Recent Posts

Can You Remove the Smoke Smell from Your Belongings?

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Two women wearing masks and gloves cleaning at commercial sinks Our crews have to clean fire-damaged items before they can remove the odor!

If you had a house fire, you know firsthand how strong the smell of smoke is. The odor is often headache-inducing, and it seemingly blankets everything in the home. In fact, sometimes the smell is pungent that people are more than willing to discard affected items.

Although the malodor can be overwhelming, in most cases, it can be removed. At SERVPRO of Burke County, we have several techniques at our disposal to remove smoke and other strong odors.

Cleaning Your Smoke-Damaged Possessions

We smell things when a substance releases odorants into the air, and then receptors in our nose transmit a signal to our brain [1]. Because smoke is highly volatile, it gives off a lot of odorants. So before our team can begin to remove the odor, we have to clean your damaged belongings so we can address the source. We have several different cleaning methods, depending on the type of material.

Clothes, linens, and other textiles are taken to our textile-cleaning facility. Our cleaning experts use various products and equipment to remove soot from your soft goods. We even have an Esporta, which is able to clean heavily-sooted items—including uniforms and stuffed animals.

Furniture and more durable items are sent to our cleaning warehouse where we clean belongings either by hand cleaning with propriety cleaning products or by using advanced technology. Our ultrasonic machines, for example, can remove soot from jewelry, small electronics, and other objects that require fine cleaning. Depending on the item and the cleaning requirements, we have a process to save many damaged items.

The Odor Removal Process

Just as with the cleaning process, our team has several different odor removal options. The method we use often depends on what and where we are cleaning.

In most cases, we will place items in an ozone chamber, which is a special chamber where we purposefully generate ozone to neutralize smells. The ozone reacts with the odorants and effectively makes the smell go away. (NOTE: Because ozone can be dangerous even with low exposure levels, this is not something we recommend you do on your own.)

Another commonly used odor removal method is chlorine dioxide (CLO2). Similarly to ozone, CLO2 reacts with molecules to neutralize the smell. In the case of CLO2, however, the molecules are incredibly small, which means it can more effectively penetrate porous material, which can make it more effective than ozone.

We Can Eliminate Nearly Any Smell

At SERVPRO of Burke County, we invest in the best products and methods to save and restore your damaged belongings. If you have a fire and need our experts to get rid of the smoke smell, know that we’re available for the entire cleanup and restoration process. Call us today at (828) 874-0966!

[1] Source: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/sense-smell

How We’re Serving the Community During COVID-19

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Women wearing face masks stand in front of a table stacked with arts supplies Our team continues to safely volunteer so we can help those in need!

It was only a few months ago that we lived in a world that wasn’t plagued by the coronavirus. But now, plans have been disrupted, our social lives have changed, and we’re all adjusting to a new sense of “normal.” During this time, our team at SERVPRO of Burke County has adjusted our strategy so that we can still serve the community while keeping you and our staff safe. In addition to our regular cleanup and restoration services, there are a few ways we’re staying involved.

Disinfecting Our Local First Responders’ Building and Vehicles

While many of us have had the opportunity to work from home during the pandemic, our local first responders and other essential workers have not. Because these important groups of people are putting themselves at risk every day, we’ve offered to clean and disinfect their buildings, vehicles, and equipment—free of charge.

We’ve already served multiple fire departments, and we are continuing to help our first responders as needed!

Volunteering from a Distance

Even though we have to maintain our distance, we’re still helping local organizations—as long as it can be done safely! For example, we recently helped the Caldwell Arts Council assemble art kits to be distributed to  K-3 students in the Caldwell County Schools system. We wore gloves and masks and kept a safe distance from others, all so we could bring some joy to local children!

We’re Here for the Community

Through it all, we still believe in finding ways to serve our community. In addition to the above, we’ve helped disinfect local businesses through our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, and we continue to keep in touch with the community through the local chambers of commerce and Rotary. This is just one of the ways we give back for all the support we’ve received over the years!

3 Ways You Can Protect Your Home from Water Damage

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Water streaming from showerhead in a tile bathroom Water damage can be expensive to clean up if you don't take precautions!

Ask your friends and neighbors if they’ve ever had flooding or a leak in their home, and you’ll likely discover at least one has (if not more). Although it’s not something we like to disclose to others, water damage incidents are fairly common. While the damages can vary, it’s not uncommon for the cleanup and restoration process to cost thousands of dollars.

It’s not always possible to prevent these incidents from occurring, but there are some steps you can take to mitigate your risk!

Shut Off Your Water During Extended Vacations

Although most people aren’t going on vacation anytime soon, as businesses continue to open, many are starting to make vacation plans. But have you noticed that most accidents seem to happen when you’re away from your home? Whether it’s karma or just bad luck, water damage incidents that occur when you’re not home can get out of hand.

One of the easiest ways you can mitigate these problems from ruining your return home is to shut off the water before you leave. Doing this can prevent burst pipes or leaks from sending hundreds of gallons of water into your home.

Don’t Ignore Your Water Pipes

Speaking of pipes, your home’s plumbing system can cause water damage issues even when you are home. Complications can arise due to having hard water, having high water pressure, or even from pipes freezing in the winter. Hard water and high pressure can be alleviated by installing a water softener and a pressure regulator in your system, respectively. You can prevent frozen pipes by having them insulated in advance.

Even though we rely on our pipes to transport water to our fixtures and appliances, they aren’t something we ignore. If you notice any problems, you should have a plumber address them immediately.

Maintain Your Water Heater

Imagine coming home to find steaming water all over your kitchen floor. That’s exactly what one of our customers faced after their water heater burst one evening.

We all enjoy hot showers, but our water heaters don’t last forever. In fact, they should be replaced before the end of their life expectancy (which you can find listed on your appliance’s label). Over time, water heaters begin to wear down, increasing their risk of leaking or bursting. Be sure to regularly inspect yours for signs of stress; otherwise, replace it when it’s time to do so.

Hiring Water Damage Professionals

If you do have flooding or a leak at your home, you’re going to need the damage cleaned up. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Burke County has more than a decade of experience cleaning and restoring water-damaged homes in the Morganton area. We’re available 24/7 to make any incident “Like it never even happened.”

How to Prepare for a Tornado

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Tornado moving through a field Tornadoes can be destructive, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your family!

In a recent blog post, we discussed the differences between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. In either case, you must be prepared and ready to act. But what exactly does it mean to be prepared for a tornado? There are actually a few steps you can take to protect you and your family.

  1. Identify your safe place. There aren’t many people in the area with storm shelters, but that doesn’t mean some places aren’t safer than others. It’s a good idea to identify and review a safe place that you and your family can hide in until it’s safe to leave. Ideally, this is a basement or an inside room (like a closet or bathroom) on a lower floor. It’s strongly advised that you avoid windows!
  1. Have a portable TV, radio, or phone on standby. Your local officials will keep you updated on any weather developments, but you’ll need a way to get their communications. Because power—and thus your Internet—can be disrupted, it’s highly recommended that you have a portable TV or radio available (with fresh batteries, of course).
  1. Teach your family about tornadoes and safety. To truly prepare, it’s important that you review tornado safety with your family—especially if you have children. They should know what a tornado is, how to identify a safe place, and the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. This information will help prepare them for the situation—even if they aren’t with you at the time.

Even though tornadoes aren’t a common occurrence here in Burke County, they do happen, and they can be quite destructive. If you have storm damage, you’re going to want professionals to clean up and restore your home. If so, you can call SERVPRO of Burke County any time at (828) 874-0966!

Our New Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned allows you to offer safety and peace of mind for your staff and customers!

As businesses across North Carolina reopen, we’re shifting back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and healthy is a top concern. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address COVID-19. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial cleaning. By using our program, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard—you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive Training and Specialized Products

SERVPRO stands on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  In addition to fire & water cleanup, our professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills—always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as our local economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

At SERVPRO of Burke County, we’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high-frequency touchpoints, foot traffic, and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a deep clean using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for the cleanup process, and the disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call Today for a Consultation

We’re Here to Help—24 hours a day, seven days a week—until life is back to normal here in our community.

Call SERVPRO of Burke County today at (828) 874-0966 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

Tornado Watch vs Tornado Warning

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Tornado and lightning strike near a mountain village Tornadoes are incredibly destructive, so pay attention to the local news alerts!

Tornadoes aren’t a common occurrence in Burke County, but they do happen. In October of 2017, a tornado watch was declared in the area before being upgraded to a warning. Although we avoided much of the damage, the storm caused a lot of destruction in neighboring counties. But what exactly are these alerts the local authorities issue? They actually tell us a lot about tornado activity.

Tornado Watch

A tornado watch is issued when conditions are right for a tornado to form. In this situation, an active tornado has not yet been spotted, but you should still be prepared to act. During a watch, stay indoors and keep an eye on the local weather news. If the alert is upgraded to a warning, you’ll need to take action.

Tornado Warning

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has actually been spotted or is imminent. When this alert is issued, you and your family need to get to a secure location within the home and monitor local news. Unlike a watch, a warning requires immediate action!

Cleaning Up Storm Damage

Storm events tend to cause a lot of property damage, and the cleanup process can be stressful to navigate. Fortunately, our professional team is available 24/7 to clean and restore your storm-damaged home. If you have an incident, call us any time at (828) 874-0966!

Can Your Hardwood Floors Be Saved From Water Damage

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic and dehumidifiers covering hardwood floors in a home We use a special system to save and dry your wet hardwoods!

It’s no secret that water and wood aren’t a good mix. Because wood is a porous material, it acts almost like a sponge and absorbs moisture. This is especially problematic when you have standing water—there’s more moisture than the wood can hold.

Each month, we get multiple calls from panicked homeowners whose home has suffered some form of water damage. For the customers with affected hardwood flooring, they often ask the same, pressing question: can their floors be saved?

Saving Hardwood Floors

In short, the answer is maybe; it depends on how damaged the floors are by the time our crews arrive.

If your hardwood floor had mild exposure and only have cupping, it’s possible to save them. We use a special system that removes excess moisture from the wood and should allow the planks to return to their original position.

If your hardwood floor had more extensive exposure and had already warped, these would need to be removed and replaced. In that condition, they would be past the point of saving.

Water Damage Mitigation Experts

In our 11 years of service, we have helped thousands of homeowners recover from water damage. Our professionally trained technicians have worked on a range of incidents—from minor leaks to major flooding. If you have water damage at your property, call us anytime at (828) 874-0966!

Our Textile Cleaning Facility

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Woman pushing buttons on washing machine in room full of cleaning equipment We have several different types of cleaning machines to clean your damaged textiles!

Imagine for a moment that your home has a fire. Although we can clean up and restore the house, your belongings are just as important. After all, it’s the sentimental value that separates a house from a home. We agree, which is why we invested in cleaning equipment that can save and restore many of your cherished belongings.

Full-Service Cleaning

Our state-of-the-art textile cleaning facility is equipped with powerful machines that clean and deodorize most soft items. We have several washing machines and dryers, so we can clean several volumes of clothing and linens at once. We also have an Esporta, which is capable of cleaning 90% of soft goods, including shoes, stuffed animals, leather, and more.

For items with a lingering odor, we can place them in our ozone chamber to remove the smell!

Keeping Your Belongings Safe

In the past, we would have had to send damaged clothes, linens, and other textiles to a 3rd party cleaning company. But our textile cleaning warehouse—located at our main office—allows us to take care of everything in-house. This means you don’t have to worry about your belongings being in the care of people you don’t know.

All items are digitally inventoried and grouped by customer. This lets us keep track of your possessions so you don’t have to worry about items being lost or mixed up in the process.

Your Local Professionals

We know that house fires, flooding, and other disasters can be extremely stressful to navigate. Our team is available 24/7 to help you and your family get your lives back to normal. If you have a disaster in the Morganton, NC area and need professional cleanup services, call SERVPRO of Burke County today at (828) 874-0966!

What Are Smoke Webs?

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Black cobweb-like chains on the edge of a greenish ceiling Soot webs like these form during a fire and aren't associated with spiders!

If you’ve ever had a house fire, you might suddenly notice cobwebs along the ceiling that you had previously never seen. These “cobwebs” are actually features that formed because of the fire and have nothing to do with spiders or your cleaning skills.

Smoke Webs

These webs, known as either smoke webs or soot webs, form when ionized soot particles stick together in a chain-like formation. Smoke webs are incredibly sticky and can lead to staining if they are improperly handled. That’s why you should hire a fire damage cleanup and restoration team to remove them.

If you have a house fire and need a professional cleaning, know that SERVPRO of Burke County is available to help. You can call us any time at (828) 874-0966.

How Water Damage Can Be Hazardous

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold covers multiple walls in a small room Water damage can lead to mold growth if it's not immediately addressed!

At first, water damage can seem like nothing more than an inconvenience. Your belongings might be soaked and your carpet may need to be removed, but it’s nothing to be concerned about, right? Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

Water Damage Encourages Mold Growth

Mold spores need moisture to activate and grow, so areas affected by water damage are prime spots for mold growth. It’s why we encourage you to promptly handle any water damage incidents. Mold can be problematic for a couple of reasons:

  1. Mold will generally feed on the surface it’s growing on, which can cause the material to lose its structural integrity.
  1. Mold spores are allergens that can cause certain health effects in certain people.

Because mold can cause health and safety issues, it’s important that it is addressed before it gets out of control. Fortunately, if you do have an active mold infestation, our team has the experience and certifications to handle it.

Water Can Have Biohazardous Contaminants

Not all water damage is created equally. While some come from clean water sources and are fairly safe, some come from contaminated sources, such as sewage and floodwaters. In fact, we categorize water damages by the water’s cleanliness, and we take precautions when necessary. Some water—because of contaminants it may carry—is considered a health hazard and is best avoided without proper safety gear. Even clean water—given time—can start to carry pathogens and become a health threat.

Call Your Water Damage Professionals

For years, SERVPRO of Burke County has worked with thousands of homes and businesses to clean up and restore their water-damaged properties. Our team has seen first-hand how these incidents can get out of control, which is why we are available 24/7. If you have a leak or flooding in your home, call our professionals any time at (828) 874-0966!