3 Safety Tips for the Winter Storm
Winter storms might seem mesmerizing, but they can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage!
It’s official—Morganton and the rest of western North Carolina are going to endure a heavy snowstorm this weekend. While at the time of writing this, it’s not certain how much precipitation we’ll get, some reports have suggested it could be over a foot of snow. While snow isn’t a rare occurrence, it’s important you know how to stay safe during the upcoming winter storm!
- Stay off the road! It can be tempting to drive during a snowstorm, but it’s typically dangerous to make the attempt. Many people feel they are skilled enough to take the risk, but often times, they can get injured or worse, sometimes putting others in jeopardy. Unless you have no other choice, avoid driving!
- Prepare for power outages. Snow can pack and begin to weigh down on power lines; this is even more true when ice is in the mix. While it’s no guarantee, it’s very possible that you could face a power outage for a couple of days, so plan for that scenario in advance!
- Insulate your pipes! Just a little under a year ago, we had many pipes burst in the community after temperatures dropped below freezing. As a result, homes had massive water damages and mold growth. To avoid that, be sure to insulate your pipes and allow the faucet to drip to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
This storm could be very dangerous, so it’s important that you take precautions and protect yourself and your home. If you have damages during this time, know that we’re always here! So call SERVPRO of Burke County at (828) 874-0966!
SERVPRO of Burke County at the Morganton Christmas Parade
SERVPRO is returning to this year's annual Morganton Christmas Parade!
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but Christmas is already in the air. That’s because the annual Morganton Christmas Parade is right around the corner! On Tuesday, December 4, over 100 floats and walking groups will travel over a mile of downtown Morganton’s streets. And just as in years past, SERVPRO of Burke County will join in the parade!
Unlike previous years, however, we will not be using our Large Loss trailer in the parade. To make up for it, we’ve asked a special green guest to make an appearance in one of our green SERVPRO vehicles! If you’d like to meet this celebrity, you’ll have to come to the parade!
We hope to see you there, and we wish you an early Merry Christmas!
SERVPRO of Burke County Values its Employees
This is some of our employees participating in one of our teambuilding exercises!
When Kim and Randy Williams opened their doors in 2009, they had only one other employee. In nearly 10 years, that trio has grown into a highly capable team of over 50 SERVPRO heroes. Because we come from humble beginnings, we do everything we can to keep the feel of a small family while supporting our expansive team.
Periodically throughout the year, we host lunches or small breaks for our employees to show how much we appreciate all the hard work they do. They’re the backbone of our business, and we like to show them how much they mean to us.
Team Building Events
Because we’ve grown so quickly over the last few years, it can be hard to feel like a team. To resolve that issue, we began holding team-building events where employees can from other departments can gather, socialize, and learn to work with each other.
Annual Christmas Party
For years, we’ve hosted a company Christmas party, and it’s a tradition that’s continued even as we’ve grown. We cater lunch, hold an ugly Christmas sweater contest, and we exchange gifts Secret Santa-style. We’re looking forward to this year’s party!
Our employees are an essential part of everything we do, and we attempt to show our appreciation in many ways. As we continue to grow, we will adapt and expand on our efforts so we can foster growth on both a professional and personal level. If you need a reliable team to restore your property after a disaster, call SERVPRO of Burke County at (828) 874-0966!
How to Protect Your Business After Flooding
If your business floods, call your local SERVPRO franchise and begin extracting water!
Flooding can strike when we least expect it, often when we are least prepared. And if you have a business, you know that flooding can slow or halt your operations, especially if you’re not ready for it. So if flooding affects your business, do you know what to do?
- Consult your ERP. If your business has an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP), you should immediately consult it for important contact information and the location of emergency shutoffs. If you don’t have an ERP, you should consult your local SERVPRO franchise to get yours for free. Should disaster strike, your employees will have access to all of the relevant information they will need.
- Store all wet documents in a freezer until SERVPRO arrives. If you have wet documents, especially important ones such as patient or customer records, you need to act fast if you want to save them. Have somebody call your local SERVPRO franchise, so they can make preparations to ship your documents to SERVPRO corporate’s document drying chamber. In the meantime, store documents in a freezer so you can prevent further deterioration.
- Begin water extraction. Assuming the water source has been resolved, you should immediately begin extracting water from your building. Even though your local SERVPRO franchise will perform extraction services, the longer you wait, the more damage you are likely to have, such as from water wicking or mold growth.
Flooding can cause a lot of damage and destroy important assets. Your business is important to protect, and your local SERVPRO franchise understands that. If you happen to have flooding in the Morganton, NC area, call SERVPRO of Burke County at (828) 874-0966 to make it “Like it never even happened.”
What is a Containment Zone?
One of our crew chiefs sets up a containment zone before beginning the mold remediation process!
In the cleanup and restoration business, we sometimes have to be very careful with how our work is affecting other areas. Mold remediation, for example, will stir up mold spores and cause them to move to other areas, sometimes where mold growth was not initially a problem. To ensure that we keep contaminants away from unaffected areas, we have to set up a containment zone.
Creating a Containment Zone
There are essentially two main components of a containment zone: transparent polyethylene and negative pressure.
The transparent polyethylene is used to create the structure of the containment zone. It will be draped from ceiling to floor around the perimeter of the affected area and taped down so air cannot enter or escape. We will then strategically cut holes to create a zippable entrance/exit and to mount HEPA-filtered air filtration devices.
We will then apply negative pressure (essentially a vacuum) to the containment zone. This is achieved by running an air scrubber that simultaneously sucks in and removes contaminants from the air. Creating this negative pressure is a vital step because it keeps the contaminants contained even when a person enters or exits the zone.
More than Just Mold
Although we at SERVPRO of Burke County typically use containment zones for mold remediation, they have other uses as well! For example, if we conduct cleanings in medical facilities, we have to be careful not to spread contaminants, so we use a containment zone.
If you have mold or require special, localized cleaning, you can call SERVPRO of Burke County today at 828-874-0966!
Responding to Hurricanes Florence and Michael
When we responded to Hurricane Florence, many of our employees volunteered to help! Wilmington was a home for many of us.
It’s been more than a month since Hurricane Florence hit the coast of North Carolina, and a couple of weeks since Michael followed through. The east coast has had a really difficult time, but we sent some of our team to Wilmington to help with the cleanup and restoration following Florence. Although there is still a lot to do before Wilmington can truly say they’ve recovered, they’re already on their way.
Wilmington – A Town Like Home
Even though Wilmington is over 5 hours away from our community, many of us have connections to the town. Some used to live there, others had family in the area, and some even attended the university. It was devastating to see some of our favorite places destroyed and others inaccessible.
Storm Cleanup and Restoration
Despite the devastation, there were many residents and outside companies like us who were already helping with restoration. For our part, we worked directly with a local church and some schools to clean up and dry the affected buildings. Several of our employees were veterans of the storm response process, so we were quickly able to extract the water and begin setting drying equipment.
Wet and Dirty Textiles
Particularly at the schools, flood waters affected not only the buildings’ structures but the contents as well. Our team gathered all of the wet, dirty (and some moldy) sports uniforms and other textiles and sent them back to our textiles cleaning facility in Lenoir, NC. In just a short matter of time, we were able to sort, tag, and clean all of the contents back to their original condition.
More to Come
While we’ve completed the bulk of the work, it will take some time until our part is completed. Because of the storms’ power, Wilmington sustained heavy damages and will likely take a long time to fully recover. But should the need arise again, SERVPRO will be there to help.
How We Keep Our Employees Trained and Certified
We believe that a strong bond creates a strong team! That's why we conduct team-building exercises!
When a company comes into your home or business, you expect them to be trained and professional. That’s why when we hire a new employee, we send them through rigorous training to get them certified. But we also take steps beyond that, to make sure our employees are representing the best of SERVPRO of Burke County.
- IICRC Training. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is an organization that sets the standards and best practices for the cleaning and restoration industry. We send all of our field technicians and supervisors to these trainings to make sure they are certified and current on new trends and practices.
- SERVPRO Corporate Trainings. Our corporate office also sets standards for our employees to meet before they are ready to enter the field. These trainings demonstrate some of the same practices as the IICRC, but they also explain the tools and methods the company uses to give the best customer experience.
- Teambuilding Exercises. At SERVPRO of Burke County, it’s important to us that our employees are not only trained but that they work well together. That’s why we periodically hold teambuilding exercises—so our employees will work well together and bring you a more streamlined process.
In addition to the above, some of our employees attend conferences, workshops, and other continuing education programs so they can remain at the top of their class. So if you need a disaster cleanup and restoration company, know you’ll be in safe hands if you call SERVPRO of Burke County at (828) 874-0966!
4 Ways a House Fire can Start
One of the most common ways house fires start is from the kitchen. It's important that you never leave your kitchen unattended!
House fires happen every day, often when people least expect them. But even though many homeowners are unprepared, home fires can often be prevented. The best way to start is to know some of the most common ways a house fire can start.
- Kitchen Fire. The leading cause of home fires in the United States is cooking-related fires. These often occur when a homeowner leaves the kitchen unattended—even for a minute—or they make it worse by attempting to put it out with water.
- Space Heaters. Space heaters, fireplaces, and other heating elements are great during cold weather, but they can also cause nearby flammable objects to catch fire. If you’re going to use one, be mindful of its surroundings and keep it away from other objects.
- Cigarettes. Cigarettes are a major contributor to home fires, often because they are not properly extinguished. If you smoke, it’s recommended that you do so outdoors and fully extinguish the cigarette with water.
- Electrical Fires. Considering we live in a world dominated by electricity, it’s no surprise that homes can be ruined from an electrical fire. These can occur for a number of reasons, but typically because either the wires are frayed or the device overheats.
While there are many ways a home fire can start, the above are some of the most common ways. The most important thing to remember with fire prevention is that you should always be aware of your surroundings. Because the more precautions you take, the more likely you’ll avert disaster.
3 Fire Safety Tips
Never leave your kitchen unattended! Fires can get out of control very quickly!
Home fires are a common occurrence in Burke County, much like they are in the rest of the Unifour region. While some of these fires are a result of an outside force, often times they can be prevented with a few simple steps. We’re offering 3 fire safety tips that should help you protect your home from a devastating fire!
- Inspect your smoke detector monthly. A smoke detector can give you an early enough warning to save your life, but only if it’s operating properly! The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that you test each unit once a month and that you replace them every 10 years. And if you don’t have a smoke detector in your home, be sure to get one immediately! A smoke detector can reduce your chances of a home fire death by 50%!
- Keep heat sources away from flammable objects. A lot of house fires start when a lamp, space heater, fireplace, or some other heat source sets fire to a nearby flammable object. While you can certainly use these heat sources, it’s important to be mindful of its surroundings; keep them isolated!
- Never leave the kitchen unattended. Fires can happen quickly, sometimes in just seconds. That’s why it’s important you should never leave the kitchen unattended while it’s in use, even for just a minute. After all, kitchen fires are the leading cause of all house fires!
Fires are dangerous and can cause incredible damage, but they can also be prevented if you’re vigilant and take a few precautions. If your home does have a fire, you can call SERVPRO of Burke County at 828-874-0966! Our technicians can clean up fire and smoke damage and make it “Like it never even happened!”
The Water Mitigation Process
Air movers and dehumidifiers (pictured) are two essential tools used in the water mitigation process.
This is an update/revision of this 2015 post.
Water removal is a complex process that requires numerous techniques and tools to accomplish. Depending on the extent of the damage, there can be multiple steps required to make it “Like it never even happened.” To give a basic understanding of the steps typically required during water restoration, we’ve provided the outline below.
Water Damage Removal and Restoration: A Brief Overview
There are four essential parts of the initial water damage restoration process. These steps are water removal, moisture mapping, mold prevention, and water drying. Below we take a further look into these four processes.
Flood Water Removal
The first step in the water restoration process is actually comprised of two parts. First, our technicians have to identify the source of the water damage and ensure it is no longer contributing to the issue. In some cases, an outside party—such as a plumber—is needed to fix the problem before our work can proceed.
Our certified SERVPRO techs will then use various equipment to remove any standing or excess water. Depending on the amount of water, we’ll use anything from powerful water pumps to specialized vacuums to remove the water.
Moisture mapping is the process of generating a map that indicates the moisture values of your property. One of the most common ways to do this is to use a moisture meter to determine the relative moisture levels in an area or material.
In addition, our restoration specialists will take photos to help assess the extent of the water damage to your property. These photos also provide you with historical evidence of the water damage.
If unaddressed, residual moisture caused by a leak or natural disaster can give rise to mold growth. To prevent this from happening, our technicians will apply an antimicrobial treatment to the affected area to help prevent mold growth.
Water Drying Techniques
There are drying techniques that our water damage restoration experts can use to get your residential property back in shape. While there are a few, the main two are:
1. Air Movers
Air movers are focused, high-velocity fans that help facilitate the drying process. These evaporators work by promoting air circulation and thus diminishing and controlling humidity.
2. Dehumidifiers/Desiccant Dehumidification
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air. These always accompany air movers because they draw out the moisture from the humid air that the air movers produce. In conjunction, they can drastically accelerate the natural drying process.
Restoring Your Home after a Disaster
SERVPRO of Burke County has been part of the Morganton-area community for several years, and we have worked with numerous local homes and businesses after they’ve had water damage. If you need professional help removing and drying water, you can call SERVPRO of Burke County at (828) 874-0966!