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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How to protect your home against Ice and Snow

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

house surrounded by flood waters While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one.

The Triad is in for a blast of wintery weather and we’ve got a quick list of some simple things you can do to protect your home.

    • Sealing up any Drafty Windows and doors
      The natural gaps that occur around windows and doors can make it difficult to keep your house warm. Using caulk or weather stripping to seal these areas will help. In some of the older historic homes of Ardmore and Washington Park, windows may be constructed of single-pane glass and the doors are constructed without modern day insulation. Investing in updating those areas might be something to look at in the future.
  • Protect Water Pipes in Uninsulated Areas
  • Keep that attic cool
    Believe it or not, you should not be heating your attic the same way you heat your home. Snow and Ice Dams can ruin your roofing and lead to all sorts of issues. To keep your attic cool, make sure it is properly ventilated and seal any holes or cracks in your ceiling leading to the attic.
  • Clean out the gutters and downspouts around your home.

While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one. Just give us a call any time  24/7 we are always here to help.

CLICK TO CONTACT NOW

OR

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North

1105 Fairchild rd,

Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: (336) 744-5104

Email: sp9743@yahoo.com

Fax Number: (336) 744-5105

Torrential Downpours bring Potential Water Damage

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

house surrounded by flood waters While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Winston Salem North provides emergency restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Winston Salem North arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. When minutes matter, this immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 336-744-5104

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one. Just give us a call any time  24/7 we are always here to help.

CLICK TO CONTACT NOW

OR

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North

1105 Fairchild rd,

Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: (336) 744-5104

Email: sp9743@yahoo.com

Fax Number: (336) 744-5105

What to do During and After a Flash Flood

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

house in a lightening storm While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Flash floods occur as a result of heavy rainfall, rapid snow thaw, city drains overflowing or dam/levee failures. They occur quickly and unexpectedly. Flash Floods can effect ANYWHERE at ANYTIME, because it does rain everywhere. Now, most places are more prone to flooding, and it would be wise to learn about your local area. Cities and Urban environments are most common to flash floods, because of the impermeable surfaces, like asphalt and concrete that make up a majority of our surface roads and sidewalks. 

Flash Flood Quick Facts

  1. Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  2. Just 6 inches of rapidly moving floodwater can sweep someone off their feet.
  3. Just 2 feet of floodwater moving at 9 feet per second (standard speed of flash floods) is enough to sweep vehicles away, move 100 pound rocks, uproot trees or level buildings.

Survive DURING

  • Depending on where you are, and the impact and the warning time of flooding, go to the safe location that you previously identified.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
  • If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
  • If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving, except in emergencies.
  • Snakes and other animals may be in your house. Wear heavy gloves and boots during clean up.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris and be contaminated. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

What is a Hurricane?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

house in a lightning storm While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Hurricanes are Tropical Cyclone storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean and must have sustained winds of 74 mph or greater.  They are spinning with a low pressure center and spawn off serious thunderstorms which generate large amounts of rain, high winds, and storm surges.

Fun fact, if the exact same storm forms in the Pacific Ocean, it is called a Typhoon.

So, when does a Tropical Cyclone become a Hurricane and receive it name from NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)? It has everything to do with Wind Speed! Once the cyclone sustains winds at 34 mph, it gets its name, and we start calling it “Tropical Storm XXXX,” and when it hits 74 mph, it is promoted to “Hurricane XXXX.”

The NOAA has 6 sets of names that run from A-W; these names repeat until a name is retired. Typically a name is retired after it is catastrophic in damage or death.

I’m not a meteorologist, and I only know it’s raining when I get outside. So with Hurricane Dorian being the first big storm of the 2019 Hurricane Season, I was sent through a loop with the categories. Sure, I knew the bigger the number the scarier it was, but I was lost on the magnitude of what it all really meant.  The NOAA has a great chart, that helped me quite a bit, but by far The Weather Channel had the most amazing video. It really puts into perspective the damage that can happen from such a powerful storm.

The Weather Channel : Hurricane Damage from Cat 1 to Cat 5

We can talk all day long about the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Winds, and I’ve even included the NOAA Chart for you, but that video is simply mind blowing. 

I hope our past few posts on how to prepare for storms and hurricanes is helping this hurricane season. To me, the unknown is scary, so I like to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible from reputable sites. Thank you for your time today, and Stay Safe and Stay Prepared. 

What to do Before a Hurricane arrives

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

house in a lightning storm While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Hurricane Dorian is heading towards the US, even if it doesn’t come to North Carolina, knowing what to do before it hits can help prevent damage or loss to your family, house, and property. 

First things first, in the event of an emergency, please call 911.

Knowing the emergency contact numbers for Winston-Salem is very important.

City of Winston-Salem Police and Fire Department

Local Weather News

List of Necessary Items before a hurricane 

  1. An Emergency Readiness Plan for your family
  2. 3 days worth of water;
    a good rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water for each person or pet
  3. 3 days of non perishable food for each person or pet
  4. First Aid Kit
  5. Battery Powered Radio or NOAA radio alert 
  6. Portable Power bank to charge cell phones
  7. Full Tank of Gas in car
  8. Batteries
  9. Whistle to Signal for Help

How to Help your House survive the hurricane

  • Cover your windows with storm shutter or plywood, or use Tape. While tape won’t prevent your windows from breaking, it will help keep the broken glass shards together.
  • Learn if you are in an area that floods, and how to properly sand bag your home.
    How to Sandbag your Home or Business.
  • Clean out your rain gutters.

How to help your pet during a hurricane 

  • Please, if possible, provide shelter for your pets. 
  • If you pet goes missing know where to look.
    Forsyth Humane Society.
  • Spare Medication for your pets.
  • Copy of shot and medication records.

What Kind of Smoke Detector Do I need?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

There are 3 types of smoke detector alarms on the market today. They are Ionization, Photoelectric and Combination.

An ionization smoke alarm contains a small amount of radioactive material. The radiation passes through an ionization chamber which is an air-filled space between two electrodes and permits a small, constant current between the electrodes. 

When smoke that enters the chamber absorbs the alpha particles, it reduces the ionization and interrupts the current, setting off the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires.

The Photoelectric smoke alarms operate using a light source.

A light beam collimating system and a photoelectric sensor. When smoke enters the optical chamber and crosses the path of the light beam, some light is scattered by the smoke particles, directing it at the sensor and thus activating the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering.

Combination smoke alarms feature both ionization and photoelectric technologies. Ionization smoke alarms respond faster to high energy fires, whereas photoelectric detectors respond better to low energy smoldering fires. The best overall protection is provided by using combination smoke alarms.

Outdoor Fire and Grill Tips

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

It’s GRILLING season. As everyone starts enjoying the weather, people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. Outdoor grilling causes an annual average of 10,200 home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. That statistic goes up every single year! 

Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills. Gas grills cause more fires mainly because  64% of households own a gas grill, 44% own a charcoal grill and 9% own an electric grill.

Fires can spring up from any type of grill, so we’ve got a helpful tip list for you.

Always Use your Grill Outside

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only.  Not only could a fire spring up in your home, avoid grilling in your garage, on your patio, or under anything that is flammable. 

Maintain your grill

Making sure everything is secure and undamaged when you take your grill out of storage. Check for rust on the structure and make sure all nuts and bolts are tight. Gas grills should be checked for leaks by using the “Soapy Water” technique. 

A really good deep cleaning of the grill to start off the season is advised, and after each use make sure to wipe down and remove any build up or grease. 

WATCH your grill

Never ever leave your grill unattended

Be ready to put out the fire

It’s always advisable to have a fire extinguisher nearby, and baking soda on hand for a grease fire. A bucket of sand will also do well to quell any fire.

Get all Fired up over Fire Damage Terminology

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

When a property experiences a fire, a homeowner or commercial property manager will begin to hear a lot of terms they aren't familiar with. Familiarizing yourself with this vocabulary will help facilitate your understanding of what is happening.

Rest assured that if you should ever need our help, our crew will walk you through the process of cleanup and restoration.

Fire Damage:  This is a general term that says a fire was the cause of loss.

Stabilizing the Structure:  This refers to the need to make a structure safe enough for our technicians to begin cleanup and remediation work.  The fire must be completely put out.  It may also include roof tarping, board-up, temporary fencing, and a security guard.

Roof Tarping:  A thick, weatherproof piece of plastic tarping will be attached to the roof to prevent precipitation from entering the building and causing secondary damage.  

Board-Up:  When pieces of board are placed over damaged windows and doors to prevent precipitation from entering the building and also to deter possible break-ins.

Temporary Fencing:  When a temporary fence is installed around the perimeter of the property or highly damaged areas to prevent possible break-ins and keep the general public away from sensitive areas.

Security Guard:  When a structure cannot be immediately stabilized (for example, it’s raining and it’s not safe to tarp the roof), a 24-hour security guard can be hired to protect the property.

Secondary Damage:  A damage that occurred which did not come from the original source.  For example, in a fire damage, the fire is the primary damage.  Secondary damage may come from the water used during firefighting efforts.

Pre-Loss Condition:  Means to put the property back together the way it was before the fire damage. This is the goal of the insurance company when a fire damage occurs.

Smoke Damage:  When smoke particles have embedded themselves in a material, like a wall, clothing, or piece of furniture.  Smoke damage cannot usually be seen, but it can be smelled.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Soot Damage:  When soot has sullied a material.  Soot is produced by the incomplete burning during the fire.  It is acidic and causes damage to materials when it’s not properly or promptly cleaned.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Demolition:  When a material has experienced permanent damage and cannot be cleaned, it is removed and thrown away.

Containment:  When thick plastic is set up in order to isolate the airspace of a room.  This is done so that deodorization techniques can be more effective or to prevent an unaffected area of a property from becoming contaminated.

Air Scrubber:  A machine that cleans the air.  

HEPA Filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance filter can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns.  This is our filter of choice when using an air scrubber.

Deodorization:  When an item or property is rid of smells caused by the fire damage.

Structural Framing:  The structure of the property, like beams.  If the structure has been damaged, it must be replaced.

Contents:  Anything that is not part of the structure, like furniture.  When affected, contents can either be cleaned on-site or taken back to our cleaning facility.

Textiles:  If you turned the property upside down and everything fell out, the items that fell and did not break are textiles.  These include clothing, shoes, plush animals, etcetera.  When affected, textiles are taken back to our facility for cleaning.

Pack-out / Pack-Back:  When the structure isn’t safe, contents and textiles are moved out of the property and taken to our facilities for cleaning and storage.  They are returned when the property is clean, reconstructed, and safe for inhabitants.  Items may also be delivered to a second location if the owner would like them returned sooner.

Storage:  Items that have been packed-out are stored in our facilities until they can be returned.

HVAC & Duct Work:  Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition system.  Ducts are the pathways for the cold or warm air to travel around the property.  Many times, the HVAC system needs to be cleaned after a fire damage because smoke has accumulated inside of it.

After A Fire Checklist

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

After a Fire

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies.  If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.  Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss.  The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

During a Fire Checklist

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

During a Fire

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
  • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
  • Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
  • Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.

Before a Fire; House Fire 101

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Learn About Fires

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Before a Fire

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan.  Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Smoke Alarms

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.

Smoke Alarm Safety for People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

More Fire Safety Tips

  • Make digital copies of valuable documents and records like birth certificates.
  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Contact your local fire department for information on training on the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.

Fast Home Fire Facts

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Prevent Home Fires

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

More Prevention Tips

  • Never use a stove range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

What can I keep after a house fire?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

In 2017, The Fire Department of Winston-Salem responded to over 700 house fires. Statistically that's 2 or more fires a day.  Our Brave Men and Women at the WSFD, are tasked with a grueling and unforgiving job.  Time and again, they are called upon day after day to run head first into burning buildings and cars to save those inside.

Next Monday, October 28th 2019 is National First Responders day, and I hope everyone finds a time to thank our local Winston-Salem First Responders.

Did you know, that after a fire, most items in your home are potentially dangerous? There are 4 things that you need to throw away immediately after a fire.

  1. Perishable Food items 
    • These items were exposed to extreme temperatures and will spoil quickly. Power is generally cut and those food items in your fridge will have reached unsafe temps for too long.
  2. Non Perishable Food Items
    • Everything in cupboards and on counters were exposed to fire, soot, and possible fire extinguishing chemicals and are now unsafe to eat. 
  3. Cosmetics and Medicines
    • After being exposed to high heat, most cosmetics and medicines have melted. Even more importantly, medicines exposed to high heat might have changed chemically and are no longer safe to ingest, or have become obsolete. 
  4. Clothing, Bedding, and soft textiles
    • If it was burned or singed in any way, properly dispose of them.
    • Find a professional cleaning service, and they might be able to salvage and clean some items.

Time to get your Fireplace ready!

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

It’s finally Autumn! My very favorite time in the whole year.  It means the weather is at its peak perfect temperature. I’ve never been a Winter snow bunny, and although I did lifeguard all summer, I’m not a huge fan of cooking outside.  Fall is just the very best! The mornings are cool and crisp, perfect for warm coffee and breakfast. The days are warm enough to enjoy being outside and not overly humid or stuffy. The evenings cool down and are just perfect to enjoy a nice bonfire or maybe a fire in the fireplace. 

Fireplaces can be both wonderful and amazing, but they can get dangerous if not properly maintained.  

How to get your chimney ready for Fall

Quickly and Safely Fire suppression 101

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Did you know there were 4 Different types of fires?

  • Class A
    • Solid Materials
      • wood
      • paper
      • plastic
      • clothing

These are the easiest to put out, and the best way to put them out is using water, ex. a water hose or a bucket full of water. A foam fire extinguisher  would also be a great option on Class A fires. 

  • Class B
    • Flammable Liquids
      • oil
      • alcohol
      • gasoline
      • grease (cooking grease)

NEVER EVER use WATER on a Class B fire. This will cause the flaming material to scatter rather than extinguish it. The best course of action is using a powder like baking soda, or a carbon dioxide extinguisher. A foam fire extinguisher would also work.

  • Class C
    • Electrical

      • old wiring
      • fault equipment
      • bad/damaged wiring

First, shut off power to the electrical fire. That could be as easy as shutting off a breaker, or unplugging the appliance. Then use a carbon dioxide or dry powder to extinguish the flames if they remain or if any appeared. 

  • Class D (uncommon)
    • metal ignition
      • mainly in laboratories or industrial type buildings

The best course of action is to use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small enough, otherwise call 911 and evacuate the area. 

There are Different Types of Soot

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

2 people cleaning fire soot off of a ceiling While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

This past week, I got some more field experience in fire and soot damage. I had no idea there were different kinds of soot, and different ways of optimal removal.  Each job is unique and offers its own challenges, but we can broadly classify soot in a few categories. 

  • Wet/Oil Soot
    When Plastics, rubber or oil is burned, leaving behind a sticky and smeary residue. It has a distinct electrical burnt smell. Also the most dangerous to inhale and clean up, as it is full of toxins from the plastic, rubber or oil that burned. 
  • Dry Soot
    Usually from natural materials, ex. Untreated wood, Plant material, Paper, Lint, cotton/textile clothing. Most of these burn very fast and very hot, quickly escalating across the area, and consuming everything in its path.
  • Fuel Oil Soot
    Commonly found in oil furnaces, Caused by improperly maintained systems, or damaged parts. This will cause an internal combustion, damaging the machine and possibly spreading to the area around it.
  • Protein Soot
    Typically food or kitchen type fires, with long lasting smells, ex. burnt popcorn. This type of soot is very light, but will build up over time, and leave a slightly stick surface on walls and ceilings. Will eventually discolor everything. This requires a great deal of time and effort to clean up, with a long deodorization method used.

We've Always Been the Leading Experts in Cleaning

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

CSC shield with franchise information Have you heard about our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program? Call Today-336 744 5104

We are recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies nationwide. SERVPRO of Winston-Salem North offers fast, reliable bio hazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners too.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

SERVPRO of Winston-Salem North technicians are trained to safely and effectively remove bio hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, we help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices can help with:

  • -Blood Borne Pathogens
  • -Methamphetamine Labs
  • -Crime Scene Residues
  • -Vandalism
  • -Sewage Backups
  • -Black Water Intrusions
  • -Mold Mitigation and Remediation

While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one. Just give us a call any time  24/7 we are always here to help.

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North

1105 Fairchild Rd

Winston Salem, NC 27105

Phone: (336) 744-5104

Email: sp9743@yahoo.com

Fax Number: (336) 744-5105

3 Common Stains you should know how to clean.

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

CSC shield with franchise information Have you Heard about our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program? Call us Today 336 744 5104

When we’re talking stain removal TIME is of the essence. The sooner the spill and stain is cleaned up, the better the results. Learn to tackle these hard stains in 3 easy steps. 

  • Red Wine Stain.
    We’ve all been there! Red Wine is notorious for staining carpets and fabrics, but if cleaned up quickly, you should have minimal fuss to deal with. 

Step 1. Blot Gently and remove excess wine

*DO NOT SPRINKLE WITH SUGAR OR SALT* - A common “old wives tale” tells you to use salt to soak up the wine, all this does is make a crusty mess and let the wine soak into the carpet. 

Step 2. Use Club Soda to lift more of the wine out of the fabric

Step 3. Blot Gently and Repeat until the stain is gone.

  • Tomato Based stain
    Who hasn’t spilled a plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Tomatoes are delicious, but their stains can set and dull carpet quickly.  Make sure to take your time while blotting, you wouldn’t want to press the stain further into the carpet and reach the pad underneath. 

Step 1. Gently Blot the spill, making sure to get all pieces of the meal up. 

Step 2. Spray ethanol alcohol onto the stain.

Step 3. Gently Blot and Repeat until stain is gone.

  • Acrylic/Water Based Paint Spill
    Arts and Crafts get a little out of hand? First time crafters are advised to stick to Acrylic and Water based paints, because they are much easier to clean than oil and grease paints. 

Step 1. Gently Blot up excess paint

Step 2. Spray Laundry detergent mixture (8 parts water to 1 part detergent)

Step 3. Flush with cool tap water and blot  until spill/stain is gone. Repeat as many times is necessary.

There really isn’t a quick fix to most spills and stains. Patience and Practice are what is the key to removing and cleaning up. 

CDC Checklist to get ready for the COVID-19 outbreak.

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

CSC shield with franchise information Our CSC program helps small business stay ahead of the COVID19 problem. Call us to learn more 336 744 5104

As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. Use this checklist to help you take steps to plan and protect the health of you and your family.

Engineering Controls reduce exposures PLAN AND PREPARE Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials Create a household plan of action.

  • Consider members of the household that may be at greater risk such as older adults and people with severe chronic illnesses.
  • Ask your neighbors what their plan includes.
  • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
  • Choose a room in your house that can be used to separate sick household members from others.

 Take everyday preventive actions:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed or for potential changes at your workplace.

  Administrative Controls refer to employer-dictated work practices TAKE ACTION In case of an outbreak in your community, protect yourself and others:

  • Stay home and speak to your healthcare provider if you develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.
  • Keep away from others who are sick
  • Limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet)

 Put your household plan into action

 Take additional precautions for those at highest risk, particularly older adults and those who have severe underlying health conditions.

  • Consider staying at home and away from crowds if you or a family member are an older adult or have underlying health issues
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick and limit close contact with others
  • Practice good hand hygiene

 Take the following steps to help protect your children during an outbreak:

  • Notify your child’s school if your child becomes sick with COVID-19
  • Keep track of school dismissals in your community
  • Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places

We Are Cleanup and Biohazard Experts

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

CSC shield with franchise information Our CSC program helps small businesses stay ahead of the COVID19 problem. Call us to learn more 336 744 5104

About Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to respond to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now spread internationally. While the virus is termed coronavirus, the sickness that results after infection has been termed COVID-19.

COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of a disease.  

Need Specialized Cleaning Services?

Call Us Today 336-744-5104

Symptoms

Illness from COVID-19 is wide ranging, from mild to severe symptoms and death. According to the CDC, symptom may appear two days to two weeks after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

It is important to consult your medical provider if you develop any severe or concerning symptoms.

Expert Level Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North is uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

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

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

Need Specialized Cleaning Services?

Call Us Today 336-744-5104

Specialized Products

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

Sources:

How to Clean and Disinfect to help slow the spread of Bacteria and Viruses.

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

CSC shield with franchise information Our CSC program helps small businesses stay ahead of the COVID19 problem. Call us to learn more 336 744 5104

Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases. 

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Winston Salem North is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

  1. Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

  1. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often

Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys. Some schools may also require daily disinfecting these items. 

Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.

Need Biohazard Cleanup Services?

Call Us Today – (336) 744-5104

  1. Clean and disinfect correctly

Always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against whatever you are trying to clean.

If a surface is not visibly dirty, you can clean it with an EPA-registered product that both cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs) instead. Be sure to read the label directions carefully, as there may be a separate procedure for using the product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time (e.g., letting it stand for 3 to 5 minutes).

Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. Pay close attention to the directions for using disinfecting wipes. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the stated length of contact time. Make sure that the electronics can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting.

  1. Use products safely

Pay close attention to hazard warnings and directions on product labels. Cleaning products and disinfectants often call for the use of gloves or eye protection. For example, gloves should always be worn to protect your hands when working with bleach solutions.

Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so. Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can result in serious injury or death.

  1. Handle waste properly

Throw disposable items used to clean surfaces and items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying waste baskets. Wash your hands with soap and water after emptying waste baskets and touching used tissues and similar waste.

  1. Learn more

What to do after a suicide happens in your home

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North 336 744 5104 While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one.

Whenever a loss occurs in your home, it is always difficult to deal with. When it is an unexpected death, even more so. You will be overwhelmed, and there is no real way to prepare yourself for this unexpected event.  I hope that you find this list, and that it helps you navigate this uncertain period in your life. 

What to do first

  • Call 911 or the police.
    When a suicide occurs, police need to be informed. They will have to treat the place of the suicide as a crime scene. Sadly, suicide or suspected suicide is considered a suspicious death, and must be investigated. You will cause a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering, and trouble with the police to those around you, if you do not report the death as such. 
  • For the city of Winston Salem, NC
    • Police & Fire (336) 773-7700
  • For the city of Pilot Mountain , NC
    • Police (336) 368-4725
    • Fire (336) 368-4646
  • For the city of Mount Airy, NC
    • Police (336) 786-3535
    • Fire (336) 786-3570
  • Call SERVPRO of Winston Salem North .
    After the police have left the scene, the body will still be there, along with any chemicals, dust, or remnants of the investigation the officials may have left. Your home is now not only dirty, but dangerous.
    Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Our first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve bloodborne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers.
    We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of Winston Salem North will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
  • Arrange for a place to stay.
    SERVPRO of Winston Salem North will work as quickly as possible to clean and restore your home “Like it never even happened.” Depending on the job, this could be very quick or take a few days. The trash and biohazard contaminants will need to be removed, and to prevent the spread of cross contamination, you will be happier and healthier away from the location. 
  • If you need help finding a safe location to stay,  The Piedmont Triad Chapter of the American Red Cross is a great place to seek help. 
    1501 Yanceyville Street
    Greensboro, NC 27415
    Phone: 336-333-2111

What to do if a crime happens on your property.

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North 336 744 5104 While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

With a total of 39 per 1000 residents, we are currently only 8% safer than other US Cities across the nation. It will be either violent 6% or property 33%, both will cause damage to your home or business. 

We don’t want to scare anyone, but I do want you to be prepared for when something happens on your property. We want you to be aware of what to do since it can avoid unnecessary time, money, and headache. You should have a plan in place, and I’ve written this blog to help you. 

First Things First.

A crime occurred. It is a good thing that you are safe. You should know that this will disturb the normal flow of your next coming days, weeks, and sometimes months. We would never wish for that to happen, but you should prepare for it and knowing is the first step for it.

Calm down and Call the Authorities

Call 911 or a non emergency line if there are no medical emergencies

  • For the city of Winston Salem, NC
    • Police & Fire (336) 773-7700

  • For the city of Pilot Mountain, NC
    • Police (336) 368-4725
    • Fire (336) 368-4646

  • For the city of Mount Airy, NC
    • Police (336) 786-3535
    • Fire (336) 786-3570

We know that not everyone can take this situation easily, and some of you will also panic. We are humans, and you do not know truly how you will react until this horrible event occurs.  What I hope you do is act fast and contact the right people to help you. Call the police, and get yourself to a safe well lit area away from the crime scene, but within walking distance, so that the police will be able to speak with you. 

Calming down does not only help you but also assists the authorities in their investigation. If you are calm, then you are better able to assist those in need. You can do this. 

We HIGHLY ADVISE, that you should look for another place to stay temporarily. 

While the investigation goes on, the police will need access to the scene, maybe at hours that you would not be comfortable with. Winston Salem PD and Forsyth County Sheriff's office work tirelessly day and night. 

There could also be other factors, damage to property that causes it to be unsafe (broken glass, bullet holes, blood and other biohazards). These things can not be cleaned up right away, as the detectives will need to search and secure evidence.  Those things can and will affect your health and safety, so we suggest finding somewhere else close by to stay at. If you can not find something, or need assistance, The American Red Cross is always willing to help those in need. 

  • The Piedmont Triad Chapter of the American Red Cross
    Phone: 336-333-2111

After the Investigation

You now face a new issue. You can finally return home, and start the process of cleaning up.

Nonetheless, you will see a filthy place depending on the severity of the crime, and length of the investigation.  

Call SERVPRO of Winston Salem North

(336) 744-5104

Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Our first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve bloodborne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances. Our Motto is “Like it never even happened.” We want to return your home to the happy and healthy place it was in before this crime happened.

Crime statistics by https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nc/winston-salem/crime#data

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

CSC shield with franchise information Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness..

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

We never wish these situations on anyone but we are always here when you need us. Call SERVPRO of Winston-Salem North today. 336-744-5104

The Signs of Electrical Issues in Commercial Buildings

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire Set up a Free Emergency Ready Profile, to help prevent, and to be prepared for any commercial emergencies.

Some of the most common signs of electrical issues, might be a blink and you miss it type of moment. It's worth visiting a commercial property multiple times in all types of weather to make sure you are buying a reliable building. 

  1. Dimming or Blinking Lights
    Make sure to visit your building at night and during high traffic electrical usage hours. That way you can see if all the lights are working and nothing is dimming or blinking out.
  2. Old Wiring
    Depending on the age of your building, you may need to invest in an electrical overhaul of your entire building. Wiring, like the rest of us, will eventually deteriorate and become damaged with age. Be it chewed by mice, damaged by nails hammered haphazardly into walls or simple disintegration, a lack of insulation means exposed wires that can lead to sparks and fire.
  3. Dead Outlets
    A Major Hazard, dead outlets mean the electrical line has been interrupted in some way, and needs to be addressed immediately. 
  4. Patch Jobs and Modifications
    In today's DIY society, more and more people are trying to update and patch their electrical systems to update and run more current. Only a licensed Commercial Electrician should ever work on a commercial building. 
  5. Low Amp Wiring
    Older buildings have lower amped wiring, when you try and push a high amp thru low amp wiring, it gets hot. It might even catch fire and spread through the walls before you even know what is going on. It is always best to get an inspection done on older buildings. 

Our Commercial Standard Services

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

commercial building with lots of windows While we hope you never experience a disaster at your business, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

  • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY RESPONSE SERVICES 
    • Catastrophic Storm and Wide Area Event Response
    • Large Loss and Single Event Response
  • WATER DAMAGE SERVICES 
    • Water Removal and Dehumidification 
    • Mold Mitigation and Remediation 
    • Building Stabilization and Climate Control
  • FIRE DAMAGE SERVICES
    • Smoke and Soot Cleanup
    • Pretesting (For Best Cleaning Methods)
  • BIO-REMEDIATION & CRIME SCENE SERVICES 
    • Vandalism Cleanup
    • Unattended Death Cleanup
  • FACILITIES CLEANING & RESTORATION
    • Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
    • Carpet, Upholstery, Drapes and Blinds Ceiling, Walls and Hard Floors
    • Odor Identification and Deodorization
    • Post Construction Cleanup and Selective Demolition
    • Reconstruction and Construction Drying
    • Specialized Media Blasting
  • CONTENTS CLEANING & RESTORATION
    • Move Outs and Contents Restoration 
    • Electronics and Equipment Cleaning and Restoration
    • Art and Document Restoration n Data Recovery
    • Contents Claim Inventory Service
    • Cargo Recovery (Trucking Industry)
  • TOTAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT
    • IICRC Certified
    • Mobile Command Centers
    • Electronic File Documentation
    • Online Data Reporting
    • Mitigation Performance Validation
  • INVOICING
    • Detailed Estimates and Digital Pictures
    • Expense Reporting

A SERVPRO Commercial Emergency Ready Plan

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

ERP Information While we hope you never experience a disaster at your business, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

There are almost 1 million small businesses across North Carolina, with almost 2 million employees.  That would roughly be 45% of the workforce across the state. That is a staggering number, and a huge boon for us! It’s Truly Amazing how great our small state is for Entrepreneurs.  Winston Salem is currently in the mist of re energizing downtown and the triad itself is growing exponentially every year. 

With all that growth, there is bound to be some downfall. Most Small Businesses fail within 3 years, and it’s not always the business’s fault. We encounter some that go under because of infrastructure and plain old bad luck and timing. One of the best courses of action to prevent a catastrophic loss for your company is an Emergency Readiness Plan ( ERP )

What is an Emergency Readiness Plan?

ERP is the best way to mitigate damages to your company in case of a loss which may include

    • Fire 
      • Fire or smoke damage from faulty wiring
      • Fire damage from restaurant kitchen fire
    • Water 
      • Water heater failure
      • Sewage back up
    • Mold 
      • Previous water damage that was not mitigated properly
      • Leaking Roof
      • Dirty HVAC
    • Crime or Vandalism  
    • Storm
      • Hurricane
      • Flash flooding

Most Homeowners are not able to locate their water shut off value, so to assume your employees know where that may be located is just plain bad planning.  Fortunately for the small business in Winston-Salem, we provide an ERP for Free! All you need to do is call and set up a time and date, and one of our associates will come out and set everything up. We recently updated our program to include an App, but it’s also easily accessible online, or we can always print a quick folder for you to keep in your office.

Commercial Plumbing Issues

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Old commercial buildings with large glass windows While we hope you never experience a disaster at your business, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

We should never forget that between 1-3 % of all water on Earth is Potable water, aka fresh and drinkable water.  Therefore Water Conservation should always be a concern. Not only is it wasting finite resources, but it could cost your business $$$.

Some of the most common plumbing issues in commercial buildings are

  • Leaky Faucets
    • Most businesses have between 1-10 leaking faucets in their building
    • A single leaky faucet leaks 7-10 gallons a day
    • The average cost of a single leaky faucet will be between $60 - $200 a year.
  • Running Toilets
    • Most businesses in NC must have a restroom for employees
    • A single running toilet will lose between 20 and 40 gallons a day
    • The average cost of a single running toilet will cost between $400 - $1000 a year
  • Silent Leaks
    • A Silent Leak is a very small leak, almost undetectable inside your plumbing system
    • Over time, most of these leaks will cause massive damage to internal building structures
    • Where there is water and warmth, there will be Mold Growth, which can be an extensive clean up and maintenance issue.

What Should I ASK before investing in a commercial property

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Large Old commercial property buildings with large glass windows While we hope you never experience a disaster at your business, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

What is a commercial property? 

  • Retail buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Hotel / Motel buildings
  • Industrial buildings
  • Apartment buildings
  • “Mixed use” buildings, where the property may have a mix, such as retail, office and apartments.

Before Investing in a Commercial Property the best thing to do your research

Common questions to ask

  1. Year built? Older buildings might be a great deal upfront, but they can have issues and require more investment down the road.
  2. What kind of property are you looking for?
  3. Are you looking to use the building for your own business, rent it out, build equity, and/or something else entirely?
  4. What kind of location do you need?
  5. Do you need to buy or could you lease the property?
  6. What's your situation regarding cash, financing, and/or ability to make a down payment?
  7. What's your risk tolerance?
  8. How much time can you commit to the property?
  9. How much work are you willing to put into the property?
  10. What skills/knowledge are you bringing to the table?
  11. What skills/knowledge will you need to hire experts for or contract out?
  12. What kind of property manager might you need (or not)?
  13. Are you willing to do the duties of being a landlord?
  14. Finally, are you ready/willing to make an investment/purchase of this size?

Most Common Structure Issues in Commercial Properties

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Bailey Park with Old Commercial Brick Buildings with large glass windows. While we hope you never experience a disaster at your business, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Winston-Salem is in the midst of a Commercial and Residential Building Boom!

I absolutely love every bit of it! The City of Arts and Innovation is growing like never before. It might seem like chaos at first, but it’s a delicate and well thought out expansion, that is driving our city forward and into the future.

With all this new growth, there will be some growing pains, and most of those are going to be from our older and historic buildings. One of the main issues common among these commercial buildings is Structural Foundation Failure. When Investing in a new property it is imperative that you and a hired professional inspect the foundation. They will be able to point out some of the most common structure issues.

Some of the most obvious ones are Exterior Cracks and Fascia Issues. These are out in the open, and there is no hiding them. They most likely come from the building settling into the ground around it. Soil is compacted over time, and when a building is constructed, the soil is dug up and becomes loose. When the foundation is poured, they try their very best to compact and level the soil around and underneath it, but there is no way to make it perfect. Over time it will settle, there is no IF about it. When this starts to happen, you’ll notice doors sticking and windows starting to be harder to open and close. There may be some tiling and flooring that’ll start to warp. You may not notice small interior cracks until they really start to become bigger.

One very large and Scary issue is Plumbing Failure. As a commercial building settles, the plumbing will shift outside and inside the building. Especially with older buildings and older plumbing. It’s not uncommon to still run into Terracotta or Cast Iron pipes. These pipes are aging right along with the building, and as that foundation moves, it becomes unstable and stressed. Commercial buildings are going to have larger pipes than residential homes and you are looking at a larger water damaged area when that pipe finally fails.

BUT, and this is a big caveat. For the Right Location for your growing business, most of the issues stated above are fixable. Location means so much today in the growing business world, that remodeling an older commercial building could be a sound investment to make. Not only are you investing in your future, but you are also investing into Winston-Salem.

It's Time to Take Care of Your Rain Gutters

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

house in a lightning storm While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Summer is winding down, kids are going back to school, the bugs are finally abating. August also means, at least for us in the triad anyways, hurricane season is really getting started.  We might not be on the coast, but we will still receive quite a bit of rain,  and inclement weather from the spin off of the storms. 

An ounce of prevention

Here is your reminder, just in case you might need one, that the gutters have been just hanging out and working hard all summer, and probably full of bird nests, leaves, twigs, and debris. I found a bunch of Nerf Darts in mine--the joys of having a house full of little boys.  While those gutters might be working now, are they prepared for the onslaught of a hurricane force rainstorm? While the weather is still somewhat tolerable, go ahead and get them cleaned out.  

Gutters are one of your first lines of defense

One of the leading causes of Roof and Water Damage is simply water piling up, pooling, and spilling out of your house’s rain gutters. This is an issue that you probably will not notice until it has become a bigger problem. I know, that I'm not up in my attic daily and wouldn't see the ever growing water stain, until it reaches the ceiling above my bed. That would be if I am lucky, maybe that water took another route and went down the wall and into the insulation. Where there is a water source, there will eventually be mold. It will quickly escalate and become a headache. So don’t forget to clean those RAIN GUTTERS! Go ahead and trim those trees and bushes back while you are up there.  

Keeping it rock solid

Once that roof is taken care of, you should turn your attention to the foundation. The most critical roles gutters play is channeling water around and away from your home.  If there is something blocking the bottom downspouts, then the water will have nowhere to go and pool around your foundation and landscaping.  Home Foundations are what you have built your hopes and dreams upon.  Excessive water around it might cause it to leak, shift, crack, or even sink into the surrounding surface.  A house’s structural integrity depends on a solid foundation.  I’ve got to make sure and mention that you’ll also want to watch where the water is running to; is it heading straight for your sidewalk into your home, or is it settling in your flowerbeds?  Make sure to note and correct any areas that water might be pooling unnecessarily.

What if it’s too late?

While cleaning up those gutters and checking your downspouts, make sure to keep a look out for damage that might have already happened.  Home maintenance is an easy and quick task, but once an issue does arise, it might be with your roof or basement, so calling a professional is always worth it.  I know we are in a DIY climate, but the roof over your head, and the foundation of your home are critical structures designed to keep everything else in your house safe and sound.

Some Winter Weather Q & A

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

house covered in snow While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

There's snow business like snow business.

Here's a fun Q & A about Snow in our Area.

Can it ever be too cold to snow?

It rarely snows when the temperature drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit because the atmosphere is too stable. One of the ingredients for snow is enough lifting of saturated air that snow can develop aloft and fall to reach the surface. 

What is thundersnow?

Although thunderstorms are less common in the winter, sometimes lightning can occur within snowstorms and is called thundersnow. Thundersnow can be found where there is relatively strong instability and abundant moisture above the surface, such as above a warm front. 

How many inches of snow equals one inch of rain?

On average, thirteen inches of snow equals one inch of rain in the US, although this ratio can vary from two inches for sleet to nearly fifty inches for very dry, powdery snow under certain conditions.

What is white lightning?

White lightning is a colloquial term for thunderstorms occurring with snow.

What are the important winter weather notices?

Blizzard Warning: Issued when winds of 35 mph or greater are combined with blowing and drifting snow with visibility of ¼ mile or less. Seek indoor shelter immediately and stay indoors until the severe conditions end.

Winter Storm Warning: Issued when a combination of hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring. Winter Storm Warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the event is expected to begin.

Winter Storm Watch: Issued 12-48 hours in advance of the onset of severe winter conditions. The watch may or may not be upgraded to a winter storm warning, depending on how the weather system moves or how it is developing.

Winter Storm Outlook: Issued prior to a Winter Storm Watch. The Outlook is given when forecasters believe winter storm conditions are possible and are usually issued 3 to 5 days in advance of a winter storm.

Winter Weather Advisories: Issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet which will cause significant inconveniences and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to life-threatening situations.

Wind Chill Warning: Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to be hazardous to life within several minutes of exposure.

Wind Chill Advisory: Issued for a wind chill situation that could cause significant inconveniences, but do not meet warning criteria. Criteria for issuing Windchill Warnings and Advisories are set locally.

Dense Fog Advisory: Issued when fog will reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less over a widespread area.

Snow Flurries: Light snow falling for a short duration. No accumulation or light dusting is all that is expected.

Snow Showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.

Blowing Snow: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility and causes significant drifting. Blowing snow may be snow that is falling and/or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.

Never invite a Tree to a house party, It will never "Leaf"

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

house with fallen tree damage. broken roof. While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

What to do when a tree falls on your home. 

  1.  Evacuate the home.
    • Whenever a large branch or tree falls on a home it may have compromised the structural integrity of your home
  2. Call 911 or a non emergency line if there are no medical emergencies
    • For the city of WSNC 
      • Police & Fire (336) 773-7700
    • For the city of Pilot Mountain
      • Police (336) 368-4725
      • Fire (336) 368-4646
    • For the city of Mount Airy
      • Police (336) 786-3535
      • Fire (336) 786-3570
  3. Contact your insurance company
  4. Call SERVPRO of Winston-Salem North
    • 1105 Fairchild Road
      Winston Salem, NC 27501
      Phone: (336) 744-5104
      Email: sp9743@yahoo.com

If you don't like the Weather in North Carolina, give it 15 minutes, it'll change.  So, when that bomb cyclone in the Midwest turns into a tornado or microburst rain event in our town, turn to the professionals.  The experienced team of SERVPRO of Winston-Salem North is available to respond 24/7 to any weather related emergencies. Located blocks away from US-52, our team can quickly respond to any part of the county, making us truly FASTER TO THE DISASTER. Whether it's a flood in Sherwood Forest or a fire in City View, our highly trained technicians along with our specialized equipment can handle any job So, when storm damage strikes choose Winston-Salem's locally owned SERVPRO of Winston-Salem North.  When disaster strikes, we’re are Here to Help®

Winter Weather in Winston Salem

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

House with snow everywhere around it While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Types of Winter Precipitation We Can Expect In Winston Salem

  • Cold Rain
    If precipitation falls through a large depth of the atmosphere frozen but encounters a relatively deep layer of above freezing air at the surface, then the frozen precipitation may completely melt and have no opportunity to refreeze. Thus, what traveled almost the entire trip to the ground as snow may end up falling as a cold rain instead of anything frozen or freezing
  • Snow
    Precipitation begins as snow and if it doesn’t encounter any layers of air that are above freezing before reaching the ground, it will fall to the surface in the form of snow.
  • Sleet
    If the snowflakes encounter a shallow layer of warm, above freezing air with below freezing air through the rest of the column, then it will partially melt and refreeze into a sleet pellet before reaching the ground.
  • Freezing Rain
    If the snow falls into a deep layer of above freezing air with only a shallow layer of below freezing air located at the surface, (which is often the case with cold air damming,) then the liquid droplets will freeze on contact with any objects (such as trees, power lines, and roads) at the surface that are below freezing.

The next two are possible but historically unlikely, but we are seeing them more and more in Winston Salem.

  • Blizzards
    Dangerous winter storms that are a combination of blowing snow and wind resulting in very low visibility. While heavy snowfalls and severe cold often accompany blizzards, they are not required. Sometimes strong winds pick up snow that has already fallen, creating a ground blizzard.
  • Ice Storm
    a storm which results in the accumulation of at least .25” of ice on exposed surfaces. They create hazardous driving and walking conditions. Tree branches and powerlines can easily snap under the weight of the ice.

How Does Ice Burst Water Pipes?

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

House covered in winter weather While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

try and say that title 3 times fast! LOL. but seriously, Frozen pipes are worse than a bad joke.

So most people know that when water freezes it expands. It makes a fool of us all at times. Raise your hand if you have left a soda in the freezer, only to return to an explosion of sticky icy sugar everywhere! 

Water Molecules in a natural state are very fluid, but when it reaches it’s freezing point the molecules take on a hexagon structure. This frozen ice block will expand outwards, along the path of least resistance. As it pushes forward, the pressure starts building. While the water in the pipe will flow back towards the main water line in the street, the water trapped between your faucet and the ice block will have nowhere to escape. Once the pressure is too great, somewhere along the line  it will fail. Pipes that are the most at risk are those in uninsulated or unheated spaces( your garage, your attic, poorly insulated outside walls).

How to Prevent Your Pipes from Bursting in Winter

  • Keep your garage door closed!
  • Open cabinets under the sink and in the bathroom, so that they can be reached by the warm air in your home
  • Insulate pipes
  • On exceptionally cold nights below freezing leave your taps dripping slightly. This might waste a small amount of water, but the wasted water will cost you less than having to replace busted pipes

If your pipes have burst or you notice them leaking, then it’s best to go ahead and turn off the water at your main line.

Then you’ll want to call a plumber, and then you’ll want to call SERVPRO of Winston Salem North 336 744 5104.

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