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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Different Types of Floods

7/13/2023 (Permalink)

Flooding can cause extensive damage to your property, leading to significant financial burdens. Understanding what types of floods your insurance policy covers is crucial for ensuring adequate protection. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of floods and shed light on the insurance coverage available for each, empowering you to make informed decisions to safeguard your home or business.

Natural Floods

Most standard homeowner's insurance policies do not cover natural floods caused by external factors such as heavy rainfall, hurricanes, or overflowing rivers. To protect your property from natural floods, you need separate flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance coverage, and some private insurers also provide flood insurance policies. It is essential to evaluate your flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Plumbing or Appliance-Related Floods

Insurance policies typically cover water damage resulting from sudden and accidental incidents, such as burst pipes or malfunctioning appliances. If a pipe bursts in your home or your dishwasher leaks, causing a flood, your homeowner's insurance may cover the resulting damage, including water removal, repairs, and damaged personal belongings. However, coverage may vary, so it's important to review your policy and understand the specific terms and limitations regarding plumbing or appliance-related floods.

Sewer or Drain Backup

Sewer or drain backups can cause significant water damage to your property. While standard homeowner's insurance policies may not automatically include coverage for sewer or drain backups, you can typically add a sewer backup endorsement to your policy for an additional premium. This endorsement provides coverage for the damage caused by water backup from sewer or drain systems, helping you mitigate the financial impact of such incidents.

Water Damage from Roof Leaks 

Roof leaks resulting from covered perils, such as storms or falling objects, may be covered under your homeowner's insurance policy. If the water damage is a direct result of a covered event, your insurance may pay for repairs to the roof and any resulting damage to the interior of your property. However, it is essential to review your policy and understand the specific terms, exclusions, and deductibles associated with roof leaks to determine the extent of coverage available.

Insurance coverage for floods depends on the type and cause of the flood. While natural floods require separate flood insurance, homeowner's insurance may cover water damage resulting from plumbing or appliance-related floods, sewer or drain backups, and roof leaks caused by covered perils. It is crucial to review your policies, assess your flood risk, and consider appropriate coverage to ensure comprehensive protection for your property.

Flooded Streets: Compelling Reasons to Avoid Driving Through Waterlogged Roads

7/10/2023 (Permalink)

When heavy rain or a severe storm hits an area, it's not uncommon to see streets and roadways transformed into temporary waterways. While it may be tempting to navigate through flooded streets, doing so can be extremely hazardous. In this blog post, we will explore the compelling reasons why you should never drive through flooded streets. Understanding the risks associated with such actions is crucial for personal safety and preventing potentially life-threatening situations.

Unpredictable Water Depths

One of the most significant dangers of driving through flooded streets is the uncertainty of water depths. It is challenging to determine the actual depth of the water covering the road. What may appear shallow could quickly turn into a deeper, more treacherous section, leading to vehicle submersion or loss of control. It only takes a few inches of moving water to sweep away a car, putting your life and the lives of passengers at risk.

Hidden Hazards

Flooded streets often conceal numerous hazards beneath the water's surface. These hazards may include debris, downed power lines, open manholes, road damage, or even submerged vehicles. Driving through the water increases the likelihood of encountering these hidden dangers, which can cause accidents, vehicle damage, or severe injuries.

Loss of Traction and Control

Driving through waterlogged roads significantly reduces traction and vehicle control. Water creates a slippery surface, causing tires to lose grip and compromising your ability to steer, brake, or accelerate effectively. This loss of control can result in accidents, collisions with other vehicles or objects, or even hydroplaning, where the vehicle skids uncontrollably on the water's surface.

Mechanical and Electrical Damage

Driving through flooded streets poses a serious risk of damaging your vehicle's mechanical and electrical systems. Water can infiltrate the engine compartment, exhaust system, and other sensitive components, leading to expensive repairs or even rendering the vehicle inoperable. Furthermore, the water's corrosive nature can cause long-term damage to the vehicle's internal systems, reducing its lifespan and resale value.

Water Contamination

Floodwaters are often contaminated with various pollutants, including sewage, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Driving through flooded streets exposes you to these contaminants, which can pose significant health risks. Contact with contaminated water can lead to skin infections, respiratory issues, and other waterborne diseases.

Emergency Response Delays

Driving through flooded streets not only endangers your safety but also hampers emergency response efforts. Your vehicle may become stranded or require assistance, diverting resources that could be used to help those in immediate danger. It's crucial to prioritize your safety and allow emergency services to focus on critical situations during flooding events.

While the temptation to drive through flooded streets may arise during inclement weather, it is essential to recognize the significant risks involved. The unpredictable water depths, hidden hazards, loss of traction, and potential damage to both vehicles and health make driving through flooded streets an incredibly perilous decision. To prioritize personal safety and avoid life-threatening situations, it is strongly advised to never drive through flooded streets. Instead, wait for the water to recede or seek alternative routes to reach your destination. Remember, your safety and the safety of others should always be the top priority when faced with flooded roadways.

Beyond Bleach: Why it's Ineffective for Removing Mold

5/17/2023 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

Overflowing Gutters In Your Charleston Home

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

How Overflowing Gutters in Your Charleston Home can Lead to Cavity Water Damage Issues

Gutters play a vital role in collecting rainwater in passages beneath the roof and transporting that water into an open sewer point. In the fall, leaves can get into these gutters, causing blockages, thereby preventing water from reaching the sewer point. During the winter months, high winds can result in debris or fallen branches from further clogging up the gutters. With the additional rainfall expectations throughout the winter, these blockages can become a significant concern for the interior of your home.

Overflowing gutters can result in moisture entering your attic space or into wall cavities causing unseen water damage in your Charleston, SC home. With the help of gravity, moisture overflowing into the structure migrates downwards. SERVPRO recommends that homeowners perform regular checks on both the exterior of their home and the interior walls throughout the colder months. Common symptoms of excessive moisture inside wall cavities may be peeling of wallpaper, musty odors, or disjointing between baseboards and floor.

Restoring wall cavity damage can be tricky. There needs to be practical measurements and understanding of where moisture is before the, often necessary, removal of drywall or baseboard. SERVPRO technicians can call upon thermal imaging cameras that provide readings of surface temperatures on walls, which can indicate where moisture might reside. Alternatively, our technicians may use boroscopes to see inside the cavity and assess the extent of mold or water damage.

It may be necessary for SERVPRO to provide advanced structural drying technicians to your property to restore wall cavities. These technicians are adept at using Injectidry systems that attach hose nozzles into the small holes drilled into the wall. From there, a centrifugal fan can circulate heated air into the cavity to address moisture issues and dry out the pit. In some situations, water damage may be too severe for non-invasive systems, and we must remove sections of the wall to provide drying access to more powerful equipment like air-movers, vent fans, and portable heaters.

If you notice any symptoms of cavity damage in your home, do not hesitate to contact a restoration company in your local area.

Getting to the Root of Mold

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

Where there is water, there is mold. Mold can grow in any climate, even in Johns Island, SC. If mold is found in your business, following the proper protocol for fungus cleanup is of utmost importance to the health and productivity of your employees.

How Did the Mold Start?

Mold is microscopic, ubiquitous and fast-growing. In fact, mold begins growing within 48 hours, and what is seen on the surface is only the beginning of an extensive root system. Knowing how it takes hold and begins growing on surfaces is a great place to start. Here is a list of conditions that promote the growth of mold:

  • Areas of high humidity without proper airflow
  • Rooms or buildings with poor insulation, leading to water condensation on surfaces
  • Undiscovered leaks inside walls

The Myth About Cleaning Chemicals

When mold is found, it is common for a business to reach for frequently used chemicals, such as bleach. The problem with this approach to fungus cleanup is that the solution is not effective on all surfaces. Porous material, where the fungus grows best, soaks up the water in the product, bringing more nutrients down to the root system. The active agents, however, sit on the surface and evaporate quickly, allowing the body of the mold to continue growing unseen.

Proper Eradication

Effective cleanup of mold requires a business to act quickly and aggressively by removing the source. This process relies on techniques and equipment that are specially designed to keep airborne spores from spreading. Rather than risking costly mistakes, a business is wise to look to professional fungus cleanup specialists for this service. Specialists in Johns Island, SC, have the needed supplies and equipment, as well as knowledge of the local area’s mold cleanup protocols. Additionally, these pros can identify issues that may arise in the future, saving a business time and money and getting to the root of the problem.

If you have mold growing in your business, don’t pull out the bleach just yet. It’s usually best to contact professionals to take care of the issue.

Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

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.

5 Tips for Preventing Residential Water Damage

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

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.

Natural Disaster Preparation

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Natural Disaster Preparedness

Many homeowners in John Island, SC, understand that federal agencies such as FEMA exist to help citizens get their lives back on track after a devastating natural disaster. Consider the following extra details about their disbursal process.

1. Initial Stages

After a flood, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will send its own inspectors and assessors to the affected locations. This is because the government needs to create and maintain its own independent record of the damages to apportion limited aid funds based on need. These inspectors will look at individual homes and businesses to determine habitability and what materials and belongings can be salvaged. If the damage is moderate, a qualified local cleanup company may be more appropriate than a total rebuild.

2. Ownership

At this stage, the FEMA staff will likely ask the homeowners (if present) to verify possession of the home. This can be done with a physical deed or a request for public records from a courthouse in your municipality. Without proof of ownership, the distribution of federal aid becomes much more difficult. For the same reason, the prudent homeowner should keep vehicle titles and an inventory of home valuables in a secure location. If you need to evacuate, take these crucial legal documents with you to ensure they remain intact.

3. Insurance

The FEMA agent does not serve the same role as an insurance adjuster. The claim on your homeowner’s policy that you purchased as a private citizen will need to be verified by your specific insurance company. After the flooding has subsided and there is no immediate danger, an adjuster will arrive to assess your claim and take an inventory of damages. If you need to resolve a dispute with your agent, third-party public adjusters are also available.

Remember, the FEMA staff are there to help. Understand their response procedures so that you can quickly respond after a disaster in your area.

How To Remove Smells From a Microwave

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

How to Get Smells Out of a Microwave

Your microwave is probably one of the most-used appliances in your home. Microwaves are famously convenient and easy to use, but it is important to be diligent in keeping them clean and taking care of any unpleasant smells that occur.

Here are some tips to help you clean and maintain your microwave.

1. Clean and Replace Filters
Microwaves that are placed over the range often have two filters that need to be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis. Consult your owner's manual if you are not sure how to remove the vent grill or replace the filters.

2. Clean the Inside Regularly

Ideally, you should wipe down the interior of the microwave after each use. However, you may not always have time to do this, and there are other techniques you can use to prevent the microwave from becoming smelly. For example, you can create a steam-cleaning effect by microwaving a bowl filled with water and vinegar or water and lemon juice.

This helps not only to reduce odors but also to remove bits of food that are stuck to the inner walls so that you can wipe them up more easily.

3. Be Wary of a Smoke Smell

Food items cooked in the microwave for too long will start to burn and produce a smoke smell. Different kinds of potatoes, for example, have different cooking times. 

If a fire ever occurs in your microwave area, it is important to have a fire extinguisher ready. Once the fire has been extinguished and the smoke smell is gone, it is a good idea to contact a professional fire restoration company in West Ashley, SC, to help you assess the damage and restore the appliance to working condition if possible.

Like any appliance, microwaves will last longer and perform better if you take good care of them. Following these steps will help you create a clean and safe microwave area.

4 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

4 Common Commercial Building Water Issues

As a business owner or property owner, you know all the maintenance issues that can lead to costly expenses if avoided. Despite your best efforts, however, some systems are prone to problems regardless of preventatives, including plumbing. Commercial plumbing systems can suffer from leaking pipes or even floods. According to water mitigation services in Charleston, SC, there are at least four common water and plumbing issues business owners should be aware of.

1. Toilet Backup

The bathrooms of commercial properties get more use than standard residential toilets. The increased use means the toilets are prone to issues. One of the main problems is a backup or toilet overflow. Overflows tend to occur because of clogs in the lines. Routine plumbing inspections and cleanings can help reduce the risks of backups.

2. Pipe Leaks

How old is the plumbing in your building? Leaking pipes are also very common in commercial properties, especially warehouses and similar facilities. Leaks can be anything from a minor drip to a persistent stream. The goal for business owners is to find the problem and resolve it before it turns into a break.

3. Breaks

A pipe break has the potential to be catastrophic. A break in a main line can flood a facility quickly, especially if the building is closed for any length of time. The key to minimizing damage after a break is to shut the water off to the affected site as quickly as possible.

4. Clogs

Clogs are common plumbing problems throughout a facility. They can occur in kitchens, bathrooms, breakrooms, laundry areas, and more. The key to preventing clogs is to put up adequate signage displaying what is and is not acceptable for putting down a drain.

When it comes to commercial facilities, the most common water problems are leaking pipes, backups, breaks, and clogs. Try to prevent such issues by adhering to appropriate maintenance schedules.

Where There's Fire, There’s Smoke Damage

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage Occurs When There Is A Fire.

In the event of a fire at your commercial building, your mind may turn to damage to the structure including the frame and surfaces, both interior and exterior. In the unfortunate event of a fire to your property in Rockville, SC, you’ll also need to think about the water damage that may occur from extinguishing any blazes.

On top of that, there’s also damage that comes from smoke to consider. There’s the visible damage of soot on your building’s contents, as well as smoke odor and air particles to account for. A commercial fire restoration services provider takes a comprehensive look at your property, employing special techniques, including smoke cleaning, to bring your place to pre-damage conditions.

Professional Methods to Smoke Damage Restoration

The cleanup process includes various cleanup techniques to restore your building’s contents:

  • Ventilation: Using fans, other equipment, and open doors and windows to facilitate ventilation of your building
  • Odor removal: Making use of ozone machines, thermal foggers, and other equipment not to mask odors but to remove them entirely
  • Cleanup: Employing cleaning methods such as chemical sponges, liquid cleaners, and more to accomplish smoke cleaning, especially for upholstery, fabric, electronics, and documents among others
  • Loose particle removal: Gentle vacuuming where possible
  • Protection: Sealing off areas that have not been impacted to prevent the spread of additional damage

A Comprehensive, Customized Approach

No two fires are the same, and a complete restoration plan will vary according to the level of damage, impacted materials, and more. Your property in Rockville, SC, may require reconstruction as well as move-out services. This involves offsite storage of undamaged items for protection and to expedite reconstruction and repair. When it comes to smoke cleaning, there’s often more than meets the eye when it comes to a full restoration.

During a fire, damage occurs in many ways. Besides damage due to fire and water, you’ll have smoke and soot to contend with also. A professional restoration company uses special techniques and tools to clean the items in your building as part of a complete restoration approach.

The Surprise of Water Damage After a Commercial Fire

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage As A Result Of A Commercial Fire

Damaged flooring, walls, equipment, etc., are all par for the course after a fire. Business owners and commercial property owners expect these damages when they think of fire damage. However, talk to fire remediation services in Edisto Beach, SC, and they will explain that nearly all property owners do not expect the amount of damage caused by water after a fire. Still, there are multiple reasons a property sustains water damages during and in the aftermath of a fire.

1. Fire Hose Rescue Efforts

The most common cause of water damage is the rescuers themselves. The fire rescue tools include hoses; it is the primary tool used to combat large blazes. These hoses are capable of spewing out hundreds of gallons in a matter of seconds and minutes. All of that water does not evaporate in the heat of the fire; most of it is left on the floor of your building.

2. Suppression Systems

The systems businesses install to prevent fire damage can also result in damage after a fire. For example, sprinkler systems might release water in areas of the property unaffected by fire to prevent its spread. The water from suppression systems is just as damaging as water hoses, but it is also essential to save as much of your property as possible.

3. Damaged Plumbing

The heat from a fire is immense. There is a possibility that the heat from the fire melts and damages plumbing systems in the property. If the plumbing structures are compromised, it can result in further water issues, especially if a supply line is damaged.

Commercial fire damage is not reserved for smoke and soot. Water is a significant contributor to damages, and it can be a shock to many property owners after the initial disaster. Still, remediation services are familiar with water loss and can help.

FAQs About Electronic Claims

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

Electronic Claims Frequently Asked Questions

Getting paid promptly is a concern for many business owners who need to file an insurance claim. One way to speed up this process is to use electronic claims. This gives you a more streamlined process so you can focus on hiring a disaster remediation company and getting your business back to normal.

Why Should You Submit Claims Electronically?

Filing an insurance claim electronically has many benefits. These include:

  • Minimal disruptions to your cash flow
  • Track claim status
  • Increased accuracy and fewer claim rejections
  • Less paperwork
  • Decreased time spend filing

How Do You Submit Them Electronically?

There are several options for submitting an insurance claim electronically. The most common are full- and self-service claim systems. A full-service system has you submitting your documents through a third-party provider. You are only required to submit your policy and loss information, and the claim will be generated for you.

A lot of business owners worry about the cost of using one of these services. However, submitting your claims through a full-service electronic provider is not terribly expensive. Instead, they take a small percentage of your claim money.

An alternative is to use the self-service claim system, which means submitting your claim to your insurance company through a customer portal. Most insurance companies today have their own software, so this is a free option. However, even though you submit your documents through this portal, you may still need to have an adjuster visit your site and inspect the damage.

Whichever method you choose, you will still be able to receive your funds quickly, so you can hire a restoration company, such as SERVPRO, and start restoring your business in Kiawah Island, SC.

Submitting a claim to your insurance agent electronically can speed up the process of getting paid after your business faces a disaster. It is a convenient method that has many benefits and can be completed in different ways.

Under What Circumstances Is Commercial Flood Insurance Required?

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

In What Situations Is Commercial Flood Insurance Required?

For many businesses in the U.S., flood insurance is an optional affair. It is not required and it is up to the company to decide if the risk/reward calculation makes sense. The management team will consider many items when making this decision:

  • What would the premiums cost?
  • How large could the losses be in a flood?
  • How likely is a flood in a specific area?

A company in West Ashley, SC, might gamble that the risk of a flood is low and that they do not need the extra insurance. If the company is right, it will save by not paying premiums and it can put this money to other uses. If the company is wrong and it is hit with a devastating flood, the company could potentially lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mandatory Flood Insurance

In some situations, a commercial enterprise must purchase insurance against floods. The parameters for this requirement include the following situations:

  • The company is located in a high-risk floodplain
  • The company has a mortgage with a federally regulated or insured lender
  • The lender requires insurance for floods

The reasons for this requirement are many and fairly complex. However, it boils down to the fact that both lenders and government entities do not want to have to bail out companies that rack up large expenses and losses in a flood.

Helpful Commercial Insurance

Businesses cannot take the risk of not having a primary insurance policy that covers storm damage, fire damage and other perils. In the case of significant damage, the primary policy will pay for a variety of losses as well as the cleanup efforts of a qualified restoration company. In the long run, the services of trained technicians will likely save money by making necessary repairs to get the company back on its feet again.

While flood insurance is often discretionary, it is frequently a worthwhile purchase. The losses from a flood have the potential to cause great hardship to a company.

4 Causes of Water Damage

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

4 Water Damage Causes

If you run a business in Charleston, SC, water damage can be a major hindrance to your operation. Whether you are dealing with a pipe burst cleanup or mitigating the impact of a supply line leaking, you want to address the problem as soon as possible. A trusted water restoration specialist can handle the water cleanup quickly. In the meantime, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these four common factors of water damage.

1. Clogged Pipes

Everyone has experienced the reduced trickle of water when something gets lodged in a pipe. Fishing out the offending item gets it flowing normally again. However, a deeply lodged clog can cause a buildup of pressure in the pipe and even a burst. Because water can spill out rapidly, a pipe burst cleanup can be a major undertaking.

2. Extreme Weather

If the water in your pipes drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it will freeze. Water expands approximately 9% when frozen, sometimes forcing it to rupture the pipe it is contained in. Having your pipes insulated or heating their space can mitigate this risk.

3. Corrosion and Deterioration

Pipes and supply lines lose their integrity over time for a variety of reasons, such as pH imbalances, rust buildup and stretching. It is a good practice to regularly inspect your water systems for any of these defects.

4. Loose Hardware

Sometimes the problem is as simple as a loose nut on your supply line. If this is the case, tighten the nut where the leak is found. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can cause the threads of the nut to crack. If the leak persists, applying a pipe joint compound may fix the problem. Otherwise, you need to replace the hardware.

When you run a business, you want to be ready for any scenario that may occur. Being aware of these common causes of water damage can help you avoid a costly and unpleasant supply line leak or pipe burst cleanup.

4 Tips for Avoiding Winter Storm Damage

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

4 Winter Storm Damage Prevention Tips

The winter season brings joyous festivities such as company holiday parties, end of year celebrations and beautiful snowfalls in Ravenel, SC. However, along with the snowfalls comes the threat of a heavy winter storm, and if you are caught unprepared, these can wreak havoc on your business and can cause costly damage. Here are four tips for avoiding damage during a storm.

1. Plan Ahead

Preparing for a winter storm is much easier if you have planned ahead. To protect your business, you should create a disaster readiness plan that outlines what to do if a disaster occurs. This plan should include instructions for safe evacuations and a list of emergency contacts, including a storm restoration service.

2. Insulate Your Building

Good insulation is important for keeping your building and its plumbing system warm. The temperature should remain above 55° F to prevent a pipe break, which can lead to flooding and water damage. Show your staff how to control your utilities, such as shutting off the main water valve in case of a flood.

3. Inspect Your Roof

You should routinely inspect your building’s roof to ensure that all shingles are in good condition and firmly nailed down. Heavy snowstorms can cause snow and ice to collect on your roof, which can cause storm damage and leaks if your roof has any wear and tear.

4. Watch the Weather

Keep an eye on your local weather channel and stay abreast of incoming storms and severe weather alerts. If a major storm is looming, keep your employees safe by allowing them to leave work early or work remotely before the storm starts, or provide a place onsite or nearby to stay if driving conditions become treacherous.

A snowy winter can be fun and beautiful, but if you are unprepared, a winter storm can lead to costly repairs. Staying alert of the weather and planning ahead are important for keeping your employees safe and preventing damage.

Best Disaster Recovery Company

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

We are so grateful to be recognized as the Best Disaster Recovery Company in Charleston 2021!

Each year, the Charleston City Paper recognizes a variety of service-based businesses in the Charleston area. Highlighting these businesses in this way helps give Charleston residents easy access to credible and reliable businesses across the city. We highly encourage you to check our Best of Charleston 2021 to find some of the best that Charleston has to offer!

We are very proud to announce that our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team recently won the Best Disaster Recovery Company from the Charleston City Paper's Best of 2021!

We are so grateful for the recognition we received and will continue to work hard to be the best disaster recovery company in our community! 

Day or night, in rain or sunshine, our highly trained team is always available to help after a disaster strikes your home or business! 

Do You Have This Certain Type of Pipes? You May Be in for Unnecessary Sewer Cleanup

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Do You Have Any Of These Particular Pipes? It's Possible That You'll Have To Deal With An Unneeded Sewer Clean-up.

If the pipes in your commercial building were manufactured between 1978 and 1995, you may be in for some imminent sewer cleanup.

Polybutylene pipes were used during that time period in place of copper pipes. They were less costly and easier to install. What's not to love? Well, there's a reason manufacture stopped in 1995. However, PB pipes are still commonly found in sewer systems that may lead right into your place of business.

Do You Have Polybutylene Pipes?

There are a few problems with this particular type of pipe:

  • They are chemically reactive, breaking down when exposed to common cleaning agents.
  • PB pipes can become brittle and crack over time.
  • This can lead to leaks, backing up the sewers.
  • These pipes are sometimes uninsurable.

To determine if you have PB pipes, you need to do a little digging.

Leave the physical excavating to the experts, but if you can find a pipe coming out of the ground near your building's water heater, sink, or toilet, you can check for classic signs of a PB pipe. It will most likely be blue, black, or gray and one-half to 1 inch in diameter. These are good indicators that you have PB pipes in your sewer system.

However, there may be visible copper pipes and poly pipes hiding underground, closer to the water meter. If you don't want to go full-on detective mode on your pipes, it's OK to contact a sewer expert. Especially if there are any signs of sewer backup, such as a flooded toilet, it's advised to contact these professionals as soon as possible.

How Can You Prepare for Sewer Cleanup?

Preventing water damage from sewer backup issues starts with finding the right insurance coverage. It's harder, but not impossible, to cover PB pipes. Once you find adequate coverage, you will need to find trusted, insurance-preferred remediation experts in Charleston, SC, to have on deck if and when disaster strikes. Even if you have this type of pipes, having a restoration plan makes for easier, cheaper sewer cleanup.

Helping Clients Get the Restoration Services They Need

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is available 24/7, 365 days a year to help with any size fire or water loss. Even if you just have a question, call us and we will answer you!

Assisting Clients In Obtaining The restoration Services They Require

A strong storm can damage a large area in a short amount of time. When residential clients need storm restoration services, it is in their best interest to choose a company that responds to their call for help quickly and provides all the information they need for insurance claims.

By choosing a company that has broad corporate resources and a reliable local franchise in Charleston, SC, homeowners can save both themselves and their insurance company money.

Fast Response

A national call center that operates 24 hours a day is well-equipped to delegate quick storm response to people in affected areas. As soon as the company receives a call, they put the following actions in motion:

  • Contact local franchise
  • Open file in Claims Information Center
  • Dispatch extra equipment to area if necessary

The earlier storm restoration begins, the less chance there is of secondary damage to the home in question. A company that's Faster to Any Size Disaster saves time and money by limiting the amount of remediation that has to happen.

Detailed Reports

The CIC is a helpful tool for homeowners and insurance adjusters. As soon as the flood damage is assessed and an estimate of the total cost for restoration is created, the report is stored in the corporate database. When the customer file is accessed, all the information needed for the claim is right there. The adjuster can use it to corroborate his or her inspection.

The homeowner can use it to get a complete list of the items that need to be replaced or repaired and how much the process is going to cost. A comprehensive report of the damage gives the insurance company the information it needs to process the claim in an efficient manner.

When storm restoration is needed, it doesn't need to be delayed. A company that responds quickly and provides a detailed account of the problem is helpful to both the homeowner and the insurance company.

Establishing a Furnace Maintenance Schedule

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

Creating A Furnace Maintenance Program

As the weather starts getting colder, you will probably start wanting to switch from air conditioning to the heater in your home. To ensure that you can do so safely, however, you need to perform preventative maintenance on your furnace before you use it as well as having it professionally inspected at the end of the cold season. Fire cleaning experts recommend the following steps to get your furnace ready for regular use.


The first thing you want to do is to make sure your furnace and all its components are free of dust, which can ignite a fire when the heat is turned on and leave you looking for smoke cleaning services. The three main components to clean are:

  • Filter
  • Motor
  • Blower

Check the filter to see if it is clean. If not, change it. In fact, it’s a good idea to change the filter every month when the furnace is running continuously. Inspect each component inside and remove dust with a toothbrush or some other fine-toothed cleaning apparatus.


The need for fire cleaning can be avoided if you schedule any necessary repairs before turning the heater on. For example, if the belts look brittle or torn, they need to be replaced. Both the blower and the motor have belts, and all of them need to be strong for the furnace to work properly.


Many furnace motors are sealed by the manufacturer with the necessary lubrication already included. Some, however, have oil ports, and these motors require the occasional addition of lubricant. It doesn’t take a lot of motor oil to keep the furnace running smoothly. Just add a couple of drops to each port, and that should do the trick. A well-oiled motor is a happy motor that keeps your furnace operating efficiently throughout the colder months.

It’s smart to check your furnace before its first use of the year and after its last use. It is easier to keep it clean and well lubricated with intact parts than it is to hire fire cleaning experts in Johns Island, SC, when dust and grime cause sparks.

Rethinking Infrastructure: An Urban Answer to Flooding

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Rethinking Infrastructure: A Flood-Resistant City

Land development gives an air of progress, opportunity and innovation. A possible byproduct of development in Charleston, SC, however, could be an increased vulnerability to high water. Many modern cities are putting structures in place that help prevent damaging floods that could cost millions of dollars in repairs. By building these items into their infrastructure, they protect their cities and the businesses within.


Cities with waterways can benefit from a movable gate system that can be closed when conditions indicate that floodwater could become a threat. These gates may feature certain elements to stop flooding. They include:

  • Computerized walls
  • Sensors for automatic closure when water gets too high
  • Hydraulic gates that can operate even if the power goes out

By blocking excess water to the portions of rivers and canals that border the cities’ business and industrial districts, business owners have little need to fear the rise of high water when storm season hits.


Many cities have intricate systems of drainage tunnels that direct water away from structures into areas that can handle it without causing any damage. These tunnels often serve a dual purpose. In addition to redirecting excess floodwater, some of them are part of a hydraulic system that pushes barriers into place to slow or halt the flow.


Many buildings in flood-prone areas are built with caution in mind. Flood mitigation experts suggest that, instead of relying on emergency sandbags to keep water away from your building’s foundation, you could have barriers built right into your property. Motorized barriers are not only easier to operate but also easier to put away once flood prevention is no longer necessary.

Low-tech options have historically prevented flood damage to some extent. As engineering innovations improve, however, many cities are beginning to rely on more consistent ways of combating high water. Through a combination of gates, tunnels and barriers built into city infrastructure, as well as individual commercial buildings, major flood issues could become a thing of the past.

Can Rental Insurance Help With Mold Damage?

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Is Mold Damage Covered By Rental Insurance?

Rental insurance is complicated because Insurers structure policies differently and coverage can vary depending on the details surrounding a situation. If you are renting your domicile in Charleston, SC, you need to know if you have coverage for mold. Each policy is different, but here are the questions you need to answer and discuss with your agent.

• Is the damage to the structure or your personal belongings?
• Did you or the landlord do your part to mitigate a leak that caused the damage?
• Was the damage caused from a specific disaster?
• Were you negligent in leaving your belongings in the area of a known problem?

Your Property Versus the Landlord’s Property

Rental insurance coverage tends to cover your personal belongings. The structure of the building is usually covered by the landlord’s property insurance policy.

Coverage Is Impacted by Your Response

Property coverage for mold damage is complicated. The cost of repairing damage may not be covered if the property owner was negligent. For example, if there was a leaky pipe and the landlord knew of it but made no attempts to stop it, then the damage would almost certainly not be covered.

Covered Catastrophe

If the damage was from a sudden and unexpected pipe break, then the property insurance is more likely to cover the mold remediation. Also, if the mold damage was the result of another catastrophe that was covered by your policy, like storm damage, then remediation is likely covered.

As for coverage of your personal belongings per your rental insurance policy, you also have a responsibility to take action to prevent the problem. That may be include notifying the landlord of a problem, and also through removing your personal belongings from the area to prevent damage.


You can always help your landlord by suggesting a reputable mold mitigation professional to resolve the mold problem. Make sure your landlord understands that mold can reproduce in as little as 24 or 48 hours, so mold removal is best taken care of as quickly as possible to prevent damage and further expense.

After Your Home Flood

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage? What you need is the SERVPRO water damage expert team to take over and put things in order.

Following A Flood In Your Home

No homeowner in Folly Beach, SC, should have to suffer from the disruption caused by water damage for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Get your life back on track with the following tips.

1. Sources of Flooding

Most insurers will not cover damage due to significant negligence. If the source of your standing water problem has gone unaddressed for a long period of time, your policy may not reimburse you for the various damages incurred. Be sure to stay on top of pressing issues such as broken pipes or cracks in the foundation that could allow water into the lower floors.

2. Secure Belongings

Be certain that no sensitive items remain under flood water, as the difficulty of recovering items such as documents and electronics increases as time elapses. Many qualified water damage restoration services specialize in processes such as vacuum freeze-drying and dehumidification to bring your belongings back to their original condition. Your insurer may require that you list any affected items on a comprehensive inventory of your losses and expenses, which will expedite the verification process when they send and adjuster to assess your claim.

3. Safety and Documentation

Remember to never enter a flooded home area for water cleanup purposes until all electrical lines have been disabled at the source. You might also consider some form of contact protection such as a pair of waders or boots, since gray water can host many harmful contaminants. After all water has been pumped from the premises, porous surfaces such as drywall and plywood may need special attention, since these can retain moisture. If you have a sump pump, check that it is in proper working order with no blocked drains or damaged pipes.

With a few simple precautions, the prudent homeowner can avoid many of the problems that typically arise from water damage. Take steps to familiarize yourself with procedures that can save you time and money in the event of a flood.


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