Water Damage Q&A: How Do You Know It’s Wet?
Our employees use moisture meters to determine the moisture content of affected materials!
Many materials in our home are porous—including carpet, drywall, and wood. When these materials come in contact with water damage, they absorb the liquid, which can cause hidden mold and structural damages. Unfortunately, there aren’t always clear signs that water’s seeped into unseen places, which can make it difficult to mitigate the damage. Fortunately, our team has the ability to detect and dry this hidden moisture.
How Do You Know It’s Wet?
When our technicians first arrive on the scene, they will assess the affected areas and determine two things: what’s wet and how wet it is. There are a few tools we can use to do this, but our technicians primarily use moisture meters.
These meters determine how wet material is by analyzing either electrical conductivity or the impedance of radio frequency signals (depending on the type of meter). The devices then generate a moisture value that our technicians can use to determine if the material is wet.
When our technicians are drying the affected areas, they are trying to reach a “drying goal.” This goal is generally based on a drying standard, which is the moisture value generated by unaffected material. In other words, our technicians will get a moisture reading of material in the home they are certain is not affected by water damage and use that value as a goal for the affected material. When both the affected and unaffected materials have the same moisture value, then we know the area(s) has been sufficiently dried.
Drying Your Home
The longer water damage is left alone, the more costly it becomes to clean up and restore. Fortunately, disaster restoration companies like SERVPRO of Burke County have the tools and training to detect and dry moisture in your home. If you have water damage and need professional help in the Morganton, NC area, call our team today at (828) 874-0966!
SERVPRO Participates in Fire Prevention Week 2019
We worked diligently to sort and assemble Operation EDITH coloring books for Burke County elementary school students!
This week is Fire Prevention Week! During this week, everyone across the nation is encouraged to learn about and practice fire safety and prevention. In 2017, fires killed 3,400 people and injured more than 14,000, in a trend that shows an increase in fire-related deaths each year.
At SERVPRO of Burke County, we have seen how devastating fires can be and the impact they can have on people’s lives. We pride ourselves in our ability to make it “Like it never even happened,” but we never like seeing somebody go through the process. That’s why this year, we decided to join Milestone Insurance and sponsor Operation EDITH books for Burke County elementary schools.
Operation EDITH (Exit Drills in the Home) is a program that encourages parents to talk to their kids about fire safety and educate them on the importance of hosting regular exit drills at home. A part of this program is distributing coloring books to children up to the 3rd grade that they take home.
This year, we sorted and distributed over 3,000 coloring books to students in Burke County Public Schools. We are proud to be a part of an effort that helps prevent fire-related injuries and deaths
How Much is an HVAC Cleaning?
Our experts are trained to do thorough duct cleanings. We even show before and after photos!
At SERVPRO of Burke County, we offer many services—mold remediation, textiles cleaning, and odor removal, just to name a few. Many customers are surprised to learn we also perform duct cleanings! Our employees are certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and have cleaned hundreds of homes in the area.
But when customers call us, they usually have one pressing question: how much does it cost? Well today, we’re going to explain our pricing!
Disclaimer: The pricing discussed in this post is strictly for a residential HVAC cleaning. Commercial cleanings are usually more involved and require more catered pricing, so if you have questions about that, please call our office and speak to one of our duct cleaning specialists!
The Cost of a Duct Cleaning
If you need your home’s HVAC system cleaned, the price can vary based on certain factors. However, we often give customers a quote based on the information they provide. At a minimum, a duct cleaning will cost $450, but in some cases, it will cost more. Here is our pricing breakdown:
- $35 for each vent and return in your home
- $100 for air handlers located in a basement or closet
- $150 for air handlers located in an attic or crawlspace
Here’s an example: If your home has a combined total of 11 vents and returns ($385) and the air handler is in the attic ($150), then you could expect to pay about $535.
Here’s another example: Let’s say your home has a total of 7 vents and returns ($245) and the air handler is in one of your closets ($100). Although those two add up to $345, you would pay $450 because that is our minimum price.
However, these are estimates and are not indicative of the final price. If our technicians find additional (or fewer) vents/returns, for example, the price may lower or increase accordingly. If there are any complications that we discover (such as mold), that may also affect the price.
Hiring Expert HVAC Cleaners
If your air ducts need to be cleaned, it’s important that you can call professionals you can trust. Our NADCA-certified employees are thorough and transparent about the cleaning process. Plus, we always show before and after photos to our customers. So if you need expert duct cleaners at your Morganton home, call SERVPRO of Burke County at (828) 396-1070!
What To Do If Your Toilet Overflows
Toilet overflows can cause a lot of damage, but if you react quickly, you can mitigate the effects.
Your toilet probably gets the most use out of any fixture or appliance in your home. While toilets generally function as intended, there’s always a risk that something could go wrong. So it’s great when the water flushes down, but what if it comes up instead? Toilet overflows have the potential to be costly, so if you experience one, you should be prepared to act.
- Shut off the water valve. Your first action should be to cut the flow of water. Behind your toilet, you’ll find the valve that controls the water flow to your toilet. Turn this off until you can address the overflow’s cause.
- Address the source of the overflow. More than likely, your toilet overflowed because something was clogged, whether it’s the bowl or the pipes. However, it could also be a result of issues with your septic system or malfunction in the toilet. If you’re unsure how to rectify the issue, call one of your local plumbers!
- Clean up the water damage. The final step is to clean up the water damage. If this step isn’t thoroughly completed, you can end up with mold and/or structural damage. Now, if there wasn’t a lot of overflow and the water is clean, you can certainly take care of it yourself. But if there’s a lot of water and/or the water is contaminated, it’s highly recommended that you call a disaster restoration company. They will take the steps to ensure the affected areas are completely dried and sanitized!
Once you’ve taken care of the overflow and the damage, you can restore the water flow. If you do need a disaster restoration company to help with the cleanup, our team is available 24/7! You can call us any time at (828) 874-0966.
How Wind Can Damage Your Home
Strong winds can send trees and debris into your home, causing damage!
Your home is designed to protect you from the elements. In most cases, homes do a great job of weathering storms, but they’re not invincible. In fact, the wind alone can cause a lot of destruction to your property. After many years of serving the community, we’ve seen the many ways wind can damage your home.
- Wind can knock over trees. Trees are great for the environment but terrible for your home. Yet each year, we encounter countless homes that have been damaged by fallen trees. These damages—often in the form of holes—in turn expose your home’s interior to rain and other natural elements. If you have trees close to your home, you should consider having them removed, especially if they’re sick or dead.
- Wind can throw loose debris. We often take for granted the things in and around our yard, but unrestrained objects pose a real threat to your property. Strong winds have the tendency to lift and throw lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other things. In addition to trashing your yard, these objects have the potential to damage your home. If you know a storm is coming, it’s recommended you restrain everything in your yard.
- Wind can damage your roof. High-speed winds can do a number on your roof. If you have loose shingles, for example, they can be easily stripped away. Even shingles in good condition can be ruined if the wind is strong enough. In some cases, chimneys can shift, which can expose your interior to water damage (and potentially mold).
When we think of storm damage, we often think of flooding, but as we’ve shown, wind can be just as destructive, if not more so. When you’re preparing for an upcoming storm, be sure to consider how the wind might affect your home. If you do have storm damage, however, you can call our team any time at (828) 874-0966!
How Water Damage Can Affect Your Business
Water in this business soaked the carpet and destroyed the ceiling tiles.
Every business owner knows about risk; after all, starting a business is a risk in and of itself. Yet many business owners fail to consider the real possibility that they could be affected by disaster at any time, often when they least expect it. In fact, many commercial properties in the area have had water damages, which has negatively impacted businesses in several ways.
- Electronics can be destroyed. It’s no secret that water and electricity don’t mix, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that any affected electronics will likely be either faulty or unusable. Depending on your company’s reliance on technology, this can be an expensive blow to your operations. If you have important files, be sure to regularly back them up.
- Important documents can be ruined. Although most businesses have switched to digital records, we’ve found that many still have paper documents lying around the office. Unless you’ve already scanned these documents, water can cause documents to deteriorate and become effectively useless. Fortunately, our team has the ability to preserve wet documents, depending on the amount of damage.
- Mold can begin growing. Mold can be a major problem for any business. It can cause health issues, structural damage, and damage to your furniture and belongings. If water damage isn’t addressed quickly and thoroughly, it can encourage mold growth, which can occur in as quickly as 24-48 hours.
Water damage can do a number on your business, which is why it’s important you’re prepared if and when it occurs. If you do have water damage, you need to call professionals immediately. Our team at SERVPRO of Burke County is always available at 828-874-0966!
Understanding Flash Floods
Flash floods can occur over a short period of time, so always be aware of official alerts!
Flooding can be a major problem, even here in the Morganton area. If that seems unlikely, recall that it was just this last June that both Caldwell & Catawba Counties declared a state of emergency when many homes and roads flooded. Because these incidents don’t happen very often, we’ve discovered many aren’t aware of how destructive flooding can be, or how fast they can occur.
What is a Flash Flood?
While flooding can gradually occur over a long period of rain, it can also happen very quickly. A flash flood occurs within 6 hours of rainfall, but according to the National Weather Service, it often happens in as quickly as 3 hours. This type of natural disaster can happen anywhere—in a creek, your neighborhood, or even the main roads.
Driving & Flash Floods
Flash floods are a major problem when it comes to roadways, and they are responsible for many accidents. That’s why it’s strongly recommended that you avoid driving when a flash flood warning is issued. Because these waters are unpredictable, they should be avoided at all costs. So be sure to adhere to any warnings, and avoid driving at night, when it’s harder to see flooding.
Being Aware of Weather Events
Weather can cause a lot of damage to both you and your property. In fact, during the June floods, we received over 300 calls from customers who had damage to their home. While not all disasters can be avoided, having advance warning can help you mitigate the effects. That’s why it’s important to regularly keep up with weather news, such as on Ray’s Weather. If you do have a disaster, though, be sure to call our team here at SERVPRO of Burke County to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Upcoming CE Class on August 20
Each of our CE classes has giveaways and interesting lectures!
Each quarter, our franchise hosts free Continuing Education (CE) courses for local insurance agents and adjustors in our area. We offer these courses as a way to support the insurance professionals in our community.
We’re excited to announce that our next CE class will be on Tuesday, August 20, at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Hickory. Our instructor will return to teach two courses: Personal Lines Potpourri and Business Exposures and the Homeowners Policy, both of which we haven’t hosted in nearly two years!
In addition to the class, we offer a free lunch and have giveaways for our attendees. If you’re an insurance professional who would like to attend these free courses, you can register and learn more here at our Eventbrite page!
What is an Air Mover?
We have hundreds of air movers, all ready to go!
If you have water damage, you know the first thing you need to do is dry the water. During the initial phone call with customers, many of them disclose they started running a dehumidifier. While it’s a great start, it’s not enough to completely dry the area—especially if you’re concerned about mold. That’s why our team uses air movers.
Air Movers—More Than a Fan
When most people see one of our air movers, they say, “Oh, that’s a cool fan!” While they’re not wrong—an air mover is a fan—it’s an oversimplification of its purpose and capabilities. These machines generate precise, high-velocity columns of air, which allows our technicians to drastically increase the evaporation process, especially when compared to your standard house fan.
There are also different types of air movers, each with a different function based on its individual features. Axial air movers, for example, are great for moving large volumes of air; centrifugal air movers, on the other hand, move smaller volumes but at a higher velocity. Depending on the extent of the damage and the affected materials, we might even use multiple types of air movers.
Accelerating the Drying Process
All of our equipment—from air movers to dehumidifiers—are aimed at accelerating the drying process. Each one serves a unique purpose, such as the air mover’s job of speeding up the evaporation rate of wet materials. When you call our team at SERVPRO of Burke County, you can rest assured we have the equipment to take care of any water damage!
Water Damage Q & A: What Do You Do When I Have Water Damage?
One of our crew chiefs checks the moisture level to ensure the area has been adequately dried!
Our staff recently responded to over 300 calls when rain flooded much of the counties in the Unifour area. While some homes had minimal damage, others had a foot or more of water. For many of our customers, this was the first time they had experienced water damage, and they had a lot of questions. Today, we’re going to answer one of the most common ones we were asked!
What Exactly Do You Do When I Have Water Damage?
If you’ve never had water damage before, you probably aren’t sure what to do next. While the process can have some variation depending on the water category and the type of materials affected, the mitigation process we use generally consists of a few different components.
- Extract Any Standing Water. One of our first priorities upon visiting a job site is to extract areas that have standing water. As long as there is standing water, we cannot begin the drying process!
- Remove Affected Flooring. Water can pose a serious threat to your flooring, depending on the material and the volume of water. Carpet, for example, is generally removed to dry the affected subfloor, which can promote mold growth if it’s left untreated. Hardwood planks, as another example, tend to buckle and separate from the subfloor because they have to accommodate for the extra moisture they absorb. If your flooring has been affected, we will likely have to remove it to prevent further damage.
- Create Flood Cuts. Drywall is a porous material, which means water is likely to be absorbed and wick up behind your walls. This hidden moisture can encourage mold growth and cause structural damage. To prevent additional damages, our technicians will cut out a foot or more from the base of affected drywall. We will then be able to dry the now-exposed areas!
- Set drying equipment. After everything else has been addressed, our team will set air movers (commercial-grade fans) and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. We will leave the equipment in your home until the drying goals have been met (set and measured by our technicians).
- Apply an antimicrobial spray. Mold needs moisture to grow, and it gets plenty of it when you have water damage. To help combat this, we apply a commercial-grade antimicrobial spray to affected areas to help mitigate growth!
Recovering Flood Damage
Flooding can do a lot of damage, but it’s possible to restore your home and mitigate further damage. At SERVPRO of Burke County, our technicians are experts at helping customers in the Morganton, NC area overcome water damage. If you need our help, please contact us any time!