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Water in the Crawl Space

11/6/2022 (Permalink)

Technician with PPE suit in crawl space Leaky pipes in your walls or flooring can also cause water damage in your crawl space.

Water in the Crawl Space

One of the best ways to protect your Berryhill, NC home from moisture is to make sure that it's properly ventilated. Water in the crawl space can cause significant damage to your home. The moisture causes mold and mildew to grow, which could lead to structural problems. It can also cause electrical issues, foundation problems, and even structural damage. But what if there's already a lot of moisture in your crawl space? How do you fix that? The answer depends on the source of your problem and whether or not it can be remedied.

Sources for Water in the Crawl Space

There are a number of sources that can introduce water into your crawl space.

  • Your home's sump pump: Most homes have a sump pump installed to collect water that enters the foundation through basement windows and doors. If this pump malfunctions, it can allow water to back up into your home's crawl space, creating moisture problems in addition to flooding.
  • A leaky pipe: Leaky pipes in your walls or flooring can also cause water damage in your crawl space by leaking down through the walls and into the dirt flooring below it. This can result in mold growth as well as other types of contamination if you don't fix it quickly enough.
  • Rainwater: Some homes have drainage systems that direct all rainwater away from their foundations instead of having them keep it inside like many older houses do today—and those drainage systems may leak if they aren't maintained properly over time! This can result in excess moisture levels below ground level where no one wants them! Also, note that some areas get more rainfall than others; so even if yours doesn't seem like an area prone to average precipitation still take care not to let too much go unnoticed when considering this factor.

Inviting Critters into Your Crawl Space

Critters of all kinds like to live in damp places such as the crawl space, so it's no wonder that you might find ants, woodlice, spiders, and even mice in your crawl space. In fact, the sight of a mouse can terrify you enough to want them all gone immediately.

While these critters may not be harmful to people themselves (with the exception of some spiders), their presence inside your home can cause damage by chewing through wires and cables as they go about their business. It's important to get rid of them before they do any damage because repairing broken cables can be expensive!

Structural Issues

There are some structural issues that could occur when water sits in your crawl space: 

  • Wood rot. The wood framing and floor joists in your home will begin to deteriorate after they are exposed to standing water and high humidity levels for an extended period of time. This type of damage is most common in basements and unexcavated foundations, but it can also occur in crawl spaces with poor ventilation. As this happens, structural integrity decreases and your home becomes less stable over time.
  • Concrete cracking or crumbling away from the wall due to moisture entering through cracks or other defects in the foundation wall itself (such as pipes that have leaked through).
  • Bricks or stone crumbling away from a masonry foundation due to repeated cycles of wetting and drying—particularly if there are gaps around pipes or plumbing vents where moisture may be able to enter at ground level before reaching higher up into your wall cavity where it would otherwise dry out as soon as it got inside (if not before).

Sump Pumps

A sump pump is the most common method used to pump out excess water and can be installed in your crawl space or outside of it. They come in different sizes, depending on the size of your crawl space. If you have a large crawl space with multiple feet of moisture buildup, you may need one that operates on larger amounts of water at once so that it doesn't clog up with debris.

A sump pump consists of a motor (that turns), an impeller (that spins), a housing (that contains these parts), and a float switch (that senses when there's too much water). When this happens, the float switch shuts off power until there isn't any more excess moisture present--and then automatically turns on again when conditions return to normal levels.

Dry Wells

If you’re not familiar with dry wells, they are underground structures that capture water from your crawl space and funnel it away from the property. This is an important step in mitigating water intrusion into your home.

There are many reasons why a dry well is necessary:

  • Sump pumps may not be able to empty rainwater into a storm drain fast enough.
  • Dry wells allow sump pumps to work more efficiently by keeping them free of standing water so they don't lose suction power when this happens.
  • Dry wells prevent flooding in basements or other areas of your home where you don't want excess moisture collecting near foundations (or anything else).

Water in the crawl space may be an indication that you need to install a sump pump. When you have a water damage event in your home or business, it's always a good idea to give SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg a call! We will get your West Mecklenburg property back to its preloss condition quickly. 

But What About Smoke Damage and the Odor After a Fire?

10/2/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire in a home Give SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg for any fire damage in your Charlotte, North Carolina home or business!

But What About Smoke Damage and the Odor After a Fire?

If you've experienced a fire, then you know how devastating it can be. However, what do you do if the smoke damage to your home is not immediately apparent? Or worse yet, what if there's damage to your personal belongings that get covered up by smoke and odors?

Structural Damage is Obvious

When there is structural damage to your home following a fire, it's pretty obvious. You can see the smoke damage on your walls and ceiling and on your furniture. Smoke damage is also called soot or charring.

When a home is exposed to excess heat, the resulting smoke can cause interior walls and ceilings to discolor and warp into irregular shapes. The wooden studs in the wall may swell up enough that they no longer line up with each other properly, creating large gaps between them where water can leak into the drywall behind them and start mold growth. The same thing happens when windows expand due to high temperatures—the seal around them breaks down, allowing moisture inside where it can cause more problems (like rain leaking through broken glass).

Smoke Odor and Damage are Not as Obvious

Not all fire damages are structural. Smoke damage can quickly destroy your personal property, especially if you don’t act quickly to mitigate the smell and damage done by smoke.

There are many ways that smoke can affect your belongings and cause permanent damage:

  • Smoke destroys furniture by staining it and making it smell like smoke. If you want to sell a piece of furniture that has been exposed to a fire, but doesn’t necessarily have structural issues (like missing legs), then you need to clean it thoroughly first in order to get rid of any lingering odors.
  • Smoke damages carpets and upholstery because they absorb the chemicals that come out of burning materials such as wood or clothing fabrics. If you don’t clean these items properly with professional equipment immediately after an incident occurs, there will be permanent discoloration as well as residual odor problems down the road when people sit on them or walk over them repeatedly over time

How does smoke cause odor in the first place?

There are many reasons why your home may smell like smoke after a fire. Some of these smells come from materials that were damaged by heat, while others are caused by chemicals released during combustion. Here are some examples of how smoke can cause an odor problem in your home:

Burnt Food

If you have a kitchen fire, the burnt food will release unpleasant odors into the air and onto surfaces throughout your house. Even if you don't have any ruined food items on hand when this happens, you can still get some lingering smells from them later on—like if someone else cooks something similar or if there's already grease buildup in your oven that hasn't been cleaned out yet. This is especially problematic for people who love making homemade meals with lots of spices or herbs—these flavors can become pungent over time and linger long after being cooked out!

Burnt Electrical/Plastic Parts

Aside from burning foods such as meatballs or tortillas (which do not contain any plastic components), there are other things that may catch fire due to electrical malfunctions within their circuitry - including TVs/gaming systems/phones etc.) which means those kinds of products release toxic fumes into homes when they're left plugged in for too long without proper care taken beforehand (such as changing batteries frequently). And since most people aren't aware of these kinds of hazards until after something bad happens, it’s best practice not to leave any kind of electronic device running overnight unless absolutely necessary!

Cleaning and Restoring After Fire

If you have had a fire in your home or business, you should contact a cleaning service as soon as possible to attempt to minimize the effects of smoke odors and other contaminants on your property.

The first step in cleaning up after a fire is to use a vacuum cleaner to clean up any soot and dust in the affected areas. You may also want to wash walls, ceilings and floors with a solution of water and cleaning detergent before drying them thoroughly with towels or fans. If there are stubborn stains left behind by soot particles, try using an ozone machine or thermal fogger (a machine that sprays heat-treated water vapor) to eliminate these stains; however, keep in mind that some types of flooring may be damaged by extreme temperatures like this one. Finally, use an air filtration device such as an ionizer (which removes odor particles from the air) after removing all visible signs of smoke damage for best results during reconstruction efforts later down the road!

Cleaning up after a fire is no fun, but it’s important to remember that there are many steps you can take. It’s not just about what products or methods you use to clean up the mess; it’s also about how you handle yourself in this stressful situation. Take care of yourself and your family members so that everyone stays healthy during this time. Don’t forget that there are professionals out there who can help make things easier for everyone involved! Give SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg for any fire damage in your Charlotte, North Carolina home or business!

Where To Safely Put Your Space Heater

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Severe fire damage in a home Fire damage in a living room.

Ways To Avoid A Burned Space Heater

If you are like many people, then you probably use a space heater to stay comfortable when the temperatures drop in Pineville, NC. As convenient as these little heat blasters may be, though, a burned space heater can also be deadly. Every year, approximately, 25,000 residential fires start because of them.

While there are several ways you can reduce the risk of this kind of fire damage, one of the top things to consider is where you put the heater. To lower the chances of needing a smoke cleanup team the next time you try to warm up your house in the morning, try one of these locations instead of the bed or the carpet.

In the Bathroom
While bathrooms often do not have carpeting, you still need to consider flammable furnishings such as:

  • Rugs
  • Window curtains
  • Shower curtains
  • Towels

When you are using your heater in the bathroom, make sure it stays on the tile and away from any cloth or paper that may be nearby.

In the Bedroom

When it comes to the bedroom, there are probably more opportunities for a burned space heater to occur. If you have carpet, you should reconsider putting your heater in a bedroom at all. Not only does this device need to stay on the floor, but it should only be placed on a hard surface like wood, tile or laminate. Because it is unsafe to sleep while a space heater is on anyway, keeping it away from your resting place is probably a good idea.

In the Living Room

The living room is another location where you can find a lot of potential fire starters, yet it is also a common space for families to gather. If you want to heat up this area of your home, look for a suitable place to set the heater. If you have a fireplace area or another part of the room with solid flooring, that should be the spot.

There are many ways to avoid a burned space heater. Knowing where to put it is one of the simplest and most effective.

4 Ways To Protect Your Commercial Property from Hidden Water Damage and Mold Growth

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Moisture meter Keeping an eye out for unhealthy amounts of moisture can go a long way in preventing mold growth

4 Ways To Protect Your Commercial Property from Hidden Water Damage and Mold Growth

Water: It's the most powerful force on earth and the foundation of every living thing. That force can wreak havoc in myriad ways, including mold growth, although not all water damage is immediately obvious. If you are a business owner or have a commercial property in Charlotte, NC, there are four ways you can protect yourself, your employees, and your building from hidden water and mold damage.

1. Immediately Address Unwanted Water

This goes without saying, but if your space floods, make sure to dry everything out thoroughly and properly ventilate the space with fans and open windows. Consult with a water and mold remediation specialist that can help you identify potential issues and problem areas.

2. Inspect Your Property for Signs of Moisture

Check for condensation on your walls, pipes and windows; notice whether any areas smell damp or musty. These are all potential signs of water damage. Make sure there are no leaks in your roof or the flashing surrounding your A/C units, and rule out water seepage around the foundation. The EPA recommends checking corner rooms with walls that get exterior exposure. Depending on your climate, insulating either the inside or outside walls will help.

3. Purchase a Moisture Meter

Keeping an eye out for unhealthy amounts of moisture can go a long way in preventing mold growth. A dehumidifier, properly sized for your space, can help keep those levels in check.

4. Have Your Property Assessed Professionally

Water and mold remediation specialists are experts at spotting the signs of hidden mold, knowing how to address it, and fixing it safely. If you have any doubts or concerns that unhealthy levels of mold might be present, call in the professionals to address your mold prevention concerns.

Taking precautionary measures to prevent mold from known or hidden water damage will pay off in the long run by getting you back to business as usual as quickly as possible after unwanted water. It will also give you peace of mind, which is priceless in and of itself.

3 Causes of Basement Floods

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement A basement flood in Collingwood, NC.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Flooding

Basement flooding in Collingwood, NC, needs to be dealt with right away or else the consequences can have far-reaching effects. It often begins as a small, deceptively benign problem until it grows into an expensive home improvement project. Therefore, to prevent a basement flood, it is best to respond to the first signs of water damage. It is important to know what are the most common causes of flooding.

1. Blocked Gutters and Debris

One thing that can cause a basement flood is when a gutter connecting your house to the sewer system becomes blocked. It is important to know when this happens and to contact the city as soon as possible because the water levels can rise quickly, causing damage rapidly. If your property stays flooded for too long it can disrupt the foundation of your home

The troughs along your roof collect debris — leaves, dirt, and animal byproducts — that can allow water to spill over, landing beside the basement. This can create leaks in the basement, but it is easily fixed. Simply clean out the gutters and judge whether a larger size is more appropriate for where you live.

2. Poor Sealing on the Floors and Walls

One thing to keep an eye out for is if the basement floors and walls are flooded or damp after wet weather. In some cases the floor tiles and the walls have not been sealed properly; this can let the water soak in. If you notice this, it would be worth having the seal checked and fixing it, if necessary.

3. Inappropriate Site Location

Often the cause of a basement flood is due to choosing a poor location on the site for the foundation. Residential properties are typically built on sloped land so that the water can drain away from the house. In some instances, houses are built on the lower point of a property, which can cause flooding.

Water damage can become severe if the problem isn't dealt with. Before you have to call in restoration experts, keep an eye on your basement and watch for these common causes of flooding.

How to Remove Post-Flood Odors

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green vehicles Make sure your odor removal involves the assistance of experienced storm cleanup professionals.

Three Steps To Deodorize Your Property

If you have recently experienced flood water-related odor issues at your Arbor Glen, NC, business, you are not alone. Many commercial property owners have suffered due to odors caused by mold growth, sewage loss, and other side effects of water buildup.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to get the issue cleared up and get your business back to smelling like it did before the storm. Get started by learning about these three steps to deodorizing your property.

1. Call Professionals

No matter what is causing the stench in your building, it is important to make sure your odor removal involves the assistance of experienced storm cleanup professionals. There can be many different reasons that your business smells the way it does, and some of the causes may be complicated. Bringing in help from people who know exactly how to handle the cleanup after a commercial flood will be very beneficial to you and your company.

2. Disinfect

Disinfection is often one of the first steps to removing foul odors from your property, especially if the odor is caused by mold growth. Trained technicians will understand that growth of this kind will continue to be the source of your odor problem unless the mold is eradicated as soon as possible. Masking the smell will only be a temporary solution, and the unpleasant aroma is almost certain to return if your building is not disinfected.

3. Deodorize

After any infection is taken care of, deodorization can take place. Professionals can use specialized equipment to remove odors and identify their sources. They may use a number of different tools and techniques to eliminate your odors once and for all, and if any new causes arise during the process, they can be addressed, as well.

Be Patient

Remember that mold growth and other similar causes of odor after flood damage in Arbor Glen, NC, can be complicated, and eradication will not always happen overnight. Trust that your building’s odor control and removal are in good hands, and with a little patience, you will soon be able to breathe easy in the workplace once more.

What To Expect With Storm Restoration

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green vehicle parked outside a building in Charlotte The goal of a good cleanup team is to restore your building "Like it never even happened."

If your commercial building has suffered damage from a major storm, you might not know what to expect in terms of cleanup, especially if this is your first time. While each storm is different, and no two situations are exactly alike, there is a general pattern that a cleanup will follow. This is true if you call a professional storm remediation company in Charlotte, NC. They will have handled disasters in the past and will be skilled in the process, whether your building is in need of a tear out or just needs to have the water removed from the premises.

The Critical First Steps

Once water enters a building, the professionals will want to remove it as quickly as possible. The longer it is present, the greater the water damage will be. Therefore, they pride themselves on being Faster to any size disaster and will begin the following steps as soon as they arrive:

  • Inspection and assessment of damage
  • Water removal and extraction
  • Drying out the building
  • Cleaning and sanitizing

If the damage is extensive, a tear out of ruined materials will have to be performed. This is more likely if there is dirty, contaminated water or sewage present. In this case, the storm restoration process will be more complicated and may involve drywall removal and installation, painting and floor repair.

The Final Stages

The goal of a good cleanup team is to restore your building "Like it never even happened." Professional cleaning techniques include restoring furniture and belongings to good condition and removing the odors that are often associated with storm damage. Equipment such as air scrubbers and fogging machines will be used to get rid of excess moisture. They will scrub everything down with antimicrobial disinfectants and make sure the building is deodorized. If a tear out is needed, the team will dispose of all items until your commercial building is like new again.

How a Flood Cut Restores Your Home

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Storm crew Our technicians are trained to begin your restoration process.

How a Flood Cut Can Help You Restore Your Home

Large storms and floods often happen without much warning and they can be devastating to a home. They are among the most common disasters to strike properties across the nation, and no area is immune. When flooding does occur to your home in Wilmore, NC, immediate action should be taken to mitigate damage. A fast response by a local storm remediation franchise that is open 24/7 365 days a year is a good start. A team of trained technicians will come to your home and begin the restoration process with a thorough inspection and assessment, followed by a vigorous and informed action plan. The team will use all available tools of restoration.

Water Removal and Extraction

With a flooding situation, prompt removal of all standing water in the home is a priority. This is accomplished with wet vacuums and is followed by drying and ventilation. In cases where drywall has been saturated, a flood cut or tear out is often necessary. This technique works in the following ways:

  • Technicians identify areas of damage
  • They cut out portions of the drywall
  • They typically make the cut 12 inches above the flood line
  • They restore the wall with new materials

The purpose of the flood cut is to remove any contamination from the floodwaters. The process usually involves removing and replacing insulation behind the wall.

Cleaning and Sanitizing
The restoration continues with a cleaning process that addresses all areas of the home affected by flooding. This includes the contents of the home such as clothes, furniture, and documents. Using specialized cleaning techniques, many items can be restored to excellent condition again. Antimicrobial cleaning agents and equipment such as air scrubbers and fogging devices provide deep cleaning to your home. A thorough job will remove lingering odors from the home. The final steps involve restoration of damaged areas to bring the home back to its original condition.

3 Ways To Restore Damaged Documents

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents When water ruins the condition of important paper items call a restoration specialist in your local area.

3 Methods for Restoring Damaged Documents

When your business faces water damage either due to a natural disaster, plumbing mishap or another unfortunate event, many valuable papers can be destroyed. However, they don't have to be doomed from the damage. Here are three ways document restoration can be achieved should your Brookhill, NC, business be consumed by water damage. 

1. Vacuum-freeze Document Drying

It's imperative that as quickly as you notice drenched documents place them upright in a freezer. This ensures that the paper won't deteriorate rapidly and also prevents the growth of mold. Once you have the affected items in a freezer, let your local SERVPRO cleaning and restoration professionals transport them to a state-of-the-art facility for vacuum freeze-drying. This trusted document restoration technique that is used in top museums is the ideal way to draw out moisture from a wet document.

2. Gamma Irradiation to Disinfect

Any contact with water or even high humidity and moisture in the air can damage paper documents. Items may have traces of mold or bacteria with the potential to grow, so it's crucial to fully disinfect the paper. This is achieved with a technique known as gamma irradiation. Restoration specialists use radiation to kill any harmful properties like viruses or pesticides and sterilize the paper. 

3. Digitize Documents for Future Access

A key way for your business to retain important documents is to have digital copies of them on hand. After completing the drying and sterilizing process, restoration professionals will then produce digital copies of the documents. This gives business owners the peace of mind that they can access any documents they need without the fear of further damage in the event of another disaster. 

When water ruins the condition of important paper items, rely on professional freeze-drying, gamma irradiation, and digitizing techniques to complete the document restoration process. 

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Drive Down a Flooded Street

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded street According to the National Weather Service, just 12 inches of fast-moving water is enough to sweep away a compact car.

Three Reasons to Avoid Driving Down a Flooded Street

When a thunderstorm hits Berryhill, NC, the effects can be felt by more than just your battered roof or thriving garden. It can also negatively affect your commute. Despite that, it's imperative to exercise caution. Here are three reasons NOT to cross your fingers and gun it down that flooded street the next time severe weather impacts your route.

1. It Takes Less Water Than You Think To Wash Away a Car

According to the National Weather Service, just 12 inches of fast-moving water is enough to sweep away a compact car. At two feet, virtually no car, pick-up truck or SUV is immune. Even six inches of water is enough to cause your ride to stall or to make it float, which means a total loss of control for whoever is behind the wheel.

2. Your Car Is Not a Boat

Unless you're Batman, your beloved vehicle probably can't turn into watercraft at the touch of a button. Once your car does get carried away, you've ceded all control. After that, there's little to stop your car from careening onto its side or flipping over entirely — all while you continue barreling along.

3. You Don't Know What's Under the Surface of That Flooded Street

What Lies Beneath is more than just a second-tier Harrison Ford movie. It should also be one of your chief concerns as you traverse flooded roads. During flooding, entire road beds can be washed away. In other words, that street you're thinking about driving down, even though it's flooded, may not be there anymore. Those 6 inches of water may actually be 26, for example, and then it's time to refer back to the second of these travel tips.
Storm surges happen. After a flood, leave water damage repair to the pros, and leave sailing to the Navy. Your car and your wallet with thank you for exercising caution and driving past that flooded street.