Recent Posts

Duct Cleaning? Who Needs That?

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Does it feel like your home has hidden dust magnets? Join the group of countless others who endure constant dusting, vacuuming and the costly replacement of air filters. Dust is not only unsightly, it could be the reason your allergies are aggravated, you experience a lack of energy and your energy bills are higher than they should be!

Dirt, bacteria, animal dander, mold, and a number of other containments are the what makes up dust particles. These particles circulate through your air ducts and can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system by clogging air intakes. This causes it to work much harder than it should. By keeping these systems clean you allow the unit to run more efficiently – increasing the life span of your system and decreasing the amount of money you spend on energy.

Duct Cleaning Can:

  • Kill bacteria, fungi and mold
  • Reduce the chances of mold growth
  • Cut down energy costs
  • Eliminate odors in your home


The EPA’s website states: “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.” Cleaning your ducts can sweep away years of dust and dirt, helping to reduce potential for damage and health risks.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. This includes certain odors as well. In these cases, SERVPRO can often restore the ductwork to pre-damage condition. It is also recommended that you have the ductwork cleaned after buying a home or after a renovation.  Just like carpet cleaning, having your ductwork cleaned should be part of your home maintenance routine. 

If you can’t remember the last time you had your ductwork cleaned, it’s time to call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork!

South Carolina Franchise Owners Meeting 2019

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

This week we had the pleasure of hosting the South Carolina SERVPRO Owners Meeting in our conference room. We were joined by more than 30 Franchise Owners from various regions in South Carolina as well as special guest speakers Brian Turpin (Kennett Square, PA) and Randy Williams (SERVPRO Lenoir, NC). This meeting provides an opportunity for franchise owners to learn more about what changes are coming and improving current practices. These gatherings are a reminder that we should never become complacent in the workplace, there is always room for improvement in every aspect of business. 

On A Budget? Our Top Budget Renovation Tips

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

DIY Projects are becoming increasingly popular - with so many shows, blogs and the endless supply of information that is the internet, who wouldn't want to try their hand at channeling their inner Joanna Gaines? If you find yourself in search of simple ways to update or improve the look of your home check out our list of budget friendly tips to achieve the look you want without breaking the bank. If you're in need of budget efficient inspiration check out this site for 100 Smart Home Remodeling Ideas.

  1. PLAN AHEAD
    • Don't run with the first idea you see. Do some research on costs, labor and material requirements and how it will affect the surrounding space. Once you get a clear idea of what is involved with each project, choose the one that best suits your budget and timeline.
  2. SHOP AROUND
    • If you're taking on a project that requires bringing in a contractor or other vendors be sure you get the best price from a company you trust.
    • Take your time with this - Quotes don't always come in immediately.
    • Be reasonable - lowest prices does not always equate to the best quality
  3. BE THRIFTY
    • Browse several stores and shop online for the best deals. Be patient - using tip #1 - check clearance sections and scratch and dent aisles for inspiration for future projects.
    • Habitat for Humanity Restores can be a huge asset in home renovations. They have a variety of products at great discounts, plus you're helping a generous cause!
  4. CLEAN UP
    • You can make a tremendous impact on a space just by picking up clutter, organizing and eliminating items you no longer use will open up your space and give you a better perspective on the area you hope to improve.
  5. CREATE A BUDGET & STICK WITH IT
    • A $100 project can multiply quickly. Decide what you want to do, how much you're willing to spend and execute it. If you come up with ideas along the way, make a list and plan to do finish them at a later date. Renovating can become stressful the more you pile on yourself.
  6. DO IT YOURSELF!
    • There are videos and blogs for almost everything now. Most big name hardware stores offer classes for simple things too! Educate yourself and try your hand at small jobs! Always call in a professional for things you're unsure of, and beware of damaging the integrity of your home. If you're not a licensed electrician or plumber, don't pretend to be. 

Are You Covered?

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

If your home fell victim to a major flood or storm tomorrow, would your insurance cover all of the costs incurred from the damages? Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and catastrophic storms are typically not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. It's important to read your policy to learn what types of storm damage may or may not be covered.

When purchasing a new home policy or when evaluating your current policy it is important to consider the geographic location, weather patterns and flood risk assessments of the area your home or office are located in. You might perceive additional coverage as an unnecessary or excessive cost, but consider the cost to rebuild or repair damage out of pocket. SERVPRO bases its pricing off national average or market rates, you’ll be thankful you spent the extra funds on these types of coverages rather than having to pay out of pocket in a time where your stress levels are at their highest.

Steps to Take Following Storm Damage

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create structural hazards like  collapsed roofing material, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO immediately to help secure your property and protect it from further water damage. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire and smoke disasters. 

Storms in Columbia? No Problem!

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork excels 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 limits further damage and reduces restoration costs.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit your Irmo/Chapin property, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We have access to 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.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 803-749-0178

Our Certified Staff

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork

SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork 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 and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

Don't Let Water Damage Drown Your Columbia Business

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Don't Let Water Damage Drown Your Columbia Business This store has standing water surrounding valuable merchandise.

Flooding and water damage events at Columbia commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility. We're happy to work around your busy schedule to stay out of the way and get operation up and running as quick as we can.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork

SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.

If your store or office has experienced water damage, call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork 803-749-0178

What To Do After a Structure Fire in Chapin

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

If you've found yourself the victim of a structure fire, be it your home or office, it's quite likely that you're unsure of what your next steps should be. The following tidbits of information may be able to assist you in reducing the amount of additional damage and increase your chances of a successful restoration.

Do:

  1. Limit the amount of foot traffic within the property. Soot particles can be spread to unaffected areas and embed themselves into carpet and furniture fibers.
  2. Keep your hands clean. Transferring soot and other fire-related substances can further soil the walls, upholstery, woodwork, etc.
  3. Electricity is often turned off, empty refrigerators/freezers. Prevent food from perishing and open the doors after cleaning them out to prevent odors.
  4. Cover air registers with cheesecloth, and double layer the tape. Or any similar fabric that will keep soot particles out of the HVAC system.
  5. If your electricity is off, your heating system will not operate. In the winter, pour antifreeze designed for RV's and Campers in your sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and bathtubs to "winterize" your home and keep pipes from freezing.

Don't:

  1. Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  2. Shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  3. Clean any electrical items. Appliances, TV's, game consoles or cleaning devices that were close to the fire or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  4. Use or consume any canned or packaged food or beverage that may have been near the fire, heat or water. Varying conditions can alter the integrity of food items.
  5. Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, wiring can be damaged by the water.
  6. Send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may cause smoke odor to set in.

Fire Extinguishers - What You Need To Know

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

If you were given five seconds to answer the following questions, could you?

  1. Where are the fire extinguishers in your home or office?
  2. How do you operate those fire extinguishers?
  3. What type of extinguisher(s) are they?

In the event of a fire you’ll need to know the answers to all of these questions and you’ll need to know them FAST. Fires can consume a building in a matter of minutes, the faster you’re able to create a plan and react, the better.

The Fire Triangle, which is technically a tetrahedron because it has four elements, explains what is necessary for a fire to exist. A fire needs oxygen to sustain combustion, heat to raise the material to its ignition temperature, fuel to support the combustion and a chemical reaction between these three elements to sustain itself. Removing any one of the four elements will extinguish the fire.

Placement

A fire extinguisher should be placed on each level of your home or office building, and especially in places where fires are more likely to occur, like the kitchen and garage. They should be easily accessible and never covered or surrounded.

Types of Fires

We’ll start by classifying the different types of fires. The source or cause of the fire and its location determine what must be used to extinguish it.

CLASS A: contain ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber and many plastics.

CLASS B: are in flammable liquids like gasoline, petroleum greases, tars, oils, oil-based paints, solvents and alcohols. Class B fires also include flammable gases such as propane and butane. These do no include fires involving cooking oils and grease.

CLASS C: involve energized electrical equipment like computers, servers, motors, transformers and appliances. Remove the power and the Class C fire becomes a different class of fire.

CLASS D: are fires in combustible metals like magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and potassium.

CLASS K: fires in cooking oils and greases such as animal and vegetable fats.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Water and Foam: takes away the element of heat in the fire triangle. Foam agents also separate the oxygen from the other elements.

  • Water Extinguishers are for Class A only – they should not be used on Class B or C fires. The discharge steam could spread the flammable liquid in a Class B fire or could create a shock hazard on a Class C fire.

Carbon Dioxide: take away the oxygen element of the fire triangle and also by removing the heat with a very cold discharge.

  • Carbon dioxide can be used on Class B & C fires. They are usually ineffective on Class A fires.

Dry Chemical: extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

  • The most commonly used type of fire extinguisher is the multipurpose dry chemical because it is effective on Class A, B and C fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A.

Wet Chemical:  a new agent that extinguishes the fire by removing the heat of the fire triangle and prevents re-ignition by creating a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements.

  • Wet chemical extinguishers or Class K extinguishers were designed for modern, high efficiency deep fat fryers in commercial cooking operations.

Clean Agent: Halogenated or Clean Agent extinguishers include the halon agents as well as the newer less ozone depleting halocarbon agents. They extinguish the fire by interrupting the chemical reaction and/or removing heat from the fire triangle.

  • Clean agent extinguishers are effective on Class A, B and C fires.

Dry Powder: similar to dry chemical except they extinguish the fire by separating the fuel from the oxygen element or by removing the heat element of the fire triangle.

  • Dry Powder extinguishers are for Class D or combustible metals fires only

Water Mist: take away the heat element of the fire triangle. They are an alternative to the clean agent extinguishers where contamination is a concern.

  • Water mist extinguishers are primarily for Class A fires, although they are safe for use on Class C as well.

Use of A Fire Extinguisher

Remembering how to use any fire extinguisher is simple if you can remember the acronym P.A.S.S:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire from the recommended distance
  • Squeeze the operating lever to discharge the fire extinguishing agent
  • Sweep the nozzle or hose from side to side until the fire is out

Buying Guide

When purchasing a fire extinguisher, it is important to check the classification listed on the packaging. Manufacturers make it easier on consumers by labeling their products based on the type of fires they’re formulated to extinguish. Most home improvement stores carry products that carry Class A through Class C. Consider the types of materials within the are you're placing the extinguisher, in kitchens it is best practice to have one classified for grease fires as well as multi-purpose.