Recent Posts

How Your Business Can Weather a Storm

6/23/2022 (Permalink)

The increasing uptick in storms isn’t just your imagination. Over the past 20 years, there has been a steady increase in the number of dangerous weather events worldwide. The UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) produced a report that from 2000 to 2019, there have been 7,348 major natural disasters that resulted in $2.97 trillion worth of damage. Whereas from 1980 to 1999, there were 4,212 disasters with $1.63 trillion in damages.

Unfortunately, the odds of some sort of storm damage affecting your livelihood, and that of your employees, is increasing. Therefore, as a property manager or owner you need to not only contemplate the steps you need to take to clean and repair the damage, for the safety and longevity of your workers and business.

Create a Plan

The best advice we can give you is to have a plan and stay informed ahead of time for major storms. Here are some tips on the first steps you should take:

  • Find locations suitable for employee evacuation.
  • Have an emergency contact for every employee.
  • Strategies to protect and access important business records.
  • Off-site locations that employees can temporarily work from.
  • Your company’s insurance information.
  • A pre-emergency plan with a trusted emergency mitigation and restoration company.

SERVPRO® of Columbia County can provide, at no charge, an emergency plan for your company with our Emergency Ready Program. By developing an Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize workflow interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to except in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize the damage to your facility.

Interested in getting started? Give SERVPRO® of Columbia County a call at 706-868-5441. We will make storm damage look “Like it never even happened.”

A Shocking Way Fires Can Start in Your Home

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

Can Batteries Cause a Fire?

The simple answer: yes! This phenomenon has been reported country across the United States. However, unlike AAA, AA, D, and C batteries that have their positive and negative posts positioned at opposite ends, 9-volt battery posts are set next to each other. This can become a potential problem if you place those batteries in that junk drawer along with other metal miscellaneous items such as paper clips, keys, aluminum foil, nail clippers, scissors, and more. When the posts touch metal, it can cause said metal to heat up, and if it is touching a combustible source like steel wool or paper, it can lead to a fire.

Tips for Prevention

  • Keep 9-volt batteries stored standing up in a safe place where they can’t be knocked around
  • Keep them in their original package or in a battery organizer before use.
    • If you can’t do that, cover both positive and negative posts with electrical tape.
  • Never put batteries in a pocket with keys, loose change, or other metal objects.
  • Do not store in a drawer loosely or in containers with metal objects or other batteries

In the event your property has been affected by fire or smoke from any source, SERVPRO® of Columbia County is “Here to help.®” If you are in need of our services, please contact us at 706-868-5441.

The SERVPRO® Emergency Response Profile

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

What is an Emergency Ready Profile?

An Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a digital solution which enables businesses to have instant access to request assistance from SERVPRO® of Columbia County. An ERP is an easy to download app that a SERVPRO® Representative can set up for you, after a no-cost evaluation. It will help minimize the time that your business is closed or inactive during a loss.

Benefits of Having an ERP

In a state of emergency, your staff may find themselves easily confused and stressed; having an ERP already set in place will enable them and you to have peace of mind that any sort of disaster will be taken care of by professionals. Your ERP is personalized to your businesses’ needs and is a straightforward way your employees can get the help they need. To ensure that your teams know what to do if disaster strikes, we highly encourage everyone in the facility to download the mobile ERP app. Having a quick reference of what to do, who to call, and in what order to do so is vital in making sure your business is Ready for Whatever Happens®.

Interested in Starting an ERP for Your Business? Give us a call at 706-868-5441 and ask to speak with the marketing team. We will schedule a meeting with a SERVPRO® Representative today.

Rain in Your Basement

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

This time of year, there is an abundance of water due to the seasonal rain. Therefore, it is no surprise that many houses experience water damage problems. Unfortunately, you may discover some of that water leaking into your basement after a hefty dose of rainfall.

Ideally, your sump pump should be able to keep water out of your basement; however, they can sometimes daily due to the rapid flow of the incoming water. It is always recommended, especially this time of year, to clear any debris from the sump pump’s drain pipe. You should also ensure that the sump pump is working properly. A quick way of telling if it is working properly is listening for a consistent humming noise. It could be a good idea to keep a utility pump on hand as back up if the sump pump does fail for whatever reason. Water coming into the basement where the walls meet the floor is an indicator of groundwater being pushed up by hydrostatic pressure. In this situation, you will need to unclog your foot drains and if the problem persists, call a plumber.

Who to Call? 

If your home has suffered from water damage, you’ll want the help of experienced professionals. A trusted company with well-trained staffed equipped with the proper tools to locate the problem and safely dry out your home. SERVPRO® of Columbia County is your local solution to your problem.

Are you experiencing water in your basement or anywhere else in your home, give SERVPRO® of Columbia County a call at 706-868-5441, we are available “24/7/365.®”

The Pillars of SERVPRO® of Columbia County

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO® of Columbia County, we have six pillars of standard conduct that we apply to our everyday services. These are standards that our franchise has set up and hold each member of staff accountable to, in addition to IICRC certifications. They guide our every action on a daily basis.

The first pillar is: “We have a servant’s heart”. To us, this means we are willing to serve others first before considering ourselves. Each member of our staff is willing to not only help our customers, but each other as well.

Then our second pillar is: “We have integrity.” We are honest and ethical in everything we do. We care about the work we do and the people we work with.

Our third pillar reads: “We grow healthy relationships.” For us, relationships exist between our customers, our internal teams, and with our families. Each of these relationships is vital to our success. We are passionate about developing relationships and helping others achieve their goals.

The fourth pillar is: “We exceed expectations.” We do this by caring for our customers, managing with a clear and concise communication, while responding to issues promptly and professionally.

The fifth pillar reads as follows: “Stewardship matters to us.” We judiciously consider all financial and resource allocations prior to deployment. We want to ensure that we can tackle any need our customers may have.

Lastly, the sixth pillar: “We operate with a spirit of excellence.” We always put forth our very best effort and conduct ourselves with a Spirit of Excellence.

SERVPRO® of Columbia County stands firmly behind each pillar. If you are need of our services, please contact our excellent office team at 706-868-5441. We are truly always “Here to help.®”

The First Steps to Take During a Water Loss

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most serious and most common emergencies your home can ever experience. Whether you’re facing a storm, flood, HVAC leak, weakened roof, busted pipes, sewage back up, or overflowing appliances, it can be distressing and threaten the value and safety of your home. It is essential to address emergency water damage quickly to prevent further property damage. If you are facing a water disaster, keep these steps in mind:

  1. Protect Yourself and Your Possessions
    • Shut off the electricity by switching off the circuit breakers and unplugging devices – only when safe to do so.
    • If you’re in danger of flooding, evacuate the flooded area until authorities deem it safe to return.
    • Rescue the most valuable items, such as documents and electronics first. Keeping them in areas that would be hard for water to reach would be the best practice.
  2. Stop the Water Damage
    • The most common culprit of water damage is from a busted pipe or hot water leak, make sure you know where your shut-off valves are, and use them.
    • If a flood is predicted, take preventative steps such as sandbagging and ditching; for the worst case scenario, prepare to evacuate.
    • Keep an eye out for a leaky ceiling!
    • Pay attention to signs of mold – foul odors, discolored ceilings, and baseboards are among them!
  3. Contact Your Insurance Company
    • Call as soon as possible after the damage occurs, find out what steps the insurance company requires you to take.
    • Get an adjuster on site as soon as possible to document the damage.
    • Take photos of the damaged areas and any affected valuable items.
    • Keep detailed records and receipts.
  4. Call SERVPRO® of Columbia County
    • The sooner we are on site after a water loss, the better. If it is within the first 24 hours, it would normally take 3-4 day to dry out the home and eliminate the potential risk of mold and mildew
    • We will access the furniture and items in your home, and begin restoring them as needed.
    • We will utilize our professional grade equipment such as air movers and dehumidifies to ensure that the damaged areas are being properly dried.

If you are in need of water mitigation services, contact us at 706-864-5441. We are “Faster to any sized disaster.®”

Water Damage and Carpets: What You Need to Know

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

If you have gone through a water loss, you likely know how quickly the water spreads throughout the home. Often times, you may not discover a water loss until you walk across your soaked carpet. Don’t stress, however, and certainly do not start pulling up your carpets! Sometimes the carpet can be salvaged if you involve SERVPRO® of Columbia County early on in the process.

The Questions to Ask

  1. How long has the water damage been present?
    • If the water has not been cleaned within the first 48-72 hours of the loss occurring, there is a chance of microbial growth occurring. This means that most of the carpet will need to be removed and replaced for health and safety purposes. Generally, the rule of thumb is to replace the carpet if it has been exposed to water for more than two days.
  2. How much water was the carpet exposed to?
    • If there are just a few wet spots from water damage, that can be easily dried without replacing the carpet. However, if the carpet is completely soddened with water, there is a chance it has soaked through to the padding, which can lead to damage sub-floor. It would be best to consult with SERVPRO® on the actions we would recommend taking.

Calling SERVPRO® of Columbia County immediately after discovering water damage will give you the best chance at salvaging your carpets. Regardless of the size and scope of the damage, we will get your home back to preloss condition as quickly as possible. Contact us at 706-868-5441, we are “Here to help.®”

Thunderstorm Hazards

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

Around the world approximately 16 million thunderstorms occur each year, 100,000 of which occur within the United States.  About 10% of those 100,000 storms are considered to be severe. A severe thunderstorm, as defined by the National Weather Service, is when the winds during the thunderstorm reach 58 mph or greater, possibly accompanied with ¾ inch hail, and even tornadoes. Typically, there are only a few ingredients to form a thunderstorm: moisture, especially in the lower levels, unstable air, cold air over warm air, and a source of lift such as a cold front, sea breeze, or low-level overflow boundary from a cluster of smaller thunderstorms. Lightning occurs in all thunderstorms and is very dangerous. The rising and descending air within a thunderstorm that separates positive and negative charges is what cases the lightning.

What Kind of Damage Can a Thunderstorm Can Cause?

Thunderstorms carry an array of difficulties, bring with them several types of dangerous weather events. Rainfall that is associated with thunderstorms can cause flooding, tornadoes, and of course lightning. Lightning can easily cause fires to homes if contact with certain materials is made. Additionally, hail is also a possibility and can cause damage to roofs, glass, vehicles, and even livestock. Wind damage is also a threat during thunderstorms, it can rip up powerlines and trees, and damage the exterior of a home. Damage to your property can culminate in wind, fire, and water damage, all of which need to be addressed as soon as it is safe.

How to be Prepared

You can prepare you home for a thunderstorm by removing loose branches and regularly clearing rain gutters. Make copies of personal property records and of important documents to store offsite. Above all, stay informed! The National Weather Service issues watches and warning of potential thunderstorm. Ensure that your family has an emergency plan and emergency kits with water and non-perishable foods, along with other essentials like chargers, batteries medications, comfortable shows, and even pet supplies.

SERVPRO® of Columbia County can help mitigate the damages that occur during a thunderstorm. Whether it be wind, water, or even fire damage, we can handle it all – give us a call at (706) 868-5441, where trained professionals are “Here to help. ®”

The Aftermath of Fire Damages

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician cleaning soot after a fire damage Call SERVPRO® of Columbia County for any fire restoration needs!

What is Black Soot?

Soot is made up of fine black particles of incomplete combustion. It occurs when something in the home does not completely burn during a fire, whether it’s from fuel, coal, or combustible items around the house, such as plastics, metal, and paper. Soot is mostly made up of carbon but contain low levels of tar, acids, dust, or carcinogens.

Soot vs. Ash

When a fire occurs, there are two types of particles that can normally be found in the homes. Ash is the white or gray powder that is visibly made up of large particles. They are dry, powdery, and papery. It is made up of mostly carbon and other compounds that did not completely burn, much like soot.

Where Does Soot Come from and How Does it Get Everywhere?

Soot occurs during any fire, but it is most prevalent when wood, coal, oil, or plastics burn. Air drafts caused by flames allow the fine particles to float away before they can finish burning, resulting in soot.  Due to that, soot can easily spread throughout the home, even further than the fire damage.

Other Common Causes of Soot

While soot mostly occurs because of fires, there are other causes. Over time, and under the right conditions, you may find soot build up for the following reasons:

  • Cooking food
  • Burning wood in a fireplace
  • Burning candles
  • Melting or burning plastics
  • Appliance malfunctions
  • Furnace malfunctions

Leave soot clean up to the professionals at SERVPRO® of Columbia County! Our trained technicians can make soot damage “Like it never even happened.” For more information, contact us at (706) 868-5441.

The Long-Term Effects of Water Damage

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO® Technician removes damaged flooring, revealing the subfloor and saturated subfloor. A SERVPRO® Technician removes damaged flooring, revealing the subfloor and saturated subfloor.

The Usual Suspects of Water Damage

Water damage has several opportunities to occur within your home. The most common causes of water damage are from broken fixtures and appliances. Leaks from dishwashers and washing machines are often the source to major water damage, and it could be sometime before a homeowner may recognize that there is an ongoing leak. Unfortunately, there is always a danger of damage to a home as long as there are pipes and appliances that use water.

What Water Damage Can do to Your Home

When a flood does occur, it can harm the home’s fixtures and cause long-term damage. Pooled water can seep into the carpets and flooring, ruin your furniture, soak into drywall and insulation, and even cause mold to grow, especially if it is stagnant. Even if the water is believed to have been cleaned up, there is still a chance that the materials are damp. That is why it is important to have the areas affected removed and properly mitigated. Not removing affected or waterlogged items could lead to microbial growth. Additionally, if left to fester, odor can develop and permeate throughout the entire home.

How SERVPRO® Can Solve Your Problems

SERVPRO® of Columbia County is prepared to access the damage, perform water extraction, make necessary demolition as well as removal of affected materials, and place professional drying equipment. Our Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician (UFT) utilize the best stain removal strategies, including spot cleaning when the affected items such as carpets, rugs, drapes, and upholstery furniture are still wet. However, the longer these items are left to absorb the water, the more difficult it becomes to restore.

Another issue with extenuating water damage is the development of pungent odors. The odor can develop with a clean water loss or otherwise, if the water is left to stagnate for long. In addition to extraction, our trained SERVPRO® technicians can use dehumidification to remove any traces of excess moisture that is causing these bad odors. A technician may also use air scrubbers to extract the contaminated air. If the odor persists, we can apply a chemical process for its elimination.

Have you experienced what you believe to be long-term effects of water damage? SERVPRO® of Columbia County is, “Here to help®” no matter the crisis. Contact us at 706-868-5441 for more information and advice on how to move forward.