Recent Posts

'Twas the Night before Christmas Fire Safety Style

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Merry Christmas Merry Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house

The only thing that was stirring was a lone stray mouse

That chewed the house wire

And started a fire.

At that moment appeared Jolly Saint Nick-

who extinguished the fire ever so quick.

He placed the presents one by one

 then left some fire tips before he was done.

He sat at the table and began to write

An overloaded outlet came to sight,

This is a No, No and should not be.

The shimmering holiday lights were a sight to see,

But make sure there is water in the base of the tree.

As he finished his cookies he left a new fire alarm

To alert the family of any imminent harm.

A final gift was a trap for the mouse,

as he wiggled his nose and departed the house.

Merry Christmas and to all a good night

As he rode in his sleigh and flew out of sight.

Merry Christmas from SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County

Is there a connection between COVID-19 outbreaks and your sewer water?

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Wash Hands Wash Hands

Even though a COVID-19 vaccine was just approved on Saturday, Deceember12, 2020 mass distribution to the general public won’t likely occur until the spring of 2021 and COVID-19 virus infections and death totals continue to rise. The State of North Carolina is currently under a stay at home curfew from 10:00 pm until 5:00 am. The Center for Disease Control continues to research not only how to limit the spread of the virus but also key indicators as to where a flare up may be imminent. In a recent article on the CDC website entitled, For COVID-19 Clues, Researchers Look to the Sewer, the question addressing the relationship between your sewer water and COVID-19 outbreaks was investigated.

In this article, CDC microbiologist Amy Kirby and Environmental Engineer Mia Mattioli discovered that the COVID-19 virus could be detected in contaminated water and by testing sewer water, and the amount of virus detected in the water was an indicator of whether an outbreak was likely in the community where the water was tested.

'When people get infected with COVID-19, pieces of the virus can be found in feces. So when researchers like Mia and Amy find those bits of virus in sewer water, “we know there’s somebody in that community who has COVID-19,” Mia says.

By taking many samples over time, they can watch whether the amount of virus in those samples is going up or down. That might tell local health departments whether an outbreak is getting better or worse—or provide an extra insight when other data are murky.

“The trends in the sewage concentration have been shown to be a leading indicator in numbers of cases,” Mia says. “When the number of COVID-19-positive samples in sewage go up, 3 to 7 days later, the number of reported cases go up.”'

The compelling extrapolation that can be deduced from this article is that cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms and proper hand washing is essential to limit the spread of the virus. This is especially important as the holiday shopping season is in full swing; businesses must be proactive in cleaning and patrons must be extra vigilant as they wash their hands after using the rest room and should not assume that the person that went before them used proper hygiene. Therefore they should use a paper towel to open the door to exit or find an alternative to open the door without using their hands. Safety must be always practiced in order to keep both us and everyone in our community safe.

SERVPRO of South Durham & Orange County is dedicated to being involved in our community.

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Community Involvement - image of hand holding text saying "Give" Community Involvement

SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County has served the Triangle area of North Carolina for over twenty years and community involvement has always been an important core value of the company. Brad Armstrong, franchise owner, from the company’s inception established a core value system where giving back to the community was a critical pillar of what he wanted the company to be known for. To him, he wanted to support good causes that served those in need, in the community that supported him, his family and employees. As a way of passing on the spirit of giving to the company’s employees, each employee gets one paid volunteer day a year. In addition, the company has collective causes that have supported The Ronald McDonald House, Share Your Christmas, and the Food Bank of Central North Carolina.

Most recently, the company spearheaded a Thanksgiving Food Drive promoting The North Carolina Food Bank of Central North Carolina with Feeding America. Along with business leaders in Durham and Orange Counties over 1,500 pounds of food was generated to provide meals for those facing food insecurity. This month as the Christmas season is now in full swing, our efforts are to provide holiday gifts and food for at risk children through the Share Your Christmas project which is cosponsored by the Volunteer Center of Greater Durham, Durham County Department of Social Services, The Herald Sun and the Foster Parents Association. Have a cause you are passionate about, or looking to see what we are up to this month? Contact us at (919) 596-1242 or head to

Thanksgiving and Fire Safety

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving and Fire Safety Thanksgiving and Fire Safety

Thanksgiving is a special holiday that celebrates good food, family, fun and fires.  Thanksgiving Day is the number #1 day in which home fires occur and 87% of those fires are cooking related.  In order to make your Thanksgiving fire free, safety must be a priority.  Here are several key tips you can easily implement.

  • Make sure your cooking apparatuses are clean. Clean the eyes of the stove to remove potential debris that could catch fire.  Clean the oven to remove any spill overs which could become flammable.
  • Make sure cooking apparatuses are in good working order. Make sure there are no electrical shorts or frayed wires.
  • Never plug cooking devices into an extension cord
  • Never leave food unattended
  • Be vigilant- when cooking don’t become distracted where you are not closely watching items that are cooking. An engaging conversation, either on the phone or in person can cause a distraction that could allow a situation to flare up which could have been prevented.
  • Keep flammable items away from cooking surfaces.
  • Make sure electrical cords are outside of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep pets outside of the cooking area
  • Never overload outlets
  • Deep fry turkeys outside and sufficiently away from the home.
  • Make sure turkey is thawed all the way prior to placing it in the oil to prevent splatter which could cause burn injury.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in close proximity to your cooking area.

Moisture Mapping, What is it and Why Does It Matter?

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage

Moisture Mapping, what is it and why does it matter when you have a water damage emergency? In a water loss situation, it not just the water that is seen that can cause significant damage to a property and its contents, but also the unseen water, that is not visible to the naked eye that can cause serious damage. Moisture mapping is the detailed process to identify all areas of water migration, using specialty tools to detect the moisture content of building materials, so they can be dried properly.

Improper drying due to unseen and undetected water can cause mold as well as rot if the materials stay wet for an extended period of time. This is often most evident in a situation such as a bathroom or kitchen where a water damage occurs. A supply line to the toilet or a water line to an ice maker breaks and flows onto the tile or vinyl flooring. It is quickly detected by the homeowner. They are able to stop the water flow and proceed to get the water up with towels and a shop vacuum. Due to their lack of understanding the migration pattern of water and moisture mapping, they think the job is done. Within a few days or weeks they notice a musty smell or observe discoloration on the flooring. It is then they call for a mold assessment. During the initial water loss, moisture mapping was crucial to detect water that had migrated behind baseboards, under flooring, inside wall cavities, behind cabinet kick plates or had migrated into the crawl space. Water damage Restoration professionals use moisture meters, penetrating and non-penetrating to detect water migration into these areas. Then they are to use the proper equipment, according to industry standards to effectively dry the structure and prevent the secondary damage caused by improper drying.

If you have a water damage emergency, don’t do it yourself. Call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County at 919-596-1242.

Dealing with Mold in Commercial Buildings

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with Mold in Commercial Buildings Dealing with Mold in Commercial Buildings

Dealing with fungal growth, commonly called mold, in commercial buildings is a problem all facility engineers will or have faced.   Mold in indoor air environments can cause health related issues and must be addressed to assure worker safety.  Due to the health dangers that can be caused by mold, proper remediation is necessary.  This is where SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County can help.   As a certified mold remediation company, no mold problem is too big or too small for us to handle.   In addition to properly remediating mold issues in commercial buildings, we also aid facility engineers and property managers, and business owners in addressing and controlling the conditions conducive to mold growth, this is critical in preventing and controlling mold growth to assure a safe and healthy indoor air environment.  

The most common source of mold issues are moisture related.   This can be anything from a water intrusion caused by a slow leak, or major water intrusion that was not properly dried out.  It can also be moisture in the air, relative humidity, which is too high which can cause significant mold problems.   SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County can properly deal with and address each of these issues.

Why Choose SERVPRO in the time of Storm?

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Why Choose SERVPRO in the time of Storm?

The 2020 hurricane season has seen 27 named storms, the second most in recorded history, with the most recent hurricane being named Zeta. Zeta is the most recent hurricane to slam into the Gulf of Mexico and impact Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Zeta has caused six deaths, caused millions of dollars in property damage and left over two million people without power. The impact of this most recent hurricane, like the others before, often leaves local contractors and restoration companies overwhelmed due the massive volume of work required to rebuild their local communities. This is one main reason to choose SERVPRO.

SERVPRO answers the call in storm situations with a specialized storm response team and a large loss response network to provide the resources necessary to mitigate and restore properties left in the wake of the storm. The SERVPRO storm response team is equipped with skilled management, manpower and equipment to get service to those in need when others can’t. The SERVPRO storm response team works side by side with the local franchises in the area to make it "Like it never even happened."

Preventive Maintenance and Storm Damage

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

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?

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

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.”