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The Benefits of a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

emergency plan Emergency Ready Profiles

Did you know that half of all businesses may never reopen following a disaster? Preparation is the key to being on the right side of that statistic. You need to make sure your company is ready for the worst. You can do this by setting up an emergency profile with SERVPRO.

The Setup

To get an emergency ready profile, you first must download the Ready Plan app. It is available for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. Then, just do the following:

  • Create a free account.
  • Click the Emergency Ready Profile button.
  • Walk through your building and document the requested information.
  • Take photos of the facility using your mobile device.

The Process

If your business faces a disaster, you can use your emergency ready profile to get help quickly. Simply launch the ERP app on your mobile device or tablet. You can then click the listed phone number to contact a SERVPRO representative in Charleston, SC.

The app also has an option for reporting your business loss. Start by clicking the icon that represents the type of damage you incurred. If you already set up an emergency profile for the property in question, you just have to fill in the cause, time and date of the incident.

The app also lists damage mitigation strategies that you can perform while you wait for the cleanup and restoration specialists to arrive.

The Advantages

There are many benefits of an emergency ready profile. You have direct access to a leading cleanup expert near your property. Your profile also allows you and your employees to easily look up key information such as the location of shut-off valves.

An ERP additionally includes the chain of command for approving work to the building. It even has a guide for when you can return to the property. This makes the restoration process more efficient.

Don’t get caught unprepared during a disaster. By setting up an emergency profile on the Ready Plan app, you can ensure help gets to your building right away.

Crawl Space Full of Water? Here Are a Couple Tricks to Quickly Clean It Out

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

flooded homes Flooding from the last storm here in Charleston, SC

Under many homes in Charleston, SC is the crawl space, an area reserved for access to plumbing, wiring, flooring and other essential equipment for a home. Generally, if your home doesn’t have a basement, it should have a crawl space. The difference between the two is that you can stand in a basement but not in the crawl space. Also, many basements will have a sump pump, but few crawl spaces will.

This area typically has a reduced humidity level. Once the humidity passes 70%, mold growth can be explosive. Ideally, try to keep the level no greater than 50%. Of course, the greatest risk to the area comes from flooding.

What Causes Flooding in a Crawl Space?

The three most common causes of excess water under your home are:

  • Storm runoff
  • Pipe leak
  • Sewer leak

All three present different challenges.

A small pipe leak, if unnoticed, can eventually cause significant flooding. Storm runoff tends to be sudden and ferocious, and a sewer leak can cause biological contamination. How you deal with each will differ based on the cause, amount of water, how much solid material is in it and what equipment you have.

Can You Clear Out a Flooded Crawl Space Yourself? Quite possibly!

If you catch a flood quickly, you can virtually eliminate potential damage. If the amount of water is small, you can even use a shop vacuum to remove it. Larger clean water floods will require you to rent a pump.

However, if the water is from the sewer or has objects picked up by the flood floating in it, you may need a trash pump. They are designed to handle solids up to a certain size, so make sure you choose the right one when you rent it.

For major flooding – or standing water that’s been there awhile – you’ll probably need to hire experts. They have special truck mounted pumps and other equipment that can suck out the worst flooding and can remedy any black mold that’s started to form. They can also perform an inspection to find any hidden structural damage before it becomes a problem.

4 Ways to Prevent Storm Damage From Affecting Your Business

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

commercial building A local commercial building in South & West Charleston, SC

During a storm in South & West Charleston, water can have a significant impact on your building. Whether it is in the form of storm or flood damage, water can ruin building materials, damage belongings and contribute to the growth of mold. In order to keep this to a minimum, the following steps can be taken.

1. Seal Doors and Windows

If the area around your doors and windows is not sealing properly, then it will be easier for water to enter the building. Make sure that these are closing as they should be. You may also want to use sandbags at these openings. This can help keep flood water on the outside.

2. Move Objects to a Higher Floor

Because the water involved is highly contaminated, flood damage can be more severe than other types of damage. It can be difficult to clean furniture and other items that have absorbed this water. To prevent objects from being affected, you can move them to a higher floor that is less likely to experience flooding.

3. Back Up Important Files

Most businesses keep important information stored on their computers and other electronic devices. These can be damaged by water or electrical surges during a storm which can lead to loss of data. Use cloud storage or an external drive to make backups of files and keep your information safe.

4. Repair Present Damage

If your building has existing damage, it is more likely to be affected by storm damage. Perform a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior to locate any leaky or deteriorated areas. These should be repaired as soon as possible before any severe weather occurs.

Preparing your business for bad weather can help to reduce the amount of storm and flood damage that occurs. However, your building may still be affected. In this case, it is best to hire a professional cleanup and restoration service. Because they have training and access to necessary equipment, they will be able to make repairs quickly and safely.

Three Ways To Remove Smoke Odor

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke can linger long after a fire has been extinguished. If the particles remain too long, they can cause smoke damage, such as discoloration and corrosion. Even after the visible residue has been removed, the odor may persist. Fortunately, there are a variety of smoke cleaning products available. Three common methods of odor removal include the following: 

Air Filters

Air filtration devices circulate the air in the home. Then the filters, frequently HEPA or carbon, trap smoke odor particles as they pass through. This keeps the smell from continuing to float through the home. 

Ozone Machines

Ozone machines work by emitting ozone particles into the air. The ozone then chemically combines with the smoke particle in a process known as oxidation. This creates an entirely new particle that does not have a smoky smell. If you choose to use this method of smoke cleaning, it is important to hire professionals who can make sure the task is completed properly and that it is safe for you and your family to return home. 

Thermal Foggers

When a fire burns inside a house, it heats up everything, causing cracks, crevices and other openings to expand. This allows smoke particles to get trapped inside porous surfaces. Other odor-removal techniques cannot reach those areas. Thermal foggers heat up the area and allow a deodorizer to circulate through the house. Because the area has been heated up, the deodorizer can reach all of the smoke particles.
After a fire, it is important to actually remove the smoke particles to keep the smell from returning. Products like air fresheners and scented candles may temporarily cover up the smell, but it will keep coming back until the source of the odor has been eliminated. If you feel overwhelmed by the smoke cleaning process, you may wish to hire a certified restoration company. They can help you get your South & West Charleston, SC area home back to normal.

What Steps Get Taken During Water Removal in My House?

4/26/2020 (Permalink)

water  damaged baseboard and hardwood flooring Charleston area SERVPRO professionals can mitigate your water damaged home

SERVPRO Always Follows a Standard Set of Procedures When Mitigating Moisture-Related Issues Inside Your Charleston Home

If your home in Charleston ever suffers from a pipe leak, our SERVPRO technicians can start the restoration process by inspecting your structure and discovering the source of the water and how affected your contents are. We can then utilize extraction equipment to remove the H2O in your house while it is still a liquid. Next, we can set up equipment as a part of the applied structural drying ASD phase.

How Do You Extract All of the Liquid Water from My Floors?

  • Submersible pumps: As a first step to conducting water removal inside your Charleston house, our SERVPRO team can set up sump pumps to pull the water from your floors to a sewage drain.
  • Extraction Wands: When removing liquids from thin glue-down carpets or hard-surfaced floors, we can attach a handheld wand to our heavy-duty extractor.
  • Weighted Extraction Tools: If you have thick carpets that are saturated, we can use weighted tools that use the weight of the operator to compress the carpet fibers.

How do you dry out my affected items?

  • Box fans: If the air outside is dry, we can use large box fans to push the wet air out and dry air into your building.
  • Air Movers: We can set up air movers so that they hit your wet walls at a 45-degree angle and push air in a counterclockwise motion.
  • Dehumidifiers: We can use dehumidifiers to pull moisture out of the air and pump out warm dry air to be used in the circulation created by the air movers.

Do You Clean My House After You Remove All of The Moisture?

Before we finalize any project, we always conduct a final cleaning process. We can use vacuums to remove any loose debris created during the mitigation process. We can also steam clean your carpets if any soiling or staining is found. Our goal is to restore your home to its preloss condition. Additional cost for cleaning already soiled contents can be extra, such as stained or dirty carpets or upholstery.

After a pipe breaks and your building materials and contents get wet inside your home in Johns Island or Ravenel, it is wise to call SERVPRO of South & West Charleston at (843) 823-7400.

Flood Damage Restoration In Charleston

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

room flooded with floating chair “Like it never even happened.”

Emergency Plans and Services for Floods in Charleston Homes

Preparedness for emergencies like flooding can be a wise effort for many Charleston homeowners to make when you get the opportunity. Making the time with your family to discuss your emergency plan can be beneficial to everyone involves. The same can get said about knowing what you intend to do about restoration and recovery when disasters strike your home. By planning ahead, you can save valuable time when you are amid a disaster.

Merely stating that emergency plans and preparations can help to reduce flood damage to Charleston homes might be accurate, but it does not help to achieve these goals, either. Many homeowners do not know where to start and how to protect what matters most in their houses when flooding might occur. Our SERVPRO team can help.

Much like we have done for hundreds of commercial properties, we can help your home and its occupants to understand the value of a ready plan for when things go wrong. An Emergency READY Profile Plan (ERP) can designate our professionals as responding technicians for emergencies with accurate information at your fingertips to contact us. This same plan benefits our responding SERVPRO professionals as well, as this can give us the right information about utility shutoffs, priorities of the customer, and the layout of the structure to make restoration and recovery more efficient and effective.

In the same manner, having an emergency plan for your family during these disasters can ensure that everyone gets out safely and that the most valuable and irreplaceable belongings in the house make it out as well. By talking about emergencies before they occur, everyone involved can be more comfortable in their role and do their part to protect valuables and get to safety to contact our restoration team.

No matter how severe flood losses can become for your home, taking the initial steps to protect your property and its occupants involves preparing ahead of the disaster. To prepare a residential ERP or for help with your emergency planning, you can reach out to the experienced technicians of our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team at (843) 823-7400.

For more about Charleston click here.

How Can My Business Survive After a Water Loss?

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

outside view of office building We have the know how to restore your commercial property with minimal disruptions.

SERVPRO Joins with Our Business Partners in Charleston After Water Damage--We Are in This Together 

The elegance and vibrancy of our long-standing Charleston community depend on many different pieces coming together to create the Holy City visitors anticipate enjoying. A water loss does not need to dim the prospects of your business, especially if you are ready to call on our premier water damage restoration crews for assistance. 

Can My Historic Building Handle Significant Water Damage? 

Charleston commerce survived water cleanup efforts over centuries, so the answer to your concerns is nearly always a resounding affirmative. As long as you do not let water linger and call for professional assessment as soon as possible, modern water extraction and drying technologies offer outstanding results for your retail space, offices, restaurant, hotel, or attraction. Regardless of the source of the water emergency, consulting with our highly-trained team is vital as even relatively clean water from a supply leak is corrosive to structures and contents, and prone to increasing contamination as time passes. 

Can My Employees or Contractor Cleanup a Water Loss? 

Perhaps you hire and support a full-time housekeeping staff. Or you contract with a service dedicated to providing high-quality commercial cleaning services. Although the individuals providing day to day maintenance might excel at their craft, they have neither the training nor the equipment to track water migration and resolve the problems of trapped moisture in cavities or building materials. They also do not have the latest information from restoration best-practices research and development organizations like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). 

What Makes a Water Damage Restoration Company Different? 

What can SERVPRO offer that other cleaning firms cannot? Our mission centers upon comprehensive water mitigation and remediation based on the evolving science of water removal and structural drying. Our managers and technicians stay up to date with cutting edge equipment and methods through IICRC certification coursework. Highly efficient and innovative water cleanup equipment make up the essential inventories on our service vehicles. We size our response to your business’s specific needs, scaling up the speed and intensity of our response to get you back to business fast. 

What Can I Expect from Water Cleanup Professionals? 

The last thing you need when managing a water disaster is a more disruptive cure than the problem. Our team is fully aware that you have clients and customers to serve, and we do everything to limit the displacement of your staff or business operations during water cleanup in Charleston. Some of the strategies we might use include: 

  • Setting up a contained work area to minimize the spread of debris and residues, and permit you to move your business forward in other spaces in your commercial building
  • Use high-efficiency water pumps and truck-mounted extractors to get rid of the water quickly and without using your utility system
  • Speeding up structural and contents drying by using smaller spaces wrapped with heavy-duty plastic, enhancing our ability to manipulate the balance of air movement, temperature, and humidity necessary for thorough moisture reduction
  • Pack-outs of critical records and documents for temporary storage and to avoid further damage, and to take advantage of advanced technologies like freeze-drying to restore your pictures and papers  

Is There a Way to Prepare for Possible Water Damage? 

We offer our commercial customers a comprehensive methodology for a range of business disasters, including water loss. Long before you face the stress of a pipe breaking or a roof leak, contact us to develop an Emergency READY Profile Plan (ERP) with your local SERVPRO.

What is the Emergency READY Profile Plan (ERP)?

The ERP is a collaborative process that results in a concise, digitally available document outlining how our crews can respond most efficiently and effectively if your business experiences a disaster. We complete a thorough assessment of your physical space, memorializing a blueprint of your business layout, and describing how you operate. If we note vulnerabilities likely to increase your loss during an emergency, we make recommendations that limit the potential negative consequences.

How Can You Help SERVPRO Assist Your Recovery?

Using our mobile app, you can add details to the ERP that further personalize the plan to your needs. 

  • Point out the location of utility shutoffs
  • Explain your priorities in the event of a disaster
  • Share the contact information for vendors and contractors that designed your systems and modified your space
  • Designate employees or other trusted individuals whom you permit to act as your agent if a water cleanup crisis occurs when you are unavailable to respond to avoid unfortunate delays 

SERVPRO of South & West Charleston appreciates the value of your business to our greater community. Let us help get the water out and your operations back on track with one call to (843) 823-7400.

Little Known Ways to Deal With Fire Damage in Ashley

3/22/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged room Make sure that odors after a fire in your home do not linger. Contact Team SERVPRO for effective fire damage remediation services.

Hydroxyl vs. Ozone Machines in Fire Odor Removal for West Ashley

Choosing the right deodorization equipment for a fire-damaged West Ashley home is critical to saving customers time and money on restoration work needed for the house. With numerous options to neutralize odors, the appropriate choice in which to use boils down to several factors. These include the severity of the harsh odors, the location and materials affected, and whether the fire loss forces relocation of your family.

Severity of Fire Odors 

Both hydroxyl machines and ozone generators can neutralize widespread odors from fire damage in West Ashley homes. Hydroxyl machines utilize ultraviolet cleaning practices where UV reacts with water molecules to clean and deodorize. Ozone generators split oxygen into an unstable compound that bonds with odor molecules and overwhelms them.

Location and Materials Affected

Hydroxyl machines can clean in a radius around the unit, pulling air through a HEPA filtration system to reduce airborne contaminants like soot and smoke residues. Ozone generators are ideal for penetrating porous materials like clothing and high-permeance construction elements like drywall.

Can Your Family Stay in the House? 

The choice between all of the deodorization equipment hinges on the individuals present when the odor removal takes place. Even with containment strategies, it can be dangerous for living creatures to be around the production of ozone. This product makes a hazardous situation, despite the effectiveness of this deodorization practice for open areas and affected materials in the house. Our SERVPRO professionals utilize timed runs of these machines so that areas can get properly ventilated of ozone before technicians and others come back into the recovery zone. Hydroxyl machines do not require the relocation of your family to function, and they can benefit even more from getting used behind containment barriers.

Fire losses can produce harsh odors that fill the space in your home and can penetrate porous materials to create lasting damages. We have multiple deodorization tactics, including the use of both ozone generators and hydroxyl machines, to neutralize these odors as quickly as possible. Give our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team a call anytime at (843) 823-7400.

Click here for more information about West Ashley.

Water Cleanup In Your Charleston Home

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged home We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Ice Maker Water Line Breaks  In Charleston

Many high-end refrigerators have automatic ice makers and also cold water dispensers. A plastic line connects a solenoid to the ice maker inside the fridge. The water feed to the solenoid may be copper or plastic. Every time the fridge is moved or adjusted, it causes the water feed line to move and may cause a water leak at a joint due to the flexing of older brittle piping.

SERVPRO provides water cleanup services in Charleston and surrounding areas for residential and commercial customers. We are fully equipped to deal with emergencies involving water damage, fire, and flooding. Our teams are available every day of the week, 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies. Fast response and action minimize the total damage, and the time it takes to clean and dry the damaged area.

Water Seeps from Under the Fridge
When the water line breaks, often the first indication there is even a leak, is the water spreading across the floor. A pinhole leak in the plastic line from the solenoid to the ice maker involves a small amount of water, while a full break can cause many gallons of water to spread across the floor.

SERVPRO recommends that the water feed should be turned off immediately. Our team can respond in less than four hours, and after assessing the situation may deploy vacuums to remove the water and dry the floor with air movers and dehumidifiers. Significant amounts of water leaking onto the floor may involve more extensive action.

The primary objective is to remove all water and moisture to avoid the growth of microbes and mold. We may drill small holes under cupboards and islands to access any moisture in these areas. Air is forced into these areas to absorb the moisture and dry the structure. More extensive water leaks may require the removal of the cupboards to reach into walls and structures.

SERVPRO technicians always evaluate the situation and provide advice to the homeowner and insurance adjuster regarding the best approach to take, to limit the overall disruption and cost.

Call SERVPRO of South & West Charleston at (843) 823-7400 for 24/7 service. We proudly serve Fort Sumter, Adams Run, and surrounding areas. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

For more about Charleston click here.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

Coronavirus cell with SERVPRO logo SERVPRO is "Here to help" with Emerging Pathogen Cleaning

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of South & West Charleston, 843-823-7400