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Spring Cleaning Outside

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

General Spring Cleaning Outside SPRING CLEANING OUTSIDE

When making your spring cleaning list, remember your home's exterior.  A few hours of attention could save you a bundle in unexpected repairs. 

Roof & Chimney
Examine your roof for cracked or missing shingles and damaged flashing around vents and chimneys. Check chimney caps and roof vents for bird nests and debris.

Gutters & Downspouts
Clogged gutters lead to rainwater back up and rot under shingles, waterfalls that cause window leaks and pools that drain into your crawl or basement and soften soil around tree roots causing them to fall.  Consider installing gutter screening and downspout extensions.

Foundation Vents & Drains
Look for missing or damaged screens, debris, signs of insect or rodent infestation, or other issues.  Unclog drainage systems designed to channel water away from the foundation, including city sewer drains.


2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage TIPS TO AVOID PIPE BURSTS Tips to avoid pipe bursts


When temperatures drop, pipes can freeze. Freezing water expands and cold pipes contract. The result, pipe bursts and water damage.  Follow these tips to keep your house safe this winter:

  1. Disconnect outdoor hoses & cover spigots with insulated covers
  2. Drain in-ground sprinkler systems
  3. Show family members where the water main is and how to shut it off
  4. Insulate pipes in unheated spaces
  5. Caulk around holes where pipes come through walls
  6. Stop cold air in your crawlspace by closing vents & sealing cracks
  7. When it drop below freezing, keep your faucets lightly dripping.
  8. Keep house temperatures above 55 & don’t turn it down before travelling
  9. Open cabinet doors so air can keep pipes warm
  10. Keep a light on in crawlspaces, attics & well houses

Prevent Winter Fires

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Prevent Winter Fires Prevent Winter Fires

Preventing Winter Fires

Most home fires happen during the winter season.  Follow these fire safety tips to keep your home and family safe:

  • Keep area around heating equipment clear of flammables.
  • If you use a fireplace, have the chimney swept yearly, use a sturdy screen to stop sparks and store ashes outside at least 10 feet away from the house. 
  • Use space heaters with automatic shut-offs and keep pets & children 3 feet away.
  • Test smoke & carbon monoxide alarms and make sure batteries are fresh.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on each floor and teach family members how to use it.
  • Keep baking soda by the stove to combat grease fires.

Where Do You Begin When You Need Fire Damage Repair?

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Where Do You Begin When You Need Fire Damage Repair? Home Fire Damage Repair

About 380,000 people needed fire damage repair in their homes after an accidental or unintentional fire, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration. Cooking accidents, heating issues, and electrical malfunctions account for close to 70% of all residential home fires. If you need fire or smoke damage repairs, there are some steps you can take before calling a professional fire and smoke restoration specialist to make your home safer. The fire department determines whether it is safe to stay in your home or not.

Fire Damage Repair

Often, with smoke and fire damage, there is also water damage hidden behind the walls. After a fire, call a professional fire damage repair company to ease your worries and take care of all the heavy cleaning, drywall replacing, and mold and mildew preventative maintenance.  However, follow these steps to start the fire damage repair yourself. First, put on some protective clothing including rubber gloves, protective eyewear, and a face mask to prevent breathing any debris particles.

  1. Soot that has collected like dust requires a special vacuum. You should avoid using your own household vacuum.
  2. Use the following formula to clean surfaces. Pick up some TSP, or trisodium phosphate, and mix 5-tablespoons into 1-gallon of water with 1-cup detergent or bleach. Wash the floors and walls in small sections and complete the ceiling last. To prevent mold, rinse off this solution and dry at least 24-hours before you try repainting.
  3. You can wash clothes with TSP, about 5-tablespoons per load, and detergent to remove the smoke odor.
  4. Wash kitchen utensils and cooking items in hot soapy water.
  5. Wipe down leather furniture and bags with a wet cloth followed by a dry wipe using a dry cloth. Keep them in a cool dark place while drying and use saddle soap on dried items.  

Fire Prevention

Removing fire damage, soot, and smoke from walls, ceilings, and floors is a not a simple task. Take the following steps to minimize the risk of fire and smoke damage to your home in the future.

  1. Electrical - Check and replace damaged electrical outlets, plugs, cords, and wires regularly and do not keep them covered or pinched against a wall. Avoid overloading your homes circuit system and use surge protectors rather than unprotected power strips.
  2. Kitchen – Often overlooked as part of a kitchen setup is the fire extinguisher. Keep one in close reach and prepare yourself to use it. Most ovens have a self-cleaning button; use it regularly to prevent buildup. Keep the stovetop clean to minimize grease fires.
  3. Appliances - A clothes dryer holds lint and many other appliances with a fan or motor suck in dust and other particles. Clear the filter of lint after each load and the dryer vent often. Clean under all appliances regularly to prevent buildup.
  4. Other fire causes include smoking, placing grills less than 10 feet away from your home, and children’s curiosity.

After you start your own fire damage repairs, contacting a professional fire damage company helps ensure proper repairs to your property, as well as mold and mildew prevention.  

When Your Home Needs Water Damage Repair

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage When Your Home Needs Water Damage Repair When Your Home Needs Water Damage Repair

There is almost nothing more disruptive for a homeowner than needing water damage repair, except the potential damage caused by water in the first place. Set free in your house, water causes extreme damage and safety concerns and leads to mold and health scares.

How Water Damage Occurs

Water Damage occurs for any number of reasons and sometimes it goes on long before you notice it. The most common ways in which water damage occurs are the following:

  • Pipes – Leaking, burst, or cracked pipes are common in homes, especially older homes where pipes might need replacing. Spots with prior repairs are more susceptible to future damage with time and use. Weather changes and weakened areas of pipe can all lead to water damage in your homes.
  • Flooding – Flooding whether caused by heavy rain, plumbing failures, or groundwater exposure, causes extensive damage and affects many surfaces and items in your home from the floor to ceiling including electrical outlets, TV’s and appliances, and furniture.
  • Basements and Crawlspaces - Accumulating water can sit and collect in damp and cool places like a basement or crawlspace

Results of Unrepaired Water Damage

Even the smallest amount of water damage can lead to deteriorating housing materials and fungal growth like mold. Mold loves to multiply in damp, moist, and dark locations. Areas in your home that were not properly cleaned and dried are perfect hosts for mold. Humid locations are especially susceptible to mold growth. Mold spores are also airborne, spread quickly, and toxic to your health.

You Have Water Damage. Now What?

First, when accessing if you should attempt water damage repair before calling a professional also determine whether it is safe to remain in your home. The biggest concern is your electrical system and the potentials for injury from slipping. Then,

  • The sooner you clean the better. If the water damage is manageable and your safety in check, begin the clean-up process right away.
  • Water is heavy. Removing water logged and soaking wet items is a laborious task, therefore be aware of your own abilities and safety when removing wet items.
  • Leave your vacuum in the closet. Your household vacuum is not equipped to handle water removal. Use a mop and bucket, or another absorbent cloth, to soak up and dispose of the water manually. Blot rugs and furniture with absorbent material to soak up the water.
  • Hang up those wet fabrics. Leaving any fabric material soaking in water is a fungus breeding ground. Remove cushions, curtains, blankets, and throw rugs to dry elsewhere.
  • Keep those appliances and electronics off. Your electronics could have water damage where you cannot see it.
  • Clean up. Clean up and remove everything from the waterlogged area that isn’t bolted in place.

Leaving any water damaged areas unrepaired leads to further damage and toxic living situations.

Lastly, call a well-trained water restoration professional with industrial equipment to ensure water damage repairs happen immediately and properly. A water damage professional handles the entire repair process from removing the water to ensuring everything in your home is dry; preventing mold growth and further material damage, protecting your health and making your home safe again.

Penny Benkeser, owner of SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotte Featured on FOX46 Charlotte

10/17/2016 (Permalink)

Community Penny Benkeser, owner of SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotte Featured on FOX46 Charlotte Penny Benkeser, President of the National Association of Women Business Owners joins Good Day's Barbara Lash to talk about women in business.

Penny Benkeser, owner of SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotte and president of the Charlotte Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) joins Good Day's Barbara Lash to talk about women in business.

Penny is the 2016-2017 President of the Charlotte chapter of NAWBO.  In this interview she is able to discusses the woman owned business community in Charlotte and the role of NAWBO in the local community.  She also talks about a few of the upcoming events meant to provide education and networking resources for women business owners.  

Finally, she also speaks to some of the benefits she has been able to leverage based on her NAWBO membership and the impact on the growth on her business.   

Click Here to Watch the Video on Fox46

Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home Charlotte Water Damage Restoration Tips

Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

Water damage is something no one wants to deal with, large or small. It can wreak havoc in your home or business, and the cleanup required can be both time consuming and expensive, especially in cases where large areas are effected, or damage that later results in mold. When water damage occurs, it not only compromises part, if not all, of the structure of the dwelling, but the furnishings, appliances, collectibles and a number of other things. 

Many times water damage comes from leaky or busted water pipes in a bathroom or kitchen. In the bathroom, there are a few simple things you can do to possibly prevent future problems. For one thing, if you don't have an exhaust fan, install one. Steam and humidity that results from your baths and showers provide a perfect environment for mold to grow; exhaust fans will control this. Also, watch for stains or spots forming on the walls that could indicate leaking pipes behind the sheet rock or other wall coverings. You might want to repair the grout or chalking around your tub, shower, or toilet that is beginning to get loose, especially if you are noticing small puddles of water around these areas. 

Though you cannot see below the tiles, the moisture could be causing damage to the wood flooring beneath. If this is happening, it could also be a breeding ground for wood damaging insects. One other thing you definitely need to do is check the pipes located under the counters in not only the bathroom, but kitchen as well. Since you have to get down on your knees and move items that may be stored in front of, or under them, you don't know there is a problem until it is too late. If you see the fittings, or the pipes are getting rusty and worn, you should replace them. 

Here are a few significant and handy protection tips: 

  • Check to make sure the water hoses running from the washing machine are in good repair 
  • Dishwashers should be checked regularly as they have a high potential to leak. Installing steel braided hoses on appliances may be worth looking into. 
  • Pipes and connections should be checked regularly 
  • Avoid flushing foreign objects down the toilet 
  • Remember to clean out roof gutters as this is a major cause of water damage 

If water damage has already occurred, here are some tips to help minimize damage:

  • Turn off the source of the water intrusion 
  • Remove furniture and rugs off the floor or they may leave permanent stains 
  • Avoid lifting up carpets from edges as this may cause shrinkage which is virtually impossible to repair. 
  • Use foil to put between furniture legs and carpet 
  • Wipe down your furniture 
  • Don't use an ordinary vacuum cleaner to suck up water 
  • Put down towels and mop to soak up excess water 
  • Turn on air conditioning to dehumidify air and turn on fans (if safe to do so) 
  • Call an IICRC qualified water damage business as soon as possible.

We Are Hiring Crew Chiefs!

4/5/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotte is looking to hire experienced, dedicated and reliable team members for its production team. If you want to join a growing team of service professionals, then now is your chance! We offer benefits and competitive pay with bonuses. 

We are looking for a Crew Chief to lead a team of mitigation specialists in the restoration/mitigation field. You will be expected to schedule, manage and produce mitigation work on a daily basis to accomplish daily and weekly production goals. You will also be responsible to work along side your team to teach, train coach and help meet all production goals.

• High School diploma or equivalent
• WRT certified a must – ASD certified a bonus
• Minimum 2 years supervisory experience
• Positive attitude and willingness to accept responsibility, work hard, learn and grow in a team environment
• Safe driving practices, and able to drive multiple types of vehicles, and tow trailers
• Participate in a 24-hour, on-call rotation
• Must be able to work nights and weekends
• No felony convictions 704-393-7890

Will You Be Ready When Disaster Strikes?

3/31/2016 (Permalink)

If a disaster strikes, will you be ready?

 It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs; one way to do that is by building a basic emergency kit.  The following items are recommended for your kit.

  1. Water, one gallon per person per day
  2. Food, non-perishable 3 day-supply
  3. Manual can opener
  4. Battery operated radio, preferably an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  5. Flashlight and extra batteries
  6. First aid kit
  7. Whistle to signal for help
  8. Clothing
  9. Dust masks or bandanas
  10. Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
  11. Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary
  12. Local maps
  13. Hygiene items
  14. Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account information
  15. Cash
  16. Fire extinguisher

Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone.  Take action now to protect yourself and your property. 

It Doesn’t Cost a lot to be Prepared for Disasters

2/4/2016 (Permalink)

It is no secret that many families and individuals are looking to cut back on spending. But with the frequency of disasters, both natural and manmade, can you afford not to be prepared? Preparedness doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Here are a few tips on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune.

• Make a Plan.

Work with you family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area.

Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go and what to do in case of an emergency.

You can download Family Emergency Plan templates

• Update Contact Information.

Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need. Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.

• Check Your Policy.
Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes – renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet.

• Make a Ready List.
You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car. Sample Ready Lists can be found at

Plan Your Purchases.
You can save money by thinking ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.

• Shop Sales.
Shop at sales and used goods stores. Buy preparedness items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won’t notice the cost as much.

• Make Sure it Keeps.
Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight

• Request a Gift.
We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.

• Trade a Night Out.
Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your Ready kit.

*The best tip: start now. Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be Ready!

Visit Charlotte Mecklenburg Emergency Management for information on emergency preparedness in the greater Charlotte area.