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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Cleaning Your BBQ Grill: 3 Simple Tips

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill at a summer barbecue party. Cleaning your grill can reduce the risk of a fire.

Grill Cleaning Tips

When barbeque season comes to Mill Spring, NC, you probably look forward to creating a variety of delicious meals for your family. However, before you use your grill for the first time this season, learning a few handy grill cleaning tips can reduce the risk of fire, give your unit a longer life and make your grilled food taste better.

1. Burn Off Excess Grease
You can prevent a grease fire in your charcoal or gas grill by lighting the unit, closing the hood and letting it run at its usual temperature to burn away any grease deposits you may have missed when you cleaned and stored the grill previously. Allow the grill to run for at least 30 minutes to ensure all the grease softens or burns off.

2. Soak and Scrub
Grill cleaning can be simpler once you let the parts soak in hot, soapy water. You can also use a store-bought grill cleaner to remove especially tough stains. If your gas grill includes stainless steel parts, use a cleanser specially designed for cleaning the metal to protect the finish. Most gas grills feature removable burner tubes and control knobs, so remember to clean these thoroughly as well.

3. Practice Safe Grill Maintenance While Cleaning
Grill cleaning can be dangerous unless you practice proper safety measures throughout the process. Make sure all the parts cool completely before you handle them and remain especially cautious when cleaning your gas grill to prevent leaks. A fire mitigation and cleanup company can provide you with information about the dangers of gas leaks and their relation to serious fires.
Barbeque season in Mill Spring, NC, is usually an exciting time and gives you and your family the opportunity to share delicious meals together. Knowing how to properly prepare your grill for the summer can help ensure that the food you cook on it, whether charcoal or gas-fueled, can make all the difference in the taste and flavor of your grilled meals.

What To Do About Water in Your Crawl Space

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Person getting inside a crawlspace A wet crawl space can have a big impact on your home.

How Did Water Get Under The House?

Most homeowners in Forest City, NC, take water problems very seriously. Water can cause a lot of damage to furniture, appliances and fabrics. But many people overlook a wet crawl space. It's easy to assume that since it's not part of the interior, a little water is okay. That may not be the case.

Causes of Moisture
So how did water get under the house in the first place? There are a few common reasons:

  • A leaky pipe
  • The slope of your yard
  • A misdirected downspout
  • A flood

Figuring out which of these is the source of the water will help you find a solution.

Potential for Damage in a Wet Crawl Space
A seemingly empty crawl space is a critical area in the home. The foundation and important structural elements are accessed here. When there is flooding, damage can happen. Water weakens wood joists and supports, erodes foundations and fosters mold growth. All these issues can become long-term problems that will need to be repaired. And the repairs can get costly. The best way to minimize damage is to address the situation as soon as possible.

Ways To Fix the Problem
Once you’ve decided to act, there are a few key steps. Stop the source of the water so that you can deal with the problem. Get a professional to clean the area and get rid of any mold that may have developed. Check the structural elements of your home. If something seems compromised, call someone to repair or replace it. You may want to invest in waterproofing or a pump that can help keep everything dry to help reduce future problems. It's also a good idea to add crawl space inspections to your home maintenance list
While it’s an easy thing to ignore, a wet crawl space can have a big impact on your home. Knowing that, take the time to make a plan to handle any problems you find when making inspections. You’ll sleep easier knowing you’re taking the best care of your home.

Tips for Dealing With a Partial Loss Business Fire

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Blue building, two windows broken and window phrame with smoke damage Fire damage in a building in Marion, NC.

Dealing With a Business Fire That Caused a Partial Loss

While property losses from fires in the U.S. fluctuate from year to year, the trend in recent years has been upward. In 2020, fires caused nearly $22 billion in property damage, an increase of nearly $8 billion from 2019. Not all of these fires caused complete and utter destruction; many were labeled as partial fire loss. This means that significant structures and objects remained, which brings up the need for a fire assessment team to come in and decide what can and cannot be saved.

The Process of Commercial Fire Restoration
Trained recovery technicians come to a site in Marion, NC, soon after the flames have been put out. Their job is to assess the damage and come up with an orderly and efficient plan to restore a business as though the fire never happened. At first, the team prioritizes safety and preventing additional damage to the facility and then moves on to the following steps:

  • Debris removal
  • Water damage cleanup
  • Soot and smoke damage cleanup
  • Content cleaning
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration of damaged structures

In a partial fire loss, technicians identify items that are good candidates for cleaning. This can save money, though not all items can be restored successfully.

The Process of Insurance Reimbursement
While the insurance process can seem complicated after a fire, there are ways to make things run more smoothly. Dealing with a full-service restoration contractor often speeds up the process and reduces expenses in the long run. A single contractor with a designated project manager can send an itemized list of services and expenses to the insurance adjuster. This provides clarity and simplicity and eliminates mistakes and questions.
Every commercial fire is a little bit different and dealing with a partial fire loss can be a challenging situation. Following an orderly and professional process is likely to get the best results.

4 Important Things To Know About a Flood Cut

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on a drywall. A flood cut is a cut made into the drywall, insulation, and other materials to avoid contamination and further damage.

Four Crucial Flood Cut Facts

Most homeowners, especially those in flood zones, fear to flood. The potential damage a flood can cause is nightmare fuel even to the most prepared homeowners. Still, according to storm damage remediation services in Saluda, NC, recovery is likely possible after most floods, and one recovery technique used frequently is the flood cut.

1. Definition
A flood cut is a cut made into the drywall, insulation, and other materials to avoid contamination and further damage. At its most basic, a flood cut is a mitigation technique.
A mitigation specialist will cut away the materials about 12-inches above the flood line. The reason companies cut above the flood line is to access dry materials.

2. Important of Tear Out
After heavy flooding occurs, the wall cavities can act as sponges and traps for excess water. Without a flood cut, the water remains trapped, and mold is likely to grow. Opening the wall cavity allows remediation teams to remove moisture damage and dry out the space, reducing the risks of further damage.

3. Restoration of Property
While it might seem counterproductive, a flood cut is a necessary step in property restoration. The cut and removal of damaged materials allow the restoration service access to essential structural components. They can assess the materials to ensure there are no risks to the structural integrity of the wall and house.

4. Professional Assistance
While homeowners might think a flood cut is a DIY process, it is best to use a professional service. You never know the trouble that might be lurking behind a wall. Having professionals on-site to deal with any issues that arise is a wise decision.
The aftermath of flooding is challenging to deal with. A professional service can help by using the necessary techniques to mitigate further loss. A flood cut is one of the most useful mitigation tactics professionals use.

How to Tell When the Water From a Leak is Unsanitary

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle There are three categories of water that can flood commercial properties in Old Fort, NC.

There are three categories of water that can flood commercial properties in Old Fort, NC, ranging according to their severity. Black water is the most unsanitary and requires professional attention. Unsanitary water can make its way into a building due to:

  • Floods from inclement weather
  • Full septic tanks
  • Overflowing toilets

Here are some things to know about the water that can leak into your property.

Water Categories

Unsanitary water ranges in severity and can be identified according to its source. Water that makes its way into a building from water supply lines is considered category 1 as long as it does not have debris. If the water is drinkable, it is clean water. Category 2 water has been gently used and is unsanitary. This is the type of water that comes from sinks, laundry rooms, and showers. Category 3 water is the worst of the three and is highly toxic.

Sources of Category 3 Water

Category 3 water, or black water, is contaminated with debris, fecal matter, and other harmful toxins. It is sourced from sewers and can cause extreme damage to a building. Before cleaning contaminated water, you should take care to protect yourself by wearing appropriate gear. If the job is too much for one person to clean, contact a professional water damage restoration service to help with sewage cleanup and restoring your property.

Steps to Take in Case of a Flood

If you have encountered a flood in your building, take immediate action to prevent severe water damage. Firstly, identify the source of the leak. Knowing the source will help you identify the category of water that is entering your property. Then, shut off the main water supply line to stop the water from leaking into the building. Once the water is shut off and the leak has stopped, take the proper steps to clean your property. Call a professional cleaning service to avoid the hassle of cleaning it yourself.
SERVPRO cleanup and restoration services will help you in case of black water damage. If you have encountered a severe flood in your building, take steps immediately to prevent worse damages from developing.

4 Important Steps in the Mold Remediation Process

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Water damage can lead to mold growth.

The Remediation Process

If your Columbus, NC, building has been water damaged, then it is not unlikely that you will also have some black mold growth. This fungus grows quickly in moist environments, forming colonies in as little as 24 hours. You can expect the following to take place during the remediation process.

1. Building Inspection

Before any work can be done, the mold remediation company will need to inspect the building. This will allow them to determine the extent of the damage and the locations of the mold growth. They will check for mold in both obvious places as well as more hidden areas.

2. Mold Containment

Before the mold can be removed, the area should be contained. This is often done with the use of tarps and negative air pressure. This keeps mold spores from moving throughout the rest of the building during remediation.

3. Mold Removal

Depending on the severity of the black mold growth, removal can be a lengthy process. During this stage, some building materials may need to be taken out as well. Drywall, insulation and carpeting along with other absorbent materials can soak up water, resulting in large amounts of mold growth. Antifungal treatments will be used to help prevent the mold from returning.

4. Cleanup and Restoration

After water damage, the building is likely not the only thing to be affected by mold. Furniture, paper documents and other items can become a source of mold growth as well. Mold cleanup can be done for many of your belongings. Carpets may need to be replaced during the restoration, and walls may need to be repainted.
While it may seem time-consuming, each step in the remediation process is necessary to return your building to a safe and pleasant environment. If not removed properly, black mold can return and spread throughout the building. A professional service can perform cleanup and repairs to both the building and affected belongings.

Winter Storm Tips

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Water pipe system covered with insulatiion Make sure that yours are insulated against cold temperatures.

How To Prepare For a Winter Storm

Facing an impending winter storm in Lake Lure, NC? Whether it is a blizzard or some other kind of event, winter weather is no joke - keep your family and your home safer with these tips:

1. Keep supplies handy. Make a list of necessities and winter tools that you will need to brave the storm. If you have time, go shopping for the ones you are missing, and then find a place in your house to keep everything so you know where supplies are in case you need them when the storm hits.

2. Check your roof, gutters and siding. You may not think it would be the case, but all of these parts of your house can be damaged in a winter storm. Make sure they are all in good working shape before the weather gets dangerous.

3. Insulate your pipes. A burst pipe can cause a real disaster in a storm. Make sure that yours are insulated against cold temperatures.

4. Seal any air leaks. Air leaks are not a good sign, as they can lead to a home that is subject to extremely cold temperatures. You might just find that you save on energy costs when you fix these leaks, as well.

5. Trim trees. If an overgrown tree branch falls in a storm, your home, property and family are all at risk of being in a dangerous situation. Keep your greenery trimmed for better safety in a storm.

Now that you know how to prepare for a winter storm, it is time to learn what to do if roof damage or other issues should occur despite your best preparation efforts. A reliable residential storm damage company can help you with water destruction and many other effects of a storm. It is better to prepare for the worst than to be stuck with no knowledge of how to handle damage if it does occur.

3 Things To Know About the IICRC

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Question: What is the IICRC on a background of a white brick wall The IICRC, or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

The IICRC: Three Things to Know

The IICRC, or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, is the leading organization that certifies disaster remediation professionals, develops education programs, and establishes industry standards. It is dedicated to ensuring a high level of performance, ethics, and proficiency among professionals in the remediation industry. With thousands of firms and technicians worldwide, any business owner looking to hire a company in Tryon, NC, can easily find one.

1. Industry Standards

This accredited standard developing organization has established numerous reference guides and standards for carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, upholstery cleaning, fabric cleaning, and mold remediation companies. The IICRC spends years coordinating with industry experts and doing research to develop these standards. Typically, the organization tries to rework these standards every five years.

2. Certification Programs

The IICRC offers many educational programs for professionals working in this industry. There are almost 30 different programs that range from microbial remediation to water damage cleanup and restoration. Additionally, there are master tracks for individuals who want to build on their education and continuing education courses that help professionals maintain their certifications.

3. Industry Relationships

To keep improving the standards and certification programs, this organization must work with numerous other businesses, including fiber producers, furnishing retailers, carpet manufacturers, fabric mills, equipment manufacturers, and chemical suppliers. By working with these companies, the organization can keep its certificate, such as the mitigation certificate, as up to date as possible. Furthermore, this organization works with different businesses and groups to spread awareness that certified firms are available. It does this to ensure that businesses looking for a remediation company find a qualified professional.
This organization is responsible for setting industry standards that all firms and employees are trained to adhere to. It enforces these standards through certification programs that are designed to educate technicians. It updates these courses based on the information it gleans from its many industry relationships.

What To Do if Your Light Floods

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

water coming out a light fixture Water damage in a light fixture in a home in Union Mills, NC.

Water Damage To a Light Fixture

A broken pipe or overflowing bathtub can cause leaks in the oddest places. If there is a light fixture on the ceiling directly below the leak, you could find water in the light. Water and electricity don't mix well, so it's important to take a few preliminary steps before water restoration experts arrive to repair the water damage to your ceiling.

1. Cut Electricity

The first thing to do is to stop the electrical current that is flowing to the light. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so a light fixture with water poses a risk of shock to anyone who comes into contact with it. If you want to make sure that the electricity is off, you can test nearby dry surfaces with a voltage tester that doesn't make actual contact with the surface.

2. Stop Water Flow

After you have eliminated the electrical risk, it's a good idea to shut off the source of the leak. If a toilet overflow is the culprit, turn the water off at the wall to stop water from running into the tank. If you have a broken pipe, you will likely need to turn the water off at the water main to keep from getting more water in the light below.

3. Call Professionals

Ceiling damage from a water leak is not the sort of thing you want to handle on your own. Certified technicians in Union Mills, NC, have the knowledge and tools to fix the problem safely and efficiently. By leaving it up to them, you can likely avoid secondary damage such as mold or further leaking and be confident that the damage is remediated completely.

A leak on the second floor may result in water in the light below it. Your best course of action in this situation is to stop the flow of electricity and water to the area and let the professionals take it from there.

How To Clean Flood-Damaged Electronics

3/19/2022 (Permalink)

Drops of water in an electronic piece Not all flooded electronics can be fully restored to working condition.

What To Do About Flooded Electronics

If your Nebo, NC, building floods, the cleaning and restoration process that follows can be complicated. One of the most daunting aspects of water damage cleanup is what to do about flooded electronics. Follow these steps for safely cleaning and restoring a water-damaged device.

1. Stay Safe

When retrieving your electronics, be careful to avoid any shock hazards. The safest bet is to disconnect the building power if possible. Avoid standing in water or wearing wet clothing when handling electronics and use extra care with battery-operated devices.

2. Disassemble and Drain

Make sure the device is turned off and remove the battery. Turn and gently shake the device to drain as much water as possible. Carefully disassemble the device as completely as you can. To completely remove water from around and under circuit board components, fully submerge the circuit board in a container of isopropyl alcohol. For best results, use alcohol with a concentration of 90% or higher.

3. Carefully Clean

For most flooded electronics, simply drying them out is not enough. Most floodwater contains at least some contaminants, so it’s important to clean devices. Removing any residue or debris is particularly important with sensitive components such as circuit boards. Use a soft toothbrush or small paintbrush to gently clean these components, being especially careful around cables and connectors to avoid damaging the contact surfaces. Dry the cleaned components using a clean hairdryer in a cold setting, or by placing them under a slightly warm desk lamp.

4. Reassemble and Test

Reassemble your device only after it is completely dry. Always use a new battery, never one that has been submerged. Carefully turn the device on and test to see if it is working correctly. When troubleshooting electronic damage, it’s helpful to replace one part at a time until you find the defective component.
Unfortunately, not all flooded electronics can be fully restored to working condition. This cleaning process will help you salvage as much as possible.

4 Ways To Restore Damaged Documents

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

Close-up image of weathered documents - aged file folders and sheets of paper inside them - exposed to elements and damaged b Documents damaged by flooding, a pipe burst, water leak or storm may become waterlogged. Removing excess moisture is the first step toward restoration

4 Methods For Restoring Documents That Have Been Damaged

Documents can sustain damage during any disaster. If the contents of a residence have suffered water or storm damage, the following steps may be helpful. Other document restoration methods may be necessary for papers damaged by exposure to smoke and soot or mold. Find out more about content cleaning, document drying and other services an all-in-one restoration company can provide.

1. Remove Excess Water

Documents damaged by flooding, a pipe burst, water leak or storm may become waterlogged. Removing excess moisture is the first step toward restoration. A homeowner can begin to mitigate damage by placing paper towels above and below each sheet of paper and regularly switching out these towels until most of the water has been extracted.

2. Air Dry and Dehumidify

Document drying is the next step in the document restoration process for materials with water damage. Restoration professionals may recommend leaving documents out to air dry. A dehumidifier can be helpful for gently drawing out moisture.

3. Freeze Dry

Documents that are not completely dry after 48 hours are at risk for mold growth. Fungus thrives where moisture and a food source, such as cellulose in paper, are both present. Homeowners can freeze documents separated with wax paper on the coldest setting. A restoration service can perform vacuum freeze-drying to vaporize moisture.

4. Remove Dirt and Debris

Once documents are dry, restoration professionals may attempt cleaning with specialized equipment. Depending on the condition of a document and the presence of contaminants, it may be necessary to make a copy rather than trying to salvage the original.

These document restoration methods are useful for water-damaged papers at a household in Rutherfordton, NC. Smoke damage or mold may call for other treatments offered by SERVPRO. The type and degree of damage will determine whether documents can be kept or should be copied prior to disposing of the originals.

How to Keep a Cigarette Fire from Happening

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

Close up of ashtray full of cigarette, with man in background working on laptop computer The best way to ensure that a home cigarette fire doesn't happen is to always go outside to smoke.

How Can You Prevent A Cigarette Fire?

If you smoke and own a home in Marion, NC, you need to be extra cautious. One careless moment could lead to a cigarette fire, which could, in turn, cause severe damage to your home and cost you thousands of dollars in repair and fire cleanup bills. Even worse is the threat of physical harm to you or your loved ones. The good news is that, by following the common-sense steps listed below, you can easily keep an ashtray fire from occurring.

1. Check Your Smoke Detectors

It's important to make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order. Test them at least once a month. It's also a good idea to have one on every floor of your home, even in the attic and basement.

2. Go Outside to Smoke

The best way to ensure that a home cigarette fire doesn't happen is to always go outside to smoke. If you feel like smoking, limit the activity to outdoor areas such as the patio or backyard. This has the added benefit of keeping cigarette odors out of your house.

3. Never Smoke When You're Medicated, Drinking or Sleepy

If you've taken medication, had a few drinks, or feel like you might fall asleep, don't smoke. Never light up while laying down on the sofa or in bed; the cigarette could fall out of your hand and set something on fire.

4. Keep Cigarettes Away from Kids

Make sure your cigarettes and matches are safely put away where kids can't get ahold of them. A curious child with access to your smoking supplies could easily set your house on fire.

If, unfortunately, you've already been the victim of a cigarette fire, you may want to call on the services of a professional fire restoration company to get your home back in order. Hopefully, this is not the case, and the instructions given above can help keep your home safe for years to come.

3 Alternatives to Sand Bags to Protect Your Business During a Flood

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

water barrier of sand bag to prevent flood If your business suffers flood damage, give SERVPRO a call. Our team of flood damage experts will restore it efficiently.

3 Flood-Proofing Alternatives To Sand Bags For Your Business

For many years, sand bagging was the first line of defense against flooding. While this method may keep water out of your building for a short time, it requires some heavy labor and can also leave property owners with a big mess. A wet sand bag can hold pollutants and contaminants, which can pose hazards to humans and the environment. Fortunately, there are reliable alternatives that can be safer and more effective. If you own a business in Forest City, NC, consider the following choices for preparing your property for a flood.

1. Inflatable Flood Dams

An inflatable dam is filled with water and placed as a barrier around your building. These are especially useful because they can protect against high water levels. Set up is typically very fast and convenient. Unlike a sand bag, the dams are usually reusable and can be easily stored between uses. Variations in design can make it easy to find the right style to suit your needs.

2. Portable Flood Fencing

Portable flood fences can be installed around the perimeter of your property in relatively little time and can provide significant protection from flood damage. This temporary barrier shields against debris, as well as rising water. Some options include anchors, which can be helpful in a weather event with high winds. Flood fences can be reused multiple times and will need to be cleaned and dried before storing.

3. Plastic Poly Tube Flood Barriers

Plastic poly tubes are another helpful design that can offer effective flood protection. These tubes can be as long as 50 feet, and are usually filled with dirt or sand. Once filled, these barriers can be placed exactly where you need them to prevent water from entering your building.

These sand bag alternatives can provide a quick and convenient solution to help protect your business from flooding. If your property does sustain water damage, be sure to contact an emergency restoration service right away.

A Fire Sprinkler Is a Simple but Effective Fire Suppression Device

1/30/2022 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler A fire sprinkler cleanup is not a small job.

A Fire Sprinkler is a Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Fire Suppression System

Several fire sprinkler varieties are available in Old Fort, NC, but they all consist of the same four components. These are:

  • A pressurized water pipe that is open on the end
  • A plug that fits the pipe opening and blocks the flow of water
  • A heat-sensitive device that holds the plug against the pipe opening
  • A deflector that converts the flowing water to a spray

A Sprinkler Does Not Detect Fire

A fire sprinkler is a low-tech device activated by heat, not flames. If the temperature at the sprinkler head reaches a certain level, the following occurs:

  1. The heat-sensitive device breaks or melts, releasing the plug.
  2. Water forces the plug out of the pipe.
  3. Flowing water strikes the deflector.
  4. The deflector spreads water over a wide area.
  5. The sprinkler system controller detects the water flow and signals an alarm.

No Fire Suppression System Does Everything Well

The fire sprinkler is designed to handle a specific situation. This fire suppression system does, however, have some drawbacks.

1. The sprinkler does not shut itself off once the fire is out. Once triggered, the spray will continue until someone intervenes and shuts off the water to that zone.
2. Shutting down the sprinkler zone leaves that area unprotected. Leaving the building unattended in this condition is risky.
3. Sprinklers are not suitable for computers, telephone equipment, or other electrical devices. Instead, protect this equipment with a system designed specifically for electronics.
4. Sprinklers may not react to some small fires. A small, smoldering fire may cause extensive smoke damage but not generate enough heat to trigger a sprinkler.

Sprinkler Events Require a Skilled Response

By the time the water is shut off, an active sprinkler can pump hundreds of gallons of water throughout a business. A fire sprinkler cleanup is not a small job. There are fire and water remediation specialists in your area ready to handle all aspects of a sprinkler incident should it occur. All it takes to get started is a phone call.

What Do You Need To File a Water Damage Claim?

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

standing clear water on the floor Water damage in Columbus, NC.

File a Water Damage Claim

Documentation is required to file a homeowners insurance claim for water damage. A policyholder should provide photos, videos, maintenance records, and proof of purchase to an insurer as evidence of damage caused by a pipe burst or any type of leak. Learn more about what information a homeowner should gather as he or she prepares to file a claim for water damage.

Proof of Damage

Insurers will want to see proof of the full extent of the damage. There are several types of useful documentation:

  • Photographs
  • Video
  • Footage dated prior to an incident

These records indicate that damage was caused by the incident that led a homeowner to file an insurance claim. It is important to document damage before taking any steps toward mitigation. Homeowners may also benefit from being able to produce maintenance records indicating that the incident was not due to negligence. Even if an insurer does not cover the cause of damage, coverage should be available for the effects.

Proof of Purchase

It can also be helpful to gather receipts or other proof of purchase for damaged contents. Check your policy to ensure that the replacement cost of items is covered rather than the actual cash value. Given depreciation, the latter may not be sufficient to replace items with severe damage.

A Restoration Estimate

Insurers prefer to work with an established water damage mitigation and restoration company. Obtain an estimate for the cleanup and restoration processes by contacting a company that provides both services. This calculation may be more accurate and complete than estimates from more than one business.

All of this information can help a homeowner filing an insurance claim for water damage. Be aware that homeowners insurance does not cover any damage caused by flooding. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary for damage resulting from heavy rains or rising bodies of water in Columbus, NC.

Top 4 Causes of Sewer Backups

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Tree roots coming out of a pipe system, person with a shovel and machete taking out roots from pipe Tree roots can infiltrate pipes and cause a backing up of sewage into your home.

Four Common Causes of Sewage Backups

Most residents of Lake Lure, NC, probably take the community’s sewer system for granted. However, it’s a critical component of the municipal infrastructure that can malfunction and cause significant problems for homeowners, such as a flooded basement. Understanding four common causes of sewage backups can help you minimize your risk and possibly spare you a messy cleanup.

1. Tree Root Infiltration

Tree roots can infiltrate pipes and cause a backing up of sewage into your home. To help reduce the likelihood of this dilemma, you should identify the location of sewer lines before planting any trees and shrubs. Keeping vegetation a safe distance from pipes may prevent root infiltration and the need for a line cleaning.

2. A System Overwhelmed by Storm Water

In many communities, storm water channels and sewage lines converge. If a significant storm dumps an excessive amount of rain, the system may become overwhelmed, causing a backing up of waste water. If your home is not equipped with a back-flow valve or other control device, the situation may cause a flooded basement.

3. Clogged Pipes

Clogged pipes are another serious issue that can result in a sewage backup. Items such as paper towels, feminine napkins, diapers and wipes should never be flushed down the toilet. Placing these products into the trash helps minimize the risk of potentially devastating clogs.

4. Damaged Pipes

Like many other components of a community’s infrastructure, sewer lines can deteriorate over time. Symptoms of a potential problem include consistently slow drains and a lingering sewage gas odor. If you have concerns about your home’s plumbing, you should promptly contact a licensed plumber who can properly evaluate your system, as well as diagnose and address any existing issues.

Sewage backing up that results in a flooded basement is an experience all homeowners hope to avoid. Although every home is potentially susceptible to this extremely messy dilemma, understanding common causes can help you take proactive measures to minimize risks and possibly avoid extensive cleanup and restoration endeavors.

How To Find and Fix a Water Leak

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

water leakage from stainless steel pipeline A water leak can cost a building owner or business a lot of money over time.

How To Find and Fix a Water Leak

A water leak can cost a building owner or business a lot of money over time. If you notice a water bill increase, it may be due to a leak somewhere on the premises of a commercial structure. Here are a few ways to locate and stop a leak.

Check for Drips

Dripping is often one of the first indications of a leak. Look for signs of

  • Damp walls or floors
  • Droplets clinging to surfaces
  • Dripping plumbing fixtures
  • Water around the base of toilets or appliances

The sooner you identify the source of a water leak, the less damage may take place. A pipe break is likely to be more noticeable and result in immediate damage. Shut off the water supply and contact a plumber to fix a burst or leak.

Search for Stains

Leaks that have continued for some time will result in staining. Inspect ceilings and walls for any signs of discoloration. A leak will not go away on its own. If you see new signs of staining, a leak is probably present and should be fixed. Water damage restoration experts can mitigate primary and secondary damage.

Ask the Experts

If you cannot locate the source of a leak on your own, contact a plumber or leak detection specialist. These professionals can

  • Test potential risk areas
  • Troubleshoot low water pressure
  • Use thermal imaging technology

Experts can minimize the extent of damage caused by a leak. It is advisable to seek assistance sooner rather than later.

It is important to locate and fix a water leak as soon as possible. An undetected leak can cost building or business owners a lot of money and result in water damage and an increased risk of mold growth. If you suspect that a leak is present but cannot locate the problem, contact a plumber or leak detection service located in Tryon, NC.

Will Filing a Homeowners' Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. File a homeowners insurance claim

Will Filing a Homeowners' Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?

It's common knowledge that when a person gets into a car accident, his or her car insurance rates go up. When a person is diagnosed with an illness or utilizes his or her health coverage a lot, his or her health insurance rates go up. So, it would make sense that if you were to file a homeowners' insurance claim, your homeowners' insurance rates would go up, right? Unfortunately, the logic behind your thinking is sound. That said, there are some ways in which you can minimize your risk of rate hikes and keep your premiums relatively low.

Items That Often Result in Rate Hikes

First and foremost, it's important to understand what causes insurers to raise rates in the first place. Surprisingly, events such as a home flood or burglary often don't lead to extensive rate hikes. This is because your insurance company likely already included the cost of the risks in your policy, and also because the two examples are unforeseeable events. That said, your insurer may punish you if it receives an insurance claim for any one of the following:

  • Frozen pipes
  • Burse pipes
  • Mold remediation
  • Secondary water damage

This is because each of the above items is preventable. If your insurance company doesn't decide to drop your coverage, you can almost count on an increase in coverage rates.

How To Avoid Rate Hikes

If you're like most homeowners in Union Mills, NC, you will only file a claim in the event of a large loss. That said, because you're not likely to file a claim for a minor event, it makes zero financial sense to have a low deductible. If you plan on paying for the first $500 to $1,000 out of pocket, set aside that money in an interest-bearing account and, if needed, use it to repair your home. In the meantime, raise your deducible to match that amount. This will keep you from using your insurance needlessly and therefore, risk a rate hike.

Unfortunately, you cannot always avoid filing an insurance claim, and unfortunately, you can almost always count on a rate hike if you do. If absolutely necessary, you may be able to convince your local water remediation team to negotiate with your insurer for better rates on your behalf.

It’s All on the Surface: How Surface Water May be Causing Your Flooded Basement

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Prevent a Flooded Basement In Your Home

A flooded basement can be caused by surface water flooding, meaning external water that is not draining properly away from your home. There are a few things you can do to help protect your foundation and prevent this type of flooding.

1. Dealing with Roofline Overflow

Overflowing and clogged gutter systems can result in significant damage, overflow from gutters can lead to the wearing away of soil and foundational cracks. The three most common causes of gutter system overflow and basement flooding are:

• Leaf Buildup: Gutters should be cleaned a few times per year, typically at the change of seasons. When debris is left to clog the gutters, the overflow trickles down exterior walls and into your basement.

• Insufficient Downspouts: If there are not enough downspouts, or if they are an inadequate diameter, then water can overflow during heavy rains.

• Inadequate Downspout Length: Downspouts should extend at least 10 feet away from your home.

2. Preventing Flooding Due to Landscape Design

If not sloped properly, landscaping can force surface water to settle toward the house, which if left unchecked, will weaken the soil around your foundation and lead to cracks in basement walls, allowing water to enter. Avoid this issue by ensuring all landscaping, pathways, and driveways slope away from your home. If this is not possible, then invest in a proper drainage system around your home that will carry water away from your foundation.

3. Reducing the Risk of Storm Water Backing Up

For many older homes, city storm sewers are connected to a perimeter drain. While a sump pump can prevent the risk of water backing up, when heavy rains hit, storm drains can become overwhelmed and leave your sump pump ill-equipped to handle the surge. Installing a cap on the external drain can resolve the issue but may involve the assistance of storm damage specialists in the Nebo, NC, area.

A flooded basement may be easily prevented by eliminating common causes of surface water flooding. Ensuring gutter systems are adequate, sloping landscaping away from your foundation, and capping off nuisance drain pipes are several ways to help you prevent future flooding.

Top Tips for Implementing an Evacuation Plan

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

People escape to exit door Practice your fire escape plan.

What Are The Best Practices for Evacuation?

 Thinking about a fire tearing through your Rutherfordton, NC, an office building can leave you anxious. After all, fires can cause a lot of harm, including:

  • Destroying buildings
  • Damaging equipment
  • Injuring people

As the building owner, you need to prepare the workers inside for evacuating in an emergency. Creating a fire escape plan can help ensure everyone knows how to get out during a fiery blaze.

Create Maps

Mapping out the layout of your building can help panicked employees remember which way to go in an emergency. You may want to include an emergency escape plan map in every room of the building. This allows visitors to know where to go in the case of a fire too. Your maps should highlight different ways people can leave the building. Fires may block off hallways or break downs stairs, so having more than one way out is essential.

Train Employees

After you have created a map, you need to make sure your employees are aware of the evacuation routes you have laid out. You also need to make sure everyone can recognize the fire alarm. You may want to have regular fire safety training to remind employees what they should do if a fire breaks out. Make the best routes out of the building clear. Don't forget to tell everyone where they should meet once outside. A fire restoration professional may be able to help you assign the best evacuation spot on or near your property.

Practice the Escape

Part of your regular trainings may be practicing the fire escape plan. You can encourage employees to think on their feet by setting up obstacles across the easiest path out, so they have to take an unexpected route out of the building. Even during practice, you should make sure everyone meets at the designated spot.

Creating a fire escape plan for your commercial building can help keep you and your employees safe. While you never want a disaster to strike, it is best to be prepared.

Flush a Water Heater in 4 Steps

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a threaded nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler. Regular maintenance can keep a water heater working for years.

How to Flush a Water Heater in 4 Easy Steps

Regular maintenance can keep a water heater working for years. Follow these four steps to flush the tank and eliminate deposits such as minerals and sediment.

1. Turn Off the Appliance

If you have a gas heater, shut off the gas and extinguish the pilot. Switch off the line that supplies an electric heater at the circuit breaker.

2. Prepare the Hose and Tank

Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and run the opposite end to an area that will not be affected by water and sediment. Open the drain valve on the water heater and let the water flow for several minutes. Turn on the hot water faucet in the kitchen to drain the remaining water from the tank. After several minutes, turn off the water supply valve. You may turn the valve on and off again for an extra flush.

3. Close Valves and Turn On Water

Once the water and sediment has drained, close the heater valves and turn the water supply back on. Check the flow of water at the kitchen sink and make sure the stream starts flowing consistently.

4. Turn on the Heater

Turn on the heating element or restore power only after the tank is full. Turn off the faucet in the kitchen.

The frequency with which you should perform a water heater flush depends on the quantity of hot water used. If you live alone or with one other person, flush the tank once a year. In a household with three to five residents, flush the tank every eight months. For more than six occupants, flush the tank twice a year.

If you experience a leak or water damage resulting from a malfunctioning water heater, contact a plumber or repair service in Mill Spring, NC. You may also want to file an insurance claim and hire residential water damage restoration experts.

3 Important Fire Alarm Tips for Your Home

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector in the room If your home is on fire, a smoke alarm can provide you with a life-saving warning.

Steps To Take To Keep Your Alarms Working

It’s important to keep your home in Spindale, NC, prepared in case a fire occurs. A fire alarm is one essential tool that can alert you if there’s a fire in your home. That’s why you should know the steps to take to keep your alarms in working order.

1. Be Aware of When to Replace

An outdated alarm won’t be able to serve its purpose of alerting you quickly if there’s a fire in your home. Most people know batteries should be replaced yearly, but many overlook replacing the actual alarms. Make a note of when your alarms were installed so you can replace them at least every 10 years.

2. Protect Your Whole Home

Though many people know to put fire alarms in spots where fires are likely to occur, such as kitchens, alarms should be located throughout your home. If alarms are located on only one floor, you may be unable to hear them from elsewhere in the home. Install alarms on each floor, and make sure every bedroom is also equipped with one.

3. Know the Difference Between Types of Alarms

Advances in technology have resulted in alarms that can detect both slow-moving and quick-moving fires. While photoelectric alarms can alert you of slower fires that create heavy smoke and are likely to cause smoke damage, ionization alarms detect fires that emit less smoke and move more quickly. It’s important to install both types of alarms in your home to ensure you’re protected regardless of what type of fire may occur.

A fire alarm can give you a life-saving alert if your home is ablaze. Keeping both types of alarms up-to-date and in the appropriate locations can help you know immediately if there is a fire. In the event your home sustains fire damage, it may be beneficial to work with damage restoration professionals who have experience assessing, cleaning and restoring homes affected by fires.

3 Reasons You May Have Water Damage After a Fire

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house Water and fire damage in Forest City, NC.

Water Damage After a Fire

When you have a fire in your Forest City, NC, home, you know there may be significant damage to the entire structure because of the flames and the heat. What you might not expect is to have to deal with a large amount of both water and fire damage. There are several reasons why your home may have been affected by water during a fire.

1. Firefighters

Firefighters are the most common reason for your home to be damaged by water during a fire. The firefighters have to use water to put out the flames in your home. When a fire hose is turned onto your residence, approximately 90 gallons of water comes out every minute. This high volume is needed to dampen a fire, but it can also cause a lot of your belongings to become drenched.

2. Plumbing

Fires cause high heat. This increase in pressure can harm the plumbing throughout your house. In fact, part of the fire damage may include scorched piping. If the pipes are engulfed in flames, they may end up bursting, which releases a deluge of water into your home. Sometimes these weakened pipes may not break until after the fire has been successfully put out.

3. Weather

A fire can expose your house to natural elements. Holes in your roof or a wall can allow rain to pour into your space and cause a myriad of water damages throughout the home. This type of damage can be avoided by making rapid repairs, but you may not be able to act quickly enough if a storm takes place the same day as your fire.

Working with a professional cleanup crew that is familiar with both water and fire damage can make your remediation process easier. When flames tear through a home, water is needed to put out the flames. While you may be happy to see the fire go out, it can be hard to manage both sources of damage without professional help.

Family Pets and Fires: What You Need To Know

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter Practicing common pet safety is an easy way to partake in fire prevention.

What You Should Know About Family Pets and Fires

Avoiding a fire emergency in Marion, NC, begins with efforts to prevent your pets from starting fires. Cats and dogs can inadvertently start a fire in your home in these ways:

- Loose pets are naturally curious and may chew on or play with electrical cords.
- Stove knobs can accidentally be turned on by a jumping dog.
- Cats are infamous for knocking items over, including burning candles.

Before you leave your furry friends home alone, secure pets in crates or with baby gates, remove stove knobs and extinguish candles. Practicing common pet safety is an easy way to partake in fire prevention.

Before a Fire

While you can do your best to stop your pet from starting a fire, fires still occur for other reasons. It’s crucial to take steps with pet preparation in case a fire emergency does happen. Be sure all important pet items are placed in a fireproof safe, including vet records, proof of vaccinations, and any medications. Finding several pet-friendly places to stay, in the event you are dislocated from your home as a result of a fire, should be part of your pet preparation plan. Finally, training can play an important role in pet safety related to fires. Teaching your dog to come when called may help you locate your pet during an emergency. Be sure to keep collars on your pets when you are not home and leave leashes where they are easily accessible.

After a Fire

Cleaning up after a fire can be a daunting process. A professional company can speed things along to get your house back to pre-fire condition as quickly as possible. This is often the best way to ensure that your home is completely free of visible fire damage, as well as invisible damage such as smoke or odors. A fire restoration company can also resolve any water damage.

A fire emergency can be devastating in Marion, NC. However, working with a reputable fire cleanup and restoration company makes the disaster aftermath much easier.

Why Doesn’t Mold Go Away on Its Own?

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Painting coming out of wall and black mold growth Mold found in Forest City, NC.

Why Doesn't Mold Just Go Away?

Some things you can wait out – but mold isn’t one of them. Black mold isn’t just pervasive; it’s invasive and can cause you significant problems if you don’t head it off at the pass. Mold won’t disappear if you just wait long enough for it to go away on its own. This is a problem you have to actively tackle with mold cleanup and remediation, especially if your home in Forest City, NC, has a moisture problem.

So Just Why Is Mold So Hard To Get Rid Of?

The reason mold is so hard to get rid of is because even when you can’t see it, it never goes away. Mold exists in your environment as spores; as long as those spores don’t begin to sprout into fungal growths, there’s little to worry about. But it doesn’t take much to start black mold’s growth cycle; the smallest amount of moisture combined with organic matter such as fabrics, wood, drywall, and food can cause mold to begin to grow. Common sources of moisture leading to mold include the following:

  • Leaking windows and roofs
  • Burst or leaking pipes
  • High humidity from environmental factors or shower steam
  • Condensation from malfunctioning appliances
  • Flooding from natural disasters such as hurricanes

Any one of these factors can create an environment ideal for mold to breed and spread throughout your household, including in hidden areas where it might not be readily visible.

How Can You Prevent Mold, Then?

The best way is to keep your home dry. Drying the home won’t be enough to get rid of the existing black mold, though. Generally, the only way to do this is through mold remediation and cleanup, usually by hiring special services and professionals who specialize in mold removal. Most homeowners lack the proper resources for effective mold detection and cleanup, and home removal is only partly effective in stopping the spread and preventing a reoccurrence.

3 Ways Professionals Eradicate Smoke Damage

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Two technicians standing on electric scaffolding in order to remove soot from ceiling Smoke damage cleanup in Mill Spring, NC

Three Ways To Remove Smoke Damage

When you think of fire damage, you probably see flames consuming a property, tearing the structure down. However, there is also another large issue in these types of disasters: smoke damage. For this reason, smoke cleaning practices can be imperative in dealing with any fire-damaged property in Mill Spring, NC. Here are three ways professional restoration experts may tackle this issue.

1. They determine the most effective cleaning method. Different materials call for varied ways of cleaning. For light damage, dry cleaning is often best. For heavier damage, wet cleaning may be required. Although wet cleaning is typically the stronger method of cleaning, it can’t be used for all materials. For everything else, spray-and-wipe cleaning and foam cleaning help. Additionally, there is abrasive smoke cleaning, which involves strongly scrubbing, and immersion cleaning, which involves soaking items in solution.

2. They move damaged items. Moving contents to a smoke-free location can help eliminate odor, giving it a chance to air out in a fresh environment. It can also protect the items from further damage that could occur if they are left in a fire-destroyed building. Finally, it clears space so building restoration can happen quicker.

3. They improve air quality. Generally, the main issue with smoke odor damage is the low quality of air after a fire. The smoke lingers, creating an unpleasant smell. One way to combat this is to change the HVAC filter, but professionals often use an air filtration device, ozone machine, or thermal fogger to improve the air. One thing you shouldn’t do is turn on any ceiling fans, because their wiring could be ruined.

The above practices of smoke cleaning can help move the restoration process along, eliminating stress. Damage from fire doesn’t have to be debilitating if the correct steps are taken to restore a building’s contents. By relying on professionals to correctly clean and move objects and improve the air quality, you can be on your way toward recovery.

How to Dry Important Company Documents Without Sacrificing Integrity

9/26/2021 (Permalink)

It may not seem possible to salvage wet documents after a business has flooded, but the methods below may offer the best chance of recovering those vital papers.

1. Clean Before Drying

Mud and other debris usually accompany flooding; therefore, before attempting to dry and salvage your business’s essential documents, you may need to get the dirt off of them. One of the best ways to remove all that muck is to place the wet papers under a screen and, after the mud has dried some, vacuum the debris from the surface.

2. Air, Fans, and Paper Towel

Air is likely the most obvious way to dry out wet documents; however, it may not be the most efficient. If you want to attempt any document drying with this method, then you will need plenty of dry space to layout your papers. Lay all the papers separately, using a paper towel to damp off excess water. Once excess water is removed, you can turn a fan on low to help circulate the air and speed up the drying process.

3. Freezer

If some of your business documents haven’t dried after two days, then you can wrap each sheet in wax paper and freeze them, ensuring the prevention of mold. Most of the time it is necessary to leave the documents in the freezer for up to two weeks, but after that time you remove them and attempt air drying again.

4. Professional Help

While most people are familiar with the idea of using restoration specialists after a flood, many don’t consider that there are services like that for document drying. You can check the local Saluda, NC, area for professionals who specialize in the vacuum freeze-drying of documents. This process freezes your documents in a vacuum-sealed container and then, using heat and air forced through the container, dries the papers.

After a flood forces a business to close, wet documents can be one of the most devastating things for a company, but it doesn’t have to be if you are aware of the ways to save and dry those critical papers.

Got Mold? How Did This Happen?

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold infestation on wall. If you notice mold at home, you need to start the cleanup process without delay.

From fires to floods to wind damage, the environment can play some mean tricks on your house. You do all you can to avoid these potential catastrophes, but they’re difficult to prevent altogether. Mold, such as black mold, is another invader you’d rather do without. If you’ve noticed this substance growing in your home, you want to clean it up in a hurry. The more you understand about how this grows, the better off you’ll be.

Loves the Cool, Humid Areas

You can find the black mold and other forms of this annoyance just about anywhere in Mill Springs, NC. It exists outside, floating on microscopic spores that can enter your home on the back of a pet, on your pant legs, or through a window. It flourishes in some of the following places:

• Cellars or crawl spaces
• Basements
• Attics
• Laundry rooms
• Bathrooms, particularly on shower walls

Water is a Culprit

When you think of water creeping into your home, you may think of a damaging flood. While this can certainly bring mold into your house, even small amounts of water over a long period of time can do the nasty trick. A broken pipe or supply line, for example, can induce mold growth in your walls. A moisture problem, such as a leaking water heater, can also invite mold where you don’t want it.

You Never Noticed

Mold growth can occur over the course of several years, and you may not have even been aware of it. This is why it’s vital that you check your plumbing frequently to ensure there are no leaks.

Course of Action

If you notice mold at home, you need to start the cleanup process without delay. Your best decision is to call a mold cleanup company. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to get rid of any mold.

You don’t want to take the appearance of black mold lightly. Know where this substance thrives, and take immediate action when you find it.

Bathtub Sewer Backup: Should You DIY or Call an Expert?

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on wall. Structural issues and mold growth are much costlier to remediate than a bit of water.

Not much is worse than dealing with a sewer backup in your home, except maybe dealing with a bathtub backup. Your bathtub is a place where you're supposed to get clean, so the thought of sewage contaminating your bathing surface can be repulsive. If you're like most homeowners, you want to deal with the mess immediately, but before you do, you need to determine whether or not your particular mess is a DIY job or a job for the experts. Below are four questions you should ask yourself before attempting to clean the mess on your own:

• How bad is the damage?
• How long has the water been sitting?
• What kind of water are you dealing with?
• What kind of objects have been contaminated?
• Do you have enough ventilation to complete the job on your own?

If you answered "I don't know" to any of the above questions, leave the cleanup to the Forest City, NC, sewer backup cleaning experts.

Why Calling in the Pros is the Best Thing for Yours, Your Home's and Your Bank Account's Health

It's understandable that you want to save money on cleanup efforts, but saving now may cause you more headaches in the long run. For one, you risk your own health by attempting to handle possibly hazardous waste on your own and without proper protective gear. That alone makes DIY cleanup not worth the savings.

Two, because you don't have the proper training to deal with home flooding, you risk missing major issues. For instance, your bathtub may appear to be the only object affected, but for all you know, the floorboards got soaked as well. If you don't properly dry out wet materials, you risk water damage and costly structural issues—not to mention mold growth.

Three, structural issues and mold growth are much costlier to remediate than a bit of water. You stand to save more by allowing a professional to properly clean up the sewer backup mess sooner rather than later.

Addressing Storm Damage

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Circles on a roof with chalk, hail damage on a roof Hail damage on the roof in a home in Mill Spring, NC.

Resolving Storm Damage

Storm damage is a concern to homeowners, but for residents in Mill Spring, NC, high winds and falling hail might specifically put you in need of roof repair. The roof is the most exposed element of a house, making it susceptible to damage. Always wait until a storm has passed before taking the following steps to address storm damage.

1. Check for exterior damage. Carefully exit your home and check around the yard for fallen limbs, missing tiles, or scattered debris. Look for branches that might have been knocked onto your roof affecting chimney bricks or satellite dish locations. Check roof edges, trim, vent locations, or flashing for wind damage, looking for spots where water can seep in.

Hail damage requires a closer inspection of the roof, but keep safety a priority. Roof repair might be necessary if dark or soft spots are found, roofing felt is exposed and multiple shingles are dimpled, cracked or broken.

2. Check for interior damage. If high winds or hail have done roof damage, a check of your attic or ceiling is necessary. Examine molding or walls for stains that are brown or rust colored, indicating a leak in the roof. If your paint is peeling or bubbling, water could be seeping in and may be trapped between the walls.

3. Address damage locations. You can keep the damage to a minimum by addressing problems as quickly as possible. Use a shop vac to clean up bigger pools of water, while well-placed fans can begin drying walls or insulation. Replace weakened framing support or roofing tiles if able, covering the inside floor beneath with drop cloths or buckets to maintain interior protection. You can use tarps or boards to cover roof locations that require more extensive work.

Roof repair is an unfortunate situation that storms with high winds and hail can cause homeowners. Be sure to safely inspect storm damage, moving on to address the areas as you are able. For bigger jobs, call in the experts to lend a hand.

3 Ways Mold Sneaks Into Your Air Ducts

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold around air ducts Mold in an air duct system.

How Mold Enters and Forms Inside Ventilation Systems

HVAC cleaning can be an intimidating process for business owners in Forest City, NC. However, if air ducts aren’t inspected often, they can accumulate mold and spread it throughout the building. In order to completely solve a mold problem, you may need to understand how mold enters and forms inside the ventilation system.

1. Using the Air Ventilation System Before Mold Removal

Since moisture builds up when there is no air circulation, it’s easy to assume that air vents help prevent mold from growing. However, if mold has already formed, you may expect a completely different outcome because mold can travel easiest when it dries out. If you switch the air vents on before a HVAC cleaning professional comes in, you may be helping the mold find a more suitable area inside the building to grow.

2. Dust Accumulation Inside Vents

How does mold form inside vents if the airflow pushes it around? While an air ventilation system isn’t running, dust can form inside the ducts. Conversely, mold may also settle on the dust in the vents along with any moisture that has been sucked in. Since dust is often an accumulation of small organic particles, it can become a perfect food source for mold in the vents. That’s why you should consider cleaning vents routinely to help prevent mold in the ducts.

3. Moisture Inside the Duct Work

When a building is humid and the air conditioning is turned on, it sucks the moisture out of each room and through the vents. Along with an entire air duct system, there are several nooks and cracks in which the moisture may tend to accumulate. Since mold prefers a good source of moisture, it may start growing in these cracks and eventually spread onto the outside of the vents.

If you are a property owner in Forest City, NC, you may wonder whether or not mold has invaded your air ducts. A professional HVAC cleaning service may help you find and eliminate mold from within your ventilation system.

4 Things To Throw Away After a House Fire

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Blue pills out of a white bottle It is strongly recommended all prescription and over-the-counter medication exposed to the elements of a house fire be thrown away.

After a House Fire, There Are 4 Things You Should Throw Away

Few things can be as devastating as a house fire and the long-term effects it can render. After firefighters have cleared your home, you may be left to face the difficult decisions of which personal belongings can be salvaged and which you must throw away. Rather than risk the potential health effects that fire damaged items can create, here are four items you should immediately throw away:

1. Perishable and Non-Perishable Food

Unfortunately, the high heat of a house fire can activate bacteria within the sealed cans and jars of non-perishable foods. Fumes from smoke or firefighting chemicals can infiltrate containers as well, meaning any items that have been exposed to these elements should be thrown away.

2. Burned Clothing

Textile items such as clothing, bedding or other linens frequently can be cleaned and disinfected after a house fire. However, the chemicals contained in smoke and soot could not only irritate the skin upon contact but could create health effects from inhalation. Thus, it is safer to throw out any singed or burnt clothing and textiles.

3. Medicine

High heat, smoke, soot and even water from firefighting efforts can all alter the potency of your medications. Rather than risk the effects of altered medicine, it is strongly recommended all prescription and over-the-counter medication exposed to the elements of a house fire be thrown away.

4. Cosmetics

The various minerals that come in contact with your skin through cosmetics are also at a high-risk for being impacted by the damaging effects of a fire. Products could be altered by the high heat, or soot deposits could render them unsafe. Any items that appear warped or covered in soot should be thrown out.

Fire damage in your Saluda, NC home can create a world of difficult decisions for your health and happiness. Remember to keep safety in mind, and throw away any items exposed to flames, smoke or water. Finally, consider the expertise of fire restoration specialists that may provide the peace of mind you need to rebuild your home to its pre-fire condition.

Help! There's Water Dripping From My Ceiling!

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Water dripping from a light fixture Water damage in a light fixture.

What Should You Do If You Find Water In The Light?

Sometimes water damage happens before you've had any evidence of a leak. You may be able to resolve some of those leaks by making necessary repairs, but there are some situations that require the services of a specialist. One of these is water in a light fixture. The risks of DIY repairs in this case include:

  • Electrocution injuries or death
  • Electrical fires due to corrosion or mold
  • Injuries due to a soggy or collapsed ceiling

Think About Safety Concerns

Your first concern should be your safety and the safety of your family. Next, turn off the water and electricity before beginning any other repair efforts. Many water shutoff valves are located in the basement, if there is flooding in your path, it's best to turn off the electricity before getting near any water or electrical outlets, light switches, and other potential sources of electrical contact.

Talk to Your Insurance Company

After shutting off electricity and the water, contact your insurance company. Your chances of filing a successful claim to cover damages are better if you've taken the course of action recommended by the insurance company. You may be advised to take further safety precautions, such as contact the power company to shut off all electricity until a professional has given the okay to turn it back on.

Hire a Remediation Professional

Finally, contact a specialist with experience in cleaning up after water damage, including ceiling damage and electrical concerns. The specialist may take steps such as cutting around the ceiling fixture to release any pooling water in the light. This professional or an electrician can tell you whether fixtures and electrical wiring should be replaced. Don't turn the water or the electricity back on until you have approval from these experts.

Water damages can be scary, but with quick thinking and professional advice, you can bring the situation under control. Remember to focus on safety, cover your bases with the insurance company, and hire knowledgeable professionals in Mill Spring, NC.

Keep Fires at Bay With These Space Heater Safety Tips

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Portable Electric Heater, Halogen Light Heater Space heaters are wonderful inventions.

Prevent Your Space Heater From Catching Fire

Space heaters are wonderful inventions, as they are energy-efficient, affordable and effective. However, despite their many benefits, they do come with one major drawback: fires. If you do not care about your personal hotspot, you could end up with a burned space heater and worse, a burned home. Don’t let that happen, and use these tips to prevent your space heater from catching on fire:

  • Buy a space heater that comes with built-in safety features.
  • Find a safe place to put your little heater.
  • Keep the three-foot rule in mind.
  • Practice safe habits.

Safety Features To Look For

When shopping for space heaters in Spindale, NC, there are certain safety features that Consumers Reports recommends you look for. For one, the heater you buy should come with a safety certification as well as a Very Good or Excellent Fire Safety Score. Anything less than that is likely not safe. Secondly, look for automatic shut-off features. The ideal heater has a sensor that tells it when it's overheating and turns it off automatically. Finally, the heater should have at least a six-foot cord that is equipped with a GFCI plug, which grounds the connection so you won’t get shocked when plugging it in.

Find a Safe Place To Put Your Heater

A large reason for burned space heater accidents is location. Keep the three-foot rule in mind when finding a place to put your heater: three feet from all combustible materials, and surrounded by a three-foot, child-free, pet-free safety zone. Make sure to place the heater on a solid, level and nonflammable surface as well.

Practice Safe Habits

Finally, make sure that you practice safe habits with your space heater. Turn it off each night before going to bed or when leaving the home, install working smoke alarms, and never plug another item into the same outlet that the heater is on, especially if using an extension cord (which you shouldn’t do anyway).

The tips above should help you prevent burned space heater accidents, but in the event that your heater does catch fire and you need smoke cleanup help, reach out to your Spindale, NC, fire damage team today.

3 Ways To Eliminate Flood Odors

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal A thermal fogger is used to eliminate odors.

Three Ways Commercial Restoration Services Can Eliminate Flood Odors

If your commercial property in Rutherfordton, NC, has recently flooded, undesirable odors may linger long after floodwaters are gone. Restoration experts can identify and eliminate the sources of these odors as part of the storm or water damage recovery process. These trained professionals can prevent or identify and mitigate mold growth and determine the full extent of sewage loss. Here are three ways commercial restoration services can eliminate flood odors.

1. Thoroughly cleaning or removing contaminated porous materials. Any porous materials that remain intact after flood cleanup may be sources of persistent odors. Whether carpets or other porous contents or affected building materials were not thoroughly cleaned or disinfected or mold has begun to develop, a certified restoration service can identify why odors continue to linger. These companies are equipped to perform air sampling and testing if necessary and check for any signs of mold growth.

2. Clean air ducts and HVAC systems. Air conditioning and heating systems circulate air and odors throughout a commercial property. A certified restoration service can clean ductwork, vents, and other system components to put a stop to the recurrence of undesirable odors.

3. Use clean-up treatments to eliminate odors. Certified restoration professionals use treatments such as ozone or hydroxyl machines, fogging, and filtration systems to get rid of every trace of odor on the premises. These methods can help to get rid of stubborn flood odors that persist even after other cleaning methods.

Whether restoration experts trace the source of the odor in your commercial property to incomplete cleanup of floodwater or to mold growth, a storm and water restoration service in Rutherfordton, NC, can help you get rid of the smell. If damaged materials are the culprit, you may be able to file an insurance claim for sewage loss and replace contents or materials that need to be removed to eliminate an odor.

How Can Property Managers Prepare for a Big Storm?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Board up windows and door of a building Board up the windows of your building.

When a big storm hits Marion, NC, every property manager knows they’re in for a rough ride. Storm preparedness should be a key part of a manager’s strategy for the highest ROI – and the lowest stress. Fortunately, the process is both painless and inexpensive in most cases – especially when a property has been well-maintained.

What Are the Two Prongs of a Storm Readiness Plan?

Being prepared for a storm can be split into two parts: short-term and long-term planning. When a storm watch is announced, it’s going to be too late to start some planning – and there probably will be a run on supplies, such as:

  • Plywood
  • Tarps
  • Ratcheting tie-downs
  • Generators
  • Flashlights

What Should be Done for Long-Term Planning?
Anything that can be purchased well in advance should be. Plus, your local storm damage restoration specialists can set up a free Emergency Readiness Profile for your business and perform a no-cost site analysis for storm preparedness.
One great option is to have storm shutters installed. Many can be closed in a hurry, so even sudden storms can be blocked. Another is to purchase low-cost, empty sandbags and keep them on-site. When a large storm is approaching, you can often fill them at local locations to barricade your building from floodwater.

How About Short-Term?
When the storm is a couple of days away, emergency supplies will disappear out of stores, so either have what you need or act immediately. Board up windows put all important paperwork in a safe, water-resistant location and back up anything possible to a secure cloud account. If possible, get your business vehicles in a safe place or have them driven out of town.
As soon as Marion, NC, has a storm warning, shut off all utilities, make sure electronics are unpowered and out of harm’s way and then evacuate. Good property management means staying safe and returning ready to respond.
Effective storm preparedness methods are straightforward and well-established. If handled well, property managers can ride out the storm with at least a little peace of mind.

3 Reasons Mold Grows in Your Home

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Mold flourishes in places with a humidity level.

Reason Mold Grows In Your Home

Molds, including black mold, are always present in the environment. They can enter your home through open windows and doors, on clothing or through your HVAC system. Mold usually doesn't become a problem in the home, unless favorable conditions for rapid growth exist. These are three reasons mold may grow in your home.

1. You Live in a Place With High Humidity
Mold flourishes in places with a humidity level between 70% and 90%. If your home is located in a part of Forest City, NC, that experiences high humidity levels, controlling the humidity in your home will help you avoid mold problems. Consider installing a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels. Keep your windows closed when humidity levels exceed 80% and turn on the air conditioning. Aim for humidity levels between 40% and 60% inside your home.

2. You Have a Problem With Leaks or Other Sources of Moisture
If your plumbing, roof or appliances are leaking, black mold growth may result. If you find a moisture problem, repair the leak and contact a water remediation company to quickly dry out your property and perform mold cleanup. The longer your property stays wet, the more likely you are to have mold issues.

3. Your Home Has Poor Ventilation
Many modern homes are tightly sealed to make them more energy-efficient. Unfortunately, this can also lead to ventilation problems that can contribute to high moisture levels. You can increase ventilation in your home by running an exhaust fan or opening a window in your bathroom when you take a shower. Keep the outside vents on your dryer free of lint, so that moist air can be properly vented.
While having black mold spores in your home is normal, excessive mold growth is not. If you have a problem in your home, addressing these three potential causes of mold growth may help you eliminate it.

Grill Cleaning Keeps Your Backyard Meals Tasting Great

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

the hand of someone with a metal brush cleaning a grill Grill cleaning reduces the risk of a grease fire.

Easy Steps In Cleaning Your Grill

An outdoor grill is a convenient and delicious way to prepare meals in Columbus, NC. To get the best flavor, you'll need to clean your grill from time to time. Grill cleaning also keeps it performing at its best and reduces the risk of a grease fire. You can clean your grill in a few easy steps.

Gather Supplies
Before you begin, you'll need to get your supplies together:

  • Grill brush
  • Paper towels
  • Dish soap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Bucket
  • Work gloves
  • Garden hose

Start with a warm grill and make sure all knobs are in the off position. Disconnect the propane tank.

Begin Cleaning
Remove the grill grates and metal plates and soak them in a bucket of hot, soapy water. While they soak, cover the heating elements with foil. Use the grill brush to remove carbon buildup on the underside of the hood and grill walls. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the surfaces clean.
Continue your grill cleaning by emptying the drip pan over a trash can. When it's empty, soak the pan in the bucket. Remove the metal plates and grill grates. Scrub them clean with the grill brush and spray them with the hose.
Remove the foil and clean the heating elements with the grill brush, then remove the drip pan from the bucket and rinse it. Replace all items and reconnect the propane tank.

Enjoy Your Clean Grill
Grill maintenance helps you avoid the risk of a fire that could lead to damage and the need for emergency restoration services. To use your grill safely, always stay near it while you're cooking and keep children and pets away. Your grill should be kept away from the house, out in the open, where there are no overhead obstructions like low branches.
Grill cleaning is a relatively easy task that pays off with better-tasting food. It also gives you peace of mind as you prevent the risk of fire.

How To Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Winter Storm

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

Flashlight, portable radio, batteries, water bottles and a first aid kit You should gather emergency ssupplies.

Here Are Some Ways To Get Ready

As the weather gets colder in Old Fort, NC, the risk of a snow storm increases. Snow can build up on your roof, causing it to collapse. The chilly temperatures may also lead to a pipe burst in your building. Severe storms can even cut off your power and heat for hours or days at a time.
To protect your tenants and your property, you need to properly prepare for the impending storm. 

Understand Terms
First, you should figure out the severity of the threat to your property. Meteorologists will typically issue one of three warnings when a storm is heading to your area:

  • Winter Weather Advisory
  • Winter Storm Watch
  • Winter Storm Warning

A winter weather advisory is issued when sleet, freezing rain or snow could reach your location. A winter storm watch, meanwhile, alerts you that heavier accumulations are on the way. A winter storm warning is the most severe. It signals imminent hazardous weather.
You and your tenants should remain fully informed about the nature of the snow storm. Sign up for your city's warning system, which should provide important updates. You can also listen to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather radio.

Keep Warm
A minor storm can cause major damage if the cold air freezes your pipes. Use caulking and insulation to keep your entire property warm. You should also store the contact information for emergency restoration professionals. They can help fix your property if a frozen pipe does burst.

Emergency Response
Even if you are fully prepared for the storm, an emergency can happen. You should thus ensure that everyone in your building has a supply kit. It should include a flashlight, blankets, non-perishable food and bottled water.
Before the next snow storm arrives, be sure your property is ready for the impending threat. Understand the severity of the incoming winter weather and stay updated on any emergency alerts. You should also gather emergency supplies and seal any openings to keep cold air out of your building.

Prepare Your Business for Spring Floods in Three Steps

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Debris on a rain gutter in Lake Lure, NC. Remove debris from your rain gutters.

Prevent Water Damage In Your Business

Spring is lovely with birds and flowers. The change in weather can be a relief after a long winter. However, spring also brings rain showers and melting snow which can lead to flooding. The following are three steps to prevent water damage at your Lake Lure business.

1. Take Inventory
If your business is damaged due to spring floods, a frozen pipe or any other type of water damage, it is important to have an inventory of all business property on hand for the insurance company. Include the date and price of purchase as well as photo or video of the items in their preloss condition. Having the inventory readily available will expedite the insurance claim process, so keep it in a secure location.

2. Prepare the Building
Although a certified restoration service can clean and repair your building after flooding, it is better to avoid water damage in the first place. Make sure the gutters on your building are cleaned out and securely attached before the spring flood. Examine the foundation and repair any cracks. Before snow begins accumulating, inspect the roof and make any necessary repairs.

3. Inspect the Sump Pump
If your building has a sump pump, make sure to test it prior to spring rains. Testing the pump is a simple task. Pour water into the basin and make sure the device pumps out the water. If the pump does not activate, check that the float switch is not jammed and the power cord is in good condition.
Flooding can cause severe damage and interfere with your business’s operations. Fortunately, there are steps business owners can take to minimize damage. Make sure sump pumps, gutters and other protective devices are in good working order. Make sure you have an inventory of all the things you would need insurance to repair or replace should they be damaged during a spring flood.

A 24 Hour Remediation Response Can Save Your Business After a Disaster

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Workers repairing roof leak in a commercial building in Forest City, NC SERVPRO is an emergency response team in Forest City, NC that is always open.

A 24 Hour Remediation Response Can Save Your Business After a Disaster

Disasters aren't usually planned. However, your business can plan for the aftermath. Water damage from disasters quickly invades buildings, making it crucial to receive a 24-hour emergency response. SERVPRO is an emergency response team in Forest City, NC that is always open. A fast response is of the utmost importance when contacting remediation experts.

What Can Be Damaged in Any Size Disaster
Your commercial business just underwent a fire or flood within the last 24 hour period. Even if the event wasn't large or didn't cause any visible damage, it's still best to bring a remediation team on site as soon as possible. Water damage is deceptively invasive, seeping into all of your important documents, products, and building structure. The longer you wait, the more irreversible destruction will occur, including, but not limited to:

  • Stains on walls, floors, carpets, furniture, and upholstery
  • Damage to important documents, photographs, or other paper goods
  • Compromised drywall integrity
  • Discoloration of any metal surfaces
  • Musty smells emanating from your commercial space

All of the aforementioned happens within a day, and all of these unsightly issues are bad for business and your pocketbook. This doesn't even include the damage that can occur after the 48-hour mark!

Have a Plan for the Aftermath
In order to have a fast response, you need to have a reputable company in mind to come in and clean up. This company also needs to be a preferred vendor with your insurance company. Choosing a preferred emergency response team like SERVPRO ensures that you will be covered in the event you need disaster clean-up. The worst thing you can do is hire a restoration team only to find out later that you will be paying out of pocket. SERVPRO is not only preferred by most insurance agencies, but they operate on a 24-hour cycle, any day of the year. They respond to requests with a call within one hour, are on-site in four hours, and provide a verbal briefing within eight hours. This fast response time can mitigate any long-term damages that would occur if you hadn't planned ahead to save your business.

Cleaning Items After Water Damage

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

small refrigerator, washing machine and furniture covered with mud, furniture damaged by water in Lake Lure, NC. Items of a home damaged by water.

Cleaning Items After Water Damage

When you have water in your home after a leak or a flood, you are faced with several complicated issues. Many people in your position wonder what items can be saved after water damage. There is no hard and fast rule, but the following factors are important:

  • The level of cleanliness of the water
  • The amount of time the water has soaked the items
  • The porosity of the items
  • The level of cleanliness of the materials

If the water leak comes from a category 1 source, which is clean water suitable for drinking, then more items can be dried and restored. On the other hand, dirty water, from either a category 2 or category 3 source, often does enough damage that replacement is necessary.

The Time Factor

The presence of water in home also plays a role. In as little as 24-48 hours, clean water leaked into your property in Lake Lure, NC turns into gray or category 2 water. That's because it picks up impurities as time passes. Also, unpleasant things begin to happen such as the growth of mold and mildew. Items like carpeting, upholstery, clothing and drywall become harder to save the more time passes after a broken pipe or some other leak. More durable items that don't allow water to penetrate such as tile, porcelain, plastic and metal can sometimes still be cleaned and dried effectively after a couple of days. Eventually, though, given enough time, water will begin to break down even the toughest materials.

The Restoration Role

A professional water damage specialist will use expert techniques that increase the number of items that can be restored. A certified technician uses powerful vacuums and air dryers to suck out water and moisture. Methods such as dry cleaning and premier cleaning are very effective for clothing and upholstery. While water in a home is always a challenging situation, professional cleaning and restoration can save money and valuable items.

Preventing Mold From Growing in Your Facility

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall in Forest City, NC Mold can grow anywhere

Mold spores exist in almost every environment, even in conditions not suitable for mold growth. However, once they find a source of moisture, it doesn't take long for them to take root in your Forest City, NC, facility. Rather than dealing with it after the fact, it's best to learn about mold prevention.

How Does Mold Grow?

Mold growth happens with just a few conditions:

  • Food (surfaces containing cellulose, like wood or ceiling tile)
  • A temperature between about 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Oxygen
  • Moisture

If the first three conditions are present in your facility, it's easy to see that spores can find a suitable environment once moisture is introduced.

Common Sources of Moisture in Buildings
Mold prevention means finding the most common sources of moisture in your facility.
You may find water in your HVAC system drain pans. Drains can become corroded or plugged with dirt, causing them to overflow into ducts and surrounding areas.
Ceiling tiles are porous and can absorb moisture from a roof leak. Tiles are usually made of cellulose-containing materials that feed mold. Moisture can collect in tiles around vents and pipes, areas susceptible to dirt and water leaks.
Like ceiling tiles, carpet and drywall are porous surfaces that absorb moisture. If you have water damage, a commercial building restoration service can help you dry and replace materials as needed.
Paper left in humid or damp places can provide a food source for mold. Take care to store paper reams or files in places with low humidity. Avoid storing boxes of paper on basement or concrete floors. Moisture can travel through masonry and leave behind mold on its surface.
Watch for mold on electrical equipment, cable and fixtures. Warm, moist air can travel through gaps around outlets on exterior walls and ceiling-mounted light fixtures. If electrical conduit has been flooded, moisture can remain inside.
Keeping an eye on areas in your building that are susceptible to moisture is the key to mold prevention. A little maintenance can prevent damage in the long run.

3 Things To Do Before a Home Adjuster Visit

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor of a Marion, NC home. Water damage in Marion, NC

Here Are A Few Things You Can Do To Prepare Yourself

If you have experienced water damage to your Marion, NC, home, one of the first things that you should do is start your insurance claim. During this process, an adjuster will visit to go over the damage and determine how much your compensation should be. Before the adjuster’s visit, there are a few things that you can do to prepare.

1. Contact a Restoration Service
Water damage can cause many problems in your home, from mold growth to ruined building materials. For this reason, you should have mitigation done as quickly as possible to prevent damage from getting worse. A cleanup and restoration service can remove the water from your home and begin cleaning the building even before the home adjuster visits. The money you receive from your insurance claim can help pay for this.

2. Make a List of Damaged Areas and Items
The amount you receive for your claim will depend on how much damage your home has suffered. It is a good idea to list and take pictures of damaged sections of your house before any work is done. Your home adjuster will also need documentation of belongings that need to be repaired or replaced. If you have receipts, you should include these as well.

3. Go Over Your Policy
Not every insurance policy is the same, so it’s a good idea to go over yours so that you are familiar with the details, particularly if you have not previously filed a claim. Make sure you know what is required of you and what you can expect as you move forward. Doing so will help move the process along smoothly, making things easier for both you and your home adjuster.
Although dealing with water damage and the resulting insurance claim can be stressful, there are steps you can take to help things go more easily. Preparing before the visit from your adjuster can make a big difference.

Protect Against the Unexpected with Business Interruption Insurance

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. Business interruption is important no matter how size the company is

Protect Against the Unexpected with Business Interruption Insurance

As a savvy business owner in Marion, NC, you know how important it is to have commercial property insurance. While hopefully, you will have few or minimal claims, if a business fire or other major event happens, it may mean a devastating loss beyond your belongings. Being forced to temporarily close or relocate can add up, which is why business interruption is important no matter how size the company is.

What Does It Cover?
Also known as business income protection or profit protection, this coverage is often part of your main commercial policy. It provides funds to help cover the cost of lost income and other additional costs that incur due to a major loss. While every policy is different and will provide different levels of funding, the majority of business interruption policies will cover:

  • Sales and revenue lost due to the fire.
  • Evacuation or temporary relocation due to inaccessibility.
  • Expenses incurred advertising a temporary move and work involved in making the move happen.
  • Loan, rent and utility costs for the damaged property.
  • Payroll expenses.

Types and Length of Coverage
In general, businesses often have two types of insurance: business owner policy and general liability policy. The first often covers the damage to equipment, inventory and property loss. The latter is the general policy that covers fire cleaning and restoration services and other related expenses when filing a claim. Whether it’s time to renew or get a new policy, business owners should sit down with their insurance agent and review exactly what will be covered. If an incident happens, it is best to be prepared instead of surprised by a lack of coverage. Another important factor to consider is how long it will provide coverage, which typically starts immediately after the claimed loss. In some cases, there may be a waiting period.
A business interruption can quickly add up to lost revenue and unexpected bills. Staying on top of insurance is key to getting back to normal operations.

Filing an Insurance Claim After a Flood

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Servpro restoration vehicles parked in front of a Forest City, NC house Let water damage restoration specialists perform the remediation

Here Are Some Tips For Completing This Process

After a storm, you may be tempted to rebuild your Forest City, NC house right away. However, doing so too quickly and without the proper expertise could just result in additional harm. You should thus let water damage restoration specialists perform the remediation. To pay for this service, you will likely have to file a flood insurance claim. 

1. Schedule Adjuster Visit

Once you contact your insurance provider, you should schedule an appointment with an adjuster. He or she will survey the property and calculate the value of your flood claim.

2. Determine Damages

To make things easier for the adjuster, clean your home before the assessment. Take pictures of the wet areas and keep any damaged items.

3. Keep Safe

Before you enter the premises to document your loss, you should ensure it is safe to do so. Inspect the property first for any electrical or structural harm. Look for possible gas leaks or fire hazards, as well. You should also wear goggles, rubber gloves, and sturdy shoes as you tour the home.

4. Prevent Mold Issues

Once you have filed your flood claim, you should try to limit any further damage to the premises. This means preventing the mold growth that commonly occurs after floods.
Ideally, the restoration experts will dry your home quickly enough to limit the spread of mold spores. However, you can also take some steps to prevent mold problems, as well.
In the weeks and months after the flood, use your HVAC system to reduce humidity inside your home. If your house does not have air conditioning, let air circulate by turning on fans and opening windows. You should additionally utilize exhaust fans when doing laundry or cooking, as these activities could release more moisture into the air.
As long as you have proper insurance, you can file a flood claim after a storm. This should help you pay for restoration services.

Common Business Losses From Water Damage

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky pipes in the ceiling of a Marion business Don't let water sideline your business.

A business in Marion, NC may suffer a number of losses after sustaining water damage, which can be caused by accidents or maintenance issues, or a combination of both of these factors. Damaged pipes can lead to flooding, or an improperly maintained fire sprinkler system can discharge water when no fire is present. Here are some common business losses associated with this type of issue.

1. Building Structure

Depending on the location of any destruction, the building structure itself may be affected. Walls or flooring may need to be torn out and replaced. A leaking roof can cause damage to the ceiling, and both the roof and ceiling may need to be repaired.

Demolition may also be required simply to access the source of the water. Any sort of activity of this type may result in additional expenses.

2. Assets

Leaking pipes in the walls or ceilings of your building can cause damage to business assets. These items may include essential equipment, furniture, or even inventory. Flooding is not even necessary to incur harm of business assets, as even small amounts of water can contribute to significant losses.

Damaged pipes can also lead to the malfunction or destruction of essential building systems. Your business will then need to repair or replace these systems, such as your fire sprinklers, electrical equipment, or plumbing components.

3. Business Revenue

While your business is preoccupied with repairing water damage, revenue opportunities are passing you by. Problems such as these divert both attention and funds from business development and marketing. It may be difficult to quantify lost business revenue, but it can still be quite significant.

Regardless of the causes of the problem or the extent of the water damage repairs required, business losses can range from minor to catastrophic. Whether damaged pipes resulted in a plumbing leak that was confined to a bathroom, or a broken water main let loose a flood of water through your entire operations center, every business must plan for the inevitable losses that will follow.

3 Mold Cleanup Tips You Should Know

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Technician in PPE removing mold from wall in Marion, NC Make sure to deal with your mold situation right away

When dealing with mold cleanup at your Marion, NC business there are a few things you may need to know before getting started. These steps can help keep the cleanup team safe, and prevent further mold contamination.

1. Always Wear Protective Gear

When cleaning up a mold infestation it’s important to protect yourself from both the mold spores, and the cleaning agents used. May professionals wear full cover all suits, but if these are unavailable then thick long sleeves can be worn with full length pants. Additional gear such as gloves, shoe covers, and face masks should also be used during the cleanup process. Clothing items should be laundered immediately in hot water after use, and the other gear cleaned appropriately to avoid cross contamination.

2. Avoid Cross Contamination

During mold cleanup it’s important to follow protective procedures to avoid mold contamination in other areas of the company building. Mold remediation specialists often have containment procedures they use to help avoid this problem. They may remove their shoe covers and over suits before entering uncontaminated areas to prevent the spread of spores, use air filtration machines, and check the surrounding areas for signs of spreading growth.

3. Deal with the Source to Prevent Future Growth

Even if you thoroughly rid an area of mold it may return if the source of the problem isn’t addressed. This may mean fixing a leak, improving drainage or ventilation, and adjusting the humidity levels in a building. Mold grows well in areas containing moisture, so keeping the company property as clean and dry as possible may help mitigate future issues.

When performing a mold cleanup, it’s important to wear the proper safety gear and observe cross contamination prevention measures. These can help prevent the problem from spreading. It’s also important to locate the source of the mold growth, and do what you can to remedy the issue to prevent future problems. A professional may be able to help.

3 Ways Landscaping Can Mitigate Flooding

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Rain pouring off the roof of a house in Marion, NC. Learn how to prevent storm and flooding damage

Landscaping is not just for looks. Strategic design can help to reduce the risk of outside flooding at your home in Marion, NC. If you live in a region with heavy precipitation, you should consider these three ways to facilitate rain drainage.

1. Adjust Grading and Add Slopes

The grade of your property should divert water away from the foundation of your home. You may want to consider adding swales to redirect water down into ditches. Line the lowest part with rocks or plants that have deep roots and high water tolerance to slow water flow. A French drain can also be a functional solution for outside flooding.

2. Garden With Flooding In Mind

In addition to growing plants in swales, you may also want to install a rain garden. The plants in this garden should have high tolerance for wet soil and should be native so that they require little maintenance beyond rainfall. Water can pool in these gardens during a rain storm and percolate down into the soil. Use heavier mulch in other garden beds to prevent wood from floating off and clogging drains. You should also be sure not to over-water beds situated near the foundation of your home.

3. Divert Rain Spouts

A functional drainage system is essential for preventing leaks and flooding. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are clear and that the outlets are diverted to prevent water from pooling next to the exterior walls of your home. You can also extend downspouts or install gutter guards.

These are three ways to use landscaping to reduce the issue of outside flooding at your home in Marion, NC. You may want to consult with local rain drainage specialists to come up with the best solutions for your property. If your home floods, you can count on the expertise of storm and water damage restoration professionals.

Why Can Storms Mess Up a Septic System?

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning in the sky during a storm in Forest City, NC Storms can cause major damage to your home or business.

Wet storms in Forest City, NC often lead to a variety of water damage. In the event of a sewer backup, a storm can play a huge part in unwanted black water making its way into your commercial property. To prevent major damage to your business, it is crucial to know how to identify and prevent this type of secondary storm damage.

How Septic Problems Happen During Storms

Most problems with back flowing sewage come from the ground absorbing too much moisture from rain water and blocking any further flow. Certain circumstances increase the likelihood of having a sewage problem during or after a storm:

• Increased blockage from storm debris such as fallen trees or their branches
• Pipes designed for both waste and stormwater flooded with water over the capacity
• Old or defective sewer lines connected to your business
• Trees growing roots deep into a sewage system and limiting the water flow when needed most

Once any preexisting problems are dealt with, you should consider enacting preventative maintenance.

Stopping the Problem Before It Happens

Sewer backup can be prevented, but it requires action before any storm strikes. Regular inspections of the septic system connected to your business are a good way to prevent issues. Any untreated problems with the system may become an increased likelihood of backflow. The system may seem to function normally, but it may be unable to withstand the increased water flow of a storm.

The soil in your business’ drain field, an area where sewage equipment is located, should be kept clear of unnecessary water. Any runoff pouring into the area compromises the efficiency and capacity of the system when you need it.

Treating the Aftermath

Sometimes, despite best efforts, water damage from both black water and rainwater cannot be avoided. A local storm damage restoration company can help recover your commercial building and assets damaged by a storm. With proactive actions to reduce the risk of a sewer backup and lessen this damage, you can stop your business from going under water both figuratively and literally.

How To Avoid Space Heater Fires

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

The remains of a roof and bedroom of a Forest City home after a major fire. Fire damage can be devastating for any property owner in Forest City or Marion.

A space heater can provide extra warmth. It can also save on heating bills by allowing you to set the thermostat in your home in Marion, NC on low while still heating the specific rooms you are using to a comfortable temperature. A burned space heater doesn't help you, though. To avoid space heater fires, you need to follow a few simple tips.

Give It Space

The heating elements on a space heater give off an impressive amount of heat, but they can turn into a fire hazard quickly if they are crowded. There are several guidelines to make sure you have enough space around your heater:

• Maintain radius of three feet from flammable objects
• Don't use near combustible substances, such as gasoline
• Keep children and pets away from heater
• Set it on a level surface so it doesn't topple over

Turn It Off

To avoid having a burned space heater when you leave the room, remember to turn it off. Space heaters should never be left unattended while they are on, especially if you leave the house altogether. In fact, it's a good idea to unplug the heater when you are not at home. Keep an eye out for a frayed or otherwise damaged cord.

Keep It Clean

Keep your space heater clean to minimize fire risk. Dust and other debris can turn a functioning space heater into an electric fireplace in a hurry. Replace filters regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendation so that dirt does not infiltrate the heating mechanism. Follow maintenance instructions so that it not only lasts a long time but also does not become a safety issue.

A burned space heater can turn convenience into a nightmare. By following these simple guidelines, you can increase your creature comforts while still keeping you and your family safe. To avoid having to call for fire cleanup with a restoration company, choose a space heater that is safe and use it safely.

6 Helpful Hints About Filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO equipment in the warehouse of our Forest City office. We're prepared to handle any water damage restoration job.

Insurance claims for water damage are on the rise. In fact, water damage claims are purportedly the second most reported petitions in Marion, NC. However, questions often arise when homeowners try to decipher the legal jargon of insurance policy, and many frequently become frustrated over exemptions and exclusions. Here are six hints to help you decode the steps you to take when making a water damage insurance claim.

1. Take pictures of the damaged area immediately after finding the water. Also, continue taking pictures during all stages of cleanup and restoration. If the damage is due to a pipe burst, take pictures of the pipe as well. Offer a copy of all photos to the insurance adjuster.

2. Contact your insurance agent regarding the loss. Ask the agent questions about your coverage, the time limit to file a claim, and deductibles. Request information on repairs, restoration, and how long a claim takes to process.

3. Establish your claim by filling out the claim forms as soon as you receive the papers. Return the completed documents to the insurance company right after you finish the paperwork.

4. Keep a list of damaged and lost items. Include all steps taken to clean or discard major items, if possible. Also, take pictures and keep the photos with the records to substantiate the loss. If receipts are available for destroyed or damaged items, provide copies with your insurance claim.

5. Request receipts and a detailed list of all work done by your water repair and restoration company. Also, ask the team to include a list of all supplies used to clean and sanitize the area.

6. If your family needs to relocate during cleanup and restoration, keep receipts. Extensive records required may include living expenses, replacement clothing, and meal expenditures.

Once your insurance claim has been settled, and the insurance company accepts your submission, a payment is typically sent to cover the terms of the settlement. If the claim is refused, you have the right to contest the refusal and the right to hire an attorney.

3 Reasons You Should Get Your House Checked for Mold

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Technician in PPE removing mold from wall in Marion, NC Do not try to remove the mold yourself, call the professionals.

The word mold usually brings about fear to homeowners in Marion, NC. Not only can it be dangerous, it can also be expensive to take care of, especially if left untreated. Not all spores are visible and out in the open, so if you notice any of these signs, call an inspector to come do a mold assessment for you.

1. You See Mold

Some mold is very obvious, but it can sometimes be hidden. It can be on the walls, ceiling, carpet or appliances. Often times you may just think it is dirt. That is why it is important to stay aware and know what to look out for. If you notice fungi anywhere in your home, you should call a mold remediation expert to come do a mold assessment immediately.

2. It Smells Moldy

Most fungi have a smell. Typically, it smells like a dirty old pond. That is not a normal scent that should be in your home. Both black mold and mildew have a specific odor, but a professional should be able to tell you the difference between the two and identify what type you have in your home. Because not all mold is visible, it is important to not ignore the smell, or it could get worse.

3. You’ve Had Water Problems

If your home was flooded recently, you may want to have someone come do a mold assessment just in case. Excessive moisture can cause spores to grow, so leaking pipes may lead to a bigger problem. HVAC systems are another leading cause of mold growth. They often let off quite a bit of condensation, and the moisture is a great place for spores to thrive. If your house has been overly humid lately, it is probably a good idea to have it checked just in case.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your house recently, you should call a remediation expert to come do a mold inspection. This is never a problem that you want to leave untreated.

Situations That Warrant Protection Against Flood Damage

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Black water flooding in Lake Lure, NC parking garage Flooding can cause major damage

You take good care of your commercial property in Lake Lure, NC so that weather and other problems don't damage your building. You properly insulate your pipes and you make sure that gutters are clean and your roof is in good condition. Certain events, however, can flood your building despite even the best preparations. When these situations occur, you may need to have flood insurance to cover the cost of recovery.

Prolonged Storms

If a hurricane hits your area, it doesn't really matter whether your gutters are clean. The storm and the continual rainfall that probably follows may cause certain problems for your property:

• Standing, contaminated water, especially on lower levels
• Damaged equipment and furniture
• Weakened walls, floors or ceilings

Your building may flood and sustain water damage when storms arise. If you have flood insurance, you have a way to pay for remediation services, even if the damage turns out to be extensive.

Melted Snow

Some storms don't cause damage at the time they occur but rather after their effects start to dissipate. When heavy snows start to melt, the runoff has to go somewhere. If there is too much of it or if it melts too quickly, it can flood your building. Your commercial insurance portfolio should contain policies that take this possibility into account.

Busted Dams

Some disasters have little to do with the weather and more to do with the weakening of structures made by humans. Levees and dams are built to control the flow of water and keep it from overtaking an area. When such a structure breaks, the water it releases goes everywhere, including your commercial building. Documenting the event as well as the damage it causes can help your insurance adjuster determine how much your policy should cover.

If you live in an area that floods regularly, regional law may require you to have flood insurance. Even if you don't, however, it's a good idea to have extra coverage just in case you need it.


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