Recent Posts

Professional Cleaning of Fire Damage

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

No matter the size or magnitude, fire can affect your entire home or business. Flames, heat, soot and smoke travel quickly – we’ve seen a small stove fire in a downstairs kitchen result in soot residue in a third-floor bedroom. We always advise hiring a cleaning professional to examine and perform the work necessary following any fire.

Our SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork Fire team is certified by the IICRC in Fire Restoration. That means they understand how fire, smoke and soot residue travel, affect materials, and how they should be restored. Our team is careful to maneuver in a way that does not cause further damage to the home. Walking on contaminated areas can track soot residue into other rooms, creating additional cleaning that has to be done. You must also take precautions due to possible structure damage. Floors can become weakened and support beams brittle after a fire, your safety should be the #1 priority.  

The fire team at SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is prepared to handle any fire job, the RIGHT way. We understand that being displaced by fire creates an immense amount of stress on homeowners as well as business owners, and we do our best to comfort, reassure and help them through the entire process. If you or someone you know has experienced a fire and is struggling to get back on their feet, please reach out to us, we’re connected with many organizations that help individuals get the assistance they need.

The Shocking Truth of Electrical Fires

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

An electrical outlet catches fire due to a faulty wire If your home or business has experienced an electrical fire, Call the SERVPRO!

Did you know there are well over 25,000 electrical fires that occur each year in the United States? The damage that results from those fires can be detrimental to a business. Not only do the flames, heat and smoke diminish the structure, but the efforts made by firefighters to extinguish the fire often cause significant water damage. We know that all fires are preventable, especially electrical ones. As business owners you may wonder what proactive steps you might be able to take in order to avoid a costly and potentially fatal blow to your livelihood. The most effective solution we recommend is to regularly inspect any and all electrical sources. A licensed electrician can help check all electrical systems and determine if there are areas of concern.

Wiring – faulty wiring can mean many things, all of which are not good for your building or office. There are many signs that your wiring could potentially have issues – check out this site that names just a few https://electricalconnection.org/news/6-warning-signs-of-faulty-electrical-wiring-in-your-home-103

Cords and Plugs – electrical cords are one of the most common causes of electrical fires. Extension cords, outlets and plugs can become damaged over time and increase the chances of sparking which leads to fires. Regularly check the condition of all cords, look for fraying, exposed wires and bent plugs that, when plugged into a receptacle, become dangerous. Also make sure you’re using the correct extension cord or power strip for the device or appliance you have plugged in. Overloading either one of those can cause a surge in electricity and spark a fire.

Outlets – similar to extension cords, are designed to produce a predetermined amount of electricity. There are many devices that allow you to plug multiple cords into one outlet and if you’re not mindful, you can quickly overload that circuit. Check to see if you’re outlet faces are warm or visibly damaged. If using a power strip on an outlet, The United States Fire Administration recommends purchasing products equipped with internal overload protection. This feature forces the device to shut off it its power supply becomes overloaded, preventing a fire.

Space Heaters – should be carefully placed away from flammable material such as clothing, paper, fabric and electronics. The heat supplied by these appliances can melt items within a small radius.

A few minutes of your time, or a simple phone call to a professional, could save your business – studies show that 80% of businesses that experience a water or fire loss never reopen. Don’t let yours become one of them!

Why Choose SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

If you’re in need of services that we provide it’s likely you’ve done your research on companies who also provide the same services in your area. When you’re not experiencing an emergency loss or cleanup, you have time to be selective. We encourage this type of due diligence from our customers! We want you to have more than just our word when we assure you that: we offer competitive pricing, our team of IICRC certified technicians will perform tasks correctly, and our knowledgeable office personnel will make the entire process simple for you by handling all matters with your insurance provider.

We strive to be the #1 Restoration and Cleanup company in the Nation! We achieve that by setting goals to achieve superior customer service, performance and results. Each morning our office meets to go over each customer’s file – where we are, what we’ve done, and what we’re going to do. This creates fluid communication between all divisions of our office.

Our phone lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year for whenever you may need us. We’d love to make your home or business “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Pit Safety

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Since we’ve been spending significantly more time in our homes, the number of DIY and home improvement projects have been much higher than typical. If you’ve visited a home improvement or hardware store lately, it’s pretty evident what people are spending their time on. With the closing of restaurants, bars and places to hang out with friends our backyards have become a popular hangout spot. Maybe you purchased a new grill and have deemed yourself a BBQ Pitmaster, or built a new deck! But what’s better than a summer evening spent around a fire, cold beverage in hand and a comfy chair? Not much, in our opinion.

Fire pits are a simple and affordable addition to any backyard and can provide a variety of uses for your family and friends. Want to roast hotdogs or marshmallows? Host a socially distanced cocktail hour? Keep those pesky South Carolina mosquitoes away? Before you head off to the store to purchase one or if you’re brave enough to build it yourself – consider a few things:

Where Will You Place It?

After you determine whether you’ll be installing a permanent fire pit or purchasing a portable one, you’ll need to decide where it will go. Fire pits should always be placed at least ten feet from your home and any neighboring homes. You should also pay attention to any overhanging branches, fences, and other items that could potentially catch fire.

What Will You Place It On?

You’ll need a level surface made up of a fire pit safe surface. Brick, stone, gravel, concrete or some other fire-resistant composite material is your best bet. Ensure you have enough material surrounding the outside of the fire pit to extinguish any stray sparks or ash. NEVER place your fire pit on a wooden deck, inside of a garage or other enclosed area.

Safety Tips

It goes without saying that fire is dangerous, it must be closely monitored and those around it should take great precaution to avoid burns or serious injury. Some insurance companies require the disclosure of a fire pit as a requirement of your policy. Avoid loose fitting clothing around the fire as well as clothing made of flammable materials like nylon. If you have long hair, pull it back when starting the fire, especially if you’re using an accelerant like lighter fluid or gasoline.

Soft woods like cedar and pine have a tendency to spark and pop, avoiding them can reduce your risk of injury or fire spread. It’s also important to understand the proper way to extinguish your fire and dispose of the ashes. Never using anything other than water if you choose to extinguish with a liquid. A flammable liquid can create large bursts of flames.

Helping South Carolina Get Back to Business!

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

South Carolina businesses are beginning to re-open or have already opened their doors to customers. As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has continued to grow in our community, we’ve spoken with many business owners that want to know what they can do to keep their customers and staff safe. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program allows us to create plans of action for these business owners. We provide accurate information as well as a list of services that we offer to help keep their stores open and safe for all who enter. All products used by SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork are on the EPA’s List N – which describes products that are verified for use in sanitizing hard surfaces to eliminate bacteria present at the time of cleaning.

What We Can Do

We offer one-time proactive cleanings as well as regularly scheduled disinfecting to further reassure staff and employees that business owners are working diligently to keep their space sanitized. Once we are finished, we have a variety of decals, brochures and signs that can be placed on doors, tabletops and windows to inform the public that your space was sanitized.

We’d love to create a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned plan for your business!

Supporting The Chapin Community

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

technician in white suit cleans police car The Chapin Police Department now has sanitized patrol vehicles.

During the COVID-19 pandemic many people were given the option or opted to work from their homes rather than in their office. A number of businesses in our community were required to shut down, allowing their employees to also remain in their homes. Our local police department was not given that option, they continue to keep our community safe and respond to anyone that needs them. While they know they face the risk of potential exposure while being in public and interacting with people, they continue to serve our community. Our technicians spent the day sanitizing their vehicles, which they spend the majority of their days in, in order to help keep them safe and healthy. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork takes pride in our local community as do all of our neighbors; we want to support all of the men and women who risk their health to serve and protect others. If you or someone you know is in a position that places them at risk of exposure please give us a call, we’d love to help!

Hidden Leaks Cause Costly Damage

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

When's the last time you checked on your appliances?

We fill a glass with water from the refrigerator, unload the dishwasher or start loads of laundry in our washing machines - all daily tasks that we complete without much thought. Unlike our vehicles that are designed to indicate when something is wrong or at the end of its life span, our appliances have no blinking lights or error messages when it comes to leaks. Appliances that utilize water are connected to a supply source by hoses and pipes that are prone to leaks, breakage and cracks. Water damage caused by appliances can go unnoticed for months, even years before a homeowner sees the signs. By that point it’s too late to simply absorb the water with a towel – the water that has been sitting has likely seeped into the floor, walls or baseboards. Regular inspections are simple and critical to prevent your home from costly water damage.

Inspect These Appliances Often

  • Refrigerator
    • We rarely move our refrigerators, they’re heavy and cumbersome. The water lines that supply our refrigerator are usually make of soft plastic materials that fail easily. Checking for leaks beneath and behind the refrigerator as a part of your yearly home maintenance can help you detect an issue more quickly.
  • Dishwasher
    • A dishwasher’s supply lines are as leak prone as those used in a refrigerator, but they supply a larger amount of water and are generally hidden. Most insurance policies do not cover damage caused by older models, checking regularly could spare you a costly repair.
  • Hot Water Heater
    • An appliance that is typically hidden in a closet or garage, we often forget about this one! They hold anywhere from 20 to over 80 gallons of water at a time, and last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Their seals and pipes are certainly capable of failure before the end of the life span and should be checked for accumulations of moisture after and during their use.
  • Washing Machine
    • One of the most common calls we get involve the pesky supply or drain hose on washing machines. They’re flimsy, and usually attached with simple hardware that can come loose, crack or disintegrate. You should check the connection and overall condition of these hoses monthly and replace them every few years.
  • Air Conditioner
    • Each unit should have a drain as well as a safety switch that causes the unit to shutoff when excess moisture pools in the drain pan. If this drain were to malfunction, you’re going to see water appear in places you wish it hadn’t. Each unit and manufacturer are different so we recommend referring to the manual for service and inspection scheduling. A professional HVAC Technician will know what to look for and how it can be repaired.
  • Wine Chillers & Mini-Refrigerators
    • Much like dishwashers these appliances are generally hidden beneath a counter top or cabinet. Their supply lines are not visible and often isolated. Even though you cannot see them, it’s still important to check them as you would a larger refrigerator or kegerator.

IICRC Certified Franchise

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is an IICRC Certified Franchise. The IICRC or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification determines the standards for the restoration industry. They also provide training and certifications to restoration company employees. Completing the course work and training programs through the IICRC allows us to proudly display the IICRC Certified Logo on our buildings, vehicles and website.

Each of our employees, including office staff, have obtained at least one IICRC Accreditation, but all of our staff are Certified Water Restoration Technicians. We take pride in our membership of this prestigious organization because we must uphold the following:

  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and completed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians current on all of the latest changes in our industry.
  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve any disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

Choosing an organization that requires proper training, education and guidance for their employees, ensures that each task will be performed in the correct manner. We strive to be the #1 Restoration and Cleaning company nationwide, and achieve that goal by placing top notch individuals on our team. For all of your water, fire and mold damage issues – call on the IICRC Certified staff at SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork.

Reopening Safely

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Two bottles of hand sanitizer spray set up at a sanitizing station at a local pool One of our sanitizing stations to help keep those hands clean!

A local neighborhood HOA contacted us regarding the reopening of their swimming pool. With several DHEC guidelines they're required to follow, regular cleaning and sanitation is one of the most important. With a little brainstorming we came up with the perfect solution! Not only will we be regularly disinfecting their pool furniture as well as commonly touched surfaces, we created a sanitation station for all who use the pool. Hand sanitizer spray as well as disinfectant solution to be used by neighbors after their use of pool furniture. Not only does this provide peace of mind to all pool-goers, but we're helping them create a safer and healthier environment for homeowners that spend some time in the sun! 

Basement Flooded? Check That Drain!

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

With the impressive amount of rain South Carolina has received recently, we’ve noticed an increase in flooded basements. The majority of those homeowners have linked the flooding to a clogged French Drain. During your increased time at home as of late, we’re sure you’ve done lots of cleaning – baseboards, blinds, closets you forgot you had… But have you checked on that drain that provides crucial water run-off control for your yard? If dirt and debris fill up the drain, water is unable to flow in and out. A clogged exterior drain causes water to backup and will not allow proper drainage in your yard, often forcing the water into your home. If there is a clog, you’ll need to be able to fix it, here are some steps you can take to do so:

  1. Locate an end of the French Drain: you’ll notice a hole in your yard where the drain ends and begins. If you’re unsure of its location, look to the highest point of the yard.
  2. Use a garden hose to run water through the drain: If you notice water backing up rather than flowing through, you’ve got a clog somewhere in the line.
  3. Use a pressure washer to remove the clog: Standing to the side of the drain, aim the nozzle at the bottom of the drain to force the clog out. Be sure to move the nozzle around all sides of the pipe to clean any remaining dirt or debris.
  4. Use a sewer snake on stubborn clogs: A snake can be purchased at most hardware stores and is essentially a long pipe you stick down the drain to reach the clog. Using gentle pressure, you can push the clog with the snake. If you feel that it has broken free or loosened, continue to use the pressure washer wand to push it all the way through your drainage system.

If you find yourself standing in water in your basement, be sure to call our 24/7 Response Team at 803-749-0178