Recent Posts

Why Choosing the Right Restoration Company is So Important After a Disaster in Your Home

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Row of doors.  SERVPRO on the middle door and question marks on the other door options. Choosing the right door, for the right restoration company.

When the aftermath of a storm, fire or any other type of disaster strikes your life, it can be extremely devastating. It’s hard to know what to do and where to begin when trying to pick up the pieces. If there is significant damage to your home, the thought of the cleanup process can be overwhelming. You may find yourself frequently asking if you should do the cleanup yourself to save the cost of hiring a professional. How hard could it be? The cleanup and restoration process after a disaster is a huge job and defiantly not as simple as a DIY job. Many factors need to be considered and many hidden dangers that can get worse if not handled properly. Here are the reasons why it’s best to hire a professional restoration company after a disaster has struck your home.

Smoke and Fire Damage

On the surface, smoke damage doesn’t seem that bad. You may assume that you could probably use a household cleaner to get rid of any marks or stains. However, the danger of smoke damage isn’t necessarily about what you can see, but what you can’t see. Smoke particles are very fine and have a knack for settling into the small crack and crevices of your home. If not removed, the burnt smell can linger in your home for a long period of time, and in some cases permanently. These smoke particles can also irritate your lungs and cause health problems if not cleaned up properly.

Respiratory issues have been found to be associated with the improper treatment of smoke damage. Knowing which areas of your home have been damaged by smoke can very difficult. This is due to some smoke particles being microscopic which can be invisible to the naked eye. With every breath you take, you can be inhaling soot and smoke particles. The air can contain toxic elements that can severely damage your lungs. You may notice that you are coughing or wheezing for no particular reason.

Eye irritation can also be a result of smoke exposure. Fine smoke particles can cause you to have a burning sensation in your eyes. In some extreme cases, the eyes may even swell and it can affect your vision. Seek medical attention if this occurs.

Flood Damage

Flooding can cause extensive damage to your home. The water not only can saturate and destroy your home and its contents but also threaten it with secondary damages such as mold damage. Once the water has receded, you may assume that mopping up the water and placing some fans to dry the area is sufficient enough to keep damage at bay, but depending on the extent of the damage your home may need more than that.  A professional restoration company can accurately assess the damage and create the most efficient mitigation plan to turn your house into a home again. Quickly addressing water damage greatly reduces secondary damaged from occurring.

Water damage left unaddressed may cause mold damage which can occur in as little as 48 hours after water entered your home. Drywall and flooring are particularly susceptible to water damage due to their porous materials. A professional restoration company can make sure that all building materials in your home are cleaned thoroughly and efficiently to minimize the amount of your property need to be discarded or replaced.

Mold is silent and often rears its ugly head after flooding. If the moisture is not removed completely, mold can easily develop, multiply and infest your home. As it grows, it releases spores into the air that can be inhaled by the occupants of the house. These spores can cause serious health problems, especially for those who already have respiratory issues such as asthma. People with allergies, infants, children and the elderly are especially at risk of being harmed by the presence of mold. Every inch of the flooded area must be properly dried and sanitized so that mold is not allowed to prosper.

Safety

Whether you have experienced damage from fire, flood, broken pipe or another natural disaster, safety should always be the number one concern. If you have not had a professional assess the damage to your home, there could be a ticking time bomb just waiting to cause havoc in your home. It might be that your floor has been weakened during flooding and it could collapse. Not to mention the damaging effect on your health associated with mold or smoke exposure. After a storm, your roof may be left vulnerable and a quick repair might be all that you need to avoid extreme and costly damages. Having your home properly cleaned and restored by a professional will help keep you and your family safe.

The damaged by a natural disaster or a fire is upsetting and stressful enough. It can be hard to think of spending money on repairs and restoration when you think that you may be able to do it yourself. However, the money should be considered an investment. You are investing in the health and safety of yourself and your family, the structural integrity of your home and the contents within. If you have been affected by a disaster, call a SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley professional today to get your home quickly restored.

Tips For Fall Home Maintance.

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Squirrel popping its head out of a gutter on the side of a house. It's not only the leaves and nuts from the trees that end up in your gutters. Even a few furry friends visit from time to time.

Tips for Fall Home Maintenance

Fall shouldn’t be the only time you protect your home but fall is a good reminder to make sure your home is ready to combat the changing weather and potential dangers.

Check All Safety Devices

To ensure safety inside your home, take a moment and check all of your safety devices, making sure the batteries are new and working properly. For example, test all your smoke alarms inside your home. Also, make sure to replace used or expired fire extinguishers.

Fire up the Furnace

Turn your furnace on before the temperatures start to plummet so you can ensure it works. Contact a technician to inspect that it’s operating properly if you suspect it needs servicing. Keeping all flammable materials away from your furnace including clothing, paint products, toxic materials, and cardboard are a good way to minimize the dangers of a house fire.

Inspect the Insulation

Keep the cold air out by checking your insulation around your home in the fall.  Minimizing the cold drafts will allow your furnace to not overwork itself trying to heat your home and minimizing heating bills. 

Give the Heater Some Space

Heaters need space to vent and warm an area without warming things that they shouldn’t like clothing, bedding, drapery, and furniture.   These items should never be left near any type of heater.  Make sure that you read the instructions provided with your heater to ensure that the heater doesn’t require special venting. Remember to always shut them off when you leave the house and do not leave them unattended if you have children or pets.

Fire Safety

Before yourelight your fireplace after the warmer seasons, check your chimney to confirm it’s free of debris and has proper ventilation. Make sure the bricks, mortar, and liner are in good condition. Lastly, use a fireplace screen to keep the sparks from flying all over the place.

Preventing dryer fires by cleaning the filters after each load of wash and removing lint that collects in dryer vents. Just like burning candles, it is never advised to leave a load of laundry in the dryer unattended either.

De-clutter the Gutters

The falling leaves can leave you with quite a mess to clean by removing all debris and leaves from your gutters you can minimize the possibility of damage to your home due to overflowing gutters. If deciding to burn leaves and debris removed from your gutters, check your city’s regulations, as it may be illegal where you live.  If you burn them, do so away from the house and use proper containers.

Trim the Trees

As plants begin to die in the cold weather, make sure you remove any dead branches or decaying limbs on the trees of your property. When weighed down by ice and snow, or blowing in the wind, they can become hazardous and fall on your house or vehicle.

Fall is a time for fun and family. Put these tips into practice today to ensure a safe fall and winter season.

The Abominable Snow melt

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

close up of multiple snow flakes Up close Snowflake frozen to one another.

he Abominable Snowmelt

               The splendor of seasonal snowfall is a beautiful sight to see, but something sinister is sneaking behind those flakes…snowmelt. In West Virginia, dramatic temperature swings are a common occurrence. When periods of significant snowfall are amongst these weather patterns the risk of home and property damage from snow accumulation intensifies. Snow tends to accumulate in areas that are not often impacted by rainfall which can expose vulnerabilities in roofs, walls, and foundations. When repeated instances of freeze and thaw occur the opportunity for devastation increases dramatically. Here are a few tips that might protect your home from the abdominal snowmelt.

  • Remove snow from around your home: snow accumulation near your foundation, windows, and doors can leak into your home once it starts to melt. Remember to shovel any decks, driveways or patios that slope towards your home.
  • Check your roof and gutters: consider hiring a professional to remove the snow from your roof so that water run-off is at a minimum once temperatures rise. If that's not possible, be sure that your gutters are clear so that the water will have a path away from your home. If possible, attach a sloped leader to your downspout that leads run-off at least 10ft from your home.
  • Test your sump pump: if water does get into your basement, you want to be sure it is taken care of quickly. Before the snow starts to melt, test your sump pump and your sump pump discharge pipe to ensure it's in working order.
  • Clear snow from drainage areas: storm drains and catch basins can often get clogged with snow — if you can do so safely, clearing snow from these areas can help keep water away from your home.
  • Rearrange your storage: in case water does get into your basement, be sure to keep any valuables, chemicals, or anything else you'd like to keep dry off the floor.
  • Check your appliances: clear out space around your water heater, furnace, and other appliances. If possible, raising your washer and dryer off the floor could help protect from water damage.
  • Don't try to do too much: getting on ladders or your roof at any time of the year is a risky proposition, even more so when there is snow involved. Clearing snow and gutters is important in the prevention of water damage, but be sure to use a professional to handle any dangerous situations.

Just remember, if being attacked by the Abdominal Snowmelt this winter, the Heroes from SERVPRO North Kanawha and Teays Valley can save you and your home fast then you can say “Yukon Cornelius!”

Endless Summer

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Large bonfire beside a large lake. Large bonfire on the side of the lake.

The other day someone said, “This is beautiful weather for July 71st.” It was intended as a little joke but in reality it is a very serious condition that we find ourselves in. As we flip our calendars to October we are generally thinking about jackets and pumpkin spice but this year has been an exception. This has been an unusually warm and dry late Summer and with that comes an increased risk of fire. As the leaves begin to fall at a more feverish pace, with no rain or cool weather to subdue their volatility, the danger of a catastrophic loss goes up exponentially. With that in mind, there are few ways to keep your family and business more protected during this endless summer.

Do not burn trash, leaves or brush outdoors.

When weather conditions produce the extreme threat of damage to life and property, the state can issue a burning ban to help reduce this risk. If the extreme weather persist the State can also place the area under a state of emergency that places stricter guidelines for burning and water usage. Debris burning can spark wild fires, as well as the fires that are intentionally started. Fire's spread fast in these types of conditions. So please heed the warnings.   

Create a Safety Zone.

Maintain a 30-foot or greater safety zone around your home that is clear of brush, tall grass, and other flammable vegetation. Fire moves more quickly up steep hills so extend that fire safety zone if your home is situated on a steep slope.

Do not Park on Grass. 

Do not park vehicles and other motorized equipment on dry grass or near shrubbery. Exhaust systems can far exceed the 500 degrees it takes to start a summer brush fire. If you need to pull off to the side of the road during a road trip, stay on the paved shoulder or find a nearby parking lot or rest stop.

Following these tips can help reduce the risk of a fire but in these conditions there is no full proof plan. We hope you never need us, but if do, SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley has the manpower, experience and resources to make it like it never even happened.

Were Not In Kansas Anymore!

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Tornado with a snapped tree Large tornado after it has destroyed a tree.

When people think of areas that are prone to tornado's, the Appalachia is not the first place that may come to mind. The hills and mountains in our region generally protect us from the risk of these types of strong storms. The reason tornadoes are not as frequent, has to do with the fact that we have cooler, more stable air (which is not favorable for severe weather development) which is generally found at higher elevations. On June 24, 2019 the shocking reality of our vulnerability to these storms was exposed. Survey teams with the National Weather Service said the storm that moved through Kanawha County was an EF1 tornado that traveled for 11 miles leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

Tornadoes often strike with little or no warning. In areas that are not expecting them the warnings may not even be heeded. Just minutes before the storm in June fire departments sounded their area wide sirens. Many people were not aware of why the alarm had been raised, and in the following minutes havoc was reaped. Giant trees that have stood for hundreds of years we uprooted and tossed around like matchsticks. People who had lived in the area for their entire life were now witness to damage like they had never seen, even a few unfortunate victims suffered trees falling on their houses. Full-grown oaks trees can weigh as much as 50 tons and cause a tremendous amount of damage when they land on a roof. The physical damage that is caused by a tree fall is multiplied by the water damage that can ensue. 

If you become one of these unfortunate individuals whose home is impacted by extreme weather such as tornado's or other unexpected storms, SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley are ready to descend on your property to mitigate these damages. The sooner help arrives the better chance you may have at reducing the chances of secondary damage. Calling SERVPRO at 304-755-9510 can be like clicking your heals and waking up from the nightmare.

Making it "Like it never even happened."

2019 Day of Caring

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Front of KISRA Building with building sign and United Way sign Day of Caring 2019 United Way Day of Caring. The SERVPRO team partnered with the United Way to assist KISRA at their office.

For the last several years, SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley and SERVPRO of Teays Valley has partnered with United Way in helping local non-profit organizations.  This Day of Caring helps in five separate counties around West Virginia and is one of the largest one-day volunteer events in the region.  Every year we are re-energized with the feeling of community and serving others as we volunteer and work within our abilities to help these organizations with up keep to their building. 

This year we were able to assist KISRA. KISRA programs offer areas of HEAL: Health, Employment, Asset Development, and Learning.  KISRA wants to work towards healing and strengthening families.  We were assigned with such tasks such as up keep to flower beds, painting, pressure washing and carpet cleaning.  When the day was done we were able to see how much they appreciated the hard work.   What a great feeling to give back to KISRA who give every day to help those whether less fortunate or just need extra help getting back on their feet. 

Per the United Way website The Day of Caring (https://www.unitedwaycwv.org/day-caring):

  • Promotes the spirit & value of volunteerism
  • Demonstrates the power & impact of United Way’s mission
  • Generates positive community relationships
  • Helps to develop contacts between volunteers, agencies & workplaces
  • Gives each of us an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work together to make a difference

We at SERVPRO couldn’t agree more with these ideas.  We are daily striving to help achieve success by giving to our customers to make sure their home or business is restored to preloss conditions.  We strive to give, whether it is by volunteer efforts or just in your everyday interactions with others.  Albert Einstein said “Only a life lived for others in worth living”.  What a great reminder for each of us.  Be on the look out to serve or volunteer today.  It will be a decision you won’t regret.  Please check out both the United Way of Central WV and KISRA's  website to see the programs they offer.  There just might be an opportunity for you to either refer someone you know or to volunteer yourself. 

https://www.unitedwaycwv.org/

https://www.kisra.org/

How to be Ready

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Green folder laying on desk labelled Emergency Ready Plan Emergency Ready Plan folder

Catastrophic weather is nothing out of the ordinary anymore for us.  Recently the United States have been affected by many different types of disasters.  Flooding, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards threaten homes, businesses, and communities.  Statistically as many as 50% of businesses may not recover following a disaster, this is according to recent industry research.  The businesses that do survive a disaster the majority of these businesses were prepared and had a preparedness plan in place.

Pre-planning can serve as an additional insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.  By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire can affect your business!

Preparation is an important component in making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or flooding as we have recently experienced in Charleston, Sissionville, Saint Albans, and Cross Lanes, WV.  The best time for planning for such events is not when the disaster happens, but well before it happens it happens.  Contact your local SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley Professionals to establish your Emergency Ready Program.

Emergency Ready Program

 

·   A no cost assessment of your facility.

(This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.)

·   Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

(Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”)

·   A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.

(It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects, but it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

·   A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

(This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.)

·   Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

           (This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.)

P.A.S.S.

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Independence Day is here. That comes with the chances of fire hazards, accidents, and injuries resulting from putting those fires out.

Ask yourself these questions and check the following to ensure that you and your fire extinguisher are ready, in case something happens to goes wrong.

When is the last time you checked your fire extinguisher?

How old is it? You will find an expiration date at the bottom of the label. If it is more than ten years old, it should be replaced. The pressure could be gone or it simply could not work.

Check the gauge to be sure it is pointing to the green area on the gauge.

Does it have a UL listing on the label to verify that it is certified and ready to go?

After you have verified that your fire extinguisher is in working order make sure you know the location of your extinguisher in the home. Familiarize yourself with how to operate it as well.

To help you to remember, you can use the acronym P.A.S.S.

  • P-Pull Pin
  • A-Aim at the base of the fire
  • S-Squeeze trigger
  • S-Sweep from side to side

If there is more than one person in the home, have one call 911 and the other use the extinguisher.  A fire can quickly become unmanageable, it is important that you leave the house as soon as possible. 

TIP: Never add water to put out a grease fire. It could cause an explosion or make the fire even bigger. Try to smother with a lid, pizza pan or cookie sheet. Do not try to remove the pan from the stove. Turn the heat off and smother.

CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE BUT ABOVE ALL STAY SAFE.

Blog with a Twist

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Power company truck and worker repairing power lines after tornado on rural road EF1 Tornado that impacted the Kanawha Valley on Monday June 24, 2019.

On the evening of June 24th, a tornado touched down in Kanawha County, West Virginia. With the tornado came damaging winds and destruction to the affected areas. Thousands are still without power, including hundreds of business owners. Being prepared for a devastating storm like this one is key for a business owner. As someone in charge of not only the structure itself but all of the lives within the structure, a tornado warning should not be taken lightly.

You must know the warning signs of a tornado so that you can be sure you and your employees know what to expect, and how to best prepare. A tornado is a narrow and violently rotating cloud that is only easily visible if it has formed a condensation funnel. Debris and dust will swirl around under the cloud base. If a tornado warning has been issued in your area, you may hear a loud roar that does not fade as thunder would.

If you see the warning signs common with a tornado and a tornado warning has been issued, take heed to the warning and find shelter immediately. Get to the lowest level of the structure and find an interior room. Stay in the center of the room and stay away from doors, windows, and walls.

After a tornado affects the area your business is in, you may have to make your employees aware of hazards brought on by the storm. Be aware of any gas leaks, structural damage, or electrical dangers. Be sure that your employees know not to touch down power lines under any circumstances. Leave the electrical work to the professionals. Be careful around any sharp objects and use precaution when operating generators.

The best way to make sure your employees know how to react when a tornado touches down near you is to make and stick to an emergency plan. In addition to your Emergency Readiness Profile, create a step by step preparedness plan that goes over different scenarios and storm situations.

Here are a couple of great resources to refer to when preparing yourself and your business for a tornado disaster:

Click HERE for an article that discusses how to create a tornado preparedness plan for your business. 

Click HERE for helpful tips from the American Red Cross on tornado safety. 

DON'T WAIT!

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Residential fire in Kanawha County.

A house fire can be one of the most challenging things to have to process.  No matter how big or small the fire damage may be, it is overwhelming.  It is important to contact a professional to handle your fire damage.  It is always our goal to try and save your belongings verses have to have them all replaced causing a tremendous amount of stress and cost.  There a number of things that can help minimize the stress, as well as the cost during the process of returning your home back to preloss conditions.  SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley are here to help with a few helpful tips.

Saving Fire Damaged Possessions

Fire damaged property that may look like it needs to be replaced may actually be recoverable. SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley can save many of your heirlooms. But act quickly. Prompt fire cleanup and restoration are important because the items found in your home—heirlooms, photos, collectibles, furniture, carpet, walls, drapes, and even ceilings—can absorb smoke. If too much time lapses between when the fire damage initially occurs and when fire cleanup occurs, the effects of smoke damage can last for months.

Time Can Cost You Many Possessions

The more time between the fire and restoration the more costs you incur and the fewer items you can restore. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to save clothing, leather, books, photographs, kitchen items, furniture, and more.

Restored To Pre-Loss Condition

SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley cleans and deodorizes restorable items, sometimes to preloss condition. So don’t throw anything out until you’re certain it must be replaced. By saving your property and you save money. Now that’s a win/win!

Call SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley to discuss how we can help to get you back into your home as quickly as possible. Locally owned and operated in Nitro, WV we are able to help you with all of your Fire and Water restoration needs.  Whether you are in centrally in the Kanawha and Putnam county areas or in the neighboring counties.  We are here to help.  Call today 304-755-9510.