 

An apartment building is only as safe as its construction, so a strong storm can cause damage. It is important to have a plan to head to the safest room in your apartment. The safest room is an interior room on the lowest floor possible. We also recommend staying away from the windows as there is a risk of broken glass from severe winds.

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3 Tips for Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Fires in your Charlotte, NC, home can happen for a number of reasons, and one cause you may not consider is your dryer vent. A lint fire can spread quickly and create a large blaze, causing serious damage to your property. You can reduce the risk of serious damage to your property by learning how and when to clean your dryer vent and practicing dryer safety. Prevent calling the Charlotte Fire Department by following these tips:

Clean the Vent Bi-Annually

Cleaning your dryer vent out twice a year can clear out lint buildup that can cause a serious fire and help you discover any other problems that may increase the risk. Consider making this task a regular item on your spring and fall cleaning list so you do not forget.

Clean Each Part Thoroughly

A lint fire can start when the heat from the dryer causes trapped lint to ignite. Lint often builds up in the trap, hose and vent ducks, so be sure to clean each part with a vacuum cleaner. Start with the lint trap, then unplug the dryer and vacuum all around the hose before disconnecting the hose. Disconnect the hose and shake out the trapped lint and clean out the duct. Plug the machine back in and vacuum any remaining debris that could cause a fire.

Have Your Dryer Area Inspected

Calling in a professional fire inspector to ensure your dryer space is properly protected may reduce the chance of a fire. Whether your laundry room is inside your home or in a semi-detached space, professional inspectors can help you understand whether the space is safe and how you can best prevent fires. 

You can prevent a lint fire at your Charlotte, NC, home with proper dryer maintenance and cleaning. You can teach your family these tips as well so they can help keep your home safe from sudden fires. 



10 Steps to Feeling Better: #10 Be Optimistic

11/26/2020 (Permalink)

We have all heard “fake it till you make it,” and while it may be annoying to hear, it’s true. 

Optimism isn’t just good for a mood boost, it also improves heart health and boosts the immune system. 

Being aware and actively trying to be optimistic in order to feel happier actually makes it more effective.

Optimism is linked to overall better health and a longer lifespan.

The US Army teaches soldiers optimism in order to create “mental toughness.” The Army teaches us to think of things as temporary setbacks that are changeable. Soldiers should think that things will go away quickly and that they can do something to fix it.


Overconfidence can actually increase your ability to complete a task. Being overconfident can increase productivity and improve teamwork. 

Try adding a little optimism and confidence to your routine, whether it be telling yourself you can run a bit farther or setting a goal for work. 

10 Steps to Feeling Better: #9 Touch Someone

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

We often underestimate the power of touch in our lives. Touch has the power to reduce pain, stress, and depression.

Giving a massage to a loved one can help reduce depression and strengthen relationships.

The power of touch from a teacher or coach can improve students' and players' performance. Touch in a team can promote cooperation and increase trust between teammates.

The power of persuasion is increased by touch. Just touching someone's arm for a few seconds has a significant effect on how much help they will provide.

People who received 5 hugs a day were happier than those who didn’t. Make an effort to hug as many people in your life as you can, it will improve your happiness and theirs. 

Right now in the time of 6-feet-apart, it is hard to get the same physical contact we may have received previously, so make sure to savor the hugs you receive from family.



Safest Way to Thaw a Turkey

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving is a stressful time of year, and when you add a pandemic and things can get a little hectic, so if you are a planner or not, learn how you can thaw your turkey. 

Not all turkeys are frozen, but if yours is, it can be daunting to know what to do. Follow along to see what method is best for you this holiday. 

Fridge Thawing:

If you are a planner this is our favorite option. Clear out a shelf in the bottom of your fridge and put a roasting pan underneath your turkey. This is a slow method and takes 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. As your turkey thaws keep it wrapped and check the pan to see if it needs to be drained. After your turkey is thawed thoroughly dry it before seasoning and cooking. 

Sink-Thawing:

Running a little late on thawing your bird? No problem, sink-thawing is a great and much faster option. Clean your kitchen sink and fill your biggest pot with enough water to cover your turkey. You may need to weigh your turkey down with a lid or plate. Every 30 minutes drain all of the water and refill the pot with more cold water. This method takes about 2-3 hours for every 5 pounds, so even that big 20-pound bird can be thawed in 8-12 hours. 

Last-Minute Options:

If you forgot to get your turkey out of the freezer until Thanksgiving Day all hope is not lost. If your bird is still frozen on Thanksgiving morning go ahead and accept this won't be your best turkey ever, but it will be cooked and safe for your meal. Make sure you never try to fry a frozen bird and instead roast in your oven at a lower temperature for about 50% longer than you normally would. If you choose this option make sure that all parts of your turkey reach 165 degrees.


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How Dangerous is Lightning Really?

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

During a storm, there are many factors that have the potential to cause serious damage to your house. Besides wind, rain and falling trees, a few other things can cause damage.

Lightning!

You may have heard the phrase lightning never strikes the same place twice. However this statement isn’t always true, it often strikes in the same place if there is a tall pointed object. The Empire State Building has been said to be struck nearly 25 times a year!

Some people also believe that lightning is only a danger during cloudy or rainy conditions, the truth is, it can reach more than three miles outside of a storm. Lightning has even traveled as far as 15 miles before it strikes the ground.

Another type of lightning that can be confusing is “heat lightning,” something thought to only occur on hot summer days. The truth about “heat lightning” is that it is actually from storms that are too far away to be heard. 

Lightning is more than a loud noise during a storm, and a lightning strike to your Charlotte, NC, home, or business can cause fire and other serious damage.

If your home experiences lightning damage make sure to call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County.

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10 Steps to Feeling Better: #8 Laugh

11/21/2020 (Permalink)

Laughing 15 minutes a day helps you feel better mentally, but did you know it's also important for physical health? People who laugh every day have better immune systems, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, experience less pain, and live longer. 

Using humor to deal with stress can help you live, on average, four and a half years longer than people who don’t.

Reminiscing about past positive events also increases your relationship satisfaction. Try looking back at a time when you and your significant other laughed together, how do you feel?

Laughter has many positive health benefits, but it isn’t always easy to just start laughing. The SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg team loves to find a funny movie, or sometimes just watching our pets is enough to brighten our day.

10 Steps to Feeling Better: #7 Challenge Yourself

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that challenging your beliefs strengthens your mind? Learning new things is important, but more so adults need to be challenging the beliefs they have had all their lives.

Challenging yourself isn’t exclusive to the things you already know, you can also strengthen your mind with a new language, learning to play an instrument, or something as little as taking a new route to work. 

Challenging yourself creates willpower, and willpower is linked to a higher IQ. Willpower is linked to higher performance than IQ alone. 

One way to increase willpower is to actively change a habit. By doing something as little as changing posture, you are increasing your willpower

The SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg team wants to challenge you to do the things you might be scared of. We are 75% more likely to regret not doing something than we are to regret doing something, so push yourself to do those things you are scared of. 

Our favorite way to challenge yourself is taking a hike; we recommend Crowders Mountain State Park, which is less than an hour from Pineville.

Come back for more tips from the SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg team!

10 Steps to Feeling Better: #6 Get Enough Sleep

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Everyone knows that adults need eight hours of sleep a night, but do you know the benefits of actually getting those hours? 

One study showed that participants who got eight hours of sleep a night had no attention lapses, while those who only got four, and six hours of sleep experienced more lapses with every passing day. By the end of the two-week study those who only slept six hours a night were the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.

Sleep-deprived minds have a much harder time being happy because they can’t recall happy memories, while they have no problem remembering things with a negative connotation.

Lack of sleep also puts you at risk for illness. Those who weren’t sleeping enough were three times more likely to get sick.

Decision making is also deeply affected by our sleep quality. Sleeping better allows you to make better decisions and behave less rashly.

A lack of sleep also contributes to people making more unethical decisions. 

And naps can increase alertness and performance at work.

Our tips on better sleep: 

  • Put electronics away an hour before bed
  • Pick a consistent bedtime and wake up time every day 
  • Invest in blackout curtains for complete darkness in your room
  • Stop doing work and watching TV in bed, your bedroom should be exclusively for sleeping
  • Noise machines, music, or bedtime stories are a great way to fall asleep, we recommend Dreamful Bedtime Stories on Spotify.

Check back for more tips from the SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team!

What is Category 1 Water Damage?

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial buildings tend to have a fair share of water issues in a year, whether that be minor leaks or massive plumbing failures. Knowing when to call in a remediation company to your Charlotte, NC, business is paramount to saving money while also preventing serious damage. While most leaks do require professional help, you make be able to handle leaks that come from a clean water source. There are three primary sources of clean water, also known as category one, leaks; supply line leak, pipe break an appliance leak.

Supply Line Leak

Supply line leaks are typically leaks from a clean water source. These leaks are often underneath sinks, however, they can occur in walls and ceilings depending on where pipes exist in your building. Be careful if freshwater touches or soaks other building materials, as that is no longer classified as clean water, meaning a professional may be necessary to remove the damage. 

Pipe Break

As with supply line leaks, a broken pipe can also cause water loss from a clean source. However, while this may be clean water at first, it may not stay that way for long. When water touches other materials or chemicals, it goes from clean to greywater. Make sure to contact a professional if you are unsure of what category of water you are dealing with.

Appliance Leak

Beyond supply leaks and pipe breaks, an appliance failure is a common cause of clean source flooding. For example, supply hoses fail, valves break, among other issues that can cause pooling near the appliance. Unfortunately, some appliances can hide the leak until you remove it. If there is a sudden increase in utility bills but no visible leaks, be sure to check appliance leaks.

Clean water, or category one, leaks can often be resolved by the business owner, however, it does not take much water, or much time, to turn into grey or black water. Contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County if you are not sure how to handle the problem.

To learn more about bacteria associated with flooding please review the CDC website.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Heavy Rains

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Rain can come at unexpected times, so it is always necessary to protect your business against floodwater. While it is always a good idea to have a water remediation company in Charlotte, NC, on standby, here are a few things you can do on your own to protect your business.

Temporary Barriers

If you operate within an area that floods often, then you may want to have extra sandbags on hand in case of a strong storm. When a storm is expected place the sandbags around vulnerable places like doorways and windows to create a makeshift barrier.

Weight Down Exterior Furniture

Flood water can turn exterior elements into wrecking balls. Outdoor furniture that may seem heavy can float in high water levels and become a battering ram. To prevent outdoor furniture from becoming hazardous bring in whatever furniture you can, and weigh down other furniture with weights, or secure it to the pavement or structure. 

Elevate Sensitive Equipment

Instead of risking water damage to expensive electronics make sure to raise all equipment above flood level. If your business has a second level, then moving all equipment upstairs is best.

Board Vulnerable Entry Points

To prevent serious damage to windows and doors, consider boarding up the property. While you may have secured furniture on your own property, that does not mean every property owner nearby has done the same. Protect your business from debris by boarding your building.

While it is normal to be scared of floodwater, know that there are steps you can take to protect your business. If the worst-case happens and you are unable to keep the water out of your business, contact SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County for help.

10 Steps to Feeling Better: #5 Meditate

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

You may have heard before that meditation is a good way to relax, but not everyone knows how to start.

Studies have shown that just two minutes of meditation a day can help improve long term Happiness. 

Meditation also improves mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, and a decrease in symptoms of illness.

Over time meditation will also help improve attention span and focus. 

One study showed that after just five days participants had more control over stress. The participants also showed lower depression, anger and fatigue.

We know that it can feel daunting to start meditation without any guide, which is why we recommend using apps like HeadSpace, Calm, or following this podcast on Spotify. 

Along a similar vein, prayer can have similar effects as meditation, even for people who are not religious. 

Our favorite form of meditation is sitting on our porch in Charlotte and listening to the birds!

Come back on Thursday for more helpful tips from the SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team!

10 Steps to Feeling Better: #4 Express Gratitude

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Expressing gratitude for the things in our lives can make us instantly happier in just a few seconds. Thinking about the absence of the most important things in your life can help improve your happiness more than thinking about a happy event that hasn’t happened.

A way to express gratitude is to write yourself a letter about all the things you are grateful for. One study showed that writing letters of gratitude increased life satisfaction and happiness while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Not only does gratitude help may you feel better, but it also improves your relationships. Expressing gratitude helps increase marital satisfaction. 

Gratitude has also been shown to improve self-care. People who were more gracious towards their bodies were more likely to eat better, exercise, and go to doctors. 

Writing a daily gratitude list before bed can help you sleep better and longer. Going to sleep with positive thoughts can help improve sleep quality. 

Gratitude is a happiness that lasts. It gives you willpower and patience and puts you into a state of mind. There is no instant gratification, it is a frame of mind. Regularly expressing gratitude will help you achieve a gracious frame of mind.

We give gratitude every day that we are able to help families all around Charlotte, Pineville and Mathews to bring their homes back to normal.


Come back to learn about our other steps to feeling better!

10 Steps to Feeling Better: #3 Spend Time with Friends and Family

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Harvard Happiness Expert Dan Gilbert has identified quality time with friends and family is one of the most important happiness factors.

It can be hard to understand just how important relationships are to happiness, so a study put a value on relationships to truly understand how important they are. This study found that friendships are worth over $130,000 a year, while a strong marriage is worth $105,000 in terms of life satisfaction. To learn more about how much relationships are worth, look here.

Feeling like you have friends, and having a sense of belonging is actually an IQ booster. Feeling lonely and having no sense of belonging is linked to death as much as major health risk behaviors such as smoking.

Loneliness has been linked to heart attack, diabetes, and strokes.

It has been shown that the longest living people all put strong importance on relationships. Good relationships have also been linked to being even more effective than exercise in living a long life.

Sharing good news with friends strengthens relationships, and doing something kind for friends can help improve your happiness immediately.

We challenge you to go share good news and do something kind for a friend today! 

Our team at SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County loves spending time with our family with a bonfire and s'mores, what is your favorite family activity?

Come back to learn our other 7 favorite tips for a better life.

Holiday Hazards: Safety Tips for Frying a Thanksgiving Turkey

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

As we begin to prepare for the Thanksgiving season it is important to take safety measures when frying a turkey. 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. 

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. 

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

Prepare your Property for all That Fall and Winter Weather Brings With These Seasonal Maintenance Tips.

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Fall is a great time to start preparing your 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. 

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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Steps to Protect your Kitchen From Water Damage during a Leak

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding can drastically impact every room inside your home, but perhaps the most debilitating target is the kitchen. This is where we socialize and prepare food. A great kitchen raises the value of your home in Charlotte, NC. Prioritize the protection of your kitchen in the case of a sink leak by following these steps. 

  1. Cut off the water flow 

The first step after discovering a leak is to cut off the main water supply. The more water that makes its way into your home, the damage increases and it becomes more difficult to control. Locate stop valves under the sink and turn them off. If this does not stop the water then you need to shut off the main water supply. Ensure it is safe to reach the valves. If there are electrical hazards do not attempt to shut off the water before an electrician has cut the power. 

  1. Contact the insurance company

Just like with most cases of flooding and property damage, you should contact your insurance agent to determine the next steps and file a claim. You will need to prove you are not at fault and that it is a temporary issue to receive compensation. Record and photograph the extent of the water damage as much as possible. Potential damage locations include floors, walls and cabinets.

  1. Bring in the professionals

After stopping the water flow and calling your insurance company, it is time to call in a professional remediation company. A licensed and certified plumber can take care of the issues that caused the leak, while an emergency remediation company will send experienced staff to remove the water and dry the area. The professionals will also have to disinfect the area from any possible water contamination. 

Your kitchen is a valuable part of your Charlotte, NC, home. Protect it from flooding and leaks by following these steps as soon as you see excess water.

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Where is Autumn?

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

It continues to be hot and dry in the Carolinas.  We are hoping for relief soon, but until then, there are some things we can all do!

Inside:

Conserve water- turn off the taps and address those leaks!

When running water (getting it hot at the tap), collect the water and use it on plants.

Showers: Take shorter showers

Toilets: Install low-flow toilets and flush when necessary

Laundry: Wash full loads only

Outside:

Lawns:  Water less often and if you must, please do it in the early morning or late evening.

Sprinklers: Set timers, address leaks, and focus on the areas that need water (not the sidewalk).

Landscaping: Mulch around trees and plants- the Carolinas love their pine needles for a reason!

Cars: On a positive note, it is a perfect opportunity to skip a chore- avoid washing the car unless it is absolutely necessary or use a car wash that recycles the water.

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