Recent Posts

Storm Season!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Even though we live a safe distance from the coast, there is a chance of a tropical storm or hurricane making its way to Columbia, SC. In the event that a powerful storm does make it to the Midlands of South Carolina, the last thing you want to think about is where you put that box of batteries or whether you have enough food for you and your family. The SERVPRO family recommends preparing for situations that might leave you without power, water and even shelter. To prep for any situation and the aftermath review these top tips:

  1. Put Together an Emergency Kit

Evacuation orders can be issued at any time - If you’re required or even voluntarily choose to leave your home in a hurry, you'll want some necessities handy. Keep the following supplies, recommended by FEMA, in a portable container in the area of your house where you'll take shelter:

  • Three days' worth of food (nonperishable)
  • Water (at least a gallon per family member)
  • Battery powered (or hand crank) flashlights and radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Trash bags and duct tape, along with a dust mask
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Regional maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger
  • Moist towelettes and any personal sanitation or specific family needs, like pet supplies
  • Prescription medication along with some generics in case they’re needed

(For additional recommendations, be sure to check out ready.gov)

We also suggest having smaller versions of your kit stocked with a few necessities like walking shoes, snacks, and a flashlight at work. In general, you'll also need enough cash on hand for five days of basic needs (gas and food), but any amount of ready money will help if ATMs are down.

Once you have your supplies together, it pays to go through them at least once a year too, to weed out expired food and batteries.

  1. Make an Action Plan

When things get chaotic, you want to make sure that every family member knows what to do. We suggest designating two meeting places (one close by and one a little further away in your neighborhood) and hang a map with the spots marked near your emergency kit.

It also pays to have important contacts written down if the power goes out and there's nowhere to charge your cell phone. Make a mini contact list — ready.gov has templates you can print out — with important numbers that everyone can stow in their wallets. Leave a copy in your emergency kit, too. Establish a plan for checking in with relatives in case local lines get jammed. Text messages will often go through, even when phone lines are clogged.

  1. Prep Your Home

If the power goes out and you have time, unplug appliances and electronics and turn off air conditioners, whether you stay or go. This will prevent damage when the electricity surges back on. Leave one lamp on so you'll know when the power's back.

How you store food can also make a difference when it comes to salvaging items afterwards, according to the FSIS. If there's a chance of flooding, be sure to store dry goods in waterproof containers high enough that they will be safely out of the way of contaminated water.

Grouping food together in the freezer can help it stay colder longer in the case of a power outage. If you have advanced warning, freeze any items you don't need right away, like leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer and stock your freezer with as much ice as you can fit. Coolers stocked with ice can also be helpful if the power is out for more than four hours.

Though you'll want to minimize the amount you open and close your refrigerator door once the power goes out, FSIS recommends keeping an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to help you determine if food is safe to eat. The refrigerator temperature should be lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature should be below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

After the Emergency

Coming home after a major disaster can be daunting. Call SERVPRO of Richland County to help you in the event your home is affected. NEVER enter a home that has been struck by heavy debris or fallen trees.

Protecting yourself from Fire!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

If your Columbia, SC business has experienced a fire it’s likely that you’re unsure how to proceed.  The two most important steps of restoring any building that has experienced fire damage, no matter how large or small the fire, are:

  • Protecting the property
  • Cleaning affected areas/materials

First – Call Your Insurance Agent

One of the first calls you should make (after 911 of course) should be to your insurance agent. They can help you determine if you should file a claim or pay out of pocket for the steps necessary to restore your business. If the fire was small, let’s say a break room kitchen fire or something similar, you very well could be better off not filing a claim against your insurance. Your agent may also recommend a restoration service they know and trust to help you with the cleanup process while protecting your property from further harm.

Second – Contact a Restoration Service

Soot and smoke are extremely difficult to clean without the proper knowledge and equipment to do so. We always recommend calling a professional fire restoration service to handle this. SERVPRO of Richland County offers board-up services to secure your property and keep unwanted guests and animals out. We also offer tarping services if damage has occurred to the roof. This prevents water from gaining access to the space and causing further damage.

If water was used to extinguish the fire you may also be facing water damage, this requires a restoration company also. If the water damage is left untreated, you’ll likely be facing issues with mold down the road.

Has your business suffered fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Richland County, the trusted leader in the restoration industry for fire damage restoration.

We Answer the phone ready to help

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Richland County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Richland County

SERVPRO of Richland specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Do you have an ERP?

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

ERP Sample

If you do not have an Emergency Ready Profile, you may want to consider the risk you are facing. 50% of businesses that suffer a disaster may never reopen. Are you ready? By developing a SERVPRO ERP, you minimize business interruptions, along with possible secondary damage. This immediate plan of action can help minimize how water and fire damage affects your business. Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster. No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be "Ready for whatever happens."

Some helpful tips!

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever wondered what should you do after you have suffered a fire or water loss? Here are a few do's and don'ts for Fire and water damages. 

In case of a Fire damage: 

Do's

  • Do limit your movement in the property.
  • Do keep your hands clean. 
  • Do change the HVAC filters if possible.

Don'ts

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without consulting a professional.
  • Don't attempt to shampoo carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Don't consume any food or beverages that may have been stored near heat or fire.

In case of a water Damage:

Do's

  • Do shut off the source of water if possible.
  • Do remove and prop up wet upholstered cushions for drying.
  • Do wipe excess water from wood furniture.

Don'ts

  • Don't enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Don't use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floor. Especially not on wet concrete floors!
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 

Just a few tips from your local SERVPRO! Here to help make it "like it never even happened."

Are you covered?

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

If your home fell victim to a major disaster tomorrow, would your insurance cover the damages? Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and catastrophic storms are typically not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. It's important to read your policy to learn what types of storm damage may or may not be covered.

When purchasing a new home policy it's important to consider the geographic location, weather patterns and flood risk assesments of the area your property is located in. You might perceive additional coverage as an unnecessary cost, but consider the cost to rebuild or repair out of pocket. SERVPRO bases its pricing off national average or market rates, you’ll be thankful you spent the extra funds on these types of coverages rather than having to pay out of pocket. Take the time now to make sure you are prepared for what ever may happen, instead of finding out your not covered in the middle of a disaster. 

Emergency Readiness! Are you ready for whatever happens?

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

There are two keys to weather safety. They are to be prepared for worst and to act accordingly.

  1. First things first, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  2. Be familiar with your environment and surroundings.
  3. Learn about whether or not your property is flood-prone.
  4. Identify dams and flood zones in the surrounding area.
  5. Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  6. Have a plan to secure your property
  7. Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  8. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  9. Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  10. Determine how and where to secure your outdoor vehicles.
  11. Install a generator for emergencies.
  12. If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
  13. Consider building a safe room. 

Does Your Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

5/20/2019 (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 a fallacy. 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 re-mediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –(803)419-0470

SERVPRO of Richland County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Services

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Richland County!

SERVPRO of Richland County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (803)419-0470

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Richland has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Richland County

SERVPRO of Richland County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Does Your Richland County Home Have A Mold Problem

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

In Columbia, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

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 a fallacy. 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.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)419-0470