Preventive Maintenance and Storm Damage
Most people can relate to experiencing the powerful impact of a powerful storm that brings wind, driving rain, thunder, lightning and hail. These powerful storms often leave a path of destruction, evident in downed trees, localized flooding, power outages, wind damaged properties and vehicles. The immense impact of storms causes millions of dollars each year in property damage. However, proper preventive maintenance to property can minimize the damage and economic impact of storm damage. Here are several things that can be proactively done to lessen the impact of storm damage to your property.
- Have your roof inspected for damage prior to storm season, to correct any issues such loose shingles, damage to chimney flashing or damaged roof vents.
- Have your siding and windows checked to correct any damage that may have previously occurred through normal wear and tear.
- Have foundation checked for cracks and have fixed
- Make sure your sump pump is working correctly
- Fix landscaping issues that may cause water to flow towards the home
- Caulk areas that could be access points for wind driven rain
- Have trees that r leaning, or have dead branches removed
By following these simple tips you can effectively lessen the impact of storm damage to your home.
Fire Safety Should Be a Concern Before You Burn
Fall is synonymous for the falling of leaves and the yard work associated with removing them to keep your lawn tidy. In many places the leaves are racked or blown into piles bagged and placed by the curb for removal. Other locations allow the leaves to be blown into the street for cleanup and in rural communities where neither of the aforementioned methods is available, the leaves are burned. Leaf burning is an effective method, but there are perils associated with it. There have been numerous incidents where the fire has gotten out of hand and caused significant property and land damage. In order to prevent a catastrophic leaf burning incident applying the appropriate safety measures is critical.
- Make sure leaf burning is allowed in the locale you intend to burn in. If so get the proper burn permit.
- Call the fire department to make sure that the weather conditions are conducive to burning.
- Make sure to have a rack and hose at the burn site to control the fire and prevent it from getting out of hand.
- Only burn dry leaves, as wet leaves take longer to burn and produce more smoke, which would obstruct seeing escaping embers.
- Never leave the burn site unattended.
- Never burn close to a home, storage shed or other flammable items.
- Never burn when wind speeds exceed 15mph.
My Carpet is Wet, Now What?
One of the primary building materials found in both residential and commercial buildings is carpet. Carpet comes in many different styles from traditional cut-pile to Berber and commercial glue down. In a water damaged environment carpet is one of the most common building materials restoration companies, like SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County are faced with mitigating and restoring if possible. Salvaging damaged carpeting is not a one-size fits all application, but varies based on category of water loss and current condition of carpet
The water loss category as classified in the restoration industry is the determining factor denoting the amount of contamination in the water.
- Category 1 is clean water that may be found when an ice-maker line ruptures. If the restoration process begins within hours of occurring the likelihood of salvaging the carpet is extremely high.
- Category 2 is a reference to gray water which has picked up some forms of contamination, for example water from the dishwashing machine or an overflow of washing machine. The soap, food particles and soil combined with the water make the water a Category 2 water loss. Salvaging carpets under this condition is also extremely high, but the emergency service of drying must begin quickly to prevent the current category from progressing to a Category 3 and rendering it unsalvageable.
- Category 3 water damage is denotes gross contamination and hazardous. This can be raw sewage or water damage that started as another category due to prolonged interaction with bacteria and other pathogens on the building materials that populate due to the increased moisture content. Category 3 water damage is not considered salvageable in most cases.
An additional matter of consideration as to whether carpet is salvageable is its current condition. Pre-existing conditions such as delamination, separating seams, fiber loss and frayed fibers are determining factors as to whether a carpet can be salvaged and restored.
If you have experienced any type of water loss, mitigating the damage quickly is essential to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. Call SERVPRO of South Durham and orange County at (919)596-1242 and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Helpful Tips to Prevent Household Water Damage
Household water damage can be a very traumatic and costly experience that no one looks forward to experiencing. However, outside of purchasing homeowner’s coverage very few people go any further to prevent potential water losses. This is largely because most people rarely think about the potentiality of it occurring to them, thus they fail to plan. The reality is that on average homeowners will experience one water loss during a twenty year time period. Planning for prevention is a wise strategy to mitigate the impact of a water loss, if and when the time comes. Here are some helpful, inexpensive and simple tips to employ to prevent or mitigate the impact of water damage to your home.
- Check your water heater for rust and leaks. Make sure the water pan isn’t about to overflow. If it is have it serviced.
- Have your dishwater and HVAC unit serviced to make sure it is in proper working order.
- Cut the water off at the washing machine when not in use.
- Replace supply line hoses to the toilet every four to five years.
- Turn water off at toilet supplies when leaving the home for extended periods of time.
- Install a water monitoring sensor to the hot water tank.
- Allow faucets to dip during freezing conditions to prevent the lines from freezing.
- Keep the heat running even when away during freezing conditions.
- Make sure pipes are properly insulated.
- Have roof inspected for loose or missing shingles.
- Cut water off to the whole house when leaving for vacation during spring, summer or fall. This can be done by purchasing a simple tool at your local hardware store and turning the main valve off at the street.
- Purchase a moisture meter and check your walls and floors for excessive moisture periodically.
Although these tips are sound and easy ways to prevent or mitigate water damage, they are not guarantee that a loss won’t occur. If you do experience a water loss and need help to mitigate the damage, call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County at (919) 596-1242.
National Fire Safety Week-October 4-10, 2020
October 4-10, 2020 is designated as National Fire Safety Week. The theme of this year’s campaign is Serving up Fire Safety in the Kitchen. The National Fire Safety campaign is sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association. The weeklong event began in 1922 and in 1925 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed national observance of it. This campaign is the longest running public health observance in the nation. It was established to commemorate the great Chicago fire that began October 8, 1871. The horrific fire killed over 250 people, left over 100,000 people homeless, destroyed 17400 building and affected 2000 acres of land. Fire prevention week is observed each year during the week of October 9th. This year’s theme is very appropriate as cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries. As we look forward to observing the upcoming event, we must be conscious to make fire safety, especially in the kitchen a common practice.
Here are the top 10 things we can do to be safe in the kitchen.
- Keep appliances serviced and in good repair.
- Never leave cooking items unattended.
- Turn pot and pan handles inside to prevent them from being snagged when someone passes by or pulled off by a child.
- Keep area clear of flammable items such as potholders, or loose-fitting clothing.
- Never overfill pots or pans.
- Make sure grease does not get too hot. When you observe a wisp of smoke turn the temperature down.
- Have a smoke detector installed near the kitchen.
- Have an ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Never cook when sleepy, or under the influence of alcohol.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use.
Why Choose SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County?
HABITC - Why SERVPRO?
When faced with a water, fire or trauma emergency why should someone call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County? When answering this question, the principle subject, above all else, is the customer. All other things are secondary during the time a customer calls in their time of need. The mission statement of SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County reflects this very sentiment. “To develop a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness and mutual respect.”
The team at SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County is focused from the initial call for service to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Our technicians, crew chiefs and project managers treat each and every customer as well as each other with mutual respect and fairness. As a team, each individual reflects the company vision, “to be the premiere fire and water clean-up and restoration company in the Triangle. This is achieved by steadfastly, representing the company’s core values shown in the acronym H.A.B.I.T.C.
- Happy Customers: Create happy customers through immediate response, clean presentation, excellent service and communication and a desire to help.
- Achieve Goals: We set and accomplish business goals that help us achieve our personal goals.
- Be the Best: Be the best leader, best manager, best sales representative, best technician, and best office staff. To be the best we must strive for constant improvement.
- I will be safe: for me, my family, my customers, and my company.
- Team Success: We are accountable for ourselves and the roles and responsibilities of our job so that our team will succeed.
- Community Branding: Build brand awareness in our community by respecting our customers, displaying integrity and giving back whenever we are able.
These are the reasons to choose SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County when you have a water, fire or trauma emergency.
Three Phases of Water and Damages They Cause
Three Phases of Water
Water may possibly be the most powerful element in the universe. It is comprised of two hydrogen molecules and a single molecule of oxygen. This tiny molecular structure is essential to all forms of life. The human body is made up of mostly water and humans can only survive three days without it. The earth has more water than land. Water has the ability to exist in three phases: Gas, Liquid and Solid. Each of these phases is vital to the ecosystem. Water in each of its phases has the power of creation, as in life sustaining, as well as the power of destruction. The force of water, as a destructive force, has a direct relationship to homeowners and the restoration industry.
- Gaseous phase: When water evaporates, the process by which water as a liquid becomes a gas, it has a direct relationship to humidity. The meteorologist will often discuss the concept of dew point, when the air reaches its saturation point, and rain is produced. In an internal environment the same thing can occur when windows sweat. Also, if the internal humidity inside the home is not properly regulated, the conditions conducive for mold growth occur. This can occur when the HVAC unit is not working properly or there is excessive moisture due to a leak in the home that causes a high rate of evaporation.
- Solid: Water in its solid phase can be extremely destructive during a hail storm causing damage to roofs and cars. Water frozen inside a pipe or sprinkler line will expand and burst the pipe. When the line thaws out the burst pipe will result in water damage. When ice backs up underneath the roof shingles, the result will be ice damning which will result in water damage as well.
- Liquid Phase: The most common form of water is its liquid phase. In nature heavy rains can cause flooding and water intrusion inside structures when accompanied by wind.
Although each phase of water can have a destructive impact on property, have no fear- your local SERVPRO franchise is here to make it "Like it never even happened."
Is Your Home Covered for Damage Caused by Storms?
The hot humid North Carolina summers are synonymous for thunderstorms, which in some cases cause damage to homes and businesses. This leads to the all-important question of whether or not the damage will be covered by insurance. The answer to this important question depends on the type of storm damage and the provisions of the insurance policy as it relates to perils covered.
The typical homeowner’s policy owned by North Carolina policy holders covers damage caused by wind, hail, and lightning. Damages caused by water are far more complicated. When a water intrusion is the result of wind driven rain, there will be coverage. For example, when wind dislodges the roof shingles and water enters the roof causing damage the peril will be covered. However, ponding or overflowed creek or river that causes a water intrusion is considered ground water and is excluded from coverage from homeowner’s policies. Common covered losses are:
- Wind Damage that results in water damage is a covered loss.
- Hail, which is water in the form of ice which results in damage is a covered peril.
- Lightning that results in a power surge that damages electronics or causes a fire, is a covered insurance peril.
When rain water causes flooding which results in water damage, it is not covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. There are instances where a basement or crawlspace equipped with a sump pump floods and the loss is covered by the policy, but not due to flood but as a result of the sump pump failing due to a power surge caused by a lightning strike that rendered the pump inoperable. Although storms can and do result in flooding, water damage of this sort requires a flood insurance policy. It is important to review your policies and know your coverage, before you experience a loss.
'The Princess and the Protein Fire'
'The Princess and the Protein Fire'
Once upon a time in Orange County North Carolina, in the quaint and lovely town of Chapel Hill there lived a princess who had come to the University to acquire her doctoral degree. Prior to her arrival, she had purchased a lovely investment property to domicile in while obtaining her degree. One night, after a long day of lectures and labs, she returned home and seasoned some organic chicken breasts and placed them in the oven. She sat down on her comfortable recliner, opened her laptop and began to study. Her eyes became heavy and before she knew it she had fallen asleep.
The loud blaring of her smoke alarm system roused her from her slumber. The house was filled with smoke. She quickly exited the home, as the local fire department quickly arrived to extinguish the fire. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the oven and there was only smoke damage. However, the smoke damage left a terrible malodor that was insufferable to her senses. She called her insurance agent who advised her to call his guy at SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County. After spending the night at the Siena Hotel, she called the referred gentleman who arranged at a time of her convenience to come out and assess the situation.
The tall, dark and handsome gentleman arrived with his trusty project manager in a sparkling SERVPRO green Italian sports car (Fiat 500) and quickly and accurately assessed the situation. They put her mind at ease with their professionalism and knowledge of fire cleaning techniques and effective processes for odor removal. They explained how her fire was protein based and would require a wet cleaning process. They addressed everything from structure cleaning, textiles and electronics. The SERVPRO team after receiving the proper authorizations, worked with her and the insurance company and restored her home, "Like it never even happened." The princess was overjoyed and wrote a glowing Google review.
The Princess went on to graduate, met a handsome prince, after her residency, married, had two children and lived happily ever after.
Why Property Management Companies and Restoration Companies Go Hand in Hand
Most property managers have had an unusually large or difficult situation that required more intricate knowledge, expertise, man-power and equipment that exceeded the capacity of their regular maintenance staff or maintenance vendor. This is where a relationship with a top-notch restoration company, like SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County is a huge asset. Whether it is water damage, a fire, mold remediation, trauma or specialty cleaning, a restoration company can provide the necessary equipment, manpower, knowledge and expertise to handle the difficult task at hand.
In situations regarding water damage, a restoration company can be a huge asset on the front and back end. A restoration company can dry the structure according to the industry standards established by the IICRC, assuring all parties including the property management firm, the tenant and the insurance company that the structure is dried properly. Proper drying helps in the long run by preventing mold, which can be costly to repair in addition to the health risks caused by mold spores.
Fire situations, in many cases, will require working with an insurance company and their adjusters. Restoration companies and their staff are experienced in this area and can be a huge support to the property management company. In addition, the restoration company will be able to provide specialty services, such as textile cleaning, document preservation, and electronic restoration services. Pack-out and storage is also provided by some restoration companies, like SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County.
Mold, trauma and specialty cleaning jobs are also reasons why a property management company may need to call a restoration professional. Each of these situations requires a high level of expertise, due to health risks associated with these types of remediation and cleaning.
If you are a property management firm or property manager that does not have an established relationship with a quality restoration company call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange at 919-596-1242.