Recent Posts

3 Tips for Preventing Mold Growth in a Rental Property

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Whether you own a rental home or apartment complex in Asheville, NC you need to ensure your tenants have a safe environment. This means a house that is free of any water damage or mold growth. You, as the landlord, need to be proactive about mold prevention. It actually works in your best interest to prevent mold because you will save money and increase the chances of the tenants wanting to renew the lease.

1. Address Leaks Before Renting a Property Out

When you are between tenants in a property, you want to give the building a thorough inspection. During this examination, you should keep an eye out for any areas that are prone to leaking. This includes holes in the roof that could cause mold development in the attic. You also need to ensure the pipes are still in good working order. This kind of inspection should take place at least once annually.

2. Be Wary of Carpets

As the property owner, part of your mold prevention may require you to tear out carpets and replace them with hardwood. Even spilling a glass of water on a carpet can lead to mold growth. Even if only one area of the carpet has mold, the entire thing will need to be torn out, which can be costly.

3. Address Any Mold Immediately

It is unsafe for your tenants to be in a building with mold. Your tenants may even refuse to pay rent until the issue is handled. Therefore, you want to stay in the loop, and if your tenants tell you about a problem, then you need to take care of it immediately.

Mold prevention is much easier to handle than removal. In the event you do find mold in your rental property, you need to hire a professional crew right away so that your tenants will be happy and safe. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on mold.

How Best To Proceed With Fire Restoration

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Absorbing everything that has happened once a fire has been contained can be a lengthy process, both mentally and emotionally. Unfortunately, dealing with the fire restoration process and calling on your fire insurance is a far more time-sensitive issue. Smoke, soot and water damage in commercial buildings in Asheville, NC should be addressed quickly, as the effects can be detrimental to everyone’s health and safety. Learn how to start and manage the fire cleanup process with these important tips, and get help to begin the difficult task of smoke cleaning from the affected areas.

*Consult professionals before taking any first steps yourself. The charred and damaged areas consumed by the fire can be highly dangerous, whether due to unstable structures or dirty water and soot left behind that could potentially make you sick. Waiting for the fire department to give the all-clear signal before entering the building is crucial.

*Get estimates regarding restoration and cleaning fees. Fire restoration can come with an expensive price tag, depending on the significance of the repairs needed. Initiate the steps necessary to determine what your insurance company will cover, and be sure to keep all agreements in writing to cover yourself legally.

*Start hiring fire repair and board-up services — and keep any receipts related to the fire damage. Professional cleaners are vital to the restoration process to ensure the area is safe for people to inhabit again, while board-up providers can keep company belongings secured while you’re away. Meanwhile, it’s important to keep all receipts in a safe place for your personal records and to have copies handy for your insurance company, as well as for tax purposes.

Clearing away smoke damage through fire restoration procedures is essential to the health and safety of everyone involved. Take the necessary time to contact your fire insurance representatives and invest in proper smoke cleaning for the sake of all who were affected by the tragedy.

Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on commercial fire damage.

What You Can Do About Salvaging Your Stuff After a Fire

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with the effects of a house fire in Asheville, NC is never fun and often expensive. Replacing everything is not only costly, but items of sentimental value are irreplaceable. Always seek a professional to help you salvage what is left after fire damage, but there are a few steps you can take to assist in the process, such as proper content storage. Most clothing and removeable fabrics should be handled by professional dry-cleaning, and electronics cleaning should be left to the professionals.

Why Is Content Cleaning Important?

A fire to any structure is going to emit smoke and soot that can be toxic and irritate the eyes and respiratory system. Fire and smoke often combust plastics and other materials into chemicals that can be hazardous and cause larger health concerns and problems in the future, even if they do not produce any immediately negative effects.

What Steps Can You Take?

1. Always wait until you have clearance from the fire marshal before re-entering your home and trying to do anything.
2. Ventilate and get the air moving using fans.
3. For all salvageable fabric, you will need dry-cleaning. Most should be done by a professional, but you can remove some of the soot by holding a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner nozzle about ½– ¾ inch above the surface of the fabric.
4. After removing soot from carpets or other items, cover with plastic to prevent more from being tracked across during the clean-up process. Put plastic or aluminum foil under furniture legs as well.
5. Remember time is of the essence with copper and brass objects. Smoke can cause permanent damage to these items after the first 24 hours. Remove them from the premises carefully and clean using the copper or brass cleaner for each respectively.

Leave electronics to the professionals. Electronic devices that have been fire-damaged can be extremely dangerous and should be handled quickly and carefully. Other items, such as those that need dry-cleaning, should be handled quickly to be salvageable, but this should come second to more hazardous materials. Use proper safety equipment such as gloves and dust masks when attempting any of the above. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on fire damage.

4 Things to Know About Flood Water

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood, you may be scratching your head wondering what to do next. How do you prepare for water damage? How can you deal with black water? Well, here are four things you should know about floods.


1. Electrically Charged


Some overflow waters can be electrically charged. If there is working power in your home, you need to take the utmost care to make sure the water isn’t pulsing with electricity. When it comes time to clean up your residence, your safest option is to turn off all power until you have finished the cleanup.


2. Pathogenic Contamination


Black water is the third category consideration of standing water, particularly after a backed up sewer or storm. This flood water occurs after 24 hours and is considered to be full of pathogenic contaminants. This water can be full of garbage, mold and even sewage.


3. Mold Growth


Mold growth can grow in as little as 24 hours and as late as 72 hours after the water has been stagnant. Warm, moist areas tend to be perfect for mold growth. After a flood, one of the most common types of water damage people have to deal with is the mold that tends to grow on everything from furniture to walls.


4. Water Removal


Removing the water should always be the first step when it comes to cleanup. It’s especially important to make sure the black water is taken out as soon as possible before it ends up further damaging your home. Never let water sit in your Asheville, NC home; use a professional to help clean it up.

At the end of the day, the damage caused by a storm can be intense, and it can be difficult to know which steps to take when you have extensive water damage. However, this should help you understand standing water and the dangers better.

Visit SERVPRO of Asheville West at http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com/ for more information about storm restoration.

Flood Cleanup Checklist

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

You can leave it to a broken pipe to ruin your day. So, your residence was flooded and now it’s time to prepare the cleanup. This can be a daunting task to anyone, no matter if you have any experience with flood waters. Here’s a checklist of what you should do when it comes to taking care of your belongings after a water-in-home situation.


Carpets, Clothing and Rugs


Most of the time, the advice about carpets, clothing and rugs is to replace them. If it turns out that the rugs can be salvaged, spread them out outside. Here, you can hose them off and use carpet shampoo to clean them. This can be done using a broom to work in the detergent. Unless your carpet is made of wool, you can rinse it with a gallon of water and a couple tablespoons of liquid bleach. For clothing you hope to salvage, rely on dry cleaning to disinfect them.


Walls


If you look at your walls and see no signs of damage, you still want to take extra care with them. First, you should ensure that all the water in your property has been cleared out. If your walls aren’t dry, this is sure to lead to moisture problems down the road. If you have any mud or mold on the walls, then it’s time to clean them. In most cases, a formula of water and detergent can remove mold. In stubborn cases, bleach may be used.


Flooring


When it comes to your floors, remember to check for buckling or warping. This could mean you need to get the floor replaced. Floors should be dried out completely and if salvageable, cleaned in much the same way as the walls.

Of course, as with any cleanup efforts, utilizing restoration specialists can also help. If you have a water-in-home situation in Asheville, NC after a broken pipe, consider this list to better handle it.

Visit SERVPRO of Asheville West at http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com/ for more information about water restoration.

Category 1 Water Does Not Mean Category 1 Water Damage

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Any broken pipe or supply line in commercial buildings in Asheville, NC, can lead to severe water damage. Experts in commercial restoration know that no two water damages are alike; a lot depends on the category of water involved. If you’re dealing with water damage due to category 1 water, you are exposed to sanitary water. Clean water does not pose substantial risk to your health. What is category 1 water exactly, and what damage can it cause?


1. What Is Category 1 Water?


Category 1 water starts from a sanitary source. Examples for sanitary sources are faucets, toilet tanks, and drinking fountains. Water that falls into this category poses minimal risk of exposure through inhalation, skin, or oral consumption. Nevertheless, be advised that this water can turn into unsanitary water based on time and temperature. Just because it’s category 1 water doesn’t mean that it cannot cause extensive damage. Clean water can cause four types of water damage.


2. What Are the Main Types of Water Damage?

  • Class 1 is the easiest to deal with as only small amounts of water are involved. Absorption and evaporation are minimal issues. The damage is limited to one room or one specific area. Carpet is only slightly or not affected at all, and only materials with low porosity have absorbed water.
  • Class 2 damage is characterized by larger amounts of water and a higher evaporation rate. At least all the carpet in a room is affected and walls are soaked in water up to 24 inches. The structure and substructure have absorbed moisture.
  • Class 3 water damage means that enough water has filled the area to be evaporated into or absorbed by everything in the room. It’s not uncommon that the water comes from overhead. Walls, insulation, ceilings, carpets, and sub-floors are saturated.

  • Specialty drying situations fall into class 4. Enough time has passed for water to affect materials with low porosity, including brick and concrete.

Clean water might be sanitary but it can be responsible for extensive damage. As soon as you notice a broken pipe or supply line, it’s important to take action.

Visit SERVPRO of Asheville West at http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com/ for more information about water restoration.

5 Steps to Prevent Mold

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

5 Steps to Prevent Mold

If water damage has occurred in your residential property in Asheville, NC you should act quickly to prevent mold growth. Here are five mold prevention tips prioritized in order of importance.

1. Fix the Water Problem

Whether a pipe has burst or sprung a leak, a water-based appliance has malfunctioned, or a storm has caused flooding or compromised a structure, you need to immediately address the water issue and stop it from coming in. Mold thrives on moist surfaces.

2. Dry Water Damage

Do everything you can to remove excess water within 24 to 48 hours after an incident occurs. You might try a combination of drying and ventilation or call a service that specializes in removing water from building materials, carpets, drywall, or furniture.

3. Lower Humidity Levels and Temperatures

After you dry wet areas, you should make the indoor environment unconducive to mold. The way you do that is by using a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels between 30% and 60%. You may also want to turn off the heat and keep the interior relatively cool.

4. Ventilate Rooms Where Heat and Water Combine

Make any structure less inviting for mold by properly ventilating rooms with the two major risk factors: heat and water. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms all have water-based appliances or fixtures. In addition to maintaining pipes to prevent serious leaks, proper ventilation will help to make sure that mildew and mold do not start growing.

5. Contact an Indoor Environmental Specialist

If you have followed these steps and are still worried about mold, you should contact a professional restoration service in Asheville, NC that specializes in mold testing and clean-up. This service company can determine whether mold is present and help you address the problem or prevent mold from forming.

These mold prevention steps are intended to provide a sense of the major priorities after water damage has occurred. It is not difficult to prevent mold growth if you eliminate the causes up front.
Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on mold.

The Proper Way To Use a Fire Extinguisher

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

The Proper Way To Use a Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a critical part of an evacuation plan in Asheville, NC. It’s a good safety device for your home, especially when you consider that a kitchen fire is a common hazard. Extinguishers require proper usage. When you follow the right procedures, you can safely protect your home from fire damage.

Make a Call

Extinguishers are ideal for small fires. However, kitchen fires can get out of control. If you can’t manage it yourself, call the local fire department immediately.

Seek a Safe Exit

Identify a clear exit path. This ensures you can easily leave the kitchen or home if the fires become uncontrollable.

Pull the Pin

The fire extinguisher has a tamper-proof seal. You break the seal by pulling the attached pin. This prepares the device for usage.

Aim the Nozzle

Point the nozzle at the base of the fire. It’s the correct position for putting out the flames.

Squeeze the Handle

Squeeze the handle firmly. The pressure releases the fire extinguishing liquid onto the flames.

Sweep Sideways

Move the device from side to side. Repeat the aiming, squeezing and sweeping steps until the fire is extinguished.

Step Back

There is a potential for the fire to re-ignite. Keep a close watch on the affected area from a safe distance. This helps you make sure the flames are out.

Evacuate

There are instances where the extinguisher empties before the fire is put out. In some cases, a small fire may escalate to a level you can’t handle. If this happens, leave your home quickly and safely.


A small kitchen fire is not unusual. Regardless of its size, the flames pose a real danger. This is why having a fire extinguisher on hand keeps you prepared for an unexpected hazard. Of course, part of keeping your home safe is learning the proper procedure for preventing fire damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on fire damage.

Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains

Severe rains can bring flooding in Asheville, NC even to areas that are not normally prone to flooding. A sewer backup, for example, can occur in the city’s main sanitary system. If a blockage remains undetected, sewage can be pushed up through floor drains when there is more rain water trying to enter the sewer system than it can adequately manage. When flooding includes spreading sewage to areas not meant for its containment, the unhealthiest conditions exist.

Flood water is typically categorized into the following three classes.

Class 1: Clean Water

While “clean water” can still create considerable damage including mold growth and odors. Clean flood water can come from broken water pipes, leaking faucets, or overflowing sinks or bathtubs. If left standing, it may degrade into a more dangerous class of water in a short period of time.

Class 2: Gray Water

Water from washing machines, dishwashers or clean toilets that contain chemical contamination, microorganisms, or food for bacteria or germs is often referred to as “gray water.”


Class 3: Black Water

“Black water” is considered to be the most dangerous type of flood water damage. All physical contact with this water should be avoided. Flooding may occur due to a sewer backup. This type of water may contain solid waste and there may be dangerous chemicals, pollutants or microbes present in the water.

Since all three types of water damage may stimulate mold growth, odors, staining and discoloration, or permanent damage to wood or other porous materials, immediate attention is needed to minimize both cosmetic and structural damage. Quickly addressing flooding issues from a sewer backup in Asheville, NC can help to minimize damage and the danger of exposure to contaminants. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on flood damage.

Working With Employees After a Commercial Fire

10/23/2017 (Permalink)


Working With Employees After a Commercial Fire

In the aftermath of commercial fire damage, it is imperative that all members of a company act as a team. Fire damage from an electrical fire or utility room fire can happen even when there is a fire sprinkler system on the premises. An electrical fire or utility room fire cause all kinds of commercial fire damage that may create problems not only for the owner but for all employees. Soot damage and smoke damage from fire during the work day can also pose serious hazards for employees, making it hard for them to know what to do. Those who are okay should be prepared to help with fire restoration efforts and offer assistance for anyone working to combat the fire such as a firefighter with a fire hose and fire truck. They should also be prepared to help with any minor fire suppression efforts that may done while the fire is being put out.

Advanced Training

Given how common fire damage is, it helps to train employees to recognize soot damage, smoke damage and fire damage to their work spaces. Any company owner should be prepared with training to help the employees spot an electrical fire or utility room fire. They should know how to recognize a fire sprinkler system and how to turn the fire sprinkler system on or off. They should also know how to work with a firefighter with a fire hose and a fire truck as well as the fire sprinkler system. Employees should be trained in advance to help with fire suppression methods and to assist those employees who may be overcome with smoke damage and soot damage during any potential commercial fire damage. An employee should also know how to work with fire restoration companies that may be hired to help with issues such as fire damage, soot damage and smoke damage in the aftermath of an electrical fire or utility room fire.

Immediately After the Fire

Immediately after the fire, the employees should know how to respond to any firefighter with a fire hose and fire truck. They should know when to lend a hand and when to simply get out of the way. The same is true of the aftermath of the fire. When the fire is over and the firefighter with the fire hose and the fire truck have left, it's important for the employee to know what to do help with any planned fire restoration and fire suppression efforts so that the commercial fire damage can be done quickly. All employees should realize just how much damage any fire can cause. An employee should know what to do once they spot a fire and once the fire has been put out. All employees should also know what to with their own area after there has been a fire. They should understand that the fire may have damaged their own possessions as well as other area of the business. An employee should be prepared to follow the instructions of the firefighters as well as the company owner and any fire restoration officials.

Long Term Clean Up

When the fire has been put out and gotten under control, the employees can help with any fire suppression efforts. A professional company can go in the space and help clean it out. Once they have determined what needs to be done, it is imperative that employees understand what they are doing and why. An employee can help by providing an inventory of their items in the area and where they were stowed. They can also help the company by pointing the exact layout of the area where the fire started as well as any other areas where it may spread once the fire began. Employees can also help by letting the company do its job and waiting until the entire process of fire cleanup is fully completed.
Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on commercial fire damage.