Our February Continuing Education Class
We offer free continuing education classes to our local insurance professionals each quarter!
We’re back with another of our quarterly Continuing Education classes! If you didn’t know, once a quarter we host courses for insurance professionals so they can earn continuing education credits as part of their licensure. These are free events that we host as a way of giving back to the insurance community!
On Thursday, February 13, we are hosting two courses at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Hickory: Personal Auto Policy: Review & Update and General Liability: The Basics. These classes are open to any insurance agent or adjuster in the area—especially for those who need elective credits.
Due to limited seating, if you are interested in attending either course, we encourage you to register as soon as possible! For more information, you can visit our registration page!
More Than a Local Franchise
We have over 60 employees and serve more than 4 counties!
In 2009, we opened our first SERVPRO franchise in Lenoir. At the time, we only had 3 employees and were starting a business in the middle of the Great Recession. It was a while before we got our first job, but we got started, and we gave each new customer our all.
Last year we celebrated a milestone—our 10th anniversary. In the last decade, we’ve grown to more than 60 employees, we have dozens of vehicles, and we have expanded our service area! You might know us as SERVPRO of Catawba County West, but we serve more than just the Hickory, NC area—we actually own and operate four additional franchises.
Our same team services the entire Unifour area, including Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties. And starting this year, we now service all of Iredell County!
So if you knew us when we first started out, you might be surprised to know we’ve come a long way. If you live anywhere in the Unifour area (or in Iredell County), know that our team is always here to help!
The Flood Cleanup Process
Our technicians always assess the damage before they begin the extraction and drying process!
Flooding can happen to anyone for a number of reasons. Storms, for example, can cause heavy rains to infiltrate your home. In another instance, a pipe can freeze and then burst as it thaws. Regardless of why it happens, flooding can cause significant damage to your home—and that’s not even considering the eventual mold growth. Fortunately, disaster restoration professionals such as ourselves can clean up and restore flooded properties using a certified process!
Step 1: Assessing the Damage
Once our crews arrive on the scene, their priority is to assess the damage. They’ll need to assess the cause of the incident (and if it’s stopped) and identify which rooms have been affected. At this point, they will also get initial moisture level readings. All of this information is essential for our team to develop a customized game plan for your home.
Step 2: Extract the Water
Once our crew has finished assessing the damage, they’ll begin to extract the water. We have different extraction machines that can suck up large volumes of water. Once we’ve removed all standing water, we’ll begin drying out your home!
Step 3: Drying Out Your Home
Once the excess water has been extracted, we’ll set out air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out your home. These machines work collaboratively by pulling moisture into the air and then cooling it and converting it back into water—this time into a controlled container! This process exponentially speeds up the drying process, which can prevent structural damage and lowers the risk of mold growth.
Step 4: Cleaning Your Belongings
Your belongings have sentimental value, which is why we do everything we can to protect them. Our team will remove all furniture and other possessions from affected rooms and safely transport them back to our warehouse to be cleaned and stored. If items have been completely ruined and cannot be salvaged, we will properly dispose of them—always with your permission!
Step 5: Restoring Your Home
Once the drying process is complete, our technicians will remove the equipment! If you also decide to use us for the repairs, our repairs team will assess the damage, provide a quote, and then begin the final step of the process. And of course, we’ll return all of your salvageable possessions—cleaned and restored!
Your Local Disaster Restoration Team
SERVPRO of Catawba County West has helped thousands of homes recover from disaster since we opened our doors in 2009. We’ve seen how devastating floods can be, but we’ve also seen how homes can be cleaned and restored. If you live in the Hickory, NC area and have flooding, call our team today!
3 Ways Your Business Can Prepare for a Fire
Fires can do tremendous damage to your business, but some precautionary measures can spare you the headache!
Fires can do a lot of damage to your business. In fact, according to FEMA, many businesses will never reopen their doors after having such a disaster. Since we opened our doors in 2009, we’ve seen how fires have cost businesses their money—and sometimes their reputation. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the effects of a potential fire!
- Install a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system is one of the best investments a business can make. Should a fire break out in a section of your property, the sprinklers can control the flames before they get out of hand. According to the National Fire Protection Association, when a sprinkler system was present, fires were confined to the room of origin in 97% of fires (versus 74% that didn’t have a sprinkler system).
- Train your employees to use fire extinguishers. It’s always a good idea to teach your employees about fire safety, especially when it comes to fire extinguishers. Proper usage can put out small fires, which can, in turn, save you a big headache. If you haven’t reviewed fire extinguisher procedures with your staff, you can always speak to your local fire department about getting a demonstration!
- Keep combustible materials away from heat sources. Flammable objects should be kept a safe distance from any device that gives off heat. Space heaters, candles, light bulbs, and other objects that give off heat can easily start a fire if they are kept near the wrong materials. As a rule of thumb, flammable objects should be kept at least 3 feet away.
Fires often occur when you least expect them, but it’s also possible to mitigate your risk. If you haven’t already, invest time and money into resources your team can use prevent a full-blown fire. But if you do have a fire and need professional cleanup and restoration, our team is always available to help!
The Contents Cleaning Process
Our team carefully packs your belongings so they can be cleaned and stored at our warehouse!
When your home has a fire, many of your belongings will be damaged—possibly even destroyed. This fact might be one of the most devastating parts of having a fire. After all, it’s the sentimental value that makes your house a home. Fortunately, our franchise specializes in contents cleaning, so we can save many of your damaged belongings through our restoration process!
- We pack and store your belongings. The first step in the process is to identify which items can be saved and then pack and prepare them to be sent to our facility. Our team digitally inventories each item and then carefully places them in boxes. Each box is labeled with a unique code, so you never have to worry about your belongings being misplaced!
- We bring damaged textiles to our facility. If you have any damaged textiles—such as clothes, rugs, stuffed animals, etc.—we send them to our state-of-the-art textiles cleaning facility. Most can be cleaned in our washers and dryers, but for special cases, we have an Esporta and an ozone chamber (for odor removal). Collectively, we can clean most smoke- and soot-covered textiles.
- We bring all the other items to our cleaning warehouse. Any other damaged items are brought to our cleaning warehouse. We use a variety of cleaning products and equipment to remove contaminants. For example, our ultrasonic machines can clean damaged jewelry, some electronics, and other sensitive objects!
- We temporarily store your cleaned belongings. Once we’ve finished cleaning, we store your belongings in one of our warehouses. Each customer has their own section, so nothing gets mixed up or misplaced. Once the restoration process is complete at your home, we will return all of your belongings!
If you have a house fire, you’ll hope that your possessions can be salvaged. While some items cannot be saved, there are many that can. Our team is available to help with any size fire, so call us to make any fire damage “Like it never even happened!”
3 Facts You Should Know About Home Fires
Cooking-related fires are the most common cause of house fires in the U.S. each year!
House fires are a semi-regular occurrence in the Hickory areas. For many victims, they occur unexpectedly and completely disrupt their lives. We’ve helped many homeowners recover from these types of disasters, which is why we want to share some facts every homeowner should know about fires.
- Most fire-related deaths are due to smoke inhalation. Believe it or not, burns aren’t the cause for the majority of fire-related deaths—it’s actually from breathing in the smoke. A combination of heat, carbon monoxide, and a variety of vapors make smoke deadly to inhale. That’s why it’s important to keep low and escape as quickly as possible!
- Cooking-related fires are the leading cause of home fires each year. Cooking is a major pastime in many homes in the community, especially around the holidays. But most home fires actually start in the kitchen! So while you should continue to cook, never leave the kitchen unattended while in use.
- A flame can become a major fire in just 30 seconds. Most people think you have a considerable amount of time to escape from a house fire. In reality, you have just a few minutes—at best. Newer home materials burn a lot faster than they used to, so a fire can quickly grow and spread!
House fires can be extremely destructive, and they shouldn’t be underestimated. If you practice fire prevention and quickly react to an ongoing fire, you can mitigate your loss. Fortunately, if you do have a house fire, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West has experience cleaning and restoring fire-damaged homes!
3 Common Causes of Water Damage
Washing machines and other appliances are common causes associated with water damage.
Water damage often strikes when you least expect it. In fact, many of our customers have come home to discover soaked floors and buckled hardwood flooring. While it’s not possible to know when if and when your home will have water damage, you can prepare for the possibility. That’s why it’s important to know the most common sources of water damage—so you know where to look!
- Roof leaks. Your roof serves a few different purposes—one of which is to protect the interior from nature. But as roofs age or are impacted by outside elements, they begin to have weaknesses. This presents a problem when it rains (or when snow melts) because the water now has a way into your home. If you notice any vulnerabilities in your roof, have them addressed immediately.
- Appliance leaks. Similarly to roofs, appliances can become prone to issues as they age or are affected by certain incidents. Equipment such as washing machines and dishwashers can go from being a convenient tool to becoming the cause of your next water damage. Always keep an eye on them, and make sure they are all well-maintained.
- Busted pipes. A lot of water flows through your home’s plumbing system. That’s why a busted pipe can quickly flood parts of your home in a short amount of time. Be wary of aged or exposed pipes, as they are the most vulnerable!
Water damages can be expensive to clean up—never mind the stress it induces. If you’re vigilant, you can hopefully prevent an incident from occurring at your home. But if you do have water damage, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West is available 24/7 to dry and restore your Hickory home!
3 Fire Safety Tips Every Business Owner Should Heed
A fire extinguisher can potentially mitigate fire damage at your business. Ensure your employees know how to use one!
Commercial fires seem to happen all the time. Our team regularly gets calls from businesses in the Hickory area who have everything from small to catastrophic fires. Sometimes they are just minor inconveniences, but in some cases, they can halt operations completely. Whether or not your business has been affected by a fire in the past, it’s important to practice fire safety!
- Make sure your employees know how to use a fire extinguisher. The second best thing to preventing a fire is mitigating the damage. If your employees know how to properly extinguish a fire (and know which extinguisher to use), you can dampen the impact it will have on your operations. If they don’t already have this training, consider recruiting your local fire department to offer a demonstration!
- Ensure all heaters are kept away from flammable objects. Some employees are cold even when indoors, so they might bring a personal heater. While heaters are great for warmth, they are also a fire risk if they are placed near flammable objects. It’s recommended that heat sources are kept at least 3 feet away from combustible objects!
- Install a sprinkler system. If you don’t already have one, a sprinkler system is a great investment. It can prevent a fire from getting out of control, which helps you keep damages to a minimum. In fact, maintained systems are 95% effective!
Your business is an important investment, and it should be protected at all costs. It’s not possible to prevent every kind of fire, but it is possible to be prepared and to know how to react. If you have a fire and need our fire restoration services, know that we’re always here to help!
What to Do If Your Pipes Burst
Pipes can cause a lot of damage if they freeze and burst!
Your home’s pipes can burst for a number of reasons, but as temperatures start to drop, they’re at risk of freezing. When frozen pipes begin to thaw, the built-up pressure can cause the pipes to expand and burst. If you’ve never had this happen at your home, you might not be sure what to do (or where to even start). Fortunately, we’re going to cover exactly that.
- Turn off the water. The first thing you should do anytime water is gushing from your pipes is to shut off the main water valve. This is will stop more water from flooding in, which should be your main priority at this point.
- Call a plumber. Next, you’ll need to call a plumber to fix the damaged pipes. They’ll also likely be able to tell you what caused the incident, so you can hopefully prevent the issue in the future.
- Call your local disaster restoration company. Finally, you’ll need to call a disaster restoration company to extract and dry the water damage. They will ensure affected areas in your home are completely dried and will apply an antimicrobial treatment to help prevent mold growth.
Burst pipes can cause a major problem in your home, but you’ll have professional help all the way. If you need a disaster restoration company in the Hickory area to clean up water damage, our team has helped thousands of properties. We’re available 24/7, and we can make any disaster “Like it never even happened.”
3 Ways to Prepare for Flooding
This hotel repeatedly flooded in June due to constant, heavy rain!
Flooding can occur for a number of different reasons, even if you don’t live near a body of water. There are many unexpected ways your home can be flooded: storms can bring heavy rains, snow and ice can melt, etc. Even though we can’t always know when we might be at risk, there are some things you can do to prepare for a potential flooding event.
- Document all of your belongings. It’s only after there’s a disaster that people start to keep track of their possessions. If you file an insurance claim, you may need to provide a list of items that were affected by the flooding so that your insurance company can reimburse you. That’s why it’s highly recommended you keep an updated list before you ever even have an incident. You can do this yourself, or you can use one of many available apps!
- Buy flood insurance. You might feel you don’t need flood insurance, but neither did the hundreds of flooded homes back in June. If you don’t have it already, speak to your local insurance agent and see about getting it for your home. There’s a 30-day waiting period before it takes effect, so don’t wait to get it!
- Buy a sump pump. If you have a basement, a sump pump is a highly effective tool for removing water from the home. It collects water in a basin and transports it away from the home. This ultimately reduces the overall damage your basement will have. If you don’t already have one, buy one today!
You don’t know when—or if—your home will be affected by flooding, but the more prepared you are, the less of a headache it will be. If you do have flooding, though, our disaster restoration team is here and ready to make it “Like it never even happened!”