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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.

Your Brief Guide To Making a Flood Damage Claim

11/17/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Your Brief Guide To Making a Flood Damage Claim 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.

The Process of Smoke Odor Remediation

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

After a house fire in Berryhill,NC, comes the tricky process of smoke cleaning. There are a number of factors involved, including the type and perforation of the odor, the tools used, and the time needed for odor removal. Understanding these factors may help make this process easier.

What are the Contributing Factors to the Smoke Odor

The type cleaning method is determined by the amount and nature of the smoke damage. This can vary based on several factors.

  • Material, the type of materials burned can change the odor left behind
  • Room size, smaller rooms will often have a stronger odor than larger ones
  • Fire size, larger fires create more smoke and may burn longer leaving more odor behind
  • Burn time, the longer a fire burns the more time smoke odor has to settle in

What Tools are Used For Smoke Removal

The tools used for smoke cleaning can vary depending on the amount of odor and the type of source fire. In most cases attempting to mask the smell will only create a temporary fix, so it’s best to work towards full odor removal from the start. An air filtration device can help. Many professionals also use thermal foggers or ozone machines during the cleaning process. Cloth items such as clothing, curtains, and upholstery may be washed with a special solution.

How Long Will it Take

The length of time it takes to remove smoke odor from a home can depend on the type of smoke damage. The larger the fire damaged area the more time it may take. A deodorization professional should be able to assess the problem and give you an accurate quote based on the problem type and cleaning method used.

The process of smoke cleaning can take some time, but with the right tools and understanding of the smoke’s source, your home can be restored to a clean and fresh environment. Remember, if you’re ever unsure about what needs to be done, a professional may be able to help.

3 Steps for Creating Green Flood Prevention

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Steps for Creating Green Flood Prevention Landscaping can serve as a first barrier to floodwaters in Berryhill,NC

With the extreme weather created by global warming, business owners in Berryhill,NC, now have to think about flooding. Flood damage is a major hassle. Fortunately for you, there are three steps that can help you create green protection from storm damage.

1. Observe

The first step is to observe water flow and drainage around your business. Watch where the water goes during the next storm. Look for sources of running water. You may need to watch out for a small river from further up your street or off a neighbor’s roof.

Drainage is important for avoiding storm damage. Keep storm drains clear of debris. Check with your local government to see who is responsible for maintaining drains around your business.

2. Assess

Assess the drainage capability of the area surrounding your business. Asphalt and concrete don’t absorb any rain water. Even if you have grass or other landscaping, take a poke at it after the next rain storm. How well does water drain through that soil?

Walkways and the base of stairs are notorious for creating small pools. Does this happen around your business? How do they dry up? Would they contribute to flooding?

3. Create

Your landscaping can serve as a first barrier to floodwaters. A high berm with well-rooted shrubbery is far more attractive than a wall of sandbags. The same can be said of raised garden beds that create a welcoming atmosphere for your customers and clients. A rain garden is also an attractive way to prevent flood damage. These gardens purposely hold onto water and allow it to drain into the ground below.

Pay attention to where you place landscaping. The last thing you want to do is redirect water into your building. Think of the spaces between green areas as pathways for water. If you share a building with other businesses, landscaping and flood prevention is a shared investment in which all have a stake.

Flood damage can be minimized or avoided by taking certain preventative steps. However, should damage occur, contact recovery professionals as quickly as possible.