SERVPRO Restores Your Contents After a Fire
After a fire your belongings are likely going to be affected by the smoke, soot, and water from putting the fire out. It is important to get your things cleaned after a fire as the soot and water damage can continue to be harmful to the items even after the fire is put out. This is especially true for things like electronics and documents or photos.
Documents and photographs are often valuable and sometimes irreplaceable, so it is important to act quickly and incredibly cautiously as to not further any damage done to them. While it is sometimes impossible to bring documents back to pre-fire conditions, SERVPRO can help minimize additional damage and save quite a few. Dependent on the type of document and severity of damage that was done we offer five different options for restoration:
- Air Drying
- Freezer Drying
- Vacuum Thermal Drying
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
Electronics that are fire damaged can pose a serious safety risk and you should never try and turn on any electrical devices that you think might have been damaged by the fire. One thing to keep in mind is that electronics need to be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent further damage. The soot and smoke residues can contain acids that cause corrosion on metal surfaces and if not properly and professionally removed can cause electronics to fail. SERVPRO is happy to offer electronics restoration by qualified electronics technicians for things such as television sets, computers and more.
First Responder Bowl
Here at SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks we respond, “Faster to any size disaster.” But there is one group of people who will always get there before we do. First responders. First responders are there when you need them the most and truly are the fastest to any emergency. They put their lives on the line every day to help their community and save lives. These people deserve the utmost respect and support, and that’s why we’re proud hosts of the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl.
The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is played on December 28th, 2021, at the Gerald J. Stadium on SMU’s campus in Dallas, Texas and broadcasted live on ESPN. This game is meant to honor the brave people who show up first to any emergency ready to do what’s necessary to take care of people. So join us in saying thank you, and tune in this holiday season to check it out!
SERVPRO's Relationship with Insurance Companies
SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks boasts a healthy relationship with many insurance companies and adjusters and here’s why!
We respond faster to any size disaster. When your home or business is damaged time is of the essence and being able to respond as fast as possible is key in preventing further damage to your property. We work directly with your insurance and keep a line of communication with both them and you to help ensure that things are taken care of as fast as possible.
Our team prides itself on our repair, not replace mentality, working diligently to do our best and repair anything that has been damaged. This helps keep costs lower, keeping both your wallet and your insurance company happy.
SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry. Our teams are highly trained with the latest certifications and state-of-the-art technology. We get the job done well with a reputation to back it. Which is why insurance companies like to use our services. They trust that we understand the scope of the job and will get it done right.
Damage to your home or business and dealing with insurance claims because of it is stressful at best. We understand that handling these issues with care and clarity is of utmost importance. If your property suffers from any damage requiring restoration efforts, please don’t hesitate to call us and ask how we can help.
Water Damage to Your Carpet
The carpet in our homes is often exposed to water from various sources like leaks in bathrooms and kitchens. SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks takes a repair, not replace stance on our remediation services because we understand that fully replacing things that could potentially be repaired is a hassle. Here are some advantages of our stance:
- Less disruption to your home and life
- Less damage to your carpet and a smaller chance of carpet delamination
- Often cheaper than replacing the carpet all together
It is, however, important to understand that there are some scenarios where carpet must be removed, and repair/drying is not an option:
- When the carpet has been exposed for more than 72 hours
- Carpet is installed overtop of other flooring like laminate or hardwood
- Water damage is caused by unsanitary water (Grey or Black Water)
The ability to repair and fully dry your carpet is contingent on among other things, our ability to get there fast and address the issue, so if your carpet has suffered from water damage do not delay and give us a call! We’re here to help 24/7, 365 days a year.
Know Your Clouds
Do you know that there are over 100 different kinds of clouds? All of these can generally be put into ten basic types:
- Cumulus – These are the clouds you learned how to draw as a kid with flat bottoms and big puffy tops, typically seen on sunny days and often nicknamed the “fair weather cloud”
- Stratus – Stratus clouds form a greyish uniform layer, low in the sky, and kind of look like fog but in the sky instead of on the ground. These clouds are mostly seen on overcast days and can bring mists or drizzles.
- Stratocumulus – Think of a stratus cloud but split it with a knife so that the blue sky shows through. These clouds are seen on “mostly cloudy” days
- Altocumulus – These are the most common clouds in the middle of the atmosphere. They form big, round masses in bands across the sky and can be white or grey. Typically, you can see these clouds on warm, humid mornings and they can signal future thunderstorms or the onset of cooler weather
- Nimbostratus – This is the cloud that brings the rain. You’ll see these clouds form a dark grey layer over the sky whenever there’s a steady rain or snow
- Altostratus – Grey sheets of clouds covering the whole sky where you can typically still see the sun shining through. These clouds can signal a coming warm front or when paired with cumulus clouds, a cold front.
- Cirrus – These clouds are the wispy white clouds that look almost like curls of hair (hence the name which is Latin for “curl of hair’). Typically, they’re seen during fair weather but can also form ahead of large-scale storms. Sometimes these clouds are also referred to as “mare’s tails”
- Cirrocumulus – Patches of clouds arranged in rows, high up in the sky. There is not much moisture high up in the sky so these clouds are made of ice crystals! These clouds are nicknamed “mackerel scales” because of the look they give the sky why they appear.
- Cirrostratus- These are the translucent clouds that appear across the sky when there is a lot of moisture present in the air high in the atmosphere. They can be identified by the halo effect they have around the sun or moon that’s formed by the light refraction in the ice crystals of the cloud
- Cumulonimbus – These clouds look similar to the cumulus clouds they are formed from but are much taller with often flattened tops and dark bottoms. These are thunderstorm clouds, and signal nearby severe weather.
Clouds can play a big part in being able to predict what kind of weather is headed your way! For example, there’s an old sailors’ phrase “Mares’ tails and mackerel scales make ships take in their sails.” This means that if you see Cirrocumulus and Cirrus clouds that could mean a warm front is approaching which brings in precipitation, so sailors used to use this as an indicator to prepare the ships for rough seas.
Next time you go outside take a look up at the sky and see if you can figure out what kinds of clouds are up there and if you see “mares’ tails” and “mackerel scales”, just know we saw them too! And we’re ready by the phones should your home or business suffer from any water damage because of the storms. So give us a call and trust is to make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO Shares Insurance Tip for Your Business
While insurance for your business is typically a given, oftentimes people forget a crucial step of the process. Keeping a well-documented picture inventory of the items in your store or office can often save you both time and money when it comes to filing a claim after a disaster or loss. It’s easy to assume that the process for replacing damaged property or belongings is a pretty straightforward process but you’d be surprised to find out that is not often the case without proper detailed documentation.
Insurance companies value items in losses based on market value and/or age and without picture documentation of what condition your items are in, you might find yourself with an inaccurate valuation for your damaged items. For example, your “expensive vintage decor” that burned up in a fire may be valued based on the fact that they are old, or at the cost of current décor. Sometimes, especially with vintage items these valuations are less than what the products are worth. This is where a picture inventory of your items comes into play. You’ll be able to show your insurance company that the “old wooden chair” isn’t actually just an old wooden chair but is actually a mint condition vintage piece of furniture that is worth quite a bit of money.
We sincerely hope that you’ll never actually have to use that list ever, but if you do it can save a lot of headaches, and if you need someone to come in after a disaster to help mitigate your losses, give us a call here at SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks.
SERVPRO's Emergency Services
When you call us here at SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks we’ll ask if you need emergency services, but what does that mean to you?
Emergency services are preemptive measures that our team can take quickly to help mitigate any further damage from happening before the actual cleanup and recovery efforts can begin. These services include:
- Board up services – If any sort of damage from wind, fallen trees etc. has affected your house we will come put up boards and plywood to seal any unintentional holes in your property to the outside
- Roof tarps – Similar to board up services but for your roof, fallen trees can make holes and winds can rip up shingles leaving your home potentially exposed to the rain and animals until it can be fixed
- Extraction – This is the removal of all surface water left in your property, without this standing water can penetrate surfaces and cause further damage to the building.
- Muck-Out – After extraction there can be debris, mud, and anything else left behind by the dirty water that was just extracted. We have multiple different strategies for the removal of the debris as fast as we can.
Emergency services allow us to help ensure that your property does not suffer from even further damage than it already has. It’s important because the faster you can stop the damage from spreading the less time it will take to get restored and the more money you will end up saving in the long run.
Teaching Children Fire Safety
For adults fire safety is for the most part common knowledge. Don’t play with heat sources, never leave your stove unattended, etc. This knowledge is important to pass on to your children early to help keep your family safe. Playing with heat sources like lighters, stoves, and matches is one of the leading causes of residential fires and injuries for children under ten. Keep reading below to get some tips on teaching your kids fire safety.
Flammable items and other heat sources are not toys - Make sure that they know that any heat generating household objects or flammable items are not toys. This includes items like glue guns, hair straighteners and other things that may not typically be thought about as potential fire starters by children. Be sure they understand the consequences and dangers of playing with fire.
Practice Fire Drills – In an emergency children might not have the focus to be able to think about what to do. Talk to your kids about what to do if there’s a fire in your home and how to get out. Make an escape plan that includes two different exit routes out of the house as well as a safe meeting point outside of the house, and then practice! The idea is in an emergency they won’t even have to think about it and already know what to do. It’s also important to make sure your child understands how to open your household windows and remove the screen to get out in case there are no doors available to exit from.
Test your smoke alarms – Smoke alarms should be tested once a month and have the batteries changed at least once a year. It’s a good idea to use when you set your clocks as a reminder to also change out the detector batteries. This is a great time to teach your children about smoke detectors as well. Show them what the alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it, so they aren’t confused and scared having heard it for the very first time in a real emergency. You can include your fire drills in this by “having the alarm go off” and practice escaping the house when they hear it.
Prevent Winter Weather Water Damage
With winter fast approaching and colder weather on the way, is your home ready to keep you and your family dry? Check out these best practices to help prevent winter water damage to your home!
Prevent frozen pipes and pipe bursts
- Any faucets that are connected to pipes in areas that are unheated (attic, crawl space, outside) are more likely to freeze when the temperature drops. Be sure to let cold water drip from those faucets to help prevent freezing.
- If you plan on leaving your home for multiple days during freezing temps leave your heat on. Heating costs may rise a bit, but comparatively to a burst pipe in your home you’ll be happy you did.
Prevent Ice Dams
- When warm air from your home heats the roof and melts the snow on the roof it collects in unheated areas and refreezes, making ice dams that limit drainage off the roof and can cause damage to your home.
- Make sure to clear your gutters and downspouts so that water can drain off the roof and doesn’t collect anywhere to refreeze.
- Install gutter screens to help keep out debris build up in gutters
- If you live in an area with especially large amounts of snowfall, consider installing snow guards to prevent snow accumulation on your roof and lining under your shingles to prevent leaks as snow melts.
Ensure you know where and how to shut off your water in case of an emergency
- When pipes freeze or burst it is important to be able to respond immediately and prevent the issue from getting any worse. Make sure that you know where your water shut off is and turn it off the second you discover a leak
While the cold weather can bring potential damage to your home, taking the proper steps to get ready can help you enjoy the winter wonderland stress free, and if disaster does happen rest assured that us here at SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer banks are ready to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
Fire Prevention Week - High-Rise and Condo Safety
During Fire Prevention Week, our SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks team would like to share some facts and tips about high-rise apartment and condominium safety. First, check out this fact:
- According to the National Fire Protection Association, high-rise buildings are more likely to have sprinklers and fire alarm equipment than other non-high-rise buildings.
Follow these safety tips if you live in a high-rise or condo:
- Meet with your landlord or building manager to learn about the fire safety features in your building (fire alarms, sprinklers, voice communication procedures, evacuation plans and how to respond to an alarm).
- Know the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke.
- If there is a fire, pull the fire alarm on your way out to notify the fire department and your neighbors
- If the fire alarm sounds, feel the door before opening and close all doors behind you as you leave. If it is hot, use another way out.
- Use the stairs to get out. Typically you should not use the elevator unless directed by the fire department.