Common Causes of Fire Damage
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
How Your Business’ Damaged Documents Can Be Saved
It's impossible to undo existing damage, but we can stabilize any of your damaged documents!
Many businesses today keep a digital record of their documents, which are generally easier to preserve in the event of a disaster. But some businesses—such as hospitals, law offices, and others—also use paper documents either as a supplement or in place of digital ones. Unfortunately, these vital records can be damaged in the event of flooding or a fire. However, there’s a possibility they can be salvaged.
Our Document Restoration Process
SERVPRO is known as a fire and water damage cleanup company, but we also have a lesser-known service—document restoration. Each franchise has access to this chamber, meaning we are able to salvage many damaged documents.
When paper gets wet, it becomes soggy and the ink begins to run off the page. While we can’t undo the ink damage, we can prevent further deterioration and stabilize it. Our first priority is to freeze all of the affected documents to prevent further damage. From there, we’ll ship it to our facility in Tennessee where it will be freeze-dried and returned in the same order it was sent.
Fire-damaged documents lose their edges and generally smell like smoke. As with water damage, we cannot undo any of the physical damage, but we can trim burnt edges and deodorize the documents. In any event, we can always digitize them if you prefer!
Your Salvaged Documents
Our goal is to return documents that are both stable and usable, but it’s important to manage expectations. We’re unable to undo damage and restore documents to their original condition, but we can make a strong attempt to save them and prevent further deterioration. If your Hickory, NC business has documents that have been damaged, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West today!
3 Examples of Commercial Properties We’ve Helped
Our franchise had the unique opportunity to drive on Martinsville Speedway's racetrack after helping them with
their commercial water damage!
As a Large Loss Response Team, SERVPRO of Catawba County West has the capacity to handle any size disaster. In fact, we’ve responded to many large-scale commercial property damages over our 10 years of operations. Below are 3 commercial properties we’ve helped recover from disaster.
In January of 2017, a fire broke out in the laundry room of Lees-McRae College’s gymnasium and caused substantial damage to the structure and its contents. Our team immediately responded and deployed much of our resources to help them get their gym back. After a lot of work, it now looks “Like it never even happened!”
Grace Baptist Church
Hurricane Florence devastated North Carolina’s coast late last year. Even though we were hundreds of miles away, we dispatched a team to assist with recovery efforts. In Wilmington, we aided Grace Baptist Church and the affiliated Wilmington Christian Academy, which had suffered massive flooding and wind damage. Initially without power, our team worked well over a month drying water, repairing structures, and cleaning damaged textiles.
Last year, heavy rains in Virginia flooded the nearby racetrack, Martinsville Speedway. As a result, our team traveled north and worked around the clock to extract and dry all of the water damage. We even had the rare opportunity to drive our green vehicles on the track!
Local Support from a Large Franchise
Although we are locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of Catawba County West is a large franchise with even larger national support. Having helped countless businesses recover from disaster, we have the expertise and the resources needed to navigate any damages.
Fire Damage Q&A: Can You Restore My Burnt Documents?
While we can attempt to preserve burnt documents, it's not possible to return them to their original conditions.
Perhaps the most devastating part of having a house fire is losing pictures, documents, and belongings with sentimental value. While some things will be beyond any means of restoration, our franchise does have an on-site, textile-cleaning facility and access to a document restoration chamber. But it’s important not to have your expectations set too high before going into the process.
Can You Restore My Burnt Documents?
When it comes to damaged documents, it’s important that you understand what “restoration” means. It’s not possible to return a burnt or wet document back to its original condition. Instead, to “restore” a document is to prevent further deterioration and preserve it in a usable condition.
For example, if the ink has begun to run off the page, or if portions of a document have been burnt, there’s no way to undo that damage. In some cases, in fact, there’s simply nothing that can be done.
However, if there is light fire damage and/or most of the document is still legible, we can prevent further deterioration and even clean and sterilize it. As far as document restoration goes, our goal is to salvage as much as possible. Unfortunately, we can’t undo the damage that’s already been done.
Your Document Restoration Service
We aim to be a one-stop shop for your disaster restoration needs, which is why we offer document drying and restoration services. If you have vital documents that need to be saved, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West today!
SERVPRO of Catawba County West in the Community
We regularly sponsor and play in local golf tournaments that support great causes!
Although SERVPRO is a national franchise chain, SERVPRO of Catawba County West is a locally owned and operated franchise. This means that all of our employees live in and connect with our community. That’s why it’s important to us that we take an active part in the local organizations and activities that support our values and matter to our employees.
Catawba County Chamber of Commerce Involvement
The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce plays an instrumental role in connecting and supporting local businesses. In addition to being members, we are ambassadors and regularly attend events and ribbon cuttings. We’re proud to support an organization that does so much for the community!
Sponsoring Golf Tournaments
It’s no secret that SERVPRO of Catawba County West is a big fan of golf. If the weather’s good and we’ve registered for a tournament, you’ll likely find that we have a team participating. But when we sponsor a golf tournament, it’s not just for the sake of playing or supporting golf; the tournaments we sponsor are hosted to benefit some cause or nonprofit organization. So we’re not just playing, we’re helping support values we believe in!
Hickory Christmas Parade
Every year, Hickory hosts its annual Christmas parade, and every year, we drive a float or one of our green SERVPRO vehicles. In addition to seeing all of the great businesses and organizations that also support our community, we get to interact with many people in the Hickory area. Plus, who doesn’t love the Christmas spirit?
We strongly believe in helping others in need—it’s what we do best. It’s also why we are active participants in the local rotary clubs. As members, we get to help those in need—both locally and globally. It’s rewarding to be part of a great organization!
More than a Disaster Restoration Company
SERVPRO of Catawba County West is known as a disaster restoration company, but we strive to be more than that. We enjoy being active members in the community, helping those in need, and supporting the values that make the Hickory area so great. If you do have a disaster, though, we hope that you’ll call us and allow us to make it “Like it never even happened!”
3 Storm Preparation Tips
A first-aid kit is an important first step in preparing for any type of storm!
Each year, some weather event damages homes in our local community. Last year, we had bad freezes, the outer bands of Hurricane Florence, and heavy snowfall. And of course, we had tornado damage near the end of 2017. These events usually result in numerous homes and businesses suffering from some sort of storm damage. Because you never know how these storms will play out, it’s important you take steps to prepare in advance.
- Always have a fully stocked emergency preparedness kit. An emergency preparedness kit is an essential tool for any type of disaster. Your kit may include several things, but there are usually staple items, such as a First-Aid kit, food, and water. For a full checklist, we recommend you visit Ready.org.
- Prepare your home for potential damage. Each type of storm brings its own set of threats. An ice storm encourages pipes to freeze and burst. Hurricanes and tornadoes can down trees and turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. Once you know what kind of storm you have, visit Ready.org and follow the preparation steps for the respective storm.
- Track the storm. It’s always a good idea to know when and where a storm is going to strike. Not only does this give you a timeline, but it can also help you understand the potential impact and whether you need to evacuate. After all, knowledge is power.
Because storms can be destructive, they involve a lot of preparation. But in the event that your home or businesses has storm damage, we’re here as your local disaster restoration company. We’ll make any storm damage “Like it never even happened.”
3 Things to Do if You Have Mold Growth
If you have mold, it's best to hire a mold remediation company to perform remediation services!
Most homeowners are concerned when they discover they have a mold problem—after all, mold can cause some health issues and structural damage if it’s left alone. While you should attempt to have mold growth addressed, there are certain steps you should take.
- Identify and rectify the water source. In order for mold to grow, it needs moisture. That’s why one of the most important steps you can take is to identify how the mold is getting moisture and take steps to stop it. Otherwise, any remediation work will eventually be undone when the mold grows back.
- Call a mold remediation company. Unless the mold is covering a small area, it’s best to call in professionals. In addition to performing proper remediation, a mold remediation company will set up a containment zone to ensure that mold spores do not spread to other, unaffected areas where growth could occur.
- Prevent future mold growth. The best way to avoid mold concerns is to take steps that prevent it from growing in the first place. In addition to immediately drying any visible moisture, it’s important to keep humidity levels low, allow air to circulate, and to keep temperatures cool when possible.
Mold can be a major nuisance, but with the proper steps, you can mitigate its impact and stop it from attacking your home. If you have mold growth in your home, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West today at (828) 322-4400!
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze
Exposed pipes can freeze during cold weather, so be sure to thaw it or call a professional for help!
Although it hasn’t dropped below freezing very often this winter, there have been a few cold spells where it’s been an issue. Oftentimes when these spells occur, homeowners and businesses have to deal with pipes that freeze and—typically—burst. Just last year, for example, when temperatures dropped below freezing for a few days, we had countless calls asking for help with burst pipes. Although there are ways to prevent freezing from the outset, it’s important to know what to do if it happens to you.
- Keep the faucet open. Water pipes burst when the water freezes and expands, causing increased pressure. But by keeping the faucet open, that pressure is reduced and allows the ice to thaw more quickly as running water helps it melt.
- If you can access the frozen portion, thaw it. The best way to address a frozen pipe is to thaw it. If you can access the frozen portion, apply hot towels, a hairdryer, or even an electric heating pad. But whatever you do, do not use any flame-based source to melt the ice.
- If you cannot access the frozen portion, call a plumber. While this actually might be difficult to do if there is a lot of demand, but if your pipes are frozen and you are unable to thaw it, a plumber will be able to help. Don’t hesitate to call a professional!
Frozen pipes can burst and lead to substantial water damage. If that happens to you, you’ll need a professional disaster restoration company to clean up and restore your home. Fortunately, if you live in the Hickory, NC area, you can call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 396-1070!
SERVPRO of Catawba County West is Highly Trained & Certified
Marketing Rep. Mike Richey shows off our most recent IICRC certification!
When a customer invites us into their home, they expect us to be certified and knowledgeable. Because not only are they allowing us into their personal space, they are expecting us to fix their problems. That’s exactly why we ensure that all of our technicians are trained and certified!
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is an influential organization that helps shape the way disaster restoration companies across the nation operate. The IICRC sets the standard for disaster restoration through research and optimization, which they then present to insurance companies to ensure prices and procedures are the same across the board.
SERVPRO of Catawba County West is IICRC-certified, and requires all of its crew chiefs to undergo certification so we can ensure our customers receive consistent and professional service.
It’s important that in addition to obtaining certifications, our employees have first-hand experience performing our services. Upon hire, all of our techs and crew chiefs shadow and assist our more experienced employees to better understand how we operate and what we do. In addition, our employees regularly meet with our department leaders to receive feedback and get assistance when needed.
A Team You Can Rely On
If your home or business has a disaster, you’ll want a company you can trust to be professional and get the job done right the first time. So when you need a disaster restoration company, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400!
What Affects the Drying Process?
The drying process can be affected by a few different factors, such as humidity levels and allowing our air movers to continuously run.
Customers in the Hickory, NC, area call us nearly every day to help them dry their home after they have water damage. We use advanced technology and cutting-edge techniques to restore homes to their preloss condition, but how fast we can achieve that goal is affected by certain factors.
It’s difficult for our air movers to work when there’s too much moisture in the air. If humidity levels are not constantly regulated (usually by a dehumidifier), then the air will not be able to hold the moisture from the evaporated water damage. This is especially a problem when the affected room is not properly sealed and outside air gets in.
Our Equipment is Turned Off
Our equipment is incredibly effective as long as it remains running. Sometimes, however, customers will shut off our air movers and/or dehumidifiers because they can create a lot of noise. But when that happens, it drastically slows down the drying process and can increase the chances of mold or other damage.
Amount of Moisture
This might seem obvious, but the amount of moisture we have to dry will also impact the length of the process. If there is minimal impact from your water damage, we will be able to dry the affected area faster than typical damage; the same is true for the inverse.
Drying Your Water Damage
Our technicians do everything in their power to restore your home or business back to its preloss condition as soon as possible. That’s why we use the most efficient methods and technologies available. If you have water damage and need a professional disaster restoration company, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400!