How to Prepare for Hurricane Season
Now is the time to star preparing your households for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. The height of the storms will form between the months of August and September, and will produce strong storms with heavy winds and rains that could cause damage to your home. And according tot he National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, this year's hurricane season will be above-average, meaning more storms than normal.
Follow these tips to make sure you are fully prepared for when hurricanes strike:
- Gather Supplies - make an emergency kit that has essentials like bottled water, medication, and first aid kits
- Help your Neighborhood - seniors and elderly neighbors may need help gathering supplies
- Strengthen your Home - clear out gutters and collect lawn furniture
- Make an Emergency Plan - discuss with everyone in your home what to do in case of an emergency and practice it.
- Recognize Warnings and Alerts - download the FEMA app to get real-time alerts on how to handle the storm
- Know your Evacuation Zone - listen to local officials on where you need to escape from
- Review Important Documents - check your insurance policies and buy flood insurance if you think your home is susceptible to flooding
Are Your Smoke Alarms Up To Date?
Smoke alarms are important to have in our homes and in proper working condition. When installed and properly maintained, smoke alarms can cut the risk of injuries caused by fires in half.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms are to be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping areas, and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult your local Fire Marshall to ensure you are meeting the specific fire codes and smoke alarm requirements.
Review the following tips about smoke detector installation and maintenance:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement and attic. Think about how you are placing an alarm. Make sure it is in a location that, if there were a fire, it would quickly detect the smoke. Do not install the smoke alarm where it could be blocked.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and shower to prevent false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Set a consistent date on your calendar. This is also a good time to review and practice your emergency escape plans.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms about twice a year. Daylight savings time can be good dates to set for this. Again, try to schedule this on your calendar. If hear an alarm "chirp" before those dates, then battery is low and should be replaced right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. If you do not know how old your smoke alarm is, go ahead and replace it. Newer alarms on the market also offer carbon monoxide detection as well as voice alarms, which have shown to be more effective in waking children up.
Here at SERVPRO Elizabeth City/Outer Banks, we believe in PREVENTION first.
We Handle Large Losses
Call Us for The Big Jobs
SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks is always here to help with any size disaster to your business. There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your business. 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. Our highly-trained teams respond 24/7 providing excellent service to insurance companies, building owners, facility managers and property managers throughout the area.
Independently owned and operated by Andrew and Theresa Bahen as of September 2020, SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks is operated by a team with 35 years of experience in the restoration industry. Our experience, people, capacity and equipment uniquely qualifies us to handle large jobs no matter how extensive the damage.
In the unfortunate event of a fire or water damage to your business, call SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks. We will respond 24/7 with trained employees, state-of-the-art equipment and the resources required to perform emergency services to help limit property damage. 252-331-7889.
How to Remove Smoke Odor in Your Home
We've all been there before. You get distracted while your food is in the oven or on the stove and now your entire home is filled with smoke and that terrible burnt smell. Before you grab that air freshener, hear us out!!
- Confirm the situation is under control: Before worrying about the odor, make sure there isn't an actual fire. Burnt food often smokes without catching on fire, but you don't want the situation to get out of hand if there are flames. Remove the pan from the burner and let it cool. Make sure the food is no longer burning or producing more smoke.
- Air out the house: Burnt food smoke inhalation isn't good for your lungs, so start by clearing out the smoke. Open windows in rooms close by, give the smoke and odor a place to go. Run ceiling fans and use box fans in the windows to help pull the smoke and odor out of the room faster. You can also run the vent on your fan hood and the exhaust fans in any nearby bathrooms.
- Remove the source of the smell: You’ve got to remove the burnt food to remove the burnt smell in the home. Once its cools COMPLETELY, dump the food into a trash bag, seal it, and remove from the home. If the pan is salvageable, soak it in hot, soapy water to release the burnt-on food, then scrub any remaining food off. Boiling water and vinegar in the pan can help soften the burnt spots. Scrubbing the pan with baking soda can also help clean it due to the gentle abrasive quality of the powder.
- Neutralize the burnt pan smell in the home: Don’t grab that air freshener yet! Air fresheners and candles just add scent to the mix without actually removing the bad smell. The combination of the burnt, smoky odor and the fragrance can sometimes smell worse than the burnt odor alone. Try something a little more natural to help remove the odor from the air! Bring water and white vinegar to a boil on the stove, and reduce the heat so it simmers. You can also add whole spices or fresh lemon slices to the boiling water for a natural scent. Coffee grounds and baking soda placed out in a container can help soak up bad odors.
- Wipe Down Surfaces: Smoke particles tend to stick to all areas of the home, which makes the smell linger. Be sure to clean all of the surfaces in your kitchen to help remove the odor. Wipe the stove, countertop, cabinets and walls with a warm, soapy water mixture or all-purpose cleaner. Choose cleaning products that are safe for specific surfaces, such as wood cabinetry or stone countertops.
- Wash Fabric Items: As we said before, odors and smoke particles like to stick to all areas of the home, especially fabric items. Wash all items that came in contact with the smoke such as curtains, tablecloths, and flooring. If your carpets or rugs take on the burnt odor, sprinkle baking soda over them. Give the baking soda a few hours to soak up the smell. Vacuum the carpet well to remove all of the baking soda.
Try out these tips for small incidents and if that smell is still lingering give our SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks fire restoration technicians a call 24/7.
Holiday Fire Safety Tips
SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks wants you and your family to have a great holiday spent with friends and family. We also want you to have a safe holiday! This time of year is attributed to more fires due to multiple different sources and circumstances.
Things to Think About:
- Cooking and Baking - Fires caused by cooking is the number one cause for kitchen fires in the US. Be sure to keep flammable items away from the stove and oven, clean up greasy spills to avoid fire hazards, and always stay alert and in the kitchen while cooking or baking
- Christmas Trees - Always water your tree regularly to avoid it from drying out. Dry pine needle catch fire more easily and quickly. Never use string lights that are broken or worn down
- Menorah or Kinara - If using real candles to celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, please be sure to keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from the flames. Display your menorah or kinara on an non-flammable surface.
- Fireplaces - Do not use wrapping paper to fuel your fire and make sure you have cloth like materials at least 3 feet away from the fireplace. Always use a fire screen for protection.
If you experience a fire damage this holiday season, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks at 252-331-7889
We Are an IICRC Certified Firm
Here at SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks, we believe in the importance of knowledge across all aspects of our employees. Whether you are out in the field handing the services first-hand, or in the office speaking on the phone with the customer, it is important that everyone is educated on our services. That's why our SERVPRO team takes classes throughout the year for our technicians and project managers to stay certified and up-to-date on industry standards.
IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Once you become IICRC certified in Water Damage Restoration, you have then pledged to perform services with skill, honestly and integrity to provide the consumer with the highest standard of care and expertise. Our SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer banks certified technicians and team members will always assist you with their knowledge and expertise in water damage restoration!
Act Quick After Water Damage
Quick action and response after a water catastrophe is crucial to your recovery. Flood waters and water catastrophes are very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and business. The water gets absorbed into the flooring, the walls, the furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks gets there fast and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Water Damage Destruction Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishing may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
The First 24 Hours
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Do You Have a Power Outage Kit at Home?
The American Red Cross suggests that every household have an emergency preparedness kit for your home and for your car. Unfortunately, only a little more than a half of the homes in the U.S. have an emergency kit.
Your power outage kit can start with a duffle bag or a backpack. Depending on the situation, the kit can be a 3-day supply for an evacuation or a 2-week supply for home. The kit should include:
- at least a gallon of water per person/per day
- canned food
- a can opener
- a first aid kit
- personal hygiene items
- a multi-purpose tool
- copies of personal documents such as proof of address, deed/lease, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies.
- A printed list of emergency phone numbers and of family and friends.
We will continually bring you more tips and information on how to best be prepared in case of disaster. SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks is always ready and always here to help if you experience a water damage in your home or business.
Why You Should Get Your Business' Ducts Cleaned
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- There is a possibility of moisture creating growth in your ducts. 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
Call the SERVPRO Professionals If You Have Water Damage in Your Home
When water invades your Elizabeth City home, quick action needs to be taken in order to get matters under control and your life back to normal. When water is left to soak into and remain, the greater the water damage and the repair.
SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks handles water damage with an inventory of equipment with large and powerful pumps that we can submerge enabling a quicker extraction of the floodwater. Our machinery will raise the interior temperature so that evaporation happens at a precise rate.
Our trained technicians and supervisors determine the best drying method to utilize to maintain the quality of the water damaged area and product. For instance if a wooden floor is dried out too quickly or with extreme temperatures, the floor can be ruined. Our goal is to restore, not replace. This is beneficial to not only the homeowner but to your insurance company too as it helps to save money.
After the extractor has removed the water, smaller hand-held equipment is used to remove the remaining water found in crevices and baseboards. Once the water has been removed, the drying process begins for the remaining surface dampness and porous household items with the use of our desiccant machines and air movers. An Air Scrubber, our portable filtration system can be used to help clean the air of any contaminants such as dust, gasses, or chemicals in any area.
If your Outer Banks home floods, call us your local SERVPRO at 252-331-7889.