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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Outdoor Fires and Safety | SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

campfire-style fire pit with flames emerging from the top of the logs on the dark green grass Bonfire season is upon us! SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has your back with these helpful fire safety tips.

Have you felt any cool breezes yet? It may still be warm out, but fall is so close. Before you know it, evenings will be chilly and leaves will be crunchy. We can finally get out our pumpkin decorations and drink hot chocolate all day.

This is the perfect season for fire pits and roasted marshmallows as well. As you gather around the flames, though, make sure you do so safely in order to keep your home and your family protected.

At SERVPRO® , we are always ready to respond when your property experiences damage after a disaster, but we also want to help you stay safe. We want to make sure you know all the ways to prevent a bonfire from ever becoming anything other than a great way to spend an evening.

Tips for Starting the Fire

Keep things safe by doing a few things:

Do find the safest spot possible to have your fire. Choose a location that is open with no low hanging branches, free of leaf and other debris and away from structures.

Do keep water at hand. A bucket full can dampen anything that gets out of control before it becomes a problem. If there isn’t a way to keep water close, have a shovel and water or sand you can quickly toss on rogue flames.

Do take a look at the forecast. Even a light breeze can carry red hot embers into flammable materials and create a disaster. Check for weather advisories, and take a look at local burn bans and regulations. Those can change quickly, so always check before lighting anything.

Tips for While the Fire Is Hot

Make the whole evening safe by avoiding a few things you don’t want to do:

Don’t burn anything except firewood. Adding lighter fluid or other accelerants to your fire can result in a dangerous situation. Avoid throwing anything else in the fire as well to prevent out of control flames.

Don’t play near the fire. If you put out yard games, keep them a safe distance away. Make sure children and pets understand not to run or walk close to the flames in order to prevent accidents.

Don’t make a big fire. A small fire in a fire pit can be more enjoyable because you won’t have to worry about it getting out of control. Keep it small to prevent flames from wandering away and starting a disaster.

Don’t walk away from a warm fire pit. When you are done enjoying your evening, pour water on your flames and stick by them until everything is completely out and the embers have begun to cool.

Wildfire Prevention

Many wildfires are started by human error or negligence. If you are going to spend time enjoying your evening around a fire, make sure you are doing everything you can to protect your home and the environment.

If you do have damage from a fire, we are here to help. Our SERVPRO crew is always ready to respond and get your life put back together fast. Call us so you can get back to enjoying the beauty of fall.

Fire can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Contact us day or night for immediate assistance.

Building Fire Safety Habits With Your Children | SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

6/10/2023 (Permalink)

Young boy staring at a lit match being held between his fingers SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is here for you and your family if you experience a fire in your home or business.

Parenting can be an emotional rollercoaster, with both triumphs and trials, but persevering through these obstacles to support your child’s learning and growth is what makes this journey so worth it. This requires teaching your kids some lessons that may be a little difficult, both to teach and to learn.

Fire safety is one of those lessons. While the topic can be a little scary for kids, it’s an important one that must be taught.

You don’t need to be nervous about bringing the topic of fire safety to your household! There are a ton of methods to ensure your kids retain this information without overwhelming them in the process.

Explain the Dangers of Fire

Highlighting your home’s specific risks will be the most effective way to help your children gain a strong understanding of these principles. Teaching kids how and where fire might spark in your home is just one way to teach fire safety in a way that helps this information really stick.

As you point out specific examples around the house, don’t forget to bring up the danger that matches and lighters can cause. Engaging in a serious discussion about fire hazards will effectively convey to your children the importance of treating such items with the utmost caution and promptly handing them to an adult when found.

Familiarize Them With Authority

Young children may find firefighters in full uniform intimidating, which can be dangerous when an emergency arises and they must rely on these individuals for help. Consider taking your child to local events that will allow them to connect positively with these heroes, and show them books and videos that highlights the hard work firefighters do.

Let them know that these individuals only want to lend a hand in the middle of an emergency. Discuss their duties and the importance of relying on them during a fire. Try to turn your fire drills into a fun game like seeing who can stop, drop and roll the quickest.

Make a Game Plan Together

Don’t overlook the importance of having a fire evacuation plan for your household! Encourage your kids to help in planning the escape route, allowing them to feel involved and generating a plan that everyone at home can understand. Turn it into an art project by challenging them to draw the emergency plan as quickly as possible.

Consider highlighting other exits your family can access in the event that the original route is obstructed during a fire. Remind your children that using windows as a means of escape should only be done in the event of a fire and never while playing.

Once you’ve crafted your unique strategy, designate a safe meeting place outside your home that is within reach for everyone after evacuation. Make it a routine to practice your strategy a few times a year, and ensure your kids know how to dial 911!

Fires can cause widespread damage. Call us for a thorough and efficient restoration.

Be Prepared When Severe Winds Hit Winston-Salem | SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

6/5/2023 (Permalink)

Dense forest area with trees bending due to intense wind and rain If you've suffered from storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of West Forsyth County your first call.

A sudden rush of cool wind can feel like a miracle on a blistering hot day. Wind can be an unseen hero when you need it the most, but it can also be a dangerous interruption when it becomes too strong.

When it’s convenient, the wind might save lives, but it’s more well-known for being a hazardous weather threat that frequently causes significant damage. Extreme winds have no limits, and they can be hazardous even when the sky is completely clear.

Learn more about the dangers related to severe winds and take action to protect your Winston-Salem home when they blow.

The Different Kinds of Wind

Around half of the observed wind damage is stirred up during thunderstorms, even more so than tornadoes. Even if it appears to be insignificant, the wind is a serious threat that must not be overlooked.

Although there are many dangers associated with thunderstorms, wind is one of the most common. When gusts reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, debris can effortlessly be thrown around.

Tornadoes are especially dangerous because of their combination of straight-line winds, downdrafts and bursts, which can cause damage even in areas where there is no rain. Straight-line winds are a particularly dangerous threat that can generate at speeds of over 100 miles an hour.

Tornadoes are a common and dangerous natural occurrence in Winston-Salem, with our city experiencing two tornadoes on average each year. The most recent tornadoes that have hit us have caused catastrophic damage, emphasizing the importance of taking tornado warnings and preparedness measures seriously.

Wind Damage and Prevention

When powerful winds hit, the damage can be widespread and devastating. In addition to toppled trees, blown-around debris and downed power lines, extreme winds can cause significant damage to buildings, vehicles and other structures.

Staying safe during high winds requires a combination of preparation and quick action. One of the most important steps you can take is to stay informed about weather conditions in your area by subscribing to emergency alerts or monitoring local news stations.

To stay safe during high winds, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your property. You can begin by pruning and removing loose limbs from your trees on a constant schedule, as well as removing any items throughout your lawn that could damage your home during a wind event.

Examine your home and property to check if you’ve sustained damage after the winds have subsided. Take special care of your roof so you can repair any damaged shingles before leakage occurs. If you’re faced with sudden wind damage, call SERVPRO day or night, and we can begin the restoration process ASAP.

Has your home been damaged by wind? Call us and get things cleaned up fast.

Be Cautious of Concealed Water Destruction | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

5/9/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”bucket” alt = " blue bucket in the middle of the living area catching water falling from the ceiling ” > Think you may have water damage in your home? Here are some tips from SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to find the source.

Water damage attacks in a variety of ways, with one of its signatures being to hide in your home until you finally notice the destruction. Concealed water damage can occur in any room of your home, with the repercussions manifesting as mold, leaks and costly losses.

Being able to spot sneaky problems like this before they grow into a full-blown water emergency is the best way to protect your home from damage. As long as you keep a close eye out, you’ll be able to quickly spot water damage before it wreaks havoc on your Winston-Salem home.

Below are a few of the most important places to look as you search for hidden water damage:

Your roof. When’s the last time you climbed up to your roof to check for damage? If it’s been a while, then you might be dealing with concealed roof water damage.

Even when you are performing basic maintenance, leaks that develop on your roof are difficult to spot. A minor leak might seem like no big deal, only for it to transform into an unavoidable and expensive water emergency.

When water damage occurs on your roof, it may also seep into your Lewisville attic, creating a different hidden issue. Leakage and excess moisture can be a huge problem in your dim, humid attic that leads to mold growth.

In your bathroom. Water damage, particularly hidden water damage, is nearly always discovered in the bathroom. The bathroom equipment we use can suddenly fail and cause water problems that are difficult to detect.

Look for any wet spots around your sink and any leaks coming from your faucet. Search your toilet and bathtub for similar warning signs like puddled water and excess moisture in the bathroom

Knowing where to look and what to look for will be most helpful when dealing with sneaky bathroom water damage. It’s also helpful to inspect your plumbing often and have any concerns checked by a professional ASAP so you can avoid running into any damage in the future.

Other appliances. Home appliances are designed to make life a little easier, but when they fail, they may conceal a huge water crisis. Water can lurk around these massive pieces of equipment, concealing any evidence of damage.

It might be challenging to check for water leaks near your devices without first removing them from the area. Moving them out of the way will allow you to search the entire area for signs of damage.

Before turning on your appliances, quickly check them for leaks and other signs of water damage. Avoid running into a future water catastrophe by retiring your old or malfunctioning appliances as soon as it is necessary.

Dealing with a water emergency? Our SERVPRO specialists can be on the scene of the disaster ASAP to restore your water-damaged home!

Our Talented Crew Can Manage Your Most Difficult Catastrophes | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

5/4/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”team” alt = " group of 3 SERVPRO reps standing near a green semi truck at a work site ” > Is your home or business in need of restoration? SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is ready to help you recover.around the clock.

Every change you make to your Winston-Salem home is significant, even if it is as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint. Certain changes may be simple to make on your own, but others, such as repairing flood damage, necessitate the expertise of a nearby repair crew.

Choosing an inexperienced team to handle a job like this could have disastrous consequences. You need the assistance of a team that can lift the burden of a damaged home off your shoulders, not add to it!

When you contact SERVPRO, we treat you and your home with the utmost care from beginning to end. Our extensive training and certifications enable us to take on any job with complete competency and professionalism.

We Adhere to Industry Trainings

Our Winston-Salem specialists conform to the IICRC guidelines, and we adhere to the instructions and recommendations made for cleaning and restoration. We offer a variety of courses, including but not restricted to:

  • water damage restoration

  • fire damage restoration

  • mold remediation

  • carpet and upholstery and cleaning

We also provide Employee Certification Training to all team members to guarantee they have the resources needed to handle any restoration or cleanup job. These self-directed courses give our technicians time to learn as much as they can about the guidelines we’ve set.

We Never Stop Learning

Our specialists are provided with a ton of continuing instruction courses and online learning classes after completing the initial training portion to make sure their expertise are always current.

Our mission is to provide dependable restoration services in Winston-Salem as soon as a disaster strikes your home—and our training is the foundation of this.

Because technology is constantly evolving, it is critical that we stay up to date on the most recent data in order to provide the best services possible. We make sure to tweak and modify our techniques, training and tools as needed so that we can handle your home emergencies with complete professionalism.

Why This Matters for You

When dealing with residential destruction, having faith in an expert team like SERVPRO is critical. We can be at the scene of your disaster as soon as you call to prevent further damage and get your home back in shape!

Working with an underqualified and unprofessional restoration company could be bad news for both you and your home. Avoid the ramifications of an unprepared company by joining forces with SERVPRO for all of your restoration needs.

When you need help recovering from a disaster, SERVPRO is here for you. Get in touch 24/7 to start your disaster recovery.

Your Appliances Are a Regular Source of Water Loss | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

4/11/2023 (Permalink)

When our household appliances are in good working order, they can be a huge convenience, but when they break down, that’s a whole different ballgame. Excess moisture, mold and costly water damage are all side effects of a malfunctioning appliance.

Water damage can manifest itself in a variety of ways in your Winston-Salem home, with one of the most common being faulty appliances. When problems are discovered far too late, a worn-out appliance can have even worse consequences.

It is simple to avoid chaos when using your household appliances if you are aware of the warning signs of damage and know what to do when they appear.

Regular Maintenance

Inspecting for water damage regularly is one of the most effective strategies for preventing it. Catching issues early on could save you from an expensive mess in the future.

Leaks may be hidden away below your refrigerator or dishwasher, so you’ll need to get a close look often to ensure there are no sudden wet spots or puddles. It’s helpful to push larger appliances out of the way once a year so you can deep-clean those unreachable problem areas.

Your HVAC system and water heater should be inspected regularly, just as you would your other appliances. Make sure to schedule an annual HVAC inspection, and keep an eye out around your HVAC system and water heater for any indications of excessive moisture or mold.

Yearly or Long-Term Maintenance

Although regularly paying close attention can be a great way to prevent catastrophic damage, you should also consider following the manufacturer’s suggested servicing schedule.

Remember to check the hoses and tubing attached to your fridge, washing machine and dishwasher for damage and, if needed, have them replaced immediately. Consistently replacing dated components is an effective way to keep your appliance in good working order.

The lifespan of each appliance you own varies, but it’s a good idea to replace outdated appliances every 10 to 15 years.

Appliance issues can be hard to catch until they’re at their worst, but there are ways to spot concerns like a leak before they wreak havoc. Remember to give you appliances some regular TLC to steer clear of expensive water destruction.

Have water damage in your home from an appliance or another source? Our team is here to help, so call us day or night 336-946-1131.

Start Small to Prepare Your Winston-Salem Staff for Flames | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

3/28/2023 (Permalink)

A workplace crisis can take many forms, the most common of which is a chaotic fire emergency. Your trusted employees will be responsible for the safety of your entire business, and without proper training, they may not be prepared to fight back when flames appear.

Going over the basics of fire readiness is the best way to ensure your team responds adequately when calamity hits. Fire extinguisher training is a simple topic to begin with that can prepare your team to control flames before they spread throughout your commercial business.

Prepare your team for the unexpected by using our guide to conduct a comprehensive fire training in your Winston-Salem workplace.

<h2with-the-fundamentals">Start With the Fundamentals

OSHA mandates that any business that has fire extinguishers on-site supplies employees with the training needed to use them. This involves showing your staff the basic handling methods, informing them of hazards that will require an extinguisher and the many kinds available to use.

Begin by instructing your employees on how to correctly handle and aim the extinguisher. After they’ve gotten ahold of this, you can demonstrate how to pull the pin, press the handle and sweep over a blaze. Let your team know that they’ll need to keep six to eight feet away from flames anytime they operate an extinguisher.

The PASS method is a helpful tool that can allow your team to recall this information when needed. Running through this hands-on training yearly is another way to ensure even your most seasoned staff can recall this information when they need it most.

Assigning roles to experienced employees will help ensure this tool is used appropriately when a fire emergency breaks out in the workplace. Having a few members in charge of the extinguishers located throughout your building will allow for an orderly response with zero hesitation.

<h2s-a-time-and-a-place">There’s a Time and a Place

By educating your staff about the fire hazards that could arise, you can encourage the effective and timely use of fire extinguishers. Inform them of any distinctive scenarios or specific hazards that are common in your workplace, as well as the type of fire extinguisher required for each emergency. Using the wrong extinguisher in the middle of a fire will only add to the chaos and spread of the flames!

To ensure that every fire situation is handled carefully, inform your team that it is sometimes safer to back away rather than fight. Many fires can be put out with the help of a fire extinguisher, but others can quickly escalate and become impossible to handle on your own.

Let your team know that it is advisable to back away, evacuate the building and call for help when flames start to spread out of control

Starting small with hands-on fire extinguisher training can help you prepare your Winston-Salem business for the unexpected. Once you’ve covered the basics, you can move on to creating a detailed fire response strategy to ensure that your team has the necessary training and information to respond effectively to flames.

Dealing with the aftermath of a commercial fire? Our SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specialists can restore your losses and return your workplace to its pre-fire condition. Call us 24/7. 336-946-1131.

Prepare Your Home for the Spring Season | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

3/10/2023 (Permalink)

Spring is only a few weeks away, and we can’t wait for all of the opportunities to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Before jumping right into the new season, though, there are a few areas of your home that you’ll need to get ready to withstand the spring weather dangers like rain, strong winds and any other risks that could cause water damage.

Avoiding water damage is easy as long as you take the time to properly safeguard your Winston-Salem home. Get out your spring-cleaning list and make a note of a few of these important tasks that you can complete before the spring season begins.

Clean It Out

As winter comes to a close, its important to search around your home for accumulation of excess debris. Threats like wind, rain, snow and ice can lead to debris buildup, which can completely clog your gutters.

To keep excess water draining smoothly, clear your gutters and downspouts of any excess debris. Check the vents around your property as well, as these can become clogged with debris over time.

Whether you were visited by snow or freezing temperatures (or both) this year in Winston-Salem, there’s a chance winter might have left you with frozen pipes. Check your outdoor faucets for leaks or fractures, which could indicate overlooked frozen pipes. If frozen pipes are not repaired, they will thaw when spring arrives, resulting in a chaotic water leak.

Fix Issues Fast

We try to stay indoors as much as possible in the winter to avoid freezing cold weather. This can cause us to neglect areas like the roof that might be dealing with major damage.

To prepare your roof for the spring weather, check for any damaged shingles, broken gutters or other wear and tear.

A strong roof will safeguard your entire home from weather threats that could lead to extensive water damage. Having these problems fixed as soon as possible will save you from some timely and expensive destruction.

Get Ready for the Water

If you own a sump pump, you know how useful it is in the event of a basement or foundation water emergency. Make sure it’s in good working order before the spring season arrives so it’ll do its job when you need it!

Spring weather can escalate fast, so it’s a good idea to replenish your emergency kit, makes any necessary changes to your storm safety plan and find a few new ways to keep yourself updated on local weather events.

Our specialists understand how stressful a water emergency can be, which is why we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can be at the scene of your disaster as soon as you call to restore your losses. Before you know it, your Winston-Salem home will be back to its former glory.

Got water damage? We are here to help 247 and can restore your home quickly. 336-946-1131

Where to Find Water Loss in Your Commercial Building | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

2/28/2023 (Permalink)

Water emergencies can be a huge roadblock for businesses. It only takes a small amount of water to put your business on hold and create an expensive mess that needs to be repaired.

Because business owners have so much to do in a single workday, it can be difficult to detect water damage before it has left its mark. The best way to stay on top of your water damage prevention efforts is by knowing exactly where to spot water damage before it escalates into a disaster.

3 Common Sources

Routinely inspect these vulnerable areas around the workplace to save you and your commercial team both time and money:

1. The roof. Roof leaks can occur out of nowhere after a severe storm or due to a tiny leak that grows over time. Rook leakage can be especially damaging since it can go undetected until it finally reveals itself, so consistent upkeep is vital. Be sure to schedule a routine inspection, and clean your gutters of debris following a nasty weather event.

2. Bathrooms. Around 15% of commercial water damage starts from a tiny puncture along toilet and sink pipes. Since you can’t be everywhere at once, assign several team members to keep an eye on your workplace bathrooms. That way, if a problem emerges, you can respond quickly before it worsens.

3. Water heaters/HVAC/boilers. Equipment that is connected to a water line can lead to water damage when clogs or malfunctions occur. Look out for standing water near your HVAC systems and monitor your business’s water pressure. These are all early signs of water damage that should be taken care of before it is too late.

Take Preventive Steps

Water damage can be a chaotic mess for the entire workplace, but quick action will help you keep everything under control. Prevention is easy as long as you stay on top of your safeguarding efforts.

Building a prevention strategy can help you and your team respond quickly and effectively when things go haywire. Teaming up with our crew at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to establish an Emergency Ready Plan is another way to ensure your response to a disaster is organized.

Time is of the essence when water damage emerges, so be sure to react with speed and urgency. Jump into action to get the emergency under control, and contact us so we can pick up where you left off. Our specialists can rapidly respond to protect your business from further destruction.

Experienced water damage in your commercial building? Contact us to get dried out quickly. 336-946-1131.

Get Back on Track Fast After a Fire | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

2/7/2023 (Permalink)

House fires are one of the most destructive types of disasters, and the damage they leave behind can be a major headache. It only takes a few minutes for flames to ignite and spread throughout your home, leaving you with a massive mess.

Getting the help you need after a house fire is essential to staying on track as you work to recover. Partnering with a team like SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can take the weight off your shoulders by handling every single detail of your restoration process.

After a fire, let our team take care of the mess! Here’s how we work diligently to get your home back to its pre-fire glory:

Our Initial Move

After a disaster like this, be sure to focus on the well-being of yourself and your loved ones. When you’re ready to get your home back in shape, our expert support is only a phone call away!

Once you reach out, we’ll chat with you to get a better idea of the mess you’ve been left with. Since every fire emergency is different, details like these allow our specialists to arrive with the proper equipment and a stellar restoration plan.

Our team will take a look around as soon as we arrive to determine how severe the damage you’ve been dealt is.

Time to Work

Our top priority is to protect your home, so as we undertake repairs, we will board up or place a tarp over the vulnerable areas of your house. Extra protection helps minimize further damage and keeps repairs on schedule.

Advanced technologies and methods are what make our services so speedy and dependable. Our tools can detect and remove hard-to-reach smoke and soot that’s hiding inside your home’s ceilings, floors and walls. Once we’ve extracted hidden remnants, we make sure your home is spotless by cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing every surface.

The Final Step in Recovery

Our final step in the recovery process is what makes our team’s efforts worthwhile. Reconstruction work, such as removing drywall or replacing flooring, is the finishing touch to restore your home to its former glory.

If your home is in need of a major rebuilding process, our team will gear up and get the job started. We’ll overcome any restoration challenge your fire-damaged home throws our way and in no time you’ll be back to your safe Winston-Salem dwelling.

For rapid repairs following a fire, get in touch with our team at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County! We will work as quickly as possible to return you to a safe and fully restored property. Call 336-946-1131.

Keep Cozy and Secure All Winter Long | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

1/20/2023 (Permalink)

The winter season is upon us, and you’re sure to feel the freeze here in Winston-Salem as temperatures start to plummet. As the weather turns colder, you may be eager to reach for your thermostat or space heater remote, but before you do, it’s a good idea to be aware of all the ways heating your home could result in deadly flames.

The arctic cold front has already brought snow, sleet and ice our way this year, so you’d better cozy up! Use this guide to heat your home safely without the risk of flames.

Furnace Basics

Most houses come with a furnace and an HVAC system, which aid in distributing warmth throughout the house. To keep your furnace running in the winter, you’ll need to maintain it on a regular basis. Some vital chores include checking your furnace for any problems and giving it a good scrub to ensure it runs smoothly and doesn’t come across too much dust or debris.

As you complete these tasks, go ahead and change your HVAC system’s air filter. Remind yourself to switch out the filter every 90 days or at the beginning of a new season to help keep clean air circulating throughout your home.

Consistent maintenance is the key to keeping your HVAC system and furnace in great working condition without the risk of flames.

Fireplace Safety

If your Winston-Salem home is decorated with a fireplace, you likely know how simple it is to keep your whole home warm and toasty. Wood-burning and artificial fireplaces can be a decorative way to stay warm in the winter, but if you fail to maintain them, you may start a fire that isn’t in the fireplace!

Checking your fireplace for issues and keeping it clean will help you prevent flames.

If your home uses a wood-burning fireplace, remove ash accumulation, check to make sure your chimney is clear and clean off soot or smoke marks on the nearby bricks. If you fire up an artificial fireplace, take off the cover and clean it inside and outside to clear away dust accumulation.

Portable Heaters

There’s a good chance you fire up a space heater in your Winston-Salem home when winter rolls around. This equipment is simple to use and can heat up any space in minutes, but don’t be misled by its ease of use! Space heaters can quickly turn into a fire hazard when used without caution.

The good news is that you can use your space heater without fear of flames as long as you take precautions, such as keeping it three feet away from anything flammable. Avoid accidental flames by supervising it when it’s on and shutting it off when you’re done.

Keep your space heater plugged directly into a wall outlet and place it on a flat surface to prevent tipping it over. With a few small safety measures, you can stay cozy this winter and protect your home from fatal fires.

If you experience fire damage this season, give us a call at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County for immediate assistance. We’re here 247 when you need us! 336-946-1131

Make Time for Water Damage Mitigation in the New Year | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

1/11/2023 (Permalink)

When the new year arrives, the potential to make some important adjustments to your lifestyle and routine can be motivating. While you’re revamping your daily routine, why not make some adjustments around the house?

Small improvements around your property and in your daily routines can make a big impact on minimizing water damage this year.

Fulfill all of your new year’s goals from the comfort of your waterproof home! If you still have some room left on your resolution list, make sure to add some of these essential water damage management tips.

What Causes Water Damage?

As you begin your efforts to protect your home, it’s beneficial to learn all the areas where water might sneak up on you. Leaks can source from both inside and outside.

Water damage from the outside can be caused by blocked gutters and strong rainfall, while large equipment and bathroom fixtures are common sources of indoor damage.

Aging pipes and caulking that have started deteriorating around your doors and windows can also send water straight into your home. When leaks like this go undetected, mold development and property damage are sure to emerge.

Since water damage only worsens over time, fast action is crucial to keep your home safe from harm. Thankfully, leaks aren’t hard to spot as long as you know what to look for.

How to Prevent Damage

Water damage can be disastrous, but there are several ways to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Early detection is the most effective approach to stop water damage in its tracks, and it is quite simple to do as long as you keep an eye out for trouble.

To keep water at bay, you should regularly check your bathrooms and kitchen for moisture issues or mold growth. When it starts to rain, check each window to make sure water isn’t dripping inside. Your nose could also help you sniff out the source since water leaks often produce an unavoidable odor.

Maintain your roof often (and following any significant wind events) and keep an eye out for any loose or missing shingles. Remember to clear your gutters and downspouts of debris while you’re up there!

Protecting your roof is especially crucial during severe weather, which we have a lot of here in Winston-Salem! Snowstorms, hurricanes and flooding all have the potential to cause catastrophic water damage, so keep this in mind as you develop your water damage management master plan.

Grading your yard is another effective method for protecting your home from excess water. Use soil to build a slope to send water packing far from your waterproof property. With a few small changes to your typical maintenance routines, you can save yourself and your home from lengthy and expensive repairs!

Have water damage in your home? Contact us for fast, professional restoration back to preloss condition, 336-946-1131.

Why Selecting SERVPRO to Eliminate Odors Is a Smart Move | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

1/5/2023 (Permalink)

With a nationwide network of specialists, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County provides skilled restoration and maintenance services for residences and commercial buildings that need mold remediation or have suffered damage from flooding, fires or other disasters. However, did you know that we also offer effective odor removal services?

Nobody wants their property to be damaged by a calamity, and rebuilding can be difficult and frustrating. After the damage has been done, a stubborn odor can develop and worsen the longer you wait to address it.

All forms of property damage, including water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold damage, can leave behind unwanted smells that will only spread further if not remedied. Even if your home is spotless, nasty smells can hide in your home without you realizing it.

The good news is: If you’re dealing with a persistent odor that won’t go away, we have the solution! Here’s how our team works to eliminate odors for good.

Odor Removal Techniques

Airborne chemicals, vapors or small particles all emit odors. Once their source is eliminated, our expert team uses advanced deodorization technologies alongside various substances and treatments intended to eliminate smells.

Some of these include:

Masking agents. While this isn’t our main strategy of elimination, these products work to cover up the smell temporarily as we work to plan and prepare our next phase in the cleanup process.

Filtration agents. Absorption agents soak up odors lingering inside your furnishings, equipment or other belongings like a sponge. Once the absorption agents reach the filtration agent, the smell is removed from the air and locked in place.

Disinfectants and sanitizers. To eliminate any bacteria and fungus that may be generating odor in your home, these solutions are utilized throughout the affected locations

While there are various strategies that our specialists can perform to eliminate smells from your home, these three are vital steps during the process of completely cleaning your house.

The Signature 4-Step Process

Our effective odor control method consists of four main steps:

1. Remove the source. Debris coated with odor-emitting substances will keep spreading the stench until the underlying cause is located and addressed. This is why our professionals will tackle the source before any other step.

2. Clean residue from surfaces. All areas need to be properly cleaned and deodorized after the odor culprit has been disposed of. Small particles and residue will continue to produce unwanted odors until all surfaces are fully sanitized.

3. Recreate the odor-causing conditions. In a similar manner to how odor-creating compounds originally entered the surface, our professionals will apply a deodorizer. For instance, if smoke created this mess, we would employ “deodorizing smoke” for this phase.

4. Seal exposed surfaces. In extreme scenarios, our specialists may need to use sealants to prevent odor-producing materials from sneaking back in. When odor cleanup becomes cost prohibitive or unfeasible to finish, this step is typically taken.

Rapidly addressing stubborn smells is vital to returning your home to its pre-odor state. If unwelcome odors emerge as a result of property damage, we act quickly to limit further damage and expenses. Trust in our professional specialists at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to get any emergency under control ASAP!

If you experience an odor or other damage inside your home or business, call us at any time, 247 336-946-1131. We have the training and equipment to quickly get your property back in operation.

The Unseen Risks Water Leaks Create | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

While water leakage isn’t always an obvious problem, there are many signs that could point you in the right direction. The additional moisture will ruin the quality of the air within your home, producing a strong, lingering odor.

The additional moisture may also cause your interior appliances to corrode. Despite the many indicators that point to water-related problems, the most noticeable sign of water leakage is often a puddle of water inside your home.

Water damage can wreak havoc on your Winston-Salem home before you even notice it. Read on to learn how you can spot a water leak and get the issue under control.

Water Fixture Leaks

Sinks and other bathroom fixtures are frequently the cause of water leaks. Leaks can frequently be triggered by openings in water supply lines or caulk that has begun to deteriorate.

Check these places frequently while you do your planned maintenance. Never let a tiny leak go unattended because even a little bit of water can lead to thousands of dollars in damage.

Water From Appliances

You run the risk of leakage if your refrigerator uses an ice machine or water system. Your dishwasher could quietly spring a leak that goes undiscovered for weeks.

Before you realize it, your floors may be seriously damaged, and lengthy and expensive repairs may be necessary.

Unplug and move your equipment away from your wall when searching for a leak. Search your walls for signs of damage, water puddles or mold development. If you spot any damage, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, and we can rapidly get your water emergency under control.

External Sources

Water damage isn’t just an indoor problem, though! A lot of leaks come from outside the home, either from a recurring culprit that sends water straight into your home or from an abrupt cause, like severe weather.

Water damage frequently results from weather-related issues. While winter in Winston-Salem tends to be calm and cool, threats such as ice, rain and the occasional snowstorm can still bring water into your home.

Even though not all leaks originate within your home, you can nonetheless take action to control them. Taking good care of your home through regular upkeep is a great way to keep those invaders in line! Simple tasks like filling up gaps around your windows and doors can help keep your home safe and dry.

Begin your upkeep by keeping your downspouts and gutters flowing smoothly. Make sure to keep your gutters and downspouts clean of dirt, debris and leaves to prevent a leak from trapped water.

The amount of water that reaches your residence is also significantly influenced by the landscaping surrounding your home. To stop extra water from seeping past your windows and doors or into your basement, tilt the soil around your base downward and send water flowing away from your home.

If you experience water damage inside your home or business, call us 336-946-1131, 247. We have the experience and equipment to get your property back in working order fast.

Defend Your Property From the Dangers of Winter | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

11/28/2022 (Permalink)

Winter is set to officially arrive on Dec. 21 this year, and depending on where you live, it can bring a variety of unique dangers. While some places, like Winston-Salem, have occasional snowfall and a dip in temperature, other places get a robust start to winter with snow and ice storms that last all season.

Winter presents several challenges regardless of where you reside, like substantial damage to your home, which can make walking in a Winter Wonderland a headache.

However, by understanding all of the possible hazards winter creates, you can adequately safeguard your property and protect the ones you love.

Winter Around the Nation

Chilly, damp, wet and icy are all terms that have been used to characterize winter, and the accuracy of each term all depends on which side of the map you are on.

Winter temperatures can plunge to exceptionally low levels in some areas of the Midwest and East Coast, and heavy snowfall is typically expected for most of the season. The West Coast experiences milder temperatures and rain becomes a much bigger issue than snowfall.

While these projections will depend entirely on where you live, you should be ready for the unexpected to keep winter-related damage to a minimum.

Winter Around Winston-Salem

Winter in Winston-Salem tends to be a mixed bag, and while conditions like freezing temperatures are always anticipated, elements like ice and snow can be unpredictable.

One of the many challenges winter presents to our community is a fun snow day that turns dangerous the next morning when the snow melts and leaves a layer of ice on our roadways and sidewalks.

Plummeting temperatures, sleet, ice and snow are just a few of the hazards that may leave your home vulnerable to destruction. Luckily for you, there’s plenty of time to prepare your property for whatever winter throws our way.

Get Prepared

One of the first steps you should take when getting ready for winter weather is understanding the many types of winter storms. Then, you should ensure you have two ways to receive weather updates. Make sure to include a method that is accessible without power, so you can stay informed even if there’s an outage.

An emergency kit is another great way to prepare for whatever the season brings. Fill your kit with all the necessities, and don’t forget to include anything that can come in handy if a winter weather emergency arises!

Regardless of how harsh this winter is, weatherproofing your windows and doors is an essential task that can prevent water damage and save you some money on your electric bill. Other tasks like addressing roof damage, cutting branches that overhang your home, filling any cracks near your windows and doors and adding insulation to your attic are greatly beneficial when winterizing your home.

Winter can be a wonderful time of year, and knowing you’ll be safe this season will make all of your preparations worthwhile. Safeguard your home and make sure to keep SERVPRO of West Forsyth's number handy. We are available around the clock to restore any winter-related damage your property has suffered this season.

If you experience damage in a winter storm, call us at 336-946-1131. We have the experience and equipment to get your home back to normal.

A Local Team Provides You With Tons of Benefits | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

10/10/2022 (Permalink)

There are several advantages that come with partnering with our crew at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We offer skilled restoration services after catastrophes such as fires, water emergencies and storm damage.

If you detect mold growing in your home or place of business, we provide certified mold remediation services to alleviate the problem and safeguard your property. And if you have specific demands, such as biohazards that need to be disposed of or graffiti that must be removed, we can get the job done.

But one component of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County that sets us apart from the competition is that we’re local!

Why is that significant, and how does it distinguish us from other repair companies? Here’s why a locally owned restoration partner is so vital.

3 Reasons Being Locally Owned Is a Difference-Maker

When looking for a restoration partner, you need to consider several features, like a good history and dependability. But you’ll also need a vendor that is close by. Here’s why it’s essential:

1. We Can Respond Fast

When a disaster occurs out of nowhere, you need to act fast! A disaster-damaged home or business will only get worse the longer you postpone repairs.

When you choose our team at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, this will never be an issue! Our 24-hour emergency services allow us to be on the scene immediately to begin repairs. And since we are your neighbors, you won’t have to wait around for us to arrive.

2. We’re Prepared for Local Weather Conditions

Since we operate right here in the Winston-Salem area, we stay tuned to the same weather reports you do. When severe weather threats like tornadoes, flash floods or thunderstorms are predicted, our team gets materials ready so we can respond quickly when the weather clears up.

And since we weather the same exact hazards and trends you do, we know exactly what it takes to restore the destruction following a disaster.

3. We Know Winston-Salem Front and Back

Other restoration providers will come in from a nearby city or an entirely different state when you hire them for a repair assignment. Since our SERVPRO of West Forsyth County facility is locally owned and operated, we don’t just know our way around town—we are experts on our unique city, state, community and culture.

Winston-Salem combines a rich history with modern sights and sounds to make it one of the most fascinating communities to be a part of. Our museumsdelicious local eateries, art and technology scene, and a beautiful natural landscape make it the ideal place to call home.

In addition to the firsthand knowledge we have when it comes to our region, we also understand local government rules and how to work with them. This allows us to return your house or company to its preloss state much faster!

An Extra Benefit

When a calamity affects our community, you can be confident that our team can manage it. While we are usually able to take care of restoration demands with local experts and materials, there are occasions where a widespread disaster destroys multiple properties throughout our city.

This is where the SERVPRO of West Forsyth County advantage saves the day: We are both locally owned and operated and supported by a well-known brand with years of expertise. When severe weather strikes and results in destruction all over our area, we can call on nearby SERVPRO of West Forsyth County facilities to lend a helping hand.

When disaster strikes your home or your business, we’re the team you can trust—located right here, close to home. Get in touch today to get started! 336-946-1131

Preparing For Emergencies In Your Clemmons Business

9/29/2022 (Permalink)

The adage ‘life can change on a dime’ can certainly be used when you run your own business. Business owners never plan for an emergency to strike their business, but they can prepare for one. And the best way to do that is with the SERVPRO Emergency Response Plan or ‘ERP’. Generally, for many other emergency plans, not all employees have access, or if they have a copy, it’s never accessible when needed. At SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, we offer a free emergency response app that can be accessed from any mobile phone, tablet, or computer. With immediate access, many businesses can prevent additional damage and help maintain business continuity.

What Does SERVPRO’s ERP Cover?

  • Insurance contact information and policy numbers
  • Contact information for Utility Providers
  • Photos of emergency cut-offs and directions to their locations
  • Preferred Vendor List
  • Employee and Emergency Contact Information
  • Much, Much More

The SERVPRO® ERP covers response and recovery and can be shared with all employees via a mobile app. This will help ensure all your employees are prepared for an emergency and help keep your doors open.

To learn more about SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County’s ERP program, visit ready.SERVPRO.com or call our office at (336) 946-1131, and one of our team members can schedule a visit to your business to begin completing your ERP at no charge!

Because at SERVPRO® we’re here to help.

The Dangers That Can Result From a Lightning Strike | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

9/26/2022 (Permalink)

With the right fire safety gear, you can ensure your safety and safeguard your family from the majority of home fires. But while manmade causes like cooking are the most common reason for a house fire, your house may also be at risk from natural disasters. These fires are more difficult to prevent.

More than 70,000 damage claims resulting from lightning strikes were filed in 2020. While it is actually quite uncommon for a person to be struck by lightning, your property is considerably more vulnerable. And when lightning does hit, it has the power to knock out your power, destroy trees and even ignite a fire.

About 6,000 lightning strikes are thought to occur every minute. That means we are all at risk of being impacted by this weather hazard, and we should all prepare our homes before lightning has a chance to strike.

What Is Lightning?

Lightning is a massive bolt of electricity that occurs between clouds in the air and the ground. Lightning is commonly created during thunderstorms, but it can also strike during a volcanic eruption, a strong wildfire or even a severe snowstorm.

Although lightning is typically associated with dangerous weather, it can also happen when the sky is clear and the air is calm. “Dry lightning” occurs in the absence of rain and is capable of starting wildfires.

So, in addition to storm preparation, we also need to be fire-prepared.

Protecting Your Home From Lightning Fires

Your property may sustain significant damage from a lightning strike, including flames. The heat of the hit itself or an electrical charge brought on by the strike both have the ability to ignite a fire.

When lightning sparks a fire in your home, you might not notice it right away as it will usually begin to burn in your attic or between your walls. But you will likely hear the explosive boom of the strike.

Inspect the area for traces of burning and call the fire department immediately if you spot black stains or smell smoke.

A lightning rod is one of the best ways to safeguard your home from flames caused by lightning. This tool works to direct the power of a strike straight into the ground so that your home isn’t damaged by lightning’s extremely hot temperatures and strong electrical current.

When Lightning Strikes Nearby

Even if you take steps to protect your house from lightning, a wildfire caused by lightning may still be a threat. Where you live and the season dictate when you may be affected by lightning fires, but lightning is responsible for the ignition of about 9,000 fires each year.

You can take steps to defend your house from lightning-related wildfires. Maintain a tidy yard clear of dead or dying plants, and use defensible zones to safeguard your home from the dangers of lightning.

Installing smoke alarms on each floor of your home is another way you can stay one step ahead of flames and protect your property.

If your home is damaged by flames, we can be on the scene fast to begin the restoration process. Recovering from a house fire is never easy, but our team works hard to make it easier for you by utilizing extensive knowledge and cutting-edge technology to restore your home as fast as possible.

Have you experienced smoke or fire damage in your home? Call us today to get the restoration finished fast. 336-946-1131.

Protect Your Home From Flooding, Inside and Out | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

9/8/2022 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, 98% of counties in the United States are at risk of flooding at some point during the year. Since it is likely that your property may experience a flood at some point—whether minor or major—it is important to protect your home from potential damage.

Unfortunately, flooding assistance isn’t always available and your insurance may not cover the water damage. Like most things, prevention is less expensive and will save you a headache in the long run.

Being aware of the regional risks in our area is the first step to understanding where to put prevention efforts. Severe weather, such as hurricanes along the coast or summer thunderstorms, can cause major flooding in Forsyth County. We’re all too familiar with an influx of water.

Outside Property Protection

If you haven’t already, it is a good idea to prepare the outside of your home. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this.

First, clear out your gutters. When gutters are clear of debris like leaves, water can exit them freely, away from your home. Installing an extended downspout can also help the water flow away from your house foundation.

A garden not only looks great on your property, but it can also help absorb excess water around your home. Mulch can also be added to create a slope to direct any excess water away from your home.

Indoor Property Protection

To mitigate water damage, sealing your basement will likely be the most effective option. If you notice cracks in your foundation, seal them as soon as possible.

Additionally, a sump pump in your basement can quickly pump out water if it does come in. If you are located in a high-risk area, a battery-operated sump pump is a good investment since it will work when the power is out.

Sometimes, flooding can originate indoors. Internal plumbing or even appliances can spring a leak and cause damage, but regular maintenance can help prevent damage.

Old and worn pipes are a main source of internal flooding. If you notice your pipes are leaking or need repair, be sure to get it done as soon as possible. A leak sensor, which notifies you if there is more water in a given area than there should be, can also be helpful in identifying leaks.

Any water that enters the home can be damaging. Keep all important and sentimental documents up off the ground, in waterproof containers. Be sure to have an emergency plan handy in the event of a flood.

Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County today to get your restoration completed faster. 336-946-1131

What Does A Water Loss Look Like In Your Clemmons Home?

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

parquet flooring damaged by water and mud This parquet entrance has begun to cup due to a water leak in the bathroom on the second floor.

Just like a snowflake, no two water losses are the same. It may be a leaky toilet supply line or even flooding. But what does change is the experts at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County know how to respond. Our team of IICRC-certified water technicians has been trained on the latest mitigation standards, and along with our state-of-the-art equipment, you can rest assured your home is in good hands.

Phase One: Job Preparation

Understanding what has happened is very important. So, when you call our office, our team will ask you many questions. We need to understand the scope of the loss to make sure our team has the right equipment and supplies to begin the dry-out process.

Phase Two: Mitigation

During the water mitigation phase, the crew at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will begin extracting water, blocking furniture, and moving contents to prevent additional damage. This step will continue until the property is dry.

Phase Three: Restoration

While your home is dying out, the team will begin cleaning and restoring your property damaged during the initial loss. Any property that is damaged beyond repair will be cataloged, and an itemized list will be presented to you and your adjustor. When the home is dry, our team of professionals will repair any damage caused by the water leak and restore your home to preloss conditions.
If you have experienced a water loss in your Clemmons home or business, contact the SERVPRO of West Forsyth County experts at 336-946-1131 to schedule your free assessment or begin the drying process.

At SERVPRO we’re here to help.

I’ve Had A Fire In My Winston-Salem Home; what do I Do Now?

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

A fire in your Winston-Salem home can be overwhelming. It can leave you confused and worried about the future. If you’ve experienced a fire, first and foremost, get your family to safety. After everyone is safe, reach out to family and friends and let them know what has happened and that you all are safe.

  • Inspect The Damage. Once the flames are out, and you’ve gotten permission to enter your property from the fire marshal or first responders, inspect your home for damage.
    If the damage is severe, you may want to wait to walk it with a trained professional. If your home is safe, inspect to see if your home needs to have windows boarded up or tarped. Securing your property is critical in preventing secondary damage, vandalism, and theft.
  • Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. Our team of highly trained technicians is available 24/7/365 for emergency services. They will arrive on-site, begin securing your property and walk you through the restoration process.
  • Call Your Insurance Agent. Your agent may tell you to call your carrier or may start the claim process for you. While a claim and getting a claim number assigned to you, the insurance will ask many questions. You will explain what has happened and anyone you have working on your property. Once the claim is filed, your insurance will schedule an adjuster to inspect the damage. We can walk the damage with the adjuster giving our opinion on what can be restored or what needs to be replaced. Once the adjuster signs off SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can begin the cleanup.
  • Keep Track of Receipts. Keep all receipts for expenses incurred because of the fire, such as meals, housing, clothes, and toiletries. Depending on your coverage, your insurance may reimburse you.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is a leader in the cleaning, restoration, and construction industry. Our team of highly trained professionals can do your fire damage “Like it never even happened.” If you or someone you know has experienced fire damage to their home or business, give the experts a call at (336) 946-1131.

Types of Storm Damage You Can Prepare Your Home For | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

8/19/2022 (Permalink)

Residences can suffer greatly from severe storms. While many modern houses are constructed to take on these dangerous weather threats, almost every house will experience some form of damage when strong storms rip through our area.

Dangerous winds and wind-related disasters can throw debris all over town and produce cold rain, snowstorms, lightning and flash floods. Based on the time of year and the kind of storm, each of these threats could compromise your home’s structure as well as anything else on your property.

Depending on the nature of the storm and events taking place, there could be different types of damage inflicted upon your home. The landscape surrounding your property, the area’s geography, the quality of your home’s foundation or building materials and other elements all play a role in determining the severity of potential damage. (We admit that there is also a component of luck.)

While there are many different types of weather events that happen around the world, our area is at a particular risk of a few of them. Your Winston-Salem home could be impacted by lightning, severe winds and dangerous flooding throughout the year.

In order to properly prepare you, let’s examine the three primary types of storm damage:

Wind

When powerful wind gusts that blow at extraordinarily high speeds come in contact with buildings, you can expect some wind damage to occur. Tornadoes and hurricanes are the most prevalent cause of high winds, but even thunderstorms can produce gusts of up to 100 mph.

Debris around your yard may be picked up by heavy winds and thrown into your home or vehicles, and the wind itself can sheer siding off a building or shingles off a roof. It’s crucial to stay indoors during storms and stay away from any windows and exterior walls in case glass breaks or the walls are pierced by flying debris.

You can also take measures ahead of the storm to minimize the severity of wind-related damage. Reduce the amount of material a storm has to work with by keeping your property free of any limbs, big rocks, loose furniture and dead trees.

Water

Water damage could develop inside your home during and after a severe storm. Even a small storm can produce heavy downpours that cause water to collect around your home and then seep inside through the seals on your doors and windows.

If there is enough water present, it may potentially leak into your foundation and seriously harm its structural integrity.

Consider remodeling your yard with unique landscaping designs that draw water away from your home rather than accumulate next to it to reduce the amount of damage that water may cause to your property. You could also try a rain garden, a creative way to change the look of your yard while also keeping rainwater from creating water damage around your property.

Also, make a point to keep your gutters clean so that they can function as intended and prevent water from weighing down your roof or pooling near your foundation. Water can gather in clogged gutters and make its way into your house from the top, seeping down to the bottom.

Impact

“Impact damage” is another way severe storms can have a destructive effect on your home. Strong winds can cause trees to collapse or debris to be thrown into your property, causing damage. In essence, this type of damage occurs when anything hits or impacts your home or other items on your property.

Trimming trees surrounding your property and making sure any dying trees are removed are both surefire ways to prevent this kind of catastrophe and can keep Mother Nature from sending them down onto your roof.

Catastrophes brought on by the weather cost around $145 billion in losses in 2021 in the United States alone. These suggestions could help you save a tremendous amount of time and money and help protect your home by stopping these disasters before they start.

If your home faces destruction at the hands of a severe storm, our team at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help reverse the damage. Our restoration professionals combine innovative technology and techniques with years of experience to find the best solution to your problem!

When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get your storm damage restoration started faster. 336-946-1131.

Preventing Storm Damage in Your Lewisville Home

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

In the south, weather can change by the minute, and you have a better than average chance for some of it to be severe. However, if you take some time to prepare now, there are things you can do to help prevent damage during severe weather.

One of the simplest things you can do is make sure your gutters are clean and clear of debris. Summer showers can create heavy downpours and localized flooding. If your gutters are dirty or your downspouts are clogged, the rain could back into your home or cause foundation damage.
Additionally, please ensure all your trees and shrubs are trimmed and don't overhang the house.
Finally, inspect your roof and replace any missing or damaged shingles. If a shingle is damaged, it is more likely to break free, allowing water to seep into your home.
And if the worse should happen, call the experts of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We have the people, equipment, and training to help ensure it's done right the first time. So give us a call at 336-946-1131 because SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is faster to any disaster.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is the Key to Reopen your Winston Business After a Disaster.

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

As a leader in cleaning, restoration, and construction, the number one goal of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is to return your Winson-Salem business to preloss conditions as quickly as possible. Every SERVPRO franchise professional who steps onto the job site has that same goal. We understand every minute your doors are closed is another minute you can't service your customers. That's why we can offer turn-key services to both our residential and business customers.

In addition to our fire and water restoration and cleaning, our services include:

Content Services

  • Inventory- When a disaster strikes, complete an accurate inventory to help you properly account for your inventory and supplies. SERVPRO provides a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including photos, suitable for filing insurance claims.
  • Move Outs- When the business has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating contents for cleaning, deodorization, and storage while your business is being repaired.
  • Contents Cleaning-All restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.

Structural Cleaning

  • Ceiling and Walls-SERVPRO of West Forsyth County team of highly trained professionals can reduce the cost and time of recovery by expertly cleaning lighter areas of damage, thus preventing the need to repaint.
  • Ductwork-The ductwork and HVAC system will be inspected to determine if they were affected by the disaster. Depending on the amount of damage, we will determine if your system needs to be cleaned and deodorized.
  • Deodorization- SERVPRO of West Forsyth County's professionals provides specialized services to rid your business of offensive odors. Our technicians will seek out the source of the issue and remove the scent.

Your business is one of your most valuable possessions and the key to your livelihood. So, call the experts of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at (336) 946-1131.

No Disaster is Too Small When It's Yours!

Why You Should Pick SERVPRO for All Your Restoration Needs | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

As a locally owned SERVPRO location, we are aware of the difficult situations faced by business owners. The worst thing that might occur while you try and manage a successful company is a catastrophe that throws you off-course.

While you cannot foresee and almost certainly cannot avoid a natural calamity, you can be ready for one.

We recognize the fact that people within our community may experience both damage to their homes and damage to their businesses. Trying to rebuild after a disaster, regardless of the severity of the damage, can be difficult.

Establish an emergency plan to best prepare your family for responding to the devastation as well. Identifying the most frequent calamities in your community is the first step toward developing an emergency plan.

The American Red Cross has created a helpful website that gathers information from resources across the nation to aid you in preparing for your areas most common disasters. There are plenty of Red Cross locations near Winston-Salem that can help you prepare for any disaster through training and community presentations.

Whether you operate an organization or own a house or both, you will at some point be impacted by damage. In any case, you must start restoration as soon as possible to avoid severe damage. Here are some of the reasons why we are the team to depend on:

Why Choose SERVPRO of West Forsyth County?

We recognize that no two scenarios are identical. While disaster situations that require repairs are incredibly common throughout the United States, each case is unique.

For example, over 14 million homes are at risk of flooding every year, yet the harm done to each residence differs.

This is why our team of specialists have been trained to deal with damage of any size and complexity, so you can be confident that we will get the work done. To provide an effective solution, we will evaluate the specific variables of your unique scenario.

Our services are available around the clock. The most crucial thing to understand about disaster recovery is that you need to act rapidly. This is important to effectively restore your home or place of business to its preloss condition and to keep the damage from escalating further.

Furniture, upholstery and any belongings inside can all sustain quick, severe damage when water infiltrates your home. Additionally, if the water is overlooked for a long time, mold can grow and ruin anything it touches! This is why our team is available any hour and any day to respond to emergency situations.

We provide more than just disaster recovery. In addition to picking up the pieces created by a disaster, we handle every aspect of the process.

We assist you in gathering your belongings to avoid further damage, and we can work directly with your insurance agent to make the insurance process stress-free. Throughout the rigorous recovery process, we strive to help in any way we can—hopefully making it much less difficult for you!

No matter how severe the damage, your local specialists at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can tackle the aftermath of any emergency situation. Our restoration experts use advanced technologies and years of training to quickly get your property back to its preloss state!

When you suffer damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get restoration started faster 336-946-1131.

What You Need to Know About Flash Flooding in your Clemmons Home

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

The south is known for a few things, and as we've seen recently, severe weather is one of those things. One of the most dangerous events we can see in the south is flash flooding. According to weather.gov, flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the United States. Flash flooding happens when the rain's intensity is too much for the soil to handle. It can occur within minutes or hours after a rain event. Most flash flooding is caused by slow-moving thunderstorms which are repeated areas of rain, typically associated with thunderstorms that move over the same region in a relatively short period. Some of the types of warnings related to flash flooding are as follows:

  • Flood Advisory means being aware.
  • Flood Watch means be prepared as conditions are favorable for flooding
  • *If these are upgraded to a warning, you must take action immediately.

If your home or business is damaged due to flood waters, the clean-up can be a long, arduous process. Removing the water would be your first step and then try to salvage any personal possessions you can. You will need fans and dehumidifiers to try dry out the space and antimicrobials to help with any mold growth. You'll need to undertake these tasks while wearing proper safety gear to avoid contact with bacteria in the flood waters. If that seems overwhelming, then just call the experts at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at (336) 224-2465. Our team of experts offers 24-hour emergency services and is here to help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Thanks to the BA.5 Variant, COVID-19 is on the Rise in the Triad

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Several Triad counties are considered to have high community levels of positive COVID-19, including Forsyth County, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, local authorities are estimating that Forsyth County is averaging 750 positive Covid cases a week, many of which are the new BA.5 variant.

So, How do You Protect Your Customers and Business?

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has performed hundreds of proactive and post-positive cleanings for our local business community. As a result, businesses understand the key to keeping their doors open is to make sure their customers feel safe. And when their customers see the SERVPRO Certified Clean logo, they know that customer health and safety are critical to that business.

So, if you are interested in learning more about the SERVPRO Certified Clean program or if you have experienced any issues with fire, water, or mold damage with your home or business, give us a call today at (336) 946-1131. Our team of highly trained professionals is here to assist you. At SERVPRO we make both natural and manmade disasters "Like it never even happened."

Preparing Your Lewisville Business Survive a Disaster

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

It is estimated as many as 50% of businesses never fully recover from a disaster. So, it is critical to have a plan in place to protect your employees and safeguard your business. Doing this will help minimize the disruption of your business and its revenue. But if you've never considered completing a Disaster Recovery Plan or it all feels a bit overwhelming, let the experts at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County help. Our Emergency Ready Profile App is designed to help your business respond and recover from a disaster. This app keeps all critical information you may need at your fingertips, such as:

  • Insurance Policy Information
  • Critical Vendors and Their Contact Information
  • Water and Gas Shut-Off Locations
  • Much Much More

The best part of our ERP program is it's FREE! Our ERP app focuses on response and recovery to help get your business back to preloss conditions quicker. To learn more about our ERP plan or to schedule your appointment, call us at (336) 946-1131 or visit us at www.ready.SERVPRO.com.


At SERVPRO is here to help.

Keep Backyard Fires From Getting Out of Hand | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

Relaxing by the campfire in your own backyard is a wonderful way to spend a warm summer evening with your family. S’mores, hotdogs and scary stories are just a few ways you can make memories on this special night.

We use fires in our backyards and campgrounds for our own entertainment, to prepare a meal, to keep bugs away or to clear out yard trimmings, but even what we think is the most contained fire can still pose a threat. The National Park Service states that around 85% of wildfires are ignited by humans.

In North Carolina, around 4,500 wildfires occur annually, with the most severe fires igniting from February to May. Careless debris burning is one of the most common ways these flames are spread.

Of course, you can still use your tiki torches, burn your yard debris, toast your marshmallows and barbecue your burgers if local laws allow it. Making sure to follow safety guidelines every time you burn can allow you to prevent the spread of flames and relax by the fire.

Recreational Fire Hazards

Any outdoor fire has its own set of hazards, but campfires, grills, fire pits and fireworks are some of the most prevalent ways outdoor flames are ignited. Grills are responsible for around 8,800 home fires annually, usually caused by user error. Before lighting up your grill, make a point to check gas lines and propane tanks, and be sure to always supervise your grill even after you’re done using it.

When constructing your campfire, locate it in a safe area away from any buildings or trees, and only use a match or a lighter to light your fire. Once your campfire is ready, be sure to only use wood to feed the flame, and always keep an eye on ashes even after you’re done roasting marshmallows.

Fire pits are a simple way to recreate the feeling of relaxing by a campfire, but this equipment should be used with the same safeguards as a conventional campfire. If you’re able to move your fire pit, never place it on top of a wood deck or near your home’s overhang.

While it may seem like a convenient way to eliminate construction or household debris, you should only burn approved firewood.

Other Outdoor Fire Hazards

Fire and flammable materials still serve a purpose even with their hazards. During the fall, if your yard collects a number of leaves and you don’t have a disposal or pickup option, burning your debris might be the only way to keep your yard tidy.

Before burning anything, check with your local authorities to ensure you’re allowed to burn debris, to begin with. In Winston-Salem, burning is only allowed in areas that do not provide a yard waste pickup. Burning is only allowed no earlier than 8 a.m., and trash or construction materials are illegal to burn.

Clearing your yard of dead leaves or yard trimmings is actually a smart way to protect your home from wildfires, as well as strategic landscaping to slow flames before they get close to your property. Knowing what you can burn and adhering to the basic fire safety principles can help you keep any fire from getting out of control,

We all store items like gasoline in our sheds or garages, but irresponsible storage can have a devastating impact. Be certain to only use gas-approved containers to keep gas in, and locate your container in a place where kids are unable to reach it.

Gas should only be used for its intended purpose, so even if you’re having trouble loading a backyard fire, don’t turn to your gas can for any help!

Before lighting any outside fire, make sure to check the local weather forecast in our area. If conditions are very dry or windy, reschedule that campfire and save the s’mores for a better day.

If your home is damaged by outdoor flames, contact our specialists at SERVPRO. Our experienced team has the tools to repair any damage after a fire, and strives to finish the job just as fast as they arrived!

Burn safely outdoors. And save some chocolate for us! If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact us today at 336-946-1131 to get restoration started faster.

Understand Weather Alerts to Stay Safe | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

There are a number of different kinds of weather alerts, around 42 types to be exact! They are separated into seven different groups. That’s a lot to try and comprehend, especially when a severe storm is on the way.

When you understand what a warning or advisory could mean for your area, you’ll know how to prepare yourself and your family for any weather. You can also safeguard your property to keep your home safe from the hazards of severe weather.

While it is beneficial to have a basic understanding of all weather scenarios, it is even more crucial to know what kind of weather may impact Forsyth County.

How Alerts Are Issued

So, how are these weather alerts determined to begin with? Since weather forecasts are simply a best guess, how is the magnitude, position and length of a storm tracked? There are various elements that influence the delivery of these warnings.

The National Weather Service is responsible for predicting the weather and sending out warnings as conditions develop. To allow these warnings to be more specific, there are six regional offices and hundreds of sub-offices located throughout the nation. You’ll find Winston-Salem’s alerts coming from the Eastern Region headquarters in Bohemia, New York, along with a nearby office.

Meteorologists and other personnel with the NWS use many kinds of findings to create forecasts, including satellite radar, sensors, seismic activity meters and even solar activity. While the kind of information used depends on the extremity of the weather scenario, the objective is to be as precise and detailed as possible.

The Most Important Alerts to Understand

The distinction between a “watch” and a “warning” is key to interpreting these alerts. These terms are used in almost all weather alerts, including those for thunderstorms, winter storms and flooding.

watch means a storm is on the rise and could potentially become hazardous. Watches are often sent out in a larger area, while a warning is issued in a smaller area that may only cover a county or city. A warning, on the other hand, means dangerous weather is approaching and you should take immediate precautions to protect your home and your life.

Understanding what types of weather might impact your local community on a regular basis can help you better interpret the alerts that could be issued during severe weather. Here in our area, we face many types of weather during the course of a year. We sometimes see wintry precipitation, but our springs and summers are toasty and humid, conditions that are ripe for thunderstorms.

Protecting Your Home During a Storm

Being able to understand these warnings is a surefire way to prepare yourself and your property for severe weather, but there are a few additional things you can do right now to help minimize the damage.

Clearing your gutters of debris and fastening any outdoor items are two ways you can prepare for storms to prevent flood damage and wind damage. Locate a safe shelter with supplies and have an evacuation plan ready in case your family needs to make a swift exit.

After a storm, record any damage your home may have suffered and contact our team at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We are here for you 247 and want to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

The more weather-aware you are, the safer you can stay when severe weather affects your community. Learn about the many kinds of warnings that could be issued for your home so you can prepare for any weather that comes your way.

Experienced storm damage to your home or property? Contact us today at 336-946-1131 for a quick response!

How Disaster Can Arise Inside Your Commercial Property | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Local businesses serve our communities in a variety of ways every day. We all benefit from these businesses, whether it’s the one you work for or the one you frequent. It’s tragic when these businesses are affected by a workplace disaster.

Business owners have a lot on their plates. On a typical day, they supervise personnel, manage funds and attend to clients. On other days, owners are forced to deal with the aftermath of tragedies such as natural disasters.

In the United States, the amount of damage caused by natural disasters is continuously growing over time. According to the NCEI, our country has endured an annual average of $153 billion in damage over the last five years.

In a place like Winston-Salem, you can expect weather like tornadoes, floods and severe storms. This Winston-Salem marketplace faced the impact of intense flooding. Expensive equipment was ruined, and they were forced to close down for a short period.

We’ve compiled some data on the most common causes of damage around the country to assist you in better preparing your company for disaster. Continue reading to find out more.

Storm Damage

Storms are one of the most common causes of property damage in commercial buildings. They’ve also been known to inflict irreversible damage to facilities, where business owners are left with no choice but to close their doors.

Minor storms can result in power outages and the hurling of debris and tree branches. More severe storms can uproot trees and rip roofs off buildings.

Severe storms are capable of creating wind gusts of around 100 mph. These gusts have the potential to overturn cars and demolish infrastructure.

Always be informed of the weather conditions in your specific area, since conditions can vary even street by street. Staying informed about how the weather may affect your business will assist you in preparing your property.

Weather damage can be avoided by taking preventive actions such as inspecting your building for cracks in the walls or ceilings. Also, back up any crucial data and store it in a secure area to ensure that nothing important is lost if your business is damaged by a storm.

Water Damage

Water damage is a huge threat to businesses around the country. Water damage can occur as a result of hazardous weather like flooding or as a result of something as simple as an appliance malfunction, and both types of water damage can cause costly damage to your company.

Floods can cause several problems for your company. Floodwater might rush in and cause costly equipment or merchandise to be damaged inside your property. Outside your facility, precautions like strategic landscaping of trees and plants can help to slow the flow of flash floods if they occur.

Water damage from leaks related to appliances or plumbing is often more subtle than flash flooding. Leakage can occur in areas that are not visible unless your structure is inspected. Look for signs of leakage, such as discoloration and a musty odor.

Know Who to Call

Our local businesses have a huge impact on our communities. Business owners must take steps to safeguard their enterprises against damage.

If your business suffers from the catastrophic effects of water or storm damage, we can be on the scene right away to help you establish a solution. After that, we’ll restoration any damage and get you back up and running immediately!

If you have experienced damage to your business or want to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services, contact us today at 336-946-1131. We’re here to act fast, 247.

Reduce the Risk of Fires With These Simple Procedures | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

House fires occur every year in the United States. This year, the American Red Cross has already responded to almost 20,000 house fires. Protecting your house and loved ones is critical, especially when the numbers are anticipated to rise.

Clutter is one contributing factor that causes house fires spread easily throughout the residence, with each item adding to the fire’s growth. Utilize these cleaning methods in your Forsyth County home to effectively prevent hazardous fires:

Clear the Clutter

Small clutter can quickly become overwhelming—what begins as a small pile of clothes can quickly evolve into a mountain of clothes! Untidy homes pose far more dangers than you might imagine, since heaps of clothes or blankets can obstruct exits and entryways. They can also obstruct the circulation of space heaters and water heaters, posing a significant fire risk.

Water heaters require proper ventilation and anything that obstructs it can cause a fire. Keep blankets, garments and towels away from the water heater. These items are flammable, which would worsen a water heater fire.

Make sure to keep rugs, furniture and curtains away from space heaters as well. Some people make the mistake of putting these objects too close to heaters, which causes a fire to ignite when the heaters get too hot.

Create a Defensible Space in Your Yard

To control wildfires, California has created defensible space zones, a successful approach for keeping outside fires at bay. While our risk of wildfire is lower here in North Carolina, strategic landscaping is still an effective fire prevention method.

A well-kept yard with a proper layout works as a barrier against outside fires. Getting rid of any stray branches or weeds in your yard will prevent flames from spreading if one does break out. Trim any overgrown branches from trees and your grass regularly.

Keep It Clean & Keep It Safe

When it comes to fire safety, remember the importance of keeping your home and yard clean. Maintaining the cleanliness of your home is a useful practice of fire prevention. Small duties around the house, such as dusting, go a long way.

Pay attention to the distinct hazards that each room presents, such as the kitchen. Fires can start quickly here, so keep your appliances, such as your oven, stovetop and toaster, clear of grease and food particles.

Preventing a fire in your home begins with cleaning up the inside and outside of your home. Cleaning isn’t a chore when it comes to the safety of you and the people you live with—it’s a necessity.

If you have experienced fire damage or want to learn more about our fire damage restoration services, contact us today at 336-946-1131. We’re here to act fast, 247.

Are You Ready for a Storm? | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

When a violent storm hits West Forsyth County, it can cause serious damage to your home or business. There are several things you can do to prepare for a storm and address the damage afterward. Given that there are around 100,000 thunderstorms throughout the United States every year, you need to be prepared for this kind of weather.

Every area of the United States is prone to thunderstorms. The severity can change at any moment and what was a mild storm can morph into a full-on severe storm. Your most severe storms will bring heavy rain, flooding, and, on occasions, destructive tornadoes that can wreak havoc on local houses and their residents.

The best thing you can do as a home or business owner is prepare for this damage, and we’re going to show you the ways to do that. Taking action to prepare for storms can make a huge difference in how much the storm impacts you and your home.

Your Severe Weather Communication Strategy

If things take a turn for the worse, having a way to communicate with each person in your family and being able to obtain communications from authorities is vital.

First, it is critical to realize the difference between watches and warnings so you can understand when to simply be vigilant and when to seek immediate shelter.

It’s smart to have more than one approach to obtaining alerts from officers. You should have both a cell phone and an NOAA weather radio.

You also need to have a communication strategy in place for your household. Have a chosen safe region in your own home that everybody is aware of to get to while the weather turns awful, preferably on the ground floor and away from windows.

Additionally, make a plan for communicating in case one or more household members are away from home when a severe storm happens.

Your Severe Weather Emergency Kit

An emergency kit should be packed with all the essentials needed for sheltering in place for up to 72 hours, and it should be stored in your at-home shelter. Your kit should consist of nonperishable meals, water, flashlights and batteries, in addition to any other necessary items.

Your Severe Weather Aftermath Checklist

In the aftermath of intense weather, it’s critical to be sure you are taking the right steps to both improve your protection plan and deal with any harm to your own home. Once it is secure to do so, check your property for damage.

If you do find damage, be sure you know who to turn to. The restoration specialists at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offer a quick reaction that will result in peace of mind and a properly restored property.

Once you have all your house together, it also important to do an audit of your whole safety plan. Talk about your communications, your emergency kit and every other factor that could use improvement to make everyone safer the next time around.

If you discover storm damage to your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to handle the restoration. We’re here 247 to spring into action—get in touch with us today. 336-946-1131.

Need Experts You Can Trust? Choose SERVPRO | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Since 2010, friends and neighbors have trusted SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Whether you have minor storm damage or something larger to deal with, we have the experience and the equipment needed to clean up and restore your home and help get life back to normal following water, fire or storm damage.

Water Damage

If you’re a home or business owner, it’s likely you will encounter flooding issues in your lifetime, and the costs could be astronomical. Each year, floods cause around $10 billion in damages nationwide.

When your Winston-Salem home has water damage from flooding or leaks, you need a company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help them find the moisture and to remove it as quickly as possible. We’ll help you understand the severity of the damage, so you’re able to make the right choice for restoration.

Fire Damage

In 2020, fires led to approximately $8.1 billion in direct property damage and losses across the nation. If your home encounters unfortunate fire damage, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will be there ready to jump into action.

Following the initial consultation, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will assess the damages to help you understand what exactly needs to be restored, how long it will take and the associated cost involved. Once the cost and scope of the restoration project is agreed upon, we will proceed to sanitize the areas that have been damaged and remove soot to start getting your home back to its pre-fire condition.

Storm Damage

Whether you’re dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you.

After we have removed any water out of property, we will move on to cleaning your property and starting the restoration process.

We’ll restore your property to the condition it was in before the damage happened, whether that means minor repairs like replacing drywall or installing new carpeting or major ones like reconstructing parts of your property.

What Sets SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Apart?

At SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, not only do you get the local franchise, but you also get the strength of one of the nation’s largest restoration company. Our experts are a part of the No. 1 cleanup and restoration team in the nation with more than 50 years experience, so you can take comfort in knowing we’ll get your home or business back to the way it was in no time.

Regardless of the type of damage sustained, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover from its disastrous effects. Contact us anytime when you need a dependable team to help you rebuild your life. 336-946-1131.

Water and Its Destructive Properties | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants to be there for you for every catastrophe, big or small. Once or twice in your lifetime, you may experience a large, life-changing disaster, but you could experience many small disasters.

A leaky faucet is something you will likely see in your time as a homeowner, but you never want to underestimate the destructive effects of water. An average household leak can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water in a year.

Water damage progresses rapidly, seeping into floors, walls and soft surfaces. It’s crucial to address the issue right away to produce the best results.

Here’s what you need to know about the timeline of water damage:

In the First 24 Hours

If you live in a house, there is a one in four chance of a flood damaging it within a 30-year period in a high-risk area. Forsyth County, like every area in the United States, is vulnerable to flash flooding at any point. For example, in 2021, Winston-Salem saw extensive flooding after remnants of Hurricane Ida hit the city.

The first 24 to 48 hours after flooding or water damage in your West Forsyth County home are crucial. Certain items will immediately fall victim to water’s disastrous effects.

Soft furnishings and upholstery will soak through, and wooden structures can swell from the moisture. Personal belongings like books and photographs are especially vulnerable to warping beyond repair. In addition, mold can begin to develop within this timeframe. Quick action is essential.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County's expertise and “restore vs. replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. If any materials cannot be successfully restored, this will be communicated to you. These materials are typically removed as soon as possible to expedite the drying of all restorable materials.

Within the First Week

After the first 24 hours, water damage will progress further and quickly. Mold can spread like wildfire with excessive moisture. As mold sets in, it can even damage the home’s structure.

Additionally, porous surfaces, such as wood surfaces and walls, will become increasingly compromised, and metal surfaces will start corroding.

After One Week

Make an effort to avoid letting moisture fester for so long because some effects may be catastrophic and even irreparable. As time goes on, the costs and efforts to restore the structure will increase significantly, and the risks associated with structural damage are greater.

How SERVPRO Will Help

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s restoration process begins with the first call, preferably within the first 24 hours. Our process normally starts with a thorough extraction of water. This helps prevent the spread of water in the structure and reduces drying time.

Mostly likely, floors, furniture and other belongings in your house will require cleaning, sanitizing and deodorization following a water damage incident. After the bulk of the water has been removed, our specialists will use industry-leading drying equipment to remove the moisture you can’t see. This is important, because even the tiniest bit of excess moisture can promote mold growth.

After these initial steps, your home may need restoration work to get your property back to its preloss condition. This step could include minor repairs or rebuilding entire areas of your home.

We can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will keep you up to date on every step and have you back in your home or business in no time.

Regardless of the type of water damage sustained, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover. Contact us 247 when you need a dependable team to help you recover at 336-946-1131.

How Much Do You Know About Flooding? | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Flooding is the most common natural disaster, and it claims more lives in the United States per year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. It can affect everything from individual homes where property collects excess water to wide swaths of communities and cities.

Flooding affects all 50 states and every U.S territory, but there are similarities in types and causality among all them. There are three common types of flooding, and they happen for four typical reasons.

3 Types of Natural Flooding

Flash floods are common, and they happen when heavy rain passes or sits over an area and overwhelms the ground’s ability to contain the moisture. Excess water runs off and takes garbage cans, cars and more with it.

River floods are exactly what they sound like. When there’s too much water for a river’s banks to hold, the water spills over the sides and causes destruction.

Coastal floods happen in areas next to large bodies of water, when storm surges or cyclonic activity causes ocean or gulf levels to rise to flood levels.

The 4 Most Common Causes of Natural Flooding

Heavy rainfall. Storms with excessive rainfall, or storms that sit and rest over an area for an extended period, can cause flash floods or river flooding. Urban areas are more at risk for rain floods, because the higher percentage of concrete and asphalt means there’s a lack of soil to soak up all that water. According to the city of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County can receive several inches of rain in a short amount of time from any sort of storm system. Even if the floodplain maps show you’re at low risk, any residence in the county could be susceptible to flooding with the right combination of atmospheric activity. Now, if you are in an area with a much higher risk of flooding, you are at a much higher risk of property damage and death.

Oceanic activity. Storm surges, hurricanes and rising tides can cause water levels to rise in waves, which can invade coastal communities and wreak havoc.

Dams and levees failing. The most notable example of this in recent history would be the disastrous levee breaks during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Levees and dams fail when cracks occur or excess pressure overtakes the dam’s ability to contain the surge of water behind it.

Snowmelts and ice dams. In areas of the country where heavy snow and prolonged freezing temperatures are common, snow and ice can build up over a winter’s time, and when they start to melt, they cause rivers of water to flow through area communities. Ice dams or ice jams happen when rivers become blocked by built-up ice being carried downstream, causing the banks to overflow.

Regardless of the cause of the flooding, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover from its disastrous effects. Contact us anytime at 336-946-1131 when flooding or water damage makes a mess in your life.

We Can Be Your New Business Partner | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

A business needs all the help it can get to stay afloat. As an owner or property manager, you are well aware that keeping things functioning requires every available hand. Significant interruptions or losses may be catastrophic for commercial properties.

However, your retail space, manufacturing facility or rental property already has a built-in silent partner to assist with all of your cleanup and recovery needs, and it’s right in your backyard. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can handle a wide variety of company demands; it’s as if you have an invested ally taking care of a whole component of your organization’s success strategy.

Large Loss Recovery. Fires, storms and flooding are among the most common causes of financial loss for businesses in the United States, and they may lead to disastrous amounts of damage if action is not done as quickly as possible. When you contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, you can be certain that you are contacting a highly experienced crew that is available 24 hours a day to deliver proven emergency services and reduce your interruptions and speed up recovery time.

Emergency Ready Plan. Recovery begins prior to the onset of the disaster—that is, if your organization is prepared. We can assist you in developing the ideal strategy to implement when the time comes. During a crisis, you may need an emergency chain of command, alternative meeting or work locations, and temporary suppliers, and we’ll have you set up for a simple button press that initiates all of this.

Cleaning of All Kinds. We have solutions for any cleaning scenario, from specialized demands like trauma site cleanup and safe biohazard removal to general needs like carpet cleaning and upholstery restoration. We’ve been doing this for a long period of time and have seen and cleaned it all.

Restoration Services. Storms cause flash floods. The interns set fire to something in the kitchen. In the winter, a pipe bursts. All of these events need restoration and cleaning, which SERVPRO of West Forsyth county excels at. From water removal through restoration, you can rely on us to restore your business’s shine after an unfortunate incident.

Industry Specialization. There’s no business we can’t help, and we’ve spent decades getting to know the ins and outs of each industry. Whatever your business’ specialized or unique cleaning or restoration requirements are, we can assist you. In many circumstances, we may even enclose the work area to avoid interfering with other sections’ routine activities.

Whatever your recovery need may be, and whatever your commercial property may require, trust SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to get the job done. Contact us today to get started on an Emergency Ready Plan or find out how we can serve your business.

The Range of Spring Weather Threats in the U.S. | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

As one of the largest countries on the planet, the United States experiences diverse seasonal weather patterns throughout its territory, resulting in quite a variety of seasonal weather threats.

As spring approaches and warm and cold air masses collide throughout the country, let’s take a look at the many weather patterns that might form, as well as what we can anticipate in North Carolina.

The Pacific Northwest is prone to severe rain in the spring, which may result in flooding and water damage. At higher elevations, snow will continue to accumulate, and its melting and runoff will create their own set of problems.

Winter is particularly harsh in the Upper Midwest and Northeast, as frigid temperatures persist throughout the season. Residents from Maine to the Dakotas should brace themselves for very low temperatures, as well as the potential of snow and freezing temperatures into the spring season.

The Southwest, in particular, will need to be on guard against severe heat waves that may harm lives and property. The South Pacific, which includes Hawaii, will be alert for tectonic-related tsunamis.

Windstorms, derechos and the threat of wildfires, which spread rapidly in strong winds and dry seasons, will be a challenge for the central United States, extending from Iowa to Texas. Tornado Alley is a section of this region prone to severe storms and tornadoes.

Finally, the Southeast, including North Carolina, may see a variety of extreme weather events, ranging from tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in landlocked states to hazardous rip currents and early-season hurricanes later in the spring.

Due to the state’s position near the Atlantic coast, it is susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes. Along with damaging winds and coastal floods caused by storm surges, these storms pose a significant threat to the state due to extreme precipitation.

Extreme weather is a serious hazard to residents of all 50 states. Regardless of how your danger differs from that of a friend in another state, being prepared is always a good idea.

If extreme weather leaves you with damage from water, fire or other elements, help is a click away. Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at 336-946-1131 for fast, expert recovery.

The SERVPRO Business Disaster Plan | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

Operating a company is like balancing on a tightrope. You have to strike a balance between staffing, payroll, an ever-changing economic and technological landscape, all while competing in the marketplace and marketing on social media and so much more.

Whew! Running a company is often a never-ending job. You’ve invested a great deal of time and work to get to this stage. With that in mind, are you prepared in the event of a disaster?

Oftentimes, all it takes to permanently derail a business is a single disaster. According to FEMA, 40% of small businesses cannot reopen after a disaster event like a fire or storm damage—and a significant portion of those that do reopen close again within a year.

With an economic horizon in the wake of pandemic shutdowns on top of uncertainty about the future, it is more critical than ever for businesses to have a top-notch disaster plan in place. That said, three-quarters of all small business do not have a disaster recovery plan in place, and this has to change.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is delighted to assist companies in preparing for the worst-case scenario by building a Emergency Ready Plan. We help you in determining your emergency preparedness requirements in the aftermath of a catastrophe based on your specific location and industry.

When we finish, you’ll understand the procedure from start to finish if you ever need anything from flood damage restoration to data recovery, ensuring that if your firm ever experiences a crisis, your plan can promptly go into action to minimize downtime and effect. You and your employees will know who to call, what to do and when to do it, as well as alternate inventory solutions and work locations and pretty much everything else.

Prepare in advance for a disaster in order to avoid making your business journey any harder than it currently is. Allow the SERVPRO specialists in our area to get you back on track if disaster strikes with an Emergency Ready Plan. It may be the reason that your business survives a crisis.

When your business is ready to prioritize planning and safety to prevent extended downtime, contact SERVPRO to get the Emergency Ready Plan underway from the folks who know all there is to know about disaster and recovery. Contact us at 336-946-1131.

Yes, We Help With That, Too | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Your home is a massive investment, and you do your best to take care of it. You schedule a roof checkup once a year, you keep batteries in your smoke detectors and you divert your downspouts away from your home.

But despite all you do right, it only takes one acute incident for your home to encounter some kind of damage—and that’s where we shine.

No matter the kind of disaster you encounter, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the solutions Warner Robins home and business owners count on to get things rolling properly again. Call us when you need:

Water damage recovery. An unexpected basement or attic flood due to a popped water heater is a major nuisance, but you can trust us to get any water damage situation rectified.

Fire damage recovery. When fires happen twice a minute in the U.S., SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is constantly on call to make sure damaged walls and property get restored.

Mold removal. Complete, professional mold removal is crucial, because DIY solutions can actually spread more mold through your space, leaving it to eat away at your home.

Storm recovery. Storms of all kinds threaten Georgia homeowners, but whatever damage they may cause is well within our skill to heal. From lightning strikes to tornado troubles, we’ve got the teams and techniques to get your home fully restored to its preloss state.

Commercial needs. Homes aren’t the only locations that take on these kinds of damage. Business owners rely on quick action to keep things running after a disaster, and nobody handles recovery quicker or better than your local SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

General cleaning. Maybe you don’t have a disaster; maybe you simply have some carpet that needs a good scrub. Look no further—if it’s dirty, we can clean it.

Specialty cleaning. From COVID-19-related incidents to crime scene and graffiti cleanup, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the specialized tools and methods to make quick work of any scenario that requires special sanitation and cleaning care.

Construction. In extreme situations, whole sections of a home or business location can be lost. When this happens, you don’t have to get the help of 10 contractors to make things right again—one call to SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can get it all done.

Add 24-hour service and an easy insurance process to all this, and the picture becomes clear—when you need cleanup and recovery of any kind, you can trust SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to get the job done. You can reach us at 336-946-1131.

The Science of Starting and Stopping Fires | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Good teaching is all about finding ways to make complicated subjects more easily grasped, and an oft-used technique for doing that is the production of visual aids. A picture or a graph can really drive home a point or break down a difficult topic into something more manageable.

It’s precisely for that reason that fire sciences use the fire tetrahedron to simply show us that there are four equal elements to every fire, which dance together in a chemical continuum to create the awesome spectacle we are familiar with.

The tetrahedron has four equal sides, and those sides each represent something every fire must have. They also each represent, in the inverse, a way to combat any fire.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel. A fire doesn’t have a gas tank, but it needs something to ingest. In a manner of speaking, the fuel source can be identified simply as the thing that’s gone or damaged after a fire.

Heat. Anything that catches fire first has to reach a point of combustion, and that means its temperature must rise to a level at which it sparks up.

Oxygen. As a fire rages, it sucks the oxygen from the air and uses it to further propagate itself. This removal of oxygen from the atmosphere also makes the air around fires difficult or dangerous to breathe.

Chemical Chain Reaction. The fuel source, rising heat and oxidation process ball up together in a lightning-fast chain reaction, which repeats without end until the fire is stopped. How is it stopped, you ask? By counteracting one of these same four elements.

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. The fuel source has to stay hot in order for the fire to continue, so cooling the fuel is a powerful way to combat fire. Dumping water on the fuel (not the flames) is a way to quickly restore thermal balance to the material. Be prepared to use a lot of water, though, as some of it will sublimate and turn to steam at first.

Smother it. Fire blankets, foam and the “stop, drop and roll” technique all have one thing in common—they use the application pressure from a hard surface to suffocate the fire. Once the oxidation cycle is broken, the fire can’t proceed.

Starve it. When wildfires blaze, one reaction by fire crews is to attempt to cut off the fire from the path it’s on by purposely scorching a circle around it. In doing so, the fire eventually reaches a point where it can’t spread any farther, because there’s nothing for it to consume beyond that circle.

Interrupt the chain reaction. Gases such as halon have proven effective in stopping the cycle that has to continue in a fire in order to keep it alive. If the reaction can be broken, the fire can’t stop. The original halon formula was discontinued following the Clean Air Act of 1970, but subsequent versions are cleaner and safer for the environment.

If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth Country anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire. It's best to contact us directly 336-946-1131.

A Water Damage Process You Can Trust | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

1/8/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage incidents are the bane of the existence of 14,000 homeowners every day. They’re hard to predict, difficult to manage and they can absolutely wreck a home.

When water damage hits your home, you know you can count on SERVPRO to help you get things cleaned up and made right. But if you’ve ever wondered about the process (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t), here’s a look into what happens when you call.

Emergency Contact. You’ve got a problem, and we’ve got answers. But first we need to ask a few questions to get a grip on the situation. Once we understand the issue, we can figure out the best time to come deal with it.

Inspection and Water Damage Assessment. Our team of experts will arrive to survey things, formulating a plan for fast, effective removal and cleanup. We’ll talk to you about any damaged items that may be beyond restoration, and apprise you of any on-site hazards caused by your water damage.

Water Removal. We don’t carry around these pumps for nothing. Once we get pointed at the water, we’ll get to the heavy lifting, removing gallons of water—hundreds, possibly even thousands of them—from your home to stop further damage and get your home prepped for drying.

Damaged Material Removal. As we said, some items may be so damaged that restoration is not an option. We’ll get these removed so you don’t have to, and the drying process can move faster with them gone.

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Deodorization. Water makes an absolute mess of your home, but we’ll take care of that too. Every mark, discoloration, smell and toxic contaminant introduced by the offending water will go away thanks to our cleaning solutions and hard-working team.

Drying. Trust us when we say you don’t want to deal with mold. Without a thorough drying process for your home, that’s precisely what you’ll get. We’ll use special gear and proprietary techniques to get every last molecule pulled from affected surfaces and materials.

Monitoring. During the process, we’ll be in regular contact, and our experts will keep close watch over the proceedings to make sure things go swimmingly—or rather, don’t go swimmingly.

Repairs and Construction. The last step in the process is one of the most important, because this is where we put the finishing touches on your home. Wherever there’s damage, we’ll restore it, and whatever needs to be reconstructed or rebuilt, we’ve got it covered.

When water damage strikes, make the call to SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131 for A-to-Z cleanup and restoration. We’ll make your damaged property look “Like it never even happened.”

Here’s How to Prepare for Winter Weather and Storms | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Winter probably elicits one of two reactions from you—either you hang your head with dread of the upcoming cold weather, or you squeal with delight at the idea of bundling up all winter.

Regardless of your feelings about the season, however, the weather that comes along with it can prove to be quite a problem. Between sub-freezing temperatures that threaten pipes and plants to the six inches of snow and ice that make roads dangerous, being prepared for winter weather can make all the difference.

So let’s look at a few things you should be doing now to prepare for the winter ahead.

Protect Your Family

If a winter storm should strike and cause road issues or widespread outages, your emergency action plan can make all the difference in keeping your family safe, seeing to it that everyone knows when and how to act, where to meet and how to stay in contact until everyone is safe and accounted for.

Your car’s health is important in winter, too, so get your tires rotated or replaced if necessary, and check the health of your battery, brakes and fluids.

Keep emergency kits stocked up as well; you want one in the house and one in each vehicle.

Protect Your Home

Frozen pipes are a real pain you want to avoid, but they’re always a possibility when temperatures take a nosedive into the ‘teens. Insulate your outdoor pipes, and let all shower heads and faucets drip when it’s bitter cold.

Energy efficiency can be a big help or a big hurt during winter, so check your attic’s insulation and the seals around your windows to make sure warm air is trapped in and cold air is locked out.

Get a tune-up for your HVAC system as well—some routine maintenance or repairs now while it’s still mild can help ensure a healthy system throughout the winter and lessen your chances of a system failure.

Protect Your Pets

The chill of winter is too much for domestic pets, so bring Fluffy and Heathcliff inside when temperatures drop. Make a comfortable spot inside where they can rest and enjoy the warmth.

If you own any livestock that have to stay outdoors, make sure they have stables and shelters, and see to it that they always have fresh, not frozen, water.

We live in an area where you never quite know what winter may bring, so always keep your weather notifications on, and let local and national news agencies update you with forecasts of potentially hazardous storms, freezing roads and more. Prepare now and stay safe when winter hits.

If winter weather should bring damage or flooding to your home or business, contact SERVPRO for fast, restorative solutions.

You Shouldn’t Have to Wait for Cleanup and Recovery | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

12/26/2021 (Permalink)

a small interior room showing extensive damage from a recent fire If a fire issue pops up during the holidays, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. 336-946-1131

So much is instant these days. We drink instant coffee while we make instant oatmeal. Download music, movies and more to our mobile devices. We can even go to the doctor or the therapist by video chat. Why? Because we hate waiting.

So why should you have to wait for service when your home is struck by a nighttime or weekend disaster? Sitting around until the next time the office opens up is not going to cut it when there is recovery time, money and further damage at stake.

That’s why SERVPRO never makes you wait. When something goes down after hours, we’re still up and alert, so you never have to let your damage continue to affect your home while you standby for service.

We offer 24-hour emergency service, because waiting only allows problems to get worse.

After a fire. A fire can sweep through your home and do incredible amounts of damage in a flash of flickering flames, but that’s only the beginning of the episode. Leftover chemicals form a black sludge all over ceilings, walls and carpets—the work of soot and smoke, which partner together to cause stains and odors that set in in a matter of minutes.

If you have to wait for office hours before your help can arrive, these stains and smells may become permanent, which means the only way to get rid of them is replacement instead of cleaning.

After water damage. It’s only a short while after the initial water damage—roughly 48 hours, in fact—that mold growth begins in humid or wet areas. It begins to eat away drywall and other organic surfaces and fibers, and it can cause toxic conditions over time, especially dangerous to those with respiratory conditions. Waiting for care isn’t an option.

Storms, weather events and natural disasters can all create sudden situations, and they don’t shut down business at 5 p.m.

That’s why we don’t either—when you’ve got a problem in the night or over the weekend, SERVPRO is on the job. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster in part because we’re always ready to act. Why should you have to wait?

When you need help after a home or business disaster, fast service is a priority, and there’s nobody faster or more prepared than SERVPRO. Call us anytime  336-946-1131 to take advantage of our 24-hour emergency service.

The Surprising Causes of Home Fires | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

Anytime something is both widespread and negatively impactful, we want to know the causes so we can reduce the frequency and damage. That’s why for decades there have been steady fire safety awareness campaigns, ads and printed materials.

And yet, despite all this effort and marketing, more than a quarter of all reported fires happen in the home, mostly due to preventable causes.

So what are these causes, and how many of them can you avoid? Let’s find out. Here are the most common ways fires get started at home.

Cooking. You probably can’t avoid cooking altogether, but you can avoid the most common of the 49% of fires that start in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires, and you can prevent it easily by being mindful and always present at the stove or grill.

Heating equipment. One of the leading cause of heating fires is the misuse or careless use of portable space heaters, which cause a chunk of the 14% of home fires heating equipment causes. Make sure you use new space heaters with additional safety features, and never leave anything flammable within three feet of any heating elements.

Electrical fires. Your home likely uses a lot of power, and while you can’t stop all instances of electrical fires, you can prevent many. Always keep your electrical system maintained and updated when necessary, and avoid things like overusing extension cords, using high-watt bulbs in light fixtures or keeping decorative lighting plugged in overnight.

Intentional fires. This might sound a little unbelievable, but 28,000 intentional home fires occur each year in the U.S., stemming from conscious misuse of heating materials to set fire to various kinds of property.

Smoking materials. Smoking fires only account for 5% of home fires, but they’re actually the most likely types of fire to be fatal. Almost a quarter of all civilian fire casualties are caused by fires started by cigarettes and other paraphernalia. Smoking in bed is a common thread among these kinds of fires.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.

If water damage catches you off-guard and leaves you all wet, you’ve got help on your side. Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

12/8/2021 (Permalink)

Water is running all through your home, every day. Each person uses an average of around 80–100 gallons a day taking showers, washing clothes and dishes, and flushing toilets. But did you know a single crack in a water pipe at a mere 18 inch in size can release more than double that amount in the same time period?

Your pipes and plumbing are pulling double duty—transporting water and keeping it from getting loose and ruining your home. That’s why having well-equipped and maintained plumbing is so very important.

Water damage is widespread, and a real pain to homeowners. Just look at these figures.

24. That’s the percentage of all U.S. home insurance claims—essentially one in four—that come from water damage. Some 2.7 million homes will experience claim-level damage this year.

48. Start the timer when a pipe bursts, because you’ve got 48 hours before your problems increase by a factor of mold. Even though you may not see it at that point, it’s there and it’s growing.

98. If there are 100 homes in your neighborhood with basements, 98 of them will experience flooding, sewer backup or other water damage. Statistically speaking anyway, this is the dreariest of these numbers.

10,234. When water damage occurs, this is the average number of dollars it takes to undo the damage.

14,000. There aren’t many things that happen 14,000 times a day, but water damage is one of them. Something like 10 times a minute on average, someone’s calling their insurance agent.

13,000,000,000. Speaking of agents, the zeroes in this number represent the open, weeping maws of insurance agents all over the country, as they shell out the $13 billion necessary to combat the amount of annual water damage in the U.S.

So you see, the numbers bear out the importance of maintenance, repair and updates to your plumbing and drainage systems. That is, if you don’t want to get lumped in with these numbers next time around.

If water damage catches you off-guard and leaves you all wet, you’ve got help on your side. Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to see how we can quickly and fully restore water damage to your home or business. We have the team and the equipment to handle any water damage around your home or business. Call us directly at 336-946-1131

 

Don't Overload Your Plugs

12/4/2021 (Permalink)

Christmas time is here and trees and lights are going up. But how many lights are too many? Well that depends on if you are using LED lights or incandescent. Chances are good that you could plug all of your LED lights into a single plug. But incandescent lights draw more power and if they twinkle then the wattage could vary some. Reading on the internet says that you should only use 80% of the amp capacity of the circuit breaker.  To find the amp rating check the breaker for a molded number of 15 or 20. This means it is 15 or 20 amp rated.

The formula is wattage divided by volts equal’s amps. So, depending if you have a 15 or 20 amp breaker you do not want exceed 80% of that. But how do you know what the wattage is that each string uses?  Most people don’t keep the box their Christmas lights come in.  We found this handy chart and information. Two take aways are, one don’t overload a circuit and two it’s safer and more cost efficient to use LED’s

We brought this up because overloaded circuits account for 5300 fires annually in the US (according to Consumer Product Safety Commission) We hope that you have a safe and happy holiday season that is fire free. But should you need smoke or fire damage restoration services SERVPRO of West Forsyth will make “Like it never even happened.” It is best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Are you ready to have the cleanest business in town? Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County for all your cleaning needs.

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Homeowners know the deal—when natural disasters and storms strike, or accidental incidents like fire and water damage occur, they can call SERVPRO for complete, speedy recovery.

Business owners know it, too—when there’s damage to be repaired or mold to be removed, SERVPRO delivers on time, every time.

But there’s another option for businesses in the area, and it doesn’t require the stress of a crisis. That’s right, you can take advantage of outstanding SERVPRO service anytime, when you enlist our help for commercial cleaning.

Commercial Services for Businesses of Any Size

In a new era, when consumers are more concerned than ever about their health and keeping themselves in environments that promote and protect it, we provide top-notch sanitation and cleaning for all kinds of commercial facilities, such as:

Retailers and shops. Large or small, chain or one-of-a-kind, we can provide a safe, hygienic environment for the exchanging of goods and services.

Schools and athletic venues. Unfortunately, school desks and the most-used surfaces are still retaining half the bacteria present on them, despite daily cleaning by students and teachers. We can provide truly effective solutions for learning facilities and their sporting arenas.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities. From nursing care to pediatric offices, we can ensure that individuals with vulnerable conditions and the people in charge of their care can rest easy, knowing their environments are disinfected to the apex of what’s possible.

Hotels, resorts and convention centers. Where there’s a constant flow of people coming and going, doing business, conducting meetings and kicking back, there’s an extra need for sanitation and cleaning—and we’ve got the tools to take care of it.

Food service and restaurants. From processing plants to restaurants, and every step in between, we can help ensure the integrity of food distribution and service, and the health of preparers and customers.

Apartments and managed properties. High-rises, commercial parks and managed properties of all kinds can benefit from our regular, high-grade cleaning solutions. Healthy tenants are happy tenants.

Businesses are losing a quarter of a trillion dollars every year due to workplace illness and its effects. Protect your employees, customers and patrons, and at the same time look after your bottom line—it’s possible with SERVPRO commercial cleaning.

When you’re ready to have the cleanest business in town, we’re ready to help. Contact SERVPRO Of West Forsyth County to get our pros working on the cleaning so you can work on the work.

Fireproof Your Fall Plans | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

You don’t have to look at a calendar to know autumn is here again. The air is crisp and so are the leaves, the Panthers are taking the field again, and the smell of pumpkin spice is quite literally everywhere.

It’s time to take to the trails and break out hoodies and Halloween decor, so get to it. But as you celebrate and decorate, make sure to keep these fire safety tips in mind.

Campfire Safety

The camping is great this time of year. Weather is cooperative, and mornings and evenings are nice and cool. Just make sure you take precautions with those fires.

Location and ignition both matter. Build your fire 25 feet or further away from structures or tents, and only use kindling and matches or a lighter. Kerosene or lighter fluid work quickly, but they’re extremely flammable and can easily lead to out-of-control spread of flames.

Keep the fire attended as long as it’s burning, and when it’s time to leave, make doubly sure that all ashes and embers are completely snuffed and that the ash pile is cool to the touch.

Leaf Burning

Those crunchy leaves are good for a couple of run-throughs for the kids, but once they’re no fun anymore, you may choose to burn them. Make sure you have proper permits and follow all local regulations.

Generally speaking, though, keep your burn pile 50 feet away from your home to keep it safe. And don’t ever burn anything manmade—it’s potentially hazardous and toxic, not to mention illegal in Forsyth County.

Space Heaters

As fall and winter progress, you may employ portable space heaters to keep yourself extra toasty on cool mornings and evenings. But be careful, as these are common culprits for home fires.

Keep heaters three feet from anything that could ignite, on level ground and away from any children’s activities. Plug them into outlets, not extension cords, and use newer models, which will turn off if they overheat or get tipped over.

Turn off your heater when you leave the room and always shut it down when you go to bed.

Halloween

More on this later, but be careful with fall décor, especially where candles are involved, and unplug any hanging lights when they’re not in use.

If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.

Clogged gutters can lead to water damage

10/17/2021 (Permalink)

Now is the dreaded season of raking or blowing leafs. They do actually help keep the roots at the base of a tree insulated. But they do not always end up perfectly around the tree. The one place you do not want them to accumulate is in your gutters.  You should clean your gutters twice a year to ensure the flow of water is being routed away from the house properly. If they clog, the flow of water can cause them to sag and allow water to attack your home. The purpose of gutters is to control the flow of water.  If it does not go into down spouts and continually assaults a wall, eventually it will leak. Same is true if it hits the ground, basements can leak and the wall compromised.  Water weighs about 8 lbs. per gallon and the consistent weight can put a strain on the gutters pulling it way from the house. 1 inch of rain fall can account for 600 gallons of water. That is more than 2 tons of weight on you gutters over time. So the bottom line is, to ensure that your gutter system is working properly.

We hope that you never have to experience a water damage, but if you do call us directly 336-946-1131, we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Choose the Right Service Company With These Helpful Questions | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Disaster preparedness is partially about stocking emergency kits and go-bags, and knowing where and how to shelter. But for homeowners, part of disaster preparedness is simply being aware that at some point you may have to deal with an issue that’s out of control, and knowing you’ll need to elicit help to see you through a difficult moment.

When unexpected storms or fires do damage at home, you’ll need to be able to make some quick choices about who you’re going to trust to handle your cleanup and recovery.

It can be daunting, especially when the pressure is on. Choosing a company in advance can save you from stress headaches, and even the potential of being duped into a bad arrangement. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

Are They Legit?

There’s an unimaginable amount of scattered activity after a disaster, especially one which affects a broad area. Sadly, scammers and con artists thrive in this kind of chaos, seizing the opportunity to make a quick buck by offering a lot and doing little to nothing.

At the very least, you need to know that your service company is real and has a reputation worth promoting. At SERVPRO, we’ve made our name by providing the highest standard of excellence over a 50-plus year span in the industry, even opening doors for partnerships with top-level organizations like the PGA Tour. We’re no Johhny-come-lately setup; we’re the industry leader because we’ve put the work in and earned the business of millions of homeowners.

Will They Be There When I Need Help?

We’re suited up and fielding calls right now, whenever right now is. That’s right, 24 hours a day we stand ready to jump into action and take care of whatever the disaster may be.

When you click the link or make the call, you know you’ll be able to reach a team that’s close by and quick to respond.

Where’s a Fleet When You Need One?

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is based right here in Winston-Salem, which is why we can serve you quickly and with the expert understanding only locals can provide. But occasionally even we need backup—that’s when we dip into the rich network of resources provided by over 1,800 SERVPRO franchises nationwide.

When something big is going down, we’ve got an extra supply of tools and teams ready to step in and make quick work of the day’s disaster.

When you call SERVPRO, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got the trusted leader in the restoration industry on the other end of the line. When disaster hits home, contact us directly at 336-946-1131 to get our local experts and nationwide network on your side.

Disasters don't just happen at home

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Disasters do not happen to just people with home owners insurance. Those folks have businesses of their own, or at least work in a business that could be affected by the same storm. We have had 14 named storms so far and 2 have come ashore in the US.  SERVPRO has storm response teams in place to help wind and flood damaged areas. These teams not only help your friends and neighbors but the local businesses. Helping to get the local businesses back up and running again is a vital role we play.  We understand that everyday a business is closed it’s a day without payroll or profitability.  

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has helped businesses get back in to Restaurants, Dental and office spaces for rent.  One of the many tools that will help you to be prepared for a disaster, is the mobile ready app. This app can send out the call for help. It is (Ready App) available in the Google or Apple store.  This convenient app helps key personnel in your business be aware of what to do in case of a business interruption. It tells us the service provider who can give permissions to start the process of getting back into business as soon as possible. Placing important contact and critical info all at your fingertips.  If you need help preparing for a disaster call us today at 336-946-1131. It is best to call us directly.

Preempting Water Threats at Home | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Look, we don’t want to scare you, but something’s going on in your water-based appliances. Now you didn’t hear it from us (guess you did, actually), but word on the street is that your water is planning an escape.

Every pipe and hose is full of water under pressure, intent on getting out. And it only takes the smallest hole for gallons of it to come spewing out onto your floor.

That’s why it’s helpful to acquaint yourself with common leak areas—so you might be able to stop this nefarious plan before it comes to fruition. Let’s look at a few suspects:

Toilets. Your toilet may leak primarily as it wears down rubber pieces over time—the flapper (which will leak water into the bowl), the valve seal and the supply hose washer (which will leak into the floor).`

Appliances. Washing machines are notorious for blowing out hoses after a few years, and any appliance that makes use of water is prone to develop leaks in connections or from faulty hoses. And water heaters, if used past their safe lifespan, can actually explode.

Clogged gutters. This might not be your favorite thing to check, but unclogging your gutters a couple of times a year is probably the most sure-fire thing you can do on this list to prevent water damage.

Roof damage. Roofs and shingles really take a beating, and they’re likely to crack or break over time. Give your roof a visual inspection from the ground regularly, especially after storms that may cause acute damage.

Pipes. We always suspect older pipes, which can become rusted and sketchy, but newer pipes can fail too because of poor insulation or installation. And your main outdoor water line can be invaded by tree roots.

Blocked garbage disposals and sinks. Grease and oil can make it hard for your disposal to operate properly, and certain foods can dam up in your pipes as they are ground up. Avoid anything that clumps or soaks up a lot of water—coffee grounds or rice, for example.

Water is always on the lookout for new places to spread, but a little work on the front end of things may be able to prevent some leaks around your home in the end.

If a water leak erupts into a big problem at home, you’ve got the best team in the business on your side. Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County today so we can get started. It's best to contact us directly at 336-946-1131

Fire season is upon us, we're ready to help

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

We’re coming up again on that time of year where fire is used more often. Fire pits in the back yard, Jack-O-lanterns, decorative candles, and turkey fryers, all have flames associated with them.  If care is not taken to use properly then you could need the professional services of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Our fire restoration services include a trained Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician who knows what to do and not do in a fire damaged home or business.  Odor Control Technician, this tech is trained on the best practice methods of getting the smoke smell out of your home or business and will advise what items can be deodorized and which should be replaced. In a fire the soot goes everywhere, and it gets into places and on areas you didn’t even know you had. Our Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning services will help restore your home or business to a preloss condition.  Water Damage Restoration is our primary business. Since 1967 we have been controlling water and drying out structure and contents for people who have had to have fires put out with the fire hoses.

We hope that you never need these services, but hope you will find comfort in knowing there are trained professionals to help you make a fire damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Don’t Get Surprised by Summer Storms | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

Summer comes and goes in a flash, so you probably try to cram in as much activity as you can while it lasts. You’re determined to live it up while the days are still long—heading to Truist Stadium to watch the Dash, or maybe you’re going to soak up some rays after a session at the local pool.

But wherever you’re headed in summer, you may need an underrated summer accessory—the umbrella.

Summertime in Forsyth County is actually perfect for thunderstorms. Summer is our wettest season, with average number of rainy days and precipitation peaking in July. Hot summer air combines with sticky southern moisture to create those afternoon and evening summer storms that seem to pop in out of nowhere.

Be Storm-Alert

If a storm alert is issued or a warning given, take some time to get ready. Grab an NOAA Weather radio if you want steady, reliable updates with no distractions.

If flooding is possible (particularly flash flooding), rethink your plans and stay in. Take stock of items in your yard as well, so you don’t have things blowing over or getting washed down the block.

Practicing storm readiness isn’t quite as fun as watching the home team beat the Grasshoppers, but it can go a long way toward keeping you safe. Many of the storm-related fatalities that happen each year could be prevented with a little precautionary action.

Be Storm-Safe

Stay inside once thunder starts rolling—this means you’re in range of a lightning strike, even if it’s not raining yet. Keep yourself indoors until thunder has stopped for a half hour.

While the indoors keeps you safest, you should still be mindful of lightning, which can send electric current surging through tubs and showers. A storm can also shatter windows, so stay away from them while you shelter.

Check your emergency kit to make sure it has everything you need to survive at least three days without power, and pack a mobile kit in the car in case evacuation becomes necessary.

If flooding does occur, do not try to drive through it, as rushing water of only a foot can carry away a full-size car—stay indoors or on high ground. And don’t touch floodwater if you can manage it, because it can make you sick.

There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is on the line, ready to make things right again.  It's best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Winston-Salem’s Trustworthy Source for Disaster Recovery | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

8/7/2021 (Permalink)

Owning a home or business is a delicate balancing act. There are a thousand things that have to keep continuously spinning and running just so, or the whole thing gets out of whack. One hiccup is all it takes to shake the ecosystem.

But sometimes that one hiccup comes along, and it’s more like a heaving lurch that disrupts everything—a natural disaster, a fire or an exploding water heater can definitely be one of those major disruptors that makes everything stop.

That’s when you need us, and here’s why:

We’re Always Ready and Faster to Any Size Disaster

When your world stops, we’re ready. Our teams are geared up around the clock to make sure we reach you faster than anyone in the industry.

Wasted time means thicker swaths of black mold, more deep-seated smoke smell or another rank piece of soggy furniture. A rapid response means faster recovery, and having a SERVPRO team right here in Forsyth County means you benefit from the combination of a fast, local team and the stacked national network of SERVPRO resources.

We’re Trained to Handle Residential and Commercial Services

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. We’ve trained and innovated for over a half century because we’ve seen and learned to adapt to the needs of home and business owners all over the country.

We’ll Make It "Like it never even happened."

While our methods are many, our promise is singular: We’ll provide you with unimpeachable service, perfectly executed, and we’ll leave your home or business in such a fully restored state you’ll have to revisit your diary to remember we were even there.

We Offer the Services You Need in a Changing World

In the post-pandemic era of virus consciousness, part of the duty of business owners is to ensure a safe environment. Lucky for you, we developed the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program. Now you can safeguard your customers and employees, and foster consumer loyalty in doing so.

Regardless of why you need cleanup or disaster recovery, SERVPRO has the tools, the technicians and the training to get your situation under control. When you’re ready to get help from the best, get in touch with SERVPRO. It's Best to contact us directly at 336-946-1131

Wind damage can lead to water damage

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

When Lanie Pope says to expect “damaging winds” from a storm she is forecasting, what does she mean exactly? And what does it mean to you a home or business owner. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph. Often, called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Wind damage can lead to a roof leak and could be covered by insurance depending on your policy.

This type of damage can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes or hail. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles. The recent storm we had over the weekend raced from Davie County to Alamance County in a matter of just a few hours. That storm cause down trees and other damage to home and businesses in Clemmons NC.

Who is at risk from damaging winds? Anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard. But, people living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help with water damage inside your home or business. For disaster recovery services related to a storm call us directly at 336-946-1131

Wildfire Protection That Starts at Home | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

One of the scariest thoughts for any homeowner is the idea that their home might be threatened or even destroyed in a raging wildfire. North Carolina was actually the No. 5 state in the country for wildfires in 2020, so the possibility might not be as far-fetched as you might imagine.

But you can take steps to make your home less susceptible to wildfire, on top of the oft-ignored practice of simply being careful, which is the best method of prevention.

Let’s talk about a step called “defensible space.”

What Is Defensible Space?

It’s not about stopping invaders from Pluto. “Defensible space” is the practice of making the property around your home safer, so that fire can’t close in on your home.

You can slow or stop the spread of a fire with the right combo of regular pruning and tree spacing, gravel and inorganic material as a kind of hardscape moat around your house, and removal of dry fuel sources like dead trees or brush.

Defensible space is a way of choking a fire out before it takes your home. With limited fuel available, a fire has nowhere to spread. Defensible space also gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it gets to your house, by giving them adequate space in which to work.

Why Defensible Space Matters

Though West Coast wildfires get most of the press, they can and do occur all over the country. In fact there were over 59,000 wildfires nationwide in 2020.

Even disregarding the 10,000+ fires in California, that’s still an average of almost 1,000 fires per state in 2020, with no state tallying zero fires.

North Carolina was well above that average, with a total of 2,364 fires, giving up almost 13,000 acres of land to their blazes. And 2021 is shaping up for more of the same—the number of fires so far has increased by 25% over last year.

It behooves homeowners to take any available protection when wildfires are concerned, and defensible space is one more step you can take to prevent losing your home to one.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team. It is best to contact us directly 336-946-1131.

Creating a Safe Environment for Returning Customers | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee placing a CSC sticker on building glass If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, reach out to the SERVPRO of West Forsyth County team.

With cities like Winston-Salem and rural areas alike finally experiencing major comebacks in the area of COVID-19 recovery, hopes are rising that “normal” life is on its way back to stay, and business owners are highly anticipating recovery as well.

But as a reticent public returns to in-person shopping habits and on-site work, it’s in your interest as a business owner to provide employees and customers with a safe, germ-free environment in which to shop and work.

That’s why you need to have your business Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned.

Get Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program gives returning individuals peace of mind by incorporating a blend of high-grade biohazard cleaning solutions and marketing tools that let your teams and customers know they’re in good hands inside your store or office.

What makes this program so unique? Let’s check out the three C’s of a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program:

Consult. Your business is unlike any other, and we know that it has cleaning and sanitation needs that no one else around may have. That’s why we work with you to create a custom strategy that meets your specific needs. It also helps that SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is locally owned and operated, so we are already familiar with many of the unique sanitation needs of north-central North Carolina.

Clean. Now the fun begins (well it’s our kinda fun, anyway). We’ll get to work with proprietary, hospital-grade disinfection solutions that have are strong enough to counteract dangerous threats like anthrax and MRSA, and your building will get a resulting cleaning that meets or exceeds the strict guidelines of the CDC. And COVID-19 protection is only the beginning—our holistic cleaning approach gives your customers and employees protection against airborne and surface pathogens of all kinds.

Certify. Now you have a superpower—specifically, the power to instill confidence in potential patrons and returning employees before they even come inside. How? By displaying the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield in windows, on doors and on your website. Your customers will greatly appreciate the care you’ve put into keeping their environment safe, and they’ll be more likely to come inside and spend a while browsing, eating, or engaging because they know you’ve taken real precautions to ensure their continued safety.

If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side. 

It's best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Is My Basement Water-Damaged?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

You may be the proud owner of a home with a built-in basement, and you may be one of the many homeowners who find it to be a beloved, useful space, good for extra storage, shelter from storms or even a bonus living area.

But if you do own a home with a basement, you may also be aware of the moisture issues that sometimes plague homeowners and threaten the enjoyability of basement life. Because basements are dug directly into the ground, they are susceptible to moisture and pressure from the ground, and of course they also take on water from leaky pipes and overflows of other kinds, and oh yeah, sometimes it rains and…you get the point.

While you may be one of the lucky owners who never encounter a water issue in the basement, the odds of it happening are high enough that you should know the common indicators. So let’s examine what you need to look for to stay on top of having a dry basement.

Identifying the Signs of a Wet Basement

Unpleasant, musky odors. You know the smell, right? The musty, pungent whiff that often greets people as they head downstairs is so common that people often don’t even realize it shouldn’t be there. You may just think of it as the way basements smell, but truthfully this smell will only arise when mold and mildew are present in the environment. That scent is the first sign of mold growth, even though you may not see it yet.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Paint can’t hold back water leaks. Waterproof paint may mask it for a while, but eventually it’s going to show you what’s been going on, in the form of bubbles, flakes and cracks. If those are present, there’s a leak causing them that you need to find before it becomes a bigger issue.

Foundational cracks. Cracks in your foundation are a big issue that can’t be ignored. Houses shift over time, but a full-blown crack in the block requires attention. You may get the warning signs of cracks in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls, showing you that your house is under stress. If these cracks grow, they could be an indicator of a serious problem and a big water leak around your basement walls.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more. It's best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Two things for fire safety

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors are the best way of being alerted to a fire and surviving it. This is especially true when installed correctly by a licensed professional.   According to U.S. Fire Administration, most alarms have a life span 8-10 years so if you already have lived in your house for 10 years you probably should have it replaced.  Keep it in good working order by ensuring that it is free of dust and pest debris. Monthly monitoring companies will often times have a tamper alarm when you are doing anything around the smoke detector. You will be talking with them soon if you did not let them know ahead of time that you are testing or changing batteries.

Do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you know how to use it? Do you have the right extinguisher? The most recommended extinguisher for the home is a 2-1/2-pound Class ABC Class A - fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles. Class B - fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel or oils. Class C - fires involving gases.  The recommended fire extinguisher can handle these types of fires however if you can’t reach any part of a fire with the extinguisher you should evacuate and dial 911.  Always be sure you have an exit at your back when fighting a fire, it should be a clear path to safety.

Flash Flood Warning what does that mean?

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

So Lanie Pope comes on the air and says “flash flood warning” what does she mean exactly? Well, we have to break that down and define what she means by each word and the order they are in. The word flash is pretty self-explanatory it is going to happen quickly. Flood is defined by “cover or submerge (a place or area) with water.” As a noun it adds “especially over what is normally dry land.” The word warning says that this condition is eminent that it will happen or is happening now.

Knowing whether or not you are in an area prone to flooding would be helpful to prepare for such a disaster.  You can check the North Carolina Flood Risk Information System (NC FRIS) to see if you live in or close to an area that is prone to flooding.  You also do not have to live in a flood plane to get flood insurance.

Homeowners and renters’ policies rarely cover flooding. Contact your insurance agency about getting flood insurance. Flood insurance is administered by FEMA and a helpful FAQ can be found here.

If your home or business suffers water damage from a flash flood call us directly 24/7 at 336-946-1131. SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County Professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

We make it “Like it never even happened.” It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

New equipment better efficiency

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

When you do business with a company, you want to be assured they are using all the right equipment and the latest and modern technology. When James Otterberg came on board as the new owner in 2020, he saw a need to ensure our crews had the latest and greatest equipment. He updated our capacity, allowing our franchise to take on more jobs in the Winston Salem area. The new low-profile dehumidifiers and air movers are not only more efficient, its size per piece is reduced so that we can pack more equipment into the new fleet of vehicles.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County started with a 2008 Chevy Cargo van in 2010. Now granted it was only 13 years old, but work vans, especially ones with engine mounted extractors on them are used to do hard work. Since the updated equipment purchases, we have also updated and expanded the fleet of vehicles we use to arrive at your home or business. This means that we arrive safely with the best and latest restoration equipment to be able to handle your disaster as quickly as possible. To make it “Like it never even happened.” For fire, water, mold damage, cleanup and restoration call us directly at 336-946-1131

Smoke detectors need love to.

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

We have certain things in our home that we may take for granted. The smoke detector for example. We walk underneath it not even looking up at it. We take it for granted that it will work in the time of need. It will let us know that something is wrong with it, right? Usually at 3 am. We usually only think about them twice a year during the time changes or when we are reminded by a public service announcement, or 3 am chirping.

What happens if you change the batteries and that doesn’t fix the problem? Well according to Bob Villa The problem could be three other possibilities.

  • Spider cobwebs in the works the fix remove cover and blow out with a can of compressed air.

  • Sharp contrast in temperature changes. Living in Winston Salem we can have winter in the morning and summer in the afternoon. If the detector is in the attic it could think it’s on fire because of the changes or the cold may drain the battery to the point it can’t deliver a reliable charge to the sensor.

  • Some smoke detectors have a beam of light that is part of the normal operation. Dust or debris could be interrupting that light beam again the fix could be a can of compressed air.

  • One last thing to consider is how old is the smoke detector. Capacitors and other electronic parts may only last so long. The life expectancy of a smoke detector is about 10 years.

We hope that you never have to experience fire damage in your home or business. But if you do, you can rely on the professionals at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131

7 Things to keep around for safety.

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth we deal with some work spaces that can be hazardous. After a fire or flood things are not as neatly organized as it is in your day to day living.  Our manager, James Otterberg stresses safety first in all things SERVPRO related. Here are 7 things that you probably could use around your home or office that will help prepare you in the event of an emergency.

  • Fire extinguisher – available at Fire Ade (here locally in Winston Salem) this asset to your home could save you more money in insurance discounts. But be sure to have them serviced annually.

  • Carbon Monoxide detector – you may think, I don’t have gas so I don’t need this. But, do you have a garage? Do you have a self-cleaning oven? Do you have a fireplace? These are additional sources of carbon monoxide. You should place one on each level of the home or business.

  • Training – What? This is an intangible you can’t keep this around the office. Ah, but you can, the Red Cross has online and local classes that you can take. They do have a cost to them but what is the safety of your family, coworkers or employees worth? As an addition to this a safety magnet reminding you of what you learned and emergency phone numbers is a good reminder.

  • Emergency Radio – We are so dependent on our smart phones for our day to day lives and emergency notifications. But if the power is out for a longer than expected time, do you have a way to get information when your phone loses battery power? This product has a radio and can charge your phone.

  • App alerts – Speaking of dependency on our smart phones, when your away from home does your house tell you there is a problem? CPI Security has smart features that tell you when a door has been left open or smoke has been detected. Coupled with a smart HVAC controller you can tell when power is out at your home or office, or any number of other situations that you should be aware of.

  • Evacuation plan and needed items. Is your home or office more than one level? If you had to get out the window could you do it without assistance? Having an escape ladder stored near the window is a good idea. Teaching the whole family to be aware of the plan and tools to use are necessary to be able to account or everyone quickly.

  • Emergency kit – This is not doomsday prepper type kit. This is a storm event or flood has made it necessary for me to survive on my own for a little while. Being prepared for this event is key. READY.gov has a great starting point to develop a first aid and emergency kit that every home and business should keep available. Remember to keep in mind your unique situation and include those items you would need. i.e. meds, pet supplies, any disability assist items.  

SERVPRO of West Forsyth wants you to be prepared for any event that could disrupt your routine. Be it water, fire or mold damage, we are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”  It is best to call us directly 336-946-1131.

Where did that storm come from

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Did you ever say “I didn’t know it was going to rain today” or “wow listen to the rain coming down”? So, that should tell you storms can sneak up on you. Here’s a shock they may even sneak up on weather forecasters. But, don’t let them catch you off guard.

Things to do before a storm

  • Make sure you have done your weather stripping and storm doors close good.

  • Outside maintenance is important sand reseal and paint when it’s cracked or showing signs that water is getting to the lap boards.

  • Caulk windows

  • Ensure gutters are cleaned

  • Landscape, does water lead toward the house or away as it should?

  • Cover window wells to prevent water from accumulating in them but be sure they can be removed from the inside as an escape in case of fire.

After the storm

  • If you have a sump pump check on it after a hard rain or even a power outage.

  • You may want to have your roof inspected to see if there are any loose or missing shingles.

  • Check areas that are below grade when was the last time a sealant was applied? Especially around windows and window wells

  • If you discover water damage or standing water call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131

What to expect when we arrive

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

When we arrive, we will assess the damage with state-of-the-art equipment. We will work with you on the priorities and order of events that need to happen in order to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. After some paperwork is signed, extract water if necessary and depending on the insurance requirements we may begin any demo of materials not salvageable. We will set equipment that will prevent secondary damage and professionally dry the structure. This equipment consists of commercial fans and dehumidifiers that are more robust than your normal box fan or standard dehumidifier. They are loud but it is important that you leave them running to dry the space quickly. You or your insurance is paying for them to run on per day basis. So, let them run to keep the cost of your damage lower, the sooner it dries to the standard the sooner we can pull the equipment from your home or business.  

Over the course of the next few business days, we will monitor the equipment and report to the insurance company our progress as they may require. Once a standard of drying has been achieved, and mitigation is complete we can help you move on to phase two, the restoration process.

You will want to act quickly to prevent any more damage to your home or even ensure that insurance will cover the damage. But the cost should be the least of your worries. Your deductible should be your only out of pocket expense for a covered loss.  Let us know if we can help you in a stressful time to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Call us direct at 336-946-1131

3 tips for protecting your home investment

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

During the pandemic restaurants and other businesses suffered loss in revenue in the Winston Salem and triad area, while the home market soared. Many Realtors complained of low inventory but were very happy that houses that were on the market moved quickly and were even under contract in a matter of hours. Buying a home can be a complicated process and you want to protect your investment.  Here are three tips to ensure that you are moving forward while protecting yourself.

You have to have homeowner’s insurance so getting your home covered correctly with replacement cost coverage is something that is strongly encouraged.  Your home is your largest asset, so make sure you understand how your coverage works. When a loss occurs is not the time to find out that your home is not covered properly.

Home owner’s insurance doesn’t cover the repair of the burst pipe but home warranty could possibly fix the pipe in addition to the electrical, plumbing, or appliance that caused the issue. Think of it as supplemental insurance like Aflac for the incidentals. Also, if the appliance or major home system item breaks down for general wear and tear the repairs or the cost to replace is on the homeowner.  If you don’t have a home warranty, ask the seller if they would purchase a home warranty for you as a part of the buyer’s agreement. It may only be for a year, but after that you can pick up the premium if you like.

Policies and warranties will vary, be sure to talk with your agent and warranty provider. Understand what is covered and what the exclusions are. The last tip is home maintenance, things that you should do each month to ensure that your home runs smoothly. For example, changing air filters, ensuring circuits are not overloaded. Reduce the chances of having a major issue by doing these maintenance tasks routinely. But if you do have a disaster be sure to keep this number handy 336-946-1131 “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

What to expect before we arrive

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

So, you have had a water damage in your home and you’re getting ready to call us 336-946-1131. What are the next steps? As this is most likely the first time that you have been through this, let’s explain the process and what to expect.  First off, we hope to gather enough information from you on the phone that we can arrive prepared. Giving us that information will determine how many people to send, how much equipment to bring, and the right equipment. Knowing the type of loss, you have had, the size of the affected area, (# of rooms) and what materials are affected, helps to determine the number of people and equipment we send to your home or business. Also, during the phone phase, we need to determine if this will be an insurance claim. This will help us know need permission from the adjuster for certain procedures, and to ensure coverage.

Because we work with most insurance carriers, we know their procedures and how they prefer to be communicated with regarding your claim.  Our goal is that your only out of pocket expense is your deductible on a covered loss. Because of the pandemic some insurance carriers are reliant on the mitigation service provider you choose to give them information. For this reason, you can rest assured that you have chosen the right one with us. Our communication system helps them throughout the process no matter where you adjuster may be located, even if working remotely from home.

 Call us direct at 336-946-1131

How many germs are in your office?

3/5/2021 (Permalink)

How clean is your office, do you think it is germ free? Well, no place is germ free. What can we educate our employees on to keep them healthy and safe?  First and foremost is good handwashing. We do everything with our hands.  Key times to wash are,

  • Before, during, and after preparing / eating food

  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea

  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

  • After using the toilet

  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After touching an animal, feeding handling pet food or pet treat, or animal waste

  • After touching garbage

  • Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, mask

  • Entering and leaving a public place

  • Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens.

These surface areas that are high touch bring us to another point, cleaning them often especially when you have high traffic weather it’s employee traffic in a break room or customer traffic such as shared space in an auto dealership. Door handles and counter surfaces should be cleaned frequently. Start noticing the items your employees and customer lean on and touch you will be surprised at how often it happens. We can certainly help in this area by fogging with disinfecting agent approved by the EPA and CDC.  This is the most economical way of cleaning surfaces quickly.

Work stations are high touch also. Computers and phones need disinfection attention. Per the CDC many of the approved disinfectants are alcohol based so it will dry quickly. Be sure to follow manufactures guidelines for cleaning electronic products. Consider using a wipeable cover. SERVPRO uses the fogging method so that it covers the surface areas and it can dry naturally. Using a hospital grade disinfectant approved by the CDC is the most effective way of handling.

Clean or spray disinfectant on packages coming into your facility. I recently returned from a trip and the hotel actually sprayed my luggage with a disinfectant and had us step on a mat that was spongy and filled with disinfectant. This reduces the number of germs being tracked into the hotel.          

We have customers who we are doing regular proactive disinfection cleanings for,  If you would like a quote on disinfection cleaning for your business call us directly at 336-946-1131

The best choice for water damage restoration.

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

You go down to your basement and realize that something is not right. The carpet is wet or the wood flooring is warped. It may even smell funny. Now you have a decision to make.  You ask yourself, “am I going to clean up this myself?” well, I would invite you to ask some other relevant questions. Do I have the moisture meters to trace where the water affected the area? Do I have the knowledge and expertise to demo the affected areas? Do I have the right equipment to demo the affected area? Do I have the right equipment and expertise to dry the affected area? And then, do I have the skills to repair the damaged affected area?

These are all questions to consider when you want water damage repaired the right way and in a timely manner to prevent mold. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County does have the expertise, and the equipment to handle your water damage restorations needs. We also work with most insurance companies to save you and your insurance company money. Our goal is to ensure that you only pay your deductible on a cover loss. After all, if it’s your home it is worth doing right the first time.

Call us direct at 336-946-1131

Could your business survive a business interruption?

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Could your business survive a business interruption? What happens when the internet is down? Do you panic? What if it was more serious? As business owners you need to think about what would you do if you walked in one morning and there was two inches of water on the floor. Well luckily you are reading this blog so you know what to do about that, you call SERVPRO. But what other resources will you need to handle a situation quickly and efficiently to get back to business ASAP. You need a plan and we have a free foundation of a plan in our Emergency Ready Profile mobile app.  Think about the vendors and contacts you need to have to run your business.

Let’s say that you had a fire in your business and stock inventory of the raw materials you use are destroyed. Let’s list out the resources that are needed in this event.

  • 911 Fire dept
  • SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
  • Insurance company with policy numbers (what if those files were damaged)
  • Key personnel within your organization
  • Landlord if you rent
  • Vendors of the raw materials

You may also need other resources to be able to contact them about restoring services or repairing services. Within the ERP you can load the account mgr. and account number so that you have them pull up your records quickly and know what services you have. These would include.

  • The Electric company
  • The Water / Sewer company
  • Gas company
  • Internet service provider

The ERP is customizable, this allows you to place key personnel and contacts that you need all at your finger tips to call right away. These may include.

  • HR director for your company
  • Maintenance mgr.
  • IT Mgr.
  • Trades service companies you have a relationship with such as HVAC, Plumber, General Contractors.

This may not be an all-inclusive list here, but having the list of resources and their related account numbers / contacts will make for faster communication. This will result in getting back to business faster. The ERP app is available to have on your phone and or print it out and place right beside / integrate with your current operations manual or employee handbook. We don’t schedule disasters but we can be ready for them when they show up unexpectedly. Call Ed Dean to schedule a walk through and ask for any assistance you need with the SERVPRO Mobile Ready App. 336-946-1131

Minutes count when it comes to water damage

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

When water damage happens the clock is ticking, and is not on your side. This is why you must act quickly. Below we will breakdown a timeline of what can happen if you do not react in the time frame.

Within minutes

  • Within the first few minute items like photos, books, cardboard boxes (stored items), and art pieces become saturated and can be unsalvageable.
  • Water is soaked up into the padding, carpet walls and insulation. Possibly into upholstery.
  • Wooden furniture legs start to lose the stain and may damage the carpet permanently as well as damaging the furniture piece.

Within an hour to 24 hours, you can expect to see.

  • Pressed wood and sheetrock swell and show signs of breaking down.
  • Printed paper goods like magazines will stain other items from the inks being released from them.
  • Metal items will tarnish and lose luster
  • Smell of mildew or musty odors may become apparent

After 48 hours to a week of moisture being left without mitigation.

  • Mold and mildew production will grow exponentially
  • Doors and windows may swell to the point they can not be opened even warp
  • You may see signs of the paint blistering or peeling
  • Wood flooring will cup and buckle. At this point it is usually too late for drying mats.
  • Furniture may split from swelling and show signs of mold as well
  • The category of water contamination may change from CAT 1 or2 to CAT 3 creating a biohazardous condition.

After a week or more

  • Structural integrity may become compromised and more dangerous to work in. This includes ceilings falling in or walls collapsing
  • Costs of reconstruction are significantly increased
  • Safety of the structure may also be compromised posing risks to occupants and workers
  • Biohazardous contaminates continue to increase

So, minutes count not only to get your home or business restored quickly but to stay safe and save money. Call us directly as soon as you discover  water damage at 336-946-1131

What should have been done before a winter storm

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Well, Snowmegeddon 2021 didn’t actually materialize the way forecasters said it would. This was a test, it was only a test, had this been an actual winter storm would you have been prepared? Here are some tips to help you and your family cope with winter storms.

Ahead of the storm or freezing temperatures.

  • Chances are your family goes in different directions in the morning. Work, school, errands etc should cause you to create a plan of where to meet and how you will get in touch in the event of an emergency.
  • Be sure to have gas logs serviced by a professional.
  • If you haven’t don’t so be sure to unhook the water hose from your outside spigots.
  • Do you have a storm kit? This should have such things that will assist you to get by on your own for 3 days.
  • If using space heaters be sure they are used safely never use near a bed or to close to flammable materials.

Did you winterize your home in the fall? Did you do things like,

  • Clean out the gutter
  • Wrap pipes that have been prone to freezing
  • Insulate areas that have worn like door sweeps and windows
  • Changed the batteries in the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

These are just a few tips to help you stay safe. If a storm comes knocking and comes into your home or business call us ASAP at 336-946-1131

How Clean Is Your Office?

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Like mold, bacteria and germs are everywhere. Even a “sterile” environment will have something. But, making it as clean as possible to prevent the transmission of harmful pathogens is something that all of us can do a better job of.  What are some of the things you’re doing that could be bringing germs into your business? How do we prevent it?

The CDC suggests “Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.”  This is something SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help with. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program can put you on a schedule for proactively disinfecting your office.

Recently I discovered that resort hotel operators are manning the front door to stave off germs with a host of people. One is giving you hand sanitizer; another is directing you to step on a mat that is saturated with a disinfectant. Another is working on spraying your luggage with disinfectant. All of these protocols are at work to try and reduce the chances of transmission of the disease into the cleanest environment they can create. What can we learn in our own business from this? Spraying our shoes, and shopping carts or other items used frequently with disinfectant. Ensuring that we are sanitizing our hands and maybe even ensuring customers hands are sanitized before they come into our place of business.

What about those items we use in our office frequently with our hands, or even close to our face? When is the last time you disinfected your keyboard or phone? Wiping these electronic items with an electronics safe disinfectant is a good idea. Be sure to wipe your phone down when you come back in from being out and about. While you are out be sure to not lay your phone on a surface in public.

We sometimes forget about the small but “high touch” areas of our homes and businesses. These can include, the medicine cabinet, drawer pulls, handles, and light switches. If you use your hands to open, turn it on, or off, close or pull it, then it probably is a high touch item that needs to be sanitized even more frequently.

If you would like your office disinfected with a CDC approved product. Call us today at 336-946-1131, we can put you on a schedule to maintain a clean and safe environment for your business’s customers and employees.  Put the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield on your door today.

Is your hot shower helping to grow mold?

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Does your bathroom have a fan in it? Do you use it? Most people think this fan is for exhausting odors, but it actually provides a much more valuable service and saves money. The actual reason to require ventilation systems, especially in bathrooms, is to prevent a buildup of moisture. Hot showers create steam and a build of moisture on sheetrock. This repetitive cycle of steam and dew point on cold surfaces can be a source for mold growth.

What can you do about it? If you already have mold because of this issue you can call us to mitigate the mold. Use an antifungal paint, it is more expensive than paint used elsewhere in the home, but in the long run you will be glad that you did. Hard wire the exhaust fan to the light switch. That way it comes on every time you turn on the light, weather you use it for showers or not.

One other thing be sure to the fan is operating at peak performance. If it is squeaking or loud or otherwise sounds strange clean it or replace it. You certainly would not want it to be a concern for starting a fire.

If we can help call us directly at 336-946-1131

What Should You Think About Before A Storm

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Most people don’t think of a flood till it floods. So now that we have brought it up what should you think about? Glad you asked. When you bought the house did you check to how close it was to a flood plain? You can check out your address for flood potential and see the closest area of a potential flood at FEMA’s Website.  What are the flood risks in your area? Does the house have good drainage paths that lead away from the house? Consult with a landscaper to see if any problems you see are problems they can resolve.

Because you never know when a flood may occur it will be helpful to have some knowledge of the streets and routes from home or work that usually get flooded. This will help you when making a decision to cross a street that may be flooded. Best rule of thumb is, don’t drive into water where you can’t see the road. You don’t know the condition of the road you can’t see it may be on the verge of becoming a sink hole. If it becomes one while you are driving on it you have just put your self and passengers at risk. So, know how other ways around.

Do you have a flood kit or bug out bag ready to go in case you need to evacuate your home? Your emergency kit should include things like, a first aid kit with essential medicines, drinking water, a flashlight, batteries, non-perishable food, a portable radio, a can opener, blankets and warm clothing. It should also include your pets needs as well. Ask you agent about flood insurance is it affordable and is it advisable from your agent?

We hope you never experience a flood but if you do you can count on the experts of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to help. Call us direct at 336-946-1131

Merry Christmas

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

‘Twas the Month of Christmas, and in nearly every home.

There are dangers that are lurking known and unknown

Decorations that dangle and Candles that glow.

Overloaded plugs and fuses ready to blow.

Cooking the treats that Santa desires

Hoping to not catch the kitchen on fire

Frost on the pumpkin, cold frigid air on the breeze

Hoses on outside faucets, will they hard freeze?

Celebrate safely, but should you mishap

You can call SERVPRO in no time flat.

Call them quick, for any size disaster

out on your driveway they are, no one could be faster.

More rapid than eagles SERVPRO professionals came,

You’ll knew right then; they are at the top of their game.

Covered in PPE from head to toe

Safety and caring people they are, on the go.

They were all there, they flew like a flash,

Wiping and cleaning the soot and the ash.

The water was extracted going bye bye

They set Fans and Dehu’s making it all dry.

Where the wall had been burnt, browned and blackened.

SERVPRO came in & it was “Like it never even happened.”

The moral of the story is really quite clear

Celebrate joyously and be of great cheer

Decorate, cook, and we hope you ‘ll be cautious

But if disaster comes, you should just call us

The professionals at West Forsyth County

Will be right there to clean it up soundly. 

We hope that your Season is Safe and a delight

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Merry Christmas and be safe. 

Are you decorating safely?

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Everyone is putting up their Christmas decorations; it makes people feel good. With all that we have been through this year, we need something to feel good about, something to celebrate. Here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County we hope that you and your family stay safe this holiday season. So, we want to draw your attention to some things people over look in their zeal to celebrate the season.

Know your limits, your plugs are only rated for so many amps. If you look at the original packaging for your lights it has a limit as to how many can be strung together. Daisy chaining power strips and extension cords can be an electrical fire hazard. Just ask Clark Griswold.

Know your pets, twinkling lights, shiny balls and electrical cords are tempting chew toys. Bitter yuck is one product that may help train pets to not chew on cords. Also try make the cords neat so they don’t present themselves like a string chew toy.

Candles are beautiful and smell nice, but according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) over a 4 year period almost 8700 homes suffered a fire loss due to decorative candles. Consider using battery operated candles for your décor.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, so why does everyone hang stocking on the mantle? Please don’t hang flammable items near heat sources. Stockings on mantles groceries to close to stove burners, or boots and shoes to close to portable heaters. These are all possible ways to cause an unwanted fire.

Speaking of flammable objects, don’t let your tree become one. Keep it well hydrated. Needles falling to frequently are sign that it might already be a pile of kindling in your living room. Old style Christmas lights have a filament that heats up to glow, this attributes to drying out the tree.  One more tip if all the lights are not burning that may be a sign of a broken bulb and exposing the tree to an ignition source for fire.

We here at SERVPRO hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday. Just don’t let your Christmas tree become a Valentine tree. Call us directly 7 days a week and on holidays 336-946-1131.

Is your home storm resistant?

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

There is no doubt this year has been challenging. We have had 29 named storms this hurricane season; that doesn’t include the occasional battering rain you get from a fall storm. So, you have to ask, is your home resistant to storms?

Starting from the top with your roof. Think about how long you have lived in your home. When was the roof replaced? Has it ever been replaced? When was the house built? Owens Corning, maker of roofing shingles, recommends 20 years of life for roofs. There are more signs and symptoms of a roof needing to be replaced. The shingle edges are curled or shingle tabs are cupped. Bald and/or cracked spots, granules missing and moss growing are all indicators that it is time. Now, we are not suggesting you keep up with the Jones’s, but look around your neighborhood--are your neighbors replacing their roofs? Ask them why they felt it necessary? Chances are that you may be experiencing the same things they are. Your house was built around the same time, same damaging storms, right?

We have talked about insulating windows for winterizing your home, so how safe are they in high wind? When replacing windows consider the impact rating. Standard windows will be rated for 30-35 lbs per sq ft. Because we are a coastal state consider getting a higher impact rated window in the 40-45 lbs / sq ft. range.

Be sure to pick up the yard especially when you’re expecting a storm with “damaging winds.” Loose items in the yard can become missiles and breach the house also.

If you have a generator ensure that your sump pump has access to that power source as long as it is not overwhelmed; that can prevent water damage to your home as well. This is by no means an all-inclusive tip list. We hope that your family stays safe and dry. But should you need any water damage mitigated and repaired give us a call directly at 336-946-1131.

Saving your insurance dollars with SERVPRO

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

If you owe money on your car or home the lender requires insurance to protect the money they have lent you. So, what factors can affect insurance costs and how does SERVPRO help? We buy insurance to protect our own money and to repair damages that are sudden and accidental. By restoring items that can be restored, without replacing them, we can save money to both you and the insurance company. Our goal is that you only pay your deductible to return your home or office to a preloss condition.  

Where you live matters and can affect the cost of your insurance and even taxes. Luckily there are over 1700 franchise locations nationwide. Coastal homes see more storms and see increased insurance costs. With SERVPRO’s storm training and technology, we can help to reduce downtime for businesses and costs of replacement. Speaking of location, how close you are to a fire department, and the services that it provides, equipment and the rating of the fire house can affect costs of insurance. If you suffer a fire loss our team can repair the damage and control the odor. Restoring the affected areas of your property is substantially less costly than demolishing and replacing building materials and furnishings.

How old is your home? That can affect your insurance and the work to done should you suffer a water or fire loss. We have to consider the age of the house to deal with lead paint and asbestos. Normally if your house was built before 1978 there is a good chance it has lead paint. Asbestos was commonly used in home built before 1979. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is a Lead Paint renovator. We also have excellent subcontractor for Asbestos abatement, should it be needed.

Remodeling your home can have effects on the insurance premiums you pay. But, when demo of the shower reveals a slow leak and mold, having SERVPRO remediate mold the right way, can protect your investment. Insurance will not help on claims where the cause was an ongoing issue. Or maintenance was deferred. Having it done right will affect the value of your home in a positive direction.

We work with your insurance company, offering competitive advantages. Our goal is to restore the property and your peace of mind through timely mitigation and adherence to IICRC standards. This will leave both you and the insurance agent with confidence that the job was done right. Through training, technology, and our relationships with national insurance carriers you can be assured that we will save you money and the job will be done right.

If you have claim or need our services call us directly at 336-946-1131

Enjoy the cooking, not a disaster.

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Halloween is over and we turn our sights to the next holiday of Thanksgiving. Home fires do increase around the holidays due to an increased amount of cooking. Unattended cooking fires are the #1 reason for kitchen fires. Think of it the same as distracted driving. You put a pot on the stove, get a phone call, wander to the back of the house for something in the conversation. Before you know it, your kitchen is fully involved with flames.

Another scenario we have run into, is leaving a candle burning unattended. We had one client who thinks that the candle that started the fire was knocked off the table by a pet. Both involve people who left an area that was in use with sources of combustion in progress.

So, fires are preventable to a degree, but we acknowledge that accidents will happen. How often have you found a cord chewed on by pet? Left the stove on and checked the mail or worse left to go to grandmas for Thanksgiving? This holiday season we want you to enjoy the fruit of your labor and Grandma’s Pecan Pie recipe.  Be safe and give thanks for all the blessings you have.

Just remember if an accident happens you can call us and we will be there to make it “Like it never even happened.”  Call us directly at 336-946-1131

4 places you might overlook water damage

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Where are the places in your home and business that you take for granted? By that we mean the places that you have to have but don’t think about until there is a problem. We can all agree that a car needs maintenance and deferred maintenance often costs us more money in the long run. For example, when was the last time you pulled out your refrigerator and dusted the coils? Doing this is also a good time to check the water supply line to your ice maker. We receive calls weekly regarding this costly cleanup. Catching a small drip early can make a huge difference in the cost of mitigation and restoration of your kitchen floors.

Heat and Air conditioning vents can also go unnoticed until it is too late. Changing the air filter regularly and more often when you have pets can save you costly repair bills. Black fuzzy particulates around the register can be a sign that your HVAC system is pumping moisture into your home. Again, we get regular calls regarding water condensation on walls and other surfaces.

We like to hang pictures in our home.  But do we use the right nail? Using a proper picture hanger will help so that we don’t put a nail into a drain pipe and cause a small leak that might not present it self right away. I like to use 3M Command picture hangers, they do not put holes in the wall or pipe.

When was the last time you took a look in your attic or even noticed your ceiling? If you have a water spot on the ceiling no matter how small, it is only a matter of time before it gets bigger. You need to find the source of what made the spot and stop it. Consider what is above that spot. HVAC and Roof are the likely on single story but if a bath room is above, it could also be a source. Don’t just dismiss that it is not the bath room if it is farther removed from the spot, water will take the path of least resistance.

So if you check around these places in the next few days and discover you have a water damage issue call us directly at 336-946-1131 we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Can you think of everything? No. Can you be ready for anything? YES.

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

From fires to storms to vandalism, your business could be disrupted. Can we think of every possible scenario? No, but we can prepare and surround ourselves with a team that will get us back into business as fast as possible. Now you have to ask what does that team look like? It should consist of all the key personnel that are needed to run the business. Do I have their contact information readily available? Most businesses have a file record of those folks but what if that file was compromised in the fire or flood? Can you retrieve those files from anywhere? If they are stored in the cloud you can.

What about key vendors that routinely are maintaining your building like HVAC or your Plumbing company? Would it not be convenient to call them and ask, can you meet me ASAP at the office I am on my way there? What about having the convenience of calling your insurance company and already knowing the policy number and having it available as well? What if you needed to order knew supplies to replace damaged inventory? Do you have those numbers and your customer account number handy?

Do you know the number to the water and power company? How about the non-emergency number to local police or fire dept.?

All of this and more is possible with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile App. (ERP). It is available on Google Play and iTunes Store. With some planning and preparation, you can be ready for anything even if you can’t think of everything you would need it for. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will be glad to assist in the planning and development of an Emergency Ready Profile plan. All you need to do is call us 336-946-1131 and we will be happy to assist.

Fire tips for a safe Halloween

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

We like to talk about safety especially here at Halloween. But this year Halloween is going to be a little different due the pandemic. But what is not going to change is that you and your neighbors will still decorate.  You might still carve a pumpkin for your own enjoyment. If you do consider a battery-operated light.  If you do use candles to decorate with never leave them unattended and ensure they are out of reach of children and pets. When decorating with string lights be sure not to overload the plug. Check the package for how may strings of lights can be safely used with the product. This will help avoid an electrical fire.

If you do a bonfire to gathering of 50 or less outdoors, be sure to check local restrictions and social distance. Keep sand and a water hose nearby. Ensure kids with long flowing costumes are kept back, well away from the fire and embers. You will also want to place it well away from the house or out buildings. Be sure to pick up loose and dead vegetation so that it does not lead the fire from a controlled area.

If you are trick or treating, costumes should be functional to avoid tripping hazards and flame retardant. Avoid passing by lit jack-o-lanterns that may be lit with candles. Be sure the wearer has good clear view to avoid tripping hazard.

The CDC is discouraging a conventional Halloween but offers these lower risk alternatives.

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

We here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hope you have a safe and happy Halloween! If you need us for fire damage to your home or office call us directly at 336-946-1131

To file or not to file a water damage claim

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

We have talked about acting quickly when you have a water damage claim. “It was just a little water,” may be a subjective thought, but if you delayed maintenance and cleanup, then you may be negligent. When problems develop like mold or rot and you want to file a claim it may not be covered. Most insurance policies will cover water damage that is sudden and accidental. In most scenarios homeowners’ policies exclude losses that are considered continuous over an extended period of time. An example is a leaking water line, or leaving wet carpet and baseboard unattended to the point of mold or rot.

Before filing a claim, if you are unsure if the damage will exceed your deductible, you will want to ask us to come out. It will be better to spend a little money now or you may be faced with paying for a lot by yourself later. If you do have to file a claim then it helps to see a SERVPRO professional has been on site. In one such case, in one customer case, I was told by an adjuster that he sees that the homeowner took steps to limit the amount of damage by calling SERVPRO. In the event of a covered loss, insurance adjusters are grateful that SERVPRO is on the scene quickly to prevent further damage. We will also be an advocate for you to ensure that your property is restored to a preloss condition.

Some things you will want to know before filing a claim. What perils are covered in your policy? This will be important depending on the source of the loss. If you took the less expensive policy you may not have sewer backup as a rider on your policy and may not be covered in that case. So, knowing what you have covered is important.

What is the deductible? It is practical that you may not want to file a claim if the cost of mitigation and restoration is less than double your deductible.  Insurance is there to protect you from major losses and your deductible represents the amount of risk you’re willing to take. Our commitment is to ensure that this is your only out of pocket expense to return the property to a preloss condition.

This is just another reason to call quickly to SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to handle your water damage. Whether it is covered or not we can help with water damage. Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Do you need help with a business disaster plan?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

September is national preparedness month, and we have talked about the Ready App by SERVPRO before. Preparing doesn’t mean that you should try and plan for every scenario that could disrupt your business, but to have the resources to get back to business quickly.  Scenarios like flood, fire, or vandalism are certainly disruptions to your business, but having the Mobile Ready App with SERVPRO at your fingertips is a great first start. The Mobile Ready App places those contacts that you would need in an emergency to restart your business.   

The question is, have you shared it with your employees? Do they know what to do in case of a business disruption? Are they on the plan and do they know their role? Key personnel can be listed on the Ready App for quick access. You should advise them when they are part of your disaster recovery plan and what critical roles they will play. Do they have resources that they use in their day to day operations that need to be in the recovery plan?

SERVPRO has resources to help you get started with a plan and recover should you face a disaster that disrupts your business. For assistance with setting up the SERVPRO Ready App call us directly and ask for Ed Dean.  We will be glad to help you get started with preparing, so you and your company will be ready.

It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Disaster preparedness in the age of COVID19

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month to promote the importance of family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.,” resonates strongly as local communities and communities around the world battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For disaster mitigation specialists like SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County, the scope and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of everyday life, health, and well-being have magnified the importance of SERVPRO’s ongoing message to the communities it serves: When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense.

Before COVID-19 exploded into a global crisis, ‘disaster preparedness’ for the everyday home or business owner was largely dictated by the hazards unique to their location or their business. For some, that meant preparing for hurricanes and water damage; for others, tornadoes, flooding, wind damage, or even wildfires. But COVID-19 taught us that everyone – individuals and business owners alike – needs to be prepared for a national emergency that may disrupt food and medical supplies, transportation systems, schools, businesses, and every single aspect of everyday life that we take for granted. We’ve learned that, no matter where you live or work, in addition to your ‘disaster’ preparations, making certain that you have a stock of some basic items on hand can make a huge difference if a national or global event suddenly disrupts – or even stops – everyday life.”

Everyone still needs to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. FEMA provides easy-to-use disaster planning guidelines at https://www.ready.gov, and home and business owners both can take advantage of free tools like the SERVPRO READY app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Forsyth County as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.

COVID-19 has taught us we need to rethink and add to our disaster-preparedness toolkits. We are all still struggling with a ‘disaster’ that has disrupted not only our lives and our jobs, but our entire community, our society, and the supply chain that we depend on. While in retrospect, the shortages of some of these items have become the stuff of urban legend, it’s a good idea to stockpile a supply of items for which there are no easy substitutes. Toilet paper; yeast and flour for breadmaking; detergents; canned foods, fruits, and vegetables; pet foods and cat litter; fresh dairy items; diapers; and a host of other items were in short supply for weeks at the beginning of the crisis. Think back on those weeks and keep a supply of the things that you just don’t want to do without – along with some shelf-stable dairy items, dried beans, and frozen meals. Use them before they expire but be sure to replace them.

The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County extend their sincere sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or have been otherwise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Winston-Salem-area commercial and residential customers, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County continues to specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.” For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, please call (336) 946-1131. For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com.

The right equipment the right people.

9/7/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever heard the term shade tree mechanic? Or fly by night outfit? They're all sorts of names for people that dabble in an area of service that maybe they shouldn’t. Recently we had a customer who had an HVAC issue that caused some water damage. The HVAC company may have been responsible for the damage, so they sent their preferred vendor to scope the work.  According to the client, this vendor came out with tape measure and note pad. He stayed about 20 mins and later sent a three-page estimate for the mitigation only.  For the repairs, the client would have to be quoted and repairs completed by separate vendor.

Unknown to that vendor, and as it should be, we had been on sight and spent some time going over all angles of the water damage (let’s just say it was more than 20 minutes). When SERVPRO of West Forsyth County does a scope of services to work for you, we will bring the right tools and knowledge to prepare an estimate. For example, moisture meters to measure water that has been absorbed into the floor and sheet-rock. Water that you can’t see may be causing damage to your home or business behind the wall or under the flooring. Mapping the affected area is critical knowledge to getting an accurate estimate of affected materials and those materials that may have to come out.

We will bring an infrared camera to see cold spots. If an area has an unusually blue area on the camera, it may indicate that water is behind the wall or material that hiding it. We also have a borescope that will allow us to drill a small hole to look into a cavity behind sheet-rock and see mold growth, if we need to. These are just a few of the tools in our tool belt that helps us to serve you better.  If we bring this much equipment to bear on your water damage to quote it, know that we will have the equipment and expertise to deal with any size disaster at your home or business.

If you need a quote for services it’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Falling trees can cause water damage

9/7/2020 (Permalink)

Tarped roof damage caused by fallen tree Tree falls on roof and breaches it during a storm

So, kids are going back to school, sort of, and that means fall is around the corner.  To make matters worse this may be the wettest summer on record. The ground is soft and trees are subject to come down, and have. Hurricane season is still going strong and doesn’t end until after Thanksgiving. Why am I giving you all this great news when 2020 has been, well, a 2020? We can use that term now to be synonymous with a bad, strange year, right? I am telling you this to prepare you for the things could always be worse and to prevent those worse things from happening to you.

Did you use your garden hose to water the garden or wash the car? Get into the habit of unhooking the hose. This will prevent you from having the pressure build up and splitting the pipe in the wall when freezing occurs.

Check your property for limbs and branches that have broken and may be damaging your roof. If they rolled in the gutter, they may contribute to clogging it up and causing water to go over the lip of the gutter towards the house. Over time that could cause rot and mold in the house.

Ensure the landscape of your home leads water away from the structure. If you have a basement ensure that there are no low spots that water can drain onto the foundation. We have seen cave-ins of the basement wall because of constant water pressure on the basement wall. Speaking of landscaping do you have trees that are potential hazards that may fall on your house? If you are unsure check with an Arborist there are several certified in the area.

Down spouts should also flow water away from the home. Ensure all gutters and down spouts are free flowing.

Having your HVAC serviced is also a good idea. Some home owners are not aware they have a drain pan and line that that collects water and routes it to an area outside of your home. We see water damage from clogged condensate drain lines on a routine basis.

So, there you have it we hope the rest of 2020 is uneventful and filled with happy moments around your house. But if water damage invades your home or business call us ASAP so we can make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Why get professional help for fire damage

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Fire can be devastating and the last thing you want to consider is jeopardizing your family any further. Should you experience a fire staying safe should be your highest priority. We already talked do’s and don’ts of fire damage. Now we will let you know why. As we said fire can happen any day of the year, have a plan to get your family out of the home safely. Having a central spot to gather is important to knowing quickly that all family members are alright. Ensure that everyone knows the plan and meeting spot.

After the fire is out, is it safe to stay in the house? Most of the time the answer is going to be no. The reason it’s no is that there are a number of things in your home that when fire has reached them, they give off a gas or fumes that could be toxic. Another reason is that you should questions the structural integrity of your home and area affected by the fire. Has the fire affected the electrical?  The local power company may have had to pull the meter if the fire was started electrically or affected the wiring of your home. Asking the firefighters may give you some answers as to weather you can stay, but for these reasons you are probably better off not.

With homes being lived in, and we know life happens, have items fallen in the floor? Wet materials are heavy and ceilings may be in danger of collapsing from being doused with water. These are even more reasons for safety to be exercised when moving about the scene.  Soot can be ground in to carpets and be harder to save.  Soot also transfers easily from a surface to your hands, then onto upholstery, again making it harder to restore. Count on the professional services of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to clean these items and walls, doing it yourself may cost more in the long run.  Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

If the fire department did cut power to the home. Inventory and empty the freezer and refrigerator, and prop doors open. You may be covered for a certain amount of food in these items. Electrical items may have been damaged and create a shock. We have professionals who will safely go through, clean and ensure the safe operations of those items that you are unsure about.  If the power is still on do not turn on lights or fans that have been sprayed with water, the wiring may have been damaged

Medicine, canned or packaged foods and beverages that were stored near the heat may not be safe to consume due to soot and toxic vapors. Contact you Doctor to let them know you will need a refill and why. Again, inventory these items as they may be covered under your insurance policy.

Metal items like nickel and chrome faucets and fixtures, guns, silverware, and jewelry can be protected from pitting by the soot if sprayed with a thin coat of oil or petroleum jelly. House plants can be saved if cared for properly by washing both sides of the leaves.

Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Regarding Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency - (336) 946-1131 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County proudly serves Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours /7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure. It is always best to contact us directly.

Grilling Safety

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Has your wife said lately “it’s too hot to cook.” That means one of two things, either you’re going out to eat, or your doing the cooking on the grill. According to the NFPA there were more than 10,600 home fires that involved grills, hibachis or barbeques. (between 2014-2018) I would bet that number has risen since the COVID-19 crises just due to option 1 going out was not available, and 2 more people were home cooking.

Cooking with gas may be easier, but it did account for 84% of those fires. We’re going to take that to mean we need a higher level of safety when it comes to gas grilling. This video from the NFPA, shows how you can check for leaks in your gas grill.  Here are some other grill safety tips, they may sound like common sense but you know the only reason warning labels are put on products is because at some point somebody tried it and probably with devastating results.

Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.  The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

 Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.

 Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

 Never leave your grill unattended.

 Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before turning on the gas or lighting it.

There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.  If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.  Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord rated for outdoor use.  When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Enjoy your summer holidays we hope that you never experience the trauma of a home fire, but if you do know that the experts of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help you make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131

How can SERVPRO help during COVID19

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

There is no doubt that the first half of this year have been tough on everyone. Words like unprecedented, uncertain and strange times have been bantered about. But we hope that you can take comfort that help is here to clean and disinfect your home or office should you need it. At SERVPRO of West Forsyth County we have been on numerous webinars and training's from our corporate headquarters in Gallatin TN.  Understanding the protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We have gained knowledge of the approved EPA products and ensuring that our proprietary labeled products are among the approved products listed on the EPA’s website.  

Along with the experience of Biohazard cleaning, pathogen cleaning is simply another service we have offered for years.  Standard janitorial services do not deal with biohazards in the workplace routinely. That is why you should call the experienced and well-equipped staff of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We will Consult with you on your work space or home. No two businesses are exactly alike and so a plan has to be created to ensure the best possible course of action.  We will clean according to the agreed upon plan, again following CDC protocols and EPA approved products. We will certify that we have completed those protocols and leave you with branding and collateral that will give your employees and customers the confidence to visit your establishment, knowing that it is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Weather you want to do something proactively for your business or you have had an active case of COVID19 on premises the professionals of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help during these unprecedented, uncertain and strange times. Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Deal With Storm Damage Quickly

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Usually we are not as severely affected by hurricanes as coastal North Carolina. But, pop-up thunderstorms and tropical force winds here in Winston Salem can bring heavy rains and damage. We are just now getting through the wettest part of the year on average and the hurricane season has four months to go.  Strong winds from storms can damage your roof and drive rain into your home.  Weather stripping is not just for winter, it’s for keeping cool air in and rain water out. If you don’t have a storm door to help, ensuring that your doors and windows are weather-tight will help prevent water from seeping in.  Storms tend to drive rain sideways. Did you ever hear someone say “it sounds as if it’s coming down in sheets?”

After a storm check on places that you have not been in a while. Look at the ceiling for water spots. Check the floor and baseboards for dampness. If after a few days you start to smell mildew you may have waited to late. When mold starts to grow from excess water seeping into porous materials like sheet rock, carpet, and insulation, this tends to be more expensive in the long run than to get water extracted and materials dried at the onset. Fixing the root cause of the problem will be key to ensuring you’re not having to deal with water damage again when the next storm hits.

If your home or business is impacted by storm water intrusion call us directly at 336-946-1131

Commercial Disaster Planning In The Era Of Corona Virus

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Businesses in Winston Salem have put up with a lot these past two years. The shut down of business highway 40 took a toll by itself, but then the pandemic shut down those non-essential businesses. Now, some non-essential businesses have reopened only to discover water damage or have a disaster strike just when they are getting permission to reopen. They’re asking themselves how much more can they take, or else they are simply not surviving. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help with planning, and recovering from a disaster, so that when it does happen you will be #SERVPROready.

Our mobile app puts your emergency contacts and vendors in the palm of your hand. We will consult with you, work with you, trying to minimize the disruption to your business. We will also work to get you back up and running as quickly as possible to get to the “Like it never even happened,” as soon as possible.

No one would have ever thought that we would be dealing with a pandemic so devastating that it would limit the number of customers in our store, or even if we could open. That was unforeseeable. But knowing something could happen like water or fire damage that can disrupt your business is a realty. Knowing what could happen, and being prepared is the difference between being inconvenienced and bankrupt.  Don’t wait till you think it’s safe to deal with water damage, it has to be dealt with as soon as possible otherwise it could cause secondary damage or cost you more money.

Staying safe and keeping your customers and employees safe is also of concern to business owners. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help there as well. Weather you have had a proactive case of Covid19 or just simply want to proactively disinfect your office or store, we can help there also. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program will consult with you on your space. Clean that space using CDC protocols and EPA approved products. And leave behind signs to show your customers and employees that you care about their well being and safety.

If you would like to know more about the commercial services we provide call Ed Dean at 336-946-1131.

Preventing Storm Water Damage

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

We have talked about how to protect your home after a storm, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’re a homeowner you know that there are always things to be done around the house. Some of the same things we talk about in winterizing your home are things to consider when preparing or maintenance needed to prevent storm water damage.  

Here is our top list of things to do for preparing for a storm and preventing storm water damage.

  • Gutters – you have to keep them clear they have to have the ability to let water run away from the house or business.
  • Landscaping – once the water hits down spouts does water pool at the base of the home? Or, do you have a sloping landscape to allow water to run away from the home?
  • Repair loose siding and roof shingles ASAP. Wind is very destructive and can loosen the barrier you have between the elements and the interior of your home. So, after each heavy storm do a walk around your home and address these issues before the next rain or storm.
  • When you do your walk around look for things that in high wind could become a projectile. Loose fencing, yard tools and furniture are things that can damage your home or can even cause injury should they become airborne.
  • Trees – ensure that your trees are trimmed regularly and that they are healthy. You would not want them to fall on your home and open it up to the storm.
  • Sump pump – have you been to your basement lately? Is it working properly and do you have a back up plan for if the power goes out? Having a generator or battery backup UPS could save a lot of headaches in avoiding a flooded basement.

We hope you never have to deal with the issue of water damage in your home or business but we are here to help and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly 336-946-1131

Water Damage Restoration Done Right Can Save You Money

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Do you know what happens to water damage if not properly cleaned and professionally dried?  According to FEMA mold will develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure. Even worse, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture, and effectively deal with the mold problem. So, what are the steps you can take to prevent mold, AKA not paying more for mold damage repairs.

Call a professional mitigation company ASAP. You may ask yourself why can’t I do this myself? To which you should ask yourself do I have the proper IICRC certifications to handle water damage restoration? Do you have the right equipment such as air movers, dehumidifiers, demo tools, extractor, just to name a few? Do you know what your insurance company will and will not pay for and an online communication program to ensure that the aforementioned equipment was monitored properly?  Can you ensure not to over or under charge the insurance company for drying it to a standard of measure? And last do you have the time to deal with all of the stake holders and subcontractors later when it comes time to put it all back together.

Water damage is stressful enough because of the disruption, and it will cost, hopefully only your deductible. But it will cost you more if you don’t know how to go about it, and check the boxes that will satisfy your insurance, your mortgage company and most importantly you the home owner.  The other thing that will increase the cost is if you let it go for long periods of time. Slow leaks will not go away by themselves, and left unchecked will cost more due to the mold and maybe even rot.

Calling the professionals at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will give you piece of mind that we do have the right knowledge, equipment, relationships with insurance companies to make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”

When you have water damage, call us directly ASAP at 336-946-1131

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned For Your Business

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Today’s businesses have been turned upside down this year with Covid 19. Having to shut down, waiting for the government’s permission to open back up, and implementing safety precautions to keep their customers and employees safe. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help business owners with this new found situation they find themselves in. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a new program that helps businesses give confidence to their customers and employees that they are shopping and working in the cleanest and safest environment possible. 

Whether it is proactive cleaning in a work space that you want to ensure it has been sanitized, or you have had an employee or customer tell you that they have tested positive for Covid19, SERVPRO can Consult, Clean and Certify your business SERVPRO clean.  

Understanding how you do business is part of consulting with you so that we can ensure that we are cleaning the high touch points by your customers and employees. Understanding that there are unique areas to be concerned for, such as food prep or high value electronics, helps us to determine what SERVPRO EPA registered product we will use or method of sanitizing to provide the highest quality of service.

When cleaning your business, we will use CDC guidelines, and EPA registered approved products that have been known to kill similar Corona type viruses. Using state of the art equipment we can most efficiently fog, spray and or wipe the space distributing these disinfectants.

As a part of our certifying process we will post our shield representing your commitment to the comfort and security of your employees, customers and community. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon will tell all who see it you have gone above and beyond to ensure you are SERVPRO clean.

It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Storm Flood tips

6/27/2020 (Permalink)

We have talked about the Flood Terminology before in this blog and know what the weather forecaster means by the terms but what do we do about it?  Let’s talk about flooding. If you live close to a flood prone area, this helpful interactive map can help you locate your home in Winston Salem or anywhere in North Carolina. Knowing and the flood prone areas nearby. If you home is prone to flooding or is close to a floodway these tips help you prepare for actions to take when you hear a flash flooding is likely in a storm event.  SERVPRO of West Forsyth can help you with water damage in your home or business should you become a victim of storm damage and flooding.

  • Know the routes around your home that a prone to flooding if told to evacuate these will be the roads to avoid
  • Keep a bug out bag handy be sure to allow room for those important items that you use every day like medicine or a CPAP machine.
  • When returning you should ask is it safe to stay in the house?

              Is the electrical system of the home compromised?

              Has the HVAC system in the crawl space, basement or attic been submerged?

              Has wildlife i.e. snakes in the home?

  • Only do what you can do safely remember wet materials will be very heavy.
  • Remove excess water by blotting or mopping unfortunately this most likely will not get all of the water out of your home or business.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. This help prevent the stain on the legs from further damaging the carpet. Depending on the length of time wet and category of water it may be salvageable.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.

Some things to avoid doing after a flood

  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors. Water loves to be absorbed and Mold loves these materials. Another pro tip is to store items in plastic tubs instead of card board boxes. This will protect the items and is nonporous which is helpful to preventing mold.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water. Call a professional to extract the water from carpet and pad.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging. Remember to be safe when walking around in a water compromised home or business.

We are here to help with any disaster recovery needs be sure to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Firework safety Fire Prevention

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire protection agency Fireworks were the cause of over 19,500 fires in the US totaling $105 Million dollars in property damage in 2018. There is a reason why fireworks are banned from state and federal parks and federal forested land. They have the danger of causing a fire.  Even sparklers burn at 2000 Degrees Fahrenheit, that is temperatures of some welding torches.  

So, what can we do to celebrate with fireworks safely?

  • Leave it to a professional is our #1 tip they have the knowledge and expertise. They also think about the safety of the space and products they are using.
  • Keep out of reach of children both fireworks and ignition sources
  • Follow the labels and directions.
  • Have a water bucket and or hose handy.
  • Keep pets inside they are frightened by them and could bark and run toward a firework causing it to malfunction injuring them or others or starting a fire.
  • Use firework out of doors only and scope the area to ensure that there are no combustible materials that could catch fire from a spark.
  • Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or throw lit fireworks period, let alone at someone.
  • Only adults should be lighting fireworks keep Children and pets away.
  • Never relight dud fireworks or fuses that are shorter than other like fireworks
  • Light and get away never stand over or be so close that you could be hit by the firework should it tilt or fall.
  • Fireworks packaged in brown paper are a sign that they were made for professional events and should be left to them.

Remember we are Fire Damage cleaning experts. Should your home or business be damaged by fire of any kind, you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. It is best to call us directly 336-946-1131.

DIY versus paying to have water damage done right the first time

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

The cost of DIY when it comes to water damage could cost you a lot more in the long run. As a water mitigation expert, you would expect me to say that to drive business. But I am not just telling you that to drive business. I’m saying that you the average reader have not had the training nor the equipment to do the job the right way. In the picture you see our tech using a wand to extract the water from the carpet. What you don’t see is the commercial grade extractor unit that is truck mounted and can pull more water out efficiently than a standard residential shop vac. That is just one piece of equipment that we have in our inventory. We mentioned in another blog that your mop is not qualified. But it is for some things, just not water that happens to get below the carpet or the floor laminate.  

If you have an upstairs water leak and it is enough to show a water stain on the ceiling how do you get the water that is between the floors out to prevent mold? That is where the experience and expertise of a company who’s job it is to do this on a daily basis would be valuable. Water damage is expensive enough with out the added cost of mold mitigation. Just 3 years ago according to a study by Verisk Analytics, Insurance companies in America paid more than $13 Billion dollars in damage claims in 2017. The average claim totaling $10,000.00. Mold mitigation caps on policies at $5000.00.

So, will it cost you more in the long run to take a chance and think you have all the water up? Yes, it definitely could cost you more money.  Call us quickly to get started on your water damage job.  Should you have to file a claim, we will help you. We work with the majority of insurance carriers and can help you through the process. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131   

Time for Fire Safety

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

According to the Red Cross, home fires occur mostly on Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 6-7pm. This is mostly due to most home fires are related to cooking and this is the time when families are preparing the evening meal. As Spring is here and Summer approaches grilling on the back porch will also present a number of fire dangers to your home. Here are some tips to preventing a cooking fire in your home.

  • Keep items that can burn, away from cooking surfaces
  • Never leave a stove unattended when a burner is on.
  • Turn handles of pots and pans away from the edge. Don’t let them hang off the edge of the stove top. You may bump into them and scald your self or start a grease fire.
  • Keep small children out of the kitchen when cooking.
  • Know what to do in case of a cooking or grease fire. Keep a lid or baking soda handy.
  • Un-plug counter top appliances when they are not in use.
  • Make sure the grill is more than 10 feet from the home. Never grill on a balcony.
  • Be sure to stay alert when cooking Don’t set a timer thinking it will wake you should you decide to nap while the casserole is baking.

Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Regarding Fire or Smoke Damage - (336) 946-1131 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County proudly serves Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours /7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure. It is always best to contact us directly.

Storm Warnings Versus Watches

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

When WXII’s Weather Meteorologist Lanie Pope says we are in a flash flood watch, do you know the difference between watch and warning?  Typically, if we can be warned of a situation the watch will come first. This means that conditions could turn favorable for the condition to occur. Warnings are when the condition has been reported or is imminent, it is happening or going to happen.

Do you know if your area is prone to flooding? How close is your home or business to a source that could flood your location? Luckily, we have a resource to see where those areas are. This link to the Flood Risk Information System will show you all of NC and allows you to zoom in to your home or business here in Forsyth County.  

Be safe, and always be aware. The National Weather Service issues alerts based on the information they have. But you should always be aware of your surroundings. Stay tuned to local TV and Radio when storms are around. If advised to take shelter or evacuate, do so IMMEDIATELY. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water. Get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, washes, etc.

This water is what we call in our industry Cat 3 water. This is the dirtiest, most contaminated water there is. Because it has ran over the ground and unknown contaminants bacteria and fungi could be present. Professionally drying a structure and its contents quickly will be key to preventing further damage and preventing mold from developing in a storm damaged home or business.

If your home or business suffers water damage from a flash flood call us directly 24/7 at 336-946-1131. SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County Professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

We make it “Like it never even happened.” It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. If you are a Winston Salem business that is closed temporarily due to the NC Governor's order, it would be an ideal time take advantage of this service.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, 336-946-1131

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Cleaning for germs

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

How does one get a germ? According to the Minnesota department of health there are 5 common ways of spreading germs.

  • Nose, mouth, or eyes to hands to others
  • Hands to food
  • Food to hands to food
  • Infected child to hands to other children
  • Animals to people (petting)

So, what do these all have in common? They involve your hands. The number one thing you can do is wash your hands frequently.  Around the office what are the items that your employees touch the most? These items are the most used by your employees and therefore need to be cleaned more often and thoroughly.

  • Door Handles
  • Desktop / computer / telephone
  • Elevator buttons
  • The copier or other office equipment
  • Water fountain / cooler
  • Public coffee pot /maker / mugs
  • Sink / cleaning supplies i.e. sponge
  • Break room appliances
  • Vending machines
  • Restrooms

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can perform a proactive cleanup that involves cleaning and disinfecting these areas and more for your office. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving and Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

For your office cleaning needs call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County directly at 336-946-1131

Spring storms can potentially lead to water damage.

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Spring time in Winston Salem can bring storms that can cause flash flooding. When water stands it can cause additional damage.  This secondary damage can cost you even more money. So, the old adage is never truer than when dealing with a water-damaged home or business. Every minute matters, because every minute the property is wet could turn primary damage into secondary- or even permanent damage.  That's why emergency response, and time matter.  

Secondary water damage occurs when the moisture from the primary event (flood, leak, etc.) begins to evaporate on its own into the air.  Over time the air will no longer be able to hold the moisture from the evaporation.  The moisture will have to go somewhere and a very basic principle behind psychometrics is that wet goes to dry.  The moisture may go into your drywall, cabinetry, sheet rock, hardwood floors, vinyl floors, etc.  Once the moisture is allowed to sit, mold can begin to grow in as little as 48-72 hours.  This is why emergency action is so incredibly important.

Storms, floods, burst pipes, and leaks simply don't abide by the 9-to-5 workday.  So why should your restoration provider?  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the state-of-the-art equipment and proven methods and training to get the job done right as quickly as possible. This includes every holiday, even Easter Sunday. You can call us and we will be there.

If the unthinkable happens, call your local SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals at (336) 946-1131 seven days a week 24/7 to help you avoid the cost and hassle of secondary damages.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Experience and brand make a difference

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

So why would I use SERVPRO over a guy in a truck? Well do you trust the guy in a truck? What experience in water damage restoration does he have? How long has that brand been around?  I don’t know how long guy in a truck has been around but, SERVPRO started back in 1967. Starting in Sacramento on the west coast, SERVPRO started as a painting company that had a background in restoration. Selling its first franchise in 1969, and growing to 647 franchises by 1988 when it relocated the headquarters to Gallatin, TN. Today SERVPRO has more than 1700 franchises across the US and Canada.

SERVPRO has led the way in using science and technology to develop the techniques we use to restore your home or business. State of the art equipment and training from experienced instructors give us the knowledge and ability to repair your home or business after a disaster. Even though each individual franchise is independently owned and operated, we have the organizational structure / capacity to respond to major events, as we were called to do in 2005 for Katrina, 2008 Hurricane Ike, and 2012 Superstorm Sandy.

With the experience of a long history and training you can trust SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to competently restore your home or business to a preloss condition or “Like it never even happened.”

For questions about our service please call us directly 336-946-1131

Providing a disaster plan solution to business

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

How are those resolutions going? Did you say to yourself I’m going to lose weight or I’m going to exercise more? You’re not alone but these things take preparation and determination. They also take practice for to get into a habit. On average it takes 2 months to get into a habit and could vary even more depending on the behavior of the person. 

SERVPRO has an easy and free plan for your business to get into the habit of preparing for a business disruption.  Because, when a business disruption happens to you, the last thing you want to be doing is asking “well, what do I do now?” With the SERVPRO Ready App you will have all of the answers and team in place to get back into business quickly.

This handy mobile application can be managed by your maintenance team and will have the resources at your fingertips to handle any situation that business or life throws at you. Access the link above or call Ed Dean with SERVPRO of West Forsyth County for a free consultation on getting started with your disaster plan.

It’s best to contact us directly at 336-946-131

The 8 Most likely sources of water damage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

We all have running water in our homes; it courses through the house like veins with life giving properties. Controlling how it flows is so very critical to having a dry safe place to live. What are the vulnerable places in your home or business that are susceptible to water intrusion? Have you checked them lately?  

We are going to tell you the 8 most common places that water damage can occur and what you can do about it to detect it early.

  • Dish washer – how many times have you loaded the dish washer and left the house or gone to bed. Recently the water from a leaky dishwasher was saturated the kitchen floor of an elderly woman’s condo while her and her grandson watched a couple of movies. It was too late water had penetrated the laminate flooring and it had begun to cup.
  • Ice maker – Supply lines in general are a consistent threat to have water damage. They are under pressure and will break down over time. You may not even know you have a problem till water is coming from under the refrigerator.
  • Washing Machine Connection hoses – Again these are supply lines under pressure and may be bending in a way that may eventually cause a pin hole rupture. SERVPRO recommends that you have steel braided hoses connected to your Washer and Toilet supply lines.
  • Toilet connection hoses – Again the supply line under pressure. Check to ensure the seal to the tank is not leaking. That you have a steel braided hose.
  • Hot Water Heater – Here we also have supply lines and an additional pressure release valve. Sediment can build up and shorten the life span of your water heater. If rust builds on it, then that could cause a leak. When is the last time you looked in on your water heater? Chances are it is just quietly doing its job. But you should have it serviced once a year.
  • Plumbing P-Traps – the more connections you have in your plumbing the greater the chance is for a leak to develop. Take a peek at your P-Traps through out the home and ensure a potential mold source is not developing.
  • Bath / Shower doors and curtains - we want to ensure here that we are closing them all the way. We don’t want the water that should be going down the drain splashing out of the ends of the shower. Splash guards can help as well as magnetic shower curtains.
  • HVAC – Your air conditioner and or heat pump has a condensate drain line that allows water to flow out of the house. Normally the one at or near the outside unit is running but there is a secondary flow that will be near the soffit of your home. In mine it is over a window so that if I see it dripping, I know I have an issue. But there is another thing you can do.

For all of these you can buy water detectors that can detect as little as a 16th of an inch of water. They will sound an alarm when water is detected so that you can shut it off quickly which is important to preventing further damage. When you leave for vacation be sure to shut the water off if you are going to be away from your home for more than a day or two. It is also important that after a storm event you check those areas of your home that you don’t often visit for signs of water intrusion.

If you have water damage to your home or business call us 336-946-1131 It’s best to contact us directly.

Winter Storm preparedness

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Wow what a start to the new year of 2020 do you remember what the temperature was on December 30th 2019? 68 degrees, we want to “snow” where winter is? Well if winter does arrive are you prepared for any of Old Man Winter storms? Here are some tips that you should think about for prepping your home.

  • Insulation – heat rises and if your attic is poorly insulated then you may be throwing money right out the window. Here in Winston Salem we are actually in Zone 4 which means the R value of insulation should be R49. Most homes are R38 when built.
  • Maintenance – Everything needs maintenance when you are a home owner. Your HVAC is no exception. Filters need changing regularly. When is the last time you had the furnace cleaned or duct system? We get called on 3-5 furnace puff backs a year. Are these preventable? No but they are less severe and sometimes they are preventable when a trained technician sees and or corrects a problem that could cause an issue.
  • Weather stripping around doors and windows. Caulk cracks around windows using water resistant caulk on the outside of the building. Be sure to replace frayed and worn sweeper strips on the bottom of doors.
  • Service your chimney, wood burning stove and fire place. Have a professional chimney sweep clean and inspect the cap annually. Never burn evergreen wood or wet wood as they create a lot of smoke and cause creosote buildup. You may have to rely on this as a source of heat if the power goes out in a winter storm.
  • Guest rooms and other regularly unoccupied rooms should be closed off when not in use. This too will conserve heat.

We hope that you and your family stay safe and warm this winter. If you ever need us, we are available 24/7 at 336-946-1131

Does your house have water damage that is unknown to you?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Here are 6 signs that you could or about to have some trouble and you might not even realize it.

Sloping floor, if you have a ball, roll it across the floor if it does not roll straight then that could be a sign of a joist that has failed. This could be from wood rot or just plain broken. A structural engineer can help form a plan on how to repair this. If it is from a water damage fixing the source of the issue is the first step, calling SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is the second to professionally dry the structure that is restorable.

Washing machine hoses that develop a knot or bubble on them can be a sign of a problem getting ready to happen. These hoses are under constant pressure and like tires on a car have to be replaced to ensure they do not develop a leak. This could lead to flooding of your wash room and adjoining rooms or hallways. Braided steel hoses will last longer and stand up to the pressure better than cheap plain rubber hoses.

Have you ever gone down to the basement and seen a white chalky dust on the cinderblock or brick? That is called efflorescence and it is harmless. However, it could be sign that water is seeping in and causing the calcium to be pushed out of the brick or cinderblock. Proper landscaping and drainage away from the home can help resolve this but if it goes on to long it could get more costly in digging out the foundation to seal the foundation against further water intrusion.  If you see this on your chimney that could be an indication of a cracked flue liner, which could allow toxic gases to be entering your home. It could also be caused by an internal wall leak causing that pressure to show the efflorescence. Have your chimney looked at by a professional chimney sweep.

We may have that one slow drain in the bathtub due to hair but if you notice all the drains in the house are slow call a plumber right away. This could be the precursor to sewer back up into the home. Make sure not to flush or use the water till you have determined that the main sewer line is clear of any obstructions.

While we are on the subject of possible sewer backups, another sign is unusual noises from the toilet. Gurgling or bubbling can indicate that a clog is building negative air pressure in the line. Call a plumber and get them to investigate the noises they can best determine a course of action.

Are you getting ready to touch up a wall that the paint is cracked, peeling or blistering? You may want to investigate further. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County was called to an 3rd story condo unit that had blisters on the wall and actually had water in the blisters. This was dues to a roof leak. The water followed the path of least resistance and was not readily noticed until the blisters showed up.  This need for a paint job could also be caused by a water leak in the piping of the wall. We have seen pin holes in the pipe that caused this kind of water damage also.

 If any of these become a problem you can't handle call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131 it's best to call us directly. 

Recognizing fire hazards in the work place

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Are you paying attention to some early warning signs or recognizing the potential for fire hazards? We have heard of crime dogs but being a fire hound can make your life much safer.  Here are 5 things to be on the lookout for around your home or office.

Overloaded plugs – with Christmas time coming and the extraordinary amount of electronics we have in our offices, it is easy to overload a two-plug circuit. Never daisy chain extension cords or multiplug surge protectors. Check the local fire code regarding extension cords, as they are typically not permanent solutions. Be sure to follow the guidelines on the manufacturer’s instructions for Christmas lights and decorations. Bob Vila has a list of 10 things not to plug into a power strip. If an item is not used on a consistent basis, consider leaving some of these energy vampires unplugged when not in use.

Everybody has a junk drawer, right? Do you store batteries in that drawer? If you do, they could potentially be a fire hazard. According to Battery Products you should never store loose batteries. The reason is the same reason you should not throw batteries in a trash can. Even low voltage batteries have the potential to start a fire. This video of a battery starting a fire was set intentionally, but think of all the metal and paper items in your junk drawer is it fire hazardous? Battery organizers help prevent batteries from being loose and the negative and positive ends from coming into contact. How does your company store batteries for tools that you use?

What is that smell? Do you come into a room turn a light switch and it smells like plastic melting? It may smell like a drill or a mixer that has run to long. Now if an appliance is new that may be normal, for a bit. But if that smell is coming from a wall switch or outlet it’s time to turn it off and call and electrician to check it out.

Speaking of turning on light switches, do the lights flicker? If one light is flickering it may be a loose bulb. But, when multiple lights flicker, that is not a good sign. Tighten or replace the bulb and if the flickering continues call an electrician.

Circuit breakers keep tripping? If your circuit breakers keep needing to be reset see tip number 1. But if overloaded plugs are not the case then you may need to replace the breaker. Usually these don’t need a lot of maintenance but age and use can eventually wear one out. Never attempt to do this with the main power on to the building.  If you are even a little unsure of how to do this call a professional and we don’t mean YouTube.

We hope that you never experience a fire in your home or office but if you do you can count on the expertise of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to help you. It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Training makes our people, our people make the difference

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

ASE Certification is a widely known certification in the auto mechanic industry.  When you have someone working on your car you want to see that certification patch on their sleeve.  When you have a problem with your pipes you want a licensed insured plumber. In the Restoration industry SERVPRO has led the way with training and development.

Since 1967 SERVPRO has been setting the standard and continually improving the way disaster mitigation is done. In 1992 SERVPRO developed the National Training Center for restoration and mitigation. These classes are taught to Franchise Owners and Insurance Professionals. It has become an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)  training facility that offers courses in such topics as, Fire Restoration, Water Restoration, Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning and others.

Continuing education and certification courses in the most up to date technology and best use practices are also distributed through the SERVPRO network. Our people make the difference and their training makes them the most professionally skilled employees in the industry. We hope that you never have a disaster that affects your home or business, but if you do, we have the training and the experience to make it “Like it never even happened.”

It’s best to contact us directly 336-946-1131

Our equipment could save you money

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Have you heard the cliché phrase, “pay me a little now or pay a lot more later”? it’s true with so many things in life. But never truer than in home maintenance. According to The Porch 88% of homeowners had to complete a major home improvement or remodel in 2018. These home repairs or remodels averaged almost $5000.00.  So, keeping up with your home’s maintenance is so very important.

Repairing a floor structure topped the list of costs.  Here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County we have invested in our equipment and training our people, to not only mitigate the damages that you may be forced to repair in your home, but mitigate the costs associated with a sudden water damage.

For example, take the pictured floor mats that are pictured in this blog. If we are called quickly enough, it is possible for us to save wood floors assaulted by water damage.  Many homeowners think they got all the water up with a shop vac or mop. But water takes the path of least resistance. It could have gone behind the base board and wicked up by the insulation behind the walls.  We prepare for disasters with training and 52 years of experience with classes provided by our SERVPRO headquarters in Gallatin TN

If you suffer a water damage that you’re unsure of weather you need our services, call us. Our scope fees are reasonable and will go towards the final bill should you need our services. It is best to contact us directly 336-580-6351

Have you prepared your home for a storm?

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for this season's winter storms? Before they happen, ensure that certain systems in your home are maintained to stand up to a storm.

Let’s start from the top down, how is the integrity of the roof? Do vents have cracks in the rubber seal? Are you missing shingles from high winds? Are they torn or frayed? Are the gutters free flowing and clear of leaves, sediment and debris? If these items have been checked and passed inspection then you’re are in good shape. If not, then you have some work to do, or else you better keep our number handy.

Storm doors and windows should have been caulked and winterized by now. Replace the rubber strip sweeper on storm doors and exterior doors. Not only does this save money on your electricity bill, it can prevent water from being driven into the house. Caulking the windows can help keep the elements out, but also check for water damage around the seals and frames of the windows. Is the flashing doing its job?

Sump pumps, and dehumidifiers.  These systems in your basement or crawl space help to keep it dry. If you can or have an emergency backup generator be sure that the sump pump (if you have one) is attached to that power source. If the power goes out in a storm this is one thing you want to ensure it is still running and doing its job. Basements are inherently damp and trap humidity; some folks use dehumidifiers to combat this problem. Ensure that the drain line is clear and runs freely. If you find that you are running it all the time you may want to check the walls for moisture content. If the reading is high or water is seeping through the walls it may be a landscaping issue outside.

If heavy rains cause pooling of water near your homes foundation, this should be a cause for concern. We have seen where heavy water has caused a basement wall to collapse. Ensure that the grade of your landscaping draws water away from the home. If this is not possible then there are some tricks you can use, like rubber sheeting and French drains to help stave off storm water from causing damage to your home. 

We can’t guarantee that you won’t ever have a water damage but if you do, we will make it “Like it never even happened.” It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Fire place safety tips

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

A warm cozy fire keeps you warm and is beautiful to look at. But are you using your fireplace correctly? There are some things you can do to ensure the safety and comfort of your family, while using a fireplace.  Here are some things to ensure you are using your fireplace safely.

Christmas trees, or for that matter any evergreen tree is not a good idea to burn in a fireplace. This is due to the high sap content that tends to burn very hot and create a lot of creosote, making a chimney fire more likely. The idea of a Yule Log from a Christmas tree sounds like a good tradition but in actuality the Christmas tree was not used as all.  Even when the tradition of the Yule log was started it was known to use a hard wood.  

Speaking of creosote keep your wood dry, which is easier to light is a best practice. Wet wood produces a lot more smoke and thus creosote is carried up the chimney.  Not all of it clears the chimney as it accumulates and sticks to the side of the flue liner. If you use your fireplace quite a lot then several inches of creosote can accumulate over the course of the season. That is why it is important to have your chimney serviced by a professional chimney sweep annually.

Never start your fire with lighter fluid or gasoline. These products have specific uses and conditions that they are supposed to be used in. Gas is used in a closed system with an exhaust outdoors. The chemicals in these products are not meant to be inhaled or used indoors. They can also make the fire burn hotter than what the flue liner may be rated for. This can cause damage to the flue liner. It could also be the accelerant to starting that creosote fire.

Reducing your recycle bin by burning magazines or trash might seem like a good idea on the surface. But in reality, your subjecting your family to some toxins that could be dangerous to inhale. Paper plates and even cardboard are often usually coated with a plastic compound. Magazines have chemicals that are used in the inks to print on the paper.  The best thing to use to start a fire is to take and ax and splinter off small kindling of wood. The smaller pieces will light easily and when combined with other shavings of wood will light your fire just fine.

You can not avoid creosote completely and that is why is important to service the fireplace and chimney each year. If you do have a fire in your home, you can count on the services of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Do's and Don'ts of Storm Flood Damage

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Do you remember the first week of October 2019 there were 4 out of 7 days that week in 90’s. The first week of November has not been over 67, and Halloween was all but canceled due to the storms and wet weather. Were you prepared for it? We have already had a couple of freeze warnings for low lying areas and sensitive plants.

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a colder than normal November but above average in precipitation and temperature December and January.  Wild temperature swings can bring on storms like the ominous clouds we saw and heavy down pours on Halloween.

Here are a few tips If your home or business is flooded. Remember flood water is considered contaminated water. Because it has flowed over the ground, there is no way to determine the contaminants in that water. All soft goods that have been exposed are also considered contaminated.

  • Avoid all contact with sewage / flood water and items contaminated by storm water
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items
  • Don’t walk through wet damaged areas unnecessarily this could also spread contaminated water
  • Shut off the HVAC as this may spread contaminated droplets of air further contaminating the home or business.
  • Do not use house hold fans to dry as this will also spread contaminants
  • Do not use personal hygiene products that have been submerged or exposed to contaminated areas
  • More information concerning our water damage restoration service can be found here

Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County should your home or business be affected by storm. It is best to contact us directly at 336-946-1131

5 Tips for Fire Prevention Around the House

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Are you paying attention to some early warning signs or recognizing the potential for fire hazards? We have heard of crime dogs but being a fire hound can make your life much safer.  Here are a 5 things to be on the lookout for around your home of office.

Overloaded plugs – with Christmas time coming and the extraordinary amount of electronics we have in our homes, it is easy to overload a two-plug circuit. Never daisy chain extension cords or multiplug surge protectors. Be sure to follow the guideline on the manufacturer’s instructions for Christmas lights and decorations. Bob Vila has a list of 10 things not to plug into a power strip, consider leaving some of these energy vampires unplugged when not in use.

Everybody has a junk drawer, right? Do you store batteries in that drawer? If you do, they could potentially be a fire hazard. According to Battery Products you should never store loose batteries. The reason is the same you should not just throw batteries in a trash can. Even low voltage has the potential to start a fire.   This video of a battery starting a fire was set intentionally, but think of all the metal and paper items in your junk drawer is it fire hazardous? Battery organizers help prevent batteries from being loose and the negative and positive ends from coming into contact.

What is that smell? Do you come into a room turn a light switch and it smells like plastic melting? It may smell like a drill or a mixer that has run to long. Now if an appliance is new that may be normal, for a bit. But if that smell is coming from a wall switch or outlet it’s time to turn it off and call and electrician to check it out.

Speaking of turning on light switches, do they flicker? If one light is flickering it may be a loose bulb but when multiple lights flicker that is not a good sign. Tighten or replace the bulb and if the flickering continues call an electrician.

Circuit breakers keep tripping. If your circuit breakers keep needing to be reset see tip number 1. But if overloaded plugs are not the case then you may need to replace the breaker. Usually these don’t need a lot of maintenance but age and use can eventually wear one out. Never attempt to do this with the main power on to the home.  If you are even a little unsure of how to do this call a professional and I don’t mean YouTube.

We hope that you never experience a fire in your home or office but if you do you can count on the expertise of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to help you. It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

We hire Veterans

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

On this Veterans day we are pleased to announce that SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is the recipient of the Gold Hire Vets Medallion Award. Our efforts to recruit, employ, and retain our nation’s veterans have been recognized by the US Department of Labor.

By meeting the criteria required for a Gold Medallion Award, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County recognizes the value veterans bring to the workplace. The commitment and pride in their duty Veterans learned in the military, is the same as they bring to the workplace.  

As the only veteran hiring award at the federal level, the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans (HIRE Vets) Medallion Program is a way for us to show that we appreciate the sacrifice Veterans have made for this country.

If you know of a Veteran in need of a job, have them send their resume to Office@SpWFC.com They may also contact our office directly at 336-946-1131

Your house is talking are you listening?

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

If you are of a certain age you remember a commercial that said, “When EF Hutton speaks people listen”. Well when your house is talking to you, then you should listen.  Is your house letting you know there is trouble before there is trouble? There are some noises that simply should not be ignored.

Some things to listen to when your house is talking to you are. 

  • Your water heater sits in a closet or in the garage and is silently heating the water. When it is silent no news is good news. But if it starts to bubble or sounds like crackling that may be sediment rumbling around in the bottom of the tank. It may be a sign that it is getting ready to fail. One way to prevent this is to flush it out every few months. It will prolong the life of your water heater.
  • You flush the toilet, wash your hands and hear the modern-day convenience of running water. Well what if no one is using water and you hear it running or dripping? Well then you might have a leak. Weather it is a freshwater supply or a drain you will need to call a plumber.
  • Ever been laying in bed and suddenly hear scratching or scurrying in the wall or attic? Well this is not to be ignored either as mice, squirrels, or other critters can chew holes in walls or worse wiring that could lead to a potential call to SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.
  • “Clang clang clang goes the trolley”, well this is not how your furnace should react when you turn it on. Normal clicking or ticks is ok for baseboard or hot water systems. But the pump and system itself should be relatively quiet.
  • Cat call whistling is not socially acceptable anywhere, but especially with your furnace. When was the last time you changed the filter? You should use a high-quality filter and do so quarterly or monthly if you have pets.
  • Boo hiss is usually a sound made at a ball game, but if your home has gas and it is hissing at you then you may be getting ready to lose the game. If you smell gas or hear it near the meter or at the home’s outdoor gas post, then get out and call the gas company immediately.
  • If you have worked in electronics you know that sound a relay makes when it is energized, it clicks. It sounds like two decent sized magnets coming together. Well water users have a pump in the house or the yard that pulls water into a holding tank and stored for use. If you hear that click each time you turn on the water, that could indicate you have a leak. If it turns on so frequently that could wear out the pump prematurely.
  • Things that make you go hummmmm. Appliances that have working perfectly normal and suddenly develop a hum should be considered for repair. Clothes dryers hum but if they start squeaking or making new noises time call the repairman.
  • Birds chirping in the morning is ok but chirping from a smoke detector is never a good thing. This usually happens at my home around 2:30 AM but not having it ready could be a an even worse day.

Any of these could lead to a reason to need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. If you need to call us we are available 24/7 it’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Commercial maintenance is just as important as home maintenance

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Power failure lighting

We changed the clocks back and hour and we hear the call to test our smoke detectors in our home. Well the question is do maintenance managers for your businesses do the same thing around the office? Many of the same maintenance issues you have around your home are needed and or required at work. So, if you are the owner of an office building what are you doing to keep your employees safe?

Most homes don’t have the luxury of power failure lights that turn on when the power goes out. But then again, they don’t have the windowless walls that a lot of offices have. But when is the last time you tested the power failure lights? These will be critical to helping employees escape a flooded building in a storm or a fire that has knocked out the power.

What about emergency exit signs are they illuminated? Are the exits clear of equipment or trash around them?

When is the last time fire extinguishers were tested? Have they expired?

Have you planned an evacuation route? Or put into place a plan to account for all of your employees, in the event they can not all get out the same door.?

Keeping your business, employees, and customers safe should be your top priority. Protecting your office and home is step #1 to prevent a disaster from happening but if it does, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”  It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Fire damage that is not necessarily from the fire

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

After venting the roof to allow smoke out the hole was tarped.

We have heard it said a couple of times that what we do for restoration is not about the money it costs, but more about the time of loss. Time is the one thing you can not replace or restore. As much as we would love to give back the time lost out of your own home and bed, it is simply impossible. Fires in our opinion are the most time consuming. They bring not only the fire damage, but water damage as well, that necessary to put out a fire.  But there are other damages that come with fire that also has to be restored.

Damage that is a necessary part of the job that brave men and women who fight fires, is caused in the effort to extinguish the fire. Sometimes it is necessary to vent the smoke out of the home by “venting a roof”.  A fireman’s axe is a vital piece of their equipment. Not only does this help them clear smoke-filled rooms it can help them create escape routes to help save lives of both occupants and fellow fire fighters.  They may also need to forcibly enter the home or business to start fighting the fire. Training with this equipment is key.

Some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Prepare for the event of a fire. Know what the plan is to evacuate your home or office.
  2. After the fire is out there is the business of figuring out what is salvageable and what is not. This also is a lengthy process. Keeping a high value items list of contents of your home off site will help.
  3. Never leave candles or cooking burners left unattended.
  4. Never overload a plugin circuit.
  5. Keep SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s number 336-946-1131 handy for all types of disaster restoration needs.

Cooking With Oil Safely

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

The Holiday cooking season will soon be upon us. With an increased amount of time spent in the kitchen comes an increased amount of opportunity for cooking related fire damages to homes.  The number one thing to remember is to always stay with the food you are cooking. Keep combustible items away from the cooking area, such as oven mitts and paper towels.  If you have an oven fire be sure to turn the heat off and keep the oven door closed.

Frying with oil tends to be the most susceptible to starting a fire. Here are some tips from the NFPA regarding cooking with oil.

  • Stay with the stove top and frying pan.
  • Heat the oil slow to the needed temperature.
  • If you see smoke that is a clue that flash point is about to occur, and the oil is too hot.
  • Add food gently to avoid splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid close by to smother a fire should it occur. Never throw water on a grease or oil fire.

If the fire does not go out and it gets beyond your control to extinguish, get everyone out and call 911. If you do decide to keep fighting the fire, ensure you have a clear path to evacuate. 

Once the fire is out and the fire department has cleared the scene as safe, call us directly at 336-946-1131 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Farmers Almanac Says Above Average Rain

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

It has been a dry September and summer, but as they said on Game of Thrones “Winter is coming”. The Farmer’s Almanac  has normal or above average rainfall predicted. That is not to say that will be an exact forecast but are you prepared? Now is the time when the weather is good to ensure your home is prepared for winter rain or snow storms.

Gutters – be sure the gutters are clear and free to allow water to flow through them. Make sure birds, squirrels and chipmunks have not taken up residence and stored their winter supplies. Be sure the gutter is securely fastened to the house and does not sag.

Roof – Check the roof for tears in the shingles and cracks especially around vents. Ensure the flashing around the chimney is good, and the chimney cap is secure and no bird nests are built in or near it.

Garden hoses – be sure to remove any garden hoses from the spigots to prevent them from freezing and cracking a pipe in the wall.

Windows and Doors – be sure the windows are caulked and weather stripping is properly installed on the doors. Not only will this help with water intrusion it will save you on your electric bill.

Landscaping – after a good rain check if you have any pools of water near the foundation. This will tell you if you need to address sloping the ground away from the house. Any hills that lead to the house you may want to invest in a French drain to lead the water away.

If you have a water intrusion in your home or business be sure to call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at 336-946-1131

Halloween Fire Safety

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Halloween is just around the corner. And we want you and your little trick or treaters to be safe. When choosing a costume, be sure that it is flame retardant. Wispy materials for ghosts and mummies can catch fire easily if not made from flam retardant material.  Be sure that you can see clearly avoid masks that limit your field of vision to reduce trip hazards. Costumes tend to be dark in color making them harder to see while driving.

Consider lighting your jack-o-lantern with LED battery operated candles instead of an actual candle.  Electronic candles are better to decorate with than actual candles to avoid catching decorations on fire. Dried cornstalks and crepe paper decorations are especially susceptible to ignite around flames. Keep these materials away from heat sources such as space heaters or open flame candles.  Two of every five fires reported were because decorations caught fire in the home according to the NFPA.  Above all never leave a candle or open fire unattended.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hopes you have a safe and Happy Halloween. Should you need any of our Fire Damage related services call us directly at 336-946-1131

Be Ready for an Emergency

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Local SERVPRO disaster restoration specialist highlights no-cost tools to help property owners prepare and maintain a comprehensive emergency readiness plan

No matter where you live or work, emergencies caused by weather, fire, wind, water, and other natural or manmade disasters can strike at any time and are largely unpredictable. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County reminds Winston-Salem-area home and business owners that preparing in advance is the best thing you can do to help minimize a disaster’s impact on your loved ones and your property. Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month – a time to create, or update, your plan for when disaster strikes.

National Preparedness Month is a great time to resolve to create a plan, or review your existing plan, each and every year,” said Jeff Meadows of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County. “Everyone needs a comprehensive emergency plan. Business owners also need to plan for business interruption and continuation. But equally importantly, families and businesses alike need immediate access to data like emergency and insurance contacts, shut-off valves, electrical panel locations, and the line of command to authorize work so emergency responders can react quickly and appropriately during the emergency. This month’s focus on preparedness is a great incentive for both families and businesses to put a plan in place and review it regularly.”

Creating an emergency plan is straightforward, according to Meadows. No matter what type of threats exist where you live or work – wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural or manmade disasters – tools are available from FEMA (https://www.ready.gov) with guidelines for preparing emergency food, water, and medical supplies; planning for special needs; and creating communication and evacuation plans. These tools and others, like the SERVPRO READY app, also help you store essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.

Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Forsyth County as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.

“The key to getting your life or business back on track is timely response after a disaster strikes. That’s why it’s important to take the time to record and store your information electronically, and then commit to a time – like National Preparedness Month – to review and update your records at least once each year,” said Meadows. “Remember, filing cabinets and their contents may be inaccessible or even destroyed in an emergency situation, so don’t depend on them to keep track of critical insurance, property, or contact information in the event of a disaster. Store your data electronically. If disaster strikes, you’ll have the information you need literally at your fingertips.”

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, please contact Jeff Meadows at (336) 946-1131. For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.

Don't Let Water Damage Sneak Up on You

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes, storm surge, flash flood all these terms bring to mind water damage.  It’s actually kind of amazing that we as humans moved out of caves and build houses out of wood. Cause if you think about it, wood is designed to do two things rot or burn. In both cases wood gets destroyed. We’re not disparaging the building material of wood. If not for fire and water damage there might not be a need for SERVPRO of West Forsyth County services.

We want to remind you that our homes need maintenance. Otherwise they fall into a state of disrepair. As we move into the fall of the year, we should look around the house and see what needs correcting around the ole homestead.

  • Landscaping – does water pool up next to the house? Does the grade from the street slope towards a corner for water to drain next to the foundation? Simple rubber matting and sloping dirt away from the home can be the difference in a basement or crawl space water intrusion.
  • Are the gutters clear of debris? Are downspouts leading water away from the home? Do any of the gutters sag? All of these can lead to water not being controlled properly.
  • Are underground pipe drainage or French Drains clear and operational? If these are clogged, water can back up next to your home and soak the foundation. This is not good as termites would prefer to eat moist wood rather than dry treated wood.

These are just three things to check around your home. But if you do suffer a water intrusion it’s important to call us quickly. We can see water and potential for damage in wet materials you can’t see. We know how to dry your home or business to IICRC standards to prevent secondary damage. Call us direct at 336-946-1131

Prevention of a fire is better than putting one out.

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage is not totally about the money or loss of things, most folks who own homes have insurance. The first priority should be the safety of the loved ones who live with you. Take a look around at what you have plugged in. The fire department is not fan of using extension cords or doubling the outlets with power strips. In fact it can lead to some serious issues to daisy chain power strips to one another.  Don’t use damaged or frayed extension cords.

Do you have a clear path to evacuate the building should you need to? Our homes are lived in, kids may leave toys out or are you a collector. Are your smoke detectors connected to your security system?

What other steps can you take to prevent fires? Let’s look at another everyday thing we do, we eat, we cook. Be sure not to leave a stove unattended. If little ones are around be sure to turn handle away from the edge. Does your stove have an anti-tipping anchor device installed? Never leave any kind of open flame such as candles or fire pit unattended.

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety. We have placed some tips on what to do after a fire in an earlier blog. These are just a few tips for a checklist visit NFPA. (National Fire Protection Association). This list details what firefighters say can be done to prevent fires in the home.

Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Regarding a Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency - (336) 946-1131 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County proudly serves Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours /7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure. It is always best to contact us directly.

Can I clean this up myself?

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

You may ask yourself, why do I need SERVPRO to clean up this water? You may think my shop-vac or my mop can get this up. You would be partially correct. But what you don’t see and what you don’t know is that water is hiding from you. We have the experience, equipment and training to find it and remove it before it leads to more damage.

Moister meters and infrared cameras will help us pinpoint the source and area affected by a water damage. Experience helps us to give you corrective actions to take to fix the root cause of the problem.  Our IICRC training helps us take care of the damage and prevent secondary damage, and fungal growth.

During the process you may think a box fan might help, and it will, but not as efficiently as our commercial air mover. Our fans can force as much as 3000 Cubic Feet per Minute of air over 23.5 feet. This greatly reduces the drying time. When we couple the air mover to promote evaporation, with a dehumidifier to pull water out of the air before it condensates on the walls. This also reduces the number of days it will take to dry your home or business. We monitor the results of our equipment regularly. We want to ensure that your home or business is completely and professionally dried.   

Experience, Equipment, and Education this is why you would use SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. Call us direct at 336-946-1131

Storm water damage prevention

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

August the back to school month, so much to be done.  But as you prepare to send you child back to school is your home prepared? Here are three tips that will prepare and protect your home or business from storm damage. Like all preparedness tips they need to be implemented before a storm hits. You don’t want to be out landscaping while being pelted with hail.

  • Landscaping, be sure that the ground is sloped away from the home. Where the porch corners join the home ensure that it’s not low or a gathering place for ponding water. This can cause water to go down the foundation and create pressure on basement walls. If that happens water proofing or water accommodation can be costly. If left untreated it can be a source for mold growth.
  • Gutters, ensure they are free flowing. If you have a downspout that leads to an underground pipe is it clear of debris? Have squirrels or chipmunks built nests in it? French drains should also be properly maintained.
  • Roof and roof vents, be sure to check the roof for cracked or missing shingles. Roof vents typically have a rubber seal around them, if they look like a jacko-lantern smile they should be addressed.

These three things will assist greatly in keeping water from your home or business. But if water does find its way in call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.  It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Prepare for storm flash flooding

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever been disturbed from sleep by the emergency broadcast system?  Chances are you have seen the message in the picture above come across your phone.  This is a minor annoyance compared to having your home flooded. Do you have a plan and equipment to ride out a storm or be without power for some days?

Should the local authorities ask you to evacuate because of flash floods do you have an emergency bug out kit? It should include

  • Flashlight and extra batteries;
  • Portable, battery-operated radio or weather radio, and extra batteries;
  • First aid kit;
  • Emergency food and water;
  • Non-electric can opener;
  • Essential medicines;
  • Cash and credit cards;
  • Bedding or a sleeping bag; and
  • Sturdy shoes and a change of clothes.

If the cell phones and power are down does your family know where to assemble and get back together? Have this discussion with your kids and family so that if your usual communication is disrupted they know what to do.

If your home or business is flooded by a storm water call us as soon as you can safely do so 336-946-1131

Prevention is key

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flash floods from pop up storms can lead to water intrusion in your home. Proper maintenance and care for your home is key to ensuring that you don’t develop a mold problem. If you do develop a mildew or mold problem then it’s because you also have had a water intrusion.  Here is a list of things to maintain around your home to prevent water intrusion.

  • Gutters – ensure they are clean and free flowing. Make sure down spout lead away from the house.
  • Landscaping – This is important especially for homes with basements and crawl spaces. Again ensure the water is lead away from the home.
  • Roof – have it inspected once year. Check the rubber boots around vents ensure they are not cracked, split or dry rotted.
  • Paint – cracked or peeling paint can allow moisture to seep into the dark places in the home and allow mold to grow. Paint not only looks good it acts as a moisture barrier.
  • Sump pumps – are they in good working order what is the backup plan in case the power goes out?
  • Caulking around windows – are the casings in your windows water tight?
  • HVAC – have you had biannual maintenance performed? Insist they check the condensate drain line is working properly
  • Moisture detectors around key sources of water that are prone to leak i.e. toilets, dish washers, laundry room, hot water heater, sinks and the refrigerator.

Doing all these things will not guarantee you never have a water damage, but if you do call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131. It’s best to call us directly.

What is you plan for disaster?

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

If you walked into your place of business and stepped into ankle deep water what is the first thing you would do? Jokingly most have said turn around and walk back out. But as a business owner can you afford to do that? Can you afford to be closed? No.  So, that is why every business owner needs a plan of attack when disaster strikes not just water damage but, fire, storm or even vandalism damage can cost you precious days of valuable production.

Can you get to your disaster recovery plan? Small businesses and large will sometimes have a notebook manual on how they are to operate in a crises situation. What if that manual is in the same room as the fire? SERVPRO’s ready App. Is available on your phone 24/7. Even if you are not on site you will have access to the phone numbers and personnel who can ensure that your business opens for business. You can download, and sign up for the app. HERE

Call Ed Dean at 336-946-1131 to help you get started on a free assessment to see if you are SERVPRO Ready.

Plan to stay in business

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

We all have insurance of some kind. For our family we pay it to take care of them weather it is health insurance or homeowners. It gives, or it should give you peace of mind to know that the money and things you have worked hard for are protected.  What about where you work? What assurances do you have that if your company suffers a loss can they recover from it?  Chances are that if you work for a large corporation they have all the insurance they think they need but do they have a plan? Small business need a plan just as much as large companies do.

Preparedness planning for your business is just as important as planning for the needs of your family. After all our work family is who we spend even more time with than our own.  Recognize the types of risks you have for your business. Do you have the resources lined up to handle losses? Losses do not come just in water damage or fires. Thunderstorms can knock out power and cause loss of production. In North Carolina the government estimates business lose $4-$7 Billion dollars annually due to power failures.

Our free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) helps discover where you may be vulnerable. It asks questions, reviews, and identifies key personnel that will be instrumental in getting back into business quickly. Not just SERVPRO of West Forsyth County but resources like electricians, plumbers, and decision makers that can make sure your business maintains continuity of production and profit.

Call Ed Dean today to ask about the ERP 336-946-1131

Is your home or business prone to flooding

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Late spring and early summer is the time that we start to have those “popcorn” thunder showers. The heat of the day triggers them mostly in the afternoon. Most of the time they dump some rain make everything muggy and move on. But occasionally they dump too much water in a short time creating flash flooding situations. Flash floods occur when the drainage systems like storm drains and ditches get overwhelmed to quickly. Creeks and rivers can also cause a flooding issue when they receive more storm runoff than they can handle within their banks.

Unfortunately rising water is not usually covered by conventional homeowner’s insurance policies. For that you will need a flood policy. Know if you are susceptible to a flood. The State of NC has provided a great resource tool that is interactive and online. This can help you find if you live near a source that can flood your home or business.

Additional safety tips for storm and or flood damage

  • Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
  • Don’t ever drive through water that you can’t see the bottom of. Turn around don’t drown. You could lose control of your car in as little as 6 inches of water.
  • Contact your insurance agent to discuss claims.
  • Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the state or federal government or other organizations.
  • Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We have the reputation, capability and expertise to handle your water mitigation and restoration of your home or business.

 It is always best to call us directly 336-946-1131

The cost of doing a water damage wrong can cost you more

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

There is no such thing as a stupid question. Folks who may ask things that are common to you because it is part of your job every day may sound idiotic. For example asking a mechanic can you change the oil from the top of the engine? That person knows or has heard they need to change their oil but they don’t understand the mechanics of it (pun intended). We recently were asked if we could tarp a roof from the inside? Now this might sound like a dumb question, but when you think about it maybe this person wanted to trace the water and where it was coming from, maybe.  It’s not the best way to find the leak but they were thinking outside the proverbial box.

When you feel like you need to ask questions about the maintenance of your home or business, are you qualified to handle it? If you do it yourself, will it save you time and or money? Will it be done right the first time? Does it come with a guarantee?  These are all things to consider and if you want these things they should have value to you, the home owner. When wanting to tackle water damage yourself as a DIY’er, ask your self is this job over my head? Is this beyond my scope of expertise?

We have stated before that your mop is not as qualified as our equipment.  Our truck mounted extractor, air movers, dehumidifiers, and most importantly our IICRC trained staff, have the qualified equipment and knowledge to handle any size disaster.  The other point of calling in professional is to save money. Doing a water damage wrong, can cause mold, which can cost you more money in the long run.

When a major storm events hit the triad we sometimes get, dare I say it, flooded with calls. So it’s best to call us directly and quickly when you suspect a water damage in your home or business. Getting to the damage quickly can also save you money.  

Call us directly at 336-946-1131 / 24 Hrs a day

Wild Fire Safety To Your Home

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Research has determined that wild fires are natural phenomenon they may or may not not have been started naturally, but are useful to nature to renew the forest. However our homes are built in nature and we need to ensure that we are doing what we can to prevent the spread of wild fires to our living spaces. Most people think it’s the wall of fire that starts the house fire. But most of the time it is embers in the air that lands on combustible materials that causes a new fire to erupt.

We have talked before about the importance of keeping gutters cleaned for winter, but summer is equally important. Dry leaves on the roof are a perfect kindling to start a fire. So not only does keeping your gutters clean help prevent water damage it can help prevent fire damage.  Most roofing materials are Class A fire resistant which means they can be exposed to a fire for two hours before they start to burn. When replacing your roof be sure that the roofing material is rated class A.  There are three ratings and information regarding them can be found here.  

Siding like clap board or wood shingles can also be combustible but new construction should also be rated A, B or C. Consider replacing with a fiber cement siding. If replacing all of the old siding is not a cost effective option, consider the bottom 1/3rd around your home. If embers hit the side of the house they will be less likely to ignite the siding that is noncombustible. Fiber cement siding can be stained to give the appearance of wood siding.

About your yard and flowerbeds, mulch is beautiful and a natural looking weed preventer. But it is also a combustible material especially when dry. Natural stone or brick chips are a perfect alternative. These types of materials should be what is next to your home and out to about five feet from it. 8-30 feet you can plant bushes and shrubs.  Be sure that trees that are clustered together are clear of dead clippings and kindling.  The thought is to reduce the intensity of a fire as it approaches your home and give you the best opportunity to have it run out of fuel to burn.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County cares and hope you have a safe and happy summer!

IF you need our services call us directly at 336-946-1131

Being ready is better than being ruined

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Your business has to be able to operate when you walk in. Do you operate on the weekends? What do you do when you unlock the door, head for the alarm system and you suddenly feel that your feet are wet? You just stepped in two inches of water.  Downtime is expensive, and rent doesn’t stop nor do any of the other operational costs of doing business.

One solution is being prepared prior to stepping into a mess, is to have the SERVPRO READY app. It’s available in the Google Play and Apple iTunes store.  This app places all the necessary resources for all the “what if” scenarios in the palm of your hand. You can call the experts at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We understand that you need to be operational ready quickly.

Depending on the source of the water you will need to call a plumber or a landscaper or maybe even someone who does waterproofing and structural repairs. The SERVPRO READY app can have those resources for you so that you can be ready to deal with unexpected emergencies.

If you do not already have the app and you would like assistance setting it up in the Winston Salem Forsyth County area feel free to call Ed Dean with SERVPRO of West Forsyth County  336-946-1131

Who can you trust with your home or business

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Not all restoration companies are the same. A guy in a truck can come up to your home and say he will help you through a claim with your insurance company for roof damage. How do you know you can trust him?  This is true also for mitigation and restoration companies how do you know you can trust the work will be done right? If you suspect a mold problem in your home and the mitigation company is performing its own air quality test is that a conflict of interest? Of course it is. So how do you go about choosing a trustworthy vendor to restore your home or business? In days before the internet you may have asked your family, neighbors or coworkers and you still might today. But now we have the ability to see what reputation a company has in the community and what the quality of work they perform is with the help of online reviews.

In our business getting reviews is somewhat difficult, not everyone wants to advertise the fact they have suffered a water or fire loss. With the help of satisfied customers we have garnered some of those fantastic reviews. With the help of the BBB our customers can place reviews with them and still be anonymous. The BBB is committed to telling consumers the trustworthiness of a company weather they are accredited or not.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has chosen to be an accredited member of the BBB in order to let our customers know that you can count on and trust, that we will complete your job with integrity and the standards that have earned us the positive reviews of customers before you. These include an A+ rating with the BBB. A 4.9 rated company on Facebook, and a 5 star reviewed company on Google.  

Checking the damage after a storm

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Were you disturbed from your sleep over the weekend? Storm season is here, and when cold and warm air collide it can cause devastating problems.  Your local news station will keep you informed of the weather. But here are the signs of an approaching tornado.

Warning Signs that a Tornado May Develop

  • A dark, often greenish, sky.
  • Wall clouds or an approaching cloud of debris.
  • Large hail often in the absence of rain.
  • Before a tornado strikes, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
  • A loud roar similar to a freight train may be heard.
  • An approaching cloud of debris, even if a funnel is not visible.

Everyone has a cell phone these days and now they alert you to when a tornado warning has been posted for your area. Don’t turn this feature off as it is meant to keep you informed and safe.

Once the danger has passed and the light of day allows, inspect the roof of your home. Look for upturned shingles and or missing shingles. If you suspect you have roof damage call a reputable roofer.  Be sure to check their reputation on sites such as the BBB (Better Business Bureau) or Google Reviews.  Never accept the word of a door to door sales pitch from someone saying you “have roof damage and they will help you get a new roof through your insurance.”  These are often scams and reputable companies often do not have to go door to door. Know your deductible for your insurance and don’t file a claim without getting the opinion of your roofer. Talk to your agent they will help keep your premiums low by knowing when it’s right to make a claim.

After a heavy storm be sure to check low areas of your home. The basement is an area you want to ensure has not suffered water damage. If power was interrupted be sure the circuit breaker did not trip to the sump pump. Check to ensure that it is still in good working order. After the basement is flooded is no time to find out it failed.

Of course if water breaches your home or office call us right away to make water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Pet Fire Safety

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

We think of fire damage mostly in the winter, because some Winston Salem folks use wood stoves and fire places for heat.  But because we normally eat three meals a day, we cook and therefore have a risk of fire anytime of the year. Unattended cooking fires are the leading cause of fires in the home according to the NFPA.

We also have a risk during a power outage. Rather than use flashlights we use candles and lanterns during these extended periods without power. However the top three days for candle fires in the home are New Year's Day, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. Fire fighters across the US responded to approximately 8200 fires started by a candle each year between the years of 2012-2016. 60% or 3 out of 5 were because the candle was too close to combustible materials.

Pets can cause fires also, Preventative Vet reported in 2016 that pets started 1000 house fires. That’s more than 10% of the fires first responders were called out to put out.  The biggest tip SERVPRO of West Forsyth can give you is never leave flames or cooking devices unattended. Be sure to reduce the number of cords that your pet and especially puppies can get to. Coat exposed cords with a deterrent like a bitter spray. If you do use candles ensure that the animal can’t jump up near it or tip it over. Dogs are attracted to food, couple food near a gas stove and you have a recipe for disaster.

We hope that you never have to deal with a fire loss, or worse the loss of a pet due to fire. But if fire affects your home or business call us directly at 336-946-1131

Get into the habit of prevention

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Drain leaking

We here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County like prevention. We also like to solve root cause issues so that they are not a repetitive money pit problem. We were reading an article by Bob Villa.com and realized they do to. This particular article spoke indirectly to preventing costly restoration repairs.  Let’s go over them and how they can help.

Changing or cleaning filters. Dryer filters if left uncleaned or allowed to go through the exhaust can cause a fire. We discussed this in an earlier blog using a real world example from right here in Winston Salem. Now a fire is the extreme end of the spectrum. But energy efficiency and keeping your electrical costs in check should also be a motivator. HVAC filters are also a way to prevent water damage and maintain energy efficiency. One use a high quality air filter and change it every 1-3 months depending on your air quality conditions. If you have pets or lots of dust every month is probably required. Spring cleaning or summer time is not the only time to change them. If you have a heat pump the same air flow return and air filter gets used to clean the air.

Only flush toilet paper and be conservative. The back flow preventer valve may catch toilet paper or other items flushed and hold the path open for a sewage backup. Be sure children are supervised and taught early on that the bathroom isn’t a play area. Now we have dealt with this problem before, but if it’s preventable which would you rather do? Have a working septic system or pay costly biohazard cleanup? Don’t use harsh chemicals or bleach tablets to keep a clean toilet. They can cause more harm than good by breaking down seals and plastic components that helps to keep your plumbing in good working order.

Letting carpet stains set in, getting the spill up quickly can help. But, sometimes certain stains will need professional help. Not only do we cleanup after disasters we can clean the carpet after a fantastic party.  We can also clean upholstery when you didn’t take your shoes off at the door.

Don’t ignore the gutters, lots of people think the end of fall is the best time to clean gutters, but spring also is a time when you should check them for debris. If the water can’t flow to the down spouts then water will take the path of least resistance, if that is over the side toward the house wall then you could be exposing your home to water damage and mold after a time.

Smoke detectors should be checked twice a year, the time change or day light savings time is a great reminder to ensure fresh batteries are installed. Not only will this habit save you costs it can save your life.

Landscaping and overgrowth can lead water back to the house. Ensure that the landscaping slopes away from the house to prevent water from damaging your home from the outside in. Are your walkways clear of debris and shrubs trimmed to allow safe passage and prevent the pooling of water? In the winter that water can become ice and cause falls. Are there any dead trees that could fall on yours or a neighbor’s house?

Not using garbage disposals properly can lead to an overflow and costly plumber bills. Again be careful of what you put down the disposals or your drains period.  Cutting food while prepping, then washing it down the disposal is not a good idea. This can cause a clog and may even cause pressure on the plumbing joints and lead to a leak that you might not find until there is mold also.

Old habits are hard to break and accidents will happen, so if you need us call us directly at 336-946-1131

Prepare now for a storm

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Spring storms can appear suddenly, being prepared and having a plan can be key to recovering from a flash flood. Flash flooding usually occurs within 3-6 hours of the onset of rain as defined by Weather.gov.  How the rain is distributed and topography of the land can have a major effect on flash flood.  Ensure that your landscaping flows away from your home or office.  If hills make it impossible to slope it away, then a French drain may be in order. As part of your spring cleaning be sure to pull maintenance on drains to find out if they are flowing freely.

Check basement sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If you thing the power may fail what contingency plan do you have for pumping the water out? A standby generator battery backup? These are things to think about before a storm hits.  For early detection of water intrusion leak detectors can help with alerting you to the spread of water and damage. We suggest that not only do put these near the sump pump if it quits working but also around common water sources in your home or office. Toilets, washing machines, behind the refrigerator and even near the HVAC condensate drain line in case it gets clogged.

If a flood is severe enough that you are told to evacuate the preparation you do now will help you. Because you never know when a flood will occur plan and tell your family what the plan is. Develop a family reunification plan. Kids go to school, parents’ work, what happens when disaster strikes while everyone is at their daily routine? Be prepared to answer. How will I communicate with Family, where will I go and which route will I take to get to emergency shelter? And how will I stay informed of the changing or developing storm?  Ready.Gov has guidelines and suggestions to help you prepare for a storm.

If you’re affected by flood waters or storm damage call us as soon as you can do so safely. We are here to make it “Like it never even happened.”  It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Faster to any size disaster.

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

One of our slogans is “faster to any size disaster.” And we have a commitment to respond by phone in an hour or less, be on site in four hours, and within 8 business hours of onsite arrival a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the adjuster. Often times we exceed these expectations.  All of this timely assignment is designed to reduce secondary damage. When water damage just sits untreated it can grow into mold adding costly dollars to the price of cleaning it up.

Moisture control is key to preventing mold growth. When water damage occurs it is critical to move quickly to prevent this type of additional damage.  It is also important to have knowledgeable well trained experts who have dealt with water damage before. Our staff has the training, IICRC certificates and best of all the experience to handle any size disaster.

We will prioritize the cleanup process to ensure the safety of the occupants and our staff. This not only makes safety our number one priority, it will ensure that there is a timely plan to get you back into your home or business quickly.

It’s best to contact us directly our phone is manned 24/7 call us at 336-946-1131

Preventing mold is cheaper than removing it

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing mold is cheaper and easier than removing mold. That is why it’s critical to call us right away when you have a water damage in your home or business. Getting to a water damage quickly can save you lots of money in costly repairs and clean up. Not to mention lost time from work or being able to conduct business if the damage is in your office.  Cleaning up only the water that you can see and drying the structure or mitigating behind walls can cost you more in the long run. 

That is why it’s important to call professionals trained in water damage restoration with the right equipment for the job. Our commercial dehumidifiers can reduce the humidity so that the chances of mold growth are greatly reduced. Mold likes 50% humidity or higher to propagate. By pulling water out of the air and discharging warm dry air we can increase the rate of evaporation and therefore prevent secondary damage to your home or business.

Studying air, and its properties is called Psychrometrics. Water vapor pressure, humidity, and temperature are measured and evaluated so that we can create a proper atmosphere for efficient and effective drying to a standard.  We have the right equipment, the right training, and the right people to help you in a time of need. 

The next time you have a water damage before it turns into mold damage or even if it has, call us directly at 336-946-1131. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Caring for our community

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is a local small business. All of us who work here obviously live here most were born and went to school here locally. We are an intricate part of the community. And that is intentional, because it is important to us as a business family to be a part of the community. We have made it our mission to ensure that we are part of helping people put their homes or business back together. And we also enjoy helping to improve the quality of our community by being an active member with organizations within the community.

The Rural Hall Area Business Association RHABA for example is a community of business leaders and owners who meet once a month at the Mayflower in Rural Hall to discuss topics of interest that impact business within the community. We support the local Elementary School, and have for 12 years with a 10K run fundraiser. For the past 4 years our Marketing Mgr. Ed Dean has MC’d this and other fundraiser runs. RHABA has an annual food drive for the 2nd Harvest Food Bank

Our commitment to assist has also been in the form of aid in packaging meals for local children in need. Collecting food for the local Clemmons Food Pantry in cooperation with the Lewisville Clemmons Chamber of Commerce.  The owner, Jeff Meadows has used his expertise in assisting hurricane victims rebuild and mitigate water damage with the Clemmons United Methodist Church men’s group.  

We do all this because not only do we love where we live we care about the community that we live in. Yes we provide a service and this community has used us because of our expertise. But know that once the green truck pulls up to your home or business the people in that SERVPRO vehicle care about helping you and your family.

Resolve to be ready for disasters

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Urges Winston-Salem Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2019

Local cleanup and restoration specialist shares no-cost emergency planning tools that enable fast and effective disaster response and recovery

New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but it is not too late to think about making just one more resolutions, according to Jeff Meadows, owner of SERVPRO®of West Forsyth County. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, Meadows says the single most important resolution both business and home owners can make for 2017 is to “Resolve to be ready.”

“Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together,” says Meadows. “Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.”

Meadows encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost and easy emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (https://www.ready.gov/publications), as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com).

For homeowners:

  • FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.
  • SERVPRO offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.

For business owners:

  • FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
  • For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile®(ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.

“The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and the location of fuse boxes, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency,” says Meadows. “Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.”

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, or the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, contact Ed Dean at (336) 946-1131 you can also visithttps://ready.SERVPRO.com.

Employee spotlight Nelson Evans

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Nelson Evans - Estimator

We have talked about the equipment and training that SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has. One of the spotlights we want to highlight is our people. They are the most important and valuable part of our business. One of those persons is not even a full time employee.  But Nelson Evans is an important spoke in the wheel that helps us keep rolling to help our customers in need of fire, water or mold damage restoration.

Nelson came to us with 30 years of experience in the restoration and insurance business.  A property claims adjuster for a prominent Insurance company Nelson is very familiar with the claims process and how it is works for an easier process. Having this kind of expertise in on our staff helps to make for reduced stress and smooth claims processes.

During his career Nelson has attended numerous IICRC training certifications, NIDR Restoration, Structure Repair, and Xactimate Estimating software training. Nelson has even owned his own construction business. A Penn State Alumni and NAVY Veteran and most important a husband and father of 7 children and 2 grandchildren.

These life and educational experiences help to make your experience with SERVPRO of West Forsyth County a more complete and less worrisome process. Damage to your home or business is stressful enough, by the time we are done we want you to feel “Like it never even happened.”    

It’s best to contact us directly 336-946-1131

Prepare for frozen pipes by preventing them.

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

It’s hard to believe that winter is here when the temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s some days. But, that is how it is here in a North Carolina January. Even though we had a foot of snow in December, technically it was still fall.  You may recall that we had three “polar vortex events” a few years ago. An article in the Washington Post suggest that we will have more events of this nature this year in 2019.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants you to be prepared for frozen pipes, should they happen to you or your business. If you have not already done so winterize your home.  If you turn on the water and nothing comes out you may have a frozen pipe. Please don’t attempt to thaw a pipe with a flame such as a torch or grill lighter. A plumber is what you need but if you feel like you want to try it yourself use a hair dryer. Open flames are just asking for trouble and could possibly start a fire and cost you even more many than if you had called the plumber in the first place.

If you have had issues with frozen pipes in the past then it may be time to look for a permanent fix. While the plumber is there ask about the installation of heat tape.  Heat tape is readily available at your local home improvement store, but we recommend that it be installed by a professional. Placing it on an already leaking pipe could result in shorting the heat tape and may also result in an electrical shock. Electricity is not a good hobby so have it installed by a professional. You also want to check insulation in and around pipes especially in attics and crawl spaces inadequate insulation can contribute to frozen pipes.  

If you’re on a cruise or on vacation you should consider turning the water off while away. Coming home to a busted water heater that is continually trying to fill would not be a nice welcome home sight. Or ask a friend to check in on the home especially if you have pets that need to be fed and watered.

You can count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to be there should you have a water disaster. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

How SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Began

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Jeff Meadows is the owner of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. An engineering graduate from East Carolina University. After graduating Jeff spent 24 years in the corporate work sector. Jeff spent most of his career in engineering and operations management for industrial manufacturing companies. As you can guess this makes Jeff a highly detail oriented person. When I first arrived at SERVPRO West Forsyth County I heard two things that are of great importance to Jeff, details matter, and communication can prevent problems.

In August of 2010 Jeff opened the doors at SERVPRO in an office that would soon prove to be too small. Armed with the details and communication philosophy for customer service we quickly outgrew the starting office and moved to our current office near Hanes Mall. We have grown from one truck and four staff to a fleet of six vehicles and 12 staff to help service our customers in the Winston Salem area. We continue to improve our capacity and capability annually. With IICRC and SERVPRO headquarters training we are continually improving knowledge of our services.

Attention to details, communication, equipment and most importantly our educated and caring personnel is what makes SERVPRO of West Forsyth County the right choice to service your home or place of business.

Snow What

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Snow is a lot like liver and onions. You either love it or hate it. But, if you find yourself stranded in your vehicle in the middle of a snow event, you can either hate the fact that you weren't prepared for it, or love that you are. 

S'now what... 

Mother nature can be a real beast. In fact, she's a killer. And when it comes to a snow storm event, the best idea for safety is to stay off the roads and keep warm and safe at home. However, that isn't always possible. When you find that you must venture out on snowy and icy roads, you know to stay alert, drive a little slower, brake according to road conditions... But what if your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck and you must wait for help in a disabled vehicle in dangerously cold, wet weather? 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants you to be prepared in the face of any hazard that may cross your path, whether flood, fire or treacherous travel conditions. 

Please take a moment to look at the list (below) of suggested items to keep in an emergency go bag. Just a little bit of preparation can keep a little emergency from becoming a catastrophe. 

Stay warm and carry on! And tune in to local radio to stay alert to the latest weather conditions. 


SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
336-946-1131 

It's always best to call us directly 

Keep These Things in Emergency Go Bag 

Cell phone 
Car charger 
LED flashlight 
Bag of rock salt 
Shovel 
Wool blankets/one for each passenger 
Ice scraper 
Leatherman or Swiss Army knife 
Jumper cables 
Two quarts of oil 
Extra fuses 
Fix-a-Flat 
Paper towels 
First aid kit 
Prescription and OTC medications 
Winter boots, scarves, hats and heavy winter clothes for each passenger 
Water 
Snack bars 
Toilet paper 
Music/games for young passengers

The right equipment the right know how

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

The right equipment and knowledge on using that equipment should be of value to you, the consumer of our services. Our staff is trained in mold remediation to a standard. That standard is called the IICRC S520. This guide give us goals to reach so that you the customer know that we did our job the right. We use third party  air quality tests to give us and you empirical data to know that your home is safe from above average concentrations of mold spores.

The piece of equipment shown is a DefendAir HEPA 500 Air Scrubber. This uses HEPA filter that has an efficiency rating of 99.97% against 0.3-micron oily aerosol particles. Mold spore sizes range from 3-100 microns. This equipment provides air flow of 250 to 500 CFM (cubic feet per minute). We vent this to the outside and create negative pressure on the room by sealing it using plastic as a containment chamber.  All this means is that we bringing the mold count down to acceptable levels without contaminating the rest of your home or business.

If you suspect mold call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to discuss what your next steps are to get rid of it.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Equipment for Large Commercial Water Damage

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water extraction from a hard surface floor in a commercial building Certified SERVPRO employee extracting water from a large commercial loss

Water damage in your business can certainly impact your bottom line. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County understands this. We move quickly to remove the water and dry the area so you can get back to business quickly. Whether your sales or production or office staff are affected, we will quickly and safely remove the water to prevent further damage. We will also use the necessary equipment and mitigation techniques to prevent mold from growing. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County uses commercial grade dehumidifiers to pull the water out of the air to contain it safely.

If mold has already started to grow then we will mitigate that as part of the scope of work.  Here we see a SERVPRO employee using the extractor to remove the water we can see. The sheet rock was cut out to remove damage you don't see and prevent mold from forming behind the wall. Drying the entire area and structure to help prevent the production of mold.

If your business is affected by water damage call us directly at 336-946-1131

What to look for in a restoration company

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

No one plans for a disaster, but quick action after a calamity and bringing on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to mitigate and repair everything can save both time and money. Most of the homeowners living in Winston Salem area who call a restoration company, are doing so for the first time. In many cases, these individuals are concerned about who will in their home.   How will they help with this huge mess and where do I start.   There are many things that cannot be fixed after a disaster and will have to be replaced. Though it may be difficult, this is a process that has to be dealt with swiftly, as the longer it takes to respond, the more damage will add up and make the situation worse.

The problem with burn damage is that it doesn’t end when the flame goes out. There are some things you should do and things you shouldn’t. Ash left behind is highly acidic, and will slowly eat away whatever it touches. Silver and metal finishes can be pitted when left untreated with time. Within minutes, plastics are yellowed and any appliances in the vicinity of the combustion are discolored. This discoloration gets worse and worse, and begins to affect fiberglass and metals after several hours. Fire and flood restoration typically must begin before a few days pass, because metal corrosion takes root and wood furniture requires refinishing as quickly as possible.

After a few weeks, huge costs can be expected, because at this point, carpet needs to be ripped up and replaced, and metal and glass will be permanently etched, many times, beyond the point of being able to salvage it. Getting to the damage quickly is a SERVPRO of West Forsyth County trait. This means windows and appliances will need immediate attention to avoid replacing them. Piping may also be damaged beyond repair, and multiple leaks may cause water damage throughout the home. SERVPRO of West Forsyth is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration. We can keep this from happening. We are equipped to replace carpeting that is beyond repair and clean furniture in an effort to save it. Restoration is less expensive that replacement, so if we can save you money while making it “Like it never even happened” we will.

Another major disaster that many homeowners have to deal with each year is extreme water damage. This may happen following a hurricane or major storm that causes a river or lake to overflow.  We have seen in recent month’s rain in the Clemmons NC area of 2 inches per hour. Flash floods can occur anywhere.  Water can cause catastrophic and permanent destruction to a building, and it’s not unusual for those affected to be condemned and removed completely in the worst case scenarios.

The problem is that water is that it accelerates the growth of many nasty organisms, from molds and fungi to bacteria and parasites. All of these represent major health hazards, and are difficult to remove if they are allowed to take root. While SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can stop the spread of these organisms by removing rotting material, a homeowner can help out by getting rid of some items in the home right away.

Anything that is textile-based will need to go if it is soaked by water contaminated by sewage. It is often difficult to tell if this is the case, we will err on the side of caution and remove them anyway. Carpeting in the home will need to be ripped up and discarded if it is not dried within 48 hours of being soaked, including the padding that lies underneath the fibers. Clothing, insulation, bedding, paper and stuffed toys will all need to be thrown out if they come in contact with contaminated water. Electronics will likely be destroyed if submerged, though it’s best not to test them, as wiring can be damaged and cause electrical shock. When a catastrophe such as either of these occurs, it is best to contact a reputable company to help as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the knowledge and equipment to help you and your family should they suffer a WATER, FIRE or MOLD Damage. It’s Best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Community service and a service to the community

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is more than a small business. We are a family of folks who care about the community we live in.  We are invested and committed to be a part of our community and give back whenever possible. From collecting for hurricane relief to collecting for the local food pantry we believe that it is important to help our community when times get tough.

Some of the areas of the community we are involved in include. Being on the board for the Lewisville Clemmons Chamber of Commerce serving as the VP of Community Service. At its monthly meeting the Chamber collects an item for a local group in need. For the month of December we are collecting items for Women Who Care. We are on the board of the Rural Hall Area Business Association (RHABA) each year the association collects for the 2nd Harvest Food Bank and for 12 years has raised money for the local elementary school with its annual 5K & 10K run. SERVPRO has helped with Generosity Feeds and Hurricane relief efforts through our BNI network.

As you can see we care about our community. We take that same care with our customers. Most times they have had a traumatic event happen to their home or business and need our help. So we do what we can to help restore their lives to normal and make it “like it never even happened.”

Should you have a need for our services  call us directly at 336-946-1131

Cooking Up a Safe Holiday Season

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Startling statistics underscore the need for caution in the kitchen

Holiday party planning begins now for many families, and Jeff Meadows of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers some important reminders to Winston-Salem residents to help ensure this season glows with the warmth of good food and good friends, and not with the glare of a devastating home fire.

“The holiday season is a time when many families plan big and elaborate meals for large groups of people,” says Meadows. “But all that cooking creates an extraordinary risk of fire. For a safe and festive holiday season, it’s important to understand that risk and take steps to minimize it.”

Cooking Fire Safety

Research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reveals that in 2017, on average, U.S. fire departments responded to a home fire every 88 seconds.1 Cooking equipment was the leading cause2 of home fires and fire injuries, causing 47 percent of home fires. These fires resulted in 20 percent of the home fire deaths and 45 percent of the injuries.

“Winston-Salem families should keep these statistics in mind as the holidays approach. According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve2,” says Meadows. “Families should also be aware that frying poses the greatest risk of fire, in fact, the NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.3 this video graphically illustrates the danger these devices can pose.

Meadows offers these additional cooking safety tips from FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration.4

  1. Keep an eye on what you fry: If you see any smoke or the oil starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  2. Stand by your pan: If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
  3. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so that no one can bump them or pull them over.
  4. Wear short sleeves or pull sleeves up: 18 percent of cooking fire fatalities in 2016 were caused by ignited clothing.2
  5. Keep a pot lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if it catches on fire.

“Taking common sense precautions like these and keeping kids and pets out of the kitchen during meal prep can help keep your holiday celebrations safe,” says Meadows. “The precautions you take could help prevent a devastating home fire, a tragic injury, or even the loss of life. While SERVPRO disaster response professionals are fire damage restoration specialists, they know how important it is to keep the focus on fire prevention, because for some types of loss, there is no remediation.”

SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s website. For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, please contact us at (336) 946-1131.

Prepare for winter storms

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Here in the south east we weather storms like hurricanes and summer storms fairly well. But what have you done to prepare for winters wrath? The northwest part of the state saw its first glazing of ice recently and here in Winston Salem area we are waking to below freezing temperatures but warm quickly by noon.

In older homes an overnight freeze could be enough to rupture a pipe. Consider insulating your pipes, especially if on an outside wall. Now is the time to ensure that crawl space pipes are well insulated. If there are drafts blowing in on pipes be sure to caulk and seal up these drafty areas before it gets much colder. If your home is on a concrete slab, some of your pipes may be in your attic and ceiling area. These also should be insulated from the cold.  When they burst they can actually cause a lot of damage to ceiling and floors.

Heat tape is also an option and may already be installed if you live in a premanufactured home. Be sure to inspect it regularly for signs of fraying and wear.  If you install heat tape your self be sure to follow all the manufactures instructions. Never double wrap heat tape over itself or use on top of thermal insulation as this could be a fire hazard.

If the power goes out are your pipes prone to freezing solid?  If they are then be sure to turn on both the hot and cold water on dripping.  Keep outside doors and garage doors closed but inside doors should be open to allow heat to circulate throughout your home. Be sure to keep your thermostat at 55 degrees or higher both day and night. This is especially true if the home is vacant waiting to be rented or sold. If you open cabinet doors do let heat under a sink, be sure to put items like cleaners and choking hazards for pets and children away to avoid a problem of another kind.

If after you have taken these precautions and water doesn’t come out and you suspect a frozen pipe. Shut the supply off and call a plumber.  If water comes out of another area of your home you may be able to narrow down the pipe that is frozen this will be helpful to know for the plumber as we all know time is money especially by the hour.

Should you have a need for our services due to a burst pipe call us directly at 336-946-1131

Fire prevention maintenance

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Why do you change the oil in your car? To prolong the life of the car, right? Maintenance around your office or home is just as important. Fire prevention is a part of that maintenance. Some of these include  items that are often overlooked or placed on the back burner (pun intended). But they are key to avoiding the need for SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s fire restoration services.   

  • Be sure to test smoke detectors monthly. It’s a good idea to change the batteries when we change the clocks in the fall and spring.
  • Your Fire Extinguishers should be checked to ensure they are in date. The fire marshal will inspect and tell you if you have enough for your building. A company like Fire-Ade will test and certify extinguishers. Extinguishers can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Ask your fire marshal if you have to have your extinguisher certified.
  • Check the lights in Fire Exits and Exit Signs. Can customers and employees clearly see exit signs? Can they easily get to them? Have you practiced a fire drill to ensure guests and employees can easily get out of the building in the event of an emergency. Assign key personnel to ensure the safety of customers and visitors in the building in case of emergency.
  • State or Local Guidelines. Here are the Forsyth County inspections page and includes common hazards and violations. Take a minute to read up on these, check to see if you are in violation or have a hazard around your home or office. Talk to your local fire marshal to learn about the guidelines.

Keeping your business, employees, and customers safe should be your top priority. Protecting your office and home is step #1 to prevent a disaster from happening but if it does, we can make it “like it never even happened.”  Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Cooking and Fire Prevention Safety

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

The Holidays are upon us and we will be doing more cooking. And unless you live on takeout and fast food, cooking is necessary to feed your family. But not all of us were born Emeril Lagasse or Gordon Ramsay. We novice chefs need a little more help. And sometimes, accidents happen. According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. Before you cook up a disaster, know how to put out potential fires.

How to prevent a kitchen fire

Stay nearby, this sounds unnecessary to say but unattended cooking are by far the leading cause of kitchen fires. According to the NFPA, unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. Don’t leave your boiling spaghetti alone!

Place your products elsewhere Keep your towels, paper towels and pot holders away from open flames because they pose a fire hazard.

Have the proper tools. Besides a lid and a fire extinguisher, ensure smoke detectors are working properly test them biannually. When cooking on a stove top, always keep a lid nearby that fits the pot or pan you’re using. That way, if the food catches fire, you can put the lid on to quickly smother the flames.

Salt, a handful of salt, which cuts off the oxygen supply and smothers the fire.

Baking soda, like salt, baking soda works to put out grease fires, Sexton says. For example, if grease falls to the bottom of the oven and catches fire, covering it with baking soda should put it out.

Fire extinguisher. If you don’t have access to salt, baking soda or water, use a fire extinguisher. Keep one handy in your kitchen in case of emergencies, Reith and Sexton suggest. Know where it is and how to use it.

Water

If your towel or pot holder catches fire, put it in the kitchen sink and douse it with water. But never use water to put out a grease fire. Pouring water onto a grease fire will make a bad situation worse.  This can cause burning oil to splatter or even bigger flames to form. Burning drops of grease or oil can spread quickly out of control.

How to put out a kitchen fire. Smother the flames Fire needs oxygen to thrive. Thwart flames by cutting off their supply. Turn off the heat. Remember to turn the burner off when a fire occurs. If the fire starts in an appliance, like your oven or microwave, immediately cut the power source and close the door, Sexton says. If you catch it early enough, there won’t be enough oxygen, and the fire will die.

Evacuate. Don’t be a hero. If a fire gets out of hand, you should get out of there. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 55 percent of non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried fighting the fire themselves.

Call 911 - Emergency service providers undergo many hours of training to handle these situations, so avoid putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Let professionals who know the risks and dangers handle it. According to the city website for the FY 2017 Winston Salem has responded to 769 fires.  That is actually down from 2015 when they responded to 819 fires.

Be sure to stay safe and for more information and tips on what to and not to do see our website SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. After the fire department leaves there will be damage, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to help make it “Like it never even happened.”  It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Where’s the Mold?

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Moisture meter showing that the wall is saturated with moisture.

We get calls on a regular basis from customers who say “we smell mold or mildew but don’t see any mold, can you help?

We’ve learned over the years some people have a very keen sense of smell and do indeed smell mold even when they can’t see it. The challenge then becomes finding and eliminating the mold. If customers are not aware of any type of water damage event that could have led to mold growth inside their home we usually suggest they get an air quality test from a reputable Indoor Environment Professional. These tests are very objective and document both the types and quantities of mold present in the air. We then review the test results, consult with the customer and if tests say mold is present we begin the search.

Typically we would begin by scanning all areas of the foundation walls, near sinks, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, hot water heaters, etc. with infrared cameras looking for areas that appear cold or wet. This usually helps us determine the general areas that are wet and that could be leading to mold growth. The next step is to detail check the suspect areas with moisture meters to zero in on the wettest spots to determine where the water is coming from that allows the mold to live.

From there we would begin removing baseboards, shoe mold and other trim work looking for mold growth. If we still do not find the mold we can use borescopes to see inside the walls or demo a small area of the wall then take a photo inside the wall. Once the mold is found containment is set up to isolate the mold affected areas and mold mitigation begins per IICRC s520. (A standard to which we can show progress)

Mold requires water and an organic material to live and grow, without water it cannot live. So if we detect water leaks early we can minimize the chances for mold growth in our homes or properties. We recommend the use of Water Leak Alarms to help detect and alert us to small leaks before they become a major water or mold damage issue. The alarms are small, battery powered, cost less than $12 each in most areas and will emit a shrill alarm when contacted by even a small amount of water. We suggest putting them in the Laundry room near the washer, Near the Water Heater, under the Dishwasher, under all sinks and behind the Fridge if you have a water dispenser or ice maker. These alarms won’t prevent a water leak but they will alert you much sooner of a water issue than the smell of mold or mildew.

If you suspect mold or see it call us directly at 336-946-1131

Water you can't see.

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water, when controlled is a life sustaining resource. So why is that we should get water up and dry structure so quickly? We mopped up or squeegeed the floor? We got all the water up right? Are you sure?  In the picture attached it doesn’t look wet but the meter tells a different story. The tools we use can show us the water you can’t see. When water is not extracted thoroughly it can be an extremely damaging element. Since water flows on the path of least resistance it can seep into cracks and crevices you don’t even know you have. The insulation inside walls can act as a sponge and wick the water up the wall causing secondary damage to your home or business.  If left unattended the water can with in as little as 72 hrs start to form mold causing the cleanup effort costs to rise even more.

When we are called in after a leak it is easier for us to prevent mold growth and save you money by extracting the water, removing saturated wet materials that are easily replaced at a low cost, such as carpet pad, sheet rock, and insulation.  We will also dry the structure and prevent mold growth and wood rot. This process is called demoing. This prepares the areas damaged to be restored once drying has reached a measured and monitored goal.

Restoration of areas that would be costly to replace saves you and the insurance company money. These areas include, floor joists, wooden studs, even engineered hardwood floors when we can get to them quickly enough. Some items depending on the type of water damage are not salvageable such as soft goods like plush toys, sofa cushions and pillows. When these items have been exposed to contaminated water such as a sewer backup it’s best to discard and replace them.

Once the area has been mitigated properly then the restoration or repairs to the sheet rock, flooring and cabinets can be completed. This process can take some time but with our experts we can make the water damage to your home or business “Like it never even happened.”  

It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131 we are available 24/7/365 for emergency services.   

Halloween Fire Safety

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

One of the top reasons kids get hurt on Halloween is because they get hit by cars. Be sure to ensure they can see clearly and be seen clearly. If possible leave out the accessories to give the child a free hand to hold while you cross the street with them.  If you’re driving on Halloween be sure to keep this in mind that kids may be crossing the street and can’t be seen as readily.  

Be sure to use flame retardant materials in the costume. Some folks still light candles for their jack-o-lanterns. Loose ill-fitting costumes could be at risk for catching fire. They could also be a risk for a tripping hazard another good reason to leave the accessories out of hands to allow them to catch themselves.  Instead of lighting the pumpkin try using a glow stick or battery operated LED light.

Decorations are another source of materials at risk of catching fire. Many of these are made from paper, dried corn stalks or other dried flowers. Be sure to keep them clear of flames or other heat sources such as portable heaters. Also don’t block entrance and exits with decorations that may inhibit you from exiting quickly and safely in the event of a fire. Two of every five fires reported were because decorations caught fire in the home according to the NFPA.

If you do use candles be sure to use sturdy holders that will not tip easily, and use in uncluttered stable surface. Avoid the edge of the surface to not be knocked to the floor. Never use candles in a home where oxygen is in use. Keep Candles at least 1 foot from away from object that can burn, Most importantly never leave a candle burning unattended.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hopes you have a safe and Happy Halloween. Should you need any of our Fire Damage related services call us directly at 336-946-1131

How do I know I need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Crew

Whether you have Fire, Water or Mold damage; frequently homeowners wonder if it necessary to call a professional mitigation company or if they can do it themselves.  Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind while weighing your options for restoring your home.

First thing to determine is, are you safe?  Don’t enter rooms where electrical circuits, equipment, switches or outlets have been exposed to water.  If you can do so safely; turn off circuit breakers to the affected areas.

Secondly; what is the source of the water?  If possible without putting   yourself at risk shut the water off.   Keep in mind; contaminated water such as storm water or a sewer back up from the tub, toilet or sink can carry any number of contaminants.  Contact a plumber to repair the leak or clog and opt for a professional to clean up and sanitize. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is focused on root cause solutions so that you only have to deal with the damage once. Fixing it right the first time is a priority.

What if I can’t find the leak?  We have the tools to find the source. Most folks don’t have a $1200 infrared camera or a $300 moisture meter just laying around in there toolshed. These tools give us the ability to see water you can’t see.  Often times it’s hiding under or behind a floor, cabinet or wall some leaks go undetected for long periods.  Once the source has been identified, be careful not to expose yourself to mold.  A SERVPRO certified mold specialist in Winston Salem has the knowledge and tools to mitigate safely and contain it to prevent cross-contaminating other areas of your home. 

What about my carpet and wood furniture?  Place aluminum foil or unstained wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet and wipe excess water from wood surfaces. This will help protect the finish on your wood furniture as well as protect your carpet from staining.  

Are my valuables safe?  Professionals from SERVPRO will be working to lower the humidity in the affected areas; but in the meantime removing dry valuables like computers, cameras, artwork and documents to unaffected area will help protect them.  If some of these items are already wet, it is usually possible to dry and restore them.  Your certified techs are trained to assist you with these issues and will be happy to help provide you with    answers to your questions. 

What can a professional do that I can’t?  IICRC certified technicians from SERVPRO have the knowledge to test materials and the experience to ensure your home is carefully and completely returned to preloss condition. We monitor the drying process so you and your insurance company can be confident the job is done right the first time. Prompt and thorough mitigation will assure all structure is properly dried, help prevent mold growth and protect your home investment. SERVPRO’s 24/7 on call service offers fire, water and mold damage mitigation services in Winston-Salem and surrounding areas.

What is the IICRC?  The IICRC is a nonprofit organization that provides certification and standard-setting for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. 

For more information about the IICRC:  IICRC Welcome Video And IICRC Org

For more information about SERVPRO of West Forsyth County:  www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com

Or call us directly to ask about our scope service 336-946-1131 it’s best to call us directly.

Power Failure Plan = Business Success

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you experienced a power outage this week due to storms did you follow your plan? Did the plan work? Are there improvements to make in your plan?  In case you missed it here are the steps to creating a plan for your business.

Before the power outage.

                Have an emergency continuity plan.

  • Determine the processes and equipment that would be affected by a power outage. Electrical equipment such as computers, security alarms, elevators, as well as HVAC and lighting.
  • Inventory all equipment and keep it up date. What key equipment is used in your day to day operations? Prepare a list of equipment that need to be shut off during an outage to prevent damage to it when power is restored.
  • Back up computer data frequently invest in redundant cloud based service that backs it up off site and protects it from hacking and virus threats.
  • Make sure computers and other sensitive electronics are plugged into surge protection devices
  • Test your battery backup UPS systems, emergency lighting, phone, security and fire protection systems quarterly or a week before a weather predicted event.
  • Determine what the impact of the outage will be.

Have a plan for alternative power

  • Use a standby generator.
  • Portable generator
  • Or backup UPS (uninterruptable power supply)

Have emergency lighting available

  • Battery operated light sources. (flash lights or lights that turn on when power fails) Do not use candles and consider the installation of emergency lighting for the safety of your employees

Establish shelter locations in the business or on the business site

  • Should you have to shelter in place ensure there is enough space for all employees and allow for any customers that are visiting your establishment at the time the emergency is declared.
  • Ensure the shelter location has emergency supplies. i.e. flashlights, battery powered radio, first aid kit, blankets, water, and food.

Educate employees

  • Educate and review often the emergency plan of action
  • Ensure key personnel know the role they have responsibility for in the emergency plan. I.e. Mgrs. Should be able to account for their personnel who report to them.
  • Identify employees with special needs will they need assistance evacuating. If the power is out and elevator unavailable or cannot see well in low light.

What are your customers to do?

  • Determine the likelihood of customers being in your business at the time of outage.
  • Ensure that your emergency plan includes customers. Since you cannot review your plan with customers regularly be sure the employees who interface with customers are aware of their responsibility in the plan. They should guide customers to safety.

During a Power Outage.

                Stay informed of the conditions

  • Listen to the battery powered radio for situational developments.
  • Download the local news app for your phone.

Backup power

  • Use only approved indoor sources of power such as battery
  • Never use a generator indoors or any source of power that could emit deadly exhaust into your emergency shelter
  • Don’t go outside to start a generator if the weather conditions are unsafe.

Equipment safety

  • Go through your list of sensitive electronic equipment and turn it off and or unplug it to prevent damage to them.

After a Power Outage

Turn on the most essential equipment first.

  • Wait 10-15 minutes to plug in other equipment this will prevent the electrical system from becoming stressed and going out again. Turning everything on at once may overload it and cause it to fail once again.
  • Check your facility to ensure everyone is safe and accounted for
  • Ensure all equipment is operating correctly and safely
  • Review the preparedness plan to determine if any areas need to be improved and train appropriate personnel.

Should you need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County assistance after a loss event call us directly at 336-946-1131 #NatlPrep #SERVPROready

Heavy Rains Strike Again

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Normal rains don’t usually create problems for us but when we get large amounts of rain in a short amount of time it can easily exceed the capacity of our gutters and drains to remove the water fast enough. When this happens water pools or collects in areas it normally wouldn’t, then the problems begin. Water can start entering a home or building in a matter of minutes, through foundation walls or windows when puddled on the ground or through ceilings when it puddles on roofs in gutters.

The attached photo shows a recent example of this near Winston-Salem, NC. Too much rain too quickly overloaded the gutter/drain system capacity and water started entering the building through the ceiling and walls. So much water entered the building so quickly that the hardwoods began to warp and buckle within hours. The hardwood flooring had to be removed to expose the saturated subfloor below to assure the structure was properly dried per IICRC standards.

There’s little to nothing we can do to control the weather however with a little planning and prevention work upfront we can minimize the effects and damages typical of heavy rains.

  1. Make sure all catch basin type drains on your property are clear of debris before heavy rains arrive.
  2. If the grade or lay of the land around your property allows water to run toward or up to the foundation walls of your property during heavy rains talk with a local contractor about changing the grade of the land or adding catch basins to divert water away from the foundation walls.
  3. If you have underground drainage pipes connected to gutter downspouts make sure they are not clogged and free flowing. Blocked or obstructed gutter drains normally dump water from the roof at the foundation wall directly below the downspout.

Hurricanes have a degree of uncertainty but they do come with some advanced warning most of the time. Now is the time to prepare for the heavy rains that may accompany hurricane Florence. As the hurricane turns into a low pressure, heavy rains may stress your gutters and drains. Take this time before the storm to ensure your property is prepared.

If you experience water damage call us directly at 336-946-1131

#SERVPROready #NatPrep

Fire Damage Do's and Don't

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Although home fires spike around the holidays, a home or office fire can happen any day of the year. People eat every day and therefore cook every day. Maybe not every meal but the risk is there. What are some of the concerns after a fire damage to my home or office? The fire department has to investigate all calls they are called to. So, before the last fire fighter leaves, ask them if it is ok to call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to come and get started on the cleanup.

After any fire damage situation, our primary focus is safety of the people who live or work there and our employees:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house? 
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns. 
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. Did the fire go through the ceiling? Is there a danger of it collapsing?  
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!   
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome and other metal surfaces with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil. This could include silverware, guns, and expensive faucet fixtures
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers. 
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO of West Forsyth County professional. Smoke particles are different and may need special treatment in order to save costs.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Regarding a Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency - (336) 946-1131 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County proudly serves Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours /7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure. It is always best to contact us directly.

Be ready for a storm with proper drainage systems

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water collecting on a flat roof with clogged drains

It’s been a wet August in Winston Salem by anyone’s standards.  We average almost 5 inches of rain every August but lately it’s felt like we have got it all at once. One of the major things you can do to prevent water damage to your home or business is to ensure you have proper drainage. French drains will help funnel water away from the foundation. Ensuring proper maintenance on them should they become clogged or collapse is also important. Check them with impending weather to ensure they are working properly as after or worse during the storm is no time to find out your basement is now a swimming pool.

If your business has a flat roof with drains clear water you should ensure they are clear and free flowing. Just like gutters need to be cleaned, down spouts and drains that clear water in areas where it could pool are especially important. Water weighs 8 lbs. per gallon, how much weight can your flat roof hold? During a storm is no time to stress test the structural integrity of your roof. 

Leaf guards may help prevent you from having to clean the gutters, but when it rains as much and as hard as it has the water may flow right over the edge and not go into the gutter. This can cause issues with water not being directed to where you want it to go which is away from the foundation or basement.

If you should get storm water damage inside your home or office call us directly at 336-946-1131

Preventing Mold in a Bathroom

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Ahhhh a hot, steamy shower feels good to achy muscles, washing away your cares for a while. And while you’re relaxing and opening your pores in your skin the humidity level in your bathroom is rising, which can create an ideal environment for mold and mildew.

Preventing Mold with a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Many people think that the exhaust fan in the bath room is there to remove away unpleasant odors. While they can help with that, these fans actually serve a much larger purpose. Bathroom exhaust fans draw the moisture-laden air that fills the room after a steamy shower or hot bath out of the bath room, bringing the room’s humidity down to a healthier level. This is a vital step in preventing mold growth and averting mold damage.

Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment. One way to ensure that if comes on each time you enter the bath is to have an electrician hardwire the fan to the light switch. But for more efficient way of controlling humidity invest in a humidity sensor.

Most people turn the fan on when they enter their bathroom to shower and turn it off when they leave. Unfortunately, this does not always give the exhaust fan enough time to evacuate the steam and humidity. Ideally, the fan needs to run until the moisture level in the bathroom is back to normal. You could just leave the fan running and come back later to turn it off, but you run the risk of forgetting it. This wastes energy and can shorten the lifespan of the exhaust fan. Instead, consider installing a humidity sensor. The sensor will automatically cut the fan off when the correct humidity level is restored. It is an easy way to prevent mold damage.

Dealing With Mold
If you find that you have a mold issue in your bathroom, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Disturbing the mold may facilitate its spread and contaminate other areas of your home or business that can be prevented. Spreading and cross contaminating your home or business could end up costing more money in the long run. Instead, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County in Winston Salem NC. Our technicians have the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to address mold damage. They can inspect the area, identify the source of moisture, contain the mold, remove it, properly cleanse your belongings and restore your home or business to a healthy environment.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Preparing for flood damage

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a home or business that has a mortgage or loan regulated by the government and in a special flood hazard area deemed by FEMA you are required to buy flood insurance. The building owner must maintain insurance for the life of the loan. Most importantly the thing to do is prepare.

Safety is key, how are you going to keep your family and employees safe during a flood? Develop a plan, waterproof areas that are critical to your operation. Be sure to consider power to maintain critical areas, especially if they include pumps to keep rising water at bay.   Preventative maintenance and checks on this equipment such as sump pumps and generators will ensure that you can count on them in time of need.  Not all plans are mechanical check levees and berms for excessive vegetative growth and cracks also with walls that may hold out water. Ensure storm drains are kept clear of leaves and debris.

Develop a plan for a flood emergency. If you must leave the building for safety, do you have an evacuation plan? Who is assigned to do what?  Who is accountable to ensure everyone is accounted for?  Have the plan practiced periodically and assign alternative personnel incase key personnel are not on site at the time of an emergency. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers a plan that is easy to develop and customizable to your business.

Something to think about before you purchase a home or business site. Am I getting ready to buy in a flood prone area? Where are the sources of water nearby to be aware of if they do flood? Luckily there is an easy to use website by FEMA that can show you a map of the area. Homeowners' and renters' policies rarely cover flooding. Contact your insurance agency about getting flood insurance. Flood insurance is administered by FEMA and a helpful FAQ can be found here.

Should you need any of our water damage restoration services call us directly at 336-946-1131

Your mop is not qualified

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

You can't see the water, but we can.

We know how disruptive unseen water damage can be for your business or home. For this reason, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers 24-hour emergency response. We will find the source of the water intrusion and make suggestions on how to resolve the source of the damage to provide a root cause solution.  We understand how to manage the drying process and use the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices. (like the one pictured)  Once the root cause of the problem has been dealt with, we ensure your building is quickly and thoroughly dried. This helps prevent secondary water damages and allows you to regain control quickly ensuring your structure and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.

The thing is most of us in Winston Salem think “I will just get it up with a shop vac, or your mop”. The problem is water follows the path of least resistance, and you only got the water you can see up. What about the water you don’t see? In the picture associated with this blog the meter shows the plywood subfloor to be saturated with water yet looking around the meter the wood doesn’t appear wet. If left unchecked mold and wood rot would start to occur. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the tools to see where water is hiding, and by the time you smell the effects of water left in hidden sources it’s costing you more money in mold mitigation. By having a professional dry your home or business you can avoid mold growth and further damage by unseen water.  

Weather it is your commercial place of business or the home you love, let us help prevent risking further damage to the value of your building. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County and let us make it, “Like it never even happened.“

336-946-1131 
It's always best to call us directly!

Can your business survive a disaster?

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

We consider ourselves lucky to live and work in such a beautiful and vital area as we do.  Whether you spend most of your time in Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, Tabaccoville or any of the other neighboring areas we understand why you are choose to live and run your business here.  As this area’s premier disaster recovery service we also understand the circumstances that can put your loved ones, your business and your investments at risk. 

As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow. 

Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but businesses of all sizes. As an employer in the Winston-Salem, Forsyth County or any of the surrounding areas, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster. 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County would like to invite you to check out the Ready Campaign which is encouraging individuals, families, and businesses to take active steps toward becoming Ready

Ready Business, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. The Business section of Ready.gov/business . There you will find more information and links where business owners can download or order free Ready information, publications, and much more. 

For more information to help prepare your business visit our website for the ERP App. The app contains vital information for businesses on how to get started preparing their business for their unique needs during an emergency.  If you have any questions feel free to contact Ed Dean directly at our office 336-946-1131 

Flash Flood Safety

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Earlier this year we have seen heavy down pours some as much as 2 inches per hour. July tends to be one of the wettest months for Winston Salem averaging 3.4 inches. We need rain in our area for growth and to sustain our lives. Flash flooding on the other hand can be a potentially dangerous situation. Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris. Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater or a possible levee breach and cause flooding in surrounding areas. It can also occur when rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry flood water away from urban areas.

Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.

Know your flood risk and elevation about flood stage. Do your local streams or rivers flood easily? You can see if you live close to a flood prone area here. This helpful interactive map can help you locate your home in Winston Salem or anywhere in Forsyth or surrounding counties.

Cleaning Up and Repairing Your Home

  • Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
  • Don’t ever drive through water that you can’t see the bottom of. Turn around don’t drown. You could lose control of your car in as little as 6 inches of water.
  • Contact your insurance agent to discuss claims.
  • Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the state or federal government or other organizations.
  • Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth we have the capability and expertise to handle your water mitigation and restoration of your home or business.

 It is always best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Is there a fungus among us

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever heard that silly phrase, "There's a fungus among us?"  Well, when it's actually true it's really not silly. In one of our other blogs we discussed mold types, counts and air quality. But where does it live? What conditions does mold like or better yet hate?  Most of us don't realize it but mold is around us all of the time.  It's common and travels easily so it really isn't possible to completely eliminate it from our environment. There are many different varieties of mold.  Sometimes it becomes a problem and something needs to be done about it.  Most health issues occur when there are high concentrations of mold in the house.  Unfortunately mold spores are invisible and can be transported in various ways:  through heating and air ducts, open doors and windows, on pets and even on our shoes. 

To prevent mold from showing up uninvited to your house, make sure you properly ventilate those warm, damp, and humid environments.    

  • Where does mold lurk? 

 Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid places like bathrooms, basements, roofs, pipes, windows and anywhere flooding has occurred.  It likes some of the same environments we humans like.  Mold needs three things to thrive. Some kind of nutrient (like cellulose), cardboard is steroid for mold. Water, to help break down or decay the nutrients. Last mold needs time to be left alone and feed and grow. Can potted plants be a source for mold?  Yes, they add oxygen to our air but also, you guessed it, mold.  The "yuck factor" is mold can grow in all kinds of environments:  wood, wood products, paper, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, drywall, cardboard, carpets, upholstery, paint, insulation and even dust!  Yeah, pretty much everything in your home! The main thing is that if you have a mold issue you probably have or had a water damage issue also.

  • How do you find it?  Usually either smelling its musty odor or finding spots of any color can find mold.  An air quality test can also determine if you have a safe environment in your home or office. Once mold can be identified by sight, smell, or an air quality test its concentration may be high enough to present a health hazard.  That's when something needs to be done.  It's called mold remediation and it's something SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in.  For more information on our mold services call us 336-946-1131 or read more on our website

    It's always best to call us directly 

Replace V/s Restore how does it save costs?

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water is a vital part of life, when controlled properly it can be helpful and sustain us in our everyday lives. When out of control it can make our lives miserable, and can even do us harm.

If you have dealt with water damage before you know that water restoration services are not cheap. You also know how traumatic they can be, disrupting our lives and causing havoc in our home or business. However, if we look closely, the amount of money that you’ll be spending on water repair damage is significantly lower as compared to the cost of repairing structural damage and replacing personal belongings. Having SERVPRO of West Forsyth County guide you through the trauma efficiently by restoration rather than replacement, can give you piece of mind and save costs.

When water enters our home, it can come with germs and bacteria, it can even promote fungal growth if given enough time and conditions. Oftentimes, mold spores inhabit our home long after the water has disappeared from view.  If you act quickly you can impact the amount of damage to your property and your personal belongings.

While there is no standard cost for water repair damage, the cost is based on several factors. This includes the type of water, the extent of damage and the size of the affected area.

Category 1 (Clean water): Water comes from a faucet, malfunctioning appliance connected to a water line or a supply pipe. This is the least expensive. However if left unmitigated fungal growth can occur in 48 -72 hours from the initial incident.  When fungal growth begins this can change the category and add to costs as procedures to protect workers are also increased.

Category 2 (Grey water): Grey water contains biological and chemical pollutants that can cause illness. Common sources are water that is discharged from washing machine, dishwasher or toilet.

Category 3 (Black water): This is the most detrimental of the group and is also the most expensive. Water contains harmful bacteria that may cause severe discomfort or sickness. Common sources are overflowing rivers and streams, sewage and standing water. Category two water that is left stagnant for more than 48 hours falls under this category.

Restoring your home after water damage could be a frustrating experience. Water or excess moisture could harm your home and its content. The faster you take action, the less damage you’ll have in your home. Here are some tips you can use until we get to your home: http://www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com/water-damage-tips

From leaky roofs, basement leaks or frozen pipe bursts, the people at SERVPRO of West Forsyth are here to help make it “like it never even happened.”  In these situations, time is critical. You don’t want your home to be destroyed by water, call us 24/7 directly at 336-946-1131. We commit to pick up your call or call back in an hour or less, be onsite in four hours or less. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County services Winston Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Rural Hall, Bethania, Pfafftown, Tobbacoville, and surrounding areas. 

Plan for a disaster with the SERVPRO ERP App

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile 

 If your home or business had a fire whom would you call after 911 and Winston Salem’s fire fighters have left? Your insurance agent? Your banker?  The interior decorator that made your office the warm and inviting place you did business. Now here is the important question. Do you have all of the numbers you need at your fingertips to call all the people you need to help you get back into business or your home quickly?

You can with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile APP. This is free and only takes a little time to gather the info so you are ready for whatever could prevent you from enjoying your home or office.

?  A no-cost assessment of your facility. Letting you know where you may lack preparedness thinking of things you had not thought of before.

?  A concise profile that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.

?  A guide to help you get back into your building quickly following a disaster.

?  Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

?  Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

?  Profile is viewable online or on your SERVPRO READY APP and is secured with a login and password. So even if you’re not onsite when disaster strikes you have a plan.

Don't wait until a disaster strikes.

Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to establish your Emergency READY Profile.

Or visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

336-946-1131

It's always best to call us directly. 

Mold Damage Cleanup and What to Expect

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

What is mold?

First off Mold is everywhere and not all mold is toxic, but all mold in your home or business should be dealt with.  Mold is a fungus that loves damp and humid conditions.  It spreads by producing mold spores which can survive many harsh environments.  Mold and mildew are most often found in places that have high moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, crawlspaces, around water heaters or air handlers.  It is not uncommon, however, to also find mold on or between walls, flooring, carpeting, furniture, or textiles.  Often it is a result of a hidden leak, poor drainage or a past water damage. Sometimes the odor will tip you off, but other times it might go undetected until you see it or someone begins showing symptoms indicating possible mold. If water is leaking in between walls spots may form on the ceiling below the source.

Do I need to do a mold test?

Store bought mold tests aren’t terribly reliable. If you can see mold then you can be sure removing it is the only way to prevent further growth and avoid health risks.  If however you suspect mold may be growing out of sight, such as inside a wall, ceiling cavity or beneath the flooring, a good air quality test can be very helpful.  An air quality test will not only identify the specific types of mold but also let you know how much of it is present in the air in specific areas of your home.  SERVPRO frequently recommends a professional air quality test be done prior to mold removal and again after mitigation is complete.  Comparing the results before and after provides an excellent measure to ensure a healthy environment or identify any ongoing issues that need to be addressed. SERVPRO of West Forsyth does not conduct Air Quality tests themselves, we contract an independent third party to provide analysis that we have done a good job.  

What happens if I hire SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to take care of mold in my home?

First we will dispatch one of our certified mold mitigation technicians to complete a visual inspection and initial assessment. 

Our trained technician will try to help you identify and address the source of the moisture problem.  This will help prevent a recurrence of mold or further damage to your home in the future. Not addressing the moisture problem is a guarantee to have a mold issue again in the future. We want to fix the root cause of the problem to ensure a total solution.  

Moisture meters are used to pinpoint exactly what areas are wet – if any. Before mitigation begins, the first air-quality test should be performed by an independent contractor to ensure we have objective data on the type and quantity of mold present.

If mold is found, we’ll set up containment and air scrubbers to prevent spores from contaminating other areas of your home. Next we apply a professional anti-microbial product to kill existing mold spores and help prevent mold from returning.

If necessary, affected porous materials will be sealed in plastic and removed.  Non-porous surfaces are then mitigated accordingly, wiped down and/ or sprayed with an anti-microbial one last time.

Once all debris has been removed and affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned, we’ll suggest a final air quality test.  This final measure will be your assurance that your home is now a clean and healthy environment for you and your family.  If for any reason the affected area does not pass the air quality test, SERVPRO will continue mold mitigation until passing air quality tests are obtained.

What does it mean to be a SERVPRO certified mold mitigation technician?

All SERVPRO technicians are certified through the IICRC.  Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is the standard setter for the mitigation industry and considered the authority in mitigation by most insurance carriers.

In addition SERVPRO offers on-going training to all of its employees, enabling them to remain up to date on current mitigation and restoration practices and provide you with answers you can rely on.

As the preferred mitigation specialist for most major insurance companies; SERVPRO staff are experienced at communicating with you and your insurance company to assist in all steps of your insurance claim process.

Each SERVPRO employee is dedicated to ensuring your home is restored to its preloss condition and to your full satisfaction.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Business power outage preparedness

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

In the recent years there have been discussions regarding the infrastructure of our nation’s power grid. What would happen if your business was without power for an extended period of time? Every business should have a continuity plan. That is where SERVPRO’s ERP can assist by having key personnel and vendors on a list in one place to help you resolve a crises quickly.

Take note or inventory of the processes in your business that would be affected by a power outage. Computers are the first thing most business owners will think of. What about security systems, or alarms, HVAC, and elevators in multilevel buildings could also be impacted.

Do you need an alternate source of power to be operational during the outage? Uninterruptable power supplies to power down computers and save work. You should obtain and keep that system maintained. There would be nothing worse than preparing for an outage only to find that the generator does not work or is low or out of fuel.

Emergency lighting, most warehouses and cubicle farms have limited if any natural light. You need to consider if customers and office workers would be present during the outage. Their safety should be a priority.

Should a shelter in place order come from authorities do you have proper emergency supplies? Consider that same emergency kit you have for home for the office and keep it maintained. This should include flashlights, battery powered radio, first aid kit, food, water and blankets.

Education: Do your employees know what to do in case of an emergency? Inform them of what the emergency business plan is. Review it with them regularly. Keep in mind any special need employees who may need assistance evacuating the building if necessary. Make sure they know what to do with customers in order to keep them safe.

During an outage stay informed, listen for directions from authorities or news broadcasts to take shelter or evacuation routes.

Use the backup power safely. Never use a generator indoors. Doing so can be fatal causing carbon monoxide poisoning. The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Electrical surges or spikes can cause damage to sensitive equipment when the power is restored. These devices should be unplugged to avoid being damaged especially if critical to your operation.   

After the power is restored turn on the most essential equipment first. Wait 10 -15 minutes to reconnect other lesser essential items. This will avoid overloading the electrical system and give it time to stabilize to the demand. Remember all of your neighbors are doing the same thing rushing to get power may put you back in the dark.  Be sure all equipment is running correctly and safely.  Most importantly be sure all personnel are safe and accounted for.  Review with your department heads what went wrong with the plan what went right, be sure to take corrective actions to your plan.

Air Quality Testing Why Do I Need It?

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Air Quality Results Before / After

In every home in Winston Salem there is a certain amount of mold. It’s everywhere the problem comes into play when it is in concentrated doses, and we spend more than 85% of our time concentrated indoors. If you want to know exactly how much, and what types there are in your home you should have an air quality test.  There are a couple of types of tests, one available readily even on the internet is a swab test. Although economical, it only tells you if the presence of mold is present on the surface area that you swab. It does not however tell you the amount of spores in the air that you are breathing. That is why we recommend an aerosol canister test that draws air from the suspected room and is sent to a lab for analysis. Why is it important to get an air quality test? Did you know that 40% – 60% of the air you breathe is from your crawl space? When was the last time you were in your crawl space? Was there water standing? Is your sump pump working properly to keep it dry?  With recent rains it may overwhelm your sump pump and cause it to fail. You should check it regularly in order to prevent fungal growth. With the heavy rains Clemmons and surrounding areas have had it could be a safe haven for mold and fungal growth.

 There is no standard set by the government for what is acceptable limits of mold. But the EPA does state. “Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”  An EPA guide to mold can be found here.

SERVPRO felt like that there should be a standard and that standard is governed by IICRC . It is called the ANSI/IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Guide. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County does not conduct the air quality tests themselves. We do this for our reputation and to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. We would caution you to have independent third parties conduct the test and share the results with us and perspective clients. We work with and can recommend environmental hygienists with great reputations.

 In the picture there is a before and after air quality test report for a basement that was remediated for mold in Rural Hall NC. The standard is that mold count should be below 500. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County tries very hard to get the counts below 300. This is how you know that a remediation expert has done the job properly. An air quality test and proper mold remediation services can give you peace of mind and keep you and your family safe.

Should you suspect that you have a mold issue, it’s best to call us directly at

336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.  

Be prepared for a fire loss.

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

We have recently had friends and neighbors in the Winston Salem area who have suffered a fire loss. The recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii remind us that Mother Nature is unpredictable and devastating. So far 26 homes have been destroyed. Closer to home just two years ago wild fires in Western NC and East TN burned more than 45,000 acres and cost home and business owners $36.8 Million dollars. Wild fire season typically starts in March but resources say that it is a year round problem. Home fires peak at the holidays but can strike anytime. Being a 24 hour emergency disaster cleanup company has taught us that you never know when the worst day of your life will strike.  This time of year also lends to an increase in home fires due to decorating with flags and cooking for the national holidays. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can't stress enough the importance of being prepared. 

Make spreadsheets of valuable items with cost new & current value, copy receipts for major ones as you buy (you don't absolutely have to have them but makes it easy), take photos with smart phones, and prepare yourself for your WORST DAY. Have a conversation with your insurance agent about your coverage's, do they have any advice to prepare? Do they have an inventory guide? What are you responsible for?  READY.GOV has this advice for ensuring that you get through a fire or disaster here. You can also send the information you will need in an email. From there you'll ALWAYS have it so long as it is in the cloud or an internet based email. Keep it in an email folder marked Disaster Day Insurance. This way you'll have it through fire, flood, or national disaster. You can also keep these documents in a fire proof box or safety deposit box. Digital copies will make it easier to discuss with the insurance company. Have it already done so you don't have to worry about wondering what you're missing. Nor have the stress of figuring it all out when everything is gone. Microsoft Office has a great home itemization spreadsheet

You will need a team of people who will help get you back to normal. One that will be there for you on your WORST DAY.  SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) can help you or a business gather that team for you.  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County hopes that you never need to put the plan into action, but knows that being prepared for a disaster is better than not being prepared.

Should you need our services it’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Tornadoes and Storm Damage, Are You Prepared?

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes recently in Greensboro have displaced folks and have made us think are we ready for storms and tornadoes here in Winston Salem? Preparing for an emergency beforehand is much better than trying to deal with one while in you’re in one. You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner. 

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.  If the power goes out avoid using candles if you must use candles do so in a safe manner by never leaving them unattended. A hurricane lame glass over a candle can also help.  Keep walk ways clear to avoid a tripping hazard.

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly.  This might be a good idea to put on the “to do check list” when changing smoke detector batteries and changing the clocks. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

  1. Flashlights for each family member
  2. Battery-operated radio and clock
  3. Extra batteries
  4. Containers of bottled water
  5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
  6. Non-electric can opener
  7. List of important phone numbers
  8. First-aid kit

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
  • Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods

These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to Tornado tips for before during and after a tornado https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes When storm damage strikes the Winston Salem area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of West Forsyth County arrives will make a world of difference.  Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Dryer Fire Safety

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

According to FEMA 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported each year. That is more than 240 a month! Of the causes the number one reason the fire started was because the lint collection tray was not cleaned. 34% of these fires could have been prevented by cleaning the lint. It is recommended that you clean the lint filter each time you use the dryer and clean the exhaust hose ductwork at least once a year.

Other things that you should NOT do when using a dryer are

  • Do not overload the dryer
  • Do not turn a load on before you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Do not cover the vent damper with a cloth or mesh screen
  • Do not dry anything the manufacture has stated “dry away from heat” These could be flammable.
  • Do not dry items that have come in contact with flammable liquids such as gas or oily rags

The picture this blog is attached to we can’t say for sure what the cause was but the dryer is where it started. What SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants you to take away from this blog is that most are preventable with proper maintenance service and operation.

Should you have a need to make fire damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131.

Time is critical even after the fire is out

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

The cost of smoke and fire damage restoration depends on a few variables even after the source is subdued. To prevent secondary damage call on a professional to help as soon as the fire department says it’s safe to start the mitigation process.

Soot, when left on surfaces can corrode and permanently discolor in the span of a few hours. If left for days, the issues can become irreparable and require the replacement of furniture, floor coverings, counter tops, and much more.

Beyond the soot; Burnt smells frequently linger, which make odor neutralization another important part of the process.

What many people don’t consider until they’ve experienced a fire first hand is the effects of the water used to put the fire out.  Parts of the structure and the contents that weren’t damaged by the fire itself may be adversely affected by the water and if not cleaned and dried quickly will need to be discarded and run the risk of mold growth.   

In order for smoke damage restoration to be most effective, the job should be approached as soon as possible by a professional in mitigation. Trained technicians can remove and neutralize odors, and quickly identify which items may be able to be restored.

Smoke, ash, and water all contribute to the devastation, so having someone with the proper training is crucial.  SERVPRO technicians with certifications in Fire and Smoke Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Fabric and Upholstery Cleaning, Odor Control, Mold Remediation and Prevention, and Applied Structural Drying will have all the skills necessary to salvage and return rooms to a previous state

SERVPRO® National Call Center served 313 insurance and property management companies and their clients nationwide in the last year alone.  We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year and helps lower your insurance rates too!

24-Hour Emergency Service; in our business, you need us fast! Professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Whether you live in Winston Salem, Clemmons, or Rural Hall, our trained, uniformed mitigation specialists are equipped to restore your property to preloss condition whenever possible and will walk you through the process until the work and your satisfaction are complete.

From large commercial environments to small residential losses, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County understands your loss is the job that matters most! 

Exhaust Vent Fire Safety

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

You have heard the phrase electricity and water don’t mix. Well lint, dust and hair can be hazardous also when combined with electrical items such as a bath room exhaust fan or dryer vent.  In an earlier blog we told you how an exhaust vent is a good thing to help prevent excessive moisture build up and mold growth in your bathroom. But like anything around your home proper maintenance will keep it in good working order and help prevent fire hazards.

According to NFPA.org (National Fire Protection Association) over 45,000 homes suffered a fire loss between 2010 & 2014 involving electrical failure or malfunction. These fires resulted in $1.4 billion in property damage and more tragically over 1300 injuries and over 400 deaths.  Those numbers are staggering when you consider that some are preventable with proper usage and maintenance of the electrical items around the house.

Exhaust vents can present a potential fire hazard if not cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Fans over time build up lint which can cause the motor to overheat and ignite the lint, plastic fan blades and the nearby combustible wood structure. How fast lint builds up is dependent on how often it is used and the amount of particulate in the air moving through the exhaust or vent.

Dryer vents and exhaust fans are used in both commercial and residential properties.  The original install of this equipment was not purchased for longevity nor are most of these devices thermally protected. Thermal protection causes the motor to shut off should they seize and overheat. This safety feature has been available since the late 1970’s, but was not widely used until the early 1990’s.  Along with changing batteries in smoke detectors you should clean the exhaust fans in your home or place of work twice a year. If it starts to make noises or smells odd, it’s time to replace it.

If you have Fire, Water or Mold damage in your home or business call us 336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. “Like it never even happened.”

Check list to recover from winter storms aka Spring Cleaning

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

The weather is turning nicer here in Winston Salem NC and you will want to do some work outside to maintain your home. We talked about winterizing your home in an earlier blog but what if your preparation didn’t hold up? Here is a check list of things to look for to minimize damage and maintain the value of your home.

Landscaping (shrubs) surrounding the house need trimming to make sure the wood behind them can dry out. Ensure the slope of the landscaping leads away from the home.  Pools of water next to the foundation are bad. They can lead to a water intrusion if not properly addressed.

Exterior faucets, we told you in winterizing your home to take hoses off and use hose bibs to prevent freezing. As you turn water on & check faucets for leaks. Be prepared to shut water off quickly as burst pipes are often inside the house and in the wall. If you have someone who can be on the other side of the faucet to check, that will help.

Gutters should cleaned once a year, twice a year if on a wooded lot. Many houses have different needs on each side of the house so clean as often as needed.

Roof – check for missing or loose shingles; check around chimney, vents & skylights for leaks, and long the eaves for evidence of ice dams. The vents should have good seals and no cracking looks for signs of dry rot and wear. Check the fascia (vertical) boards underneath gutters if icicles have formed on them that may indicate a leak.

Siding & paint – Paint is a seal against outside water intrusion, check for cracks, gaps and peeling. Repair/replace caulking if you find any gaps.

Doors & windows – Replace weather stripping as needed to prevent rain water from creeping under the door. Repair screens, install/swap screens for storm doors/windows.

Window sills and kick boards below exterior doors are the most vulnerable wood items, so check them carefully. If wet and rotting they could also be an invitation to termites. Replace and paint as necessary to prevent extending and invitation to further damage.

Deck – clean, repair and stain. Stain wears better & easier to maintain, i.e. doesn’t peel. Again rotting wood should be replaced and sealed / treated for termite prevention.

Mailboxes, etc – repair damage done during snow removal to mailboxes, fencing, stairs, etc.

Grill – clean outdoor grill; check to insure it’s working properly. Be sure to keep this a safe distance from your home and never leave it unattended.

Attic – If you found missing shingles during your roof inspection, check insulation for moisture and replace as needed. Add more ventilation to insure moisture doesn’t get trapped. Never cover vents or eaves as they allow airflow and reduce the chance of mold growth.

Bathrooms – ensure the exhaust fan is in good working order and dust or clean to ensure good airflow. Check caulking and grout, and repair as needed to prevent water damage or mold.

A/Cs – Change air filters if you have pets this should be done more frequently. Check window A/Cs have good drainage. Check central A/C duct work and insure no leaks. Have your system checked by a professional to ensure the condensate drain line is working properly and your HVAC system is ready for the hot Carolina summer.

Appliances – Dust and clean refrigerator coils, stove exhaust hood and dryer vents. A duct cleaning professional could also be of help with the clothes dryer vent checking off two important areas.

Ceiling fans – clean (lots of dust on top) and check to insure fans are operating properly.

Basement or Crawl Space – check walls and floor for dampness; address source of humidity where possible; run sump pump to insure it’s functioning properly before spring rain. Are there any standing pools of water? These can cause mold and affect the air quality in your home.

Dehumidifiers – Ensure the drain line is clear and flowing freely. Clean periodically and make sure they’re working properly.

Hot Water Heater – Can build up scale especially if your water is hard. Drain twice a year and clean out deposits on bottom. Check for leaks and place a water leak detector near this and other water sources i.e. toilets, dishwasher, behind refrigerator.

Safety – The time change to daylight savings is a good time to check batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Ensure your family knows the plan in case of an emergency. Ready.Gov has a checklist

These should help prevent disasters and add value to your home. A well maintained home is worth more.  But should a water, fire or mold situation invade your home call us direct at 336-946-1131 we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Don't get scammed! Call someone you can trust!

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

We have had a lot of rain lately and the winds seem to be picking up to, along with the wind picking up so to scammers. Jack and John Thayer trolled neighborhoods after storms, offering to fix damaged homes. The duo stole more than $770,000 in down payments from storm-traumatized homeowners — without fixing the homes. Many victims were elderly. The Thayers received up to 20 years in prison. This story ended in justice but all too often Winston Salem home and business owners are taken advantage of by less than reputable people.

Be wary of door-to-door and trucks patrolling a neighborhood after a storm or telephone sales people.  Recently the BBB of North West NC reported that consumers were victims after Hurricane Imra  one such scam where the homeowner was contacted by a gentleman who said they are currently working in the area and they notice that she had storm roof damage and they will send a representative so they can help her claim the insurance for this damage.

You can keep scammers away. Protect your family, bank account and yourself from crooks: Stay alert, ask questions and go slow and pay attention to details.

Contact your insurance agent don’t trust that the contractor will file the claim for you. No one should be filing a claim on your insurance but you. This is a good time to talk with your agent about if you should even file a claim or not. You may need additional information like estimates from a reputable company.  

After a damage to your car or home ... Take photos of the damage and passengers. You can prevent fake injury and damage claims.

Contact your state insurance department or National Insurance Crime Bureau (1-800-835-6422) to report a scam. You can also report a scam with the BBB 

Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Save all receipts, if temporary roofing repairs are necessary. Know what your deductible is and know when to file a claim.

Although you may be anxious to get things back to normal, avoid letting your emotions get the better of you. Don't be pressured into making an immediate decision with a long-term impact. Be proactive in selecting a business and not reactive to sales solicitations. It is common for storm chasers to call and knock on your door.

For major repairs, take time to shop around and get 3-4 estimates based on the same specifications and materials. Check out references that are at least one year old, verify with your local government to find out whether or not businesses are required to be licensed/registered to do work in your area, and check with your local building inspector to see if a building permit is required.

Be wary of door-to-door workers who claim to have leftover materials from a job “down the street” or who do not have a permanent place of business. If salespeople go door-to-door, check to see if your community requires them to have solicitation permits.

Be leery if a worker shows up on your doorstep to announce that your home is unsafe. If you are concerned about possible structural damage in your home, have an engineer, architect or building official inspect it. While most roofing contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work. This goes for Mold Remediation also. Contact an independent environmental specialist to perform an air quality test. Or ask if they do the test themselves or do they have a third party perform the test. If the mold mitigater does the testing or the roofer does the inspection what do you think the odds of them finding work for themselves to perform are?

Require a written contract agreement with anyone you hire. Be sure their name, address, license number, if applicable, and phone number are included in the contract. Read and understand the contract in its entirety, and don’t sign a blank contract. A copy of the signed contract is to be given to you at time of signature. What certifications does the company have?

Find out about reported scams in your neighborhood or report a scam using the BBB’s new Scam Tracker tool.

Check out SERVPRO of West Forsyth County A+ accreditation on the BBB 

 Call a trusted contractor call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County at 336-946-1131

3 Tips to prevent fires in the home

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Growing up, we’re given important advice on preventing home fires: don’t leave candles burning; don’t leave your stovetop on; keep anything that can catch fire (like a pot handle) away from the stove.

Household fires are a growing problem in the U.S. According to the Department of Homeland Security, each year thousands of people die in home fires, which cause an estimated $7.3 billion in direct property loss annually.

Indeed, three often-overlooked household items can cause a fire: clothes dryers, batteries and power strips.

The Today show  spoke with Lt. Anthony Mancuso, Director of Fire Safety and Education with the FDNY to give us some helpful tips on minimizing the risk of house fires from these items.ip 1: Clean your lint screen

Dryers work best when the lint screen is clear. But did you know that a dryer full of lint is actually a fire hazard, too? Lint is extremely flammable, and electricity from a running dryer can be enough to spark it if the screen is full.

Luckily, it's easy to safeguard your home against this fire risk. Before starting the dryer cycle, simply open your lint catcher compartment and give it a quick swipe.

Tip 2: Carefully store your batteries

Batteries – particularly 9 Volt – pose a potentially serious fire risk. We tend to leave them lying around the house when they're not powering our electronics. We usually keep them sitting loose in a drawer somewhere.

But because of the design of 9V batteries - which feature both the positive and negative poles on the same side of the battery – they can be a real fire hazard.

Something as simple as a paperclip or coin coming into contact with both poles can be enough to overheat the battery and cause a spark, which can turn into a fire.

Even AA or AAA batteries should be stored in a safe way: store them upright, or cover the top with a piece of tape.

Tip 3: Be aware of what you plug into power strips or extension cords

Most people plug their devices into whatever open outlet is closest. But beware if that outlet is a power strip or extension cord! These devices can be mismatched with the voltage your device requires which could easily lead to a home fire.

This is especially a concern with items that heat up, like toasters, coffee makers or space heaters. These items should be unplugged when not in use.

When you start putting extension cords on some of these items, the extension cord may not be matched properly with the same size wire. When you’re pulling all that electricity through that other extension, it starts to melt that wire – and that’s when the fire starts.

What should you plug into a power strip or an extension cord? The power strip is for your computer, your flat-screen TV, any entertainment items. It’s not for space heaters or air conditioners; those items should be plugged directly into the wall outlet.

Take these tips into consideration to avoid a home fire. Should your home experience an unexpected disaster, visit SERVPRO® to contact the Fire & Water Cleanup & Restoration experts.

It's best to call us directly 336-946-1131

What to do for a frozen pipe.

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

When the temperatures are consistently below freezing what can you do to prevent freezing pipes? Turn the hot and cold water on a trickle. Open the cabinets so warm air can circulate around the pipes especially if the sink is on an exterior facing wall. Ensure that crawl space vents are closed and that pipes are well insulated within the crawl.  Preparation is key in our blog winterizing your home, we suggested inspecting for air leaks. Caulking around windows, doors, dryer vents and where electrical wiring comes into your home is a good idea to protecting pipes.

If the temperature is below freezing and your water doesn’t come on, you may have a frozen pipe, and you may already have a leak. The short answer is call a plumber. But some DIY people go too far. Never try to thaw a pipe with a blow torch or open flame.  A hair dryer could help but never use an electrical appliance while standing in water. If the pipe has burst be sure to cut the water main off. It’s a good idea to teach everyone in your household where the shut off valve is.

Heat tape is readily available at your local home improvement store, but we recommend that it be installed by a professional. Placing it on an already leaking pipe could result in shorting the heat tape and may also result in an electrical shock. If you have had an issue with frozen pipes in the past then this may be an item to put on your to do list when winterizing your home.

If you’re leaving on vacation in the winter here are some tips. Never turn the heat below 55 degrees.  Remember that water main cut it off if you’re gone for more than a couple days. Even if pipes don’t freeze they can fail. A 1/8th inch split in a water supply line can dump 250 gallons of water a day into your home or business.  Not to mention you might have mold by the time you got back from your trip.  Asking a friend or family member to check on the house to ensure it’s not too cold is also a good idea.

You can count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to be there should you have a water disaster. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Vacation Planning? Prepare your home!

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Your all packed but did you prepare your home to be away?

Vacation time is either here or approaching. Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your house is secure before you leave for your trip. Be SERVPRO ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home provided by SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact

  • Choose a close friend or neighbor you trust as your emergency contact and provide them with all of your itinerary information in case they need to contact you.
  • Have them check on the house to ensure it is not to cold, check on water sources.
  • A timer on lights will give the impression someone is home.
  • Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
  • Make sure your mail is collected; burglars often look for homes with overflowing mail. 
  • The Post office can suspend your mail and deliver the day you get back. Here is a link to the US Post Office

Take plumbing and electric precautions

  • Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off water at the meter, supply tank or appliances.
  • Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
  • Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
  • Turn Gas off unless it’s a winter vacation that could lead to freezing pipes. 
  • Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
  • Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter 55-60, in the summer 75-80 should help control usage.

 Right before you leave

  • Notify your security company that you are leaving town.
  • Take out the kitchen trash and other trash that could get smelly.
  • Go on one last walk through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.

Bon Voyage !!

If you come back from vacation and encounter water, fire or mold damage within your home, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131. We clean up mold, fire or water damage to your home or business in the Winston Salem and surrounding areas.

Frozen Pipe and Spigots are you prepared?

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

The next couple of weeks are supposed to be bitterly cold here in Winston Salem.  And SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants to warn you against the hazards of frozen outside spigots and pipes.

When water freezes, it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if it's put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.

Why Pipes Burst

Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. It's not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream; between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end.  It's this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed. Upstream from the ice blockage the water can always retreat back towards its source, so there is no pressure build-up to cause a break. Water has to freeze for ice blockages to occur. Pipes that are adequately protected along their entire length by placement within the building's insulation, insulation on the pipe itself, or heating, are safe.

Water pipes in houses here the southern climate often are more vulnerable to winter cold spells. The pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside of the building insulation, and homeowners tend to be less aware of freezing problems, which may occur only once or twice a season.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold, outside air to flow across the pipes. Research at the University of Illinois has shown that wind chill, which is the cooling effect of air and wind that causes the human body to lose heat, can play a major role in accelerating ice blockage, and thus bursting, in water pipes. 

Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can provide access for cold air to reach pipes.

If you have a loss SERVPRO of West Forsyth can make it "Like it never even happened." Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Holiday Candles And Cooking Be Safe

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

The holiday season is here and Winston Salem families gear up for decorating their homes and hosting large gatherings of friends and family, Jeff Meadows of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County reminds homeowners to take note of some sobering statistics about home fire safety from the National Fire Prevention Association:

Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. The three peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1

Candles fires peak in December. The top three days for candles fires are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve2 .

“These statistics are a serious reminder of how the excitement of holiday entertaining can quickly turn into a life-altering fire or even a tragic injury or death,” says Meadows. “While glowing candles and elaborate meals set the stage for a great holiday get-together, homeowners need to exercise extra care in controlling the dangerous potential for fires.” 

According to the NFPA3, unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home cooking fires, with frying posing the greatest fire risk and electric ranges posing a higher risk than gas ranges. Range top cooking in general started the majority of home cooking fires and caused 86 percent of related civilian deaths for the reporting period.

While incidents of candle fires peaked in 2001 and have been falling since, candles are still one of the top 10 causes of U.S. home fires, according to the NFPA. As with cooking fires, unattended or abandoned candles account for a large portion of candle fires–almost 20 percent–but the most frequent cause of candle fires is placing the candle too close to something that can burn, like curtains, decorations or furniture. 

“It’s easy to see why cooking and candle fires both peak during the holiday season,” says Meadows, “and it’s also easy to see why homeowners need to take extra care when decorating their homes or entertaining. A moment’s inattention at the stove or a guest repositioning a candle on a tabletop may be all it takes to turn the festivities into a fight to save property and lives. While our business is fire and water damage restoration and we stand ready to help at a moment’s notice if disaster does strike, our sincere hope is that our friends and neighbors will enjoy a fire-free and festive holiday season.” 

For more information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit http://www.SERVPROwestforsythcounty.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration . For more information on SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County, please contact us at (336) 946-1131

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking

http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fire-causes/candles 

http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking/Reports-and-statistics-about-cooking-fires-and-safety  

Holiday cooking fire safety

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Cooking fire

The holidays and cooking go hand in hand. But more time in the kitchen means an increased chance for cooking-related fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are nearly 4 times as many cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day as there are on any other typical day of the year. Cooking has long been the leading cause of residential fires and fire injuries, and while Thanksgiving is the peak day for residential cooking fires, folks tend to start heading into the kitchen more and more as temperatures drop. Halloween really marks the beginning of the season for baked and fried treats. A cooking fire is typically ignited by food or the grease and oils used to prepare the food, making cleanup more difficult. Turkey fryers can also lead to fire damage or injury.

A kitchen fire, regardless of the size, can be overwhelming. And while these fires typically begin on the stove, the damage generally affects the entire kitchen including, the walls, ceiling, air ducts and appliances. Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire loss condition. We can also remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. Proper remediation of fire, smoke, and soot and water damage can help prevent further damage such as lingering odors, mold growth and permanent discoloration of items.

Before attempting to clean any smoke or fire damage, contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131

It's always best to call us directly.

Winterizing Your Home

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Ahhh, fall is finally here! The leaves are changing, there’s a crisp coolness in the air, and our favorite pumpkin spiced-flavored treats line store shelves once more. We all look forward to fall’s festivities, and now that Halloween is over the winter Holidays are approaching fast. You have just a few weeks left to prepare your home for winter. Preparing can help ensure you’re cozying up by the fireside worry-free once cold weather rolls around. 

Decorating and meal-prepping might be the first things on your mind when it comes to preparing your home for the colder months Here are important fall maintenance tips that can make all the difference once winter’s first freeze hits.

  1. Clear out your gutters

All those colorful leaves falling from the trees sure are pretty — but they also pile up pretty quickly in your home’s gutters.

Even if you have gutter guard silt or excess debris can lead to clogs (or ice dams in wintery conditions), which can prevent gutters from draining properly. In turn, there’s a chance water could seep into your home since it has nowhere else to escape to, causing a multitude of issues like damage to your valuables, mold growth, and even structural rot.

Before winter hits, clear your house’s gutters of leaves and any other debris that might’ve accumulated during the summer months. It also helps to run water through the gutters afterward to check for any leaks or misalignments that could damage your home. Don’t forget to check the down spouts.

  1. Inspect for air leaks

Things like damaged weather stripping and small cracks in your home’s structure allow warm air to escape, causing your heater to go into overdrive to keep your place warm.

The solution to your chilly house and high utility bills is pretty simple: before it gets wintery outside, inspect your home’s windows, doorways, and any other places where air might be able to enter or exit.

You can use caulking to stop leaks in the stationary components of your home (like a crack in your doorframe) and weather stripping to insulate the moving components (like windows and doors).

  1. Have your heating system checked

Home just doesn’t feel like home if a malfunctioning heater is leaving you with the chills. And in parts of the country with freezing temps, it can be a much more serious situation.

That’s why it’s wise to have a licensed contractor come out to inspect your heater at least once a year, especially before the weather outside becomes frightful. Ask about the condensate drain line. “Is it clear?” “Is there an operating float switch?” Consider a moister detector that will alarm if water gets more than a 16th of an inch deep. This will let you know you have a potential problem.

  1. Prepare your pipes

Get to know where the pipelines in your house are located and make sure to inspect them every autumn (at least).

Simply patch any small leaks to help reduce weaknesses that might cause the pipe to burst in freezing weather. Have heat tape installed by professional who knows the applications. And you can further protect any exposed pipes by insulating them with foam or rubber pipe wraps, which can be found at your local hardware store.

For larger leaks or pipeline problems, it’s always a good idea to play it safe and call the pros.

Also prepare them when you leave for the long weekend to Grandma’s Turn the main valve off it can be the difference between a $800 repair and on in the tens of thousands of dollars. When you come back turn on slowly to prevent a sudden increase in pressure known as water hammer.

  1. Drain any outside faucets and irrigation systems 

Speaking of bursting pipes, it’s important to pay attention to the water systems immediately outside your place too. Undrained water in outdoor faucets and irrigation systems can expand when frozen and cause a pipe to burst.

Draining faucets is simple enough: just unhook the hoses from the faucets and pack them away in the garage for the winter and let out any remaining water — easy as that!

Irrigation systems, on the other hand, often vary in the way they should be maintained. It’s best to call a professional who has experience with underground water systems, just to cover all your bases.

  1. Have your roof inspected

For your safety, a full-blown roof inspection should be done professionally. The cost to hire an inspector can be as low as a little over $200 and can prevent seriously hefty repair expenses down the line if a winter storm wreaks havoc on your roof and you don’t have sufficient insurance coverage to cover repair costs.

Cut branches that overhang the roof or rubbing against the roof this can damage and cause problems for your home as well

Reinforcing and protecting your roof now can help you avoid a whole host of hazards, like air and water leaks, water damage, mold, and more — all of which could put a damper on your seasonal festivities (and your wallet).

  1. Restock cold-weather home essentials

Key items like rock salt or kitty litter, snow shovels, space heaters, extra batteries, and heated blankets can help make your home both more functional and comfortable during wintertime. Stock up on these helpful winter wares ahead of time to help avoid any extra hassle or stress come holiday season. You can also be prepared with a ready kit like the ones available at the Red Cross 

Related link: Tips for Before, During, and After a Winter Power Outage

  1. Take a peek at your homeowners insurance

Believe it or not, your homeowner’s policy could come to the rescue for a whole host of cold-weather mishaps. Whether a hailstorm leaves holes in your roof, a vandal breaks into your home and destroys valuables while you’re out holiday shopping, or the weight of snow and ice results in structural damage to your house, homeowners insurance could help pay to repair or replace your losses. Have a conversation with your agent about the “what if’s” and what you should be covered for.  

If you do all these and still have a Fire, Water, or Mold Damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County in Winston Salem. We make it “Like it never even happened." 

It's best to call us direct 336-946-1131

How ready is your business for a disaster?

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.  And it’s available as a mobile app in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

By working with SERVPRO®of West Forsyth County to develop your personalized Emergency READY Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call Ed Dean at 336-409-3060 Today for a No Cost Assessment 
of Your Facility!

Emergency planning can be the difference in open or closed

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Even with insurance coverage, disasters can shake the foundations of even the best-managed companies. Make a business assessment for the survival of your company. Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on being prepared to responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. Before any calamity strikes, you should know what tasks will need to be performed to get your company running again and who will be responsible for accomplishing them. While there is no one-size-fits-all recovery plan, every business’ strategy should include some basics. Laying the groundwork by preparing to handle insurance claims, scouting viable options for temporary operations and considering the implications of various financial alternatives before trouble strikes can make the process of recovery much easier. The impacts from hazards can be reduced by investing in mitigation. If there is a potential for significant impacts, then creating a mitigation strategy should be a high priority.

 https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/5.2.1.0%20Risk%20Assessment%20Process.png

Insurance Considerations

Depending upon the details of the policy that you have selected for your business, commercial property insurance may cover damage or loss of the insured property, time element losses, loss mitigation costs, and loss adjustment expenses. It may also cover costs for public relations, research and development, and other necessities. When a disaster occurs, it is crucial to take the steps that will preserve and maximize your insurance coverage. To ensure that you receive all the benefits that your business is entitled to, familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your policy before any problems arise. Work with your insurance company to create a checklist of your responsibilities after a loss to aid you in meeting deadlines and assembling documentation. Knowing what you are responsible for and being organized will make the recovery smoother and faster.

Making Your Claim

If your business is hit by disaster, set your recovery plan into motion by providing prompt notification of any claim to your insurance company. Be ready to meet any deadlines for filing proof of loss statements. If circumstances make the deadline for these statements unreasonable, get written approval for extensions. Be prepared to meet any requirements for preserving the evidence of your claim if destructive testing or immediate remediation is necessary. You will also want to record your loss mitigation efforts and the reasons that these efforts were needed.

Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has a FREE customizable app that can aid your company recover in a timely manner. 

Timing Matters

Timing is critical in insurance claims. While keeping your insurance company informed is important, you need to understand any time limitations in your policy and their potential consequences. Review your policy to see if there is a deadline for electing a valuation method. See if there is a time limit for rebuilding or replacement. You will also want to check your policy for a suit limitation clause. Most policies contain one, so you will want to be sure that it is conservatively calendared to give you time to maneuver if necessary.

Payment Possibilities

It is not surprising that cash flow is a primary concern for a business working to recover after a catastrophe. While it can take time for a claim to be settled, some insurance policies contain provisions for claim advances or partial payments. Search through your policy to see if these provisions are included and identify how you would invoke them.

Re-establishing Operations

A business impact analysis (https://www.ready.gov/business-impact-analysis) of your business before a disaster will plan and effectively get your business running smoothly again. Before anything bad happens, think about how your business could operate during the recovery phase. This may involve moving to a temporary location or finding storage for undamaged inventory or equipment, so it’s smart to be aware of the possibilities in your area. Make a note to analyze leasing and service contracts if you are forced to relocate so that you can try to tailor them to your business’s specific needs.

Property Considerations

Regardless of where you set up shop after a catastrophe, you will have to decide what to do with your original location. Is rehabilitating or rebuilding the site worthwhile? If you believe that it is, then you will need to arrange for professional remediation, design and construction services. If you decide against rebuilding, then you must figure out how to dispose of that property and acquire a new permanent location. Remember that a new location will still require design and construction services in order to modify it to suit your company’s needs. Don’t forget to review zoning issues for any new property to verify that your business will be able to build appropriate facilities and operate as desired at that location.

Financing Issues

Even with insurance, a recovery may require financing. Depending on your recovery plans, options might include a line of credit, an acquisition loan or a construction loan. In some situations, it may be possible to use legal actions to seek reimbursement from the party responsible for your loss. Weigh all the possibilities carefully and remember to consider the potential tax consequences. Understanding the pros and cons of your options before any problems start will make it easier to make smart decisions when a disaster hits.

When your business needs assistance dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophe, count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. Our professionals are prepared to respond, so when a significant event occurs, they’ll be there for you. Whether it is damage from flooding, a fire, a tornado, a hurricane, an ice event or a snowstorm, we have the resources and expertise to help in the Winston Salem, Forsyth County are.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County serves Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Rural Hall, Pfafftown, Tobaccoville, and surrounding areas. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131 Emergency Services available 24 hrs. a day. 

Lead paint renovations in your home or office

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

Doesn’t it seem like every time you turn around there’s something new that you should avoid because it’s “toxic”? In our industry we hear about mold and asbestos all the time. Lesser known is another substance known to cause health issues: lead.  The most common place lead is found is lead-based paint. Chipping or peeling paint that contains lead and lead contaminated dust are the main sources of lead poisoning. Houses and apartments built before 1978 may have lead-based paint on the inside, outside, or both. Lead-based paint can also be found on toys, furniture, playground equipment, older cars and boats. Soil, especially around the foundation of homes and near highways, and old water pipes may also contain lead. Hobbies such as making pottery, stained glass or refinishing furniture can expose someone to lead.

Exposure to lead can result in serious health issues. The Forsyth County Environmental Health web site has more information regarding the effect of lead on the body.

Can I just paint over existing lead-based paint?

Repairing damaged painted surfaces can temporarily reduce your family’s risk of lead exposure, but it is not a permanent solution. Never use a belt sander, dry scraper/sandpaper, water blasting, torch, flame, or heat gun on painted surfaces that may contain lead. A contractor who is certified to work with lead-based paint knows how to safely work around the potential hazard and should conduct any work needed. And SERVPRO of West Forsyth is a certified lead paint renovator.

In disaster situations, we sometimes have to disturb lead paint in order to properly dry your home and make it safe. There are many jobs that we tear out drywall, and therefore paint. Enter the EPA Department of Health Services. There are laws about how to deal with structures older than 1978: we assume that lead is present unless we test for it and confirm otherwise. We use lead safe work practices, which basically means contain the workspace and make sure it gets cleaned up per EPA regulations. This makes it a safe environment for your home or workplace.

Place your trust in SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to handle all of your water, fire, smoke, mold, and vandalism damage, lead paint renovation and restoration needs.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Halloween Fire Safety

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Autumn holidays like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children of all ages, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy bonfire parties, enjoy fall fruits and vegetables, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

Going trick-or-treating?

When using candles to decorate with never leave them unattended.

Keep fabrics and other decorations such as crepe paper and spider web decorations far from the candles.

Bonfires should have a way to extinguish the fire should it get too large. Sand or a water hose available is a good idea.

Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house.

Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

Look both ways before crossing the street.

Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult.

Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

Use battery operated candles in jack-o-lanterns when possible.

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes. 

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween from SERVPRO of West Forsyth County – 336-946-1131

What is Mold? How should I deal with Mold?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

What is mold?

Mold is a fungus that loves damp and humid conditions.  It spreads by producing mold spores, which can survive many harsh environments.  Mold and mildew are most often found in places that have high moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawlspaces, around water heaters or air handlers.  It is not uncommon, however, to also find mold on or between walls, flooring, carpeting, furniture, or textiles.  Often it is a result of a hidden leak, poor drainage or a past water damage. Sometimes the odor will tip you off, but other times it might go undetected until you see it or someone begins showing symptoms indicating possible mold.

Do I need to do a mold test?

Store bought mold tests aren’t terribly reliable. If you can see mold then you can be sure removing it is the only way to prevent further growth.  If however you suspect mold may be growing out of sight, such as inside a wall, ceiling cavity or beneath the flooring, a good air quality test can be very helpful.  An air quality test will not only identify the specific types of mold but also let you know how much of it is present in the air in specific areas of your home.  SERVPRO frequently recommends a professional air quality test be done prior to mold removal and again after mitigation is complete.  Comparing the results before and after provides an excellent measure to ensure a healthy environment or identify any ongoing issues that need to be addressed.

What happens if I hire SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to take care of mold in my home?

First we will dispatch one of our certified mold mitigation technicians to complete a visual inspection and initial assessment. 

Our trained technician will try to help you identify and address the source of the moisture problem.  This will help prevent a recurrence of mold or further damage to your home in the future.

Moisture meters are used to pinpoint exactly what areas are wet – if any. Before mitigation begins, an independent contractor to ensure we have objective data on the type and quantity of mold present should perform the first air-quality test.

If mold is found, we’ll set up containment and air scrubbers to prevent spores from contaminating other areas of your home. Next we apply a professional anti-microbial product to kill existing mold spores and help prevent mold from returning.

If necessary, affected porous materials will be sealed in plastic and removed.  Non-porous surfaces are then mitigated accordingly, wiped down and/ or sprayed with an anti-microbial one last time.

Once all debris has been removed and affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned or remediated, we’ll suggest a final air quality test.  This final measure will be your assurance that your home is now a clean and healthy environment for you and your family.  If for any reason the affected area does not pass the air quality test, SERVPRO will continue mold mitigation until passing air quality tests are obtained.

What does it mean to be a SERVPRO certified mold mitigation technician?

Our SERVPRO technicians are certified through the IICRC.  Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is the standard setter for the mitigation industry and considered the authority in mitigation by most insurance carriers.

In addition SERVPRO offers on-going training to all of its employees, enabling them to remain up to date on current mitigation and restoration practices and provide you with answers you can rely on.

As the preferred mitigation specialist for most major insurance companies; SERVPRO staff are experienced at communicating with you and your insurance company to assist in all steps of your insurance claim process.

Each SERVPRO employee is dedicated to ensuring your home is restored to its preloss condition and to your full satisfaction.  

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Protecting your home against winter water damage

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Winter is coming and cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Although we had a mild winter last year here in Winston Salem, it is best to be prepared. The time to prepare is now before the chance of freezing temperatures. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. 

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits. 

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries. 

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. Areas that hold standing water can freeze and cause a slip and fall hazard.

Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present. 

Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems. 

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 

Ask your SERVPRO of West Forsyth County professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster. 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
336-946-1131 

It's always best to call us directly.

Why should my water damage be professionally dried?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

If you’ve recently had a severe water intrusion due to leaking pipes, storm flood or other causes, you might be thinking that you can handle it on your own. Keep in mind, though, that cleaning up water damage goes beyond wiping away the residue and letting everything dry. While we understand that you want to save money and maybe you’re a DIY type of person.  But water damage can cause serious health problems if not cleaned properly.  It can also cost more money if not done properly when you toss in mold remediation costs.  And then there is the problem that you can’t see beyond the baseboards and carpet to get the water you’re missing?

The following are some of the advantages of hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Safety

A lot of people fail to realize how dangerous standing water can be. Depending on the source it could contain bacteria and pathogens, causing you to get sick just by touching it. You could potentially contaminate unaffected areas of your home or business by walking through contaminated water damaged areas.

Hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is a smart choice since we have been trained to know what needs to be done and how to do it safely by IICRC standards. In addition to that, we have the necessary equipment and experience to get the job done right. Getting it done right is important because getting it done wrong or incomplete could cost more money down the road.

Mold prevention

Hiring the professional services of SERVPRO West Forsyth is beneficial, as you can be sure that the cleanup will be done properly. This gives you an assurance that you will not face any issues later on.

Mold growth is one of the biggest problems with water damage. Any dampness left in porous materials can create an environment that is susceptible to mold growth. Protect your home from the development of mold by hiring professionals, and having it dried properly.

We use hydrosensors, moisture meters, and infrared cameras to assure we find all the wet materials created by a water damage event.  Routinely check common areas that could potentially leak water, such as around the water heater, under sinks, and around toilets. Especially for areas that are not used routinely. Notify a professional if you find areas of concern.

Fast service

Clean up should be done immediately, preferably within the first 24 hours. Be aware that mold can start to grow within 48-72 hours after porous material are water damaged. Your home can even be a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew and other contaminants if surfaces stay wet for over 48 hours.

In the event of water damage, it should be in your best interest to hire a professional company as soon as possible. Water damage problems can become very serious if left untreated.  Our phone 336-946-1131 is monitored 24/7/365.  We will call you back within an hour and be on site within four hours for emergency services.

Protect your belongings

Water from leaks, pipe bursts or floods can easily destroy your belongings, furnishings and even your home. While some of your things may be destroyed by water almost immediately, hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth increases your chance of saving more of your belongings. We know that some things insurance money could not replace. We have restored items as common as the carpet saving you money on a claim, to one off painting of a family member generations removed from today.

For a free copy of a helpful brochure on “what to do until help arrives” call us at 336-946-1131

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County serves Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Rural Hall, Pfafftown, Tobaccoville, and surrounding area. 

Preparing for water damage

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Winston Salem Water Damage Tips from SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

Each passing year, water damage costs property owners in Winston Salem millions and millions of dollars. Water damage may be the result of plumbing issues related to pipe breaks, leaky toilets, showers, or tubs. Unfortunately, there are also many factors leading to water damage that you have little control over. Flooding, natural disasters, and the water left behind after a firefighting effort. Despite the fact that water damage can cause substantial problems to your business or residential property, there are several precautionary and follow-up procedures that you can implement to decrease the severity of the damage. To learn more about the appropriate course of action to take in the event that water damage affects your home or business, please read on.

Preparation Tips

There are several strategies you can implement to prevent your home from being heavily damaged in the face of the unwanted water.

• When you go on vacation, be sure to shut your main water line off. Doing so will decrease the likelihood of flooding that results from a break in a frozen pipe or washing machine hose.
• Allow your faucets to drip regularly when the weather is extremely cold. This will allow any water that freezes to have room for expansion without rupturing a pipe.
• Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly to safeguard against roof damage that results from the overflowing of water that may enter your home through the fascia or soffits.
• Have your hose connections and fittings inspected annually? Keep a good eye on your appliances.

Safety Tips After a Water Damaging Event

• Stay away from rooms in which the ceiling has started to sag as a result of water retention.
• Do not use electrical appliances that could have been damaged by fire or water.
• Refrain from using electrical appliances and equipment when you are standing on wet floors or carpet.
• Do not enter a room with standing water if the electricity is turned on. Be careful. More firefighters die from electrocution than from fire or smoke.

Recovery Tips

• Call for professional assistance immediately. Start with your insurance company. Obtaining prompt clean up services can help preclude extensive water damage. It can also prevent the emergence of unwanted mold and bacteria growth. SERVPRO's professionals are highly skilled in offering detail-oriented, expedient services that prevent your home from becoming susceptible to structural damage after initial exposure to excess water. 

 Although dealing with water damage can be a problematic task, knowing what to do and who to call can prevent the issue from inducing too much anxiety. When you're ready to hire excellent water remediation services at affordable prices, it's time to call the professionals of SERVPRO. We offer round the clock assistance and unprecedented customer service, so call now to obtain the results-driven, client-centered remediation assistance you deserve!

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in Winston Salem too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is close by and ready to respond to your water and flood damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the community.

We use scientific drying principles and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete. We are here for you. (336) 946-1131

Limit water damage by acting quickly

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Summer time in Winston Salem NC humidity and summer storms. When water stands and causes damage it can continue to cause damage and cost even more money to repair the secondary damage. So, the old adage is never truer than when dealing with a water-damaged home or business. Every minute matters, because every minute the property is wet could turn primary damage into secondary- or even permanent damage.  That's why emergency response, and time matter.  

Secondary water damage occurs when the moisture from the primary event (flood, leak, etc.) begins to evaporate on its own into the air.  Over time the air will no longer be able to hold the moisture from the evaporation.  The moisture will have to go somewhere and a very basic principle behind psychometrics is that wet goes to dry.  The moisture may go into your drywall, cabinetry, sheetrock, hardwood floors, vinyl floors, etc.  Once the moisture is allowed to sit, mold can then begin to grow.  This is why emergency action is so incredibly important.

Storms, floods, burst pipes, and leaks simply don't abide by the 9-to-5 workday.  So why should your restoration provider?  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the state-of-the-art equipment and proven methods and training to get the job done right as quickly as possible. This includes every holiday, even 4th of July. You can call us and we will be there.

If the unthinkable happens, call your local SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals at (336) 946-1131 seven days a week 24/7 to help you avoid the cost and hassle of secondary damages.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Is your work family ready for a disaster?

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Businesses should take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. Recent events in Texas show us the importance of preparing for as many contingencies as possible. From terrorist attacks to natural disasters anything could happen to disrupt your business.  Despite a national campaign of activities, resources and information each year less than ½ of all households surveyed could boast a plan of action already in place.  52% of businesses say it would take them 3 months to recover from a substantial loss.  But 75% of them do not have a plan in place to minimize that time or even know where they would begin to recover. Of business polled, if a disaster were to occur, 44 percent of small business owners say they don’t have access to generators — and 66 percent don’t even have business interruption insurance.

The numbers are staggering but they can be planned for and minimize the amount of disruption to your home or business. Are you ready?  On the Home front, FEMA offers lots of information for adults, children and teachers to help them assist in educating and formulating a plan for themselves and those in their care at:  http://www.ready.gov.  This site offers everything from checklists to coloring pages as well as information on how best to plan for those with special needs.

For business owners, SERVPRO of West Forsyth wants to ask Is your business ready?  50% of the businesses that suffer a disaster that causes a disruption in transactions never reopen, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that do survive an overwhelming majority had a preparedness plan in place.   A disaster recovery plan is a detailed, step-by-step course of action for getting a business back on its feet quickly following either a natural or manmade disaster. Where are your documents?  How recently was your information backed up, or updated and how do you gain access to it?  Can you reach your team members?  Answering questions like these ahead of time could be the difference between getting up and running quickly and smoothly or perhaps not at all.  Get started;   http://www.ready.gov/business offers business specific planning and resources.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County would like to help.  By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you’ll have an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key in minimizing how disasters can affect your business.  Customize your ready plan data on your mobile device for quick access during an emergency.  Our Emergency Ready app is available as a free download at:  http://www.SERVPRO.com/disaster-recovery

Our location off Stratford Road and I-40, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is strategically located to quickly respond to your call anywhere in the Winston Salem area.   Call us directly at 336-946-1131

7 Tips for preparing for a disaster

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

#1 Make a Plan. Living here in Winston Salem, NC, you’re less likely to face an earthquake than a severe storm that could cause flash flooding. Knowing what you could face will help prepare you for emergencies as you go throughout your day to day routine.  Red Cross has thought of a number of them and are listed here.  Flooding in Texas and Louisiana reminds us that you may not have as much warning with flash floods or sudden storm systems.  It doesn’t take much time, but it will save you valuable time should an emergency happen. Make, print and practice a plan.

#2 The Details matter. Know the details of how you escape a disaster. Planning the route of where you are going while the fire is burning is not the time to plan your route. Knowing if you are going to a shelter, motel or friends home will help get you there quickly and safely. Ensuring that everyone knows the details of the plan will ensure that your family will meet you at the prescribed place. Does your family require special needs? Do you have pets? These are the types of details that matter. The goal is to ensure the whole family is taken care of. Medications needed? Does the shelter or motel take pets? Consider all of the needs of the entire family.

#3 Stay informed. Ensuring that you are informed of impending storms by listening to NOAA or the local news alerts will keep you aware of changing weather. Being informed is part of being prepared. Local news agencies are committed to alerting their listeners and viewers of dangerous situations. 

#4 Communicate. Most people say I’ll just pick up my cell phone, but that may be down. If local phone lines are overloaded or out of service it is sometimes easier to call or text long distance. Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones. If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know you are safe. You may also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and select the prompt for "Disaster" to register yourself and your family. Speaking of communication, sign up for emergency alerts. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA’s) are designed to be short and an effective way to save lives by giving warning and direction to people in the affected area. Don’t turn them off because they are less annoying than the alternative.  Social Media may give you some information and allow you to contact family but don’t count on it exclusively.

#5 Emergency Kit. Having a plan but no tools to implement it with is ineffective. What are some of the basics you need? Water, Food, and Shelter are the big three but what about other necessities?  Do you have medicine that you need?  A small child to care for? What are other items to help you along the way? Think first aid items, rope and flashlights. FEMA has a list of items that will be helpful here. Do you need to be a doomsday prepper? Probably not, but depending on the severity, you may have to rely on your own for 3-4 days before infrastructure is restored.  Be sure you are familiar with what is in the Emergency kit and how to use the items in the kit.

#6 Get trained. Knowing some basic emergency training will also help in a crisis situation. Know how a fire extinguisher works or how to perform CPR. The American Red Cross has education on a number of topics that can be useful in an emergency situation. Learn where the shut offs are for utilities in your home or office. Cutting them off may prevent further damage or making a bad situation even worse. Be sure that your family and coworkers are educated on the plan of what to do in case of an emergency.

#7 Now that you are planning what to do when you are at home, what about if you’re away from home? Talk to your child’s school and ask how they plan or evacuate the school? How do they communicate with you about emergencies? Does your business have a plan?  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help you with that. The Emergency Ready Profile can go right beside your employee handbook and be carried with you on your mobile device. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Call us to get started on your plan 336-946-1131.

Quickly Protect Your Home After A Storm

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Following a storm flood or fire, water cleanup in Winston Salem, Clemmons or Rural Hall is the first and one of the most important processes that you will need to have done. In the event that you don't complete the water removal process immediately, your property can be subjected to a plethora of unwanted, unnecessary complications such as mold growth, loss of possessions, and structural damage. If you find yourself in need of water damage services, it's important to find a skilled team of restoration experts like SERVPRO of West Forsyth. We can expedite the water extraction, cleaning, repair, and restoration components of the process. Learn more about the importance of water damage cleanup by reviewing this short reference guide:


Water Cleanup Prevents Mold and Mildew Growth

One of the reasons for securing the services of an experienced water damage cleanup company is inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew in your home. Unfortunately, these fungi can begin thriving and expanding on your property 48-72 hours after the initial water intrusion. Moreover, the moist, warm conditions created by water damage make your residential property a prime location in which mold can grow and thrive. 

Prevent or Diminish Secondary Water Damage to the Structure of Your Home

Another great benefit of rapid water removal is that it prevents structural damage from adversely impacting your property. When left unaddressed for an extended time, the water can wick into walls, and studs, rust appliances, and damage the electrical system. If a natural flooding disaster occurred, then the foundation could also have been compromised. 

Why You Should Secure Professional Assistance 

Although some people attempt to complete the water cleanup process on their own, this approach is not advisable if it means more than using a mop and a bucket. For volumes of unwanted standing water, our water removal process is expedited and optimized through the use of specialized equipment. Truck-mounted water pumps and portable vacuums are the means of rapid water extraction. The quicker the removal, the less the water damage to furniture, walls, flooring, electronics, and personal possessions. This helps to remove water and treat damage that you can’t see.

Let SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Assist You Now.

Each of our IICRC-certified professionals utilizes advanced skills while offering excellent customer service to expedite and optimize the water damage restoration process for your home in Winston Salem and surrounding areas. We work well with insurance companies by offering professional communication, official documentation of our findings and procedures, and follow-up inspections.

It’s best to contact us directly 336-946-1131

September is National Preparedness Month

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month and SERVPRO wants to make sure you have a plan set in place in case of an emergency. Safety should always be the first priority, so establishing evacuation plans in your home and office ahead of time will get you ready for any emergency that hits Winston Salem and surrounding Piedmont.  SERVPRO can help you with an Emergency Readiness Plan, our mobile app. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County for more information 336-946-1131 or click the link.  

What if you are separated during an emergency?

Your family and coworkers should discuss two places to meet. One should be outside of your home or business in case of a sudden emergency like a fire and another should be outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate. An out-of-area emergency contact should be chosen to make it easier if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. This emergency contact should be saved in your cell phone. Also, make sure to save SERVPRO of West Forsyth County as your emergency services contact so you can call and report any damage that is done to your home or business.

Plan what to do if you need to evacuate.

Decide what route you would take to get to your evacuation route. Choose something like a hotel/motel, friends or relatives house, or an evacuation shelter if necessary. Practice your evacuation plan at least twice a year, this way you can plot alternate routes on your map incase roads are impassable. If you have pets, make sure that your plan can accommodate them as well. Compile a list of pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

Let Your Family Know you’re Safe.

Inform friends and family so they do not worry about you once you have reached your point of evacuation. The Red Cross also offers services to let your family know you are safe and well.

Stay Informed.

It is helpful to know the types of disasters that are likely to occur in your area and know just how authorities will notify you during a disaster. Know the differences between the various weather alerts as well so you know which actions to take. Your community can change in an instant when an emergency occurs so brushing up on first aid and CPR would be beneficial for you and your family. The Red Cross can also help with classes. Be sure to communicate the plan to all who could be effected by a disaster.

If a natural disaster does occur, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will be there to clean up the mess and restore your home or business to a preloss condition. Whether it be flood, mold, or fire, SERVPRO will make it like it never happened. Call us at 336-946-1131

#NatlPrep

Storm Flood Terminology / Safety

8/19/2017 (Permalink)

Flood Mapping of Winston Salem and Forsyth County

Flash Flood or Flood Watch

Flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated area. Be alert to signs of rising water and be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Tune to local TV and Radio for updates on conditions and forecasts from the National Weather Service.

Flash Flood or Flood Warning

Flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent. When a warning is issued for your area, or the moment you realize yourself that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly to save yourself.

Urban and Small Stream Advisory

Flooding of small streams, streets, and low-lying areas, such as railroad underpasses and storm drains, is occurring.

Flood or Flood Statement

Follow-up information from the National Weather Service regarding a flash flood or flood event.

Flood Safety  

If advised to evacuate, do so IMMEDIATELY. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.

Get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, washes, etc.

Avoid areas of flowing water. The water can rise quickly. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet. A depth of two feet will lift a car and make it float. NEVER try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. STOP, turn around, and find another route.

If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and sweep it-- and its occupants-- away.

Be especially cautious at night when it's harder to recognize flood dangers. The reflection of still water in your headlights will give you no indication of the water's true depth, and the road bed may be washed out under the water.

After a Flood  

If fresh food has come in contact with flood waters, throw it out.

Contact your local public works department about water safety. Boil drinking water before using. Wells should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking.

Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.

Use flashlights-- not lanterns, torches, or matches-- to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.

Report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.

Before a Flood

Know your flood risk and elevation about flood stage. Do your local streams or rivers flood easily? You can see if you live close to a flood prone area here. This helpful interactive map can help you locate you home in Winston Salem or anywhere in Forsyth or surrounding counties.

Install check valves in building sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.

Homeowners' and renters' policies rarely cover flooding. Contact your insurance agency about getting flood insurance. Flood insurance is administered by FEMA and a helpful FAQ can be found here

Store drinking water in clean bathtubs and various containers if water service may be interrupted.

Keep a stock of food that requires little cooking and no refrigeration in case electric power is interrupted.

Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps.

If your home or business suffers water damage from a flash flood call us directly 24/7 at 336-946-1131. SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County Professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

We make it “Like it never even happened.” It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

After the Firemen have left, What are you to do with the mess?

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Firemen putting out the fire

The cost of smoke and fire damage restoration depends on a few variables even after the cause of the fire is out.

Soot, when left on surfaces can corrode and permanently discolor in the span of a few hours. If left for days, the issues can become irreparable and require the replacement of furniture, floor coverings, counter tops, and much more.

Beyond the soot; Burnt smells frequently linger, which make odor neutralization another important part of the process.

What many people don’t consider until they’ve experienced a fire first hand is the effects of the water used to put the fire out.  Parts of the structure and the contents that weren’t damaged by the fire itself may be adversely affected by the water and if not cleaned and dried quickly will need to be discarded and run the risk of mold growth.   

In order for smoke damage restoration to be most effective, the job should be approached as soon as possible by a professional in mitigation. Trained technicians can remove and neutralize odors, and quickly identify which items may be able to be restored.

Smoke, ash, and water all contribute to the devastation, so having someone with the proper training is crucial.  SERVPRO technicians with certifications in Fire and Smoke Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Fabric and Upholstery Cleaning, Odor Control, Mold Remediation and Prevention, and Applied Structural Drying will have all the skills necessary to salvage and return rooms to a previous state

SERVPRO® National Call Center served 313 insurance and property management companies and their clients nationwide in the last year alone.  We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year and helps lower your insurance rates too!

24-Hour Emergency Service; in our business, you need us fast! Professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Our trained, uniformed mitigation specialists are equipped to restore your property to preloss condition whenever possible and will walk you through the process until the work and your satisfaction are complete.

From large commercial buildings to residential losses, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County understands your loss is the job that matters most!

It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131

Fire Safety Do's and Don'ts

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Although home fires spike around the holidays, a home or office fire can happen any day of the year. People eat every day and therefore cook every day, maybe not every meal but the risk is there. So what are some of the concerns after a fire damage to my home or office? The fire department has to investigate all calls they are called to. So, before the last fire fighter leaves, ask them if it is ok to call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to come and get started on the cleanup.

After any fire damage situation, our primary focus is safety first, yours should be also:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house? 
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns. 
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. Did the fire go through the ceiling? Is there a danger of it collapsing?  
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!   
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome and other metal surfaces with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil. This could include silverware, guns, and expensive faucet fixtures
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers. 
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional. Smoke particles are different and may need special treatment in order to save costs.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Regarding Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency - (336) 946-1131 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County proudly serves Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours /7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure. It is always best to contact us directly.

Be prepared is like creating your own good luck

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

 SERVPRO Urges Winston-Salem Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2017

Local cleanup and restoration specialist shares no-cost emergency planning tools that enable fast and effective disaster response and recovery

 

New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but it is not too late to think about making just one more resolutions, according to Jeff Meadows, owner of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, Meadows says the single most important resolution both business and home owners can make for 2017 is to “Resolve to be Ready.”

 

“Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together,” says Meadows. “Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.”

 

Meadows encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost and easy emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (https://www.ready.gov/publications), as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com). 

 

For homeowners:

  • FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.
  • SERVPRO offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.

 

For business owners:

  • FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
  • For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.

 

“The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and the location of fuse boxes, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency,” says Meadows. “Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.”

 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, or the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, contact Ed Dean at (336) 946-1131 you can also visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com .

Are you Prepared for a power outage?

2/26/2015 (Permalink)

Ready Kit

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner. 

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.  If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

1.     Flashlights for each family member

2.     Battery-operated radio and clock

3.     Extra batteries

4.     Containers of bottled water

5.     Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants

6.     Non-electric can opener

7.     List of important phone numbers

8.     First-aid kit

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

•Choose foods your family will eat.

•Remember any special dietary needs.

•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener

•Protein or fruit bars

•Dry cereal or granola

•Peanut butter

•Dried fruit

•Nuts

•Crackers

•Canned juices

•Non-perishable pasteurized milk

•High energy foods

•Vitamins

•Food for infants

•Comfort/stress foods

These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a winter storm http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather When winter weather strikes the Winston Salem area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of West Forsyth County arrives will make a difference.  Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Giving back to the community is important.

2/6/2015 (Permalink)

Home Repairs for those in need.

The CCC (Carolina Cross connection) is a Youth Ministry Camp that completes home improvement projects for families in need. Since 1988 Carolina Cross Connection has ministered from tool sheds and front stoops to provide a summer home repair ministry to help youth and adults put their faith in action.  The CCC strives to connect local churches and small groups to neighbors in need, CCC seeks to develop communities who nurture and take care of one another. These projects help make homes handicap accessible, or badly needed home repairs for families who could not otherwise afford to do so.  The CCC serves 20 western counties, Asheville’s homeless, and cares for orphans in Honduras. In the past 27 summers the CCC has seen 28,000 volunteers assist over 16,000 families and individuals in need.  The values are empowering the youth to serve and lead in the name of Christ. To give back and be a part of the community while having fun and providing excellence in the service projects they complete.  

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County owner Jeff Meadows has participated in week long CCC mission trips in the past and believes in this philosophy so much the company will be sponsoring the Morning Watch 5K, Fun Run. This will be held on March 14th at the community of Clemmons West Subdivision 3376 Middlebrook Drive Clemmons NC. For more information and discounts for early registration go to http://www.carolinacrossconnection.org/5KClemmons .

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