Recent Posts

The Most Common Reasons for House Fires | SERVPRO® of Sumter

5/18/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”fire” alt = " residential home with roof caught on fire ” > Have you experience a fire in your home? Call SERVPRO of Sumter to help get your residence back to normal.

If you are a homeowner, chances are you have thought about what you would do if faced with a house fire at least once. It is a scary situation that can not only completely destroy your home, it can even be a dangerous or deadly event.

The good news is that the majority of house fires can actually be prevented with a little time and attention to detail around your home. We explain some of the most common places and reasons that house fires break out below so you can take steps to reduce your risk today.

The Power of Electronics

We are surrounded by technology in today’s day and age, so it’s no surprise that many house fires are caused by overheated electronics or by a power surge. Try to get into the habit of unplugging your computers and gaming systems when they are not in use.

If you have a room in your home that has a lot of electrical outlets and those outlets are loaded with cords, it’s time to get a surge protector. A power surge can not only damage your electronics beyond repair, it can also cause them to overheat or spark a fire. 

Electrical fires can get really hot, really fast, so it is important to prioritize these steps when attempting to reduce your house fire risk. 

The Risks in Your Kitchen

The majority of house fires begin in the kitchen. Stoves, ovens, and any other appliance that uses heat or flame to function has the potential to start a fire. You should always be close to the kitchen when you are cooking. Flammable materials can easily get bumped into the flames or a grease fire can erupt at any moment. If you are in another room while your pot is on the stove, your entire kitchen could be in flames in the few minutes that you stepped away. 

We extend this same word of caution to your outdoor grills or bonfires. If you consider yourself the grill master, stay outside and in the line of sight of your grill. Maintain the heat and flames, and ensure that the coals are completely out and cool or your propane tanks are shut and your grill is off. 

Keep It Clean

Did you know that the clutter in your home can actually be a danger to you in the event of a house fire? Unnecessary piles of things or possessions stacked near windows or doors can become more fuel to a fire, making it grow faster in a shorter amount of time. 

The clutter is also a tripping hazard. All paths throughout your home should be easy to access and each exit should be clear and ready to use if necessary. 

Once your home is picked up and organized, it’s time to clean out your air filters and lint traps. A blocked lint trap in your dryer is a huge fire hazard as well as a dirty furnace filter. Even though some of these tasks seem insignificant, they very well might just help you avoid a house fire.

Experiencing a house fire can be overwhelming. Call SERVPRO of Sumter for a full restoration.

Catching a Water Leak Early | SERVPRO® of Sumter

5/9/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”bucket” alt = " blue bucket in the middle of the living area catching water falling from the ceiling ” > Think you may have water damage in your home? Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Sumter to find the source.

Water damage can be really frustrating to deal with. Once it starts, it can spread quickly and without much warning. It can also stay hidden and cause destruction behind the scenes until it becomes large enough to be noticeable.

Because of all of these unpleasant qualities, recognizing and stopping water damage as soon as it starts is one of the best prevention strategies when it comes to widespread damage.

Our SERVPRO of Sumter team wants you to avoid water damage as much as possible, so read on to learn the most common areas for water troubles in your home below.

Your roof. How often do you get on your roof to look for damage? Chances are that you don’t do it as often as you should, which increases your risk of experiencing a leak at any time.

A roof leak can cause obvious and large-scale damage in a single event, or it can start slowly and leak down your walls over an extended period of time.

If this happens, you are vulnerable to water damage virtually everywhere! It can seep down your ceiling, through your walls and into your floorboards. Once it settles in, moisture can linger and cause mold growth.

In your bathroom. This one may be obvious, but your bathrooms are at a uniquely high risk of experiencing water damage because of all of your bathroom futures. Sinks, toilets, showers and tubs all have water lines and pipes that can leak or malfunction at any time.

The best thing to do in these spaces is to check for puddled water or drips any time you are in the bathroom. It is also important to reduce the amount of moisture in the air by letting your bathroom dry out as often as possible.

Even though puddled water may seem like an obvious sign of water damage, a puddle could mean that the problem has been happening for a while and you are now just being alerted to it. Investigate quickly and thoroughly.

Other appliances. In addition to your bathroom fixtures, the appliances in your home also have the potential to leak on any given day. Whenever water flows through their pipes or your washing machine fills up with water to run a load, you are at risk of a water disaster.

If the leak is obvious, you can tend to it right away, but oftentimes it happens with a slow drip or a leak underneath the appliance. This can make it hard to recognize it immediately and act appropriately.

Pull your appliances away from the wall on occasion to check for water spots and mold growth and try to replace old or unreliable appliances when you can. Newer equipment can help your Sumter home stay dry day in and day out.

Dealing with a water emergency? Our SERVPRO specialists can be on the scene of the disaster ASAP to restore your water-damaged home!

SERVPRO: The Trained Team You Deserve | SERVPRO® of Sumter

5/4/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”team” alt = " group of 3 SERVPRO reps standing near a green semi truck at a work site ” > Is your home or business in need of restoration? SERVPRO of Sumter is ready to help you recover around the clock.

If you are a homeowner, you know how many decisions you have to make to keep it running smoothly. While minor decisions like what kind of dishwasher pods to get aren’t life-changing, the major decisions like which company to choose help you recover from a flooded basement can make a big impact.

Selecting the right company can make all the difference! A less experienced and trained team is certainly an option, but wouldn’t you rather have a company come to your house that has the training and expertise to overcome even the most widespread damages?

When you choose SERVPRO of Sumter to help you, you are one step closer to a full restoration. Our team has the training and certifications that give us the knowledge we need to help you recover from whatever disaster you face.

We Prioritize Industry-Leading Trainings

We take training seriously, so that is why we follow all IICRC standards for our training. Every member of our restoration team takes the time to learn the best practices and policies in our industry for cleaning and restoration. We take courses in many different areas, including, but not limited to:

  • water damage restoration
  • fire damage restoration
  • mold remediation
  • carpet and upholstery and cleaning

In addition to formal training, we also offer our employees certification training to give them the knowledge they need on specific parts of restoration and cleaning. These individual certifications are self-paced, allowing our staff the time they need to fully understand what they are learning.

We Believe Learning Is a Lifelong Skill

We don’t ever stop learning, even after we fully train and onboard our staff. We continually give our staff access to continuing education classes and e-learning opportunities to help expand their knowledge base and refresh their skills.

No two home damage situations are the same, which is why we have to know as much about different restoration techniques as possible in order to help you. Our continual training helps us do this!

If we learn about a new process or procedure, we are able to adjust our own procedures to align with current best practices. Our goal is to make sure your home is restored as thoroughly and efficiently as possible.

Our Training Benefits Our Community

A fully trained and certified restoration team can make your recovery process so much smoother. Since we are the leading experts in our field, we know how to help you overcome any scenario!

Many restoration companies can help restore your home, but SERVPRO of Sumter guarantees that your restoration will be done completely and thoroughly no matter what disaster you experienced. We won’t leave until you are 100% satisfied!

When you want your restoration job done right, just give SERVPRO a call.

When you need help recovering from a disaster, SERVPRO is here for you. Get in touch 24/7 to start your disaster recovery.

National Preparedness Month Tips

9/15/2022 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security. For the entire month of September, this initiative encourages people to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.

The devastating wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes in 2017 and 2018 show the importance of preparing for disasters. Seeing that these disasters can strike in any shape or form at any given time, it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community. Ask your community how you can volunteer. 

Business also need to be prepared. Ask us about out Emergency Ready Program. It is imperative to have all the shut off information to your water, electric, and gas handy in case of an emergency. SERVPRO of Sumter can help with all that. We even have an app you can download so all the information can be at your fingertips. 

Don't Let A Hurricane Leave You In A Twist

9/15/2022 (Permalink)

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land.
Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at Sign up for local alerts and
warnings. Monitor local news and weather reports. Prepare to evacuate by testing your emergency communication plan(s), learning evacuation routes, having a place to stay, and packing a “go bag.” Stock emergency supplies. Protect your property by installing sewer back flow valves, anchoring fuel tanks, reviewing insurance policies, and cataloging belongings. Collect and safeguard critical financial, medical, educational, and legal documents and records.. Follow guidance from local authorities. If advised to evacuate, grab your “go bag” and leave immediately. For protection from high winds, stay away from windows and seek shelter on the lowest level in an interior room. Move to higher ground if there is flooding or a flood warning. Turn Around Don’t Drown.® Never walk or drive on flooded roads or through water. Call 9-1-1 if you are in life threatening danger. Return to the area only after authorities say it is safe to do so. Do not enter damaged buildings until they are inspected by qualified professionals. Never walk or drive on flooded roads or through floodwaters. Look out for downed or unstable trees, poles, and power lines. Do not remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear gloves and sturdy, thick-soled shoes to protect your hands and feet. Do not drink tap water unless authorities say it is safe.

How you put out the fire could increase your damage.

7/22/2022 (Permalink)

Fires often trigger damage in a way homeowners do not expect: significant water damage. Whether during the efforts to put the fire out or leaks caused by the heat, fire can directly or indirectly cause your home to take on large amounts of water unexpectedly.  

Fast response after the fire out is very important. Your furniture and belongs need immediate attention if they have been saturated with water and debris from the extinguishing of the fire.

Growth, swelling of wood, and rust are some of the things that can happen to your belongings after they have been through a fire. 

Remember the first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing. SERVPRO Professionals can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term affects. 

Ozone can help make hard to reach smell a thing of the past.

7/22/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone is a colorless unstable toxic gas with a pungent odor and powerful oxidizing properties, formed from oxygen by electrical discharges or ultraviolet light. It differs from normal oxygen (O2) in having three atoms in its molecule (O3). Ozone treatments are one of the best tools for removing odor caused by smoke damage. Ozone works to remove odors by chemically changing the structure of the molecules in the smoke that are creating the smell. The extra oxygen atom attaches itself to the other molecules to create a new molecule that is non-offensive—and non-smelly—in a process called oxidation. As a gas, ozone can clean anywhere air is allowed to flow. That’s one of the features that makes it so effective in removing odors that other cleaning techniques just can’t touch.

Proper HVAC maintain will keep you cool and dry during the summer.

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Coming home to soaked carpet or ceiling damage isn’t fun. But it happens more often than you think. Here are some of the most common reasons your HVAC unit will leak inside your home. 


    Air Filters are easy to forget about. The average homeowner only changes their air filter 4 times a year, and if you forget…. bad things can happen. 


    A low refrigerant level can also cause your unit to freeze. Low refrigerant could be the sign of a refrigerant leak in your HVAC unit. 


     Your drain pan sits under your unit and catches and excess water created by your HVAC unit. If this pan accumulates dust or algae, it can cause the drain to be clogged. A clogged drain line will cause your pan to over flow which means dripping water and water damage.


Each HVAC unit has a drain line. Sometimes drain lines become disconnected and you start to notice puddles of water or water damage coming from your unit. 

The first thing you need to do is shut off your HVAC unit if any of this is happening then you want to call your service man to locate and fix the problem. After this has been done it is time for SERVPRO Professionals to come assess your damage from the water and dry your home properly. 

Fire tips until help arrives.

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Here are some helpful tips prior to the arrival of SERVPRO® of Sumter:

Emergency Fire and Smoke Damage Tips

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage. 
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.  
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.  
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.

Fire and Smoke Damage Services

  • Emergency Response: Reduce Loss Severity/Pretesting for Restorability.
  • Contents Cleaning Specialists: On-Site or Move Out.
  • Structural Restoration Services.
  • Large Loss Completion with Trained Crew Leaders.

Hidden dangers in old buildings

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

When a loss happens in an old commercial building it may on the surface appear like a residential loss, but can truly be far different and possibly more dangerous.

Old buildings could contain hazardous building materials such as asbestos, lead, polychlorinated bisphenols (PCBs), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), heavy metals, or even radioactive materials due to limited knowledge of the safety risks that exposures to these materials posed.

Due to the safety risks posed regulations have been set on federal, state, and local levels on how these materials must he handed and disposed of.

If you have a loss at your business do not try to take on the mitigation yourself and unknowingly risk possible exposure to one of these hazardous materials, call SERVPRO so we may put our knowledge and network of  professionals to work safely restoring your business back to preloss conditions.