Recent Posts

How to Deal with a Burst Pipe As a Property Owner

1/4/2020 (Permalink)

Rusty pipe spraying water As a property owner in Waynesville, NC, you have responsibilities to your tenants, their safety being the primary one.

As a property owner in Waynesville, NC, you have responsibilities to your tenants, their safety being the primary one. While you may do everything that you can to ensure that they are protected, there are times where the unexpected happens, and you must act in their best interest. A broken pipe is one of these instances, and as a pipe burst cleanup can be extensive, there are specific steps that you will likely take.

1. Evacuate Tenants

The first step to ensure that your tenants remain safe is to evacuate any affected areas. Depending on the type of pipe that burst, the cleanup process may require the removal of tenant belongings, and it can require the replacement of several items. It is essential to go over the building insurance policy as well as any renters policies to understand your liabilities in this situation.

2. Mitigate Further Damage

Once you have ensured the safety of your tenants, you can begin the mitigation process, which merely means alleviating any further damage to your building. After a pipe burst, you should turn off the water supply, remove any excess water, and thoroughly dry out your building. During this time, you can remove any water-damaged materials, like carpeting, flooring, drywall, etc.

3. Call in a Restoration Company

As the pipe burst cleanup process can be arduous, you may find it necessary to call for the assistance of a sewer cleanup company or other restoration company to ensure the timely completion of any required renovations, allowing tenants to return to their homes or businesses as soon as possible.

Property owners typically do their best to protect not only their investments but their tenants, and, while a burst pipe is not always predictable, a building owner will want to move quickly through the pipe burst cleanup so that their tenants can return to normal. This is not just about doing good business, it’s about being a good landlord. For more information, visit

Protecting Your Business From Potential Fire Disasters

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Team of happy firefighters looking away by firetruck at station Contact first responders in the area to ask for advice

Protecting Your Business From Potential Fire Disasters

As a business owner, you likely worry about the progress and security of your enterprise daily. While most of those concerns are probably centered around profit-and-loss statements, there is likely some concern for disasters, like fires. Therefore, to make sure your business is as safe as possible, consider implementing the following four fire preparation tips.

  1. Create an evacuation plan
  2. Obey fire codes and regulation
  3. Maintain fire suppression equipment
  4. Contact first responders and mitigation experts

Create an Evacuation Plan

The first step in any disaster preparation effort is to create an evacuation plan. Keep in mind that the core of a business is the employees and people that make up the company. Therefore, their safety is of the utmost importance. Create several clear exit pathways and make sure they are practiced.

Obey Fire Codes and Regulations

The next to-do in fire preparation is to obey all fire codes and regulations. Every industry likely has specific things that they are required to do by the government to help prevent fires in their building. Be sure you know these laws and codes.

Maintain Fire Suppression Equipment

Fire suppression systems and equipment are the greatest way to prevent fire damage in your building. Dunns Rock, NC, does require that businesses have so many fire extinguishers on the premises. However, that number typically varies based on the size of the building. Also, if your property has a sprinkler system, make sure that you have it checked annually, keeping everything in working order.

Contact First Responders and Mitigation Experts

Next, you can contact first responders or mitigation experts in the area to ask for advice. Some fire mitigation companies will even assess your property and help you prepare emergency plans.
Fire preparation is critical to the safety of your employees and your business. By taking the time to prepare and obey fire codes, you can reduce your risk of catastrophic fire damage.

5 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Snow Storm

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

Get Ready For a Severe Weather

If you are expecting a snow storm in Clyde, NC, then it is important to be prepared, both for the sake of your business and for your employees. The following are some steps you can take to get ready for severe weather.

1. Watch the News
Because the weather can be unpredictable, the circumstances and severity of the storm may change over time. In order to be prepared for the situation, you should be sure to keep up with the news. This will allow you to change your plans if necessary.

2. Back Up Important Files
A power outage or water damage can affect your devices and can sometimes result in the loss of data. In order to avoid losing any important work, you should back up your files before a storm. You may want to upload them to cloud storage and make physical copies.

3. Have Necessary Repairs Done
Any damage your building may have can be made worse by a snow storm. In order to keep your building in the best possible condition, you should maintain the building regularly, and have repairs done as soon as possible if you are expecting bad weather. Check for deterioration near doors and windows, and look for cracks in the building’s exterior.

4. Keep the Building Warm
The temperature may go down during a winter storm, which can cause pipes to freeze. If this happens, you could have a pipe burst that results in flooding in the building. Insulate exposed pipes and keep the heat on to prevent this.

5. Work From Home
Depending on the severity of the storm, it might be unsafe to have your employees come to work. Have a plan in place to have everyone work from home if the weather becomes dangerous. Make sure that the policy is clear so that everyone knows what is expected.
Being prepared can reduce the amount of damage you experience during a snow storm, but you may still need to have some repairs done. Contact a cleanup and restoration service to do any needed work and keep your building in top shape.

Finding the Cause of a Leak in the Bathroom

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged 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

12/1/2019 (Permalink)

Hand pointing at mold growth on the wall 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.

Home Maintenance

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.

Humidity Levels

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

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke surrounding a smoke alarm that's going off 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.

Stay Alert

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

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fenced backyard. View of lawn and blooming flower beds 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

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Properties destroyed by an earthquake 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:

  • blizzard
  • hurricane
  • tornado
  • severe thunderstorm
  • fire
  • earthquake

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

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement with line marking maximum water level higher than 7 feet. 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.

Prioritizing Safety

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

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke detector 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.

Smoke Alarms

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.

Fire Sprinklers

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.