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Expert Tips to Keeping Your Property Dry in Storm-Prone South Carolina

9/26/2023 (Permalink)

Living in storm-prone South Carolina demands a proactive approach to flood prevention. The state's coastal location and varied climate can lead to heavy rainfall and hurricanes, making flood protection essential for homeowners and property owners. In this blog, we'll guide you through effective flood prevention strategies tailored to South Carolina, helping you safeguard your property and prepare for potential flooding.

Understanding South Carolina's Flood Risk

South Carolina's geographical diversity and coastal proximity expose it to a range of flood risks, from heavy rains to storm surges. As a property owner, it's crucial to be prepared for these challenges and implement measures to prevent flood damage.

Maintain Gutters and Downspouts

Clear, well-maintained gutters and downspouts are your first line of defense against flooding. Regularly remove debris to ensure proper water flow and direct rainwater away from your foundation. Installing gutter extensions can further help prevent water accumulation around your property.

Elevate Outdoor Equipment

Elevate outdoor HVAC units, generators, and other equipment above potential flood levels. This prevents water damage to these systems and reduces the risk of electrical hazards during flooding.

Install French Drains

French drains are effective at diverting excess water away from your property. Consult a professional to determine the appropriate placement and design for your property's specific needs.

Grade Your Landscape

Ensure your property's landscape is properly graded to direct water away from your foundation. Implementing proper grading can significantly reduce the risk of water pooling near your home.

Use Flood Barriers and Sandbags

In anticipation of heavy rainfall or storm warnings, deploy flood barriers and sandbags around vulnerable areas of your property, such as doors and windows. These temporary measures can help redirect water away from your home.

Elevate Living Spaces

If you're building or renovating, consider elevating living spaces above potential flood levels. Elevating structures reduces the risk of flood damage and minimizes the impact of rising water levels.

Invest in Flood Insurance

Given South Carolina's susceptibility to flooding, investing in flood insurance is a smart choice. Standard homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage, so having flood insurance provides additional protection for your property.

Consult Experts

Engage with professionals who specialize in flood prevention, such as landscape architects, waterproofing contractors, and structural engineers. Their expertise can guide you in making informed decisions tailored to your property's characteristics.

Preventing flooding in storm-prone South Carolina requires proactive planning and a commitment to flood prevention strategies. From maintaining gutters and elevating outdoor equipment to installing French drains, grading your landscape, using flood barriers, elevating living spaces, investing in flood insurance, and seeking expert advice, these measures are essential for safeguarding your property. By taking these steps, you're not only protecting your investment but also ensuring the safety and well-being of your family or tenants during times of inclement weather.

The Importance of Regular Home Maintenance: Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your House in Top Shape

8/8/2023 (Permalink)

firefighter in a firee Safety first to protect yourself and others from a natural gas leak.

Natural gas is a valuable source of energy in many households, but it's important to know what to do if you detect a gas leak. Natural gas is odorless, but gas companies add a distinct odorant called mercaptan to help people identify leaks by scent. If you ever smell this rotten egg-like odor, it is crucial to take immediate action to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on what to do if you smell natural gas.

Recognize the Signs

The strong odor of natural gas is the primary indication of a gas leak. If you detect this smell, it's important not to ignore it or assume it will go away on its own. Take it seriously and act promptly.

Avoid open flames and electrical devices. Gas leaks can ignite easily, so immediately extinguish any open flames, including candles, matches, or cigarettes. Avoid using electrical devices, as even a small spark can trigger a fire or explosion.

Open Windows and Doors

Create ventilation by opening windows and doors in the affected area. This helps to disperse the gas and reduce the concentration of natural gas in the air.

Evacuate the area if the gas odor is strong or you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or experience difficulty breathing, evacuate the premises immediately. Alert everyone in your household and anyone nearby to leave the area as well. Do not use any electrical devices or operate any switches or appliances as you exit.

Stay Away and Do Not Use Phones

Once outside, move to a safe location away from the source of the gas leak. Do not use your cell phone or landline phone in the vicinity of the leak, as a spark from the phone could ignite the gas.

Contact your gas utility company or the local emergency services from a safe location. Provide them with your name, address, and a detailed description of the gas smell and any related symptoms you or others may have experienced. Follow their instructions and do not return to the area until it is deemed safe to do so.

Avoid Potential Ignition Sources

While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, do not attempt to turn off gas valves or appliances yourself. Avoid turning on or off any electrical switches or using any devices that could produce a spark, as these actions can cause a gas ignition.

If anyone has been exposed to natural gas for a prolonged period or is experiencing severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Allow Professionals to Assess and Repair

Gas leaks should only be handled by professionals trained in gas line repairs and maintenance. Once emergency personnel arrive, allow them to assess the situation and carry out any necessary repairs or adjustments safely.

After a gas leak incident, it is essential to schedule a professional gas inspection to ensure there are no further issues with your gas lines or appliances. Regular inspections can help prevent future leaks and ensure the continued safety of your home.

Remember, safety is paramount when it comes to natural gas leaks. Always trust your senses and act promptly if you smell gas. By following these steps and seeking assistance from professionals, you can minimize the risks associated with gas leaks and protect yourself and your loved ones from potential dangers. Stay informed, be prepared, and prioritize your safety when it comes to natural gas.

5 Simple and Effective Ways to Get Rid of Mold Odor

5/11/2023 (Permalink)

mold damage Mold odor requires proper steps to eliminating the problem and ensuring home is comfortable and safe.

Mold odor can be persistent and unpleasant, even after the mold itself has been removed. Fortunately, there are effective ways to get rid of mold odor. One method is to use an air purifier or dehumidifier to circulate clean, dry air and remove moisture from the environment. Using an odor-eliminating spray or essential oils can help to mask the mold odor. It's important to note that these methods are only effective after the mold itself has been removed and the underlying cause of the mold growth has been addressed. If you're experiencing persistent mold odor, it's best to consult with a professional mold remediation company to ensure that the underlying issue is properly addressed and resolved.

The odor can linger even after you've removed the mold, making your home feel uncomfortable and uninviting. However, with the right techniques, it's possible to eliminate mold odor and make your home smell fresh and clean again.

Identify the Source of the Mold Odor

The first step in getting rid of mold odor is to locate the source of the smell. Mold often grows in damp and dark places such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. Check these areas for signs of mold growth and moisture, including discoloration, water stains, and musty smells. Once you've identified the source of the mold, you can take steps to eliminate it.

Clean the Affected Area

The next step is to clean the affected area thoroughly. Use a solution of water and white vinegar to clean the surface, and then use a HEPA vacuum to remove any mold spores that may be present. Make sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from mold exposure.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can help absorb moisture and eliminate mold odor. Sprinkle baking soda over the affected area, and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Then, vacuum up the baking soda with a HEPA vacuum.

Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is another natural deodorizer that can help eliminate mold odor. Place small bowls of activated charcoal in the affected area, and let them sit for a few days. The charcoal will absorb moisture and odors, leaving your home smelling fresh and clean.

Increase Ventilation

Finally, increasing ventilation in your home can help prevent mold growth and eliminate mold odor. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate, and use fans or dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels. This will help keep your home dry and prevent mold growth in the future.

In conclusion, getting rid of mold odor requires a multi-step approach that includes identifying the source of the mold, cleaning the affected area, using natural deodorizers, and increasing ventilation. With these simple techniques, you can eliminate mold odor and make your home a comfortable and inviting place to be.

Soot Webs: What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them?

4/10/2023 (Permalink)

house fire damage Soot webs, give SERVPRO a call for your fire damage property.

Have you ever noticed a black, cobweb-like substance accumulating around the ceilings, walls, and corners of your home? This is known as soot webs, and they can be a nuisance to clean up. Soot webs are not only unattractive, but they can also be a sign of a more significant problem with your home's heating system. In this blog post, we will discuss what soot webs are, what causes them, and how to prevent them from forming.

Soot webs are not actual cobwebs, but rather they are a collection of fine black particles that have accumulated due to incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, gas, or wood. These particles are tiny, measuring less than 1 micron in diameter, and are invisible to the naked eye. When they accumulate in large enough quantities, they can create the appearance of a cobweb.

Inefficient Heating

One of the main causes of soot web formation is an inefficient heating system. When fossil fuels are burned, they release a variety of byproducts, including water vapor, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter. Incomplete combustion can result in the release of soot, which can then accumulate on surfaces throughout your home.

Other factors that can contribute to soot web formation include a dirty furnace or boiler, a clogged chimney, and poor ventilation. When your heating system is not functioning properly, it can lead to incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, which in turn can lead to the formation of soot webs.

Underlying Issue

If you notice soot webs in your home, it is important to address the underlying issue promptly. Ignoring the problem can result in more severe issues, including a potential fire hazard. To prevent the formation of soot webs, regular maintenance of your heating system is crucial. This includes regular cleaning of your furnace or boiler, as well as regular chimney cleaning.

Improve Ventilation

You can also take steps to improve the ventilation in your home. This includes opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and using exhaust fans in areas where moisture is prevalent, such as the bathroom and kitchen.

It is also important to ensure that you are using the correct type of fuel for your heating system. Using a fuel that is not recommended for your particular system can result in incomplete combustion and the formation of soot.

In conclusion, soot webs are a common issue that can be caused by an inefficient heating system, poor ventilation, and the use of incorrect fuel. Regular maintenance of your heating system and proper ventilation can help prevent the formation of soot webs in your home. If you do notice soot webs, it is important to address the underlying issue promptly to prevent any potential fire hazards.

Prepare your home for Spring

3/16/2023 (Permalink)

ceramic faucet Prepare for Spring, spring cleaning to get rid of the old.

Spring cleaning can be a daunting task. However, if you prepare your home for the season before it gets too warm, you'll save yourself from an overwhelming mess.

Clean windows, doors and frames

Clean windows, doors and frames. Vinegar and water are an effective combination for cleaning glass surfaces. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle, then use the mixture to clean your windows. Use a squeegee to remove excess water from the window and dry it with a soft cloth when you're finished cleaning it. If you want to do touch-ups after this initial cleaning process, try using rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar; it works just as well but smells better!

Clean window screens (if applicable). Screens should be removed from their frames whenever possible so that they can be thoroughly cleaned without damaging any part of your home's interior design aesthetic.

Wash your floor

Washing your floors is a great way to prepare for spring. While you're at it, give them a good scrubbing with hot water and soap (you can use dish detergent). Then wipe them down with a dry cloth in case there are any streaks left behind by the cleaning solution.

If you need more help getting rid of tough spots or stains, consider using vinegar and baking soda instead of harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. They're both effective at removing dirt without damaging your hardwood floors' finish.

Remove winter coats and heavy blankets from the room

Remove winter coats and heavy blankets from the room. If you have a closet or storage space that is large enough to store your winter clothing, then it's best to put them away there. However, if your house does not have enough space for this, then consider buying some extra shelves for your bedroom wall.

You could also use an old dresser drawer or chest of drawers as an additional storage place for these items during the warmer months when they aren't needed anymore. Make sure that whatever container you choose has enough room inside so that everything fits comfortably without being crammed together tightly (this will save wear-and-tear on your belongings).

Dust ceiling fans, vents, light switch covers and door knobs.

Use a duster to remove dust from ceiling fans, vents and light switch covers. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush attachment on the hose attachment to clean off fan blades and other hard-to-reach areas. If that doesn't work well enough for you, dampen a rag with water or vinegar to help cut through some of the grease buildup and wipe down those surfaces until they look clean again.

Spring cleaning is a great way to get your home ready for the warm weather. It's also a great way to get rid of clutter, so you can start the year fresh and enjoy the outdoors without being bothered by clutter.

Spring cleaning isn't just about getting rid of old items, it's also about making sure everything in your home works properly. If something needs repair or replacement, now's the time to do it before summer rolls around again!

If you want to enjoy the spring, it's time to do some cleaning. This will not only make your home look good, but also allow you to breathe fresh air and feel more relaxed.

What is the Water Damage Restoration Process?

2/17/2023 (Permalink)

air mover for water damage Air movers are used to help restore your property after a water damage.

Water damage restoration is a complicated process that requires expertise, experience and teamwork. The water damage restoration process is organized into three stages, water removal, drying, cleaning and disinfecting. Each stage is important to the overall success of your project. It’s not something that can be completed in a single visit, or even over the course of several days or weeks. It’s a long process that requires expertise, tools and equipment to complete correctly.

Water Removal

This is where you get rid of any wet or soaked materials that have been exposed to water. Content of the property should be removed and disposed of properly. The property can also be begin the drying process using fans and dehumidifiers where necessary. They may use dry ice to help keep the room cooled down to help prevent secondary damages.

Your water damage experts will first be dispatched to your location to pump or suction standing water from the building. Once they’ve removed as much of this moisture as possible, they will begin addressing any issues caused by high humidity levels in your home or office space—often by installing dehumidifiers and fans throughout affected areas to move air more quickly through these spaces and reduce unwanted moisture buildup on surfaces such as wood floors, drywall, cabinets and appliances (like refrigerators).


Air movers, dehumidifiers, heaters, and sometimes moisture meters are put in place to help expedite the drying process. Moisture meters are used to help measure the amount of moisture in the property and damage to put together a plan of action for water removal.

The use of equipment such as truck-mounted vacuum and industrial pumps enables SERVPRO to remove large amounts of water quickly, efficiently and safely. The truck-mounted vacuum is used for large areas where there is little access or where it’s impractical to transport heavy equipment in by hand.


The final step is cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to remove contaminants from the area. This step is usually done by a professional, but if you're feeling up to it, you can also do it yourself. The cleaning process is done with a combination of chemicals and vacuuming. After this final step, you will be able to move back into your home again! You may still need to take care of items that were warped or damaged by flooding water, but at least now it's safe for you and your family members to live without interruption.

When water damage is present in your home, don't wait! Give the professionals a call at SERVPRO a call for your water damage restoration emergency. 

Where Should I Install Smoke Alarms in My Home?

1/18/2023 (Permalink)

Smoke detector. Smoke alarms are a great way to keep your home safe from fire. But, it's important that you know where they should and shouldn't be installed.

A fire can be dangerous and deadly, but also preventable. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure your home has smoke alarms installed in strategic locations throughout the house. If you aren't sure where these locations are, or if you aren't sure how many smoke detectors you need, read on to find out more about both topics!

How many smoke detectors are necessary for a home?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing smoke alarms on each floor of the house, as well as one smoke alarm in each bedroom. To determine how many smoke detectors you need, you'll need to know how many floors and bedrooms are in your home. 

Where are the smoke alarms supposed to be installed?

Smoke alarms are to be installed in every room of your home, as well as near any heat source. This includes fireplaces and space heaters. They should also be placed on each level of a multi-story home, and in any area where people sleep (like bedrooms).

FEMA recommends that you have at least one smoke alarm for every 50 square feet of living space in your home. If you live in a large house with multiple floors, that number goes up to 100 square feet per alarm.

You should also make sure they're easy to reach from anywhere in the house—so don't put them behind closed doors or cabinets!

What locations shouldn't have smoke alarms?

You should not install a smoke alarm in any room, closet, or area of your house that has insufficient air circulation. Areas without adequate ventilation are known as "dead airspaces." These can include bathrooms and attics. 

Another important location for your smoke alarms is not within 300 millimeters of a wall-ceiling corner, as this may interfere with the signal strength of your smoke detector. You also want to keep them a few feet away from any high-energy appliances like stoves or ovens, because the heat emitted by these appliances could cause false alarms.

How can you make sure your smoke alarm is working properly?

To test your smoke alarm, you'll need to remove its cover. Pressing the test button should cause it to emit a shrill beeping sound and show a green light on its face. If this doesn't happen, replace the batteries with new ones (or with rechargeable ones if you have those).

Make your home as safe as possible from fire.

With the introduction of smoke alarms, thousands of lives have been saved from fires every year. Smoke alarms are required by law in most jurisdictions and are relatively inexpensive. They can be installed easily but should be replaced every few years due to their limited lifespan. The best time for you to install a new smoke alarm is right now!

Smoke alarms are a great way to keep your home safe from fire. But, it's important that you know where they should be installed and where they shouldn't be installed. You should also make sure that they're working properly by testing them regularly and replacing batteries on a regular basis as well.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Home for Winter Weather

12/9/2022 (Permalink)

Kit supplies Stock up on emergency supplies

Preparing Your Home For Cold Weather

Winter is here, and it's never too early to prepare for the season. While you can't always control the weather, you can take steps to make sure that your home is safe during this time of year. Here are three steps you can take to make sure your home is prepared for the colder weather coming your way.

Winterize Your Home

Get a professional to inspect and make repairs to your furnace, water pipes and windows before winter. Seal cracks with caulk or foam insulation around doors and windows to prevent cold air from seeping in. Check the condition of your roof for leaks or damaged shingles that could cause problems if snow accumulates on them. Repair any issues before it snows heavily this season, so you'll be protected during the worst of winter's weather conditions.

Inspect Your Heating System

The first thing to do is to make sure your heating system is in good repair. Some of the things you should check include:

  • The furnace, boiler and water heater all being clean and in working order.
  • The thermostat is set properly for the current weather conditions by a professional HVAC technician. If it works well, you'll stay comfortable without wasting energy or money!
  • Filters are clean and working properly on each air conditioner or furnace unit in the home (including window units). Cleaning them will help keep them from getting clogged with dust and dirt that could cause damage later on.

Stock up on Emergency Supplies

It’s best not to wait until the last minute when snow is fast and furious, so prep your home now. Make sure you have food, water and medicine. Store enough food to last at least three days. Keep non-perishable items in an open area of your kitchen or pantry (not your refrigerator) so they don’t lose their nutritional value if temps drop below 40 degrees F. Water is another must-have—you may need several gallons per person per day, which means more than one jugs Make sure you rotate expired items so nothing goes bad.

You will also need to make sure you have flashlights and batteries. It's always a good idea to keep plenty of flashlights around in case of a power outage (especially if you live in an area where storms can knock out electricity for days). Batteries are also essential for phones, radios and other electronics—and make sure you get fresh ones every chance you get! You might want to invest in rechargeable batteries as well; otherwise it'll be tough keeping them all charged up when the weather doesn't cooperate!

Finally, you want to make sure you have warm clothes and blankets. If recent history has taught us anything about winter storms, it's that they can bring unexpected drops in temperature while making roads slick with ice or snow - so make sure everyone has warm clothing before anything bad happens out there! Blankets are also critical since blankets help retain body heat during cold spells - especially true if it gets really cold outside overnight due to lack thereof heat inside buildings like ours here at home base. So get prepared early by stocking up now on those essentials before Mother Nature strikes again this year!

Being prepared for the first winter storm before it hits is imperative for protecting yourself, your family, and your home. Give SERVPRO of Beaufort County, Hilton Head, Bluffton, Jasper a call if you experience storm damage to your home, and we will get your Bluffton, SC home back to normal.

3 Steps for Safely Handling a Flooded Basement

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A flood in your home can be devastating.

How To Handle a Flooded Basement

Whether your flooded basement is the result of torrential rain, a broken dam, or melting winter snows, the result is almost always the same: unwanted standing water. Here are three steps for safely handling your basement flood.

1. Switch Off the Utilities

Turning off the electricity or gas to your home may be a problem if your home’s breaker box or meter is in the basement. If so, contact the utility companies and request they turn the power and gas off. Turning the utilities off before you begin any cleanup effort can help ensure your work environment is a safe one.

2. Locate a Professional Team

Many people panic when they find their Beaufort City, SC, basement floor flooded with water. The loss of stored items, children’s bedrooms, or an extra living area with all the sundry additional items those rooms entail, can be upsetting. Calling in a professional water mitigation team can help you make sure your damaged basement has insurance coverage because the professionals often document everything they do. They can also help save as many of the basement floodwater-damaged items as possible because the knowledgeable team can help you tell the difference between what can be saved and what should probably be thrown away.

3. Remove the Standing Water

The first thing the water damage team will typically do is remove the standing water and investigate for signs of structural damage. Water removal is important because standing water can:

  • Encourage mold growth
  • Cause foundation damage
  • Ruin walls and insulation

Once the water is gone, the team can begin cleaning and disinfecting the area, and, if needed, technicians can generally begin rebuilding the damaged areas.

A flood in your home can be devastating. Don’t let it paralyze you; instead, take the above three steps to help minimize the damage of any basement flood. You can fight back when you have a professional water mitigation team on your side.

Is There a Noise Coming From Your Water Heater?

11/12/2022 (Permalink)

Close up of a water heater It might be time to call a plumber if your water heater is making strange noises.

Is Your Water Heater Making Any Noise?

Water heaters are a staple of the home, and they can be used for decades if properly maintained. Most water heaters are installed when a house is built or remodeled, so it's likely that your home has an older model. Over time, these appliances develop quirks and become less energy efficient. The good news is that if you have an older water heater in need of repairs or replacement, it's not as expensive as you might think!

Is your water heater making noises?

  • Is your water heater making noises?
  • When it heats, does the water heater make a loud noise?
  • When it cools down, does the water heater make a loud noise?
  • Does your drain valve open and close with a loud bang when flushing out sediment or other debris that has accumulated inside of it?

Troubleshoot common issues and learn how to repair a water heater

The thermostat is one of the most common causes of water heater noise. A defective or mis-adjusted thermostat can cause the water heater to heat unnecessarily, and this excessive heating causes vibrations that can be heard as clicking or knocking sounds. If you suspect your hot water heater's thermostat is causing excessive vibration, check it for proper operation.

The pressure relief valve should never make any loud noises when heating cycle is complete, but if it does, there are a few possible causes. The gas pilot light may have been accidentally turned off while no one was home or while they were away on vacation; it's important to turn this back on before doing anything else because otherwise the pilot light will go out and leave you without heat in your house until someone remembers to relight it again!

If there are any cracks or leaks in the tank itself—or if its seams aren't tight enough together—water will seep out during periods where usage is high (i.e., morning showers), causing excess pressure inside which could potentially damage wiring components within if left unchecked long enough; resulting from these problems might include hearing strange noises coming from your system when trying something like turning on an appliance like a dishwasher (which uses lots of cold water).

Sediment or debris can cause unusual noise

When sediment builds up in your water heater, it can cause a lot of noise during its operation. This is because the sediment will rub against the inside of your water heater as it heats up and cools down. If you hear unusual noises coming from your hot water heater, there's a good chance that some debris has built up at the bottom of your unit.

The best way to deal with this problem is flush out your water heater or to call a professional plumber who can clean out any debris that may be causing trouble within your system. It isn't dangerous, but it could be causing damage if left unchecked!

If you hear odd sounds from your water heater, it may be time to call a plumber. They can help you troubleshoot the problem and get your water heater back up and running as soon as possible.