Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup
Vandalism at a local church
Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.
Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today 803-955-0342
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, they can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. Their highly trained technicians can offer the following services:
Your Belongings and Fire Damage
Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings are the very things that make a house a home.
If You Have Questions or Need Help,
Call Us Today 803-955-0342
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:
- A quicker remodeling process
- Protecting items from potential damage
- Protecting contents from further on-site damage
When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.
Contents Claim Inventory Service
When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.
Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:
- Preloss list and value of contents
- Detailed and accurate report
- Better information to settle claims quicker
- Assistance with burden of proof for claims
- Peace of mind when you need it most!
April Showers, Bring More May Showers....
Spring is in the air for South Carolina, and with spring, comes spring showers- which may lead to flooding conditions. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods have on you and your home, before the rainy season begins!
Identify any existing roof or siding problems:A licensed contractor can inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and do any repair work if necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect and reinforce any loose siding, which can quickly rip off during high winds.
Use shredded bark mulch as landscaping material:If you have rock or gravel landscaping, it’s a good idea to replace it with bark, which won’t cause damage if blown around in high winds.
Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard:Spring is the perfect time to remove dead or weak branches or remove trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Check trees and shrubs regularly to identify potential problems.
Ensure gutters aren’t loose or clogged:Clear your gutters of debris, it can block the passage of water from flowing freely off roofs and away from the home, and make sure they are tightly attached to your house. Strong winds can quickly tear loose gutters from your home and cause damage. Also, it’s important to make sure downspouts are positioned away from your home’s foundation to help prevent basement flooding.
Secure top-heavy furniture:Don’t forget about the inside of your home too. Walk around your house and secure large, top-heavy pieces, such as bookcases, to the wall.
Install and maintain sump pumps: Sump pumps help to send water away from the home in areas such as basements and below-grade rooms that tend to flood more easily. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a sump pump or investing in a more portable version. If you already have a sump pump, inspect it to make sure it is in good working order and is clear of debris.
Catalog possessions: Using a digital camcorder or camera, create a home inventory for insurance. Inexpensive digital cameras start at about $100. Although traditional video and photographs are adequate, they can be bulky to carry and may get damaged if left in a flooded home. Digital files can be stored on a small USB drive and kept in your go bag, sent to a friend or relative for safekeeping, or stored on an online backup system.
Get you ducts in a row...
Ventilation systems can often be the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality because many people allow HVAC systems to operate for some time without much attention or upkeep.
Your HVAC system could be circulation odors, dust and other contaminants throughout your home or business. Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
SERVPRO will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. Benefits of serving HVAC unit include:
-Helps to restore peak energy efficiency
-May help to eliminate offensive odors.
-Help reduce the potential for mold growth
For more information on duct cleaning or to set up a written inspection and estimate call
SERVPRO of Lexington today at 803-955-0342.
Hoarding vs. Collecting
Hoarding vs. Collecting
Hoarding is not the same as collecting. In general, collectors have a sense of pride about their possessions and they experience joy in displaying and talking about them. They usually keep their collection organized, feel satisfaction when adding to it, and budget their time and money.
Those who hoard usually experience embarrassment about their possessions and feel uncomfortable when others see them. They have clutter, often at the expense of livable space, feel sad or ashamed after acquiring additional items, and they are often in debt.
What Is Hoarding??
The easiest definition of hoarding is when the amount of acquired clutter prohibits functionality in the home. This means that functional areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and dining rooms cannot be used for their intended purpose. There are 5 levels of hoarding, 1 being minor clutter and 5 being blocked rooms, pathways, animal/human waste, limited ingress and egress, etc. Remember level 5 hoarding cases do not happen overnight, so a level 2 or 3 can quickly become a level 5 if proper methods are not utilized to prevent it.
Hoarding affects all types of people, young and old, male and female. The type of clutter that is found within a household often times reflect the interests, hobbies or career of the individual, although sometimes the type of clutter may seem completely random, also. Either way, the fact of the matter is that the hoarding is affecting the individual’s life, and may be affecting those surrounding them as well. In the end, the hoarder’s lifestyle may be dramatically altered, ranging from a limited social life to being cut off from family and friends as a direct or indirect result of hoarding. This ultimately leads to the hoarder becoming more and more attached to the clutter that surrounds them, relying on their “stuff” for social interaction and comfort. In the case of animal hoarders, this may be truer, with the hoarder finding solace and companionship in their pets.
Types of Hoarders
- ANIMAL HOARDING
- BIBLIOMANIA (HOARDING OF BOOKS) / INFORMATION HOARDER
- SYLLOGOMANIA (HOARDING OF TRASH/GARBAGE)
- LARDER HOARDING (HOARDING OF FOOD)
If you or someone you know has a hoarding situation, give us a call to see if we can help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Tips for Handling a Home Insurance Claim
Consider if the damage is worth filing a claim
Your first step should be to wonder, “Do I really need to file a claim for this?” Small home problems are known as “incidentals” by many insurers. These have the same deductible and potential to raise your premiums as a whole home replacement. Making frivolous claims or requesting claims that can't be honored trigger expenses that make claims cost more than they save.
Be familiar with your insurance policy.
Review your policy every year or every time you switch carriers. Look on the “declarations” page to find out the types of incidents that are covered. This page also has the maximum value you can get from a claim. Before filing a claim, take the time to look at your policy and see if your problem is covered.
Know a Licensed and Insured, Reliable Contactor
You'll want only the most reliable contractor to perform repairs on your home after it's damaged. Try to seek one out before anything happens to your house. This will ensure that you get the best work possible when the time comes. You have the right to choose who works in your home. You do not have to use anyone you do not want to.
Use your preferred contractor for a repair estimate
A dependable contractor will be able to make an accurate estimate, then perform the work correctly both on-schedule and on-budget.
Take photos of the Damages
Your first step after calling your insurer and your contractor should be to begin documenting the damage as-is. Take clear, well-lit photos from as many angles as possible.
Get in Touch with Your Mortgage Lender
Your mortgage lender will likely be part of the settlement process if you don't own your home in full yet. Ask your lender how they handle insurance claims, many have specific packets they will want filled out to endorse insurance checks. Get that paperwork filled out at soon as possible to speed up the process with the mortgage company.
Be Present During the Adjuster Inspection
After getting a contractor's estimate, be ready to give the adjuster in writing your personal assessment of the damage. You'll help make sure that they do not miss crucial details or underestimate the extent of the necessary repairs.
Leave a Paper Trail
The key to making claims as painless as possible is airtight documentation.
- Make note of relevant phone conversations, or better yet use email to communicate since it's verifiable by both parties
- Save all receipts for expenses
- Never pay in cash, especially for your contract work
- If your policy covers living expenses, save receipts for associated costs while waiting for repairs like hotel rooms, babysitting, etc.
- Document value of existing assets prior to the damage. For example, save your HDTV purchase receipt and your invoice from a flooring replacement
- Obtain a copy of the police report, if applicable
Mold Prevention Tips
Mold Prevention Tips
- When water leaks or intrusions occur, act quickly! Wet or damp material that is dried within 24 – 48 hours of the leak, in most cases, will NOT grow mold.
- Remove wet carpet or furniture that cannot be dried within 24 – 48 hours.
- Do not install carpet in areas of water usage such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
- Remove wet clothes from the washer promptly.
- Do not leave damp clothes or towels lying around.
- Keep indoor humidity levels below 60%. The ideal level is between 30 – 50%. Relative humidity can be measured by a moisture or humidity meter, a small and inexpensive instrument available at most hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, act fast to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture or water source.
- Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to keep humidity low.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines free of obstructions.
- Be sure dryers, stoves, heaters and exhaust fans vent to the outside, not into the walls or attic.
- Use a bathroom exhaust fan or open the window when you shower.
- Dry shower walls after a shower.
- When cooking or using the dishwasher, use an exhaust fan or open the window.
- Keep furniture from blocking air returns and vents.
- Dust and vacuum often.
- Remove mold growing in the soil of houseplants.
- Clean and repair gutters regularly.
- Repair any roof leaks as soon as you discover them.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation so that water does not enter or pool around the foundation.
- Insulate cold surfaces such as cold water pipes to prevent condensation.
- Repair any plumbing leaks as soon as you find them.
- Use mold-resistant building materials when available.
- Install a vapor barrier in the crawlspace to prevent moisture from the ground.
- Keep the crawlspace and basement well ventilated.
- Ensure that the attic is properly ventilated and properly insulated.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803) 955-0342
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?
Homeowners insurance does not usually cover mold damages. Although, there are instances when mold is covered. These instances are generally when the cause of mold is due to an incident that homeowners insurance does cover. For example, if mold has grown due to accidental and sudden pipe burst or if a recent fire has caused mold, your homeowners insurance will likely cover the mold damages. On the contrary, if mold has grown due to improper maintenance practices, such as on-going humidity exposure or a continuous leak, homeowners insurance will not likely cover the damages.
If you believe you may have a mold issue give us a call today to have one of our experienced technicians come out and access your concerns!! 803-955-0342
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
Fire Damage Emergency Tips
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- 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.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency?
What To Do After A Fire
- 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 with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- 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.