Recent Posts

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About SERVPRO of Burke County

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee pushing a cart of clothes in a textile cleaning facility Most people don't know we can clean a customer's belongings in-house!

Over the years, we’ve served thousands of customers with fire and water damages. Yet we’re often surprised at the things our customers don’t know about us. So whether you’re checking us out for the first time or you’ve been a customer in the past, we’re sharing some things you probably didn’t know about us.

  1. We have our own in-house textile cleaning facility. Back when we first started out, we would have to outsource some of our work to 3rd-party companies. Damaged textiles, for example, would have to be sent to a cleaning specialist. As we’ve grown, we’ve invested in our own textile cleaning facility, so we can clean damaged clothes, blankets, and more—all done in-house!

  1. We operate in the entire Unifour area. Although our name is SERVPRO of Burke County, we actually operate with the same team throughout the entire Unifour team. Owners Kim & Randy Williams gradually bought all four SERVPRO franchises and service the entire area with the same team!
  1. We’ve handled million dollar commercial jobs. Because we have over 60 employees, hundreds of equipment units, and have served thousands of customers, we’re capable of handling very large jobs. For example, our team has responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, flooding at Martinsville Speedway, and a large fire at Valdese Weavers. Our team has helped many commercial customers get their business back up and operational.

There’s a lot that our team has and can do. Each year, we continue to grow and improve our services, so if you have a disaster, call SERVPRO of Burke County anytime at (828) 874-0966!

3 Fire Safety Practices You Should Perform in 2020

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Yellowed and damaged smoke detector on a ceiling Smoke detectors can provide the crucial time you need to escape from a fire. Be sure to inspect yours at least once a month!

A new year equals a new you. We all have our own unique New Year’s resolutions, but there are some that we should all share as a society. Fire safety, for example, can help prevent fires and reduce the potential for fire-related casualties. We encourage fire safety, which is why we’re sharing three fire safety practices you should start this year!

  1. Test your smoke alarm. Most people treat smoke detectors as something you can set and forget. But as with any device, they can die or malfunction. That’s why you should test your smoke alarm at least once a month. Most devices have a button you can hold—if the device beeps, it’s good to go!
  1. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher is a great tool to have on hand when a small fire breaks out. It’s also important to know how to use one. If you’ve never used a fire extinguisher before, we highly recommend you learn how. There are many resources available—from articles to YouTube videos. If all else fails, you can always visit your local fire department!

  1. Stop leaving an in-use kitchen unsupervised. Cooking-related fires are the leading causes of fires each year in the United States. These occur for many reasons, but they frequently occur when people leave their kitchen unattended while heating devices are in use. Fires can start in an instant, so don’t leave your kitchen unsupervised—even for a moment!

As a disaster restoration company, we’ve seen first-hand how destructive a fire can be. We’ve also seen how fire safety can mitigate that same destruction. We hope you’ll join us this year as we promote fire safety, and if you do have fire damage, know that our team is available any time!

3 Ways to Prepare for a Winter Storm

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Snow-covered trees line both sides of a snowy road Winter can be a beautiful season, but it also brings potential danger. Always be prepared for the worst!

Winter brings a sense of wonder and enjoyment. It also brings freezing temperatures, snow, and ice storms. Although many of us look forward to seeing some precipitation this time of year, winter storms can cause damage to you and your home. Each year, these events bring down trees, increase the number of car accidents, and result in several water damages. Fortunately, you can take some preventative steps and still enjoy the winter season.

  1. Insulate your pipes. When temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes are at risk of freezing. When the ice begins to thaw, the increased pressure often causes these pipes to burst. To help avoid such an incident, ensure your pipes are well-insulated, especially if they are exposed!

  1. Equip your vehicle with an emergency kit. We strongly advise that you avoid the roads when the conditions are poor, but sometimes you just can’t help it. In any case, pack your vehicle with an emergency kit in case you get stuck or injured. Prepare a blanket, a first-aid kit, and even some food!

  1. Check your home’s structure. When snow and ice melt, they transition back into water. Unfortunately, if there are cracks or any other deficiencies in your home’s structure, that can lead to intrusion. This relatively slow leak can lead to long-term structural damage in the way of mold growth. In preparation, have your home’s structure inspected, and have any known issues addressed!

While we hope you have fun this winter, taking some time to prepare can go a long way in the future. If you do have water damage, however, know that our team is available 24/7!

Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Cracked brick around a green, barred window Cracks and other deficiencies in your building's structure can allow rain to infiltrate your property!

Each year, dozens of businesses in the Morganton area have water damage. At best, these incidents are a minor inconvenience; at worst, they can halt operations and cost the company thousands of dollars. Over the years, we’ve helped hundreds of commercial properties recover from water damages, so we’re sharing some of the most common causes!

  1. Sprinkler system malfunction. A sprinkler system is a great investment as far as fire safety is concerned. After all, these systems have the ability to control a fire before it gets out of hand! But they also have the potential to cause unwanted water damage, such as if there’s a leak or if they discharge prematurely. While we encourage you to install a sprinkler system at your place of business, it’s equally important that you conduct regular maintenance and inspections.

  1. Pipe burst/leak. Your plumbing system contains pressurized water, so when there’s a break in the system, dozens of gallons can burst into your building. Many businesses in the community have faced this issue, though for varying reasons. Some incidents, for example, are caused by a workplace accident; others are the result of age and a lack of maintenance. Regardless, your property’s pipes should be protected and inspected at all costs!

  1. Structural leaks. Your building does more than just home your place of operations; it also protects it from the outside. Rain can cause a lot of damage, which many people experienced during the June floods, but the building’s structure prevents that from happening. If there’s a crack or other deficiency in the structure, however, it can allow rain to infiltrate your space. In fact, we’ve seen several buildings that were flooded because of some sort of structural damage.

As we’ve illustrated above, water damage can occur in the most unexpected ways. While it’s not possible to know when and how you’ll have a disaster, you can prepare for the most common kinds. If you regularly inspect your building and any water systems, you can hopefully identify issues before they occur. But if you do have water damage, know that our team of water mitigation professionals is always here to help!

What is a Puffback?

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Antique furnace beside wood pile and in front of brick wall Your home's furnace can backfire and blow soot all in your home!

Imagine coming home one cold, fall evening to discover your living room is covered in soot. This is a reality many people in Burke County face in the cold seasons, often catching them by surprise. These incidents are called puffbacks, and they are more common than you might think.

What is a Puffback?

A puffback occurs when a furnace or boiler backfires and shoots soot into your home. These backfires occur because the heaters do not ignite properly and allow fuel to build up in the chamber. Once they do ignite, it can create anything from smoke to a small explosion. Regardless, these incidents push smoke and soot into the home, which in turn damages your belongings.

Cleaning Up a Puffback

Puffbacks are very messy and can be a major disturbance in your home. Although soot is very difficult to clean, our expert professionals have both the techniques and the cleaning products to clean and remove soot. If you have a puffback or any other soot-related incident, know that our team is always here to help!

3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Disaster

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Dark, wet carpet with spots of mud in a section of an office Heavy storms caused the roof of this local business to collapse and flood the building!

There’s no telling when—or if—your business will have a disaster. You could have a fire, your pipes could burst and flood your office, mold can disrupt your operations, and so much more. Unfortunately, more than 40% of businesses who endure a disaster don’t reopen their doors, and many that do close down a short time later. But if you’re prepared for the inevitable, you can mitigate the risk and increase the odds of your business’ survival.

  1. Make sure your business is properly insured. For many people, insurance is one of those things you don’t want until you really need it. Even though it’s extra expenses upfront, if you ever do have a disaster, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. While you have the opportunity, call your insurance representative and review your policies—and discuss others that might be beneficial!

  1. Develop an emergency plan. Do your employees know what to do if you had flooding or a fire? Do you? If not, work with your team (including other executives, HR, and marketing) to devise both an operational and a PR strategy in the event of a disaster. Once the plan is devised, it should be regularly reviewed and updated, so if something does happen, you can immediately respond and mitigate damages.

  1. Keep backup copies of all documents and data. Equipment can be replaced, but not all documents can. Vital records can be damaged or destroyed in a disaster, so be sure to back them up and store them in a safe location. Generally, it’s recommended to keep digital copies of everything and have them backed up in the cloud.

The last thing any business owner wants is to have a disaster at their property. Although disasters can’t always be prevented, you can take steps to mitigate the damage. If your Morganton-based business does have a disaster, though, our team at SERVPRO of Burke County is always here to help!

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Gold faucets attached to black pipes over a sink Burst pipes can cause major damage, but you can prevent it if you take action!

We’re only in mid-autumn, and temperatures have already dropped below freezing on some nights. At these low temperatures, your home’s water pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. We’ve helped many customers over the years, so we know how devastating a burst pipe can be. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent them from freezing.

  • Insulate your pipes. Pipes that are exposed or aren’t well-insulated are at the most risk of freezing. Naturally, the way to address this issue is to insulate these vulnerable areas, which makes them more resistant to freezing.

  • Let water drip from a faucet. Still water is quicker to freeze than running water, so let faucets fed by exposed lines drip. Sure, this might affect your water bill a little, but it’s much cheaper than having to deal with water damage.

  • Leave your heat on in your home, even if you’re away. If you don’t want something to freeze, warm it up. Although you might want to save some money on your heating, frozen pipes can force you to spend a whole lot more. Even if you’re going to be away, it’s recommended you leave the heat on at least 55° F.

Cold weather brings a variety of risks to your home, but a little precaution can go a long way. If you do have frozen pipes that burst, call your local plumber, then call our team to clean it up. We’re always available to make any disaster “Like it never even happened!”

SERVPRO of Burke County at the Morganton Christmas Parade

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

People walk in front of SERVPRO vehicle with reindeer on top during a parade Each year, we attend the annual Morganton Christmas parade!

Do you love the Town of Morganton? Do you love Christmas? Then you’re going to love Morganton’s annual Christmas parade. And if you love our team at SERVPRO of Burke County, you’ll be excited to know we’re returning to participate in this year’s parade!

On Tuesday, December 3, come to downtown Morganton at 6 p.m. to watch more than a hundred businesses and organizations drive through the streets and share the Christmas spirit. Just like last year, we’ll have one of our green SERVPRO vehicles be driven by The Grinch and his companions—Max the dog and Cindy Lou Who.

We’re excited to be part of the Morganton community and share in the festivities. If you can’t come see us on December 3, you can see us at many other local events in the coming year!

Why Our Customers Love SERVPRO

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Many employees posed in a group photo We have roughly 60 employees, so we're able to quickly respond to any disaster!

Since we opened our doors in 2009, we have helped thousands of customers recover from disasters. Regardless of why they initially called us, many of our customers have expressed their gratitude for our services. Some have even told us why they would call us again if they ever had another disaster.

  1. We have a fast response time. When we get a call, it gets entered into our system and is quickly dispatched. Because we have roughly 60 employees, we are able to respond to multiple disasters in a short period of time. Even in the middle of the night, we will dispatch our crews to respond to any damages!

  1. We explain the process and answer questions. We want customers to ask questions and understand the restoration process. After all, we’re coming into your home! Our technicians are all trained and certified, so they will gladly explain each process so you understand what we’re doing and why!

  1. We’re friendly and professional. Customer service is very important to us. We know that for many of our customers, they’re facing a low point, so our staff is trained to be polite and friendly. In fact, our professionalism is one of our most frequently praised traits!

At SERVPRO of Burke County, we do our best to ensure our customers have the most positive experience possible. So if you have fire, water, or mold damage at your home or business, know that our team is here and ready to help!

What is an ERP?

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Green and white sign with stick figure running towards left arrow In the event of an emergency, an ERP can provide your employees with critical information!

In a previous post, we discussed the benefits of an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). To recap, you and your employees will know the location of the utility shutoffs, you’ll have an immediate action plan, and you will have an incredible asset at no cost. While these are great, we neglected to explain what an ERP actually is!

What is an Emergency Ready Profile?

An ERP is a free tool that SERVPRO franchises offer to commercial property owners to help them react more efficiently in the event of a disaster. The profile compiles all of the critical information you and your employees need to know in an emergency, such as utility shutoff locations, emergency contact information, and more.

At SERVPRO of Burke County, we have found that many businesses have this information, but it’s often scattered around and takes time to dig up. The Emergency Ready Profile we create puts all that information into one location, which you can quickly access at any time. Depending on your local fire department, we will even provide them with a copy, so they can access and assist your building more efficiently!

Getting Your ERP

If you’re interested in getting an ERP for your commercial property, our team at SERVPRO of Burke County is glad to assist. One of our team members will visit your property to gather the necessary information, and they will create you both a physical and a digital copy of the profile. Call us at (828) 874-0966 and get your free ERP today!