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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Water Loss Cost

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

We get a lot of calls, about pricing. It’s hard to determine the pricing, but I found a great article with some help. “How much does it cost restore water damage?

Water may be a necessary part of life, but it can also do a tremendous amount of damage to your property if it gets into places it shouldn’t be. Whether through flooding due to a storm, a burst pipe, moisture trapped beneath walls or floors, gaps in a tile shower, foundation cracks, a leaking toilet, water damage after a fire, or a leaking roof, too much moisture left alone inside your home can lead to much bigger problems. If water isn’t cleaned up properly, and things dried out within the first 24 to 48 hours after the initial damage has been done, additional problems can begin to set in, including mold, mildew, and wood rot.

Not all water damage is equal; water from “clean” sources such as a pipe or rain is easier and less costly to clean up, while water from a backed up sewer pipe or a leak that’s only found after mold has grown is going to be more difficult and more costly to clean.

The average cost of simply drying out your property from a “clean” water leak with no further damage done or restoration needed is around $2,700, while the average cost of drying out your home and repairing the damage done to areas like drywall and carpeting is around $7,500. Costs continue to go up from here depending on the source of the water, how much water, and how great the damage.”

The link to the full article is listed below:

https://www.fixr.com/costs/water-damage-restoration

They even mention SERVPRO in this article! Call u at 843-884-2258, for all your water loss needs.

AC drip Pan

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Since, we get a lot of calls about leaking drip pans to the HVAC unit; we thought we would share some information. There are several causes for leaking units, but this is number one.  “The first cause—the overflow pan—is easily detectable by simply using a flashlight. The pan is a piece of equipment that catches any condensation from the A/C unit; if you're noticing a leak, carefully inspect the overflow pan for damage. Check each corner, along the outside edges, and, of course, directly above the wettest spot. Small holes and cracks can be patched with epoxy glue, but it's usually best to replace a damaged overflow pan.”

We at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, SC like to share these types with our customers to avoid damage. However, if you have leaking drip pan or any leaks; call us at 843-884-2258. We are here 24/7 for your emergency needs.

Resources:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a7782/quick-fixes-for-leaky-ac-systems-8925561/

Christmas Lights

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

It’s that time of year again, where we decorate for the holidays. We here at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, love the lights. But, we always make sure to check for safety issues. We wanted to share some tips with our customers we found below:

Before Hanging Holiday Lights

There are several things you need to do to ensure that your Christmas lights are safe before you hang them up.

  • Verify Proper Rating- Bargain lights aren't a good deal if they pose a fire hazard. Only use lights that have been tested and rated by Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) or Intertek (ETL Semko). Strings of lights that have a safety rating are clearly marked, both on the packaging and with labels attached to the electrical cords.
  • Check for Fraying- When you remove your holiday lights from storage, check the cords to make sure they are not frayed or otherwise damaged. Hanging lights with damaged cords can lead to an electrical short. This can damage your other lights and holiday decorations, as well as potentially lead to a fire. If you discover damaged strings of lights, throw them away.
  • Use as Directed- There is a big difference between indoor holiday lights and outdoor holiday lights. Before hanging lights, make sure that you are using the fixtures only in the environment in which they were designed to be used.
  • Choose Locations Carefully- Avoid hanging holiday lights near any item that poses a potential fire hazard, such as candles, space heaters, fireplaces, etc. Make sure bulbs aren't too close to loose paper or any other flammable materials that present a safety hazard.
  • Hang Carefully- Never use tacks, staples, or nails to hang up your holiday light display. Instead, use insulated holders designed especially for this purpose.

Please stay safe and enjoy the holidays! If you need us, we are here 24/7 for your emergency needs. Yes, even on the holidays.

Resources:

https://safety.lovetoknow.com/Christmas_Light_Safety

Extension Cord Safety

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

The holidays are right around the corner, and the lights are going up.  As the holiday lights go up, so does the chance of electrical fires from faulty cords and such.  At SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, SC we check our extension cords to make sure they used properly and in good working condition. We wanted to take the time to remind you to check those cords, and make sure you are using them properly.

“The following are do’s and don’ts provided by TDI/DWC for working safely with extension cords:

Do:

  • Check cords for damage before use.
  • Ensure all equipment and extension cords have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Fully insert the plug of an extension cord into an outlet.
  • Keep extension cords away from water.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters in damp environments.
  • Store extension cords indoors.
  • Unplug extension cords when not in use.
  • Only use extension cords temporarily; permanent wiring should be installed when use of the cords is no longer temporary.

Don’t:

  • Use an indoor extension cord in outdoor environments.
  • Attempt to plug extension cords into one another.
  • Use an extension cord that has a lower wattage rating than the tool being used with it.
  • Overload cords.
  • Force a plug into an outlet.
  • Use a wet extension cord.
  • Overheat an extension cord.
  • Drive over a cord.
  • Drag an extension cord.
  • Place cords under rugs or carpets or in busy areas.”

As always, we do not want to see any of our customers suffer a fire, so feel free to call us anytime at 843-884-2258, for any help.

Resources:

https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/11177-extension-cord-dos-and-donts

Steps to Restore

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant wants you to know the steps we take to make your home “Like it never even happened” after a fire.

  1. We first assess the property, see how far the smoke went, check the materials on the property, get measurements, and make a list of what needs done to restore the property.
  2. Once we have a clear scope of the damage to the property, we sit with the crews and go over a plan of action.
  3. Once the crews arrive at the property, they get to work to promptly restore the property. This can be anywhere from cleaning walls, carpets, to packing the whole home up, having all fabric materials washed, and taking out burnt materials.
  4. One the steps we use is deodorization, this helps to get out the nasty smoke smell.

The one thing we want our customers to know is they can ask us anything, no question is too small or too big. We will give or get you the answers. If you ever have a fire emergency, feel safe in calling us at 843-884-2258

We cannot stress enough the importance of being ready!

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

Does your business have an Emergency Ready Plan? Did you know 50% of businesses do not re-open after a loss? Usually the ones that do re-open had an Emergency Plan in place. As a business owner ask yourself the following:

  1. Who contacts the fire department
  2. Who contacts management
  3. Who gives building entrance
  4. Who will clean up the mess

With a plan in place, these things are listed. This way your staff knows what to do. At SERVPRO, we offer a free ERP to all our local businesses. Did you know that, an ERP saves time and money?

An ERP contains details like:

  1. Facility details such as shut-off valve locations
  2. Key employee and emergency contacts for the building
  3. Mechanical information about the building
  4. Priority areas in the building
  5. Secured areas and access points in the building
  6. Insurance contact information
  7. Property over view information
  8. Line of communication for authorizing work to begin

Call us at 843-884-2258, and let us talk to you about what we can offer. We are here 24/7 for emergency needs.

Mold

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

We at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, team up with some of the best companies out there to handle your mold needs. We have a company that we recommend for testing. We often get asked ‘why we don’t do the testing ourselves?”. Well, that could be a conflict of interest, since we clean the mold up. We want you, as our customer, to be in god hands.  Once it is confirmed to be a mold problem, we assess the damage. If you have clothes or fabrics that need mold removed, we have a textile place to get them done too. So, we want our customers to know we are here from beginning to end, to make it “Like it never even happened”.

If you suspect mold or are just have questions, call us at 843-884-2258. We are here 24-7 for your emergency needs, and 8am to 5pm, weekdays for anything else.

Happy 4th of July

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Happy 4th of July! We hope our community has a safe and fabulous holiday. We have found some tips, to help stay safe with fireworks.  First, we want you to know some statistics. “Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.”  That is just fires, not including injuries. So, please stay safe and follow these tips.

“Recommended Safety Tips

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.”

As always, if by some chance you have a fire; which we hope you don’t, call us at 843-884-2258. We are here 24/7 for your emergency needs.

Resources:

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Fireworks

http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips/

Good News For Hurricane Season 2018

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Good news! New studies show 2018 Hurricane season will be less active than originally thought. “The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is increasingly expected to be less active than average, according to an updated seasonal outlook released by Colorado State University.” We do our best at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, to watch all these conditions, so we can prepare ahead of a possible storm. The reasons for the new predictions are listed below:

“There are several reasons these outlooks are calling for lower numbers in 2018:

  1. Atlantic Ocean Temperature Patterns

A pattern of cooler-than-average water temperatures has persisted and expanded in the eastern Atlantic and in the central northern Atlantic.

The Weather Company compared sea-surface temperature anomalies in June for inactive vs. active hurricane seasons and found that the current pattern more closely represents inactive hurricane seasons.

Atlantic Basin sea-surface temperature anomalies as of July 2, 2018.

Temperatures between the Lesser Antilles and Africa are supportive for tropical growth nearly year-round, but the warmer the water in that region, the more likely a tropical cyclone is to develop, all other factors (wind shear, atmospheric moisture, forward speed, etc.) held constant.

Should this pattern of cooler-than-average ocean temperatures continue into the heart of hurricane season (August, September and October), we can expect less tropical activity east of the Caribbean.

The Gulf of Mexico, while supportive of tropical storms and hurricanes, has cooled relative to average since May. Subtropical Storm Alberto was able to develop over these waters in late May.

  1. Transition Toward El Niño Becoming More Possible

Waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean have warmed above average but are still short of El Niño conditions as of early July.

The latest outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, released June 14, forecasts neutral conditions to last through much of the summer, if not into the autumn, before El Niño conditions potentially take over later this fall. This is a few months earlier than forecast in earlier outlooks.

The atmospheric component of this global atmospheric and oceanic phenomena is, so far, also leaning toward a less active season than originally thought. Dr. Michael Ventrice, The Weather Company meteorological scientist, noted model guidance suggesting the atmosphere's response to this warming water may finally be shifting toward what you'd expect from an El Niño.

FEMA atmospheric scientist Michael Lowry also noted wind shear over the Caribbean Sea was abnormally strong in June, taking on the overall look of a hurricane season feeling the effects of a developing El Niño.

Conditions across the Atlantic this June were reminiscent of #ElNino years, with high Caribbean wind shear and cool waters in the deep tropics. Let's hope these hostile conditions persist into the heart of #hurricane season.

11:11 PM - Jul 1, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy

Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist and head of the CSU tropical forecast team, emphasized in the CSU July outlook that while a weak El Niño may develop, the main reason the team adjusted its late-May forecast down was the cooler tropical Atlantic water, rather than the equatorial Pacific warming.

A faster warming of the Pacific, or a quicker transition toward El Niño, could mean fewer storms and hurricanes, especially toward the end of hurricane season.

  1. Increasing North Atlantic Oscillation

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), defined as a pattern of pressure gradients over the northern Atlantic Ocean, is expected to remain positive through the next few months.

Both the Azores-Bermuda high-pressure system and the Greenland low-pressure system are strengthened in the positive phase of the NAO. This creates a stronger pressure gradient and increased wind between the two systems. This also creates more wind around the Azores-Bermuda high

Typical setup for the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation.

In the winter, this means a quicker storm track for winter storms crossing the northern Atlantic, but in hurricane season, it may bring a few less-than-favorable conditions:

  • Gustier winds across much of the subtropics and North Atlantic.
  • Cooler water temperatures.
  • A slightly faster tropical wave track across the Atlantic.

The positive phase of the NAO decreases the chances of an active year.”

Even though, the season is supposed to be less active; always be prepared.

If you need any help, call us at 843-884-2258

Resources:

https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2018-07-02-2018-hurricane-season-forecast-csu-twc-july

Prepare for 2018 Hurricane Season

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane season 2018, started June 1st. Are you and your loved ones prepared? FEMA offers many tips, for preparing and even has an app, you can add to your phone. We start a list of homes that are in high flood areas, before a storm hits. It’s better to be prepared.

“Make A Plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household”

If you need any help,call usat 842-884-2258

Resources by: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

Mold Testing

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

We often get asked questions about mold testing. “Mold testing can tell you if you have a mold problem in your home. Mold tests can also help you find hidden mold, measure your indoor air quality and identify what species of mold is in your home.”  There are a couple different types of testing available.

Mold Test Kits

You can purchase mold test kits which you can use to collect mold samples yourself. This is a less expensive option than having a mold tester test your home. The samples you collect will be sent away to a professional mold testing laboratory which will get back to you with the results.

Multiple Mold Tests

A mold test gives you a snapshot of the amount of mold particles in a certain area at a certain time. But the amount of mold spores fluctuates over time and from place to place.

Because of this it's a good idea to test at several different times and in different locations in your home. This way you will get a more complete and accurate picture of the mold problem in your home.

Types of Mold Tests

The three main types of mold tests are:

  • Air testing
  • Surface testing
  • Bulk testing


Ideally you should use all three types of tests since each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Air Testing for Mold

Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home's air. Samples are taken from the air and are later examined under a microscope.

Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth. However the amount of mold spores in the air can change drastically in a small amount of time, giving varying results at different times.

Surface Testing for Mold

Surface testing takes samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold growth and spores deposited around the home. Samples are collected by swabbing, tape lifting or other methods. The sample is then examined in a laboratory.

Like with air testing the results can vary because mold growth and spores aren't spread evenly across surfaces in the home and can change over time. Unlike air testing though, surface tests can't identify the exact concentration of mold spores in the air.

Bulk Testing for Mold

Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home. The material is then taken to a laboratory where mold particles on the material can then be examined under a microscope. Bulk tests can tell you if you have a mold problem and give you an idea of the concentration of mold particles in your home.

Culture Tests for Mold

Culture tests are where mold particles in a sample from the home are grown into larger mold colonies in a lab. This way culture tests identify the species of molds in houses.

Only mold particles that are still alive can be grown. However dead mold particles in the home still cause allergies and health problems. Other tests can detect both living and non-living mold in a home but can't always identify the species of molds.

Why You Should Test for Mold

The main reasons for having mold testing performed in your home are:

  • You notice signs of mold such as a mold smell or mold symptoms
  • To identify the species of mold in your home
  • To help you find where mold is growing
  • To test indoor air quality by measuring the amount of spores in the air
  • To test if mold in your home has been fully removed

As always we are here 24/7, for your emergency needs at 843-884-2258

Resources by: https://moldpedia.com/mold-testing

Signs of water damage

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

We often get calls about water spots on ceilings. This is a tell-tale sign you have a water leak somewhere. So, how do you know if you have water issue elsewhere, if you don’t see puddles of water?

What to Look For

Water damage can take on different colors, textures, and even smells, depending on the type of location of the damage. For instance, ceiling water damage is usually easier to spot than water damage in a basement because you will see stains and discoloration on a ceiling, but may not know that a musty odor can be a sign that there is a problem on the lower level of your home. Learn these telltale signs so that you can identify an existing problem and be prepared to spot it in the future.

WATER ACCUMULATION

The most obvious sign that you've got water damage on your hands (or that it will become a bigger problem) is areas of standing or pooling water. These can result from old or malfunctioning appliances including washers, water heaters and toilets. A puddle could also occur from a leaking roof, or from drainage pipes if the water is on the outside of your home.

DISCOLORATION

With ceiling water damage, look for water spots and stains. The area may appear wet or dry and can be a yellow, brown or copper color. Walls may also have bubbling, cracking or peeling paint or wallpaper in addition to staining.

CHANGES IN TEXTURE

While flooring can also show discoloration like ceilings and walls do, the main sign of water damage in floors is detected by changes in texture. This is a result of water seeping into the floor boards and areas underneath them. Some common texture variations include:

  • Warping - caused by changes in humidity and temperature, resulting in gaps between floorboards or curling at the edges. (Ceilings may also become warped from water damage.)
  • Buckling - Occurs in wood floors when one side of the wood becomes detached from the substrate and "tents," or faces upward.
  • Sagging/Sinking - You may notice soft spots in hardwood floors due to rotten wood, which feels spongy compared to normal wood. Water can seep into subflooring of all types of flooring material and cause sagging.
  • Expansion - Wood and laminate floors will "expand" when they absorb too much water because the material swells and then separates.

ODOR

Odors caused by mold and mildew could implicate a water damage problem. The smell may come from basements, walls, or other areas where water has been accumulating for a while. Certain drywall materials can act like a sponge and become full of moisture because there is low air circulation. This is the perfect condition for mold to develop, which will eventually result in visual discoloration (usually black spots) and a detectable odor.

Common Places/Causes

Water damage can occur in any part of your home; however, there are some areas that are more high-risk than others. Make a checklist and inspect each area in your home to know where and what to look for when it comes to identifying water damage.

CEILINGS

Ceiling water damage can come from a few sources. If the room is on the top story of a home, it could be from a leaky roof caused by rain or melting ice/snow in the winter months. If there is a bathroom above the ceiling with wall damage, it could be from a burst pipe or cracks in the floorboards.

WALLS

One of the easiest ways to spot water damage is water stains on walls (and ceilings). Make sure to also check around door and window frames. An unusual stain could be a sign of a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall.

FLOORS

There are many things that can cause water damage to floors - overflowing sinks/bathtubs, flooding from faulty appliances and bad pipes. Hiring a water damage restoration company is the best way to pinpoint the exact cause of flooring water damage.

EXTERIOR/FOUNDATIONS

The exterior of your home can also experience water damage. If there isn't proper drainage in the yard or if the gutter spouts don't carry runoff water far away from the house (or if the gutters leak), water can pool next to the house and if left untreated, cause even more damage to your home's structure.

ATTICS/ROOFS

Stains, mold and wet or swollen installation are signs of a leak in the attic. If your roof has cracked, curled, or missing shingles, damaged flashing or signs of wind/rain damage, it could be vulnerable to leaks, which could result in water damage. Weather in colder climates can cause ice dams to develop on the roof, which can leak into the attic when snow and ice melts. Pay attention to possible problem areas including around roof vents and chimneys, the flashing (where the roof connects with the walls) and the valleys (where two roof planes connect) to help prevent water damage.

APPLIANCES

Check behind refrigerators, washers/dryers, hot water heaters and toilets/sinks for any sign of pooling or leaking water. An appliance or bathroom component (toilet/sink/shower) will most likely cause water damage because of a faulty piece of equipment that isn't easily seen. For example, a cracked hose or loose connection means that these parts may fail soon and could cause leaking in your home - which could lead to water damage.

What to Do If You Find It

If your home has water damage or even if you suspect that you may have a problem, there are professional water damage restoration companies that can help you. First, if you can, locate the problem area. Next, take any necessary steps to prevent any further damage. You may need to soak up standing water on the floor with towels or shut off your home's water supply.

Then, call your home insurance company to report the damage and contact a licensed professional to begin the cleanup process. You'll receive an assessment from the water damage restoration company and can determine your next steps.”

Call us at 843-884-2258

Resources by: https://www.resolvebylowes.com/guidance/flood/how-to-detect-water-damage/115000633508

Helpful tips

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Our office specializes on mold clean-up, so we often get asked questions about mold. Here is some tips to help:

“Mold Inspection

Do you think mold might be growing somewhere in your home? If so then you should have a mold inspection performed.

Goals of a Mold Inspection

There are two goals of a mold inspection. The first is to find if and where mold is growing in your home. The second is to find the water problem which caused the mold to grow in the first place.

Why You Should Have A Mold Inspection

The obvious reason to have a mold inspection is if you think you have a mold problem in your home. Even if you already know where mold is growing in your home it is a good idea to perform a mold inspection since visible mold growth often means there is more mold growing somewhere out of view.

Signs of Mold

Some common reasons to suspect you could have a mold problem include:

  • You are suffering allergic symptoms
  • You notice a mold smell
  • You have had a water problem, for example: flooding, leaking pipes or a leaking roof


You can look here for more signs of mold problems

Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector

It's always best to hire a professional mold inspector to do the mold inspection for you. Thanks to mold inspectors' experience and their knowledge of spots where mold most often hides, you can be sure that if there's any mold in your home that they will find it.

Mold inspectors also use special equipment like moisture meters and fiber optics. This allows them to find hot spots where mold is most likely growing and look into hidden areas such as behind walls. This way they can find any and all hidden mold while barely disturbing your home.

History of Water Problems

It's important to think of recent water problems you've had in your home when it comes to preparing for a mold inspection.

If you hire a professional mold inspector it's a good idea to let them know about any leaks, floods or any other moisture problems you've had in your home. If you are performing the mold inspection yourself then knowing about places which had water problems in the past will give you clues about where the mold is most likely growing.

There might have even been water problems in the past which you never found out about. By looking for signs of moisture like warped surfaces, water stains or peeling paint you might find recent water problems which have lead to mold growth. 

You should also identify areas which have the potential for water problems such as where pipes run, air conditioner leaks, possible leaking roofs or where water collects after flooding.

Finding Mold During the Inspection

If you decide to do the mold inspection yourself then you need to thoroughly search for mold in every room of your house including the attic and the basement.

Special attention should be paid to areas around water sources such as near the shower or bathtub, sinks or pipes. You should check especially carefully the areas which have had any history of moisture problems in the past. During your search for mold if you do find any water leaks this can then lead you to where mold is growing.

Some common places where mold often grows is on substances high in cellulose such as drywall, under carpets, in insulation or in ventilation ducts.”

If you need a mold clean-up, call us at 843-884-2258

Fire Extinguishers

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Do you know what fire extinguisher to use for fires? Fires can be caused by many different things: grease, electrical etc.

“HERE ARE THE TOP 5 FIRE TYPES AND HOW TO EXTINGUISH THEM:

  1. CLASS A

This is the most basic form of how a fire spreads. Combustible or inflammable items such as wood, paper, plastic, textiles and etc., catch fire after being overheated. They continue to burn so long as the heat, fuel and oxygen last.

Water and foam is the best type of fire extinguisher for such fire spreads as it extracts the element of heat and oxygen from the burning elements. All you have to do is spray is it over the burning item.

  1. CLASS B

Liquids like kerosene, petrol, alcohol, etc. are flammable in nature. This is because they have a low flashpoint that qualifies them as easy to burn items. These are exceptionally dangerous liquids to keep near your stove top because a trivial fire spark can easily ignite them, massively.

The best fire extinguishers to use on such a fire type include carbon dioxide extinguisher, dry chemical extinguisher and clean agents.

  1. CLASS C

These fires involve electrical components/energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, motors and transformers. More commonly, we see electrical fires with overloaded surge protectors and faulty wiring in buildings.

The most befitting extinguishers for this fire type include carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers.

  1. CLASS D

Loose or powdered metals commonly found in kitchens such as potassium, sodium and etc. are highly inflammable.

For powdered metals only dry powder extinguishers are suggested as this type of fire has to be dealt more tactfully to avoid further displacing the powder and fire.

  1. CLASS F

These are the general fires caused by the accumulation of oil, grease and spots on your stove top. By nature, these spills are prone to catching fire and there should be cleaned as soon as possible.

The only type of extinguisher that must be used on this fire type should be wet chemical extinguisher.”

Always call the fire department, if you have a fire. But, these tips will help understand the classes of fire extinguishers and the use of them.

As always, if you have any questions, please call us at 843-884-2258

Resources:

https://prevent-lss.com/top-5-fire-types-extinguish/

Home Insurance and Storm Damage

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Does Your Home Insurance Cover Weather and Water Damage?Winter Storms, Spring Thaws and Water Damage. Are You Covered?
By Mila AraujoUpdated October 29, 2017

Winter Storms, spring thaws, water damage and other losses caused by weather variations are often covered by your home insurance. 

Consider that in 2015 Winter storms caused an estimated $3.5 billion in insured losses according to Munich Re. As weather patterns change bringing harsh conditions to areas that traditionally do not see such heavy winter activity, claims due to winter storm damage will likely rise.

 

Are You Insured for Winter Storm or Water Damage?

Many homeowners are insured and can make a claim if they sustain damage from a winter storm, spring thaw or cold snap. Depending on the type of policy you have, several types of risks and damage arising from weather, heavy snowfall, thaws or cold snaps that may be covered and you may be able to get help and compensation for losses from your insurance company.

What Kind of Weather Related Damage Is Covered by Insurance?

The most common causes of winter storm or weather damage include:

  • Hail Damage
  • Roof Damage
  • Water Damage
  • Sewer Back Up
  • Freezing Pipes
  • Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
  • Ice dams forming on the roof 
  • Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
  • Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
 Loss  due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
  • Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
  • Water infiltration into the home.  This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for. 
 

Although not all damages are covered by standard insurance, most of the above items are.

The major exception to most policies is flood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about flood insurance frequently asked questions here.  

Winter Weather Can Also Put You at Risk of Being Sued: Liability Claims

We often think about the risks of damage to our own homes, but there is also a significant risk that if you do not maintain your property, other people could get injured  on your property and hold you responsible. Your home insurance covers liability.

Contact your  own insurance Company Immediately even if you think the damage or injury is not your fault. The insurance company can help give advice on the next steps and get involved to help you.

Insurance companies help with this legal aspect and legal defense costs if needed as part of the liability portion of your insurance in many cases as well. Take advantage of their services, this is what you pay an insurance company for: to help you!

The Insurance Agreement for Claims and Your Responsibility

 Your Policy is a Contract with the Insurance Company and you as the homeowner have  agreed to keep them aware of circumstances that might impact liability.

 

Do not try and solve the issue by yourself, in doing so you may create a problem for your own insurance coverage. Your insurance representative is in the best position to explain how you are covered and what they will do to help you in the situation.

Examples of Winter Liability Risks and Claims

  • Property damage to others. For example, a tree falls on your neighbor's fence or home.
  • Personal injury: the mailman comes to deliver a package and slips on ice on your walkway. You have to do your best during storms to keep walkways de-iced and clear of snow to avoid injury to yourself and others.
  • Snow or ice on the roof of your home suddenly crashes down on a parked car, or a person walking along your property and injures them. This is a very dangerous risk, which is why it is important to pay attention to accumulation on your roof and take preventative measures following a storm.

What to Do If You Have Winter Storm Damage to Make a Claim

  • Don't wait if you notice damage to your home, call your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies have 24-hour claims numbers that can help you in an emergency.

Insurance does not cover gradual damage, so leaving things until later could cost you a lot of money, and may even cause further damage that would not be covered and you claim could be denied.

IF Water is Coming Into Your Home? Call Your Insurance Company!

Normally if you have damage happening, like water coming into your home, the insurance company can be really useful because as soon as they become alerted they may send an emergency crew out to help you prevent further damage. Take advantage of all the advice and services your insurance company can offer during a claim. You don't need to go through the situation alone.

In many cases, because of the insurer's experience with claims, and the established relationships insurance companies have with emergency contractors and service providers, going through your insurance company will get you help immediately. If you try and contact contractors on your own or after hours, you may not be on the top of their list. Give your insurance company the opportunity to get things resolved by experienced professionals as quickly as possible.

Preventing Further Damage

While you wait for the insurance company, you are responsible to prevent further damage. In this process, you might be tempted to take things and throw them away, or move things. Before you do this take a few minutes to document what is happening. It could become very important when the insurance company reviews the claim.

How to Make a Claim and Get Paid for Winter Storm and Water Damage 

Regardless of the situation, anytime you notice damage to your property or home, or you get accused of being responsible for damage to others, you should contact your insurance representative immediately. They will guide you through the process to protect your best interests and let you know what is covered. 

Find out what coverage is available to protect yourself and if you do not have it, make the necessary changes to your home policy to get the best homeowner coverage possible for the future. With changing weather patterns you may be at risk for extensive damages that you may not have been subject to before.

With a few adjustments and a good plan for home winter maintence and prevention, you should be able to keep your home safe from storm damage, and if you do have a claim, get the help you need from the insurance company so you don't lose money and come out on top.

Examples of Storm Damage Claims

'My Neighbor's Tree Fell on My Fence, or My House! What Do I Do?'

A very common issue between neighbors is when damage occurs across property lines. The example of the tree is very common. Branches can fall and hit a neighbor's home, fence, or garage. Sometimes trees fall over driveways and hit the neighbor's cars.

Contact your insurance company right away so that they can help you determine if you can recover damages from your neighbor using the proper channels. You do not need to handle these issues alone. They will be able to help you take care of the situation and get you back on track.

Damages to Your Roof 

For homes that are connected, or semi-detached, damages on the roof or within the walls can also cross property lines. The help of experts in these situations, like those of your insurance company, is in your best interest. You have a responsibility as part of your insurance contract to make them aware of any issues or potential claims being brought against you.

What to Do If You Aren't Sure Who Is Responsible In a Claim

In the scenario above, for example, your neighbor needs to contact their insurance company and you need to contact yours. This will facilitate the situation for you. You're not alone in these situations. 

Anytime you have a claim brought against you, you should call your insurance company so they can help, that's why you have liability coverage.

Resources By The Balance.com

https://www.thebalance.com/weather-water-damage-home-insurance-coverage-3862186?utm_content=buffer352e3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Mold and Statutes for Retail & Commercial Properties

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Legal Issues of Mold Contamination

The legal issues associated with toxic mold are complicated primarily by the natural presence of molds in indoor environments and scientific uncertainty concerning toxic molds and their causal connection to adverse health impacts. Molds occur naturally and there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of molds and fungi. Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce and mold spores waft through indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin to grow and to digest whatever they are growing on in order to survive.

When Mold is Discovered & Not Addressed on Retail & Commercial Properties, Mold accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur. There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in indoor environments. Fortunately, most molds are harmless aside from their tendency to produce mild allergic reactions in allergy suffers.

Statutory Regulation

From a regulatory perspective toxic mold has received mixed attention from federal and state regulators. In 1994, OSHA proposed rulemaking for standards addressing general indoor air quality in work environments. The proposed rulemaking considered exposures to toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins, but at least partially in recognition of the difficulty of developing a comprehensive regulatory regime for indoor air quality in all work environments, OSHA withdrew its proposed rule making on December 17, 2001.

Addressing Mold in Leases and Purchase Agreements

Given the increased attention to toxic mold, owners and tenants of commercial buildings and their attorneys are starting to address mold prevention and remediation directly in leases and purchase agreements. And, due to the current lack of scientific knowledge and regulatory uncertainty, the focus should be on risk assessment and prevention of mold problems.

Tenants and purchasers considering a transaction should have an assessment for toxic mold performed by a competent consultant with experience in industrial hygiene, mold sampling and mold remediation. This protocol should become part of their due diligence process. An assessment of indoor air quality for the presence of toxic molds will establish baseline conditions and, if necessary, allow the parties to correct a pre-existing mold problem.

Practices and customs for assessing toxic mold risk and indoor air quality are still developing. Some building owners may develop protocols for regular testing and may provide results to prospective tenants or purchasers. However, most retailers contemplating a lease or purchase transaction will likely have to request permission to perform a toxic mold assessment.

Mold Assessment

Although a matter for negotiation, it is likely that the retailer will pay the initial expense of an assessment. If a problem is identified, contractual provisions addressing the next steps should be considered:

  • Will the building owner be required to perform remediation and to what extent?
  • Who will control the consultant performing the assessment work and who will own the consultant's work product?
  • Will the work product be confidential?

Because toxic mold problems can require expensive and intrusive remediation work, and negative publicity associated with a mold problem could result in serious financial and legal consequences, savvy owners will seek to control the information flow and to avoid making any open-ended commitments to resolve mold problems identified during the due diligence process. Such provisions are reasonable as long as the prospective tenant or purchaser can evaluate baseline conditions and the prospective tenant or purchaser is protected from disclosure obligations and non-disclosure liability should the assessment reveal a problem that could cause adverse health effects.

On-Going Issue

Once a decision to proceed with a transaction is reached, addressing ongoing responsibility for mold is important in leases (in purchase transactions where toxic mold issues are not resolved prior to closing, transaction specific provisions would be required), and this presents some challenges for drafters. As previously noted, molds thrive in moist environments where excess water is present and mold spores move through indoor air constantly. Thus, a small roof leak in a tenant space could lead to a moisture problem with resulting mold. In a multiple tenant building, the mold could spread from one tenant space to other tenant spaces. Disputes and possible litigation could result.

For single structure retailers, building owners are, over time, likely to require tenants to hire qualified consultants at tenant expense to perform periodic assessments for the presence of mold, to provide the assessment results to the building owner, and to perform remediation if necessary. Owners may also seek access to the premises to verify test results or to perform independent analysis. Although a regular assessment regime adds costs, it is sensible prevention and it may provide liability protection to retail tenants.

Some retail tenants may find it advantageous to adopt a testing regime even in the absence of a lease requirement. The main issues for lease negotiation are responsibility for remediation and reasonable limits to owner access. If the cause of the mold problem is a latent construction defect as opposed to a tenant failure to perform required maintenance or repair, it may be appropriate to allocate remediation responsibility to the owner. As with other owner access to perform or verify a mold assessment should, if possible, be conditioned upon reasonable prior notice and limited to times when the space is dark.

Focus on Prevention

Addressing mold issues in leases of space in multi-tenant buildings should also focus on prevention of conditions that can lead to mold and prompt remediation in the event of a mold problem. If the owner assumes the general repair and maintenance obligations for the building exterior and all building systems, tenants should require the owner to perform periodic mold assessments - whether or not the owner recovers its costs as a common expense. Indeed, because a mold problem could originate in one space but manifest itself in another or other spaces, there is tenant incentive for comprehensive landlord oversight of mold prevention.

Where tenants are responsible for maintenance and repair of their interior space only, owners will want some right of inspection to the extent that the maintenance and repair involves building systems that could lead to moist conditions or mold growth. Additionally, tenants may want the owner to promise to oversee all tenant-performed maintenance to make sure that compliance is reasonably uniform. As with single tenant buildings, leases should also address responsibility for remediation costs and acceptable times of access.

In Conclusion

Owners & Tenants- Retailers should devise a plan that will be ongoing and protect both parties interest. 

SERVPRO of Mount Pleasant does Mold Remediation Services . 843-884-2258

Resources By:

http://corporate.findlaw.com/business-operations/addressing-toxic-mold-risks-in-retail-and-commercial-property.html

Coastal Flooding in Charleston SC

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Living on the Coast in Charleston, SC you probably have experienced or been impacted by coastal flooding. “Coastal flooding” is defined as the phenomenon when salt water from the ocean floods or inundates areas that are normally dry. You might think these flooding tides are mainly the result of strong storms or hurricanes. However, it’s really coastal flooding from very high astronomical or “normal tides”, which are a result of the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Moon on the water surfaces of the Earth, that have been on the increase. High Tides combined  with winds blowing from the water toward the coast, the water levels can be even higher and more damaging. To make the situation worse, cities such as Charleston, SC have an added issue with coastal flooding. When heavy rainfall occurs around the time of high tide the result is even more widespread flooding of streets, roads, and some homes and businesses across the city. 

If your Homes or Businesses are affected by the rising waters, SERVPRO of Mount Pleasant is there to Assist with Water Removal and Dehumidification. Call us when this Water or Storm Event happens at 843-884-2258.

Resources by National Weather Service by Ron Morales- Warning Coordination Meterologist.

http://www.weather.gov/media/chs/newsletters/2017-OfficeNewsletter.pdf

Importance of Knowing Where Shut Off Valve is on Homes

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Locating and Operating Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve

Not Knowing Could Cause Major Damage to Properties if you don't know where it is and Water Pipes Burst. In Case of Property Damage Please Call SERVPRO of Mount Pleasant at 843-884-2258

Knowing how and where to shut off your home’s main water supply is as important as knowing how and where to turn-off or reset an electric breaker or replace a fuse.

Learn where your main shut-off valve is inside your home, have it plainly tagged/marked and operate it at least annually to ensure it is in proper working order. It is also a good idea to show this valve to any of your children you feel are responsible enough to utilize the valve in your absence. We can Provide that TAG to your family.

Every home was required to have a main water shut-off valve installed inside the home during initial construction. In most Cases they are located near where the water service line enters your home and are usually near the water meter.

There are also underground shut-off valves installed at the property line. This shut-off is typically referred to as the “curb-stop”, which is protected by and accessed through a “curb-box”. The curb-box has a 4” diameter, round, cast iron lid with the word “WATER” stamped on it. It is also important to know the location of this Shut off Valve. This valve can be used to shut off your private, buried, water service line in the event of a leak. PLEASE NOTE that many water service lines develop a leak where they pass through the foundation wall before the main shut-off valve.

Resources Provided by Highland Sewer and Water Authority

https://www.highlandwater.net/emergency-shutoff

Basics of Mold

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

What is Mold?

Mold, is a type of fungus.  Molds are decomposers of dead organic material such as leaves, wood and plants. The spores and hair-like bodies of individual mold colonies are too small for us to see without a microscope. When a lot of mold is growing on a surface, it often appears black or green. The color of mold is influenced by the nutrient source and the age of the colony. If mold is growing behind vinyl wallpaper, colorful pink or purple splotches may appear. Mold growing on fabric is called mildew.

What Does Mold Need to Grow?

Mold needs water to grow; without water mold cannot grow. Mold also needs food, oxygen and a temperature between 40 degrees and 100 degrees F. Since mold decomposes dead organic (once living) material it can grow on wood, the paper facing on gypsum board (drywall) and other materials made from wood. Mold can also digest some synthetic materials such as adhesives, pastes and paints. While mold cannot get nutrients from inorganic material such as concrete, glass and metal, it can grow on the dirt present on these surfaces. Molds like damp and wet materials and moisture in air.  Some molds get moisture from the air when the air has  relative humidity  above 80%. The high humidity makes surfaces damp enough for mold to grow.

How Does Mold Spread?

Mold can grow by extension of hyphae that are like tiny root hairs. In this way, a small colony of mold can expand to cover many square feet of material. Mold can also make spores that are like very small seeds. Spores can survive conditions that are too sunny, hot, cold, dry or wet for mold to grow. When spores are released they can be carried by air or water to new locations. Some spores are so small that they are more affected by air currents than by gravity. When spores land on a damp surface that has food and oxygen available, and if the temperature suits them, they will start to grow. It is important to realize that mold spores are present everywhere, in outside air as well as indoor air – unless very special precautions are taken to remove or kill them. Everyday we are exposed to airborne mold spores from outdoor sources, sometimes at high concentrations. It is almost impossible to create a mold free space or to keep a space mold free. What we can do – and should do – is control the amount of mold in our indoor environments.

SERVPRO of Mount Pleasant does Mold Remediation. We give Free Estimates on Mold Remediation. Call us at 843-884-2258

Resources by Building Science Corporation

https://buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0208-what-you-need-to-know-about-mold/view

Frozen Pipes During Winter Storms

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber. In case of Water Damage - Call SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant. 843-884-2258.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Resources By American Red Cross

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

HOME FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

COOKING-  Keep an Eye on Your Pans while cooking, especially frying.  Stay in the Kitchen or Near the Grill while their is open flames.

FIREPLACES, SPACE HEATERS-3 Feet from Heat. Keep all furniture, Curtains, Dish Towels, Baseboards. 3 Feet away at all Times.

SMOKING- Never Smoke in Bed or Fall Asleep while Smoking.

CHILD SAFETY- Keep Matches and Lighters out of reach and in a safe place.

SMOKE ALARMS- Check Batteries Regularly and Replace.

Replace Smoke Alarms every 10 years. Test Monthly.

APPLIANCES- Large and Small Appliances should be Plugged Directly Into Wall.

MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! HOME FIRE ESCAPE PLAN-Practice Fire Escape Plan with members of household and Know Escape Route and Time of Fire Drill and how long it takes to execute. 2 Minutes or Less would be the best action plan.

Resources By 

American Red Cross 

https://www.sso.SERVPROnet.com/connect/Resources/Documents/Marketing/ARC/Disaster%20Responder/Home%20Fire%20Safety%20Checklist.pdf

Filing Insurance for Commercial Loss

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

As a disaster remediation company, we are always looking for information to provide our clients. One interesting thing we found is “Entrepreneurs often overlook preparation for these rare events and focus instead on more pressing details, but taking steps to prepare for the unthinkable can be the difference between surviving and failing after a major storm.” As a business most watch for pricing, expenses, and such, but don’t prepare. The good thing is, we can come out and help you plan for the event of a disaster. Another interesting thing we found, is its always best to file a claim with your insurance.” Supporting Disaster Damage when Documents are Unavailable

In the case of a disaster that damages your business records, follow a two-step process. 

First, document that the disaster occurred. In a recent (2014) Tax Court case, the Court faulted the taxpayer because he had never reported the disaster.

 In this case, a taxpayer claimed flood damage had caused his business records to be un-recoverable, but he did not document the flood damage with an insurance claim or other evidence. If you can't prove the records were lost or destroyed, the IRS may assume you didn't have them in the first place.

The best way to document a disaster is to file an insurance claim. Even if you live in a disaster zone, the IRS has no way of knowing if your business suffered a loss unless you put the loss in writing.

How to Document Business Losses 

You will need your asset records to document the losses to business assets, including vehicles, equipment, furniture and fixtures. Report casualty losses on your business or personal tax return. IRS Publication 547 describes the process for determining deductions for losses, including reduction in fair market value.

You can also file for assistance with FEMA (the federal emergency disaster assistance agency), or file a disaster assistance claim with the Small Business Administration. 

Per the Tax Court case mentioned above, if your business records are lost or destroyed you must make a "serious and persuasive effort" to reconstruct your business records.”

“CNBC Make It”  https://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/27/4-steps-for-disaster-proofing-your-business.html

“The Balance” https://www.thebalance.com/what-if-you-lose-business-records-in-a-disaster-397892

Water loss in your business

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

A commercial water loss can cause be a burden in many ways.  It can mean less revenue and customer loss.  If you company has a water loss, time is important.

  • Identify the source of the water
  • Turn off electricity if necessary
  • Turn off the water
  • Contact SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant 843-884-2258
  • Call local HVAC, plumbers or necessary contractor to fix the leak
  • If standing water is present, mark off the area with water signs, to warn people of the danger.

These are some of the things, you should do. The best plan of action is to have an emergency response plan in place.  We offer a great plan at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant. We work closely with property manager, insurance, plumber, HVAC, or contractors, to get your business up and running in a timely manner. We make it "Like it never even happened." Call 843-884-2258 24/7

Mold in the workplace

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can be present in the workplace, as well as, at home. Mold is suspected of causing some health issues.  If you suspect mold in your business, follow these tips:

“NIOSH states that excess moisture usually is the cause of indoor mold growth. If supervisors suspect mold is causing health problems among their employees, they should:

  • Regularly inspect buildings for dampness.
  • Prevent high indoor humidity with HVAC systems.
  • Always respond when employees report health concerns.
  • Establish procedures for recording and responding to indoor air quality complaints.
  • Develop a plan for response and perform remedial action.
  • Follow up to ensure corrective action has been successful.
  • Encourage employees who have developed persistent or worsening respiratory symptoms to see a health care provider.
  • Follow health care provider recommendations for relocation of employees diagnosed with building-related respiratory disease.

We are here to remediate the mold in your business, if you notice its presents.  So, don’t panic call SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant at 843-884-2258

Works Cited

“Safety Health”  http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/9007-health-risks-of-mold-in-the-workplace

Maintenance

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Preventing a water loss from happening is always the best solution.  Maintenance to your home is the key. Refrigerator lines, washing machine, dishwasher, pipes, and hot water heaters, they all have maintenance.  Here are a few interesting facts and a link to the site for more.

“STUDY FACTS: The chance a water heater will leak or burst begins to dramatically increase when it is 5 years old. 3/4 of all water heaters fail before they are 12 years old.

STUDY FACTS 73% of losses involving an ice maker were caused by the failure of the supply line hose. 10% of incidents involved new refrigerators and were linked to improper installation.

STUDY FACT Homes 30 years old were 3 times as likely to have a plumbing supply or drainage problem.

STUDY FACTS: A burst water supply line caused half of all water damage incidents involving washing machines. On average, these incidents caused more than $6,000 in damage per incident.”

Again, prevention is the key. But, we all know, water loss happens. SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, is here 24/7 for your water loss needs 843-884-2258.

Works Cited

“Quick Tips to Prevent Water Damage” http://www.ct.gov/cid/lib/cid/water-damage_pamphlet_CT-DOI.pdf

Fogging Duct Work

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

We get many calls about the possibility of mold in the ducts. “The presence of mold in an HVAC system is a common complaint.  Mold is a sneaky little bugger.  It can grow and proliferate and make building occupants sick without ever being seen.   And the fastest way to spread mold through a building is through a forced-air HVAC system.”

Here at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, we offer duct cleaning, as well as, duct fogging.

What is fogging?

Fogging is an environmentally safe duct cleaning solution that kills germs in your air conditioning duct while keeping your indoor air quality is at optimal levels. Cleaning the interior of your HVAC and air systems is important, but it is not the only step that needs to be taken. Aside from killing and ridding your systems of all mold, debris, and bacteria, its essential prevent them from growing again.

How it works

Fogging releases an antibacterial spray that sanitizes and seals the ducts. This process has a number of different uses including odor control, sanitizing, and pest control.”

If you need your ducts cleaned or fogging, call us at 843-884-2258

Works Cited

“Goodway” http://www.goodway.com/hvac-blog/2009/10/mold-a-common-hvac-complaint-that-is-easy-to-deal-with/

“Sunbeam”  http://www.sunbeamair.com/duct-cleaning-fog

Emergency Response Plan

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial loss does happen. The key to handling them smoothly is having a plan of action in place. At SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, we offer a ERP. We will come to your location, walk through with you, getting a plan in place. Here are some other tips, in the event your business suffers a loss such as a fire.

What to Focus on After a Fire

  • Tip #1: Bring in your public adjuster early in the process to manage as many of the following as possible while you concentrate on your business and your employees!
  • Document your property damage with photographs.
  • Take steps to mitigate any further damage, including theft and vandalism.
  • Prepare comprehensive lists of lost/damaged items.
  • Track all out-of-pocket expenses related to the cleanup and rebuilding process, as well as any additional expenses you incur to mitigate your loss of business and to expedite your recovery.
  • Analyze your policy, including all clauses, additions, extensions and exclusions, and develop a strategy for maximizing every available dollar.
  • Bring in experts to prove the full extent of structural and other damages, as necessary.

The key to loss is staying one step ahead. Hopefully, you never have to use your emergency response plan. But, we are here to help you through that, as well as, if you suffer a loss. We are here 24/7 for emergency services 843-881-2258.

Works Cited

“Adjusters International” https://adjustersinternational.com/commercial-claims/loss-type/fire/

Mold after Natural Disasters

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

After, a major storm, we see more mold in homes. It’s very common. Moisture causes the growth.  We understand these occurrences and are ready to help.  If you are unsure if you have a mold issue, please call us 843-884-2258. We can guide you through the process, advise you who to use to test and clean it up and make it “Like is never even happened."

“Natural disasters often cause damage to homes and other structures. Mold growth is typically a side effect of different natural disasters, such as flooding or torrential rains. To prevent mold after flooding and water damage, there are some necessary steps to take to improve the situation.

  • Check it out
  • Get it out
  • Clean it up
  • Dry it out
  • Keep it dry

 These five steps will help make the whole process easier.”

Works Cited

“Neighborly” https://www.getneighborly.com/expert-advice/2017/march/what-to-do-when-mold-appears-in-your-home/

Pipes

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

As winter approaches, it’s time to know how to protect your pipes from freezing. I have attached some types to help you.

“How to Protect Pipes from Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.”

If you end up with a busted pipe, call us to help. We never look forward to such an event, but they do happen.  We are available 24/7 for emergency situations.

Works Cited

“Red Cross”  http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

Leaking Toilets

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

This week, we are working on a water damage caused by a leaking toilet. Please watch those toilets.

What Can Go Wrong? - Leaks mean water, water can be a problem. Left unattended, leaks can damage finishes and structural elements. Letting a leak go for a long time can do thousands of dollars of damage. Fixing it quickly will always be the best course of action. Anything that can be damaged by water should be removed from the area before the repair is attempted. Getting the toilet partially repaired before it gets too late or the parts store closes can leave the toilet not operating. One trick is that a toilet can be flushed by dumping a couple of gallons of water quickly into it from a pail. This mimics the normal function of the toilet tank.” 

If you have a toilet leak, please call us. We can find you a good plumber to fix the damage, and clean up the water damage. We are only a call away, with 24//7 emergency help at 843-884-2258.

Works Cited

“Home Repair” http://www.home-repair-central.com/how-to-fix-a-leaking-toilet.html

Irma

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, has done storms damage three years in a row. We are pleased we could help our regular clients, whom with stood these storms. It’s truly hard time, when your home is damaged from a storm.  SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant is here to guide you through the insurance filing, to listen, and get your home “Like it never even happened.”  We are here for you, even if it’s to ask questions, please call us 843-884-2258.

This year Irma caused “the worst tidal surge in 80 years” . Downtown Charleston was flooded, with many homes left in standing water.  

”At its height, the storm generated a nearly 10-foot tide. That was 4 feet more than normal and among the worst tidal surges in 80 years after Hugo in 1989 and a storm in 1940. It was about 8 inches higher than last year’s Hurricane Matthew.”

Works Cited

“The Post and Courier” https://www.postandcourier.com/news/area-sees-incredible-flooding-as-irma-pounds-charleston-coastal-south/article_b752803e-96ee-11e7-9c8a-3f6a906b40d4.html

Water under home

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

This photo is under a home after hurricane Irma. As you can tell water was still present. It took time, effort, and patience to make it through this storm. But, we alongside our clients worked tirelessly to get them back in the home.  We are pleased to say our clients are not only clients, but friends. They count on us for their water loss, cleaning needs, duct cleaning, mold, and fire loss. We have shown time and again we can make it "Like it never even happened.”

“Storm-battered Charleston began drying out Tuesday from a hurricane-driven tidal surge that had turned the historic district and other parts of the Lowcountry into a watery mass of flooded streets, floating debris and swamped buildings.

A day after near record tides hit the Charleston area; the water had begun to recede as communities worked to recover from a flood caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irma.

High tides that flooded the downtown were among the most significant to hit Charleston in recent years. Surrounding areas, such as Isle of Palms and Folly Beach, also suffered from the storm surge associated with Irma. The damage included substantial beach erosion.

"Thankfully, we appear to have come through this storm with no loss of life or serious injury,’’ Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said in an afternoon statement. “That's a real blessing. Now, our job is to move forward with recovery efforts and get our city back to normal for our residents as quickly as possible."

Works Cited

“The State” http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article172835176.html

Effects of Water Damage

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Effects of Water Damage

Water damage is a problem that most property owners dread. When it rains heavily or snow melts quickly, the risk of this type of damage increases. Water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage by damaging wood furniture, upholstery, electronics, household appliances, and plumbing equipment. Water damage also increases the risk of mold growth, which is a very expensive problem to remediate. Hiring a water damage restoration company can make the cleanup process easier to handle, as these companies employ experienced workers who know the best ways to repair or replace damaged items and help with water damage cleanup.

Causes of Water Damage

There are several possible causes of water damage. Leaky dishwashers, clogged toilets, broken pipes, broken dishwasher hoses, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, and foundation cracks are just some of the possible causes of water damage in homes and businesses. Floods, heavy snow, and heavy rain are other possible causes of this type of damage and can lead to having water in basements. Too much water can lead to minor problems such as water in basement areas, or it can lead to the destruction of homes and businesses. Once a home or business sustains water damage, it is important to start the water damage cleanup immediately. Starting water damage cleanup as soon as possible increases the likelihood of saving water-soaked furniture, carpets, rugs, clothing, and other items.

Categories of Water Damage

Assessing the severity of the damage is important for determining what is needed to start water damage repair and water removal. There are several different categories assigned to water damage. Category 1 refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a threat to humans. Possible causes of this type of damage include broken appliances or sink overflows. Category 2 water is also called gray water. This means that the water is contaminated and may cause sickness of ingested. This type of water contains microorganisms. Broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage may cause category 2 water damage. Category 3 water is known as black water. This type of water is unsanitary, as it contains bacteria and other organisms that cause sickness. The possible sources of black water damage include sewage problems and contamination of standing water.

There are also several classes of water damage. The class of damage is important when assessing water damage repair options. Class 1 is the least harmful form of damage. Materials absorb very little of the water from this type of damage. Water damage repair is the easiest in this type of situation. Class 2 has a fast rate of evaporation, which means that carpets and cushions may be damaged. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves class 2 damage. Class 3 has the fastest rate of evaporation. In this case, the water may come from broken sprinklers or other overhead sources, soaking the walls and furniture. Class 4 requires special water restoration and water removal procedures. This type of damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, and concrete.

Restoration Process

The water restoration process is an important one. Using the right procedures and materials can help people save cherished belongings and even prevent their homes from being condemned. Water restoration companies specialize in mitigating the effects of water, but the success for water damage restoration depends on the severity of the damage and the amount of water that caused the damage. Water restoration companies may hire outside experts to assess a property and determine a water restoration and water removal plan. These water restoration companies typically use high-tech equipment and well-documented procedures to control water damage. Water in basement areas may only require a short cleanup process, but water in other areas of a property will require extensive remediation.

Health Hazards

It is important to hire one of these water damage restoration companies as soon as possible after water damage occurs. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and other organisms. Cleaning up immediately can help mitigate the health effects of water damage on everyone in a home or commercial space.

Works Cited

"The Water Page"

http://www.thewaterpage.com/water-damage-effects.htm 

 

Christmas Light Safety Tips

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Christmas Lights Safety Tips

Before you flip the switch to dazzle friends and family with your spectacular light show, take a few moments to run through a quick safety checklist.

A house lit up with Christmas lights is a beautiful sight to behold. But stringing lights across your roof and around your home can be a real safety hazard if you’re not careful. So before you flip the switch to dazzle friends and family with your spectacular light show, take a few moments to run through a quick safety checklist.

  • Before you string up a single strand of lights, carefully check them for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
  • The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly. There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. So keep your tree well-watered. Not only will it stay fresh and green, but it might also keep your house from burning down.
  • Modern lights have fused plugs, preventing sparks in case of a short circuit. Ditch old strands of lights that don’t have fuses and get a set of newer, safer lights.
  • If bulbs have burned out, replace them right away, but make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs.
  • Water and debris can get into outdoor sockets, so make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to reduce the risk of shorts and shocks. Hire a licensed electrician if you need to install GFCI outlets.
  • Keep an eye on extension cords, as they can occasionally overheat. Just touch-test the cord. If it’s hot, unplug it.
  • Don’t use tacks, nails or screws to hang lights, which can pierce the cable and become electrified. Use insulated hooks instead.
  • When running extension cords along the ground, make sure to elevate plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections.
  • Tape down any ground-level extensions cords to prevent people from tripping over them.
  • Check to make sure lights have been rated by a testing laboratory. You can see a list of federally recognized labs on the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s website.
  • Not all lights are rated for outdoor use. Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors. So make sure the ones you string up on the house belong out there.
  • Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.
  • When you put your lights back into storage after the holidays, make sure to place them in a well-sealed container to prevent possible water damage and to block hungry rodents looking to turn the cords into lunch.

My final advice? Be careful with ladders.

Maintaining Your Gas Furnace- Tips

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

You should maintain your gas furnace every season to prolong its life and keep it working properly. Here are some furnace maintenance tasks you can do yourself, but you can always hire a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing them:

Ensure Your Safety First – Before doing furnace maintenance, shut off the gas supply and power it off to prevent accidents. The gas line is typically connected to the furnace in a black pipe and has a shut-off valve nearby. The power switch can be found on the side of the furnace – if not, shut off the appropriate breaker at the electrical panel.

Clean the Furnace Interior – Open the furnace door and clean all crevices and inner components of dust and debris with a soft-tipped paint brush. Then, vacuum out the base of the furnace, the gas burners, and inner components using a vacuum cleaner with a long snorkel attachment.

Check the Thermostat Wires – Once you’ve shut off the power to the furnace and opened its door, pull the furnace wires slightly to ensure they’re tight and properly fitted.

Replace the Air Filter – The filter traps dirt and dust, maintaining the efficiency of the furnace. Check and change the air filter monthly during the heating season, but read the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to change the filter.

Clean the Blower – Located just behind the air filter, the blower can accumulate dirt and dust that penetrates through the air filter. To clean the blower, first remove it (unscrew the two bolts that keep it in place) and carefully clean the blower blades with a small brush, as well as the blower assembly with a damp cloth. Vacuum the dirt and dust once you’ve brushed off the blower.

Check the Drive Belt – This component can get too loose or suffer fraying, glazing or cracks. Check it for damage and ensure it feels tight but not too loose (it should deflect ½ to ¾ inches when pushing down in the center of the belt). If it’s extra loose or damaged in any way, replace it.

Clean the Flame Sensor – Over time, residue builds up on the flame sensor which may stop the furnace from working. Pull down the sensor from its bracket and clean it carefully with a fine emery cloth. Place it back into its bracket once it’s clean.

Clean the Furnace Ducts – As dust and dirt accumulate in the furnace ducts, it should be cleaned to keep the furnace working at maximum efficiency. Professional duct cleaning is your best bet at cleaning out your ducts thoroughly.

Follow these furnace maintenance tips and you’ll save yourself some expenses if your furnace stops working during a cold winter night! Check out additional home heating safety tips and electric heater safety rules just in case. For professional smoke remediation or fire damage repair, contact your local PuroClean office.

SERVPRO is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company.  Founded in 1957, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout the United States.

Categories: Fire Restoration

N. Charleston Fire

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

Last night we had a fire in N. Charleston, http://www.live5news.com/story/34986601/emergency-crews-extinguish-mobile-home-fire-in-n-charleston . We are posting some tips from the American Red Cross.  We want our community to stay safe. You never know when a loss can happen, so it’s best to always have a plan. If you have any questions please call 843-884-2258

 

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Top Tips for Fire Safety

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Resources:

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire

 

Got Allergies?

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

Us allergy suffers know this time of year is very hard in our area. We wanted to share, we clean duct work, and fog the system to kill mold spores. I also found some interesting information to share:

"Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green "pepper like" substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red and watery eyes, rashes and a sore throat."

If you see anything that looks like this, give us a call. We can come take a look and treat the duct work or anything else to get this under control. 

Resources taking from:

http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/common-types-of-mold-in-homes

Thunderstorms

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

As we sit here looking at our yellow, pollen covered cars. We remember it’s almost springtime. Our area gets warm fast and thunderstorm’s are something to watch for, here are some tips, to prepare:


. To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:



  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.

  • Postpone outdoor activities.

  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.

  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.

  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.

  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.

  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.


Resources are taking from: 


https://www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning


 


Click drop down menu under Before Thunderstorm and Lighting


 


As always if you need us call us, 24/7 843-884-2258

As spring approaches

2/9/2017 (Permalink)

As spring approaches, keep in mind those April showers. Moisture control is the best way to prevent mold. Below are some tips to keep in mind:

MOLD PREVENTION TIPS

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
  • To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency's publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home at http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html.

You Can Control Mold

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

 

If you need any help or even just want to ask a questions, call us at 843-884-2258

Resources from : https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

Fire Safety Tip Reminders

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

We were watching the news the other day of this tragic house fire in Downtown Charleston.

 

http://www.live5news.com/clip/11820552/raw-video-crews-respond-to-house-fire-in-downtown-charleston

 

It made us want to remind everyone to take care of your own homes, Make sure to check your smoke alarms and follow these safety tips in the event of a fire:

 

Top Tips for Fire Safety

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  2. Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
  3. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  4. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

If you should ever experience such a tragic event. We are there for you, day or night!

 

Resources taken from: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire

 

 And: http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets

Frozen Pipes

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

February is extreme cold month.  In the south we usually don’t have to worry. But, we have seen freezing pipes in the past. So, we have some types to follow:


Preventing Frozen Pipes


Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:



  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.


  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.


  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.


  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.


 


If by some chance you have frozen pipes and need any advice call us, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 843-884-2258


 


Resources taken from: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

Emergency Water Damage Tips

6/16/2016 (Permalink)

We pride ourselves in educating our customers, on best practices for water damages.. Here are some emergency water damage tips from SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt. Pleasant.

  • Shut off the water source if possible
  • Remove excess water by mopping
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs
  • Hang fus and leather goods separately at room temperature.
  • Remove oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and leep ut of areas where ceiling are sagging from retained water.
  • Do not leave books, magazins or other colored items on wet carpeting.

These tips are for clean water situations only.

If you need any assistance or have any questions please don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt. Pleasant at 843.577.2470

IICRC Certified

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.


IICRC Certified Firms must


• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.


• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.


• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.


• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.


• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.


The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry


The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.


Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.


About SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant


SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Restoring Your Charleston/Mt Pleasant Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/7/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Charleston/Mt Pleasant commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant

SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Charleston/Mt Pleasant Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/7/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your home

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 843.577.2470 or 843.884.9096

Charleston/Mt Pleasant Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

6/7/2016 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Downtown Chaleston/Mt Pleasant or mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly re-mediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –  or 843.884.2258

Charleston Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

6/7/2016 (Permalink)

This Charleston home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains we had last October.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 843.577.2470 or 843.884.2258

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the tust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 843.577.2470 or 843.884.2258

Faster to your Charleston Water Damage

6/7/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –843.577.2470 or 843.884.2258

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

When Storms or Floods hit Charleston/Mt Pleasant, SERVPRO is ready!

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. Our office staff are able to take calls from any location, making sure your calls wont be missed or in a que.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Charleston/Mt Pleasant area we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 843.577.2470 or 843.884.2258

Does Charleston/Mt Pleasant Home Have A Mold Problem?

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 843.577.2470 or 843.884.2258

Faster to your Charleston/Mt Pleasant Water Damage Event

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 843.577.2470 or 843.884.2258

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant

SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Water Damage in Mt Pleasant

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Charleston/Mt Pleasant commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant

SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
843.884.2258

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Charleston/Mt Pleasant has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Applebees

3/24/2015 (Permalink)

Techs working on the ceiling.

Started work on the fire damage at the Applebees in Moncks Corner. We estimate to be done around 10 days. We'll be removing smoke from the walls, floors, and ceilings. We will then be sealing and deodorizing. Fire damages can take some time to get the soot smell out, but we have the necessary equipment to make it "Like it never even happened". We have skilled employees, skilled contractors, and are ready to help.

We are happy, we could get the Moncks Corner Apple-bees, up and running. Now the locals, can enjoy their local restaurant. 

Call us at 843-884-2258 with your emergency needs, 24/7 or for carpet cleaning, duct cleaning, or questions. We are always here to help. 

SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant

Applebees

3/24/2015 (Permalink)

Started work on the fire damage at the Applebees in Moncks Corner. We estimate to be done around 10 days. We'll be removing smoke, sealing and deodorizing.

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