Recent Storm Damage Posts

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.



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.

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.



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.



Why you Want a Flood Cut

10/11/2020 (Permalink)

When floodwater enters your home or place of business in Charlotte, you hope that there will be minimal damage. It is hard to believe only a few inches of water can cause so much damage. In reality, flood water needs to be dealt with by a professional mediation company to remove any potentially hazardous materials. A flood cut is often part of necessary remediation. While it might feel like your home or business is being taken apart, it is one of the first steps to getting it to look like new. 

  • Why is Flood Water Harmful?

When floodwater comes in from streams, rivers, and rain it is full of microbes and bacteria. Those microbes and bacteria find porous surfaces to thrive and cultivate. Surfaces like carpet and drywall are welcome spots for growth.

  • What does a Flood Cut do?

An expert should inspect the entire area to evaluate flood zones. After inspecting, they will recommend removing anything problematic. With the possible dangers of flood water, it is not enough to just remove where the water touched, the flood cut removes 12 inches above the flood line, making sure to remove any possible microbes and bacteria. 

  • How is the Place Sanitized?

Will all contaminated pieces gone, dehumidifiers are brought in to remove moisture from the air and prevent mold growth and save other valuables and effects. An antimicrobial spray can be applied to further reduce contamination. Once the area has been dried and treated the drywall can be repaired and painted returning your space to normal. 

When a professional recommends a flood cut, it is not meant to scare you or drive-up the bill, it is meant to protect your space by decreasing pollutants and improving structural quality.

If floodwater has entered your Charlotte home or business, call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County to get your property back to normal.

How to Minimize Flood Damage

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

When a major storm hits your home 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. 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 most of this process, but you can clean some items. Something you can clean yourself is clothing. Any contaminated clothing should be washed in hot water with fabric-safe bleach. 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, and then use industrial fans to dry the area. A dehumidifier may be brought in 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.

Preparing for Hurricane Season Before Travel

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Has a hurricane popped up at your next travel destination? 

Vacations should be a time for relaxation, but knowing a tropical storm or hurricane is heading your way can be concerning. A hurricane doesn’t have to ruin your vacation, but make sure you are prepared in case of a serious event. 

Before you leave:

Watch the news: stay up to date on on local weather at least a week in advance 

Get hurricane travel insurance: If the weather causes delays to your vacation or force you to leave early insurance will help cover the cost of trip changes. 

Keep paper copies of documents: print and bring copies of your travel insurance, itinerary, phone numbers, passports if you are traveling out of the country. Having these documents is important in case you lose originals and the internet is down. 

During your trip:

Find a point of contact: Cell service can be interrupted during a storm, so make sure you and everyone you are traveling with knows where to go to find a landline.

Identify evacuation routes: When you reach your destination evaluate evacuation routes so that everyone knows where to go in case of emergency. 

Be mindful of your surroundings: If wiring is knocked down be aware of touching it as well as any possible nails, boards, and other dangerous items where they shouldn’t be.

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wishes you a safe and hurricane-free vacation, but make sure to call us if you need us at (704) 840 - 6112



Be Ready For Flooding

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

Prepare Now:

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

Be Safe After:

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

Source: https://www.ready.gov/floods



Storm Damage Prevention and Response

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

It feels like the weather changes almost instantly in Charlotte!  One minute it is hot and dry, the next minute there is a storm or hurricane approaching the area.  No matter what, we seem to get our fair share of rain on a consistent basis!

We had a friend get in trouble really quickly while driving during a flood watch/warning.  Thankfully, emergency crews rescued her in time but her car was a total loss.  She literally said it was seconds from when she attempted to drive through what she thought was a "shallow but big puddle" and the time her car began to fill with water.  After that, she reminds me every time it starts to rain like it is right now. 

Thinking of my friends and neighbors in our South Mecklenburg County area, I decided to go on www.weather.gov today and do some research as I watched the rain pour down.  I found these really good tips to keep us and our loved ones safe during this rainy time.  Please stay safe out there!

Here is what I found and wanted to share from the www.weather.gov site:

During a Flood

During a flood, water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Remain aware and monitor local radio and television outlets. Avoid flood waters at all costs and evacuate immediately when water starts to rise. Don't wait until it's too late!

  • Stay Informed: Listen to radio and television, including NOAA Weather Radio if possible, check the Internet and social media for information and updates.
  • Get to Higher Ground: If you live in a flood prone area or are camping in a low lying area, get to higher ground immediately.
  • Obey Evacuation Orders: If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your home when you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
  • Practice Electrical Safety: Don't go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises--get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!
  • Avoid Flood Waters: Don't walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 if possible. Do NOT drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don't Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards such as sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc. A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in seconds 12 inches of water can float a car or small SUV, 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

Hurricane Season 2020-2021!

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

2020 has been a year that has required all of us to be flexible, patient, careful, and intentional.  Even thought events like the COVID 19 pandemic has received most of our attention lately, we have entered hurricane season.  It is already promising to be active for North Carolina.  To save you some time researching ways to prepare, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wanted to share some tips with you.  Thank you, Chubb.com and ready.gov for helping us share these wonderful tips with our SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County neighbors, friends, and family!

Hurricane Prep Tips

When a major storm is coming, stay informed by following NOAA Weather radio or your local news channels for updates. In addition, make sure to obey all orders if requested to evacuate by the authorities. Follow these 10 hurricane and storm preparation steps to keep your home and loved ones safe before disaster strikes.

  1. Make a plan
    If evacuation is necessary, turn off all utilities and follow community disaster preparedness plans. Select a common meeting place or single point-of-contact for all family members. If you have pets, have a plan for their evacuation as well.
  2. Secure the exterior
    Trim large trees and shrubs and bring all outside patio furniture, potted plants, bikes and toys indoors. If necessary, secure outdoor sculptures with burlap or blankets tied with rope.
  3. Install storm shutters
    Protect windows, doors and skylights with appropriate shutters or impact-resistant glass. You can nail pieces of plywood to window frames as last-minute protection.
  4. Check wall hangings and art
    Make sure wall hangings are secure and take notes about your art collection and any existing damage. Make sure that art hung on outside walls are taken inside, and elevated off the floor.
  5. Move your cars
    Move cars to higher ground or park them in your garage against the garage doors. Do not park under trees, power lines or in low-lying areas.
  1. Power up
    Fill your car’s gas tank, charge your cell phone, test your generator and have plenty of fuel ready in case of power outages.
  2. Unplug appliances
    Move appliances and household fixtures away from exterior doors and window openings. Store them in cabinets or interior closets.
  3. Store important documents
    Keep important documents, such as legal papers, birth certificates, marriage license, financial papers and insurance policy information, as well as valuables such as jewelry, in a safety deposit box or in a bolted safe in an interior closet in your home.
  4. Prep an emergency kit
    Gather flashlights, a portable radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water, cash, blankets, clothing and toiletries.
  5. Identify a shelter room
    This enclosed area should be on the first floor, in the central part of the house with no windows. Avoid all unprotected windows and doors until the storm passes.

These helpful tips came from:

https://www.chubb.com/us-en/individuals-families/resources/10-steps-to-prepare-for-a-hurricane.aspx

Want more tips? Go to Ready.gov.

Water Damaged Electronics?

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

 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, 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 Colorado our baseline humidity stands at about 50%.  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.  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.

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.

Source: http://rescuetech.co/how-to-handle-water-damaged-electronics/

Wind Damage Prevention

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

We have all heard of a blustery fall day- but wind 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 things you can do  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 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
  • 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 if you need us to come and clean up the mess.  We will make it "Like it never even happened."

Source: https://www.weather.gov/safety/wind-ww

State of the Art Equipment for Storm Damage

8/3/2020 (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. 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 home are affected by water damage. Replacement is not always the only option!

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County will respond quickly to storm related your loss before further damage can occur- like floors 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 that is available 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!

Weather Safety: Fog

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

I don't know about you, but I love fall weather.  I love a cloudy, misty day.  It is a perfect excuse to snuggle up with a good book, comfort food, and the couch- with no other place to go.  However, it isn't as wonderful if you have to travel in this weather.  

Fog can create dangerous driving conditions- but don't worry!  There are simple things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones!

When you are traveling in fog:

  • Slow down! Driving at posted speeds can be very dangerous!
  • Use your low beam headlights- high beam lights will be spread and reflected in the fog's water droplets.
  • Do not change lanes or pass other vehicles.
  • Pay attention to the road and what is going on- now is not the time to be distracted!
  • Leave plenty of distance between you and others.
  • If you must pull off on the side of the road, pull off as far as safely possible.  Then turn off your lights and use your parking brake to avoid being hit by cars who may not realize you’ve pulled over.

What To Do After a Flood

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Man and woman standing in water in a building If you have a flood, don't panic! SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help!

If a flood has occurred and you were affected, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help!  However, we want your safety to be your first priority- we will clean up the mess once it is safe!

  • Do NOT drive through even small amounts of water!  
  • If a road is closed- respect this and do not "try to make it"
  • Do not return to your property until you hear it is safe and you have the all-clear.
  • Let your loved ones know you are safe- cell phones/texting/social media
  • Do not drink, bathe, brush teeth, wash clothes/dishes with contaminated water- and remember that all flood water is potentially contaminated and dangerous.
  • My grandmother was right- a good rule to follow after a flood: "When in doubt, throw it out"!  This applies to food that may have not been kept cool/frozen or exposed to contaminated water.

Like we said, we value your safety above all else.  In our next blog, we will share how we will return your property and make it "Like it never even happened."  We are here for you!

Flood Safety

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Last week, we shared what to do during our dry spell- but if you live in the Carolinas, then you know the weather can flip in an instant!  It is not unheard of to get strong storms and sudden downpours here.  Do you know what to do if you find yourself under a flood watch or warning?

According to the experts, you should:

  • Make sure you have emergency supplies
  • Listen to newscasts or follow weather apps for updates.
  • Have a gallon of water for each person and pet for at least three days.
  • Secure trash cans, lawn furniture, the cute gnome, etc.
  • If you must leave your property- turn off the power to your property and close the main gas valve
  • As you are leaving,if the rain has started or there is runoff from another area, remember to avoid driving through standing water and avoid low areas.