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Does My Home Have a Mold Infestation?

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold in a wall. Mold spores spread fast in your Greenville, NC, home.

Mold is relatively common in residential spaces. Unfortunately, many times it goes unnoticed until it's out of control. It's good at hiding. There are signs of mold that will keep you more aware if you should have a problem. The sooner you can identify mold in your Greenville, NC, home, the better. Black mold is particularly damaging, possessing a mycotoxin. If you discover mold, it's essential to take action immediately, as it can spread out of control extremely quickly.

How Do I Find and Identify Mold in My Home?

1. Your Home Is Humid

Mold is not picky about where it lives. It thrives in conditions that are dark, humid, and reasonably warm. If your home has high humidity, there's a good chance you could have mold growth, particularly in areas with poor circulation. The indoor relative humidity should be no higher than 50%. You can purchase inexpensive humidity monitors at hardware stores. Keep adequate humidity levels in your home by placing dehumidifiers, running fans, and opening windows (if the humidity is lower outdoors than in). Mold is also prone to grow in bathrooms and kitchens due to the excess moisture created. Utilize the ventilation systems in the bathrooms and kitchen whenever you're taking a shower or cooking on the stove.

2. You See It on Walls or Ceilings

Mold is good at hiding, but it also often grows visibly on walls and ceilings. If you see it on walls or ceilings, it could also be growing within and behind them, even under wallpaper. When you see mold growth, you must call mold remediation experts immediately to begin the inspection and restoration process as soon as possible. They have the professional equipment and expertise to find all of the molds and eliminate it safely.

3. You Find It in Inconspicuous Locations

Look in out-of-the-way areas of your home, such as inside bathroom cabinets and behind appliances and furniture. Spaces that are poorly ventilated and go untouched for some time, such as basements and attics, are even more susceptible to mold growing on and behind things. Both places are also more likely to have water damage that goes unnoticed.

4. You Smell a Persistent, Pungent Odor

If you smell a musty odor in your home, there's probably mold growing nearby. This odor is created by mycotoxin, which the mold produces.

5. You Detect Water Damage

If your home has water damage, such as from a leaky pipe or roof, there will almost certainly be mold growth if it goes untreated for more than 48 hours. This is why it's essential to clean, dry, and repair water damage and its source immediately.

6. You Discover a Bug Infestation

Many people don't realize that mold can attract certain bugs, such as booklice. Despite their name, they aren't restricted to books; they thrive in moldy conditions because they eat mold. The only way to get rid of this bug infestation is to eradicate all of the molds.

From the mycotoxin it produces to the structural damage it can cause, mold can create various severe issues if left untreated for even a short time. It's critical to know the signs of mold, where it lurks, and how to identify it.

Faster to your Greenville Water Damage

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Roof damaged by water. SERVPRO provides 24 Hour fire and water damage restoration service in Greenville, NC.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Greenville, NC provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage are very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Greenville, NC

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Greenville Smoke and Soot Cleanup

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Bathroom with smoke damage. Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Greenville Home

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our expertise in smoke damage remediation allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Greenville, NC, will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Moisture in your Greenville, NC home or business

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

"Caution wet floor" sign. Excess moisture can be dangerous to your home and health.

Moisture in older homes

Older structures in Greenville, NC homes, are more susceptible to moisture after heavy rain, meaning water can sometimes seep in or leak where it shouldn’t be. In small doses over wide intervals, it may not do any noticeable damage, but if the issue occurs more frequently and is left untreated your home or business may receive permanent water damage. Enlisting experts like your locally owned and operated SERVPRO can help to eliminate this problem and save you considerable time and money in the long run.

Getting you dry

Our professionals can help you immediately by using specialized equipment to extract water and dry the affected area. Our equipment can get underneath the surface of carpets and into the padding, eliminating moisture all the way through. We can also help you in the long run by cleaning the structure and contents with our safe, effective sanitizing treatments. These preventative measures keep unwanted growth away and prevent materials from swelling or corroding.

Verification

To further give peace of mind, we check under your crawlspace (if applicable) to make sure no further damage has occurred. We also check your subflooring and inspect the layers of your carpeting and padding to verify our extraction methods have fully dried out the affected area. Lastly, we will test the humidity to ensure it is in an acceptable range, indicating that moisture levels are low enough to prevent secondary damages. Once completed, we can walk through with you and explain what we did, how we did it and of course answer any other questions you may have.

Keep Your Furnace Happy With Simple Maintenance

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

Maintenance of heating system. Simple maintenance on the heating system will prevent future problems in your Pitt County, NC, home.

The heating system in your Pitt County, NC, home probably doesn't require a lot of attention to keep you and your family comfortable when the temperatures are low. However, regular furnace maintenance has several benefits:

  • Prevents breakdowns
  • Increased efficiency
  • Lasts longer
  • Saves money on utilities
  • Improves cleanliness of the air

Many heating and cooling system problems can be traced back to dust or dirt buildup inside the unit. Proper maintenance ensures that your furnace runs efficiently for many years. It also helps you reduce the risk of furnace-related fires and the resulting costs of rebuilding and fire cleaning.

Get Rid of Dust and Dirt

There are many types of furnaces and some of the specifics of upkeep may vary, but there are several maintenance steps that are the same from one model to another. The first step is protecting your furnace from dirt. Prepare for winter weather by replacing or cleaning the filter, the blower, and the motor. When your furnace is in use, you should clean and inspect the filter once a month. If you find that the filter is clogged, replace it immediately. Use a vacuum or a soft duster to remove dirt, dust, and debris from the blower and the motor.

Keep the Vents Clean and Clear

Your running furnace blows warmed air through the vent system of your home. If any vents are blocked by dirt or furniture, the furnace must work harder to keep your rooms warm. Keeping the vents clear is an important part of routine maintenance and a good way to prevent the need for fire cleaning. If you have a gas furnace, it's critically important to keep the exhaust flue clean, clear, and unobstructed.

Pay Attention to Your Ductwork

Cleanup of the vents often begins at the registers, but it shouldn't end there. Make sure that all registers are free of paper, toys, hair, and dust. Once you've done this, remove the register and use your vacuum to clear debris out of the ductwork. If you've done any reconstruction or if your home has been affected by fire damage, for example, it's a good idea to contact professionals with experience in fire and smoke cleaning.

Improve Your Home's Envelope

Reduce the load on your furnace by improving your home's envelope. You can do this by locating areas of your home that allow heat to escape, and seal these leaks or add insulation. When you prevent heat loss, the furnace doesn't have to work as hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you aren't sure how to find areas where heat leaks out, contact a heating professional with cameras and other equipment.

Keep Routine Maintenance on Your Schedule

It isn't difficult to keep your furnace and heating system running efficiently, and it shouldn't take you much time. The best time to complete routine maintenance is before cold weather settles in, and you'll have the best results if you continue through the months of cold weather. Remember that the effort you put into keeping your furnace clean is also an important way to avoid serious fire damage and professional fire cleaning services.

5 Storm Preparation Tips

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

Warning storm sign. Be prepared for storms to reduce the damage in your Greenville, NC, home.

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Flood water can damage property and be a safety hazard for people. Preparing your home and family before a storm happens is essential for avoiding injuries and reducing property damage.

1. Know Your Risk Level

A flooded building can happen anywhere but is more likely to occur in low-lying areas near sources of water, such as rivers and streams. You can find out what the level of risk in Greenville, NC, is by checking FEMA's flood maps. If you live in a high-risk area, you should be particularly vigilant when it comes to taking flood precautions.

2. Get Flood Insurance

Homeowner's insurance typically covers water damage from sudden and accidental discharges of water, such as a broken pipe or supply line. However, coverage for flooding from outside sources is usually excluded. You can purchase separate flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Even if your home is in a low-risk area, it may be worthwhile to purchase flood insurance, because flash flooding can lead to extensive water damage that requires restoration services. It usually takes 30 days for a flood policy to go into effect, so don't wait until bad weather is in the forecast to purchase your policy.

3. Create a Flood Plan

Your family needs to know what to do if flood water is imminent. Plan out and practice evacuation routes. Figure out where you can go to seek shelter when a flood occurs. If you have pets, find out if local shelters will accept them. Collect a supply of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, and drinking water for several days to use in case you must leave your home or your electricity and water service goes out. If anyone in your household has special needs, such as mobility issues, account for them in your plan.

4. Protect Your Property

Place important documents in a waterproof container or store them off-site in a safety deposit box. Move valuable property to the upper floors of your home. Keep your drains and gutters free of debris. Install a sump pump with a battery backup and check valves. Use sandbags or other flood barriers to protect your home from rising waters. However, do not ignore evacuation orders in an attempt to protect your property.

5. Secure Exterior Property

Wind and rising waters can turn your exterior property into projectiles. Trim trees and shrubs that are near your home. Move outside furniture, toys, bikes, and plants inside. Secure outside objects, such as sculptures, that can not be moved with blankets or burlap tied with rope. Close your storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood over window frames, skylights, and doors. Move your vehicles to higher ground or park them inside your garage against the garage doors.

Depending on the cause, you may have days or only minutes to prepare for floodwater when a storm occurs. Having a plan in place can prevent you from having to scramble at the last minute to protect your property and loved ones from harm.

8 Water Conservation Tips for Your Business

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Dripping tap. Water is a resource fundamental for our lives. Repair the leaks to conserve the life and your building's septic system in Pitt County, NC.

Water is an essential resource that's becoming more finite as time passes. Now is the time to begin conserving water if you haven't already started. Conserving water has many benefits, including protecting the environment from various water issues such as pollution. It can also save your business money on your Pitt County, NC, utility bill and by extending the life of your building's septic system.

1. Repair Leaks

Investigate drippy faucets and leaky pipes. These can potentially waste up to thousands of gallons of water each year. Monitor faucets, pipes, toilets, appliances, and other fixtures for leaks and drips and repair them immediately.

2. Educate Employees

When you're trying to conserve water for the environment and your business's water bill, everyone needs to be on board. Make sure to train your employees on water conservation techniques and procedures. In addition, everyone should stay up to date on the latest water-efficient technology to keep at maximum usage efficiency.

3. Keep Extra Drinking Water in the Refrigerator

Instead of leaving the tap water running until it cools off, have a couple of extra reusable water bottles to put tap water in to keep in the refrigerator. It'll be cold and refreshing when you're ready to drink it, and it'll conserve water in the process.

4. Reuse and Recycle the Water

There are several options for reusing and recycling water. These options include purifying processes and harvesting rainwater. Harvesting rainwater requires various research with environmental agencies. You can also reuse gray water if you have the proper recycling methods at your building. Reusing gray water can make a significant difference in your water usage and utility bill.

5. Install Water-Efficient Equipment

Purchasing water-efficient equipment for your building can be an excellent investment. If you already have a water filtration system, make sure you keep all parts and equipment current and working correctly. This will keep your system working efficiently, conserving water and saving money.

6. Upgrade to Smart Metering Technology

These days, there are smart technology options for automated and advanced meter reading. This technology can measure and monitor your building's water usage as it links multiple operating systems in the building management system. This water upgrade can also keep you aware of any water issues that might occur.

7. Don't Use Toilets as Trash Cans

Toilets are only designed to flush human waste and toilet paper. When you use it to flush other trash, such as paper towels or cigarette butts, it can risk stopping up the line and causing an overflow, requiring a visit from a plumber and water damage restoration professionals. Additionally, every time you flush, you use at least two gallons of water, depending on the model of the toilet. Make your employees and customers aware of this, also.

8. Insulate Water Pipes

Insulating your water pipes is easy and helps conserve water. In those colder months, water will heat up much quicker, so you don't have to waste water waiting for it to get hot. Purchase some foam pipe insulation; you can even purchase it pre-slit and ready to slip on the pipes with ease.

Implementing a water conservation plan into your business has several benefits for the environment and your bottom line. As the world faces shortages and other water issues, it's rewarding to do your part to help save water.

What Are the Three Types of Contaminated Water?

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded sink due to a clogged drain Contaminated water is unsafe.

Water damage is classified by water remediation professionals according to whether the damage is from contaminated water or clean water. The source of the water determines which category the water damage is placed in. There are three categories of water damage.

3 Types of Contaminated Water 

1. Category 1

Category 1, also known as clean water, is water damage from a clean source, such as a supply line, a broken pipe or overflow from a clean bathtub, sink or toilet. Water from these sources should not contain significant amounts of harmful bacteria or chemicals and can generally be safely removed by property owners.

2. Category 2

Category 2 contaminated water is called grey water. This type of water may contain some chemicals, bacteria or nutrients that feed microorganisms but is not considered grossly unsanitary. Examples of this type of water include dirty water from a washing machine, bathtub or sink or an overflow from a toilet that contains urine, but no feces. Protective gear, such as rubber gloves, should be used when handling this type of water and steps should be taken to sanitize surfaces that have come into contact with it.

3. Category 3

Category 3 water is called black water. This water contains a high level of bacteria, microorganisms or harmful chemicals. This type of water should be handled by a professional water remediation company in Greenville, NC, because safety equipment and training are needed to safely handle it. Examples of this type of water include raw sewage, floodwater from rivers, streams and oceans, stagnate water, groundwater and toilet overflows that contain feces or originate from beyond the toilet trap. Additionally, category 2 water that has been standing for more than 48 to 72 hours may be considered category 3 because of bacteria growth.

Contaminated water is generally unsafe for property owners to attempt to clean. To avoid safety hazards and potential additional damage, it is best to contact a professional to clean and sanitize water damage that could contain harmful substances.

What Steps Do I Take After a Burst Pipe?

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a damaged wall due to a bursted pipe Water damage due to a pipe burst.

There are various issues that can cause water damage in your Greenville, NC, home, but bursting pipes could be one of the worst. A broken pipe can cause anything from a small leak to a full-on flood. Either way, if you don't discover them immediately, both scenarios can result in severe damage to your property. So, what steps should you take if your home sustains a pipe burst?

6 Steps to Deal With a Pipe Burst

1. Investigate for the Origin and All Damage

First, it's essential to do a thorough investigation to find the origin of the leak and all the resulting damage. The damage must be mitigated as soon as possible; every minute counts.

2. Stop the Water Flow

When you find the origin, try to stop the water flow immediately. You may need to turn off the water supply at the home's main valve.

3. Call Professionals

Next, you're going to have to call a plumber to replace or fix broken pipe If there is a lot of water from the bursting pipes or the moisture has been lingering for a while, contacting a water damage restoration company is beneficial, if not vital. The experts can do a thorough professional inspection and mitigate the loss.

4. Extract the Water

While you're waiting for the professionals to arrive, you can begin extracting the water. A wet/dry vacuum is ideal for eliminating the standing water and debris. You can also use a mop and towels.

5. Remove Unsalvageable Materials

You can also start removing soaked and unsalvageable materials. The more moisture you eliminate from the area, the faster it will dry.

6. Dry Everything

Finally, you must dry the area and contents as quickly as possible. The experts will utilize industrial-grade drying equipment such as fans and dehumidifiers.

The key to managing bursting pipes is to limit the water damage. Now you know the basic steps for resolving the issue.

Steps of the Storm Damage Mitigation Process

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a damaged roof After a storm your home's roof may need repairs to avoid water damage.

High winds and hail can cause broken or missing shingles on your roof. To protect your home, you must remedy this problem as soon as you can. Before you look for roof repair in Greenville, NC, however, you need to have the water damage inside your attic or top floor fixed.

4 Steps for Storm Damage Mitigation

1. Board Up Damaged Roof

Roof damage leaves your home vulnerable to a variety of problems:

  • Leaks
  • Debris
  • Vermin


To prevent these issues, you must block the entry into your home that the storm left behind. Use tarps or boards to cover holes in the roof so that no further rain or wind damage is done to the interior of your home during the mitigation process.

2. Remove Saturated Materials

Before roof repair can commence, all materials damaged by the leak must be torn out. This may include ceilings, walls, insulation and flooring. Water damage restoration specialists assess the area and determine which materials cannot be salvaged. Then, they remove it.

3. Clean and Dry Affected Area

Water from a storm is likely contaminated with various bacteria, so any part of your home it touches must be disinfected. After the whole area has been clean and tested, the technicians make sure that it is also dry so that no secondary damage occurs later.

4. Restore Structure

Once everything is clean and dry, the restoration team can start the rebuilding process. They replace insulation, put up drywall and install new flooring. Then they match the new materials with the existing structure so that it is not obvious where the damage occurred.

If your roof is damaged in a storm, your first instinct is probably to call a trusted roofer. Before you arrange for roof repair, however, make sure that the process won't hide interior damage that needs to be addressed first. Fixing the whole problem is the key to getting your home and your life back to normal.