Recent Posts

What To Do When a Crawlspace Floods

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing A flooded crawlspace can put any home at risk of mold and structural damage

Measures To Drain And Dry A Crawlspace

A flooded crawlspace can put any home at risk of mold and structural damage. Here are four measures a homeowner can take to drain and dry a crawlspace following a home flood in Edisto Beach, SC.

1. Pump Out Water
Use a built-in sump pump or portable pump, such as a floating design, to extract water from a crawlspace. While homeowners can rent the equipment necessary to perform this task, it is generally safer to have experts perform this task. Standing water can alter pressure levels or other factors in ways that may put a home with storm damage at risk of further structural problems.

2. Eliminate Residual Moisture
A floating pump and other pump designs may not be capable of removing every trace of water from a crawlspace, especially if it is not level or sloped toward a drain. It may be necessary to move water with a push broom or extract residual moisture with a wet vac before drying a crawlspace. If you don’t have this equipment on hand, you should rely on professionals. A storm damage cleanup and restoration company can ensure that every step of a home flood water extraction and drying process proceeds at the right pace.

3. Consider Improving Drainage
Some crawlspaces in flood-prone areas are designed to allow water to pass through without collecting. It may be necessary to adjust the grading of a crawlspace floor to encourage water to drain out. Other modifications may be necessary to promote unimpeded flow and prevent pooling.
These three measures can help you handle a home flood that leaves flooded water in a crawlspace in your home. It is important to take steps to mitigate water damage as soon as possible. Pumping standing water out of a crawlspace within 24 to 48 hours can significantly reduce the risk of mold growth at a residence located in Edisto Beach, SC..

Remediation of Moldy Paintings

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Restoration: close up of a painting final retouch Painting restoration in Kiawah Island, SC

Here Are Some Steps To Remove Mold From Paintings

Mold damage to any treasured personal item is a heart-wrenching disappointment, especially if it's fragile artwork like a painting. No matter the medium, mold cleaning art is unlike ridding mold from your bathroom tiles. It almost always requires the training, techniques and equipment of professional restoration experts in Kiawah Island, SC, who have the skill to bring your artwork back to life. Don't despair and immediately consign your painting to the refuse bin. Depending on the degree of damage, mold remediation is possible. Quick action is essential.

1. First Steps
If the damage is light, conservationists skilled in mold cleaning recommend the following.

  1. Do not wipe mold off a painting as it will add to the damage.
  2. Remove wooden frames. Lightly spray the canvas (front and back) with Lysol spray to stop mold growth; repeat as necessary.
  3. Wait for the sprayed mold to become dry and powdery.
  4. While outdoors, gently brush mold residue off the painting with a clean, dry paint brush or similar soft brush.
  5. Place painting in a dry, airy, sunny place. Consider a post-cleaning assessment of your painting by mold remediation professionals.

2. Restoration
Mold remediation of badly damaged artwork usually requires the highly specialized mastery of art conservationists. Here are the general techniques they use:

Specially designed, miniature vacuums with HEPA filters clean mold off a painting's surface.
High quality solvents and solutions disinfect and kill the remaining active mold spores.
Depending on the degree of damage, the paint layer is inpainted to fill in the painting's deteriorating or missing parts.
The stretchers, canvas and panel or board that support the painting are cleaned and restored.
The moldy frame is cleaned and, if unusable, the restored painting is appropriately rehoused.

It's best to remove mold from paintings without delay. Your highest hopes for good restoration results will depend on the degree of mold damage and assistance from mold cleaning professionals.

5 Tips for Preventing Residential Water Damage

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Shut off your water main before leaving for extended periods

Five Tips To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

No homeowner wants to see their residential property fall victim to water damage. On top of the initial accident, floods and leaks can cause a lot of subsequent costs in secondary damages. The best way to avoid these types of headaches is to prevent the incidents from happening in the first place. Follow the tips below to help protect your home in Adams Run, SC.

1. Check Pipes Regularly for Leaks.
It's important to perform regular home inspections for leaky or broken pipes. These types of incidents are easy to overlook, which can cause a lot of damage over time. Inspect any exposed pipes in your basement and underneath all of your sinks.

2. Monitor Your Home's Water Pressure.
If your water pressure is too high, you run the risk of putting undue wear and tear on your pipes. You can obtain a water pressure gauge from your local hardware store that you can use to manually monitor the pressure.

3. Regularly Check Home Appliances.
Any home appliances that use water, such as your washing machine or dishwasher, need to be checked regularly for leaks or other forms of damage. Floods that originate from these appliances can cause gray water damage.

4. Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts.
Your gutters are intended to collect and redirect water that runs off of your roof. However, they can often become clogged with dead leaves, branches and other forms of debris. When this happens, water will pool and collect in your gutters, eventually running down the sides of your house and causing damage.

5. Shut Off Your Water Main Before Leaving for Extended Periods.
If you plan to go on vacation or some other form of extended trip, make sure you turn off your water main before you go. This significantly reduces the chances of you having to deal with a water cleanup issue when you return.
Water damage can be devastating to residential properties, so it's important that you learn how to protect your home. Contact water remediation experts for more information, or assistance resolving a water-related mishap.

Charleston Knows Hurricanes and Tropical Storms--and SERVPRO Knows Cleanup and Restoration

9/27/2020 (Permalink)

Large Loss Warehouse Recovery After Severe  Hurricane-Related Weather in Charleston

With Charleston being a central hub of activity for the entire state of South Carolina, not to mention a stable location for transport along the eastern seaboard, warehouses abound along ports and commercial districts surrounding the area. With hurricanes remaining a pressing threat, business owners operating these warehouses must work to provide real-time solutions for responding to severe weather events and the damage they can do. The faster that you can get professionals working to resolve the problem, the less damage these situations can have on the inventory of your facility.

Hurricane cleanup in Charleston warehouses is often one of the first steps that even our SERVPRO professionals take when we reach your facility. It is crucial to determine the extent of the damage and begin mitigation work to reduce the spread of water loss effects if they are present and begin addressing debris and residues that might require cleaning. This process even extends to some of these stored items in your building, as our content management team can dry and clean damaged inventory to help protect your business from excessive loss. We can also assist in restaging inventory to a drier location.
A staple of hurricanes and other powerful tropical storm systems is flying debris and intense winds. These effects can shatter windows, cripple structural elements, and leave the inside and outside of your warehouse looking worse for the wear. Our response team can arrive quickly, mobilizing along with your emergency call, so we can begin the practical mitigation efforts your business needs shortly after the storm dissipates. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.
Often it is overwhelming and stressful to see the destruction that hurricanes can have on your warehouse, but our SERVPRO professionals have the experience to help. From our pack-out process that removes at-risk inventory from harm’s way to our line of potent and powerful cleaning agents that can make flooring, walls, and other fixtures look their best, we can make loss incidents “Like it never even happened.”
In an area so prone to severe weather events, we have developed a storm response team that can make a difference quickly for affected area businesses. Give our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team a call anytime disaster strikes at (843) 308-0178.

How to Prevent and Put Out Grease Fires

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Damaged walls after a kitchen grease fire Kitchen fire

The kitchen is the most dangerous room in your home and one of its obvious perils is cooking oils. Thankfully, you can prevent a grease-related fire from breaking out with a few elementary precautions. Should one occur despite your best efforts, know how to safely extinguish the crisis.

Grease Fire Prevention

Observe these recommendations to avoid your latest culinary masterpiece from transforming into a kitchen nightmare:

  • Never leave pans or fryers unattended. Resist the urge to pick up the phone, watch TV or answer the doorbell when cooking with such a highly flammable liquid.
  • When heating oil, do so gradually and never exceed the needed temperature.
  • Turn down the heat should you notice excessive smoke or hear popping.
  • Reduce splatter by slowly immersing your food. Always avoid tossing anything into a grease-filled pan.

Never let your enthusiasm for cooking hinder the importance of proper procedure. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a fire cleanup scenario, one necessitating a building restoration specialist that services Seabrook Island, SC.

Grease Fire Emergencies
If your dish bursts into flame, switch off all burners. It may be heartbreaking, but avoid attempts at salvaging your dish to avert spattering oils. Instead, focus on depriving the blaze of oxygen using a metal lid. Only once you have completed these steps should you head outside and contact the fire department.
You may assume water is the best substance to suppress burning, but doing so with grease can cause splashes that spread flames. Likewise, never use flour as a fire retardant, although baking soda can be used atop smaller infernos. Fire extinguishers can be used as a last resort but should be avoided whenever possible as they risk spreading chemical contamination.
Any home chef must know how to prevent a grease fire from occurring. Unfortunately, the risk of greasy flames suddenly arising will always exist. Know ahead of time what to do once the need emerges.

4 Signs Your Building Has a Mold Problem

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Commercial mold damage in Wadmalaw Island, SC

Signs To Watch Out For In Discovering A Mold Problem

Mold can grow in a commercial building on a variety of surfaces. It has the ability to take root on porous and non-porous materials, and it does especially well in damp conditions. Tile mold shows up in bathroom floors, ceilings, and walls. Since ceramic tiles are long-lasting and require little maintenance, they can often be overlooked even though they are commonplace for mold to grow. Here are a few signs for property managers, business owners, and custodial staff to watch out for in discovering a mold problem.

1. Tile Discoloration. Many tiles will show signs of staining when water is either leaking onto the tiles or remaining on the tiles for long periods of time. This often a precursor to mold growth, so the area should be checked often. The discoloration could also be tile mold growing on the surface of the ceramic.

2. Water Damage. All instances of leaking water should be scrutinized to see if mold has begun to grow. If no visible mold is present, it might be worth calling a local mold mitigation company in Wadmalaw Island, SC, to test for fungal growth. A certified technician can determine if mold is at high enough levels in the building to be a problem. If so, the company will begin to work on professional mold remediation.

3. Musty Odor. Often a mold infestation can be smelled before it is visible. A musty odor indicates that mold is growing at a worrisome pace and it is time to take action. If left untreated, mold spores can spread to other areas of the building, complicating the cleanup effort.

4. Fuzzy Blotches. Tile mold often looks fuzzy or even slimy in appearance and usually takes on a dark green or black color. If you discover this in your building, it is a sign that the mold has formed colonies and is out of control. It's a sign that professional help is needed and fast.

When a Pipe Bursts, Mitigation Is Needed

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Extracting water from carpet Extracting water from carpet in Rantowles, SC

Three Reasons To Consider Professional Remediation Effort

When a supply line leaks or a pipe breaks open, large amounts of water can infiltrate your business's structure in Rantowles, SC. Such moisture can be too much for standard cleaners to handle, leading to long-term complications such a mold growth or wood rot; therefore, allowing a water restoration company to handle the pipe burst cleanup can alleviate stress levels and ensure appropriate mitigation occurs in a timely manner. Here are three reasons proprietors should consider professional remediation efforts.

1. You Need To Contain the Source
Experts can perform assessments, discovering where the supply line leaking began. Water flow should be cut off until this issue is fixed, preventing further saturation. If this isn't done, then cleaning procedures would only be superficial and the damage could exacerbate even more.

2. You Need To Avoid Secondary Problems
Removing humidity is a vital component of pipe burst cleanup protocol. Dampness acts as a catalyst for microbial growth, creating hazardous working conditions. The specialists can measure the water levels, evaluating how much of the space has been impacted. Then, they'll begin airing out rooms. Fans may be run. Dehumidifiers should be used to draw out the excess wetness, and porous materials may be extracted if they appear to be overly soaked. Doing this helps halt any fungal and microbial reproduction, preventing additional construction and closures.

3. You Need To Sanitize Your Valuables
During the water cleanup, belongings should be inspected and cared for properly. A professional cleanup crew understands how to best treat carpet, electronics, documents, upholstery, and furnishings. Using high-tech equipment, they can scrub them correctly and save many of the items that business owners, with inexperienced eyes, might deem ruined. This could save in the overall costs and avoid product loss.
Pipe burst cleanup requires more than towels, bleach, and a mop. Go beyond surface-level attention. Seek out the true cause, tend to it, and concentrate on water removal.

Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and on the middle a sign that says water categories Learn about the different categories of water contamination

Categories Of Water Contamination

As a commercial property owner, damage to your property is serious business. In various parts of the country, storm damage is a real threat to your building and the contents therein for a significant part of the year. A severe storm in Ravenel, SC may leave you facing various types of damage from wind, precipitation, and flood water, among others. There are different types or categories of flooding with respect to contamination, and it’s important to understand the differences, especially when it comes to flood cleanup.

Examining Water Contamination Categories
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) categorizes water damage based on the level of contamination.

Category 1. This refers to water that originates from a sanitary source, such as the holding tank of a toilet or a water tank. Sometimes this is referred to as clean water.
Category 2. This includes dirty water that has some level of contamination, like that of a leaky dishwasher or washing machine. This is also known as greywater or sullage.
Category 3. This type of damage is commonly referred to as black water and includes wastewater and any water that has come in contact with human waste. Floodwater that comes from storm damage is included in this category.

If you experience Category 3 water damage, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to professional water cleanup and restoration service to bring your property back to pre-damage conditions.

Understanding Water Damage Cleanup
Category 2 and 3 restoration jobs should be left to professionals who are trained and equipped to remove floodwater and any associated damage. Typical cleanup methods aren’t adequate to remove the hazardous contaminants, especially in black water. While you can probably safely clean Category 1 damage, clean water can not only become greywater if left unattended for a certain time period but also lead to the formation of mildew and mold.

Tips for Disaster First Responders

8/1/2020 (Permalink)

Team of happy firefighters looking away by firetruck at station Being a first responder is important work

A natural disaster can wreak widespread havoc throughout a region. When a disaster strikes Folly Beach, SC, residents in the area depend not only on their insurance providers and flood remediation experts but also on the emergency response teams that work to keep people safe. If you are new at being a first responder, here are some tips on how to protect yourself and work effectively after a flood.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Flood water is teeming with bacteria. Before you enter any structure that has been flooded, you need to put on the appropriate protective gear:

  • Chemical-resistant coveralls
  • Rubber gloves
  • Heavy duty rubber boots
  • Goggles

If you need to enter a small enclosed area such as a crawl space, it's also advisable to wear an N-95 mask. In addition to filtering out bacteria, it also keeps you from inhaling the mold spores that tend to multiple anywhere there's excess water. You can get these masks at most hardware stores, so it's easy to stock up before you head to the flood response site.

Protect Yourself With Medical Intervention
As a first responder, you run the risk of coming into contact with contaminated water and surfaces, so it's important to make sure your immunizations are up to date. If it's been over 10 years since you've had a tetanus shot, you should get a Td or Tdap booster. If you are working directly with infected persons, it is advisable to get a Hepatitis B shot. If you notice any symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, rashes, fever, dizziness, or fatigue while working, stop immediately, and seek medical attention. By taking care of yourself, you are making room for others better equipped to take over the work and get it done more quickly.
Being a first responder is important work. Taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you helps you be more effective.

Comparing and Contrasting Mold and Mildew

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on basement wall Mold damage in Hollywood, SC

Have you recently noticed the unsightly appearance of what you think is mold in your bathroom, kitchen or other areas of your Hollywood, SC, home? This is enough to stress you out and frustrate you. However, what you may be seeing could actually be mildew. Though this isn't a welcome sight either, mildew is not as concerning as mold damage. Learn about what makes these two invaders similar and different from one another.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a tiny fungus that grows and thrives under moist, humid conditions. Mold growth may occur in places such as the bathroom, kitchen, attic or basement. Mold can be black, green, brown, orange or purple. It has a fuzzy, velvety appearance and texture. It will usually grow when the following issues take place:

  • Flooding from a pipe burst or leak
  • Poor airflow and ventilation in the home
  • A supply line break into the home

What Is Mildew?
Mildew is similar to mold. It is also a fungus and grows in areas where there is water. Shower walls are common places to find mildew growth. Mildew, however, usually covers smaller areas. It comes in gray or white patches. 

Getting Rid of the Two 
Cleaning up after mold damage can be challenging. You can attempt removal yourself by using bleach and scrubbing the surface. However, it's best to call a professional mold remediation technician to handle this task. Mildew doesn't usually require professional cleanup. Instead, you can purchase a store-bought cleaner and wipe the mildew away from the surface. Mildew also poses few concerns to your home and family members. It is less invasive than mold and will spread much less quickly. 
It's important to understand the differences between mold and mildew. If you have mold damage, you'll want to immediately call a professional company. On the other hand, you can tackle mildew issues and quickly get rid of this fungus.