Recent Posts

It's not the "Smokey" Mountains!

8/4/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is 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.
    • Wet Smoke Residues – Result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky, smeary and with pungent odors.  Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.
    • Dry Smoke Residues – Result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are often dry, powdery, small, non-smeary smoke particles.
    • Protein Residues – Virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes.  Extreme pungent odor.
    • Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace puff backs distribute fuel oil soot.
    • Other Types of Residues – Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residues also need cleanup

We are happy to serve all of our neighbors in the High Country.  Call us today to remove the smoke so you can better enjoy your life in the Blue Ridge Mountains! 828-268-2236

Tornado 101

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

What is a tornado?

A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.

How do tornadoes form?

The truth is that we don't fully understand. The most destructive and deadly tornadoes occur from supercells, which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation called a mesocyclone. (Supercells can also produce damaging hail, severe non-tornadic winds, unusually frequent lightning, and flash floods.) Tornado formation is believed to be dictated mainly by things which happen on the storm scale, in and around the mesocyclone. Recent theories and results from the VORTEX2 program suggest that once a mesocyclone is underway, tornado development is related to the temperature differences across the edge of downdraft air wrapping around the mesocyclone. Mathematical modeling studies of tornado formation also indicate that it can happen without such temperature patterns; and in fact, very little temperature variation was observed near some of the most destructive tornadoes in history on 3 May 1999. We still have lots of work to do.

Did you know?

  • Tornadoes can happen any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4-9pm.
  • About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. yearly. Since official tornado records only date back to 1950, we do not know the actual average number of tornadoes that occur each year. Plus, tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed a lot over the last several decades.

Watauga River Contamination

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

July 2017 a contamination was discovered in the Watauga River.  A year later the source has still not been discovered.

Watauga County officials urge people to avoid recreational activities at the Watauga River in the vicinity of Foscoe due to an unknown petroleum-like substance that appears to be seeping into the Watauga River.  There is a recreational advisory between Church Road and Riverside Farm Road in Foscoe.

Environmental and health officials continue to recommend the following:

  • Avoid swimming, wading or fishing in the Watauga River between Church Road and Riverside Farm Road until further notice.
  • Avoid skin contact with water, soil and sediment in or near the river.
  • If skin comes in contact with contaminated sediment or water, thoroughly wash the affected area with soap and water.

Questions or concerns should be phoned into Appalachian District Health Department at 828-264-4995 ext. 1114. Leave your name and phone number for a return call

Hurricane Season Begins June 1

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Technically, Hurricane Season starts June 1, yet Tropical Storm Alberto has already caused destruction across the High Country.  Record breaking rainfall has already caused many homes, churches, schools, nursing homes, and other businesses to experience damage caused by flooding

When this happens to you, SERVPRO may be in a position to help. We are a locally based flood damage restoration company who can secure your property in Avery, Watauga, Madison, Mitchell, or Yancey counties. Our highly trained technicians, who have access to industry leading tools and techniques, can arrive quickly to reverse the water damage.

When drying your house, four main factors come into play: air movement, humidity, the amount of excess water present, and temperature. Ideally, drying occurs faster under high temperatures (between 70 and 90 degrees Celsius) low humidity levels (between 30 and 50 percent). The damp and humid air in the water-damaged room should also be replaced by dry air to accelerate drying.

If the water reached your upholstery, a few things might happen. Wooden framings may swell and crack, fabrics may spot from water, and color bleeding may stain the floors or carpets. SERVPRO technicians use a variety of water removal procedures to deal with these situations.

Drying different materials require a vast knowledge of their interaction with moisture. Our specialists can determine the extent of water damage by checking exposure time and permeance of specific materials. Permeance refers to the ability of materials to absorb water vapor.

Painted concrete can flake when exposed to moisture, thus requiring repainting. Concrete floors are also porous and can develop whitish calcium deposits on the surface on exposure to water. Our restorers use EPA-registered disinfectants and HEPA vacuuming to get rid of the debris.

Natural catastrophes like thunderstorms come without warning, flooding houses and damaging property. If you act fast, SERVPRO of Avery and Watauga Counties is here to help. Call us today at 828-268-2236.

The Three Types of Contaminated Water

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

There are three types of contaminated water that can be present after a water loss.

Category 1 "Clear Water"

A category 1 loss is considered "clear water." This type of loss normally occurs due to a pipe bursting or a hose coming loose on an appliance. This is normally the easiest type of water loss to clean up because there are fewer health hazards than other categories.

Category 2 "Grey Water"

A category 2 loss is considered "Grey Water." This is water that is slightly contaminated due to either the source of the water or neglect of a water loss in a home. For example a water loss that started as a category 1 but was left for a long period time becomes a category 2 due to contamination. Sources that can cause category 2 losses include toilet or washing machine overflows.

Category 3 "Black Water"

A category 3 loss is considered "Black Water." This is the most hazardous of the three types of water losses. Category 3 losses normally occur due to natural disasters or sewage damage. This water contains toxic materials and pathogens that are harmful to your health.

No matter what category the loss is, it's best to let a qualified professional make sure that it is cleaned and dried properly so that mold does not form. If your home suffers a water loss be sure to give SERVPRO of Avery and Watauga Counties a call.

Understanding Mold

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, 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 and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Call us today if you have a water loss and/or mold concerns!

Oh no! How contaminated is the water?

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

There aren't just different types of smoke but also of water.

There are three types of contaminated water that can be present after a water loss.

Category 1 "Clear Water"

A category 1 loss is considered "clear water." This type of loss normally occurs due to a pipe bursting or a hose coming loose on an appliance. This is normally the easiest type of water loss to clean up because there are fewer health hazards than other categories.

Category 2 "Grey Water"

A category 2 loss is considered "Grey Water." This is water that is slightly contaminated due to either the source of the water or neglect of a water loss in a home. For example a water loss that started as a category 1 but was left for a long period time becomes a category 2 due to contamination. Sources that can cause category 2 losses include toilet or washing machine overflows.

Category 3 "Black Water"

A category 3 loss is considered "Black Water." This is the most hazardous of the three types of water losses. Category 3 losses normally occur due to natural disasters or sewage damage. This water contains toxic materials and pathogens that are harmful to your health.

No matter what category the loss is, it's best to let a qualified professional make sure that it is cleaned and dried properly so that mold does not form. If your home suffers a water loss be sure to give SERVPRO of Avery and Watauga Counties a call!

Don't let your plants invite mold into your home!

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

There are several of us here at SERVPRO of Avery and Watauga counties that like to think we have a green thumb to go along with our green trucks!  

We know the importance of proper watering when it comes to growing the most beautiful flowers and the most lush gardens.  When plants are over watered and not planted in well draining soil, mold can begin to grow not only at the base of the plant but also underneath the planter.  

Take care to check the soil and ensure watering is needed before dumping the whole watering can.  Also it is important to be cautious to avoid spillage especially when watering indoor plants.  Plants add so many good things to the environment do not let carelessness cause them to add mold!

All Smoke is NOT equal!

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

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

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.