Is Your Home Winter Ready?
Get Your Home Winter Ready
For those who live in the Charlotte area where weather events are typically mild, winter isn’t a season as much as it is a time for celebration. But friendly forecasts aside, as we move into the coldest months of the year, the city will still get its fair share of precipitation - whether it’s rain, snow, sleet or hail.
We’ll also experience a fluctuation in temperatures and an increase in days that dip into the low 30s and even below freezing - making it critical to get your home winter-ready. After a snow or ice storm, our restoration specialists see the aftermath firsthand: water damage caused by a burst pipe, gaping roof holes from falling trees, mold infestations in fireplaces, and smoke damage from a Christmas tree that went up in flames.
With so many North Carolinians spending more time at home than ever, we want to help you and family stay safe and warm, as well as protect your home from damage (both inside and out) all winter long. Just as Santa knows well the value of making a list and checking it twice, so should homeowners. The time to start winterizing is now - before the first storm or harsh weather event hits. Fortunately, you can DIY most of these home protection recommendations.
Indoor winterization tips
- Use pipe foam to insulate your pipes, especially those warm to the touch.
- Check and repair any attic, garage or shed leaks.
- Seal any water pipe or hose leaks.
- Be sure the temperature hot water tank is set safely, and clean your dryer vents.
- Seal the top of your fireplace if you don’t plan to use it during the winter.
- Change the batteries on any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the equipment is working correctly.
- Replace filters throughout your house and open heating system vents.
- Flush your water heater to let any sediment run out.
- Install window insulation film and weather-stripping tape around doors and windows. For a quick fix, use a rolled-up towel or blanket to keep under door drafts at bay.
Outdoor winterization tips
- Clean your downspouts and gutters of any debris, twigs, leaves, nuts or rocks so ice can’t build up and clog them.
- Trim tree limbs around your home. When weighed down from wet snow or an ice storm, they can break or fall, causing damage to your roof, home, car or fence.
- Fill any siding and window cracks or gaps with caulk.
- Take out any window AC units and remove any debris, branches or leaves around your air conditioner condenser.
- Drain and disconnect hoses and turn off your sprinklers. If your pipes aren’t frost-proof, turn off the water valve by the spigot.
- Move outdoor furniture, grills and propane tanks away from the elements, or wrap them in tarps and bungee cords to keep them secure outside.
- Remove any moss or vegetation from your roof.
24/7 water damage and restoration assistance
American travel writer Paul Theroux said, “Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” Unfortunately, sometimes preparedness is still no match for Mother Nature’s wrath or other cleaning or restoration emergencies. If that happens, you can rest assured our team is just a phone call away.
Although SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston is part of a national network of 1,700-plus franchises, we’re locally owned and operated and part of the Mecklenburg, Lincoln, and Gaston communities. Our water damage and restoration experts are employees, not contractors, which means our team can respond faster to emergencies with a proven water damage restoration process and the most advanced technology and equipment. For questions, contact us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.
It's Time to Winterize Your Home
Winterize Your Home
As temperatures are now cooler, have you taken the opportunity to make sure your home is effectively winterized? Winterization is not only the process of preparing and protecting a home or building from potentially freezing temperatures but also protecting it from the effects that such freezing temperatures could have including pipe bursts and water damage. Most structures are built to withstand the typical temperatures in which they reside. However, cold temperatures over a while can still test the ability to withstand such elements.
Make sure you’ve completed these quick and easy recommendations to prevent a temperature-related disaster.
- Turn up the inside heat temperature by a few degrees. Even though this may raise your utility bill a few dollars, it will save you the potentially large expense of disaster recovery.
- If the weather is calling for freezing temperatures, be sure to turn any sink, bath, and outside faucets to a drip to prevent them from freezing.
- Also if there is going to be freezing temperatures, open cabinets underneath sinks so that the heat can keep the pipes warm. You can also wrap your pipes in insulation for an extra measure of protection.
- Whether your home or business is occupied or empty, never completely turn off the heat. To prevent freezing or other damage, buildings need to be at least 55 degrees even if they are empty.
- If your home or business is in an older building, there is an increased risk of air drafts that allows the cold temperatures to enter. Be sure to block such drafts. Plastic winter insulation kits are available for drafty windows. Caulk or weather stripping can also help with drafts.
- Make sure that your vents can flow freely without being blocked by furniture or any other obstruction.
- Change your filters if needed to ensure your heat is working properly. Heat that is working improperly can be a risk for fire, carbon monoxide, and more.
- Make sure your fans are reversed to a clockwise rotation for them to rotate the warm air towards the ceiling downward and into the room.
- Be sure your gutters are free of leaves and any other blockages. Otherwise, excess water can freeze and cause unwanted damage to your property including water falling down the side of the house and saturating the ground around your foundation, along the walls, and in your basement. Also, Ice dams could cause major water damage to your roof, siding, and inside your walls.
- Replace any loose shingles on your roof. If the roof is exposed to rain or snow, your home is subject to water damage.
By taking these measures now, your property will be winter-ready for the elements of the season before disaster strikes.
However, should you suffer damages, we are available 24/7 - Call us at 704-393-7890.
House covered in scarf and toboggan
SERVPRO is Available 24/7 to Help you Restore Your Home After a Fire.
Home Fire in Charlotte NC
Most homeowners in Charlotte know that repairing and restoring their home after a fire takes time. The flames, smoke, and extinguishing agents left behind by the fire and first responders can leave your home in disarray. Do not let the mess intimidate you; instead, call a company certified to handle these situations.
Only a professional group can help mitigate your loss as it helps you salvage, remove, and restore your home and your personal belongings.
For our Charlotte and Mecklenburg County neighbors, fire damage restoration is a phone call away. Our SERVPRO team is available around the clock because we recognize that emergencies happen day and night. Our Green Fleet is ready to spring into action, assess the incident's impact, and create an action plan for your home. Our goal is to erase this disruption from your life by doing a conscientious and thorough job of restoring your home.
How do I decide what to keep and what to remove after a fire?
Looking at the soot sitting on your furniture, books, and decor may leave a hopeless feeling in your heart, but don't jump to conclusions until you consult our Damage Restoration experts. Our team has the expertise and solutions to restore documents, electronics, and flooring, among others. Fires also leave behind an acrid smell, which our team can address as well.
Our team at SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotte is here to help when you need it the most. Call us at (704) 393-7890 when disaster strikes and let us help you make your home, "Like it never even happened."
Flood Damage and Water: What's the Difference?
Woman in Charlotte NC home who is calling Water Damage Restoration Company.
Is it Flood Damage or Water Damage?
Mitigation and restoration after water damage occurs is not the only piece of the water damage puzzle. When water causes damage, an insurance claim should be made as soon as possible.
Filing an insurance claim because of water damage can be complicated. The first step is knowing the difference between a flood damage claim and water damage. This information is crucial to the homeowner because it determines what is covered and what is not.
The distinction between a flood damage claim and a water damage claim is best be defined by (FEMA) the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood definition. According to FEMA, a flood is a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land.
To make it simple, if the water that caused the damage occurred from a natural source and any neighbors are experiencing the same water issues, its generally flood damage. According to FEMA, flood damage can only be caused by overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, mudflow, or collapse of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood.
If a flood has caused damage to your home, it is important to know if you currently have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, because home insurance companies do not offer coverage on flood damage. Having flood insurance is extremely beneficial to homeowners who think they might even have the slightest chance of being affected by a flood. The official site of the National Flood Insurance Program states that flood insurance policies cover physical damage to your property and possessions.
Everything from the actual building and its foundation to the refrigerator and the food inside of it is covered by flood insurance and will be taken into consideration when claims are filed. Flood insurance does cover basements and areas below the lowest elevated floor, but it depends on the flood zone and the date of construction. It is important to remember that flood insurance does not cover the sentimental value of any property, so be sure to remove any precious items such as photos, documents, or personal items that cannot be replaced as quickly as possible.
When water damage occurs in your home, did not originate from a natural source, and is not affecting any surrounding buildings, a water damage claim is necessary. Circumstances such as broken toilets, overflowing bathtubs, broken pipes, and b burst water mains are all grounds for water damage claims that should be filed by contacting your homeowners insurance company.
Working through the process of filing both a water damage claim and a flood damage claim can be confusing, and seem overwhelming.
If water damage does occur, SERVPRO of NW Charlotte can clean and restore your home to make it "Like it never even happened." Call us 24/7.
Have Fire or Soot Damage in Your Home?
Fire Damage Room in Charlotte NC Home.
After a home fire, owners commonly find soot on walls, ceilings, and on other materials or objects. Most wall surfaces are porous, this includes brick, painted walls, and wallpaper,. Soot consists of very fine particles that can deeply penetrate into porous surfaces. Soot can causing hard to remove stains and lingering odors throughout your home.
Generally, it's possible to remove soot from walls and ceilings, but in serious cases, it may be necessary to remove, and reinstall affected materials like drywall and wallpaper. It is recommended to, to hire a professional restoration firm to get the best outcome from soot clean up after fire damage in your residence.
SERVPRO of NW Charlotte’s fire restoration experts are trained and equipped to handle smoke, ash, and soot cleanup process quickly and effectively. We begin soot cleanup by removing most of the dry soot using commercial grade high efficiency dusters, HEPA vacuums, and cleaning equipment.
For help in removing soot from your fire damaged home, contact SERVPRO of NW Charlotte at (704) 393-7890.
Home Water Damage typically starts in the Bathroom
Bathroom Water Damage
Many instances of the flooding and other water damage experienced in homes start in the bathroom. Bathrooms are a common source of water damage which can be created by overflowing toilets, overflowing sinks, under sink pipe bursts, overflowing bathtubs or water pipe leaks underneath the flooring. SERVPRO of NW Charlotte has water restoration specialists to help recover from the water damage caused by any issue in your bathroom.
Finding the Source of Water Damage
While an overflowing bathtub or toilet is never expected. Home owners are usually immediately aware when the water damage happens, unless they aren away at the time of the flood. Sometimes leaks can happen behind the walls of bathrooms that can go on for days, weeks or even months without being identified until the damage is significant. Water damage in bathrooms can cause considerable damage and mold growth. Visible issues can even go undetected if the owner is away from the home for a significant amount of time. In some cases, an unexpectedly high water bill can alert a homeowner something is wrong. Bathroom water damage of any type needs immediate professional attention.
What to Do After Your Bathroom Floods
While you’re waiting for water damage mitigation company to arrive, here are a few water damage tips:
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from furniture after removal of tabletop items and lamps.
- Remove and prop up wet cushions and upholstery.
- Remove wet area rugs..
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove important objects to a safe, dry area.
What Happens When Water Damage Specialists Arrive
When the a water mitigation company arrives, they get to work to immediately assess the damage. They’ll inspect the damage and make an assessment in order to rectify the situation. Next, they’ll use advanced equipment to extract the water using pumps and vacuum units to rapidly remove water from your bathroom and surrounding impacted areas, which helps prevent further water damage and mold growth.
Then comes drying and dehumidification to help prevent odors and mold from growing.
Next, they’ll clean all the restorable items and structures damaged by the water as well as sanitizing treatments to remove odors and deodorize your property.
Finally, there’s restoration - restoring your home to its pre-damage condition. Restoration might include minor repairs like replacing drywall, tile floor repair, painting, or installing new baseboards in your bathroom. More significant repairs may include tarping, boarding up, packing, and moving, or other repairs.
SERVPRO of NW Charlotte can simplify the restoration process by handling the initial water damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas that will bring a building back to full functionality.
Bathrooms are a common area when it comes to water damage and flooding but choosing the best water damage restoration company can make the recovery process easier.
Contact us at (704) 393-7890to get your water damage handled quickly and professionally.
How to Locate your Home Water Shut Off Valve
Man adjusting home water value shutoff.
If the leak is from a sink or a toilet, it is easy to turn off the water for that line by turning the valve that is located beneath or beside the fixture.
What if you're not sure where the leak is coming from? It could be a pipe behind your wall, under your home, or somewhere that is hard to locate. In this case, you should turn off the water to the whole house. This means locating the water main shutoff.
Do you know where the shutoff is located and could you locate it in the case of an emergency? If not, don't feel bad. Many people do not know where to locate their water and gas shut offs.
Typically, these shut offs lie on the exterior of the home around the perimeter of the building. Once you have found the shut off, make sure that all members of your household know where it is. This is exactly why we tag these main shut offs during the creation of an ERP. The quicker you are able to turn off the water, the less damage is caused.
Once located, you can add water and gas shut off tags to the appropriate shut offs. You can add these tags as a helpful reminder if you ever have an emergency in your home. For example, if a leak happens or a pipe bursts in your home, the first thought to cross your mind should be to turn off the water.
Next step? Call SERVPRO of NW Charlotte.
If you experience water damage in your home, whether from a busted pipe, leaky roof, or natural occurrence, call SERVPRO of NW Charlotte at (704) 393-7890.
We are here to help 24/7.
Why Do You Need a Water Mitigation Company?
Should You call a Water Damage Repair Company?
Why Do You Need a Water Mitigation Company?
If you’re like most homeowners in the Charlotte area, you want to take care of home maintenance on your own. After all, who wants to pay for a repair service when you can just do it yourself? In some cases, that might be the best thing to do, but it’s also important to consult a professional restoration company when the need arises.
As a water mitigation company in Charlotte NC, potential customers can sometimes call back and decide to do the clean up themselves but many have called back with new problems. Lost time, costly do-it-yourself products, and frustration can be avoided by using a professional.
Why use a Water Damage Restoration and Repair Company?
- Uncover hidden moisture problems. When it comes to water damage, there’s often more than meets the eyes. Materials like hardwoods and drywall, are porous, so they absorb water. Moisture can cause the materials to expand, or possibly trap moisture, allowing it to foster mold growth. A water mitigation company has the equipment to both detect and dry these materials.
- Prevent future mold growth. Mold spores are everywhere, but they don’t pose much of a threat until they are exposed to moisture. When water damage isn’t adequately addressed, it can increase the chances of mold growth. Our team can extract and dry the water, plus we apply an antimicrobial to deter mold.
- Equipment and Expertise to remove contaminated water. Not all water damage is equal. Water can occasionally be extremely contaminated (such as floodwater or sewage) and may pose health risks. In these cases, protective gear and specific processes are required for cleaning up the damage to reduce exposure. Our experienced technicians are equipped and certified to handle these situations.
Water damage can come in many different forms and it’s also important to know when things are beyond your control. No matter the situation, SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotteis here to help.
Contact us at (704) 393-7890 for 24/7 Water Damage Mitigation, Repair, and Post Damage Reconstruction.
Be Prepared with The Emergency Ready Profile
Business Preparedness with the Emergency Ready Profile
Did you know as many as 50% of businesses never recover following a disaster? The majority of Charlotte NC businesses that do survive had an emergency preparedness plan in place. Being fully prepared with proper planning can bring you peace of mind. When you are "Ready for whatever happens" this provides a solid level of trust with your clients and employees, so that if there is an emergency event and your business is affected by a disaster, you’ll be able to recover as quickly as possible.
By developing an (ERP) Emergency Ready Profile with SERVPRO of NW Charlotte 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.
- It’s Free. We will provide an assessment of your facility at no cost to you.
This is a high quality, digital profile with no need for you to allocate funds. This program provides exceptional value with zero cost.
- A Profile Document containing critical information needed in an emergency.
In just minutes, your business can complete the profile without taking time away from current projects, but it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A Digital Guide to help you get back into your building after a disaster.
Having a complete, updated Emergency Ready Profile can help minimize the amount of time your business is affected by a disaster by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes SERVPRO of NW Charlotte as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. Your business will have a go-to source with a provider recognized as the industry leader right around the corner.
- Identifies the line of command for authorizing restoration work to begin.
Save time. In the case of a disaster or emergency, we can begin the work of mitigating the damage right away - which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as electrical box and water shut-off valve locations, as well as priority areas such as entrances, exits, and priority contact information.
Your team will be fully ready with a quick reference of who to call, what to do, and how to do it providing you with solutions in advance of an emergency situation so you’re "Ready for whatever happens."
Get Started Today
Contact us at (704) 393-7890 or email us at sp10068@SERVPROnwcharlotte.com to schedule a consultation.
SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County is a locally owned company with national resources backed by SERVPRO® and is ready to help your business regardless of the size or scope of the damage.
Does your Business have a Disaster Plan?
Do you have a Disaster Plan?
If you own a business in Mecklenburg County, developing a disaster plan is a vital part of making sure you are covered in case an emergency were to arise. Having a written plan in place will help your employees stay safe in an emergency situation, keep everyone informed, and help you reopen your business quickly. There are a few key elements that can help you be certain that you are fully prepared.
Path for Building Evacuation & Staying Put
Depending on the type of disaster you are facing, it may be necessary to evacuate while other disasters may necessitate staying in place. To be fully prepared for whatever situation your business faces, it is important to have a procedure in place regarding both of these things.
Make sure that you have well-marked evacuation routes in the building in case employees must leave suddenly in the event of a fire or flood, and practice evacuation drills frequently so everyone knows what to do. In the event that you must stay put, pack an office emergency kit with enough food, water and medical supplies to sustain you and your staff until official help arrives.
Effective Communication Strategy for Employees and Management
In the event of a disaster or emergency, there will likely be a lot of confusion from staff regarding what this means for the business and their livelihoods. Making sure that you and upper management have a strategy for communicating with staff will help you (most importantly) ensure everyone is safe, communicate pertinent information and keep any rumors at bay.
Outline of the Recovery Process
For business owners, stakeholders, and management, your livelihood is likely on the line if your business or organization has an unexpected closure. It’s recommended that you have a recovery plan in place in advance so you can expedite your time to reopening.
Make sure you are aware of how to start recovery, including knowing your insurance information, and preferred commercial restoration company that you will be using to mitigate damage, restore your property, and get your business reopened as quickly as possible.
If your business has experienced a disaster, you can count on our restoration services. Contact SERVPRO NW Charlotte at (704) 393-7890 to learn more about our commercial restoration process.