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Why Floods are the Perfect Breeding Ground for Mold Development

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Why Floods are the Perfect Breeding Ground for Mold Development Floodwaters are not the cleanest they are filled with bacteria

Floodwaters Are Not The Cleanest Water

It’s bad enough that your business flooded. You now have to wade through the lengthy mitigation and restoration process, hoping that your business doesn’t go under in the process. However, while your focus is rightfully on your business, you should refocus your attention to the possibility of mold growth. Flooding creates the perfect breeding ground for mold development for many reasons.

1. Floodwaters

Floodwaters are not the cleanest water. Typically, the water is filled with bacteria. Additionally, it takes time for flooding to recede which means that your business is left with a pool of standing water until city sewers or natural drainage take effect. This is a perfect concoction for mold development because mold loves damp and humid environments.

2. No Electricity

Mold growth also thrives in dark areas, so when flooding also leads to sweeping power outages, mold thrives. Additionally, if the power is out then most ventilation systems are out, meaning that the interior of your facility is remaining damp and humid, potentially accelerating mold infestation.

3. Closed Spaces

Mold takes hold within 24-48 hours, and in closed spaces, it is typically at the lower end of that spectrum. Most business owners lock up their facilities tight, with sandbag barricades, as most cities advise. Unfortunately, a tightly sealed facility also contributes to a lack of ventilation.

4. Cleanup Process

Luckily, a fast cleanup response can mitigate the development of mold. Unfortunately, the cleaning process may contribute to a spreading problem because cleaning out requires ventilating the space, which increases air movement and allows for the spread. A mold remediation specialist in the West Charlotte,NC , area will be able to assess your property better and help you reduce your risks.

Mold growth can occur quickly after a flood, and unfortunately, the conditions left behind after the storm has passed only increase the likelihood of an infestation. Thankfully, some specialists can help you reduce your losses and get back to business quicker.

Furnace Maintenance 101: Prevent a Home Fire With These 5 Steps

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage  Furnace Maintenance 101: Prevent a Home Fire With These 5 Steps Protect your home in Charlotte, NC by regularly maintaining your furnace

Prevent a Fire This Winter

Heating is one of the main causes of home fires. Fire departments and fire cleaning companies deal with the most heating related fires in the cooler months of the year, so it is important take extra precautions to protect your home in Charlotte, NC, by regularly maintaining your furnace. Before the cold weather arrives, follow these five important steps to prevent a furnace fire this winter.

1. Regularly Clean Your Furnace

Make sure to regularly clean your furnace by removing any dirt and dust that makes its way into the interior of your furnace. Gently use a soft-tipped paintbrush and vacuum to do the job!

2. Visual Inspect Your Furnace

Looking over your furnace for any broken or worn down parts is a good way to determine if your unit needs any repairs or part replacements. Check wires, tubes, the drive belt, bearings, and other components that get worn down easily or pose a hazard.

3. Perform an Odor Check

If at any point you can identify the lingering smell of rotten eggs or smoke in your home, leave the house immediately because that means you have a gas leak. Do not light a cigarette, use your phone inside, touch any electronics, or re-enter the building for any reason. An inspection and possibly even a smoke cleaning will be required.

4. Replace Filters Periodically

Your furnace filter needs to be replaced every one to three months. A good way to remember replacing your filter is to do so every first of the month.

5. Get Your Furnace Professionally Serviced

While regularly cleaning, inspecting, and replacing filters on your furnace is fine to do on your own, make sure to have a professional service your furnace at least once a year!

Avoid a fire cleaning by instead opting for a furnace cleaning! By keeping up on your furnace maintenance, you can avoid a heating home fire all year long.

Four Ways to Prevent Bathroom Mold

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Four Ways to Prevent Bathroom Mold A dehumidifier might help with mold prevention

How To Prevent Bathroom Mildew

Because mold can spread quickly in a warm and moist environment, the bathroom in your Berryhill, NC  home can become a breeding ground for this unwelcome growth that can cause damage to your house. In order to prevent bathroom mildew, there are some precautions that you can take.

1. Keep Showers and Sinks Dry After Use
One of the best ways to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom is to keep everything as dry as possible. After you’ve used the sink or shower, drying the surface can keep mold from forming. Using a squeegee can make it easier to remove the moisture from flat surfaces.

2. Clean the Bathroom Regularly
Keeping the bathroom clean can keep mold spores from spreading and causing damage that might require mold remediation. As well as cleaning the obvious areas such as toilets, sinks, and showers, be sure to include shower curtains and bathmats as well. These can hold water which makes them a likely home for mold growth.

3. Keep Fans On When You Shower
When you shower, steam fills your bathroom with moisture. This moisture can linger after you’ve finished your shower, creating the right environment for bathroom mildew. You can reduce the amount of steam that is created by keeping your bathroom fan on while you shower. Leaving it on for a while after you’ve finished can help the room dry more quickly.

4. Use a Dehumidifier
If you have a humidity problem in your home, then a dehumidifier might help with mold prevention. They can reduce the amount of moisture in the air and allow the surfaces in your bathroom to dry more quickly and thoroughly. This gives the mold fewer places to grow.

While bathroom mildew can be a frustrating problem, there are ways to prevent it. If you clean regularly and keep moisture from building in your bathroom, it is more likely to remain free of mold.

What To Do If You Have Damaged Building Materials

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do If You Have Damaged Building Materials Swollen wood at a Charlotte, NC home.

4 Steps To Start A Restoration

If you have water damage like swelling wood in your home in Charlotte,NC , you might be wondering what your next step should be. In some cases, building materials will need to be replaced. Depending on the extent of the damage, however, you may be able to save some of the wet materials. If your home has been damaged, here are some steps you can take to begin restoration.

1. Make Needed Repairs

In order to prevent any further damage, a water pipe repair might be necessary. Be sure to have this done before you begin work on repairing or replacing any building materials. If you begin replacing materials before addressing the source of the problem, you will only be wasting your time.

2. Determine the Amount of Damage

Not all damaged materials need to be treated in the same way. If a supply line in your home has broken, the water will likely have caused more damage to areas closer to the line than those further away. If this is the case, only some of the materials will need to be replaced.

3. Replace Materials With Extensive Damage

Any materials close to the source of damage will more than likely need to be replaced. For example, if the supply line underneath your kitchen sink has broken, your cabinets may have swelling wood that cannot be repaired. The subfloor underneath may also need to be replaced.

4. Allow Materials With Light Damage To Dry

For materials that haven’t suffered significant damage, allowing them to dry might be sufficient. Some types of wood, as well as drywall, can be saved, depending on how much water damage has been done. Using a humidifier can help with this.
In case of damage to your home, it is a good idea to use water damage repair services. They can help you determine how much of the area needs to be repaired and can replace any swelling wood or ruined materials.

Is There Mold in My Air Ducts? 3 Tips for Figuring It Out

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Is There Mold in My Air Ducts? 3 Tips for Figuring It Out Mold on air duct in Charlotte, NC

Mold is everywhere in our environment, growing wherever it can find a source of moisture. In your Charlotte,NC, business, that source can come from your heating and cooling system, which produces lots of condensation. Mold in your HVAC system can quickly spread through the air in your business, creating a huge problem. Here are some tips to know when mold is living in your airways and HVAC cleaning is needed.

Mold Tends to Attack a Handful of Areas in Your HVAC System:

  • AC evaporator coils
  • Drip pans
  • Air ducts

These areas aren’t obvious to the eye, so you need a plan for knowing when mold has gotten in.

Check It Out

Your HVAC system may not be on display from day to day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little detective work. Take time to examine visible ductwork, registers and areas around your AC for signs of mold. If you see anything, schedule professional HVAC cleaning immediately.

Trust Your Nose

One good thing about mold is its mycotoxins produce a distinct smell. Moldy environments tend to have a strong mildew smell reminiscent of an old, wet basement. If you smell that, especially when first turning on your air or heat for the season, try turning your system off, waiting, and restarting it. If the smell continues, mold is likely in your ductwork.

Suspect Your Sniffles

Mold has repeatedly been linked to allergies in some sensitive people. If you experience sniffles, watery eyes or any other typical allergy symptoms only when you come into your building, it might be time to schedule HVAC cleaning to remove mold.

Mold can be tricky to find, but its effects can be devastating. Do a visible check, sniff test and note your allergies if you think you have mold. Better yet, a mold specialist can begin a regular regimen of cleaning vents and other preventative care.

How To Prevent Water Damage

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Prevent Water Damage Check your washing machine to avoid water damage in your Berryhill, NC residence

Maintenance is the best way to prevent water damage. A number of appliances and systems rely on water in the home in order to function. Learn more about how to prevent damage at a residence in Berryhill,NC.

Appliances

A number of appliances rely on water in order to function. This machinery includes:

  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Water heaters

Connections or hoses may fail and lead to leaks. It is a good idea to closely monitor these machines and have them regularly serviced for maintenance rather than just for repairs.

HVAC System

The HVAC system in a residence relies on water, particularly when cooling. Several common causes of leaks include:

  • A dirty coil
  • An icy coil
  • A damaged overflow drain pan
  • Clogged drain lines

Regular maintenance can also help to prevent HVAC leaks. Schedule a yearly inspection and cleaning to reduce the risk of water damage.

Plumbing

Plumbing is the major source of water in the home, and therefore one of the most common causes of damage. A homeowner should know the age and condition of pipes. Look out for any signs of:

  • Leaks
  • Sewage backups
  • Malfunctioning toilets
  • Corroded supply lines

If you have exposed pipes, it is a good idea to add insulation. You can also drip a faucet when temperatures dip below freezing to relieve pressure that can lead to pipe bursts. Any incidents will necessitate broken pipe repair and water damage cleanup.

These appliances and systems are the most likely sources of damage due to water in the home. Even if you take preventative measures such as performing regular maintenance, an accident may still occur. In these instances, it is important to quickly arrange for pipe cleanup. Appliance specialists or plumbers can fix the cause of damage, and mitigation professionals can remove water and promote drying. These measures are necessary to keep damage from worsening or resulting in secondary issues, such as mold.

3 Facts About Smoke Alarm Replacement

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Facts About Smoke Alarm Replacement Smoke alarm in a West Charlotte, NC residence

3 Facts About Smoke Alarm Replacement 

Having a smoke alarm in each room of your West Charlotte,NC, home can reduce the risk of injury to your family members during a fire. However, even if you have multiple alarms on each floor of your home, they might not do much good if they are old or outdated. If you want to replace your current smoke detectors, there are a few facts to keep in mind as you purchase and place them in your home.

1. Old Smoke Detectors May Appear Functional

You may not give much thought to your home’s smoke alarms because they appear normal and you assume they will function properly during a fire. In truth, it is difficult to assess how well a smoke detector works by its appearance, and it is this assumption that causes three out five fire deaths in homes where old smoke alarms failed to function, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Consider replacing alarms if they are more than a decade old.

2. New Alarms Have Multiple Features

As you shop for new smoke detectors, it is wise to consider those that have smart features and can detect different types of blazes that may reduce overall fire damage to your home. For example, some alarms feature split-spectrum detection that senses whether a fire is slow burning or whether flames have already erupted. Others can connect directly to your smartphone to alert you when a fire breaks out and you are not at home, while others have strident voice alarms instead of traditional ones.

3. Pairing New Alarms With Inspection Can Reduce Fire Risk

Placing a smoke alarm on each floor of your home is an effective way to protect it. However, you can bolster that protection by having fire damage and restoration company technicians come out to inspect your property for possible fire hazards. The more dangers they find, the lower the risk of a blaze breaking out.

Your West Charlotte,NC, home can benefit from the presence of a smoke alarm on every floor. However, ensuring each is in good working order and knowing when to replace them likely increases the chances of early detection and a lower instance of damage to your property.

Odor Removal After Water Damage

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Odor Removal After Water Damage Water damage in commercial building in Brookhill, NC

Odor Removal After Water Damage

Cleaning up commercial water damage can be a tedious project that goes far beyond water removal. If you have experienced broken pipes or a natural disaster in Brookhill,NC, you are no stranger to the lingering odors that can accompany the water cleanup process. After water has been removed and your commercial facility is completely dry, the following three steps may help you to eliminate the musty old-water smell for good.

1. Use Baking Soda on Dry Carpets

Once all water has been dried and carpet padding has been tacked back down, you may find that your space is left with a lingering odor. While the water may be gone, some bacteria or mildew could be trapped in fibrous carpets or rugs. A simple way to eliminate the smell is by sprinkling household baking soda on the dry carpeting. Use a rough bristled brush to work the baking soda into the fibers. Allow it to sit up to 24 hours and vacuum any remaining powder to lift the smell completely.

2. Launder Washable Fabrics

Cushions, floor mats and curtains often receive serious water damage in commercial flooding incidents. If deemed salvageable, consider laundering machine-washable materials to freshen and brighten their smell. Not only will this remove the odor of sitting water, but it may also restore a clean and vibrant appearance.

3. Create Ventilation

One of the most easy and effective ways to rid a commercial property of odors caused by mildew is to implement proper ventilation. Simply open the windows and let in some fresh air to clear the smell left behind by water damage. Likewise, prop up a few oscillating tower fans to create fresh air circulation.

Residual odors can take several weeks or months to dissipate after a commercial water incident. If windows are not available and fans are not effectively creating air circulation, turn to a professional water cleanup service in Brookhill,NC, for help with tackling strong odors.

Developing an Effective Fire Response Plan in Your Office

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Developing an Effective Fire Response Plan in Your Office Be sure to have a functioning fire extinguisher in your Collingwood, NC business

Are you prepared to handle emergency situations at work? You hope nothing dangerous ever arises, but it’s vital that you have plans in place to properly react when people’s lives are in danger. You need a contingency plan if a fire starts in your office. With some time and preparation, you can safely evacuate employees and even help prevent fires from starting.

Preliminary Steps

As a leader in your Collingwood,NC, organization, you must take safety seriously. You can never completely prevent all mishaps and disasters, but you reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries and emergencies. Consider starting with the following actions:

  • Ensure you have functioning fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
  • Ensure the electrical wiring and heating systems are up to code.
  • Develop an evacuation plan in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Identify Exits

As part of your overall contingency plan in the event of a fire, make sure everyone in your building is aware of all possible exits, particularly those nearest to their offices and workstations. Remember, in a fire, it’s not safe to take an elevator, so stairwells and fire escape stairs are critical.

Assign Roles

It’s human nature to panic when one feels threatened and when peril ensues. It’s crucial that people remain calm and orderly proceed out of the building. To help minimize confusion and chaos, give people in your organization a job during an emergency. You need someone to guide people out of the building, someone to take a count to ensure everyone gets out of the building, a person to sweep the building to look for stragglers, and someone to call the fire department.

Have a Gathering Place

All employees in your building should know where to go once they leave the building. Designate a nearby area where everyone will gather. Be sure this is a familiar place, safely away from fire and smoke.

If you need assistance coming up with a contingency plan, expert disaster professionals are available. With the right planning, you can avoid tragedy.

Protect Your Investment by Cleaning Electronics After a Fire

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Protect Your Investment by Cleaning Electronics After a Fire A commercial fire restoration company in Berryhill,NC can salvage your electronics

Cleaning Electronics After a Fire

An electrical fire can be a devastating and costly event. If your business in Berryhill,NC, has been damaged by a fire, you may be wondering if your expensive electronics can be salvaged. The good news is that yes, a commercial fire restoration service can possibly clean and restore your valuable equipment after it’s been exposed to fire, water or smoke damage. In the meantime, here are a few important things you can do while you wait for the professionals.

1. Unplug your electronics.

Did you know that electronics can continue to draw power even when they are turned off or in idle mode? Unplugging your equipment can prevent further damage from any water left behind by firefighters and can prevent another electrical fire from occurring.

2. Do not attempt to turn on or use electronics.

It may be tempting to check your equipment to see if it still works; however, doing so has the potential to cause more damage. Internal problems may not be visible from the outside, and you could cause an electrical short or worse. Turning any of your devices on could ruin your chances of successful electronic or computer cleanup.

3. Gather your warranty information.

A warranty could cover any equipment that can’t be saved, so try to locate any paperwork or information you may have. Look over these agreements carefully to ensure that they are still current and in effect.

4. Take action immediately.

The longer that water, smoke and soot residue are left untreated, the more destructive they can be to your electronics. Protect your investment by having your equipment professionally cleaned quickly.

After the dust, smoke and soot settle, many devices can be successfully recovered if they are handled correctly. As your business recovers from the catastrophe of an electrical fire, you can save time and money by having your electronics professionally cleaned.