Recent Posts

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.

3 Questions You Should Answer to Determine if Your Water-Damaged Carpet Should Be Replaced

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Broken flooring from broken pipe Broken pipe in Brookhill, NC

3 Questions You Should Answer to Determine if Your Water-Damaged Carpet Should Be Replaced

Water from a pipe break or other accident in your Brookhill,NC, home can cause a lot of damage. Not only can it affect the structure of your house but the belongings inside as well. Many materials inside your house may need to be replaced, depending on the severity of the damage. One such material is the carpeting. If you are concerned, the following questions can help you to determine if it can be salvaged or if it should be replaced.

1. Is There Padding Underneath?

One thing that you should consider if your carpet has been affected by water is whether or not it has padding underneath. Because the padding absorbs a lot of water, it can increase the amount of damage that occurs both in the carpeting as well as the flooring underneath. The good news, however, is that you may only need to replace the padding while the rest may be saved with a thorough cleaning.

2. What Kind of Water Was Involved?

Another important factor is the type of water. If it was from a pipe break, then the water was likely clean and salvaging the material will be easier. However, if the water came from flooding or an overflowing toilet, then it is considered highly contaminated. Because this water can carry bacteria, sewage and waste, it is best to replace the carpeting.

3. How Long Was the Water There?

The longer the water was left in the house, the more difficult restoration will be. If it was there for more than a couple of days, then it is likely that mold will begin to form. This can be difficult to remove from porous materials, so replacement is best in this case.
While a pipe break can sometimes mean you will need to replace your carpet, you may be able to save it in some situations. For the best results, you should contact a water damage remediation service. They will have the necessary skills and equipment to salvage it if possible. They can also make necessary repairs to other parts of your home.

Eliminating Cigarette Odor From Your Home

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Ozone generator An ozone machine will chemically interact with the smoke to neutralize the odor

Eliminating Cigarette Odor From Your Home

Cigarette smoke in your West Charlotte,NC, residence can linger long after you have aired out the place. Fortunately, there are many home deodorization options available. Every situation is unique, but the following provides a general guideline to eliminating the smoke smell from your home.

Clean The first step in removing the cigarette smell from your home is to clean the surfaces in the affected areas, including the walls and ceiling. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can be used in mop water, in washing machines and on a variety of hard surfaces. You may also need to clean the carpet and upholstery. Having the windows open and fans running while you clean will help to further deodorize the area. Make sure to clean everything. Cigarette smoke clings to everything, and the smell will return if you don’t clean thoroughly.

Run an Ozone Machine or Air Purifier If you can still smell the smoke after cleaning, you may need to invest in an ozone machine or an air purifier with a HEPA filter. An air purifier will trap the smoke particles, and an ozone machine will chemically interact with the smoke to neutralize the odor. An ozone molecule has three oxygen atoms. One of the oxygen atoms will attach itself to the smoke particle in a process called oxidation. Oxidation neutralizes the odor. Ozone is a particularly effective home deodorization technique because the ozone can go anywhere smoke goes.

Repaint Unfortunately, cleaning surfaces and purifying the air only go so far. If you are dealing with heavy cigarette smoke damage, there may be layers of smoke odor on the walls and ceiling. In this case, the best way to handle the situation is to repaint. Make sure to use an odor-blocking primer to fully seal in the odor. Otherwise, the smell may seep through the new paint.

Whether you are moving into a smoker’s former home or simply want to remove the smoke odor from your current home, a professional restoration company can assist you in the home deodorization process.

Why You Can’t Just Ignore Mold Growth in Your Home

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold on baseboard Black mold on baseboard

After a major leak or flood in your home, you may notice spots of dark-colored fungus growing near the site of the water damage. This is black mold, and it can quickly spread throughout your Berryhill,NC, house.

How Mold Grows

Also called Stachybotrys chartarum, the black type of mold can be particularly harmful. As with other types, it thrives in moist areas. That is why mold commonly appears after storms or plumbing overflows. These funguses also can grow near burst pipes or condensation.
Since mold is a living organism, it needs food to thrive. It thus grows quickly on organic materials:

  • Drywall
  • Cloth
  • Wood
  • Carpet

Ignoring mold growth does not solve the problem. You need to take steps to remove the fungus before it spreads.

How To Remove Mold

Since mold does not go away on its own, you have to take steps to address the damage. First, you must find the source of the moisture problem. If you remove the black mold without eliminating the moisture that caused it to grow in the first place, it will just keep coming back.
Once the moisture is gone, you can begin the mold cleanup process. Bleach alone is not sufficient. Chlorine bleach, in particular, does not fully remove mold from surfaces in your home. Instead, you should look for an enzyme-based cleaner. These products are safer than bleach and reduce the chances of the mold returning.

No matter what material you use to remove the mold, you need to protect yourself. Make sure to wear long sleeves, pants and a surgical face mask.
You can probably address small patches of mold in your home by yourself. Extensive cleanup, however, is best handled by a professional. Mold remediation specialists can clean away the fungus and restore any personal items that were damaged. They can also thoroughly dry your belongings to prevent the black mold from coming back.

What to Do After a Pipe Breaks

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water standing in a hall of a commercial building Water loss in a West Charlotte, NC building

What to Do After a Pipe Breaks

As a business owner, it can be devastating to find bursting pipes inside of your building. Since the water will continue to gush out of the pipes until the source of the water is turned off, massive structural damage can occur. Unfortunately, a lot of pipes break overnight, leaving a large amount of water by morning. If you have experienced water damage West Charlotte,NC, you need the help of a remediation specialist, a professional company who performs specialized services to return your business to normal.

The Right Processes Are Key

As a business owner, the best thing you can do to reduce damage to your location from bursting pipes is to get a professional onsite. Remediation experts have specialized equipment to speed up the drying process. The longer the water sits, the more damage it can do. Additionally, mold can begin growing on damp surfaces in as little as 24-48 hours. For this reason, it is imperative that the water is extracted and dryer fans are set up before mold has a chance to set in. Your remediation company may perform a variety of specialized services:

  • Water extraction
  • Removal and disposal of damaged materials
  • Fix broken pipe
  • Disinfection
  • Replacing any discarded structural materials

When the entire process is complete, your space should look as good as new.

Immediate Actions to Take

If you find water damage from a broken pipe, the first thing to do is to attempt to shut the water off at its source. Next, call your insurance company and a remediation specialist. The water may be traveling through the building, such as running from the 2nd floor down to the first. While you wait for a crew to arrive, you can move any items that are in danger of water reaching them.
Water from bursting pipes can cause a lot of structural damage. Therefore, the sooner you call a professional remediation company in West Charlotte,NC, the better off your business will be.

3 Reasons to Avoid Driving During a Flood

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded roadway on top of the picture says "Turn around, don't drown" Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don't drown

Why You Should Avoid Driving During a Flood

During a storm in Charlotte,NC, it can be frustrating to be stuck inside your home, particularly if it has been damaged. However, it is important that you keep your safety in mind. Driving on a flooded street can be incredibly dangerous and the risks far outweigh any possible benefits. The following are just a few reasons why you should avoid driving during a flood.

1. You Can’t See What’s There

Some flooded roads might look safe to drive on, but that doesn’t mean that they are. In some cases, the water might be much deeper than it appears. Potholes and road damage are often hiding underneath those waters. There might also be debris that could affect your ability to drive safely.

2. You Could Lose Control

Even experienced drivers cannot predict everything that may happen on the road. Just a few inches of water can cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your car. If the flooded street has more water than this, then you are even more likely to have trouble. For most cars, a foot of water is enough to cause it to float. Two feet is enough to do the same to larger vehicles. If this happens, you are likely to be carried away with the water.

3. You Might Damage Your Vehicle

If the safety risk is not enough to deter you, then perhaps the potential damage to your car is. Your vehicle is not made to operate in water, so it does not have anything to protect its components in this situation. If water from the flooded street gets inside the engine, your car will no longer be able to function and you will have a pricey repair bill on your hands.
One of the best travel tips for driving in a flood is to avoid it. However, if you must drive, be sure to do so only on streets that are confirmed to be safe for travel. If the storm has caused damage to your house, a water damage restoration company can perform cleanup and repairs.

What Happens to the Contents of Your Building After a Fire

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

What Happens to the Contents of Your Building After a Fire

If your building in Pineville, NC, catches fire, you can call fire restoration experts to repair the damage and restore the building. What happens to everything inside it, though? Through processes such as dry-cleaning and ultrasonic treatments, your contents can often be restored, too.

Assessment
When technicians arrive, they start by surveying the fire damage. They look at every item that could have been affected:

  • Computers, phones and other office equipment
  • Inventory
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Documents and files
  • Furniture and textiles

Each item must be assessed. The items that can be restored are kept for content cleaning; the items that are not salvageable must be thrown away.

Containment

Each affected item must be contained so that it doesn't affect other items. For example, the pieces that need dry-cleaning, such as curtains and other textiles, may have to be bagged separately if they have water damage to keep them from fading onto other surfaces.

Storage

To keep items safe, they must be stored properly. Content storage is important both before and after an item is cleaned. The cleaned items are kept separate from the rest so that they are not recontaminated by the smoke damage on the others. No item should be moved back into the building until the building's restoration is complete.

Restoration

The restoration process the technicians choose often depends on the item itself. Items with cracks and crevices where soot can hide are often cleaned using ultrasonic technology, which uses sound waves to loosen the grime. Carpets can be steam cleaned. Documents can be restored using freeze drying techniques. No matter what type of item it is, there is typically a process that can fix the damage caused by fire, water or smoke.
After soot has been cleaned out of your electronics and the dry-cleaning process for your curtains is finished, your items are ready to return to the building. Don't assume items can't be saved; restoration experts may have a way to restore them.