Recent Posts

How To Become a Preferred Vendor

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

Concept of business negotiation agreement Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies.

Getting Started as a Preferred Vendor

Not all restoration companies are created equal. Your company needs help to restore your business space after a disaster in Murphy, NC, and you want to make sure that your first pick will be easy to work with, reliable, and provide superior service. Your insurance agent will provide you with a list of preferred vendors, but how can you know that you're really getting the best? At SERVPRO, you'll find some of the most stringent standards in the industry that ensure your project will be completed with excellence every time.

1. Quality Checks
When your insurance agent recommends a local franchise to complete your project, the SERVPRO vendor program has 21 guidelines that franchise owners must adhere to in order to earn jobs when you, the client, call the restoration hotline. These guidelines include conducting background checks for all employees, submitting to internal auditing for quality assurance, and maintaining all proper insurance coverage.

2. Rigorous Documentation
From the moment the customer contacts the restoration hotline, your case will be tracked every step of the way. You will be presented with information about which local franchise you were connected to, the amount of time it took to respond, the cause of the claim, and each step that was taken to complete your project.

3. Project Validation
Restoration companies have standards that must be followed when completing a project. You'll never have to wonder if your site was cleaned properly because you can request that drying validation be a part of your project documentation. You as the business owner can see the standards that the company promises and the tools that are to be used; there are no industry secrets. This transparency can provide you peace of mind, knowing that your restoration project was done to the highest standard.
When your insurance agent provides a preferred vendor list that includes a local SERVPRO franchise, you can be confident that your restoration project will be backed by high industry standards.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen Learn how to use a fire extinguisher in your home

A Guide to Fire Extinguisher Use

A home fire can have many causes and can happen at any time. It's important for homeowners in Franklin, NC, to keep a fire extinguisher handy inside the home so a fire can be extinguished before it gets out of control. While the majority of homeowners have an extinguisher inside the home, research shows less than half actually know how to use one.

Being Prepared
A homeowner should not only be prepared to use a fire extinguisher at a moment's notice, but they need to know where to find it. If an emergency does arise, you'll be quicker to act on it. Situations in which you might need a fire extinguisher include:

  • When the fire is contained to one object
  • You feel confident in using the extinguisher
  • You have the right extinguisher type

While you should always call the fire department before using an extinguisher, you should get out of the structure if you're aren't confident in how to use the device. It's always best to put safety first, and during a fire is not the time to try to learn how to use an extinguisher. Fire damage can always be reversed during restoration.
Extinguishers are made for different types of fire. Some extinguishers are water-based, and made for common products such as wood, cloth, plastic, or paper. The majority of homeowners will only have a class A extinguisher. You wouldn't want to use a class A extinguisher on a gas burner during a kitchen fire.

Using the Extinguisher
You'll be confident in using your extinguisher if you remember the acronym P.A.S.S. This stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep. First, you pull the pin, then you aim the extinguisher, squeeze the handle and sweep from side to side.
If a fire happens, always think first. A fire extinguisher can be a powerful tool against devastating damage, but only when you know how to use it properly. It's a good idea to periodically refresh yourself on fire safety and proper usage of the extinguisher in your home.

3 Steps to Take After a Toilet Floods Your Office Building

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet A flooded toilet could cause major problems for your whole building.

Three Things to Do If a Toilet Overflows in Your Office Building

Office toilets are utilized with much greater frequency than a standard residential toilet. If you're an office manager in Nantahala, NC, it is important to have your bathroom facilities checked and maintained regularly because a flooded toilet could cause major problems for your whole building, not just your floor. If you have discovered that damage has occurred on multiple floors, there are some steps that you should take to clean up quickly and completely.

1. Call Your Insurance Company
Insurance policies differ in their coverage of sewer damage, so it's important to know what your policy states. A backup and an overflow are not the same thing, and therefore, may be expressed uniquely in your policy, or one may be covered while the other isn't.

2. Assess the Extent of the Damage
Communicate with any offices on the floors below yours. Have they experienced any problems, including leaks or bad smells? Water can soak into the floors and walls and can damage electrical wiring. Sewer damage can also cause health hazards, so if you see any obvious signs of problems or you're worried that there might be, close off the area until a professional can come to assess the damage and better inform you of any dangers.

3. Hire a Water Damage Repair Company
The more time spent on cleanup and repairs, the longer the loss in productivity will be, and the more difficult it is to take on new clients. Hire a water and sewage company that will not only assess the damage but will disinfect the areas before repairing them so that you and your coworkers can have a healthy work environment.
Sewer damage can be costly and time-consuming. Ensuring that you have an up-to-date insurance policy that covers various types of toilet-related water damage and maintaining your office's facilities can save you a headache in the event of a flooded toilet at your office.

Water Damage: 4 Steps for Drying Out Your Commercial Property

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed in area that has been damaged by water Water cleanup in a Sapphire, NC commercial facility.

Four Water Damage Tips

Many property owners are understandably upset and overwhelmed when water disasters occur. However, in a crisis involving pipe breaks or leaks, a quick response is necessary to avoid further problems. The four damage tips below will help you understand the appropriate steps to take following a water disaster.

1. Remember Safety First

No amount of cleaning tips will help if you ignore the number one safety rule: turn off the electricity. It does not matter how extensive the flooding is, power should be shut off to avoid shock or electrocution. While the water levels may not be above outlets, if a pipe bursts in a ceiling or behind a wall, water may have infiltrated outlets or conduits. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

2. Clear Debris and Remove Standing Water

The second of the four damage tips is to clear away all debris and remove all standing water. Debris does not have to mean rubbish or trash; it can also refer to any salvageable items and materials that need to be dried and cleaned. Also, while there may not be a lot of standing water, it is essential to remove any excess water to avoid problems like mold and mildew.

3. Ventilate and Dry Affected Areas

Once you have cleared the area and removed the water, you can ventilate and dry the area. Opening windows and doors is a great way to help circulate air through the property, but the use of industrial air movers is likely a quicker and more effective way of drying the area. A pipe burst can lead to extensive water damage, which is why it is necessary to dry the area as fast as possible.

4. Sanitize and Clean

Once dry, you can clean and sanitize the property. You may call a disaster restoration specialist in the Sapphire, NC, area to help you with this process, as they possess both equipment and expertise in water remediation.

The damage tips above can help you mitigate a pipe break or leak. However, if you wish to expedite the process, a restoration specialist may be more equipped to handle these types of emergencies.

Avoid Water Damage Claims With These 4 Maintenance Tips

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

Office furniture in the corridor of a building, floor is wet and with mud Water damage in a building in Whittier, NC.

Four Ways To Avoid Water Damage Claims

Filing a business claim after any water-related incident can help cover the costs while your Whittier, NC, location is repaired. However, there is a chance you may not qualify and still need to pay part of the bill. Additionally, the damage can interrupt or slow down your normal operations. Continue reading to learn how to prevent these events.  

1. Shut Off the Valve After a Pipe Break
While a fast response to excess humidity or water is necessary, a leaking or broken pipe can quickly escalate to flooding. You and your employees should know where to locate and how to operate the building's main shutoff valve. Shutting off the valve can temporarily stop the water flow until the problem is resolved. 

2. Keep Your Drainage System Clear 
Your building's drainage system is essential for diverting precipitation towards a safe location. When leaves, branches and other debris block it, the water can build up and damage the roof and walls, necessitating a business claim. Regular inspection and cleaning of your gutters, downspouts and other drainage paths by experienced professionals can effectively prevent these situations.

3. Seal All Visible Cracks and Holes 
The foundation of your building is not immune to cracks, gaps, and holes. These unplanned openings can allow water and high humidity to enter the building and affect anything inside. Additionally, freezing air can enter and damage the pipes, leading to more damage. Seal these breaches with caulk, foam insulation and weather stripping to protect your business. 

4. Maintain the Building's Rooftop
A strong rooftop is crucial for the well-being of your property. Accumulated water or snow can weaken the structure and seep into the building, while the formation of ice dams can block your drainage and create further problems. Schedule inspections and maintenance by roofing professionals and keep track of the roof's load limits. 
Although you will need a business claim to obtain help from a water damage remediation team, it is ideal to prevent this scenario. Enact the necessary strategies to keep your property safe from destruction. 

What You Should Know About Buying Shutters for Your Home

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Colonial shutter on a home Protect your property from high winds.

Protect Your Property from High Winds

While there’s no doubt that window coverings impact the appearance of your residence, they also can serve an important function, especially in areas that are prone to high winds, such as coastal states that may experience hurricanes. Shutters help protect the windows of your home in Robbinsville, NC, during windstorms and hurricanes. The cost to repair windows averages over $8,000 post-disaster, considerably more than the $3,500 estimated average for shutter installation.

Exploring the Costs of Storm Shutters

There are various types, each with a different cost per square foot:

Aluminum accordion: Lightweight and strong, up to $30 per square foot
Roll-up or roll-down: Mechanically or automatically controlled, $25 to $60 per square foot
Bahama or Bermuda: Aesthetic and offers shade on sunny days, $20 t0 $35 per square foot
Colonial hurricane: Timeless style, $25 to $35 per square foot
Motorized or electric hurricane: $6,360 to $10,560 for the entire home
Storm panels: Removable, $10 to $20 per square foot
Clear polycarbonate: Can stay in place without obscuring views, $10 to $15 per square foot
Fabric: Removable, $5 to $15 per square foot

Average installation costs range from $45 to $100 per hour. Consider the labor rate and the total time of installation when budgeting to protect your property from high winds.

Considering Other Benefits
Other than the visual impact of these window coverings, consider these advantages. Some options also help reduce your energy costs thanks to the added insulation. They also improve privacy. If you live in an area that’s prone to high winds and hurricanes, your insurer may offer a discount on your homeowner’s insurance.
A good homeowner knows to contact damage restoration professionals to make repairs after a disaster. A good homeowner also knows that preparation is important as well. Adding window coverings to your home protects your windows ahead of storms.

After the Flood, Don't Forget the Crawlspace

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Cleaning a crawlspace in a home in Sylva, NC.

Whether pipe bursts or floodwaters rise in Sylva, NC, there is a chance you will experience a home flood. Even if there isn’t much water, that doesn’t mean that the often-forgotten crawlspace hasn’t experienced flooding. If that happens and it goes unchecked, it may mean long-lasting issues.

Cleaning a Flooded Crawlspace

At the first signs of a water issue, it’s vital to take the following steps:

Work to stop the flow of water. While this may not be possible when due to natural flooding, a pipe leak or burst only requires turning off the main valve.
Once the water is no longer entering the area, a vital component of preventing the home flood from causing more damage is water extraction. A wet-dry vacuum can be used, but this may take more time as opposed to an industrial-grade pump. The type of flooring should also be considered. If it is a dirt floor, the mess will likely require the expertise of an expert.
The next step is drying the space out. While the visible water may be gone, the structural components of the home likely absorbed a significant amount of the water. The faster studs, walls, and joists are dried the less likely the chance of mold growth. Fans and dehumidifiers should be used to eliminate excess odor.
After the area is dried, it will need to be disinfected and deodorized with flood-approved products.

Contact a Restoration Company
In many cases, accessing the crawlspace is a difficult situation. Knowing how important it is that all water is removed and affected areas are cleaned properly, this type of cleanup is best left to a certified water and storm damage remediation company. Along with having the industrial-grade equipment to speed up the extraction and drying processes, it will also have trained technicians able to handle all forms of damage and restoration.
While it may be out of sight, ensure your crawlspace isn't out of mind after experiencing a home flood. Like any other area of the home, fast cleanup is essential to avoiding lingering issues.

After the Fire: 3 Actions Your Cleanup Crew May Take

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Door frame and walls damaged by fire Fire damage in Ellijay, NC.

Restoring Your Property After a Fire

When a fire rips through your Ellijay, NC, home, viewing the aftermath can feel overwhelming. From charred belongings, smoke damage and flooding caused by fire hoses, you may not know where to begin with cleanup efforts. Calling in a professional fire restoration company can ease your woes, as its technicians can take several steps to restore your property.

1. Mitigation
Once your home is deemed safe to enter, your restoration techs will survey the property to take immediate action that will help prevent further damage and help you save time and money during the cleanup effort. This may include draining away standing water left behind by fire hoses to lower the risk of mold growth and examine the degree of soot damage to your belongings. Then you can begin salvaging important items and setting aside those that you want to preserve.

2. Soot Removal
Soot can stain building materials, furniture and other objects in your home. Your restoration professionals may use a variety of techniques to clean each room and remove soot from places brooms and small vacuum cleaners may not reach. They may also use commercial-grade cleansers on surfaces where the soot is especially thick.

3. Smoke Odor Removal
One of the most difficult problems you might face in the aftermath of a fire is the removal of smoke damage, as stains and the stubborn odor can linger for weeks after a house fire. A smoke cleaning and fire restoration service can assist you with air-cleaning ozone machines that trap and remove odor-causing molecules instead of simply masking their smell.
Facing the aftermath of a fire at your Ellijay, NC, home can feel like the end of the world. Calling professional smoke damage technicians to assist you with the cleanup process can help offer you peace of mind as you move ahead with plans to restore and rebuild.

Remember These 4 Things When Filing a Water Damage Claim

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Floor mats on wooden flooring To save these residential floors in Franklin, NC from water damage, we put our floormats to work!

Filing a Water Damage Claim

If bursting pipes have created damage in your Tuckasegee, NC, home then you'll want to get compensation from your insurance company. After all, that's why you make those monthly premium payments. Here are some things to keep in mind when filing a claim.

1. Study Your Policy To Know What It Covers
Different insurance policies reimburse you for different types of damage, so the first thing you should do is read your insurance policy carefully to see what's covered. It's important to know what you're entitled to before you call the insurance company.

2. Contact Your Insurance Agent
When bursting pipes damage your home, let your insurance agent know as quickly as possible. You'll also need to save all receipts whenever you hire someone to fix a broken pipe or do other repairs on your home. Contact restoration specialists to repair any flooding damage and prevent the growth of mold. Document all of the work done.

3. Realize That Claims for Gradual Water Damage Are Often Denied
Damage to your home from bursting pipes is typically noticed right away and files are claimed. However, slow leaks from old pipes or cracks in the basement can bring on gradual damage. As a homeowner, it's your responsibility to maintain your home. If the harm is due to your neglect, the insurance company will likely deny your claim. Talk with your agent to see what is covered.

4. If Your Claim is Denied, Contact Your State Insurance Board
If your insurance company denies your claim and you feel you are entitled to be reimbursed, contact the state insurance board. They may be able to remediate the situation.
Damage to your home from a flood can be devastating, but by filing a claim and contacting the professionals as well as documenting everything, you can restore your home.

4 Benefits of Hiring a Fire Mitigation Professional

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building A fire not only leaves behind soot but also smoke damage and potential water damage.

Four Advantages of Hiring a Fire Mitigation Expert

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire at your Cullowhee, NC, business comes with many headaches. From dealing with the insurance adjuster to assessing the fire damage and still keeping your business running, the cleanup and repairs simply add to the stress. Get back to business faster and with peace of mind by hiring a certified professional fire and water damage restoration company. Below are four benefits that make it worthwhile.

1. 24/7 Help

A disaster may strike at any time. A fire mitigation company understands that and is available 24/7 to take your emergency call. After the call is received, you can expect a quick turnaround time for the inspection and assessment.

2. Minimize Damage

Choosing a reputable contractor means choosing a one-stop-shop professional. Mitigation companies are experts at finding hidden damage and properly repairing it to ensure that there are no lingering effects. They will also have the know-how to help you salvage many items that may seem lost forever.

3. Proper Fire Damage Cleanup

A fire not only leaves behind soot but also smoke damage and potential water damage. Each type of damage requires its own unique methods and tools to repair. A restoration expert already has the industrial-grade equipment and know-how to handle whatever issues the property faces.

4. Save Time and Money

Since time is money, saving on both is an ideal solution. Tackling damaged property on your own may turn into a long process with added costs. Experts provide a detailed assessment of the work that needs to be done along with a schedule to get your business back to normal as fast as possible.
Cleaning up fire damage is a difficult and time-consuming task. By using a licensed specialist, you can focus on your business and have peace of mind that repairs will be done right.