Recent Posts

Positioning Your Fire Alarms

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Are Storm Shutters Needed For My Home?

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you must consider the ways in which you can protect your home against high winds. Some options, like impact windows, can be quite costly. Storm shutters may be the most cost-effective way to keep your home safe during a storm. Although they can get expensive as well, there are many options available that won’t break the budget but still get the job done. They are made of tough materials designed to protect against heavy rains and winds.

What Types of Window Treatments Are Designed For Storms?

Temporary treatments - Storm panels, made of aluminum, steel, or polycarbonate, are the least costly of the options. Because they can't be permanently installed, they need to be put into place before storms and high winds strike. Since they do take a bit of time to set up, you must be on the ball to anticipate bad weather ahead of time.
Permanent treatments - These options are affixed to your home with the intention of staying there all year long. They come in a variety of styles and price ranges to fit your budget.

Roll-down varieties are very attractive and can add to the decor of your house. They can be operated manually or mechanically.
Accordion shutters, which are less expensive than roll-downs, are bolted inside boxes on both sides of the window. They need to be unfolded and locked into position manually.
Bahama awnings and Colonial security options are bolted to the top of the window and unlatched manually. They also provide protection against the hot sun.

Can I Install the Window Treatments Myself?
While some hurricane window treatments can be installed by the homeowner, in most cases it's better to have a professional install the storm protection. Not only does an expert know the best installation techniques to protect your home, but he or she will also be familiar with local and state building codes.
Be prepared for high winds by protecting your home in Clyde, NC with storm shutters. They can wind up saving you a lot of hassles during a storm.

4 Common Sewage Problems in Commercial Buildings

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Common Sewage Problems Your Business Could Face

Even a small business in Clyde, NC, has a fairly complicated plumbing system, with lines and pipes snaking throughout your entire building. Many of these pipes carry clean water for drinking and cleaning, while others take away dirty water from toilets, sinks, and appliances. When contaminated water comes into your building from a blocked sewer or some other problem, professional help from a water mitigation specialist becomes a top priority. Here are common sewage problems your business could face in the future.
1. Toilet Overflow - This might seem like a minor problem, but it could expose people to raw sewage and should be addressed promptly. The source of the problem should be fixed, the dirty water removed and all surfaces disinfected.
2. Blocked Sewer - This can happen when a discharge line is broken or blocked by an obstruction such as tree roots. Since this often results in high levels of contaminated water being present, immediate action is required to safeguard health and to limit damage to walls, flooring and other items. The water should be extracted from the building and cleanup technicians should wear protective gear to limit exposure to potential pathogens.
3. Pipe Burst - This problem occurs when pipes are old or if they have been subject to freezing and thawing. Pipe breaks can also carry sewage that spills out into areas where humans can come in contact with the water. Fast cleanup reduces the risk of exposure for employees and customers.
4. Pipe Leak - A slow leak in a sewage line in an inaccessible area can go unnoticed for weeks or longer. This allows the corrosive properties of water time to do damage and could result in areas of mold growth. A full inspection and assessment of the area becomes necessary.
Sewage issues such as a blocked sewer should be considered an emergency. A professional team of technicians is needed to take care of the problem to the highest standards.

3 Things You Can Do To Prevent Mold In Your Rental Properties

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Tips For Mold Prevention

Renting property is a task that requires a great deal of patience, firmness, and organization. After all, as a landlord in Dunns Rock, NC, you need tight control over your buildings and a solid relationship with the renting proprietors. Part of developing that connection means maintaining land that is safe and in good standing. Therefore, with that in mind, use the following three tips to help establish a clear plan for mold prevention.

1. Run the Air Unit
Mold growth becomes a problem when spores interact with moisture and organic matter, especially in a dark location. It's important, then, to remove humidity from a building. Consistent use of the air conditioning system is one of the best methods for that. As the device pushes in cooler air, it also draws out the excess fluid, keeping the space chilly and dry. Thus, spores don't have the opportunity to breed as well. If during drop-ins the establishment still seems muggy, feel free to add a dehumidifier or moisture absorbent products in appropriate locations.

2. Inspect the Plumbing
As part of your mold prevention procedures, remain cognizant of leaks and potential water system breaks. Speak regularly with your business partners to discuss any plumbing concerns. In addition, don't hesitate to send out a plumber once or twice a year to look for potential complications. During this inspection, the experts can evaluate fixtures and pipe lines, ensuring that everything is running smoothly and up-to-code.

3. Repair Issues Immediately
When a tenant complains about water damage, don't put it off. Call out a water restoration company as soon as possible, asking them to investigate the situation. At that time, the team should locate the source of the trouble, recommend appropriate action, and begin to dry out the area. Taking action should minimize the chance of contamination.
Your mold prevention choices don't need to be over the top. They simply should focus on minimizing excess liquid in the air and within in the structure.

The Dos and Don’ts of Dealing With Puffback Damage

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Soot webs on ceiling. Concept puffback Puffback damage in Retreat, NC

Take These Four Steps

Following a furnace puffback, you may have the foresight to call a repair person to fix the malfunctioning heating system. However, like many building owners, you may attempt to clean up the puffback damage yourself or to have your building maintenance person do it for you. Neither option is a good idea, as trying to DIY smoke damage of any kind can do more harm than good. So, what should you do? Take these four steps:

  1. Assess the damage.
  2. Report the damage to your insurance company.
  3. Contact an HVAC repair person.
  4. Call a Retreat, NC, fire damage remediation specialist.

Assess Potential Damage
An oil furnace mishap can range in severity and can be minor or major. Before you contact your insurance company, assess the puffback damage to determine the extent of the issue. If you’re lucky, the damage will be localized to the area where the furnace sits. If the problem is bad, however, the soot could be all over your home, including your closet interiors, furniture, and even clothing.
Survey the damage and take pictures so that when it comes time to report the damage to your insurer, the agent can accurately estimate how much it will cost to remediate it. Only after you contact your insurer should you call an HVAC repair person to report the furnace puffback and request that a technician come in to make the repair.

Contact a Remediation Specialist
You may wonder why you cannot clean up the puffback damage on your own. To answer this, you must understand the nature of soot. Soot is not like dust or another fine, powdery substance. It is sticky, black and resilient. These traits make it extremely difficult to clean up, even with a significant amount of elbow grease.
A smoke damage remediation professional in Retreat, NC, has the tools and techniques necessary to clean your home of the tough residue and prepare it for additional remediation efforts. Depending on the extent of damage, additional repair or restoration may be necessary to restore your building to pre-furnace puffback condition.

How To Weather the Storm: 3 Things Business Owners Should Consider

4/12/2020 (Permalink)

Flash light, sleeping bag, bottled water, first aid, portable radio, matches, medicine, band aids, whistle, blanket. You should have enough to run a portable radio, several flashlights, and any other required devices

What Do You Do When A Snow Storm Is Pending?

As business owners anticipate the inches of ice and flakes, you should also think about how to safeguard your assets, both structure and materials. It's all worth your time and interest, so take some early steps that could save you in the long run.

1. Have the Right Supplies

Each year, check your storm staples, ensuring you're ready to handle anything that comes your way. Do you have batteries? You should have enough to run a portable radio, several flashlights, and any other required devices. In addition, is your generator ready to go? Make sure you check it periodically to see that it functions as needed. Have it cleaned with the appropriate energy supply available. In addition, be ready to handle anything from a pipe burst to a broken window. That means keeping tools and boards on hand.

2. Secure the Premises

As a snow storm draws near, begin to relocate anything that is in a vulnerable area. Anything outside should come inside, and foliage should be trimmed, preventing the possibility of fliers hurting the roof or windows. Inside the store, store valuables in sections that are less likely to have issues. Insulate piping, and have the roofing looked over, making any last minute repairs to minimize water penetration.

3. Understand Your Plan

Be clear with employees about how you intend to handle a chaotic time. Put together a manual that lists the expected protocols. Managers should know how to handle customers and other staff, putting them in a safe location. Also, stay aware of the severity of the system. If it gets too bad, you may want a protocol for locking up the building and sending employees home, allowing them to complete any task in the comfort of their home office or living room. When the snow, wind, and rain clear, designate a specific person to check on the premises, contacting a water restoration company in Hazelwood, NC, should it be needed.
When the news thinks a snow storm is headed your way, do several things. Check supplies, inspect the land and organize.

Understanding Mold and How It Gets Into a Home

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth Mold is fungus

Mold in your home in Dellwood, NC, is a distressing situation. To understand how mold got there in the first place and how to control it helps you know that it is a manageable problem. The first thing to know is that just about any home or business could face an outbreak of mold or mildew, especially if there is excessive moisture present. The spores for mold are microscopic and they exist just about everywhere. Sometimes black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is characterized as an especially problematic type of mold, but all cases of mold in the home should be treated quickly.

The Characteristics of Mold

Mold is a fungus. Black mold is one of may different types of mold that sometimes show up in homes. Other interesting information about this fungus include the following facts:

  • Mold can spread throughout a home in as little as 48-72 hours in the right conditions
  • Mold loves cool, damp places in your home and thrives on high levels of humidity
  • Mold spores form into colonies when exposed to water
  • Mold often produces an odor that is musty
  • Mold can produce allergens and irritants that bother humans

When mold is found in a home, a professional mold cleanup is often called for. A mold mitigation company will have the training, equipment, and experience to remedy the problem.

The Steps To Control Mold

When technicians tackle black mold growth in a home, they often look to remove a moisture problem. This might involve stopping a leak in the plumbing, or reducing humidity in a room to below 45 percent. Once this is accomplished, mold containment will proceed, followed by air filtration with specialized equipment such as air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums. The next step is the removal of mold and mold-infested materials. The cleaning process involves the removing of odors associated with mold growth. The job is complete when your home looks and smells "Like it never even happened."

4 Things To Do Before a Winter Storm Hits

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flash light, sleeping bag, bottled water, first aid, portable radio, matches, medicine, band aids, whistle, blanket. Consider stocking supplies such as flashlights, batteries, blankets

Get Ready With These Four Tips

As a business owner in Cherokee, NC, you know that a snow storm can prove problematic at times. Don't wait. Take action now, ensuring you're protecting your store and workers. Get ready with these four tips.

1. Establish a Plan

While a white blanket may look beautiful, too much of it can prove disastrous, causing a cave in or a pipe burst. As the boss, be prepared to manage the property and your employees, keeping them safe during heavy systems; therefore, months before craziness hits, spend some time brainstorming how you'll handle inclement weather. At what point would you close shop, sending people home to safety? Think about this now to avoid getting stuck or endangering lives on the road. In addition, consider stocking up on supplies such as the following:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Non-perishable food
  • Blankets
  • Water

2. Inspect and Protect the Building

As the snow storm gets closer, take measures to look around the land. Is the structure ready? Have the roof inspected, patching any missing shingles and clearing it of debris. Then, look over the windows and siding, caulking areas that appear vulnerable. You want a tight seal to avoid excess moisture. In addition, insulate pipes, preventing them from freezing. Finally, check smoke alarms, changing out the batteries, if necessary.

3. Monitor the Weather

Purchase a NOAA radio available, so you can listen often for updates. Pay close attention to temperature readings, knowing when it's more likely to have a pipe burst. When snowing becomes heavy, offer staff the opportunity to complete work at home, catching up on emails and paperwork, if possible. It's better to have them safe and comfortable.

4. Get Help When Needed

Have the name of a storm restoration company in Cherokee, NC, to assess the damage and determine whether it is okay to reopen. They can handle any water issues, drying out the rooms and restoring much of what has been ruined.
As a snow storm approaches, be proactive, having the knowledge to get ahead and safeguard your establishment. Create a plan, gather supplies and establish lines of communication.

How To Detect a Bathtub or Shower Leak

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber repairing a bathtub A shower or bathtub leak should never be ignored

A shower or bathtub can be expensive to repair, especially if damage begins somewhere beneath or behind tiles. Fiberglass and other materials used to create prefabricated tubs and showers are a little bit easier to replace when damages occur, but when your bathtub leak happens behind marble or specialty ceramics, you're looking at expensive, sometimes tricky work.

Recognize the Signs of Trouble

How can you tell if water damage is lurking behind the wall or under the tub? There are several warning signs:

  • Stains on the ceiling anywhere below the bathroom
  • Blackened wood or stalactite-type growths in the basement or crawlspace
  • Stains on baseboards or trim around the shower
  • Wet carpeting on the floor of rooms next to the bathroom
  • Signs of mold on the grout around the tub
  • Peeling paint in the general vicinity

Trust your instincts; if you have started to wonder whether you have a problem, there's reason enough to take a closer look.

Make Safety a Priority

Before you look for the source of the leak or attempt to do any repairs, think about your safety. Water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Shut off the power at the breaker box. You may need to leave the water on to find the source of the leak.

Find the Problem Area

Once you've recognized signs of a shower or bathtub leak, it's important to locate the leak itself. It doesn't take long for water to damage drywall, electrical wiring, and other important home systems. There are a number of tests you could do on your own, but for the best results, hire a plumber or talk to a water damage cleanup and restoration professional. You could have a shower pan leak, trouble around the drain, worn or missing grout, or damaged pipes behind the walls.
A shower or bathtub leak should never be ignored. Even if you just suspect trouble, contact an experienced professional in Maggie Valley, NC, for the best results.

5 Tips For Putting Out a Grease Fire

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Baking soda If the fire is small, put baking soda on it to quell the fire

Five Tips To Stop This Fire In Its Tracks

A grease fire can be one of the most challenging fires to deal with. They start when someone has left cooking oil on for far too long. Usually, this is when someone has put the oil on and forgotten about it, leading to the oil boiling, then smoking and finally, catching on fire. If this happens, do you know what to do? Follow these five tips to stop this fire in its tracks.

1. Contain the Fire

Place a metal lid on top of the pot to help smother the fire. Leave this on until the top and pot are completely cool.

2. Shut the Stove Off

If you can reach the knob safely, turn the stove off to stop the oil from heating even more.

3. Use Baking Soda or Salt

If the fire is small, put baking soda or salt on it to quell the fire.

4. Get Out the Fire Extinguisher

If you are dealing with a larger fire, use a Class B fire extinguisher which is specifically made for liquid fires, like those involving cooking oil.

5. Get Help

If the fire is too much, seek help. Call 911 so your local fire department can bring relief. Remember to close the kitchen door to isolate the fire and head outside away from your home.

What You Should Not Do

No matter what you do, never put water on a grease fire. This will only make matters worse and will require a larger fire cleanup. Refrain from moving the pot. This could cause the oil to splash on you, fall on the stove and ignite a bigger fire or you could burn yourself. Do not use any type of cloth to try to fan the fire out. These could catch fire in the process. Besides salt and baking soda, do not use any other type of food item to put the fire out. These are the only items that can help extinguish the fire.
Dealing with a grease fire can be overwhelming. To contain the fire, you can do several things, including covering the pot with a metal lid, smothering the fire with salt and calling 911.