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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Bathroom Exhaust Fan. Your New Best Friend.

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

The primary purpose of the bathroom exhaust fan has been lost over time. It is actually there to control the moisture levels in the bathroom.

Homeownership can be exhausting. So many things beak or need updating, regular maintenance, and the bills. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you own your home or if your home owns you. And it can be very easy to think a small repair can be put off and ignored, that is until it turns into a huge unavoidable issue. Let’s take a look at one such item; the bathroom exhaust fan.

The bathroom exhaust fan is the best friend you never knew you had, and you will miss him when he is gone. But it is only a small problem, right? Yes, it does help control odors in the bathroom, and when you spray all of those cleaning solutions in the sink and tub, it helps to pull those odors out too. You can buy candles and air fresheners, and open the nearest window while you are cleaning, that is cheaper and more convenient than paying to have it repaired or replaced. But what about the real purpose for the bathroom exhaust fan, the one that can help save you thousands in repair cost? I bet you are listening now.

Odor control is the most noticeable function of the exhaust fan, but it is moisture control that is the real benefit that it provides. Those long, hot showers after a long day that fog up the mirror, well they also “fog” up the walls and doors. The fan helps to quickly adjust the moisture levels in the bathroom, making the bathroom a less ideal environment for mold to develop. Some wooden doors and flooring types may also be prone to warping if they absorb too much moisture, the fan works to keep those intact too. A warped door can be a pain, but if the floor warps in the wrong spot, it can lead to the toilet leaking and even more water damage throughout the house.

So, although it may seem like an insignificant item that is easy to keep at the bottom of the “to-do” list, you should give the bathroom exhaust fan a little MVP treatment every once in a while. Dust it when you clean the bathroom, and if it breaks, get it fixed ASAP. After all, it is working in the background to save you money, just like a good friend.

South Carolina Severe Weather Preparedness Week

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

The SCEMD app is a great tool that allows users to create plans and stay up to date on weather alerts.

March 10th through the 16th is Severe Weather and Flood Preparedness Week in South Carolina. The week is designed to reinforce that severe storms, tornadoes, and floods can have a significant impact on our state, and as residents, we need to take the proper safety precautions. The National Weather Service and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) co-sponsor the week to promote awareness of the procedures that can help keep you safe during severe weather.

Meteorologists can track weather patterns to predict severe thunderstorms and flooding, but tornadoes are much more difficult to anticipate, and warnings may only be issued within minutes before striking. That is why it is essential to develop and practice an Emergency Action Plan at home and work in order to be as prepared as possible in the event of a tornado. Participating in tornado drills will help ensure that your family and co-workers are on the same page and know what action to take as well as their roles afterward. On Wednesday, March 13th at 9 AM there will be a statewide tornado drill, along with broadcast stations testing their emergency alert systems.

In South Carolina, the majority of tornadoes occur between March and May, but the ideal conditions for a tornado can happen at any time. That is why the National Weather Service has provided the following advice:

Before a Tornado

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.
  • Look for approaching storms.
  • Look for the following danger signs:
    • Dark, often greenish sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train
  • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

During a Tornado

  • If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.
  • Get indoors to a pre-designated shelter area such as a basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level. If
    there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away
    from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • If in a vehicle, trailer or mobile home, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby
    building or storm shelter.
  • If unable to get indoors, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be
    aware of potential flooding and flying debris.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.

After a Tornado

  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Avoid downed power lines and report them to your utility company.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.

The SCDME also has an application to help you prepare and keep up to date during severe weather conditions. It is available for iPhone and Android operating systems.

Safety Is the Greatest Benefit

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire can quickly spread from a chimney to the rest of a structure. Preventative maintenance can significantly reduce the risk of a fire.

In the ten years that I have lived in my home, I have used the fireplace only a handful of times, and all but two of them were when the power went out during a winter storm. I am sure that many of our readers get a lot of usage out of their fireplaces, even when it isn’t that cold outside, but how many of you regularly have your chimney professionally cleaned? Thoroughly cleaning your chimney can provide you with a few benefits, including the safety and health of your family.

A chimney's purpose is to provide ventilation from the gases or smoke that generate from a device used to heat materials such as a stove, boiler, or fireplace. And over time and with each use a substance called creosote can build up on the inside walls of a chimney. In addition to being flammable, creosote reduces the airflow of a chimney, and that can prevent toxins and smoke from properly clearing from your home. As I mentioned, creosote is flammable. And a flammable substance that can be that close to a source of heat could lead to disaster. A burning ember from the fireplace can float up to a deposit of creosote and cause it to ignite, and the fire can quickly spread through the chimney and affect your home. A regularly maintained chimney can help to limit your family’s exposure to harmful gasses and help to prevent fires.

The buildup of creosote is not the only reason to have your chimney cleaned. Animals such as birds and rodents can nest in chimneys and being with them other flammable materials or block the pathway of toxins and smoke. So if you are like me and rarely use your fireplace, you may still need to consider a professional cleaner inspect it just in case you decide, (or have to) use your fireplace.

Clean chimneys have other benefits such as more efficient heating and lower power bills during the colder months. But the increased safety is well worth the time and cost to find a professional chimney sweep and start a cleaning routine. Cleaning chimneys may not be one of the services that SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides, but if you are having trouble finding a service provider, we will be glad to help you out.

Don't Ignore Hanging Insulation

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Hanging insulation can be both a symptom of one problem or the beginning of another. And it is best to act if you spot it quickly.

While at first glance you would think the big issue is the wet subfloor. (And you’d be right) But, it is the thing that may not stand out to you that can lead to the next giant issue. Although it is only in the top left corner of this photograph, the hanging insulation is the real star. Yes, the subfloor is soaking wet, and if you were to spot this underneath your home, you would be swift to take action. But if you see insulation hanging in some spots of the crawlspace, you may not give it a second glance. Hanging insulation could be a symptom of water damage, but it has the potential to cause microbial growth under your home without you ever having any water damage. If the hanging insulation reaches the ground, it can wick up natural groundwater from rain, and over time that can saturate that piece of insulation and possibly spread to other materials that it touches. Unconditioned crawlspaces can be ideal locations for mold to grow, they are dark, probably humid, and most people never go into the crawlspace unless they have to. The moral of this story is that if you or a service provider see hanging insulation, it may be best to contact a professional like SERVPRO of East Greenville County to inspect your property and prevent issues before they start.

Stuffed Sharks Do Not Flush

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

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

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Flooding

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.

Urine

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

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

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

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

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

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

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

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

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

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

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

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

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

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Employee Holiday Recipes Part 2

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

This isn’t a picture of Jason’s recipe (because no one is willing to wait for a photo), but everyone should see ACBP in all of its glory.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers all kinds of great information about prevention, safety, and procedures during fire and water disasters. But during this time of year, we want to share some of our team’s favorite recipes. So please enjoy Jason’s Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding.

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

3 cans of cinnamon rolls

6 eggs

¾ cup milk

1 ½ Tbs cinnamon

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbs of butter

2 Granny Smith Apple

1 Red Delicious Apple

1 cup brown sugar

Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl until slightly creamy, and set aside. Dice each Uncooked cinnamon roll into 6-9 pieces and set aside. Dice the apples (dealer’s choice if peeled or unpeeled). Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, apples, and brown sugar. Cook until the apples are tender and the butter and sugar have caramelized and allow to cool for 10-15 mins.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a medium sized casserole dish with butter or cooking spray and add the diced cinnamon rolls and spread evenly. Then pour milk mixture making sure to get even coverage. Spread the apples over the top, but do not press them into the cinnamon rolls, and then finally pour the icing over the uncooked bread pudding. Bake for 30-45 mins. Use the toothpick method to make sure is done.

Add any topping you like or eat it plain. It makes a great dessert or a fantastic breakfast.

Clean Gutters Can Help Prevent Flooded Basements

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

It has been a rough few days this week as far as weather goes in the Upstate. This week alone the area averaged over 6 inches of rain, that is a month and a half worth of rain per local meteorologists. The storm brought with it flooding, downed trees, auto accidents, and even sinkholes. We were happy to do what we can to assist those that were impacted by the rain.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County was called out to several homes to extract inches of standing water in finished basements. The emergency calls started coming in before 4 AM and continued throughout the day until late into the evening. In many cases, the flooding was from water pooling at a home’s foundation line and then wicking through the walls or cracks. A proper drainage system on the roof of a structure can help to prevent water from pooling next to the wall and potentially causing severe issues.

But what does “proper drainage system mean,” you ask…

Gutters, more specifically well-maintained gutters. That’s right, the bane of the weekend, the yard work that no one sees or compliments, cleaning out the gutters. Climbing up and down a ladder, carrying a bag that gets heavier each and every time, sticking your hand into who knows what, and it is so easy to say “just forget it.” But the thing is all of that can help to prevent a flooded basement.

If the gutters are clogged, water cannot move freely through them into the spouts pointed away from the home. Leaves and sticks can build up creating dams causing hazardous overflow, or they can weigh down a gutter and pull it away from the roof and generate a whole new set of problems.

Everyone has what they consider the best method or tool to clean out gutters, and there are lots of preventative items available too. So, you have to figure what works best for you. But if spending two weekends a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall, can help prevent spending thousands of dollars and tons of headaches, isn’t it worth it?

If your home, business, or facility has had water damage because of clogged gutters or any other reason, SERVPRO of East Greenville County is here to help. Give us a call at 864-292-3495.

Employee Holiday Recipes Part 1

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

The first batch of soup for the season. A tasty addition for a cold Saturday tailgate or weeknight meal.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers all kinds of great information about prevention, safety, and procedures during fire and water disasters. But during this time of year, we want to share some of our team’s favorite recipes. So please enjoy Jason’s Chicken, Sausage, and Pepper Soup

The holidays are coming up and with them lots of parties along with tons of fabulous friends and fantastic food. You may find yourself scrambling to find something to bring, or so busy being social that you do not have time to cook for yourself at one. Luckily, we have a soup recipe that is easy to make, even with all the ingredients. And best of all it is actually healthy. It can be its own meal, or an appetizer, which is why it can be great for parties. Adding the cheese sauce listed at the end thickens it up and makes a perfect for bread bowls.

Chicken, Sausage, and Pepper Soup                                                          

2lbs pork sausage (any flavor but maple)

3/4lb slow cooked chicken (with butter and coconut oil)                                     

1 green pepper diced

1 can Rotel

1 bag frozen pepper stir-fry

1 10oz bag spinach or spinach kale mix

4 cups beef STOCK (not broth)

2Tbs cayenne pepper

2Tbs cumin

2Tbs Italian seasoning

2Tbs onion powder

2Tbs season salt

2Tbs kosher salt

1Tbs chipotle garlic salt

2Tbs olive oil

Gather all spices in 1 container

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over med heat. Add sausage (don’t break up yet and let seer for 1 min). Break up sausage and cook through (don’t drain grease). Add peppers, wait 3 mins then add chicken, Rotel, and spices. Mix well. Add spinach and cover for 10 mins to wilt. Mix everything together. Add stock. Stir. (If you are going to add the cheese sauce, do it before bringing the soup to a boil). Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30mins. 

Cheese sauce

1 small container heavy whipping cream

1 stick unsalted butter

8oz shredded cheese (your choice)

1 cube chicken bouillon cube

1Tbs black pepper

Stir chicken cube into the cream. Add butter then place over med heat. Keep stirring to melt butter. After butter has melted, slowly add cheese in small amounts until it melts. Place heat on low and simmer for 10 mins.

We hope that you enjoy this delicious soup, and if you do make it share it with us on Facebook, we’d love to see it.

Fry the Turkey, Not Your Yourself: Turkey Frying Safety Tips

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fried turkey is delicious, but it can be disastrous if safety is not a priority during the preparation process.

It took a while, but Fall has finally come to Greenville. The temperatures are getting cooler, the leaves are changing, and you may even have to warm the car up before heading to work some mornings. But the best parts of the season, to me, are the all the holiday foods. Each year I start planning my Thanksgiving menu weeks in advance, and that includes doing a test run of some of the foods that are only brought out for the big day to make sure it will be just right.

But this year I am thinking of changing it up a little and frying the turkey. I'm talking acutally doing it myself, not ordering one from a restaurant the day before and fighting the temptation to dig in. I admit I am a little nervous about frying the bird, after all when you work in the restoration industry you see and hear about fires and other disasters that can happen if the proper safety steps are not followed. Luckily, there are several reliable sources for techniques and safety protocols that can help to ensure that the only worry will be impressing the in-laws.

StateFarm.com has several safety tips to secure a “scorchless” celebration, including:

  1. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  3. Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  5. Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  7. Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  8. Never leave fryers unattended.
  9. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby during the heating, cooking, and cooling process.

Food Guru Alton Brown has designed a Fry Derrick that can help ensure your safety and the safety of your property. You can see a brief instruction video here.

Remember to be thinking about safety when working in a kitchen, or cooking outdoors in this case, and then you and your loved ones can focus on enjoying the meal, and no one has to take a to-go plate to the emergency room.

If you have a turkey fryer incident or any other accident in the kitchen SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and we can help you ANY day of the year.

SERVPRO of East Greenville Observes Fire Prevention Week

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Each year the week of October 9th is recognized as Fire Prevention Week by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. More than 250 people died, 100,000 homes and businesses were destroyed, and thousands of acres were burned, and that disastrous event changed the way that civil engineers and firefighters viewed fire safety.  Since 1922 Fire Protection Week has been sponsored by the NFPA, and President Coolidge declared it a national observance in 1925 making FPW America’s longest-running public health observance. During FPW firefighters provide public education to children and adults to promote fire safety and reduce fire-related casualties.

The campaign for Fire Prevention Week 2018 is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” and focuses on teaching people three necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of a fire and how to escape in the event of a fire.


Look
for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.


Listen
for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.


Learn
two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

For more information including printable materials and videos for fire safety and prevention visit NFPA.org. And contact your local fire department to see if they are hosting any Fire Prevention Week events. 

Portable Generator Safety in Greenville, SC

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

If you followed along with our blogs last month, you would remember that the theme was National Preparedness Month. One of the blogs was about making a plan, and I practice what I preach. So with the changes that were happening daily to the projected path of Hurricane Florence, I jumped the gun and purchased supplies. In fact, I went overboard. Water, food, first-aid, pet supplies; I bought it all, including two generators. Luckily, Greenville was spared from the torrential rains, at one point meteorologists were calling for 6 inches and a foot, and I didn’t need any of the emergency supplies (and I hope that you did not as well). All the food, water, and other supplies will be put to use, “Winter is Coming” and all that, but what am I going to do with two generators, because the location at which I purchased them is strictly adhering to a “No returns on emergency supplies” policy, even if said supplies are unopened. Now I am twice as prepared.

Keeping in line with being prepared I researched how to properly and safely use a generator so here are some safety tips from the American Red Cross.

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
  • To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
  • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
  • Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

Please keep these tips in mind if you have to use a generator due to severe weather, and I guess now that goes double for me.

National Preparedness Month Week 4: Save For an Emergency

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

The FEMA app is an excellent source of information like real-time alerts and locations of emergency shelters.

You have put in the effort, and you have the supplies, you have the skills, and you are adequately insured for a disaster. But are you financially ready for the challenges that go along with recovering and rebuilding after an emergency?

Financial planning is more than just setting money aside; it also means keeping essential documents and records in a safe and secure place. Ready.gov has a guide to make securing and retrieving these documents easier, the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), that when used along with a secure mobile app, safety deposit box, or external hard drive, makes starting the recovery process even faster. Take advantage of these services to safeguard your critical documents:

Household

  • Photo ID to prove the identity of household members
  • Birth certificate to maintain or re-establish contact with family members
  • Social security card to apply for FEMA disaster assistance
  • Military service
  • Pet ID tags

Medical Information

  • Physician information to provide doctors with health information if medical care is needed
  • Copies of health insurance information to ensure existing care continues uninterrupted
  • Immunization records  
  • Medications  

Legal and Financial Documents

  • Housing Payments to identify financial records and obligations
  • Insurance policies to re-establish financial accounts
  • Sources of income to maintain payments and credit
  • Tax statements to provide contact information for financial and legal providers & apply for FEMA disaster assistance

Preparation is a very time-consuming process, and you may miss crucial items if you wait until the last minute to start. Staying prepared will prevent you from having to get prepared, and will allow you to be able to handle any emergency that comes your way.

National Preparedness Month Week 3: Check Your Coverage

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

A few facts about flood insurance.

If the last few weeks have been any indication, weather can be unpredictable. Hurricane Florence’s path and impacts to the Greenville area have changed multiple times a day, and that has been frustrating when trying to figure out the best ways to prepare. One step in the preparation process that is consistent is checking your insurance coverage.

All insurances are not the same, each carrier and policy have their own specifications, requirements, and limitations of coverage. Reviewing policies and looking for gaps can be overwhelming and confusing, but Floodsmart.gov has several tools and resources that will help you to understand how and when to buy and renew, help you to file a claim, and help to understand your insurance policy to determine if you do have flood insurance.

Your insurance agent is also an excellent resource for understanding your policy, but it is a good idea to talk with them about your policy before you need to utilize your policy.

National Preparedness Month Week 2: Learn Life Saving Skills

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mini first aid kits like this one are perfect for keeping in vehicles and can assist you if an emergency during travel.

Think back to your high school days, (way back for some of us), did you ever have nightmares about a test that you had not studied for? I’d wake up in a panic, and scramble to study more and be as prepared as I can be. Full disclosure: I still have these things, and I graduated high school in 1998. But the anxiety that caused the nightmares stemmed from a feeling of being ill-prepared, and that same anxiety can cause you to freeze or panic during an emergency. The best way to overcome the sense of not being prepared is to learn as much as you can so that you can handle anything.

Week 2 of NPM focuses on learning life-saving skills so that you can be able to quickly respond to and assist with emergencies with the proper knowledge. Taking the correct action right away, until medical help arrives, can save a life. Follow these steps from Healthfinder.gov now to be prepared in the future.

Know when to call 911

Even if you are fully trained in first aid or CPR always alert 911 right away during an emergency situation including:

  • Fire
  • Serious injury
  • Sudden violent illness (poisoning)

911 operators are trained to assist in any way possible, so it is important to answer their questions as best as you can, listen to them carefully, and do NOT hang up.

Take a class

Several types of courses available will teach first aid, CPR, and how to utilize an AED correctly. The American Red Cross’ website has a tool to help locate classes based on your city, and help you learn to handle:

  • Cuts, burns, head injuries, and broken bones.
  • Someone who cannot breathe
  • When a person’s heart suddenly stops beating

Make a First Aid Kit

First aid kits have all that you need for rapid response to many situations to treat those that require medical attention. It is incredibly important to have a kit nearby including in your home, at work, and even in the car.  A well-stocked first aid kit should include the following:

  • Directions on how to treat basic injuries and when to call for more help
  • Bandages
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Gloves to prevent contamination risks
  • Antiseptic solution or wipes
  • And more.

Be sure to check and restock your first aid kit regularly.

The knowledge and experience you will gain from learning these skills can empower you to make the right decision and take swift action in the event of an emergency.

National Preparedness Month Week 1: Make a Plan

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

The only certain thing about disasters is that nothing is certain about disasters. Natural or manmade, a disaster can happen at any time, and your family may not be together when they strike. Having a plan in place can help your family reconnect with one another and maximize their safety. But you have to plan to make a plan, and Ready.gov has the steps that you need to do so.

Step 1: Answer these questions

  • How will we receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is our shelter plan?
  • What is our evacuation route?
  • What is our family communication plan?

The discussions that these questions will lead to can build the foundation of your family’s disaster strategy.

Step 2: Know the needs of your household

Your family’s daily living needs can dictate parts of your plan. Do you have pets or service animals? Do any family members require special medication or medical equipment? Etc.

  • Dietary needs
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Disabilities

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan and Practice

You have worked hard with your family to create a plan, but it is paramount to have the plan written down and that all of the family members are comfortable with it. There are examples of Family Emergency Plans on Ready.gov’s website. And make sure to schedule family practices regularly, this will make sure that every member of the family knows the plan or you can find and overcome obstacles that may cause problems.

Disasters cannot be prevented, but planning can make sure that your family or employees are as #ready as they can be.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County Observes National Preparedness Month 2018

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), and it is a month dedicated to the idea that preparation is a critical factor in protecting ourselves and our families. NPM has been celebrated since 2004, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dedicates the month to educating and promoting information that helps Americans take action to prepare their schools, communities, businesses, and homes. The information provided by FEMA helps the general public be prepared for and ready to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters.

National Preparedness Month 2018’s overall theme is: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. Each week will focus on different ways that you can prepare for disasters.

  • Week 1: September 1-8  Make and Practice Your Plan
  • Week 2: September 9-15* Learn Life Saving Skills
  • Week 4 September 16-22 Check Your Insurance Coverage
  • Week 4: September 23-29 Save For an Emergency
  • September 15 is National Day of Action

Make sure to follow SERVPRO of East Greenville County on Facebook and Twitter as we will be sharing information provided by Ready.gov all month long.

Understanding Soot Deposits in your Taylors, SC Home or Property

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Chains of ionized particles called soot webs can build up in your home after a fire.

Recently we assisted a family in Taylors by cleaning up their home after a small grease fire. The family took swift action and was able to contain the fire damage to the kitchen. But, smoke, soot, and extinguisher deposit can quickly disperse through a home. Which is where SERVPRO of East Greenville County comes in, we safely remove the smoke and other chemicals from your property so that your family can rest easy and focus on getting things back to normal after a fire.

While our team was doing a pre-clean walk through and taking photographs of impacted the impacted structure, furniture, and other belongings, one of the homeowners looked up into the ceiling of a stairwell and began to cry out. “Please don’t think I keep a dirty house! Both my mother and my grandmother would be so angry with me if they were to see this,” she had seen black cobwebs clinging to the walls. “I am so embarrassed. The smoke from the fire has colored the cobwebs and dust and now I can see that I was not cleaning my house well enough.” But what she did not realize was is that black cobwebs after a fire is not just smoke and soot attaching itself to cobwebs that are already there. They are something else entirely.

Black cobwebs, smoke webs, or soot webs are actually a side effect of the smoke and debris of a fire. As materials burn their particles disperse into the air and they become ionized or develop a positive or negative charge, they then attract other molecules that have the opposing charge type. The airflow can carry these small bonds throughout an entire house can they will grow and attract more particles. And often deposit themselves in cooler spaces and do NOT require preexisting cobwebs to form. Soot webs are not the only type of particle distribution patterns that you may see after a fire.

Many variables impact the deposit pattern, and there are a few different types:

Nail Pop: An optical illusion when charged soot particles are attracted to metal nails and deposit on the outside of building materials.

Ghosting: The Shadowly outline around electrical outlets or other wall mounted items form when the hot, kinetically charged air moves to cooler air, depositing the particles around the objects as it slows.

No matter what type of soot pattern you may see, please do not attempt to clean or disturb them, as they may have trace deposits of harmful chemicals from burnt materials of extinguishers. Please contact a professional like SERVPRO of East Greenville County to make sure your home is properly cleaned after a fire no matter how big or small.

Rapid Response to a Storm Event at a Greenville, SC business.

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

A water extraction in progress. It pulls water from a carpet before it can absorb into the padding.

Over the past few weeks, the Upstate received several inches of rain. Single day totals were broken in some cities and flash flood, and storm warnings were a daily occurrence. The final days of the deluge proved to be too much for a roof of a Greenville business as a small section of their roof gave way to a significant amount of water.

The office had closed for the weekend, but the water was pouring in and rushing across the floor so rapidly that it set off the motion detectors and a manager was alerted. (Which is lucky for them, because if this amount of water had sat for the entire weekend, there is no telling how much damage could have been done.) The business had used SERVPRO of East Greenville County for commercial cleaning services in the past and knew that we were the people to call for this emergency. Almost every member of our production crew was on site in less than two hours to start the water extraction and drying process. All the standing water was removed

The office space is over 20,000 square feet and is requiring 140 air movers, over a dozen dehumidifiers, and scores of man hours to get this business back into a working state. As of this posting, we expect the flooring to reach dry standard by August 15, and we will then begin inspecting for any secondary issues that can arise from water damage.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is always ready to help your business recover as fast as possible to limit downtime and reduce the loss of productivity and profit. If your home or business experiences any disastrous event, give us a call at 864-292-3495, and we will be there to help you.

Dealing with Marijuana Residue and Odor in Your Greenville, SC Rental Property.

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Similar to cigarette smoke, marijuana residue can build up over time and have drastic impacts on a structure.

The past few years have seen many states legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, and property managers in those states are facing the challenge of removing marijuana residue and odor after a tenant moves out. South Carolina has yet to legalize marijuana at any level of use, but property managers in Greenville still have to face those same challenges.

Marijuana residue can enter the ventilation system of the structure; it can seep into carpeting or other soft contents, walls can be severely stained just like with cigarette smoke. And the length of the tenants’ tenure may have an impact on the level of contamination and processes that are needed to clean and restore the structure. Marijuana smoke and residue may also be combined with incense and other items used to mask the odor, and that may cause even more staining and penetration of the materials inside of a structure. A simple wipe down with retail cleaning solutions may be enough to clean the walls in an apartment that had a tenant with a twelve-month lease. But if the resident had been living there for multiple years, it may be time to call in a professional.

One of SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s specialties is the remediation of smoke damage, and we have the specialized resources to remove the damage, stains, and odor that smoke can cause. So, we can treat structures with marijuana residue with the same care and expertise as those with other types of smoke. Our cleaning solution can be increased or diluted to adjust to the level of staining without damaging the walls. Our air movers, ozone machines, and carpet cleaners are powerful enough to deodorize and remove residue from the air inside of structures and can help reduce the need to have the carpet replaced.

Marijuana cleanup is a sensitive subject, and it is what it is, no judgment from us. So if you are dealing with the impacts of marijuana use on your structure SERVPRO of East Greenville has the experience and resources to clean it up and give you peace of mind.   

Greer Community Ministries teams with SERVPRO of East Greenville County for a School Supply Drive.

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

A list of school supplies needed across all grade levels.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County has partnered with Greer Community Ministries, a local non-profit that provides services to those in need in Greer, SC. GCM follows the philosophy that “no elderly, homebound or disadvantaged person in the Greater Greer area will go hungry,” and has several programs to support their goals. These include a Meals on Wheels kitchen that served almost 90,000 hot and fresh meals, a food pantry and a clothing closet.

GCM also works to provide families in need with school supplies, and this year they have a goal of providing at least 500 children with supplies they need to start off the school year. Children within the Greenville and Spartanburg County school districts can come by GCM’s location at 738 S. Line St. Ext. in Greer with proof of residency and registration for grades 1-12 to pick up supplies every Monday – Friday until August 17. They are also accepting supplies and cash donations at the location or via their website. Saturday, August 4, GCM is hosting the Benson Classic Car Show in Greer from 10 am until 2 pm.

Where SERVPRO of East Greenville County comes in, is that our office is a drop off location for school supplies Monday – Friday 8.30 am until 4.30 pm until Thursday, August 16. Every person that drops off a new, unused bookbag at our location will be entered into a random drawing the week of August 24. The prizes include a Tasting Tour for Two from 6&20 Distillery.; event passes from Frankie’s Fun Park or a three-room carpet cleaning from us (a big thanks to our prize sponsors btw.)! So, donate and make yourself feel great and maybe win a prize to boot.

We take pride in giving back to our community and working with Greer Community Ministries.

The Importance of Adding Value to the Client/Realtor Relationship

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

An information table for a SERVPRO Lunch and Learn.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County had the opportunity to interact with the That Realty Group sales team during a lunch and learn earlier this week. Both teams had a great time and shared a delicious meal form Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House. The focus of the lunch and learn was to highlight the benefits of SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s residential service to both buyers and sellers of homes in the upstate of South Carolina.

One such benefit is the knowledge that any water or mold damage that is discovered during an inspection will be mitigated by a professional company with an excellent reputation and level of customer service. This can add peace of mind for the buyer, seller, and realtor throughout the transaction.

Realtors can also further develop a level of trust with their clients by being proactive with SERVPRO’s contact information in anticipation of an event. These events do not have to necessarily disastrous in nature either. A great example is a home was vandalized with tattoo ink on the front porch, windows, and some exterior walls, and this was within three months of purchasing the home. The homeowners felt angry, victimized, and embarrassed. And they were completely new to South Carolina, so they were not sure whom to call after speaking with the police, so they reached out to their realtor. Their realtor contacted our office to see if there was availability to assist her former clients quickly, and SERVPRO was on site that same morning to determine the best action plan. The home was cleaned up and only a few pieces of wicker furniture needed to be replaced, saying the homeowner a significant amount. But more importantly, the homeowners and realtor relationship grew stronger even though their transaction had been completed. A month later when friends of the homeowner were looking to relocate to Greenville, they immediately reached out to that same realtor because they trusted them to take care of those they cared about.

Realtors that utilize SERVPRO of East Greenville County get the immediate benefit of quality, reputable work. But they also get the long-term benefit of adding value to their client relationships as well.  

Indicators Your Greer, SC Home May Have Hidden Water Damage

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

A small drip from a water supply line resulted in massive water damage to a subfloor in Greer, SC.

When most people hear the phrase Water Damage, they think of flooded basements, overflowing sinks, and water pouring from a hole in the ceiling. And while those are disastrous examples of what a water damage event can look like, sometimes a less dramatic situation can cause quite a scene.

The following are some of the indicators that you may have a discrete water event:

  • Musty Odors. Even the smallest puddle of water can stagnate and become an ideal location for bacterial and microbial growth. These unseen puddles can produce the musty smell that can be an indicator of hidden water damage.
  • Noticeable microbial growth. Water from a loss can flow in many directions and collect in areas that may not get a lot of attention during regular cleaning. Once airborne or dormant mold spores come into contact with moisture, active mold growth can begin. Areas of discoloration or “fuzzy growth” may be a sign of microbial growth and that is being fed by an unknown water loss. If you do notice any suspected mold make sure to have, it examined by a professional mold mitigation service provider.
  • Stained ceilings and walls. Water can find its way into almost any part of a building, in between the levels of an office building, behind the walls of a church, and inside a hall closet in a home. As water pools and saturates the materials, it may stain the adjacent sheetrock or baseboard. Blotches or other stains can be indicators that you may have a small leak.

If you notice any of these or other signs of a potential water loss contact a plumber to determine and repair the source of the loss, and if you are having trouble locating a plumber we can make a referral. After the cause of water loss has been fixed contact SERVPRO of East Greenville County for restoration and repair of your damaged property.

Pack-Out Services for your Greenville, SC Home Remodel

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

A living room in Greer, SC mid-pack-out.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in emergency services for water, fire, and storm damage. But you do not have to have an emergency to take advantage of our service. In fact, a few of our services can be a part of your remodel plan.

Remodeling your home can be an exciting way to truly make your house your home. The concepts of expanding living spaces, adding a garden tub, or getting the perfect kitchen can all get the imagination racing. But often it’s the tiny details that are overlooked and bring large amounts of stress and frustration as they insert a little reality into your dream. Especially the ever so small detail of “Where are we going to put all of our stuff while we do this?”

Having the contents of your home packed-out by SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s professional team can help answer that question and significantly reduce stress. We can provide you with an efficient and organized pack-out based on your needs. This will help reduce the amount of time the remodel can take, protect your belongings from unexpected damage from accidents or construction debris, and give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your project. We have local business partners that can facilitate moving and storage as well, helping to lighten the burden even more.

So if your remodel and renovation is to finalize your dream home or a necessity because of damage, we are prepped and #ready to be there for you.

Reducing the Likelihood of Mold in your Greenville, SC Home: Crawl Space Water Heaters

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Discharge from water heaters can cause insulation to sag and can become a source of microbial growth.

You needed extra storage room in your home, so you relocated your water heater to the crawlspace. Great, you now have a larger pantry or hall closet, plus you do not have to worry about your floor if the water heater leaks. However, you may have set up a much larger issue down the road. Now, this isn’t intended to frighten anyone or convince them to reconsider any form of home renovation, but instead, bring awareness to on how to help prevent costly damage to your home.

One of SERVPRO of East Greenville County specialties is water mitigation, and often we discover a secondary issue while helping home or business owners recover from a water damage event: Mold. In the majority of those instances, we are able to be proactive and resolve the mold situation before it can become a huge problem. But, there are a few occasions where mold and microbial growth can become an enormous problem, and if the source of loss for water damage is a water heater that is located in an unconditioned crawlspace, the chances of a major mold issue increase drastically.

Unconditioned crawlspaces are ideal locations for microbial growth. They are dark, damp, and rarely disturbed. Combine those favorable conditions with even a small, unnoticeable leak from a water heater and mold can grow and spread quickly in the crawlspace and may impact other parts of your home. If your water heater has a major issue, it may spray hot water onto insulation or parts of HVAC units and other areas that may be overlooked by a hot water service technician, and that could be enough to initiate microbial growth. Contacting SERVPRO of East Greenville County for a crawlspace inspection after your water heater has been serviced or replaced is a great way to being proactive in preventing or removing a mold issue. Our expert technicians can review your crawlspace and develop customized solutions to fit your home’s needs, not just sell you an expensive “fix-all.”

Preventing mold or discovering it in early stages can reduce the risk to your home or business and significantly reduce the cost of repairs and lost time.

Being Proactive to Reduce Storm Damage in Greenville, SC.

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Maintaining the trees on your Taylors property can help to limit the damage from severe weather.

This last week has seen severe thunderstorms pop up every afternoon in Greenville and the surrounding areas. Many of the late night and early morning news broadcasts have updates about the number of power outages or damage to homes, business, and churches across many counties in the Upstate. It is impossible to predict what impact a storm may have on your property, flooding, damaged roof, shattered windows, etc., but you can be proactive to limit the damage caused by the trees around your property.

Factors like the density of the canopy, the strength of the branches, and health of the root system need to be considered when preparing the trees on your property for any severe weather. And you can take steps to control these factors.

Pruning

Maintaining a tree can make a significant difference on if a tree survives a storm. Pruning the canopy – or the top of the tree- will reduce wind resistance and reduce the force that can damage limbs or the tree trunk causing the tree to topple over. Pruning can also remove dead or dying branches that have a much higher chance of being torn from a tree and causing damage to property. Having the trees on your property pruned may seem costly at first, but it can help to reduce or avoid damage that may have a much higher cost.

Mulching

Mulching isn’t just to improve curb appeal; it can also protect the root system of a tree. Having a wide “mulch” ring around a tree’s base prevents water from flowing away from the roots of the tree, allowing it absorb into the soil and nourish the tree. And since a trees root system can spread out for yards around a tree, the mulch ring puts distance between the tree and yard equipment like mowers, minimizing the damage that occurs when a mower blade nicks an exposed root.

If you have concerns about the condition of the trees around your Greer property or want to be proactive to prevent storm damage, contact a professional arborist.  Reducing the likelihood of storm damage is a great way to reduce its cost.

Be Safe While Enjoying Your Fireworks in Greenville, SC

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Greenville County wishes everyone a Safe and Happy Independence Day.

Next week is the United States of America’s birthday, and we celebrate that day with burgers, hotdogs, and days at the beach. But that night belongs to the fireworks. Many cities will have enormous firework displays, like Greer’s Freedom Blast on June 30 and the Wells Fargo Red, White & Blue Festival in Greenville on July 4, that are managed by professional pyrotechnic experts that will light up the sky and make memories for years to come. And some of us will do our own thing…

Sparklers, snakes, roman candles, bottle rockets, hoosker doos, and hoosker don’ts. We all have our favorite. But no matter what type of blast you prefer, safety must be a top priority. Because according to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year. Thousands of fires and injuries, nearly 40% of all reported fires and emergency room visits, are related to fireworks.

So, if you are planning to put on your own fireworks extravaganza, please keep these tips from the National Safety Council in mind.

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses, and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire

Boating Safely Thanks to the USCG Boating Safety Application

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

The USCG app has a user-friendly layout that allows users to put safety as a priority.

Summer is here and the hot days can make the call of the water irresistible. And if you own a boat, you may be more likely to answer the call, or at least your friends and neighbors will want you to answer their call for some “boat time.” That is why it is important to be more than safe when it comes to preparing for a day on the water.

The United States Coast Guard offers a free application for your phone that provides several essential guides, checklists, and services to help give you peace of mind when planning your excursion. The app is available on iTunes and the Google Play Store, and includes the following features:

Find the latest safety regulations
Request a vessel safety check
Check your safety equipment
File a float plan
Navigation Rules
Find the nearest NOAA buoy
Report a hazard
Report pollution
Report suspicious activity
Request emergency assistance

The application also includes state and federal boating information and if you are on the ocean an Emergency Assistance button that will contact the closest Coast Guard command center.

The Boating Safety Mobile app was not intended to replace a marine VHF radio but act as a supplement.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County Nominated for Best of the Upstate 2018

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

The Best of the Upstate is sponsored by the Greenville News

We have some EXCITING news, SERVPRO of East Greenville County has been nominated for Best Carpet/Upholstery Cleaner as part of The Greenville News’ Best of the Upstate 2018!

Our carpet cleaning system includes specialized cleaning methods to match the needs of commercial and residential customers alike.

  • Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
  • Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
  • Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s professional cleaning is the optimal way to protect your carpet and upholstery investment.

How to Register and Vote

Voting opens at 12 a.m. (EST) June 18 and closes on June 28 11:59 p.m. (EST). Head to the Best of the Upstate 2018 ballot page to place your vote. Just register with your name, email address, and phone number to be eligible to cast your vote. Per the official rules, there is a one vote per person per category limit, but you can share the link with friends, family, and co-workers.

We would like to say thank you for helping us to get us nominated and thank you again for your support to win this award.

Making a fire Escape Plan for Your Home

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

NFPA.org is an excellent source of material to help prepare your family fire safety plan.

You had fire drills growing up at school, (hopefully) you have the occasional fire drill at work now that you are an adult, but do you ever have fire drills at home? Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.

The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.

Some of the tips include:

  • Call 911 as soon as possible, even if you think you can contain the fire
  • Know at least 2 ways out of each room
  • Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
  • Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
  • Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire

Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO of East Greenville County will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.

Post Water Loss: Deodorizing

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with a water loss doesn’t end once all of the water is extracted, and any damaged materials are replaced. You may have bacteria, mold, or other chemicals impacting the air quality of your Greer business or home. Deodorizing is a step that can be easy to overlook if you decide to tackle restoring your home after water loss on your own.

Deodorizing will remove musty mildew odors as well as odors left behind from contaminants that cause black water like feces and organic material. Belongings can be salvaged and cleaned but may retain some of the smells mentioned above, but they too can be deodorized. The process of deodorizing isn’t just as simple as spraying a fragrant sanitizer or whipping down with a bleached cloth; it is an organized process and part of the SERVPRO restoration process.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County has equipment and methods, like air scrubbers and negative pressure seals, that are specifically designed to remove odors from your property and belongings. If your Upstate home has had a water or fire damage event, call 864-292-3495 to your home professionally deodorized.

Clear Communication and Customer Service

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Developing strong communication skills is essential for many levels of personal and professional success. Those same skills can be applied to assist in creating exceptional customer experiences. Practicing a communication skill will make that skill second nature and reinforce the benefit clear communication will have. Many communication skill drills involve role-playing, and while that can be helpful it is not necessarily retainable, and “retainability” is a significant part of training.

One of the alternatives to role-playing exercises is the “building block challenge.”Which involves breaking up participants into groups of three and having them work together to build a small set from a building block toy line. The catch is that only one person can see and read the instructions, one person is allowed to build the set, and the “middle person” identifies the pieces based on the description. You set a time limit and rotate roles so that each participant gets an opportunity with providing and executing the instructions and change out block sets each rotation to ensure each experience is different. The purpose of this activity is to build skills based around providing instructions and directions without having any physical input on the project. The challenge has been used to train over the phone technical support specialists and provided measurable positive changes to efficiency and customer service metrics.   

You may not provide support over the phone, but practicing conveying a message clearly while having tactile tools for the exercise to view progress, can improve your ability to communicate and provide benefits to personal, professional, and customer relationships.

How Critical Thinking Can Help Communication

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

It has been said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” And if you have tried to make an eight-year-old do their homework or walk someone through a full system restore to their cell phone, then you may feel that this in fact true. So how do you get a message across when the most direct way is not working, or the other party isn’t exactly receptive? You have to change the delivery of the message without changing the message. Simple right, not so much.

The concept of making a message more receptive isn’t the same as hiding pet medicine in a treat, the point of adjusting the message is so that the other party comprehends the message not just accepts it. It can take a lot of creativity and critical thinking skills to “customize information for the audience,” but how do you practice that? Puzzles? Puns? Math? Well, yes. But there is a way to do so that doesn’t require an investment in school supplies.

Years ago, there was a hashtag on Twitter #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly that centered around describing a film’s plot without any significant details. It was just as much fun to decipher the movie as it was to come up with a description all of your own. I then tried using it to train a group of support reps on how to deliver a message to a customer if they did not seem to understand or accept it: saying no without using “no,” describing directions on a computer or phone, etc. And this method seemed to click with those that I trained even more so than the standard “say this not that” lessons. So the idea was itself an example of how it worked.

Some of the examples are simple and easy to guess:

Moody billionaire works out his abandonment issues by arguing with clowns (Batman).

And some were more complex and required a great deal of thought:

A widower’s son is kidnapped, and the only person that will help him has short-term amnesia (Finding Nemo).

These exercises helped to jumpstart the trainees critical thinking on how they can change the message and improve their customer service skills and increased efficiency. And are a great way to see you can help get your message across the next time you feel like you are stuck in a loop with a customer, coworker, or family member.

Hoarding Can Negatively Impact Fire Safety

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Stacks of items can block windows and doors preventing escape or rescue during a catastrophe like a fire.

You may know someone that is a hoarder or be a hoarder yourself. If so you understand the many struggles that hoarders face when dealing with their mental and emotional well being and physical condition of their home. My grandmother was a hoarder; there was clearly defined path through her house carved out from the stacks of books, items of clothing, and unopened packages she ordered during late night TV. My family didn’t look into the proper ways to discuss her situation with her, and more often than not it would lead to months-long arguments. She only agreed to let us help her after she learned a friend of hers that also struggled with hoarding, passed away in a fire and that she couldn’t escape because her way was blocked by her belongings.

The local fire department helped us to clear out my grandmother’s home and explained how hoarding isn't just a danger to those that live inside the house, but also to those that may be the ones that try to save them in the event of a fire. Piles of belongings can obstruct entry/exit points such as doors and windows. Stacks of items may impair and slow movement or prevent crawling to avoid smoke inhalation, or they may fall and cause injury.  

If you know someone that may be in an unsafe situation because of hoarding contact your local fire department to see if they have a Hoarding Taskforce that specializes in working with those that deal with hoarding. Even if they do not have a task force, they may have resources available like a contact for support groups to help start the discussion about hoarding.

Volcanic Impacts to Greenville, SC Weather

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Winds can spread the discharge from a volcano hundreds of miles, causing impacts to the weather for months.

There has been a significant amount of volcanic activity in the news recently, between Hawaii’s Mt. Kilauea and Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala.  And even though they are thousands of miles away, there is a possibility that they, especially Fuego, may impact the weather here in the Upstate.

While volcanologists are not 100% sure how much and eruption can impact the weather long term or long distance, they are starting to get a much clearer picture. They have determined that the size of the particles dispersed into the layers of the atmosphere can cause the Earth to heat or cool. If the particles are larger than 2 microns, they let the radiation from the Sun in but block the heat from the Earth from escaping, leading to warmer temperatures (an expedited Greenhouse Effect). If the particles are smaller than 2 microns can block the Sun and cause the Earth to cool. (OregonState.edu)

How this can affect us locally will be determined by the output from Fuego and how that impacts the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. If the particles prevent the heat from escaping the Earth, they can cause the temperatures to rise in the Gulf, and that includes the water temperatures. The warmer water can lead to more instability and produce more or stronger storm systems to develop. And as we just witnessed with Alberto, storms that come up through the Gulf can have a devastating impact on our region. This may call for meteorologists to reevaluate their predictions for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

But you do not have to wait to see if we are impacted to take action to help those that are affected right now. You can contact the American Red Cross to how you can help those in Hawaii and reach out to the International Committee of the Red Cross on how you can aid those in Guatemala.  

Yes. There is such a Thing as Good Mold. Part 2

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Many cheese caves in the US are converted tunnels from the prohibition era or underground storage units used before the invention of refrigerators.

As a company that specializes in Mold Mitigation, SERVPRO of East Greenville has a numerous amount of information about mold. Specifically harmful or “Black” mold and a large amount of this information can be unnerving. So in an effort to be fair and balanced, we would like to share some information about some “good” types of mold.

Part 2: Cheese Caves

Blue Cheese can be a delicious additive to salads, steaks & burgers, or make a great dip. But blue cheese is also made from a mold, in fact, is from the same strain of mold as penicillin. And blue cheese isn’t the only form of edible mold.

Gourmet “cheese hounds” and other foodies enjoy some of the more eccentric cheeses, and more producers are working to accommodate their taste. “Cheese Caves” are facilities where certain types of cheese are stored in controlled environments that are perfectly maintained to encourage certain types of mold in and around the cheese. Sections of these facilities are calibrated to certain temperatures and moisture levels to cultivate and create ecosystems of mold, and many of the facilities have “cave systems” dedicated to multiple types of cheese and each one has its own environmental calibration.

The cheeses produced from cheese caves can be very expensive and if you are looking to try some don’t D.I.Y. it and take a bite from some cheddar with grey mold lurking in the back of the refrigerator, there is a local cheese cave in Charleston, SC.

While many of us at SERVPRO of East Greenville County are not sure if we have ever had cheese cultivated in cheese cave, we do love blue cheese dressing with our wings. So add another mold to the good guys’ list.

Yes. There is such a Thing as Good Mold Part 3

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

A surface sample from the International Space Station. The Microbiome is monitored often to protect their health and safety. (NASA)

As a company that specializes in Mold Mitigation, SERVPRO of East Greenville has a numerous amount of information about mold. Specifically harmful or “Black” mold and a large amount of this information can be unnerving. So in an effort to be fair and balanced, we would like to share some information about some “good” types of mold.

And the finale is a doozy.

Part 3: Space Fungus (Yeast)

During the research for this series of articles, I noticed a pattern: most of the discoveries for beneficial uses of mold came from accidents. And this one is only slightly different.

In 1997 an astronaut discovered several “bowling-ball to beach-ball” size floating globs of stagnant water on the Russian Space Station, Mir. Each of these globs was occupied with dozens of species of bacteria and fungi. The fungi on the space station were able to grow so much because of dead skin cells being shed by the astronauts free-floating throughout were easily reached by the spores that were also able to float about without gravity freely.

Several years of research produced some fantastic results. Scientists had known that yeasts have a higher radiation resistance than other living organisms. The cell structure of the yeast didn’t break down as quickly as that of humans, and it allowed the proteins in the DNA to repair the cells before significant damage could be caused. Scientists can use this to try to develop medication or supplements to treat radiation sickness or bring long-distance space travel closer to reality. For much more detailed information about fungi in space check out ScienceLine.org.

If yeasts can help us get closer to reaching the stars, then it belongs right up there with Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell as heroes.

The “Official” Start of Hurricane Season

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

You can build your own disaster survival kit or purchase pre-made kits from many sources including the American Red Cross.

While we did get a head start with Tropical Storm Alberto, the Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins today. Over the past few weeks, the outlook for the season has changed from below average to now near average. And while it can be tough predicting several months’ worth of weather events, it is very easy to get prepared.

The Upstate may not have to worry about many of the dangers of a hurricane, but if you have been here long enough to remember Hugo, you know that things can get intense. High winds, torrential rains, and offshoot tornadoes can bring massive amounts of damage and leave utilities down, make travel difficult, and quickly exhaust resources. So it is vital to plan ahead and take action early.

Ready.gov has lists to help make basic disaster supplies kits and some other crucial information to help you be storm ready.

The Three Categories of Water Loss

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration distinguishes water into three categories. Each category is defined by the levels of containment or possible containments in the source of the water.

Category 1 “Clean Water: Water in this category originates from a clean, sanitary source and poses little to no risk to humans if contacted or ingested. Examples are broken water supply lines, sink or bathtub overflows, or water supplies to an appliance such as a water line to an ice maker.

Category 2 “Grey Water: Water is this category comes from a source that contains significant contamination including chemical, biological, or physical materials. Grey Water has an elevated risk to cause illness and discomfort with any type of exposure. Examples are toilet bowls with urine, sump pump leaks, and discharged water from appliances like dishwasher and washing machines.

Category 3 “Black Water: Water in this category is considered very harmful and contains unsanitary agents, dangerous bacteria and fungus, and toxic substances. This category of water has an extreme risk of causing illness and exposure should be avoided at all costs if the proper personal protective equipment is not available. Examples include sewage, seawater, and overflow from rivers or lakes.

If left unattended Clean and Grey Water can become stagnant and may be considered Black Water.

If you have concerns with water no matter the source, SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in Water Damage Repair & Restoration.

The Four Primary Water Damage Classifications

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration separates water damage into four distinct classes. Each class is based on the severity of the water damage, and they determine what steps must be followed in the mitigation and restoration process.

Class 1 Water Damage - the least amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that impact only a small part of a room or area of a facility, or large areas that contain materials that have absorbed a small amount of moisture. Little to no carpeted or absorbent material present.

Class 2 Water Damage – significant amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that impact full rooms or carpeted areas. Walls are wicked less than 24 inches, and moisture remains in structural materials (Concrete, plywood, and particleboard).

Class 3 Water Damage – the largest amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that saturate an entire area. Walls are wicked over 24 inches or water may have entered from overhead, impacting ceilings, insulation, or sub-floor.

Class 4 Water Damage – Specific drying situations. Wet materials with low porosity or permeance such as plaster, brick, and stone. These materials can absorb water into deep pockets and can require extended drying times or specialized procedures and equipment.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is fully certified to handle any class of water damage from accidental or natural events. Register for SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile to get started with disaster preparation to limit potential damage and reduce costs.

Yes. There is such a Thing as Good Mold

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

It’s hard to believe that the same mold that is growing on this bread is responsible for saving millions of lives.

As a company that specializes in Mold Mitigation, SERVPRO of East Greenville has a numerous amount of information about mold. Specifically, harmful or “Black” mold and a large amount of this information can be unnerving. So in an effort to be fair and balanced, we would like to share some information about some “good” types of mold.

Part 1: Penicillin

Unless you are allergic to antibiotics (or are a bacteria culture), Penicillin is your friend. Alexander Fleming is credited with discovering that penicillin can kill disease-causing colonies of bacteria in 1929. But it was not until WWII when penicillin became massed produced to help treat injured troops and get sick troops back into action sooner. Andre Moyer was granted the patent to mass-produce penicillin in 1948, and after that, a variety of antibiotics were developed. From there “synthetic,” or antibiotics made without penicillin, were designed for those that are allergic to penicillin and its derivatives.  

It is possible that millions of lives have been saved thanks to this strain of mold. And that puts it on our good side for sure.

The Impact Mold Can Have On Our Health

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Painted over mold in a Greer, SC home. Make sure to properly clean and remove mold and not attempt to cover it up.

As a property owner, it can be easy to only focus on the damage and cost that mold can cause. But is vital to take in to account the impacts mold can have on the health of those that spend time inside of homes, businesses, and facilities that are affected. Mold can cause various health problems for people and pets if they come in contact or breathe in spores.

Allergic reactions can occur in individuals such as sneezing, runny nose or irritations such as red eyes or skin rashes. These reactions can be immediate or delayed and vary in severity.

Individuals with asthma have even more risk of having an asthma attack in areas where mold spores are present. The inhaled spores can trigger intense attacks that may require medical attention.

Allergic reactions and asthma are only two of the potential health problems that can be associated with mold and microbial growth. And why it is essential to take swift and proper action if there is a suspected mold problem. For more information about mold visit the EPA.gov website.

April showers bring May… Showers

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

If you would like to donate or volunteer to the American Red Cross in the Upstate, you can call 864-271-8222

It has rained almost every day for the past three weeks in the Upstate. Long-standing daily rain total records have been broken: The GSP Airport reported 1.76 inches on May 29 breaking the record form 1976. And Ashville, NC had 2.92 inches on May 25 breaking the 1975 record. (National Weather Service)

Unfortunately, the record-breaking rainfall is also bringing with it serious issues such as flash flooding, uprooted trees, landslides, and fatal car accidents. A busy section of HWY 85 was shut down for several hours due to a flash flood, and portions of Main St. in Greenville were also closed off as crews worked to remove a fallen tree and power lines.

As the rains continue SERVPRO of East Greenville County wants to remind everyone to always keep safety in mind: If you see running water in the road “Turn Around Don’t Drown,” and remember to stay away from any downed power lines.

Fire Extinguisher Tips for Your Greer Home or Business

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

There are many types of fire extinguishers. Make sure that you are using the correct type for the category of fire you are dealing with.

During moments of crisis, we often make decisions within the moment. Sometimes we make decisions out of instinct from training, or we react out of panic. Reactions can solve the problem or can make them worse. That is why running training drills or attending continuing education courses will build knowledge and develop an instinct to make smart decisions is paramount to the success of safety.

National Building Safety Month concludes with a week dedicated to Improving Education & Training Standards for a Safer Tomorrow, and we would like to offer up some basic information on fire extinguishers from FireExtinguisherTraining.com to wrap up the month. Remember it is important to know what type of fire you are dealing with and what type of extinguisher needed for each type

Part of using a fire extinguisher properly is knowing the Three A’s:

  • Activate the building’s alarm system or call 911 to notify the proper authorities
  • Look for anyone in immediate danger or incapacitated and Assist them in exiting the building (without risk to yourself)
  • After A’s 1 & 2 are completed, should you Attempt to extinguish the

You should also only attempt to fight a fire if

  • the fire is small and contained
  • you are safe from toxic smoke
  • you have the means to escape
  • your instincts (there is that word again) tell you that it is ok

If there is a fire and it is safe for you to take action with the proper type of extinguisher, remember to P.A.S.S.

Pull the pin

Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire from a safe distance

Squeeze the lever to discharge the extinguisher

Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is out, moving forward as the fire diminishes. Be alert in case of re-ignition.

Practicing using fire extinguishers with your family or coworkers can help to educate and promote safety at home and the office and make sure that you are as prepared as you can be in the event of an incident.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is here to help.

If you have had a fire and have damage to your property because of the fire, smoke, or soot we are happy to help with your repair or restoration needs. Call us at 864-292-3495 anytime.

You successfully put out a small fire and saved the day. Now what?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers can leave a huge mess. Make sure to clean up with the correct methods based on the type of extinguisher.

How do you clean up the fire extinguisher discharge? What type of specialized equipment do you need? How long should you wait to clean it up? All of these are great questions to keep in mind, and the answers vary based on the type of extinguisher used. The following information provided by State Systems Inc can help know what steps to take next when dealing with the aftermath of a small fire.

*Normally the discharge from fire extinguishers does not present a danger or hazard to health. But it is essential to clean each type appropriately.  

Fire Extinguisher Types and Cleaning Methods

Dry Chemical: Portable and compact, these extinguishers are well suited for minor incidents in commercial and industrial environments.

  • Sweep or vacuum any residue that has settled on the affected area.
  • Read the label of the extinguisher to determine the chemical used and then use the proper solution to neutralize it. Allow solutions to set for several minutes after applying before removal. (Note: there are multiple dry chemicals extinguisher types.)
  • Wash the area with a mild soap and water solution; then rinse.
  • Blow the area dry to remove excess water.

Wet Chemical: Uses a liquid agent to cool surfaces and reduce flames, commonly found in kitchens.

  • Confirm all fuel sources to the equipment have been shut off.
  • Make sure to wear rubber gloves. If the liquid or fire extinguishing agent comes into contact with your skin or eyes, flush thoroughly with water.
  • Use hot, soapy water and a cloth or sponge to wipe away the foamy residue. Scrub all surfaces that have come into contact with the excess agent.
  • Once all surfaces impacted by the residue are cleaned, rinse and allow time to dry before returning power back to the equipment.

Clean Agent: Discharge dissipates into the atmosphere making this extinguisher suitable for areas with sensitive equipment like a server room.

  • Does not require special precautions to clean after use.

Class K: Capable of holding in steam and vapor, commonly found in commercial kitchen overhead extinguishers.

  • Can be cleaned with soap and water

Always remember to replace or recharge your extinguisher after each use. For more information review State Systems Inc FAQs or contact your local fire department.  

A Cautionary Tale About Mold in Greer, SC

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

A tiny amount of moisture almost became a giant problem for a church in Greer, SC.

It’s Not the Heat; It’s the Humidity

You heard the phrase a thousand times, and if you live in the south, you know that it is true. But humidity is not just the cause of frizzy hair or glasses of lemonade to sweat like they are the ones mowing the lawn, humidity can create the perfect conditions for mold to grow.

Checking for leaks and getting them repaired ASAP is a great start but dripping pipes or holes in the roof are not the only ways that microbial growth can develop in you Greer home, business, or facility. Sometimes the issue can start where there has never been any running water, and these tiny surprises can become gigantic problems if overlooked.

Recently SERVPRO of East Greenville County was called to a local church to perform mold mitigations services. The source of the mold was not from heavy rain or a busted water main, but it was from one damp box. The church had a new section added a few years ago, and during the preparation, one of the unused classrooms was turned into what was supposed to be a temporary storage room. More contents were added to the room over time, and the short-term fix became the long-term solution.

During last year’s hail storm, the activity center’s roof was damaged and rain leaked into the facility. The contents of the impacted office in the building were packed into storage boxes and deposited in the trusty storage room. But, the wet contents of the boxes soaked through to the packaging, and as the boxes sat in the dark storage room for months, mold began to grow. The mold spread beyond the container and the items within to the nearby boxes and the walls it touched. Fortunately, the youth group volunteered to clean out the storage room, so the microbial growth had not spread too far. SERVPRO of East Greenville County was able to remove the impacted section of the wall and encapsulated the part of the structure behind the affected area, then performed a detailed cleaning of the entire room after the contents had been disposed of.

Although there was never any standing or running water in the storage room, conditions were right for mold to develop and grow in only a short time. Remember to periodically check in on the areas of your property that you don’t often visit to make sure that you do not have a potential mold problem.

First named Storm of 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Weather Channel satellite image of Alberto’s location at the time it was officially named.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season technically begins on June 1 of each year. But, 2018 is off to an early start, more specifically 9 a.m. on May 25. The National Weather Service named the system in the northwestern Caribbean “Alberto.”

As of this posting, Alberto is only a sub-tropical storm, but local meteorologists are expecting Alberto to have a significant impact on the Upstate of South Carolina during and after the Memorial Day weekend. Weather patterns are predicting between 2 and 6 inches of rain in certain parts of the Upstate between Sunday and Wednesday. And that could lead to issues because of the amount of rainfall over the past two weeks saturating the ground. There may be flooding and mudslides in some areas.

We encourage area residents to exercise caution during this storm event.

Coffee Stain

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Don’t let coffee stains compromise excellent customer experiences, check out SERVPRO of East Greenville’s Commercial Cleaning Services

Years ago I worked for a company that prided itself on its customer service; they called it ‘legendary.” They didn’t just view customer service as the interactions between employees and guests or the quality of their food, but also as the cleanliness of the building. It was all part of the customer experience. One of the illustrations used to convey why cleanliness is part of customer service was The Coffee Stain Story.

A person books a flight across the country and they were able to get a great price and no layovers. The flight boarded on time, the seats on either side were empty, so there was plenty of room to be comfortable, the movie was good, and the headphones were complimentary. Flight staff was courteous and brought the passenger a free drink. The plane even landed on time. It was an incredible flight.

But, when they lowered the tray table, they noticed a small coffee ring stain. And even all of the free stuff, extra room, and no inconveniences, it was all they could think about. When they were asked “how was your flight,” they would respond with “It was OK, but my tray table was dirty. Had a big old nasty coffee ring on it.”

The story shows how the perception of their experience was hugely impacted by such a tiny detail, and customer perception is customer experience. It was taught to us to show how important every detail can be, and we must do all that we can to control the controllable.

You can never be certain what may be viewed as a “coffee stain” by your customers, so be proactive and take care of areas that need the most attention. SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers professional cleaning and preventative maintenance for upholstery and carpet. We have a number of specialized cleaning options for air ducts and HVAC units, deodorization, and many services. Call us at (864) 292-3495 to set up a maintenance schedule. Let us worry about the small details so you can focus on your business and your customers.

Restoring Your East Greenville County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Greenville area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of East Greenville County

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our team is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fixing Tiny Leaks Can Conserve Giant Amounts of Water and Help Residents Save Money In Greer

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Small undetected water leaks contribute to massive amounts of wasted water. (EPA.gov.)

You are resting comfortably in your bed: the covers are just right, the room is the perfect temperature, and your head is on the cool side of the pillow. (Drip.) It is very quiet, no barking dogs, passing cars, and the kids have also tucked away into their own beds. (Drip.) You glance at the alarm clock, and you do not have to wake up for hours, plenty of time to get back to dreamland. (Drip. Drip.) You think that you hear a drip coming from the bathroom and check to make sure the faucets in the sink and shower are off, and they are, but you still hear the drip. “I will deal with it tomorrow,” you think to yourself and get back into bed. Only this time it isn’t quiet, you hear every drip like the second hand on a ticking clock. You fold the pillow over your head and try to go back to sleep. (Drip.) The alarm goes off, and you struggle to get out of bed, walk to the bathroom and step into a cold puddle of water. You say “But I checked all the faucets, and none of them were on,” as you follow the puddle to behind the toilet. You found the source of the drip. Not the way you wanted this day to begin.

Week 4 of National Building Safety Month’s theme is Safeguarding Our Water, and it focuses on how building codes help to conserve the water supply and help to ensure that it is clean. One of the best ways that you can contribute to conserving water is to take action if and when you have a scenario like the one above. Here are some tips from EPA.gov on how to quickly find leaks.

  • Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)Here is an excellent video from Spartanburg Water with some other ways to detect toilet leaks
  • Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.

Knowing how to test for leaks can help to prevent wasting water and reduce the potential for water damage to your property. You can rest easy because SERVPRO of East Greenville County is available to help if you ever need water damage restoration.

Greenville County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damage impacts many aspects of your home, including family heirlooms.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may significantly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of East Greenville County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more challenging to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore, smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored to the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 864-292-3495

Document Drying and Restoration Services for Greenville Businesses

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO document restoration team uses the same innovate vacuum freeze-drying techniques as the Library of Congress to dry historical documents

SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers a variety of services from water/fire damage restoration, mold mitigation, and commercial/residential cleaning services. But did you know that we also provide Document Drying and Restoration for our commercial clients?

Damage from a water or fire event is not limited to the building and furniture. Sometimes files such as patient records, invoices, and legal documents are impacted by water, smoke, and soot contact. SERVPRO’s document drying process is designed to stabilize damaged documents and prevent further damage quickly. The treatment facility is secured, the chain of custody follows HIPAA guidelines, and our Drying Chamber personnel is Master HIPAA certified allowing them to handle protected health information (PHI).

Our Document Restoration Facility:

  • Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
  • Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
  • Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
  • Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
  • Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization

SERVPRO document services also include digitization services that reduce the need for large filing rooms and help make data access more accessible for businesses. Certified destruction services allow for sensitive information to be appropriately disposed of and provide peace of mind to businesses and their clients.

Types of content:

  • paper documents
  • books and magazines
  • manuscripts and files
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • x-rays
  • blueprints and maps
  • parchment

For more information about SERVPRO of East Greenville’s Document Recovery or other commercial services visit our website or call 864-292-3495

SERVPRO of East Greenville Celebrates Mom All Month Long

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is happy to celebrate moms and all other caregivers all month long

Mother’s Day has come and gone, and we hope that you had a fantastic day with your loved ones. But that is just it; one day is not enough. So we are happy to announce that we are extending our Mother’s Day contest until the end of the Month! That is two more weeks to leave a review on our Facebook page for your chance to win SERVPRO carpet cleaning services for UP TO 4 Rooms, a $175 value.

And if you totally rocked this year's Mother’s Day, then you can use the cleaning for your home or business. (Don’t worry we won't tell.)

Rules and Conditions

  • Reviews must be submitted by May 31, 2018
  • One entry per person per review
  • Prize is not redeemable for cash
  • Prize must be redeemed for residence within 25 miles of our location and must be redeemed before August 31, 2018
  • Prize must be redeemed at one time, and only for 1 location, service is for traffic areas only and must be scheduled in advance (regular business hours only)
  • Prize amount value covers 4 rooms, but service for additional rooms can be purchased (Contact SERVPRO of East Greenville County for pricing details)

Greenville Area Readies for Several Days of Rain

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Several days of rain are no match for our highly trained crew. We are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Greenville. (weather.com)

The Upstate is expecting to receive a significant amount of rain over this week, with some days currently showing a 100% chance of rain. Local meteorologists are predicting anywhere from two to four inches of rain during the next five days, as well as prospects of thunderstorms, and some of those storms may be severe. Be sure to be aware of weather alerts and updates to make sure that you, your family, and property remain safe and secure.

Safety is important during severe weather, and quick action afterward is just as paramount in limiting and repairing any possible negative impacts.  Consecutive days of rain can lead to flooding or large pools of standing water around/under your home or business, potentially causing water damage or creating ideal situations for microbial growth. Strong winds, heavy rain, and hail can damage structures leading to leaks and other inconveniences that could turn into big problems.  

If you need SERVPRO Of East Greenville County ANYTIME, we will be there. Call us at 864-292-3495.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is ready to help restore your property to pre-storm condition. Our highly trained team is prepared to respond quickly to lessen damage and reduce the restoration cost.

And if the storms cause widespread damage to Greer, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Tornado Safety and Recovery Tips for the Greenville Area

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

A tornado can form quickly under the right weather conditions. Being Proactive versus being Reactive can help keep you safe.

If you have ever been through a tornado, then you know how unsettling of an experience it can be. The sky grows dark, the wind roars, you can feel the pressure change. You run under a door frame or to a stairwell, crawl into a bathtub, anywhere to feel safe. And although it only lasts for a few moments, it feels like forever.

Week 2 of National Building Safety Month’s theme is Protecting Communities from Disasters. And in the instance of severe weather like tornadoes and microburst, being prepared is some of the best protection to safeguard our Greenville community. The following are some excellent tips provided by the International Code Council to help become tornado ready.

Getting ready for Tornado Season

We may already be well into tornado season in the Upstate, but it is never a wrong time to start to prepare.

  • Make sure your family has a plan to congregate in a safe place during a storm.
  • Warn your children about finding a safe place away from home.
  • Store flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Clean storm gutters and drains.
  • Prepare your home for high winds and rain.
  • Repair/replace storm shutters.
  • Check your property insurance policy for appropriate coverage.

Before the storm

It can be impossible to predict when and where a tornado may form, but taking action when the weather is calling for conditions that can produce tornadoes can save precious time if watches or warnings are issued.

  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Check/replace emergency supplies and store bottled drinking water.
  • Review family emergency plans.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy.
  • Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.

During the storm

Severe weather can be intense and may call for quick thinking and action. Knowing what "NOT to do" can be just as helpful as knowing what to do.

  • Stay inside in a secure place, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. Listen to a crank- or battery-operated radio for storm progress reports. DO NOT GO OUTSIDE.
  • Stay away from electrical equipment and piping that can conduct electricity from lightning.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy.
  • Avoid flooded roads, and watch for washed-out bridges.

After the storm

The impact of a tornado can leave behind damage and create other dangers. Being cautious and alert can prevent further damage or injury.

  • Listen for the all-clear from a community siren, or from local radio. Make sure everyone is okay; get emergency help, as needed.
  • Be careful as you assess the damage in your home, watching for live wires, broken glass, nails and other debris
  • Take pictures of any damage to the house and its contents for insurance claims.
  • Check the exterior. Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police or fire department. The same goes for gas lines.
  • Let your insurance company know of any damage. Work only with accredited companies on any repairs. If you suspect a scam, report it to authorities.

Being prepared goes a long way in keeping a community safe during and after the storm. And if you need us SERVPRO of East Greenville County can help you minimize secondary damage and restore your Greer home, business, or facility to pre-storm condition quickly.

How Innovation Can Help Greer Businesses and Residents Recover from Storms and Floods Faster

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Freeboard is a voluntary increase in the height of new construction or substantial damage requiring elevation adopted by a community. (FEMA)

The weather in the Upstate can provide us with amazingly beautiful days, and sometimes it can leave us in a bit of a bind. Our area’s location at the base of the foothills is mostly protected from harsh winter weather that comes in from the northwest by the mountains. But a significant portion of our rain events can come from the southwest and are not blocked, and some unfortunate storm events come from the east and are then held in our area by the same mountains that shelter us from the snow and ice. When a storm system is held over our area, high rainfall totals can cause the many creeks, rivers, and lakes in Greer and Greenville to rise and waters to flood. Roads are impassable, bridges swept away, homes and businesses are damaged.

Week 2 of National Building Safety Month’s theme is Advancing Resilient Communities Though Science & Technology. Here is some general information about an innovation designed to help limit the negative impacts of water damage.

What is Freeboard

Weather control technology is (fingers crossed) decades away, but innovations and advancements have been made to limit the damage and reduce recovery time and cost. One such innovation is using a process called “Freeboard” to elevate a structures lowest floor 1 to 3 feet above predicted flood levels for a given area. In most instances, the cost of incorporating Freeboard into building a new structure or renovation of an existing structure can be offset by the reduction of premiums. *It is critical to consult with a licensed insurance professional to discuss if Freeboard will have an impact on premiums.*

Benefits of Freeboard

  • Increased protection from floods and storms. Storm waters can and do rise higher than shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Freeboard helps protect buildings from storms larger than those that FIRMs are based on and provides an added margin of safety to address the flood modeling and mapping uncertainties associated with FIRMs.
  • Greatly reduced flood insurance premiums. Recognizing that freeboard reduces flood risk, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, which administers the NFIP) provides substantial (sometimes more than 50 percent) reductions in flood insurance premiums for structures incorporating freeboard. These savings can rapidly accumulate, especially over the life of a normal mortgage.
  • Codes are cost-effective, too. A study for FEMA done by the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Multihazard Mitigation Council showed that for every dollar spent on mitigation efforts like adopting current codes, four dollars were saved in post-disaster relief costs.

 Who Can Benefit from Freeboard

  • Homeowners- Whether or not you live in the house year-round, having it elevated increases the chances that it will weather storms safely, decreasing your worry and protecting your investment. If you’re building a new home or doing a renovation, ask your builder/designer about incorporating freeboard.
  • Builders/contractors- Freeboard provides a competitive edge over other builders, allowing you to market the benefits of reduced flood insurance and flood risk to potential buyers. When doing retrofits (especially those requiring bringing structures up to current NFIP standards), explain the benefits of freeboard to your clients.
  • Municipalities- When constructing new municipal buildings (schools, fire stations, etc.) use freeboard as a means of saving tax dollars. Encourage all new construction in your community to include freeboard.
  • Businesses- Freeboard helps: protect your buildings, important records, and inventory from flooding; drastically decrease your recovery/clean-up time after the storms, and potentially save your business. The Institute for Business and Home Safety reports that more than 25 percent of businesses that close due to storm damage never reopen.

Information provided by Mass.gov

For more information about Freeboard contact your licensed insurance professional. If your home or business has been impacted by a flood or rain event, SERVPRO of East Greenville County can assist you with water damage repair and restoration or mold remediation and restoration.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s Mother’s Day Contest

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is happy to celebrate moms and all other caregivers this Mother’s Day.

What better way to celebrate Mom, or any caregiver, than taking some of the burdens off of their shoulders. That is why SERVPRO of East Greenville County is holding a contest to win carpet cleaning for up to 4 rooms.

Entry is easy; all our customers have to do is leave a review on Facebook between now and Mother’s Day (May 13, 2018). And 1 lucky winner will be randomly selected to win SERVPRO carpet cleaning services for UP TO 4 Rooms, a $175 value.

Rules and Conditions

  • One entry per person per review
  • Reviews submitted before May 5, 2018, and after May 13, 2018, do not qualify
  • Prize is not redeemable for cash
  • Prize must be redeemed for residence within 20 miles of our location and must be redeemed before July 31, 2018
  • Prize amount value covers 4 rooms, but service for additional rooms can be purchased (Contact SERVPRO of East Greenville County for pricing details)
  • Prize must be redeemed at one time, and only for 1 location, service is for traffic areas only and must be scheduled in advance (regular business hours only)

Conditions In Greenville Might Be Right For Mold

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Greenville County knows what to do if mold grows in your home.

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.

 Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of East Greenville County to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to remediate mold in your home or business effectively.

If you suspect mold, call us today at (864) 292-3495

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of East Greenville County for mold remediation services.

The Origins of Building Codes

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

From ICCSAFE.org

Have you ever asked “Why do I need to get a building permit and follow building codes? It’s my property,” while building a deck, remodeling a kitchen, or making a small addition to your home? You are not alone, so it may help to have an understanding of where building codes come from and how they can protect your family, your investment, and your community.

Week 1 of National Building Safety Month is about partnering with building code officials to build safer and stronger communities. And SERVPRO of East Greenville County wants to help our community do the same.

A Short History Lesson On Building Codes

Construction methods and materials contributed to the densely populated area of large cities being prone to massive fires that could quickly spread. The damage and loss of life these fires would devastate communities and recovery could take months or even years. In 1871 The Great Chicago Fire was such an event, burning for three days and destroying miles of the city.

The devastation left behind by the fire had a significant impact on the mayoral election, leading to Joseph Medill to win the election after he adjusted his campaign platform to focus on stricter building and fire codes. He worked with Chicago’s civic leaders and created codes requiring new structures to be built with noncombustible brick or stone exteriors as well as roofs that composed of ignition resistant materials. Over the next few years many cities would follow suit and create their own fire and building codes, and eventually, a national standard began to develop.

Organizations formed in each region of the country, each publishing lists with their own standards and codes. And although most initial codes were intended to reduce the risks and impacts of fire, codes have evolved to cover building stability, sanitation, energy efficiency, and more. Regional organizations started forming in 1873, but it wasn’t until 1994 that many of the organizations merged to form the International Code Council and began to set current codes and regulations. And since 2003 the NAFP 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code is revised, updated, and published every three years.

How Building Codes Can Benefit You 

Getting a permit and adhering to building and fire codes are not just civic hoops for you to jump through with no purpose. They are actually parts of a process that is designed to protect a structure, its owners, and occupants. Codes officials ensure the safety and well being of the community by enforcing building and fire codes. Communicating and partnering with Greer and Greenville building officials can help to avoid issues that can cost time and money, or worse put your family at risk.

For more about building code history visit ICCsafe.org.

Thanks to the ICC and Fire Engineering.

3 Tips To Keep Your Family Safe During Greenville’s 2018 Festivals

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Write your phone number on their wrist and cover it with liquid bandage in case you get separated

Warm weather is (finally) here. And with it comes some of the Upstate’s many outdoor festivals and events. These festivals are fantastic opportunities to spend some time with the family and enjoy what many local businesses have to offer. Live Music, games, and fried… everything, there can be so much to experience. But, all of the fun can quickly turn to panic if you realize that your little one(s) are not close by. And if that makes you freak out, imagine how a child may feel.

As with most things, it is best to be prepared if something like this ever happens. Having a game plan can help to reduce the time a family is separated and limit the stress and anxiety that adults and children may face. So, with that being said here are 3 methods (from Simplemost.com) that you can try when attending festivals or theme parks.

Teach Your Children to Call Out Your “Real’ Name

Yes, our real names may be mom, dad, grandpa, etc. to our kids, but this rings true for most families. And that is why it is important to teach your child to call out your first name if you ever get separated in public. The combination of their voices and your name can stand out and grab your attention quickly. It can assist anyone they may come across locate you faster if your child knows your first and last name. Just maybe tell them not to call you by your name at the dinner table.

Practice Getting Lost

Mister Rogers said “Always look for the helpers,” and who are we to disagree. Educating your kids about who is there to help can be a great, and less scary, portion of the stranger danger conversation. Stressing how to identify police officers, firefighters, or other public servants will empower children with the ability to look for help on their own and reduce their feelings of helplessness. If you feel that your child is too young to easily ID police officers, you can always train them to look for another “mommy” with her kids. As a parent, they can be super quick and more than ready to help out a young child in need. But its essential rehearse this scenario a few times to make sure that they understand the plan.

Write your contact information somewhere it cannot be washed off or lost.

By the time my niece was four she could recite all the lyrics from almost any Disney song (especially the one about letting go), but she was having the toughest time remembering her parents’ phone numbers. Examples like this are why the Clovis Police Department in California recommend writing contact info on a child’s wrist and covering it with a spray-on bandage so that the ink will stay put. This can be a lot more impactful than just having a paper that can be easily lost or thrown away and make it very easy for any helpers contact you.

We hope that you never need these tips, but if you do, we hope that they are a tremendous help. And you have to worry about is heartburn from all the festival food.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County Celebrates ICC National Building Safety Month

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

ICC National Building Safety Month is celebrated every May. This is the 38th year of the campaign.

May is Building Safety Month (BSM), and this year will mark its 38th year. BSM is an international public safety campaign initiated by the International Code Council that promotes a better understanding of creating and sustaining safe structures for businesses, individuals, and families. The theme for this year is Building Codes Save Lives and will place a focus on how building codes protect homes, offices, schools and many more structures.

Each week will have a specific topic which will cover a variety of information including safety tips and FAQs.

May 1-5: Partnering with Code Officials to Build Stronger, Safer Communities

May 6-12: Advancing Resilient Communities Though Science and Technology

May 13-19: Protecting Communities from Disaster

May 20-26: Safeguarding Our Water

May 27-31: Improving Education & Training Standards for a Safer Tomorrow

SERVPRO of East Greenville County will share many of the tips provided by the ICC and some of our own throughout the month.  Check out the 2018 ICC Home Safety Checklist for some quick and simple ways to make your home a safe home.

SERVPRO Ready Plan: Save Time Recovering from the Unexpected

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Ready Plan allows users to create an emergency ready profile of their facility containing critical information to help speed up response time.

Many of us have a relationship with our smartphone, and why not? Smartphones are one of the greatest multitaskers ever invented. They allow us to connect with friends and family in a myriad of ways. We can summon transportation, food, information and entertainment with the press of a few buttons. Memories are captured and saved in the moment and then can be sent to or pulled from a cloud. They help to monitor physical activity and provide motivation to keep going to reach that goal. Phones are our friends. Chances are that you may be reading this from a phone right now, and if not, you might be checking your pockets or purse to make sure your BFF is not too far off.  

While it is nearly impossible to predict a calamitous event, it is now easier to be prepared to respond and recover from one. ANd our phones can be more than just a friend; they can be a HERO. Thanks to SERVPRO, smartphones can be a great tool during and after a crisis event for risk managers and residential or commercial property managers/owners in Greenville and the surrounding areas. SERVPRO Ready Plan allows users to create profiles that contain that can help to speed up response time. Setting up an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) and having critical information readily available will allow SERVPRO of East Greenville County to provide faster service and can reduce displacement /downtime and loss of revenue.

SERVPRO Ready Plan Features

  • Designate priority contacts to have decision makers easily accessible
  • Indicate location of shut-off valves, access points, and other essential systems
  • Provides critical building information such as square footage and parking accessibility

You can download the SERVPRO Ready Plan app here, and SERVPRO of East Greenville County is available to assist in setting up ERPs. Visit our website or call (864) 292-3495.

Faster to your Greenville Water Damage Event

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides 24-hour fire and water damage restoration service in Greenville

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides emergency cleaning and 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 East Greenville County arrives speedily and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 at 864-292-3495

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water absorbs 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.

About SERVPRO of East Greenville County

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our highly trained staff specializes in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our team is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Certifications

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • HST - Health and Safety Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation

Power Outage Tips

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Whether or not you know it's coming, a power outage can be a major disturbance. It never hurts to know what to do once the lights go out.

From ready.gov

Before

  • Power outages can happen at any time and are unavoidable, but the costs associated with them can be lessened by installing a home backup generator at a home or business.
  • Have a place in your home where flashlights, a battery-powered radio, and extra batteries can be easily found.
  • If you know the outage is coming, set aside extra water and buy or make extra ice. You can use the ice to keep perishable items cool.
  • Make sure the battery in your smoke detector is fresh. Test the smoke detector on a monthly basis to make sure it's working.
  • Keep an appliance thermometer in the freezer. If the freezer is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder when the power returns, all the food is safe.

During

  • If possible, use flashlights instead of candles for emergency lighting. Candles used in unfamiliar settings can be dangerous fire hazards.
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment, or electronics that were on when the power went out. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer, or furnace.
  • Leave one light on so you know when the power returns.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer. This will help keep your food as fresh as possible. Be sure to check food for signs of spoilage.
  • Use generators safely. If you have a portable generator, only run it outdoors with adequate ventilation. Never use a generator indoors or in attached garages. The exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled.
  • Listen to the radio for updates.

Lead Poising From Paint

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

If your home was built before 1978, it likely contains lead-based paint. Deteriorated lead-based paint is present in as many as 24 million residences

No safe levels

Lead is dangerous to people of all ages, but children younger than 6 years old are particularly susceptible. Some of the effects of lead exposure — even low levels — in children and adults can include:

  • Damage to the kidneys and nervous system
  • Learning disabilities
  • Issues with speech, language and behavior
  • Slowed physical growth
  • High-risk pregnancies and fertility issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Problems with digestion

A simple blood test at the doctor's office can detect lead poisoning. The best way to treat lead poisoning is to remove or minimize exposure to lead.

Reducing the risk

Hire a certified inspector or risk assessor to test your home. If your home has lead-based paint, take these steps to keep your family safe.

  • Check surfaces. Lead-based paint in good shape is not a threat. But wear and tear is likely, particularly with painted window frames, doors, doorframes and stairs. Regularly inspect surfaces for peeling, chipping or damage.
  • Keep it clean. Even a few particles of lead-based paint can be hazardous. Regularly wipe down floors, windowsills and other paint-covered surfaces to keep them free from lead dust.
  • Remodel with care. Home improvements that involve scraping or disturbing paint may release toxic lead dust. If you're the DIY type, learn as much as you can about lead-safe practices. Or, better yet ...
  • Hire a pro. Enlist a Lead-Safe Certified renovation firm to help with your next project, or hire a certified lead abatement contractor to ditch lead for good. Find certified inspection, risk assessment, abatement and renovation firms on the EPA's website.
  • Look past the paint. Lead also may be present in soil tracked into the house, on some children's toys and even in older pipes and plumbing. Is there lead in your tap water?
 https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/safety/lead-poisoning-from-paint

Is Lead Lurking in Your Tap Water?

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Your drinking water may not be as safe as you think especially if your home has lead plumbing. Corrosion in your home's plumbing and water-supply syst

Know the risks

Lead can affect family members differently depending on their age and development. Children and pregnant women are most at risk.

  • Infants: Delays in physical and mental abilities
  • Children: Brain and nervous system damage, behavioral and learning problems, lower IQ, issues with hearing, slowed growth and anemia
  • Adults: Nervous system impairment, high blood pressure, hypertension, kidney problems, and reproductive issues

Test your water

You can't see, smell, or taste lead, so how do you know if your water is contaminated? The answer: regular testing. If your home was built before 1986, there is a greater risk that your plumbing has lead-containing materials. But regardless of your home's age, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing your water regularly if it comes from a private water system. Most public water systems test for contaminants annually. However, these tests reflect the water quality of the entire system not individual homes.

Testing kits are available at most home improvement stores. To get the best results, the EPA recommends sending your sample to a certified laboratory in your area.

Take precautions

If your water tests positive for lead, there are things you can do to reduce risk in the short-term and long-term. But first, visit your doctor to make sure no one in your family has high levels of lead in their system.

Here are some things you can do at home:

  • Use the cold-water tap it has lower levels of lead than warm water.
  • Flush your pipes by running your tap for at least one minute until the water becomes cold if it hasn't been used for the last six hours.
  • Replace lead plumbing pipes. According to the EPA, lead is a dull gray metal that can be easily scratched.
  • Use bottled or distilled water.
  • Use a filter certified to remove lead from your water.

If you have questions about your drinking water, call the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/residence/is-lead-lurking-in-your-tap-water

SERVPRO Of East Greenville County - Spring Carpet Cleaning

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

A recent carpet cleaning service completed by SERVPRO Of East Greenville County.

Today I wanted to talk about the upcoming ending of Winter and the start of Spring. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter technically ends March 20th. With Spring quickly approaching, I wanted to talk a little about "Spring Cleaning." This post primarily focuses on getting your carpets cleaned this spring.


A study shows that nearly 79% of soil in carpet is considered dry soil. Owning and using a quality vacuum is a key process in cleaning & maintaining your carpets. Carpets tend to act as a filter. They trap everything from dust to animal hair, to dead skin cells. 


Professional Cleaning:  Professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets. How often you'll need professional cleaning depends on soil build-up, traffic, type and color of the carpets. Dirt typically accumulates in layers, and when carpet looks dirty to the eye, you are typically only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. Even the highest quality items can show soiling. SERVPRO Of East Greenville County Professionals will get the job done right. For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment and over 40 years of experience and professionals trained to the highest standard, protect your investment by giving us a call at 864-292-3495. We look forwards to the opportunity to do great work for you.

Women in Restoration

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

This was a great article from Restoration & Remediation Magazine. Written by Michelle Blevins

Women  in the workforce: a consistently hot topic. Times have changed. Today, it is the norm for a household to have two working parents. Thirty or forty years ago, it was not – it was believed women belonged in the home, and men in the workforce. Generation X, and now millennials, and the up and coming Generation Z are changing the landscape of the workforce in big ways. That must be why the topic of women in the workforce is so popular this presidential election year, perhaps more so than ever.

Did you know 70 percent of women in the U.S. with children younger than 18 work? And according to The Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the number of women in the U.S. construction industry grew by more than 81 percent from 1985 to 2007? Despite that staggering increase, however, only 9 percent of U.S. construction workers are women – which is obviously a very low number compared to other industries.

While we don’t know the exact number of women in the restoration industry specifically, it is very safe to say women are rising in the ranks of restoration companies – and doing it quickly. Women bring a new way of doing things to the table … a sort of quiet strength and the ability to help build others up, and bring out the very best in everyone around them.

When Restoration & Remediation launched the 2016 Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign, we really didn’t know how it would go. All I knew was in my short time in the industry, I have met a number of truly remarkable women who have a bit of a different take on restoration. While most understand this industry is all about helping other people on their worst day, not everyone has the ability to comfort and connect like a woman! They are also shedding more light on the importance of using safe, clean products – especially around children, the elderly, those who are sick, and so on. The women who come to my mind are also strong and not easily intimidated. They know this industry, they know their niche, and they will not back down.

I had the opportunity to attend Violand Management Associates’ Women in Leadership event in June of this year and sat in a room full of women who left me in awe. Each was so intelligent, and full of fresh, innovative ideas on how to tackle everyday problems in a restoration business. As the staff at Violand would say, these women are ready to “kick some glass!” Thank you very much, Violand, for being such a strong supporter of the campaign this year and for your work to help women rise in the ranks of restoration companies around the country.

The Judging Process

A lot of work, planning, and organization went in to this year’s Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign. It was vitally important to R&R that the process be fair and unbiased. To the right, you can “meet” two of the three judges (the third being myself) who thoroughly read and scored every single one of the 40 (yes FORTY!!!) entries and nominations. Each entry was graded based on six categories:

  • Thoroughness of the entry
  • Supporting documentation
  • Journey & experience
  • Job growth & future reach potential
  • Worthiness of recognition
  • Advice to others

Each of those categories was weighted (with some categories being worth more than others), and the judges plugged in numbers on a score sheet to come up with a final score for every entry. There was little to no room for bias as the scores were truly based on every woman’s individual journey, knowledge and wisdom they had to share, credentials, and so on.

Bottom line: this was a well-developed process judged by three women heavily involved in the restoration industry – myself, Susan Pinto, and Ashlee Carpentier. We all have varying degrees and lengths of involvement in the industry, but in the end our scores for every entry came out very similar – and when added together, established a pretty clear winner.

Susan Pinto

Susan’s master’s degree in educational leadership proved very useful in the business world as she migrated from an elementary school teacher to president of Wonder Makers Environmental alongside her husband, Michael Pinto. For 28 years, she has focused on the business aspects of the company including personnel management, customer service, distributor relations, marketing, and financial management. Wonder Makers has a mission of serving God and society by helping people solve environmental, health, and safety problems and Susan works with each client with unparalleled kindness and integrity.

Ashlee Carpentier

Ashlee is married to her best friend and business partner, Shaun Carpentier. Together, they own Complete DKI and 1-800-Packouts of the Gulf Coast. Ashlee has a huge heart for those experiencing a disaster, and put that passion in action serving as the Board Chair for a local Red Cross Chapter.  She is also an avid supporter of the Escambia County Professional Fire Fighters Charity and Complete DKI volunteers time and resources for the Trauma Intervention Program.  Ashlee also serves as Board President for the Gulf Coast Association of Insurance Professions, is the membership chair for her local chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and an active board member of NAIOP of Northwest Florida.

Winner: Annissa Coy

Who: Annissa Coy

What: Owner and founder of Firehouse Education and Mobile Clean Systems

When: She has been in the restoration industry since 2000.

Where: Based in Spokane, Wash.

Why: “I truly love helping people and there is no better place to do this than the restoration industry, in my opinion.”

How: Annissa runs both a mobile contents cleaning business, and a school for cleaners and restorers.

From Bookkeeper to Owner

Annissa got her start in the restoration industry in 2000, hired in as a bookkeeper for a company grossing about $360,000 a year. She quickly worked her way up to office manager and began taking on some of the marketing as well.

“Within three years, I helped increase the gross revenue to about $900,000,” Annissa explained. “At this point, the owner incorporated and I became the CEO and ran the business overseeing all operations, purchases and marketing.”

In 2006, the owner sold the business to Annissa and her husband, Kevin. Two years later, they started Mobile Clean Systems – an onsite, 34-foot trailer that is specially designed and engineered to clean contents as efficiently and effectively as possible, even at a home in the middle of nowhere.

Then in 2009, they launched Firehouse Education – a hands-on school teaching contents restoration and systems management, plus marketing.

Today, Annissa and her crew travel to CAT losses all over the country, and do residential contents restoration (mainly fires) in the Western U.S.

“I went from an employee and having zero restoration experience, to owning the restoration business in just six years,” Annissa said. “Then within two years of owning the company, we grossed $1.3 million in revenue and increased our net profit by 1,003 percent.”

Finding Success

Annissa takes pride that Mobile Clean’s business is 100 percent referral-based. She does not hesitate for a second to ask a customer for a testimonial after a successful contents cleaning job.

“I truly love helping people and there is no better place to do this than the restoration industry, in my opinion,” she said. “I am good at creating systems and helping others feel comfortable and cared for. My biggest contributions to the industry would be my natural ability to teach and to help others see things differently and encourage them to challenge the status quo.”

She admits when she first came into the industry 16 years ago, she shook things up a bit by challenging the way things were done, and suggesting better, more efficient ways to clean contents. She is also first to admit the path into this tight-knit industry, especially the niche of contents, wasn’t easy as she was surrounded by people who had been doing restoration for decades. But she also felt she had some insights that could help.

Through Firehouse Education and her YouTube channel, Annissa was able to create a voice for herself.

“I was the first one to take my camera on CAT losses and out on job sites and film what was happening step-by-step,” she said. “I was also one of the first to capture video testimonials onsite from homeowners and adjusters and post them to my website, blog, and throughout my marketing.”

 

Annissa’s Advice

“Don’t think you have to do things the way they have always been done. Constantly ask yourself ‘can this be done better, faster, and with more care?’” she said. “And never stop asking yourself how you can serve your clients better. Bring your heart to the game every single day. It’s what your clients and your team need and want from you most.”

First Runner-Up

Who: Jessika James

What: Certified Indoor Industrialist | Owner, JMJ Consulting and Inspections

When: A lifetime! She joined her family’s construction and restoration business when she was just 10 years old, and her high school graduation gift in 1978 was a Chevy van with a truckmount. The note from her dad said: “Congratulations! You are a carpet cleaner! Rent is now $300.” For Jessika, this was a dream come true.

Where: Jessika works nationwide as a consultant and previously had a variety of roles in the industry including restoration company owner, ProChem’s education director, IICRC instructor, and more.

Why: “My father was very work-oriented. As a child, my weekly allowance wasn’t for setting the table or doing the dishes, but helping out in the family construction and restoration business,” Jessika said. “I would do everything from setting up equipment to fire damage packouts to filing in the office on the weekends.”

Jessika’s journey is far too impressive to do justice in a short write up, but she has worn a number of hats over the years, and earned a number of IICRC and other certifications.

“I have had the incredible opportunity to work with and learn from some of the industry superstars! Carl Williams, Jeff Bishop, Ron Toney, Tom Hill, Steve Marsh – they all played a major part in my in-field experiences, then my movement into the education area,” Jessika recalled. “Teaching classes and seminars is always my favorite thing to do, and what I feel is my largest contribution to the industry.”

Her Advice:

“Although it is still a largely male-dominated industry, women are seen more and more frequently in all different jobs, from packing out houses on fire damage jobs, to remediating water and mold projects, to independently running their own businesses! The biggest piece of advice I could give would be- spread the news! This is a great industry for women!”

She also said: “It is amazing how just in the past 10-15 years, we have seen so many strong, independent, educated, professional women joining the workforce in the cleaning and restoration fields – and kicking some serious behind!”

Second Runner-Up

Who: Kris Rudarmel

What: President, Anchor Restoration

When: Anchor Restoration was created in 2005

Where: South Jordan, Utah

Why: Kris and her husband, Frank, had an unpleasant experience with an emergency flood service in the early 2000’s, inspiring them to start their own restoration company to better serve the needs in their community.

“I had a dream to create an experience for my clients that was about more than just flood damage cleanup,” she said. “I wanted to stand out and provide an eclectic customer experience and build a company that my team members would be proud to work for and share a vision with what I had created.”

Kris’s business has won a number of awards, including being named to Utah Business Magazine’s “30 Women in Watch” in 2013, NAWBO’s “Woman Business Owner of the Year” Award in 2013, and the Enterprise 7 Award: Woman Business Owner (for the seventh time!) and a number of others.

Her advice:

“It is vitally important to savor your successes and appreciate your failures. Our failures teach us a lot and make us strong,” she said. “Believe in yourself! Your beliefs become your reality! Do not be afraid to dream BIG! Find or create passion in whatever you do and stay out of your comfort zone by feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

This is Only the Beginning!

R&R has big plans for the Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign for 2017! Be on the lookout for a call to action in the beginning of the year, and some exciting announcements and evolutions in the campaign! We hope this is only the beginning of recognizing women who are truly “kicking some glass” and hope those who didn’t win this year (including our runners-up) will continue to be involved in future!

To all the women who participated this year, and the people who took the time to nominate a woman in the industry who they respect, thank you!

By Michelle Blevins

From - RESTORATION & REMEDIATION MAGAZINE

October 2016

Upstate of SC Drought

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

This photo shows just how serious the drought is in South Carolina.

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Despite the flooding for the low country of SC the drought is getting worse for the Upstate.

We are more than 8 inches below average rainfall for the year at GSP due to missing out on the two tropical cyclones to come up the coast.

The United States drought monitor shows the Upstate ranging from severe to extreme drought in a few spots. But the state climatologist, Dr. Hope Mizzell says our drought monitor in SC is based on several factors, not just precipitation. Forest fire threat, rainfall, and water supply are some of the factors taken into account when considering the drought status. Regardless, Mizzell says the upstate is in Severe Drought and expects that to be upgraded during this week’s meeting with the South Carolina Drought Response Committee.

 

Dr. Mizzell says the water supply for the upstate is fine for now, but need to be monitored as we move through our driest months of the year. She says that drought relief is not expected for November, but that is normal. However, Mizzell stressed that the Winter months is when we replenish the reservoirs before the hot and dry Summer conditions approach. Winter is the time we need normal rainfall, not necessarily above normal precipitation.

Mizzell says our drought monitor at the state level is geared more towards water supply problems and the committee normally meets every 8 weeks to avoid the windshield wiper effect of changing the drought status frequently. However, as conditions prove needed she says the committee will meet every 4 to 6 weeks.

At this time Mizzell says she does not see any indication of any state level water restrictions and that would have to come at a local level.

She encourages everyone to be good stewards when it comes to water resources. A full list of ways to conserve water on a daily basis is found at the SC DNR website listed below.

The reason you may see more updates from NC is that they meet every week and use their drought monitor directly off of the United States Drought Monitor.

References:
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/Drought/drought_response_program.php
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/201609#det-pdi
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?SC

Mold Damage Emergency Tips

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

Please call SERVPRO before your problem gets this bad.

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem? Call Today 1-864-292-3495

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.

What NOT to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Call SERVPRO of East Greenville County

864-292-3495

What makes you an expert?

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

IICRC sets the standard in the water and mold cleanup industry. Always use a IICRC certified firm.

In the realm of water and mold, what makes someone an expert? I get asked that question a lot. When I go out behind another mitigation company, I can tell by the questions a homeowner ask, whether they have talked to someone that is knowledgeable or just someone looking to turn a dollar. To often in a field of work that is unregulated, we have people or even companies that claim to be the expert, but have never taken one course on the subject.

One of the first questions that a homeowner should ask is, are you a IICRC certified firm and what certifications does the person onsite have. IICRC sets the standards for both water mitigation and mold remediation. They administer the training and produce the protocols that we in this industry follow.

So why is this so important? If your loss is a self pay loss, you could be throwing thousands of dollars out the window to someone that claims to be an expert.

Structural Drying

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

Structural Drying:
Moisture content in structural components must be a concern in all water damage situations. After evaluation of carpet and pad, a careful evaluation of structural materials must be done. Replacement of structural components if damaged beyond repair will be much more costly than replacement of contents such as carpet and pad. Thus consideration and inspection of any structural component that has the remotest possibility of being wet is vital (dirt to sky inspection). If moisture is detected, rapid drying of the structure must be the primary concern. Thus use of a hygrometer to measure the extent of saturation of porous materials is considered standard procedure in all water losses.
SERVPRO is the Greenville areas leading water mitigation company. We are an emergency service company serving the Greenville SC area 24 hours per day, 7-days per week, 365 days per year. As an IICRC certified firm we use the latest techniques in structural drying and can handle any size disaster. Call us at (864) 292-3495 should your home or business experience a water emergency.

 

Content from SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge 

Buy or Rent? Both are too expensive.

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

Buy or rent? Both are too expensive

By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

You often hear that this is a great time to buy a home because rates are low and home prices are still attractive. But the majority of Americans think housing is still unaffordable, a recent survey shows.

 

About 6 in 10 Americans say it's challenging to find affordable, quality housing in their community, regardless of whether you want buy or rent. The findings come from an annual survey on housing attitudes commissioned by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and conducted by Hart Research Associates.

Struggling to make housing payments

More than half of the respondents in the survey say they have had to make at least one sacrifice in the last three years to pay for their mortgage or rent. The sacrifices included taking a second job, deferring retirement savings, accumulating credit card debt, cutting back on health care and healthy foods and moving to a neighborhood where they felt less or one with worse schools.

The public's perspective on the housing recovery also is pretty pessimistic, according to the survey.

"The American people do not see the housing crisis as something that is behind us," says Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates.

About 7 in 10 respondents said that we are still in the midst of the housing crisis or that the worse has yet to come.

I want a home!

Still, the American dream of owning a home isn't dead.

Even though a growing number of people say that renting is becoming more appealing than buying, according to the survey, about 70 percent of respondents say the aspire to own a home.

But they don't always look at it as an investment.

About half say it's an "excellent long-term investment," and about 43 percent say that's no longer the case.

What do you think?

Follow me on Twitter @Polyanad.

Get real-time rate quotes with Bankrate's Mortgage app.



Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/financing/mortgages/buy-or-rent-both-are-too-expensive/#ixzz4OPDZsnIY
Follow us: @Bankrate on Twitter | Bankrate on Facebook

How to clean out your gutters, before they clean out your wallet

10/21/2016 (Permalink)

From Fox News

Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important projects on the to-do list yet it’s too often overlooked. Unfortunately, many of us wait until late into the fall season when the very last leaf falls before we decide to get it done. This delay exposes our homes to potential damage. Plus, it makes the job a lot more difficult to do.

If you do it a couple of times a year, in the fall and spring, cleaning gutters is easy. Just once, or not at all, and it can become back breaking work and cost you thousands of dollars worth of trouble down the road.

The problem with clogged gutters is more than just those annoying waterfalls that pour off the roof on rainy days, or the pretty icicles that hang around in the winter. This excess water wreaks havoc on the integrity of your home’s structure. The gutter system of a house is designed to move water down from the roof and away from the home and it’s foundation for proper drainage. Water that gets dammed up in the gutters finds the path of least resistance when it tries to drain and this often means it works right into the walls and ceilings of your house.

The first and most obvious issue with gutters filled to the brim with leaves, twigs, and other debris is simply a weight problem. When that debris gets wet it absorbs the rain water like a sponge and becomes extremely heavy. This burden puts stress on the gutters and their hanging brackets, and can pull the gutters off the house. Falling gutters are costly enough to replace on their own, not to mention any lights or windows they smash as they come crashing down.

Overflowing water from the gutters can also damage the paint and siding on a home, but unsightly water marks down the side of the house pale in comparison with what happens if the water get inside of a wall. Wet wood rots and loses its integrity, and this can go unseen behind the siding until it is too late.

Ice-damming is another major issue with clogged gutters. Blocked water can freeze when it backs up in the gutters, pushing up against the roof structure and working its way under the shingles destroying the wood, causing even more leaks.

Even flooded basements and cracking foundations are other symptoms of clogged gutters. If water isn’t drained away from the house and it pools around the foundation it will expand when frozen and cause cracks which lead to floods in your basement or crawl space.

So what will you need to get the job done? You only need a few things and they depend on the method you choose. Many different tricks and techniques have been developed by home improvement magazines, experts, and handymen alike but the main concept is simple, just get on the ladder and pull the junk out of the gutters.

You’ll need; a ladder, gloves, a container to gather the debris such as a bag or bucket, a garden trowel or small hand rake, and the hose.

Begin by setting the ladder an arms length away from a corner downspout, and tuck a few garbage bags in your back pocket so you can easily pull them out. Some people prefer to use a bucket and bucket hanger for the ladder, but it is much easier to use those little plastic shopping bags. A full bucket or big garbage bag can get pretty heavy and make the job tougher than a high wire act.

Hold your garden trowel or rake in your hand and begin your ascent. You never want to put sharp objects in your pocket when you are climbing a ladder, as they can harpoon you if you fall. Use the tool to pull the debris away from the down spout, being careful not to let any junk fall into the opening, which can create a clog. Take one handful at a time and fill up the bags, tying and dropping them to the ground as you go. Drop the bags away from the bottom of the ladder so they don’t get in your way when you need to dismount.

Move the ladder and repeat. Never reach further than an arms length away from the ladder and be sure to get the dirt on the bottom of the gutter. A majority of it is from the asphalt shingles that run off into the gutter. This stuff gets very heavy when wet so don’t leave it in there.

If you are afraid of heights or worry about dealing with the bags in such a precarious situation, simply grab handfuls from the gutters and drop it onto a clear spot on the ground. This is a very messy method, but you can rake up the debris later, safely and easily. Some guys drop the material down onto a tarp and shake it into a garbage can later.

Once you clean an entire length, grab the hose and spray down the gutter and into the down spouts to get all the small pieces you missed. If there are clogs that the hose can’t clear, you can use a plumbers snake to clear them out. This is also a good point to see if your gutters leak at any corners or joining pieces. If they do, you can purchase a silicone sealant and very easily make the fix. Remember that water finds the path of least resistance, and that path us usually into the walls of your house, so a leaky gutter can be just as bad as a clogged one.

If you are ambitious, you can scrub down the outside of the gutters or touch up any spots with paint to keep your house looking its best.

Still hesitant on doing this yourself? Consider using a roofing or siding contractor, or even handy man, but get three estimates and don’t always go for the cheapest one. The guy with the 1970’s pick up truck with rock bottom prices could possibly do a great job, but may not have any insurance. Whom ever you choose, be sure they are insured. If someone takes a dive off the ladder and breaks every bone in his body and is not covered by his own workman’s comp you, the homeowner, are liable. It’s a lot easier to ask him for a copy of his up-to-date insurance papers than it is to make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy, assuming it even covers such accidents.

One way or another, pushing this chore to the bottom of the to-do list could end up being a very costly mistake. If you get up there regularly it can be a breeze and you’ll prevent the Hoover dam from forming in your gutters.

Jason Gurskis is a licensed home improvement contractor based in Mystic Island, New Jersey dedicated to making homes more comfortable, durable, and energy efficient.

Did it really happen?

10/19/2016 (Permalink)

Taking pictures of your loss is so easy with a smart phone. Before and after photos are critical.

I was recently called to appear in court as a character witness for a company that we have a relationship with. This company is a great referral partner for us and they are a really good company. They have been in business for over 30 years and have never once been sued.

I showed up for court just as I was asked, and soon there after the proceedings began. Both parties submitted items into evidence and I could see that the defense submitted lots of documents, but no pictures. As we know in the insurance business, if you do not have a picture its hard to get paid for the work that was performed. We have a saying in our office that " if you didn't write it down or take a picture of it, it didn't really happen." Pictures are critical for any service work. Whether the picture shows previous damage, damage that you may have caused or the pictures show before and after work.

If you don't take pictures and write it down, did it really happen?

Does Your Greenville Home Have A Mold Problem?

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –864-292-3495

Faster to your Greenville Water Damage Event

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO East Greenville County provides emergency cleaning and 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 East Greenville County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 864-292-3495

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.

About SERVPRO of East Greenville County

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Greenville County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/30/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Greenville, SC.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 864-292-3495

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of East Greenville County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of East Greenville County

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Greenville, SC - Not the Ordinary Second Hand Smoke

4/8/2016 (Permalink)

Greenville, SC-Not the Ordinary Second Hand Smoke 

When it comes to fire damages, you could be affected just as an innocent bystander.  Even though your structure is not the one in flames, your structure can be harmed with smoke, soot and heat damage.

Locally we had a church catch fire.  Thankfully no one was inside the church at the time of the fire and the firefighters from three responding fire departments were all able to walk away unharmed.  Unfortunately the church is a total loss; however that does not mean that this loss did not affect your home or business in the area.

Many neighboring buildings can be affected unknowingly due to a fire in the area.  Smoke and soot can enter the building and cause damage to both the structure and contents of a dwelling.  It is best to let the professionals assess and clean up from the smoke damage.  Cleaning up after a smoke damage seems like a pretty easy concept but it does require a lot of experience and manpower.  It is not recommended to attempt the cleaning on your own.

Soot and smoke can cause discoloration, corrosion and a lingering odor.  The sooner a SERVPRO professional can get on site the better chance of a successful restoration.  The first thing that soot and smoke can cause is the discoloration of most surfaces.  Many finishes on products will start to turn yellow as will upholstery and textiles, while metals can tarnish.  As time passes, this damage can become permanent.  Because ash is acidic, the longer you take to call SERVPRO, the more destruction it can cause. 

If your home or business was recently in the area of a fire, call for a scope appointment.  We can identify the damages and determine what can be salvaged.  We can quickly arrange for a trained crew to come on site and begin the restoration process.  Once on site our trained professionals will work to restore your home or business to pre-loss conditions – “Like it Never Even Happened”.

National Sorry Charlie Day

4/6/2016 (Permalink)

Don't be rejected by a damage in your home.  

April 6th is observed as National Sorry Charlie Day.  This day is dedicated to all the times you have been rejected.  

Rejection can be defined by many meanings....refusal, declining, turning down and dismissing to name a few.  Don't allow a damage in your home turn into a rejection.  

-Neglected water damage can cause a possible denied claim.

-Odor in your home can cause a rejection of a potential sale.

-Dismissing soot damage can pose some serious health risks.  

Call us today for a scope of any damage in your home.

#NationalSorryCharlieDay 

Upstate SC is the Place for Business!

7/15/2015 (Permalink)

Upstate businesses preparing for growth, survey shows

Staff Report 
gsanews@scbiznews.com 
Published June 4, 2015

A SunTrust Business Pulse survey shows 77% of business decision-makers are confident about the strength of their companies and four out of five are preparing for growth in the near term. David Torris, SunTrust Banks’ region president for the Upstate and Western North Carolina, said Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson counties are riding strong economic currents.

Torris said consumers since the Great Recession “have become buyers again. In the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson area, the local retail industry has benefitted significantly with gross sales hitting the highest mark in more than a decade, ending 2014 with a $13.8 million increase over the previous year. We’re seeing momentum in the real estate market, where the sale of housing units increased by more than 22% from February to March.”

Torris said economic development efforts continue to show big results.

“So how do we keep the economy moving forward? Mirroring the national findings of the SunTrust survey, area business leaders plan to stimulate growth primarily through new products and services, while others are considering mergers and acquisitions,” Torris said.

He said many are looking to the banking industry, “not just for access to capital, but for strategic advice.” He said banks help businesses by “providing them with the counsel, expertise and tools so they have confidence and control over their finances.”

Nothing makes us happier...

5/6/2015 (Permalink)

Living large!

Johnathan Evatt, General Manager, and Jesus Natareno, Production Tech, celebrate their 1 millionth bag of debris!

Proud, active member of the Greenville Chamber!

5/4/2015 (Permalink)

Greenville Chamber Headquarters

We have a longstanding relationship with Greenville and the Chamber!  

http://www.greenvillechamber.org/

Greer Chamber of Commerce Member!

4/27/2015 (Permalink)

We're a member of the Greer Chamber of Commerce!

We are an active member of the Greer Chamber of Commerce. We take great pride in being a part of the Greenville County community. We understand that communities like ours hold America together. We want to do our part to ensure our community thrives by helping those less fortunate, keeping the area safe and making our community the best it can be.

View our member profile!

Get free alerts to when you will be able to see the International Space Station!

2/5/2015 (Permalink)

ISS

We like tech stuff.  So when we found a website that allows you to receive text or email alerts as to when you will be able to see the International Space Station (ISS) fly by, we had to share it.  Go to http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ and sign up.  The first time we saw the ISS stream by, goosebumps emerged!

Use your Smartphone camera for so much more than taking selfies...

1/19/2015 (Permalink)

Getting older has its benefits and its...challenges...Add a Bionic eye to your toolbox!  Use your smartphone camera as a scoping video camera or as a way to take pictures of items that are hard to get to or hard to remember.  If you are having trouble seeing something in low light, use your smartphone camera.  It has autofocus and can see in low light.  I used it to help me open a combination lock outside of work when I absolutely could not see the numbers on the discolored wheels with the naked eye.

The smartphone camera can also be used to take pictures under your car, in your engine compartment, to get serial numbers located behind your washer...

We will continue to post ingenious "life hacks" as they come to us! 

Wave Action

1/13/2015 (Permalink)

A sprinkler system head froze, cracked, and flooded 6 rooms. SERVPRO extracted water, pulled carpet, and effectively placed drying equipment.

When you can see waves on the water in your kitchen, it is time to call SERVPRO.  This past week has been tough on many of our customers, please continue to take precautions as the temperatures dip!

-unscrew hoses from all hose bibbs.

-open vanity doors below sinks on outside walls

-open closet doors that may have a water cutoff inside

-check the location of all exterior hose bibbs and if there is a closet adjacent on an inside wall, open that closet door.

-let the water drip from spigots in sinks on outside walls.

-If you have a crawl space, buy/install pipe insulation.  it is cheap and easy to install.

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