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Why Contamination Level Is Important

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded living room and kids playing on top of a floating table Contaminated water can cause severe damage.

When a client in Roanoke Rapids, NC, files a claim for a water loss, it's important that The procedure for dealing with damage from contaminated water is much different than cleanup from a broken pipe. One of the ways that SERVPRO outshines the competition is through matching the results of extensive pretesting with the appropriate cleaning methods for each customer's specific problem.

Types of Contamination

Clean Water

Category 1 damage is caused by clean water. There are several sources in your client's home from which clean water can originate:

  • Faucet drip
  • Pipe break
  • Supply line leak

If the water that causes the damage in your client's home is clean and contained on only one floor, no sanitation is likely to be necessary. Water restoration specialists can just tear out ruined materials, thoroughly dry the area and rebuild.

Gray Water

Contaminated water belongs in Category 2. This type of damage is typically the result of leaks from appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines. It may also occur if a clean water leak is so extensive that it seeps from the floor of one level to the ceiling or walls beneath it. Because this water is likely to contain bacteria and other microbes, saturated materials will need to be thrown away, and all other surfaces must be disinfected.

Black Water

The third category of water contamination is black water. This occurs when the sewer backs up into your client's home or when it is flooded during a storm. Extensive sanitation methods must be used. When you choose SERVPRO as a preferred vendor, you know that the appropriate testing will be conducted both before and after cleanup to ensure that all bacteria are eradicated.

Contaminated water adds extra steps to mitigation. Specialists who take the time to verify the contamination level of the water that causes the damage to your client's home are better equipped to make the right decisions about the details of the cleanup process.

What Are the Steps for Water Mitigation After a Broken Water Heater?

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a water heater A leaking water heater can cause severe water damage.

Discovering a leaking water heater in your Roanoke Rapids, NC, building is never a good thing for various reasons. Not only does it mean you need to get the water heater repaired, but now you also have to concern yourself with the imminent water damage. It's essential to understand water mitigation for events such as these. Knowing what to do can't totally prevent property loss, but swift action can significantly minimize the damage.

3 Steps for Water Mitigation After a Broken Water Heater

  1. Extract the Water

After you get the water leak from the failed water heater stopped, you must extract all the water. Usually, the best way to remove standing water is to use a wet/dry vacuum. It can quickly and safely eliminate water and small debris. If you don't have access to a wet/dry vacuum, mops and towels will do the job.

  1. Inspect the Damage

Next, inspect the area for all the water damage from the leaking water heater. Water and moisture can damage the structure of the home and the contents inside.

  1. Clean and Sanitize the Affected Area and Contents

Once the water has been removed, clean and sanitize the entire affected area and all of the contents. Anything beyond repair, including the broken water heater, should be removed and thrown away.

  1. Completely Dry the Affected Area and Contents

Finally, it's essential to completely dry the area and everything remaining, including floors and walls. You can use fans, heaters, dehumidifiers and open windows and doors. If you're having doubts about getting everything dried quickly enough, water damage remediation professionals have industrial equipment and the expertise to ensure the job is appropriately completed and then inspected.

A leaking water heater requires immediate attention to minimize water damage and to keep hot water available in your home. Call a repair technician to see if they can fix the broken water heater or if you must replace it.

What to do in the first 24 hours?

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

A house on fire. A fire in your house can cause severe damage.

There is absolutely no doubt that fire in your home in Roanoke Rapids, NC, or business can be devastating. We know that even the smallest fires can destroy your favorite memories and belongings. 

When we receive the call we will respond quickly and we can help you restore your home and belongings. 

The first 24 hours can make a major difference in restoring your home.  Below are some things we believe you should and should not do. 

Things You Should and Should Not Do


  1. Wash any walls or painted surfaces
  2. Clean or wash carpets and furniture 
  3. Clean or whip down any electrical equipment
  4. Send your clothes to a dry cleaner.  We do not want your clothes to be clean improperly and have a permeant smoke odor.


  1. Place aluminum foil or wood between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  2. Place a small layer of oil on chrome appliances or trim. 
  3. Try your best to limit the amount of movement in the home. When you do this it will prevent soot particles from spreading even more.
  4. Place old and clean linens on areas that are high traffic areas in the home.

3 Tips for Cleaning Your Home After a Flood

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning products. Cleaning after damage by a flood can be a long process but it's necessary to avoid serious damages.

Floodwaters often contain mud and contaminants that have specific cleaning requirements. If your home has been damaged by a flood, these tips can help you with the cleaning process.

1. Remove Mud

One of the first steps of any flood clean process is to remove any mud that has been left behind. Use a shovel to remove as much mud as you can and then spray hard surfaces with a garden hose. If there is too much mud to remove on your own, you may want to contact a professional storm cleaning company in Roanoke, NC, to assist you.

2. Disinfect Your Kitchen

Because of potential contamination, the cleaning requirements for your kitchen focus on disinfection. Porcelain, plastic, glass, enamel, and china dinnerware can be disinfected by immersing it in a solution of two tablespoons of chlorine bleach per one gallon of hot water. Allow dishes to air-dry after disinfection, instead of drying them with a towel. Metal utensils, pans, pots, and silverware can be boiled in water for 10 minutes. Avoid using bleach on these items, because it may cause the metal to darken. Clean and rinse counters and cupboards with a chlorine bleach solution before putting your dishes away.

3. Clean Your Furniture and Household Items

Place rugs, furniture, clothing, and bedding outside to dry. Open windows and doors to increase air circulation and run fans and dehumidifiers to help dry out your house. Vacuum ceilings, walls, and floors to remove mildew and then wash with flood disinfectant. Mattresses should be discarded. Upholstered and solid wood furniture may be salvageable, but will probably require professional cleaning. Photographs and important papers can be frozen and professionally cleaned later.

The cleaning requirements for a flooded home can be substantial. However, with hard work and professional assistance, you can restore many of the items that have the most sentimental or economic value to you.

Is Mold Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

mold damage in white wall of residential home. Mold damage in Roanoke Rapids, NC.

Most people would probably agree that insurance is a complicated subject. It can be anxiety-provoking trying to interpret exactly what your policy covers. This is especially true when you're trying to file a claim after sustaining damage to your Roanoke Rapids, NC, home. In the case of fungus growth, your understanding of your insurance coverage can become exceptionally muddled. Dealing with mold can be complex in itself because it can spread fast and needs immediate attention. Waiting on information about your mold coverage can be stressful, to say the least. Here's some information about mold damage and typical homeowners insurance policies.

Information About Mold Damage and Typical Homeowners Insurance Policies

What Determines Mold Coverage?

The amount and nature of the coverage for mold will vary from one policy to another. It usually depends on:

  • The particular insurance company
  • The specific policy
  • The details of the peril
  • The coverage limits
  • The cost of the insurance premium

Mold damage is often not included on a standard homeowners insurance policy. Some carriers offer mold insurance as an add-on option, but the coverage will still be limited to specific instances.

What Is Likely to Be Covered?

The typical homeowners policy has a "covered peril and timing" section. This covers instances such as water damage that occurs as a result of a winter ice storm. Sometimes an attic can sustain water damage which leads to fungus growth. Attics aren't typically high-traffic areas of a home, so mold growth can go unnoticed, causing more damage. An adjuster might deem this a suitable situation for coverage.

What Is Unlikely to Be Covered?

Mold damage resulting from several issues will generally not be covered by a mold claim. Mold is considered secondary damage meaning it can usually be mitigated or avoided if restoration begins quickly. Therefore, mold damage resulting from perils such as a sewer backup or a flood probably won't be covered.

Mold restoration professionals have the expertise to help you file the claim. With this assistance, you can be confident that you'll receive as much compensation as possible for the needed fungus growth remediation.

Franchise Opportunity for Residential Technicians

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a group of workers meeting on a table with a paper in the middle stating "Franchise" Franchise opportunity.

Are you interested in running your own business? If so, it might be better to look into franchise opportunities that allow you to enter an established market with a trusted name and professional support. A SERVPRO franchise is an excellent opportunity for an experienced residential contractor or tradesman, allowing you to operate under one of the most trusted names in the mitigation and disaster recovery industry. Before committing to such a financial undertaking, it is best to talk with a local franchise owner in Roanoke Rapids, NC, and understand the primary benefits of the business.

1. Locally Owned With Corporate Reach

The company, established in 1967, was built around the franchise system. Meaning every location is owned and operated by local professionals, people who know and understand the community and common disasters in the area. However, being locally owned does not mean the franchisees are left without support.
The corporate headquarters is located within 600 miles of 50% of the U.S. population in Gallatin, Tennessee. With over 50 years of continuous dedication to the franchise model, the company is an established presence at each franchise, always available to offer support when needed.

2. Topped Ranked Franchise Opportunity

The SERVPRO Franchise opportunity has consecutively ranked in the top ten of Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list. Year after year, the company has proven profitable to existing franchisees and employees. While there are never any guarantees in business, SERVPRO has seemed to come out on top more often than not.

3. Certification and Professionalism

The company maintains prestigious positioning because of the requirements of all franchises. Every business must be certified by the IICRC, ensuring the most updated knowledge about mitigation and cleanup efforts and techniques.

If you are interested in a business opportunity that is beneficial to the community, consider a SERVPRO franchise. Everyone deserves an opportunity to make their dreams become a reality.

Black Water and Your Safe Response

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a building with water damage on flooring and white walls Flooding has its risks if not managed correctly.

When flooding threatens your commercial property, it's natural to take quick action to avoid serious water damage, bad smells, and other issues. However, before you wade into the soggy situation, you need to know how to recognize black water and understand the risks involved with exposure.

Black Water and The Risks

Identify the Level of Water Contamination

Depending on the source of the water damage, your Roanoke Rapids, NC, property may be facing one or more of three basic categories of water:

  • Category 1 Clean Water
  • Category 2 Gray Water
  • Category 3 Black Water

It is generally safe for you to handle cleanup involving clean and gray water, but Category 3 water may contain sewage, dangerous chemicals, and/or harmful microbes. There may be fungal, pathogenic, and viral contaminants, as well. This water often comes from rivers and streams, from municipal sewer systems, water from used toilets in your facility, or even water that has been standing long enough to support microbial growth.

Take Steps To Improve Safety

Any cleanup and repairs involving Category 3, or black, water should always be handled by professional water damage cleanup and repair technicians. Once you've recognized contaminated water, you should take steps to protect yourself and any other people living or working on your property. As you wait for professionals to arrive, isolate the affected area, keeping it as contained as possible. This may involve shutting off your heating or cooling systems. Shut off water and power supplies connected to the area and provide some ventilation to prevent fumes from accumulating or spreading throughout the building. When professionals arrive to clean up the flood, they will use protective gear, specialized equipment, and other products to ensure that your property is thoroughly clean and safe.

Leave Contamination Cleanup to the Professionals

Water damage can cause a lot of trouble for property owners or managers, so a quick response is crucial. When it comes to category 3 water, however, all cleanup and repair work should be handled by trained, experienced professionals.

Devastated over your water damaged Family Bible or important papers?

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

Bible with water damage. Water damaged documents.

We can help when water damages your important papers! We can vacuum freeze-dry your special documents. You may want your damaged documents restored for sentimental or legal reasons. Often these documents are one-of-a-kind or are irreplaceable. These important papers include family bibles, personal/medical documents, government/business records, personnel files, and blueprints.

SERVPRO Document Restoration Service uses the process of sublimation. This process takes frozen documents through temperatures and pressures that turn moisture into vapor. The result is a dry document that can be restored or reused.

Water damage may occur when a basement floods, water damage from about, or water from extinguishing a fire. SERVPRO will help you decide which documents to save and which ones to discard. We will box up, freeze and ship your damaged papers with the care and security they deserve.

If you have questions about water damaged documents and how we can help, give us a call.

Four Benefits of Hiring the Professionals at SERVPRO

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a bursted pipe A bursting pipe can lead to severe damage.

Water and storm damage can be a costly and challenging problem faced by homeowners. From running toilets to general plumbing issues, there are so many things that can cause flooding to your property.  Some of these seem like easy clean up and repair on your own, but there are benefits to hiring a professional business to handle these types of repairs.

Benefits to Hiring a Professional to Handle Water and Storm Damage

1. Stop Mold from Spreading

A restoration business is trained to properly clean areas where water moves, in between the walls, under your floorboards, and creeping into places that are not seen or may be hard to reach. These professionals can help you recover areas that could have to be replaced if proper cleaning doesn’t take place. And, in locations where mold has developed, a professional can clean it properly to prevent the mold spores from spreading.

2. Prevent More Damage

An inexperienced person may not know how to clean and restore areas where water damage has occurred. It’s also possible that they can make a mistake or miss something making the problem worse or allowing it to escalate if it’s not handled correctly. A professional in this line of business is able to visit the business right after the mold damage has occurred to prevent further damage or problems from developing.

3. Recognize Signs of Hidden Moisture

A professional uses state of the art moisture tools to identify signs of hidden moisture that are undetectable to home and property owners. And, the professionals can also take more steps to prevent future water damage from occurring. 

4. For First Rate Restoration Services

A professional like SERVPRO of Roanoke Rapids may be able to replace and restore flooring, insulation and drywall for a finished product that looks wonderful using the highest quality materials available to them. 

The Storm Damage Mitigation Process

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of the outside of the house flooded Heavy storms can leave severe damage to your home.

If your home floods during a storm in Roanoke Rapids, NC, it will probably need some repairs that require immediate attention. Cleaning up floodwater involves a little extra care beyond basic water damage remediation. To ensure that all contaminants are thoroughly removed from your home, you need certified storm restoration experts to guide the process.

4 Steps of the Storm Damage Mitigation Process

Cleanup Plan

The first thing the specialists do when they arrive at your home is assess the damage. Storm flooding often results in a lot of black water in your home. This contaminated water often contains many things that will need to be addressed during the cleanup process:

  • Bacteria
  • Dirt
  • Debris

Once technicians have a list of tasks that need to be accomplished, they can likely give you a general timeline for when restoration will be complete. It's also a good idea to have your insurance adjuster walk through the house with the mitigation team or, if that's not possible, take pictures of the original damage to support your claim.

Water and Material Removal

The second phase of water damage repair is getting all the excess water and ruined materials out of your home. Technicians may need to use industrial pumps to remove standing water and the debris it carried in with it. After most of the water is gone, they tear out walls, ceilings, flooring and insulation that cannot be salvaged.

Drying and Disinfecting

Every remaining surface, crack and vent has to be completely dried to avoid potential secondary damage. After all, you don't want to leave an opportunity for mold growth to develop. Because water from a flood is contaminated, technicians also must disinfect all affected areas.


The final step is rebuilding your home and making it look as good as new. New insulation is installed, new drywall is put up and tiles are replaced. The job isn't done until you are satisfied with the way your home looks.

Taking care of water damage after a storm can be complicated. With the right experts, though, you can rest assured that your home will be back to normal as soon as possible.