What Happens to Wet Building Materials?
Wood floor damage in a Candler,NC home.
Understanding Of How Certain Materials React To Water
Whether you’re doing major renovations or making small adjustments to your home in Candler,NC, swelling wood and other signs of water damage on building materials can bring a project to a halt. However, knowing what items can be saved and what items should be replaced can help you save money and time.
Since drywall is made up of such an absorbent material, it’s common for the plasterboard to retain moisture after a leak or flood has occurred. If the drywall remains wet for a long period of time, mold growth is likely to occur, and boards with mold should be replaced. However, in most cases, if water is thoroughly and carefully removed from drywall in a timely manner, the plasterboard can be saved.
When a cabinet or subfloor becomes wet, the wood that makes up these items often begins to swell. Swelling wood occurs when thin pieces of wood or wood-like materials absorb water. Subfloors engorged with water are more likely to break and are not structurally sound; likewise, cabinets that are swollen with water are at risk of deteriorating. Water damage restoration experts can often help to remove and replace damaged cabinets and subfloors.
Hardwood floors can make a statement in a home, but they are often one of the first things to become damaged during a flood. Fortunately, hardwood floors can usually be saved if they are quickly dried off. Unlike subfloors, hardwood floors are unlikely to become swollen in a short period of time. After drying off hardwood floors or other surfaces, you can focus on seeking out professionals to fix the supply line or make the water pipe repair in order to prevent water damage from reoccurring.
Drywall and hardwood can withstand moisture, but swelling wood in cabinets or subfloors will likely need to be replaced if it becomes wet. With an understanding of how certain materials react to water, homeowners can protect the various surfaces in their homes.
What Makes Mold Spread?
Mold was growing behind this wall after a pipe leak
Smelly, destructive and seemingly everywhere, mold is one of the great frustrations of owning a home. Unfortunately, no matter how pristine your home is, there’s a chance that it can fall victim to spreading mold. But just how does it spread? Figuring this out can be the first step in minimizing mold in your Asheville, NC home.
Part of understanding why and how mold spreads is understanding what mold is. On its face, mold is an unpleasant smelling, fuzzy-looking spot that appears where there is moisture and warmth. More specifically, mold is a type of fungus that:
- Feeds on things like plants and fibers
- Thrives in damp, musty locations like bathrooms and attics
- Can cause expensive damage to everything from drywall to furniture
Now you know what and where mold typically is. How does it get there?
Molds multiply via tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye. These lightweight spores travel through the air, land on wet areas and breed. They prefer to grow on organic materials, which can include things like paper, leather, dirt and soap scum. They also like temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees. That means that keeping your environment warm and damp contributes to spreading mold.
How to Stop Mold from Multiplying
Stopping black mold in its tracks can be as simple as finding and eliminating the source. Inspect your home for moist areas, paying attention to areas around windows and beneath sinks, as well as enclosed areas like attics and basements. Remove moisture if you can or work with a cleanup company if there’s a bigger moisture source such as a leak.
Mold is an inconvenient part of life. Fortunately, there are ways to stop spreading mold in your home. Find and eliminate water sources or work with a mold remediation company to remove moisture and shut mold down before it takes hold.
3 Reasons a Restoration Company’s Response Time Matters
SERVPRO can respond immediately to any disaster.
3 Reasons A Restoration Company’s Response Time Matters
Whether homeowners have had their home in Enka, NC affected by fire, flooding or storms, the damage that occurs as a result can be disastrous. A restoration company that has 24-hour availability and can respond quickly can benefit a home in many ways.
1. Accurate Assessments
After a home is damaged, receiving an accurate assessment of what has been affected can be useful to both homeowners and insurance adjusters. Knowing what has been damaged and what likely needs to be replaced can ensure the insurance adjuster provides a homeowner’s insurance company with the relevant information. Once the claim has been made, the process of restoring the home can begin sooner rather than later.
2. Mitigate Damage
If a restoration company does not respond quickly to a disaster, the home that has been affected can become increasingly damaged over time. Water damage can cause mold to grow, structures can become weak and items that could have been restored with earlier intervention may need to be replaced. A restoration company that has 24-hour availability can respond immediately to a disaster and can ultimately mitigate the amount of damage that a home sustains.
3. Answer Urgent Questions
Having confidence in the company that is restoring a home is important for all parties involved. The process of restoring a home can be complex at times, and when homeowners, insurance companies or insurance adjusters have questions, receiving a fast response is often important. Whether a homeowner wants to know how their belongings will be restored or an insurance adjuster requires documentation, a restoration company that is always available ensures no question will be left unanswered.
With a quick response and 24-hour availability, a restoration company can provide adjusters, insurance agents and homeowners with accurate assessments while mitigating the damage to a home and answering any questions throughout the restoration process. Working with a preferred vendor that is always open can make the restoration process much easier.
What You Should Know About Flood Damage as a Tenant
Ask your insurance agent if you are covered.
As A Tenant Am I Covered?
When a storm or flood affects the home you’re renting in Enka,NC, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, knowing what renter’s insurance will and will not cover can help to eliminate some of the stress that comes with the restoration process.
1. Landlords Can Help Prepare for Floods
Mitigating the amount of damage that a flood can cause can help to protect your home. Before a storm or flood occurs, the landlord of a property can often take steps to prevent major damage from occurring, such as using tarps on roofs and boarding up windows. Additionally, your landlord can provide you with important information about how to evacuate if it becomes unsafe to stay in your home.
2. Tenants Cover Property Losses
Although it’s helpful to move important items, such as legal documents or items of sentimental value, in waterproof containers before a storm or flood, you may not have much warning before a flood occurs. As a result, valuable items may become damaged. The tenant is responsible for any personal items that were damaged in a flood, but renter’s insurance will cover the cost of replacing those items. It can be helpful to document the damage so your insurance company can give you fair compensation.
3. Landlords Cover Structural Damage
While the tenants’ insurance coverage will cover the cost of personal property damage, the landlord is responsible for fixing any structural damage that occurs as the result of a storm or flood. Structural damage can include damage to your home’s roof, pipes and more. However, if your items become damaged as a result of structural damage, you as the tenant are still responsible for replacing those personal belongings.
As a tenant, it can be useful to know that landlords can help to prepare you and your home for floods and storms; it’s also useful to know what your renter’s insurance will and won’t cover. If your home has been affected by flooding, it may be helpful to contact water damage restoration experts.
Prepare for the Unexpected With a Fire Escape Plan
Make a fire escape plan for your family
In the event of a house fire, the top priority should always be getting everyone in the house out safely. Although you’ll surely want to save valuable and nostalgic items, it is important to evacuate the home and leave it up to a fire restoration company to preserve what they can. The best way to ensure the safety of all household members in your home in Candler, NC, is to prepare with a thorough fire escape plan in place.
Make Sure Your House is Fire Ready
The first step in putting your emergency escape plan into action is to make sure your house is prepared to warn everyone and provide a way out. Here are the main aspects you should check for:
- Make sure you have all the required fire alarms installed with plenty of battery life.
- Ensure any window bars include quick- release mechanisms.
- Keep clutter away from exits, windows, and stairs
- Consider purchasing fire extinguishers
Develop and Practice a Fire Escape Plan
Your next step is to develop a fire escape plan for everyone in your home. Identify a meeting place outside and map out the best method of exit for each individual. It is smart to also come up with a backup plan in case the first exit is blocked. Assign someone to each infant, pet, disabled person, or elderly person.
Explain to everyone how to safely act in the case of a fire including:
- How to check doors
- How to crawl under smoke
- How and when to stop, drop, and roll
- Why they should never go back inside
Make sure everyone knows what emergency number to call, especially the fire department’s number. After discussing the plan, have everyone test out the plan and make changes as needed.
Preparation is key when it comes to safely escaping a fire. Making a fire escape plan that everyone in the family knows is the best way to help everyone make it out of a house fire safe and sound!
Keeping Mold Under Control During the Remediation Process
Removing mold from your Asheville, NC home is a necessary task.
Three important steps to properly contain and extract mold from a home.
Removing mold from your Asheville, NC home is a necessary task, one that must be taken care of quickly and efficiently. When a professionally-trained mold remediation team comes in to handle the removal of said mold, a step-by-step process must be adhered to in order to prevent mold contamination in other areas that are otherwise unaffected. Here is a quick look at how technicians handle the process, showing three important steps they take to properly contain and extract mold from a home.
1. Turn off the water supply and isolate the area. First and foremost, it’s important to turn off the main water system in the home, as any running water or leaks can simply create more moisture and lead to further mold growth. Meanwhile, the experienced crew members will set out to close all doors and windows between the affected areas to prevent spores from becoming airborne during the removal process.
2. Remove any damaged furniture, floorboards or other building materials and place them in heavy-duty plastic bags. The mold contamination damaged pieces of debris should be carefully handled and placed in durable bags that can be sealed off, not allowing any contaminated items to remain open to the air. Emptying a large majority of the space clears the way for easier cleanup and more effective mold containment.
3. Commence with cleanup procedures, using proper chemicals and tools to destroy mold growth while also using drying equipment to air out the home and complete the process. Once the team removes all traces of mold and decontaminates the affected areas, they’ll use high-pressure vacuums, fans or other drying equipment to eliminate moisture caused by possible leaks or high-humidity. Once the area has been deemed dry and clear, they’ll finish by replacing materials and running proper tests to ensure the area is secure.
Mold contamination is nothing to take lightly, so it shouldn’t be managed by anyone who isn’t equipped to handle its removal. Relying on professionals who understand the remediation process is the best and safest decision to make for your home.
3 Steps for Responding to a Broken Water Heater
Having problems with your water heater?
Preventing Expensive Damages
A leaking water heater is always an inconvenient problem, especially when you were hoping for a warm shower after a chilly day in Candler,NC . Whenever they take place, however, when water heaters break, you need to act immediately. Take the following steps to prevent expensive damages.
1. Shut off power to the appliance.
If you have a gas water heater, the shutoff switch is probably a dial at the top of the thermostat. If you have an electric appliance, use the circuit breaker. Turning off power to the broken water heater is the best way to ensure safety for yourself, your family, and your home.
2. Shut off the water supply.
You should be able to find a water valve on your failed water heater. Turn it to the right in a clockwise motion until the water stops leaking (or gushing) out of the appliance. If the valve at the heater doesn't stop the water, use the main water supply nozzle for your home.
3. Contact professionals for repairs and cleanup.
There are many potential causes that can lead to a leaking water heater. Even if you're confident in draining the heated water, checking and operating the pressure relief valve, and rinsing out your tank, you may not recognize what caused the failure in the first place. Additionally, if you contact experienced water heater repair professionals, you may also have access to services such as preventing future trouble or repairing parts of the home affected by the flood of water. Finally, you may want to contact your insurance representative. Depending on the extent of the damages, your homeowners' policy may cover some of your costs.
After these three steps have been completed, you can turn the power and the water back on. Although a leaking water heater is an unpleasant experience, it may lead to valuable information about how to protect your Candler,NC , home in the future.
Rental Fires: Know Your Responsibilities
Apartment fire in Asheville, NC
Rental Fires: Know Your Responsibilities
Covering the damages of a devastating fire can be hard enough, but when a rental property is involved, the complexities can quickly multiply. Who pays for what? These are some of the questions that you may face, and if you don’t know the answers in advance, it can cost you big time. Here are three important things to know about damage coverage after a Asheville,NC, rental property or apartment fire.
In general there are two possibilities for who is responsible for fire damage from a rental or apartment fire. Those are:
Each of those stakeholders has a specific set of requirements to ensure full coverage. Knowing them well in advance can make everything go more smoothly.
Any time an owner lives off site from renters, they will need to have insurance for the rental property. Property owners insurance typically covers damages to the structure, electrical system, plumbing and major appliances. It’s important to note that not all policies cover the latter, so when shopping for insurance, find a policy with the most comprehensive coverage. It may cost a bit more, but it’s worth it in the end when you don’t have to come out of pocket.
While property owners’ insurance covers the structure of a building, it’s up to the renter to cover the contents. This is the case for a residential property as well as a commercial property. The renter must file a claim to be reimbursed for things like personal property, furniture or even important equipment. Don’t make the mistake of avoiding such insurance: Property owner’s are under no legal requirement to cover the contents lost in the fire.
Don’t make the aftermath of a rental or apartment fire harder than it has to be. Familiarize yourself with your responsibilities when it comes to fire repair to minimize stress.
Electronic Components and Water Damage
Many parts of your business infrastructure in Leicester,NC, have various electronic elements to supply power and create control interfaces. Unfortunately, these pieces of equipment can be some of the most adversely affected by a flood. Consider the following specifications and guidelines about when repairs and replacements are necessary for your flooded electronics.
1. NEMA Guidelines
One of the most reliable sources of information regarding water-damaged equipment is the set of standards created by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). While this organization advises that any specific questions should be answered by the company that created the product, NEMA does offer a handbook with general guidelines about the types of components that are the most prone to damage from water.
2. A Few Examples
Some components are especially susceptible to electronic damage from flooding and will likely need complete replacement. Molded case circuit breakers, low-voltage fuses and many switch types are difficult to assess and repair even by the manufacturer. Likewise, many relays, signaling systems and components using semiconductors and transistors may need to be replaced. Flooded electronics such as motors and wires can succumb to oxidation and corrosion after water contact and should be inspected accordingly.
Even repairable components may require extra steps as indicated by an operator’s manual or by direct contact with the manufacturer. In any situation involving a powered appliance, power must be turned off at the circuit breaker before attempting any assessment or repair. Additionally, some components such as batteries can become hazardous as a result of water damage, leaking pollutants or caustic agents into the surrounding area. Circuit interrupters and surge protectors can develop shorts quickly during flooding, meaning that other electronic devices are subsequently prone to damage.
A bit of general knowledge regarding flooded electronics and their status can be helpful in solving urgent problems. Contact a local qualified water damage specialist for additional information about how to keep your business functioning after a flood event.
What To Do In The Aftermath Of A Disaster
Although each type of catastrophe brings its own brand of devastation, there are a few standard steps to be taken following any kind of calamity.
Asheville disasters come in many forms: floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes to name a few. Although each type of catastrophe brings its own brand of devastation, there are a few standard steps to be taken following any kind of calamity. Those steps will help ensure that you, your family and those around you avoid further hazards in the immediate aftereffects of a disaster.
What to Do, Following a Disaster
Asheville disasters invariably cause individuals to be confused and in a general state of shock. Things are chaotic and frightening. While it is unlikely that anyone is completely prepared for a major catastrophe, having the knowledge of what to do and what not to do will help ensure that you and those with you will be as safe as possible.
- The first thing to do is to remain calm and stay level-headed. You must keep your wits about you to avoid losing control or causing others to panic. Seeing you calm and in control will help those around you to have confidence in you and themselves; clear heads are required at this crucial time.
- Take a quick assessment of individuals that were nearby before the Asheville disaster. Take a head count to make sure all are accounted for. No matter how tempted you are, resist calling distant friends or family right away to tell them you're OK. Telephone communication should only be for emergency or survival purposes. Tying up lines could impede emergency personnel.
- If emergency personnel are not in immediate vicinity, call them immediately. Help any injured individuals that may be present. Apply first aid if possible and try and keep them warm and alert. Make sure they understand the situation and are as calm as possible.
- If you plan on entering a building for cover, make sure it is still structurally sound prior to entering. Pay attention to walls, ceilings, floors and support beams. Make note of broken gas lines or downed power lines and stay away. If fire or police professionals are present, ask if it's safe to enter. If they say no, don't go. If the building is yours, call a professional catastrophe remediation service like SERVPRO. They're trained to inspect and evaluate the structural integrity of the building. They will formulate and execute a cleanup plan, and help you with insurance issues. If you have documentation or videos of your property before the disaster, that will help.
Why Choose SERVPRO of Asheville West?
We're Faster to Any Size Disaster
When a storm hits your Asheville home or business, you need help immediately. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.
We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists
As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Asheville West has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters
We can access the resources and personnel of 1,650 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. We also have access to special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to catastrophic storms and events.