Recent Posts

Smoke Detector Recall

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

An important factor in fire prevention is the installation, use, and maintenance of smoke detectors.  

A North Carolina company, Kidde, has recalled more than 450,000 smoke alarms because of a manufacturing defect that could compromise the alarms' function.

The affected smoke detectors have a date code from September 2016 to October 2017.  If your smoke detectors in your house or home resemble the affected detectors AND were issued during the affected time range, please visit the Kidde website linked below and follow their instructions for requesting a new replacement smoke detector.

Kidde Smoke Alarm Recall Instructions

The National Fire Protection Association has found that between the years of 2009 and 2013, more than 20% of residential fire deaths were in homes where smoke detectors were present but were malfunctioning. (More than half of the deaths from residential fires were in homes that did not have smoke detectors installed.)

Make sure to check your smoke detectors once a month to ensure they are properly working to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your home.

Commercial Restaurant Hood Cleanings in Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and more!

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Restaurant Hood Cleanings in Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and more! Regular Hood Cleanings in your Boone restaurant can prevent a flare up from devastating your kitchen.

Did you know that our SERVPRO of Avery & Watauga Counties can do so much more than the Fire and Water mitigation services for which we are renowned for? 

One of our many other integral services is Hood Cleanings for restaurants.  Not only is this a mandatory service in many counties, but is also a very important safety task.

Cooking creates several effluents including smoke, moisture, and grease. When the exhaust fan is on, each of component is drawn up through the kitchen hood, the filters, and in to the duct work and builds up over time. Once the buildup becomes substantial, it is a fire hazard—which can easily be prevented through routine cleaning. Below is a common sequence of events which leads to a kitchen exhaust fire due to the hood not being properly cleaned:

  • A high flame either flares up or is created on the stove top.
  • The flame comes in contact with the filters located in the kitchen hood and they are ignited.
  • With the exhaust fan on drawing in air, the flames are also drawn upward in to the ductwork.
  • If sufficient grease residue exists within the ducts, it can act as a source of fuel, carrying the fire further in to the exhaust system causing significant damage, and placing the structure and its occupants at risk.

Don’t wait until an unexpected fire erupts on your property before you decide you need kitchen hood cleaning.

If you need to schedule a commercial kitchen exhaust system cleaning, call us today at 828-268-2236.

Prepare for the Unexpected but Inevitable Storm

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Prepare for the Unexpected but Inevitable Storm Don't let a fallen tree crush your weekend plans!

Storms can come up on us without much warning. Bad weather is unpredictable.  Even if we watch the Weather Channel 24/7, we can still be hit with an unexpected storm, so we need to take steps to protect our homes from possible storm damage.

It is a good idea to inspect your home before inclement weather hits. A leaky roof or leaky windows can cause big problems during extreme conditions such as a snow storm or heavy rains. Do all your exterior doors and windows fit correctly? Is all your weather-stripping in good condition? When’s the last time you took a look at your roof to see how things are looking up there? These are important questions to ask yourself each year.

Loose rain gutters or shutters can present a real problem in high winds, as can unstable large trees. It is often a good idea to trim back trees and bushes with large heavy branches, especially ones that are not in good condition, so that windows and vehicles are in less danger of damage during windy conditions.

Many homes have drainage ditches at the front of the property. Don’t forget to take time to inspect the ditches and remove debris that might obstruct the flow of water from a heavy rain. A clogged drainage ditch can cause a lot of damage by flooding your property during, or even after, a storm.

In the event of a storm, do you have a system in place that will help you to get information to everyone in case of a weather emergency? Most of us use our cell phones to communicate these days, but during a bad storm, your cell phone service could be at risk. You might consider installing a good old-fashioned landline, just in case. If you or a family member gets stuck at work or out doing errands, families will worry, so it’s vital that lines of communication stay open.

The SERVPRO team of Avery & Watauga Counties has your back in the event of storm damage, fire damage, or mold issues. Give us a call today at (828) 268-2236.

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.

SERVPRO Can Help

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.