Recent Posts

Choose SERVPRO for Document Restoration

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Documents drying on clothes rack SERVPRO's Document Restoration

One of the most valuable items to suffer damage in a flood, sewage intrusion or other water damage is the damage to documents such as books, paper files, photos and artwork.  In a commercial business setting catastrophic damage to corporate records and client files can have a far greater impact on the businesses survival in the aftermath of a catastrophe that the replacement of brick and mortar.  Artwork and photos are often one of a kind making both their sentimental valuable as in some cases true dollar value extremely high.  This is where SERVPRO is here to help with customized document restoration services.

  • SERVPRO Corporate has a state of the art facility that utilizes vacuum freeze drying to preserve documents as well gamma irradiation process for sterilization.
  • All documents are managed by HIPPA certified technicians and documents are secured and under 24 hour surveillance.
  • All documents are properly computer inventoried and digitized
  • Documents are dried, sterilized and digitized.

When your documents are at risk due to a water damage catastrophe contact SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County at (919)596-1242.

Do You Have a Home Fire Safety Plan?

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Building Blocks with Fire Safety Photos Do You Have a Home Fire Safety Plan?

Do You Have a Home Fire Safety Plan?

Having a home fire safety plan could be the difference between life and death in a fire emergency.  Although most people agree to the importance of having a plan, sadly; they fail to have one for themselves.  Too often, people allow the tasks of daily living to stand in the way of putting a plan in place.  The goal of this this post is to show readers that it is quick, simple, and invaluable as well as to inspire readers to take the necessary action to implement a plan.  Here’s how to do it:

  • Draw a simple floor plan of the home.
  • Label all exit points
  • Establish a meeting location for all occupants of the home
  • Check smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly
  • Make provisions for small children and elderly family members in the home
  • Practice your drill, and make sure everyone gets out within two minutes
  • Have two ways to exit all rooms if possible, this may mean purchasing a fire escape ladder
  • Practice using the fire ladder with everyone
  • Practice getting low and crawling to safety
  • Practice the plan during different times of the day and night and at least twice a year
  • Teach children over the age of six to get to safety without adult supervision and to meet at the established meeting location.
  • Teach children to never go back inside a burning home
  • Post your plan by the exit doors

Now go out and do it, so that the next time you asked if you have a home fire escape plan you can confidently say, “Yes”.

Investigating Smoke Odors for Deodorization

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage on ceiling and walls Investigating Smoke Odors for Deodorization

A pot of food left unattended on a stove that catches fire or a food item left too long in the oven that burns creates a significantly obtrusive malodor, that the household occupants desire to be quickly removed.  Odors can be stubborn and long-lingering, requiring specialized solutions to successfully remove.

The first thing a successful odor removal specialist must investigate regarding a malodor is to determine the source of the odor.  It may seem simple and straight forward but knowing the source requires more than just knowing where it occurred.  Successful analysis requires locating what materials were affected, and where all smoke particulates and residue went.

Smoke residue is responsible for odors that linger and cannot be successfully masked long term with chemical sprays.   An odor removal specialist will use chemical sponges and search areas beyond just the room of origination.  If the AC unit was operating they will check all rooms to determine if there is smoke residue.  If The AC Unit was off they will check to see if doors were closed or open.  If they were open they will analysis those rooms to determine if there is any residue.  The will check the returns, vents, furniture and electronics, and wall coverings.  Smoke residue can cause significant damage to items including discoloration, and system malfunctions along with odors.  There are also health considerations that must be taken into consideration when certain items burn that are carcinogens.  Removing harmful particulates that remain suspended in the air are also a consideration to a trained odor removal specialist. 

If you have had a fire, that has resulted in an obnoxious odor that air fresheners can’t remove, call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County for a professional analysis at 919-596-1242.

Why Realtors Need SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Servpro and realtors For Sale Homes Need SERVPRO

Home sales are big business and the 2021 market is extremely lucrative for sellers and real estate agents.  With demand high and property inventory low, sellers regularly see bidding wars over their property with the winners paying significantly above the asking price.  This is only the case with properties that are market ready, with no issues to drive the list price down.  This is why local agents in Durham, Orange, Alamance, Chatham and Wake Counties need to align themselves with the services of SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County.  Top areas that realtors may encounter during a home inspection or onsite property assessment that could diminish the asking price are mold growth, pet, nicotine, other malodors, and water damage. 

Mold or fungal growth is often discovered in areas where there was water damage or areas where there is high humidity and stale air with little to no air circulation, such as attics, crawlspaces, and cabinets and closets.  Mold growth is a huge concern to buyers due to the associated health risks.  SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County is a certified mold remediation company which will both estimate and remediate any mold according to the IICRC S520standard for mold remediation.

Odor Mitigation: Odors can easily repel potential buyers.  Some of the most common odors are pet odors, smoke or nicotine odors and other malodors such as cooking odors and mustiness.  Our team understands the proper processes used to eradicate different odors in a cost effective way so the property can be sold at the highest price point.

Water Damage:  Sudden and unexpected water intrusions have occurred during a home sale and SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County has been there to mitigate the damage and save the day.  Also a discovered preexisting leak will require proper drying, which is also our forte. 

No matter the size, big or small one call does it all.  Call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County at (919) 596-1242 to keep your list price at the highest justifiable level. 

Understanding Smoke Detectors

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Man with orange hat checking smoke detector with SERVPRO logo Understanding Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors in a home or commercial setting can mean the difference between life and death.  A fire can double in size in seconds, making a proper first alert system a critical component in life safety.  There are two types of smokes detectors, ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors  

Ionization smoke detectors are most effective in the detection of a flaming fire.  Ionization detection alarms function by ionizing the air between two electrically charged plates containing small amount of radioactive material.  The ionized air under normal conditions freely flows between the two plates.  When smoke enters it disrupts the current causing the detector to alarm. 

Photoelectric smoke detectors are best at detecting smoldering fires.  Photoelectric smoke detectors operate by aiming a light source away from the sensing chamber in the detector.  When smoke enters the sensing chamber it diverts the light into the sensing chamber triggering the alarm.

The most effective smoke detector is the one that is in operation.  The combination of both ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors is the most effective method of being prepared for both a smoldering and flaming fires.  It is important to make sure your detectors are operating properly.  Make sure that you change the backup battery inside the detector when you hear the detector beeping or chirping.  Also make sure the red light on the detector is on, which means it is working.

Immediate Action Steps for Homeowners with a Water Intrusion from a Clean Source

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damaged Residence Water Damaged Residence in Chapel Hill, NC

You inadvertently left the water running in the tub and it overflows onto the flooring in the bathroom, hallway and into the bedroom.  You recognize your mistake as you step onto the soaked carpet.  Your mind is racing; your heart rate is elevated. What do you do now?

  • First shut off the water at the source to prevent additional damage.
  • Turn the circuit breakers off to cut the power to affected rooms to prevent electric shock.
  • Get up as much excess water as possible through moping or a shop vacuum.
  • Call SERVPRO to start the mitigation process.
  • Call your insurance company to start a claim.
  • Put wood block or aluminum foil under the legs of furniture to prevent damage.
  • Remove paintings and art to a safe dry area. Also remove any valuables from the area
  • Hang drapes with coat hangers to keep them from absorbing water from wet carpet and flooring.

The key to mitigating any water intrusion is timeliness. Don’t panic.  Take the steps above and know that everything will be okay because SERVPRO will make it "Like it never even happened."

Tips for Safe Summer Grilling

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

Summer Grilling Safe Summer Grilling

The aroma and taste of grilled food signals the arrival of summer.  With Memorial Day weekend quickly approaching, now is a good time to review tips for safe grilling.  According to statistics listed on the National Fire Protection Association website 7 out of 10 adults own a grill.  Between 2014 and 2018 fire departments responded to an average of 8900 fire calls involving grills with 3900 being structure fires.  Safety is essential to prevent accidental injury, property damage and even death.  Follow these simple tips to assure all your grilling events will have a favorable and safe outcome.

  • All grilling, with charcoal or propane should be done outside and safely away from structures that could catch fire to include the house, deck railing, eaves of home and overhanging branches.
  • Open grill cover before lighting
  • Practice safety with lighter fluid. Do not use too much, and when lighting do not get too close, use a newspaper or paper to safely keep distance.
  • Only use charcoal lighter fluid to start coals. Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquid.
  • Keep children and pets a minimum of three feet away from the grill.
  • Never leave the grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your grill is cleaned of all fat and grease to prevent excessive flames.
  • If you have a propane grill, make sure there are no leaks in the tank or connections.
  • Never leave the grill unattended
  • Allow coals to completely cool before removing them. Place removed, cooled down coals into a metal can for proper disposal.

The Correlation between Primary and Secondary Water Damage

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damaged Residence

Any water intrusion that occurs within a home or commercial building has an immediate effect on building materials and can potentially have a secondary effect as well.  The immediate impact a water intrusion has on building materials is known as primary damage.  Primary water damage is caused by the direct impact of water on the building material.   Secondary water damage is caused by the impact that water has on the material over time. 

An example of primary water damage is discoloration of a building material when it comes in contact with water.  Another example of primary damage is the crumbling of plaster or drywall due to water saturation. 

An example of secondary water damage is the loss of structural integrity and microbial growth.  Wood when it stays wet for an extended period will rot and organic building materials when they are exposed to water over an extended period, as little as seventy-two hours, will develop mold or microbial growth.

Even when the water is not in direct contact with the materials the moisture content in the air can cause secondary damage to hygroscopic or water loving, building materials.  Elevated humidity or humidity levels in excess of 60% are conducive to mold growth which will impact porous or hygroscopic building materials like drywall, carpet, and wood.  For the aforementioned reasons, proper mitigation is an urgent necessity.  A professional water damage company can help minimize the damage caused by a water intrusion and prevent secondary damage by establishing a proper drying system.  If you experience a water intrusion, call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County at 919-596-1242.

Extraction and Dehumidification

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling Water Damage Water Damage to ceiling

A burst pipe pumps gallons of water onto your floors and the walls and ceiling.  Mopping up the water is not enough to remove all the water.  Shop vacuuming the water is also not enough to adequately remove the amount of water that is damaging the home.  Professional water mitigation is necessary to properly extract the standing water and then implement the proper evaporation system to remove water that has been absorbed into building materials and contents. 

Removal of certain materials may also be necessary to remove bound water that is trapped behind molding or underneath vinyl or laminate flooring.  Another important element of proper water damage restoration is to create a balanced drying system which utilizes proper airflow to create evaporation along with dehumidification to remove the evaporated water.  Utilizing the science of structural drying assures that the building materials will dry quickly and efficiently to prevent secondary damage such as mold growth.  Water damage restoration is not a do it yourself project and should be left to properly trained professionals like SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County.  If you have a water damage event don’t hesitate to call 919-596-1242.

North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Inland Flooding from Hurricane Inland Flooding of home from hurricane

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared the week of May 9, 2021 through May 15, 2021, Hurricane preparedness week.  Hurricane season is from August to October, but hurricanes have occurred as early as May and as late as November.  The National Weather Service along with North Carolina Department of public safety wants all North Carolinians to fully be prepared in the event that a hurricane hits our state.  They have designated a specific topic area of preparedness for each day of the week during hurricane preparedness week.

Day of The Week



Determine Your Risk


Develop an Evacuation Plan/Storm Surge


Assemble Disaster Supplies/High Winds


Get an Insurance Checkup/Inland Flooding


Strengthen Your Home/Tornadoes


Help Your Neighbor/Rip Currents


Complete a Written Plan

The information for each topic area can be found at

One important takeaway is that all areas of North Carolina from the coast to the mountains are susceptible to the impacts of a hurricane.  There are five areas of impact, with coast being at risk for storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. The central part of the state could be impacted from freshwater flooding, high winds and tornadoes and the mountains could be impacted from tornadoes and flash floods due to heavy rain.   Having a plan in place is a key to weathering the impact of a hurricane.  It only takes a few a short amount of time to get informed and to make the necessary preparations.  Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail.