SERVPRO is Available Around the Clock to Help you Restore Your Home After a Fire.
Most homeowners in Rock Hill & York County know that restoring their home after a fire takes time. The flames, smoke, and extinguishing agents left behind by the fire and first responders can leave your home in disarray. Do not let the mess intimidate you; instead, call a company certified to handle these situations.
Only a professional group can help mitigate your loss as it helps you salvage, remove, and restore your home and your personal belongings.
For our Rock Hill & York County neighbors, fire damage restoration is a phone call away. Our SERVPRO team is available around the clock because we recognize that emergencies happen day and night. Our Green Fleet is ready to spring into action, assess the incident's impact, and create an action plan for your home. Our goal is to erase this disruption from your life by doing a conscientious and thorough job of restoring your home.
How do I decide what to keep and what to toss after a fire?
Looking at the soot sitting on your furniture, books, and decor may leave a hopeless feeling in your heart, but don't jump to conclusions until you consult our SERVPRO experts. At its fingertips, our team has different options to restore documents, electronics, and flooring, among others. Fires also leave behind an acrid smell, which our team can address as well. At the core of our restoration process, we focus on the following-
Use of chemical agents to loosen soot and dirt while protecting the surface itself. Once the process of emulsion occurs, removing debris becomes easier.
Use deodorizing agents to neutralize and kill any smell molecules lingering in your home, including those that traveled through your ventilation system.
Use of extraction equipment to remove any remaining water used to extinguish the fire.
Our team at SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County is looking out for you when you need it the most. Call us at (803) 324-5780 when disaster strikes and let us leave your home, "Like it never even happened."
Training of our SERVPRO Technicians
At SERVPRO, we take pride in sending highly trained technicians to service our York County locations. Each of our technicians is IICRC Certified and is required to maintain that certification. Our technicians are trained to look for damages that may not be visible to the naked eye and utilize state-of-the-art equipment to locate damages.
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County requires our employees to undergo initial and ongoing continuing education. Our training program includes the following:
- IICRC Training
- Employee Certification Training
- Initial Franchise Training
- Continuing Education Classes
IICRC Training and Certification
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.
Employee Certification Training
The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after the successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:
- Crew Training
- Fire Restoration
- Water Restoration
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Initial Franchise Training
A 15-day hands-on course at the SERVPRO Corporate Training Facility is the foundation of the SERVPRO training program. This course is primarily for new Franchise owners and covers many restoration topics:
- Fire Restoration
- Water Restoration
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
- Mold Mitigation
Ongoing education and e-learnings are provided through web-based training. This voluntary program is designed to keep our office staff and technicians up-to-speed on industry standards. It allows us to provide high-quality service and support that our residential and commercial business customers expect.
What To Do After a Business Fire
A fire to your York County business can leave your property vulnerable. Fortunately, installing a security fence and taking other safety measures can help keep your property safe from vandals and wildlife.
Securing the Property
After the fire has been extinguished, do not return to the property until the fire department says it is safe to do so. Once you have access to your property, taking the following actions can help you protect your business:
- Install a security fence
- Board up broken windows and other openings
- Tarp over damaged areas of the roof
In addition to damage from the fire itself, the firefighters may have broken windows or created other openings during their fire-extinguishing efforts. Therefore, the building could have several entry points for vandals and wildlife. It is important to board up or tarp over these areas. Installing a fence adds another layer of protection. If damage occurs after the fire has been extinguished and the insurance company determines the damage resulted from the building not being properly secured, they may deny that portion of the claim. If anyone enters the property, even without permission, and gets injured, the business could be held liable.
Restoring the Property
After the property has been secured, it is time to document the damage and begin restoration. Take a detailed photo or video evidence for the insurance company so that they can adequately assess the property. Then remove the water from the fire-suppression efforts. Do this as quickly as possible because mold can begin to grow within 24 hours. Next, clean the smoke and soot from the surfaces. Clean and sanitize affected areas. Throw everything away that cannot be fully dried and cleaned. Finally, begin repairing and replacing damaged items.
From installing a security fence to smoke cleaning, taking care of your commercial property after a fire can be a complicated endeavor. Fortunately, a certified restoration service can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.
Why Professionals Should Exclusively Handle Smoke and Fire Damage
If you have suffered fire damage you may think you can read a few manuals and be able to clean the mess up yourself. But if you attempt that, you may be costing yourself valuable possessions and thousands of dollars in additional restoration fees. Fire clean up is a complicated process that should only be handled by professionals.
Just because the firefighters are gone doesn’t mean that everything is safe. The building is not back to normal until professionals have restored it. The process sounds simple but the job requires a lot of experience and manpower to adequately restore a burnt building. A homeowner should never attempt.
While the fire may be the immediate danger, the remnants of the fire will continue to affect the house. If ash and smoke is left untreated, it can cause extended corrosion, etching and discoloration, and powerful lingering odors. Professionals that have the right training and experience can stop this from happening before it becomes a major problem if they’re called in a timely manner.
Many companies claim to have the ability to restore buildings that have suffered fire damage but only those that have the right training and certification, like SERVPRO, should be considered. The agency that oversees these qualified companies is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). To earn their certification, registrants must complete extensive coursework preparing them for on-site restoration.
If professionals are called in immediately, they can clean up and restore the building to its original state but if not, they may not be able to salvage all the damage. The first thing that ash does is to discolor most surfaces. Within minutes, anything that’s made of plastic or was located near the fire will begin discoloration. Fiberglass and finishes that are on appliances will begin to yellow within hours of the fire being extinguished. Also within the first few hours, metals may begin to tarnish. After the first few days, the ash will cause the permanent discoloration of walls, clothing, and upholstery. All wood or vinyl furnishings throughout the building will need to be either refinished or replaced and metal will start corroding within the first few days.
The state of the building’s appliances and furnishings will be significantly impacted during the first few days if professionals are not immediately called in to clean up and restore the building but that’s not the only trouble that can be avoided. The cost of restoration will be significantly less if you call them as soon as possible. This is because you may need to replace metals, the carpets will be permanently discolored, and glass will be severely etched and need to be replaced. It’s possible that odors that have been caused by the fire may still be present and may be intense enough that it may distract people in the building. And because ash is acidic, the longer it takes for the professionals to arrive on the scene the more permanent damage will be caused.
When the professionals first arrive on the scene, the first thing that they’ll do is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way that they can clean the smoke and fire damage so that the building is restored to its original state is to be extremely thorough in their investigation. Ash residue can very easily be disturbed and spread throughout the building forcing everything it comes in contact with to need restoration. The professionals that arrive on the scene will be able to identify what can and what can’t be salvaged.
Over time, ash builds up into layers and it can eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. So when the professionals arrive, they will remove the build-up of ash residue that’s coating the building.
The professional restorers will also locate the source of any odors caused by the fire and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated specifically to neutralize these kinds of odors. Once the professionals are done treating the odors, they may seal the building off to prevent any further odor from spreading through the air.
After a fire it may be tempting to attempt to clean the building, especially if there doesn’t appear to be that much damage. However, that decision can have negative lasting effects. If you have fire damage and need cleanup and restoration, call SERVPRO to ensure a safe and quality restoration.
Insuring Your Home Against Fire Damage
A fire is probably the most devastating event that can occur in your home. A small fire can quickly become an inferno and spread until all of your belongings are destroyed. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 2013 saw 387,000 residential fires in the U.S. causing $7 billion worth of damage.
The NFPA says that there are numerous causes of fires in the home ranging from kitchen appliances being left on to lightning strikes. Even if you do all you can to prevent a fire from occurring in your home, sometimes they are unpreventable. So it’s important that homeowners protect their property investments with the proper insurance.
Fire Insurance Coverage
Depending on what type of property insurance you have, you may already be covered for a fire. Providers offer different coverage options so it’s important that you review your details carefully and understand exactly what kind of protection you have.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average fire claim is in excess of $37,150. The two most common ways to insure your home against fires are standard home insurance and dwelling fire coverage.
Standard Home Insurance
If you are a homeowner, your mortgage likely required you to purchase a homeowners insurance policy. These standard home insurance policies typically cover fire damage. They might also protect your personal contents such as furniture, electronics, or other personal possessions.
Many policies will also include loss of use coverage. If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a claim that is covered by your policy, your loss of use coverage will kick in. Under this type of coverage, the insurance company may reimburse you for your extra living expenses while your home is in the process of being either repaired or rebuilt.
If you live in an apartment or if you rent your home, the landlord likely will have purchased coverage for the building. However, you’ll be responsible for protecting your own belongings. Standard renters policies are relatively cheap and can provide coverage for your personal property in the event of a fire.
Dwelling Fire Coverage
Dwelling fire coverage is generally less comprehensive than standard home insurance. Similar to standard home insurance it protects the building itself and other structures on the property. It also generally offers loss of use coverage if you have to relocate for a period of time. However, this type of insurance doesn’t cover your personal belongings or personal liability protection. Dwelling fire coverage is generally best used to protect a vacation home or a vacant home where you’ll have less of your personal belongings around.
How to File a Claim
Before filing your claim on a fire, you should take photos of the damage. Having the proper documentation available can make the process of filing the claim go much smoother.
After you have all the damage surveyed and documented, it’s time to contact the insurer and file the claim. The insurer will send a claims adjuster to your property to assess the damage and put together a cost estimate.
Once the claims adjuster has finished assessing the damage the repairs can begin on the property. Depending on the damage, repairs to your property could take anywhere from weeks to months to complete. Throughout the ordeal, it’s important to stay organized. Keep all emails, invoices, estimates, and any other documentation you may have received that relates to the damage.
Another way to make the process smoother is to have a full, up-to-date inventory detailing all of the items in your home. If you happen to lose everything in the fire, this inventory can help you to remember all of the items that you need replaced. In case your list happens to be destroyed in the fire as well, you should keep an electronic copy of the inventory that you can pull up if needed. If you prefer, there are some home inventory apps that you can download on your smartphone.
Prevent Fires Before They Start
No matter how prepared you are, a fire always has the potential to occur. But basic knowledge of fire safety can significantly reduce the chances that one will destroy your home. It’s important that you have basic fire safety knowledge and outfit your home with fire safety equipment.
Smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers can prevent a small fire from turning into flames that engulf your home. Having fire safety equipment can also help you to save money on your home insurance premium. Many home insurance providers will offer discounts if you have smoke alarms and sprinkler systems installed in your home.
It’s also important to make sure your entire family understand the basics of fire safety. Some basics to include are an evacuation plan, knowledge of potential fire causes, and a copy of the NFPA’s tips from the fire safety information section of their website.
Regardless of how prepared you are, a fire is always a possibility in your home. So it’s important to have insurance that will cover you should something happen. If you do suffer a fire, have the professionals at SERVPRO come and restore your home and possessions.
What to Do After a Hurricane Strikes
After a hurricane strikes your area, there are certain steps you should and should not take.
Hurricanes can be devastating, and to many Brevard County residents, Irma was just that. If your home had damages caused by the hurricane, here are the immediate steps you should take.
Photograph and Document Damage
Dealing with your insurance company is not always a walk in the park, but by documenting your damages, the process can go a lot smoother. Take photos of all damages, both inside and outside of your home. Also create a list of all damaged contents inside your home such as water damaged furniture.
Conduct Emergency Repairs
In many insurance policies, it suggests it is your responsibility to stop any future damages from occurring. For example, if you have a large hole in your roof, you need to place a tarp over the hole to prevent rain and other elements from causing further damages. Don’t make any permanent repairs until your insurance adjusters come out to reviews your home’s damages.
Secure Home Inventory
By securing your home inventory, this will help your claim process go much easier. A home inventory is a document detailing all your possessions in the home. Your inventory should include photos, detailed descriptions, and if possible, the item’s receipts.
File a Claim ASAP
If you experienced damages to your home from the hurricane, you should file a claim immediately. Be prepared to explain all the damages that occurred to your home in detail. This will help your insurance provider in starting your initial claim, and they can also provide you with some advice while waiting for your adjuster to come and assess the damages firsthand.
Secure Safe Lodging
If your home is damaged to the extent where it is no longer fit to live in, you will need to secure a place for you and your family to stay in the meantime. Check your insurance policy to see if you have coverage for temporary lodging while your home is being repaired. In standard homeowner’s insurance policy, this is typically covered as long as the overall damage to your home is part of the covered insurance claim.
Water and Flood Damage: What's the Difference?
Water is a necessity, but not when it is causing damage to your home or business. If water damage does occur, SERVPRO of South Brevard can clean and restore your home to make it "Like it never even happened." However, the cleaning and restoration after damage occurs is not the only piece of the puzzle. When water causes damage, an insurance claim should be made as soon as possible.
Filing an insurance claim because of unwanted water can be complicated. The first step is knowing the difference between a water damage claim and a flood damage. This information is crucial to the policyholder because it determines what is covered and what is not.
The distinction between a water damage claim and a flood damage claim can best be defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood definition. According to FEMA, a flood is a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land.
To simplify the matter, if the water that caused the damage occurred from a natural source and any neighbors are experiencing the same water issues, it is safe to say the situation is a matter of flooding. According to FEMA, flood damage can only be caused by overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, mudflow, or collapse of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood.
If a flood has caused damage to your home, it is important to know if you currently have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, because home insurance companies do not offer coverage on flood damage. Having flood insurance is extremely beneficial to homeowners who think they might even have the slightest chance of being affected by a flood. The official site of the National Flood Insurance Program states that flood insurance policies cover physical damage to your property and possessions.
Everything from the actual building and its foundation to the refrigerator and the food inside of it is covered by flood insurance and will be taken into consideration when claims are filed. Flood insurance does cover basements and areas below the lowest elevated floor, but it depends on the flood zone and the date of construction. It is important to remember that flood insurance does not cover the sentimental value of any property, so be sure to remove any precious items such as photos, documents, or personal items that cannot be replaced as quickly as possible.
When water damage occurs in your home, did not originate from a natural source, and is not affecting any surrounding buildings, a water damage claim is necessary. Circumstances such as overflowing bathtubs, broken toilets, burst water mains, and broken pipes are all grounds for water damage claims that should be filed by contacting your home insurance company.
Working through the process of filing both a water damage claim and a flood damage claim can be tricky and seem overwhelming. SERVPRO offers a Contents Claim Inventory Service for customers who already have enough stress to deal with. What this service does is provide a detailed and accurate list of all of your belongings. Our Technicians have the experience needed to deliver detailed and accurate reports to insurance companies and help settle claims fast.
If you are experiencing either water or flood damage in your home, SERVPRO of South Brevard can inspect the damage, remove the moisture, and make repairs using state of the art extraction equipment as quickly as possible.
It is important to take immediate action when it comes to both water and flood damage. Refer to our Water Damage Emergency Tips and keep safety as your primary focus. Do not fret, SERVPRO has the ability and resources to go beyond just basic restoration by repairing electronics such as televisions and computers and also dry photographs and documents. Highly trained Water Restoration Technicians are available around the clock for when damage occurs and are only a phone call away.
6 Signs Your Commercial Building May Have Mold
6 Signs Your Commercial Building May Have Mold
Signs Of Potential Mold Growth
If you suspect a mold problem in your facility, then you may want to call an indoor environmental specialist in Rock Hill & York County, to perform a mold test of the building. However, if you are not sure of a problem, then consider the following six signs of potential mold growth.
1. Peeling or Bubbling Paint
Walk through your building, inspecting the walls and ceilings. You are looking for signs of peeling or bubbling paint. You may also want to examine the space for signs of sponginess in the drywall. These potential clues point to water damage and possible mold.
2. Plumbing Problems
Do you know of any existing plumbing issues in the facility? How long have these issues been going on? Mold needs water to thrive, which means plumbing leaks often lead to fungal problems.
3. Recent Flood
Any indoor environmental specialist will explain that mold can develop within the first 24 to 48 hours of water damage. Therefore, if you have experienced a recent flood in your facility, and the water either wasn’t removed quickly or the area was not dried thoroughly, then mold is a possibility.
4. Staining and Discoloration
Staining and discoloration of ceiling tiles, drywall, carpeting or grout can all mean water damage or mold growth. If you notice new or rapid discoloration of building materials, then have them tested for possible mold exposure.
Is your facility temperature controlled? If not, do you have proper ventilation installed to avoid excessive humidity? The building should remain at or below 50% humidity levels to reduce the risk of mold development. If you have no measures protecting against excessive moisture levels, consider installing vents, fans and dehumidifiers.
When mold is not visible, you can often smell it, especially when it reaches the HVAC system. It is a musty and unpleasant smell.
If you have experienced any of the above issues, consider contacting an indoor environmental specialist. These professionals will test your facility for mold and assess the best way to remove the problem.
3 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Storm
Prepare your business for a storm
Tips You Can Follow to Prepare Your Business for A Storm
Though storms are fairly common occurrences, businesses in Rock Hill & York County, are often not prepared for damage that a rain storm can cause. As a business owner, there are tips you can follow to prepare your business for a storm.
1. Maintain Your Business's Landscape
Though you may not think about your business's landscape when it comes to preparing for a storm, your landscape can have a major impact on your business. Debris and fallen limbs commonly cause damage to businesses during storms with high winds, so it can be wise to clear away any fallen limbs and to trim limbs that hang over your business. Additionally, making sure that your drainage spouts are clear can help to prevent flood damage to your property.
2. Consider Investing in Helpful Tools and Materials
As you are getting your property ready for a rain storm, it can be wise to consider investing in tools and materials that can prevent damage. Installing a lightning rod can help to divert lightning from your business if a strike does occur. If your area commonly experiences storms with strong gusts of wind, installing storm shutters can also help to protect your business from damage.
3. Make Sure Staff Knows What To Do During a Storm
When preparing for a thunderstorm, it's often wise to include your staff in the process. It can be helpful to regularly talk with your staff about storm protocol and procedures. Having a protocol in place can make it easier for your staff to quickly prepare for an approaching storm. When creating a plan, it can be useful to think of everything from damage prevention to safety measurements. At this time, you may also consider getting contact information for an emergency restoration service to ensure you can easily contact professionals if damage does occur.
A rain storm can cause major damage to a business, but being prepared for the worst can often help to prevent damage. You can make sure your business is ready for a storm by maintaining your property's landscape, investing in useful tools and materials and discussing storm procedures with your staff.
How to Use Technology During a Storm
How to Use Technology During a Storm
Technology can cause stress and sometimes is more of a burden than helpful. However, in the case of emergencies such as natural disasters, it can be extremely helpful for keeping you updated and letting friends and family know where you are. You more than likely already have the technology in your home to keep you and your family safe during a disaster, so follow these tips to use it effectively!
Remember, always be sure to keep portable charges ready in your emergency kit so you can always access your technology when you need it most.
Social Media for News
Using social media is a great way to get up-to-date news straight to your smartphone. Almost all local and national government has social media pages that are updated regularly, especially during a natural disaster.
Mark Yourself Safe
Another way to use social media is to mark yourself safe. Facebook offers a feature called Safety Check that allows you to mark yourself safe if you are in the area of a dangerous situation. Marking yourself safe lets friends and family know that although you are in the area of disaster, you are safe. The Red Cross offers a similar feature called Safe & Well which is both an app and website where you can mark yourself as safe for friends and family.
Use Online Storage
Services like Google Drive and DropBox are a great way to store personal information online in a safe manner. Keeping copies of identification cards, passports, insurance policies, medical records, and pet information is important if your documents get lost in a disaster or you forget them when you are evacuating. You can also access DropBox and Google drive on any computer or phone, just make sure you remember your password!
Create an Emergency READY Profile
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County offers an Emergency Ready Profile or ERP for free. Creating an ERP will help prepare your property or business in the event of a disaster. Creating this profile will help prevent interruption by having an immediate plan of action and setting SERVPRO® of Rock Hill & York County as your main point of contact in the case of an emergency. We will have all the information on file needed to make sure mitigation and restoration go smoothly.
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County should be your first choice for any residential or commercial restoration due to our experience and 24/7/365 service. Contact us today if you are interested in signing up for an ERP or have questions or concerns about a recent property disaster.