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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Follow These Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

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

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803) 755-9774

Fire Damage Cleanup

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Need an estimate for fire damage? Call our office at (803)755-9774.

Inspection and Pretesting
The SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia Professional pretests while inspecting the property to determine the extent of fire damage and the scope of needed cleaning, restoration, and repairs.

  • The full extent of the smoke and fire damage. How many materials are affected by smoke or fire? What is the proper method for cleaning? Will your personal belongings need to be relocated while your house is restored? These are just a few of the decisions that must be made.
  • Unaffected areas - It can be vital to protect areas that were not affected by soot and odor before the damage spreads to these areas. It will save you money!
  • What materials can be restored and what materials must be replaced. Are the smoke residues cleanable? Who is completing the inventory of items that are damaged beyond repair? Fire damage pretesting is vital. A complete inventory is invaluable! How long will the cleanup take? We'll let you know what to expect.
  • The most effective cleaning methods. What work procedures will restore the damaged materials?

Pretesting also allows the SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia Professional to focus on saving precious items or keepsakes for you.

Once the fire damage mitigation begins, the Franchise Professional will keep you informed and answer your questions, all while working to help make the fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

Lightning Facts

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning can be beautiful to see, but very dangerous. According to the US Federal Emergency Management Acgency (FEMA), an average of 60 people every year are killed by lightning, and hundreds more are severely injured. Many times this injuries are due to misinformation.

Here are a few most common myths about lightning:

Myth: If it's not raining there is no danger from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can occur up to 10 miles outside of a rainstorm.

Myth: If you are inside, you are 100% safe from lightning.

Fact: A home or business is a safe place to seek shelter from a thunderstorm, as long as you avoid conduits of electricity, including phones with cords, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers, plumbing, metal doors, and windows.

Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly. For example the Empire State Building gets hit at least 100 times per year.

Myth: A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them, you'll be electrocuted

Fact: The human body does not store electricity.

Tornado Facts

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains and SouthEast. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

  • The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.
  • T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.
  • In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).
  • A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.
  • The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.
  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

  • Dark, green tinted sky
  • Large hail
  • Low-lying rotating cloud
  • Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in South Carolina and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are. If you are ever affected by a tornado cal us at SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia (803)755-9774.

24 Hour Emergency Response: We Are Here if You Need Us!

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Cayce/West Columbia 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Lexington County.

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

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today – 803-755-9774

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

What to Expect

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

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

Your name and contact information

Your insurance information (if applicable)

The street address of the water-damaged home or business

When did the flooding or water damage occur?

What caused the water damage (if known)?

Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia

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

Kitchen Fires Happen

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Sunday Supper, fried chicken cooking and the phone rings. You walk out for 5 minutes and return to find your pan flaming to the ceiling. You hang up the phone, dial 911, pour baking soda on the flames and cover the pot.  The fire is out, your home is standing, but now your kitchen is a mess !

                No need to worry, the team at SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia is here and ready.  Our talented staff can clean and restore your home and make it like it never even happened.  Our team members are specially trained in the correct methods to remove soot, stains and odors from your home.  With our patented line of cleaning products and industry leading equipment, we can remove that unsightly black from your walls, neutralize the odor from your home, and even remove damaged furnishings and appliances. 

What can you do to prevent this from happening?


    • Never leave a hot pan unattended.


    • When cooking with grease, always use a pan with a lid.


    • Never pour water on a grease fire.


    • Use baking soda to put out the flame.


    • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home.


    • Monitor cooking grease with a thermometer.  Animal fat has a flashpoint of  375°F while most cooking oils have a flashpoint of around 450°F.


    • If you notice an acrid smell coming from the grease or any signs of smoke, remove the pan from heat immediately.

  • Call SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia (803)755-9774

Mold or Mildew

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Often times there is confusion when discussing Mold vs Mildew. SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia wants you to be informed.

While there are many differences between the two fungi, mold and mildew both develop and thrive in moist conditions. A leaking roof, a window that doesn’t seal properly, and a basement with water damage caused by a broken pipe can all lead to the growth of mildew and mold. In order to reduce the risk of health effects and damage to building materials, mildew and mold in the home or a business need immediate mold remediation. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between mold and mildew, and the danger both may present to your home or business.

Mildew vs Mold

Plain and simple, mildew and mold are fungi. Fungi can live in many different types of habitats such as in soil, on vegetation, and on surfaces exposed to moist conditions like a wall or ceiling after flood damage. Fungi reproduce by spores and quickly can spread.

What is mildew? Mildew is mold in its early stage and often the term is used interchangeably with the word mold. That whitish-gray, powdery substance sometimes seen on the leaves of a plant is mildew. Mildew is a surface fungi that grows on organic material like plants and food as well as other surfaces.

How is it different from Mold? Mold ranges in color from green to gray, brownish and black. It may appear fuzzy, flat or even slimy. Green slimy mold may develop in the damp, shady areas of decks and even vinyl siding, while indoors, mold can develop on grout, tile and other surfaces found in and around bathrooms and other areas with high humidity and inadequate ventilation.

Pro Tip: Slimy mold on decks, fences and siding often can be removed using a pressure washer. Always wear proper safety protection when dealing with mold and working with tools.

Dangers of Mildew and Mold

In a battle between mildew vs mold, which presents more problems and danger? It depends on several factors.

The powdery mildew often found on the leaves of a houseplant, typically poses little danger to you, but it can harm the plant. However, anyone that suffers from mold allergies should avoid touching that mildew. If contact occurs, wash hands thoroughly and never touch your face/eyes/nose after coming in contact with mildew.

The Need for Mold Remediation

Mold and mildew, if ignored, can cause health effects and physical damage to a home or business. Mold found anywhere in a building, such as behind drywall, on insulation, around windows and along basement walls has developed because there is a moisture problem. To avoid further damage, it’s essential to locate and correct the source of the moisture and then remove all traces of mold.

Any home or business that’s suffered any type of water damage (from firefighting efforts, roof leak, burst pipe or flood) needs professional assessment quickly. Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia immediately after any water disaster; mold can begin developing within 24 to 48 hours. Trust our professional technicians for a comprehensive mold remediation plan. Call (803)755-9774

Water Knowledge: Clean to Black

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

When your home or business is damaged by water damage, understanding the types of water is essential to clean-up. There are three types of water. Clean water, or category one water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water, or category two water, is used to classify water that is slightly contaminated. Clean water can become gray water if left untreated, allowing bacteria to form. Black water, or category three water, is water that has been contaminated by sewage or a natural disaster. This water type should always be handled by licensed, trained professionals. When water damage occurs trust SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia (803)755-9774.

Consider taking the following precautions while waiting for help to arrive, to minimize secondary damage.

Damage from Clean Water:

-Shut off water source if possible.

-Remove as much access water as possible with mops and towels, wiping excess water from wood furniture.

-Turn off circuit breakers in wet areas of your home or business.

-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions.

-Move any paintings, art objects, and other items that may be sensitive and move them to an unaffected area.

-Do not leave books, newspapers, or magazines on wet carpets or floors. They may cause staining.

-Do not use your household vacuum to remove water. There is danger of electrical shock.

-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures. Do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging. It could be dangerous.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

-Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated with sewage.

-Do not walk through wet and contaminated areas.

-Do not turn on the HVAC system.

-Do not use house hold fans to try to dry the structure.

-Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Severe Weather Tips

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

 

Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions. 

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Fire Safety At Work

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire...something we never think can happen to you.....It can. Here are some tips for being ready if it does happen.

Although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it recommends your building have an emergency action plan to protect yourself, employees, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

Organize emergency preparedness procedures and share them with your employees.

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure that all exits are marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed evaluate how well the plan worked. You may need to make improvements

Water Damage in Your Work Place

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

So you get to your office and the floor has a foot of water that flows out as you enter. What happened ? Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting and the effects more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number, as well.

Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and also building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage like the growth of toxic mold may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or other commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.

Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:

  • Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
  • Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water.  Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
  • Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
  • Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically more subtle. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, non-ventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.

Mold Prevention

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Let’s face it, mold is never a good sign in any situation.
It can be extremely costly and hazardous to your health, if it’s growing in your home. We want to share some information with you on how to prevent mold growth in your home. Mold can grow anywhere, with that being said there is no way to completely remove mold. Once mold spores have been disturbed, they travel through the air contaminating other areas.  Do not worry, we are here to help should you discover a mold problem. We have a mold specialist on staff to address your mold issues and determine a remediation plan that works the best for you. Give us a call at 803-755-9774 to schedule a site visit. Here are some tips to help prevent mold in your home:

  1. Identify and fix any problem areas in your home. You can’t mold proof your home, you can make it resistant though.  Anywhere moisture is present, mold can grow. If you notice any condensation, water staining on your walls or ceilings, or leaky pipes you need to get it fixed as fast as possible. Sometimes there is moisture or water in areas that you are unaware of, mold can spread very quickly in these conditions.
  2. Dry any wet areas immediately. If your carpet is wet, make sure your carpet is thoroughly dried. Mold can develop quickly on your carpet and padding and will need to be removed if this happens.
  3. Prevent as much moisture as possible by using proper ventilation. Your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are high moisture areas. Make sure to vent your appliances that can cause moisture. Use dehumidifiers as needed.
  4. Equip your home with mold resistant products. There are now drywall and paint products that are manufactured with mold inhibitors.
  5. Inspect your gutters. Clean them out regularly and repair them if need be.
  6. “Bleaching” mold is not an effective way to get rid of mold, it does just that “bleaches” it. To effectively get rid of mold and mold growth you must use an antimicrobial.
  7. Having a vapor barrier in your crawl space will prevent moisture and keep mold growth to a slight minimum. If a little mold growth does occur the vapor barrier will also protect your family from the harmful fumes that come from mold.

Emergency Ready Profile

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) will help insure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens."

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your commercial facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO's free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.

The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia as your preferred SERVPRO franchise in the event of a disaster. Having a plan in place helps minimize the amount of time your business is inactive following a disaster.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment that requires little time, and can save you a lot of time and money in the future.

Call SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia to inquire about your ERP today (803)755-9774

Getting back to Work: Commercial Water Damage Restoration

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage restoration not only restores a building. It restores jobs and income to the people employed there, products or services to customers, and a healthy environment for everyone who utilizes the structure. If it’s not done right, or on time, the ultimate result can be the closing of a facility, relocation elsewhere, and severe impact to a private business or public organization’s bottom line. Because the scope of water damage in commercial settings is frequently wider and more extreme than in a residential scenario, water damage remediation specialists with experience specific to commercial buildings are positioned to provide effective emergency service when the need arises.

Here’s a typical protocol utilized in commercial water damage restoration:

  • All areas contacted with water are inventoried, including affected building materials and furniture. Any wet carpet must be located and identified.
  • Wet ceiling tiles may be removed and discarded after the event. Ceiling tiles usually are not salvageable.
  • A moisture meter should be utilized to check for water-damaged drywall. Disinfection and mold control techniques may need to be initiated.
  • Wet electrical components are assumed to be hazardous. A qualified maintenance technician or electrician should cut off power to affected areas. Inspection by a building inspector or electrician is required to determine the need to replace wet wiring, circuit breakers, outlets and light fixtures.
  • Upholstered furniture wet by flood water, roof leaks, or sewage should be discarded. Furniture contacted by drinking water can be air-dried if done within 24 hours. Laminate or hardwood furniture can be cleaned with a disinfectant solution and reused; particle board furniture may be discarded.
  • Carpet contaminated by sewage must be disposed. Carpet wet by drinking water or rain water through roof leaks may have water extracted and then be sterilized.

For experienced commercial water damage restoration, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia (803)755-9774

3 Steps to Protect Pets from a Fire

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

3 Steps to Protect Pets from a Fire

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Promote the safety of the people and animals in your home in the event of a fire emergency by planning ahead. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan that includes pet safety, here are three pet preparation steps you can take today.

1. Avoid open flames. Cats or dogs may knock candles over or singe their tails in open flames. Try a flameless candle alternative instead. You should also consider the risk posed by knobs on a gas stove. If you leave your pets unconfined at home while you are away, you may want to block the kitchen entrance or install protective covers to prevent pets from accidentally turning on the gas. 

2. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Prepare to safely evacuate pets along with the rest of your family in a fire emergency. Obtain and put up a front window cling to inform firefighters of the number and types of pets living in your home.

3. Gather pet records and supplies in a fire box. Store this box near an exterior door so that you can quickly grab all of these items during an evacuation. Make sure to include ownership and vaccination records as well as spare collars and leashes in case you need to control or restrain a frightened pet.

These simple steps can help you prevent fires and promote pet safety in the event of a fire emergency. You may also want to keep other home ownership or insurance records in a place where you can also easily find and take them in the event of an evacuation.

Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –803-755-9774

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia is locally owned and operated and we are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale fire, water, and storm disasters

Can Mold Be Contained During Remediation?

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Can Mold Be Contained During Remediation?

Just because you’ve found mold in one room in your home doesn’t mean your entire house is a lost cause. You can still stop the spread of mold contamination during remediation procedures by enacting containment procedures and stopping mold in its tracks.

What Exactly is Mold Containment?

Mold containment essentially involves sealing off the mold infestation so that no spores or growths can escape into other areas of the home and working to eradicate any free-floating spores from the air in un-infested areas. Mold containment during remediation usually involves:

• Identifying the source. Mold won’t stop growing unless you remove the impetus for it to grow, which means removing the water damage feeding it. Identifying the source of leaks and flooding means conducting a thorough home inspection and taking effective remediation activities.
• Sealing the area. You may need to shut off your HVAC systems to prevent mold contamination through the air vents, and fully seal off the area using air-tight methods to prevent further spread of spores. If the mold has penetrated your walls, however, this may be difficult.
• Chemically treating uncontaminated areas. Many mold prevention and mold killer sprays work as an effective preventative treatment and can lay down a barrier that prevents mold from spreading to uncontaminated areas of the house. Determine which mold killer solution is safest for your home, family, and pets before applying it to surfaces in the home.
• Air filtration. While it’s impossible to fully get rid of the billions of mold spores omnipresent in the air always, you can still use air filtration to cleanse the air as much as possible. When you have a mold infestation, the density of spores in the air is much higher – and professional air filtration can at least reduce the density to more reasonable, safe levels.

Many of these steps can be accomplished on your own, or with the aid of professionals. Professionals may be needed if mold contamination has penetrated too deep into the foundations of the home.

Understanding Mold

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Understanding Mold

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.
  • 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.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale disasters.

Tips for Handling a Home Insurance Claim

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

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

The Water Damage Restoration Process

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the expertise and equipment to quickly restore your property to pre-water damage condition. They use a scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup that emphasizes monitoring and documenting the drying process from beginning to end.

Have Water Damage?
Call Today 803-755-9774

Every water damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. You can click on any of the steps below to learn more about that process.

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

When you call, our representative will guide you through several questions that will help the SERVPRO Franchise Professional respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. This initial contact is an important part of a fast, effective restoration.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

They carefully inspect your property’s water damage, determining the type of water damage and the areas affected. This is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in a successful restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

Typically, hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process. The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals start this process as soon as possible to minimize further damage and to help prevent mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

After the bulk of the water has been removed, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment to target the water that’s harder to access. They use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your property with air movers and dehumidifiers.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 6 - Restoration

The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels, or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.

The Do's and Don'ts of a Water Damage

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

THE DO’S OF WATER DAMAGE

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
  • Wipe excess water damage from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying (in summer)
  • Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place
  • Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible
  • Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors

THE DON’TS OF WATER DAMAGE

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors
  • Use a standard vacuum to remove water
  • Use TVs or other major appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water

We sincerely hope these experiences never happen to you but if they do we are standing by to help, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and can be reached at 803-755-9774.

Congratulations to our SMR

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Community Congratulations to our SMR Congratulations Phil Demery !!!!

We want to give a big shout out to our SMR Phil Demery for winning Ambassador of the Year at the Lexington Chamber Awards Luncheon. We are so lucky to  have Phil on our team!!!

How To Put Out the Grease Fire You Might Have Started

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

How To Put Out the Grease Fire You Might Have Started
1. Turn off the source of heat. Typically, this means turn off the stove your pot or pan is sitting on. If the dial is on the back of the stove, avoid reaching directly over the fire while you do so.
2. Cover with a metal lid or another pot, pan, or even cooking sheet. The idea is to remove as much oxygen as possible from the flame.
3. If you cannot get something on it to cover, throw on baking soda (tons of it) or salt.
4. Use a Class B fire extinguisher as your last resort. If you are unsure of what that is, it is better to simply follow the next step and forget this one.
5. If the fire is taking too long to contain or is larger than you feel comfortable dealing with, get out of the house. Shut the door on your way out to help keep the fire contained, and once you are a safe distance away, call 911.

In order to keep yourself and the rest of your property safe, do not do the following:

1. Use water or any fabrics to put out a grease fire. 
2. Use baking powder or any powders that looks like baking soda or salt. They might look the same on the outside but are made of different chemicals and can lead to a less-than-fun chemistry experiment.
3. Try to move the flaming pot or pan.

As much as you may want to save the cosmetics of the kitchen, safety is always more important than easy fire cleanup. The steps above may help you put the grease fire out sooner and with less damage, but if you have any doubts, you should always follow step #5 first and seek the help of professionals at SERVPRO of Cayce, West Columbia, and Lexington at 803-755-9774

Employee Appreciation Cookout

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

General  Employee Appreciation Cookout Our employees enjoying their cookout!

March 2nd was Employee Appreciation Day. We had a great cookout with all of our employees. We even broke out the prize wheel for everyone to take a spin. :)

Frequently Asked Flu Questions

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

What should I do to protect myself from flu this season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. In addition, there are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat influenza illness. Visit What you Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs for more information.

What should I do to protect my loved ones from flu this season?
Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu complications, and their close contacts. Also, if you have a loved one who is at high risk of flu complications and they develop flu symptoms, encourage them to get a medical evaluation for possible treatment with flu antiviral drugs. These drugs work best if given within 48 hours of when symptoms start. CDC recommends that people who are at high risk for serious flu complications and who get flu symptoms during flu season be treated with flu antiviral drugs as quickly as possible. People who are not at high risk for serious flu complications may also be treated with flu antiviral drugs, especially if treatment can begin within 48 hours.

Do some children require two doses of flu vaccine?
Yes. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age will require two doses of flu vaccine for adequate protection from flu. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart. Children who have only received one dose in their lifetime also need two doses. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you if your child needs two doses of flu vaccine. Visit Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine for more information.

What can I do to protect children who are too young to get vaccinated?
Children younger than 6 months old are at high risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months old, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. See Advice for Caregivers of Young Children for more information. Everyone else who is around the baby also should be vaccinated. Also, studies have shown that flu vaccination of the mother during pregnancy can protect the baby after birth from flu infection for several months.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

Home damaged after frozen pipes in Lexington County, SC

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Home damaged after frozen pipes in Lexington County, SC Photos of home damaged after frozen pipes busted during January 2018 freeze.

When Storms or Floods hit Cayce/West Columbia, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Cayce/West Columbia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)755-9774!

Storm Damage in a Cayce/ West Columbia Home

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage in a Cayce/ West Columbia Home Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Cayce/ West Columbia.

 When Storms or Floods hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO ofCayce/ West Columbia specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Cayce/ West Columbia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)755-9774

Storm Damage in Cayce/ West Columbia, Sc.

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

When Storms or Floods hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SERVPRO is ready!

 Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Cayce/ West Columbia.

SERVPRO ofCayce/ West Columbia specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Cayce/ West Columbia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803) 755-9774

Ready For Whatever

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be "Ready for whatever happens."

SERVPRO is always thinking about the future.  They are constantly creating new and innovative ways to not only make a disaster "Like it never even happened" but to also make sure that you, the customer, the one in need, is at least somewhat prepared for a disaster.  One of their newest innovations is the Emergency Ready Profile.  Never heard of it?  Well, that's just a shame!

The Emergency Ready Profile is necessary information that can be accessed either via website or mobile app in the midst of a disaster.  This profile contains where water shut offs are, all emergency contacts, and where electricity shut offs are.  Unfortunately, not everyone in your home or workplace knows this information.  Let's say that one of your coworkers decides to stay late in the office.  He or she is the only one there.  There is a plumbing malfunction and the toilet never ceases running.  The coworker does not notice this for hours until the water has seeped into his or her office.  Now, there is a problem.  The coworker panics.  They do not know who they should be calling, where the shutoffs are, etc.  Instead they frantically call their manager.  Meanwhile, the water is still seeping through the office because it has not been shut off.  More water damage is made and perhaps some items even become unsalvageable.  But, a plumbing malfunction did not have to lead to such a disastrous situation.  Some of the damage could have been elevated by one valuable mobile app.  

The Emergency Ready Profile is great for anyone and everyone.  But it helps businesses more than anyone.  50% of businesses that go through disastrous situations never reopen their doors.  If some of the damage could be prevented by having informed employees and employers, perhaps that percentage would be lower.  

"Before anything else, the key to success is preparation."  So, why wouldn't you prepare yourself and your business for a possible disaster?  Unfortunately, disasters occur every day, both small and large.  By being prepared, when this day arrives, you will be preventing further damage.  

Call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia today at 803-755-9774 to set up an appointment with Denea Laurier.  She will come by and set up the Emergency Ready Profile for you, your household or your business, free of charge.  As they say, the best things in life are free! 

HVAC Duct Cleaning

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Has your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention? It could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates throughout your home or business. Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. You should make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business. Call SERVPRO of Lexington today, and we are more than happy to inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) and provide you with advice on what type of cleaning service your system should need.  Keeping your ducts and HVAC unit clean can extend the life of the equipment and make the system function more efficiently, saving you money on the heating and cooling costs as well as providing cleaner air to breathe in your home or business. 

Soot? Now What?

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Soot? Now what?

Did you have a fire???

Did that fire leave you with an awful black mess all over your belongings???

Are you questioning why this has happened and what to do now???

Well hopefully I can help you with your questions and concerns.

So, what is soot damage, anyways?

Well that is a very good question! Soot by definition is, “a black powder that is formed when something is burned.” 

Obviously, we already figured out that the soot came from something that has burned, or we wouldn’t be in this current predicament, now would we!

But seriously, soot is nothing to play with, especially when it is involving your home.

When you have a fire, soot is the carbon particles that become airborne, leaving your property in disarray.

So, there is soot, is it safe to be around?

After you have a fire, you may have lots of emotions going through you right now, and you may be concerned about the soot that has taken over everything and if it is safe for you and your family.

Immediately after a fire, soot residue will settle onto your possessions.

 In certain instances, soot can be very toxic and hazardous to your health.

Soot contains elements of the burned material and during soot removal you should avoid exposure. Exposure to soot residue could be detrimental to your health: causing respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.

Your next thought may be:  to clean or not to clean?

If you are the type of person with patience and the drive to get something done, you may want to try your hand at cleaning your own belongings. Just remember safety always comes first!

It’s important to make sure you have the right protective gear when dealing with soot removal, such as: gloves, protective eye wear, face mask, and protective clothing.

Also, you should make sure you have proper ventilation to help clear the air of any soot and odors. (A box fan in the windows will help).

When cleaning your soot damage home, using soap and water, you should always start with the top of the room and work your way to the bottom of the room, making sure to wipe all knick- knacks along the way.

Additionally, using your vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, vacuum your upholstery, lamp shades, and carpet. This prevents the soot from being blown back into the areas you already cleaned.

For your clothing and linens, wash several times in your normal liquid detergent.

If your soot problem is a little too much too handle, you may want to call in the professionals!!! 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will pretest to determine the degree of the damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the diverse types of surfaces in your home.

Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, may be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense acquired with repainting or refinishing.

In other cases, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will clean and get your structure prepared to paint, this process allows the paint to better adhere to the surface, as well as deodorize.

Things NOT to do when you have soot damage!

  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to a 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 incident.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

For more valuable information on soot and fire damage please visit http://www.IICRC.org/what-after-smoke-damage-has-happened-a-140.html or don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington!

Kitchen Fires

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fires:

The kitchen is where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house and cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Although, kitchen fires generally begin on the stove, the damage can affect the entire kitchen or even the entire house.

Dealing with a fire in your home can be very overwhelming and devastating, but there are some easy steps that may help you cope during your loss. These helpful steps will help prevent further damage to your home:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery to prevent additional soiling.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia offers a variety of services, such as smoke and soot removal, deodorization, water removal and dehumidification, to help restore your home to preloss condition when possible. Proper remediation, can help prevent further damage such as odors, mold growth and permanent discoloration of items.

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to help get your life back on the right track.

5 Steps to Mold Remediation

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Five steps that each mold-removal specialist takes when conducting mold remediation includes:

  1. Determine the degree of contamination. The first step for a mold remediation specialist to determine the extent of the mold damage and test for contamination within the facility. Because mold spores and other microscopic contaminants can travel easily throughout a building, they may collect and analyze samples from affected as well as unaffected areas of the building. Once finished the inspection they will develop a remediation plan for the mold removal specialist with steps to return the home to its preloss condition (Condition 1).
  1. Set up and verify containment. To make sure mold contamination does not spread to other areas of a facility, the mold remediation specialist will set up containment by creating isolation barriers. Once the barriers are set up, the specialist will need to verify the containment with a lower partial pressure differential (negative pressure) to ensure there is no air leakage between containment zones. Exit chambers would then be used to serve as a transition between the containment and the unaffected area of the building. Once the containment is verified and the correct amount of pressure is achieved, the removal process can begin.
  1. Remove non-salvageable materials. Porous materials and items that cannot be restored or cleaned effectively must be carefully discarded.  Non-salvageable items include but are not limited to drywall, insulation and other items with visible mold growth. It is important for the specialist to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment which may include a full face respirator, disposable coveralls and nitrile gloves.
  1. Clean surfaces with a high-attention to detail. A mold remediation specialist will likely begin the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming the contaminated areas using a HEPA vacuum with a high-efficiency filter to catch mold spores. He or she will then begin a detailed cleaning process involving mold removal tools such as a HEPA filtered sander, followed by the damp wiping of surfaces with an effective cleaning solution.
  1. Verify remediation. Once cleaning is complete, and verify the remediation was successful. The area must be returned to the dry standard and should be visually dust free with no malodor.

 Mold remediation requires mold removal specialists to perform techniques that promote source removal rather than relying on chemicals, paints and coatings as a replacement.  Understanding and managing air flow is also critical to the success of a mold remediation project. 

Returning Home After Summer Break or Vacations

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

The spring semester ends and students head home to visit with friends and families.  When they leave their apartment, home, townhome, or condo, they assume that upon their return everything will be just as they left it.  That, unfortunately, is not always the case.

With the return of college students and summer vacationers alike, we have had a massive influx in mold remediation jobs.  People return to their homes to either find their walls, floors and belongings covered in mold.  Most have no idea what caused it or what to do next!  That's where we come in.  

Primary causes of Mold growth include but are certainly not limited to:  water intrusion, the improper dry out of water damage, flooding, high humidity levels, and a broken or turned off air conditioning unit.  In the case of a home that is left empty for the summer, finding mold upon returning is very common.  In general, the cause is a turned off air conditioning unit.  NEVER turn off your air conditioner.  South Carolina has an extremely high humidity level.  A high humidity level is the perfect condition for mold growth.  An air conditioner set at 78 degrees Fahrenheit, at the very highest, will keep the cost of your electrical bill low all while circulating the air in your home and preventing mold growth.  

The second most common cause behind mold growth is an unknown water intrusion.  If you plan to leave your home empty over the summer, have a friend or neighbor whom you trust periodically stop by to monitor the condition of your home.  For example, we experienced plenty of heavy rainfall this summer, as Florida normally does.  What if you have any unknown leak in your roof?  Water damage will occur.  Unfortunately if no one is in the home to catch this, the water damage will only get worse.  The wet walls, flooring, etc. are breeding grounds for mold.  While you are away enjoying your summer, mold is infesting your home.  But sometimes, you don't even have to have an uninhabited home for this to occur!  If water damage occurs in your home, whether it be from indoor or outdoor sources, handle it properly.  Water damage that is not dried properly will result in mold.  Water mitigation might not be the cheapest process, but mold remediation can certainly be more expensive.  The longer water damage lingers without being handled properly, the more damage that is created.

Fire Damage In a Cayce/ West Columbia Home

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage In a Cayce/ West Columbia Home SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia made this fire "Like it never even happened."

An electrical fire caused this Cayce/ West Columbia home to have a house fire. This before picture shows the mess left behind after the fire was put out. 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia was called to clean up the aftermath! The owner was thrilled that we were able to return their home to pre-fire condition. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

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

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (803) 755-9774

Commercial Water Damage in Cayce/ West Columbia

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Restoring Your Cayce/ West Columbia Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

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

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

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

About SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia

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

Restoring Your Commercial Fire Damage in Cayce/ West Columbia

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Restoring Your Cayce/ West Columbia Commercial Property After A Fire Damage Event

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

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

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

About SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia

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

Restoring Your Cayce/ West Columbia Property After A Water Damage Event

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Restoring Your Cayce/ West Columbia Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

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

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

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

About SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia

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

Taking Care of Business

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Taking Care of Business:

Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their business successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations.

As a business owner, you are a leader in your community and with that comes a lot of responsibilities. You must set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.

Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you right back in the building after a disaster.

You can protect your business by identifying the risks associated with disasters, and creating a plan for action should a disaster strike.

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your business. The ERP will include critical information about your business, such as: Emergency contact information, Shut-off Valve locations and priority areas.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is 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 occurs. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you Ready for whatever happens?” 

The ERP is accessible to you at no cost. For more questions concerning the ERP and planning for a disaster call your SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington and let us help you make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Extinguisher Safety

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Do you know what to do in case of a small fire? Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do you own a fire extinguisher? SERVPRO offers some tips about fire extinguishers!

https://youtu.be/gFifToYGgto

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

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

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

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

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)755-9774

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have a Mold Problem?

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

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

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

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

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)755-9774

When Storms or Floods hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SERVPRO is Ready!

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

When Storms or Floods hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SERVPRO is ready!

Restoring storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your Cayce/ West Columbia property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Cayce/ West Columbia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)755-9774.

During A Tornado

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

During a Tornado

If you are in:          

A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)            

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

Put on sturdy shoes.

Do not open windows.

A manufactured home or office               

Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

The outside with no shelter      

If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision.

Possible actions include:

Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.

Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

In all situations:

Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.

Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

When Storms Hit Cayce/ West Columbia, Sc.

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

When Storms Hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SC.

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Cayce/ West Columbia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803) 755-9774.

Cayce/ West Columbia 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Cayce/ West Columbia 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

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

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (803) 755-9774

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

What to Expect

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

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

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

About SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia

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

Water Damage in Cayce/ West Columbia, SC.

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

A pipe leak in the bathroom caused this property in Cayce/ West Columbia to flood. This before picture shows the water that was left after the water was stopped. 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia was called in to clean up the aftermath! The owner was thrilled that we were able to quickly and completely restore their property. 

Call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia when you experience a water damage- (803) 755-9774

When your Cayce/ West Columbia home has water damage from flooding or leaks, you need the company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help them find the moisture and to remove it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal.

Tips To Avoid Bursting Pipes

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Tips to Avoid Bursting Pipes

With South Carolina, you never quite know how the weather is going to be. One week it could feel like summer and the next we have a freeze warning. The damages, expenses and the messes that can be caused from a water line that freezes and bursts are nothing that anyone wants to experience. While we can’t stop, the leaks caused by temperature drops, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Here are some helpful tips.

Things to do outside:

  • Wrap outside faucets. There is a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm pipes as needed during cold weather.
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let the cold air inside your home, causing your pipes to freeze.
  • Disconnect garden hoses.
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.

Things to do Inside:

  • Let a stream of water run, if the temperature drops below freezing. It is advised that you let your water run in the farthest sink away from where your main water pipe is located.
  • Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days.

Sewage Emergency

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Sewage Emergency

Sewer backups are a common biohazard that can affect homes and businesses. Water from sewer backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness.  SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.

There are three types of contaminated water, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

  • Category 1: Clean water- Clean water is from a clean source, such as a broken pipe, or other water source. If clean water is left untreated, allowing bacteria to grow, it quickly can turn to category 2 or 3.
  • Category 2: Gray water- Gray water has significant amounts of contaminants that could cause illness. Category 2 water may come from washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine, or a dishwasher overflow.
  • Category 3: Black water- Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

 What to do after a Contamination:

Stay out of affected areas.

  1. Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
  2. Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
  3. Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  4. Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  5. Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.

 What Not to do after a Contamination:

Don’t leave wet fabrics in place.

  1. Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  2. Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  3. Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  4. Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where the ceilings are sagging.

Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits- these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, we will remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

Save A Life And Give Blood

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Save A Life and Give Blood

Donating blood is one of the greatest gifts that you could give yourself and someone in need. According to the American Red Cross, “Every two seconds someone in the U.S needs blood.”

On July 13, from 2- 7, the Greater West Columbia Chamber is partnering with the American Red Cross for a blood drive. Consider joining and potentially saving many lives.

Here are some great reasons to give blood:

  • It helps in reducing risk of damage to liver and pancreas.
  • Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity.
  • Donating blood can help in treating patients suffering from cancer, bleeding disorders, chronic anemia associated with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other hereditary blood abnormalities.
  • Regular blood donation may help in reducing iron overload.

So, now that you know some of the great benefits of giving blood, why not join the Greater West Columbia Chamber for their blood drive? Here is the link for more information: http://www.cwcchamber.com/

Tornado Basics

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Tornado Basics

Tornadoes have caused a lot of destruction in many towns, such as the devastating tornadoes that hit Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday May 22, 2011. Although, we cannot prevent a tornado, we can be more knowledgeable of what a tornado is and the signs of a tornado coming.

 Tornadoes are considered nature’s most fierce storms and is formed from a violently narrow rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A tornadoes location may be marked by a cloud of debris even if the funnel is not visible.  

 Tornadoes may cause devastating fatalities and damage to many homes and neighborhoods in the matter of seconds.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), “About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S yearly.”

Tornadoes are most likely to be seen during May into early June for the Southern Plains and for the Northern plains and upper Midwest, tornadoes are more likely to be seen in June or July. Although, these are the peak tornado seasons, tornadoes can happen at any time of the year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of the day or night, but are most likely to hit between 4-9 p.m.

Key Terms:

Tornado Watch: the conditions are favorable for a tornado.

Tornado Warning: a tornado has been reported, you should seek shelter.

Air Pressure: is the weight of a column of air that extends from the ground to the top of the atmosphere.

Funnel Cloud: a rotating column of wind that has not touched the ground (funnel clouds are called tornadoes when they reach the ground).

Multi-Vortex Tornado: a tornado that has two or more vortices that circle the center of a larger tornado.

Tornado Alley: an area in the United States where tornadoes are more likely to develop.

For more information on tornado safety and what to do in case of a tornado please visit https://www.weather.gov/ctp/TornadoSafety .

Grill Safety

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Community Grill Safety Happy Grilling!

Grill Safety

One of my all-time favorite things about summer is being able to fire up our grill and have a cookout, with our friends and family. If your family is anything like mine, we have a large group, and the one thing that we don’t want to have to worry about is someone getting hurt. That is why being knowledgeable about grill safety is so important!

The Do’s and Don’ts of grill safety:

Do:

  • Keep your grill at least ten feet away from your house.
  • Make sure to keep your grill clean.
  • Always check for gas leaks.
  • Make sure to keep decorations or anything that may be flammable up away from your grill.
  • In case of flare-ups, it is a good to keep a spray bottle of water near your grill.
  • Always keep a fire hydrant nearby.

Don’ts:

  • Never turn your gas on when the lid is shut.
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.
  • Never use your grill inside your home.

Now that you know a few do’s and don’ts of grilling, here is a great recipe for you to enjoy with your loved ones: http://www.spendwithpennies.com/grilled-bacon-jalapeno-poppers/ :)

Emergency Ready Profile

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

General Emergency Ready Profile Make sure your business is prepared for whatever may happen!

Emergency Ready Profile

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as a fire or flood, never reopen. Of the businesses that do survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Preparation is key for making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. By creating a plan and being prepared, you can reduce interruption and get back to business. 

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) is a tool that can help prepare your business for anything that may happen. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile serves as a quick reference document, detailing important building and contact information. It can be an ideal supplement to any existing emergency preparedness plan. Rather than simply reacting to a disaster, be proactive by establishing a relationship with a restoration company. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington is a leader in fire and water damage response and can help you get your property back in working order. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile: 

- A no cost assessment of your facility. 

- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. 

- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. 

- Establishes SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. 

- 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. 

Don't wait until disaster strikes. Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington and be "Ready for whatever happens." 

We Are IICRC Certified

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

General We Are IICRC Certified SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington is IICRC Certified.

We Are IICRC Certified 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Summer Sun Safety

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Community Summer Sun Safety Summer is fun when you and your family is protected from the sun.

Summer Sun Safety

Whether you are planning a vacation or simply staying home to play in the sunshine this summer, you should protect your skin. The sun can damage your skin, hair, and eyes so don't forget to protect you and your family from the harmful rays of the sun. 

- 1 oz. of sunscreen should be applied to your entire body. You should reapply every two hours. 

- Only broad spectrum sunscreens of SPF 15+ can protect skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

- The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. So limit your time in the sun between these hours.

- It only takes ten minutes for a babies skin to burn, if possible keep babies out of the sun.

-  Sunscreen is only one level of protection against the sun, add clothing, hats, or sunglasses for added protection. 

Hurricanes and Their Categories

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricanes and Their Categories

Category 1: There will be very dangerous winds that could produce some damage. (Winds- 74-95 mph.)

Although, category 1 storms aren’t as severe as a category 3, it should still be considered dangerous. The winds will be very strong causing buildings to have damage to their roof, siding, and gutters. Extensive damage to power lines and poles can result in power outages that could last several days.

Category 2: There will could be extensive damage due to extremely dangerous winds. (Winds- 96-110 mph.)

In a category 2 the winds are much stronger, which could cause extreme damage to your property, such as, major roof and siding damage. Trees could snap or be uprooted and cause road blocks. Power loss is could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3: Devastating damage will occur. (Winds- 111-129 mph.)

Hurricanes reaching category 3 and higher are considered to be major because of their potential for significant loss of life and property damage. Your property may sustain major damage. Until the storm passes, electricity and water will be unavailable for several weeks.

Category 4: Catastrophic damage is expected. (Winds- 130-156 mph.)

Buildings and homes may have severe damage with the loss of the roof and some exterior walls. Trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles will be down, causing residential areas to be isolated. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.

Category 5: Catastrophic damage is expected. (Winds- More than 157 mph.)

There is more of a chance that most homes will be destroyed. There will be a considerable number of fallen trees and power poles. Most of the community may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Looking to for more information on Hurricanes:

Storm Information: National Hurricane Center- http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

American Red Cross- http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane

FEMA- https://www.fema.gov/

             https://www.ready.gov/

Photo Credit: https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/saffir-simpson-hurricane-wind-scale

Content Credit: S.C. Emergency Management Division

Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage If you experience fire or smoke damage contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage

Your home is a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with your family. Our home is also where we spend a good bit of our time, which is why we are going to talk about some simple steps to minimize the risk of getting hurt. Below are some helpful tips to prevent serious injuries that are often completely preventable.

What to Do in case of fire or smoke damage:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Blow or brush vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpeted traffic areas.
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances with light coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What Not to Do in case of fire or smoke damage:

  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO professional.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV’s, radios, etc. that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Do not use any canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water- they may have been contaminated.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be wet or damaged.
  • Do not send fabrics to an ordinary dry cleaner- improper cleaning may set the smoke odor.

For more advice on what to do after a fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

Keeping that Office Clean Checklist:

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Keeping that Office Clean Checklist: If you need help with your cleaning needs, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

Keeping that Office Clean Checklist:

If you are anything like me, your office sometimes gets the best of you! Well here is a great checklist to help get you started on cleaning, decluttering and getting that office looking and feeling tidy again.

  • Clean the bookshelves: Remove all books and belongings off your bookshelf and dust them, starting from the top to the bottom. Don’t forget to dust stuff off before placing them back on the shelf.
  • Clean the desk: Dust off any accessories on your desk, with a damp cloth, top to bottom. Make sure to dust off the top and bottom surface of your desk.
  • Clean your computer: Working from the top to the bottom, dust the screen and then move to the keyboard. Don’t forget to dust off the printer, fax machine, and any other electronics.
  • Dust off any other furniture: Such as filing cabinets, tables, and chairs.
  • Vacuum: Move furniture and chairs- vacuum and mop under everything.
  • Sanitize your telephone.
  • Clean the light fixtures: Dust the light fixtures with an extendable duster or a damp cloth; also, dust-off ceiling fans.
  • Clean the windows.
  • Clean the curtains or blinds.

Photo Credit: http://www.vaporclean.co.uk/cleaning-services/office-cleaning-services

Why yes, SERVPRO does clean Upholstery!

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Why yes, SERVPRO does clean Upholstery! To have your upholstery cleaned call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at (803)755-9774.

Why yes, SERVPRO does clean upholstery!

You might not know this, (I know I certainly didn’t) but SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington cleans upholstery!

They actually clean lots of stuff ?? (Like carpet, drapes, blinds, and upholstery)!

Another thing you might not know is that having your upholstery cleaned at least once a year can extend the life of your furniture. Not to mention it will help rid it of dust, allergens, and help give you back that new couch look!

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington offers several cleaning options to match any type of your upholstery needs, so give us a call so that we may get your fabric looking brand new again!

Air ducts/ HVAC System

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Air ducts/ HVAC system

When was the last time you had your air ducts or HVAC system checked or cleaned? SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, is the right company for the job. We will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.

If your HVAC system has been operating for some time, without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odor, and other contaminants. Keeping your HVAC system and duct work clean can extend the life of your equipment, which could potentially save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on HVAC and duct cleaning, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington today at (803)755-9774.

Soot? Now What?

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Soot? Now what?

Did you have a fire???

Did that fire leave you with an awful black mess all over your belongings???

Are you questioning why this has happened and what to do now???

Well hopefully I can help you with your questions and concerns.

So, what is soot damage, anyways?

Well that is a very good question! Soot by definition is, “a black powder that is formed when something is burned.” 

Obviously, we already figured out that the soot came from something that has burned, or we wouldn’t be in this current predicament, now would we!

But seriously, soot is nothing to play with, especially when it is involving your home.

When you have a fire, soot is the carbon particles that become airborne, leaving your property in disarray.

So, there is soot, is it safe to be around?

After you have a fire, you may have lots of emotions going through you right now, and you may be concerned about the soot that has taken over everything and if it is safe for you and your family.

Immediately after a fire, soot residue will settle onto your possessions.

 In certain instances, soot can be very toxic and hazardous to your health.

Soot contains elements of the burned material and during soot removal you should avoid exposure. Exposure to soot residue could be detrimental to your health: causing respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.

Your next thought may be:  to clean or not to clean?

If you are the type of person with patience and the drive to get something done, you may want to try your hand at cleaning your own belongings. Just remember safety always comes first!

It’s important to make sure you have the right protective gear when dealing with soot removal, such as: gloves, protective eye wear, face mask, and protective clothing.

Also, you should make sure you have proper ventilation to help clear the air of any soot and odors. (A box fan in the windows will help).

When cleaning your soot damage home, using soap and water, you should always start with the top of the room and work your way to the bottom of the room, making sure to wipe all knick- knacks along the way.

Additionally, using your vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, vacuum your upholstery, lamp shades, and carpet. This prevents the soot from being blown back into the areas you already cleaned.

For your clothing and linens, wash several times in your normal liquid detergent.

If your soot problem is a little too much too handle, you may want to call in the professionals!!! 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will pretest to determine the degree of the damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the diverse types of surfaces in your home.

Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, may be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense acquired with repainting or refinishing.

In other cases, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will clean and get your structure prepared to paint, this process allows the paint to better adhere to the surface, as well as deodorize.

Things NOT to do when you have soot damage!

  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to a 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 incident.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

For more valuable information on soot and fire damage please visit http://www.IICRC.org/what-after-smoke-damage-has-happened-a-140.html or don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington!

The Truth about Mold

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

The Truth about Mold

Mold is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms found almost everywhere. Mold can be black, white, orange, green, or purple. Mold plays a very important role in nature- it helps break down dead leaves, plants, and trees. We are exposed to mold daily, meaning removing all mold is impossible.

In small amounts, mold spores are usually harmless, but when they find a damp spot in your home or business, mold may begin to grow.

Mold can spread quickly, in as little as 48 hours. Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home or business through windows, doors, or AC/ heating systems. Mold often produces a strong, musty odor.

Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. If mold is found, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be taken care of, or the mold will return.

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas in your home or business.

Here is a helpful list of specific recommendations to limit your chance of getting mold:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can- no higher than 50%.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

Every mold damage is different and requires different solutions. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington understands mold and mold growth, we are trained mold damage specialist who get started quickly to get your home, “Like it never even happened.”

When Storms of Floods hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SERVPRO is Ready!

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms of Floods hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SERVPRO is Ready! Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Cayce/ West Columbia.

When Storms or Floods hit Cayce/ West Columbia, SERVPRO is ready!

Restoring storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your Cayce/ West Columbia property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Cayce/ West Columbia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)755-9774.

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem? In Cayce/ West Columbia, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

 Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

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

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

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

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)755-9774.

Summer= Grilling

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Community Summer= Grilling BACON, PINEAPPLE, CHICKEN KABOBS

Summer = Grilling

Who is enjoying their summer time so far?

I hope you all have had a chance to enjoy a little bit of what the summer has to offer. One of the wonderful things that my family and I like to do to do over the summer is grill out. Thanks to Tablespoon.com here is a great recipe that you and your family are sure to love.

Ingredients:

  • Two Large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • One large pineapple, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks.
  • Two large red bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  • One large onion, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  • Twelve strips of thick cut bacon.

For the Hawaiian Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups of pineapple juice.
  • ½ tablespoons cornstarch.
  • ½ cup brown sugar.
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • Six long skewers.

Instructions:

  1. To make the Hawaiian sauce: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Set-aside until ready to use.
  2. Thread the skewers. Weave the bacon around each piece of chicken and pineapple, stick the bell pepper and onion together and weave the bacon around both of those. You'll need two strips of bacon per skewer if using 4 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces each of pineapple, bell pepper and onion. Brush some olive or vegetable oil evenly over each kabob.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the kabobs for 10-15, turning a couple of times, until done.
  4. Slather with hot Hawaiian sauce and serve immediately.

If you have enjoyed this recipe, please visit http://www.tablespoon.com , for more great recipe ideas!

Hurricane Preparedness

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Preparedness

Are you prepared for hurricane season? Hurricane Season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30.

No one can predict when a disaster will strike but as we are entering hurricane season, it is always a clever idea to be prepared just in case.

To be prepared each home should have a three-day (72 hour) disaster survival kit for each family member.

Here is a suggested list of survival kit supplies:

  • Drinking water:
  • The suggested amount for each person is one gallon per person/ per day. You should use unbreakable containers that will not break or decompose.
  • Don’t forget to add additional water for mixing formula if you have a young child and don’t forget to have extra water for your pets.
  • It is also a promising idea to have extra water for food preparation.
  • Water for sanitation use:
  • Store extra containers of water to be used for flushing toilets, cleaning, and bathing.
  • Non-perishable food: (Bring foods that you know that you and your family will eat even when there isn’t a storm).
  • Maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of your family.
  • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables are great, you don’t necessarily have to heat this stuff up just in case you are without power.
  • High energy foods like crackers, granola bars, and trail mix.
  • Fresh bread.
  • Comfort foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereal, instant coffee, tea bags.
  • Food for infants.
  • Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Plastic storage containers.
  • Sanitation:
  • Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, baby wipes, liquid hand sanitizer.
  • Liquid detergent.
  • Feminine supplies.
  • Toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Bleach, disinfectant.
  • First Aid kit: (Assemble a first aid kit for your home and for each car).
  • Band-Aids.
  • Germicidal hand wipes or hand sanitizer.
  • Gloves, Adhesive tape, antibacterial ointment, antiseptic spray.
  • Cold packs, scissors, tweezers, rubbing alcohol.
  • CPR breathing barrier.
  • Safety pins.
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, Benadryl, peroxide.
  • (If you are taking any prescription drugs make sure you have at least a 30-day supply).
  • Clothing and Bedding: (Include at least one complete change of clothing per family member).
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Rain gear.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Hat and gloves.
  • Lawn chairs.
  • Extra things you may need:
  • Wind up battery operated clock.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Small sewing kit.
  • Map of the area.
  • Citronella candles.
  • Extra batteries.

For more great tips on how to make sure your family is prepared for a hurricane please visit: www.ready.gov/kit 

Fire Safety in the Workplace

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Safety in the Workplace

No matter the type of business that you are in, fire safety should always be your main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips to consider reinforcing into your daily routine at your workplace.

Fire Prevention:

  • Keep your work area free of paper, trash and any other items that can easily catch fire. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits.
  • Watch your electrical cords, if they are damaged in any way, replace them.
  • Don’t overload your circuits.
  • Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
  • Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn, such as: copiers, coffee makers, and computers.
  • Use and store chemicals safely.
  • Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

In Case of a Fire:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
  • Never use an elevator.
  • Follow the escape plan and meet at a place outside of your building and away from danger. Do a headcount to make sure all your staff has evacuated.

Fire safety is very important, and could save your life. Make sure to discuss with your staff the importance of fire safety. For more information on fire safety in the workplace you can go to:

 https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/firesafety/ .

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

I don’t know about you but I am loving this warm weather! Summer is such a fun season, with swimming, cookouts, and lots of fun in the sun, who could not love summer time!?!

Well how about a nice cold refreshing drink to go with those days by the pool. Here is a great recipe for a frozen strawberry lemonade.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries.
  • 1 Tbsp. Frozen lemonade concentrate.
  • ¾ cup of sprite.
  • 1 Tbsp. of Sugar.

(This is for 1 serving)

Instructions:

  • Add ingredients to your blender and blend thoroughly.
  • Serve in a mason jar or any cup to your liking and be ready to be refreshed! ?? Enjoy!!!

Yuck.... Sewage!!!

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Yuck…. Sewage!!!

Dealing with sewage is not something that anyone wants to be faced with! I know personally, if I did happen to run into a sewage problem, that I would want to call someone that knows what they are doing to best ratify the situation.

Sewage backups are more than nasty and smelly, these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into your residence. When you have a sewage damage, it is a biohazard, which should be considered very dangerous, as they can pose a serious health risk.

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination. They will remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture; to help ensure that the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

So, when you have a sewage damage or have questions don’t hesitate to call on SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington to help make your sewage damage “Like it never even happened.”

Employee of the Quarter: Family Life

7/15/2014 (Permalink)

Just recently, we at SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington have started recognizing our outstanding employees with “Employee of the Quarter.” Vanessa Willis is the first person to receive it. Everything about Vanessa screams exceptional, so the least we could do was recognize her. Our SERVPRO team loves her great personality and amazing cooking skills, so we would like for you all to get to know her also.

Today, we want to give you all an insight on Vanessa’s family and life. Vanessa was born and raised in Wagener, South Carolina. She feels that her biggest accomplishment in life has been having kids. Vanessa has a son the age of 32 and a daughter the age of 29. The one thing she loves about being a mother, is being able to be a grandmother. She says that her favorite thing to do with her family is to go camping on Dreher Island and if she could take them on any vacation in the world, it would be to Hawaii. The motto that Vanessa lives by and teaches her kids is to always respect others and know that you have to give respect to get it.

Employee of the Quarter: Life With SERVPRO

7/15/2014 (Permalink)

Vanessa has been with SERVPRO since 2009, so today we would like to give you an insight on her work here.

What drew Vanessa to SERVPRO was the fact that she loved to clean and with her job, she is able to do just that, by restoring what people could have lost and putting smiles on their faces at the same time. Vanessa says that what she loves the most about working with SERVPRO are the people that she comes into contact with.

A typical day at work for Vanessa would be coming into the office and getting everything prepared to go out and get the day started. Sometimes, she doesn’t even know what they day consists of, but she never complains and is always ready to tackle whatever comes her way. She considers a great day at work just simply being able to get her job done well. Vanessa was not only surprised, but happy to be named the Employee of the Quarter. She believes that she received this recognition from just simply following the work ethics. Although that plays a big part, Vanessa’s ability to just do things without asking and her great attitude so early in the morning just brightens everyone’s day played another huge part in making it effortless to recognize her for her outstanding work. Vanessa hopes that she will continue to grow with the company and feels like there is nothing that should be changed in her work environment. She loves SERVPRO.

Fun Question and Answer Session w/ our Employee of the Quarter

7/15/2014 (Permalink)

  1. What is the last movie you saw?

    Think Like a Man Too

  2. What is your favorite book to read?

    The Bible

  3. What is your favorite hobby?

    Cooking (which we can all tell she does a great job at by the delicious baked goodies she brings to work)

  4. Who is your favorite basketball and/or football team?

    The Lakers, I am not too much into football.

  5. What is something that most people don’t know about you?

    I know how to paint and draw and I actually went to Atlanta Art School to be a graphic designer.

  6. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

    To be INVISIBLE!


Stay tuned, because we have more fun facts about our terrific Employee of the Quarter coming tomorrow!

Employee of the Quarter: Fun Facts

7/15/2014 (Permalink)

Fun Facts

  1. If you could trade places with anyone, living or dead, fictional or real, who would it be?

    Oprah Winfrey, most definitely!

  2. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    An Architect

  3. What is your biggest fear?

    Not seeing my grandson grow up.

  4. What is your favorite activity to do during the summer?

    Going camping or fishing, just  because it is so peaceful. Whether I catch anything fishing or not, just being in peace is wonderful.

  5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

    Dirt. OMG, I just do like like dirtiness at all!

  6. What type of movie do you prefer? Comedy, Romance, Scary, or Action?

    Definitely Comedy.


Be sure to check our blog tomorrow for our wrap-up on our wonderful Employee of the Quarter!

Employee of the Quarter: More Fun Facts

7/15/2014 (Permalink)

  1. What is your favorite color?

    Blue

  2. What is your favorite genre of music?

    I would have to say it’s a mixture, because I like some Rap, some R&B, some Pop, so it’s definitely a combination of all types.

  3. What is your guilty pleasure?

    Bingo

  4. When you’re not at work, what are you most likely doing?

    Playing Bingo

  5. Do you volunteer anywhere?

    I used to volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

  6. Describe yourself in 3 words.

    Reliable, Dependable, Honest

And if I had to describe Vanessa in one word, it would be remarkable! She is such an awesome and warm-loving woman and that is what we all love about her!

Congratulations, once again, to our Employee of the Quarter, Vanessa Willis!

Social Wellness Month

7/2/2014 (Permalink)

Community Social Wellness Month Image Credit to: http://www.bondseniors.org/archive.html

July is Social Wellness Month! 

This is the month to nurture your relationships! Get involved and be social! Join a club that does a hobby you enjoy! Volunteer and help others! Rekindle your relationship with an old friend!

Research shows that:

  • People who have a strong social network tends to live longer.
  • The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.
  • Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning.
  • Healthy social networks enhances the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases.

So build your social network, not only this month, but every month, and stay healthy! 

Credit: Social Wellness Month

Tips for Staying Safe on Independence Day

7/1/2014 (Permalink)

Community Tips for Staying Safe on Independence Day Image Credit: http://www.4thofjulyimages.com/4th-of-july-family-party-2014-usa-independence-day.html

The most important thing on Independence Day is to stay safe! SERVPRO has a TON of tips for staying safe so check them out and have a wonderful 4th of July! 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Know your fireworks.  Read the caution label before igniting.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
  • Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department
  • Always remain standing while using sparklers.
  • Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
  • Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Never throw sparklers.
  • Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out.  Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
  • Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.
  • Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
  • Never smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while handling fireworks.
  • Sparklers burn at extremely hot temperatures from 1200 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Glow sticks make an excellent, safer alternative to sparklers, especially for young children.
  • Keep fireworks away from watermelons, dolls and mannequins. The dangers of allowing fireworks near these objects are clearly demonstrated every year on television around the 4th of July.
  • Do not use fireworks on grass or any soft, uneven ground. Only use fireworks on hard, flat, level surfaces. This is very important, to prevent the fireworks from tipping over.
  • Ground spinners such as "Ground Gloom Flower," etc. need a large, flat, smooth, hard, level surface to work. The same goes for traveling novelty items such as "Tanks," etc. Bring a large board if no hard, flat surface is at the shooting site.
  • Flying Spinners and helicopters such as "Plane Flying at Night," etc., need a flat, smooth, hard, level surface to spin on before they lift off. Make sure the printed side is up and the fuse is underneath a wing. Do not stand them on end.
  • Skyrockets must be launched from a narrow tube or a rack designed for them, not from your hand or by sticking them into the ground.
  • Roman Candles must be set in a stable rack or other support. Do not hold roman candles in your hand!
  • Light the firework with a long-handled lighter such as for barbecues, or a jumbo punk or a road flare.
  • Step back after lighting the fuse, to at least 10 feet away from the firework you just lit.
  • Never, ever, look into a tube that has a shell loaded into it, and never place any part of your body over a tube.
  • Always clean up the area after the show. 

Credit: http://fireworksland.com/free-fun-stuff/articles/fireworks-safety-tips , http://www.in.gov/dhs/3375.htm , http://www.safekids.org/tip/fireworks-safety-tips , http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/fireworks.html , http://fireworkssafety.org/?p=41 , http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/

Places to Watch and Enjoy Fireworks on Independence Day

7/1/2014 (Permalink)

1.    Lexington County  

  • Lexington County Peach Festival - Gilbert, South Carolina

For a peach of a celebration, head to this annual festival, which is held every year on July 4th (or July 3rd in years when the 4th falls on a Sunday.) Throughout the day, enjoy entertainment, arts and crafts and plenty of yummy peach creations such as peach ice cream, peach tea, peach sundaes, peach cobbler, peach slush, fresh sliced peaches and more. In the evening, there is a street dance and fireworks display.

2.    Kershaw County

  •  July 4th

Lake Wateree Fireworks Celebration
Next to Shaw AFB Recreation Area
At Sunset (probably around 7 o'clock)

3.    Fairfield County

  • July 4th

Fireworks show at Lake Wateree at Twilight
Rain Date will be July 5th
Directions: Call 803-635-4242

4.    Newberry County

  • July 4th

6pm Newberry College - **  fireworks begin about 10 PM
-Live Band
-Free rides for children
-Carshow
-Skydiving
-One of Southeast's largest fireworks show: 20 min show

Mt. Nebron Church, 8801 Bluff Rd., Eastover

3:00 July 4

Gospel jamboree, cookout & fireworks

5.    Clarendon County

  • July 3rd and 4th

Big Water Lake Club, off I-95 at exit 102 (considered North Santee)
Five Bands on the 3rd from 1pm until 10pm
All Gospel Sunday on the 4th from 1pm until 5pm
Also a Family Fun Fishing Tournament, Boat and RV Show
Fireworks on Sunday night

6.    Orangeburg County

  • July 4th

Orangeburg County Fairgrounds
Gates open at 6:30; Program starts at 8:30pm
Fireworks at approximately 9:20 pm, when dark
Sponsored by Dept. of Public Utilities

7.    Lancaster County

  • July 4th

Camp Creek Independence Day Celebration
Powerpoint Patriotic Celebration set to music, during the service 
Church-wide cookout after the service

First Baptist Church in Lancaster, Fourth of July Celebration
Fellowship BBQ in Family Life Center
Cost of lunch $5 for adults, $2.50 for children

8.    Darlington County

  • July 4th

Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce and Emmanuel Baptist Church
Located on the campus of Emmanuel Baptist Church
Begins at 6pm, Family Fireworks Festival, Entertainment, BBQ and Vendors
Rain Date: July 5th

9.    Florence County

  • July 4th

Fireworks Spectacular at Florence Motorspeed Way
Gates open at noon, Entertainment and food

10.Horry County

  • June 28 through July 4

Star Spangled Celebration at Broadway at the Beach
21st and 29th Avenues North and U.S. 17 Bypass, Myrtle Beach
Live entertainment, street performers, and waterski demonstrations
Fireworks July 4
For more information: 800-386-4662, Broadwayatthebeach.com

  • July 4th

Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade starts at 11am 
Begins at Garden City point moving through the main channel of Murrells Inlet
View from waterfront locales
For more info: 843-357-2007

§Murrells Inlet Fireworks Display over the inlet, approximately 9pm
Can be viewed at Garden City Beach
For more info: 843-357-2007

Independence Day Celebration at Barefoot Landing
4898 US 17 S. North Myrtle Beach
Boardwalk entertainers 7-11pm
Fireworks over the Intracoastal Waterway at 10:15pm
For more info: 843-272-8349, ext. 104

July 4th Independence Day Celebration, 7-11:30pm
Cherry Grove Pier, 3500 N. Ocean Blvd. North Myrtle Beach
Concert and Fireworks 

11.Bamberg County

  • July 4th

Fourth of July Celebration in Bamberg
Fireworks (Phoenix Specialty and Tobul Accumulators)

The Right Stuff

6/26/2014 (Permalink)

We understand that our equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time matters, the right technology and equipment are vital. So not only do we answer your call with fast action and trained, uniformed personnel, but also with the right equipment for the job!

When it comes to fire damage, we train our teams thoroughly. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are vital to proper restoration.

Wet Smoke -- Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
Dry Smoke -- Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, no smeary residues.
Protein -- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Fuel Oil Soot -- Furnace Puff Backs
Other Types -- Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items (what really matters).

Two amazing pieces of deodorization equipment include ultra low volume (ULV) foggers and thermal foggers. ULV foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. The device can also be used to apply fungicides and disinfectants. Thermal foggers dispense solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair with and neutralize odor-causing particles.

We've got the right stuff. 

Firework Safety

6/26/2014 (Permalink)

With the 4th of July approaching, firework safety is appropriate. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe during this holiday. 

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
  • Alcohol and Fireworks do not mix. Please have a designated shooter.
  • Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
  • Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

    The Science of Drying

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    The knowledge of psychrometrics ("the field of engineering concerned with the determination of physical and thermodynamic properties of gas-vapor mixtures" -- thanks Wikipedia) is essential to restoring a structure to its preloss condition. Where the average Do-It-Yourself homeowner (guilty) or business owner might be tempted to grab a few beach towels to mop up the mess and place a box fan or two around the damaged area, your local SERVPRO of Lexington Professionals follow strict, industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.

    Just for starters, a trained restorer will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, preventing damage from happening because wet components were overlooked. 
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
  • So what exactly does "speed up Mother Nature" mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because our environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material -- but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is nature takes a long time, and secondary damages occur while the building is drying out.

    For this reason, your local SERVPRO of Lexington Professionals have been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help the drying process, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls (pictured bottom-left) and much more. We also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment (pictured bottom-center) and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

    What is the bottom line? Your local SERVPRO of Lexington Professionals has the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."

    There, that wasn't so bad, was it? 

    Recovery Before Disaster Strikes

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    Your facility probably has an emergency exit plan in place, with illuminated signs leading occupants to safety and even facility maps placed strategically to identify alternate routes out of the building. But, have you developed a thorough contingency plan with heavy emphasis on the first 24-48 hours, to help guarantee you can get back into your building as quickly and painlessly as possible?

    SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington can provide you with assistance in developing an Emergency Response Profile for your facility to do just that. As part of a well thought out Contingency Plan, your Emergency Response Profile will contain information you will need in case an emergency situation occurs within your facility.

    Call us 803-755-9774

    Who Will Pick up the Pieces? WE WILL!

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    The leading causes of fire in a home include:

    • Cooking
    • Heating Units
    • Electrical
    • Smoking

    No matter how the fire started a rush of emotions and feelings of panic seem to follow. After calling the Fire Department to put out the fire, who do you call to help you clean up the damage caused by the fire?

    SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia are trained in the cleanup and care of your home and personal belongings following a fire incident. Before attempting to clean up the fire damage yourself, contact us 803-755-9774.

    Why Have a Professional Clean Your Carpet?

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    How often should you have a professional clean your carpets? The cleaning frequency for a home depends on several factors, such as the number of persons living in the home, number of children and pets, and whether any occupants are smokers. Outside factors also determine cleaning frequency, such as weather conditions, industrial pollution or dusty conditions, humidity, type of surface on outside entryways, etc.

    A combination of conditions may require your carpets to be cleaned professionally more often. The main consideration is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. The dirt hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile is what causes most damage to a carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals employ six methods of carpet cleaning. The best method for a carpet cleaning situation depends on the type of carpet, type of fibers, age and condition of the carpet, how the carpet is soiled, the type of soil, and other factors including your own needs as a carpet owner.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals follow the highest quality standards and workmanship. You need not worry about shrinkage, over-wetting, mildew, rapid resoiling, and many other problem areas.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove the loose grit from the pile of the carpet. The sharp edges of gritty soils cut the carpet fibers - this dry, loose grit must be removed before cleaning solution is applied.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove the atmospheric soil created by cooking, smoking, heating, auto exhaust, etc. Removal of this oily, sticky residue will brighten your carpet color.

    Vandalism Damage

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    We want to equip you to minimize home injuries with brief tips that go a long way. Stay tuned for more tips!

    Do:

  • Hose or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible
  • Blot freshly spilled food from carpets and fabrics with a dampened cloth or sponge (but don’t overwet). Scrape and blot; don’t rub since it can damage fibers
  • Vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery
  • Save containers that reveal the composition of spilled inks, cosmetic and paints.
  • Don’t:

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains
  • Operate damaged lamps or appliances
  • Discard wood chips, broken pieces from furniture, porcelain or other art objects
  • The Truth About Mold

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    Mold occurs naturally throughout the environment both indoors and outdoors. In fact, mold spores could be found in nearly every structure in the United States regardless of how new or clean the structure is. That’s because mold in normal amounts is no more dangerous than dust or pollen. Even through some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your office, your home or in your customer’s home it is important to be alert for:

    • The presence of visible mold
    • Strong, musty odors which may indicate mold is present
    • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused mold growth 

    These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/ Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems. If you think you or your customer might have a mold problem, check out our website for more information or give us a call: 803-755-9774. 

    Smoke 101

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    Fire damages are complex due to the unique nature of different types of smoke. Some things you may not know about smoke.

    • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
    • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
    • They type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
    • Once at a fire scene, a SERVPRO Professional tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.

    Types of Smoke:

    Wet Smoke Residues: result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky and smeary with a pungent odor. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.

    Dry Smoke Residues: result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are normally dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.

    Protein Residues: are virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. They have an extreme pungent odor.

    Fuel Oil Soot:  occur when furnaces puff back, distributing fuel oil soot.

    Other Types of Residue: include tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residues, all requiring cleanup. 

    3 Common Home Emergencies

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    What are the most common household emergencies that happen? 


    1. Burst washing machine hose- as rubber washing machine ages they eventually wear down and burst, causing costly flooding. Consider switching to a stainless-steel reinforced hose.


    2. Leaky Roof- Mother Nature is pretty tough on your roof. Regularly check your roof for missing or damaged shingles.

    3. Refrigerator Leaks- like your washing machine, the refrigerator is a common culprit in home floods. Ensure your water line is unkinked and in good condition.


    If you are faced with a common household emergency, let the professionals handle it!

    Smoky Success Story

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    Actual Letter from a SERVPRO customer 

    “Recently, I listed a 1-bedroom condo that had been owned by a smoker. She moves out and we removed all furniture and anything that might have absorbed smoke. We washed the walls and ceiling and repainted, change the carpet and installed new kitchen appliances. The place looked great but still smelled stale. It went on the market. After the first 3 showings, the buyers declined to make an offer because the condo still smelled strongly of smoke. I called my local SERVPRO Franchise. I knew of them because they had done a water damage cleanup in my neighborhood.

    The team came out and we made a list of things to do to “detox" the condo. After the first few measures, there were still a few SERVPRO team kept at it, taking the tiniest details into account until the place smelled fresh and brand new. The team honestly seemed as interested as I was in completely eliminating the odor; they were like hound dogs with their nose on the scent!

    As SERVPRO wrapped up, an agent and his buyer looked at the unit and it resulted in a sale. Immediately! Certainly I could smell the difference but the “Sold” status of the condo is even stronger proof of SERVPRO success in ridding the home of the smell of smoke. There’s no question who I’ll call if I ever list a smoker’s home again!" 

    Your Recipe for Cooking Safety

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    It is common tradition in the United States for the holidays and cooking to go hand in hand. But more time in the kitchen brings an increased chance for cooking–related fires.

    According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking has long been the leading cause of residential fires and fire injures, and Thanksgiving is the peak for residential cooking fires. 

    Did You Know?

    •  Cooking fires account for nearly half of reported home fires.
    • In 2010, cooking fires resulted in 410 deaths, 5,310 injures and over $993 million in property damage.
    • Three of every five reported, non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the individual attempted to fight the fire themselves.
    • If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner but do not remove the pan. Keep it covered until the pan cools completely.
    • You can reduce the risk of a cooking fire by: Staying in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. Check on food regularly and use a timer to remind you of cooking food. Keeping children three feet away from cooking surfaces, also keeping cooking surfaces clean to prevent food or grease build up.

    10 Key Fire Safety Tips

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home. 

    Watch your cooking
    Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food.

    Give space heaters space
    Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

    Smoke outside
    If you must smoke inside, have sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

    Keep matches and lighters out of reach

    Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

    Inspect electrical cords
    Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

    Be careful when using candles
    Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn . Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

    Have a fire escape plan
    Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

    Install smoke alarms
    Install alarms on every level of your office  or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

    Test smoke alarms
    Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

    Install sprinklers
    Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving  your local Fire Department a better chance of saving your property.

    Educating Kids About Fire

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    Have you educated your kids about fire safety? Do you know how to talk about fire safety with your kids? 


    Here are a few tips:


    •  Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
    • Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
    • Develop a home fire escape plan. Practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside.
    • Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
    • Take the mystery out of fire by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
    • Teach children the nature of fire. It is FAST, HOT, DARK and DEADLY!
    • Demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground and roll if their clothes catch fire.
    • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire.
    • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help. 

    FACT

    6/26/2014 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage

    Even a small fire can cause odors in your home for years to come. Any fire in your home is bad. But when you try to clean it up yourself, it can be a disaster. Especially considering that smoke and soot from even a small fire can cause odors that may resurface for years. So, before you risk doing more damage by attempting to clean it up yourself, call us, your local fire, smoke and soot cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO.

    Your Possessions Could Be at Risk

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    An accurate record of your possessions is worth more than you think. A videotape recording is not enough to protect your contents.

    Reasons to Inventory Your Home Contents:

    •  Better information to settle claims quicker
    • Add legitimacy to loss
    • Assist with burden of proof for claims 

    For estate planning and will preparation:

    •  Less stress for your family and heirs
    • Efficient estate closing can lessen expenses
    • Ensure your heirs recieve possessions
    • Factual records to fight bureaucracy
    • Better information to reduce taxes 

    Servpro Contents Inventory Means:

    • Complete preloss list and value of contents
    • Detailes and accurate report filed with insurance agent or court
    • Peace of mind

    You Can't Clean Everywhere, but WE CAN!

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO'S PROVEN DUCT CLEANING SYSTEM IS COST EFFICIENT!

    Unlike many duct cleaning services, Servpro of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington uses a portable ventilation and Air Duct Cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

    CLEAN SWEEP FOR DUCTS
    *Improve the Air Quality of Your Business When addressing air quality inspecting the ductwork is your SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington first order of business. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminats like mold and irritating dust throughout the building. Servpro uses a proven Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning system to help improve the air quality of your business.


    Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt- Reducing Potential Health Risks
    Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. Often times the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building. A routine part of a SERVPRO service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potientially extend the life span of equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money!

    Check Your Home!

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    HEALTHY HOME CHECKLIST 

    [ ] DO YOU SMOKE IN YOUR HOME?

    [ ] Do your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room have adequate ventilation and exhaust fans?
    [ ] Do you change your air filters once a month?
    [ ] When cleaning or doing laundry, do you use bleach, ammonia or aerosol spray cans?
    [ ] Is your gas fireplace and or gas stove checked yearly for emissions?
    [ ] Was your home built before 1978? If so, has it been checked for lead-based paint?
    [ ] Do your bathrooms have carpet?
     Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout the home. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington uses a proven portable ventilation and duct cleaning system to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. We can eliminate embarrassing offensive odors in your home. 

    Preparing for a Flood

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Rain clouds have been obscuring our sunshine in Lexington and West Columbia for awhile now, but in Florida they have been dealing with a few more problems than a missed chance at a tan.


    Floods have been upending the lives of many Floridians. Though damage is unavoidable in flood situations there are some steps you can take to help avoid as much damage as possible to your home or business.

    Before the Flood:

    • Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
    • Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business.
    • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.

    During the Flood:

    • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
    • Disconnect electrical appliances. 
    • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or are standing in water.
    • Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.

    After the Flood:

    • Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
    • Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged.
    • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
    • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.


    Having flood damage in your home or business can be a difficult situation to deal with, but remember, your SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia/Lexington is here to help you 24/7. Call (803) 755-9774. We make it 'Like it never even happened.

    Leak Prevention Tips

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Regularly check the following items for leaks:

    Exterior

    • Check roofing for deterioration
    • Check gutters and down spouts for blockage
    • Check basements and crawl spaces for moisture.

    Interiors

    • Check appliances in break rooms and cafeterias
    • Check sinks and toilets in restrooms
    • Check HVAC for leaks and blockage

    SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
    • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
    • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
    • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
    • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

    Proper Maintenance Saves Money

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Estimates made by the World Health Organization say that poor indoor air quality costs $60 billion in employee sick leave and lost production.

    Part of your responsibility to the tenants, workers and students who work and play in your buildings includes proper maintenance and prompt response to any situation that could cause illness or health concerns. A SERVPRO® Franchise Professional is available when it matters.

    Learn more about Indoor Air Quality on the web at servpro.com or www.epa.gov.

    Minimize Vacancies. Maximize Income

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Property owners rely on you to enhance the value of their rental property by maintaining occupancy rates and increasing revenue.

    The fact is, tenants will come and go. The longer it takes to clean a space after they move out, the longer it takes to move a new tenant in. Each day the space is empty is one less day of income.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer a variety of services to help bring the unit to move-in condition quickly: 

    • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care
    • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning
    • Deodorization
    • Air Duct & HVAC Cleaning
    • Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods

    Time is a Precious Commodity

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    When you need it done right and done fast, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional for all your commercial cleaning needs. Did you know when you hire SERVPRO Franchise Professionals for maintenance cleaning; you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response -- that's the SERVPRO way.

    Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call your local Franchise Professional for all your emergency restoration needs. Because when you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring your business can get back into operation as fast as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services to reduce business interruptions and recovery costs.

    So You Can Focus On Your Customers

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    • Quick response may help avoid revenue loss for property owners and minimize inconvenience to tenants
    • Restoration services can help you resume normal business functions quickly while avoiding costly construction downtime
    • Professional equipment and industry-approved techniques 

    Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will work hard to restore the property and its contents to pre-loss condition helping you become the hero in a disaster situation. 

    Contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional or call 1-800-SERVPRO.

    The Truth About Mold

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter homes easily. Most types of mold grow quickly if they have a water source, an organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit.

    An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors is a public health problem by encouraging growth of molds, dust mites and other organisms.

    Clean Air in the Home

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    • Children in homes with high levels of mold show persistent, cold-like symptoms - 300% more than those in clean environments.
    • Every year about 40 pounds of dust is generated per 1,500 square feet in a home.
    • Roughly 80 percent of the particles you see floating in your home in a ray of sunshine are dead human skin.

    When Fire Strikes...

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Fire damage in a home can be a stressful event for a homeowner. Damage to your personal belongings and home are just some of the concerns you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand your home is more than four walls. Your home includes your memories and personal belongings. SERVPRO Response Teams are trained in caring for both you and your home. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help you restore your home and personal belongings.

    So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 1-800-SERVPRO. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have worked for over 35 years to make fire damage like it never even happened.

    Are You Really Prepared?

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)



    If a natural disaster were to strike today would you really be prepared? If the answer is yes, then CONGRATULATIONS! 9 times out of 10 a household is not prepared for a disaster. After my last blog, I wondered if I was prepared for a disaster. Living in California our teachers and parents prepared us on what to do in case of an earthquake.

    "DUCK AND COVER."

    To be honest "duck and cover" is all that I am prepared for, which isn't saying much. Here is a helpful list to get you and your family prepared!

    Please go through this list and make sure that all of these items are in your emergency kit. You never know when an emergency can strike you or your community!

    • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3 ­day supply for evacuation, 2­ week supply for home)
    • Food—non­perishable, easy­to­prepare items (3­ day supply for evacuation, 2 ­week supply for home)
    • Flashlight
    • Battery­-powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
    • Extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Medications (7­day supply) and medical items
    • Multi­purpose tool
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
    • Cell phone with chargers
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Extra cash
    • Emergency blanket
    • Map(s) of the area

    Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
    • Games and activities for children
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
    • Two­-way radios
    • Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Manual can opener

    Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

    • Whistle
    • N95 or surgical masks
    • Matches
    • Rain gear 
    • Towels
    • Work gloves
    • Tools/supplies for securing your home
    • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Household liquid bleach
    • Entertainment items
    • Blankets or sleeping bags

    The Danger of not having a Emergency Kit:

    Though most households are located in reasonable proximity to an emergency respondent, access to an emergency kit is often critical in securing the health and safety of residents before help arrives. For those located a significant distance from emergency assistance, or homes that contain injury-prone children or older adults, an emergency kit is non-negotiable.

    Now ask yourself are you prepared for a natural disaster to strike?

    Avoid Holiday Fire Disasters Through Safe Candle Use

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Candles lend a special light to the holiday season: Halloween jack-o-lanterns, Thanksgiving dinner tables, Advent wreaths, Menorahs, luminarias, and Kwaanza Kinaras. If not for a seasonal purpose, then perhaps the romantic lighting or the smell of sugar cookies has convinced you that candles are an undeniable asset to ambiance. Whatever the reason, candle safety is important, particularly during the holiday season when their use is particularly common. Here are some basic guidelines to help keep you safe. Commit these to memory and avoid the embarrassment of last year's flaming cheese fondu (the result of a single candle... and might I add, not my fault).

    Who

    Children should be taught to stay away from lit candles. Try to keep them out of reach of young children and pets. Candle lighting is not an appropriate activity for small children, so keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.

    Where

    Burn candles away from drafts, other heat sources, and all flammable objects or materials. In other words, never use candles near windows or exits. Don't place them on Christmas trees, real or artificial (I know, it's tradition, but setting the house on fire isn't). Keep burning candles away from curtains, wrapping paper, paper, combustible decorations and displays (including Aunt Juanita's hair), flammable liquids, and aerosol sprays (please see Aunt Juanita's hair), such as hair spray, which can explode. Never allow a candle flame to touch any glass surface.

    When

    Don't burn candles for more than four hours at a time. Unattended candles are an invitation to disaster, so don't forget to snuff out candles before leaving the room or going to bed (that's right, falling asleep to candle light: bad idea). Blowing out candles doesn't do the trick: extinguish them by wetting the wick. 

    And some other quick tips:

    • Candles other than jar candles must be used in an appropriate non-tipping, non-flammable holder made of tempered glass or made with a proper glaze.
    • Place candles on a safe, heat-resistant dry surface. If possible, place glass chimneys or shades over them.
    • For Christmas luminarias, use 15-hour votive candles in holders placed in paper bags filled with at least 2 inches of sand. The candle must be of a size that will allow adequate space between the candle and bag so as not to ignite the bag.
    • Remove labels and tags from candles before burning.
    • Keep wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch at all times. This inhibits smoking and carbon build-up at the tip of the wicks and provides a cleaner burn.
    • Sometimes a layer of liquid wax forms that causes the wick to fall to the side. To maintain an even burn, keep the wick centered. This will also protect the candle holder, since a flame that's too close for too long may crack the holder.
    • Keep the wax pool free of foreign objects such as wick trimmings and matches. They will interfere with proper burning and are flammable.
    • Extinguish taper or pillar candles when they get within 2 inches of their holders. Discontinue use of candle containers when 1/2" of wax remains.

    Choosing a Tree

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    The difference between the most wonderful time of the year and a call to SERVPRO can be in the choosing of this year's tree. Christmas trees are involved in approximately 400 fires annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These typically result in more than a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries, and more than $10 million in property loss and damage. In short: circuiting tree lights are cited as the leading cause. 

    Since the holiday season has begun, take a few of safety tips courtesy of the State Fire Marshal's Office on choosing and preparing Christmas trees for decoration that will minimize the risk of fire and injuries. 

    • If you're buying an artificial tree, it should bear the "Fire Resistant" label. While this type of tree can catch fire, it will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
    • If you're buying a natural tree, buy the freshest you can find. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
    • Watch out for trees with a greenish cast to their trunks and branches; many growers spray trees with green paint to make them look more appealing.
    • Cut at least one inch off the trunk's base to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the first 24 hours and one or more quarts a day thereafter. A seal of dried sap will form over the cut stump in four to six hours if water drops below the base of the tree, preventing the tree from absorbing water later when the tree stand is refilled. If a seal does form, another fresh cut will need to be made.
    • To maximize freshness and minimize fire risk, keep the tree outdoors for a few days in a bucket filled with water before bringing it indoors to decorate. The tree stand should hold at least one gallon of water.

    Because heated rooms dry out natural trees rapidly, keep the stand filled with water; check the water level daily. A six-foot tree will absorb one gallon of water every two days.

    Statistics to Share

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Based on 2006-2010 annual averages:

    • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in home cooking fires.
    • Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
    • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.
    • Ranges accounted for the largest share (58%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
    • Three of every five (57%) reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
    • Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
    • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. 

    Exercising Caution with Alternative Heat

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Everyone wants to keep his or her homes and workspace warm during the winter. In an effort to keep heating costs down, many residents and employees will turn to an alternative heat source, such as fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and portable space heaters.

    When used and maintained as directed, these methods can effectively warm your home or office. However, there is also an inherent danger, as heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the winter months.

    In 2008, the most recent years statistics were available, heating equipment caused more than 66,000 fires and led to more than $1.1 billion in direct property damage. Portable space heaters were responsible for nearly one third of these fires. Some authorities believe the public is at an increased risk of alternative heating fires this year as residents search for ways to cut heating bills in tough economic times.  

    Fight the Flu

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Don't be fooled, influenza (or, the flu, as we commonly call it) is fairly likely to impact your holidays, as one in five Americans suffer from it every single year. According to Pride Staff, the flu, combined with pneumonia, is the nation's 8th leading cause of death. So what can you do take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and shield yourself (and others) against the flu?

    One of the first and most important preventive actions you should take is getting a yearly flu vaccine. Don't know where to get one? Flu.gov has a flu vaccine finder that is very helpful!

    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. No tissue? Aim your cough/sneeze into the bend of your arm.

    Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This, my friends, is how germs are spread.

    Those are the basics, but what about everyone else? How can you help others do the same? Try these actions:

    • Encourage great hygiene among your family members and coworkers.
    • Put up posters addressing prevention: how to stop germs from spreading, how to recognize cold/flu symptoms, etc.
    • Identify local resources for flu shots and make this information available to coworkers.
    • Stock up on hand sanitizer/anti-bacterial wipes and make these available to others.
    • Wipe down all flat surfaces: keyboards, mouse, phone and common areas daily.
    • Use hand sanitizer after shaking hands with others.
    • Contact your office janitorial service to see if they offer any special treatment or processes to prevent the spread of cold/flu germs.
    • Don't wait.

    More Tips for Weathering the Winter

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    •  Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ash to prevent hazardous waste from chemicals. Chemical de-icers can be hazardous to your pets, your trees and shrubs, and the environment. Antifreeze that leak from car engines and chemical snow melters on driveways, roads, and runways can pollute surface waters and groundwater through the soil. 

    •  Winterize your vehicle by checking your air filter and fluid levels, checking tires for tread wear and proper inflation, and checking the condition of your windshield wipers. Ensuring your vehicle is ready for weather changes will reduce damage, which prevents waste from broken parts, and will keep you safe on the road.

    •  If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save your ashes in a tin instead of throwing them away. Cold wood ashes can be mixed in your compost heap to create a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to your garden.

    •  Use electric snow removal products rather than gasoline-powered ones. While electric products consume energy, they do not emit greenhouse gases. As alternatives, use snow shovels, ice crackers, and brooms to clear snow from your sidewalk, porch, or driveway.

    •  Close the recycling loop. Many articles of clothing, such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now made from recycled materials. Most fleece products are made from recycled plastic soda bottles, and certain clothing and shoe manufacturers use recycled cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products.

    •  Winter storms often cause power outages. Prevent waste by keeping rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones stored throughout your house with your flashlights. If you do use disposable batteries, prevent hazardous waste by buying batteries with low mercury content.

    •  Recycle old newspapers by making rolled paper logs for your fireplace. Roll newspaper sheets around a broom stick until your log is the desired size, then soak your log thoroughly in water. Dry the log overnight and use like ordinary wood. Always follow proper safety precautions when burning anything around your home.

    •  To make sure your heating system (boiler, furnace or heat pump) is operating at its most efficient, it is a good idea to have a contractor perform a routine check-up and any necessary maintenance on the equipment before freezing weather drives up your energy bill.

    Winterize Your Home

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Keep Your Home Safe!

    Since the severe weather has made an appearance across the country, it's only right if I give you Awesome Tips on keeping your home and business safe!

    Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

    • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes
    • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or un-insulated areas of your home.
    • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off".
    • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
    • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
    • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puff backs.

    Winterize Your Business

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    The winter months may call for businesses to take some standard precautionary measures to help protect their property. These measures include basic maintenance checks and preparation to help ensure your business and employees remain safe. Some basic precautionary tips include:

    • Check your business property for down tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
    • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leave or debris accumulates causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
    • Inspect property, especially walkaways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
    • 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.

    Ducts

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    It's the season when homes have their highest energy demand of the year. Heating accounts for 34% of all annual utility usage and is part of what makes an average home twice the emitter of carbon dioxide emissions as a vehicle. Here is a way to reduce the demand for expensive space heating.

    Check the ducts. To ensure that as much warm air as possible is delivered through your central system, check the ductwork and wrap any leaks with duct mastic. Distribution losses (what's lost while air is transported from your furnace through ductwork to the vents) often amounts to 30%. So, sealing ductwork could increase efficiency and the warm air you receive considerably ... keeping you warmer and lessening the burden on your furnace. 

    7 Tips to Avoid Bursting Pipes

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    1. Wrap outside faucets.
    2. Caulk around pipes where they enter the house. 
    3. Disconnect garden hoses. 
    4. Drain in ground sprinkler systems.
    5. Let a stream of water run, if the temperature dips below freezing. 
    6. Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. 
    7. Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days. 

    Quick Ways to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    • Repair peeling paint around the doors and windows, which can be a sign of water getting into wood. 
    • Look for roof leaks around chimneys, plumbing vents and attic vents. Trace the source of a ceiling leak by measuring its location from the nearest outside wall and then locate this point in the attic using a measuring tape
    • Make sure air conditioner's dry pan drains freely, is adequately sloped toward the outlets and that no standing water is present. Drain pans usually overflow the first time the unit is turned on in the spring.

    Tips: Spot Cleaning

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    1. Always blot or scape up as much material as possible before it soaks into the carpet. 
    2. For scraping solid matter, use a table knife or a SERVPRO scraper. Never use a sharp instrument.
    3. For blotting liquids use white paper towels or tissues instead of a cloth. If a cloth is used too long, the fibers may be re-deposited in the carpet and spread the stain. 
    4. Never use soap. This frequently leaves a sticky residue that causes rapid resoling. 
    5. Do not allow solvent- based products to penetrate to the backing of carpets. Solvents may damage and soften the latex compounds used to strengthen the carpet. 

    During the Storm: Outdoor Safety

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    • If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley. 
    • If you are on open water, get land immediatly and seek shelter. 
    • If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under thick growth of small trees. 
    • If you are in a car, keep the windows closed. 

    Danger Signs of a Tornado

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    • Dark, often greenish clouds- a phenomenon caused by hail. 
    • Funnel Clouds- a visible rotating extension of the cloud base. 
    • Wall Cloud- an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm. 
    • Large hail- Roaring noise. Cloud debris. 

    Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detecor requirements are met. 

    Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

    Smoke Alarm Safety Tips

    • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement. 
    • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 
    • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. 
    • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps", the battery is low and should be replaces right away. 
    • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. 

    Facts about Flooding

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. 

    Just because you havent experiences a flood in the past, doesn't mean you wont in the future. In fact 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program were for policies in low risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000. 

    According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the US every year than any other weather relates disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips. 

    • Stay away from floodwater. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inchs of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet. 
    • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising apidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. 
    • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.

    Spring Cleaning Tips

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Spring Cleaning Tips: 

    Clean your work space. It doesn't take long for clutter to pile up. Begin spring cleaning by decluttering and organizing your work space. Sort files and determine what you really need. Removing excess clutter will not only allow you to find things easier, but will also create a more productive environment.

    Start an archive. While organzing your work space, you may come across files you dont use daily but still need to keep. By creating an archive, you can save these files and keep your desk clutter free. Maintain your archive by scheduling one day a month to sort through files and keep files organized. 

    Organize your inbox. Is your inbox overloaded? Organize e-mails by creating folders within your inbox. Organizing files may require an initial time investment but will be a tremendous timesaver in the future. Consider backing up important electronic files and programs as well. 

    Deep Clean your facility, including the floors. Over time, floors bear the brunt of your daily business. If not properly maintained, they can become dull and dingy. Having floors deep cleaned can improve the overall look and cleanliness of your facility. 

    Hit the hidden areas. We all avoid the hated, hidden area in our areas in our homes, but now is the time to face the monster dust bunny under the bed. Be ruthless! 

    Tackle the big projects first. We start with the best intentions to scrub down our down our homes from top to bottom, but somewhere in the middle we run out of stream. Tackle the biggest projects first, or you may never get to them. 

    Yard sale time! Dont just chuck your unwanted items. Put them up for sale! You may be surprised to see what could bring in a couple bucks. 

    When life gives you lemons, CLEAN YOUR SINK!

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain. 

    2. Wash it down with 1/2 cup of vinegar and spritz of lemon. 

    3. Let this set for a few minutes while it fizzles. 

    4. Rinse with hot water. 

    Wireless Emergency Alerts

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage Wireless Emergency Alerts Photo Credit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/img/art_imgs/wea_chart.png

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government- alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service. 

    Alerts recieved at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harms way, without need to downloadan app or subscribe to a service. WEA may be used to share: 

    • Extreme weather warnings
    • Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action. 
    • AMBER Alerts
    • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency

    A WEA will look like a text message will typically show the type and time of the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters. 

    Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, inclusing how to determine if your mobile device is WEA-capable. 

    From Wildfires to Hurricanes: Here's Why You Want SERVPRO!

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    In the midst of the drought-related wildfires that are devastating the West and the hurricane-induced water and wind damage hitting the East Coast, people everywhere are having to make tough decisions about where to go from here. Particularly in large-scale disasters, being taken advantage of is a threat that faces many homeowners. On the other hand, taking on fire and water damage cleanup yourself can be overwhelming and not entirely possible without the right equipment. So take it from a neighbor you can trust: here are 7 reasons to choose SERVPRO.

    Timely mitigation is key to controlling damage, downtime and recovery costs. The training of your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional will help limit damage and get your facility back in operation quickly. You can count on our nationwide coverage, full line of restoration services, and the 1-4-8 service guidelines.

    They key to a good relationship is good communication. With SERVPRO, you’ll know what is happening every step of the way. From the first telephone call within the first hour following damage notification, until the job is complete, we are dedicated to effectively communicating with you. You will be aware of the job status and the progress toward project completion.

    Jobs are documented with itemized estimates, digital photographs, signed work authorization forms and regular progress reports. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals, utilizing technology developed for documenting insurance claims, electronically collect and store project information which is accessible to you via a secure e-mail link 24 hours a day. Upon project completion, a signed customer satisfaction form is the final piece of information entered into the file.

    When fire, water or mold damage strikes a commercial facility, it has a negative impact on everyone — the owner, the management team, employees, tenants and even customers. Even small fire or water damages must be addressed quickly in order to limit secondary damage. We understand the urgency in responding to your facility or home following a disaster. By arriving quickly, mitigating damage to the structure and contents, and providing effective cleanup and restoration services, we will get you back in business as soon as possible.

    We help you save money: Emergency mitigation services help minimize secondary damages; proper restoration versus replacement of contents is less expensive; faster recovery lessens loss; pre-approved pricing and procedures; and comprehensive cleanup and restoration services help prevent future problems and potential liability risks.

    Commercial properties probably have an emergency exit plan in place with illuminated signs leading occupants to safety and even facility maps strategically placed to identify alternate routes out of the building. But have you developed a thorough Contingency Plan? Is the emphasis on the first 24-48 hours, to help you get back in your building as quickly as possible?

    Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional can provide you assistance in developing an Emergency Response Profile. As part of a well-thought-out Contingency Plan, your Emergency Response Profile will contain information you need in the event an emergency situation occurs.

    An added advantage to utilizing SERVPRO in the development of your Emergency Response Profile is the opportunity to coordinate a preferred provider relationship including pre-arranged pricing and procedures for handling emergency response for your facility before damage occurs.

    We have the solution to your cleanup needs. Utilizing the right equipment and supplies, SERVPRO can handle all of your cleanup needs. In addition to our superior fire, water and mold restoration services, we provide cleanup services for those special needs that surpass the capabilities of your regular maintenance staff: Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration; Water Removal and Dehumidification; Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup; Mold Mitigation and Remediation; Contents Claim Inventory Service; Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning; Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care; Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications; Odor Identification and Deodorization; and Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods.

    In the event of a major catastrophe, SERVPRO has a nationwide Large Loss Response Team comprised of trained and equipped professionals capable of responding to your facility. While most systems have a waiting list, you get priority service with SERVPRO. Call us today to find out how.

    Each of SERVPRO’s over 1,400 nationwide Franchises is independently owned and operated by trained professionals committed to providing the highest level of emergency cleanup and restoration services and customer satisfaction. What this means to you, the commercial property owner or manager, is that should fire, water or mold damage occur in one of your local facilities or a facility across the country, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will provide quality professional service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

    National Rivers Month

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Cleaning National Rivers Month Photo Credit: http://dirtyhippieproductions.tumblr.com/post/88385460772/june-is-national-rivers-month

    June is National Rivers Month!

    Did you know that more than 250,000 rivers and streams run throughout America? Together, these waterways flow for nearly 3.6 million miles, providing drinking water to over 65% of Americans. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that nearly 175 million Americans ages six and older participated in outdoor activities on local waterways. Together, they pump more than 86 billion dollars into the economy every year!

    But the truth is you can’t put a price tag on a river-especially when illegal dumping, litter, sewage and industrial runoff threaten the communities and ecosystems that depend on them. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 290 million scrap tires are produced in the United States each year. That’s enough tires to circle the Earth 1.6 times! Unfortunately, many of these tires, along with other unwanted items, are dumped into rivers every year. To give you an idea, National River Cleanup®volunteers removed more than 36,000 tires from local waterways in 2012 alone.

    In honor of National Rivers Month, we’re calling all paddlers, fishermen, outdoor enthusiasts and humans alike to organize or volunteer with National River Cleanup. By participating in a river cleanup, you help preserve these invaluable resources that make life on Earth possible. So what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to give back to the rivers that do so much for us!

    Credit to: National Rivers Month

    Let's Talk Lightning

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage Let's Talk Lightning Photo Credit: http://cosmicconvergence.org/?p=1109

    Some people think lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, lightning often strikes the same place twice. Reportedly, the Empire State building is struck nearly 25 times a year. It is also believed that lightning only poses a threat when it’s cloudy or raining. The truth is lighting often strike more than three miles outside of a storm and has been known to travel as far as 10-15 miles before striking the ground. Many people are confused by the term “heat lightning” and think it occurs as the result of a very hot summer day. The term “heat lightning” is used to describe lightning from a thunderstorm too far away to be heard. 

    For more information, visit http://www.servprolexingtonsc.com/

    Professional Wellness Month

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Professional Wellness Month Photo Credit: http://rebootbreak.com/2011/06/17/june-professional-wellness-month/

    June is Professional Wellness Month!

    Professional wellness is about promoting a healthy work environment, building relationships among employees, and improving personal work performance. Employers should show they care about each employee’s well-being, encourage less stressful professional practices, and help employees become more efficient.

    Exercise at Work

    It’s hard to find time to exercise, especially for those of us who work in an office. Exercising at work may seem impossible, but it’s one option for staying fit and keeping your energy up. It takes some creativity, but there are opportunities to exercise at work if you pay attention. All it takes is a little planning and some inspiration to squeeze in a little movement all day long.

    The Basics

    You probably know a few tricks for staying active at work. Taking the stairs when you can, parking further away from the door and walking around the office when you can are good places to start. Beyond that, there are a few other options to keep you moving:

    • Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will strengthen your abs and back and you’ll work on your posture without even trying.
    • Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move around. Even if you just swing your arms or take a deep breath, you’ll feel more alert.
    • Use the restroom on another floor and take the stairs
    • Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take. Aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day.
    • Leave something important in your car (your lunch, your briefcase, etc.) so you have to run out to get it (and take the stairs)
    • Deliver documents or messages to co-workers in person rather than by email
    • Go to the mall for lunch and park on the opposite end of the food court. Don’t forget to buy something healthy.
    • Get a headset for your phone so you can move around while you talk.

    Be creative. Any movement is better than none, so don’t feel like you have to do sprints all day long. Adding short bouts of exercise throughout the day will help you burn more calories and will also reduce stress so you can easily smile at your boss when she piles more work on you.

    Credit to: Professional Wellness Month

    Home Maintenance Checklist

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    There are tons of ways that you can keep your clean and safe and your SERVPRO team is here to give you tips on how to do so!

    Weekly:

    1. Vacuum your carpet. (Rule of thumb: vacuum once per week per human inhabitant, twice per pet).
    2. Feel plugs/ outlets for warmth. Call electrician if anything appears unusual. 

    Monthly: 

    1. Change air filters (if there are no pets, smoking inside the home, or inhabitants with allergies, you may change them quarterly at a MINIMUM).
    2. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by pushing ‘test’ button.
    3. Check faucet and hose connections under sinks and toilets and behind laundry equipment and refrigerator.
    4. Look for leaks at shut-off valves.
    5. Check walls and ceilings for brown spots. Check painted surfaces for peeling, chipping or blistering. This can be indicative of water damage.
    6. Clean dust from molding and baseboards to preserve value.

    Quarterly: 

    1. Check inside basement walls for dampness or water stains.
    2. Check to make sure crawl space vapor barrier is in good condition and placed correctly.
    3. Examine outside vents and gutters. Make sure properly sealed and clear of obstruction. Recheck vents during and after a snowstorm.
    4. Check condition of caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and showers. For extra protection, replace with long-lasting material such as silicone or latex.
    5. Clean dirt and dust from around furnaces, air grills and ducts.
    6. Have dryer vent cleaned by professional or remove lent with leaf blower to prevent clogging or fire damage. Check vent if clothes aren’t drying properly.

    Bi-Annually: 

    1. Have carpet cleaned by professional cleaner to preserve fabric or warranty.
    2. Practice fire escape plan with family. Identify off-site meeting location/shelter.
    3. Pull back floor insulation in basement or crawl space to check for leaks, wood damage around supply pipes. 

    Annually: 

    1. Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Clean detectors/vacuum each grill.
    2. Have property inspected and treated for termites by professional technician.
    3. Check roof for damaged shingles and flashing.
    4. Replace washer/dryer and refrigerator hoses (steel braided hoses are recommended).
    5. Have AC unit serviced by professional technician. Condensation drain lines need to be checked for clogging to prevent water damage.
    6. Have fireplace inspected and cleaned by professional chimney sweeper.
    7. Drain garden hoses and store for winter. 

    Long Term Reminders: 

    1. Every 5 years, have ducts cleaned by professional technician.
    2. Every 25 years, replace roof shingles. 

    More general safety tips include: 

    •  Store emergency contact information (police, fire dept., hospital, etc.) in physical and digital locations. Free apps are available as a resource (see servpro.com/ready).
    • Keep rescue ladder(s) for multi-story homes.
    • Keep fire extinguisher in kitchen and on every floor. Have all house dwellers practice use.
    • Plug a rechargeable flashlight into socket close to bed. May also be used to signal first responders.
    • Trim back branches from roof and chimney to prevent fire or structural damage.
    • Regularly clean fireplace ash pit.
    • Never burn green wood. Burn only dry, well-seasoned hard wood that has been split properly.
    • Use dryer sheets when drying clothes to reduce spontaneous combustion. Let clothes cool off before transferring.
    • If a rotten-egg type smell is detected, check pipes for possible gas leak.
    • Set water heaters no higher than 120 degrees. Keep combustible and flammable material away from heater.
    • Consider a sprinkler system in home to prevent fire damage.
    • Never plug more than one high wattage appliance in single outlet.
    • Keep carpet stretched and healthy to prevent tripping on wrinkles. If wrinkled, check for delamination by pulling carpet back from corner of room. Delaminated carpet is not repairable and must be replaced.

    In case of water damage, you should know what to do and what not to do until help arrives. SERVPRO’s got your back. Here are our tips:

    DO

    • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
    • When access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off circuit breakers in wet areas of the building.
    • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
    • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
    • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushion for even drying.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
    • Any painting, art object, computers, document and other material that are valuable or sensitive to moisture should be relocated to a safe, dry place.
    • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
    • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
    • Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.

    DON’T: 

    • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
    • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
    • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.
    • Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
    • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
    • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
    • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.
    • Enter rooms where ceiling is sagging from retained water.

    Pizza Casserole

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Who doesn't love pizza and spaghetti?! This is a great casserole idea and don’t forget to add in your favorites to make it your own special recipe! When you want to fix an easy casserole recipe that you know will be a hit, give this dish a try! Your family and friends will love you for this delicious dish!

    Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) bag of egg noodles
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 3 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 pound hamburger meat
  • 1 package of pepperoni
  •  Instructions

    1. Brown the meat and drain the grease.
       
    2. Boil Noodles until soft.  Drain the water.
       
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
       
    4. In a 9x13 casserole dish, start layering by first spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
       
    5. Second layer half of the noodles over the sauce.  Then half of the meat and the rest of the noodles.
       
    6. Next layer half of the cheese, the rest of the meat, the rest of the sauce, and then the rest of the cheese.
       
    7. Lastly, top with pepperonis.
       
    8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
       
    9. Once it is done baking, take it out and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.  Enjoy.

    Blog Credit: Mama's Pizza Casserole

    Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Cups

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    This is seriously strawberry shortcake heaven! They are the perfect dessert for kids after dinner, perfect for parties, and perfect just to whip up and eat on your own! Take a look at this recipe and be blown away that you'll be able to make these delicious strawberry shortcake cookie cups on your own!

    Ingredients

    ·       Refrigerated Sugar cookie Dough

    ·       Whipped Cream

    ·       Fresh strawberries

    Instructions

    ·       Preheat oven to 350.

    ·       Wash and remove stems from strawberries.

    ·       Form cookie dough into 1" balls. Press each ball into the openings in the muffin pan and press down in the middle with your thumb to form a cup shape.

    ·       Bake for 12 minutes or until browned.

    ·       Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove from pan.

    ·       Take a few strawberries and puree them to make a drizzle.

    ·       Place a strawberry or piece of a strawberry in each cup. - I used half of a small strawberry in each

    ·       Fill cup with Whipped Cream.

    ·       Top with a strawberry slice and drizzle of strawberry puree.

    Blog Credit: Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Cups

    Spicy Sausage Rolls

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    This delicious recipe is great for a game day treat! And even though many people prefer beer on game days, wine would be perfect for the appetizer. So on the next game day, pull up this recipe and show your friends and family a great time by giving them some great food!

    Ingredients

    • 1-2 sheets thawed puff pastry (see notes)
    • 1¼lb sweet Italian sausage meat
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, diced
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon all-spice
    • 1 large egg beaten with ½ tablespoon water

    For the dipping sauce:

    • ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon Gallo Family Vineyard Pinto Grigio
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

    Instructions

    1.     Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2.     In a large bowl, combine the sausage meat, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, ground coriander, paprika, salt, pepper and all spice. Mix well to combine and transfer to your food processor.

    3.     Pulse the sausage mixture until the onions break up and the sausage is smooth and almost paste like – about 10-15 pulses.

    4.     Transfer the sausage mix to a disposable pastry bag or Ziploc bag with the tip cut off to pipe about ½ inch in diameter.

    5.     On a lightly floured surface roll out one sheet of puff pastry so that it is one large piece – about 10-12 inches long.

    6.     On the long edge pipe out 4 rows of sausage mix, leaving 1 inch between each section.

    7.     Using a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into 4 sections and roll over the sausage making sure to seal the edges.

    8.     Brush the puff pastry logs with egg wash and cut into 1inch sections.

    9.     Transfer to the baking sheet.

    10.  If using the section sheet of puff pastry repeat the filling instructions. If making sausage balls, roll the leftover meat into 1inch size balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.

    11.  Cook the sausage rolls for 25-30 minutes or until the puff pastry is cooked through and golden brown.

    12.  Cook the sausage balls for 20-25 minutes.

    13.  In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, pinto grigio and hot sauce to make the dipping sauce.

    14.  Serve the sausage rolls and balls hot with the sauce on the side.

    Blog Credit: Spicy Sausage Rolls

    Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    BACON! Seriously, who doesn’t love bacon? Check out this fun appetizer and wow your family and friends’ taste buds!

    Makes about three dozen bites

    Ingredients:

    1 pound small or medium red potatoes
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Freshly ground pepper
    12 ounces to 1 pound thick-cut bacon
    1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
    1-3 teaspoons hot sauce
    Salt and pepper

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Wash and dry the potatoes. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, keeping the chunks roughly the same size even if they aren't the exact same shape. Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the water begins to boil, cook the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can stick a fork into them without too much resistance. You want the potatoes to be almost, but not fully, cooked through so they won't fall apart during the next steps.

    Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.

    Cut the strips of bacon into thirds. Wrap each potato bite in a piece of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil spaced an inch or two apart. You may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.

    Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip each piece. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and as crisp as you like it. Mix the sour cream and hot sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pile the potato bites on a plate and serve alongside the dip.

    Blog Credit: Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

    Patriotic Dipped Oreo Cookies

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    These are the perfect treats for Independence Day. After all of the good grilled food, finish off with something sweet and enjoy these great Independence Day themed Oreo cookies!

    Ingredients

    -24 Oreos

    -4 oz White Melting Candy

    -2 oz Red Melting Candy

    -2 oz Blue Melting Candy

    Instructions

     
    • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    • Melt white candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in white chocolate and flip to coat. Remove from chocolate allowing excess to drip off and place on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.
    • You can take a knife and shave any excess off of cookies to keep nice shape.
    • Melt red candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in red chocolate to coat one end. Allow excess to drip off and place back on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.
    • Melt blue candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in blue chocolate to coat opposite end. Allow excess to drip off and place back on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.

    Blog Credit: Patriotic Dipped Oreo Cookies

    How to Build a Pond

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    How cool would it be to have a pond in your own yard? And even better, wouldn't you love for it to be cost efficient? Here’s how to build your own pond, and tips on easy maintenance as well.

    Step one - Rough out the area the size you want your pond. A pond can be as large as you wish, but I chose to make mine approximately 4×8 feet. Check with your local code if you plan to place the pond in an unfenced area…some towns limit the depth of the pond if it is unfenced, usually to 12 inches.

    Decide if you just want a decorative pond, or a complete water garden with live plants and fish. I chose a decorative pond with a fountain feature, but keep in mind a water garden will require a deeper pond with more maintenance.

    Step two - Once you have the pond shape marked with either paint, chalk or a spare hose laid out on the border, it’s time for the hard work! Dig! My original pond was 18 inches deep to allow for some goldfish my children wanted. Goldfish are tough as nails, but keeping up with the algae was tougher! When doing some repairs the following spring, I removed the fish and backfilled my pond until it was only 12 inches deep. Whatever you choose, excavate the pond to the desired depth and try to keep the sides as vertical as possible. This will make it easier to hide the liner later.

    Lay some material in the bottom of the pond to cushion the liner against rocks, sticks and other items likely to punch holes. Good low budget ideas are newspaper, old carpet or even sand.

    Step three - Purchase a pond liner from your local supplier or discount store. Measure your pond depth x 2 and add to the length plus 2 feet- that is the length of your liner. Your pond depth x 2 added to the width plus 2 feet- that is the width of your liner. The extra 2 feet allows for fitting and cutting away of the excess.

    Lay the liner over the pond and fit into the bottom, fill halfway with water and allow to sit several hours or overnight to settle the soil. Trim the liner to hang just 3-4 inches over the lip of the pond…that few inches is important, better to trim too little than too much, you can always go back later and re-trim. If you are going to add a fountain pump, place it in the pond now. 

    Step four - Now you want to hide the edges of the pond liner with rocks. Flagstone in my part of the country is pretty expensive, so I figured out a way to get the flagstone look for only $25. I picked up a case of slate floor tiles, and used a hammer to break them into pieces. I lay the slate over the lip of the pond with the broken side facing the pond center. I then hid any smooth edges of the tiles with river rocks from my yard, simply layered on top of the slate. You can also use the local rocks to hide any excess pond liner as well. Plug in your fountain pump, and set it onto a brick to achieve the right height if necessary. Make sure you have a GFI outlet to plug into, if not, consider a solar pump.

    Step five - Add plants and accessories around the pond to make it a welcoming place for all your visitors! Be sure there is seating nearby, and a birdfeeder in the nearby trees will ensure a steady supply of feathered friends to enjoy your pond oasis!

    There are many algae controls available for those not interested in learning the complexities of creating a natural biological environment in their water garden. Even discount stores carry such supplies the garden section. A small amount of bleach will also keep the water clean, though you must be careful to use small amounts, and avoid this method if wildlife frequents your pond.

    This is fast, easy and a showstopper that will add real value to your garden and your home.

    Blog Credit: How to Build a Pond 

    Home Emergency Tips

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Here at SERVPRO we clean and restore fire and water damage, but our desire is that you never need to call us.

    Harmful Waste (Sewage, Bloodborne Pathogens, Etc.)

    Here are some home emergency tips:

    Do:

    • Stay out of affected areas
    • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life threatening.
    • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated
    • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.

    Don’t:

    • Attempt cleanup of any kind
    • Touch or handle items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids.
    • Eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or handle contact lenses in affected areas.

    *If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post- exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

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