Recent Posts

Wood Floors and Old Pipes: What Could Go Wrong?

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Warping floors. Wood floors add tremendous aesthetic value to your business, but they can come with some risks, especially in the event of a pipe burst.

A natural wood floor is a beautiful thing, and it can elevate the style of your business or property. However, wood floors can also present a slight financial risk in the event of a pipe burst or a prolonged wet floor. In the event of either of these situations, there are steps you can take to salvage your floors.

1. Dry the Space

The first thing that you want to do when your floors are exposed to water is to dry them as quickly as possible. Depending on how long the floors were wet, it can take several days for them to dry. You can use dehumidifiers and fans to help speed up the process.

2. Remove Swollen and Stained Boards

You will want to remove any swollen or severely stained boards. To do this, use a circular saw to cut along the inside groove and a pry bar to pry up the damaged plank.

3. Replace Removed Boards

Replacing boards after a pipe burst can seem like a daunting task, especially if they’re tongue and groove. However, all you need to do is remove the tongue portion of the board, and it should fit into place.

4. Sand and Restain

Once all of the damaged boards have been removed and replaced with new boards, it is time to sand and restain. It is a good idea to sand and restains all of the floors on the same level, as it can be difficult to match stains.

5. Get Help

Depending on the size of your business or property, restoring your floors can be an exhausting and labor-intensive job. You may find it more beneficial to search the Asheville, NC, area for local
restoration specialists who have experience in this type of damage.

Wood floors add tremendous aesthetic value to your business, but they can come with some risks, especially in the event of a pipe burst. However, by following the steps above or by seeking help, restoration is not only possible but also manageable.

6 Ways FEMA May Help After a Storm

9/19/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding outside and in stairwell. Storm damages aided by FEMA must be from a federally declared disaster area.

After flood damage in Asheville, NC, you immediately call your insurance company and begin a claim. There are so many needs you have right now, so what can you do about those things your insurance won’t cover? What if you don’t have insurance? Here are 6 ways FEMA may be able to help you after a disaster:

1. Housing. This may include temporary funds for rent while your house is being repaired or while you get ready to move to other, permanent housing. Direct housing may also be provided temporarily, especially if there are no available rental options in the disaster area.

2. Transportation. Replacement of a vehicle damaged in a storm or flood may be included in the government assistance program.

3. Childcare Costs. Sometimes childcare is needed as the result of a disaster, and this may be financially provided to you.

4. Medical Costs. Medication, as well as dental and medical services, may also be covered if the need is due to a federally declared disaster.

5. Storage or Moving. The cost of moving and storing your belongings until repairs are finished on your home may be covered by FEMA.

6. Personal Items. Any personal belongings that are needed and not covered under insurance, including mobility aids, appliances, and furniture, may also be part of the federal aid.

Many people don’t have flood insurance, so there is a lot of need for additional financial help after a disaster. If you do have insurance, be sure to file with your insurance company first. When registering for disaster assistance, you are required to share the insurance information with the government because it cannot provide financial assistance for anything that is already covered by your insurance.

Storm damages aided by FEMA must be from a federally declared disaster area. So much cleanup is needed to restore your property from flooding, but there are professional restoration companies that can take care of your needs and even help facilitate the insurance process for you.

The Unwelcome Guest: Getting Rid of Mold in Your Home

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. The perfect storm of excess moisture, a dusty surface, and stale air can create an environment that is highly conducive to black mold growth.

When you discover a black mold problem in your home in Asheville, NC, you may be in a bit of denial. You may try to deprive it of water or spray it down with bleach and leave it alone. The problem won't go away, though, just because you want it to. In order to get rid of mold, you have to be proactive about it.

Why Mold Grows

Just like any other organism, fungus needs food and water to thrive. Mold can feed on just about anything:

• Wooden items, such as furniture
• Textiles, such as draperies or clothing
• Porous surfaces, such as drywall

Once you add a moisture problem to the mix, it is likely that the mold will take advantage of the buffet laid before it. Spores land and begin to multiply, and before you know it, black mold is enjoying a growth spurt in your home.

Why Mold Stays

Many people think that if they simply solve the water damage problem that led to the need for mold cleanup in the first place, they can get rid of the mold. Drying out your home, however, is only the first step. You still have a mold problem. This is because you probably didn't find the problem until it had already embedded itself into the surface on which it was feeding. Mold remediation experts often remove whole sections of walls during this stage of the process because mold has grown into the wall material itself. Without moisture and airflow, it may not spread, but it also won't get smaller until it is cleaned.

The perfect storm of excess moisture, a dusty surface, and stale air can create an environment that is highly conducive to black mold growth. Removing the dust and water may not fix it, though. A small problem might be able to be remedied with an enzyme-based cleaner, but for most issues, you are going to have to call in professionals.

Salvaging Possessions After Your Business Has Flooded

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Deteriorated wall, fungus growth on a wall due to humidity Mold damage to a commercial building in Enka, NC.

Salvaging Your Business's Possessions After It Has Flooded

Buildings aren’t the only thing impacted when flooding happens. The possessions inside are also in peril of becoming damaged. Mold can begin to grow within 48 hours, so sorting through the debris in the wake of flood damage and beginning the task of content cleaning as soon as possible is imperative for salvaging commercial possessions.

Identifying What Can Be Saved

Many items can oftentimes be cleaned and saved if tended to quickly:

  • Furniture and items made out of wood, as long as they have not become warped
  • Metal furniture and articles
  • Many plastic items

As a rule of thumb, nonporous materials may typically survive and be salvageable.

Understanding Which Items Often Need To Be Discarded

Items made of porous material may not be as fortunate when it comes to content cleaning efforts. They have a greater chance of becoming saturated and soaked through in a flood. Here are things that you may likely need to part with:

  • Carpeting or rugs, especially those that come into contact with black water
  • Saturated upholstered furniture
  • Blankets or other items constructed of materials that can soak up liquids

It’s best to remove these items from the building as soon as possible so that they can’t harbor additional bacteria and contaminants in the space.

Cleaning Salvageable Possessions

Move items to a dry and non-humid area for cleaning. Smaller pieces that could not soak up water should be wiped down and disinfected to remove possible bacteria. Allow items to dry in a space with adequate air circulation. Move larger items outside, if possible, to wipe down and sanitize. If attempting to save carpeting or rugs, debris should be removed and they should be thoroughly hosed down. Allow items to completely dry in the sun if that option is available.

Sorting through the debris of a flooded building and completing content cleaning is no easy task and can certainly be overwhelming. If in doubt that something can be adequately cleaned, it’s best to be safe and discard it. A professional in flood remediation in Enka, NC, can provide additional support and assistance in ensuring that your company’s articles are properly and safely cleaned.

The Dirty Facts on Mold

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Mold can grow anywhere.

Mold's Dirty Little Secrets

Mold: The word itself is enough to cause you to cringe and shudder. No one wants to deal with this problem, whether it’s on food or somewhere in your Alexander, NC, home. Not only can mold result in expensive and extensive cleanup, but when you have mold growth at home, you and your family members have to deal with the unsightly appearance of this troubling situation. While it’s entirely possible to get rid of mold completely or to even avoid it altogether, it’s crucial to understand what you’re dealing with and how troubling this unwanted guest can be.

The Basic Facts

Mold isn’t limited to Alexander, NC; it can be found anywhere, especially where there is high humidity. Essentially, mold is a fungus that can live both inside your home and outdoors. It thrives in warm, wet areas, and it can spread quickly and prevalently. Mold growth can be out in the open, easy to spot, or it can hide under your floor or inside walls.

The Types

There are four basic types of mold, each ranging in levels of seriousness. They often grow as a result of water damage such as a flood or a gradual leak from a pipe. The types you’ll find include:

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicullium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus, or black mold

Ways To Avoid It

Mold isn’t something you should shrug off, especially black mold. However, if you put some basic practices in place, you can reduce your risk of finding it at home. First, keep your place well ventilated, especially in areas of high humidity. You should also repair broken or leaky pipes as soon as possible.

If you see mold in your basement, on your shower wall, or anywhere else at home, call a professional right away. Mold growth can render your home unlivable. Fortunately, with the right help, you can clean up mold completely.

A Claim Against Mold

7/24/2021 (Permalink)

Severe mold growth found on ceiling Severe mold growth in Leicester, NC.

Mold can grow in any climate, even in Leicester, NC. It takes only 48 hours for growth to take root, beginning life unseen and unknown. By the time the fungus is detected, it may have already affected the structure and employees of the business. Because mold damage requires professional expertise and equipment to eradicate it properly, fiscally responsible business owners should look to commercial insurance coverage for assistance.

Covering Mold or Fungus

Whether purchasing a new policy or reviewing an existing one, it is important to note that mold insurance may never be mentioned. Instead, many companies refer only to fungus, broadening the scope to address additional concerns that fall under that category. The following issues are often covered under Limited Fungus Coverage:

  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Released spores
  • Emitted toxins

Getting to the Root of the Policy

It is a good practice for business owners to be personally familiar with the company’s commercial insurance coverage, taking time to sit down with an agent to get a clear understanding of what situations are included. Not every occurrence is honored by the insurance company. Instead, there may be exceptions, which can vary from state to state. Therefore, it is essential to make sure the rules of Leicester, NC, meet the needs of the business.

Proactively Ensuring Success

Having a full understanding of the insurance policy helps a business properly execute mold damage remediation, and it also creates an opportunity to explore proactive plans. Long-term leaks that cause fungi to grow are often not covered, so establishing routine maintenance and inspections could save thousands of dollars. It is also common for insurance policies to have a cap on how much will be paid to cover damages. Knowing this dollar limit can help a business budget for extra costs that may arise.

Good policies and good coverage are always desirable. In addition, awareness and aggressive measures make any commercial insurance policy stronger and more effective.

3 Tips for Preventing a Natural Gas Fire

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Gas Stove Top If you have a natural gas stove, make sure all the burner’s knobs are turned off.

Safety Tips For Preventing A Natural Gas Fire

As a Candler,NC homeowner, chances are you are familiar with all the sounds and smells inside your house. From the cycling of your HVAC system to the water heater pumping, these sounds might even be comforting. However, unusual sounds and odors might be a sign of danger, such as a gas leak. Undetected leaks can lead to a gas fire and even a powerful explosion, so it is important to keep a few safety tips in mind when you think there might be natural gas leaking inside your home.

1. Inspect Your Stove’s Burners

If you have a natural gas stove, make sure all the burner’s knobs are turned off. In small kitchens, it is possible that someone could bump one of the controls and turn it on enough for gas to flow. Listen for the hissing sound of gas being released before you test the knobs, as this is a sure sign that the leak is coming from an open burner.

2. Ventilate Your Home

If your home is filling with gas due to a leak, this can increase the chance of a gas explosion. Open all the doors and windows to ventilate your home and avoid buildup before you call the gas company. If you are concerned about sparking a gas fire, leave the home and call your local fire damage and restoration company for further advice and assistance.

3. Leave the Lights Off

Even the smallest spark can cause a gas explosion if the leak is large enough. The snap of a light switch might even cause this to happen, so use a flashlight, not your home’s lights, to look for the leak. Send your family to a safe location so no one accidentally flicks on a light switch.

Finding a gas leak in your Candler,NC home can be frightening. However, you can prevent a gas fire by keeping a few simple safety tips in mind as you look for the source of the leak.

Ways To Prevent a Cigarette Fire In Your Home

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

cigarette on ashtray Only use stable ashtray.

Prevent a Cigarette Fire In Your Home

These days, there is a myriad of ways for a house fire to start in Asheville, NC but the most common cause is reportedly through the improper handling of cigarettes. Anything from drapery going up in flames due to a lingering cigarette butt or an ashtray fire spreading outwards across your home can cause a hazardous safety issue and significant fire cleanup. Here are various ways to prevent a cigarette fire from occurring in your residence, keeping you and your family safe from the underlying dangers of cigarette use in the home.

Choose to smoke outdoors. If you have the option of smoking outdoors, this can be the best method for eradicating fire damage and preventing odor build-up inside of your home. Keep any ashtrays away from the sides of the residence and make sure to extinguish the cigarette butt fully before walking away.

Teach your children to stay away from any cigarettes. Since kids are naturally predisposed to be curious by fire, storing all of your cigarettes, matches, lighters and any other paraphernalia out of their reach is crucial for everyone’s safety.

Don’t lounge in highly flammable areas while smoking. The most dangerous areas for starting a cigarette fire can be in the living room (on upholstered furniture or near drapery) and in the bedroom (on flammable bedding and mattresses). Therefore, avoiding these places while smoking is a key preventative measure.

Only use stable ashtrays and fill them with sand. Never use an ashtray that is frequently known to tip over or fall easily, which can cause consistent ashtray fire hazards. Find one that’s stable and fill it with sand to ensure that every butt you put out is fully extinguished.

If you’re a smoker who enjoys lighting up in your Asheville, NC home, learning the ways to avoid a cigarette fire is vital to the safety and protection of your home and everyone in it.

The Steps To Take After Water Damage

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. Fill out your claims forms properly.

What Do You Do After Water Damage?

Flooding in your home in Asheville, NC, is not something you want to ignore. Whether you have problems stemming from a storm or a pipe burst, you want to act quickly. You need to call water restoration specialists and your insurance agent. The following steps help you file an insurance claim to get you the money you need to compensate for the cost of fixing the problem and getting your home back to normal.

1. Call Your Agent

The first call you should make it to your insurance agent. This gives you a record of timely reporting and alerts the insurance company that it needs to send an adjuster out to assess the damage.

2. Call Restoration Experts

It's great to have professional restorers on your side. Getting them to your property as soon after the flood as possible can help you understand the damage and what it may take to fix it. They can point out major problems and might catch some things you otherwise would have missed.

3. Document the Damage

Make a list of everything that must be repaired or replaced. You will need this list when you file your insurance claim. It may be useful to take pictures of the damage, particularly if you need to start the cleanup process before the adjuster is able to get there, to provide proof of the damage.

4. Fill Out Forms

Fill out your claims forms properly. Make sure you have all the information you need. If you leave something out, you may have to pay a lot out of pocket for repairs, or your claim may be rejected.

5. Guide the Adjuster

When the insurance adjuster arrives, show him or her your list of damages and walk through the damaged area. Point out areas that are damaged. Use the information you gained from restoration experts as well as their itemized service list to substantiate your claim.

These steps can help you avoid more problems. If you call the right people and file your insurance claim correctly, flood damage doesn't have to ruin your home.

What You Can Do About Salvaging Your Stuff After a Fire

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Computer laptop sleeve is on fire. Leave electronics to the professionals.

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 removable 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 concerns and problems in the future, even if they do not produce any immediate 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.