Eliminating Fire Odors
Regardless of how unpleasant burned and smoky odors crept into your home, until effective methods permanently remove the stench it is impossible to put a fire event behind you. That is where SERVPRO of South Cabarrus comes in.
Sometimes your house was the venue of a household fire, the combustive materials littering your house and emitting smells exacerbated by airborne smoke particles. Other times a wildfire or other external conflagration leaves your home untouched, no charring or other fire damage evident. However, the interior of your home still smells awful because of the smoke and soot that sifts through your dwelling’s exterior. The odor remains in your home long after the neighboring fire is history. Ridding a home of the odors produced by a fire is not a task conducive to a do-it-yourself effort.
-The initial steps crucial to odor elimination include disposal of the burned items and surfaces followed by a thorough cleaning. If not completed carefully, post-fire cleaning can make matters worse, the soot spreading everywhere along with the smell.
-Professional fire damage restoration technicians complete a series of training that teach industry best practices. These methodologies ensure that the odoriferous particles locked into furnishings, carpets, and unsealed surfaces are dislodged and removed.
-Using high-efficiency steam cleaners and innovative products with efficient wetting agents and attractants that loosen the particles, trained workers remove the solids and liquids. Also known as soot, which were deposited out of the smoky vapor.
-Smoke also contains vapors and gases that carry the noxious odors in the most minute particles. These airborne molecules can be cleared in part with fans and ventilation, but not entirely. A complication in a home that has duct work is the probability that smoke vapor and soot particles recirculate through the HVAC system.
-Expert cleaning of the venting and replacement of the filters goes a long way toward eliminating the residual odors. Odors can remain to remind and prevent healing from the fear and confusion of the original fire despite the most thorough of cleanings.
Homeowners respond by using candles, air freshener sprays, and other masking agents. These attempts do not help for long, and often worsen the situation, mixing synthetic chemical smells with the smoke to create an even ranker aroma. Top-notch fire restoration firms invest in advanced technologies that scrub the particulates from the air and penetrate into crevices, cracks, and fibers where the odor-bearing particles hide. These tools use thermal fogging and an ever-evolving range of hydroxide and other oxygenation generators to neutralize the odors at the molecular level. We call them Air Scrubbers. The chemical changes effected by this unique equipment essentially eliminate the last vestiges of the smoky odors lingering after a fire.
The practical and powerful results of a reputable professional odor elimination company do more than get rid unpleasant smells permanently. Their efforts return a sense of normality and comfort to the homeowner, as well as a renewed peace of mind.
A Breath of Fresh Air
A thorough spring cleaning is a fantastic way to banish any dust, dirt, allergens or germs that have invaded your home. Cleaning some things are fairly straightforward. You can launder curtains, wipe down walls, scrub counters, polish wooden surfaces, and shampoo carpets. What about the air in your home? Poor indoor air quality can result in discomfort and illness, but cleaning the air ducts connected to your ventilation, heating, and air conditioning system can lead to significant improvements. How do you get clean air ducts? You call SERVPRO. We have the experience and state-of-the-art equipment to do the job properly.
THE TROUBLE WITH DIRTY AIR DUCTS Although you rarely see the grime coating the inside of your air ducts, it can still cause problems. When it comes to issues with indoor air quality, ventilation systems are often among the biggest troublemakers. An HVAC and air duct system that has been running for a while without attention can circulate foul odors, dust, germs and other contaminants throughout your home. Cleaning the air ducts can freshen the air, improve its quality, decrease the likelihood of a mold infestation in the ductwork and reduce the volume of tiny particles circulating inside your home. This can make breathing more comfortable for anyone, and it can be especially beneficial for those who struggle with allergies, asthma or other respiratory concerns. Dirty air ducts are not just a problem for your home’s inhabitants. They can also interfere with your HVAC system’s ability to do its job. Clearing these passageways of obstructions that hinder the passage of heated or cooled air allows your HVAC system to operate more effectively, reducing wear and tear on the system and potentially extending its life. It can also improve its efficiency, which may be reflected in lower energy bills.
WHEN SHOULD AIR DUCTS BE CLEANED? Air duct cleaning is done on an as-needed basis. For most homes, this will be roughly every three to five years. If your household includes pets, smokers, or people with allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions, then you may find more frequent cleanings suit your needs better. How can you tell if it is time to have your air ducts cleaned? If you see puffs of dust floating out of your vents, discover debris cluttering the air returns or notice an increase in the amount of dust around the house, your air ducts could probably use a professional cleaning. HOW AIR DUCT CLEANING WORKS The interior of ductwork is not easily accessible, and attempting to do so can easily damage the ductwork. As a result, cleaning air ducts is not a project that the average homeowner can tackle alone. It is a task best left to professionals. At SERVPRO, we provide routine inspections and cleanings of HVAC systems, and we can also clean air ducts when it is necessary. Air duct cleaning takes a few hours. After shutting your HVAC system down, we use specialized equipment to carefully vacuum out the ductwork and clean the ducts and openings. In addition, our highly-train technicians can disinfect the air ducts, change filters and clean the HVAC system’s coils. Do you want fresher, healthier air for your family? Would you like to keep your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency for as long as possible? Is the thought of saving on your energy bills appealing? Contact SERVPRO today to learn more about the benefits of our air duct cleaning and HVAC cleaning services and schedule an appointment.
Residential Water Damage, Be Proactive
Water is used and useful in our homes, providing hydration for our family, friends, and pets, and also assisting with household tasks like cleaning, laundry, and food and beverage preparation and cleanup. Personal care would be impossible without tubs, showers, and sinks. Many homes also use water-supported heating and cooling systems, and outdoor areas benefit from sprinkling.
External forces such as floods, storms, and aging municipal infrastructures can threaten homes with unwanted water incursion. Inside, if water migrates away from the pipes, hoses, radiators, appliances, tubs, and sinks, severe consequences to the structure and contents of homes follow.
Insurance statistics show water damage to be second on the list of claims made overall losses. At one time or another, 37 percent of homeowners find themselves asking for loss coverage from their insurance carrier. Because water damage can be such a common occurrence, putting together a plan together to prevent the damage from happening at your home is an excellent decision. Even if some water damage is unavoidable, preparing for the devastation water brings can minimize its effects. The following are common sense strategies to prevent or limit water damage in your house.
- Your roof, gutter, and downspout systems are the first line of defense, keeping water from storms and even just gentle drizzles from entering your home and foundation.
- Clean gutters and downspouts regularly, at least twice yearly. Make sure they are correctly attached and replace damaged parts. Attention after the autumn leaves fall is critical. In many areas of the country spring tree flowering and seed dispersal clog both gutters and drains, requiring cleaning.
- Inspections after heavy rains or other precipitation make sense. Twigs, branches, and granular debris from the roof are another common cause of gutter system fails. The roof itself needs to be evaluated periodically.
- After storms or just high winds, flashings and shingles can dislodge. Tiny leaks in a roof become significant water problems in your home over time.
- Landscaping is great and beautiful. If done improperly it can send water flowing into your home. The ground around your home must slant away from the foundation, avoiding pooling of water that invades basements, crawl spaces, or slabs. Trees and bushes planted should be chosen and positioned to avoid sending roots into utility pipes.
- Gardens and plantings near the structure of your home should not drip or deposit water into the lower levels or the siding of the building.
- Faucets, hoses and sprinkler systems need regular evaluation for leaks that can saturate the soil next to the foundation. In the cooler months, the faucet needs winterized to avoid a freeze-up that can burst pipes inside the home as water in the pipe expands in below freezing temperature. Take care to water judiciously, and maintain and monitor automatic sprinkler systems so that they do not over water or direct their spray against buildings.
- Locate and educate yourself on how to turn off the main water source in your home. Also find the shutoffs near sinks, water heaters, showers, and appliances, so a minor overflow does not become a flood.
- Everyone has Appliances in there home. Monitor the hoses and connections on appliances that use or produce water regularly. Drip pans and drains beneath and around freezers, refrigerators, and air conditioning units and venting all have the potential to collect and spill water, often in a hidden area. Replace hoses regularly and check drains within appliances like dish and clothes washers to make sure a leak or burst pipe does not surprise you.
- Take care of small leaks promptly before significant problems follow. If the repair is beyond your skills, arrange for a professional to help. The minor cost to fix a leak early is much more manageable than major water damage restoration later.
- Do not ignore small leaks and loose connections. If you do not spot a leak, there are other ways to discover hidden water loss. Fluctuations in water pressure should be investigated. The problem may be inside your home or in piping entering your home from the public water source.
- Water pressure meters are available, and you can test on an outdoor faucet. Low pressure signals a potential leak and too high pressure can risk breakage of pipes and connections.
- Check and chart your water bill. Seasonal changes are to be expected, and adding or subtracting inhabitants using water also cause the bill to change. If you note a jump in water cost that cannot be otherwise accounted, a hidden leak can be the culprit.
Get Back o Business with Commercial Water Damage Restoration Services
Whether it is caused by a severe storm that sends floodwaters rolling through your area, a leaking roof, a malfunctioning appliance, a clogged toilet, failing pipes or some other plumbing disaster, water damage is bad for business. It is a predicament that demands a prompt, effective response.
SERVPRO can supply precisely that with our commercial water damage restoration services. The problems caused by water damage. Why is water damage such a problem? While water is vital to life, uncontrolled water that infiltrates spaces where it does not belong can do a great deal of harm. It can cause structural damage to your commercial facility and destroy the property, equipment, and inventory that you have stored inside it. It can also produce the ideal conditions for mold growth, setting the stage for a potentially hazardous mold infestation. In fact, unattended water damage can produce health hazards and liability issues that can leave your business vulnerable to lawsuits, so it is vital that the damage is dealt with properly. When water damage occurs, time is not your friend. Any delay in addressing it allows the damage process to continue, which is likely to increase both your losses and your restoration costs. The disruption triggered by water damage can also lead to lost productivity. After all, every hour that you spend working to restore your commercial space is an hour that you were not able to spend focused on what you do best. The solution that your business needs water damage can be a significant problem for your business, but it is one with a clear solution.
-Professional water damage restoration services. -Experts with the right combination of training and resources can quickly identify the problems plaguing your property, take steps to restore your property and belongings, and return the area to a safe, healthy space so that you can get back to work without unnecessary delay.
At SERVPRO, we understand the damage that water can do, and we are always ready to make it “Like it never even happened.” Our teams include restoration professionals trained in water damage restoration, applied structural drying, odor control, and upholstery and fabric cleaning. When you reach out to us for help, we do not hesitate. We move quickly to assess the situation and prevent further damage. We use our knowledge and specialized equipment to identify all the areas impacted by the water, including any hidden pockets of moisture.
After identifying the source of the water, we will create a plan to effectively deal with the troubles at the scene. If water remains, we can use professional-grade pumps and vacuums to extract it before shifting to dehumidifiers and air movers as we carefully monitor the drying process to ensure that the structure and its contents are properly dried.
We also begin working to clean and restore your belongings. With an expansive arsenal of professional tools and techniques, we can save items that many others would forsake, so you retain more of your property and reduce your replacement costs. We can also take steps to sanitize the location with antimicrobial treatments to prevent mold issues and deodorize the space to remove musty, unpleasant odors. We work diligently to restore your commercial facility to its preloss condition so that you can get back to business.
If water damage is threatening your business, don’t wait. Contact SERVPRO to arrange for our commercial water damage restoration services today
According to the late author and motivational speaker Zig Zigler, “success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” You never know when you might cross paths with someone who could impact your career or become your next big client. So, it’s important to have a well-crafted “elevator pitch” ready to go when you need to introduce yourself on the fly.
It’s called an “elevator pitch” because you should be able to recite it in the time it takes to ride an elevator from the bottom to the top floor. So, if you run into a potential business contact on an elevator, you want to be able to introduce yourself with the most important information before they or you reach your floor and have to exit.
On average, at a regular conversation speed, people speak at a rate of 150 words per minute, and according to an article from the Harvard Business Review, the average elevator ride is about 118 seconds. That means if you run into a potential new business contact on an elevator—or any of a wide variety of similarly time-crunched situations—you only have about two minutes to explain in enough detail why they should be in business with you.
Managing and Limiting Residential Bathroom Mold Issues
Every home has some “hot spots” where mold spores are more likely to find the moisture and temperatures needed to grow. Bathrooms provide an optimum environment for mold development. Homeowners need education on the risk
factors contributing to microbial growth and familiarity with practical pointers that can minimize the threat of mold problems in their particular circumstances.
Mold problems are common in bathrooms. Oxygen and moisture are the two requirements for mold spores to develop into mold colonies, with an organic food source necessary for the mold to multiply. Mold spores and oxygen are a
constant presence in the average home. Many opportunities exist within residential bathroom spaces for mold spores to find and absorb water. Organic food sources include soap scum and sloughed off skin cells, often found coating
the porcelain and tiles in bathrooms.
Common sources where water gathers in bathrooms include shower enclosures, bathtubs, and sinks. Accidental overflows or spray that gets past a shower curtain or door can collect in a corner or a crevice or grout line on the floor. The steam from hot water can condense on colder surfaces like windows or tiles. If the water is not cleaned up and completely dried out within the first 24 to 48 hours, spores begin growing.
Barely noticeable but capable of depositing moisture in vulnerable spots, minor plumbing leaks also can create the conditions for significant mold damage in a bathroom. Vanities and cabinets hide the moisture, but the mold spores
are opportunistic and find the dampness and grow.
Homeowners can make a significant difference and minimize mold growth wit just a few simple responses.
-Install and use exhaust fans at least 30 minutes after baths and showers to reduce the humidity levels in the rooms, or open a window to ensure the damp air exits the space.
-Wipe down tiles and enclosures, removing all moisture at least daily.
-Choose shower and window curtains and other accessories manufactured from mildew and mold resistant materials.
-Replace towels and mats if damp and wash and dry before their next use.
-Carefully inspect plumbing, both pipes, and
connections, to find leaks.
-Immediately arrange for repair of any problem areas.
Do-it-yourself attempts to remove mold pose challenges include the potential spread of moldy materials or incomplete abatement tied to the use of inadequate cleaning and antimicrobial products. Although not all mold infestations link
to health problems, susceptible individuals may suffer health effects to the spores or mold growth byproducts. If despite your best efforts mold finds its way into one or more of your bathrooms it is a smart move to contact a professional mold remediation company for assistance. Technicians trained to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning,
and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards use proven strategies to contain and remove mold without compromising safety inside your home.
Surviving Disaster, The Value of Commercial Property Insurance
A disaster can strike without warning and change everything in an instant. Many businesses closed by a catastrophic
storm or significant event don’t survive the blow. At SERVPRO, we know exactly what it takes to restore a commercial
enterprise to its preloss condition. We also understand that having the right insurance coverage for your commercial
property in place can ensure that you have the resources you’ll need to recover from a catastrophe. Do you?
PREPARING FOR SURVIVAL WITH COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE
In the aftermath of a disaster, it’s only natural for business owners to prioritize mitigating their losses and reopening
their doors. After all, time is money for a business, and every hour of lost productivity hurts. However, rushing your
insurance settlement can be a costly mistake. A commercial property insurance claim is a complicated business
transaction. It’s imperative that you take the time to carefully review your policies for all available coverages. This
guarantees that nothing is overlooked and that you receive the entirety of what you bargained for when you purchased
your commercial property insurance coverage.
The benefits received from your insurance company can play an essential role in sustaining your company in the
disaster’s aftermath and in funding its recovery. Therefore, time spent investigating and documenting, examining the
ins and outs of your insurance policies, and familiarizing yourself with the specific requirements for making a claim
so that you secure the maximum settlement is generally time well spent. Commercial property insurance policies can
cover many things:
• Property damage. This coverage can include damage to inventory, buildings, fixtures, furnishings, machines and
• Ordinary payroll coverage. Employees are a valuable resource for a company. This coverage allows payroll to
continue for a period while the business is closed.
• Extra Expense. Intended to help offset expenses involved in returning to normal operations, this coverage can cover
the costs of mitigation efforts, any increased costs incurred by continuing to do business in the wake of a disaster, or
the expense of temporary relocation.
• Business interruption. When a business is closed, its revenue stream is impacted. Ideally, this coverage should
offer the funds needed to maintain the business while its operations are suspended. It generally pays the continuing
operating expenses and the expected profit for a period.
• Contingent business interruption. Businesses don’t operate in a vacuum. This provides coverage for extra costs and
lost profits resulting from damage to a third party’s property when you are dependent on that third party to deliver,
manufacture or purchase your materials or products. It may also come into play when you depend on the third party
to attract customers.
• Loss of rents. When renters are not required to make rental payments because a property has been rendered
uninhabitable by a disaster, this coverage pays for that lost income.
• Loss of ingress or egress. This offers benefits when access to a property is prevented as a direct result of a covered
• Extended period of indemnity. This extends the period of restoration defined in the standard business interruption
policy, increasing the duration of your benefits.
• Utility services. Interruptions of services from a critical utility like power, water or electricity can interfere with
operations. This protects against losses triggered by interruptions.
• Civil authority. When a mandatory evacuation or other action by a civil authority bars access to the property, this
coverage comes into play.
COMMERCIAL STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION
Even with the safety net provided by proper insurance coverage, you’ll want to get back to business as usual as soon
as possible. At SERVPRO, we specialize in making it seem like the disaster never happened. Our Commercial Large
Loss Division is always ready to step in and handle any size disaster with a fast response, seamless communication,
appropriate mitigation efforts and expert restoration services. Our strategic, professional response keeps your
restoration costs lower and enhances our efficiency as we work to return your commercial property to pre-damage
condition. We’re also a preferred vendor for many insurance companies.
Disasters may be unpredictable, but SERVPRO thrives in delivering a consistently effective response. Available 24/7,
we are always ready to provide superior commercial restoration services. Contact us today to learn about our services,
create a READY Profile for your business or request our assistance.
The Value of Commercial Property Insurance
Summer Water Safety 2018
Safe Kids North Carolina offers tips to reduce child drownings in all bodies of water
RALEIGH -- As the summer swimming season kicks into full gear, Safe Kids North Carolina, a statewide program housed within the North Carolina Department of Insurance and Office of State Fire Marshal, is reminding parents and caregivers about important safety tips to reduce child drownings.
“On these warm summer days in North Carolina, many families will be drawn to activities near water,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. “We want parents and caregivers to be particularly cautious and take steps to avoid any potential tragedies in swimming pools and other bodies of water.”
Safe Kids Worldwide and Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program have released a new report highlighting the dangers of childhood drowning, with a specific focus on incidents that occur in lakes, rivers, oceans, and other types of open water.
Key findings of the research include:
- Overall, an estimated 1,000 children drown in a single year, 70 percent of them between May and August.
- An additional 7,000 children end up in the emergency room because of a drowning scare. That means a minimum of 150 families a week are impacted by a tragic or frightening event.
- Most often those drownings take place in open water. A 10-year-old, for example, is three times more likely to drown in open water than in a pool. Older teens are more than eight times more likely to die as a result of an open water drowning than a pool drowning.
- Boys are at greatest risk: Eight in 10 open water fatal drowning victims are males.
- African American children are twice as likely to fatally drown in open water than their white counterparts. American Indian children are at even higher risk.
Between 2015 and 2016, there was a 14 percent increase in fatal drownings. The 1,002 drownings in 2016 (latest data available) was the highest number in five years.Most of those drownings occurred in lakes, rivers, oceans, and other types of open water.
Safe Kids North Carolina reminds parents and caregivers to take the following precautions around the water:
LOCK – Homeowners should put up a fence that is at least 4-feet high around all sides of a pool or spa with a locking gate that closes and latches by itself. Homeowners should cover and lock pools and spas when they are not using them, and also remove or lock ladders to above-ground pools and spas when not in use.
LOOK – Adults and caregivers must always watch children — whether the children know how to swim or not — when kids are in or near water without being distracted by phone calls, text messages, reading or talking to others. If a child is missing, look in the water first.
LEARN – Children and adults should know how to swim. Adults should learn how to use rescue equipment and correctly choose and use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Caregivers should learn adult and infant CPR and teach children to never swim alone or swim near pool or spa drains.
For more detailed information about the water safety, go to https://www.safekids.org/water-safety or contact Safe Kids NC Director Shannon Bullock at 919.647.0081.
When Your Water Heater Ruptures
How can you turn a bad experience into a good Experience? No time is a good time, especially for a water leak. Quick action is needed to prevent major damage. We understand, your home, time and day-to-day schedule is as important to us as it is to you. We try to help you cope with the aftermath. Leaking water can seep into all your flooring, baseboards and walls while moving throughout your property, potentially creating mildew and staining.
What You Can Do:
-Before doing any maintenance on your water heater, shut off the power at the service panel.
- Once every two years, have water heater serviced.
- Once every three months, drain a gallon of water from your tank. This can reduce sediment collecting in the bottom of the tank.
- Once every five years, have a service technician replace the anode rod.
Prescription Drug Drop Off Cabarrus
Good evening. This week — May 14th through 19th — is Prescription Drug Drop-off Week in Cabarrus County.
Members of the Leadership Cabarrus Class of 2018 are asking residents to Check Your Rx to ensure that legally prescribed drugs do not end up in the wrong hands. They are asking residents to:
Check their medicine cabinets and closets for unused or expired medication
Collect the medication and
Drop it off at one of four locations within the county
It is important to drop prescriptions in the approved, secure drop boxes because disposing of medication in the trash or toilet is unsafe and causes contamination of soil and water supplies.
Collection locations include the City of Concord and City of Kannapolis Police Headquarters and the Sheriff’s Administration Building, as well as Harrisburg’s Hometown Pharmacy in Harrisburg and Moose Pharmacy in Mount Pleasant.
You can learn more about the Check Your Rx campaign by visiting our district website at www.cabarrus.k12.nc.us and through our other district communication channels as well.
Thank you for your time and attention. Good night.
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