Recent Posts

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.

Are You Ready for Whatever Happens?

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Are You Ready for Whatever Happens? The SERVPRO ERP App can be downloaded to any smartphone or tablet for your convenience.

SERVPRO uses the term "disaster" to encompass water, fire, smoke, mold and storm damages of any size.

Did you know that 50% of businesses that suffer from any sort of disaster never recover? All the time, effort and money that have been dedicated to running a business can be completely wiped away in a matter of minutes. The only predictable thing about disasters is that they are simply unpredictable. Water and fire damages can occur without warning and allow very little time to react. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is here to help, at no cost to you!

Business Insurance policies help you cover damages but SERVPRO helps you react, recover and minimize the amount of downtime you may experience.

No One Plans on Disaster, But You Can Plan for It.

If you’re not prepared 100% of the time, how prepared can you be? One of the most important steps you can take for yourself and your business is to generate a plan ahead of time. SERVPRO offers a FREE program for business owners to help protect their livelihood. An Emergency Ready Profile or ERP helps you and your employees answer the important questions quickly should a disaster occur.

Pre-planning serves as an insurance policy, it gives stakeholders peace of mind when putting their livelihood in the hands of others. ERP’s are also proven to minimize the interruption time in a business because an immediate plan of action is already in existence.

Time is Not on Your Side

When you allow SERVPRO to prepare an Emergency Ready Profile you cut your response time down significantly. You’ll know what to do, who to call and what you can expect in advance – the key to all of this is timing. A timely mitigation minimizes the affects of water and fire damage allowing your property and business to be restored at an advanced rate with minimal downtime. The SERVPRO ERP addresses incident response and disaster recovery. You’ll receive a written copy as well as access to the entire plan in our Emergency Ready App.

Emergency Ready Profiles Include:

  • Employee and Emergency Contacts
    • Local police, fire and hospitals
    • Establishes primary internal contacts for purposes of employee safety and work authorization
  • Utility Contact and Shut Off Locations
    • Identifies local utility contact information
    • Provides a detailed description of utility shut-off locations
      • Photos of each location are taken and included for quick reference
    • Shut-off tags for gas and water are placed on each shut-off valve so that they may be easily recognized.
  • Primary Contact Information
    • The name, title, phone number and email address are identified for all primary contacts needed to begin cleanup and restoration:
      • Building Owner
      • Building Contact
      • Work Authorization Contact
      • Maintenance Contact
      • Risk or Property Manager
      • SERVPRO Franchise
      • Internet Provider
      • HVAC Contractor
      • Elevator Company
      • Flooring Company
      • Plumber
      • Electrician
  •  Property Overview Information
    • One-page snapshot of facility
    • Address, photo and directions to your location
    • Brief description of the facility:
      • Structural information and special instructions
      • Total square footage and square footage by floor
      • Type of flooring
      • Supplemental backup power
      • Hazardous material information

No Job Too Big or Too Small

A SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile has the ability to cover any establishment. Whether you have a 100-story city building or small storefront we’re ready to create a plan to protect what matters most to you. Give SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork a call today, we’re here to help.

Smoke Detectors - Your First Line of Defense

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Detectors - Your First Line of Defense Your home is one of your biggest investments, protect yourself and your family!

Think you don’t need a smoke detector? Think again!

Fires destroy numerous homes in Chapin and surrounding areas every year. One of the easiest ways you can prevent fire damage is early detection. Smoke detectors are inexpensive, easy to install and require very little maintenance. Properly maintained, they can keep your home and your family safe from harm.

There are many causes for house fires; faulty wiring, appliance mishaps, smoking, the list goes on and on. No matter the cause, fires are unpredictable and can be life shattering. Ensuring that your home has a functional smoke detector is one of the most important steps to reduce fire damage to your Chapin home. According to the South Carolina Fire Marshal, a smoke detector or alarm should be installed on the ceiling in every sleeping room, hallway and on every level of your home (this includes basements and attics).

The two most prominent types of smoke detectors are ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization: uses ions, or electrically charged particles that react to particles emitted in a fire, setting off the alarm. They are best at detecting fast-flaming fires that don’t emit much visible smoke. Most home fires are smoky and smoldering long before flames flare, ionization alarms are not as quick at detecting those. They can also be prone to nuisance alarms from cooking or steam, these should not be placed in the kitchen or bathrooms.

Photoelectric: contains a photo cell and a light beam that shines away from the cell. Once smoke enters the test chamber, some of the light becomes scattered by the smoke particles, which hits the cell and an alarm is triggered. They are best at detecting smoky and smoldering fires, which are most common in home fires. Dust or insects that enter the cell can cause false alarms so they should be cleaned occasionally.

There are several other types of smoke detectors and alarms, consider the conditions in which the device will be placed and the type of home you have before purchasing. If you’re unsure, pay a visit to your local Fire Station and they can guide you in the right direction!

After proper installation it is imperative that you maintain your devices by following these simple steps:

  1. Test the detector every month - we recommend the testing of smoke detectors at least once a month. This helps to determine if the battery is dead or if the alarm is working. To test the device, press the button until an audible alert tone sounds. 
  2. Replace the battery - If you find the battery is dead, we recommend you replace it. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to replace the batteries. Each alarm is different but should have a function that identifies if the battery is low. But, be doubly cautious and follow the wisdom of replacing the batteries when you reset your clocks for Daylight or Standard Time.
  3. Vacuum the detector  - After testing or replacing the batteries, we also recommend vacuuming the detector. This helps to remove any cobwebs, insects and dust build-up. Use a soft brush attachment for this process. 

Following these maintenance tips should cut losses and possibly save your family. If an emergency or mishap does occur from fire, water or mold problem, call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork 24/7 emergency line at (803) 749-0178.

Winter Weather Safety

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

The Dutch Fork, SC and surrounding areas don’t experience a great deal of winter weather, but when we do it seems that everyone shuts down. Well everyone but Walmart and Waffle House that is. The first Winter Weather Advisory alerts are delivered to our phones and emails, which we hesitantly believe. Rain begins to fall and the temperatures drop followed by a race to a grocery store that still has milk and bread in stock. All of this just for cold rain! This pattern creates some hesitation when it comes to taking winter weather seriously.

On the rare occasion that we do find ourselves in the midst of a blizzard or ice storm, we’re far from prepared. Driving on snow- or ice-covered roads in the Midlands is a challenge – we simply don’t get enough of it to adapt to such testy conditions. It’s not rare to see a number of cars lined up and down the side of the interstate after a winter weather event, abandoned or involved in collisions – with every tow company in the area busy from dusk til’ dawn you’re thankful it’s not you stranded on I-26.

But what if one of those vehicles IS you? Do you bundle up and trek through the snow and ice for help? What if you have small children or an elderly person with you at the time? You may be forced to remain in the vehicle until conditions clear or it is safe to drive. Keeping a “Winter Weather Kit” made up of the items below in your car is an effective way to ensure that you are prepared.

Mold: Think Before You Bleach

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Mold: Think Before You Bleach Household cleaning products are not designed to abate mold.

Scientific studies on mold are ongoing and at this time do not provide conclusive information on the potential effects on human health.  There are a few things that are certain though; it grows at a rapid rate, it can permanently damage your home and it can be harmful to your health as well as anything living in your home.

Mold Treatments

At the first site of mold you may be tempted to clean the area using bleach or a similar product advertised as a "mold killer". Before you purchase anything, be sure you read the back of the label - you'll find that such products are often misleading.

  1.  Bleach does kill mold, but not on all surfaces. Non-porous items like glass, tile, bathtubs and showers can be treated with bleach or similar products. While surfaces like drywall and hardwood will endure further damage from bleach
  2. Spraying bleach on porous surfaces actually increases the growth rate of mold spores because excess moisture is provided.
  3. Bleach only removes the color from mold when used on porous surfaces, the roots or hyphae continue to grow. 
  4. Chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to the integrity of surfaces. It breaks down the fibers of wood, which causes it to lose its strength. Metal almost immediately begins to corrode when combined with chlorine bleach.

Rather than potentially causing harm to yourself or your home, it is best to allow a professional to treat the affected areas in your home or business. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is equipped with trained technicians and antimicrobial agents that can contain, remove and begin the remediation process on your home or business.