Recent Posts

Why You Should Choose SERVPRO for Your Large Loss Recovery

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Property destroyed by Storm. Choose SERVPRO for Your Large Loss Recovery and Avoid Damage to your Property.

When a catastrophic loss affects your New Bern, NC, home or business, you need the best remediation experts available. Whether your building suffers from severe flooding or storm damage, the restoration professionals at SERVPRO can help with the rebuild.

Why You Should Call SERVPRO for Storm Damage Recovery

When a natural disaster strikes, SERVPRO mobilizes its disaster recovery team and pools together restoration professionals from around the country. This team has assisted in the remediation of government buildings, universities, and hospitals. It has also responded to some of the more catastrophic weather events in recent North American history, including:

  • The 2016 Houston and Louisiana floods
  • The 2015 Siberian Express
  • The 2014 Polar vortex
  • The 2013 California wildfires
  • Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Ike
  • Tropical Storm Lee

SERVPRO can respond quickly because it has more than 1,900 locations in Canada and the United States. It thus has the huge network of supplies, equipment and workers needed for catastrophic loss recovery. The large number of franchises also allows SERVPRO to respond to a disaster at any time of day or night. After all, catastrophies do not only happen during traditional business hours.

Yet SERVPRO still provides personal attention to each home and business owner. The project manager from your local franchise will control the remediation project. You can thus speak to this person directly with any problems or concerns.

SERVPRO also understands that making an insurance claim for storm repairs can be a challenge. That is why SERVPRO will work with your insurer to coordinate all the required paperwork. This will give you one less thing to worry about as you recover from the disaster.

How You Can Mitigate Damage After a Storm

Before SERVPRO representatives or other restoration professionals arrive at your property, you should attempt to safely mitigate additional harm to the premises. Before re-entering your home or business, put on protective gear, including sturdy shoes.

Flooding of a nearby stream, river or creek is particularly dangerous. The water likely contains harmful bacteria. You should thus avoid directly contacting this water or anything that has been contaminated by it. You should also throw out any foods that have touched the water. Even foods in secured containers such as cans could still be contaminated.

Once you are safely inside the property, do not attempt to turn on a light switch or operate any other electrical items while you are in damp or wet areas. You could put yourself at risk of electrocution.

Any wet pillow cushions or upholstery should be removed from the premises. Prop up these items so they can dry more quickly. You can simply wipe dry any wooden furniture after removing lamps and other items from their surfaces.

Finally, pay special attention to the crawlspace of your home. If water settles there during a storm or flood, the wetness combined with the dark space could foster mold growth. This could then cause additional damage to the property.

If your property suffers a catastrophic loss, contact professionals from SERVPRO. They have the training and experience needed to help your home recover from a severe storm or flood.

Steps To Take After a Fire

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Burning apartment. Avoid Further Fire Damage by Following our Tips.

No landlord likes to think about the damage that an apartment fire can cause. It's important to know what to do in case it happens in your building in New Bern, NC, though. Here are the steps you should take immediately after a fire.

Ensure Apartment Fire Is Out and Everyone Is Safe

As soon as you know there's a fire in the building, dial 911. Then focus on your responsibilities:

  • Alert all tenants quickly by text.
  • Check on elderly and disabled tenants to see if they need assistance escaping the building.
  • Exchange contact information with the fire officer on the scene.

Your primary concern should be the safety of your residents, but it's also vital that you make sure the fire is put out as soon as possible. The more damage you can prevent, the less expensive restoration will be.

Contact Insurance Company and Restoration Professionals

Once the fire is out, call your insurance provider. The company will send an adjuster who will assess the damage to the structure to help you get the claims process started. You also need to contact fire damage restoration experts so that they can assess what needs to be repaired and begin the mitigation process.

Provide Tenants With Information About What They Should Do

As the landlord, you are only responsible for covering the cost of the damage the apartment fire did to the structure and the property itself. Tenants are responsible for their own belongings. Ideally, the people who live in your building have renter's insurance so that they can get help with temporary relocation costs and the replacement of personal items.

If they don't have policies that compensate them for their losses, they may be able to get help from organizations such as the Red Cross.

Document Damage To Your Building

It's a good idea to accompany the restoration team or insurance adjuster on the walkthrough of your building. That way, you can take pictures or videos of the fire's aftermath. Take notes and make a list of repairs that need to be made so that you have the information you need for the insurance company.

Include Fire Report and Restoration Estimate in Claim

Other documentation you should gather includes the official fire report from the officer who was in charge of taking care of the flames and the estimate given to you by the head of the restoration team. These documents can corroborate your own records and thus increase the likelihood that your claim will be accepted.

Keep Tenants Informed Throughout Process

Tenants will likely be concerned about when they can return to their homes. Provide them with a general timeline, but maintain contact throughout the process to reassure them. Taking the initiative to keep them informed is good customer service and can help to put their minds at ease.

There is a lot to do after an apartment fire. You have a responsibility to make your building habitable again and to keep residents notified as new information comes to light. If you complete this checklist, you should be able to file a successful claim for the fire damage to your building.

Why Does My Toilet Leak Every Time I Flush?

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

A leaky Toilet. Learn more about leaky Toilets, Follow out Tips, and Avoid Water Damage in your property.

Have you detected water dripping or collecting on the outside of your toilet every time you flush? Typically leaking that coincides with flushing emerges either around the toilet base or between the tank and the bowl. A leaking toilet can result from various issues, so as with any bathroom leak, it could take some time to investigate to uncover the problem.

Types of Toilet Leaks and Their Fixes

If you detect a leak coming from your toilet, there is a good chance it is occurring due to one of the following issues. A leak between the tank and the bowl when the toilet is flushed could result from either a worn spud washer, cracked flush valve or loose tank bolts. Fortunately, most are relatively easy repairs that you can probably accomplish yourself.

Still, if there is a significant amount of water, you may need to hire water damage restoration professionals to thoroughly clean up after the repair.

1. Worn Wax Ring

The wax ring on a toilet is a plastic ring with a thick layer of wax around it. It's supposed to provide a watertight seal between the top of the toilet flange and the bottom of the toilet. A properly working wax ring also prevents sewer gases from releasing into the bathroom from the floor and toilet. Alternatively, you can use a rubber seal, which tends to be cleaner than its wax counterpart.

If you notice a leak around the toilet base, the wax ring is probably not sealing as it should. Make sure the bowl isn't cracked first before replacing the ring. If your leak is seeping from the base, it could be that the ring is not sealing because of loose bolts. If the ring doesn't look damaged, try replacing it and tightening the bolts to see if this helps.

2. Faulty Flush Valve (aka Douglas Valve)

The flush valve is located where the flushed water enters the bowl from the tank. Often, if the flush valve is leaky, you can create a new seal by replacing the flapper that seals the opening of the flush valve. Unfortunately, if you have to replace the flush valve, you will need to remove the tank.

3. Damaged Tank-to-Bowl Gasket (aka Spud Washer)

As its name implies, the tank-to-bowl gasket creates a watertight seal between the tank and the bowl to prevent a leaking toilet. Typically, you will find this gasket on the flush valve. The toilet tank will usually have to be removed to make the repair.

4. Broken Closet Flange

A closet flange (aka toilet flange) screws into the bathroom floor as a pipe fitting that connects the toilet to the drainpipe. This connection also secures the toilet to the floor. The toilet and the closet flange are joined by two bolts. If the toilet's base is leaking, it could be because the bolts are loose. You'll probably notice that the toilet wobbles if this is the case.

When your New Bern, NC, home has a leaking toilet, it's essential to locate the original source of the problem as quickly as possible. Even if a leak doesn't seem significant, it can result in costly damage and hefty water bills.

Cleaning Up After Category Three Water Damage

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of an overflowing toilet A toilet overflow can lead to category 3 water damage.

A flood in a commercial facility is problematic. Not only can the flood water damage equipment, property, and inventory, it can result in business interruption. The key to resolving flooding issues, especially those stemming from category three water sources, is to hire an effective, licensed, and insured restoration service in New Bern, NC. These companies will use a proven five-step method to restore your building, allowing you to return to full operations.

5-Step Clean up Method After Water Damage

  1. Turn Off the Source

The primary concern in a category three or black water crisis is terminating the source of the flood. If a toilet overflow is the culprit, the water supply or waste line needs to be shut off or sealed to prevent any more water from entering the facility.

  1. Remove Black Water

When the source of the water is under control, the restoration team can get to work removing the flood water from the building. Most disasters will only require shop vacs or pumps, but in significant floods, the company might use a pump truck.

  1. Thoroughly Dry the Affected Area

With the water removed, the restoration service can begin drying out the property. The service team will probably open all windows and doorways as well as use fans and air movers. Depending on the time of year, dehumidifiers might be brought in to reduce the risk of mold development.

  1. Clean and Disinfect

The crew will need to disinfect any and all surfaces that came into contact with the category three water. Some items will not be salvageable, so you might need to get comfortable with disposing of some things.

  1. Restore the Area

With the area clean and disinfected, the team can begin restoring the facility, replacing carpets, drywall, insulation, anything flood-affected. When the crew is finished, you will not be able to tell there was ever a disaster.

Flood water can lead to significant interruptions and costs. The key to surviving the crisis is to bring in a restoration team as soon as possible to repair the damage.

Cooking Safety Tips for New Bern, NC Residents

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Meat is fried in the Kitchen. Frying is one of the most frequent causes of home cooking fires.

With cooler temperatures outside, many of us choose to stay inside and cook something new and exciting to pass the time. While generally a great idea, be mindful that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires in the united states.

To stay on the safe side, let’s take a moment to learn some more about this kind of danger and how you can prevent it.

To start, let’s take a look at the numbers: According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking accounts for about 47% of home fires, 20% of fire-related deaths and 45% of the fire-related injuries reported across the country each year.

Scary though these figures may be, there are many steps you can take to prevent these kinds of fires. As simple as it sounds, monitoring what you cook can be tremendously helpful: the NFPA states that nearly one-third of kitchen fires happen when the person cooking leaves the equipment they’re using unattended. If you’re using the oven, just be sure to check in on it regularly!

Also, be sure to keep oven mitts, plastic/rubber utensils, towels, paper products and other flammables away from heat—they can start a fire just as easily as burnt food!

Lastly, be sure to:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying.
  • If you see smoke coming off the food you’re frying, turn off the burner or safely remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a sign the oil is too hot.
  • Slowly heat the oil to the temperature you need.
  • Add food to oil gently, laying it away from you so that it does not splatter.
  • Always keep a lid beside your pan. If the pan does catch fire, cover it with the lid and turn off the banner. Let the oil cool before removing the lid again.
  • NEVER put water on a grease fire. If a fire starts to spread, leave the house immediately and call 911.

Of course, there is always a chance that even with the best preparation, unforeseen circumstances can happen. Just remember, if you or someone you know is in need of professional cleanup or restoration services, our 24/7 emergency crews here at SERVPRO® of Craven/Pamlico Counties are #HereToHelp. If you have more questions or need extra information, just give us a call.

3 Reasons Not To Wait for an Insurance Adjuster

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a Flooded Neighborhood. Follow our tips and be ready for Stormy Seasons.

Storms in New Bern, NC, don't allow homeowners much time to prepare. They can come without much warning and leave a lot of water and flood damage in their path. When large storms roll through the community, it is often difficult for the flood insurance adjuster to get to your home before water and mold damage occur.

Begin your flood claim as soon as possible after the flood, but don't wait for the adjuster before you begin repairs and cleanup.

Don't Wait For an Insurance Adjuster

  1. Damage Gets Worse With Time

Water is notorious for causing damage that worsens over time:

  • The structural components of your home may deteriorate and weaken.
  • Mold growth takes place within just a couple of days.
  • Secondary damage may not be covered by your insurance policy; this includes damage that happens while you wait for the adjuster to arrive.

Don't risk increased damage and costs by waiting.

  1. There's Work You Can Do

Instead of watching the damage and mess get worse, be proactive about addressing the restoration of your home. For example, you could document and take pictures of the damage. You can move belongings to dry areas of the home or sort your possessions according to whether they should be tossed or cleaned and repaired. You can also contact water, mold, and flood damage professionals for cleanup and restoration.

  1. Cleanup Experts Work Closely With Insurance Providers

Many insurance companies prefer that cleanup experts handle the repairs and other restoration efforts after flooding. This is because the professionals prevent further damage, keep careful records, work to keep costs low, and generally avoid damage that untrained homeowners may cause.

If a storm has caused damage to your property, and the flood insurance adjuster won't make it to your property for several days or longer, don't put off cleanup efforts. An immediate response is the best way to mitigate further damage and get your family and home back to your normal routines.

Be Prepared for Hurricanes

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Streets in New Bern Flooded streets in New Bern from Hurricanes

SERVPRO specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

We also have equipment and teams ready to go at SERVPRO of New Bern in case you have an emergency.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the city of New Bern, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Be Prepared

Before the storm hits make sure you have a basic disaster kit ready. Having these supplies ahead of time will save you the frustration of going to the store right before the storm hits. Below are some recommended supplies for your kit:

  • Water
  • Battery-operated lanterns
  • Flashlight
  • Matches
  • Can Opener
  • Duct Tape
  • Extra blankets
  • Clean Clothes
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food (3 days worth)
  • Garbage bags
  • Dust Mask

Every homeowner can do things around your home now to save you time when you need it.

  • Move furniture away from windows
  • Remove outdoor items
  • Fill gas tanks
  • Board up windows
  • Get extra cash
  • Trim dead branches from trees
  • Store important documents in waterproof containers

Space Heater Safety

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Place A fire place in a New Bern Home

As the temperature outside continues to drop, we respond by heating our homes more frequently, or even by introducing new heat sources such as a space heater. As warm and cozy as this might make you feel, there are some important considerations you may want to review.

Heating equipment fires accounted for 15% of all reported home fires according to the NFPA. The following guidelines can help you choose the right heater to keep you and your family safe.

  1. Second-hand goods are a great way to be frugal, but purchasing a newer model heater branded with the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label should ensure that all of the current safety features are present.
  2. Heater size can make a big impact on your energy bill. Typically, manufacturers will have a guide on the box to help you choose the optimally sized heater for your needs, so be sure to pick the right size.
  3. If available, choose a thermostatically controlled heater to further reduce energy costs.
  4. Place the heater you choose on a stable, level surface where pets and children cannot accidentally harm themselves. Also, be sure not to place your heater anywhere near materials that can combust.        

Of course, there is always a chance that even with the best preparation, unforeseen circumstances can happen. Just remember, if you or someone you know is in need of professional cleanup or restoration services, our 24/7 emergency crews here at SERVPRO® HereToHelp.

4 Questions About Mold and Mildew

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Wall and Window with Mold. Know more About Mold and Mildew and if you have more questions, just Contact us.

It's a lot of fun to shop for a new home in New Bern, NC. Your "must have" list is long, and you know that you need to pay attention to the neighborhood, check the pipes under the sink, and actually read the home disclosures. Did you remember to look for mold and mildew? These words strike fear into the hearts of home buyers and sellers alike.

In order to look for signs of mold damage, it's important to know what these terms mean. Here are four questions you might have about mold and mildew.

1. What's the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Many people talk about mold and mildew in the same breath. While they are related, there are some key differences. Both are a type of fungus. Mold can grow up and is responsible for the fuzzy green spots on the loaf of bread that was left uneaten for too long. Mildew tends to stay flat. It's usually white and powdery and might be mistaken for dirt or dust. Mold can eat through materials such as drywall or ceiling tiles, causing structural problems. Mildew tends to spread outward and cover large areas but it doesn't have an impact on the structure of a home.

2. Why Do Mold and Mildew Happen?

Both mold and mildew grow in damp or wet environments. Think about areas of your home in which there's regularly a lot of moisture: the kitchen, the bathrooms, the basement. Mold and mildew form because the environment supports their growth. In a bathroom, for example, you might see mildew growth around the window frame. The dust on the window frame acts as food for the mildew spores and the water droplets from the shower and oxygen in the room support its growth.

Some molds and mildew thrive in a warm environment, like a bathroom or kitchen, and some prefer colder places like basements or outdoor crawl spaces. Excess moisture happens in bathrooms and kitchens due to steam. A leaking pipe or condensation building up on appliances can also trigger a fungus-friendly environment.

3. How Can Mold and Mildew Be Prevented?

In order to prevent mold growth, you have to remove or minimize the conditions that support their growth. For example, when you're cooking on the stove or running the shower, keep an exhaust fan going to prevent the buildup of moisture. In very damp areas, such as in the basement, run a dehumidifier. Position furniture appropriately to keep vents open so that air circulates.

4. What Are the Signs of Mold Damage?

Now that you know about mold and mildew, what do you need to keep an eye out for? First, a rotten or musty odor is a sure sign that there is an ongoing problem with mold growth. Walls or floors that look warped can be indicators that significant water damage occurred, giving mold the opportunity to form.

Consult with a mold remediation specialist to determine the extent of the problem before you make an offer on a home. When you know what mold and mildew are and what mold damage looks like, you can better assess the risks when visiting a home you hope to buy.

5 Things To Always Toss After a Fire

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Full Garbage Can There are some Elements that you Should Always Toss After a Fire. Know more about it by Following Our Tips.

If a fire happens in your New Bern, NC home, it is an overwhelming situation. While a professional fire damage restoration company will help restore your home and salvage many items, there are some things that you need to throw away. Below are five categories of items that should also be tossed for safety reasons.

1. Perishable Food

While the food in your freezer or refrigerator may be salvageable, any food left out on the counter or table should never be kept. If you are unsure whether the appliances properly sealed out the fire damage, signs that there is damage include a smoky smell, visible soot, power was lost for more than two hours or food has an odd odor. Any of these indicate that it's time to restock the kitchen.

2. Exposed Non-perishable Food

While it may be a given to throw away any opened containers or packaged items that are permeable, such as cardboard or plastic bags, you may not think about the jarred or canned foods. Unfortunately, high heat has a way of activating bacteria that may ruin food. Even if it a jar is sealed, fumes may have made their way into the container. Any sealed foods that have visible damage, such as charring or bulging, should never be saved.

Whether sealed or not, toss anything that was near the flames and heat. It’s always best to err on the side of caution.

3. Burned Clothing, Bedding and Towels

Any clothing, curtains, blankets, sheets, towels and other textiles that are visibly burned are not salvageable. While it may be tempting to keep items that have smoke or soot damage, it is worth talking to a professional first. Even after multiple washings, some items may still retain a strange odor from the chemicals in the fire extinguishing agent. Additionally, soot and smoke may have hidden irritants that are best to avoid.

4. Cosmetics, Hygiene Products and Medicines

Depending on the extent of the fire and its location, cosmetics, hygiene products and medicines may be affected. Any visible signs of warping or singe marks are clear indicators that the time should be tossed. If the fire was near these items, even if they don’t look damaged, they may be compromised. If exposed to extreme heat, the composition of the medicines and cosmetics may have been altered. While these are often expensive, tossing them will help you avoid other issues from happening down the road.

5. Fabric Furniture and Mattresses

Smoke damage is a tricky thing. Even if your fabric furniture and mattresses don’t appear to have any damage, the odors and chemicals in smoke may linger forever. Since a mattress is a soft surface, it is more prone to absorbing moisture, bacteria and odors. Unless you are certain that these items were unaffected, its’ best to replace them.

When a fire happens, it comes with much more than sifting through the visible damage. While you may not want to throw away some of your favorite or expensive items, it's best to take the safe route and replace the above five things that may have sustained smoke damage.