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Top Tips When Purchasing a Home Inside a Flood Zone

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Top Tips When Purchasing a Home Inside a Flood Zone Flooded home in Brevard, NC area

Purchasing a Home Inside a Flood Zone

Purchasing a home in Brevard, NC, can be an exciting experience. However, homeownership is a financial investment that should be carefully considered and protected. Purchasing a home located in a flood zone may be risky, but there are several steps you can take to help safeguard your assets and financial security.

Conduct a Thorough Home Inspection

A home inspection is an important aspect of the home-buying process that helps prospective buyers identify potential issues within the house. Because purchasing a home with pre-existing flooding damage may not be ideal, you should carefully examine the structure for any signs of water damage, such as the following:

  • Stains on the walls and ceiling
  • Swollen walls and warped floors
  • Cracked drywall
  • Corrosion around pipe connections
  • Missing or loose caulking

The presence of a musty odor or any of these symptoms may indicate flood damage that has not been adequately addressed, which may be cause for concern.

Purchase Flood Insurance

Living in a flood zone means you may be highly susceptible to flood damage. Most home insurance policies do not cover losses resulting from flooding. To safeguard against costly out-of-pocket cleanup and restoration expenses, homeowners should buy a flood insurance policy.

Prepare for Storms

A hurricane or other significant storm may produce significant rainfall that can cause significant problems for homeowners living in areas prone to floods. To prepare for this situation, it’s a good idea to have a sump pump, hose and alternative power source readily available.

You should also consider purchasing a reusable flood deterrent device that can divert water away from your house. Although you can also use sandbags, this traditional method cannot be reused and takes considerable time and effort to prepare, which may not be ideal if you have limited notice of an approaching storm.

Being Proactive Is Essential

You should not despair If the home of your dreams is in a flood zone. Taking proactive measures including carefully inspecting for existing water damage, purchasing a flood insurance policy and making adequate flood preparations helps protect the house and your financial interests.

smoke cleaning; smoke damage; smoke odor How To Get Rid of Smoke Odors Once and for All

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage smoke cleaning; smoke damage; smoke odor How To Get Rid of Smoke Odors Once and for All Cleaning up bathroom after fire loss in Bryson City,NC

Residential fires in Bryson City, NC, can be devastating. Even seemingly small fires can weaken homes, destroy belongings and ruin keepsakes. After flames die, lingering smoke odor serves as an ongoing reminder of the heartbreaking reality that flames spread through private places. To successfully remove smoke damage once and for all, many homeowners choose to collaborate with a professional restoration service. Here’s how the pros get the job done.

The Smoke-Removal Process

To remove the lingering odor of fire or cigarette smoke, restoration technicians take the following steps:

  • Open windows and doors throughout the home to fully air out the space
  • Locate and replace all HVAC filters
  • Thoroughly clean the house’s walls and ceilings with glycol and ammonia, two compounds known for removing strong odors
  • Seal affected walls and ceilings with an odor barrier to lock in unpleasant odors
  • Repaint all walls and ceilings with latex paint
  • Clean curtains, blinds, furniture and personal belongings

Essential Equipment

Even small residential fires can leave considerable smoke contamination. Before smoke cleaning, many restoration professionals use specific equipment to reduce the smell of smoke in Bryson City, NC, homes. Air-filtration devices play an important role. Also, restoration technicians may use ozone machines or thermal foggers to improve air quality throughout the affected space. Since these pieces of equipment are not common household tools, you likely need to leave the smoke-removal process to the pros.

Value and Comfort Restoration

Some people are more sensitive to smoke than others. Regardless of your tolerance for smoke odors, though, you want your home to be as valuable and comfortable as possible. Firefighters have known for years that much of the damage of house fires comes from smoke. Further, a significant part of returning your home to its pre-fire condition is successful smoke cleaning. With the right restoration service, you boost your odds of leaving your house fire in the past.

Tips for Commercial Storm Preparation

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Tips for Commercial Storm Preparation Heavy rains can cause big problems to your business

Most people have heard some variation of the saying, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” In Dellwood,NC, many business owners live by this creed. This is especially true when it comes to severe weather. Natural disasters such as hurricanes and thunderstorms can result in a significant amount of floodwater in your commercial property. Prepare for a flooded building before it happens with the tips below.

What To Do Before a Storm

During storm season, ready yourself for the possibility of a negative weather event. Take the following steps now to minimize impact and loss from water damage.

  • Review your commercial insurance policy. If you have any questions, contact your agent. Flooding is not always covered under a general policy and may require supplemental coverage. You may also wish to consider business interruption insurance to keep your company in the black during the restoration process.
  • Back up all important data and store documents in a safe place. In a flooded building, computers may be ruined and files may be soaked. Keep backup data for taxes, finances, employees, inventory and customers off site or in the Cloud.

What To Do After a Storm

Timing is everything. Researching water damage solutions as you stand in floodwater is an example of bad timing. When you plan ahead for dealing with the aftermath, recovery can be quicker and less stressful.

  • The most critical component of recovery is the ability to act fast. It’s smart to contact your insurance agent and a storm restoration company as soon as possible after damage occurs.
  • Prior to a weather emergency, research reputable restoration companies in your area. Have a copy of your insurance policy and the restoration specialist’s number in an alternate location in case your property is not accessible.

Although most people don’t expect to become victims of severe weather, floodwater in Dellwood, NC, is possible. Be prepared ahead of time to protect your investment and increase the chance of a smoother recovery.

How Water Damage Can Affect Flooring

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How Water Damage Can Affect Flooring Wood floor damage in a Waynesville, NC home

When dealing with damage caused by a pipe break or flooding one of the first concerns many homeowners in Waynesville, NC, may have can be for their floors. Damage can occur regardless of the type of flooring, and treatment may be different in each case.

Cement, Stone or Tile Flooring

Tile, stone and cement are common flooring types found in basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchen areas where water damage is the most likely to happen. Damage to these floors occurs most often when water gets into cracks and seeps under the flooring. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Loose tiles
  • Stains around chips or cracks in the flooring
  • Hollow sounds beneath stones or tiles
  • Areas where the grout or caulking is crumbling

Carpeted Flooring

A pipe break can occur in other areas of the house and cause damage to carpeting. In most cases, restoration may be possible if the carpet can be thoroughly dried. It’s also important to be aware of the water source in cases like these because carpeting damaged by an unclean source should be replaced. Signs of damage may include:

  • Staining or discoloration of the material
  • A change in the material’s texture
  • Loose material or spot like bubbling in areas near a water source

Wood Flooring

The type of wood your floors are comprised of can have a direct impact in how much damage they may endure. Hardwoods don’t soak in water as quickly as soft woods, so hardwoods may be more resistant to damage. Sealants may also help. Some signs of damage in wood floors include:

  • Buckling or cupping areas in the wood
  • Wearing or pealing sealant
  • Discoloration in the wood

A pipe break or flooding can cause water damage to your flooring. Whether you have wood flooring, tile or carpet, restoration professionals in Waynesville, NC, may be able to help. Remember, the affects water damage can have on your floors can vary by flooring type. Drying and restoration methods may also be different.

How to Deal with a Burst Pipe As a Property Owner

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How to Deal with a Burst Pipe As a Property Owner 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 http://www.SERVPROhaywoodtransylvaniacounties.com/.

In Praise of Action: Why Timely Mitigation Is Important

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage In Praise of Action: Why Timely Mitigation Is Important Limit secondary damage and get your home restored more quickly by starting the mitigation process as soon as possible.

Storms can cause a great amount of damage to your home, not only on the outside but on the inside as well. When floodwaters seep in, you may end up with a lot of flood damage. If you have flood insurance, one of your first calls should be to your insurance company, but that doesn't mean you have to wait for your adjuster to arrive to start the cleanup process. On the contrary, doing so may cause more damage and hurt your chances of having your claim accepted.

Secondary Damage

Your home in Waynesville, NC, wasn't built to hold water. The longer you delay in cleaning up after a storm, the more damage it will continue to do. Unresolved flooding can lead to more problems:

• Further permeation of walls, floors and ceilings
• Damage to electronics
• Breakdown of varnish on furniture
• Contamination of textiles

One of the biggest problems that may not be covered by your flood insurance is mold damage. A mold problem is often preventable when you enlist mitigation services in a timely manner. It doesn't take long for mold to grow, and if you let the dampness lead to fungal infestation, your insurance adjuster is likely to see it as neglect and thus won't count it as a damage your policy covers.

Claim Preparation

The adjuster may be too busy to arrive within a few days of flooding. It is important, therefore, to document damage. Take pictures and video of the areas that need restoration. Make a list of everything that needs to be repaired or replaced and put the approximate cost of doing so beside each item. The adjuster will still walk through your home to assess the damage, but if you have pictures of what it looked like in the beginning, you don't have to wait to start cleaning up.

Just because you call the insurance company first doesn't mean you have to wait for them. Limit secondary damage and get your home restored more quickly by starting the mitigation process as soon as possible. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROhaywoodtransylvaniacounties.com/.

How to Handle Moldy Paintings and Artwork

9/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How to Handle Moldy Paintings and Artwork When mold strikes your home, your paintings may become infested and risk mold damage if left alone.

Paintings are a staple of home decoration. When mold strikes your home, your paintings may become infested and risk mold damage if left alone. With proper mold cleaning, these cherished assets can be protected and treated.

Why Does Mold Loves Paintings?

Artwork is an ideal location for mold. It is often porous and is comprised of one the materials mold desires as a food source:

• Paper
• Wood
• Fiber textures like canvas
• Vinyl

If you have artwork susceptible to mold, it should be relocated away from water. This means it should be kept away from pipes, bathrooms, kitchens and sinks. If your home is too small or the painting is unable to be relocated, it should be inspected regularly for mold damage to treat the problem early.

Removing Mold Off Paintings

Great precaution is necessary with artwork and mold cleaning. The type of paint used should be evaluated initially. For example, oil paintings are durable but can be damaged by chemicals. Acrylic paintings can be damaged by moisture. Watercolors are extremely delicate and very sensitive to water.

As a typical mold remediation, surfaces like a frame, once removed, can be rubbed with a heavily diluted bleach solution and left to dry.

Light applications of a rubbing alcohol and water mixture can remove most mold from the actual artwork without the dangers of chemical cleaning agents like bleach. You should test this solution on a small location of the painting beforehand for potential damage to the artwork.

Experts Stand a Better Chance

As a warning, every painting is different and should be evaluated by a professional if you do not want to risk unnecessary damage. The expertise of a mold damage cleanup service in Waynesville, NC, can be consulted for the best chance of painting preservation and recovery.

Treatment of the painting doesn’t have to be as expensive as a nice painting itself. Even if the painting isn’t expensive, it could be sentimental. Mold cleaning is capable of saving the painting regardless of why you keep it. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROhaywoodtransylvaniacounties.com/.

How To Respond to a Partial Fire Loss

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

If a fire has only partially affected your business, there are some restoration circumstances you should know. Some of the factors you should be careful to avoid include

• Conducting improper cleaning or repairs
• Overlooking hidden damages, such as mold in ducts and smoke damage
• Delaying your response to repairs
• Haggling over line of sight repairs and achieving a uniform appearance

There are some steps you can take to get high quality results after a fire loss. Even if you can't see damages after a fire, there may be serious damage relating to smoke in the air. The right steps ensure you can fully and safely recover.

1. Document All the Damage

Go through your property and list all of the equipment, furnishings, and inventory affected by the fire. Don't forget to include structural damage and air quality losses. If you don’t document every aspect of fire loss, the insurance company may hesitate to pay for repairs and restoration efforts.

2. File a Claim Quickly

Many insurance adjusters have heavy schedules. Your partial claim may not be high on their list of businesses to visit. However, the sooner you can arrange for restoration efforts, the lower your losses are likely to be. Work closely with the insurance company and restoration professionals to get the process started as soon as possible after the fire.

3. Assert Your Rights for Fair Coverage

Did you know that your coverage should provide fire restoration that delivers a consistent appearance? This means even if part of the carpet wasn't affected by the fire, the insurance should pay for all of the carpet to be replaced, so that you aren't left with a patchwork look.

Partial losses often mean that some of your business wasn't affected by fire but may still need to be restored. Become familiar with your coverage, so you know what to expect when your business has been affected by fire loss and damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROhaywoodtransylvaniacounties.com for more information on fire damage. 

What Causes Sewers To Back Up After a Storm?

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storms can cause sewers to back up and send black water into structures through drain pipes. There are two main causes of sewer backup that commercial property owners should consider when planning for possible sources of water damage. Understanding this information can help to prevent backups from occurring during storms.

1. Sanitary main blockage: A blocked sanitary main may lead to backups in commercial properties. This process tends to happen relatively slowly, but you should contact a plumber and utility service to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

2. Sewer lateral blockage: A property owners is responsible for maintaining the pipeline that connects his or her building to the sanitary sewer main. Tree roots may penetrate old lines and cause cracks that allow rain water to seep into the system and cause backups. This blockage may also be caused by the disposal of unsuitable substances or items.

There are several ways to prevent sewer backup from occurring during a storm. Property owners should consider taking these three preventative steps to reduce the likelihood of this source of water damage:

1. Replace the lateral line with plastic pipe. This can prevent tree roots from entering the line.

2. Properly dispose of grease or paper products. Proper disposal practices can go a long way toward preventing clogs and backups at any time.

3. Install a backwater prevention valve. This valve can be installed on a drain or sewer line to prevent backflow, and it should be regularly maintained.

Sewer backup is not covered by many standard business insurance policies. Additional coverage is necessary to account for potential sewage loss. You may want to factor in whether one or more of these preventative steps or the cost of an additional insurance rider is more cost-effective for your business. If a backup situation does occur due to a storm in Waynesville, NC contact a commercial restoration service that specializes in black water damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROhaywoodtransylvaniacounties.com for more information on storm damage. 

DIY Your Leaking Toilet Repair

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a leaking toilet every time you flush, don't throw out the toilet; you can probably diagnose and repair this problem on your own, or you can contact a Waynesville, NC professional if you prefer not to do the repair yourself.

Parts of the Toilet

Inside the tank, you'll find:

• Flush lever
• Water inlet
• Lift chain
• Overflow tube
• Chain float
• Flush valve seat
• Flapper

As part of the toilet bowl, you'll find the trap just below the bowl, a bend in the water path, known as the weir, and a small hold at the front base of the bowl called a siphon jet.

Determine Where the Leak Originates

The next step is to locate the source of the leaking toilet. Clean up any existing water and then watch for a new puddle to determine where the leak is occurring. If the water is seeping from beneath the toilet, the wax seal may have failed. If this is the case, you may be able to stop the leak by tightening the bolts that hold the toilet in place.

Begin the Repair

If this doesn't stop the leak, turn off the water supply, set aside the tank lid, remove as much water as possible from the toilet and tank, and then disconnect the water supply located in the bathroom. This may be located on the floor near the toilet or under the sink.

Next, loosen the bolts, remove the toilet, and scrape off the old gasket, removing all bits from the floor and the toilet. Inspect the gasket and the toilet for other damages. If there are broken pieces or other factors contributing to the bathroom leak, contact a professional. If not, replace the old wax gasket with a new gasket and reassemble the toilet.

When DIY Fails

If the tank flange is broken or the tank hasn't been installed appropriately, there could be other damages to consider. When you aren't sure what the problem is, contact a professional to handle the leaking toilet quickly and expertly. Visit http://www.SERVPROhaywoodtransylvaniacounties.com for more information on water damage