Recent Posts

Working with Dorchester Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

Working with Habitat and the Stingrays Working hard with Habitat for Humanity and the South Carolina Stingrays.

The past few weeks have been filled with wonderful experiences helping our beloved community.  Our team at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County had the profound opportunity to work with Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, and the South Carolina Stingrays hockey team on a recent build in Summerville, SC.   We got to send some of our staff to work on a new home build for the Dorchester Habitat for Humanity and were able to spend our day giving back to the community and building hope for a couple families. 

The day was spent working with the Habitat for Humanity construction manager as he showed us and the Stingrays hockey players and staff which jobs we would be performing, and what tools we would be using.  He paired us each up and sent us around the two homes being worked on to help with the building process.  From setting new window sills and baseboards, to shoring up the rafters and roof, there was a lot of jobs to be worked on, even painting and finishing up some of the more completed rooms.  There is so much opportunity to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and their ReStore in Summerville. 

As a leading restoration company in our area we are used to having to help people get back into their homes after they have faced unwanted disaster, so we know well the importance of home building and preservation.  But it was something entirely different to be able to volunteer on building someone’s very first home knowing that it’s going to such a great cause for the community, where people may not be able to afford a home of their own.  It was quite humbling to give back in such a way, and utilize some of our team’s skillset in doing so.  We definitely plan to help build in the future on their next project homes.

The whole experience was rounded out with our SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County also being able to make a donation on behalf of Dorchester’s Habitat for Humanity on the special Country Carolina Night at the January 6th South Carolina Stingrays game.  We were able to showcase the great work Dorchester Habitat for Humanity does for our entire community.  It was a fun night of friends, hockey, and community support that provided memories for years to come.  Thank you to the South Carolina Stingrays, and the Dorchester Habitat for Humanity staff, for enjoying such a special night, and overall experience, with our team and work family. 

Expect the Unexpected of Wintertime

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

Pipes bursting, water flowing. Pipes are susceptible to breakage during deep freezes.

When you live in the southeast of America we can enjoy some great weather year round, but when things get bad, they can get really bad.  So we do our best here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County to prepare our community for those instances where weather can turn nasty and wreak havoc across the region.  During the summer and fall months we are in the height of our storm season, and hurricane season, which is a time of year for those living in the Southeast to be generally concerned about storm potential on daily basis, but it’s in the winter months when we can let our guard down, and be completely unprepared for those blasts of chilly air. 

Frigid temperatures are not typically seen across the South and in South Carolina we can go through mild winters where we don’t see many days, or nights of sub-freezing weather but when it happens it can cause a lot of trouble for properties that are generally unprepared for cold weather.  We do not insulate our homes and pipes the way those who see harsher winters may.   Which means we are more susceptible to freezing weather causing pipe breakage.  When that occurs flooding is imminent.  That is why it always really important to know who to call when your property has water damage caused by frozen pipe breaks.

SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County are experts in quick mitigation response and provide 24/7 emergency extraction services for water incursions caused by frozen pipes.  Whether the property is a commercial business or a residential home, we can respond to your disaster in minutes.  Across the area, from North Charleston to Summerville, and from Cane Bay to Moncks Corner, we have you covered for Emergency Services.  It’s incredibly important that your property is stabilized after a water incursion and dried out before the temperatures increase to warmer weather, when mold growth becomes a bigger risk for increased damage. 

The cold and dry weather of winter does not necessarily promote mold growth, so a moisture issue caused by a frozen pipe breakage might not seem like a big problem if the pipe has been fixed and most of the water has been dried up.  Make sure you have an expert like SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County come out and do a moisture assessment to make sure all materials in your property are truly dry.  This will reduce any risk of mold growth when Spring returns, and with it, the warmer weather and humidity.

Always be prepared for freezing temperatures by making sure your critical infrastructure at your property is properly insulated and protected from cold weather.  One way to make sure your property is protected is to inspect your plumbing and add insulation where possible.  It’s also a good idea to keep interior faucets and spigots slowly running during freezing temperatures to assure the water maintains flow and does not freeze up.  You can also wrap spigots on the exterior of the property by wrapping them in cloth and plastic to help prevent freezing.  

If you think you have water damage caused by frozen pipes call us today for an assessment.  And for pipe breaks that have caused standing water in your property call our emergency response team right away.  Our team is ready to respond 24/7 all year long, call us today at 843.552.1226.

Why Fire Damage is the Worst Damage

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

Fires typically start in the Kitchen Fires typically start in the kitchen, but most fire damage can be restored if the fire is put out in time, and a restoration company is called.

As a leader in disaster restoration, SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County understands that there are levels of damage in all scenarios that go from bad to worst.  With commercial and residential property there are many different types of disaster that can occur, from storm related leaks, to appliance failure caused flooding, from mold and mildew, to biohazards caused by sewer backups, you name it, we can mitigate it.  But there is one disaster that reigns over all of them when it comes to property damage, and that is fire damage.  Why is fire damage so bad?

Simply put, fire damage is the worst kind of damage a property can undergo because fire can render materials completely unusable to the point of being destroyed and needing replacement.  And where there is fire, there is smoke, soot and water.  So on top of the damage directly caused by the fire to the contents and materials of the property, there is the added damage caused by the water used to put out the fire and the smoke that permeates throughout the home, getting into all porous and non-porous materials.  Fire departments have one mission when they respond to a fire, and it’s not necessarily to save the property on fire, it typically to save the neighborhood around the property on fire.  And the fire department will save the neighborhood any way they can, and that usually means dumping as much water as possible, and as necessary, into the property to put out the fire. 

But not all is lost.  Even the most heavily damaged property, due to fire, can be restored.   It’s not a fast or easy process, but there is hope when you work with a professional restoration company who are certified to handle fire and soot damage.  The sooner you bring in the experts the better.  Minutes matter when it comes to restoration of damaged and wet materials.  Many materials can be cleaned of soot, and many can also be dried out from water and moisture.  But time is of the essence, and it’s critical that mitigation starts as soon as possible.  It can depend on the length of a fire investigation, and the release of the site after insurance adjusters have determined cause and coverage, but once that process is complete, you will want the mitigation and restoration work to begin.

You cannot easily plan for a disaster, but you can be better prepared.  Beyond taking important measures to assure your property is safeguarded from potential fire hazards you can also work with us here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County on an Emergency Ready Profile.  Creating a profile with us provides an important plan on appropriate steps to take in case of any disaster, but it also puts you directly in connection with a disaster restoration company, that can be dispatched out to you with the push of a button using our app-based Emergency Ready Profile.  Consider our complimentary Emergency Ready Profile today, it can work for both commercial and residential properties. 

Fire damage is the worst, but it doesn’t have to be the conclusion.  A property can be restored if a fire has been contained enough to salvage enough of the property to make it whole again.  If your property has been damaged by fire and you would like us to provide an assessment for restoration, call us today at 843.552.1226.  We are the experts on fire damage, and we can help you determine what needs to be replaced, and what can be restored.  But minutes matter, so call us now, not later. 

Smoke and Soot Remediation Can Protect Your Health

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

Soot particles are microscopic. Soot particles are microscopic in size, and even smaller than a particle of dust. This can pose problems for public health when breathed in.

One of the most difficult situations for people is dealing with the aftermath of a fire.  No matter the size, a fire inside your property, whether it’s a home or a business, can be traumatic and pose dangers to health sometimes unseen.  Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County we have highly trained technicians who understand the significance of smoke and soot in your property and why it is so important to remediate the problem right away. 

Smoke, and specifically soot, can pose a lot of harm to public health.  The main issue is caused by the microscopic size of the soot particles.  Soot is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and chemicals, which can come in a wide variety when you consider what may burn inside a home or business, it’s not just wood burning, there can also be harmful chemicals from plastics and other building materials.  Those particles can penetrate deep into the lung tissue and have been known to cause a variety of health issues including asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks, stroke, and even can cause cancer or premature death.  It’s safe to say you do not want to breathing in soot particles at all.

 Soot is released into the environment in a number of ways.  Soot can come as a liquid, solid or a gas.  Most soot is released into the air in small particles or liquid droplets, landing on everything and also staying within the air.  If you can smell it, it’s in the air.  Our technicians work quickly to clean and wipe down all surfaces to help remediate the damage from smoke and soot.  We also set up equipment that helps scrub the air of the tiny soot particles.  It is very important to clean even what you cannot see, because those particles can cause the biggest problems when they are breathed into our lungs.

We are the experts on fire restoration and we understand the process to assuring your property is cleaned and remediated correctly.  When it comes to smoke and soot you want to be sure you don’t have an issue that will persist if it isn’t handled professionally the first time, preventing health issues is the number one reason you want to restore your property after a fire. 

If your property has been damaged by fire, smoke or soot, please call us right away for an assessment at 843-552-1226.  At SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County we are ready to handle any disaster! 

Did the big Christmas Chill leave your stockings full of water and ice?

1/5/2023 (Permalink)

Burst pipe! Exposed pipes in freezing temperatures can cause them to burst and rupture.

The Lowcountry saw a bitter cold front move in for this year’s Christmas weekend and to finish off 2022.  The cold front brought with it below freezing temperatures during the holiday weekend which caused pipes to freeze all across the region.  The havoc the cold spell wreaked unfortunately caused a few pipes to burst and our phones to start ringing.  Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we have seen many of these types of disasters throughout the years, so we wanted to share a few tips with the community to keep your home protected from freezing temperatures.

Typically homes in the Lowcountry are built one of two ways, on a concrete slab or over a crawlspace.  In both cases your home is connected to a water source, either from the city or a well, underneath the ground.  When you have a crawlspace your pipes are typically running beneath the home and are exposed to the air.  With a concrete slab your pipes will be underground, beneath the slab, and then running up into the home.  Both types of homes are susceptible to freezing temperatures and pipe failure due to ice expanding within the pipe, causing the pipe to burst.

There are ways to prevent your pipes from bursting when we have freezing temperatures sustained for over a twenty-four-hour period.  The best thing you can do is insulate your pipes.  You can do this yourself or have a professional do it, if it hasn’t already been done.  With pipes in a crawlspace this is a smart idea to get done right away.  Its good added protection and can absolutely prevent a disaster but you should still consider following these additional steps of precaution.

Another way to keep your pipes from freezing is to make sure you leave your faucets dripping.  Leaving the hot water side of each faucet left to slow drip will allow warm water to consistently flow through the pipes and preventing them from freezing over.  You especially want to do this with the faucets on the furthest side of the house from where the water comes in because those pipes have the longest runs of piping exposed to freezing temperatures.  It’s also good to make sure the cabinets under sinks and faucets are left open.  This will help the pipes directly below the faucet stay a bit warmer. 

For any outdoor spigots it’s important to detached any hose and bring them inside.  Make sure the valve on the outdoor spigots are shut tight.  It is a good idea to cover the spigot with either a combination of fabric and bags or with a protective cover that they sell at hardware stores.   

These are just a couple tips that help prevent major disasters from happening in your home.  Always make sure you keep your Property Insurance information handy and up-to-date, and it’s never a bad idea to also keep our number handy as well.  Flooding your home with water from a burst pipe in the middle of winter is a disaster that needs to be mitigated right away to prevent further damage and expense.  Always be prepared, always think ahead.

At SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we provide 24/7 Emergency Water Removal Service and Disaster Restoration, and we always have a team member ready to take your call, every day and minute of the year. 

If you think you have water damage caused from a frozen pipe bursting please call us at 843.552.1226.

Customer Service Is Where Great Reviews Start

1/5/2023 (Permalink)

Frustrated customer. It's not easy dealing with disaster. Call the company that cares about your property, and you.

One of the things about SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County that sets us apart from other restoration companies is our focus on customer service.  Our SERVPRO is independently owned and operated by local residents of our Charleston community Brandon and Liz Ferm.  When they opened the business they wanted to stand out, and provide a service that people would truly remember and refer to others, with Brandon’s previous experience in hospitality, the answer was high quality customer service.

In all service based industries customer service is what people will truly remember about your business.  People care about how they are treated, and we understand that it is as important as the hard work our production team does.  We emphasize with our team and staff to always be courteous and kind to the people we talk with.  Kindness can go a long way to make someone feel comfortable and trusting in the work you are about to do in their property.

Typically, our customers are under duress when they speak with us, they are dealing with a disaster that has impacted their lives and property, and that is a very stressful situation to be in.  We work to be empathetic and understanding to their concerns and the emotions that are surely running high.  We feel it is important to assure the customer by walking them through the process slowly and calmly.  Being gracious and kind in these scenarios truly help the customer feel comfortable.  Explaining what we will be doing to the customer’s property in detail really helps the customer feel more in control.

When disaster strikes the team at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County are not just great at taking care of your property, they are also great at taking care of you.  We pride ourselves on our hospitality background and our focus on customer service, we feel it defines our business in a way that separates us from the pack.  We want people to know we care about their property but we also care about their feelings. 

The best results are not just knowing that we fixed and cleaned a property but knowing that we left a customer truly satisfied.  If you have damage to your home or property and need a restoration company, call the one that cares – 843.552.1226

A Fire Disaster is One Mistake Away

10/26/2022 (Permalink)

Fireplace with a lovely glow. Every fireplace should be inspected and cleaned before using. Always have a professional service your chimney once a year before the winter season.

Winter is coming!  So are the fires…

Here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina it’s not typical to use a fireplace.  It is typically reserved for the very coldest part of the year, which is a pretty brief period between January and February.  With such infrequent use of fireplaces, it becomes even more important to consider fireplace safety.   Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston & Dorchester County we have seen our share of home’s ravaged by fire and smoke due to improper use of a fireplace.  With the winter season approaching we thought it was important to share some key tips with our community.

First off, before you even use your fireplace ask yourself a question, when was the last time you had it inspected?  It’s exciting to think about the holidays and sitting by a roaring fire around New Years and all the warm and toasty feelings it creates but forgetting to take this critical step could risk lives, and your home.  Have your fireplace inspected by a professional, and licensed, chimney sweep company.  It’s so important to have a professional clean your chimney and check it for leaks or damage to the components that make up your chimney, like the flue, heat shield and top.

Here are some more important tips:

  • Keep a clearance zone of a few feet. Items NOT allowed in this zone would include any items made of paper like books and magazines; fabrics, including drapes and blankets; and wood.
  • Always use a safety screen made of metal or glass. This prevents flames or burning embers from escaping the fireplace, and keeps flammable items from getting in.
  • For electric fireplaces always use a grounded heavy duty power cable with the proper gauge and wattage rating.
  • For wood burning fireplaces, always use dry wood. Freshly cut wood has high levels of moisture which means more smoke and the potential for deposits collecting inside the chimney.
  • Keep a metal container handy for removing hot embers and ashes, and always store it outside at a safe distance away from the home.
  • NEVER use gasoline, kerosene or lighter fluid to start your fire. Only use newspaper or dry kindling.
  • Keep your chimney clean, look for soot or creosote buildup regularly.

Everyone should get to enjoy an evening around the ambience of a fireplace, just always make sure you take the necessary precautions to enjoy it without the risks of starting a fire.  And even if you don’t have a fireplace and prefer to stand around a fire pit outside, take the same level of precaution and follow local guidelines and laws.  There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a nice winter season using your fireplace and fire pit without causing a fire.  Stay safe out there! 

Critical Response - 24/7 Emergency Water Removal

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO team member is waiting for your call. When you are in an emergency we want you to speak to a valuable member of our team to start the critical response from the very first call.

When you are struggling with a disaster like a bad leak or a flood that has caused your property to experience standing water we understand what it means to be available to help.  Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we provide a 24/7 Emergency Water Removal service and we want to make sure that you are speaking with one of our personnel every time you call. 

It's important to us to know that we are providing the best care possible when a customer is experiencing an emergency where your home or business is flooded and the race against time, and water damage, has begun.  Our care starts with making sure when you call our business that you are speaking with an actual member of our team.  Sometimes you may find that businesses provide a 24/7 service but when you call them you are speaking with an answering service and not an actual employee of the company.  We make sure that your experience with us is personable and thoughtful from the very beginning.

Our water removal is a critical service but here are a couple tips to be aware of before you make that call to have us come out to extract water:

Stop the Leak – Is the water still coming into your home, has the leak not been stopped?  You will want to make sure the source of the flood and standing water is stopped before having us come out to extract.  You will either need to have a plumber come out to fix the issue, or you will need to try to stop it yourself. 

Start a Claim – If you are experiencing a flood and have standing water, you will want to notify your homeowner’s insurance or property insurance company of the issue and start a claim.  They will provide you with a claim #.  You will want to have that insurance information handy when you call SERVPRO.  It makes your life easier.  We can work directly with your insurance company and you avoid being charged our emergency response fee. 

And for those times where you just aren’t sure what to do, call us.  That’s why we provide a live 24/7 phone service where one of our team members will help you through your emergency, providing you with the proper information and getting a team dispatched to your address. 

We truly believe in a critical response that starts as soon as you call us.  That’s why we don’t outsource our phone service and you can always speak with a SERVPRO team member who works here when you call.  Always keep our number handy, in times of emergency you will be glad you did, 843-552-1226. 

Staying Ahead of Leaks and Floods

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

A screw in a pipe causes problems. After removing the drywall we discovered the culprit of water damage and mold issues. Always make sure your plumbing is inspected annually.

So many of our customers who have experienced water damage in their homes typically find out that it was preventable and avoidable with a bit of maintenance.  Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we look not only to help you after the disaster but we also try to help you before the disaster strikes.  This is a reminder to always make sure you are on top of your property and the maintenance required to keep it in top shape.

The little investments that you make now can save you a lot of money and headaches down the road.  One way to prevent disaster is by making sure your plumbing throughout your home or business is running properly and not experiencing any leaks or decay.  It’s a good idea to either check your pipes yourself or have a professional plumber come in for an inspection. 

Many leaks start in the bathroom so that’s the first place you want to keep an eye on.  Look for bad calking around your sinks, toilet and bathtub.  That is something you can remove and replace yourself with some proper online instruction, at minimal cost.  It’s also important to check the grout in the bathtub, on the floors and walls, this assures that water isn’t escaping and causing issues behind or underneath your tile, this is a typical issue that causes a lot of mold where you may not be able to see, yet.  And always check the piping under sinks as that is another cause of leak and moisture intrusions.

If you have a crawlspace have it inspected at least once a year to assure there is no damage to your pipes underneath the house.  You will also want your HVAC checked as well, we find a lot of ducts that are not properly fitted and allow condensation and moisture to build up, which causes mold and water damage. 

And another important area to have inspected and maintained throughout the year is your water heater.  This is one of the number one culprits that cause flood and water damage.  Please make sure your water heater is properly drained and flushed out annually.  This will prevent sediment from building up in the tank and causing it to prematurely decay and breakdown. 

SERVPRO cares about our customers and making sure they are aware of their responsibilities for homeownership or property management.  These basic tips above can save you from a disaster and a lot of headaches down the road. 

Fire Solutions – Step One, Securing the Scene

8/2/2022 (Permalink)

Tarp and board-up for fire damaged home A home with fire damage to the roof and exterior requires tarping and a board-up to secure the property and location.

One of the ways we provide assistance to our local fire departments and first responders is being able to provide them with immediate help with services like Board-ups to secure a scene where fire or an accident has occurred.  Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we pride ourselves on our ability to provide relief and support during the immediate aftermath of a house or business fire. 

Fire is one of the worst disasters that can befall a homeowner or business owner.  It destroys everything it touches and requires a lot of water at times to put it out.  Which means you are left with a sometimes burnt out and sopping wet environment that you have to figure out what to do with.  The first thing we do is help secure the scene from intrusion or further damage.

Board-ups are a service that we provide to fire and police departments, and to the community in general, as it shores up the devastation that might have been caused by the fire.   Where you may no longer have windows or doors, or even walls or ceiling, we provide either plywood or tarps to cover and secure the spaces from intrusion by people, animals or weather.   It can take some time for insurance companies or the fire or police departments to conclude their investigations before any restoration and construction work can begin.  Board-ups provide temporary security until our teams can come in and start putting things back together.

We can also have fencing provided and put up around a location for extreme cases where people need to be kept away for their own safety, and the security of the scene.  Standalone chain link fence is an option for situations where you may have a community to keep safe from a building that may be at risk of collapse or poses direct danger to anyone venturing close to it.  

It’s a good idea to keep our number handy for moments like these when disaster strikes and you need the location secured before the restoration process can begin.  Call us today to inquire more about the services provided for fire damage and securing a scene – 843.552.1226