Recent Community Posts

10 Steps To Feeling Better: #5 Meditate

10/16/2021 (Permalink)

“10 Steps To Feeling Better: Meditate” with a person meditating and the SERVPRO logo How Meditation Can Improve Your Mood

We know a lot of people groan when they hear the word meditation, and there are usually some protests because it can be hard to sit still for such a long time, but meditation doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep reading to learn the benefits of meditation and how you can do it. 

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. 

When you start meditating it may not look like what you imagine. Meditation comes in many forms. It could look like 30 seconds of mindful breathing or it could be 30 minutes of guided meditation. Even if you struggle to sit still or calm your mind, short meditations guided through an app can seem easy and help boost your mood. 

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, NC, and listening to the birds!

Come back next week for more helpful tips from the SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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. 

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.



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.

Source

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.


Source

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.