Recent Posts

Power Outage Kit

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Power Outage Kit SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks 252-331-7889

Power Outage Kit

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, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, a multi-purpose tool, and medications, and 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.  The needs of all family members including your pets should be considered when building your emergency kit.  Learn more about what you need in a survival kit.

We will continually bring you more tips and information on how to best be prepared in case of disaster.  Should you find yourself with a water damage disaster from a broken pipe or from a damaged water tank in your home or business, call the team that has been serving the Elizabeth City/Outer Banks area for over 20 years.  Call  SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks when emergency strikes.  #SERVPROOBX #PowerOutageKit #AlwaysHereToHelp

Winter Storm Preparation

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Storm Preparation Winter storm cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks Photo courtesy of PropertyCasualty360

Winter storm preparation can help to eliminate costly repairs caused when your home or office is not protected from severe cold, snow, and ice.

Protect your roof and inspect gutters, flashing, and even your chimney.  Snow on the rooftop sounds nice in a song but it’s not nice when the snow melts and causes an ice dam.    Winter storm preparation can help prevent costly water damage.    Pipes may burst because they’re in unheated, unprotected spaces without being insulated.   Water damage can happen when your attic isn’t well ventilated or insulated.  Doing so helps expel the warm air from inside the house and refresh it with cooler outside air which helps prevent condensation from occurring that can lead to mold and mildew, structural damage and ice dams. 

Read more tips about How to Protect Your Home From Winter Storms from our friends at USAA Insurance.

If your Elizabeth City/Outer Banks home or business is damaged from a winter storm , take immediate action to prevent additional damage to your property and call  SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks at 252-331-7889 the professionals with the winter storm experience and expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather.

What is a Furnace or Fireplace Puffback?

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning What is a Furnace or Fireplace Puffback? Soot Damage Cleanup in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

What is a Furnace or Fireplace Puffback?

Laughing at someone in a movie whose face has just been engulfed with black soot after standing in front of a fireplace is one thing, but in the real world when you hear that distinctive loud wuff sound, it turns into something else altogether, not so funny.  When your fireplace or furnace creates a puff of soot inside of your home, often called a puffback, suddenly you have a real sooty problem that needs to be handled quickly.

When a puffback happens, soot and oil residue can literally cover every surface that it can reach.  Puffbacks normally happen around this time of year when furnaces and fireplaces are fired up, no pun intended, after being dormant all summer.

In a furnace, a puffback is usually caused by a buildup of excess fuel, oil, even dirt or dust in the ignition chamber.  The buildup prevents oxygen from reaching the combustion chamber.  When the ignition flame in the furnace pulls in the rush of oxygen it needs to ignite, the result is a powerful explosion of soot and oil that can even come out of the wall or floor vents.

In a fireplace or woodstove puffback, the cause can be like the furnace, however, the cause is most likely a problem in the chimney.  There is usually a buildup of ash and leftover residue clumped in the chimney that creates an uneven air flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide.  The kindling and wood have plenty of fuel, but the oxygen it needs to burn is stuck above the chimney blockage.  The fire will eventually correct the imbalance by sucking in a large amount of oxygen all at once, igniting the excess fuel in the fireplace and the buildup in the chimney all at once.  The force of the ignition pushes ash and soot out of the fireplace.

Puffbacks can usually be prevented by routine chimney and furnace maintenance.  If you experience soot or smoke damage in Chesapeake, call SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks at 252-331-7889.

Before Winter Arrives. . . Don’t Let Pipes Freeze

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Before Winter Arrives. . . Don’t Let Pipes Freeze Water pipes freeze in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks.

Before Winter Arrives. . . Don’t Let Pipes Freeze

A major home maintenance disaster is bad enough in itself, but when several disasters happen all at once, well that’s a nightmare.  Especially when your water pipes freeze because not only do you have to call a plumber, but that crack in your pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flood damage, serious structure damage, and the immediate potential for mold damage.

The causes of frozen pipes are quick and sudden drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats that are set too low.  Now is the time when the temps are warmer to prepare your home and here are a few preventive precaution steps.

  • Insulate your pipes in your crawlspace and in your attic. Exposed pipes are vulnerable, and the more insulation, the better.
  • Use approved and tested insulation products for use intended, either indoors or outdoors and make sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Seal those leaks near or around the pipes. Electrical wiring outlets, dryer vents, and pipes can be caulked or insulated to keep out the cold air.  The least little opening during severe cold weather can cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Disconnect garden hoses before winter and if you can drain water from indoor pipes that lead to outside faucets and shut off the valve. This can help prevent that little bit of inside pipe from freezing.

If you have water or flood damage, call us at 252-331-7889, Your 24Hr. Emergency Service.

Commercial Emergency Planning in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Emergency Planning in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks Commercial Emergency Planning in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan for it NOW.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.   All your contacts, your property manager, engineers’ info, etc. accessible at the touch of a button.

SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks offers complimentary ERP services to commercial business owners and facilitators.

Your ERP with SERVPRO® will include:           

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in an emergency
  • A guide to help get you back into your building following a disaster
  • Establishes SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks 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.

Call Missy Burns at SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks at (252)331-7889 today to get started!

Cooking Fire Safety

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cooking Fire Safety Kitchen Fire Restoration in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

Cooking Fire Safety

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.   Travelers Insurance offers these safe cooking behaviors to help keep you and your family safe.

Never leave your cooking equipment unattended while cooking, turn it off.

Don’t wear loose clothing, roll up your sleeves.

Keep your cooking area clean and remove any items that may explode or catch fire, like a paper or kitchen towel, oven mitt, non-dairy creamer, or flour.

Remove any grease buildup from your cooking area. 

Keep a fire extinguisher in the cooking area.  Be sure to have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.  

Don’t throw hot grease into the garbage.  Let it cool and harden then dispose of it.

Don’t store food items in your oven.  People forget that there is food in there and it could catch fire when preheating. 

What do you do if you do have a cooking fire? 

Your safety comes first.  Leave the scene if you aren’t sure if the fire is safe enough to combat, call 911 for help.  The fire department will control the fire.

If the fire is small and you are going to attempt to extinguish it, call 911 for help first.  The fire can get out of control quickly and having help on the way is safer.

Never throw water on a grease fire, smother it.  Watch how the water will turn to burning steam and the oil will splash and spread the fire.  If you can, use a mitt to carefully slide a lid onto the pan and safely turn off the heat source.  Don’t attempt to remove the pan until the fire is out and the pan has had time to cool.

Keep the door closed for an oven or microwave fire and turn off the heat and electrical source.  Don’t open the door until the flames are gone.

If you suffer fire damage, call us for your Fire Damage Restoration in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

How to Avoid a Fire Disaster this Holiday Season

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Avoid a Fire Disaster this Holiday Season Fire Safety in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks wants to help you avoid a fire disaster this holiday season.  November is a time of the year that inspires family get togethers, like Thanksgiving.  As you begin the holiday season, and are busy whipping up delicious dishes, it’s also important to take time to remember safety.  Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home-fire-related injuries in the U.S.  According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), cooking equipment and heating equipment are the leading causes of home fire deaths,  read more at Thanksgiving Safety  and watch the  Potential Danger of Turkey Fryers

If you have a cooking fire, consider just getting out and when you leave close the door behind you to help contain the fire.  Then call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.  Consider for an over fire, to turn off the heat and keep the door closed and to keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. 

SERVPRO Elizabeth City/Outer Banks want you, your family, and your property to stay safe.  If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

November is Military Family Month.  All of us would like to thank all service members and their families during Military Family Month and all year-round.

Property Managers Who Plan Ahead

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Property Managers Who Plan Ahead Flooded Apartment Complex

Property Managers Who Plan Ahead

Unexpected water damage and its havoc can be a devastating situation for anyone.  Losing personal property or having to live elsewhere until mitigation has been completed is challenging, especially for those in apartment complexes, condos, or any other multi-unit property.  Property managers who plan are prepared to handle the masses quickly and help avoid further damage. 

It is so important for property management companies to prepare for the worst, given the large amount of people and personal property that can be affected.   In an emergency, it is important to act quickly, which means having your point of contacts easily accessible, and knowing your property specifics to relay to the emergency responders and utility companies.

To help property managers plan, SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks will help create a personalized Emergency Ready Plan with your property manager that focuses on all the important aspects of your property. Example: Flooring Type, Number of Units, Electrical Box Locations, shut off valve locations, etc.

Your ERP Profile will help our team at SERVPRO to be prepared even quicker as they will already have a better idea of how many technicians and amount of equipment that will be necessary prior to arriving to the emergency.

For commercial services, please call SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks and be sure to ask how to get started with your Business Emergency Profile. 

Developing Your Emergency Plan & Your Family/Household Living Needs

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Community Developing Your Emergency Plan & Your Family/Household Living Needs Practice your Family Emergency Plan

While planning your emergency plan, you should consider specific needs of those family/household members.  You can tailor it and your supplies to those specific daily living needs and responsibilities. 

Discuss these specifics with each other and determine how you can assist each other with communication, taking care of the children, the business, the pets, and even specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. 

It is recommended to create your own personal network for specific areas where you will need help.  These factors are important to remember when developing your plan.

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs that include prescriptions & equipment
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs that include devices & equipment
  • Locations frequented
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households and school aged children

Download and fill out an Emergency Family Plan or use it as a guide to create your own.  Practice your plan with your family/household.

Next Blog:  Get Your Kids On Your Team

Get Your Kids On Your Team!

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Community Get Your Kids On Your Team! Get Your Kids On Your Team!

Get Your Kids On Your Team!

Young children and teens need to be part of the emergency planning process for their own safety and sense of empowerment.  The burden of preparing for emergencies should not fall upon your shoulders alone.

Here are team building suggestions:

Play these games with your kids to test your know-how in a wide range of emergencies and they will help teach how to build the perfect emergency kit in a fun way!

Knowing how to respond to your child during or after a disaster is important.  Learn more about  helping children cope during and after a disaster.