Recent Posts

Why Do I Need a Water Removal Company?

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO vehicle As a water mitigation company, we clean up your water damage and prevent it from becoming an issue in the future!

If you’re like most people, you want to take care of issues on your own. After all, who wants to pay for a service when you can just do it yourself? In some cases, that might be the best thing to do, but it’s also important to consult a professional when you truly need their services.

As a water mitigation company, we’ve had many potential customers call us back and decide to clean up the mess themselves. Sometimes we don’t hear from them again, but many have called back with new problems. So why exactly do you need a disaster restoration company? To prevent additional damages.

  1. We take care of hidden moisture. When it comes to water damage, there’s often more than meets the eyes. Many materials, such as hardwoods and drywall, are porous, so they absorb water. This can cause the materials to expand, or it can trap the moisture, allowing it to foster mold growth. A water mitigation company, however, has the equipment to both detect and dry these materials.

  1. We can prevent mold growth. Mold spores are everywhere, but they don’t pose much of a threat until they are exposed to moisture. When water damage isn’t adequately addressed, it can increase the chances of mold growth. Our team can extract and dry the water, plus we apply an antimicrobial to deter mold.

  1. We’re equipped to handle contaminated water. Not all water damage is equal. Some water can be extremely contaminated (such as sewage or floodwaters) and poses health risks. In these cases, you’ll need protective gear and specific processes for cleaning up the damage. Our staff is both equipped and certified to handle these situations!

Water damages can come in many different forms and may not require professional help. But it’s also important to know when things are beyond your control. No matter how much damage your home has, SERVPRO of Catawba County West is here to help!

Are Your Prepared for a Hurricane?

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

View of Hurricane from Space Hurricanes can cause massive damage to you and your property. Prepare now!

Last year, North Carolina was hit hard by Hurricane Florence. Now, at the time of writing this, Hurricane Dorian is expected to strike Florida as a Category 4 storm. Our area is rarely directly impacted by these storms, but it’s still a possibility. Even if it wasn’t, we’re likely to feel the effects in the form of strong winds and heavy rain. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared for a potential hurricane.

  1. Establish an evacuation plan. You never know when you might have to evacuate, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t already have a plan, now’s the best time to create one. Identify a safe place to temporarily relocate and ensure you have a plan to get there. If you have pets or certain medical conditions, be sure to plan for them as well.

  1. Stock up on supplies. If you must stay to weather the storm, make sure to stock up on supplies well in advance. First, assume that you may not be able to leave your home for several days, so get enough to last you and your family for an extended period. You’ll need water, non-perishable food, a light source, and more. (You can find a more complete list on Ready.gov.)

  1. Identify a safe place in your home. Even if you’re staying home, you’ll still need somewhere safe to stay. It’s recommended that this place be close to the interior of the home, away from doors and windows. This step can protect you and your family should the rest of your home be affected.

  1. Cut down sick or dead trees. Fallen trees can cause a lot of destruction to a home. If you have sick or dead trees close to your home, you should consider having them removed while you can. Due to high wind speeds, trees are susceptible to being uprooted, which can damage your home and further expose it to rain.

Peak hurricane season will last for another couple of months, so it’s important to prepare for the worst now. If your property is affected by a hurricane or any other storm, know that our team of experts is available 24/7!

Signs Your Home Have Water Damage

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold covering a red chair Mold growth is one sign that you've recently had water damage.

No homeowner wants to discover their home has water damage, but if they do, they want it to be shortly after it occurred. That’s because the longer water damage is left unaddressed, the more destructive it can be to your home. So how do you know if your home’s been affected? There are a few signs to look out for!

  1. Bubbling or discoloration in your walls, floors, and ceilings. Short of seeing the incident yourself, one of the easiest ways you can tell you’ve had water damage is by noticing changes to your home’s walls, floors, and ceilings. For example, wallpaper may bubble, paint may peel, and hardwood floors may buckle. These and others are signs that you’ve had water damage.
  1. You have mold. Mold spores are everywhere—even in your home—but they don’t pose a threat until they’re exposed to moisture for extended periods of time. It’s moisture that activates the spores and allows colonies to form. If you notice mold around your home, you’ve more than likely had water damage.
  1. Unusually high water bills. Paying attention to your water bill can not only help you save money—it can warn you of potential leaks in your home. An unusually high water bill indicates that—short of a billing error—more water is being consumed than usual. Oftentimes, this difference is a result of a pipe leaking somewhere in the home.

Water damage is problematic and often leads to other issues. That’s why it’s crucial to call a disaster restoration company if you detect it at your home. Our professional team is always ready to serve any Hickory resident!

We Respond to Storm Damage

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

You might not know it, but we get many calls each year from Hickory customers who have storm damage. Though we don’t usually have severe weather, even a mild storm can damage homes with vulnerabilities. Heavy rains, strong winds, or even a lightning strike can create a disaster.

Fortunately, our team here at SERVPRO of Catawba County West has over a decade of experience helping homeowners recover from storm damage. In fact, back in June when we had the heavy flooding, our team received over 300 phone calls from affected residents.

No matter what kind of damage you have or how extensive it is, our team can clean up and restore any weather-related damage. In fact, even if you call us in the middle of the night, we’re here and ready to go. If your home or business has storm damage, call our professionals here at SERVPRO of Catawba County West!

How Dryer Lint Can Cause a Fire

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Clothing and linens cause lint to accumulate inside your dryer, which poses a fire risk!

Appliances were created to make our lives easier. After all, imagine how much time you would spend if you had to wash and dry all of your clothes by hand. There’s no denying the convenience appliances add to our daily lives.

But for all the benefits, appliances come with the risk of disaster. Your clothes dryer, for example, has the real potential of causing major fire damage. How? It might because of all the lint.

What is Dryer Lint?

Anyone who’s used a clothes dryer knows about the lint trap (and if you don’t, now would be a good time to learn about yours). But what exactly is the fuzzy stuff trapped in the tray? It’s actually fabric fibers that get separated and accumulate during the drying process. Known as lint, most of these fibers are filtered through the trap in your dryer and are stored there.

How Lint Can Start a Fire

After each load of laundry, lint slowly builds up in the dryer vents. Over time, this accumulation can slow or block the airway, which makes your dryer less efficient at drying your clothes. Blocked airways also increase the risk of your appliance overheating. Because lint is highly combustible, this creates optimal conditions for a fire to break out.

Preventing Dryer Lint Fires

Lint is an inevitable part of drying your clothes, but it doesn’t have to cause a house fire. The main way to prevent that from happening is to simply clean and remove lint from the vent and the lint trap. For the trap, remove and dispose of the lint after each load of laundry. As for the vent, it’s best to clean it at least once a year. You can call a professional to clean it, or you can to do it yourself (at your own risk).

In Case of a Fire

The risk of disaster can only be mitigated, not eliminated. So even if you take every precaution to prevent a disaster, it’s no guarantee you’ll never have a fire. While we hope that you don’t, it’s important to know that you have an expert team who is always ready to restore any home. If you have fire damage, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400!

How Your Toilet Can Damage Your Home

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Toilets are an important part of any home, but they have the potential to cause a lot of damage!

Loo. John. Commode. Whatever you call it, the toilet is an important feature in every home. Yet most homeowners aren’t aware that these fixtures can cause a lot of damage. In fact, toilet-related damage can be some of the most expensive kinds of water damage to clean up and restore. That’s why it’s vital to understand how yours can create a disaster in your home.

Toilet Overflow

Nothing makes your stomach sink more than a toilet that backs up and overflows. While this can sometimes be a minor issue, it can also become a much larger problem. In situations where it’s only a low volume of clean water, you can likely dry it up yourself. But if there’s a lot of water or it’s contaminated (i.e. you just used it), there’s where you have a problem.

For starters, dirty toilet water contains bacteria, which we strongly recommend you call a professional to clean up. Even if you’re not worried about touching your own waste, if it’s not properly cleaned up, the remaining bacteria can thrive and cause future health problems for you or your family.

The other problem is that even if the water is clean, if there’s enough of it, it can be too much for someone to handle. Water will enter porous materials, which can cause them to warp and/or hold the moisture and foster mold growth. So even if the water appears to have been dried, it can become a problem in the near future.

Toilet Leak

Your toilet isn’t likely to last forever. Like most things in your home, they eventually wear out and parts can fail. Whether it’s from the base, the supply line, or anywhere else, a toilet can cause a lot of water damage, especially if it goes unnoticed for an extended period of time. While this water is generally potable, it still poses a major threat to your home in the forms of structural damage and mold growth.

Sewage Backup

Nobody wants to discover their main sewage line clogged and backed up from their toilet. Yet this is a problem that plagues many homeowners each year. Like any case involving biohazardous materials, a professional cleanup is required because they pose a major health risk. In addition to clean up, there will likely need to be extensive restoration work, depending on the extent of the damage.

Prevent Toilet-Related Damages

As we’ve demonstrated, your home’s toilet can be a potential source of unwanted damage. Because we often take them for granted, it’s important you remain alert to any changes and perform routine maintenance. But if you do have a disaster, be sure to call our team here at SERVPRO of Catawba County West!

How to Prepare for Future Flood Damage

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

This Hickory home was flooded by the heavy rains that struck our region!

As most of us learned last month, almost everyone in the Unifour area can be affected by flooding. Many of our customers during the flood were completely caught off guard and were unprepared to deal with the damage. While our team was able to help most of the victims, it was a wake-up call for most in the area.

That’s why we’re highlighting some of the ways you can prepare for potential flooding in the future!

  1. Buy flood insurance. The overwhelming majority of calls we got during last month’s storm were from people who didn’t have flood insurance. As a result, most customers were left to foot the bill themselves, often ranging into the $1000s. That’s why we strongly suggest you invest in flood insurance. (Note: There’s a 30-day waiting period before your flood insurance kicks in, so don’t wait!)

  1. Purchase a sump pump. If you have a basement, a sump pump is a lifesaver. If your basement floods, the pump will redirect water out of the home to where it isn’t a problem anymore. Of course, they run off your home’s electricity, so ensure yours has a backup battery!

  1. Move valuables to higher ground. While flooding can certainly occur on upper levels of a home (such as through a crack in the roof), your belongings are generally safer on higher grounds. Most homes we respond to have flooding in their basement or ground-level floor, so moving your valuables can mitigate their risk of damage.

  1. Assemble an emergency kit. As with any potential disaster, it’s always a wise idea to have an emergency kit. These kits are designed to temporarily hold you over until you can get more permanent help. For a great example of an emergency kit supply list, check out the one on Ready.gov.

Flooding is rarely expected, but even when it is, it’s best to already be prepared. Still, it’s possible that you’ll have flood damage. If that happens, know that you can call on our team of experts here at SERVPRO of Catawba County West!

How to Prepare Your Business for Disaster

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Disaster can strike at any business, often when we least expect it. This is one commercial property that had water damage.

After it flooded during the weekend of June 7, many property owners in the Catawba County area were forced to face how unexpected a disaster can be. Rain closed many roads and schools, and the county was forced to declare a state of emergency. Additionally, many businesses took on water and had to experience first-hand what it’s like to address water damage.

As a disaster restoration company, we are dedicated to helping local property owners recover from water and fire damage. To support that mission, we’re providing some ways you can prepare your business for the next potential disaster!

  1. Create an Emergency Readiness Profile (ERP). Do your staff know where all the emergency shut-off locations are? Do they know who to call? Do you? These are all great questions, but it’s best not to wait until there’s an actual emergency to ask them. An ERP is a great tool that allows you and your staff to have the crucial information they need to respond to a disaster at your property. Fortunately, these tools can be generated for free by reaching out to one of our team members!

  1. Confirm you have adequate insurance coverage. For the first time, home and business owners recently learned the importance of having flood insurance. While some insurance policies might seem unnecessary (flood, for instance), disasters occur when you least expect them, and you’ll be thankful you had the coverage. Speak to your insurance agent and discuss your policies and coverage today!

  1. Establish a disaster response plan. Where would you go if your business space was temporarily uninhabitable? What’s your plan if your operations are halted for a few days? It’s impossible if or when your business will face disaster, but if you aren’t prepared for worst-case scenarios, it can threaten your business. Create a disaster response plan with relevant people in your company to establish things such as an alternate production site, communication plans, and more. Having such a plan can help mitigate the overall effect of any incident!

There’s nothing worse than discovering your place of business has been flooded or suffered fire damage. While these threats are always around the corner, you can help reduce the impact they have on your company’s endurance and success. There are many ways you can prepare your business for a disaster, but the above are a few to get you started. Should you happen to have a disaster, call our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West today to make it “Like it never even happened!”

Know the Difference: Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning could save your life!

Recently, we’ve had a surge of tornadoes across the United States—including here in Catawba County. Some of these have done substantial damage, such as the one that struck the Kansas City area in May. All of this activity has sprung much official advice to the forefront, including knowing when and how to heed tornado watches and warnings.

What is a Tornado Watch?

A tornado watch is a weather alert that indicates the weather conditions are right for a tornado to form. It does not mean that a tornado has formed—only that it’s possible due to the conditions. When a tornado watch is announced, you should continue to watch for updates and be prepared to take action.

What is a Tornado Warning?

Unlike a watch, a tornado warning is issued when a tornado has either been spotted or appears on the radar. A warning indicates that you need to take immediate action to prepare for possible impact. As with a watch, be sure to follow storm updates until you know you’re in the clear.

Being Prepared for the Worst

Tornadoes and other storms can strike when you least expect it. It’s always a good idea to be aware of weather changes in your area, but it’s also important to be prepared in advance. In fact, we encourage you to create an emergency kit for you and your family as soon as possible. But should disaster strike, know that you’re not alone. You can call SERVPRO of Catawba County West for any of your storm damage needs!

Common Causes of Fire Damage

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

House fires are disastrous and can happen at any time, often when and where we least expect.

Nobody ever expects they’ll have a house fire, but each year, 1 in 360 insured homes file a claim for fire and lightning damage. What’s worse is that these types of incidents tend to be the most costly. While it’s difficult to fully prevent a fire from ever occurring in your home, it’s important to be aware of the most common causes.

  1. Kitchen Fires. Cooking-related fires are the number one cause of house fires each year. While there is always a risk of fire, there are a few ways you can mitigate that risk. For one, never leave your kitchen unattended, even for a minute. Also, be sure to clean and remove grease after each time you cook. For more preventative measures, check out our previous blog post on the topic.

  1. Cigarettes/Smoking Materials. House fires that result from cigarettes and other smoking materials are the leading cause of house fire deaths. If you choose to smoke, it’s highly recommended that you do so outside and ensure it is properly extinguished before disposing of the materials.

  1. Heat Sources. Space heaters, candles, and fireplaces are great comforts during the winter, but if they are close to flammable objects, they could spell disaster. It’s recommended that you keep any flammable materials at least 3 feet away from heat sources, perhaps even further.

House fires can destroy valuables and displace families—often in just a short period of time. Fortunately, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West is capable of restoring your home and preserving many of your valuables. If you have a fire in the Hickory, NC area, call us today at (828) 322-4400!