Stuffed Sharks Do Not Flush
Water can cause more damage to the rooms below where a loss occurred. It is always a good idea to consider calling a professional mitigation company.
Mornings can be hectic. You have to make sure the kids are getting dressed for school, check out the traffic reports to make sure that you don’t have to change your commute, make breakfast, and all while making sure that you are ready for the day yourself. Sometimes the during the controlled chaos you may not notice that one of your younger children is performing their very first science experiment focusing on the “flushabilty” of their toys. This was recently the case for one Greenville, SC resident.
A busy working mom trying to get two of her children on their way to school plus a very curious, and quiet, toddler and his action figures and stuffed shark and a toilet. What could possibly go wrong? Turns out a lot.
A second-floor bathroom, packed to the brim with superheroes, building blocks, and one stuffed shark. Oh and gallons and gallons of water with nowhere to go but the living room below.
The homeowner had left to take her kids to school and daycare when she realized that she had forgotten something very important for work and needed to rush home. She opened her door to see that the ceiling fan in the living room had upgraded itself to now have a waterfall feature. The ceiling was saturated, the walls were soaked, and the furniture in the living room also drenched. The forgotten item turned out to be a blessing in disguise, but had she not come home the toilet would have run until the afternoon, but instead, she was able to turn the water off to the toilet. Imagine the damage that would have caused.
The homeowner made three calls: one to work, one to her adjuster, and one to SERVPRO of East Greenville County. Our team was able to be on site within 30 minutes of her call and started working immediately. The standing water was extracted, while air movers and dehumidifiers were placed to dry out the floor, wall, and ceiling. Unfortunately, the many of the materials were too saturated to reach a dry standard within a reasonable amount of time, and our production manager recommended that the flooring in the bathroom and ceiling in the living room below be replaced. SERVPRO of East Greenville County always places and focus on repair and restore versus remove and replace, but sometimes replacement is the more cost-effective action plan. This was one of those times, we may have had to run drying equipment for several more days, and it still may not have reached dry standard without risking further damage to the other materials. The decision to remove and replace the flooring in the bathroom and living room ceiling reduced not only the cost of mitigation but also the amount of time that the homeowner and her family were displaced from their home.
SERVPRO of East Greenville County does have access to advanced technology and techniques, but it is our experienced team that adds the most value for our customers when they need us.
Carpet Delamination: A Serious Secondary Issue
Carpet delamination can be caused by not correctly treating materials after a water damage event in your Greer, SC home or business.
Heavy rain, flooding, or malfunctioning appliances can cause a great deal of damage to your home and property. Ruining hardwood floors, paint, furniture, and carpet, especially carpet. We receive many calls asking what steps can be taken without having to use a professional restoration and mitigation service. The answer is “a lot.” But, the benefits of using a highly trained, experienced, and accredited service provider significantly outweigh the savings of a DIY effort. One of the most significant benefits is the proper treatment and drying of materials, including carpet. Quick and correct action can be the difference between spending a little now and paying a tremendous amount later because some of the effects of water damage are not instant, some take their time. And if not accurately handled they can accumulate a cost many times of the original incident. One such issue is Carpet Delamination.
What is it?
Carpet delamination is when the primary and secondary backings of a carpet separate.
How does it affect carpet?
After a carpet becomes delaminated, it is no longer securely attached to the floor. In fact, it is technically two sperate elements: the top layer, which is the visible portion of the carpet, and the bottom layer that contacts the pad or another flooring. Since the layers are no longer secured to each other, they can shift and move apart. This causes wrinkles or the carpet to pull away from the wall, or other non-aesthetic issues like safety hazards.
What causes it?
There are many causes of delamination including improper installation, heavy weighed traffic, and moisture. We are going to focus on the various moisture related instigators of damage to carpet.
Whether it comes from heavy rains, plumbing, or an appliance, over saturation of water on carpet can end up being devastating. And it is not just the immediate damage of the standing water that requires concern; pollutants in the water can negatively affect the adhesive that bonds the primary and secondary backing. Cleaning solutions such as dishwasher liquid, laundry detergent, and other cleaning products can dissolve adhesive, sometimes quickly based on concentration. Microbial growth from absorbed water can feed off the adhesive, breaking it down over time.
If any of your furry family members have an accident on the carpet it paramount to take action as fast as you can. Urine starts out acidic and eats away at the carpet fiber and latex. But over time it turns alkaline and causes even more damage to the threads and glue.
Cleaning Supplies and Treatments
Cleaning solutions that come from malfunction appliances are one thing, but what about the chemicals that you often use on your carpet? You know the ones that you use to clean up pet or wine accidents. It just as important to properly utilize those items and follow the directions and recommended treatment times. If you leave a spot remover on too long, it can begin to dissolve the adhesive, even if it is only that spot. Powdered odor remover can lead to issues as well, foot traffic can push the powder to the base of the carpet, making it harder to remove and that can potentially become food for microbial growth even in the smallest amounts of water. If you clean your carpet yourself, it is a must to make sure that it is dry, there isn’t a lot of light that gets between the layers of carpet making it ideal for microbial growth if there is moisture.
Knowing some of the causes of carpet delamination can make you feel like you have to be vigilant 24/7 and not allow anyone or pet on your carpet. But it does not have to be that way. Proper care for your carpet, including the occasional cleaning by a professional, can extend the life of your carpet and prevent it from being cut short. If you there is a water event in your home or office contact an experienced mitigation specialist to ensure that carpet and other materials reach the dry standard and focuses on restoring what can be saved. Now relax, take your shoes off, clench your toes and feel the carpet between them. After all, it isn’t there just for looks.
Winter Weather May Make Its Return to Greenville, SC
2019 is two weeks old, and it still feels like 2018 for some reason. I think because it has been wet. Well, brace yourself Greenville, because this weekend looks to be a re-run. Or is it?
Currently, meteorologists are saying that there may be a slight chance of snow. Not sleet, not freezing rain, not ice, but the fun stuff. The stuff that you can make forts, people, and projectiles out of. The stuff that is less likely to knock out your power so you can still binge watch that show about the dragons and drink hot chocolate. You know SNOW.
So, let’s all get prepared folks. Buy your milk, bread, and eggs. Order your sleds online with express shipping. The more we hope and prep the higher the chances are right, right? Slim chance or not, like Han Solo said: “Never tell me the odds.”
Just do not forget to make preparations in your vehicle and around your home or office. Check out some of our past blogs for vehicle essentials and tips on how to help keep your pipes from freezing. If it does snow, focus on enjoying it rather than worrying.
In the event that something goes wrong making the hot cocoa, your kids track so much snow onto your carpet, or if your pipes do freeze and burst, give us a call. We’ll be #ready no matter rain, sleet, and yes even in the snow.
Proper Post-Holiday Tree Care and Disposal
Christmas has come and gone, and it is almost the new year. Now it is nearly time for the big post-holiday cleanup. Which by the way, is my least favorite part of the whole thing and the reason that I use the “simple and tasteful” approach when decorating my home (even though I love it when others go all out). And if you use a real tree to bring the holiday joy, you may wonder what options you have when it comes to disposing of the ol’ Tannenbaum. The great news is that residents in our area have an eco-friendly solution at the ready.
Once again Greenville County is offering a Christmas Tree Recycling Program that includes curb pick-up (check for availability in your area) and drop-off locations across the county. Just make sure that all trees are free of tinsel, ornaments, and lights. There are several places to drop off your tree including Simpsonville City Park, Travelers Rest City Hall, and Greenville’s recycling centers. Making it easy and convenient to properly dispose of your tree.
Why is it important to properly dispose of your tree?
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day can be a hectic time. You may have to go back to work on a short week and have a lot to do in a little time, or you may be off and spending time with family and enjoying your new “toys.” It can be easy to forget to water the tree, after all, Christmas has passed and it can seem less important to make sure the tree is vibrant and green. But it is imperative to make sure that your tree is still adequately cared for until it is removed from the house. A dry tree has a significantly higher risk of becoming a fire hazard.
So make sure to monitor the water levels daily. If you run your fingers through the needles if they feel brittle and fall off easily into your hand, the tree is too dry and should be removed from the house. Experts suggest that a properly cared for tree can stay fresh for three to four weeks, after that its chances of drying to an unacceptable and unsafe level. Keep that in mind if you like to buy your tree early in the holiday season.
Make your post-holiday a safe one and help start off 2019 incident free by properly caring for and disposing of your Christmas tree.
A Different Kind of Emergency
Standing water stood between an HVAC repair tech and repairing a Taylors, SC heater. We were able to extract the water the same day they called us.
Water does not have to rush in from a flood or run down the walls from a busted pipe to be a huge problem. Sometimes it can just sit there unnoticed and then bring your plans to a grinding halt.
A homeowner in Taylors, SC recently learned this lesson after their HVAC system began to have issues shortly after the recent snowstorm. The HVAC system slowly started to shut down, and while the weather in the upstate has been slightly above average for this time of year, the homeowner knew he needed to get this taken care of ASAP. They called a service specialist and made an appointment right before they were planning to go out of town for the holidays and assumed that everything would be ready and repaired soon. The next problem arose when the HVAC tech opened the crawlspace and saw inches of standing water between the entrance and the unit that needed service.
The service tech contacted the homeowner and told them that they could not perform the repairs until the water was removed. And understandably so, there is no way to know how long the water had been there and what type of pollutants had begun to grow, or where the water came from? Was it from the recent snow and rain or a leak from a pipe? The homeowner called SERVPRO of East Greenville County to extract the water from the crawlspace and needed it done quickly. We were able to perform the service the same day, which included laying down a temporary plastic liner, so the HVAC tech was not crawling and working in mud and allowed for the technician to complete the repairs to the HVAC unit that same day. And the homeowner was able to go on their trip without worrying about their family not having heat when they returned home.
The standing water in the crawlspace was a different kind of an emergency, the property was not necessarily in jeopardy, but there was a lot at stake. So be sure to check your crawlspace a few days after a major weather event or water incident inside your home.
Stories Winter Storm 2018: Pools in the Attic
There was so much standing water in the attic of a Greenville, SC business that it was pooling behind the paint on many of the walls.
There is never a good time to discover that you have a leak in your roof. That being said, there is also never a good time to discover that you have several leaks in your cigar shop’s roof. Add several inches of melting snow and ice to come running down your walls and through your light fixtures, and you’d have a pretty bad day.
Luckily when the business owner called his landlord, his landlord called SERVPRO of East Greenville County, we were already in the area handling another emergency call. Our production team leader rushed over to scope out the full situation, and our team was there with air movers, drying mats, and ready to extract the standing water in less than 90 mins after getting the call.
Our production team leader noticed that the shop’s ceiling was shallow compared to the height of the building, and even though repairing roofs is not our specialty, he thought he better check on how severe the damage is and try to identify the source. This was when he discovered that there were several pools of standing water in the attic of the building and took swift action to extract the water and prevent a potential catastrophe if the ceiling was to cave in or more spots began to leak on the merchandise in the store. The drying process took several days, so, unfortunately, the business did have downtime, but because our team was able to respond quickly and take swift action, several thousand dollars of inventory and sales equipment was able to be saved. So the store may have a week with no sales, but they will only have to replace a minimal amount of inventory, and that is a drastic reduction to the negative financial impacts.
Our team’s rapid response and experience limited the potential impacts to both the business and the building.
Stories Winter Storm 2018: The Mini Flood
Packed snow combined with melting snow and ice created a mini flood down this sidewalk causing water to flow into a Greer, SC business.
We did it Greenville! We made it through one of the biggest winter storm events to hit our area in years. Our office was closed on Monday, but our team was #Ready: from taking calls from their homes and our crew was out on the icy roads to be where you needed us to be.
One particular call was for a medical facility in Greer that had almost a half an inch of standing water over a few hundred square feet of office space. The office manager had gone out to test the roads to determine if it was safe to open can call in the staff, and while he was out he figured he stop in to take some pictures of downtown covered in the snow, and when he opened the office door and heard splashing, he knew something was wrong. Was it a busted pipe? Overflowing sink or toilet? No, the source was packed snow clogging a sidewalk drainage grate causing the water from the melting snow and ice to flow right into the building. Our team worked to extract the standing water, dry the carpet, and even shoveled the snow off of the grate to keep it from happening again. Because the office manager took swift action and called SERVPRO of East Greenville County, we were able to get the office floor dry quickly and ready for them when they felt it was safe to open. They did not lose any extra time waiting for the floor to dry and were able to begin to provide service to their clients ASAP.
Our team is always #Ready to assist you no matter what the condition, we may even the give the post office a run for their money.
How You Can Help Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
A frozen over outside faucet can be a bad omen for your Greer, SC property. Make sure to take steps to protect your plumbing, inside and out.
Winter is coming. (Always wanted to say that in the right context.) And it is coming to the Greenville, SC a few weeks early. A blast of cold air is headed our way, and although there is uncertainty for ice or snow, one thing that is for sure is that temperatures are going to drop. Meteorologists are predicting lows in our area to be in the 20s for a few days next week, and the highs are not much warmer. So, make sure to stock up on bread, milk, batteries, and board games. But don’t forget to prep your pipes.
As a water damage mitigation company, we see a barrage of water losses during winter weather events. And these particular loses come with their own unique set of challenges, water from burst pipes can spill into a home and freeze or the power may be out for days. But the SERVPRO of East Greenville Team has the training and equipment to overcome these challenges and help you and your property recover quickly.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t share some tips on how to help prevent pipes in your home, business, or facility from freezing and possibly causing major problems.
Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and night. If you grew up with a penny-pinching family member you might remember phrases like “Turn the heat down during the day, the sun will keep us warm,’ or “Turn the heat down at night and use extra blankets and put on two pairs of socks to keep warm.” My uncle said those exact statements frequently and many times during the same day. But trying to save a few cents can wind up costing a lot. It is a good idea to keep a warmer temperature consistent to help keep indoor pipes from getting too cold. Speaking of…
Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around indoor plumbing. Keeping indoor pipes warm can prevent them from being the culprits if you do have a pipe burst, and that can limit the damage to crawlspaces or the exterior of the home. Make sure to put any harmful chemicals out of reach of small children or pets.
If you are planning to spend the cold weather somewhere other than home, set your thermostat to 55° or higher, you may not be at home, but your pipes are.
Use insulation to protect pipes in basements, crawlspaces, attics, and the exterior of your home. Insulation tape and water faucet covers can help protect any external faucets, just make sure to disconnect the hose for maximum protection. If a few items at $5 can prevent spending $1000s, sign us up. These can work in the short term, but you may want to contact a professional to install long-term insulation to your pipes under a house or in a basement or attic.
Turn the faucet on. You hear it a lot, but it works. Moving water is harder to freeze than still water. Even a slow drip can be enough to make a huge difference. Running the water in multiple rooms can help even more.
We hope that these tips are helpful, and if you have any additional best practices that you’d want to share, head on over to our Facebook and leave us a comment.
Celebrating Safety During the Holidays in Greenville, SC
It is the beginning of December, and we are seeing some fantastically decorated homes for the holiday season. From the tasteful white lights on a few trees to enough lights and color to be seen from space, it is all wonderful. We can’t wait to pack the family the car and tour various neighborhoods and enjoy all of the hard work and start to feel festive. But the desire to have the best-decorated house on the block can lend itself to a few safety issues.
The American Red Cross has several holiday safety tips on their website to help ensure that your holiday season is a safe one. What’s great is that they think of things that are easily overlooked during the winter season (New Year’s Eve fireworks anyone?).
Three is the magic number! Place all trees, candles, and other decorations at least 3ft from fireplaces, portable heaters, and other heat sources.
Make room. Cooking for family gatherings or parties can be a “stressful joy,” but be sure to keep flammable items like oven mitts, food packaging, and paper recipes away from the stove top. It may be a good idea to invest in a tablet to store classic family recipes, just remember that they are flammable too.
Stay away from frays. During the arduous process of untangling the lights, be sure to check each string for frayed electrical cords. You may have to toss them out and replace them, but it is less costly than any disasters that may happen.
The designated walker. It is a great idea to assign a someone the honor and duty of walking your property to make sure all candles and lights are extinguished each evening or after guest leave holiday parties.
The same rules apply in the cold too. If you plan to celebrate the new year with fireworks, keep the same safety precautions in mind. Just because its cold outside doesn’t mean that a stray spark can start a fire and you have to invite the fire department to your New Year’s Eve get together. Keep the display away from buildings and outside decorations.
Emphasizing safety during the holidays can give you the chance to enjoy them worry-free. And even if something was to go awry, SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s team is always #Ready. Any day. Any time.
Essential Items to Keep in Your Vehicle During Greenville’s Winter Months
Getting stranded during a winter storm can be a dangerous spot to be stuck in. Make sure that you are prepared if you have to be on the road.
While it is true that we do not get a significant amount of winter weather here in Greenville, SC, when we do get it everything shuts down. Well almost everything, thanks Waffle House. Our area is notorious for false start winter storm warnings, empty bread aisles and milk shelves, and school cancelations. Just to get cold rain. And because of this, many folks around the area do not heed the warnings so when we do get a 4-inch blizzard, or even worse an ice storm, they are caught unaware, especially on the road.
Getting caught in heavy snow or ice while driving can be a challenge, after all, the Upstate does not get enough of it to become adapted to those conditions. And many facilities may hold off on closing or sending employees home until conditions are no longer safe to drive. You’ll see 85 and 385 dotted with abandoned vehicles the day after a winter event and you hope that everyone is OK and be happy that was not you.
But what do you do when it IS you? Do you chance it and walk a mile or two in the snow or ice, what if you have children or those with mobility issues? You may have to stay in the vehicle until conditions clear up, if they are clearing up soon. And that is why keeping the following items in the car during the winter months is a fantastic idea that can help to keep you and your family safe.
Flashlight: Keeping a flashlight in your car is always a good idea no matter what season, but if you are stuck during a winter storm you can use the flashlight to get the attention SHEP trucks or other good Samaritans and save your cell phone battery for trying to call for help. Speaking of which…
Cell phone battery pack: Having an external cell phone charger handy is a life saver. You may have to call for help or use GPs to locate a safe place to wait out the storm. These can be a little tricky because you do have to remember to keep them charged and put them back in the car too, but are still worth the investment.
Gloves, an extra set of warm clothes, and blankets: You may have to get out and push or try to dig out of a bad situation if you slide off the road. The gloves will keep your hands warm, but if there is still precipitation falling or deep snow having an extra set of clothes to change into can help prevent possible health concerns like frostbite or hypothermia. Depending on your situation you may be there a while, blankets will help keep you warm.
Kitty litter: Find the coarsest kitty litter you can and keep a bag or two in the trunk, but stay away from the scoopable variety. You need the rough litter to help give your tires traction if you are stuck. Spreading the litter near your tires and in front of the vehicle can help you to get out of a potentially dangerous scenario.
Reflectors, reflective clothing, and road flares: Visibility may be limited during, and after a storm, flares can help get others attention, the reflectors will help others to see your vehicle, and if you are risking the walk, reflective clothing like a vest can help other drivers to see you and avoid accidents.
Tow rope or chain: Remember the good Samaritans from earlier, they have stopped to help you but they do not have a way to help pull you out of the ditch and pushing is not working either. If their vehicle is built for working, they may be able to pull you out of the ditch. Just be sure of where to safely tie the chain or rope to both vehicles. (If you have a cell phone battery charger and are still have a signal you can look up the optimal spots on each car is for emergency towing.)
Water and non-perishable food: Being stranded is not fun, being stranded and hungry and thirsty is even less fun. Keeping water along with granola bars, jerky, or trail mix will give you the calories you need to stay warm. And if you have children with you, a snack can stave off crankiness and prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Just don’t eat out of boredom or stress eat, and check the expiration dates on your items.
There are many more things that you can keep in your car for the winter months, or all year (*cough cough* first aid kit) based on where you live. These are just a few ideas from our team based on some real-life experiences that we hope you never need but will be happy that you have.