Recent Posts

Smoked Out?

2/17/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 828-268-2236

Flood Watch vs Flood Warning

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

This past weekend the High Country was under a Flood Watch.

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Know the differences, and have a plan in place!

What to Do if There Is a Water Leak Around a Window

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to Do if There Is a Water Leak Around a Window Keep an eye out for signs of a water leak near your windows.

What to Do if There Is a Water Leak Around a Window

The natural elements can wear down the integrity of your home. Over time, you may notice leakage around a window, which can possibly result in wood rot, mold and water damage. The longer the leak is left unaddressed, the more the repairs will cost.

Locate the Problem

Even a slow drip can mean that more water is sitting inside of the wall. Once a homeowner notices moisture trickling from a window when it rains, the first step is to carefully look at the wall around the area to find the source of the leak. However, thanks to gravity, appearances can be deceiving; liquid may pool in one place, but that place is not always the leak's origin.

Two common problem areas are the edge and the rubber seal. The gap between the edge and the surrounding wall is usually sealed with caulk. Eventually, the caulk dries out and begins to peel and chip. Like caulk, the rubber seal situated between the panes and frame can ultimately dry out, creating rips in the rubber.

Gauge the Severity of Damage

Depending on the severity of the damage, the window may need to be replaced. A replacement is usually warranted when decaying or softness is found on nearby surfaces. However, even if the surrounding surfaces seem to be structurally sound, the homeowner should not just re-caulk the gaps without getting an expert's opinion on the full extent of the damage.


A specialist at SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties can determine whether any ceiling tiles or drywall have sustained damage. After he assesses the situation, the restoration technician will give the homeowner the best remediation option to make the damage disappear. By acting quickly, the homeowner can prevent expensive repairs in the future. SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties is always ready to help the residents of Boone and the city's surrounding communities solve their water damage problems.

Preventing Electrical Fires with Six Easy Tips

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

In today’s society, people are working overtime to meet the pressures of daily life. With technology and electronic accessories being an inescapable part of our daily activities, it means that electricity is in high-demand and it is working around the clock in the home setting. Parents need their cell phones charged at all times to keep in touch with their children, and students use their computers late into the night to complete assignments. When work and school are done, dinner needs to be cooked with the appliances in the kitchen and the family likes to unwind with television, video games, music, and a multitude of various electronic devices. In addition, electricity is needed to heat and cool the home and run light fixtures. Undoubtedly, homes today are generating a tremendous amount of electricity, and the greater the electric load, the greater the risk of electrical-related fires.

Following are six safety measures one can adhere to in order to reduce the risk of electrical fires in one’s home:

  1. On a regular basis, have the home inspected for loose wires, shorts, and faulty wiring that increase the risk of potential electrical fires, as electrical wiring eventually needs to be replaced. This is especially pertinent if one lives in an older home. Signs that faulty wiring is a pressing issue can include flickering lamps, buzzing outlets, or outlets that spark when an electronic device is plugged in. If one of these indications occurs, do not delay in in hiring a certified electrician to give the home an inspection to determine if the wiring is safe or if it is in need of rewiring.
  2. Install a smoke detector on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. It is vital to make sure the smoke detectors are working properly by testing them every month. Test the detectors to ensure that all members of the home know the sound of the smoke detector. Also, create a plan so that the entire family knows what to do in case of an actual fire. Once a plan is in place, practice each aspect of fire-escape strategy to guarantee its success.
  3. Utilize safety measures with electric cords. This includes replacing cords that are loose, frayed, or contains cracks. Never place cords in areas that receive a large volume of foot traffic, such as under mats or carpeting. Avoid tacking cords to surfaces with nails or staples. If an extension cord is being used on a long-term basis, consider having outlets installed by a certified electrician nearer to your electronic devices.
  4. Only use the correct wattage light bulbs in all fixtures. If the wattage is higher than the requirement noted on the lamp or appliance, replace the bulbs immediately. Firmly secure light bulbs in the socket to safeguard them from overheating.
  5. As the average daily temperature declines, portable space heaters run a high risk of electrical fires. Other risks include lamps, blow dryers, hair straighteners, and clothing irons. Any object made of fabric, such as towels and bath mats, can quickly ignite and spread fire rapidly.
  6. Place a fire extinguisher in all major rooms of the home, such as kitchen, bedrooms, and laundry room. The National Fire Protection Association suggests a multi-purpose extinguishers that carry and “A, B, C,” combination classification while also carrying the label of an independent testing laboratory. Have all family members read the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher. Extinguisher are useful in containing small fires until the fire department arrives, but the first priority should be getting one’s family out of the home safely.

Reducing the risk of electrical fires in one’s home is relatively simple, but the safety benefits are worth a great deal of peace-of-mind.  In the case that you unfortunately do experience an electrical fire in your High Country home, we at SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga are available 24/7 to respond to your crisis.

Boone got Uber; now let us remove those uber bad smells!

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Recently Uber expanded to include the High Country Area!  We know there are small business owners who rely on their cars for cash, and our deodorization process works in smaller spaces as well as large areas. So Uber and taxi drivers take note: give us a few hours and you’ll be riding down the Blue Ridge Parkway with the windows down and an odor-free breeze! You’ll be free to cruise around downtown Boone and Blowing Rock and every other hot spot without the smell of all your previous customers lingering behind!

At SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties, we know how invasive cigarette odor can be and we know how to give it the boot. We have a few deodorization methods that we can employ based on the complexity and severity of the situation. Oftentimes deodorization results can be achieved quickly, allowing you to get right back to work in Boone.

Cigarette odors and nicotine staining often require cleaning to remove the source. We use a revolutionary proprietary technology that allows us to treat the car with a safe gas that can eliminate the cigarette smoke odor and other unwanted scents at their source. We still recommend a good cleaning even if the odor and staining are not heavy because a small treatment today can help to avoid a large service later.

Call us with your questions today. We are not afraid to tackle any deodorization challenge

Does Your Mars Hill Home Have A Mold Problem?

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is not actually possible. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation. Call us anytime at (828) 268-2236.

Ways to Prevent the High Country’s Cold Air Moisture from Leading to Mold in Your Home

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Even though it's cold outside, there is moisture in the air. This moisture can get trapped in your house and cause mold. For example, if indoor air contacts a cold surface, it can cause condensation, and if left uncleaned,  that condensation can lead to mold. The good news is mold is easily preventable.

  1. Check your roof and ceiling to ensure that there are no holes. Even a small hole in the ceiling of a humid home can cause condensation to become frost. Unfortunately, when the sun warms up the roof, this frost melts.
  1. Make sure your home does not have any air leaks allowing air to escape from your home. This should be a routine check because if air leaks, condensation is more easily formed.

Be sure to continue a routine check throughout the year.

Keeping these steps in mind can prevent mold from forming in your High Country home. However, if you do find mold, be sure to immediately call us at (828) 268-2236 for help to get it handled properly.

January is National Blood Donor Month!

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Busy schedules, holiday breaks from school, inclement weather, and winter illness typically cause blood donations to drop off during and right after the holiday season. This makes January a critical time for the American Red Cross.

This year has been especially difficult because major winter storms have caused the Red Cross to have to cancel hundreds of blood drives. While the holidays and bad weather diminish the number of donations brought in, it certainly does not diminish the need for blood in emergencies.

The Red Cross needs to collect more than 13,000 donations every day to keep the blood supply ready and available to meet the needs of about 2,600 hospitals, clinics and cancer centers across the country.

We encourage our neighbors in the High Country area to take the time to donate their blood. The American Red Cross Blue Ridge chapter has several Blood Drives scheduled for next week:

Monday, Jan 29, 2018
1:00 pm-5:30 pm
1934 Blowing Rock Rd.
Boone, NC 28607

2:00 pm-6:30 pm
Boone UMC
471 New Market Blvd
Boone, NC 28607

Thursday, Feb 01, 2018
2:15 pm-6:30 pm
Banner Elk Presbyterian Church
420 College Drive
Banner Elk, NC 28604

You can donate blood every two months to help the Red Cross be prepared for emergencies. And don't forget you can always call us at SERVPRO of Avery and Watauga Counties in the event of your own fire or water emergency!

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW. BE READY for Whatever Happens!

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties at 828-268-2236 for your NO-COST Emergency Ready Profile for your home or business. 

Restoring Your High Country Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your High Country Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at High Country commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties

SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Call us today at 828-268-2236!