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Use Chemical Drain Cleaners Cautiously

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Use Chemical Drain Cleaners Cautiously Never use a chemical cleaner on clogged drain in your Brevard, NC home

It’s easy to understand why people look to chemicals for a clogged drain. Use them, and there is no need to pay a plumber or purchase and use plumbers’ tools. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

Never Use a Chemical Cleaner on a Completely Blocked Drain

Television advertisements would have you believe that clearing a clogged drain is simple. Apply the chemicals, the sewer blockage disappears and the toxic chemicals go with it. This process may work in see-through glass pipes and cartoon simulations, but it overlooks the real-world problems.

Chemical cleaners are highly corrosive, generate large amounts of heat and are very toxic to humans and the environment. It is these characteristics that make them unsuitable for use in a blocked sewer. Consider the following:

  1. Corrosive chemicals can weaken or damage metal pipes. Corrosion occurs naturally over time. Drain cleaners speed up this process. If a pipe leaks while it contains toxic material, the leaked liquid poses extreme health and environmental hazards.
  2. Heat can damage plastic pipes. They don’t corrode like metal, but they can fail due to excessive heat. If they start leaking, the risks are the same as with metal.
  3. If your chemical drain cleaner doesn’t work, don’t try a different one. Adding more toxic chemicals would be a terrible idea. Doing this might create a poisonous gas which would require evacuation and a visit from the Brevard, NC, Hazardous Material Unit.
  4. Toxic chemicals make the plumber’s job more dangerous. If all else fails, call the plumber. Hopefully, the plumber can fix your blockage without disturbing the pipes. However, if new pipes become necessary, the plumber must take great care to avoid chemical exposure.

The Worst-Case Scenario Is That the Blocked Sewer Pipe Fails

The sewage and toxic chemicals in the clogged drain have flooded your beautiful home. Sewage cleaning calls for a team of sewage and contamination removal technicians to remediate the problem. They will make your home look “Like it Never Even Happened”.

Business Fires: The 3 Steps to Fire Prevention

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Business Fires: The 3 Steps to Fire Prevention Create and practice an evacuation plan in your Waynesville, NC business

Business Fires: The 3 Steps to Fire Prevention

Fire prevention is a serious job, one with actual life and death ramifications. Therefore, as a business owner, you must plan to protect the people that work for you and the clients the trust you. A fire can elicit panic and fear and without appropriate preparations, people may freeze-up and perish. Follow the three steps to prevention below and help protect and guide your employees.

1. Perform a Risk Assessment

You don’t have to experience a business fire to evaluate your property for risks. In fact, you can call a fire remediation specialist in the Waynesville, NC, area to perform a risk assessment. While it is true that these professionals handle fire damage and restoration, they are also equipped to evaluate your property’s weaknesses and strengths when it comes to fire safety.

2. Have and Test All Fire Protection Equipment

Basic fire prevention includes having an adequate number of fire extinguishers as well as a working suppression system. While it may seem that these are once-and-done purchases, each of these pieces of equipment needs to undergo annual inspections to ensure their continued functionality.

3. Create and Practice an Evacuation Plan

Also, you should design several exit routes from every room or section of your property. These routes should be free of obstructions and should be practiced regularly. Your employees should perform a practice escape at least once a year, but more often is better. Additionally, local municipalities may require practice drills.

4. Enforce First Aid Training

Beyond the escape, employees should be aware of basic first aid. When a fire occurs, it may take emergency services several minutes to arrive on the scene, but some victims may require immediate attention. Having well-trained employees ensures the safety of everyone.

Fire prevention is a pretty straightforward practice, but it is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Be sure to take the time and prepare your facility, the lives of your employees may just depend on it.

4 Steps To Fix a Flooded Basement

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 4 Steps To Fix a Flooded Basement Pump out standing water on your basement with a sump pump

A basement flood is an inconvenience and a safety hazard. It is necessary to remove standing water as soon as possible. Afterward, a homeowner should have the basement inspected for signs of structural damage, cleaned, and disinfected. It may also be necessary to repair or replace appliances that have been exposed to flood water. Here are four steps to fix a flooded basement.

1. Pump Out Standing Water

Eliminating standing water is the most crucial step toward mitigating flood damage. The longer water stands in a basement, the higher the risk of mold growth and structural damage. It may be necessary to gradually pump out water to equalize interior and exterior pressure. Pumping too quickly can cause structural damage.

2. Assess the Condition

After a basement flood, it is important to insure that this level of a home still has structural integrity. Any porous building materials may need to be torn out and replaced. These measures should be taken prior to disinfection to avoid re-contamination.

3. Clean and Disinfect

Flood Water is considered Category Three water damage. This water may contain microbes, chemicals, heavy metals, and other potentially harmful substances. Homeowners can lower the risk of infection or mold growth by having a flooded basement thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

4. Replace Gas and Electrical Components

Experts recommend discarding electrical components exposed to standing water, such as fixtures, outlets, switches, and wiring. Electrical motors should also be replaced. Homeowners may need to replace gas appliances exposed to flood water.

Keep in mind that standard homeowner's insurance coverage will only cover a basement flood caused by an appliance leak or pipe burst. A flood policy or endorsement for sewage backup can offset the costs of mitigating other types of flooding. If water is standing in the basement of a residence in Waynesville, NC, contact water damage cleanup experts as soon as possible.

How To Keep Your Home and Family From a Space Heater Disaster

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Keep Your Home and Family From a Space Heater Disaster Prevent a burned space heater and keep your home safe

Space heaters can quickly warm a chilly room and create a cozier atmosphere. They are popular for kids’ rooms, basements and even garage areas. The misuse of space heaters, however accounts for many house fires and injuries each year in Brevard, NC. Even if a fire is quickly extinguished, the odor from a burned space heater and the accompanying smoke cleanup can be intimidating to say the least.

Always observe a few basic preventative rules when using a space heater. This will keep your home safer and may protect your loved ones from a disaster.

Space Heater Safety Tips

  • Inspect the heater to make sure there are no loose parts, frayed or broken cords, or loose or bent prongs.
  • Buy a heater with an auto-shut-off, tip shut-off and GFCI plug to prevent shocks
  • Never use an extension cord or place cord where it will be walked on or that it could pose a tripping hazard
  • Run it first in a safe place and check to see if there is a burning smell or whether the surface gets hot.
  • Use it only on a hard surface and at least three feet from any materials that may easily catch fire, such as curtains, furniture or bedding
  • With heater unplugged, vacuum often to remove surface dust and change filters regularly if applicable.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended and always turn off before sleeping

When Things Go Wrong

A burned space heater can give off toxic fumes from melted plastic and other components that can be harmful as well as giving off a bad smell. In the event your space heater burns up, or worse, you are better off to call in a professional restoration service to ensure that the cleanup and odor removal are thorough. It may require cleaning, an ozone generator or more to restore you to pre-fire condition.

Don’t become a statistic in Brevard, NC. Following these safety tips can help prevent a burned space heater and keep your home the happy and safe place it can be.

5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage Massive water loss in a Bryson City, NC building

5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

A commercial property can sustain damage from many sources. Here are the five most common causes of water damage, from a broken pipe to sprinklers, toilets, and drainage, along with tips for mitigation and preventing damage from recurring.

1. Broken Pipes

A pipe break can cause extensive damage in a short period of time. Shut off the water and contact a plumber for water repair. An owner may also want to call a damage mitigation company and notify the insurance company. Even if a broken pipe is not a covered peril, the damage that it causes should be covered.

2. Fire Sprinklers

Sprinkler systems can accidentally activate or leak. Unless there is a fire, an owner or manager should shut off the water and contact the sprinkler company. Have sprinklers regularly inspected and maintained to prevent accidental activation.

3. Toilet Overflow

Toilet backups and overflows are caused by sewer blockages, supply line issues, or broken components. In addition to regular maintenance, a facility manager may want to post signage about which materials should not be flushed and provide trash containers in stalls.

4. Sewer Backups

A sewer backup may be caused by a blockage in the line from a building or in municipal mains. Either way, it is important that a commercial building have a functional sump pump. Some structures may also have a backflow valve. Test flood prevention systems on a regular basis.

5. Ineffective Drainage

A drainage system should be cleared at least twice a year. The landscape should also be graded to direct runoff away from the building. An owner may want to have landscaping modified to prevent flooding.

These are the most common causes of water damage to commercial buildings in Bryson City, NC. If a broken pipe or any other system results in damage, the owner or facility manager should contact a mitigation and restoration company.

Mold Prevention in Your Commercial Building

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold Prevention in Your Commercial Building Mold damage in Bryson City,NC

Once you hire a cleaning crew and maintenance staff for your commercial property in Bryson City, NC, you probably won't spend a lot of time thinking about mold. Fungus can be sneaky, however, so it's a good idea to know how to prevent mold growth. Leaks and condensation can cause secondary damage even in a building that is cleaned regularly.

Where To Look

Mold needs three things to thrive – moisture, organic matter and a little time. Any area of your building that experiences high humidity is particularly susceptible to a mold problem.

  • Water coolers
  • HVAC units and ducts
  • Cavities behind walls
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Bathrooms

These are areas that generally use water to function, so the probability of mold growth is higher than in other areas. To complicate matters further, many of the pipes that carry the water are hidden from plain sight. That means that unless you are vigilant, you could have a mold problem before you even know there is a leak.

What To Do

While mold remediation specialists can mitigate the areas where mold has grown in your building, the best solution is prevention. In addition to the regular cleaning and maintenance you already have scheduled, check for signs of water damage on at least a monthly basis. This review will help you tackle the source of the problem before it gets out of hand. Keep the humidity level in your building no higher than 50 percent all year. You may even consider keeping it lower than 40 percent in the winter to avoid condensation on the windows. Insulate your pipes so that they are less likely to burst. Taking a few precautions and performing frequent inspections can help your building resist mold.

Mold growth can occur easily in commercial buildings where conditions are favorable. Together with your cleaning and maintenance team, however, you can prevent mold even in areas that are prone to it.

What to Know About Your Commercial Property Insurance

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What to Know About Your Commercial Property Insurance Repair after fire damage in Brevard,NC

If you have a business property in Brevard, NC, you may be wondering what to look for in your commercial insurance policy. Your policy can vary depending on a few things so it’s important to ask your agent any questions you may have. However, there are some commonalities between most policies.

What Property May Qualify

There are a number of types of business property that may qualify for a fire damage or other insurance policy. These may include:

  • Any owned or rented buildings or structures used solely for business purposes
  • Inventory housed in the building
  • Signage or fencing placed on the property
  • Equipment used for the business such as computers or manufacturing equipment
  • Office furniture
  • Important company documentation such as accounting records

What Factors Can Influence Your Policy

The location and usage of the company property may affect the type of commercial insurance policy the property is eligible for as well as its cost. If the building is good repair and located near adequate fire protection it may cost less to insure. Similarly, a building used for low fire risk activities such as an office will cost less than higher risk usage such as a manufacturing facility.

What May Happen During a Claim

It’s important to file your insurance claim as soon as possible. Your insurance agent may want to send someone to assess the cause and extent of the damage, as well as take inventory of any damaged property and its value. They may also have a recommendation for a team of restoration professionals who can take care of any clean up and repairs your business may need.

Your insurance policy may include fire protection for most assets your company claims, regardless if it’s owned or rented. In many cases commercial insurance policies may vary due to a number of factors, so it’s important to read your documentation and talk with your agent if you have any questions. If a fire or other event should occur, your insurance company may have professionals they recommend to conduct the restoration.

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.