Finding the Cause of a Leak in the Bathroom
Shower leak in Retreat, NC
Ah, the beauty of a tiled shower or bathtub surround – easy to clean, no leaks, just a beautiful expanse of ceramic spread out before you. But those tiles can also be the culprit when a leak appears. Shower floor pans can also leak, causing damage to the ceiling below, the floor or even running into the heat duct. A bathtub leak on any scale can cause problems if not discovered quickly.
5 Tips for Locating a Leak in a Shower
Sometimes, the location of a leak can be obvious. Other times, it may take a bit of investigation to find the problem. The following guidelines can help you know where to look for signs of a bathtub leak or shower pan leak.
Check all corners and edges carefully for minute cracks in the grout or caulk. Run a finger over the material to ensure it is secure and doesn’t move out of place.
A fiberglass bathtub can leak from even a small fissure, especially when the weight of a body pulls it open. The fissure or crack should be patched with weight in the tub to ensure it is completely filled.
A small crack in the edge or corner of a shower pan can cause a leak. If you can access the ceiling below, inspect it carefully for signs of water, bulging or stains, however small.
Check carefully around drains of showers and bathtubs for any sign that they are not sealed properly.
Inspect any crevices, joins or thresholds to make sure they are completely sealed and that no water can get through.
Combatting the Leak
It may be as simple as cutting away the existing molding or caulk and squeezing a new bead into place, making sure to smooth it down carefully with your finger to ensure contact. With larger problems that you cannot handle, get help from a professional water damage restoration company in Retreat, NC, to find and repair the damage.
A bathtub leak can be a real problem if left untended. Doing a thorough inspection can help you minimize the damage and remedy the issue before a catastrophe takes place.
Controlling Mold Growth in Your Home
Mold can cause serious health issues.
As any remediation or restoration service in Waynesville, NC, will tell you, mold damage can lead to extensive repairs in the home, which means prevention is the priority. Despite what you might think or what you have been told, mold growth can be controlled. However, the prevention of mold development requires vigilance in three areas, specifically.
While most homeowners are familiar with forms of mildew growth in laundry rooms, basements or bathrooms, routine inspections should also focus on some not so obvious areas. To control mold, you should search attics for any signs of roof leaks and repair when found. Also, check around the seals of windows and doors for any signs of cracking or water damage. You can also inspect for leaky pipes. Mainly, all signs of water infiltration should be remedied, and you should continue with these visual inspections monthly to ensure that no new issues arise. The critical step in mold prevention is eliminating sources of dampness and free-flowing water.
High levels of mold damage often occur in areas of high humidity because of the amount of dampness in the atmosphere. Therefore, another key to controlling mold development is to control the level of moisture in a home. One of the best ways to do this is to purchase dehumidifiers for use in places like basements and laundry rooms where ventilation and airflow are restricted.
Another way to control mold growth is to increase ventilation in places prone to high levels of humidity. For example, install attic fans to reduce the buildup of heat and moisture. Also, ensure that vent hoods above kitchen ovens are in good working order.
Mold damage can be costly, especially if it has been left to develop in damp spaces. To limit the risk of mold development in your home, perform routine inspections, purchase dehumidifiers and improve ventilation throughout your home.
Fire Safety Tips for the Kitchen
Protect your home with fire alarms
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the most common cause of home fires and the resulting injuries. Here are a few safety tips you need to know:
Never throw water on a grease fire. Instead, keep a lid nearby to smother the fire.
If there's a fire in the oven, turn off the heat and leave the oven door closed.
Treat a microwave fire the same way; unplug the appliance and leave the door closed.
If you aren't sure you can safely handle the fire, get out of the home and call the fire department.
On average, there are 471 residential cooking fires every day in the United States. Knowing how to respond safely to these fires is crucial but knowing how to prevent fires is even better.
Most cooking fires happen because of inattentiveness. Protect yourself and your family by never leaving cooking food unattended. It's easy to become distracted by children or a phone call, or even by something that pops up on your social media feed. However, when you're grilling, boiling, simmering, or baking, you must pay attention to your work. If you have to take a phone call or leave the room, turn off the stove.
Keep Flammables Away
Oven mitts, kitchen towels, utensils, packaging, and curtains that could catch fire should be kept away from the stovetop. It only takes a few seconds for a loose shirt or kitchen towel to catch on fire. Flames move quickly from there to the rest of the kitchen, causing serious fire damage.
Establish a Kid-Free Zone
One of the most important safety tips for children in the kitchen is to maintain a three-foot kid-free zone. Keep children and pets out of this area around the stove to avoid many types of serious injuries.
Make sure you're familiar with safety tips for putting out Waynesville, NC, kitchen fires and well-versed in the guidelines for preventing fires. If you do experience a cooking fire, contact fire and smoke damage repair professionals to help get your kitchen back into working condition.
3 Landscape Tips That Can Protect Your Home From Flooding
Your landscape can serve as a useful tool when managing outside flooding
Use Your Landscape To Prevent Flood Damage To Your Home
Preparing for a disaster, including floods and storms, is often important to homeowners. However, many homeowners in Hazelwood, NC, don't consider what impact their landscapes may have on outside flooding. Fortunately, there are several ways you can use your landscape to prevent flood damage to your home.
1. Adjust the Direction of Your Rain Spouts
Your home's rain spouts collect water and divert the direction of rain drainage away from your home. Over time, however, the spouts may shift and end up pointing towards your home rather than away from it. For this reason, it can be helpful to check the direction of your spouts and adjust them as needed. Debris can clog a rain spout and make it difficult for the spouts to work effectively, so it's also often wise to routinely clean your home's spouts.
2. Consider Storm-Proofing Your Driveway
Homeowners often don't think about their driveways when considering how to minimize flood damage. However, paved driveways can make it easier for water to accumulate in one area, which can result in damage to your home. Though emergency restoration services can often assist in restoring homes with water damage, you can design your driveway in a way that helps to prevent damage and manage outside flooding. Instead of using pavement that can't soak up any water, consider a gravel driveway that leaves dirt and grass exposed to help to absorb rainwater.
3. Introduce Depressions Into Your Landscape
Introducing areas of sunken ground, often referred to as swales or depressions, into your landscape can often be a helpful way to prevent water damage to your home. It's often ideal if the depression in your landscape leads to an area such as a rain garden that can better absorb excess rainwater. It can also be helpful to make sure that your swales and other areas of depression in your landscape are free of debris.
Your landscape can serve as a useful tool when managing outside flooding. Adjusting your rain spouts, storm-proofing your driveway and introducing depressions into your landscape can often help to protect your home from water damage during a rain storm.
Storm Damage to Your Business May Be Tax Deductible
A casualty loss may result from an earthquake, blizzard, hurricane or tornado
Storm damage to your Dellwood, NC, business can be very expensive. Fortunately, you may be able to deduct the expenses from your tax return.
What Losses Qualify for a Deduction?
A casualty loss is any loss or damage that results from a sudden, unexpected or unusual event. The following events may result in a casualty loss:
- severe thunderstorm
Unlike personal losses that have to be reduced according to adjusted gross income, for a business the entire casualty loss, minus any insurance reimbursement, is tax deductible. Generally the loss has to be claimed in the tax year it occurred. However, for areas the President declares federal disasters you may have the option to claim the loss in a different tax year.
Record-Keeping for Tax and Insurance Purposes
For tax deductions and insurance claims on storm damage, it is important to have records proving your loss. In addition to a stock inventory, you may wish to take an inventory of other business supplies and equipment. Include the purchase date and price, plus receipts for big-ticket items such as computers and heavy machinery. Photographic or video documentation will also be helpful. This inventory can be stored in either a physical safe or in cloud storage. After the storm has passed, you will need to document all unsalvageable items. Detailed photographs or video is helpful here as well. Depending on the type of damage and how many other claims are processed in the area, you may or may not be able to wait on an insurance adjuster to visit before you start repairs. If you begin cleanup before the adjuster sees the property, make sure to record all damage before you begin work and keep receipts for all expenses incurred during the restoration process. You will also need to keep these receipts as evidence for tax purposes.
Whether you use a tax refund, insurance money or other funds to address storm damage to your business, a certified restoration service can help you get your business back up and running quickly and safely.
What To Do First If Your Basement Floods
Basement flooded in Cherokee, NC
Too many homeowners have gone to the basement, only to find water has somehow infiltrated and caused a flood. A basement flood in your Cherokee, NC, home can be stressful for you and your family, and you may not intuitively know what to do first. This discussion of the early stages of flood intervention may help you begin tackling the situation.
A home flood presents unique challenges, such as how to stop the water source and address safety at the same time. Before you step into any pooled water, you may want to consider these important precautions.
Keeping children and pets away from the flooded area
Avoiding contact with electrical wires or fixtures
Disconnecting your electricity
Wearing waterproof boots and gloves
Opening windows and using fans to begin drying and ventilating
Once you have addressed safety, you can focus on stopping whatever caused your basement flood. If you were unable to disconnect your electricity, it’s recommended you call a professional remediation service before moving forward.
Stopping the Source
Whether a broken pipe, an extreme weather event or something else caused your flood, it’s important to identify and stop the source as soon as possible. You may need to locate and turn off your water main if the source is a broken pipe, or check your house perimeter for pooled water and clear any drainage problems. Once the situation is stable, you can begin thinking about cleaning up.
Determining Your Strategy
Once flooding has stopped, you can assess the best cleanup strategy and contact the necessary professionals. If you have an inch or less of water, you can remove the water with a wet vacuum. If the water is deeper, it may be necessary to solicit professional assistance. This is also a good time to inform your insurance agent and discuss any applicable insurance coverage.
A basement flood presents complex challenges, and you may not automatically know what to do first. Focusing on safety and preventing further damage are your first concerns. Once the situation is stable, you can formulate your cleanup plan and start the road back to normalcy.
3 Fire-Prevention Items Every Home Needs
Some smoke alarms have 10 year batteries
Have You Ever Used a Fire Extinguisher?
Most people haven’t. A fire can cause devastation to both structures and personal property. No one thinks a fire will happen to them, yet US fire services respond to over 300 thousand home fires each year. Fire preparedness is often the best defense against serious fire damage. This discussion of essential home fire-safety equipment may help you make the best choices for your unique situation.
A working smoke alarm will loudly notify you of smoke or excess heat. If your alarms are malfunctioning, you may never get the warning. It’s important to maintain your smoke alarms so that they will behave as designed if you need them. Consider the following practices:
- Testing your alarms monthly to confirm proper operation
- Replacing batteries every six months or
- obtaining a unit with a built-in 10-year battery
- Vacuuming the dust and cobwebs off of the alarm openings
If you stay current with inspection and maintenance, smoke alarms can be your first line of defense in case of a home fire.
Fire Extinguishers If you do have a fire, you will undoubtedly be grateful if you prepared several well-placed extinguishers in your home. It is prudent to place a fire extinguisher near potential fire sources, such as kitchens and gas lines, without locating them directly at the source. There is no time to read instructions in an emergency, so it helps to pre-read directions to familiarize yourself with the operation.
While not required in homes, sprinklers can help control a fire while first responders are on their way. They also have the advantage of activating whether you are home or not. Sprinklers can mean the difference between total structure devastation and a little soot and water damage.
Fire preparedness can save your Maggie Valley,NC, home and property in the unfortunate event of a fire. Working smoke alarms, fire sprinklers and a nearby fire extinguisher are all important elements of a proactive plan to minimize property damage from a home fire.
What Is Category 3 Water Damage?
Commercial water extraction in a Bryson City, NC building
Cleanup Procedures for Dirty Water
Category 3 water damage is the worst kind of water damage to have because it is considered to be caused by contaminated water. Two common sources of category 3 water are flood water and dirty toilet water. Unless the affected area is very small, clean up requires the help of a professional restoration company. They have the proper skills, equipment and protective gear to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible. There are a number of professional cleanup procedures for dirty water.
1. Initial Assessment
When the restoration company first gets onsite, they will assess where the water is coming from and stop any further damage from occurring. They will move or protect any items from further damage. In a toilet overflow situation, the source of the leak will be stopped, and you may need to have a new toilet installed when cleanup efforts are over.
2. Water Extraction
They will begin the cleanup effort by performing water extraction using special equipment that speeds up the process.
Flood water picks up everything along its path including germs, viruses and bacteria. Since the water is considered to harbor bacteria and other organisms, a biocide or disinfectant will be applied to any surface the dirty water may have come in contact with. Disinfection may occur throughout the process.
4. Removal of Items
Any items that have sustained damage may be removed and disposed of. This could include furniture, drywall or other building materials.
5. Dry the Area
Special drying equipment will be brought onsite used to increase the airflow to thoroughly dry the area.
6. Return to Normal
Once the location has been cleaned and dried, the company will replace any building materials that were taken out. After this, it should appear as if nothing ever happened.
If you have experienced category 3 water damage in Bryson City, NC, you can get back to normal with the help of a professional restoration company that specializes in flood water cleanup.
Mold Damage Emergency Tips
Since mold spores can travel through the air, it is important to stop the spread as quickly as possible. Turn off your fan.
When moisture invades your residence, you run the risk of having mold grow and spread around your home in as little as 24-48 hours. Black mold is one of the many types of this fungus that can grow on damp surfaces. If you suspect you have mold damage in Brevard, NC, there are a few emergency measures you can take to begin the mold remediation process.
Since mold spores can travel through the air, it is important to stop the spread as quickly as possible. You can reduce the chance of the spores spreading to other areas by taking a few preventative measures before beginning mold cleanup:
- Turn off HVAC system
- Turn off water
- Turn off fans
- Avoid cross-contamination
Check High-Risk Areas First
Mold is likely to grow when spores land on moist, fibrous material. Examples of this type of material include wood, fabric, carpet, and drywall. You can easily inspect the surface of these areas for black mold by looking for clusters of black specks that were not there before. Other types of mold range in color from yellow to pink.
Check Unseen Areas
Mold can grow anywhere there is a moisture problem. After checking obvious areas, look closer at materials that have sustained water damage. Even if you cannot see mold, it may be lurking nearby. For example, if your carpet looks fine on the outside but feels damp under your feet, it could have mold growing in the pad. If you smell a musky odor but cannot find the source, you likely have mold lurking in your home and need the help of a professional.
If you suspect mold in Brevard, NC, you can take immediate steps to reduce the likelihood of mold spores traveling around your house. If you find black mold or suspect unseen mold, you need to hire a mold remediation expert to return your home to its pre-mold condition.
Flood-Damaged Homes Require Complete Decontamination
Someone using protective gear
Flood-Damaged Homes Require Complete Decontamination
Your home can experience different types of floods. Those from a broken water main or plumbing failure are the least toxic. Sewer backups, swarming with bacteria, are a more severe problem. Worst of all are the floods that enter through the front door. They are the most toxic and have extensive cleaning requirements. Expect this type to flood your home with:
- Industrial Chemicals
- Petroleum products
- Contaminated mud
Floods Are Serious Health Hazards
One of the most critical cleaning requirements involves personal safety. Each worker should have a toolkit that includes protective gear. They should never come in direct contact with contaminated material or surfaces. At a minimum, these toolkits should include:
- Work boots
- Waterproof work gloves
It might also be a good idea to make sure that the workers’ vaccinations are current. Tetanus is one common vaccination that may need updating. Protection from typhoid fever and other flood-borne diseases could also be important.
Flood Clean Up Happens in Stages
Early-stage cleaning after a flood closely resembles demolition. It involves emptying the basement, removing debris and shoveling mud out of the home. Put drying equipment in place at this time.
The next stage involves dealing with the contents. Move Items unaffected by the flood to a safe, dry location away from the home. Send Items that require restoration out to the service providers. Dispose of carpets, fabrics and other expendable items.
Finally, clean and disinfect all exposed surfaces. A commercial flood disinfectant will kill the bacteria. A solution of chlorine bleach will clean, kill bacteria and destroy mold spores. Unfortunately, the chlorine solution leaves an unpleasant odor behind. If you decide to do both, do them as separate steps. Mixing the two chemicals could release dangerous toxic gas.
Flood Clean Up Is a Big Job
The cleaning requirements of a flood-ravaged home can be overwhelming. There are flood damage restoration specialists just a phone call away in the Waynesville, NC, area. Their training, experience and special equipment make them an excellent choice for the job. They are Here to Help.