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Flood-Damaged Homes Require Complete Decontamination

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Someone wearing a white protective gear with google, helmet and gloves 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:

  • Sewage
  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticides
  • 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
  • Hardhat
  • Mask

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.

Replacing a Leaking Toilet

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking toilet in a Dunns Rock, NC

A leaking toilet is a problem that most homeowners will encounter at some point. Many common toilet repair techniques can be completed by the homeowner, although further complications may require the help of a professional. Understanding the cause of the leak, and the steps needed to mitigate the problem, are vital to limiting water damage in the home.

Leak Causes

When a toilet leaks, water often appears at its base. When this occurs, it is vital to quickly diagnose the source of the issue. The most common reason for a leaking toilet is damage to the wax seal. Over time, this area wears away and begins to allow water to seep through at the base of the toilet. Other common causes include the following:

  • Loose supply tube: This is the tube that connects the toilet tank to the home’s water supply.
  • Faulty shutoff valve: The valve is connected to the supply tube and controls the flow of water into the toilet.
  • Cracked tank: The tank holds the toilet’s reserve of water.

Replacing a Toilet

When it becomes clear that the toilet needs to be replaced, you must begin by shutting off the water supply and draining the tank and bowl. Remove the supply tube and the bolts holding the old toilet to the floor. Then gently rock the toilet until the wax seal is broken. Once the toilet is removed, ensure the flange and its parts are free of cracks, and be sure to scrape away the old wax. Add the new wax seal, connect the supply tube, and bolt the toilet over the seal.

When to Contact a Professional

Those who are uncomfortable with home repairs, lack the strength to maneuver the toilet, or have multiple complications from their leaking toilet should consider contacting a professional for help. Likewise, your bathroom may have experienced water damage, which can lead to harmful mold growth. Consider contacting a water damage remediation specialist in Dunns Rock, NC, to assess the situation. Working quickly to identify the cause and working to fix the leak will minimize further damage in your home.

3 Thunderstorm Safety Tips Business Owners Should Know

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Consider installing a lightning rod

Safety Tips That Can Help Business Owners Prepare For Storms

Though many business owners in Clyde, NC, prepare for various types of disasters, many forget to prepare for a rain storm. However, storms can cause major damage to businesses in a short period of time. There are several safety tips that can help business owners prepare for storms in their area.

1. Consider Installing a Lightning Rod

Lightning strikes are common causes of storm damage, and installing a lightning rod can be beneficial. Though many people believe a lightning rod attracts lightning, this isn't the case. In reality, a lightning rod deflects the strike, and the electricity will pass through the rod and go into the ground rather than striking your building and causing a fire. If you already have a lightning rod installed on your property, then it can be wise to make sure the rod is well-maintained and properly secured to your building.

2. Maintain Your Business's Landscape

Maintaining your business's landscape can be especially important before a rain storm. Before a storm, removing debris from your landscape can lessen the risk of your property sustaining damage. Additionally, cleaning your property's gutters and positioning the gutters away from your building can help to prevent flooding. However, your building is affected by a storm, it may be useful to contact storm mitigation and restoration experts.

3. Prepare Your Employees

Before a storm, it can be helpful to prepare your employees to make certain everyone remains safe during a storm. When a storm occurs, it's often best to avoid going outside. In order to keep everyone safe if a window shatters during a storm, it's wise to make sure employees and visitors stay away from windows, especially if high winds accompany a thunderstorm. It can also be helpful to go over storm safety routinely in order to make sure your staff knows the proper protocol to follow before, during and after a storm.

Although a rain storm has the potential to cause destruction to your property, there are steps you can take to prepare. Installing a lightning rod, maintaining your property's landscape and preparing your employees for a storm can help to minimize the risk of damage to your business.

The Cleanup Process Following a Commercial Fire

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Roof tarp service in Retreat, NC

If you've experienced a fire at your commercial building in Retreat, NC, you may be wondering what the next steps are. The proper fire restoration steps, including smoke damage, need to be taken in order to ensure that your business is up and running as quickly as possible. Here is what you can expect in the upcoming weeks.

Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

You should never enter the building before it has been checked and cleared as there could be structure damage. A professional fire restoration company will come assess the situation and create a plan of action. They will go ahead and secure the building so that further issues do not arise. Extreme heat often causes windows to break, so they will likely need to board up those up and put tarps over the parts of the roof that are missing or damaged from the flames.

Smoke and Soot Cleaning

Smoke damage extends beyond just the items that were affected directly by the fire; it often seeps into materials that were never even burned. Smoke cleaning involves using special equipment to remove soot damage and odor from all surfaces, such as the carpet, walls and even your personal items.

Restoration

This is the part where the professionals work to get your building looking the way it did before the damage occurred. Depending on the size of the fire, this may mean just a few minor repairs, or it may require quite a bit of reconstruction. Your business may need to relocate during this time so that the construction does not interfere with every day tasks that you and your employees are trying to complete.
It is important to begin cleaning up right away so that you can be back in business as soon as possible. Hiring a professional fire restoration company in Retreat, NC, that is able to handle everything from smoke damage to water removal can make the process go much faster and smoother.

What Is Mold?

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can grow in basements

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi that can be found just about everywhere. There are good types of mold, such as those used to cure or ripen cheese, as well as bad types, like the toxic black mold most people are familiar with. Mold can grow both outside and inside buildings of all sizes. It grows best in damp, dark areas but can survive for some time in a dry environment. There are many places for mold to grow in buildings:

  • Bathrooms
  • Crawl spaces
  • Basements
  • Anywhere there is constant moisture or leaks

Moisture Problem

If you have discovered a moisture problem in a large commercial building in Hazelwood, NC, there is a good chance mold is present, especially if it’s an old problem or in an area that is constantly warm and humid, or leaking. Even if you can’t see mold, you can probably tell something is off by the way the area smells.

Mold Cleanup

Completely removing mold from a building can be a challenge, especially if it’s a problem that has gone unnoticed. Black mold spores can spread easily and become airborne when even just slightly disturbed. If you attempt to take care of the problem, and just a small amount is left behind, it will continue to multiply until you have another full-on infestation.
The EPA provides a detailed guide describing strategies for identifying causes of indoor air quality problems and gives some mitigation strategies for less severe issues. This can help you decide whether the problem can be solved, or if you will need additional help from a specialist.

Mold remediation professionals and the EPA can teach you more about mold and indoor air quality in commercial buildings. Black mold problems only become worse with time, so to maintain the structural integrity and air quality of the building, it’s important to consult with the professionals to get an assessment of the situation and determine the safest and quickest route for remediation.

Renters Insurance and Fire Damage

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

A renters insurance policy can help you recover quickly from fire damage to your home

A fire in your Hazelwood, NC, home can be a stressful event, particularly if you are a renter. Having a good renters insurance policy can put your mind at ease.

Types of Coverage Available

A typical policy may include coverage for any or all of the following:

Liability covers payments made to a third party for any damages or injuries sustained during a fire that are deemed to be the fault of the renter.
Medical payments coverage makes payments to third parties who were injured during the fire (even if the renter is not at fault for the fire).
Loss of use coverage aids the renter in paying for other accommodations while the home is being repaired by fire restoration experts.
Contents coverage pays for the damage done to the renter’s personal belongings during the fire. It is important to have “replacement value” coverage rather than “actual cash value” coverage on your renters insurance policy. This means that the insurance company will pay out enough for you to replace the items rather than only paying out what those belongings were worth at the time of the fire.

Importance of the Home Inventory

The specific process for filing a claim varies depending on the insurance company, but generally documentation of the fire damage is required. Ideally, you should do much of this documentation before you are the victim of a fire.
It is important to keep an inventory of your belongings, basically a list of everything you own and how much it is worth. It is a good idea to save receipts, especially for expensive things like furniture and electronics. You may also want to keep appraisal records for antiques and collectibles. Photos or video of your belongings should also be included in the inventory so they can be compared to the photos or video you take after the fire.
A fire in your home can be a major disaster. Fortunately, there are several types of renters insurance policies that can help you and your family recover more quickly.

How To Keep Your Sump Pump in Top Condition

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

A happy pump means a happy home!

How To Keep Your Sump Pump in Top Condition

Living in Dellwood, NC, you probably know that flooding can be a problem certain times of year. You might also have a damp basement that occasionally allows water to seep in. A common solution for keeping accumulated water away from your home is a sump pump. It has a demanding job, so keeping it in working order can be a priority.

Debris Clearing

The most basic of tasks to perform is a periodic walk-through to check for debris that may be blocking various entrances and exits of the system. If it gets too backed up you may notice water damage, in which case you should contact a water damage remediation service. This type of pump maintenance will also help you to become more familiar with the workings of the pump itself. Some key areas to keep clear are the:

  • discharge pipe
  • vent hole
  • intake screen
  • pit containing the float component

Power Source Maintenance

A sump pump can't function without power, so be sure to keep it properly supplied. It is standard to replace the battery every two years, unless told otherwise by the manufacturer. If it uses a plug, make sure it is connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) type outlet. Try to keep the cord in good condition- in case something happens, it is a good idea to have a replacement cord on hand just in case.

Regular Testing

You'll want to routinely make sure that the float within the pit is able to trigger the pump to turn on like it should. To confirm this, it is easiest to fill it with water yourself to watch the process- you could use a bucket or hose. This should be done after all debris has been cleared. If you catch it early, you'll have time to get it repaired before it's needed.
A sump pump is well worth its salt if you happen to live in a wetland area or experience flooding often. To avoid water damage to your home, prevention is the best solution. A happy pump means a happy home!

The Importance of Cleaning Smoke Damage After a Fire

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage is an unfortunate situation for your business, but it is manageable with the professionals in Cherokee, NC

The Importance of Cleaning Smoke Damage After a Fire

A commercial fire is a nasty affair, in more ways than one. First, there’s the emotional shock of the fire itself and the loss of property. Then, there is the secondary harm that comes from smoke damage. This can create odors that will remain in the wood, fabric and electronics of your business unless it is professionally cleaned after a fire damage assessment. It’s important to note that damage from smoke should be covered by your insurance policy, even if it comes from a nearby building.

Call in the Experts

If you experience a business fire in Cherokee, NC, it’s smart to call in a fire restoration team as soon as possible. The team is trained to take care of soot damage and clean out the odors from smoke and water damage. Advanced equipment will be used, including the following:

  • Industrial fans and dehumidifiers
  • Industrial air scrubbers
  • Fogging equipment
  • Dry cleaning equipment
  • Professional grade cleaners and sanitizers

Smoke damage is insidious and can permeate the entire building. Specialized techniques are required to fully clean the walls, fabric, flooring and other items from the odors of smoke and soot.

Rely on the Professionals

The goal of smoke cleaning is to bring your building back to pre-fire conditions as soon as possible. Time is of the essence when it comes to bringing your business back in line. Everything should look good, and no unpleasant odors should be present. A thorough job of cleaning and sanitizing will also prevent the growth of mold in the future. Restoration is the final stage, where items that cannot be cleaned are repaired or replaced. This could include work on drywall, fabrics and carpeting and putting down a fresh coat of paint.

Smoke damage is an unfortunate situation for your business, but it is manageable with the professionals in Cherokee, NC. You can get your business up and running quickly in a building that is clean and free of smoke odors.

Mold should be left to the professionals

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Haywood & Transylvania Counties working to remediate mold in this home.

When you are considering the problem of mold damage in your home, you may not believe you need mold inspection. After all, if you can see the mold already, do you need an inspector to tell you it’s there? However, what you may not realize is that mold comes in various strains, and each strain requires different remediation techniques. If you want to fully eradicate the mold in your home, you need an assessment from a trained professional, and here’s why.

Why Mold Testing Should Be Left to the Professionals 

  • A Waynesville, NC mold remediation expert can identify the species of mold in your home and figure out where it is hiding. 
  • A professional can provide mold cleaning tips based on the species of mold you’re dealing with. 
  • A professional knows that spores are everywhere and will conduct an air quality assessment throughout your entire home, not just in areas with visible mold damage. 

You Get What You Pay For 

Many homeowners opt to buy at-home testing kits to save money, but the truth is that DIY tests can cause more monetary waste than savings. At-home kits are designed to pick up the presence of mold (which all homes have) but cannot indicate from where a problem originates or what species of mold is present. This is unhelpful when it comes to mold cleaning and remediation efforts. 

When homeowners rely solely on at-home test kits, they may miss spores or existing growth when cleaning. In other instances, they may invest in mold remediation efforts for an entirely different species of mold, which would do nothing to kill the species currently invading their home. Mold growth left unattended can eat away at a house’s structure and cause costly problems. 

Professionals can detect dangerous levels of mold and give homeowners accurate assessments of where mold is hiding and what cleaning need to be done to kill that particular species. If you don’t want your mold cleaning efforts to go to waste, invest in a professional inspection. Anything less may prove to be a waste of your time and money. 

Follow These Steps if You Find Water Damage in Your Building

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial cleanup in Cherokee, NC

Imagine the shock if you were to find a flood in your basement, under sinks or on the floor of your kitchen or bathroom. Perhaps you've experienced this ordeal before. Water damage can create a host of problems for you in your Cherokee, NC, building, even if it's only a moderate amount. It's critical that you act quickly and follow effective protocol to get a handle on this incident before it gets worse.

How Does It happen?

Flooding can occur on your property in a number of ways. The severity of problems can vary depending on the cause or the duration in which water infiltrated your office space. Here are some common culprits:

  • Broken pipes
  • Backed-up sewer line
  • Weak foundation
  • Poorly situated rain gutter and downspouts
  • Significant rainfall in a short amount of time

Get To Safety

In the most severe cases where massive amounts of water are coming into your building, the water damage can be catastrophic. If a broken sewer line is the causing the issue, there's probably black water in your office. This can be lethal, so it's essential that you evacuate immediately.

Call Your Insurance Company

Once you're safe, call your insurance representative and detail the issue. If possible, take photos of the affected area and the damage.

Call the Professionals

Next, select a reputable flood remediation team. A professional company has the skills, experience and equipment to perform water cleanup, to sanitize your facility and to rebuild or restore floors, walls, ceilings and other areas. Also, your insurance company will work closely with the restoration team to ensure prompt cleanup and claim payment. Don't try to perform these tasks on your own.
The right company is equipped to take care of even the worst water damage issues. You can have peace of mind knowing that you can soon be back in your building, safely and comfortably.