Recent Water Damage Posts

There’s Water! Now What?

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

“There’s Water! Now What?” with servpro logo What does it mean when a water heater bursts?

Recently, a homeowner came home to find a steamy, wet mess throughout the first level of their home!  They found the source of the problem- a failed hot water heater valve!  They shut off the water and began trying to soak up the water with towels.  They knew they needed professional help with this emergency!

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County was called in and we immediately responded to this situation.  We quickly determined that the water had not just soaked the floor!  It had traveled through the carpet, tile, hardwoods, and the sub-flooring.  We also discovered it had gone through the insulation and into the crawlspace.

We knew the homeowner was worried and upset about the extent of the damage.  Our technicians walked the homeowner through the process we would follow and answered all of his questions.  

And then we went to work!  We secured their personal belongings and began drying immediately.  We used our state-of-the-art restoration equipment and our highly trained technicians constantly monitored, adjusted, and evaluated the situation so that we quickly made it "Like it never even happened."  In the end, this homeowner was not only relieved but very pleased with the outcome both inside his home and in the crawlspace.  We were so happy we had been able to help get their lives back to normal so quickly! 

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help you should you ever need us, just give us a call at (704) 840-6112. 

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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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.

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.



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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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.

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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