Recent Posts

Water Water Everywhere

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Basement storage area with water all over floor Flooded Basement

Water leaks within a home or business can seep into carpet, flooring, baseboards, and walls while moving throughout the structure.  SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley/ Teays Valley Franchise Professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for a family. Water leaks in a business can not only disrupt the facility, but also can interrupt day to day business functions, which could possibly close the business and affect revenues. 

Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process.  Quick response time helps ensure that damage is contained and the restoration process begins promptly. This saves on the amount of damage, cost of claims, and assists in reducing losses from business interruption due to a loss.  Timely and proper water mitigation will also help keep mold from developing which could cause people to experience health effects!  SERVPRO Professionals will be able to identify water regardless of where it hides. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals cover the Charleston, WV, and surrounding areas.  We offer 24-hour emergency response from our trained professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened."

            Leak Prevention Tips

  •   Check roof for deterioration.  
  •   Check gutters and downspouts.
  •   Check basements and crawl spaces for moisture.
  •   Check appliances in kitchens, break rooms, and cafeterias.
  •   Check sinks and toilets in bathrooms.
  •   Check HVAC for leaks and blockages. 

Good- Fast- Cheap: Pick Two

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Man wearing hard hat with drill cord wrapped around him Construction Worker Struggling

“Good, fast, cheap…Pick two,” is an old phrase that my uncle taught me when I was young lad coming up in contracting sales. This phrase infers that there are three essential aspects to any construction project that the buyer must be aware of. Those aspects are quality, time, and cost. So, if you have a contactor who does good work and gets it done quickly then they likely will not be cheap. You can get work that is fast and cheap, but you will not get good quality…and so on. After working around construction for 20 years now I have found this old saying to pass the test of time.

Last month when visiting a home that had a water line break inside of an upstairs wall one year ago, the insurance company approved the claim and handed the homeowner a check to mitigate and repair the damages. After calling around and getting some estimates the owners hired a mitigation company from out of town who had a significantly lower bid. A couple of days into the job that contractor mentioned that they were having trouble getting some of the areas dried up and that it was, “pretty good and everything should be ok.” Fast forward to 9 months later and the moisture that was left in the walls had resulted in devastating mold growth throughout their entire basement. The cost of remediating that mold ended up being well over the savings that they had gained from the discount contractor.

SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley has been in business for over 30 years now and knows how to get the job done right. We adhere to all IICRC standards and stand behind our work so you know that when we leave you can rest easy that a horror story like this will not happen to you. The prices we charge are directly in line with industry and insurance standards. The time we take is exactly how long it takes to get the job done right. The quality of our work is the best that science allows. So, forget good, fast, cheap. At SERVPRO we offer great work, on time and on budget.

October is Fire Safety Month

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Red Cross Sound the Alarm logo Red Cross Sound the Alarm

October is Fire Safety Month

According to the American Red Cross, there are 7 things you can do to help prepare your home for a fire.

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/home-fire-preparedness.html

1 - Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year. Purchase smoke alarms here.        

2 - Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one. 

3 - Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.

4 - Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.

5 - Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.

6 - Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

7 - Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire. 

We could not agree more with these tips and is glad the American Red Cross has a great program call Sound the alarm where they help; install free smoke alarms, share safety information, and fundraise to help families. 

If you or your companies are looking for a cause that you can be involved in and know that directly saves lives, I would suggest this one.  Join us as we "Sound The Alarm" with the American Red Cross. 

https://www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm.html

Golfing FORE a Great Cause

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Golf Team standing in front of golf cart SERVPRO sponsored Golf Team

On September 11th, 2020 Hospice care of West Virginia held their 10th annual golf outing at Edgewood golf course in Sissonville. For those who don’t know, Hospice Care is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient's pain and symptoms and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering. We here at SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley could not have been more ecstatic to have been involved.

As a sponsor of the event we were able to set up a tent on the 10th hole to meet and greet the golfers as they teed off on the back 9.  Business leaders from across the state turned out on a beautiful late summer day to participate in the event. The 10th hole was a particularly exciting hole as it contained a special sponsorship of its own. This slightly elevated, 165 yard, par 3 offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who could accomplish a hole in one. There were judges at the hole to confirm authenticity and we were honored to serve as judges at the tee box. Unfortunately no one was able to accomplish this feat, although a hold in one did occur on hole 4 that day.

As an added bonus this year, SERVPRO entered a foursome of our own into the competition. John Gaines and Matt Paxton of the North Kanawha and Teays Valley franchise participated with a couple of great guys from the local insurance community. After a hard fought match the group ended the round at 1 under par. Unfortunately they were slightly bested by the team from Snodgrass Funeral home who ended the day at 19 under. Perhaps our group could have used a few mulligans, and remember, if you or anyone you know could use a “do over,” be sure to contact that experts at SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley…”Like it never even happened.”

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

sign stating "Life is not about waiting for storm to pass, but find joy in the rain," laying in floor of flooded building Sign found in a flooded building during the 2016 West Virginia Floods.

No, this has nothing to do with the famous Five Man Electric Band song from the 70’s. We are not about protesting anything today. SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley is all about protecting you from dangerous weather situations. Did you know that the National Weather Service has come up with a multitude of symbols/signs that give us advanced warning us dangerous weather related events?

Take a closer look at the NWS website to discover all the early warning symbols/signs at https://www.weather.gov/safety/.

Since the start of the spring flood season in West Virginia is coming upon us next month we thought we would concentrate this blog on flood safety. We will cover the cleanup and restoration of flooded structures another day. Today we want to concentrate on the preparedness part of flooding because we know from years of experience that being prepared ahead of time will make recovery easier and less costly.

In 2016 the devastating West Virginia floods took over 20 lives and cost millions of dollars in damage. We know that not all of the deaths were avoidable, but some of the folks that perished could possibly be alive today if they had heeded the warnings that were issued. Some waited too late to evacuate, some tried to cross roadways that were covered with water, and some just thought it couldn’t happen to them since a rain event had not happened like this in over 100 years.

In its flood safety section https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood the NWS gives us some great information to help prevent disasters like the ones we saw in 2016. The WRN program has proven to be a life saver.

Please have a preparedness plan in place and follow it should flooding ever happen near you.

As always SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley is here for you if your Charleston, WV home or business ever sustains flood damage.

Roof damage is bad but can be worse if not repaired

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Roof with tree that has fallen onto it storm made tree crash into roof of home causing damage

In any type of weather there are lots of different issues that could cause damage to your home; Roof damage is one of those. Damage due to storms is the most typical, but there are several things that COULD cause the damage to your roof some being more visible than others.

It is always good practice to have your roof inspected every 10-12 years, unless there has been a specific issue that may have caused a reason to check it sooner such as a severe storm, hail, or some other sort of natural disaster. Unfortunately, when your roof becomes damaged it can lead to bigger issues that may ultimately cause water damage to the interior of your home.

Here we mention a few things to look for when you are inspecting your roof:

  • Loose or missing shingles: this could be caused by high winds, improper installation, or simply wearing out over exposure to the elements through the years. Loose nails can also leave a hole in the shingle that water can find its way through as well.
  • Poor installation of the flashing. "Flashing" is the metal that is placed in the sections where the roof meets the walls, or in the valleys. This must be installed properly to divert water from the roof.
  • Gutters that are not placed with the right pitch, or that have seems that are not sealed properly can also cause water to back up and then overflow into the house causing water damage to ceilings and/or walls. Not having gutter guards to keep leaves and debris from collecting in the gutters can cause overflow of water that can result in damage to your roof and other areas of your home as well.
  • Rotted fascia or soffit can also be an area that allows water to intrude. 

If you suspect that you may have roof damage causing water damage to your home please feel free to contact us at 304-755-9510 and we will be happy to assist you. SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley can also supply emergency tarping and board up if the need may arise. 

 SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley will be there for all of your home repairs or accidents. 

Fire Damage to Your Rental Home

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Looking into a fire damaged home through a burnt window. Home fires happen when we least expect them, make sure that you have home/renters insurance to protect your personal belongings.

Renting a single family home, apartment or condo may be the way that you personally choose your housing.  There are many perks that people really like about renting.  The biggest perk is that you are not typically responsible for the major incidents that may occur within those four walls like an electrical fire, busted frozen water pipe, roof leak, or even when that 15 year old furnace decides it has served its purpose.  While those are great perks, you still have the responsibility of your own personal property that may become damaged due to a number of issues that may arise while living in a home you personally do not own.  Many renters mistakenly assume that their landlord's homeowner's policy will cover them if disaster strikes.  I too felt that way at one point, until I ended up on the restoration side of the disaster.  I thought, well if the homeowner/condo owner neglected issues like water pipes, electrical and even the roof.  There is no way that their insurance wouldn't cover my personal property.  How in the world could I be responsible for something I had nothing to do with?  This was my personal theory until I began doing the work I do now.  

I truly didn’t have a full understanding of how important that renters insurance was until I was working an apartment complex fire.  The flames were contained to the one apartment, but that wasn't the biggest issue.  It was the smoke and soot that affected nearly 20 apartments throughout 7 floors.  The smoke and soot got into apartments on the other side of the building.  Here's the thing, one smoke particle is half the size of bacteria, 1/8 the size of a red blood cell neither one of those are visible to the naked eye.  Smoke and soot will find little pathways to follow holes around plumbing, and also find its way to your second floor or cooler parts of the home.  So essentially we had to pretest every apartment within that building.  A good majority of the condo renters didn't understand how they were going to have to pay for the smoke and soot cleanup within their apartments when it was a single condo that was the source of the smoke and soot.  

Unfortunately, that was the case for quite a few people within that complex.  They ended up having to attempt to clean their contents themselves, even when the owners of that condo were able to have their structure cleaned professionally.  The cleaning of smoke and soot can be very tedious and time consuming even for professionals like SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley.  Our technicians are trained and certified to identify and remediate smoke and soot properly.    

There are four types of soot: 

  • Dry smoke residue: Powdery, dry small and non-smearing particles resulting from fires that burn quickly at a high heat
  • Wet Smoke residue: Smearing, sticky and strong-smelling particles caused by fires that smolder at low temperatures, resulting in smoke webs that may be challenging to remove.
  • Fuel oil soot: Dispersed by puff backs from furnaces
  • Protein Residue: Very strong-smelling, but practically invisible residue that can ruin the color of varnish or paint. 

Renters insurance is typically covered for a small monthly premium, the average renter’s policy has a $20,000 - $25,000 worth of coverage for your contents.  There are even rider policies (Which is coverage for things that may be worth more than the per-item limit on your renter’s insurance policy).  The value of your personal contents can add up quickly.  The most important aspect of renters insurance is deciding whether to purchase replacement value or actual cost value coverage.  While renters insurance is important for smoke and soot, it also covers many other things.

  • Fire, lighting
  • Windstorm, hail
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicle (As long as it's not your own because you fell asleep in the driveway.)
  • Damage from smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption (Hopefully not needed in the Kanawha and Putnam counties)
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, sleet
  • Damage from steam- heating/water-heating appliances/systems
  • Leakage or overflow from water or steam
  •  Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning
  •  Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances.

Bottom line renters insurance is essential and relatively inexpensive so call your friendly insurance agent and get a quote.

Rain.... Hail.... Winds.... Oh My!

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

storm tearing through a town Seasonal storms can be unpredictable at times, stay prepared by creating a storm safety plan.

The Kanawha and Putnam counties are no strangers to ravishing storms.  Rain, Hail, High winds all a recipe for disaster for many homeowners.  Preparation for our moody mother nature is key to help protect your home.  While you can’t control the weather, there’s still a lot you can do to protect your home and your family. Additionally, most of what we’ll discuss in this blog will also help protect your neighbors’ homes and property!

SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley has a list of the basic outside upkeep on your home, which may help prevent or minimize the damage done to your home during a storm in West Virginia. 

  • Check for missing or damaged shingles, then get them replaced

When shingles are damaged, they are more likely to break free.  If the shingles are missing this will cause a gap and allow for wind to get under the shingles causing more damage.

  • Repair loose siding

The same rule as roofing applies to your siding as well.  Ensure that the siding is not damaged or pulled loose, allowing for wind to damage the remainder of the siding.

  • Keep your gutters clear

Ensure that your gutters are free-flowing and your downspouts are in a direction that will allow the water to flow away from the foundation.  If the water is not directed from the foundation, the water can cause water damage to the home and flooding.

  • Adjust the flow of runoff water coming toward your house.

The best way to combat runoff water coming near or inside of your home is to dig a ditch or drain to divert the water that is intruding on your home.

  • Keep your sump pump, pumping.

Checking your sump pump should be done on a pretty regular basis.  It is far too often that we get a call for sump pump failure.  Purchasing a secondary pump is additional reassurance that you can minimize basement or crawlspace damage during a storm if your primary sump pump stops working.

  • Trim your tree’s frequently

Keeping your tree’s trimmed regularly helps keep the risk of having damage done to your home's roof, siding, and windows.

  • Take a quick walk around your property.

This is primarily to clean up around your home of anything that could be potentially become projectiles.  Things like lawn furniture, tools, flower pots, trash cans, anything that can be lifted off of the ground

  • Purchase a generator

Larger storms can cause serious outages leaving you without power anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.  The generator can be used so that you minimize the loss of food, keeping medications cold, there are a number of things that make it a good idea to have a generator.

Keep in mind that your home and the things inside of your home are replaceable.  Your family is not.  Creating a storm safety plan is essential and should be regularly reviewed and practiced with your family.  If you believe that your home may have still obtained damage during the storm, contact SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley to have your property assessed for storm damage.

More to us than what you think...

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Triangles with storm, fire, and water in them Storms can strike at any time, trust that SERVPRO will be available 24/7/365 to help you in your time of need.

You may know us as the Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration Company. But did you know that there are over 20 services that we can provide to a home or business owner? Our team at SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley is always ready to help you at a moment’s notice 24/7/365.  A few of the other services that we provide include…

  • Mold Mitigation
  • Document Restoration
  • Duct Cleaning
  • Deodorization                  
  • Reconstruction
  • Vandalism Cleanup
  • Forensic Remediation
  • Storm Response
  • Tarping and Board ups 

Our team here at SERVPRO® of North Kanawha & Teays Valley can help you with whatever disaster that you may have. We have been in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas for nearly 30 years, locally owned and operated, and ready to serve you.

Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, property manager, or first responder we are here for you. There is no disaster that is too large or too small that we can't handle. From our trained and uniformed crews to our professional restoration consultants, and our SERVPRO® Ready App that is in the palm of your hand, the cleanup team at SERVPRO® of North Kanawha & Teays Valley is here to help make your disaster, “Like it never even happened." For more information on how we can help you be prepared or for a consultation please call us at 304-755-9510.

Commercial Buildings are Not Large Houses!

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

A table with many different hats on it symbolizing the many hats that our staff at SERVPRO wear. No matter the hat we are all under the same roof, working together to ensure great quality work for you.

Your local SERVPRO® franchise has 3 Commercial Drying Specialists on staff and this is one of the first things that our techs learn while attending the Institute Of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) class.

Drying and restoring commercial properties can be very complex and pose a multitude of situations not typically found in residential properties. Some of the differences between commercial and residential properties are obvious, such as size and use but others may not be as obvious as intricacies in HVAC systems, and complex electrical systems.

Other differences in commercial and residential structures that may concern a restorer would be things like public access, multiple stakeholders, construction materials & building codes, as well as the potential for increased safety issues in a commercial property.

Our certified Commercial Drying Specialists know the differences between commercial and residential properties and can “change hats” instantly when going from one to the other with very little effort. This ability to understand and adapt to these differences is one of the many things that help our restorers stand out in the restoration industry. It is also the reason that the majority of municipalities, utility companies, property management firms, healthcare facilities, and school systems in the area trust SERVPRO® Of North Kanawha and Teays Valley for all their restoration and cleaning needs.

SERVPRO® of North Kanawha and Teays Valley is also on the cutting edge of document drying science and have the ability to dry, clean, sanitize, digitize and restore documents once deemed unsalvageable a few years ago. This can save a business thousands of dollars and major headaches if these documents are irreplaceable. 

Another advantage SERVPRO® of North Kanawha and Teays Valley has over other restoration companies is although our local franchise can produce most commercial jobs on our own, if we get a job that is beyond our local capabilities, we can have our Corporate Large Loss Division assist us with staff and equipment to handle any size disaster.

Knowing the differences between residential and commercial properties is very important in our industry and if a restorer does not understand those differences, it could lead to catastrophic results from safety issues or much higher cost of a commercial project than is necessary. Trust your business to the Pro’s in the know, SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley. We are standing by 24/7/365 for ALL your restoration and cleaning needs.