Recent Posts

What is Secondary Damage?

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Secondary damage is caused when an initial loss occurs and the primary source isn't addressed or mitigated quickly. This additional damage may happen quickly as long as the original conditions persist or worsen over time. For instance, if water damage goes untreated or high humidity levels persist, black mold may develop. The water damage is the primary damage, and the mold growth is secondary. Take timely measures such as contacting a plumber to find any leaks, contacting SERVPRO to perform extraction services or a roofer if the issue is on the exterior of your home--to restore primary damage and fix the source of the problem to prevent conditions from worsening.

What Are the Major Types of Damage?

There are several secondary types of damage that can affect your home following water damage. Including

  • Additional damage to contents or building materials
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical damage
  • Mold growth, including black mold
  • Wood rot 

How Can You Prevent Secondary Damage?

Resolving the source of the primary damage is the first objective. Once you have established where the water is coming from, you can begin to mitigate the area and prevent secondary damages from occurring. Secondly you will need to fix the source and begin to remove the water. Depending on the class and category of water you may need professional help. Category one water will originate from a clean source, a faucet for example. Any water that has passed through materials or originates from an unsanitary source is either Category 2 or 3 depending on the severity of the contamination. These categories of water will contain bacteria and sometimes solid waste and will need the affected areas cleaned and disinfected. Once the area is decontaminated, thoroughly dry the affected area and lower high humidity levels. To achieve this goal you may need to set drying equipment such as dehumidifiers and fans. 

When Does Primary Damage Turn Into Secondary?

Primary damages will turn into secondary damages when the original loss isn't identified right away or circumstances do not allow for immediate resolutions. For example, during storm situations power outages are a large contributor to secondary damages where water may have entered the home and it had become and unconditioned space due to the air conditioner not running. This creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. Another example would be a small leak in behind a wall in a bathroom. The homeowner would most likely not know it is there until a secondary damage has occurred like mold or damaged subfloor. 

Should you find yourself in a situation where you have a secondary damage and need assistance, SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties is here for your residential or commercial needs. 910-319-0600.

Grease Fire

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Grease fire DO's and DON'T'S are essential!

There you are, cooking up an amazing dinner. You've got your sweetheart coming over and you are singing along to that amazing Adele song, belting out the emotion and you look over and see.... FLAMES?! That was not what you planned. What now?!!? 

At any point during the cooking process, a grease fire can occur. These fires can quickly become devastating and potentially fatal.

A fire only requires THREE components to burn: oxygen, heat, and fuel. The safest and smartest way to kill a grease fire is by removing one of the components. Oxygen will be the fastest to remove because it takes time for the electric burner to cool down and it’s not safe to remove the fuel (grease).

Here are the CORRECT steps to kill a grease fire:

  1. Turn off the electricity supply to the stove top.
  2. Eliminate the oxygen supply.

        - Put on kitchen mitts so you don’t burn yourself

        - Grab the lid that fits the pot/pan and slide it across the top of the pot/pan


        -  If you do not have a lid, you can use a cookie sheet and repeat the step above

  1. Call the fire department.
  2. Call SERVPRO and we can come clean your mess up and make it look “Like it never even happened”.

Alternative methods:

        - Fire extinguisher

        - Pour a large amount of baking soda on the flames

        - Use a soaking wet cloth, and carefully drape the cloth over the pot/pan

Here is what NOT to do:

  1. Use water to put out the flames.

         - Water is heavier than oil; therefore the water will sink to the bottom. This causes the water to rapidly heat up, and an explosion to occur.

  1. Swat the flames with a cloth
  2. Throw flour on the flames (flour is combustible)
  3. Move the pot/pan (not even to another stove burner)

If the heat gets to be unbearable--get out of the kitchen and call 911.

Share the Table's Topsail Turtle Blast

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

They will be resting up for their next race August 1st! Please consider adopting a race turtle to help feed our neighbors in need!

Share the Table is a faith based community Food Ministry supported by nine churches within Pender and Onslow, NC counties. Dawn and her team at Share the Table work incredibly hard all year to feed the people in our community who have to make the heartbreaking decision between food and other basic family needs. This organization helps families through their free community meal, food pantry and school backpack programs. Each week they are feeding over 950 Pender and Onslow county residents. 

Each year Share The Table puts on their Topsail Turtle Blast to raise funds for their financial needs throughout the year. The proceeds go to stock the food pantry, aid in the soup kitchen and fill the school food back pack program. Participants adopt turtles for $5.00 a piece and on race day (weather permitting) the Rubber Turtles will race down water slides in three heats with the top prize of $500! There will be plenty for the family to do as well that day with food vendors, music and other kid activities on site at the Topsail Moose Lodge beginning at 5:30. 

Now, if you wanted to contribute to Dawn and her incredible team by adopting a turtle and cannot attend the Topsail Turtle Blast on race day, you do not have to be present to win. If you want to make donations to Share The Table, follow the link below to see the schedule for those times. 

If you or your family need the services that Share The Table are providing, follow this link to see the schedule for grocery shopping days and community meal opportunities.

Pender/West Onslow 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 910-319-0600

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties:

SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties  specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

4th of July Events

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Pool Parties, Beach Days, BBQ’s, Live Music and FIREWORKS
All of the fun that surrounds celebrating our nations Independence Day! If you are looking for a fun filled 4th of July here is a list of the things that are going on around Hampstead, Surf City, Topsail Beach, Jacksonville, and Wilmington.

July 3, Independence Day Celebration at Soundside Park (Surf City)—Wednesday starting @ 5:30pm at Soundside Park—Food vendors, Johnny White & the Elite Band, and the Fireworks at dusk. Parking at Soundside Park for handicap and VIP only. Lawn chairs welcome, coolers are subject to search, no alcohol allowed. **standing access on the bridge only**

July 4, Holly Ridge—Holly Ridge Liberty Fest and Fireworks at Holly Ridge Municipal Park—Thursday @ 2pm-10pm. Fireworks, entertainment will start at 6pm, children's activities, face painting, balloon animals, whiffle ball, arts and craft vendors, retail vendors, and concessions! Come and celebrate America's birthday!

July 4, Wilmington’s Fourth of July Riverfront Celebration and the Annual Battleship Blast-Thursday @ 5pm-10pm. Fireworks scheduled to begin at 9:05. Street fair, food and entertainment along the riverfront. Best view is from downtown.

July 4, Jacksonville’s Annual Fourth of July Freedom Festival will be held at Onslow Pines Park- Thursday @ 2pm to 9:15pm. Vendors, children’s activities, food, karaoke, live entertainment and fireworks scheduled for 9:15pm.

July 5, Surf City Movies in the Park—Captain Marvel Pre-show Activities & Food Vendors @ 7pm.

July 5-7, Ocean City Jazz Festival—North Topsail Beach. 2649 Island Drive. Tickets—prices vary-

Accuracy of Hurricane Forecasting

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

A representation of the average NHC 48-hour track errors for the forecast of a storm centered over Pensacola, Florida, in 1990 (blue) and today (red).

Our area was one of if not the hardest hit areas in the region during Hurricane Florence in September of 2018. When forecasters originally released the path of the monster storm, Florence was expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm. However, over the coming days the National Hurricane Center (NHC) would downgrade her to a Category 1 as she made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach on September 14 with sustained winds of 90mph. The states of North Carolina and South Carolina had already declared states of emergency and ordered many mandatory evacuations. When the storm hovered over the area and dumped nearly 40 inches of rain it became the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas and the eighth wettest overall in the contiguous United States (KTVQ Billings News/NHC Report May 4, 2019). Despite Florence’s weakened status of Category 1, the high pressure ridge that stalled the storm out over our state for the following days caused the major inland rivers-Neuse, Eno, Cape Fear and Lumber to breach their banks and flood the surrounding areas. The majority of Pender County and the city of Wilmington were entirely cutoff from the mainland and left many communities without food and gas for multiple days. At least 54 deaths were attributed to the storm. Many were left wondering after such a catastrophe, how accurate are the forecasts that we are given prior to a storm making landfall?

The National Hurricane Center is a component of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction which is located at Florida International University in Miami Florida. The first hurricane warning services began in the 1870’s in Cuba. As technology changed and the ability to track the storms became more accessible, the government began to invest more money and time into forecasting the deadly storms. The NHC began formally in the 1950’s using aircraft to study tropical cyclones and to carry out experiments on mature hurricanes. In 1956 a National Hurricane Information Center was established in Miami Florida. In the last 60+ years it has changed locations and the name has shifted slightly, but the main goal has remained “to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards.” (

The first known recorded forecast was in 1954, with 24 hour predictions of a tropical cyclone’s track were made. ( In the following years, the NHC has broadened the window with which the forecast is made in by releasing a hurricane season forecast for the season in May of each year. With the research assistance of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), part of whose mission is to understand and predict changes in climate and weather, the NHC can issue an outlook with 70% confidence that hurricane activity will fall within predicted ranges and that they are accurate 70% of the time. The preseason outlook is determined as close to the beginning of Hurricane Season as possible, June 1, to ensure that it accurately accounts for changes in major climate phenomenon’s such as El Nino/La Nina cycle, Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the West African monsoons-which was the origin of Hurricane Florence. (

So, are the forecasts more accurate?
According to the NHC, there has been a steady reduction in the track errors over time, with average errors in the current decade about 30-40% smaller than they were in the 2000’s and about half of the size or less than they were in the 1990’s. (  Obviously, the main reason the tracks are more accurate is technology, more specifically the satellites and the drones that are able to fly into the eye of the storm to observe the behaviors. Additionally the amount and quality of data available to input in the various model systems help paint an initial picture of the atmosphere and have increased dramatically in the last 20 to 30 years. These factors along with many other advancements in technology have made vast improvements in what scientists and meteorologists are able to predict.

For now we can expect that the errors will continue to decrease, but at some point the predictions will plateau. For now though, be sure that you have some kind of notification system on your phone or at your home to keep you and your family safe in the likelihood of any weather event.  

Are You Prepared for a Hurricane

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

This NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Florence making landfall in NC. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

It's getting to be that time of year again, and every family and business needs a plan of action in case another storm comes through. As most of us are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, it's hard to believe that Hurricane Season is upon us again. Your plan should include an emergency supply kit, personal information, important documents, evacuation plans with escape routes, and a communication plan with emergency contact information. 

Your personal written plan should include all pertinent and proper information and be easily accessible. It should include a designated meeting place for family members, a list of family contacts, emergency phone numbers, an inventory of valuable household goods, and any important documents. You should also have a first aid kit, and a disaster supply kit that is well equipped with enough food, water, bedding, clothing, toiletries, pet items, tools and batteries to last several days. It should also include flashlights, battery operated radios, children's activities, matches, and a plastic container for important documents. Make sure your cars gas tank is filled up, and you have enough cash on hand. 

A family communication plan is an important part of being prepared when an emergency occurs, because family members may be at work or school. Some key items to include for family members are, out of town contacts and email addresses. Having an out of town contact enables families to have one key person to check in with when local communication is affected or disabled. Email addresses will provide another form of communication electronically if phone lines are affected. All family members should carry emergency contact cards with pertinent information and phone numbers in case of a disaster. 

Businesses also need to take precautions when preparing for a hurricane. They should be aware of how their company functions and what materials, equipment, and procedures they need in order to operate their business. Businesses need to plan what to do in case their office is not accessible, develop a plan to run their business from a different location, and identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Statistics show that 50% of businesses that are impacted by a disaster never re-open. We are here to make sure that isn't the case for you. 

The best action a family or business can take is making the preparation before a storm is brewing, and before it is too late. Ask us about more tips for making a family emergency communication plan and an important emergency supply kit checklist. Also, we can set your business up with a customized Emergency Readiness Profile at no cost to you by simply calling us at 910-319-0600.