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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fast rising water

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded neighborhood Flooded neighborhood

Flood water poses drowning risks for everyone, regardless of their ability to swim. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children. Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. They can be swept away or may stall in moving water.

Flood waters and standing waters also pose various risks, including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries, as well as displace animals, insects, and reptiles. To protect yourself and your family, be alert and avoid contact. 

Flood waters also may contain sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments, that can cause injury and lead to infection.

It is very dangerous to play or drive in flood waters for these reasons.

Please be mindful of all weather hazards during this time in our great state of South Carolina. 

What is that smell?

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Thermal fogging Thermal fogging after a cleaning.

No, this is not a fire occurring at this moment.  This is a process called Thermal Fogging.  It is just one of our services that we offer in the event of a fire damage to help treat and deodorize odors caused by smoke damage because it acts like a smoke itself.

It is able to travel like smoke and penetrate hard porous surfaces.

Our equipment heats a water based masking agent to create fog that penetrates everywhere smoke may have traveled. A thermal fogger unit can reproduce the energy and pressure of smoke, which penetrates every possible nook and cranny that could still hold odor after soot-affected materials have been removed.

This could help specific clients that have breathing issues such as asthma or COPD. 

Selling A Clean Home Is Important

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo of the orange house with Certified Clean written underneath SERVPRO logo of the orange house with Certified Clean written underneath

It is important that a home you are getting ready to list is in top show condition and ready to sell. It is a fact that a clean, fresh smelling home sells faster. Unfortunately, not all homes are maintained in the same way. Nearly all realtors are faced, at some point, with a difficult listing to show and sell. Veteran realtors encourage clients to keep their homes in top condition for very important reasons: Increased market value, reduced lit to sale conversion times, enhanced reputation for quality listings and quick sales. 

SERVPRO Professionals offer a variety of services to help revive your listings to top show condition. 

Besides carpet and upholstery cleaning we also clean walls, ceilings, and just about every type of flooring. Also offered are duct and HVAC cleaning, mold mitigation and remediation, and deodorization. 

Let SERVPRO of Sumter help you sell a clean home faster!

Emergency Ready Plan for Your Business

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

 A commercial property after a water intrusion that shows the tear out of drywall and flooring to prep for repairs A commercial property after a water intrusion that shows the tear out of drywall and flooring to prep for repairs

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage 

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

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 damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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."

Tornado Tips and Safety

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

A tornado funnel over a tree that has been damaged by high winds with lightning surrounding the area A tornado funnel over a tree that has been damaged by high winds.

Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris. Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can:

  • Happen anytime and anywhere;

  • Bring intense winds, over 200 MPH; and

  • Look like funnels.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
  • If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.
  • Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.
  • If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A TORNADO THREATENS

WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare

  • Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.
  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud; an approaching cloud of debris; or a loud roar—similar to a freight train.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter in the event of high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Consider constructing your own safe room that meets FEMA or ICC 500 standards.

 WHAT TO DO DURING: Survive

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.
  • Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.
  • If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.

WHAT TO DO AFTER: Be Safe

  • Keep listening to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.
  • If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
  • Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.

Summer Heat Damage

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

A picture showing growth around a window frame caused by water intrusion Identify The Growth In Your Home

Summer is here! That means high temperatures and humidity for South Carolina residents. It is time to check your HVAC units for leaks and condensation if you have a crawlspace or an attic that houses your unit or your ducting. These areas are prone to trap humidity, and can be the main source of growth

When you only deal with the mold, without fixing the source – well – you’ll get mold again and again. Depending on whether your crawl space is a cold zone or a warm zone. That means it shouldn’t be pulling heat from the warm air in your home. You may think that mold and moisture in your crawl space are just a given, but the truth is, it’s not. If you understand how to prevent moisture buildup in the space, you can keep the water out and that will keep the mold at bay.

Attic mold is most often caused by moisture build-up in a poorly ventilated area. You can check your attic space for moisture by looking at the nails; if there is excess moisture in the atmosphere there will be rust around the nails.

That is where SERVPRO of Sumter can help. Our trained technicians have the experience and equipment to deal with your attic or crawlspace growth. 

Damage to Local Businesses During Storm Events

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet in a local business from water intrusion caused by rain and storms with drying equipment placed. Wet carpet in a local business from water intrusion caused by rain and storms with drying equipment placed.

Often we do not think about the damage that can happen with storm events. Tornadoes, high winds, lightning strikes, and heavy rains can bring devastating damage to your home. And most of it can go undetected for some time.

A small leak in your roof from a displaced shingle during high winds can be a source of major damage down the road. From fallen ceilings due to moisture to growth on your joists and attic rafters. 

Heavy rains can also cause problems by entering your crawlspace or intruding through door and window seals. 

If you notice any kind of unexplained puddles in your home after a storm event, do not hesitate to have a professional come to scope the damage. It could save you thousands!!!!  

It is always important to make sure you look for any damage after a severe weather event. 

Tips that will help you reduce additional damage in the wake of a fire.

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen with fallen insulation Burned kitchen with fallen insulation.

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.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Sumter, 803-773-4331

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Types of fires your home may experience.

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

There are 3 main types of smoke and residues that can be left behind by fire damage in your home:

  1. Synthetic: These synthetic residues appear when oil-based materials are burned such as plastics and fabrics. This could include everything from window coverings, furniture, carpets, and electronics. When synthetic materials burn, they will produce a thick black smoke, leaving behind a smeary residue that can create quite the mess if not cleaned up properly. In these situations, avoid touching any of the residue to prevent smearing as vacuuming is the best approach to cleaning the residues left behind, followed by sponge cleaning.
  2. Protein: Fires caused by the burning of proteins such as meats and beans for example will leave behind a yellowish-brown residue. The texture of which is greasy feeling and can stick to any surface, making it a pain to clean up.
  3. Natural: These types of fires are caused by the burning of natural products such as wood and paper. They produce dry powdery residue that is grayish-black in color. These residues are easier to clean up than the synthetic or protein residues. Removing the residues can be done by vacuuming with a bristled brush, followed by sponge cleaning.

Most household fires experience a combination of all the above types.

SERVPRO of Sumter's  highly trained technicians are ready to assist you with all your fire restoration needs.

Thank you to our First Responders

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighter in blaze Firefighter standing in a blaze.

SERVPRO of Sumter would like to thank all the Firefighters, police officers, as well as EMS in Sumter County and the surrounding areas for all you do to keep our citizens safe and assist them in their most desperate time if need.

 In most communities it is the local fire department that is the first to respond to emergencies, whether they are small, day-to-day types or large disasters. As the first official government agency contacted, they have the responsibility to manage the incident. Consequently, any volunteer group that wants to provide assistance during these emergencies must work with the local fire/rescue organization if they are to be effective.

Ask your local Fire Department to speak to your schools on safety and fire tips.

A small leak is a big deal

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe Pipe leaking water.

Mitigation means acting quickly to stop the damage from getting worse, without necessarily fixing the damage. The key to storm mitigation is stopping water leaks and minor flooding so materials can dry within 24-48 hours. This prevents the further damage of structural weakening or wood rot, and stops the growth of mold on damp surfaces.

Even while it is still raining or an active leak is present, there are ways to mitigate the damage. The key is to not wait. Even if your home has been spared from acute flooding, what seems like "minor" water damage from leaks and other water intrusions can turn into major problems over time – and need to be addressed immediately.

When a leak is discovered do not delay calling to get the clean up started.

Leaking roofs can leave you with your hands full

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

Roof leak A leaking roof can leave you with your hands full.

With all the rain that we have been experiencing lately can turn the smallest of roof leaks into a major problem.

As the water begins to run into the attic of the home it will begin to absorb into the insulation causing it to become heavy on the ceiling of the home. The added weight to the ceiling could cause it to become unstable causing it to fall damaging contents and flooring in the process. 

The water in the attic could also affected duct work,  electrical line, as well as any contents stored in the attic.

If a roof leak takes you be surprise, call the experts in water restoration at SERVPRO of Sumter so we can make your roof leak "Like it never even happened."

Commercial Water Loss in Sumter

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

A business cafeteria that suffered a broken a pipe in the ceiling has extended damage to painted walls, and ceilings. A business cafeteria that suffered a broken a pipe in the ceiling has extended damage to painted walls, and ceilings.

Any water loss is scary and stressful, but when it happens to a business it can cause lost hours of operation. We have all the term "Time is money", and for a business it rings true. 

In just minutes, water can travel the distance through ceilings, attics, and under flooring. In hours, the dampness and standing water can cause ceiling collapses, vinyl bubbling, and carpet delamination. Now all this damage on top of losing revenue is a big deal to all businesses. 

Not all damage can be seen until its too late for restoration, and time replacement. Once replacement is involved, repairs for a business can skyrocket. Most businesses never reopen after a disaster. 

Something else to consider is the structural integrity of a building. If the situation is not handled promptly, efficiently, and correctly, the building itself can become compromised.

Do not hesitate to call us! Even if you are not sure of extent of the damage, our professionals can come in and assess the situation for you and hopefully prevent any drastic down time for your business. 

Christmas Tree Fire Prevention

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

A christmas tree set ablaze from defective lights. Defective lights can quickly catch fire and do major damage to your home in a matter of seconds.

Every year Christmas trees start fires. Prevent most of these fires by following simple rules: Choose a recently cut, healthy tree. A fresh tree holds moisture better. Although some people advocate for placing various substances in the water to preserve freshness, it is recommended that consumers simply keep the tree well-watered with pure tap water. Avoid putting compounds such as sugar, aspirin, and other chemicals into the water. These have not been proven to work and often can inhibit the tree’s intake of water and actually cause it to be more of a hazard.Use lights rated for indoor use that don't create heat (such as LED lights). And don't overload your electrical outlet. Don't use electric lights on a metal tree. Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.

Commercial Water Damage

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water intrusion in a commercial building causes extreme damage to walls and floors and requires air movers and tear out. Water intrusion in a commercial building causes extreme damage to walls and floors and requires air movers and tear out.

After responding to as commercial water loss in Marion, SC out team of Professionals ran into a unique situation. While tearing out drywall that had been affected by the recent hurricane, our technicians found that the water was steadily coming down in between the wall cavity. 

Water is very destructive and just because you can not see the damage does not mean it is not there. We can not stress enough the importance of having any water intrusion mitigated correctly. 

With the high humidity in our great state of South Carolina it is even more important to address a water intrusion correctly so that there is less chance for mold growth. Not doing so can lead to added expenses and health issues. Let our trained Professionals handle the stress for you!

Hoarding can be hazardous

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Hoarding has caused exits and walkways to be blocked resulting in hazardous conditions with rodents, and mold. Hoarding has caused exits and walkways to be blocked resulting in hazardous conditions with rodents, and mold.

Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.

Hoarding can be related to compulsive buying (such as never passing up a bargain), the compulsive acquisition of free items (such as collecting flyers), or the compulsive search for perfect or unique items (which may not appear to others as unique, such as an old container).

A lack of functional living space is common among hoarders, who may also live in unhealthy or dangerous conditions. Hoarders often live with broken appliances and without heat or other necessary comforts. They cope with malfunctioning systems rather than allow a qualified person into their home to fix a problem.

Those who hoard usually experience embarrassment about their possessions and feel uncomfortable when others see them. SERVPRO Of Sumter can help with issue and make it "Like it never even happened."

National Preparedness Month

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Disaster Recovery Team semi in front of a commercial building Our Disaster Recovery Team is always prepared!

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. 

Hurricane Season Tips

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

 High winds and water from a hurricane affecting a beach in Florida Hurricane Season is Upon Us. Please be prepared and do not take unneeded risks to be out in the high winds and flash floods.

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 ready.gov/prepare.
Now/Prepare
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.
During/Survive
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.
After/Be Safe
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.

Water Damage is Not Always Visible

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Time line for water damage.

Mitigation means acting quickly to stop the damage from getting worse, without necessarily fixing the damage. The key to storm mitigation is stopping water leaks and minor flooding so materials can dry within 24-48 hours. This prevents the further damage of structural weakening or wood rot, and stops the growth of mold on damp surfaces.
Even while it is still raining or an active leak is present, there are ways to mitigate the damage. The key is to not wait. Even if your home has been spared from acute flooding, what seems like "minor" water damage from leaks and other water intrusions can turn into major problems over time – and need to be addressed immediately.

Coverage is not always obvious or intuitive, so be sure to check your policy carefully and confirm coverage with your adjuster (this is not the same person who sold you the policy). 

Tips to keep you safe while grilling

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire fighter putting out a grill fire.

Independence Day is right around the corner and families will be pulling out the grills for the get togethers they have planned to celebrate.

Here are a few grill safety tips to keep uninvited first responders off the guest list:

  1. Ensure your grill is a minimum of 10 feet from buildings and flammable materials.
  2. Ensure the grill is monitored at all times
  3. Ensure that you never close the lid on a gas grill until after the flame is lit to prevent gas from exploding with lit.
  4. Ensure that your grill is cleaned prior to cooking, grease greatly increases the chance of flare ups.
  5. Ensure that you never attempt to grill indoors as grill produce carbon monoxide that is deadly.

Please follow these tips and the ones  found in your grill owners manual to help have a happy and safe grilling experience.

Feel The Thunder!

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Rules of Thunder

Thunder Facts 

  Thunder is the sound caused by lightning.

  • The intense heat from lightning causes the surrounding air to rapidly expand and create a sonic wave that you hear as thunder.

  • The average temperature of lightning is around 20000 °C (36000 °F).

  • The sound of thunder can be anything from a loud crack to a low rumble.

  • Light travels faster than sound so we see lightning before we hear thunder.

  • The closer you are, the shorter the gap between the lightning and thunder.

  • The speed of sound is around 767 miles per hour (1,230 kilometres per hour).

  • The speed of light is around 669600000 miles per hour (1080000000 kilometres per hour).

  • Thunder is difficult to hear at distances over 12 miles (20 kilometres).

  • Thousands of years ago philosophers such as Aristotle believed that thunder was caused by the collision of clouds.

  • Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning.

Commercial Carpet Cleaning? We Do That!!!!

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Carpet cleaning of an office building.

Proper carpet care can be a complicated part of commercial cleaning and facility management.A ton of cleaning choices are available, and deciding what carpet cleaning process or chemical to use can be a confusing task.

Up-to-date vacuums can reduce cleaning times.In some environments, traditional upright vacuums cannot be used efficiently due to furniture and other impediments.

Carpeting should be vacuumed as much as possible. Foot traffic and airborne impurities like dust, pollen and other contaminants end up in carpet fiber along with hair, dander, skin and dust mites.

Provide manual spotting tools to employees so that they can perform regular spot removal.

Look for certified products when making the change to sustainable carpet cleaning. Just because a product or service is green certified, that doesn’t mean it won’t damage carpet materials during the cleaning process.

Routine maintenance is the key to carpet appearance and longevity

Keeping the Congregation Together

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

A recent water damage at a local church with a collapsed ceiling from the A/C pan located in the attic.

Your church is your congregations shelter, helping shield them from the storms of life. But if life's literal storms damage your place of worship or if your cleaning needs go beyond the reach of your staff, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. 

No stain is too small and no storm damage is too big for the SERVPRO System. SERVPRO Professionals have the training, experience, resources and equipment to restore and clean churches quickly, helping make it "Like it never even happened."

Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response. The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you.

What Smell? The Meaning of Ozone Treatment

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Ozone chamber in our warehouse

·zone'o?zon/noun

  1. 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.

Household Mold

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Tips for Mold

Aureobasidium is a mold that can sometimes be found growing behind wallpaper or on painted or wooden surfaces. Aureobasidium usually develops in a pink, brown or black color. As it ages, aureobasidium typically turns a darker brown color.

Aureobasidium spores are difficult to identify on spore traps because of morphologic variation. Its most distinguishing feature is the production of primary blastospores (spores produced by a budding process) arising directly from pigmented, vegetative hyphae on short denticles (protuberances in the hyphae). The spores may be hyaline or pigmented, variable in size, one-celled, ellipsoid or ovoid, and completely encased in a slimy coat. These primary spores can give rise to secondary or tertiary spores through yeast-like budding. The conidia (spores) adhere together to form slimy heads. The brown hyphae can differentiate to form chlamydospores (resting spores) or arthroconidia (asexual spores) at maturity.

When to Test?

  • When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is, a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.

Tornado safety tips

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Damage to a home after a recent tornado.

Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris. Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can:

  • Happen anytime and anywhere;

  • Bring intense winds, over 200 MPH; and

  • Look like funnels.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
  • If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.
  • Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.
  • If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A TORNADO THREATENS

WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare

  • Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.
  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud; an approaching cloud of debris; or a loud roar—similar to a freight train.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter in the event of high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Consider constructing your own safe room that meets FEMA or ICC 500 standards.

 WHAT TO DO DURING: Survive

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.
  • Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.
  • If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.

WHAT TO DO AFTER: Be Safe

  • Keep listening to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.
  • If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
  • Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.

HVAC Leaks Go Along With Summer Heat

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

A collapsed ceiling after a HVAC pan leak in the attic.

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. 

  • FILTERS

    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. 

  • LOW REFRIGERANT

    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. 

  • CLOGGED DRAIN LINE

     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.

  • DISCONNECTED DRAIN LINE

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. 

Stay on Top of Water Damage

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage at a local business.

Water damage can strike your commercial property at any time. Water damage can sideline your business, regardless if the damage occurs from a major storm event or a broken water line. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. 25% of businesses never reopen after a substantial water damage.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training, experience, and equipment to manage water and flooding damage. Whether you have a large water emergency or a small water damage event, they will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. We can minimize your down time and get you back up and running in the least amount time possible. We understand every minute counts and costs money. 

Household Mold: Penicillium

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on wall surfaces.

This type of house mold can be seen on walls, spoiled food, insulation, wallpaper and carpet. It is typically found around damp areas and near food that has gone bad. It typically appears in a blue or greenish color. The spores can cause allergic reactions but are not nearly as toxic as black mold. The discovery of penicillium helped aid the finding of penicillin which is used for treatment of bacterial infections. However, you do not want to have this type of mold in your home. It can easily be spread onto other areas of your home from trapped moisture. SERVPRO of Sumter offers free visual, non invasive mold inspections to help you determine the best ways to clean and treat any growth you may have. 

Facts About Lightning

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

A recent home in Sumter Sc that was damaged by a lightning strike.

Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves. Most lightning occurs within the clouds.During a storm, colliding particles of rain, ice, or snow inside storm clouds increase the imbalance between storm clouds and the ground, and often negatively charge the lower reaches of storm clouds. Objects on the ground, like steeples, trees, and the Earth itself, become positively charged—creating an imbalance that nature seeks to remedy by passing current between the two charges. Lightning is extremely hot—a flash can heat the air around it to temperatures five times hotter than the sun’s surface. Many houses are grounded by rods and other protection that conduct a lightning bolt's electricity harmlessly to the ground. Homes may also be inadvertently grounded by plumbing, gutters, or other materials. Grounded buildings offer protection, but occupants who touch running water or use a landline phone may be shocked by conducted electricity.

(Information courtesy of National Geographic)

Be Ready for Anything

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is faster to any size Disaster

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage 

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

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 damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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."

Coverages Can Be Confusing

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Flooring Tear Out at a Local Business

Many property losses experienced by business owners involve water damage caused by leaky pipes. Water can be very destructive whether it seeps from a loose fitting or gushes from a ruptured main. Fortunately, many types of water leaks are covered by a commercial property policy.

Most commercial property policies cover damage to covered property caused by any peril that isn't specifically excluded. 

While property policies contain a broad water exclusion, the exclusion applies mainly to flood and related perils like surface water, waves, mudflow, and the overflow of a body of water. It makes no mention of leaky pipes.

Property damage caused by water leaking from a broken pipe or appliance (such as a water heater) is generally covered under a property policy if the damage occurs suddenly. 

Tornado Safety!

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

A funnel cloud in the mid west.

It is that time of year again. Tornadoes have already began their destruction. 

In an average year, 1000 tornadoes are reported, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. Tornadoes have been reported in every state and can happen at any time of the year. Take tornadoes seriously, because with winds blowing at 200 mph or more, they can destroy just about anything in its path. Always listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your area.

TORNADO WATCH means tornadoes are possible in your area. Stay tuned to the radio or television news.

TORNADO WARNING means a tornado is either on the ground or has been detected by Doppler radar. Seek shelter immediately!

BEFORE A TORNADO:

  • Have a disaster plan. Make sure everyone knows where to go in case a tornado threatens.
  • Make sure you know which county or parish you live in.
  • Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit, canned food and a can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective clothing and written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water.

DURING A TORNADO:

  • Go to a basement.
  • If you do not have a basement, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest floor such as a bathroom or closet.
  • If you can, get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table.
  • If you live in a mobile home get out. They offer little protection against tornadoes.
  • Get out of automobiles. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car, leave it immediately.
  • If you’re outside, go to a ditch or low lying area and lie flat in it.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines and stay out of damaged areas.

Hurricane Weather is on the Way

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

The dangers of high water can be seen in this photograph from last years hurricane season.

A hurricane is an intense tropical storm with powerful winds and heavy rain.Other names for a hurricane include cyclone, typhoon and tropical storm.While they are essentially the same thing, the different names usually indicate where the storm took place. 

Hurricanes form over warm ocean waters near the equator. The warm, moist air above the ocean surface rises, causing air from surrounding areas to be “sucked” in. This “new” air then becomes warm and moist, and rises, too, beginning a continuous cycle that forms clouds. The clouds then rotate with the spin of the Earth. If there is enough warm water to feed the storm, a hurricane forms!

Most hurricanes occur harmlessly out at sea. However, when they move towards land they can be incredibly dangerous and cause serious damage.

Fire Damages More Than Just Your Home.

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Contents cleaning in our warehouse.

Any fire in your home is stressful enough without having to worry about your contents as well. Your contents include personal items such as: furniture, clothing, bric brac, dishes, etc. 

SERVPRO of Sumter has trained technicians that come in and pack up all your contents and transport them to our warehouse where these items will be cleaned. We take care of the boxes, bubble wrap for your fragiles, and the inventory of what is removed from your home. 

Once it is in our warehouse, we hand clean all your items to pre fire conditions. If you have clothing, drapes, and linens that are affected, we help you coordinate with a textile company to have them professionally cleaned to remove the soot and smoke odor. 

When we are finished cleaning all your contents, we then re pack them into clean, soot free boxes and transport them back to your newly repaired home. 

Unexpected Water Damage From Storm Events

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

A recent water damage in Sumter, SC

Often we do not think about the damage that can happen with storm events. Tornadoes, high winds, lightning strikes, and heavy rains can bring devastating damage to your home. And most of it can go undetected for some time.

A small leak in your roof from a displaced shingle during high winds can be a source of major damage down the road. From fallen ceilings due to moisture to growth on your joists and attic rafters. 

Heavy rains can also cause problems by entering your crawlspace or intruding through door and window seals. 

If you notice any kind of unexplained puddles in your home after a storm event, do not hesitate to have a professional come to scope the damage. It could save you thousands!!!!  

It is always important to make sure you look for any damage after a severe weather event. 

Let Us Help You Sell That Home

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Our office in Sumter, SC

It is important that a home you are getting ready to list is in top show condition and ready to sell. It is a fact that a clean, fresh smelling home sells faster. Unfortunately, not all homes are maintained in the same way. Nearly all realtors are faced, at some point, with a difficult listing to show and sell. Veteran realtors encourage clients to keep their homes in top condition for very important reasons: Increased market value, reduced lit to sale conversion times, enhanced reputation for quality listings and quick sales. 

SERVPRO Professionals offer a variety of services to help revive your listings to top show condition. 

Besides carpet and upholstery cleaning we also clean walls, ceilings, and just about every type of flooring. Also offered are duct and HVAC cleaning, mold mitigation and remediation, and deodorization. 

Let SERVPRO of Sumter help you sell a clean home faster!

Summer is Here and so is the Heat and Humidity

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Bulletin

Summer is here! That means high temperatures and humidity for South Carolina residence. It is time to check your HVAC units for leaks and condensation if you have a crawlspace or an attic that houses your unit or your ducting. These areas  are prone to trap humidity, and can be the main source of growth

When you only deal with the mold, without fixing the source – well – you’ll get mold again and again. Depending on whether your crawl space is a cold zone or a warm zone. That means it shouldn’t be pulling heat from the warm air in your home. You may think that mold and moisture in your crawl space are just a given, but the truth is, it’s not. If you understand how to prevent moisture buildup in the space, you can keep the water out and that will keep the mold at bay.

Attic mold is most often caused by moisture build-up in a poorly ventilated area. You can check your attic space for moisture by looking at the nails; if there is excess moisture in the atmosphere there will be rust around the nails.

That is where SERVPRO of Sumter can help. Our trained technicians have the experience and equipment to deal with your attic or crawlspace growth. 

Best of Sumter in Mold Treatment

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Business Development Representative Buddy Newell accepting the award for Best of Sumter in Mold Treatment.

On April 25, 2019, SERVPRO of Sumter had the pleasure of accepting an award from the Chamber of Commerce for Best Mold Treatment. We would like to thank everyone in our community for this honor and we will continue to strive to be the best! 

Mold growth is not something that needs to be taken likely, and SERVPRO of Sumter takes every precaution when remediating it. We have trained technicians and state of art equipment for detecting moisture inside of wall cavities and under floor coverings to determine if there is cause for concern of mold growth in your home. 

So, if you have had a previous water intrusion, or notice any type of growth around your windows, crown molding, or baseboards, do not hesitate to call upon us. SERVPRO of Sumter will make it "Like it never even happened." 

Be Alarmed!

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

This is a diagram that shows the most effective placement for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Did you know that most fire fatalities are due to no smoke detectors being placed in the home or not being placed in correct area?  

Not having a smoke detection devices in your home can be catastrophic. Smoke inhalation can more fatal than the flames. It can render your unconscious, unresponsive or even worse, end your life. 

Most fire departments in the area offer free smoke detectors and instructions on how to instal them. If you already have smoke detectors in place, consider making a donation of a new smoke detector to your local fire department to help others in need. 

Set a time on your calendar every month to test the batteries in your smoke detector, this can also help fatalities. We find the best time to remember to test your smoke detector is when you change your HVAC return filters. 

Brush Fires Can Lead To House Fires.

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Grass fire moving dangerously close to a home.

Studies show that local fire departments across the country respond to more than 300,000 grass and brush fires, most if them caused by carelessness, with a number of them igniting home on fire as they spread.

Here are a few tips to help prevent you becoming a victim of a grass or brush fire:

  • Do not throw lit cigarettes or matches on the ground.
  • Create a fire break around any burn piles.
  • Keep a water hose with you at all times while burning burn piles to extinguish any embers that may land on dried areas outside of the burn area.

While following the above tips can help prevent you falling victim to a grass or brush fire, accidents do happen. 

At SERVPRO of Sumter when disaster strikes. we can make it "Like it never even happened."

Rain and WInds Can Bring Damage That Go Undetected

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Storms blew the shingles from this roof and the elements were coming in for some time.

Storm damage can go undetected for some time. It is very important to do routine inspections of your roof, spickets, and gutters to make sure they are not damaged from the elements. 

Shingles blowing loose during storms and high winds can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage in a very short time. The longer your roof goes unrepaired, the more the inside of your house is damaged. 

Inspections in the attic routinely are also a good idea. Especially if your house is built on a slab and your HVAC or your water heater are located in the attic. Leaks from drain pans and hoses can cause just as much damage in the attic, if not more, than if located on the ground floor of your home. 

A Fire Safety Plan is a Great Idea

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

A recent fire in Rembert Sc. caused by lightning.

In just a matter of minutes a home can be destroyed by fire. No matter what the cause of the fire is, be sure to have a plan for safe evacuation. 

If a fire is caused by lightning that hits the roof of a home, it can ignite insulation and travel the length of your attic in a matter of minutes. A sprinkler system, smoke detectors, and even carbon monoxide detectors can be the difference in safely exiting an fire. 

Planning a fire safety meeting with your family every 3 to 6 months is a great idea. Make sure that all the exits are free of blocking hazards, and your family knows  that when they hear the smoke alarm go off to follow the fire safety plan. 

It is alway a good idea to sleep with bedroom doors shut. This will help to eliminate some of the hazards that come with fire damage. 

And as always, remember SERVPRO of Sumter is here to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Unseen Damages Caused By Water Leaks

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

A busted water line in the attic of this home caused a lot of unseen damage.

A sudden busted pipe or slow leak can lead to thousands of dollars of damage. Just because you can not see the water does not mean it is not doing any harm. 

A leaking pipe in the attic can, over time, cause your ceilings to fall in. It can also sit and saturate your insulation and spread the damage to more areas that would not have previously been affected, not to mention the threat of mold. 

All it takes is a crack or hole in the floor covering to allow water to get between the floor covering and your subfloor. This can lead to soft floors, rotting joist, and if your house is on a crawlspace, wet insulation under your home. 

It is always important to know the extent of the water migration and SERVPRO of Sumter can be the difference between restoration or replacing. 

Dangers of Christmas Tree Fires

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fresh Christmas Tree Catches Fire.

Every year Christmas trees start fires. Prevent most of these fires by following simple rules: Choose a recently cut, healthy tree. A fresh tree holds moisture better. Although some people advocate for placing various substances in the water to preserve freshness, it is recommended that consumers simply keep the tree well-watered with pure tap water. Avoid putting compounds such as sugar, aspirin, and other chemicals into the water. These have not been proven to work and often can inhibit the tree’s intake of water and actually cause it to be more of a hazard.Use lights rated for indoor use that don't create heat (such as LED lights). And don't overload your electrical outlet. Don't use electric lights on a metal tree. Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.

Commercial Water Loss in Marion, SC

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Tear out performed at a commercial building after a water intrusion for the recent Hurricane.

After responding to as commercial water loss in Marion, SC out team of Professionals ran into a unique situation. While tearing out drywall that had been affected by the recent hurricane, our technicians found that the water was steadily coming down in between the wall cavity. 

Water is very destructive and just because you can not see the damage does not mean it is not there. We can not stress enough the importance of having any water intrusion mitigated correctly. 

With the high humidity in our great state of South Carolina it is even more important to address a water intrusion correctly so that there is less chance for mold growth. Not doing so can lead to added expenses and health issues. Let our trained Professionals handle the stress for you!

Mold Growth In the HVAC System

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

This picture shows growth coming from the vent of an HVAC system in a local business after a recent roof leak.

As we have stated many times before, Mold can hide anywhere. 

In a local business we found the source of the growth to be coming from the HVAC system after the business experienced a roof leak. The water entered the HVAC ducting in the attic and while the unit was off over the weekend the spores began to grow. When they returned for the start of business on Monday and turned on the HVAC unit the spores went airborne and starting attaching themselves to surfaces of office equipment, counter tops, vent covers, trashcans, and carpeting. 

It was immediately determined that the HVAC duct work would need to be cleaned and sealed but without total replacement, no guarantee can be given that growth will not reoccur. 

Mold Cleaning Protocol

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Katlyn preparing to take care of some growth in a residence in Sumter, SC.

There are a lot of different ways to treat and remove mold from non porous surfaces. SERVPRO of Sumter always puts safety of our technicians and homeowners first.  Having the proper personal protective equipment such as disposable tyvek suits, shoe coverings, respirators, and protective eye wear for our technicians is a very important part of hazardous material remediation. We also use containment barriers to prevent the mold spores from contaminating unaffected areas. 

Using an antimicrobial is another important aspect of mold remediation. Our Professional Technicians spray the affected surfaces with the antimicrobial before wiping the growth. This helps by keeping the spores from  going air born. Besides antimicrobial SERVPRO also puts an air scrubber in the affected area while cleaning. This not only helps to trap the spores, but also helps with any odor the growth may be causing. 

Hurricane Preparedness

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sumter gearing up for Florence

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 ready.gov/prepare.
Now/Prepare
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.
During/Survive
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.
After/Be Safe
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.

September is National Preparedness Month

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Matthew hitting Florida in 2017

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. 

Post Construction Cleaning May Benefit You

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Stormy and SERVPRO know Clean

If your house is under construction for a remodel you know how messy (and dangerous)  the area can be. While some construction companies will clean up after a remodel, you will still be left with somewhat of a mess to deal with. SERVPRO Professional Techinciaans will go beyond just sweeping and vacuuming the floors. Post-Construction Cleaning Services include thoroughly cleaning every inch of the remodeled area and will safely remove debris along with the following:

  • Dust walls
  • Hand wash all doors
  • Hand wash all trim
  • Mop all flooring multiple times (if applicable)
  • Dust entire house multiple times to pick up residual falling debris
  • Vacuum entire house thoroughly to pick up debris and dust
  • Hand wash all cabinets and closets inside and out
  • All reachable lights wiped.

Also during the construction phase, a building can trap moisture. Excessive moisture could result in mold growth. You may need dehumidification and drying to ensure that the moisture is eliminated. 

Hoarding Can Be a Serious Issue

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Even Superheroes can have issues

Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.

Hoarding can be related to compulsive buying (such as never passing up a bargain), the compulsive acquisition of free items (such as collecting flyers), or the compulsive search for perfect or unique items (which may not appear to others as unique, such as an old container).

A lack of functional living space is common among hoarders, who may also live in unhealthy or dangerous conditions. Hoarders often live with broken appliances and without heat or other necessary comforts. They cope with malfunctioning systems rather than allow a qualified person into their home to fix a problem.

Those who hoard usually experience embarrassment about their possessions and feel uncomfortable when others see them. SERVPRO Of Sumter can help with issue and make it "Like it never even happened."

You Do Not Have To Be "Under Water" To Need Us

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Flood cut in a Sumter home after a pipe busted while the family was on vacation.

Mitigation means acting quickly to stop the damage from getting worse, without necessarily fixing the damage. The key to storm mitigation is stopping water leaks and minor flooding so materials can dry within 24-48 hours. This prevents the further damage of structural weakening or wood rot, and stops the growth of mold on damp surfaces.
Even while it is still raining or an active leak is present, there are ways to mitigate the damage. The key is to not wait. Even if your home has been spared from acute flooding, what seems like "minor" water damage from leaks and other water intrusions can turn into major problems over time – and need to be addressed immediately.

Coverage is not always obvious or intuitive, so be sure to check your policy carefully and confirm coverage with your adjuster (this is not the same person who sold you the policy). 

Types of Mold: Aureobasidium

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold discovered behind wallpaper in a bathroom.

Aureobasidium is an allergenic mold that can sometimes be found growing behind wallpaper or on painted or wooden surfaces. Aureobasidium usually develops in a pink, brown or black color. As it ages, aureobasidium typically turns a darker brown color.

Aureobasidium spores are difficult to identify on spore traps because of morphologic variation. Its most distinguishing feature is the production of primary blastospores (spores produced by a budding process) arising directly from pigmented, vegetative hyphae on short denticles (protuberances in the hyphae). The spores may be hyaline or pigmented, variable in size, one-celled, ellipsoid or ovoid, and completely encased in a slimy coat. These primary spores can give rise to secondary or tertiary spores through yeast-like budding. The conidia (spores) adhere together to form slimy heads. The brown hyphae can differentiate to form chlamydospores (resting spores) or arthroconidia (asexual spores) at maturity.

When to Test?

  • When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is, a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.
  • n some cases a doctor or the patient has a health issue that they cannot pinpoint the cause but seems to be related to mold symptoms (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc). Here, a mold inspection and test may help to confirm whether the doctor’s or patient’s suspicions that a mold problem exists.

Tips For Commercial Carpet Cleaning

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Carpet in an Office Building.

Proper carpet care can be a complicated part of commercial cleaning and facility management.A ton of cleaning choices are available, and deciding what carpet cleaning process or chemical to use can be a confusing task.

Up-to-date vacuums can reduce cleaning times.In some environments, traditional upright vacuums cannot be used efficiently due to furniture and other impediments.

Carpeting should be vacuumed as much as possible. Foot traffic and airborne impurities like dust, pollen and other contaminants end up in carpet fiber along with hair, dander, skin and dust mites.

Provide manual spotting tools to employees so that they can perform regular spot removal.

Look for certified products when making the change to sustainable carpet cleaning. Just because a product or service is green certified, that doesn’t mean it won’t damage carpet materials during the cleaning process.

Routine maintenance is the key to carpet appearance and longevity.

Your Shelter from Life's Storms

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Your church is your congregations shelter, helping shield them from the storms of life. But if life's literal storms damage your place of worship or if your cleaning needs go beyond the reach of your staff, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. 

No stain is too small and no storm damage is too big for the SERVPRO System. SERVPRO Professionals have the training, experience, resources and equipment to restore and clean churches quickly, helping make it "Like it never even happened."

Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response. The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you.

What is Ozone Treatment for Fire Damage

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone Chamber

o·zone'o?zon/noun

  1. 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.

Household Mold Acremonium

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Growth on and around Window Seals

ACREMONIUM: 

Acremonium mold is a toxigenic mold type that evolves in its appearance over time. It first starts out as a small moist mold that turns into a fine powdery substance. Acremonium mold is often pink, grey, orange or white in color. Acremonium typically grows in household systems and areas such as condensation from humidifiers, cooling coils, drain pans and window sealants.

  Acremonium is sometimes known to grow with other types of mold including strachybotrys, which creates a particularly unpleasant and dangerous mold problem in homes. Acremonium is a genus of fungus that consists of approximately 100 species. The presence of this slow-growing, prolific mold can be detected by its unpleasant stench in the air.

Tips to Control Mold
If you have leaks in the house or puddles of water in the basement, you can expect mold growth, and it can be difficult to eliminate. Make sure your house is well ventilated by opening windows or using a fan to keep air circulating. Immediately remove wet or water damaged articles such as rugs and upholstered furniture, and if the items cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried, get rid of them.

Fire Damage leads to Water Damage

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in Sumter, SC.

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, firecan 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. 

Facts About Thunder

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Thunder Facts 

  Thunder is the sound caused by lightning.

  • The intense heat from lightning causes the surrounding air to rapidly expand and create a sonic wave that you hear as thunder.

  • The average temperature of lightning is around 20000 °C (36000 °F).

  • The sound of thunder can be anything from a loud crack to a low rumble.

  • Light travels faster than sound so we see lightning before we hear thunder.

  • The closer you are, the shorter the gap between the lightning and thunder.

  • The speed of sound is around 767 miles per hour (1,230 kilometres per hour).

  • The speed of light is around 669600000 miles per hour (1080000000 kilometres per hour).

  • Thunder is difficult to hear at distances over 12 miles (20 kilometres).

  • Thousands of years ago philosophers such as Aristotle believed that thunder was caused by the collision of clouds.

  • Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning.

July is Tornado Season

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

A tornado tears across the Mid West

Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris. Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can:

  • Happen anytime and anywhere;

  • Bring intense winds, over 200 MPH; and

  • Look like funnels.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
  • If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.
  • Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.
  • If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A TORNADO THREATENS

WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare

  • Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.
  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud; an approaching cloud of debris; or a loud roar—similar to a freight train.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter in the event of high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Consider constructing your own safe room that meets FEMA or ICC 500 standards.

 WHAT TO DO DURING: Survive

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.
  • Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.
  • If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.

WHAT TO DO AFTER: Be Safe

  • Keep listening to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.
  • If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
  • Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.

Summer Is the Season for HVAC Leaks

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

HVAC unit that caused ceiling and flooring damage after a drain pan overflow.

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. 

  • FILTERS

    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. 

  • LOW REFRIGERANT

    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. 

  • CLOGGED DRAIN LINE

     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.

  • DISCONNECTED DRAIN LINE

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 asses your damage from the water and dry your home properly. 

Every Second Counts

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Loss Team in Action

Water damage can strike your commercial property at any time. Water damage can sideline your business, regardless if the damage occurs from a major storm event or a broken water line. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. 25% of businesses never reopen after a substantial water damage.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training, experience, and equipment to manage water and flooding damage. Whether you have a large water emergency or a small water damage event, they will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. We can minimize your down time and get you back up and running in the least amount time possible. We understand every minute counts and costs money. 

Some Facts about Lightning

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning storms in Arizona in 1990

Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves. Most lightning occurs within the clouds.During a storm, colliding particles of rain, ice, or snow inside storm clouds increase the imbalance between storm clouds and the ground, and often negatively charge the lower reaches of storm clouds. Objects on the ground, like steeples, trees, and the Earth itself, become positively charged—creating an imbalance that nature seeks to remedy by passing current between the two charges. Lightning is extremely hot—a flash can heat the air around it to temperatures five times hotter than the sun’s surface. Many houses are grounded by rods and other protection that conduct a lightning bolt's electricity harmlessly to the ground. Homes may also be inadvertently grounded by plumbing, gutters, or other materials. Grounded buildings offer protection, but occupants who touch running water or use a landline phone may be shocked by conducted electricity.

(Information courtesy of National Geographic)

Flood Waters are Dangerous

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

A Louisiana Army National Guard dump truck that drove off the road is submerged in floodwaters near Walker, La., on Aug. 14, 2016, after heavy rains i

Flood water poses drowning risks for everyone, regardless of their ability to swim. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children. Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. They can be swept away or may stall in moving water.

Flood waters and standing waters also pose various risks, including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries, well as displace animals, insects, and reptiles. To protect yourself and your family, be alert and avoid contact. 

Flood waters also may contain sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments, that can cause injury and lead to infection.

It is very dangerous to play or drive in flood waters for these reasons.

Please be mindful of all weather hazards during this time in our great state of South Carolina. 

(ERP) Emergency Ready Plan

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

ERP Readiness

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage 

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

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 damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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."

Commercial Water Damage Coverage

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Building with Water Damage

Many property losses experienced by business owners involve water damage caused by leaky pipes. Water can be very destructive whether it seeps from a loose fitting or gushes from a ruptured main. Fortunately, many types of water leaks are covered by a commercial property policy.

Most commercial property policies cover damage to covered property caused by any peril that isn't specifically excluded. 

While property policies contain a broad water exclusion, the exclusion applies mainly to flood and related perils like surface water, waves, mudflow, and the overflow of a body of water. It makes no mention of leaky pipes.

Property damage caused by water leaking from a broken pipe or appliance (such as a water heater) is generally covered under a property policy if the damage occurs suddenly. 

Penicillium Mold

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Penicillium growth on a wall

This type of house mold can be seen on walls, spoiled food, insulation, wallpaper and carpet. It is typically found around damp areas and near food that has gone bad. It typically appears in a blue or greenish color. The spores can cause allergic reactions but are not nearly as toxic as black mold. The discovery of penicillium helped aid the finding of penicillin which is used for treatment of bacterial infections. However, you do not want to have this type of mold in your home. It can easily be spread onto other areas of your home from trapped moisture. SERVPRO of Sumter offers free visual, non invasive mold inspections to help you determine the best ways to clean and treat any growth you may have. 

The Basement Detective explains Crawl Space Mold

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

A crawl space with noticeable growth in Sumter, SC

The Basement Detective wrote an article about mold that we would like to share. It is as follows:

A moldy crawlspace is most often detected by technicians doing service work and by homeowners after noticing a hard to find musty smell in their homes. Locating mold in a crawlspace can be tricky due to a combination of low light and the presence of so many little nooks and crannies for the mold to hide.

Causes are near always attributed to water presence in some form or another. Whether moisture is pooling or condensing is often the concern in determining the source and location of any mold or moldy smells. It is the prevention and repair of the cause of these leaks that is the determining factor in preventing mold or moldy smells in the future. Simply placing plastic over the affected area will only give the moisture another substrate to condense on. This is why many crawlspaces that have been sealed without treating the water issues so often experience rotted wood corroded foundation walls and musty mold smells. 

Tornado Safety

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

A tornado can do catastrophic damage.

Weather Wiz Kids weather information for kids

In an average year, 1000 tornadoes are reported, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. Tornadoes have been reported in every state and can happen at any time of the year. Take tornadoes seriously, because with winds blowing at 200 mph or more, they can destroy just about anything in its path. Always listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your area.

A TORNADO WATCH means tornadoes are possible in your area. Stay tuned to the radio or television news.

A TORNADO WARNING means a tornado is either on the ground or has been detected by Doppler radar. Seek shelter immediately!

BEFORE A TORNADO:

  • Have a disaster plan. Make sure everyone knows where to go in case a tornado threatens.
  • Make sure you know which county or parish you live in.
  • Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit, canned food and a can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective clothing and written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water.

DURING A TORNADO:

  • Go to a basement.
  • If you do not have a basement, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest floor such as a bathroom or closet.
  • If you can, get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table.
  • If you live in a mobile home get out. They offer little protection against tornadoes.
  • Get out of automobiles. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car, leave it immediately.
  • If you’re outside, go to a ditch or low lying area and lie flat in it.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines and stay out of damaged areas.

Hurricane Facts

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding in the Myrtle Beach area during Hurricane Matthew.

A hurricane is an intense tropical storm with powerful winds and heavy rain.Other names for a hurricane include cyclone, typhoon and tropical storm.While they are essentially the same thing, the different names usually indicate where the storm took place. 

Hurricanes form over warm ocean waters near the equator. The warm, moist air above the ocean surface rises, causing air from surrounding areas to be “sucked” in. This “new” air then becomes warm and moist, and rises, too, beginning a continuous cycle that forms clouds. The clouds then rotate with the spin of the Earth. If there is enough warm water to feed the storm, a hurricane forms!

Most hurricanes occur harmlessly out at sea. However, when they move towards land they can be incredibly dangerous and cause serious damage.

Fire Safety Tips

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Lee County Fire and Rescue Bishopville, SC

Top 10 fire safety tips

  1. Fit a smoke alarm and check it regularly.
  2. Make a fire action plan so that everyone in your house knows how to escape in the event of fire.
  3. Take care when cooking with hot oil and think about using thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers.
  4. Never leave lit candles unattended.
  5. Ensure cigarettes are stubbed out and disposed of carefully.
  6. Never smoke in bed.
  7. Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  8. Keep clothing away from heating appliances.
  9. Take care in the kitchen! Accidents whilst cooking account for a large number of fires in the home.
  10. Take special care when you are tired or when you've been drinking. 

If you do experience a fire or smoke damage, SERVPRO of Sumter will do everything possible to elevate some of the stress and get you back in your home as soon as possible.

Don't Let it Grow: Mold

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Cladosporium: a common mold that can grow on walls.

Health concerns may arise when excessive mold grows indoors. Concerns are more likely to arise for "at risk" people,  However, anyone may experience health problems associated with mold in damp buildings.  

There are 5 common types of mold that occur in your home but the most common is:

 CLADOSPORIUM

 — a much more potent fungus that can cause some serious health issues. Check out our source for the science breakdown.  Cladosporium can grow indoors or out. Here are some examples of places where you might find cladosporium mold growing:

  • Clothing
  • Paper
  • Woody plants
  • Food
  •  Soil
  • Painted walls
  • Painted wood
  • HVAC systems
  • Mattress dust

SERVPRO Professionals are able to do a visual non invasive inspection of your home for potential growth. Recommendation of  an Air Quality Professional to test the growth in your home and provide a protocol for SERVPRO to follow may be necessary to eliminate all areas of concern in your home or business. 

Realtors: Let Us Help in the Sale of Your Home

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

For Sale, SOLD

It is important that a home you are getting ready to list is in top show condition and ready to sell. It is a fact that a clean, fresh smelling home sells faster. Unfortunately, not all homes are maintained in the same way. Nearly all realtors are faced, at some point, with a difficult listing to show and sell. Veteran realtors encourage clients to keep their homes in top condition for very important reasons: Increased market value, reduced lit to sale conversion times, enhanced reputation for quality listings and quick sales. 

SERVPRO Professionals offer a variety of services to help revive your listings to top show condition. 

Besides carpet and upholstery cleaning we also clean walls, ceilings, and just about every type of flooring. Also offered are duct and HVAC cleaning, mold mitigation and remediation, and deodorization. 

Let SERVPRO of Sumter help you sell a clean home faster!

It is More Than Just a Roof Leak

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Black water is nothing to mess with.

It is easy to just clean up the water and never consider the source. Contaminants hide everywhere. You may think that the water from the toilet bowl is fine to just clean up if no solids are present, however that is not always the case. Even daily cleanings of your toilet bowl can leave behind germs and bacteria. It is a known fact that the water in your bowl after you flush holds millions of bacteria. If you have an overflow these bacteria are now in your carpet and padding, or under your baseboards and soaking into your walls. 

The same is true from a water intrusion from a leak in ceiling or roof. The water passes through materials, such as insulation and drywall, that contaminate the water and leave behind bacteria. If insulation is left wet in your attic it can also promote growth. 

It is very important to have issues like these cleaned and dried by professionals. Let SERVPRO of Sumter help. 

Support Your Local Fire and Rescue Departments

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Lee County Fire Department

SERVPRO of Sumter would like to thank all the Firefighters, police officers, and EMS in Bishopville for letting us participate in the Lee County Rescue Day Parade. We enjoyed our time with all of you and the great townspeople of Lee County.  

 In most communities it is the local fire department that is the first to respond to emergencies, whether they are small, day-to-day types or large disasters. As the first official government agency contacted, they have the responsibility to manage the incident. Consequently, any volunteer group that wants to provide assistance during these emergencies must work with the local fire/rescue organization if they are to be effective.

Ask your local Fire Department to speak to your schools on safety and fire tips. 

Facts You Need To Know About Pet Urine In Your Carpeting.

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

We love them, but they can sure leave an odor

Urine deposited on carpet does not stay there, it penetrates the fibers and contaminates both the backing of the carpet and the flooring material below the carpet. Urine odors can permeate from the floor, be it cement or wood, from the tack strip, and even from the framework of the house behind the walls. As the urine dries, the liquid will evaporate but the urine crystals become even more concentrated and pungent. Re wetting the urine spots will intensify the odor and reactivate the crystals in the urine. Cleaning these stains can be very difficult and time consuming. Sometimes a professional cleaning service is needed, and even then there is no guarantee the odors can be eliminated. SERVPRO Professionals are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about pet odors.

We care for your belongings like they are our own

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Professionals hand cleaning a customers contents after smoke and soot damage.

SERVPRO of Sumter knows how trying and stressful a fire can be. Our Professionals take great care to clean and pack your belongings so you do not have to worry about it.

Our warehouse is well equipment to store all of your belongings in a climate controlled area with extra steps taken to keep them clean once we have completed our process. 

All items that can be cleaned to pre-fire conditioned are done so by hand with the correct SERVPRO brand cleaning agents and then repacked in clean boxes and stored until you are ready for them to be returned after repairs. 

This includes all upholstered furniture and mattresses that once cleaned, will go through our ozone process to remove any lingering smoke odor.

Let SERVPRO help to make it "Like it never even happened." and alleviate some of the worry for you. 

The definition of biohazard and how SERVPRO can help

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard | Define Biohazard at Dictionary.com

biohazard

\ 'bi-o-?ha-z?rd \

noun 1. material of biological origin that is hazardous to humans  This includes bodily fluids such as blood and microbial growth such as mold to name just a couple.  SERVPRO Professionals take great care and pride in removing any and all bio hazards you may be experiencing weather it is from the death of a loved one or the unsightly growth of mold.  Personal protective equipment is always used to protect not only our SERVPRO Professionals but also the parts of your home that are not contaminated.   The disposal of these contaminants are also handled carefully by being bagged and boxed in biohazard bags and containers and hauled off by a company who specializes in bio hazard disposal.  Let SERVPRO of Sumter do the unpleasant work for you. 

What's Lurking in Your Ducts

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Duct cleaning in a residence

SERVPRO technicians can sweep away years of dust and dirt, reducing potential allergies and growth. 

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a first order of business. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants, and irritating dust throughout your home. 

Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO  Professionals use a Portable Ventilation and Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. 

Having a clean HVAC system and ductwork can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it operate at peak condition, saving you money.  

In some cases duct cleaning is not necessary. Let SERVPRO inspect your duckwork first to make recommendations and save you money.

Water Damage Tips

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Here are some helpful tips from SERVPRO® of Sumter:

Emergency Water Damage Tips

  • Shut off the water source if possible.
  •  Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
  • Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature.
  • Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting.

 Water 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

Fire damage helpful tips before we arrive

3/5/2018 (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.

Do Not Delay, Call Today

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

No time to waste.

Category 1 – Also known as Clean Water, this category of water is sanitary water, with no contaminants at the source, and poses no major health risks to you or your family. You can drink it, wash with it, or (if it is steaming), you can inhale it safely. Most of the water that comes into your home will be Category 1 until it leaves its source, either a supply line, an appliance, or melting snow or rain. Category 1 water may also be referred to as "Clear Water."

Once clear water has left its source for a prolonged period of time, however, it can quickly become contaminated and deteriorate to Category 2, gray water or Catergory 3, black water. Water with a foul odor is a good indicator that it has been mixed with soil or other pollutants.

www.IICRC.org/standards/IICRC-s500

That is why it is important to call us as soon as the water intrusion has been identified. If it sits too long, the floor coverings and cabinets may not be able to be restored. We are in the restoration business after all.

One service we provide

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Thermal Fogging

No, this is not a fire occurring at this moment.  This is a process called Thermal Fogging.  It is just one of our services that we offer in the event of a fire damage to help treat and deodorize odors caused by smoke damage because it acts like a smoke itself.

It is able to travel like smoke and penetrate hard porous surfaces.

Our equipment heats a water based masking agent to create fog that penetrates everywhere smoke may have traveled. A thermal fogger unit can reproduce the energy and pressure of smoke, which penetrates every possible nook and cranny that could still hold odor after sooted material have been removed.

This could help specific clients that have breathing issues such as asthma or COPD. 

Always Here to Help!

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

24/7 Emergency Service

Tow trucks and plumbers aren't the only ones ready at the drop of a hat! Because you never know when an emergency will occur, we have a team available 24/7, regardless of day or time, Holiday or weekend. 

We have a trained staff on call to make sure someone is always ready to handle your emergency. Our staff is also IICRC certified and follow the guidelines outlined in the S500 for water and fire restoration. The faster we respond, the more we can restore. Hesitation can lead to replacement instead or restoration.

Just call our number (803) 773-4331 and we will have a crew at your home or property to begin the mitigation process to prevent any further damage occurring to your property. 

Commercial Water Loss

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Loss

What would you do if you came to work and was faced with this ?  Hopefully call SERVPRO like this business did! 

Upon entering this multi-shop business, this owner found that they were all affected by a pipe bursting sometime overnight.  They called us to start extraction and drying process in an effort to stop any further damage to their property.

As in any Business, time is money, and the longer they stayed closed, the more business they were losing.  We cannot stress the importance in time is critical when dealing with a water loss.  The longer water sits, the more damage it is creating.

We are usually able to arrive on site within an hour, until then, use these tips to help -  http://www.SERVPROsumter.com/water-damage-tips

Mold Can Grow Anywhere, We Can Remove It

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Church Mold Remediation

SERVPRO specializes in mold remediation, the proper and safe way to remove mold and spores to prevent future recurrence. 

It is important to make sure a containment barrier is used to prevent mold spores from becoming air born and settling on other areas not affected.

We use several methods to clean growth including HEPA vacuuming, soda blasting, and a plant based antimicrobial to ensure that we have the right options to fit your remediation needs.

Mold spores will grow more quickly if the temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.Significant mold growth requires moisture and food sources and a substrate capable of sustaining growth. Common building materials, such as plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding provide food for mold. In carpet, invisible dust and cellulose are food sources. After water damage to a building, mold grows in walls and then becomes dormant until subsequent high humidity; suitable conditions reactivate mold.

If you have a need of our services, please use these tips until we can arrive at your home or business.

There are times when an IEP or air quality professional is needed. Contact us if you need help in finding someone to test for mold!

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