Recent Posts

What do you have to lose?

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Black phone with Emergency Ready App information SERVPRO Emergency Ready App

Managing a commercial building can be headache, but if you’re unprepared, it could quickly become a migraine. Do your employees know what to do in the event of a fire, flood or leak? Time lost can be big money lost when an otherwise small problem goes unattended. That’s why it is absolutely essential to have an E.R.P., or Emergency Ready Plan. Fortunately, SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley are here to help.              

Did you know that SERVPRO offers a FREE service where we will come to your business, do an inspection, and create a personal, customized, ERP? First, we measure your building and draw a diagram with important information like emergency exits, gas, water and electricity shut offs. We even include pictures of these locations as well as installing a high visibility tag so that your staff can see right where it is. Next, we gather important information such as emergency contacts, utilities and first responder phone numbers and addresses. Lastly, we neatly package all this information into custom app for your smart devise so that you and your staff can quickly access it in your time of crisis. Need us to respond right away? Simple, just press the button that says contact SERVPRO and we will be immediately dispatched to your location, already knowing the details of your building and layout of the area. It is that simple, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

So, the only real question is, what do you have to lose? The only answer to that question is, everything your company owns. SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley has been offering this service for years and have completed hundreds of ERPs in the area. Contact us today and see for yourself how we make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Tis the Season

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas tree with fireplace behind Christmas tree with fireplace behind

Tis the Season

It’s that time of year again. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, but I sure hope that your Christmas tree isn’t over there. Did you know that one in four Christmas fires are caused by electrical problems, and another one in four is caused by a heat source too close to the tree? The National Fire Protection Association states that although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. With that in mind let’s take a moment to review some tips regarding your tree to make sure that your holidays stay merry and bright.

Picking the tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

 Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed

Some of these items may seem like common sense but a little bit of complacency mixed with the right amount of Grandpa’s eggnog and Santa might just show up to your house already looking like a lump of coal. So, this Holiday Season don’t be a Grinch. If you need help cleaning up after a fire, SERVPRO will be there in a cinch.

Commercial COVID Cleaning

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee using ultra mist fogger to disinfect SERVPRO Employee using ultra mist fogger to disinfect

As if the struggles of operating a business or commercial space were not significant enough already, COVID-19 has taken these difficulties to another level. Short staffed, stressed and suspicious are no ways to be productive in the workplace. Sick and quarantined employees take a toll on each of our processes. The stress of masks, homeschooling and worry over our loved one’s safety distract us from our day to day duties. To make matters worse we must constantly be suspicious of the virus’ presence. Fear not, SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley are here to help.

When Coronavirus first showed up in America, SERVPRO was one of the first on the scene. Featured in most national news outlets, we went in to disinfect after an outbreak in a Washington state nursing home. SERVPRO was already prepared from decades of biohazard cleanup and had the tools and experience to get the job done. Since then our franchises across the county have led the fight by running to the fire and cleaning businesses who have had positive infections and suspected in cases.

Here in West Virginia it has been no different. We used EPA approved processes and products to get your team back to work safer and faster. Having now disinfected over 1 million square feet of commercial space we are the COVID cleaning experts in the area. So if your business becomes exposed with this terrible virus, rest assured that SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley has the skills, products and experience to disinfect your workplace.

The Pipes are Calling

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen water pipe leaking Frozen water pipe leaking

Now that this extended summer has seemingly loosened its grip, it is time to start preparing ourselves for colder temperatures. With the changing of the seasons, and winter approaching, a whole new list of home maintenance tasks fills our “To Do” lists. Ensuring that our homes are properly insulated is not only important for keeping energy costs down but it is a necessity for protecting our property from damage due to frozen and burst water lines.

Easily neglected and taken for granted are the pipes that supply our home with fresh running water. These pipes are often made of soft copper or PVC and are extremely vulnerable to freezing conditions. If any of your pipes are ran through a crawl space or attic they might be at an especially high risk of freezing due to a lack of insolation and by not being enclosed in climate a controlled space. An easy way to protect these pipes is by applying special pipe insulation directly to the exposed areas.

Aside from the inconvenience of running water that can be caused by frozen pipes, an even greater risk of damage exists when these pipes freeze and then burst. When water freezes inside the pipe it causes pressure to build between the blockage and closed faucet. This pressure can build so much that the line will actually rupture. A crack as small as 1/8th inch can cause up to 250 gallons of water to flood your home in as little as 24 hours.

Mother Nature has a knack for attacking us where we are the most vulnerable and unsuspecting. If she happens to stick you with a sucker-punch, just know that SERVPRO of North Kanawha and Teays Valley is there to help at any time in any season.

Fall Home Maintenance

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Gutter full of leaves being cleaned out Gutter cleaning

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 you relight 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.

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.