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5 Tips for Driving During Flood Conditions

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Red truck and a black car driving through a flooded street Red truck driving through a flooded street in Leicester, NC

Keep These 5 Travel Tips In Mind

Flash floods are a fact of life in most parts of the country, including Leicester,NC. The easiest way for drivers to stay safe during extreme weather is to not drive anywhere. If you absolutely must travel, however, or if you suddenly find yourself on a flooded street, keep these five travel tips in mind to reduce the chances of an accident or other undesired outcome.

  1. Don't ignore barricades. Authorities don't close roads for fun. If your route is blocked by temporary walls or other obstacles, don't drive around them. They're there to protect you.
  2. Don't drive through standing water. Water that looks shallow is often much deeper than it appears. All it takes is 1 foot of water to sweep away most cars. It takes even less water to stall your vehicle's engine, which has the potential to cause permanent damage to your ride. Find an alternate route.
    If you absolutely must drive through water, exercise extreme caution. If other vehicles are present, try to gauge how deep the water is on a flooded street by watching them navigate it. Keep your pace slow and steady to avoid creating a bow wave.
  3. Follow the same protocol that you would during heavy rain. Turn on your headlights, test your brakes, avoid aquaplaning, and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  4. Watch for hazards. Objects that are floating downstream have the potential to damage, trap, or destroy your car. Avoid downed power lines, too, as water conducts electricity.
  5. Stay off your phone. Now's not the time to be calling or texting anybody. Focus on the task at hand. The biggest threats to your safety when traversing flooded roads are often the ones that you can't see.

Zipping through a flooded street is tempting. You'll get in, you'll get out. What's the worst that could happen? Rather than tempting fate, stay put. Once the flood waters have subsided and you've entrusted the emergency restoration of your home to the pros, you can return to the road without risking you and your passengers' safety.

Water Damage and Your Carpet: What You Need To Know

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage on carpet in Candler, NC

Can My Rug Be Salvage After Water Damage?

Whether it’s the result of a pipe break, a malfunctioning appliance or a severe storm, water damage can pose serious problems. As a homeowner, you may be especially worried about your carpet. You’re probably dealing with one key question: to restore or replace? Before you make a decision, it’s a good idea to learn more about rug restoration options and the three major types of water damage in Candler,NC.

1. Clean Water

Clean water comes from drinkable sources. These can include broken pipes or water heaters, but overflow or leakage from utility, kitchen or bathroom sinks can be considered clean water. A simple rule to remember: If it came from a supply line, it’s probably clean water.

2. Gray Water

Gray water damage is a bit more complicated. It’s generally defined as noncontaminated wastewater that comes from washing machines, bathtubs, showers or dishwashers. Clean water that’s rested for 48 hours may also be classified as gray water since it’s had time to build up pathogens.

3. Black Water

The most unsafe type of water damage comes from black water, which is generally filled with waste and toxins. Water coming from a sewer pipe break, toilets and food prep sinks may be contaminated, but large-scale flooding from local bodies of water or severe weather events is automatically classified as black water.

Can My Rugs Be Salvaged?

In general, rugs saturated with clean water can be saved. These rugs can be cleaned and restored to their former condition before the flooding "Like it never even happened." Rugs sodden with gray water may be salvageable, but you must act fast to preserve them. Since black water damages and contaminates on contact, rugs impacted by it cannot be saved.

Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with a pipe break, your wet carpets and other damage alone. Start the process right away by hiring an experienced water damage restoration company in Candler,NC.

Preparing Your Business for a Flood

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Create a business continuity plan

Preparing Your Business for a Flood

Flooding at your Asheville,NC, business is an unsettling thought. Fortunately, there are several things you can do now to mitigate flood-related problems later.

1. Purchase Flood Insurance

Make sure that your insurance policy covers flood damage. Depending on the company, you may have to purchase a separate flood policy. Now is also the time to make a business inventory to determine how much coverage you need. Augmenting the inventory with photos or video of your business in its normal condition will help the insurance company properly compensate you if you ever do need to file a claim.

2. Perform Regular Maintenance on Your Building

Although insurance will help you repair flood damage, preventing it in the first place is even more important. Storm drains and gutters should be cleaned regularly to ensure that water can run off. Check the roof regularly for leaks and weak spots.

3. Back Up Important Information

Unfortunately, even the most well-maintained buildings can suffer flood damage. Water damage, particularly from black water associated with floods, can destroy your customer lists, insurance policies and other hard-to-replace documents. Make sure to store this information digitally or in a waterproof safe.

4. Create a Business Continuity Plan

Even for well-prepared businesses, flooding can cause long-term damage. Therefore, it is important to create a plan to keep your company running while the damage is being repaired. Identify the critical aspects of your business and devise ways to continue carrying out those tasks in the event of a flood.
There are many things to consider when creating a continuity plan, including the following: If you cannot work out of your main office, is there a secondary location where you can temporarily relocate? How will you contact customers to let them know your business has been affected by a flood? How long will it take to replace damaged inventory?
Although adequate preparation can minimize the damage from flooding, you may need to enlist professional help to get your business back to normal. An experienced restoration company can make sure the job is done quickly and properly.

What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Business interruption insurance

Fin Out What Business Interruption Policy Covers

To keep your business in Bingham Heights,NC, running smoothly after a fire incident, you need to have more than just fire insurance. Business interruption insurance protects your business in the event of a fire by covering the expenses associated with closing down your business temporarily. If you’re considering investing in this type of insurance, here is an overview of what the policy covers.

Lost Income

Business income insurance covers the profits that you would have earned if the fire had not taken place. This lost revenue is calculated using your financial records. Having your income covered by your insurance policy can help give you peace of mind when you’re already dealing with a stressful situation.

Operating Expenses

In addition to the profits you lost, your business’s typical operating expenses are covered in an interruption insurance policy. These expenses may include:

  • Electricity
  • Utilities
  • Supplies & equipment
  • Rent
  • Employee wages

Expenses such as electricity and utilities help your business run as it normally would had the fire not occurred. It’s also important to ensure that employee wages are covered so that you don’t lose workers while you recover from the incident.

Moving Expenses

Many business interruption policies also cover the costs of moving your business to a temporary location. These expenses may include the costs of both moving and rent. Having moving expenses covered can help ease the transition period while you and your employees adjust to the new location. It’s therefore a good idea to confirm that these costs are included in your insurance policy.
With interruption insurance, your business can recover from a fire loss and continue functioning as it normally would. However, a good insurance policy cannot erase the toll that the fire has taken on your building. Call commercial building fire restoration services as soon as possible in order to help your building in Bingham Heights,NC, recover from fire damage.

How To Determine If There Is Mold in Your Air Ducts

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Once mold gets into the HVAC unit, it can easily spread throughout your commercial building

How To Determine If There Is Mold in Your Air Ducts

Since mold thrives in wet areas, it is particularly common to find spores within the building’s heating and air conditioning unit. Regular HVAC cleaning can limit the growth of mold in moist areas of the system, such as:

  • Evaporator coils
  • Drip pans
  • Air ducts

Once mold gets into the HVAC unit, it can easily spread throughout your commercial building. You thus need to detect the presence of mold quickly. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to tell if excess mold is growing in your cooling and heating system.

Use Your Eyes

Mold has a pretty distinct appearance, so you may be able to see it as it grows. You should also regularly check moist areas such as ducts and coils for signs of mold. Look out for any wet spots or leaks, as well. , If you do see any buildup of water, perform an HVAC cleaning immediately and inspect the site for mold spores.

Use Your Nose

Mold also typically produces a musty odor. Once you start to smell mildew in your building, try turning off the HVAC unit to see if that reduces the stench. If the odor goes away when the system is off, then you have likely found the location of the mold.
A mold infestation can be disastrous for your Avery Creek,NC, business. After all, you have to remove your employees and customers from your building during the cleanup process, which can affect productivity and profits.
Cleaning vents can prevent the spread of mold within the building. You may also be able to see or smell the mold during your HVAC cleaning.
If you do find mold, you should not attempt to fix the problem yourself. Commercial mold remediation specialists can find the source of the increased mold growth and make sure the excess spores don’t return. They can even help control odors. Best of all, they can address the issue quickly, which minimizes the disruption to your business.

Understanding Black Water

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Damage

When you have water damage or flooding in your home in Asheville, NC it's important to know what type of water you are dealing with to ensure proper and safe restoration.

3 Categories For Flood Water

The insurance and restoration industries separate flood water into three categories: 

  • Category 3: "Black water" is the most dangerous of the categories and must be treated carefully by a knowledgeable expert. This water comes from local flooding, such as from rivers or hurricanes, and also plumbing floods that include sewage. It is contaminated with pathogens including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Other chemical contaminates may also be in the water. 
  • Category 2:"Gray water" may have some pathogens and can still cause some health danger. A gray water flood is usually sourced from plumbing breaks with soiled water, like a clothes washer or toilet overflow without feces. Gray water can become a black water problem if exposed to the right temperatures and time.
  • Category 1: "Clean water" usually comes from a clean pipe break, like a supply pipe or kitchen sink. This water damage is not harmful to humans unless it is not cleaned right away. Over time, this water would become more dangerous and be reclassified as gray or worse. 

Black Water Cleaning

Black water cleaning must be meticulous. Immediate response is critical to prevent the development of mold. Once mold does develop, additional remediation efforts are needed to prevent further contamination and spread of mold in your home. Mold reproduces in just 48 hours and colonies in your water damaged home can quickly get out of control. 

Cleanup of this type of water damage should also be done carefully. Protective gear is critical to protect skin, eyes and lungs from exposure. Strong knowledge on what to tear out and remove immediately is important to prevent further contamination and allow for proper drying of the remaining structure. Antimicrobials and disinfectant will be needed to remaining materials. Professional remediation specialists are beneficial in managing category 3 flood remediation due to the nature of the hazard and the importance of timely and effective removal.

Simple Steps for Preventing Water Damage in Your House

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage can be prevented.

Asheville water damage can slowly destroy a building. A problem many homeowners face is that there are multiple points throughout the house where water leaks can occur. This can make detecting and stopping Asheville, NC water damage difficult. You should know about some simple steps to help prevent water damage in your home.

4 Steps for Preventing Water Damage

1. Examine Appliances for Leaks

The first step is to examine the appliances in your home for leaks. Appliances that use water such as washing machines and dishwashers can potentially cause a large amount of damage over time. You want to look at the hoses and connections that attach the appliances to the water supply. Feel the hoses and look for leaks, corrosion or other damage. Replace any damaged or leaking hoses immediately. You also want to check the ground under and around appliances in case there is other damage inside allowing water to escape.

2. Thoroughly Inspect Your Plumbing

One of the largest potential sources of Asheville water damage in your home is the plumbing attached to your sinks and fixtures. Even a small leak can release gallons of water that will rot away the floors and structure of your house over several months. You need to thoroughly inspect your plumbing on a regular basis. This does not take long. Look at the pipes under your sinks, faucets and around your showers. Look behind your toilets. You want to look for any unexplained moisture, rusted connections or signs of damage on the floor and walls. If you do find a problem, then call a licensed plumber immediately to repair the pipes.

3. Maintain Your Water Heater

Your water heater can do damage to your house if it is not maintained. Your water heater is not intended to last forever. As it starts to wear down over the years, it will become more of a threat. The seals and structure of your water heater will begin to fail. This can allow water to constantly leak out and onto the floor beneath. The result could be foundation damage if the water heater is in the basement or damage to the floor in other parts of the home. You want to maintain your water heater, have it inspected every year or two and replace it every ten to fifteen years.

4. Know the Location of Your Main Shutoff Valves

A final step is to know the location of the main shutoff valves in your home. These are the valves responsible for allowing water to enter your home from a municipal supply or well. Memorize the location so that you can quickly cut off the water to your house if a major leak occurs. This can stop water damage from getting worse. Take a close look at the valves and make certain you understand how to use them.

Our Water Damage Restoration Process

Every water damage situation is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification

Step 5: Cleaning and Repair

Step 6: Restoration

3 Items You Should Always Throw Out After a House Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Any cosmetic can be affected by the fumes and smoke after a fire

3 Items You Should Always Throw Out After a House Fire

Sorting through your belongings after experiencing a fire in your home in Juno,NC, can be very stressful as you try to determine what is salvageable and what you need to throw away. Even items that don’t come into contact with the flame can be affected by heat, soot, smoke, or the water used to extinguish the fire. While a fire and water restoration specialist can help return many items back to pre-fire condition including electronics, documents, photographs, and more, there are three items that you should always throw out if they’ve experienced fire damage.

Food Items

While it is possible you might be able to salvage some items sealed in a refrigerator or freezer if the appliance did not lose power, it is best to always throw away food after a fire. High heat and smoke can damage foot items and cause harmful bacteria to grow. Even foods kept in sturdy containers like glass jars or metal cans need to be gotten rid of.

Medicine

It is important to always store medication at room temperature, or colder if the instructions say so. If not, it can quickly lose its effectiveness. Additionally, soot, smoke, and mold can contaminate medicine. For any prescription medicine, throw it out if exposed to fire and quickly contact a doctor to have your prescription refilled.

Cosmetics

Any cosmetics, including make-up and lotions, can be affected by the fumes and smoke created by a house fire, and high heat can destroy cosmetics completely. You should never apply any cosmetics to your skin that have been exposed to fire.
While you certainly want to save as many items as you can after a fire occurs, it’s important for your safety to always throw away any food, medicine, or cosmetics that may have been affected. If you’re not sure if an item has been damaged, it’s often better to take the safe route and get rid of it.

How To Clean Up After a Flood

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged carpeting in this Jupiter, NC home

How To Clean Up After a Flood

If you're home has experienced flooding in Jupiter,NC, a thorough rehabilitation is in your future. Storm floods carry a lot of contaminants along with the water that invades your space, so there are special cleaning requirements in place to keep you safe. The best thing you can do is call a company who is trained in these techniques.

Remove Contaminated Materials

Many materials in your home can act as sponges and absorb the contaminated water, so they will need to be torn out. Time can be a factor to prevent the spread of mold and personal protective equipment is recommended during this flood clean process. You should consider hiring a flood damage remediation service from the start to make sure it is carried out safely and efficiently. Common areas of concern are:

  • wallboard
  • carpeting
  • flooring
  • insulation

Throw Away What Can't Be Saved

Certain belongings in your home are made in such a way that the specified cleaning requirements cannot be carried out. This often means that items that have a filling cannot be decontaminated entirely. If this is the case, they will need to be thrown out and replaced. Usually this includes mattresses, stuffed animals, thick comforters and wood veneered furniture.

Cleanse Household Items

Everything in your home should be taken outside as soon as possible to prevent spreading mold spores during the cleaning process. Depending on the item, different washing procedures are available. Dishes can be immersed in flood disinfectant, silverware should be boiled for 10 minutes, furniture and upholstery requires professional methods to decontaminate, pictures and documents can be frozen so they can be handled by a specialist later.
Flooding can affect every nook and cranny of your property. This means that a lot of different cleaning requirements are applied to the varied materials that come together to make your house a home. A qualified company should know exactly what to do for each situation, so you shouldn't attempt to take this on all by yourself.

What Can You Do About Furnace Puff Back Damage?

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Puff back damage in Georgetown, NC

What Can You Do About Furnace Puff Back Damage?

Furnaces and other heating systems, especially when operating at a large scale, may emit sooty discharge as they age or deteriorate. This mess of soot is known as puff back damage, which can be first seen accumulating on the wall(s) surrounding the furnace or heating system. What does it mean for your commercial property in Georgetown,NC?

Repair the System

This type of damage usually means that your heating system is malfunctioning in some way, due to clogging, ventilation problems or bad parts. Get qualified repairmen in there as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Puff back damage can occur in the following types of systems:

  • oil furnace
  • gas furnace
  • boiler
  • water heater

Assess the Damage

Puff back damage, the consequence of whatever form of malfunction your heating system is suffering, is the expulsion of soot or smoke through the exhaust of your machine after unburned and accumulated oil in the combustion chamber is ignited. This means that the soot you see building on your walls and baseboards is oil based, making it sticky and hard to remove. It can float through the air, so it can reach your air ducts in addition to every surface of your building.

Call the Professionals

You could do more harm than good if you try to clean the smoke up yourself. You should hire fire damage specialists to assess the extent of the furnace puff back and properly remove it; remember, it is oil based, so it cannot be simply wiped up. You should also call your insurance to report the incident and inquire about any coverage you may have for such an occurrence.

It may sound innocuous, but puff back damage can cause serious problems for both your heater and your building if left unaddressed. Do your best to keep an eye on your heating system and take initiative should you notice any dark streaks on the walls.