Recent Posts

Pet Stain Removal

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

A puppy resting on a blanket This is Mia! Sometimes Mia has accidents. Luckily her Mom works at SERVPRO and knows how to take care of them!

A large majority of the area rugs and carpet stains we’re asked to clean involve a pet accident. They’re an unfortunate fact of life when it comes to being a pet owner! At SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork, we understand the frustration that can come with discovering a stain on your expensive rugs and carpeting. Our office typically has at least one canine companion on duty during the week so it’s safe to say we’re pet people.

Our staff has taken rigorous courses on stain removal of various types of fabric, in each course there is always a section covering the removal of pet stains because they’re so common amongst our customer base. Cleaning these stains doesn’t always require a professional, with a little bit of research and some elbow grease you can get rid of the marks your four-legged friends leave behind. Timing is everything when it comes to avoiding irreversible damage to fabrics; the faster you begin reversing the damage, the higher the chances of removing the stain completely.

It’s crucial that you identify the type of rug or carpet you’re cleaning before you begin. If you turn a rug over, there is usually a label the identifies what material it’s composed of, and often has cleaning instructions to make your task even easier! If your rug is deemed an “oriental” rug, or composed of wool, silk or cotton you should NEVER use these products: Folex, Resolve, Oxyclean, Simple Green, Woolite, salt, baking soda, or bleach. These products are not designed for use on these materials and can cause more damage than your pet already has.

Items You Will Need:

  • White/light colored terrycloth towels
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Small bowls & sponges
  • A soft brush
  • Hair dryer
  • An enzyme based cleaner
    • We recommend our SERVPRO brand Urine Treatment Solution 

Pick It Up

Remove any solids from the floor. If this is a urine stain, use a towel or paper towels and apply pressure until there is no longer any liquid being extracted from the surface. If a stain remains, or this is a urine stain, dampen the area with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and cold water.

Dampen the Area

Be sure to bend the fibers back and dampen the entire fiber, not just the top. This can be done by using your hand and pulling in one direction, dampening the area and repeating until the fiber is completely dampened. You never want to saturate the area.

Blot, Blot, Blot!

Using a cotton towel, blot, DO NOT RUB the stain until there is no longer transfer on the towel. Using a light-colored towel makes this easier because the stain is more visible.

Sandwich the Fibers

Place a towel underneath the stain and on the top of it. If you’re working on carpet it may not be possible to place a towel underneath, be diligent about this step using just the top. Use your body weight and stand on the top towel to absorb as much moisture as possible. The “sandwich” method will assist in wicking away as much moisture as possible.

Dry the Stain

Using a hairdryer on a cool setting (be careful not to melt the fibers), dry and groom the nap of the fibers with the soft brush

Enzyme Mist

Some carpet cleaners and stain removers offer a fragrance that often covers the odor, which doesn’t eliminate the root of the problem. Using an enzyme based cleaner breaks down any lingering odor-causing bacteria. It’s important not to skip this step and invest in a quality solution, especially if pet accidents are a regular occurrence in your home.

Prop it Up

Don’t let the rug to lay flat on the floor after you’re done. Place an object under it to allow air to flow through both sides while it dries. If the stain is on carpet you should place a fan blowing on the cleaned area.

The Science Behind Pet Stain Removal

Pet urine is hot and acidic, it penetrates the fibers in the affected area. Most rug dyes are acid based, meaning the urine essentially re-dyes the fibers yellow and then begins to set. Stains can become permanent if not cleaned immediately.

Old pet stains (more than 7+ days) transition from acidic to strongly alkaline in their pH. Alkaline is the opposite of acidic, therefore this chemical imbalance begins to dissolve the rug dye and can lead to loss in color and what we call “bleeding”. Bleeding means the colors run into other areas, imagine a watercolor painting being held out in the rain. 

Carpet and rugs are expensive, but with the help of these guidelines we hope you’ll be able to prolong the life of them and protect your home from harmful bacteria. If you’re unsure on any of these steps, or would rather have our technicians take care of them, give us a call!

Restoring Your Property After A Fire

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Dutch Fork logo with flames For all of your fire remediation needs, call the pros!

When the First Responder vehicles depart, your home is likely to show signs of fire and smoke damage, with some degree of water damage from efforts made by firefighters to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork has a team of men and women with the specialized fire restoration training needed to make your home “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today 803-749-0178

Every fire damage is unique. The type of structure, contents inside and overall environment requires a specific plan of action, but our recommended general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the standard fire damage mitigation:

Step 1: Initial Contact

The clock starts when you call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork, we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our representative will ask a series of questions about what happened, the state of the home and the contents inside the home. This helps our team prepare to arrive with the proper equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Assessment

Our team will carefully walk the home in order to inspect and test several factors. The structural damage must be analyzed to predict repairs and any permits that will need to be applied for. The contents will be filed in an inventory log and separated into categories of salvageable and unsalvageable. This is determined by a set of regulated standards. This step is crucial in developing a plan of action to move forward. Moisture levels will be read throughout the home to determine where equipment is needed.

Step 3: Securing the Property

Fire typically damages the integrity of windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. It’s important to keep unwanted humans and wildlife out of the home during this time.

Step 4: Water Mitigation and Dry-out

The water removal process begins the first day our crews arrive. Using extraction to remove the water from various materials allows us to place dehumidifiers and air movers to dry out any residual moisture. If this is not done quickly, the possibility of mold growth is likely.

Step 5: Smoke and Soot Removal

We will use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. Our technicians have been trained to perform this task the correct way, without proper equipment and products, it is possible to spread the smoke and soot making surfaces unsalvageable.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean all salvageable items that the homeowner wishes to keep. This includes furniture, flooring, and fabric type items. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition and have contacts with specialist companies that can handle those we don’t have the ability to tackle. We’re able to remove the odor of smoke with the help of air-scrubbers and ozone machines. Smoke and soot particles infiltrate the pores of porous material which harbors odors that become difficult to mask.

Step 7: Restoration

The most important part of any of our processes ties back to our motto – “Like it never even happened.” We strive to leave each property we work on in the same condition and often better than it was before any damage occurred. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is a start-to-finish franchise with the ability to rebuild most anything. We work with property owners to discuss upgrades and what their insurance will cover as far as replacement before we begin any work.

Cleaning a Crusty Showerhead

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Showerheads gather minerals and buildup overtime. They can start to look rather grungy after a few years, even months depending on the levels of pollution in your water. Hard water and minerals begin to form what looks like a barnacle, giving you an uneven or weak rate of water flow. Not only does it diminish the performance of the showerhead, it makes an unsightly addition to your bath or shower area.

We're not self-proclaimed plumbing experts, but, we do have an easy solution you can use without having to open your wallet! This quick and easy method can make your shower head look and act like new again in 6 super easy steps! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 zip tie
  • 1 plastic bag
  • Scissors

Eliminate showerhead stains and buildup with the following six steps:

  1. Fill the plastic bag with vinegar
  2. Loosely attach the zip tie to the showerhead
  3. Submerge the showerhead in the bag of vinegar, tightening the zip tie to the top of the bag
  4. Soak overnight
  5. Remove bag by cutting the zip tie with scissors
  6. Run water through the showerhead for three minutes

We're More Than Fire & Water Cleanup!

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is a franchise that wears many hats. Some days we’re working to mitigate water damage, other days we’re restoring a home and its contents that have been damaged by fire. There are even times when our crews are crawling under homes to test for mold! The list goes on and on, but the point being that each day is different here at SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork, and there aren’t many tasks we cannot complete.

 One of our lesser known services is commercial cleaning! We’re not talking emptying of trashcans and sweeping floors; this is a DEEP clean of any commercial space. We’ve worked on jobs ranging from commercial kitchens to religious buildings. When multiple people occupy a space for any given amount of time its guaranteed to become dirty. Add food, oils, cooking equipment or electronics into the mix and the amount of dirt can become amplified.

Our crews work quietly during hours of operation to cause as little disruption as possible and on several occasions, they’ve worked after business hours to limit interruption and avoid obstacles such as personal belongings and occupants. Whatever your schedule, we can make it work! If your commercial space is in need of odor removal, deep cleaning or just some sprucing we recommend giving the guys in the green trucks a call, you won’t be disappointed!

Candle Burning Safety

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Who doesn’t love candles? They’re an easy way to make a space smell better, cozy up your living room or allow you to relax when soaking in the tub. There are so many scents, colors and even some that crackle like real wood while they burn.

With a flame so small it’s not hard to neglect the fact that they are a hazard in enclosed spaces. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 8,700 residential fires are caused by candles each year. Close to one-third of them begin in bedrooms where people have fallen asleep.

While some of these fire stem from the neglect of an open flame, they also begin with poor placement and accidental bumping/knocking over. The National Fire Protection Association provides a wealth of knowledge in fire prevention and best safety practices.

  • Candles should never be used as a night light, the risk of falling asleep with an open flame more likely when tired.
  • Keep candles in an open area – at least 1 foot from anything flammable (fabric, aerosol, electrical outlets).
  • Keep hair, clothing, and blankets away from flames.
  • Never touch or move a lit candle.
  • If oxygen is being used in the home an open flame of any sort should not be used.
  • Before burning, always trim the wick to ¼ inch. Long or crooked wicks can cause sparks, drips and flares.
  • Avoid burning candles all the way down, especially if they are not contained in a glass jar.

Fires are devastating, your home and all of its contents could be consumed in a matter of minutes. Take a few extra minutes to ensure you’re taking all necessary safety precautions before you ignite your favorite scent!

Traveling During Winter Holidays? Take Caution!

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you're going down the road this holiday season, or across the country, traveling in winter weather can be a tricky task. AAA provided some simple solutions to avoiding a motor vehicle mishap.

  1. Accelerate and decelerate slowly
    • avoid skids and take time to slow down for a stoplight on icy roads.
  2. Properly position feet on pedals
    • keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  3. Don't stop if you can avoid it
    • if you can, slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes. Always stop at stop signs or signal lights when required.
  4. Uphill Driving
    • applying extra acceleration on snow-covered roads can cause your wheels to spin. Try to obtain extra speed before reaching the hill and let inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the top, reduce speed and proceed downhill slowly.
  5. Safe Following Distances
    • normal driving conditions suggest a 3-4 second car spacing. When driving in snow or icy conditions increase that to 8-10 seconds. Doing so allows you time to stop and avoid collisions should you need to.

Health and Safety: Top Concerns of Water Damage

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Preparation is key in responding to water damage. If you’ve ever called a restoration company about water damage mitigation, you’ll remember that a number of questions were asked over the phone. Those questions are designed to better prepare crews and technicians for the scene they’re walking into. They must make sure they have any necessary safety equipment that would be required for them to do their jobs properly. You’ll also be asked in detail about the source of the water damage or where it originated from. Water is broken down into three categories of contamination in our industry. Each one must be handled slightly different than the others and requires varying degrees of safety equipment.

Category 1 – Water that originates from a sanitary source and does not pose substantial harm to humans. Some examples of Category 1 water could be: broken/leaking water supply lines, tub or sink overflows with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines, melting ice or snow, falling rainwater, broken toilet tanks and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives. However, once clean water leaves its exit point, it is possible that it can become contaminated by contacting other surfaces or materials such as: building materials, systems and contents or soils. Wearing gloves and/or rubber shoes is advised when cleaning category 1 water.

Category 2 – Water that contains a significant level of contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. This category can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, organic or inorganic matter. This could include: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, overflows from toilet bowls, broken aquariums and punctured water beds. It is important to take moderate safety precautions when handling water of this nature. Gloves and rubber shoes as well as eye protection and in some cases full body coverage is necessary.

Category 3 – Water that is highly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Elderly persons, those under age two and anyone that has a compromised immune system, respiratory problems or allergies should not occupy the job site until the building is safe. Examples of category 3 water include: sewage, all forms of sea water, ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, and other contaminated water entering or affecting indoor spaces. Most organizations require that any personnel that encounters this category of water use proper protective equipment to include: splash goggles, rubber gloves, boots, coveralls and a respirator.

Water damage remediation is not a DIY project, trained professionals are the only ones who should attempt to dry out or remove affected materials following a water loss. Failure to do so can result in the growth of mold as well as numerous other harmful organisms. If you’ve experienced water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork!

6 Tips to Prevent Water Damage This Winter

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

As temperatures fall to their lowest this time of year it’s important that we make homeowners and business owners in the Dutch Fork area aware of the dangers that winter poses on your home or office. We layer on clothing and break out our thick socks but have you taken precautions to be sure that your homes and offices will not be affected by the chill in the air?

A recent study performed by the Insurance Information institute stated that water damage accounts for almost half of all property damage claims. They found that 57% of homeowners who have experienced a water leak claim more than $5,000 on clean-up costs and around 15% spent $20,000 or more. These were all individuals with homeowners insurance policies that covered their claims. If you’re unsure what type of coverage you have involving water and storm damage, give your agent a call and discuss your policy before something happens!

We’ve developed a list of 6 simple ways to help protect your biggest asset:

  1. Install a water detection device – a minor water leak can cause massive amounts of damage if undetected. A small water supply line to an appliance has the ability to rack up thousands of dollars in damage because it goes unnoticed and spreads water over a vast area. A water detection device is a simple, easily installed device that can help detect moisture in areas you might not frequent. Installing one near water heaters, behind or under washing machines and around appliances that use water is a great way to detect water quickly and early on as to prevent further damage. Some models send alerts to your phone if moisture is detected or if there is an increase in the amount of water being used in your home.
  2. Turn off main water supply – if you’re leaving town or traveling, even for short periods of time, you can eliminate the possibility of returning to a flooded home. Not sure how to do this? Call your water company and they’ll walk you through the correct way to turn the water off at your residence.
  3. Check your water supply lines regularly – Just like an annual checkup at the doctor, your home deserves to be looked over regularly! Check water supply lines in your fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and any other appliance that may have a water supply flowing. Cracks, wear and tear and visible molding are indicators that they should be replaced. Most replacements can be picked up at your local hardware store and are far more inexpensive than cleaning up water damaged surfaces.
  4. Clean gutters and inspect your roof – leaves and debris tend to hold on to water and can cause stress on the structure of your roof. They can also clog your gutters and direct the flow of water down the side of your home/office or under the roof. Replace any damaged or missing shingles that might allow water to seep in.
  5. Protect your pipes – insulate accessible pipes with pipe insulation materials. Attics and crawl spaces that are accessible should be looked over to see if there are any exposed to the air. Purchase a spigot insulator for any water sources on the exterior of your home.
  6. Let a faucet drip – on nights when temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, turn a sink faucet on to allow water to lightly flow. This allows the water to move through the pipes in your home which lowers the risk of freezing. Keep cabinet or closet doors open to allow the warm air in your home to insulate the pipes under sinks and around water heaters.

Finding time to take these simple steps becomes much easier when you consider the damage and time it takes to restore your home following water damage. If you’ve experienced a water loss this winter be sure to call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork.

SERVPRO Storm Response Team

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that each SERVPRO Franchise has the opportunity to leave their designated regions to assist in the event of a catastrophic storm? By joining the SERVPRO Storm Response Team, each participating franchise sends a crew to the affected areas to assist in high volume storm losses. The idea behind this operation is to reduce the amount of time homeowners and business owners are displaced or working/living in unsafe conditions. If residents of communities affected by catastrophic storms depended solely on the local mitigation services, it’s likely they would wait months even years to have their structures restored.

Working together as a Storm Response Team also allows multiple franchises to team up and accomplish jobs even faster. During Hurricane Florence our crews worked alongside multiple others to remove water and dry out an elementary school on the coast of North Carolina. Because of the teamwork structure set up by this program the school was completed in just three days! We’re proud members of this program and hope to continue to help those in need. The SERVPRO Storm Response Team is proud to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Spruce Up Your Business!

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Most offices, stores and other businesses have a cleaning crew or janitorial staff. Some even utilize internal employees to complete daily cleaning tasks. But sometimes a daily sweeping and mopping isn’t as effective as we would like. A more thorough and time consuming clean is necessary for spaces with high traffic. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork not only helps you when you’re in need of fire, water or mold mitigation – we can bust dirt, dust and grime! Our technicians recently finished a four-phase cleaning regiment for an office building that surpasses 100,000 sq ft. They worked outside of the business operating hours to clean every surface in and around work spaces, lobbies, bathrooms and kitchen areas.

These areas don’t get dirty because of negligence, the janitorial staff is quite diligent! Because of the size of the building and the amount of work space, it’s often difficult to keep up with a small cleaning staff working on limited time. Our staff cleaned dust that could not be reached without special lifts, scrubbed cubicle walls and cleaned carpeted surfaces using portable extractors.

There is never a bad time to spruce up your office or business, with the holidays around the corner you want those shelves and displays looking their best!

For a free estimate on a deep clean call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork at 803-749-0178