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SERVPRO® Emergency Preparedness Tips

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO® Emergency Preparedness Tips Storm Cleanup by SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks, 252-331-7889

SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks Encourages Coastal Carolina Residents to be Storm Ready

A Few Steps to Prepare and Protect Your Family

We are at the beginning of hurricane season on the Atlantic coast, and SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks is hoping that everyone remembers the importance of disaster preparedness.  The key to disaster preparedness is having an emergency plan in place before the disaster hits.  Acting with a few simple steps can make the difference in protecting and keeping your family safe and protecting your property from weather related damage.

Build a basic emergency supply kit stocked with enough water and food for a minimum of three days for you and for each of your family members, pets included.  Be mindful to include any necessary medications.  Recommended emergency supply kit items include:

  • Water (one gallon/per person/per day)
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery or solar powered radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Local map
  • Important documents, such as insurance policies, bank account information, passwords, and identifications
  • Matches (in a waterproof container) and/or lighter

Make a Family Emergency Plan.  A Disaster may not strike when you and your family are together at home.  Plan now for a meeting place and how you will contact each other.  Visit ready.gov to access a Family Emergency Plan template to help with your planning.

Stay Informed.  Know your flood zone for your property and your neighborhood and know the evacuation route should evacuation become necessary.  Listen to your local news and authorities for direction.

Prepare your property.  You may need to prepare your home for the impact of a storm or hurricane.  Covering all your windows in your home will help to protect it.  Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows; however, the second-best option is to board up the windows with plywood.  Tape will not prevent your windows from breaking.  Trim your trees and bushes that are around your home and clear any debris from rain spouts and gutters.  Secure outdoor furniture, trash receptacles, decorations and anything else not secured that could become projectile. 

Establish a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for Your Business.  SERVPRO® developed the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for their facility, at no charge.  The business owner works with SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strike.  Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their own information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.  Contact us at 252-331-7889 to get set up.

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Commercial Air Duct Cleaning in Elizabeth City and the Outer Banks

What about air ducts?

While running a business, you probably don’t think about air ducts and the air quality in the building.   Usually it's not until the building's systems stop heating or cooling, will a facility manager be concerned, but did you know that regular maintenance to your air duct system can help improve the productivity of your HVAC systems and the quality of your air. 

A ductwork system is designed to distribute airflow from your HVAC equipment to your entire commercial building.  This encompasses the air that is sucked from the whole building in the air conditioner/heater where it gets cooled or heated and then pushed back via the ducts into your working space.

The intake and output of the air are determined by how efficient a duct system is.  Only air is moved via ductwork.  What’s more is that there are many ductwork constructions and shapes.  They may be oval, round or rectangular in shape.  It might be fashioned from a wide range of materials like flexible plastics, fiberglass or different metals.

There are several types of commercial HVAC systems and most have an air duct system.   Roof top units are most common and found on the roof or ground and duct the conditioned air into the space. 

SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks will inspect your HVAC air duct system at no cost. After the inspection, you will receive a report and a quote to clean your commercial system.  We offer scheduled maintenance cleanings that will help to keep your system running more efficient and help to provide good air quality.

Think you have dirty ducks?  Call us at 252-331-7889

by Kim Calantropo

Why You Should Keep Ductwork Clean

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Why You Should Keep Ductwork Clean Air Duct System Cleaning in Elizabeth City and the Outer Banks.

We think you would agree that the quality of your indoor air is as important as the quality of the air you breathe outside.  There are indoor irritants in the air you breathe like pollen, dust, and pet dander that encompass more than simply changing your equipment's air filter.

These irritants and contaminants collect in your air duct system and can only be removed with scheduled cleanings.  You should consider it as a part of your HVAC maintenance and a vital part of ensuring your employees health and your business cleanliness.  Here are a few reasons why you should keep your ducts cleaned.

  • Clogging of the ducts- Irritants like dust can clog your air ducts causing your HVAC equipment to work less effectively.  The clogging can also cause health issues.
  • You may be losing efficiency- If your air ducts are clogged, your equipment will be forced to work harder to maintain your temperature settings.  This results in higher utility bills and an inefficient system.
  • Presence of mold- Mold is hazardous to your health.  Mold can aggravate or cause health problems like asthma and allergies. An odor like the smell of dirty socks coming from your air vents can indicate the presence of mold in your HVAC system.
  • Presence of trapped critters- Occasionally rodents, birds or insects can become entrapped in the air duct system.  Any odor coming from the air vent system requires attention.

SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks offers air duct system inspections at no cost.  You will receive results and a recommended plan of action. Commercial cleaning and maintenance plans are available.  Call us today at 252-331-7889

By Kim Calantropo

Protect Your Home Against Water Damage

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Protect Your Home Against Water Damage Water Damage Cleanup in the Outer Banks

How to Minimize your water damage risk.

A flooded bathroom or a ceiling leak due to a water heater leak in your attic, you know that the water damage and the repair may be costly.  Here are a few tips to help protect against water damage.

  • Replace old pipes. Home piping usually has a life span of 50 to 80 years.  If yours are older, it’s a good idea to ask a plumber for an inspection.  PVC pipes may need to be replaced every 25-40 years.
  • Inspect your water heater. Water heaters usually need to be replaced every 10 years.  Learn more about signs that you might need a new water heater.
  • Update your windows and doors. Watertight options are available with new doors and windows.  Wood windows should be cleaned, repainted and stained every so often.  Cracks should be resealed, and old glazing compounds should be replaced as needed.
  • Replace washing machine supply hoses. As part of a proactive maintenance plan, replace every 3 to 5 years.
  • Regularly inspect your roof. Look for loose or missing shingles, or any sign of damage.  While up there, inspect your gutters to make sure leaves and debris have been removed and that the drain spout is properly attached.

Do You Have Water Damage in the Outer Banks?  Call us at 252-331-7889.

Reasons Why You Should Replace Your Water Heater

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Reasons Why You Should Replace Your Water Heater Water Damage Cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks?

When SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks gets an emergency water damage call because a water heater has leaked, we know there is attic and ceiling damage or flooring damage, maybe more.  Here are some signs to indicate that you might need a new water heater. These tips may require some periodic checking while others become obvious only after things have gone wrong.

  • The water is not getting hot enough.
  • The water is not getting hot al all. It could be that the pilot light is out, or the circuit breaker has been tripped, or worse the whole heating system is shot.
  • The water is a rusty color or not clear running.
  • The water has a strange metallic taste, which could mean that the inside of the tank is breaking down.
  • The water heater is making loud popping and cracking noises that could mean the heating element is failing.
  • There are signs of leakage around the water heater which indicates a major internal failure to the system. Make sure that the electricity or gas has been turned off to the system and that before replacing it, the unit has had a chance to cool completely.

We suggest that you hire a professional to replace and install a new water heater.  This is to be certain that the installation meets safety codes and is safe to use.

Water damage cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks?  Call 252-331-7889.

Cleaning and Restoring Fire Damaged Contents in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning and Restoring Fire Damaged Contents in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks Fire Damage Cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

What to Consider when Cleaning Fire Damaged Contents

After a fire, more than likely the fire department efforts have left your home or office with a huge wet mess or you could have minimal damage with only grease, smoke, or soot damage.  Our SERVPRO® fire restoration team handles each loss and considers the best means to clean and restore your fire damaged items.

Restoration methods can include dry-cleaning, cleaning with ultrasonic waves or with other specialized treatments to help remove odors,  preserve photos and documents and clean electronic equipment.  We take certain steps in determining how to best clean your contents.

Assess the Damage

Our first step would be to determine whether the item (s) can be restored or are they non-salvageable.  Contents with smoke or soot damage usually can be restored, such as photos or documents, however, burned or charred items would be considered a loss.

Consider Durability

The durability of the fabric, or the            material of the damaged item (s) is considered when determining the cleaning and restoration method.  Delicate items subjected to the fire incident may not withstand even our most gentle of treatments.

Consider Porosity

The porosity of an item is important in determining the best cleaning and restoration method.  Porous items such as clothing and textiles can benefit from our ozone treatment to dry cleaning.  Delicate, non-porous items made of glass or ceramic, can more than likely be immersed and cleaned with ultrasonic waves.  More delicate porous items are handled more carefully and limited to moisture exposure.

We recommend always having your fire damaged items cleaned by a professional restoration company.  SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks offers a full range of content cleaning options as well as content storage.  When we clean your contents, we box and label your items, to deliver back to you once your home has been restored or another location has been determined.  Fire Damage Cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks?  Call 252-331-7889.

Author Kim Calantropo

Smoke Damage: How It Hurts Your Home

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Damage:  How It Hurts Your Home Fire Damage Cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks Call 252-331-7889.

Smoke and fire damage can be severe and if the home survives the fire, the home should be inspected quickly and cleaning and recovery actions should be in place to avoid permanent damage.  

When it's safe for you to return to your home, call your insurance company and ask for a cleanup and restoration company to help you with the fire and smoke damage to help restore your home.

You must get an inspection if your home is still standing to make sure that the foundation and the structure of your home are safe.

When a fire has consumed your furniture and belongings, you have a wet, scorched mess left behind. Leather, fabric, and wood can trap smoke smells and usually can be restored. In addition, smoke and soot particles can get trapped inside of your air duct system.

SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks will remove the wet, burned, scorched mess and take your salvageable contents to clean in our warehouse.  We also have the capability to help restore your fire and water damaged documents and photos.  When this process is completed, then we can address the soot, water, and fire damage restoration to your home and to your air duct system.

SERVPRO® Employees Pay It Forward

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO® Employees Pay It Forward SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks Pays It Forward

Your local SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks wants its community to know that they can depend on them for emergencies and for community support. 

Our company and employees help to pay it forward with an annual event of collecting items such as clothing and personal hygiene for men, women, and children, non-perishable food, toys, books and blankets that begins in the summertime.  The items are donated, boxed and labeled by our SERVPRO® crew and set aside to be delivered to five (5) local charities in November.

The charities we have helped to support in the past have been Blankets for the Homeless, Chesapeake Humane Society, Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia, Children's Crisis Center of Hampton Roads, and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Flood Insurance Spotlight

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Flood Insurance Spotlight Water Damage Cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

No one should have to learn the hard way that neither homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers flood damage.

The Insurance Information Institute reported that our National insurance program is getting an overhaul.  On March 18, 2019, the Trump administration announced plans to reform the National Flood Insurance Program.  The program would begin to assess properties individually using variables such as hurricane rainfall, coastal surges and one’s proximity to large bodies of water rather than the current application of a single formula for an entire flood zone.  Since higher valued properties are more likely to hit the $250,000 insurance cap, lower valued homes are paying proportionately more than higher valued homes.  The new reform would eliminate the single formula system and drive flood risk into the private reinsurance and risk markets.  According to the Institute, FEMA will announce the new rates on April 1, 2020 and will implement the new system on October 1, 2020.

Your flood insurance policy can pay claims when there is no presidentially declared disaster.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers disaster grants that do not have to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover.  According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, if you have flood damage, and do not have flood insurance, there could be resources available to help you through the FEMA.  For info go to www.fema.gov.

If you suffer flood damage in Chesapeake, call your local SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks at 252-331-7889.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

General Happy Administrative Professionals Day Cassie, Lisa, and Brittany, our Administrative Staff

It's nice to have a day to recognize the people who help to make our SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banksoperate daily.  Behind the scenes, our administrative staff is helping to get your life back to normal again.  It begins with your call or your insurance company's no matter what time of the day.  Our crews are dispatched, and our estimator evaluates the damage.  Communication is kept throughout your claim between our company and your insurance company.  In cases where no insurance claims are filed, we will work directly with the homeowner or the business.  A water damage or fire damage loss make take only a day to cleanup or could take months.  Our staff works daily to make sure everyone involved has what they need to help make it "Like it never even happened."