Recent Posts

What Are Soot Webs? | SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County

11/2/2023 (Permalink)

A web on a pole What are these black webs on my window shades?

When you are in the Fire Restoration business, you see a lot of damage caused by fires. Sometimes, fire damage is hidden behind walls or in attic spaces, while other Charlotte, NC fires cause more visible damage. We’ve seen all levels of damage over the years, and one phenomenon that mystifies some of our customers is soot webs. Soot webs, also called soot tags, are nothing to fear.

What are soot tags?

While it might look like a gigantic “fire spider” has come into your home, we can assure you that is untrue. Soot tags have nothing to do with spiders and are caused by air circulation and soot.

Soot tags happen when petroleum or synthetic-based sources burn in areas with low circulation. When a fire burns in your Pineville, NC, home or business, the hot air will move to cooler areas to create an equilibrium. As the soot from these petroleum or synthetic sources rises, it travels with the air into colder areas with lower circulation. As the soot concentrates in these low-circulation areas, they can create long chains of soot. The long chains are created because the soot is charged from the combustion process, making it attract other similar particles.

While you might be worried that soot has coated an existing spider web or the elusive “fire spider” has been in your home, the reality is much simpler.

Have you had a fire emergency?

If your home or business in Matthews, NC, and the surrounding areas experience a fire emergency, be sure to call SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County. We are always Faster to Any Size Disaster to help restore your home or business to its original state.

If you have more questions about soot tags or other fire-related damages, please email us at or call us at (704) 840-6112.

Find more fire-related information from the National Fire Protection Association, the Charlotte Fire Department, or the Pineville Fire Department.

Ladder Safety | SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County

8/1/2023 (Permalink)

man on a ladder cleaning a wall and a woman on the floor cleaning the wall Ensure you are following proper ladder safety.

After a water or fire disaster, chances are you will find yourself on a ladder at some point. We would prefer that you let us assume the risk and perform the mitigation for you, but sometimes after a disaster, you feel like you need to "do something" to make things better.

We understand how our clients may feel when they begin to face damage from their water or fire loss. If you are going to get on the ladder, SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County wants to ensure you follow proper ladder safety.

We have an IICRC Health and Safety Certified technician on staff. In addition, our teams always follow OSHA guidelines to keep technicians and our customers safe.

Here are the OSHA ladder safety guidelines we follow:

  • Always read and follow all labels, markings and warnings on the ladder.
  • Avoid electrical hazards - Always look above the area you are working in for power lines, and never use a metal ladder when working near electricity.
  • Always maintain 3-point contact while climbing - Keep either two feet and a hand or two hands and a foot on the ladder.
  • Only use ladders and accessories for the manufacturers' intended purpose.
  • Keep any slippery material off of ladders.
  • Always fully open and lock step-ladders or other self-supporting ladders before putting any weight on them.
  • Place ladders on stable and level surfaces. If the surface is unstable, secure the top or bottom of the ladder to prevent falling.
  • Never place a ladder on top of boxes, barrels or other unstable elevated surfaces.
  • Do not move ladders while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
  • When using a ladder to reach an elevated surface, ensure the ladder extends three rungs above the surface.
  • Place the ladder base a quarter of the ladder's working length from the wall or vertical surface.
  • If the ladder is in an area where other work activities could move it, it must be secured to prevent displacement.
  • Be sure extension ladders are properly locked.
  • Never exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Make sure to factor in the weight of any tools.
  • Have a second person to help spot you and steady the ladder.

Our SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County team always follows OSHA and IICRC guidelines when remediating water and fire disasters.

Why We Are Faster to Any Size Disaster | SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County

7/14/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County team walking equipment into a building near their trucks Residential and Commercial Restoration and Cleaning Services

When water damage occurs, SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County needs to be Faster to Any Size Disaster. The clock is ticking, and it is easier, more cost-effective, and more efficient to mediate your water loss as soon as possible.

What is happening? Here is the usual timeline:

  • Within minutes of water entering your home, water contamination begins to spread, and furniture finishes become damaged and begin to leach into fabrics.
  • Within hours, furniture soaking in water will begin to swell and delaminate, causing permanent damage. Odors are amplified by the humidity, and fabric dyes begin to bleed.
  • If water has not been removed in a few days, fungi will begin to appear, wood floors and structures will start to warp and be rendered unsalvageable, and drywall, baseboards, and cabinets start to swell. Paint and wallpaper will begin to peel.
  • After a few weeks of water in your Charlotte home, mold will begin to damage organic materials. Affected materials will need to be properly mitigated or be disposed of for the safety of the inhabitants.

Water can cause damage very quickly, which is why it is so important to begin remediation immediately. If your Charlotte, NC, home has experienced a water disaster, remember SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County is here to help service and support our neighbors and friends in South Mecklenburg County. We are ready to help you make it “Like it never even happened."

What Happens to Personal Belongings After a Water Loss? | SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County

6/12/2023 (Permalink)

Photo of a man on his couch, surrounded by water, calling SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County for help. Quickly call SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County when your home has water damage for immediate help

Several factors determine whether your home's various belongings can be salvaged. Porosity plays a significant role in helping our team determine the potential of saving certain materials and how to address the cleanup and restoration plan. We often group things into several categories, which are:  

  • Porous Materials: These materials require immediate attention and have a higher permeance rating. Porous items and building materials absorb water fast and are prone to rapid deterioration. These items are the most often replaced after contact with water.
  • Semi-porous Materials: These are mid-level materials in terms of permeance. Bricks and OSB (Oriented Strand Board) boards that can take longer to pull moisture out of are all considered semi-porous materials.
  • Non-porous Materials: These items absorb little to no water. However, if left long enough for water to take hold, it can take a very long time to dry these items.
 Throughout your interior, multiple layers of porosity and permeance pose a challenge for drying. When faced with absorption differences, our skilled water damage technicians have the training and equipment to address them. We use various drying tools, including air movers, extractors and dehumidifiers, to remove moisture and lower humidity in your home.  If you have experienced a water loss in your Charlotte, NC, home, be sure to follow all CDC guidelines.

How To Deal with Smoke Damage from Nearby Fires | SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County

6/8/2023 (Permalink)

Photo of a house in a neighborhood with smoke billowing in the distance from a wildfire Can smoke spread from nearby fires into my home?

Even the smallest of fires can create large amounts of smoke damage, and that damage isn’t just confined to the area of the fire. Fires can spread smoke for miles, so even that little fire a few doors down could cause smoke damage in your home. If your home or business has suffered smoke damage because of a fire near you, there are some steps you can take.

  • You should first speak with your insurance agent to discuss how damages will be covered. Smoke damage is often covered by most insurance policies, but be sure to check yours and improve your coverage if needed.
  • Be sure to thoroughly document damages by noting the date of the fire, location, types of damages and losses, injuries, and description of damages. Make sure to include images of all damage as well.
  • It is also important to understand that even though some items may not appear smoky, they may still need to be replaced. Electronics can make this especially difficult. Smoke can easily enter through the vents of electronics causing internal damage that may not be visible externally.
  • After you have documented damages, turn the rest over to professionals. There are often dangers associated with cleaning soot and ash from items that professionals know how to deal with. Smoke can very easily spread throughout your home if you aren’t careful, and some items need specialized cleaning to remove tough soot stains. Your technicians will have the right gear to deal with these dangers and protect your belongings.

Many factors go into determining the extent of damage, and without the experience and knowledge that comes from professionals, certain damages may be overlooked. If you are unsure whether or not items can be saved, a fire restoration specialist can help you determine the extent of the damage.  If you notice a fire near you, take steps to keep your family, friends, employees, and others safe first, then call the proper emergency authorities. When it has been determined safe for you to return to your property, call your insurance company and SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County to make it "Like it never even happened."

It’s Hurricane Season – Take Steps to Prevent Water Damage | SERVPRO® of South Mecklenburg County

6/1/2023 (Permalink)

Photo of a stormy sky and street sign that reads Hurricane Season June 1 marks the first day of the 2023 Hurricane season

Hurricane rainfall presents an opportunity for water damage to your property. Leaks and floods can cause damage and require that you temporarily move out of your building while it’s restored. This presents a challenge as you want to get back to business as usual as soon as possible! Furthermore, severe leaks can lead to floods which can increase your risk of exposure to mold, chemical hazards, injuries, and more.

Fortunately, these inconveniences are preventable! Whether your water emergency occurs in an office building or big box store, it is imperative that you take measures to prevent leaks and damage to your property. Keep a look out for the following:

Damaged Windows

Water can seep through windows that aren’t properly sealed. This can cause mold build-up and damage to walls. Because caulk, the material that’s often used to seal windows, breaks down over time, be sure to have your windows resealed regularly.

Broken Pipes

Changes in pressure throughout the year and cold weather can cause pipes to break and burst. Although there are some tell-tell signs of this issue, such as water stains on walls or floors or an unpleasant and musty smell, detecting leaky pipes is challenging. With that said, it’s best to consult a professional to help determine whether your property has broken pipes.

HVAC Problems

Hurricane season often coincides with colder temperatures so we crank up the heat! However, ducts in the HVAC system can get worn out and damaged over time, especially during seasons like this, and cause leaks. For that reason, the system needs to be cleaned regularly and any water in it needs to be removed. Like broken pipes, it’s sometimes difficult to determine whether your HVAC system is causing a leak, so it’s best to consult a professional.

One of the best ways to get ahead is to create an Emergency Ready Profile. This is an immediate plan of action for how to restore your building after a disaster and get back to business. Additionally, we have 360 degree technology to document preloss conditions, including your equipment and where it was before disaster struck.

If you want to prepare your business for future disasters, contact us today and we will help you create an Emergency Ready Profile.

Team Bowen Expands SERVPRO® Franchise Territory into Charlotte and Surrounding Communities

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Map of Eastern U.S. caling out new Team Bowen Franchise locations “Here we GROW again! Team Bowen is ready to make it “Like it never even happened®.”

Team Bowen is excited to announce our expansion in Charlotte, North Carolina, which will add to the existing SERVPRO franchise in East Mecklenburg/Matthews. East Charlotte, Northeast Mecklenburg County, and South Mecklenburg County are now a part of the Team Bowen franchise. This means over 250,000 additional households and 8,000 businesses will receive support when in need of emergency response due to fire, water, or mold damage.

These additions are part of our commitment to helping our local communities flourish. We are available 24/7, 365, and are ready to take your call. Although we can’t prevent a disaster, we are ready for whatever happens!

“We are humbled yet excited to continue to grow and expand our market presence in the Charlotte community,” Bruce Bowen, CEO of Team Bowen, commented. “Our team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect, have allowed us to expand our footprint and still provide that same quality service throughout the southeast. These locations are key to our regional coverage. Whether it is a storm event or a complex commercial/industrial loss, quick response time is critical. Our team has the resources, manpower, and equipment necessary to respond to these specific situations. We are the National Disaster Recovery Team.”


For more than 50 years, SERVPRO® has been a trusted leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation, and biohazard and pathogen remediation. SERVPRO’s professional service network of more than 2,000 individually owned and operated franchises spans the United States and Canada, responding to property damage emergencies large and small – from million-square-foot commercial facilities to individual homes. When disaster strikes, homeowners, business owners, and major insurance companies alike rely on SERVPRO® to make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® Team Bowen

In 1977, Barry and Beth Bowen decided to follow their passion for service to others with their careers and set out on a mission to build a reputable and respected property damage restoration company in Tuscaloosa, AL. Having grown up entrenched in the family business, it was no surprise when the current owners, Bruce and Brian Bowen, took over in 2004. Now based in Montgomery, AL., the Bowen Team has franchise locations in Montgomery, AL., Norcross, GA., Charleston, SC., and Charlotte, NC. Today, due to their continued dedication and hard work, we are a leader and trusted name in mitigation, remediation, restoration, reconstruction, and premier cleaning throughout Southeast and U.S.

Our team has more than a century of combined restoration experience. Each team member is equipped with unique and practical skills to excel in every project and exceed the expectations of our customers. Furthermore, we have an extensive inventory of restoration equipment designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of every facet of mitigation and reconstruction for damaged homes and businesses that we serve, no matter how big or how small.

Click below to find more information on our expansion:

SERVPRO East Charlotte

SERVPRO South Mecklenburg County

Fire Pit Safety Precautions

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Keep your family safe around the fire pit

Whether you’ve used your fire put hundreds of times or just installed a new one, learning about fire pit safety is always important. Keep your friends and family safe when you follow these helpful tips: 

Select The Right Site

Fire pits should always be placed on level ground at least 10 to 20 feet away from any structure, or plants. Overhanging trees can easily catch fire when flying embers come into contact with leaves or bark. Trim back trees or find an open area for your fire pit. Some local laws may require a minimum distance from structures, so always check local Charlotte, NC, guidelines. 

To prevent the fire from spreading on the ground, keep the area clear of sticks and other flammable debris. If your ground cover is currently something like mulch or pine straw, replace it with pebbles, sand, or brick. 

Use Proper Fuel

If you have a wood burning fire pit using the proper fuel is essential to your safety. Always use dry, properly seasoned wood. Using woods that are not intended for fire pits can release toxic fumes or burn too quickly and create dangerous flames. Using soft wood or wood that hasn’t been dried properly can cause pops and crackles. When preparing the wood, always cut the pieces to less than three-quarters of the length of the fire pit, and never use a fire starter or gasoline to get the flames started. 

Safe Seating

When choosing your seating for the fire pit area, opt for chairs that are secured to the ground, or heavier options that are more difficult to move. This prevents people from pulling the chairs too close to the fire. Avoid chairs with flammable materials like polyester camping chairs or flammable outdoor throw pillows. When shopping for furniture, search for non-flammable options that are designed for use near fire pits. 

Fire Blanket & Extinguishers 

In the unfortunate event the fire does spread from your fire pit, it is best to have the necessary safety equipment nearby. Having a fire blanket is essential if someone gets too close to the fire. A fire extinguisher should also be stored nearby, but be sure you have the right class fire extinguisher. Be sure you are using a class B or C extinguisher. Once you have the right class, be sure you and those around you know how to use a fire extinguisher properly. 

If your fire pit resulted in a fire that spread to your home, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. Call us at (704) 840-6112 anytime for all of your restoration needs.

Is There Water Behind That Wall or Under That Flooring?

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier drying a wall leak in a baby's room

A water loss is something that always requires immediate attention, and should be remediated by professionals.

Water damage can come from many sources in your Charlotte, NC, home.

  • Most types of water damage, like burst pipes and floods, are easy to notice, but leaks behind walls and under the flooring are not always so easy to see.
  • By the time homeowners see a leak coming from the wall, ceiling, or flooring, it has often caused a significant amount of damage.
  • Leaks hidden in walls can be especially difficult because flooring, drywall, support beams and sheetrock can absorb the water.
  • If a leak is left long enough it can cause structural damage in your home and raise restoration costs. 

Even though you think you have dried it up with that mound of towels and put a fan on it for a few days, the water is most like still there. It can often seem invisible, but there are a few signs to look out for:

  • Musty odors
  • Flaking or peeling paint
  • Mold growth on walls, ceilings and baseboards
  • Visible water stains
  • Warping walls and flooring

SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County has the expertise and state of the art equipment to help you discover the source and the extent of the damage.

If you suspect sudden or long term water damage in your home, make sure you call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County (704) 840-6112 to make it "Like it never even happened."

We are Flood Specialists

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Standing water from a leak in laundry room

Whether you have unwanted water in your home or business due to weather outside or broken cracked water lines or pipes inside, SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is ready to help. Our technicians are highly trained to respond to water disasters of any size with the professionalism and training necessary to ensure the space is restored as quickly as possible.  

• We are available 24 hours a day & 7 days a week

• We’re a preferred vendor to many national insurance companies

• We work directly with insurance companies

• Our technicians are highly trained in Water Restoration Techniques

• We follow s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

• We use specialty inspection and extraction equipment

• SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is local, so rest easy knowing our family will take care of your family

Call SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County today at 704-840-6112 and our professional team of technicians will respond quickly to your home or business. We are, Here to Help®!