Recent Posts

Old Homes vs. New Homes - Part 1

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Building Services Old Homes vs. New Homes - Part 1 A plaster wall (shown here) is much thicker than drywall. But that's not the only difference.

Some damages are easier to see and fix while others end up becoming a much larger problem than anticipated.  There are a few factors to take into consideration when mitigating and restoring an old or new home after a fire or water damage.  The age of the home can tell you right away what kinds of materials were used to construct it.  Knowing the materials you will be removing (and replacing) is half the battle.

  • Plaster - Plaster is the oldest material known to man and up until the 1950's, it was the number 1 method for creating interior walls and ceilings.

"Due to the number of coats and lathing, a plaster wall tends to be thicker than a drywall wall, which can create a greater air barrier.  This thickness also creates a good sound barrier between rooms. If the lathing and framing are done well, plaster can provide a much more rigid wall leading to reduced likelihood of buckling or breaking. Since plaster is not a solid when it's applied to the wall, it can be a good choice for curved or irregular surfaces. Finally, the gypsum within the plaster has a high water content, which gives the walls fire-resistant qualities.  Even with these benefits, plaster has fallen out of favor with homeowners today.  First, the plastering process is labor intensive, causing the price to rise. Plastering is also time-consuming -- in applying and drying time. In addition, while plaster is very durable, it can crack with the settling of the building or improper installation. Some of these cracks can be fixed with plaster or a setting-type compound, yet others require structural restoration."

More often than not once the plaster cracks, it starts to crumble leaving large unattractive holes in your walls and ceilings unless you repair the crack right away.  Not all cracks require a skilled Plasterer.  If the crack is small enough, a container of plaster of paris and 20 minutes of your time can get the job started.

https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/home-diy/projects/drywall-vs-plaster.htm

Looming Hurricane Season A reminder that NC must do more to Mitigate flood risk

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Looming Hurricane Season A reminder that NC must do more to Mitigate flood risk Green shaded area on map represent flood zone for Tar River. Most of Nash County and part of Wilson County fall in that zone.

WRAL Weather News:

"The early season warning delivered by Subtropical Storm Alberto – that North Carolina is especially susceptible to storm surge and flooding – coincides with a series of state studies examining how to prevent or alleviate future catastrophic events.

Hurricane season officially {started June 1st}, marking almost two years since Hurricane Matthew produced the catastrophic rain that filled rivers and streams and swamped homes and communities along the Tar River, to the tune of over $100 million in damages. For towns like Princeville, Tarboro, Rocky Mount and Greenville, it was the second "once-in-a-lifetime" storm to hit in 19 years.

The state agrees, and North Carolina Emergency Management has been working on solutions that go beyond raising or moving buildings and building higher levees. The studies also look for ways to slow down the flooding well upstream.

One idea is to ease the pressure on rivers, slowing flooding before it spreads.

North Carolina Emergency Management Assistant Director John Dorman outlined a plan to build wet reservoirs – essentially new lakes – along the Tar and at the top of Fishing Creek, and/or to establish dry reservoirs on Stony and Swift creeks, simple, low-lying areas that can be used as ballfields and parks, but when catastrophic rain falls, then can collect water like reserve bathtubs.

"You basically allow the water to raise up, but you've got the drain. The drain doesn't let all the water run out at one time, it runs out slowly," Dorman said.

Improvements could cut the cost of a future Hurricane Matthew-level event by more than half, but they'd be costly to implement. Buying and building the detention areas would cost tens of millions of dollars and take decades. And structures in the floodplain would still need to be elevated or moved.

The decisions will be made by state and local leaders, but the data gives them many options to consider.

For residents tired of the Tar River's rising water, any and every option is welcome news to keep history from repeating.

"We have struggled for so long in eastern North Carolina," said Princeville Mayor Bobbie Jones.

https://www.wral.com/flash-flooding-likely-as-alberto-brings-heavy-afternoon-rain/17587209/

Animal Intruders and Bio-Hazard Clean-up

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Animal Intruders and Bio-Hazard Clean-up Animal Waste clean-up is one of the few Biohazard Services we perform. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Now that Winter is over and Spring has arrived, the birds, bees and other animals will be emerging from the safe place they found to hunker down through the cold weather.  Animals will hide and sleep anywhere they can get into, including, but not limited to a hole in a tree, under a deck or foundation or the rafters of your attic.  Unfortunately, unlike humans, animals do not use indoor plumbing and have no problem doing their business where ever they can.

Anything from the cute, fuzzy little rascal that has been camping out in your walls all winter to the feathery friends roosting on your Attic rafters could be the cause your animals or family members are severely ill.  Animal fecal matter is considered hazardous waste and should be disposed of in an appropriate fashion.

  • Toxoplasmosis is usually spread by exposure to infected CAT feces and eating undercooked meat. The parasite is only known to reproduce sexually in the cat family and it can infect most types of warm-blooded animals, including humans.
  • When it comes to BIRDS, there may be more than just avian fluto be worried about. It has been suggested that there are over 60 other diseases that birds and their droppings can carry. The problem is especially worrisome in residential areas, as many of them are airborne and can be transferred to humans just by being around droppings.
  • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a serious respiratory disease transmitted by infected RODENTS through urine, droppings or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly.

Cats, Birds and Rodents are the most common intruders to a home or business.  There are many excellent resources available for locating information about a particular illness or disease.  You can also call your local Health Department for more information.

It is advised that you do not attempt to remove the animal on your own.  You could risk illness and injury not only to yourself, but to the animal as well.  Contact Animal Control immediately.

SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville specializes in removing, disposing and sanitizing materials that have been affected by animal waste.  Call us today to schedule a consult.

(252)-291-4492

https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/animal-industries/animal-health-and-diseases/a-z-list

http://publichealth.nc.gov/topics.htm

The "Rainy Season" and Sewage

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The "Rainy Season" and Sewage This government building sustained an extensive sewage back-up. All of the carpet will be removed and all of the contents will need to be sanitized.

The "Rainy Season" and Sewage

There is a language particular to a trade or profession that can be confusing to the average person when taken out of context.  In regards to the Professional Water Damage Restorer, this lingo becomes part of their lifestyle.  With a few simple words, our Professional Water Technicians understand immediately the severity of the damage and can quickly prepare to handle the job.  Water Damages are classified by Water Class and Water Category. 

Water Class:

Class 1: Only part of a room or area is wet or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or no wet carpet and/or pad is present.

Class 2: An entire room or more is affected.  Carpet and pad may be wet.  Water has wicked up the walls less than 24 inches.  There is significant moisture remaining in structural materials.

Class 3: Fully involved.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceiling, walls, insulation, carpet, pad and sub-floor in virtually the entire area are saturated.

Class 4: Specialty drying situations - Wet materials with very low permanence/porosity (hardwood, concrete, brick).  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.

Water Category:

Clean: Water that does not pose substantial harm to humans.  (Examples: Broken water supply lines, water heaters, toilet tanks, tub and sink overflows, rain, snow)

Gray: Examples include discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, Fish tanks, toilet bowls without solid waste, and any water that contains chemicals, fungus or algae.  If left untreated for 48 hours, this can turn into  a Category 3 (Black Water)

Black: Examples include sewage and toilet backflows, river, stream and seawater flooding and sources with toxic pesticides or heavy metals.  Typically, Category 3 is extracted, then the carpet and materials are removed and disposed.

 A Black Water Damage is one of the worst situations for homeowners and business owners.  Not only is the smell unpleasant, but can also be costly.  Sewage back-ups in particular require having the area extracted, sanitized and demolished.  Unfortunately, there are only so many preventative measure you can take to safeguard against a back-up. 

Causes of Sewage Back-ups:

  • Floods: As ground water rises, the pressure can cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to reverse and back up into houses through drain pipes.
  • Blockages: Flushing foreign objects or non-flushable sanitary products into the Sanitary Main; Sometimes a blockage is also the result of a combination of city and private trees where the roots penetrate the pipes. Usually if the sanitary main is affected the back flow happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage.
  • Water in Basement: In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This frequently happens when the ground is saturated after repeated or heavy rain storms. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Homeowners can also prevent flooding by water-sealing the basement. If water is entering your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately so that a city operator can investigate.
  • Homeowners and business insurance do not cover flood damage or sewage back-ups. Most homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup unless specific sewer backup coverage is added to the policy. Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral – the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located under the street, and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that may extend into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the possible sewer backup problems.

Information courtesy of Western National Insurance

https://www.wnins.com/resources/personal/features/sewerbackup.shtml

The importance of Crawlspace Ventilation & Insulation

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The importance of Crawlspace Ventilation & Insulation A one time water damage in this crawlspace was left to sit for a few weeks. It caused this extensive damage to the Floor Joists & Sub-floor.

There is not a day that goes by where we do not receive at least one phone call about Mold in a Crawlspace.  Eastern North Carolina is prone to high levels of humidity and heavy rain fall.  This is true of the Spring and Summer season when the numerous swamps, creeks and rivers over flow.  Coupled with the low lying terrain, flooding, moisture imbalance and storm damages are common in our area.  Especially in regards to Crawlspaces.  Without proper ventilation, the warm air becomes trapped throwing off the moisture balance under a house.  Poor Ventilation and lack of Insulation is how the majority of Crawlspaces develop Fungus or Mold.  The homeowner is simply creating a new habitat for these spores to adhere themselves .  Unfortunately, as many Customers come to realize, it can be a very costly fix.   

When people think Mold, they begin to panic and jump to worst case scenario.  Mold is never a good sign.  Mold of any kind needs to be remediated regardless of its strand.  Black Mold or Toxic Mold is one species of Mold that is harmful to everyone's health.  After all of my research, I have deduced that the color of the mold cannot tell you anything about whether its toxic or not.  With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it virtually impossible to tell what type of mold you have without a microscope and laboratory.

Just because you cannot see it, does not mean it does not exist.  Inspect it periodically, perform preventative maintenance as necessary and treat your crawlspace like every other part of your house.

Visit: https://www.probuilder.com/crawlspaces-vent-or-not-vent - for more tips and information.

Call SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville, for your Mold & Fungi Remediation this Spring.

252-291-4492

Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Building Services Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville - Faster to any size Disaster

Boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through - especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Board-up services are not only available for fire or water damaged properties.  Any home or structure with broken windows, busted doors (most often vacant properties) sustained from vandalism are more than welcome to call us for assistance.  Leaving condemned or vacant buildings wide open can be a liability.  Boarding up damaged properties incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse.  Not to mention boarding up after a damage can be as dangerous as the damage itself.

Your SERVPRO Franchise Professional can board up the damaged property, mitigate and re-mediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it "Like it never even happened."

Call today for more information or to schedule a consultation.

252-291-4492 - SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville

SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville is Hiring in the New Year!

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Community SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville is Hiring in the New Year! We only distribute and accept applications between 8 AM - 10 AM. If you have special requests or inquiries please contact the Office!

It is a brand new year and for some people that may mean finding a new job!  SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville is currently hiring Production Technicians and Marketing Representatives!

Do you love working with people and educating them?

Then, don’t miss your chance to join our Franchise as a new Marketing Representative.  Our idea of the ultimate candidate is one who is proactive, someone who is comfortable meeting new people, building customer relationships and educating them on the reasons SERVPRO® is the best cleaning and restoration company in the world.  This position provides a lot of opportunities to explore and participate in the community and in professional associations.  We have a sincere drive toward the goal of helping make fire and water damage “Like it never even happened”!

Do you love helping people through difficult situations?
Our Franchise is seeking someone who is comfortable working hard in challenging situations.  Our company works with an array of different emergency situations, therefore you must have or be willing to develop new skill sets.  Our idea of the ultimate candidate is one who has excellent problem solving skills, communicates efficiently, and is a serious multi-tasker.  Don’t miss your chance to join our Franchise as a new Production Technician. In this position, you will be making a difference each and every day.


REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must have a professional appearance and great attitude.
  • A valid driver license with a reasonable driving record.
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check with no felony convictions or misdemeanors involving violence or theft.
  • Because we provide 24-hour emergency services, must be willing to be on call, as needed.
  • Some night and weekend work is required.
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
  • Must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.

Please stop by our Office at 3032 Forest Hills Rd, Wilson, NC or call 252-291-4492 for more information.

Winter Storm Grayson

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Storm Grayson A Class 3 Water Damage, most likely came from overhead and virtually saturated the materials in the entire area.

Thanks to our dedicated SERVPRO Employees, we have succeeded in delivering the customers fast and effective Mitigation & Drying Services in the Wilson & Nash County areas that have been immediately affected by Winter Storm Grayson.

Commercial Companies, large and small, have been significantly impacted by the extremely cold weather that this Coastal storm brought to Eastern North Carolina.  Companies, such as BB&T, had suffered a massive water damage when their sprinkler system froze and burst.  It had caused tons of gallons of water to dump over at least 1/4 of the first floor.  A few of the technicians reported being "ankle-deep in water" where several inches of water had accumulated rapidly over the entire affected area.  A job that had started at 3:00/3:30 PM in the afternoon took several hours to mitigate keeping our crews working well into the evening.

A couple other Commercial properties suffered a similar fate.  One Customer in particular had some wonderful feedback and praises for the After Hours Emergency Response Team that travelled to his Commercial property at 4:30/5:00 AM where a broken pipe had been pouring water out of the ceiling and onto the floor.  Virtually the entire structure had been affected with water.  The team stayed on-site well into the late morning extracting water and laying out drying equipment as an attempt at keeping businesses open and running.  This yielded successful results.

A large number of Residences sustained both major and minor water damage to their homes.  The most common cause of loss reported was frozen pipes in the Attic.  As the temperature is predicted to fluctuate for the next week or more, we predict there will be more damages to occur and even more secondary damages.  If you have not already gathered supplies or did not have enough to prepare it is important to make note of what will be needed and stock up for the next time a storm such as this comes around.  It is only the beginning of January, chances are there will be another opportunity.

Ice Dam - Cause and Effect

1/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ice Dam - Cause and Effect This photo depicts the most common areas of your roof where Ice Dams may form.

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is the ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof which prevents melting snow from draining as it should.  Typically during the winter season, the temperature on the interior of the house is turned up to keep everyone and everything inside warm.  As everyone should know, heat rises.  As the heat rises and escapes into the highest level of your structure (typically the attic) the snow on the peak of the roof starts to melt.  Thanks to gravity, the water runs down the roof and begins to pool and refreeze the further away it gets from the heat source.  This is why it is most common to see dams forming on the edges of roofs or in/on the gutters.  There are other factors that play into the location and size of an ice dam, including but not limited to,

  • Ventilation
  • Insulation
  • Tree Coverage
  • Home Architecture
  • Homeowner Lifestyle
  • Weather Conditions

Effects of an Ice Dam

Ice dams cause leaks when snow melts higher on the roof and that melt water hits a ‘dam’ of ice.  With nowhere else to go, the water is forced to back up under the roofing materials and into the structure.  Winter is cold and not everyone's favorite season.  For that reason, there are plenty of Homeowners that will brush off little issues and wait to fix it in the Spring.  In all honesty, it may not be wise to wait.  There are plenty of warning signs that your house will exhibit to alert you to a possible Ice Dam.

  • You see long/large icicles forming on the edge of the roof, or off the front edge of the gutter
  • Ice is coming through the soffit of your roof
  • Ice is forming behind the gutters (if gutters are present)
  • You see ice or water on the exterior wall
  • You see water coming through the frame of a door or window
  • You see water coming through the ceiling or interior wall

Now that you are armed with this knowledge, you can prepare for this winter.  Do some research on Preventative Maintenance, find a quality Roofer, and keep SERVPRO of Wilson/Nashville on your speed-dial!

252-291-4492

Electrical Fires

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Electrical Fires As you can see the wires attached to the outlet and the outlet itself is not melted. However, this is the origin of the fire.

When most people think "house fire", their first assumption is a fire starting from sputtering grease or overturned candles.  Very seldom does anyone assume a home fire could be started by an electrical source.  An "electrical source" includes but is not limited to:

  • Portable electric heaters such as electric cookers, electric irons, electric bedclothes, sterilizers, welders, etc.
  • Stationary electric heaters such as electric pyrostats, electric incubators, ovens, electric dehumidifiers, electric furnaces, and etc.
  • Electrical appliances such as distribution transformers, motors, generators, rectifiers, battery chargers, circuit breakers, and etc.
  • Wiring such as distribution wires, service wires, interior wires, cords, wire connections, and etc.
  • Wiring appliances such as switches, knife switches, automatic switches, cable splicer, multi outlets, electricity meters, and etc.
  • Wire exposures such as the connecting points of sheet zinc, connection point to walls, connection points of metal plates and pipes, wood in contact with high-voltage lines, and etc.
  • Static electricity sparks caused by rubber film, rollers, liquid fluid in ducts, fission friction, and etc.

These electrical wires may start a fire by arcing.  Arcing occurs when there is a break in an electrical circuit, causing the current to jump across the gap, producing sparks and high heat.  A fire results if these sparks connect with surrounding combustible materials.  Electrical fires can also be caused due to normal wear and tear, defects in the structure of electrical appliances, careless handling of electrical facilities, negligence, or not following safety regulations.

  • Cases of electric heaters/incandescent lights overheating and igniting surrounding combustible material.
  • Overheating of motors/transformers and other electrical appliances.
  • Short circuit/wire exposure/static electricity between wires.
  • Cases of wiring overheating and ignition of the wire covering.

In cases of wiring or outlet overheating, there is usually a couple signs prior to ignition.  If an outlet is emitting heat or a smell it is sign that the outlet is overloaded.  Overloading an outlet causes too much heat in one location and can cause a fire.  Some examples of this are running too many cords in one outlet or using an extension cord instead of an outlet. If your outlet emits a burning smell or is hot when you touch it, it could indicate there is a danger of electrical fire.

Make sure that the proper number of plugs are being used in each outlet. As an added precaution, do not run any power cords under combustible materials such as rugs or bedding.  Make sure that all of your plugs fit into the outlets tightly to prevent excess heat.  It is important to recognize warning signs of electrical fires to keep yourself and your home safe.

Below are a few links to articles and videos with more information about Electrical Fires:

https://www.hunker.com/13418824/warnings-signs-before-an-electrical-fire\

https://www.kaist.ac.kr/html/etcen/safety/safety_01020201.html

https://globalnews.ca/news/3365247/electronic-charging-devices-cables-pose-fire-risk/