Sluice, Don’t Fail Me Now
It is essential to understand how your city goes about flood prevention.
When moving your business to an area that deals with high water levels, it is essential to understand how that city goes about flood prevention. While you can purchase flood insurance and make emergency response plans, you shouldn’t have to worry that your city isn’t doing their fair share to protect you. There are mainly four types of water control systems used by cities all over the world, and it pays to understand how they work.
One of the most common tools used to prevent and even stop flooding is a dike. Made of earth and rock, dikes resemble natural structures. This type of barrier originated in the Netherlands where most of the population lives below sea level.
Another barrier used to prevent high water levels; a dam is typically constructed of steel and concrete. These large man-made objects are used to control water levels and also to distribute water for activities, like consumption, industrialization, irrigation and much more.
A sluice is a pressure activated gate that is used to prevent flooding by essentially using controlled flooding techniques. When water levels are low, the gate remains sealed, but when the pressure increases the gate opens, allowing water levels to fall.
Water locks are used more in the transportation industry but are also a means of controlling water levels. There are two gates connected by a channel. The water level is higher behind one gate than the other. When necessary, the high-level gate opens flooding the channel, this is followed by a similar action by the low-level gate.
Granted, knowing how your city responds to flooding is useful, but when a flood happens, you will need to rely more on your own protective measures. Ensuring that you have flood insurance and a response plan from a disaster restoration specialist in the Waynesville, NC area are likely your best options.
Operating in an area with high water levels can be nerve-wracking. That’s why, while it is important to know your cities preparation plans, it is more important to have plans of your own.
Positioning Your Fire Alarms
Test your fire alarms in your homes every few other months
Fire Detection System
Your home in Brevard, NC, may not be adequately covered by your current fire detection system. Read on to learn about proper fire alarm distribution and other fire safety tips.
1. Rooms and Halls
Because a home fire can begin in any room, the denser your smoke detector coverage, the better. Home inspections standards suggest at least one detector per bedroom. This is especially important for the safety of the occupants, since many fires occur during the night when residents may be sleeping and unaware that there is a problem. Every floor of the home should have at least one detector even if there are no sleeping areas, since this will speed up emergency response and reduce the total amount of fire damage.
2. Working Order
Remember to test each fire alarm in the house every few months. Most models will have a small button that sounds the warning, allowing you to make sure that the speakers are still functional. Depending on the type of detector, a low battery may cause it to blink or make infrequent, short beeps. Some detectors may also require complete replacement after a roughly ten year lifespan has elapsed. If you notice either of these indicators, replace the relevant part as soon as possible. Most batteries and detectors can be obtained for under $20 at your local hardware store.
3. Photoelectric Alarms
A photoelectric fire detection system can provide a little extra warning time to prevent your home from incurring unnecessary smoke damage. These detectors have an internal beam of light whose intensity is changed when smoke scatters the rays. This allows the detector to trigger when smoldering or smoky fires are just beginning, before the home fire becomes a total conflagration.
Remember that no fire alarm is a substitute for adequate fire safety and a solid escape plan. Retain contact information for a professional residential fire restoration service and do not attempt to enter a property that has burned recently.
Mold and Evaporative Cooling
HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.9% of particles
Addressing Leaking Swamp Cooler And Other Pressing Problems
Residents in Waynesville, NC, want to stay cool in the summer months. However, your home cooling systems can harbor hidden fungal agents if not properly maintained. Read on to learn how to address a leaking swamp cooler and other pressing problems.
1. About the Appliance
A swamp cooler is an air cooling system designed for climates with consistently low humidity during the summer. Because the saturation of water in the air is so low in these arid climates, it is easy for water molecules to evaporate, removing heat energy from the air during the transition. Most swamp coolers have a fan that blows air over a porous cellulose pad. This air is circulated through the house in a similar manner to conventional compressor-based air conditioners.
2. Mold Conditions
Unfortunately, because these swamp cooler units operate in warm climates and introduce moisture, they are potential sites for mold growth. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the dark conditions inside the unit and the air ducts, since direct sunlight tends to suppress mold. Other mold issues can arise due to a leaking swamp cooler, since any water that spreads beyond the direct path of the fan can build up without evaporating. This also encourages mold to grow.
If mold is in direct contact with the cellulose pad, simply purchase a replacement for your make and model of evaporative cooler. However, the mold spores released over time can still present a health hazard, even after the unit itself has been treated and repaired. Acquire a HEPA filter for your home and ensure adequate air circulation until you can be sure that any particle contaminants are clear. If the unit leaked water into surrounding construction materials such as drywall or flooring, contact a qualified mold damage restoration service.
Remember, while the energy savings of an evaporative cooling system are substantial, they also come with certain risks. Prevent a leaking swamp cooler from becoming a major mold problem by maintaining your unit.
Use Chemical Drain Cleaners Cautiously
Never use a chemical cleaner on clogged drain in your Brevard, NC home
It’s easy to understand why people look to chemicals for a clogged drain. Use them, and there is no need to pay a plumber or purchase and use plumbers’ tools. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.
Never Use a Chemical Cleaner on a Completely Blocked Drain
Television advertisements would have you believe that clearing a clogged drain is simple. Apply the chemicals, the sewer blockage disappears and the toxic chemicals go with it. This process may work in see-through glass pipes and cartoon simulations, but it overlooks the real-world problems.
Chemical cleaners are highly corrosive, generate large amounts of heat and are very toxic to humans and the environment. It is these characteristics that make them unsuitable for use in a blocked sewer. Consider the following:
- Corrosive chemicals can weaken or damage metal pipes. Corrosion occurs naturally over time. Drain cleaners speed up this process. If a pipe leaks while it contains toxic material, the leaked liquid poses extreme health and environmental hazards.
- Heat can damage plastic pipes. They don’t corrode like metal, but they can fail due to excessive heat. If they start leaking, the risks are the same as with metal.
- If your chemical drain cleaner doesn’t work, don’t try a different one. Adding more toxic chemicals would be a terrible idea. Doing this might create a poisonous gas which would require evacuation and a visit from the Brevard, NC, Hazardous Material Unit.
- Toxic chemicals make the plumber’s job more dangerous. If all else fails, call the plumber. Hopefully, the plumber can fix your blockage without disturbing the pipes. However, if new pipes become necessary, the plumber must take great care to avoid chemical exposure.
The Worst-Case Scenario Is That the Blocked Sewer Pipe Fails
The sewage and toxic chemicals in the clogged drain have flooded your beautiful home. Sewage cleaning calls for a team of sewage and contamination removal technicians to remediate the problem. They will make your home look “Like it Never Even Happened”.
Business Fires: The 3 Steps to Fire Prevention
Create and practice an evacuation plan in your Waynesville, NC business
Business Fires: The 3 Steps to Fire Prevention
Fire prevention is a serious job, one with actual life and death ramifications. Therefore, as a business owner, you must plan to protect the people that work for you and the clients the trust you. A fire can elicit panic and fear and without appropriate preparations, people may freeze-up and perish. Follow the three steps to prevention below and help protect and guide your employees.
1. Perform a Risk Assessment
You don’t have to experience a business fire to evaluate your property for risks. In fact, you can call a fire remediation specialist in the Waynesville, NC, area to perform a risk assessment. While it is true that these professionals handle fire damage and restoration, they are also equipped to evaluate your property’s weaknesses and strengths when it comes to fire safety.
2. Have and Test All Fire Protection Equipment
Basic fire prevention includes having an adequate number of fire extinguishers as well as a working suppression system. While it may seem that these are once-and-done purchases, each of these pieces of equipment needs to undergo annual inspections to ensure their continued functionality.
3. Create and Practice an Evacuation Plan
Also, you should design several exit routes from every room or section of your property. These routes should be free of obstructions and should be practiced regularly. Your employees should perform a practice escape at least once a year, but more often is better. Additionally, local municipalities may require practice drills.
4. Enforce First Aid Training
Beyond the escape, employees should be aware of basic first aid. When a fire occurs, it may take emergency services several minutes to arrive on the scene, but some victims may require immediate attention. Having well-trained employees ensures the safety of everyone.
Fire prevention is a pretty straightforward practice, but it is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Be sure to take the time and prepare your facility, the lives of your employees may just depend on it.
4 Steps To Fix a Flooded Basement
Pump out standing water on your basement with a sump pump
A basement flood is an inconvenience and a safety hazard. It is necessary to remove standing water as soon as possible. Afterward, a homeowner should have the basement inspected for signs of structural damage, cleaned, and disinfected. It may also be necessary to repair or replace appliances that have been exposed to flood water. Here are four steps to fix a flooded basement.
1. Pump Out Standing Water
Eliminating standing water is the most crucial step toward mitigating flood damage. The longer water stands in a basement, the higher the risk of mold growth and structural damage. It may be necessary to gradually pump out water to equalize interior and exterior pressure. Pumping too quickly can cause structural damage.
2. Assess the Condition
After a basement flood, it is important to insure that this level of a home still has structural integrity. Any porous building materials may need to be torn out and replaced. These measures should be taken prior to disinfection to avoid re-contamination.
3. Clean and Disinfect
Flood Water is considered Category Three water damage. This water may contain microbes, chemicals, heavy metals, and other potentially harmful substances. Homeowners can lower the risk of infection or mold growth by having a flooded basement thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
4. Replace Gas and Electrical Components
Experts recommend discarding electrical components exposed to standing water, such as fixtures, outlets, switches, and wiring. Electrical motors should also be replaced. Homeowners may need to replace gas appliances exposed to flood water.
Keep in mind that standard homeowner's insurance coverage will only cover a basement flood caused by an appliance leak or pipe burst. A flood policy or endorsement for sewage backup can offset the costs of mitigating other types of flooding. If water is standing in the basement of a residence in Waynesville, NC, contact water damage cleanup experts as soon as possible.
How To Keep Your Home and Family From a Space Heater Disaster
Prevent a burned space heater and keep your home safe
Space heaters can quickly warm a chilly room and create a cozier atmosphere. They are popular for kids’ rooms, basements and even garage areas. The misuse of space heaters, however accounts for many house fires and injuries each year in Brevard, NC. Even if a fire is quickly extinguished, the odor from a burned space heater and the accompanying smoke cleanup can be intimidating to say the least.
Always observe a few basic preventative rules when using a space heater. This will keep your home safer and may protect your loved ones from a disaster.
Space Heater Safety Tips
- Inspect the heater to make sure there are no loose parts, frayed or broken cords, or loose or bent prongs.
- Buy a heater with an auto-shut-off, tip shut-off and GFCI plug to prevent shocks
- Never use an extension cord or place cord where it will be walked on or that it could pose a tripping hazard
- Run it first in a safe place and check to see if there is a burning smell or whether the surface gets hot.
- Use it only on a hard surface and at least three feet from any materials that may easily catch fire, such as curtains, furniture or bedding
- With heater unplugged, vacuum often to remove surface dust and change filters regularly if applicable.
- Never leave a space heater unattended and always turn off before sleeping
When Things Go Wrong
A burned space heater can give off toxic fumes from melted plastic and other components that can be harmful as well as giving off a bad smell. In the event your space heater burns up, or worse, you are better off to call in a professional restoration service to ensure that the cleanup and odor removal are thorough. It may require cleaning, an ozone generator or more to restore you to pre-fire condition.
Don’t become a statistic in Brevard, NC. Following these safety tips can help prevent a burned space heater and keep your home the happy and safe place it can be.
5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Massive water loss in a Bryson City, NC building
5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage
A commercial property can sustain damage from many sources. Here are the five most common causes of water damage, from a broken pipe to sprinklers, toilets, and drainage, along with tips for mitigation and preventing damage from recurring.
1. Broken Pipes
A pipe break can cause extensive damage in a short period of time. Shut off the water and contact a plumber for water repair. An owner may also want to call a damage mitigation company and notify the insurance company. Even if a broken pipe is not a covered peril, the damage that it causes should be covered.
2. Fire Sprinklers
Sprinkler systems can accidentally activate or leak. Unless there is a fire, an owner or manager should shut off the water and contact the sprinkler company. Have sprinklers regularly inspected and maintained to prevent accidental activation.
3. Toilet Overflow
Toilet backups and overflows are caused by sewer blockages, supply line issues, or broken components. In addition to regular maintenance, a facility manager may want to post signage about which materials should not be flushed and provide trash containers in stalls.
4. Sewer Backups
A sewer backup may be caused by a blockage in the line from a building or in municipal mains. Either way, it is important that a commercial building have a functional sump pump. Some structures may also have a backflow valve. Test flood prevention systems on a regular basis.
5. Ineffective Drainage
A drainage system should be cleared at least twice a year. The landscape should also be graded to direct runoff away from the building. An owner may want to have landscaping modified to prevent flooding.
These are the most common causes of water damage to commercial buildings in Bryson City, NC. If a broken pipe or any other system results in damage, the owner or facility manager should contact a mitigation and restoration company.
Mold Prevention in Your Commercial Building
Mold damage in Bryson City,NC
Once you hire a cleaning crew and maintenance staff for your commercial property in Bryson City, NC, you probably won't spend a lot of time thinking about mold. Fungus can be sneaky, however, so it's a good idea to know how to prevent mold growth. Leaks and condensation can cause secondary damage even in a building that is cleaned regularly.
Where To Look
Mold needs three things to thrive – moisture, organic matter and a little time. Any area of your building that experiences high humidity is particularly susceptible to a mold problem.
- Water coolers
- HVAC units and ducts
- Cavities behind walls
- Ceiling tiles
These are areas that generally use water to function, so the probability of mold growth is higher than in other areas. To complicate matters further, many of the pipes that carry the water are hidden from plain sight. That means that unless you are vigilant, you could have a mold problem before you even know there is a leak.
What To Do
While mold remediation specialists can mitigate the areas where mold has grown in your building, the best solution is prevention. In addition to the regular cleaning and maintenance you already have scheduled, check for signs of water damage on at least a monthly basis. This review will help you tackle the source of the problem before it gets out of hand. Keep the humidity level in your building no higher than 50 percent all year. You may even consider keeping it lower than 40 percent in the winter to avoid condensation on the windows. Insulate your pipes so that they are less likely to burst. Taking a few precautions and performing frequent inspections can help your building resist mold.
Mold growth can occur easily in commercial buildings where conditions are favorable. Together with your cleaning and maintenance team, however, you can prevent mold even in areas that are prone to it.
What to Know About Your Commercial Property Insurance
Repair after fire damage in Brevard,NC
If you have a business property in Brevard, NC, you may be wondering what to look for in your commercial insurance policy. Your policy can vary depending on a few things so it’s important to ask your agent any questions you may have. However, there are some commonalities between most policies.
What Property May Qualify
There are a number of types of business property that may qualify for a fire damage or other insurance policy. These may include:
- Any owned or rented buildings or structures used solely for business purposes
- Inventory housed in the building
- Signage or fencing placed on the property
- Equipment used for the business such as computers or manufacturing equipment
- Office furniture
- Important company documentation such as accounting records
What Factors Can Influence Your Policy
The location and usage of the company property may affect the type of commercial insurance policy the property is eligible for as well as its cost. If the building is good repair and located near adequate fire protection it may cost less to insure. Similarly, a building used for low fire risk activities such as an office will cost less than higher risk usage such as a manufacturing facility.
What May Happen During a Claim
It’s important to file your insurance claim as soon as possible. Your insurance agent may want to send someone to assess the cause and extent of the damage, as well as take inventory of any damaged property and its value. They may also have a recommendation for a team of restoration professionals who can take care of any clean up and repairs your business may need.
Your insurance policy may include fire protection for most assets your company claims, regardless if it’s owned or rented. In many cases commercial insurance policies may vary due to a number of factors, so it’s important to read your documentation and talk with your agent if you have any questions. If a fire or other event should occur, your insurance company may have professionals they recommend to conduct the restoration.