Recent Storm Damage Posts

What’s the Difference: Flood Watch versus Flood Warning

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Do you remember the last time your phone alerted you about a local flood watch? If you’re like many people, you probably silence the device and ignore it. For others, they simply don’t know what it means. Authorities send these weather advisories because they are important to our safety, but if you don’t know what a flood watch is, it can be difficult to respond.

Be Alert During a Flood Watch

Heavy, long-lasting rain can be problematic when you live near a body of water. If the water levels exceed capacity, this can create flooding in nearby areas. A flood watch is issued by authorities when conditions are right for this happen.

If your area is in range, you don’t need to panic. A “watch” simply means you need to prepare for potential flooding. At this point, monitor your local news outlet and be ready to take action.

Take Action During a Flood Warning

A flood warning is more urgent and is only issued when flooding is actually occurring or imminent. In this instance, you do need to act if you’re in the affected region (usually issued by county). If possible, get to higher ground and continue to monitor the news for updates and alerts.

Call the Experts for Flood Cleanup and Restoration

Flooding can be extremely dangerous to you and your home. In addition to potentially ruining your belongings and your home’s structure, floodwaters can carry pathogens. Fortunately, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West has the experience and training to clean up flood damage. If you have flooding, you can call us anytime at (828) 322-4400.

3 Tips to Prevent Flooding

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Water flooding into a home from a painting Flooding can happen to nearly anyone, so it's a good idea to take some preventative steps!

Within the past year, we’ve had two major storm events: one last June and one this past February. This caused a lot of homes and businesses to have flooding. For many, it was a wakeup call to purchase flood insurance; for others, it was a call-to-action to further fortify their property. Even if you weren’t affected these last two incidents, there are a few things you can do to prevent flooding in the future.

  1. Clean your gutters. Yes, everyone’s least favorite chore is actually one of the most important ways you can prevent flooding. Your gutters serve as a first line of defense against rain because it redirects it from your home. If you allow them to accrue a buildup of leaves and other debris, it can cause water to pool up and flood your home.

  1. Consider landscaping your home. Some homes are better positioned than others to avoid flooding. This isn’t true for homes on a downward slope or without sufficient drainage. The ground should always slope away from your home, and water needs places to drain to prevent it from pooling. For tips and ideas on how to achieve this, check out this resource!

  1. Install a sump pump. If you have a basement, then a sump pump is going to be your friend. This device captures water in your basement and then pumps it out of your home. If you don’t have one already, consider investing in one. If you do have one, make sure to maintain it so it still works when you need it!

There are many steps you can take to prevent flooding, but there’s still a chance your home could be affected. If you do have flooding, don’t panic! Our professional team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West has helped thousands of homes and businesses recover from disasters. You can call us anytime at (828) 322-4400!

Prepare During National Hurricane Preparedness Week

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

Top of hurricane as seen from space Hurricanes can be devastating, which is why it's important to prepare now!

This last week was National Hurricane Preparedness Week! Although it’s rare that our area is struck directly by a hurricane, we often experience some of the effects. Scientists have predicted that 2020 will have an above-average hurricane season, so preparation is even more important this year. Here are a few things you should be thinking about:

  • Consider your risk. Although we may not worry about a direct hit, depending on where you live, you may be at risk. If you live near Lake Hickory, for example, you may have flooding. If you are in prone areas, you should consider additional preparations.
  • Review your insurance coverage. You never know what type of damage you could have, so it’s a good idea to review your coverage with your provider. At the very least, consider getting flood insurance, as hundreds of local homes have had flood damage in the past year.

In 2018, our team drove to Wilmington, NC to help clean up the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. While our area was lucky, we have seen first-hand how destructive hurricanes can be. We hope you’ll take the time to prepare, and if you would like to see what other steps you can take, visit the National Weather Service’s website!

3 Ways to Prepare for Spring Storms

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Rain running off brown-tiled roof Your roof and gutters play an integral part in protecting your home from flooding!

We recently experienced a strong storm that caused damage through much of North Carolina. While many of us in the Hickory area managed to get away with minimal damage, the incident was a reminder of the potential destruction these storms can bring. Now that storm season has picked up, we’re sharing 3 things you can do to prepare!

  1. Clean your gutters. Your gutters are your first line of defense against flooding. They are designed to catch and redirect rain away from your home, but if they are not clean, they have the potential to back up and cause problems.

  1. Remove any problem trees. After nearly every major storm, we get calls from people who have had a tree fall on their homes. If you have any sick or otherwise problematic trees near your home, have them removed or trimmed before they cause significant damage!

  1. Repair any known cracks or other structural problems. Don’t put off any repair projects. We often get calls during storms where customers discover water leaking through the roof. If you know of any structural issues, be sure to have them patched immediately!

There’s no telling how strong the next storm will be, if you take precautions, you can mitigate the damage. If you do have storm damage, however, know that our professionals at SERVPRO of Catawba County West are always available to help!

What You Should Know About Flood Insurance

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen oven and cabinets mostly submerged by flood waters This home never expected to have flood damage. We encourage everyone to get flood insurance!

For many people in the Hickory area, it may seem unnecessary to buy flood insurance. Yet twice in the last year alone, we’ve had significant flooding events, and our team has responded to hundreds of calls. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the people impacted didn’t have flood insurance and had to pay for cleanup services out of pocket. While we encourage everyone to purchase flood insurance, there are a couple of things you need to know.

  1. There is a 30-day waiting period for coverage. If you’re going to buy flood insurance, we recommend you do it now. If you wait to buy it until a powerful storm is on the way, you’ll be out of luck. Flood insurance policies don’t kick into effect for 30 days after purchasing, so if you have flooding before then, you’ll still be responsible for the damages.

  1. You don’t need to in a designated flood zone to get flood insurance. Just because you’re not in a designated flood zone doesn’t mean you’re safe from flooding. Many of the flood calls we received in the last year were from people who didn’t live in such a zone. Excessive rainfall, structural issues, and other factors can result in unexpected flooding!

There is a lot to consider when purchasing insurance for your home, but skipping crucial coverage can be a very costly mistake. Even if you’ve never had flooding before, it’s important that you consider the risk. If your Hickory-area home does flood, however, you can call our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West!

The Flood Cleanup Process

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Crouched SERVPRO employee places small device on hardwood floors in the middle of living room 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 to Prepare for Flooding

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO drying equipment on flooded carpet inside a building 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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!

  1. 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!”

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!

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 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!

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!

3 Storm Preparation Tips

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.”

What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

4 Types of Storms We Have in Catawba County

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

We have many different storms in the Catawba County area, each potentially disastrous!

As a disaster cleanup and restoration company, we work with a multitude of homes and businesses after there’s been a disaster. In particular, we notice a rise in calls after we have some kind of storm. If you’re trying to prepare your property for potential storm damage, here are some storms you should be ready for.

  1. Thunderstorms. Typically a summertime phenomenon, thunderstorms—while usually mild—can cause a lot of damage, such as downed trees, heavy rains, and even start fires.
  1. Hurricanes. Hurricanes generally occur in the second half of the year, and they can be quite destructive, such as with Hurricane Florence. We do not usually sustain as much damage as the coastal region, but we still often feel the effects in the form of rain and wind.
  1. Tornadoes. Tornadoes aren’t a common occurrence in the region, but it was just last year that we had a couple of tornadoes that damaged many areas in Hickory. This can cause tree damage and expose homes to the elements.
  1. Winter Storms. Each year, we typically get one or two winter storms. They might be pretty, but they can create problems such as collapsed roofs and burst pipes.

Storms can cause a significant amount of damage, but if you’re aware of the potential dangers, you can take preventative steps. If you do suffer from storm damage, you can call us at (828) 322-4400 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

3 Tips to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

With chances of snow just around the corner, it's important to make sure your pipes are adequately insulated!

It’s been almost a year now since we had a surge of frozen pipes that burst and caused massive damage throughout Catawba County and the surrounding areas. And just recently, we had an ice storm that forced thousands in the area to go without power. With the threat of pipes freezing and bursting, it’s important that you take steps to prevent it from happening.

  • Keep the heat in your house on. Naturally, the one way to prevent something from freezing is to keep it warm. It’s recommended that you keep your heat on and at least about 50°F, though most people prefer to keep it much warmer. However, having the heat on is no guarantee that your pipes will not freeze!
  • Add insulation to improperly insulated pipes. One of the reasons a pipe will freeze is because it is not properly insulated from the cold. Specifically, inspect exposed pipes—or those that located in an attic or basement—to ensure they are sufficiently insulated.
  • Keep interior doors open. While the heat may be on in your home, it might not be reaching your pipes very well. Since they are usually exposed in cabinets, keep those doors open so the heat from the rest of the house can keep them from freezing!

Your home’s pipes can be quite destructive if they burst, so we encourage you to take steps to prevent them from freezing. If they do burst, however, know that our staff at SERVPRO of Catawba County West is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

3 Things You Should Do After Flood Damage

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Some of our team assess the storm and flood damage after Hurricane Florence devastated the coast of North Carolina.

Nobody wants—or even expects—their home to be the victim of flood damage, but disaster often strikes when we least expect it. That’s why many homeowners are often unsure what to do when their home is damaged by flooding. If you or somebody you know is in that situation, here are 3 things you should do after your home suffers from flood damage.

  1. Call your local disaster cleanup and restoration company. Naturally, your first priority is to get your home back to its original condition. That’s why your local disaster cleanup and restoration company should be your first call—they’re the ones who will make it “Like it never even happened.” The sooner you call them, the faster they can begin working on your home.

  1. Contact your insurance. Your insurance is the one who will likely cover most of the costs associated with restoring your home. They are also a great resource for finding contractors and other important people to help you get your home back in its preloss condition.

  1. Begin removing flood waters from your home. Your local disaster cleanup and restoration company is going to take care of cleaning up and preventing further damage to your home, but the faster that process begins, the less damage you’ll likely have later (particularly when it comes to mold). While you are waiting for them to arrive, begin mopping or using buckets to move water from the home.

Because water damage can create further damage, it’s important to respond to disasters quickly. If you need a disaster cleanup and restoration company in the Hickory, NC area, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400!

What to Do During Hurricane Florence

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Florence is a major event in North Carolina, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk!

Hurricane Florence is just around the corner, and it’s already dominating headlines. With powerful winds and some waves seen as high as 83 feet, Florence is already being deemed “a storm of a lifetime” for certain parts of North Carolina. While the impact on western North Carolina is still uncertain, it’s important that you prepare for the worst. That’s why in addition to making preparations, it’s important that you know what to do once the storm arrives.

  • Stay Inside. Strong winds and heavy rain are ingredients for a deadly combination. It’s important that you remain indoors and keep away from windows, skylights, and other glass structures until officials have announced it is safe to do so otherwise.

  • Regularly check for updates. If you still have cell service, you can use your phone to monitor the storm’s progress. If you do not have cell service, use a battery-powered radio or TV. Local and national stations are great sources of information!

  • Keep Your Refrigerator Closed. In the event your power goes out, it’s vital that you keep your fridge closed so the cold air does not escape. Depending on how long the power is out, your food may spoil anyways, but if it’s only a short period of time, keeping the door closed could be the thing that saves your food.

  • If your home floods, shut off your electricity. Water and electricity are not a great combination. If your home is threatened by flooding, shut your electricity off by the breaker. It’s important you identify where the breaker is long before Hurricane Florence arrives.

  • If it floods, get to higher ground. Flood waters are fast and strong, so don’t try to swim in them. If your home or building begins to flood, immediately head to higher ground. However, do not go into a closed attic because you could become trapped!

  • Do not enter flooded roads. If you have to go outside for any reason, do not enter flooded areas. If you’re driving and encounter flooded sections, turn around and find an alternate route. Also, do not attempt to swim or wade through waters; the waters are fast-moving and will likely pull you away.

Hurricane Florence is one of the biggest storms to hit North Carolina in decades, and will likely cause tremendous damage. If you are in an affected area, follow the advice above and adhere to official instructions as they are provided. After the storm subsides, if you’re in Hickory or the Catawba County area, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West if you need assistance recovering from storm damage!

3 Online Resources for Storm Events

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storms can happen at any time and can be of any category of strength. This building was heavily flooded by an abrupt storm!

Storms of different types occur throughout the entire year, which is why it’s important to stay vigilant. Fortunately, we’re in the age of information, which means most of the legwork regarding preparation is already taken care of. Whether you’re curious or are trying to prepare for an upcoming storm, below are some great online resources for storm events.

  1. Ray’s Weather. If you live anywhere near the Unifour area, you probably already know about Ray’s Weather. But in case you don’t, it’s a local weather website that offers current weather-related information. Many locals swear it’s the most accurate source for weather in the area. Use this resource for tracking storm patterns and forecasts!
  1. Ready.gov. While Ray’s Weather is great for weather updates, Ready.gov is a great tool for planning and preparing for storm events and other potential disasters. This government website details important safety steps for all phases of a storm (before, during, and after).
  1. FEMA. If your area gets hit particularly hard by a storm, you’ll find important information regarding safety and formal announcements. In the event that you need assistance following a storm event, you can find the appropriate avenue on their website. In addition to a website, FEMA also has a mobile app where you can get real-time updates.

With the amount of information and tools available online, it’s much easier to plan and prepare for a storm than it ever was before. Check out the above websites periodically so you’re ready for potential disaster. If you end up needing our help, know that we’re here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

4 Ways to Protect Your Home from Storm Damage

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

Most storms that pass through Catawba County are mild, but it only takes one to cause massive damage!

Since storms have started to become a regular occurrence in the Hickory area, it’s a good time to take some preventative steps to mitigate potential disaster. In case you’re not sure where to start, below you’ll find 4 ways you can protect your home from storm damage!

  1. Remove dead or sick trees and branches from close proximity to your home. Storms can bring heavy winds, some of which can topple trees and branches. In some cases, this debris can knock holes into your roof or walls and expose your home to further damage.
  1. Clean out your gutters. Water damage can be a sudden and expensive problem, so it’s best to avoid it if possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure your gutters are clean and properly working so water can be directed away from your home. Gutters are your first line of defense!
  1. Address any drainage issues in your yard. Heavy rains can quickly become a problem for homeowners when the water doesn’t have anywhere to go. This water can flood homes or cause other problems, so it’s best to address these issues as soon as possible.
  1. Make sure all doors and windows are properly sealed. Winds can be very destructive to a home, but properly sealed doors and windows can help prevent winds from damaging your structure. This also helps prevent water from seeping in and creating a suitable environment for mold.

We endure storms without incident every year, but without routine maintenance and inspections, your home is at a greater risk of suffering from disaster. If you follow the above tips (you can find more tips here), you’re less likely to have storm damage to your home. But if you do have damage and you need help with cleanup and restoration, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West today!

5 Things to Do if Your Basement Floods

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Basements make a great place to store belongings and to hang out, but flooding can quickly turn it into a haven for mold growth and structural damage.

We’ve received many calls over the years from customers whose basements have suffered some kind of damage. But one of the most common issues basement-owners face is flooding. Whether it’s due to a burst pipe, a storm, or some other cause, flooding can be a major problem. If you own a basement and don’t know what to do if and when it floods, then this is post is for you.

  1. Turn off the power. Immediately turn off the gas and/or electricity because it’s never safe to enter a flooded room when your power is still active. If you are unable to turn off the power, do not enter the basement until somebody is able to do so.
  1. Identify the source. Once you identify the source of the flooding, it’s best to address it as quickly as possible. If a burst or leaky pipe is the problem, shut off your water immediately and call somebody to repair it. If it’s from rain or outside flooding, it may be best to wait until it stops before attempting to start cleanup. (Note: Please wear gloves and appropriate clothing when entering a flooded room. The water could quite possibly be contaminated and unsafe for contact.)
  1. Start removing the water. Assuming you’ve completed the first two steps, it’s time to start removing the water because the longer it sits, the more likely you will have mold and other damage. You may have already called a disaster restoration company (which we highly recommend to prevent the aforementioned problems), but you should still begin the extraction process. You can use buckets, a sump pump, a mop, etc., but the main point is to get the water out as quickly as possible.
  1. Begin drying out the basement. Once most of the water has been removed, you can focus on drying out the room. If there wasn’t much flooding, you might be inclined to do this yourself by placing several fans around the room, but be aware that if it’s not dried properly, you are leaving yourself open to mold and structural damage. If you’re not sure what to do, or if there was a lot of flooding, you will want to hire a disaster restoration company.
  1. Keep humidity low. You would ideally do this during the drying process as well, but it’s important that you use a dehumidifier or similar device to keep humidity at a relatively low level. Mold is one of the biggest problems that comes from water damage, but without much humidity, it is not very likely to grow. If you hired a restoration company, this should be taken care of for you.

Basements might seem like an easy target for flooding, but all is not lost if yours ever becomes a victim. If water fills your home or business, contact your local water cleanup company to help you through the process and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Flood Damage From Pools In Hickory After Bad Weather

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Floods, Storms, Overflowing Pools Mean Water Damage in the Hickory area, Contact SERVPRO for Help

Call SERVPRO for Storm-Related Water Damage to Your Property

There are undoubtedly many people who have above-ground pools they use throughout the warmer months in Hickory. While these can be an excellent entertainment for your entire family through their peak seasons, failing to maintain them in time for winter and colder air to set in can be catastrophic to your home nearby. When your pool sides buckle and break, your home is a possible target to this flooding.
 
Preventing this kind of flood damage to your Hickory home might be simple, but anyone living in the area knows that the first significant frost of the season can come with little warning. If you have not drained the pool in your yard before this happens, you are asking a lot of the structural integrity of pool walls. There is an added strain for those who have pools that are even the slightest bit uneven, as water naturally pushes on one side of the structure more than another.
 
Ultimately, many people find out the hard way that they have waited too long to winterize their pools for the coming colder season. When you have a floor of your home that gets overrun with over a thousand gallons of water, our SERVPRO professionals can help. While this might be a stressful time for you, our priority is mitigating your losses and restoring your home quickly. Our commitment to customer satisfaction is part of our policy to be available to you whenever you need us.
 
Removal of the water is paramount in these circumstances, and our truck-mounted pumps do a quick job of pulling the fluid from the floor. For more stubborn areas and more concise extraction, wet vacs get used throughout the affected area. Our SERVPRO professionals then dry up the remaining moisture and assess the damages regarding what explicitly requires further attention from our restoration specialists.
 
Whether your pool has decided to lose its contents through your yard and into your home, or you are dealing with some other manner of flooding, our emergency response team can help. Call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400.

Information regarding this town in NC click.

Predicting Flood Damage in Sweetwater Before a Hurricane

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Keep on top of warnings about storms in your area for safety reasons. If your property is in the path of a storm and gets damaged call SERVPRO.

SERVPRO Technicians are Ready and Equipped to Remediate Your Property After a Storm

Hurricanes and tropical storms rank among the worst natural disasters in the world, typically causing billions in damage and claiming many innocent lives whenever they make landfall. While preparing yourself and your home for flood damage in Sweetwater and evacuation is important, one must also take care not to leave too early, or when the storm is unlikely to hit. Determining when it is and is not safe to stay home can be difficult with unclear and inaccurate forecasts, but there are still some warning signs you should heed when a storm is impending. Knowing when and when not to expect flooding could save you a life and your home an unneeded call to SERVPRO.
 
Angle of Approach
 
While television depictions of hurricane paths can sometimes instantly conjure worries of flood damage to your Sweetwater home, it is important to keep in mind what direction the hurricane is approaching from. If the storm is coming from the south or southwest, it is likely to lose a significant amount of energy and rainfall potential while passing over other land areas. This typically corresponds to a lower risk of flooding. However, if it is coming directly from the Atlantic, it may not lose as much power and create a devastating impact on your home.
 
Hurricane "Arms"
 
Most hurricanes and cyclones have "arms" of particularly heavy rainfall. This means that while one-half of the hurricane may receive enormous amounts of precipitation, the other half may be relatively light by comparison. Be sure to watch weather radars and determine if the worst rainfall is likely to pass over you.
 
Evacuation Warnings
 
Paying attention to evacuation warnings is crucial for hurricane survival. While you are probably fine if no evacuation warning has been issued, some homeowners may want to move out of harm's way regardless. If there is a voluntary evacuation notice, this means that risk is high enough to recommend relocation, but not strong enough to start a scramble for inland areas. If a mandatory evacuation is issued, the only safe option is to get yourself and your family out of the area as quickly as possible.
 
SERVPRO of Catawba County West is ready after every major storm to help local homeowners rebuild and restore their houses. If your home has suffered storm and flood damage, give us a call at (828) 322-4400.

For more information about the City of Sweetwater, North Carolina visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweetwater_Township,_Clay_County,_North_Carolina

Flash Flooding in Brookford Jeopardizes Appliances and Your HVAC System

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Basement flooding can do a great deal of damage. Call SERVPRO for quick water removal and to make your basement safe again.

Fast Response From SERVPRO Technicians Gets Your Property Dry in Record Time

No homeowner honestly hopes to succeed in predicting when the skies open, and several inches of rainfall pours in torrents, flooding out basements or crawlspaces. Flash flooding happens with no warning and very little opportunity to protect your home or its vital contents. Fortunately, SERVPRO responds fast to help you recover from this natural disaster.
 
Weather patterns in recent years seem to feature more pop-up storms that dump massive amounts of water, resulting in flood damage to your Brookford home. The ground surrounding your house saturates with rain. Gutters and downspouts overflow, which sends water rushing into the area next to your house. Moisture seeps through the walls of your foundation as the ground holds more precipitation than it can absorb. Inches of water accumulate, necessitating a call to our reliable flood damage restoration company.
 
The mechanical systems that heat and cool your home and provide hot water are in harm’s way when your basement floods. A quick response from SERVPRO gives you the best chance to escape with minimal permanent damage to this essential equipment. It is paramount to have a professional evaluate whether the flooding interferes with the safe operation of your furnace, water heater, or central air conditioning. Our staff has the training and experience to make the call, sometimes in consultation with other HVAC contractors.
 
Often homeowners choose their lower level for laundry rooms and food storage set-ups like second refrigerators, freezers, and pantries for bulk purchases. Flooding in these areas causes concern beyond simple structural water damage. Wiring suffers damage from the water, and food stored requires careful evaluation as to safety. Extended periods of immersion compromise packaging and lack of refrigeration causes spoiling.
 
Engaging SERVPRO for immediate water removal and cleanup minimizes the fear you have of offering food and beverages to your family and friends that threaten to make them ill. Laundry routines are back on track, and your home’s climate returns to normal with only minor delays when our professionals take the steps necessary to restore function to the conveniences you rely upon for day to day stress-free living.
 
We at SERVPRO pride ourselves at being Faster to any Size Disaster. Our speedy response time means we pump and extract flood waters within hours of your call, and then put in place effective drying strategies that return your home’s structure, its contents, and its mechanical systems back to normal in record time.
 
The reaction time of SERVPRO of Catawba County West is swift, and our technicians train for every problem flooding brings. Call (828) 322-4400 for a cleanup crew who exceeds your expectations.

For more information regarding Brookford, click here

Tangible Benefits Of SERVPRO Mitigation Services In Mountainview

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

Perhaps the most significant benefit of SERVPRO mitigation services for Mountainview residents with flood damage is their effect on cost.

Advantages Of Mitigation Services

All SERVPRO locations nationwide pursue a strategy of mitigation, in which we arrive in as little time as possible to a job site. Our technicians arrive at your home within four hours of your call, an industry-leading time. Once there, they begin to set up various machines, evaluate the extent of damage, and attempt to locate its source (for clean water floods). There are multiple benefits to this strategy, and its successful implementation has allowed our franchise to blossom into the national presence it has today.

Costs
Perhaps the most significant benefit of SERVPRO mitigation services for Mountainview residents with flood damage is their effect on cost. We commonly have operating expenses and fees far lower than competitors, and central to this is our mitigation approach. When we arrive early and start services immediately, we can prevent some of the deepest and most severe damage from happening in the first place. These services are particularly notable for flood damage, where standing water has the potential to seep into foundations and wreak havoc on your home's structure. When we arrive within hours with proper water extraction and evaluation tools, these hardy damage sources are taken out of the picture completely.

Duration Of Services
The second major boon incurred through our mitigation services comes in the form of time spent on the job. Faster restorations are better for all parties involved, and mitigation helps speed up the process by days or even weeks. As aforementioned, our mitigation strategy is designed to eliminate some of the hardiest damage types, and these often require the most time and effort to remove. The more superficial the damage, the better, and you should be able to live in your home comfortably in no time.

SERVPRO of Catawba County West is a locally-owned restoration company with national resources and backing. Call us as soon as you find damage to your home at (828) 322-4400.

Preparing Your Home for a Flood in Fairgrove

3/13/2017 (Permalink)

It is imperative to take out Flood Insurance if you live in an area prone to flooding.

SERVPRO Technicians are Standing By to Help with Your Flooding Event


When your home sustains flood damage after natural disasters like floods and heavy storms, it is important that you address the situation as soon as you can with proper water damage restoration services from SERVPRO, so your home is restored to its condition preloss. When flood cleanup is not done in a reasonable time, mold sets in and causes unpleasant and disturbing odors and health problems. Every water damage restoration project is different and has its issues. However, the general idea for flood repair jobs to be successful is complete and thorough drying before any attempted rebuilding.
 
Mitigation Tips for Flood Damage
 
As a homeowner, you must be aware of how to protect your Fairgrove home during a flood to minimize flood damage. Depending on the flood risks for your area, there are different options you should consider, some of which are simple to implement and are not expensive, while others might need SERVPRO to come in and help you. Installing drainage systems, sealing low windows, elevating buildings or moving them away from flood plains, building flood walls and levees, are all things you can consider. While weighing your options, remember that some methods require building permits. Flood damage could be inevitable in some situations. However, you can mitigate and manage the effects of flooding by using protective measures.
 
Making Sure Electric Outlets and Switches are Above Projected Flood Waters
 
In your home, the level of the electric panel board is regulated by a building code and must be a minimum of one foot over a potential flood elevation for your area. If it is not, speak with a licensed electrician or licensed flood damage contractor so they can elevate all your outlets and wiring to the right height.
 
Is Your Sewage System Prepared?
 
Having a floating floor drain plug installed helps a flood damaged home when the drain pipe backs up. When flood water enters your sewage system and causes sewage to back up into your home, a back-flow valve needs to be installed. Check with flood damage contractors for any permit restrictions.
 
Flood Insurance
 
It is not enough to handle the above flood damage options if you live in an area prone to flooding. These options can minimize the damage to your home, but homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage cleanup and repair, so you need to buy a separate flood damage insurance coverage.
 
After experiencing a flood in your home, hopefully, you could take all precautions possible. However, at SERVPRO of Catawba County West, we understand that there is still some damage that you need help cleaning up and restoring. So, do not hesitate to give us a call at (828) 322-4400 whenever you find yourself in this situation.

Flood Damage To Your Sweetwater Cabinetry

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

When your home has been victim to flood damage for any reason, it can sustain damage that needs to be addressed right away, including your cabinetry.

Flood Damage To Cabinetry

Whether the cabinetry in your home is made of composite, plywood, or wood, and is at floor level, ceiling height or mid-wall level, flooding can cause severe damage. Total replacement of damaged cabinets can become quite costly, so having a flood damage remediation company, such as SERVPRO, come into your home to inspect the damage is the best thing to do.

When your home has been victim to flood damage for any reason, it can sustain damage that needs to be addressed right away, including your cabinetry. Your Sweetwater home is likely a huge investment for you as a whole, so protecting that investment by calling our professionals at SERVPRO as soon as possible is the best option.

The extent of the damage and the moisture content will need to be assessed to figure out if the cabinets can be saved by drying them in place. Many times, we can use one of our processes for quick drying and extraction to save your cabinetry from having to be replaced.

Injection Drying
This option is the least damaging and one that is not always seen. Dry air is pushed under and into the cabinets to dry them from the inside out. Drill holes for the injection tubes will be made. Later, the surface will be restained, repainted or replaced, depending upon the kind of cabinetry you have. This method is non-invasive and a big money saver.

Containing The Cabinets
This method involves tenting or containing your cabinets to make a very dry and warm environment for them, enabling them to release the trapped water inside them. With this method, we will closely monitor the drying process, so the cabinets will not dry out and begin warping.

Partial Replacement
When the insides of the cabinets, such as the shelving, is too damaged to salvage, we can support the countertops for lower cabinets, removing the expensive wood faces for resetting later, and demo the much less costly inside shelves for rebuilding later. In just about every case the shelving will warp and bloat faster than the faces, seeing as they are more porous and prone to standing water than the vertical pieces.

Our SERVPRO technicians will lastly monitor the moisture content to make sure that the drying has reached normal levels. Flood damage can harm many areas of your home, and cabinets can be one of the costliest if not attended to quickly. That is why at SERVPRO of Catawba County West, someone is on call 24/7 to handle your flooding emergency. Just give us a call at (828) 322-4400, and we will get a technician out to assess the damage as soon as possible.

What Water Damage to Expect After a Storm Flood

7/22/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Hickory from a Severe Storm or a Small Leak Can Be Restored by SERVPRO

SERVPRO Can Restore Your Water Damaged Property

Flood damage, while relatively uncommon, can be a costly and devastating disaster for any home. Floodwaters can stain and contaminate walls, floors, and lower levels, in addition to sweeping away or damaging furniture and bringing in objects and debris from the outside. In most cases, flood damage also comes with other types of damage, as there may be a raging storm or fires may start. Listed are some common types of secondary water damage that can result from a flood.
 
Staining and Destruction of Walls and Floors
Perhaps the most commonly repaired types of water damage to Hickory homes after a flood, are the lower two feet portions of walls and first-level flooring. Drywall, once saturated, is discarded. The floor damage may appear as warping or cupping to wood flooring, wet carpet and padding, and waterlogged baseboards and casings. Floodwaters are murky and filthy with lots of contaminated debris from mud and silt to branches, dead animals, and chemicals.  SERVPRO experts, IICRC certified in Applied Structural Drying (ASD), and Water Restoration Technicians (WRT) do their best to salvage materials and possessions, thus keeping expenses down while you still have irreplaceable possessions and heirlooms.
 
Mold Growth
A risky kind of damage that can result from a flood, mold growth can form in dark, hard-to-reach places and potentially cause health effects. Cleanup of mold growth requires specialized industrial equipment such as air scrubbers, HEPA filtration systems, and thermal foggers, and should never be done by a homeowner. Getting specialists in to stop mold growth early on is important in mitigating further damage.  Mold growth can quickly get out of hand and cause far more unnecessary damage to your home.
 
Broken Windows, Glass, and Valuables
During a flood, many breakable objects are lost, from mirrors to windows to tabletop lamps. These can scatter broken glass across an area, creating a danger and risk of infection. Floodwaters create excellent breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria, and a cut sustained from unsanitized objects has strong potential for infection. All floodwater, just like a sewer backup, should be treated as Black Water, a definite health hazard. Leaks from tap lines within the house present a far less danger of contamination and are easier and safer to dry up and cleanup.
 
Ruined Electronics and Small Fires
Some electronics, especially if they are running at the time of the flood, may come into contact with floodwaters and short circuit, potentially causing small fires and other damage. Often, these electronics can not be salvaged, although each item should be looked over and evaluated. We will not discard any material or possession with the permission of you, the homeowner, and your insurance adjuster.
 
SERVPRO of Catawba County West has seen many floods, fires, and other disasters in its time, and is equipped and prepared to deal with any residential or commercial damage in the local area. If you've recently experienced a flood or water damage in your home, please don't hesitate to contact us at (828) 322-4400 for 24/7 emergency service.