Recent Posts

3 Mistakes Homeowners Make After Floods

10/1/2022 (Permalink)

Floodwaters enters a home, water reaches the stairs from the house Floodwaters enter a home in Hilton Head, SC.

The Aftermath Of a Flood

After flood water has filled your home in Hilton Head, SC, you may not know what to do next. There are several common mistakes that homeowners make after their homes are impacted by a flood and knowing how to avoid them can help you get through the aftermath of a flood.

1. Staying in the Home

As waters rise, many people may be tempted to stay in their homes in order to protect what they can. However, staying in a flooded home during and after a flood has occurred can be hazardous for many reasons. If you have any indication that your home may be affected by a flood, leaving your home before the flood occurs is often wise. If a flood occurs with little warning, it’s generally best to leave your home and seek shelter in areas of higher elevation.

2. Wearing Inappropriate Clothes

Returning to your home immediately after a flood can be tempting, but it’s often important to make sure you have the appropriate clothing items and the necessary equipment before entering your home. Heavy boots, thick gloves, and a face mask are often useful to wear when entering a flooded home. Even with the right outfit and equipment, areas, where flood water is present, should generally be avoided since debris in the water could be dangerous and electrical hazards may not be clearly visible.

3. Attempting DIY Repairs

Water damage can impact the structure of your home and can damage many of your belongings. However, if you try to make repairs to your home or try to restore items that have been damaged, you may end up causing further damage. Instead, it can be helpful to call flood restoration professionals who can begin restoration while mitigating the damage that has already occurred.

Knowing how to react when flood water has damaged your home can protect you, your belongings, and your home. After a flood, it’s often best to get out of your home, wear the appropriate clothes and avoid making major repairs on your own.

No Flood Insurance? Here’s What To Do

9/14/2022 (Permalink) Disasters USA Government home page under magnifying glass. Visit the FEMA website and learn about your coverage options

Applying for Federal Assistance

Did a devastating flood recently hit your home, and you are left feeling helpless because you do not have flood insurance? Help is available if you lived through a federal disaster. Keep reading for more information on applying for federal assistance.

FEMA Grants

If you live in a disaster-designated county, you may be eligible for this coverage. These grants can help you and your family afford the following expenses:

  • Medical and dental care for issues that were caused by the flood
  • Home repairs related to the flood
  • Underinsured and uninsured loss of personal property
  • Funeral expenses necessitated by the flood
  • Temporary housing needs

There are other expenses that may be covered as well. If you live near a flood plain and recently experienced a disaster-related to it, it is time to visit to learn more about the federal flood insurance application process. Be prepared for a federal inspector to visit your property.

Cleanup Assistance

If you need help with water damage in the meantime, a Hilton Head, SC, residential storm damage restoration specialist should be able to help. Most companies have technicians that are used to emergencies of this kind and can quickly set up a cleanup plan that will put your home on the path to recovery. If you are worried about being denied your federal insurance, know that you should still be covered for any damage as long as you take before and after pictures and save your receipts from repair work.

Help Is Available

A flood can be stressful for any homeowner. Not having flood insurance can make such a disaster even more worrisome. The best plan of action after a flood is to visit the FEMA website and learn about your coverage options - and seek professional cleanup assistance from a storm damage company. Help almost always exists after a regional tragedy. You just need to have a plan in place, so you know where to find it.

3 Ways Pretesting Can Help Your Clients After a Disaster

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

Technician checking out ceiling fan, debris on the floor of a property Technicians assess the property for damage and determine a plan of action.

Pretesting After a Disaster: How It Can Benefit Your Clients

After a disaster in South Colleton County, SC, it is the task of the insurance company to help clients as quickly and thoroughly as possible. It is also important to keep costs down where you can. Here are ways pretesting can help you meet those goals for your clients.

1. Determining the Full Extent of Damage
When a professional mitigation service begins the restoration process, the first step is to conduct a thorough inspection. Technicians assess the property for damage and determine a plan of action.
As an example, technicians inspect a home after a flood to locate the source of the water damage. They also determine the level of contamination, if any. They check for safety concerns as well.

2. Assessing What Areas Are Not Damaged
Treating areas that are not damaged can add unnecessary costs to an insurance claim. The restoration company's technicians can look for intact areas and secure them before damage spreads. After a storm blows off part of a warehouse roof, professionals can add tarps to prevent more water and debris from entering the building.

3. Pretesting Materials
Technicians can begin testing materials in the damaged areas to determine whether they can be cleaned. They can also assess which cleaning methods are the best for the situation.
This step is helpful because it saves money if items can be restored instead of replaced. It can potentially protect the client's keepsakes and prized belongings, too. Professionals can then report their findings to the insurance agent. After a fire, for example, cleaning window treatments may remove smoke odor, and they won't need replacing.
SERVPRO believes pretesting is an integral part of a restoration. That is one reason many insurance agencies designate it as a preferred vendor. SERVPRO helps your South Colleton County, SC, clients get back to normal quickly and lower costs.

5 Things To Do When Your Toilet Floods

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing toilet What to do when you have a flooded toilet in your company.

Five Steps to Take If Your Toilet Floods

In Hilton Head, SC, water damage in your business is a vast and costly hassle. Read below to find out what to do when you have a flooded toilet at your company.

1. Call a Professional
Since a toilet problem could be from sewer damage, it may be Category 2 or 3 water. A professional sewage company will assess the situation thoroughly.

2. Ensure Your Safety
Cutting off the electricity can keep you safe. Depending on the size of your property, it may be possible to isolate the shutdown to minimize the disruption to your workflow.

3. Shut Down the Source
If the toilet itself is clogged or malfunctioning, you can turn off the water at the toilet. Try shutting down the primary water source if you cannot get to the bathroom due to the flooding.
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, there may also be possible sewer damage, which means there may not be much you can do on your own.

4. Begin Removing Water
Again, keeping safety in mind, you may be able to get ahead by soaking up excess water using towels or other absorbent materials. However, if the leak occurred on an upper floor, it could be that the water has damaged the subfloor and ceiling below. If so, removing the flooring, ceiling tiles, and anything porous may be necessary before detailed drying can begin.

5. Dry Up the Place
Opening windows or using fans to create airflow is a good start. But, the pros will use industrial-sized dehumidifiers and air movers and check the progression using special sensors until they deem it dry.
When a water disaster disrupts your business in Hilton Head, SC, it is good to consider the possibility of sewer damage and call in the pros to help you get your business back up and running.

How SERVPRO’s Business Model Aids Insurers

8/14/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. SERVPRO's claims inventory service

How the Business Model of SERVPRO Benefits Insurers

When a fire or storm damages a business, there are many working parts that go into fixing it. This process can be daunting for business owners when there is a disconnect between the crew cleaning up and restoring the property and the insurance agent involved. Luckily, the building restoration professionals at SERVPRO set distinct standards to facilitate the process for insurers. Here is a closer look at the benefits of this model should you require these services for a commercial property in South Colleton County, SC.

1. Emergency Response to Every Insurance Claim
The local franchise team selected to repair a damaged property will always provide a fast, emergency response. This gives both building owners and insurance agents alike the peace of mind that the space will be attended to immediately. This way, expediting the claim and restoration process can limit the overall time spent getting the building back to its previous condition, a key factor for any impacted business owner.

2. Pretesting To Reduce Claims Expense
Claims professionals assisting SERVPRO's local franchise in South Colleton County, SC, will carry out pretesting in any damaged property. This practice effectively minimizes the overall insurance claim expense by determining whether the building and its contents should be restored or replaced. Restoration is typically more cost-effective than replacement, so this model can save insurance companies money.

3. An Itemized Claims Inventory Service
Both insurance holders and agents will benefit from the use of SERVPRO's claims inventory service. This advanced system for tracking claims provides an itemized collection of losses within the property and includes photographs of important items. This is key for staying on top of the total loss per insurance claim.
Insurers and their clients will benefit from the fast response, pretesting, and inventory service that SERVPRO's restoration experts provide. These components help expedite the claims process and get damaged properties back to working condition quickly.

3 Common Causes of House Fires and How To Prevent Them

8/1/2022 (Permalink)

Computer on a desk, ashtray with many cigarettes hand with a cigarette lid up Avoid smoking in your home.

Three Ways To Combat the Most Common Types of House Fires

Knowledge is power when it comes to preventing a home fire. Identifying and addressing common fire causes is a simple way to reduce your risk of catastrophe. Here are three ways to combat the most common types of house fire in Jasper, SC.

1. Stop Smoking Already
One of the easiest — not to mention healthiest — ways to curb your fire risk is to avoid smoking in your home. According to a report from the National Fire Protection Agency, smoking materials accounted for over 17,000 home fires in 2014.
If you must smoke, take it outside, and be sure all materials are fully extinguished before you dispose of them.

2. Recognize That Your Kitchen Is Basically Home Fire Central
Year after year, cooking is the No. 1 cause of fire in the home. If you'd prefer not to follow Thanksgiving dinner with a call to your local fire cleaning and restoration company, take these precautions when you cook:

Don't cook when you're sleepy or intoxicated.
Turn off the stove if you have to leave the kitchen.
Don't leave your home if the oven is on.
Keep flammable materials far from the stovetop.
Set a timer to remind you when food is done.

3. Be Smart About Heating Your Home
Home heating efforts are the second leading cause of household fires, and we're not just talking about rustic but unreliable old wood-burning stoves. Here are five ways to keep safe when temperatures drop:

Keep flammable materials 3 feet away from heat sources such as the fireplace, furnace, or space heaters.
Keep kids and pets at least 3 feet away from fires and space heaters, too.
Regularly inspect your fireplace screen for holes that can allow sparks to escape.
Get your chimney and firebox cleaned annually.
Turn off space heaters before going to sleep

The best way to avoid a home fire is a two-pronged plan that pairs education with prevention. Identifying common causes of residential fire and actively avoiding or undoing them is a simple way to significantly lower your risk of fire in Jasper, SC.

The Problem With Chemical Drain Cleaners

7/26/2022 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration When using chemical drain cleaners you never know what the outcome will be.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

It can happen to anyone in Beaufort City, SC. When brushing your teeth or washing your hands, you notice water backing up in the sink, and you find you have a clogged drain. So, what do you do? The ads on most television stations suggest you run to the nearest store and purchase a DYI chemical drain cleaner. However, is that really the best option?

The Biggest Problem

The mixture of chemicals in these cleaners is meant for strong sewage cleaning along pipes that are filled with hair, dirt or everyday miscellaneous buildup. The way to attack all possibilities at once is to produce a high enough heat that it bubbles away the problem by breaking the debris into bits that easily move down the drain. But not all pipes are created equally. Here are some problems you may encounter in your home’s plumbing.

  • Fractured pipes caused by the shifting earth
  • Aging pipes that have weakened over time
  • Incorrectly installed plastic pipes

When the heat and force caused by the chemical interaction in the drain cleaner expand outward, the result can sometimes be disastrous for a home plumbing clogged drain, and that can be the biggest problem of all.

The Best Solution

Calling a water and plumbing specialist is typically the best remedy to a clog in your home’s pipes. The water specialist has many tools the average homeowner does not possess. These tools can help diagnose the issue quickly and efficiently, and let the specialist immediately begin work on removing the problem. Those same tools can help find more serious issues such as tree roots in the line, fragmented plumbing pieces, or badly crushed pipes. Once the issue is found, the specialist can begin making repairs.

Using a chemical cleaning agent on a clogged drain can be like playing Russian roulette – you never know what the outcome will be. Play it safe and avoid the chemicals altogether.

Keeping Your Building's Sprinklers in Top Condition

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

red head of a fire sprinkler Maintain your fire sprinklers.

The Importance of Sprinkler Maintenance

As a building owner in Bluffton, SC, you understand the importance of sprinkler maintenance. Not only is it imperative that your sprinklers correctly switch on when needed but also that they only switch on when needed. The following are tips for keeping your system in top condition:

1. Maintain Your Fire Sprinklers
Sprinkler maintenance is the first step to reliable fire protection. All sprinklers should have a minimum of 18 inches of clearance below them. Once a year, a qualified contractor should inspect the system, including the heads, valves, fire pump (if applicable) and main drain. Every five years, a contractor should conclude an internal inspection, assessing pipes for buildup and debris. 

2. Avoid Accidental Activation
Correctly maintaining the system can help avoid accidental activation caused by pipe corrosion or damaged components. However, there are other things to look for regarding sprinkler activation. Circumvent overheating heads by installing them away from stoves and skylights, for example. Vandalism can also be an issue in certain areas. Installing institutional sprinklers that are difficult to access helps dissuade vandals. 

3. Educate Your Tenants
It's important that those living or working in the building understand their part in keeping sprinklers in working order and avoiding accidental activation. Inform tenants not to hang anything from heads, such as decorations or clothes hangers. Instruct them not to bump into the sprinklers (cages can be installed to avoid this) or tamper with them. If an issue arises, they should contact building maintenance rather than trying to repair the problem alone. In the event of sprinkler activation, it is always beneficial to contact a certified cleaning and restoration crew.
In the case of commercial fire, everyone hopes that their sprinkler system will perform correctly. In addition, it's essential that sprinklers not be activated unnecessarily, resulting in a hassle for tenants and financial strain for building owners. Sprinkler maintenance can go a long way in ensuring peace of mind for both possible situations. 

How Does SERVPRO Help With Claims?

7/4/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Commercial fire damage in Hilton Head, SC.

When your clients in Hilton Head, SC, have suffered property damage due to flood or fire, they expect timely help to get their property restored and their lives back to normal. Insurance adjusters rely on the professional service of their local restoration experts to get the job done.

How Does SERVPRO help with claim services?

Our commitment is to get your clients back to their lives as quickly as possible while minimizing cost and inconvenience. 

1. Response Time In the course of emergency response, every moment of delay can allow the water, smoke, or fire to spread to other areas of the property. To minimize damage, you need restoration experts who can be on site quickly and know what to do immediately upon arrival.
We have over 1,900 locations across the US and Canada, and we respond to emergencies 24/7. Our professionals can be on-site in most locations and initiate claim services in a matter of hours.

2. Cost Consciousness Our quick response to your client’s emergency is a significant cost-saver; the less time the damage has to spread through the structure, the better. Limiting the extent of loss reduces the cost of the repair. We also employ pretesting to prevent rebuilding what should be restored instead.

3. Client Satisfaction We work to assure your clients’ satisfaction with every restoration. By maintaining transparent communication throughout the project and only working with quality vendors, we ensure that the job gets done right, with minimal disruption to the client’s life. 

4. Professional Service We strive for excellence in every aspect of restoration. Our goal is to provide exceptional claim services to every client. The restoration and repair experts we work with receive state-of-the-art training. They are focused on providing the service and consideration your clients deserve throughout the process.
As an insurance professional, you will receive the support you need to provide your clients with the help that they expect.

4 Step Sewage Damage Cleanup Process

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage water on the floor Sewer cleanup is not a fun process.

Four Steps of Sewage Damage Cleanup

Toilet overflows are fairly common in commercial buildings. The amount of foot traffic businesses see often means restrooms are overworked, at least when compared to residential bathrooms. Still, sewer cleanup is not a fun process, and many business owners might be unfamiliar with the rules of such maintenance tasks. Most water mitigation services in South Colleton County, SC, will suggest property owners hire a professional service, one that understands the four steps of sewage damage cleanup.

1. Begin the Sewer Cleanup
If the sewage damage is a result of a flooded toilet or backed-up drain, the most important step is to start. The faster you can remove sewage from a property, the less severe the damage. The initial cleanup process is similar to other floods. A company might use tools, such as pumps, to remove a majority of the contaminated water and waste. The important thing is to remove the sewage and keep it away from inventory and other elements.

2. Follow State and Local Regulations
Every territory may have different rules and regulations for how to handle a sewer backup. Most business owners are not aware of the specifics of such regulations. Therefore, instead of trying to cram a bunch of laws into your brain, consider hiring a professional service to take on the burden for you. Certified services already have the knowledge required to clean up your property, so let them.

3. Disinfect and Clean the Site
Once the sewage is removed from the facility, the service you hire will disinfect, sanitize, and clean every affected surface. The goal is to leave the property feeling as clean as it was before the disaster.

4. Restore the Property
Finally, the restoration company you bring on will work to repair the facility to "like-new" conditions. Most restoration companies want business owners to feel like a disaster never happened.
Sewer cleanup is not a fun process. You should not attempt a cleanup alone. A mitigation company or emergency plumbing service typically has the knowledge and tools necessary for the job.