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Getting children prepared for a natural disaster

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Talk about emergency preparation with your family so that everyone knows what to do. Discussing ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children. 

Involve your entire family in preparation activities, such as assembling a emergency readiness kit. Children can feel reassured knowing there’s a plan in place. 

How to Guide Your Children During a Disaster 

Your Child’s Response May Be Shaped By Yours 

Feelings of fear are healthy and natural, but in a disaster, your children will be looking to you for clues on how to act: 

  • If you show alarm, your child may become more scared, seeing your fear as proof that the danger is real. 
  • If you seem overcome with loss, your child may feel their losses more strongly. 
  • If you are able to demonstrate that you feel calm and in control, your child may feel more confident and better able to cope. 

A Child Who Feels Afraid Is Afraid 

Your child may experience the emergency as being bigger than it actually is. Children's fears can be increased by their imagination, and you should take these feelings seriously. Your words and actions can provide reassurance; be sure to present a realistic picture that is both honest and manageable. 

How to Help Your Child After a Disaster 

What to Expect 

Children depend on familiar routines: wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, play with friends. When an emergency interrupts this routine, they may become anxious, confused, or frightened. These feelings may be expressed in a variety of ways: from clinginess to withdrawal; increased shyness to aggressiveness. Your child may return to previously outgrown behaviors such as thumb-sucking or carrying a cuddly toy. 

What to Do 

When the danger has passed, concentrate on your child's emotional needs by asking what's on his or her mind. Having children participate in your family's recovery activities will help them feel that life will soon return to "normal." 

During their recovery, prevent young children from viewing television news reports of the event. The images can be very upsetting, particularly if the child is too young to realize they are watching repeated footage and not a new emergency. 

We are the Cleaning Experts

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today –SERVPRO Of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties at 252-208-7888

Why SERVPRO?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin and Jones Counties we often get the question of Why SERVPRO?  What is it that SERVPRO can do differently than all the other cleaning and restoration companies out there?  The answer to those questions always start the same way, with the list of all the training and certifications held by SERVPRO employees, the systematic process that are used to manage different projects, and the support provided by corporate and the SERVPRO network.  While those are all valuable assets, what truly sets SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin, and Jones Counties apart is the people.  Between the office manager, production manager and our production team, they average 18 years of experience just with SERVPRO.  This amount of experience provides them with all of the tools and knowledge necessary to handle projects of any type or size.  Whether it's routine carpet cleaning or a large commercial water loss or fire damage, the crew at SERVPRO Lenoir, Duplin and Jones Counties has the experience to make it "Like it never even happened."

How to prepare your home and family for a fire

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Most people take active measures to prevent house fires, but not many people have implemented fire preparation techniques. Yet, fire prep is just as important as fire prevention, and in fact may be more so when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones. If you have yet to implement fire safety procedures, it’s time to do so. Below are five things you can do to get started.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Home for a Fire.

  • Test your smoke alarms. 
  • Plan an evacuation route. 
  • Teach your children what to do in the event of a home fire. 
  • Devise a communication strategy. 
  • Practice.

1. Test Your Alarms

Though your smoke alarms should inform you when they’re low on batteries, it doesn’t hurt to check them periodically. Test them once a month, and to err on the side of caution, replace their batteries at least once a year. 

2. Plan an Evacuation Route

This should be at the top of your fire preparation list. Identify all possible exits for each room in the home and make sure that each family member is aware of where those exits are. Designate a family meeting spot outside. 

3. Teach Your Children 

If you have young children, show them what the fire alarm sounds like and advise them on what to do if they hear one. Inform them of evacuation routes as well. 

4. Plan a Way To Communicate

Put together an emergency contact list and make sure that all family members know who to contact if they cannot find one another. Have your young children memorize important phone numbers, beginning with 911. 

5. Practice

The best way to ensure that all family members know what to do in the event of an emergency is to practice. Host a fire drill every couple of months and devise different scenarios. In doing so, you can increase the odds that everyone knows what to do and how to escape in a real emergency. 

Your fire restoration team or local fire department can review your fire preparation plan and provide additional tips for how to improve it. Don’t cut corners when it comes to fire safety and start planning today. 

Strom Preparations for Your Commercial Property

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

If you work in an area like Eastern North Carolina that experiences frequent storms, you may be wondering what exterior maintenance steps you can do to help protect your business from the weather. Fortunately, there are a few steps that many experts recommend.

1. Know the Weather in Your Area

One important aspect of storm preparation is to be aware of the weather. Knowing when you can expect a large thunderstorm or snow can allow you to prepare ahead of time. This can help you prevent possible damage.

2. Protect the Building as Needed

Depending on the weather you're expecting, you may choose to protect your building. Several possibilities include boarding over windows, or placing tarps over vulnerable landscaping. You may also choose to contact a local professional for a recommendation on preventive steps you can take.

3. Inspect Your Building Regularly

Another aspect of storm prevention is regular exterior maintenance. Scheduling a regular building inspection can help you find and repair any problem areas before they become vulnerable to a storm.

4. Keep up With Repairs

Keeping your building maintained can help prevent long-term damage. Conducting repairs to any damaged areas you find as quickly as possible can help you stay on top of the building's maintenance needs, and help prevent long-term repair cost.

5. Know Who to Call for Any Repairs

Another important step for storm preparation is to know who to call for repairs. In many cases a water damage restoration team can help with any flooding or water damages that may have occurred.

When preparing for a storm, these exterior maintenance steps may help you protect the building. Know what the weather in your area is going to do so that you can prepare beforehand. Inspect the property regularly, and conduct repairs as soon as a problem area is found. For large repair jobs you may want to contact a professional.

Commercial sprinkler systems and what you need to know

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

The fire sprinklers in commercial properties are vital to the safety and continued operations of businesses. However, while many property owners install these systems and forget about them, sprinkler maintenance is pivotal to the continued protection and viability of these systems. Different elements of your sprinklers should be checked at various intervals throughout the year.

1. Every Week

At least once a week you should check the control valves and the gauges. However, this varies based on sprinkler style. Control valves should be tested on any system, ensuring they are properly sealed, free of blockages and in the open position. Gauges on a deluge, pre-action or dry system should be inspected weekly for normal pressure readings.

2. Every Month

General sprinkler maintenance requires that gauges in a wet pipe or water-based system are inspected at least once per month. Also, alarm valves should be checked externally. Primarily, you are looking for any signs of damage and checking that appropriate pressure is sustained.

3. Change of Seasons

Either four times a year or at the change of every season, you should check the alarm devices and the hydraulic nameplate. The devices should be inspected for any physical defects, and the hydraulic nameplate should remain secured to the riser. Also, make sure that the nameplate is legible.

4. Once Per Year

A plumbing specialist in the area should be called out once per year to inspect the entire system. While you may be performing all the required visual inspections, a specialist will ensure that the mechanics of the system are operating as they should be.

Sprinkler maintenance is essential to the proper functioning of your fire suppressant system. Without adequate inspections, it is possible that your sprinklers will be clogged and fail during a time of crisis. Therefore, perform the visual checks as described, and once per year hire a professional.

Smoke Travels Fast

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

If you experience a fire in your home or building, it’s not only the flames that you need to be concerned about. In some cases, smoke can cause even more damage. The following are a few reasons that smoke cleaning should be performed as soon as possible after a fire.

1. Smoke Travels Further Than Flames

Even if the fire was small or contained to a specific area, there may be smoke damage beyond this point. Smoke travels through the air and carries soot and other contaminants as it does. Because of this, it is important to have smoke cleaning done throughout the building, whether the flames spread far or not.

2. It Can Cause Long-Term Damage

While fire damage is often obvious, smoke damage can be less so. Smoke and soot particles can find their way into small crevices where they can begin to cause problems for your belongings. This is especially true for electronics, as the acidic elements in the smoke can cause the metal and hardware to corrode. If you believe that your computers, televisions or equipment have been affected, do not turn them on until they have been examined to prevent making the damage worse.

3. Odor Can Be Difficult to Remove

It may be fairly easy to remove the visible signs of smoke and fire damage, but the smell can linger for long afterward. Smoke particles can become trapped in the walls, carpeting and porous items, so you should include these in the cleanup process as well. Smoke odor can be stubborn, but a fire restoration company will have professional equipment that should be able to remove it from the air and your belongings.

After a fire, it can be easy to focus on the damage that you can see, but you should be sure to pay attention to that which is less visible as well. Performing smoke cleaning is an important part of the restoration process and should be done thoroughly to return your building to its previous condition.

What to do if your home has been damaged in a storm

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

For many homeowners in Kinston, NC, severe storms can be a hassle. They can cause damage to your house that might take a lot of time and money to repair. In some cases, you might not know how to proceed if your house has been affected. Use the following storm tips to get your home back in top shape more quickly.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have experienced storm damage to your home, one of the first things that you should do is call your insurance agent. The claims process can be lengthy, so it’s better to get started sooner rather than later. Many policies have a cut-off for filing a claim as well, so if you wait too long, you might be denied.

2. Hire a Restoration Company

Something else that you should do quickly is to hire an emergency cleanup and restoration company to begin repairs on your home. When damage is left to sit, it can become worse. This will make it more difficult, time-consuming and costly to repair.

3. Document the Affected Areas

While you are waiting for your insurance adjuster to arrive, you can begin documenting the storm damage in your home. Check the house thoroughly and write down everything that has been damaged. You can give this list to your adjuster to help with the claims process. You should take pictures of everything since the insurance company will need evidence of the damage.

4. Prevent Damage From Worsening

One of the most important storm tips to remember is mitigation. This step is necessary to keep damage at a minimum. In some cases, if this is not done, your insurance claim can be denied. It can also increase the amount of time needed for repairs. Board up affected areas to keep water from spreading, and move items to a dry location.

After your home has been damaged, it can be difficult to keep your thoughts organized. You might have a lot of concerns and frustrations. However, keeping these storm tips in mind can help you get through the situation more calmly.

How does your home rate in water damage prevention?

9/7/2020 (Permalink)

Certain factors which eliminate the potential for water damage should be a top priority whether you are shopping for a pre-existing home or property on which you plan to build your own home. Yard grading is a construction or landscaping technique that changes a property’s directional slope.

A pre-existing home that sits on land that slopes downward towards its foundation could be in for destruction after heavy rains, storms and melting snow. Changing the grade to slope away from its foundation effectively could eliminate these risks.

Yard grading around a pre-existing structure can be accomplished by clearing all landscaping within a five-foot area around the home’s perimeter. Low-lying spots or lawn dips could result in post-storm mud and small pools of water. Fill the dips up with clean soil and use a compactor to tamp down the soil.

Another method some homeowners choose to employ is to install a dry creek bed straight up the middle of their land and fill it in with attractive river rocks. This bed-like feature draws runoff deep down into the earth, keeping above-ground outbuildings dry.

If you are considering designing your own home, it’s a lot cheaper to change the home's design than regrade the ground. Draw home plans with the structure on highest ground point. Try to leave at least six inches between the home’s perimeter and landscape plantings.


Some homeowners install gutter systems that are easy to maintain consistently or place river rocks around downspouts, so runoff doesn’t create sinkholes. Homeowners may choose to install double-pane windows or water resistant flooring. Central heat and air units with dehumidifying systems could also help. Area rugs made from natural fibers that are washable and furniture made of moisture repellent materials like bamboo could also prevent moisture build up. Be sure to insulate any plumbing against condensation and 
seal air ducts thoroughly, paying close attention to adjoining seams.

Once you have established a safe, water-tight home environment, you are ready to move into your new residence.

How does water extraction prevent secondary damage?

9/5/2020 (Permalink)

After a Lenoir, Duplin or Jones county residence takes on water from a water leak, restoring a dry interior becomes essential to protecting the home's structure and contents from additional harm. Because water quickly evaporates and turns to water vapor, and then, soon after, condense on other surfaces, it is almost impossible to contain lost water.  If your property is holding water where it should be dry, SERVPRO's water extraction team in Kinston can get things dry, check for current damaged areas, and carry out preventative measures that enhance the work we do. Different materials absorb and retain water, as well as exhibit different ways in which exposure to water affects them. The drying rates also differ between various elements. Knowledge of this information helps us determine the best methods to use while working on your home.  Water extraction begins with an assessment of the area which provides us with valuable information about the materials involved and the amount of water we need to remove. Part of our water extraction work includes removing waterlogged sections of carpet and drywall. Sometimes we can restore carpeting, but this depends on several factors.  
Removing the moisture that microbes need to grow and destroy materials inside your dwelling, as well as stain clothing and other personal belongings, happens when we remove the water vapor these microorganisms require. Without this extra source of moisture, your home's interior structures and contents remain safe from the effects of microorganisms.  Mold damage is not the only type of secondary water damage that homes face when water exists in living areas. Stained sections of ceilings in levels below where the accident took place can appear later. The stains are not because of mold, but the discoloration happens when minute particles leach through the drywall and paint. Other problems that can affect a ceiling include warping. Warped ceilings can become highly risky, as they can collapse from the weight of any trapped water. SERVPRO knows how to rectify both situations and make your home “Like it never even happened.”  Wooden floors and edging that gets wet can become permanently damaged. SERVPRO knows how to dry such aspects of your home, so existing damage decreases in scope. We use industry-accepted procedures, helping these natural components of your home regain their original look as much as possible. SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties can help you get your home restored after a disaster involving water with our water extraction experts. Holding IICRC certificates in several  different areas, we are prepared to take care of every aspect of your home saturated by the water. Contact us by calling our 24-hour service line number 252-208-7888, 365 days a year.