Recent Posts

Clogged Drains

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

At  SERVPRO of Johnston County we see all sorts of water damage caused by all kinds of plumbing disasters. Whether the damage is caused by mechanical failure, human error, storms or accidents we are equipped to deal with them all. However, some are preventable.

Today we are focusing on a preventable disaster that starts in the kitchen. Greasy clogged pipes. YUCK! Never pour any type of fat or grease such as butter, cooking oil, ice cream, gravy, or bacon fat into your pipes or toilets. Not only to save our local sewage pipes and water treatment plants but to save you big bucks on repair costs to your home. Nobody wants raw sewage to back up into your house or yard and cost you big money for the cleanups and plumbing repairs!

Let's all do our part to avoid this! Here are a few tips:
*Do NOT pour grease down the sink or toilet!
*Do NOT use hot water to rinse fat, oil, or grease off pots/pans/plates! Even degreasing soap & hot water cannot eliminate fats, oils or grease. Sure it melts into an easy to remove liquid, but then, it re-forms in the pipes as a hard gunky mess. Over time this can build up and completely clog your pipes.

Instead Do this!

  • Scrape ALL food scraps in the trash or catch them with a sink strainer.
  • Wipe greasy dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or washing.
  • Pour hot fat, oil, or grease into a can or container. Allow to cool or harden then toss it in the regular trash.

If your drains are running slowly and you think there may be a greasy clog it's best to call in a professional to remove the clog before damages occur. If you need help finding a trusted professional give us a call.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions for how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.

Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Future Protection

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions for how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Why Freezing Pipes Are a Problem

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions for how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

House Fires and What to Know

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Home with flames through roof and windows House fire resulting in major structural damage. Flames through the roof and through the windows.

Did you know by having a working smoke detector more than doubles one's chances of surviving a fire?

House fires injure than 6,000 people each year. While this seems like a large amount of people it is important to remember there are ways to help prevent house fires from happening and can assist you in getting out of a building on fire.

  • Smoke Detectors

It is recommended that every home be equipped with smoke detectors on every floor and ideally outside of each sleeping area. Each should be tested monthly and batteries should be changed when you change your clock for Fall and Spring.

  • Fire Extinguishers

By keeping an all-purpose extinguisher (one rated for grease and electrical fires) you are helping decrease the risk of a serious, whole home, house fire. When having an extinguisher in your home it is very important to ensure every able-bodied family member is familiar with hour to properly operate it.

  • A plan to get out of your home if a fire occurs

Having an escape route can be very beneficial if a fire breaks out at your home. Have an escape route for each area of the home and a designated meeting place outside. When planning for a family with young children, be sure to teach them not to hide from fire or smoke and to go to firefighters who are there to help them. Everyone must understand that once you escape, you must never reenter a burning building–no matter what you might have left behind. Make sure to practice your escape plan periodically. It will be easier to remember in case of an emergency. Make sure to practice your escape plan periodically. It will be easier to remember in case of an emergency.

After you've planned for the family, don't forget the pets. Alert firefighters about your pets. Don't rely on window or door decals to alert firefighters–such decals are often found to be outdated. 

GreenSky Financing Available

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Disaster often strikes at the most inconvenient time. I have yet to speak with a homeowner that was completely prepared to deal with the aftermath of storm, water, fire or mold damage. You may or may not have the emergency funds to cover that deductible. Or, perhaps, since your home is already being worked on, you think now would be the perfect time to upgrade to those finishes you’ve been dreaming of but the insurance only allows the funding to replace what you had before and you just don’t have enough money stashed away right now for that.

We have an option for you.

We now offer an avenue for you to finance the repairs and restoration for your home. Go to www.greensky.com/consumer to learn more!

Call us SERVPRO of Johnston (919) 359-2599

It Can Happen to Your Church Too!

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Churches are not immune from the varieties of water losses that afflict residential and other commercial structures.

In the past, we have been involved with three large churches each experiencing a serious loss. One had a large mold situation in their education building. Another had a lift pump failure on their sewage discharge system, and, the other had a fire suppression system failure in their bell tower. Each loss was significant and impacted the operation of each of the churches.

Do not think that losses such as these cannot or will not happen at your church. You must always be vigilant.

Here are some helpful yips to keep these issues from occurring at your church.

  1. Have the church's sewage system inspected by a certified plumber at least once a year. If your church operates a Day Care, semiannual inspections would be appropriate.
  2. If your church is plumbed with a fire prevention suppression system, they should be tested annually. Make sure that the heat sensors can tolerate the level of heat that we have been experiencing recently.
  3. If your church has stand-alone structures it would be wise to keep the structure air conditioned and/or heated, depending on the season. This will minimize the opportunity for mold to get started.

A Plan for Business Owners to Prepare for disaster

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

On average 50% of all small businesses never reopen their doors after facing a water or fire disaster. Yet, many small businesses don’t have an emergency response plan in place to minimize the impact of such a disaster. SERVPRO® of Johnston County can create a completely free of cost Emergency Ready Profile for any business, large or small.

With the SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile:

1) You’ll have an immediate plan of action at your fingertips. The SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile will be available to you as both hard copy and digitally, so that you have access to important emergency information about your building. Whether you own or rent your space having an SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile will save you time, money and headache should a disaster occur. 

2) You’ll know where to find the utility shut-offs. Depending on the size and nature of a disaster, it might be imperative that somebody immediately shut off the gas, water, and/or electricity. During the SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profileappointment we will tag and photograph each shut-off valve location. The profile will also note anything special about their locations. 

3) You’ll have access to all your information in one place. Your SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile will contain: 

  1.  All the numbers you’ll need for utilities, insurance and local authorities.
  2.  The age of your building as well as materials used.
  3.  Parking information for emergency services.

 If you’ve never thought about creating an Emergency Ready Profile now is the time to start. Because disaster rarely offers a warning, you don’t want to be caught off-guard when it strikes. Call Your SERVPRO® of Johnston County to get your personalized Emergency Ready Profile today!

Hurricane Season

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

As a resident of a state that is on the East coast, hurricane season is something we know is on its way. We know it is from June 1st to November 30th. Even though it is a yearly occurrence, you might not always remember what you should have and know in case we are in the path of one of these storms.

  • Portable radio, cellphone, TV or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor conditions. Make sure you have chargers, spare batteries or rechargeable battery packs for devices.
  • Know your evacuation route and have a plan to move to another location in case of evacuation or extended power outages.
  • Put gas in your car and generator before the storm begins.
  • Build an emergency kit with a supply of water (one gallon per person per day); non-perishable, easy to prepare food; first aid-kit; battery-powered or hand-crank radio; flashlights and batteries; multipurpose tool; sanitation and personal hygiene items; extra clothes; copies of important documents in a zip-lock bag; cellphones and chargers; extra cash; emergency contact information; blankets or sleeping bags; and a map.
  • If you have pets, make sure you have a supply of water and pet food and prepare collars, leashes and carries for transport. Make sure you have rabies vaccination documents or tags and have your pet wear an ID tag, if possible.
  • Homeowners who depend on well water should draw an emergency water supply in case power to electric water pumps is interrupted.
  • Bring inside anything that could become a projectile in high winds. Anchor anything too big to bring inside.
  • Find an interior room on the lower level of the building or home to wait out the storm unless directed to evacuate.

Officials also asked that people create an emergency plan ahead of storms, including: how to contact or find each other; setting two meeting places (one near home and another outside the neighborhood); what evacuation routes to take; pet-friendly motels and animal shelters along the route; and planning alternative routes in case roads are blocked or washed out.

Members of every household also should know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning to be able to plan how and when to respond.

 A hurricane watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued and stay informed.

 A hurricane warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s time to complete your storm preparedness and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.

 Tropical storm watches and warnings: Take these alerts seriously. Although tropical storms have lower wind speeds than hurricanes, they often bring life-threatening flooding and dangerous winds.

Stay informed!

Children and Fire Safety

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to children, you can never prepare enough in the event of a fire. Making sure that children know what to do and what not to do can go a long way in safety.

  • What a smoke alarm sounds like: Some children run and hide when an alarm sounds a house-fire warning. Making and practicing a house fire escape plan helps them respond appropriately to the alarm.
  • What a firefighter looks like at a fire: Show your children with the equipment a firefighter may be wearing and/or carrying. Children may hide instead of responding to their calls.
  • Escape routes: Always teach children two ways out of every room (i.e., window and door).
  • Stay low during escape: Crawl as close to the floor as possible under smoke to a safe exit.
  • Test the safety of their exit route: Use the back of the hand to test if a closed door is hot. If it is hot, use another way out.
  • Where to meet after escape: Everyone must meet at a previously designated meeting place outside the home so that firefighters know that all persons are out of the house.
  • How to call for help: Call 911 from a neighbor's home.
  • Stay out: Never go back inside a burning home to get anything such as toys, clothes or pets.

These tips are a great way to ensure your children are prepared in the event you have a house fire.