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Preventing Frozen Pipes This Winter

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Pipe insulation Insulate pipes that pass through unheated areas of the building

As the weather turns colder and the snow piles up, it’s important to understand how the changing seasons affect your facility’s maintenance routine. Winter poses different hazards and there are different methods of preventing them. Keeping your building warm and dry means understanding these risks and doing the work that will protect you from them. Let’s talk about how to prevent frozen pipes, which can burst and lead to water damage indoors.

Tips for Preventing Pipe Freezing

Use the following tips to help prevent issues with pipes freezing:

• Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night.
• Add insulation to crawlspaces and utility access areas.
• Insulate pipes that pass through unheated areas of the building.
• Increase ventilation to pipes in kitchen and bathroom areas.

The general rule you want to follow is this simple: Making sure your pipes receive the benefit of your regular HVAC climate controls will prevent ice from forming in them. That’s why it’s important to check on insulation and to keep your temperature controls at a reasonable setting day and night. Temperature fluctuations in the main work areas are amplified in crawl spaces and other less-insulated parts of the building.

Pipes Freezing in Extreme Temperatures

No matter how hard you try to prevent frozen pipes in Prineville, NC, the winter weather occasionally just throws you a curveball. That means there’s a chance an extreme cold period could overcome your prevention measures, especially if that cold snap is more drastic and longer than usual for Prineville, NC. When that happens, it’s important to have an emergency plan.

This emergency plan needs to include local restoration experts who know how to deal with a burst pipe, so you know that you will get help with cleanup and with water line repair afterward. If you work with your insurance company and plan, it’s easy to make sure your choice will be covered, too, so you have an easy-to-follow plan of action when an emergency strikes that will help your facility bounce back after an emergency.

Your Brief Guide To Making a Flood Damage Claim

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Home flooded Flooded home in Pineville,NC

Flood Damage Claim

If your Pineville,NC, home was involved in a flood, you need to act fast to prevent secondary damage and additional loss. In addition to contacting your local flood damage restoration team, you also need to make a flood claim. Filing a storm damage insurance claim entails the following:

  • Notify your insurer regarding the damage.
  • Document the damage.
  • Complete a Proof of Loss to back your claim.
  • If necessary, ask your restoration team for detailed documentation to further back your claim.

You can begin the cleanup process as soon as possible, and you should. The worst thing you can do for your home is to put off the salvation process, as doing so may result in secondary damage, rot and deterioration of building materials.

Notify Your Insurer

First and foremost, you need to contact your insurance agency to file your flood claim. Before you call, make sure you have your policy number, the name of your insurance company, and your contact information at the ready. An adjuster should contact you within a few days. The long wait time is precisely why you should begin restoration efforts immediately, and before waiting to hear back from your adjuster.

Document the Damage

Remove all undamaged property from the flooded area immediately, if it is safe to do so. Next, take inventory of damaged property, which should include possessions and structural damage. Take photographs if possible and make a list of all items that are lost or destroyed. Make note of the value of the property and, if you have them, include receipts with your claim. This step will help you prepare your repair estimate.

Complete a Proof of Loss

Your adjuster should help you complete a Proof of Loss. This document is a sworn statement of the amount you claim to have lost and should be filed along with any supporting documents. In addition to documentation, your Proof of Loss should contain details set forth in your flood policy.

Filing a flood claim is a fairly straightforward process. However, if you need help with it, a flood damage restoration team can help.

Routine Inspections are Crucial to Mold Prevention

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Young Woman Looking At Mold In Cabinet Area In Kitchen Leaky plumbing is one of the leading causes of mold growth

Routine Inspections are Crucial to Mold Prevention

While most business owners understand that water damage is the main contributor to mold development, what do they do to prevent it from happening? Annual inspections? While examining a property once per year is an excellent start to mold prevention, it is surely not enough. Most mold mitigation experts in Charlotte, NC, recommend inspections become a routine part of building maintenance, especially of five essential items and areas.

  1. Plumbing
  2. HVAC and other appliances
  3. Roofline
  4. Trim work and seals
  5. Foundation

Plumbing

Leaky plumbing is one of the leading causes of mold growth. Unfortunately, in most facilities, the majority of water lines are hidden in wall cavities, meaning that leaks go unnoticed, and mold develops uninhibited. Therefore, to protect against such events, it is necessary to have inspections of your building's plumbing at least once per year.

HVAC and Other Appliances

Water dependent appliances and other systems, like HVAC or AC units, can lead to the development of mold because of leaks or condensation buildup. Therefore, make it routine to pull out certain appliances, inspect systems and check for leaks and moisture buildup.

Roofline

Your building roofline is one of the most exposed to the elements, making it a prime target for exterior water damage. While many commercial properties have drop ceilings that hide any potential problems, it is necessary to inspect the roof, attic and ceiling monthly for signs of damage.

Trim Work and Seals

Another problem area for water penetration is around doors and windows. Seals and weather stripping do not last forever, and it is vital to maintain these waterproofing elements to minimize the risk of mold development within the property.

Foundation

How long has it been since the gutters and downspout around the property were cleaned? These systems should be cleaned at every change of season to ensure they continue to function correctly. Gutters that are allowed to clog will permit water to seep into the foundation through to the basement, possibly causing mold.
Mold prevention is about diligence and commitment to schedules. Create a calendar for property inspections and stick to it.

How Large Cities Plan To Thwart Flooding

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Wall of sandbags Common in the United States is the buildup of sandbags as a temporary barrier

Ways Large Cities Safeguard Themselves from a Deluge

As urban areas continue to grow, the additional pavement and buildings can create issues for rain drainage. Without enough proper slopes, ponds or grassy areas, the high water increases, posing impending flooding threats; therefore, business owners in Pineville, NC, should be aware of methods to deter this problem, protecting their assets and land. Here are several ways large cities safeguard themselves from a deluge.

1. Sandbag Walls

Common in the United States is the buildup of sandbags as a temporary barrier. The accumulated weight and height helps to stop flooding. People place the sacks tightly together, forming a tall obstacle. When done properly, the structure diverts the stream away from the premises. As the hurricane approaches, usually city governments offer them at certain locations. They can also be bought at the local hardware store. If it's penetrated, contact a water remediation company to evaluate the rooms.

2. Permanent Dams

Many low lying areas need a permanent structure, offering a higher level of security from high water. These are essentially massive walls designed to block rising streams and oceans. The city exists on one side while the reservoir houses the surplus rainwater on the other. States such as Louisiana, Nevada, and Texas make use of these barricades. While at times they can be penetrated, they offer a line of defense.

3. Movable Barriers

A modern take on the dam is the movable barrier. These are ideal for locations that still need to allow transportation through a river or outlet, but, at times, must close it off, establishing flood prevention. Several areas of Europe have crafted these structures. Japan, for instance, installed hydraulic gates so they are not reliant on electricity. During low tides, the gates remain down, permitting ships to travel through. When an opposing threat arrives, the doors close. It has become versatile and effective.
Be aware of the high water's danger to your company, and the efforts used to keep it safe. In larger areas, the government may have actions designed to assist you.

3 Types of Damage Your Building May Have After a Fire

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

The front of a restaurant damaged by fire Commercial fire damage in Pine Harbor, NC

3 Types of Damage Your Building May Have After a Fire

If you experience a fire in your building in Pine Harbor, NC, then you could have a significant amount of damage to deal with. While you are likely familiar with the devastating effects a fire can have on your business, you may not consider the different types of damage, including unexpected water damage, that you could be left with.

1. Damage From Flames

The most obvious type of fire damage you will have is from the flames themselves. This is considered primary damage while the other types are secondary. This will often affect your building in the most significant way, as it can ruin both the structure of the building as well as the belongings inside. In severe cases, you may have missing areas of walls, floors, and roofs.

2. Damage From Smoke

While not necessarily as devastating as fire damage, smoke damage comes with its own fair share of trouble. Smoke and soot can travel through the air and will sometimes affect a much larger area than that of the flames. It carries acidic components that, if not cleaned quickly, can cause corrosion. It can easily enter electronic devices, so these should not be used until they have been examined by a professional. Smoke can also create lingering odors that may need to be removed with air cleaners and filters.

3. Damage From Water

You probably don’t associate this kind of damage with fire, but if the flames were severe enough to require the use of a fire hose, then there will be a significant amount of water in your building afterward. This can contribute to mold growth and damaged materials if it is not removed right away.
If your building has been affected by fire damage, you should contact a cleanup and restoration service to have it taken care of as soon as possible. They will perform mitigation to prevent further damage before beginning work on repairs. They can also salvage some belongings that have been damaged by smoke and water.

How To Repair or Replace a Leaking Toilet

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Leaking toilet in Wilmore, NC

Steps You Can Take To Repair or Replace A Toilet

You have heard about toilets overflowing, but did you know that they can also leak? A leaking toilet can quickly damage your Wilmore, NC, home. Luckily, there are steps you can take to repair or replace the toilet.

Locate the Issue

First, you need to determine exactly where the leak is. You can do this by looking for the source of the water near the toilet. If the water is primarily puddling around the base of the toilet, the issue is probably with the wax seal.
Water leaking from under the toilet could just be a sign that the bolts holding the toilet to the ground are loose. Try tightening those bolts to see if that fixes the issue. If this doesn’t work, you may have to replace the wax gasket.

Repair the Toilet

Before you change the wax seal, you need to locate the toilet's shutoff valve and turn off the water. Next, flush the leaking toilet to drain as much liquid from the bowl as possible. Use a sponge to sop up any extra fluid.
You can then loosen the compression nut on the valve to disconnect the tube that supplies water to the toilet. Hold the rim of the bowl and rock it back and forth to break off the wax seal. You can then scrape off and replace the seal.

Replace the Toilet

If the toilet repair doesn’t work, you should try replacing the entire apparatus. Remove the old toilet as described above. To put the new one on, simply put the toilet onto the gasket and put the washers over the bolts. Press down onto the bowl to compress the gasket before tightening the nuts.
A leaking toilet is a messy problem to have. Once you have repaired or replaced your toilet, you still have to deal with the puddles on the floor of the bathroom. Thankfully, water damage restoration specialists can help dry and clean off the area.

5 Things To Know About Smoke Detectors

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

smoke alarm in ceiling Installing the right smoke alarm for home or business is critical to ensure your family is safe

Every homeowner in Charlotte, NC, should take the time to have a smoke alarm installed in their place of residence. Many fire restoration professionals recommend this important safety step for helping to prevent fire damage. There are several things you should know about smoke detectors when choosing the right fit for your home.


1. There are Several Types


The smoke detector is an important tool for fire safety, and it's important to remember that there are several types available. Some are battery-operated, and some tie to your home's electrical system to keep them running. Smart alarms can even send alerts to your phone in the event something should happen.


2. Where They Should Be Located


Many experts recommend that a smoke detector be located inside each bedroom, the hall outside the bedrooms, and in any common areas such as the kitchen. You may want to make sure that every family member knows where these are located in your home.


3. They Will Require Some Maintenance


A smoke alarm will require regular maintenance. This includes changing the batteries at least once a year, keeping them free of dust, and replacing them at the end of their lifespan.


4. They Do Have a Working Lifespan


Regardless of your alarm type it's important to remember that these tools to have a lifespan. Make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions so that you will know when it's time to replace the unit. In many cases this is about every ten years.


5. Know What To Do When They Sound


It's also important to have a plan in place in case the smoke detector should go off. Make sure every member of your family knows where the nearest exits are, and where you alone meet up after you've safely made it outside.


When selecting the right smoke alarm for your residence keep in mind which type you prefer for your particular home style and needs, what the working life span is, and what type of maintenance your alarm will require. You should also have a plan in place in case your alarm should sound.

How To Get Rid of Mold Smells

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Smells

Do you have mold in your home? There aren't always visible signs to warn you of this unpleasant intruder if the problem is hidden in a crawlspace, behind the walls, or in an unused corner of the basement. However, effective mold remediation should be handled quickly. Mold releases mycotoxins that cause distinct odors, so when you notice any of the following smells, contact a professional:


Earthy, damp, and decaying smell
Wet dog,
Soggy clothing, dirty socks, musty laundry
Old books and papers, aged boxes of documents


Although these smells are very different, they could all point to a mold problem.

Identify the Source of Trouble

When mold remediation professionals arrive at your home to get rid of the nasty mycotoxin-created, musty odor, they'll look for the cause of the problem first. This means identifying how moisture is getting into your home, such as through clogged rain gutters or broken seals on vents.

Complete Repairs

After finding it, the next step is cleaning up the leak causing that musty odor. Any broken seals, leaky pipes, open windows, or cracks in your foundation must be addressed for success with the rest of the mold remediation steps.

Dry Out the Area

Next, the professionals may bring in dehumidifiers and heavy-duty fans to increase ventilation and to thoroughly dry out the affected areas. It's important that professionals complete this step because of the precautions they take to prevent mold from spreading throughout your home.

Kill Mold and Lingering Spores

After completely drying out the affected areas of your home, professionals will use specialized chemicals to kill mold. Depending on the type of mold in the home and the extent of mold damage, other cleansers or additional machinery, such as a HEPA air filtration device, may be brought in to complete mold cleanup and remove any lingering smells.

Mold often sets up home in out-of-the-way corners, making it challenging to see. If you recognize any of the scents given off by a mycotoxin, act right away to protect your Charlotte, NC , home and family.

How a Flood Cut Benefits Your Home

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed in a home and air movers placed for drying up affected area Flood cut done in an Arbor Glen, NC home

If you have never heard of a flood cut, don't feel bad. Most people are unfamiliar with this technique used after flooding has invaded a property. It is normally undertaken by a disaster recovery team when water has soaked and ruined a portion of a home. It is essentially the removal of drywall that has been damaged by water, and the cut is typically made 12 to 18 inches above the damage. It is performed for two main reasons: first, to remove damaged and contaminated drywall, and second, to provide access to the area behind the drywall to address hidden moisture issues. A flood cut may also be called a tear out, since the drywall must be completely removed.

When Is a Flood Cut Needed?

When flooding happens in Arbor Glen,NC, the damage to a home is different in each situation. A flood cut is necessary if any of the following conditions are present:

  • The damage to drywall is extensive
  • Insulation is attached to the drywall
  • Sewage water is involved
  • Water tainted with chemicals is present

Water contamination makes the materials in your walls no longer salvageable. There is a worry of lingering health effects and odors. A complete tear out of affected materials is the sure way to restore your home to good condition again.

When Can a Flood Cut Be Avoided?

If water damage is minimal, the water is clean and no insulation is present, it's possible the drywall can be adequately dried out. Another important factor is the speed in which the flooding was addressed. Quick action and professional water removal techniques increase the chances of the drywall being saved. A number of methods can be used to eliminate moisture both in the wall and behind the wall. In some cases, special devices are used to measure the level of humidity in a room. With the right steps, water damage can be made to look "Like it never even happened."

3 Non-Sandbag Solutions for Flooding

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

A lot of sandbags As a business owner you may be looking for alternate options to the use of a sand bag to protect your business from flooding

Alternate Methods for Business Storm Protection

For a business in Collingwood,NC, it may be advisable to sand bag the area around the building before a major storm hits. However, many business owners may be wondering if there's alternate solutions to sand bagging, as this process can be time-consuming. Here are three solutions for those who wish to use alternate methods for business storm protection.

1. Neighborhood Fence

Many water damage restoration professionals recommend taking mitigation steps before flooding occurs in order to help prevent long-term flood damage. If you have a large business property, or want to work together with other businesses and community members to protect the entire block, one of the first options you may consider a large-scale barrier. These can often be longer then smaller variations, allowing for a small crew to set up a large-scale barrier to protect multiple buildings.

2. Inflatable Dams

Another possible solution is a series of smaller flood dams designed to protect a single building. These act similarly to sandbags in that they create a barrier against flood water. However, when not in use they often fold to take up less space. Unlike a sand bag these are water-based, meaning that once unrolled they can be filled with water keeping them heavy enough to stay in place, but in many cases faster to utilize.

3. Permanent Dams

A third, more permanent, solution that many people consider is the installation of dams that can be raised in the event of a potential flood. These may be panels that can be installed to lay flat and then can be lifted to form a wall, or length of an absorbent material that swells when exposed to moisture turning into a barrier, and then lies flat as it dries.
As a business owner you may be looking for alternate options to the use of a sand bag to protect your business from flooding. Inflatable dams are similar in concept that can be a larger and filled with water. Similarly, a large scale dam may also protect multiple buildings. You may also choose a more permanent option that can be raised or lowered as needed for areas that experience frequent flooding.