Recent Posts

Beyond Bleach: Why it's Ineffective for Removing Mold

5/17/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing on a wall. While bleach may seem like a quick and easy solution for cleaning & removing mold, it's important to know that bleach is not an effective method.

Mold growth can be a major problem for homeowners and businesses alike. When mold growth occurs, many people instinctively reach for bleach as a solution to remove the mold. While bleach may seem like a quick and easy fix, it's important to understand that bleach is not an effective method for cleaning or removing mold. In fact, using bleach to clean mold can actually make the problem worse. Here's why:

Bleach can't penetrate porous surfaces

Mold can grow on a variety of surfaces, including drywall, wood, and carpeting. However, many of these surfaces are porous, which means that mold can penetrate deep into the surface. Bleach is only effective at killing surface mold, which means that it can't penetrate deep into porous surfaces to kill the mold at its source. This means that even if you use bleach to clean the surface mold, the underlying mold growth will still be present and will continue to spread.

Bleach can actually feed mold growth

Another reason why bleach is not an effective method for cleaning or removing mold is that it can actually feed mold growth. Bleach is primarily made up of water, and when you apply bleach to a mold-infested area, the water can seep into porous surfaces and provide the moisture that mold needs to grow. This means that by using bleach, you may actually be making the problem worse by providing a favorable environment for mold growth.

Bleach is harmful to certain surfaces

Bleach is a harsh chemical that can cause damage to certain surfaces. For example, bleach can cause discoloration or damage to fabrics, upholstery, and carpets. Additionally, bleach can cause corrosion on metal surfaces, and can even cause damage to certain types of flooring. This means that using bleach to clean or remove mold can potentially cause damage to your property.

There are safer, more effective methods for mold remediation

Fortunately, there are safer, more effective methods for mold remediation than using bleach. Professional mold remediation companies like SERVPRO of South & West Charleston use specialized equipment and techniques to safely and effectively remove mold growth. These methods may include using air scrubbers to remove airborne mold spores, applying specialized antimicrobial treatments to kill mold at its source, and removing and replacing mold-infested materials.

In addition to using these specialized methods, professional mold remediation companies can also help identify and address the underlying causes of mold growth. This may include identifying and repairing sources of moisture, such as leaky pipes or damaged roofs, to prevent mold growth from recurring in the future.

While bleach may seem like a quick and easy solution for cleaning and removing mold, it's important to understand that bleach is not an effective method for mold remediation. Bleach can't penetrate deep into porous surfaces, can actually feed mold growth, and can be harmful to certain surfaces. Instead, it's best to leave mold remediation to the professionals, who have the specialized equipment and techniques to safely and effectively remove mold growth and prevent it from recurring in the future. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your home or business is safe and healthy for everyone who enters it.

How Fire Damage and Water Damage Are Connected

4/11/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing on the frame of a home. The damage caused by a fire is not limited to the flames themselves.

Fires can be devastating, causing significant damage to a building's structure and contents. However, the damage caused by a fire is not limited to the flames themselves. Water damage is a common side effect of firefighting efforts and can compound the destruction caused by the fire. In this blog, we will explore how fire damage and water damage are connected, and how the water used to fight fires can cause damage of its own. We will also discuss the steps that must be taken to address both types of damage to ensure the safety of the building's occupants and prevent further harm to the structure.

Fighting Fires with Water

When firefighters respond to a fire, they use large amounts of water to extinguish the flames. The water is often directed toward the source of the fire, but it can also spread throughout the building, causing water damage to areas that were not affected by the fire.

Damage from Water

The water used to put out the fire can also damage the building's infrastructure, including the walls, floors, and ceilings. Over time, the water can cause wood to warp, metal to rust, and electrical systems to short circuit. This damage can create significant safety hazards and can be expensive to repair.

Creating Toxic Slurry

Additionally, the water used to put out the fire can mix with any chemicals or other hazardous materials present, creating a toxic slurry that can further damage the building.

Mold Growth

In addition to the damage caused by the water itself, the moisture left behind can also lead to mold growth. Mold can cause a wide range of problems and it can also weaken the structural integrity of the building, making it unsafe to inhabit.

Cleaning Up the Damage

Cleaning up after a fire can be a complex process that requires specialized equipment and expertise. The water used to extinguish the fire must be removed, and the affected areas must be thoroughly dried to prevent mold growth. Any damaged materials, such as drywall or carpet, must be removed and replaced. The process can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is essential to prevent further damage to the building and ensure the safety of its occupants.

In conclusion, fire damage and water damage are often intertwined. When a fire occurs, the water used to put it out can cause significant damage to the building's infrastructure and create safety hazards. If you have experienced a fire, it is essential to work with a professional restoration company that can address both the fire and water damage to ensure your property is safe and habitable once again.

5 Reasons Your Toilet Is Leaking

3/10/2023 (Permalink)

Leaking toilet. There are many reasons why your toilet might be leaking—and we're here to help!

The toilet is one of the most basic parts of your house. It's where you go to do your business, so you probably don't think too much about it. However, if you have a toilet that's leaking, you'll want to repair it as soon as possible. Locating the cause of a leak can be frustrating and fixing the issue could be expensive. There are many reasons why your toilet might be leaking—and we're here to help!

1. Tank or Bowl is Cracked

If you think your toilet is leaking, check the tank and bowl for cracks. A crack in either of these areas can cause water to leak out of your toilet. Cracks are often caused by pressure from the water in the tank or bowl, so if you see any cracks around either area, it's time to replace it!

2. Malfunctioning Flapper

If you're having a problem with water leaking from your toilet, it could be due to a malfunctioning flapper. The flapper is the rubber piece that keeps the water in the toilet bowl and its part of the flush valve. When you flush, the flapper lifts to let water out of the tank so that everything goes down smoothly.

3. Loose or Worn Out Seal

There could also be a problem with the seal. The seal is that rubber ring around the base of your toilet that keeps water from leaking out when you flush or refill it. Over time, they can become worn out or torn by repeated use. A cracked or ripped seal will also allow water to flow into other areas of your bathroom where it doesn't belong and cause damage to those surfaces, such as mold growth.

4. Rusted or Cracked Pipes

Pipes can be damaged by freezing or overheating. They can also be damaged by corrosion from chemicals, physical damage to the pipe itself, or water pressure pushing on the pipe. If you see any signs of rust around or behind your toilet, call an expert plumber immediately.

5. Malfunctioning Connections

It is also possible that the connections between your tank and bowl are loose or corroded. A connection that is not properly sealed can cause water to seep out of them and into your bathroom floor, creating a mess in seconds.

Connections can become loose over time due to age or poor installation at initial construction stages, so it's important to check on all areas where these pipes meet each other regularly (at least once every six months).

If you're experiencing a leaky toilet, it's important that you address the problem as soon as possible. If left unchecked, a leaking toilet can lead to damaged flooring and walls as well as an increased water bill. If this is something that has happened in your home recently or ever before, we recommend calling an expert technician from a plumber who will come out and assess the situation.

Water Damage Restoration Cost

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

broken water line When water damage strikes, give the professionals a call!

Water damage can be a devastating experience for any homeowner. The cost of water damage cleanup varies greatly depending on several factors, including the source and extent of the damage, local labor rates and the type of materials affected. A professional restoration company will have experience restoring different kinds of surfaces and building materials, as well as determining the most effective dehumidification and drying methods for your property.

Water Damage can be a Devastating

Water damage can be a devastating experience for any homeowner. Water damage can cause excessive damage to your property. The cost of water damage restoration depends on several factors: how much water was involved, how much time it takes to dry out the area and remove damaged materials, how much structural repair is required after drying out the site, etc.

Hiring a Professional

When you're dealing with water damage, the last thing you want to do is skimp on the cost of repairs. You'll have to pay for professionals, and that can be expensive. Repairing your home or business will require a large amount of time and effort from people who are trained professionals.

The consequences for not hiring professional water damage restoration services can be severe, if you try to repair things yourself, there's a good chance that you won't get them right.

Two main Categories of Water Damage

The two main categories of water damage are clean water and gray or black water. Clean water is the clear liquid that falls from a broken pipe or toilet tank, while gray or black water refers to contaminated liquid containing some degree of contaminants such as bacteria or chemical waste.

Clean water

Clean water is water that comes from a sanitary source such as a burst pipe, toilet tank, or tub drain. Clean water is not as contaminated as gray or black water (described below) and can be restored by drying the area and replacing damaged materials.

Gray or Black Water

Gray Water: Gray water contains some amount of soaps and detergents that have been used in the house. In general, you should call us when you see any sign of gray water coming out of your pipes—for example, if you notice your toilet running constantly or notice faucets on full blast during periods where there’s no one using them for an extended period of time.

Black Water: Black water is defined as waste material from toilets (including urine), sinks (including vomit), kitchen drains (food scraps), bathtubs and showers, dishwashers and washing machines. We will come out to assess the damage once we receive notification from you about blackwater issues within your home or business property

If you're experiencing clean water damage, SERVPRO of South & West Charleston provides a 24-hour emergency response from the initial call to clean up. Our crawl assess the damage, removes all affected materials and equipment, and can restore your home or business back to preloss condition. If you need help with the cost of water removal services in Charleston, South Carolina contact us today!

How to Avoid Cooking Fires

1/17/2023 (Permalink)

Large flame in a pan. It's important to remember that cooking fires are preventable.

Cooking fires are a real danger in the home. They can happen when you least expect it, so it’s important to be prepared for any situation. Cooking fires can be caused by grease or oil, foods that are left unattended on a stovetop or grill, and even towels and potholders that get too close to heat sources.

Never leave cooking food unattended. 

Ensure that you are always aware of what is going on in the kitchen, especially when it comes to stoves, ovens, and other appliances. 

If you have a small child who is not old enough to understand how dangerous hot or boiling liquids can be, then do not allow them to use these items at all. Make sure they cannot reach them or go near them without your supervision.

Keep towels and potholders away from heat sources.

A towel or potholder can post a risk if left too close to flames. So, keep towels and potholders away from heat sources. Don't use them to move hot pans, and don't use them to open the oven door.

Also, don't leave them on the stovetop as they can get caught in a flame or if something falls over onto the stove and starts a fire!

Do not let children handle hot foods or liquids.

If you have children, it's important to remember that they shouldn't be allowed to handle hot foods or liquids. This is because new research has shown that both children and adults have a higher risk of burns when handling these items.

Children should also not be allowed to play with matches or lighters — nor should they be permitted to use the stove or oven.

Do Not Move Pots or Pans

If a fire starts in a pot or pan on the stove, do not move them. Turn off the burner then cover it with a lid and never put water on it.

If you have to move the pan, use oven mitts or potholders because they are made to be used in high-heat situations.

Use an all-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Do not use water or flour to put out a grease fire. A dry chemical fire extinguisher can be found in most kitchens and is relatively inexpensive to purchase at your local hardware store if yours does not have one available.

Stay Calm

Stay calm and get everyone out of the house. If you're alone, call 911 from a neighbor's phone or from outside your house as soon as possible. Do not go back inside until cleared to do so by emergency responders.

Install Smoke Detectors

A smoke detector should be installed on each floor of your home and inside every bedroom. 

  • Install smoke alarms in your house. Smoke alarms are a must-have for any house. It is critical to have working smoke detectors installed throughout your home as well as in bedrooms to allow for an early warning when a fire starts.
  • Test them regularly: The best way to ensure that your smoke alarm works are to test them regularly, especially after power outages or long stretches without use.

How to avoid cooking fires

There are a few simple things you can do to prevent cooking fires in your home, including:

  • Keep towels and potholders away from heat sources, especially if they are made of materials such as terry cloth that may melt or catch fire easily.
  • Do not leave the stove unattended.
  • Do not let children handle hot foods or liquids.
  • If a fire starts in a pan on the stove, do not move it; turn off the burner then cover the pan with a lid, and never put water on it!

It's important to remember that cooking fires are preventable. If your home or business suffers from a fire, don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team a call today! Our team can take care of all your fire damage cleanup and restoration needs.

Preventing a Water Damage Disaster from Your Washing Machine

12/19/2022 (Permalink)

Washing machine If your washing machine is more than 10 years old, it's a good idea to check the seal.

Preventing a Water Damage Disaster from Your Washing Machine

Water damage is the most common type of home damage. It's also one of the most expensive to repair. But there are ways you can prevent it before it happens. And one of those ways is by keeping your washing machine clean and in good working order—especially if you have an older model that doesn't have a moisture sensor or automatic water-level control. In this article we'll show you how to do just that!

A washing machine can cause a lot of damage in the home.

If you want to prevent any future water issues, here are some steps you can take:

Read your manual. Each washing machine has its own set of instructions that should be followed exactly as written by the manufacturer. If you have not used your machine before or do not know how to operate it properly, then follow these guidelines carefully! They will save both you time and money in the long run by preventing any potential expensive repairs down the line due out of ignorance on your part when using new appliances such as these without understanding how they work beforehand.

Faulty Drain Hose

If a piece of the drain hose breaks off or debris blocks the drain, then it could cause a flood. This can happen if the hose is old and brittle or if you don’t clean out the drain vent often enough.

To check your drain hose, remove it from the washing machine and look for cracks or holes in it. You can also check along its length for any signs of wear or damage (such as fraying). If there are any problems with the hose, you should replace it immediately.

Don’t Overload the Washer

To avoid flooding, it’s important that you don't overload your machine. The best rule of thumb is: if it doesn't fit into the tub with room for water around it (about 2 inches), then don't put it in there.

Check the Seal of Your Washer

If your washing machine is more than 10 years old, it's a good idea to check the seal. The seal's job is to prevent water from leaking out of the washer and into your home. If it's damaged, this can lead to flooding and other serious dangers in your home.

If you're not sure how to check for damage or need help replacing the seal on an older model of washing machine, contact a professional.

A Flood Clean-Up

If you have a flood, it’s important to call a professional for cleanup. A flooding washing machine is an emergency, and you want to make sure that your home is left in good condition as soon as possible. Here’s what you should do:

  • Remove any wet materials from the area. This includes clothing, shoes and other personal items — anything that could be contaminated with standing water or sewage.
  • Remove excess water from the area with a wet vac or sponge if necessary; make sure to always wear protective gear when cleaning up liquid spills (goggles and rubber gloves). Dampen dry portions of carpeting with fans if possible; this will help them dry more quickly than forcing them into areas where there may still be standing water after cleaning efforts have been made elsewhere around your house during this period.
  • Clean up any remaining dirt/mud residue left behind.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to prevent a water damage disaster from your washing machine. The consequences of a flood due to a break in the seal can be severe and costly. If you already have experienced such an incident, it is important that you know how to move forward with professional guidance.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to prevent a water damage disaster from your washing machine. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with us, please give SERVPRO South & West Charleston a call!

Steps to Take After Water Damage

11/6/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a kitchen due to water damage When it comes to water damage don't wait so much call your local SERVPRO.

Steps to Take After Water Damage

Flood waters can cause immediate damage and long-term problems. The first step is to shut the water off at the source, then remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Take all loose items from floors, gather art objects to a safe place, and dry colored rugs. After you've taken these steps, don’t forget to turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access is safe from electrical shock.

Shut off the water source and electrical

  • Shut off the water supply at the main valve.
  • If you can’t find the main valve, call a plumber.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock. 
  • If you are not sure, call your local utility company.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or vacuuming. 

When you first notice water damage, it is important to remove as much excess water as possible. Use a sponge or cloth to soak up the moisture on the floor and in other areas. You can also use a fan to help dry out the room if you have one available. If possible, move furniture away from walls and carpeting so that these areas can air out and dry properly.

Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.

Protect carpets with plastic to prevent staining. If you can’t protect the carpets, remove them immediately and have them dried professionally in a high-humidity room. Before reinstalling, vacuum thoroughly and inspect for damage such as mold or mildew stains (they can be treated). Replace any damaged areas of carpeting, padding, and tack strips before installing new flooring over the existing one.

Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.

After getting rid of the water, it's important to remove any art objects from the area and place them in a safe, dry place. Place these items in a box or wrap them in towels (if larger than 4 feet), then move them to a different room with normal humidity levels. If possible, you should also place them in a dry area such as your garage or attic until you can get a professional assessment of the damage.

In most cases, artwork stored away from sunlight will not fade or deteriorate while it sits out of direct sunlight for several months; however, this is not true for all materials used by artists today. Some acrylic paints have been shown to fade within days under certain lighting conditions so removal should always be considered before placing any valuable pieces into storage after water damage has occurred

Gather loose items from floors.

What you should do next depends on where the water damage is located. If the water has only flooded a small area of your home, gather any items that can be salvaged and remove anything that cannot be saved. In general, it's best to save important documents such as insurance policies and photographs (in plastic bags) from these areas.

If the entire home has been affected by flooding, it's time to move on to our next steps for dealing with a flood disaster: salvage what you can!

The faster you act after a flood, the better your chances of controlling damage and costs.

Time is a critical factor when it comes to water damage. The longer you wait to deal with the problem, the more likely it will be that mold will grow and cause further damage to your home. It's also important to get in touch with an experienced contractor right away in order not only to prevent further damage but also because insurance companies tend to have specific guidelines regarding how long they'll wait before they consider water-related claims eligible for coverage.

We hope that we’ve been able to provide you with some information and insight into what you can do if your home or business experiences water damage. With proper water removal and restoration services from professionals, you can be confident that your property will be restored as quickly as possible.

How Do I File A Claim After A Fire?

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

severe house fire When you have fire damage in your Charleston, SC home or business get in contact with your insurance company.

How Do I File A Claim After A Fire?

Fires are devastating. Whether you've had a fire in your Charleston, SC home or business, it's crucial to act quickly and make sure that your property is restored as soon as possible. If you have homeowner's insurance or commercial insurance, then it's important to understand what steps need to be taken after a fire occurs.

Inspect Damage.

When you return to your home or business following a fire, there are several steps you should take to assess the damage. The first step is to inspect the property for fire, smoke, and water damage. Use this Fire Damage Inspection Checklist to help you determine whether there is any structural damage caused by the fire:

  • Check for visible signs of smoke and soot stains on walls, ceilings, floors, and other surfaces throughout the structure.
  • Measure room dimensions with a measuring tape to identify areas that may have been affected by heat from the firefighters' hoses.
  • Look at areas where furniture was positioned in relation to any windows or doors—they could have blocked access for entry into certain rooms where pets were kept (e.g., bedrooms).
  • Look at electrical wiring/cables inside walls as well as switches/outlets in rooms—if they've been damaged it could lead to dangerous conditions during reoccupation after repairs are completed

Understand Your Fire Insurance Policy.

  • Understand the terms of your policy.
  • Know what is covered and what isn't.
  • Check the conditions for filing a claim. For example, you may have to provide proof that any damage was caused by fire before you can file a claim for it.
  • Check the deductible. This is the amount of money you'll be responsible for paying out-of-pocket when you file a claim on your insurance policy, so make sure that you can afford it before proceeding with filing one!
  • Check the amount of coverage available under your policy.

Contact a Fire Restoration Company.

As the owner or renter of the damaged property, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. Filing a claim is the first step in securing compensation for your losses.

Your insurance agent will guide you through this process and help you prepare all the necessary paperwork. You should make sure that you have gathered all your receipts, invoices, and other documentation before calling them. This can save both time and energy when filing your claim so that it gets processed as quickly as possible.

To determine how much money should be paid out by the insurance company on behalf of their policyholders, they usually send out an inspector who inspects their home after they have filed a claim. The inspector will check what type of damage has occurred (such as smoke or fire damage) and then give them an estimate on how much it would cost to repair those damages at today's prices

Calculate Damage.

Once you have determined that a fire caused your property damage, it is important to calculate the damage. You will need this information to file an insurance claim with your provider. If you are unsure how to do this on your own, please ask us for help!

Contact Your Insurance Provider.

Once you have contacted your restoration company and received an estimate for the damage, contact your insurance provider to file a claim. Your provider will want to know:

  • The exact date, time, and location of the fire.
  • Information about any other property that may have been damaged in addition to your home or business.
  • What types of things were damaged (e.g., carpeting, furniture)?

The process for filing a claim varies from one insurance carrier to another but generally takes about 30 days from start to finish because there are so many steps involved in processing it—from getting an adjuster out on site as quickly as possible after a fire occurs through determining how much money should be paid out based on policy terms and conditions.


We have covered the most important aspects of filing a claim after a fire. You should now be able to get your insurance company involved, as well as contact a fire restoration company that can help put your home back together again.

Candle Safety at Home: 5 Tips To Prevent Fires

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Lidded candles To keep your home in safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions.

Candle Safety At Home: 5 Fire-Prevention Tips

Candles can be the perfect addition for relaxing at night, setting the mood or freshening the air. That said, using them does not come without risks. Between 2014 and 2018, candles caused approximately 7,610 residential fires. To keep your home in Johns Island, SC safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions. To prevent the likelihood of needing to call a smoke cleanup team after your next bubble bath, consider these five safety tips.

1. Stay Nearby or Blow Them Out

It is better to be safe than to be sorry. If you plan on leaving the room, make sure you blow out any burning flames. You never know who could pass by or what could happen that might accidentally start a fire.

2. Keep Flammable Items Away

Even if you are in the same room, you need to keep anything flammable at least one foot away. Be especially mindful of materials like paper and cloth to avoid a candle fire.

3. Use Candle Holders

When you use a candle without a holder, it can easily tip over. A sturdy holder or non-flammable container can prevent this from happening.

4. Avoid Using Around Children or Pets

It is also wise to ensure small children and pets stay clear of any areas where you have candles burning. In addition, consider where you keep matches and lighters. While your cat probably will not figure out how to use them, your son or daughter might.

5. Do Not Use Near Oxygen

If anyone in the house uses oxygen, candles can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, you may want to look into artificial options that do not have flames.

While many residential fires occur because of candles, they do not have to be unsafe. Fortunately, there are simple safety measures that can allow you to enjoy comfortable lighting and pleasant smells at home without starting a candle fire.

Tips for Buying the Best Air Purifier for Your Home

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Air Purifier Air purifier in a Fort Sumter, SC home.

Buying the Best Air Purifier for Your Home

It is important that the air inside your home in Fort Sumter, SC, is as clean as possible. This allows you to take every breath with confidence. It also helps you know that everyone in your household is taking in healthy air. An air filtration device is one way to improve the quality of your inside air.

When buying a device, it is important to consider several factors. Of course, you want maximum ease of use; this makes sure you are not always fighting how your machine works. Secondly, you want good airflow to ensure proper circulation through the device, and thirdly you want a high filter efficiency to remove airborne particles that impact air quality.

A Choice of Air Purifiers

There are many purifiers on the market that excel at air filtration. These come from many different manufacturers and carry prices that range from about $350 to just a little over $1,000. The goal is to get the air purifier best suited to your home. Any of the following devices are worthy of consideration:

  • The Oransi Max
  • The OV200 purifier
  • The Blueair 450E
  • The Amway Quixtar Atmosphere
  • The Rabbit Air Minus A2
  • The Trane Clean Effects

As with all other purchases, it makes sense to read the available literature and to consult reviews. Feedback from owners of the device can be especially helpful.

A Way To Remove Mold Spores

These microscopic particles can be as small as four microns or as large as 20 microns. A good HEPA filter will remove these items from the air and reduce mold spread in your home. If you do find patches of mold growth in your home, it is best to contact a professional mold mitigation team. Certified technicians will come right to your home and assess the problem and begin to eradicate mold.

Efficient air filtration is a good way to reduce your chances of having bad indoor air quality. A professional team can take this effort to an even higher level.