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What to Do if a Thunderstorm Catches You Outside | SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews

9/9/2022 (Permalink)

Sky to ground lightning Lightning commonly strikes the tallest object in the area.

Thunderstorms can be frightening no matter where they occur, but if one catches you while you are outside and away from a shelter, it can be terrifying to endure. While checking weather alerts is always a wise thing to do before heading out, storms tend to pop up suddenly this time of year as they thrive off the heat and humidity.

While being in a building during a thunderstorm is the safest option (with being in your vehicle a close second), knowing what to do next is vital if you are away from buildings and cars when a storm strikes.

How to Seek Shelter From a Storm if You Are Outdoors

Get to low ground. Lightning takes the most direct route to get to the ground, which is why it commonly strikes the tallest object in the vicinity. While this is not absolute, getting low to the ground reduces your chances of being hit. Avoid hills or wide-open spaces, and try to crouch in a less exposed area if possible.

Avoid being near tall objects. Being extremely close to an object struck by lightning is almost as dangerous as being hit yourself, so avoid tall objects when possible. Trees, light poles, flagpoles, and even fences are more likely to attract lightning, so avoid them if possible to not be a target yourself.

Get away from water. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so if lightning strikes a body of water, everyone nearby is in danger. If you are swimming, get out of the water as soon as the first clap of thunder sounds, which signals that lightning is nearby. If you are on a boat and can not get to shore before the storm begins, drop your anchor and crouch down in the boat, or go into the cabin if your boat has one on board. Avoid touching any metallic surfaces in the boat, as well.

If a storm damages your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews to help. We are here 24/7, so you can report your damage and get a rapid response. Contact us today to learn more.

Ways To Prevent Water Damage

9/9/2022 (Permalink)

Flood and water damaged laundry room Water damage in a laundry room due to faulty hoses.

Here at SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews, we are water damage specialists and compiled a small list of how to prevent water damage from happening in your home: 

  1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts - Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof. Do not forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from your home.
  2. Know your Water Main - Know the location of your water main and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time.
  3. Check Appliances Regularly - Check and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks according to the manufacturer's directions.
  4. Investigate Leaks Right Away and Fix Promptly - If you choose to ignore any water damage, or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home.
  5. Upgrade Washing Machine Hoses - Old, brittle, or leaky washing machine hoses are among homeowners' most frequent water loss causes. Replace yours often throughout the year to avoid expensive damage.
  6. Check Your Water Pressure - If the water pressure in your home is too high, your pipes and hoses may fail under high pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home's water pressure. Typical homes' water systems are designed for a pressure of 40 – 70 psi. Anything above 70 psi will put your plumbing at risk.
  7. Monitor Your Water Bill - Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is by taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next, there is probably a leak somewhere in the home.

If you experience water damage, don't worry,  SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews is Here to help. Call us at 704-847-8001.

Fire Damage In Your Matthews Home

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Brink house with flames and smoke House with fire damage

Experiencing fire-damage in your Matthews, NC home can be quite traumatic. Once you come to terms with the loss of valuable possessions, you also need to think about cleaning up and restoring your house. Here are some steps to follow when dealing with a fire. 

Do Not Enter a Home Damaged by Fire 

After a house fire, a professional need to inspect the home and make sure it is safe. The structure could be damaged or there may be dangerous chemicals in the air that could cause respiratory problems. The electrical systems in the home could also be affected and cause electrocution. Although you may be tempted to go back into your home to access the damage, you need to wait until a professional gives you approval 

Contact an Insurance Agent 

Your insurance agent will assess the damage and determine what type of coverage should be included in your claim. An adjuster will come out to your home to provide an estimate of the damage and can recommend a fire restoration company. SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews can clean, repair damage, and restore your home as quickly as possible. 

Call a Fire Restoration Company 

Professional fire restoration companies have technicians who are trained to identify problem areas and determine what can be saved, what can be cleaned, and what should be disposed of. An experienced company will also inspect your home to determine if mold is an issue, and if so, begin working to remove it from the home.

Although dealing with a fire can be emotionally draining, working with a fire damage restoration experts can make the process easier. SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews is locally owned and operated. We are already nearby and ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Steps You Should Take As Soon As the Storm Has Passed | SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

a white mattress showing signs of water damage from a recent storm After a storm, make sure you document any damage to your property. Then make sure you reach out to SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews.

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an extreme level of destruction to your beloved home. Heavy rains can cause flooding, and powerful winds can rip off parts of your roof. Powerful storms also have the potential to pull trees out of the ground and topple them onto your home.

Some post-storm damage that occurs can also cause safety or health hazards, so having a strategy to deal with the damage immediately is the best way to stay safe.

Beyond having a strategy to handle the aftermath, it’s important for you to determine the most common risks we see here in Mecklenburg County so that you can plan accordingly. We see approximately 20% more precipitation than the national average, which means that water damage is going to be a secondary factor when it comes to storms.

You can plan accordingly for the disasters we experience most and utilize special landscaping techniques that direct water away from the home. You could also replace the seals around your doors and windows, and inspect your roof for leaks to make sure you can outlast the next storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain have the potential to create physical hazards like collapsed roofing pieces, window damage and standing water inside the home’s interior. When inspecting your home for damage, be wary of broken glass, exposed nails, or other sharp and potentially dangerous objects around the property.

Additionally, moisture can soak into the furniture, carpet and wood, which creates the perfect environment for mold to begin growing. Mold has been shown to cause serious health complications, especially for those who have pre-existing conditions like asthma.

If necessary, you may need to find alternative places for you and your family to stay while our experts are restoring your property back to its preloss condition.

Document Potential Damage

Once you have determined that it’s safe to move around your property, it’s important to perform a walkthrough and inspect the home for damage. While checking every area of your home, it’s crucial that you document any damage that has taken place as a result of the storm.

You can use your cellphone camera to photograph and record videos of the damage so that you have an immediate record for your insurance company.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Once you have performed a walkthrough and have a good understanding of the level of damage, contact your insurance agent. The company will then send out an adjuster to collect your evidence and determine the extent so that you can be reimbursed for any repair costs associated.

Call the Professionals

After inspecting your home for damage, documenting it thoroughly and calling your insurance provider, you should call SERVPRO of East Mecklenburg/Matthews. Our restoration professionals come with industry-leading equipment that can repair almost any destruction.

We’re proud to say that we offer 247 availability so that we can be there right when you need us most. Don’t hesitate to begin your restoration process—call us today!

Experienced storm damage to your home or property? Contact us today for a quick response!

Team Bowen Expands SERVPRO® Franchise Territory into Charlotte and Surrounding Communities

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Map of southeastern states showing Team Bowen locations with Servpro logo “Here we GROW again! Team Bowen is ready to make it “Like it never even happened®.”

Team Bowen is excited to announce our expansion in Charlotte, North Carolina, which will add to the existing SERVPRO franchise in East Mecklenburg/Matthews. East Charlotte, Northeast Mecklenburg County, and South Mecklenburg County are now a part of the Team Bowen franchise. This means over 250,000 additional households and 8,000 businesses will receive support when in need of emergency response due to fire, water, or mold damage.

These additions are part of our commitment to helping our local communities flourish. We are available 24/7, 365, and are ready to take your call. Although we can’t prevent a disaster, we are ready for whatever happens!

“We are humbled yet excited to continue to grow and expand our market presence in the Charlotte community,” Bruce Bowen, CEO of Team Bowen, commented. “Our team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect, have allowed us to expand our footprint and still provide that same quality service throughout the southeast. These locations are key to our regional coverage. Whether it is a storm event or a complex commercial/industrial loss, quick response time is critical. Our team has the resources, manpower, and equipment necessary to respond to these specific situations. We are the National Disaster Recovery Team.”

About SERVPRO®

For more than 50 years, SERVPRO® has been a trusted leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation, and biohazard and pathogen remediation. SERVPRO’s professional service network of more than 2,000 individually owned and operated franchises spans the United States and Canada, responding to property damage emergencies large and small – from million-square-foot commercial facilities to individual homes. When disaster strikes, homeowners, business owners, and major insurance companies alike rely on SERVPRO® to make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® Team Bowen

In 1977, Barry and Beth Bowen decided to follow their passion for service to others with their careers and set out on a mission to build a reputable and respected property damage restoration company in Tuscaloosa, AL. Having grown up entrenched in the family business, it was no surprise when the current owners, Bruce and Brian Bowen, took over in 2004. Now based in Montgomery, AL., the Bowen Team has franchise locations in Montgomery, AL., Norcross, GA., Charleston, SC., and Charlotte, NC. Today, due to their continued dedication and hard work, we are a leader and trusted name in mitigation, remediation, restoration, reconstruction, and premier cleaning throughout Southeast and U.S.

Our team has more than a century of combined restoration experience. Each team member is equipped with unique and practical skills to excel in every project and exceed the expectations of our customers. Furthermore, we have an extensive inventory of restoration equipment designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of every facet of mitigation and reconstruction for damaged homes and businesses that we serve, no matter how big or how small.

Click below to find more information on our expansion:

SERVPROeastcharlotte.com

SERVPROsouthmecklenburgcounty.com

Is Lightning Really Dangerous?

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

Image of Lightning and trees How dangerous is lightning really?

During a storm, there are many factors that have the potential to cause serious damage to your house. Besides wind, rain, and falling trees - one big one …

Lightning!

You may have heard the phrase lightning never strikes the same place twice. However this statement isn’t always true, it often strikes in the same place if there is a tall pointed object. The Empire State Building has been said to be struck an average of 25 times a year!

Some people also believe that lightning is only dangerous during cloudy or rainy conditions, the truth is, it can reach more than three miles outside of a storm. Lightning has even traveled as far as 15 miles before it strikes the ground. Even if the storm is a few miles away, it is smart to seek shelter and prepare for the coming storm.

Lightning is more than a loud noise during a storm, and a lightning strike to your Matthews, NC home, or business can cause fire and other serious damage. So what happens when lightning strikes your home?

  • Shock Waves: When lightning strikes your home, it can send a shock through the walls. Lightning can leave cracks in the walls, brick, stone, concrete, and your fireplace. In some cases, there may even be cracks in your foundation after a lightning strike. 
  • Power Surges: One of the most commonly talked about damages caused by lightning is power surges. When lightning strikes your home it sends a large amount of power through the wiring in your home, often blowing fuses and causing damage to electronics. That power surge could cause a fault somewhere and start a fire right away, or later. 
  • Fire Damage: Not only can a fire start from wiring damaged during a surge, but it can also start from the lightning coming into contact with flammable objects. Your home is made from flammable objects like wood which can ignite when lightning travels through it.

So what does the damage to your home look like after a lightning strike? Your home could be completely fine with no damage at all, but not every situation is so lucky. Fires can start and spread in a matter of moments after the lightning strike. When the Matthews Fire & EMS come to help put out the fire you could be left with even more damage from the water. 

If your home or business is struck by lightning and is left with fire or water damage make sure to call SERVPRO of East Mecklenburg/Matthews.

Why We Are Faster to Any Size Disaster™

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO employees unloading equipment off a SERVPRO truck Faster to Any Size Disaster™

No matter the type of damage, whether water, fire, or natural disaster, one thing is certain; the longer you wait, the costlier the repair. 

SERVPRO of East Mecklenburg/Matthews is a firm believer in timely mitigation to manage any damage to your property. Many other restoration services have you wait to be put on their schedule, leaving you out of luck when your property is in jeopardy. SERVPRO of East Mecklenburg County isn’t like that, here is our policy that sets us apart from other restoration companies. 

  • 1 hour - Within one hour of notice of a loss, our admins will contact you to arrange for service that works with YOUR schedule and addresses the loss right away.
  • 4 hours - Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of East Mecklenburg/Matthews will be on-site to inspect and start services. 
  • 8 hours - Within eight hours, customers will receive a briefing on the scope of damage and what mitigation efforts are needed. 

These guidelines are what every SERVPRO franchise expects to meet, including your local SERVPRO of East Mecklenburg/Matthews. Whether water, fire, or storm damage strikes your East Charlotte, NC, home, or business, our team of experienced technicians will be there to make it "Like it never even happened.”

Are There Different Types of Fire Extinguishers?

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a Fire Extinguisher Did you know there are multiple types of fire extinguishers?

You probably have a fire extinguisher in your home, but do you have the right kind? There are five classes of fire extinguishers and they each put out a different type of fire.

The five types:

  • A: These are used on things like cloth, wood and paper and are most commonly in homes and businesses.
  • B: This class is used on combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gas and oil. These are also common in homes and businesses.
  • C: Electrical equipment such as appliances and tool fires are best put out with a C fire extinguisher. C class is common in homes and businesses.
  • D: Class D is for use on flammable metals and is found in factories. 
  • K: Commercial kitchens such as restaurants use K extinguishers as they are best used on vegetable oils, animal oils and fats used for cooking. 

While these are the most common types of extinguishers there are also multipurpose fire extinguishers that can be labeled as “B-C” or “A-B-C.” Class A through C are commonly carried at home improvement stores.

When a fire is burning through your home is not the time to learn how to use a extinguisher. If a fire in your Matthews, NC, home caused damage before you could put it out, be sure to call SERVPRO of East Mecklenburg/Matthews.

For more fire extinguisher safety visit the FEMA website.

Planning Your Household’s Fire Escape Route | SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews

7/5/2022 (Permalink)

a fire alarm and evacuation plan sitting on a grey table If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews is Here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

A house fire is a frightening and traumatic thing for anyone to experience. Fires can start and spread rapidly, resulting in a panicked state that can disarm even the most level-headed family member—this is why it is so important to create a fire escape route in advance that everyone in your household is familiar with.

While we all hope we never have to experience a house fire, having an escape route in place and practicing your evacuation drills often can ensure that if a fire does occur in your home, everyone will know exactly what to do.

Here are our top tips for getting your plan together and keeping everyone safer:

Identify all of your home’s exits. Every area of your home should have at least two exits to account for all possibilities for where a fire could start and how it could spread. If you have rooms upstairs that are too high to jump from, consider purchasing emergency ladders to ensure someone could climb down to safety if the door to these rooms becomes blocked by smoke or flames. It is also good to be sure that doorways and windows are not ever blocked, as this could hinder an escape.

Have a plan that works for everyone. If you have young children, elderly adults or someone in the home whose mobility levels may make it difficult for them to escape quickly, make sure they are accounted for in your fire escape plan. Using the buddy system is a great way to ensure that everyone can watch out for one another and make sure all members of the household are rushed to safety. If you have pets in the home, be sure you assign them a buddy as well.

Designate a meeting area. Designating a meeting area for your household members will ensure that everyone can check in after they get to safety—a neighbor’s mailbox is often a good choice. Make sure everyone knows where to head after they escape from the home so you can be sure everyone is accounted for.

If you have damage to your home due to a fire, we are here to help. Get in touch today to learn more about our fire restoration services.

No Disaster Is Too Big for Our Team to Handle | SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews

7/5/2022 (Permalink)

a bright lightning strike off in the distance of a dark night Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO® of East Mecklenburg/Matthews is here to help no matter the reason.

When it comes to taking care of a property, both homeowners and business owners bear a great deal of responsibility. You never know when an emergency will occur and cause substantial damage to your property.

The East Mecklenburg/Matthews area faces disasters in homes and businesses alike. Weather, or even an unintentional fire in the home, is to blame for some of these tragedies.

It’s essential to have a team like SERVPRO on standby to repair any residential or commercial damage left behind after a disaster. Here are some of the services we can offer your home or business in your time of need:

Fire Restoration

After a fire, your property and the belongings inside could be left ruined with smoke and soot damage. Flames can rip through your building, causing structural damage and foundation damage.

Even water damage can become a problem after a fire due to a fire sprinkler system or the firehose used by firefighters, which can harm your walls, ceilings, floors and anything else inside your property.

Water Restoration

Residential and commercial water damage never has simply one source, and you might be surprised by the potential causes.

Fires, leaks within the home and weather can all create a water emergency within your property. Water can seep into many areas of your property, creating mold, infrastructure damage and aesthetic issues on both the inside and outside.

Mold Remediation

Mold can develop in the most unassuming areas, and once it starts to grow, it doesn’t waste any time! Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours and eat away at your property’s ceilings, walls and floors.

Mold can pop up after severe storms, or over time due to roof or appliance leaks within the home or business.

Storm Damage Restoration

In East Mecklenburg/Matthews, weather like tornadoes, floods and thunderstorms can be devastating. This severe weather has the potential to rip through, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses that will need to be restored, and in some cases, entirely rebuilt.

Why You Should Turn to SERVPRO

When disaster strikes, we’re here to help! Our team is available to you 24/7, ensuring all emergencies are dealt with in a timely manner.

We can develop a repair plan for any damage your house or business has sustained and keep you updated on the status of your property every step of the way. We are trained in every area of damage and can use advanced technology to take your property back to preloss condition again!

When your home or business is struck by a sudden catastrophe, call our team at SERVPRO. We are more than ready to take on whatever damage your property has suffered!