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Fire Damage Restoration Tips

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen burned Kitchen fire in Charlotte, NC

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

Fire damage and loss can be devastating on a personal level. However, it also has the power to impact entire neighborhoods and people beyond those immediately affected. Whether fire loss involves a single-family home or commercial fire damage where hundreds of people are affected, the restoration process will determine how well and quickly recovery can occur both structurally and emotionally.

The restoration company selected will coordinate with the many subcontractors responsible for fire cleanup including remediation of soot damage, smoke damage and ensuring that air quality is pristine before individuals reenter the structure. Despite best efforts, any fire and the restoration process can be stressful. The goal is to minimize the impact on the individuals involved and come up with a viable plan that will achieve the desired results in a timely manner.

A Fire in A Home

A fire in home is similar to a fire in business discounting the scope of the fire damage. Fire loss will include soot damage, water damage, smoke damage and partial or complete destruction of property that will have to be remediated and/or replaced through fire cleanup. Air quality will be a primary concern, however, since a side effect of fire damage can result in debilitating and long-term physical disabilities if residue is inhaled.

A Fire in Business

Commercial fire damage is similar to a fire in homes in that the contents of the structure will also be negatively impacted by fire damage, soot damage, smoke damage, water damage, and poor air quality. With commercial fire damage, fire cleanup will be more extensive and could take significantly longer than remediating a fire in homes. Fire loss as a result of a fire in business can also be extremely costly not only in equipment but in lost files and information that are critical to running the business.

Whether the result of a fire in business or a fire in homes, fire cleanup and remediation is extensive and will involve the assistance of many subcontractors. The restoration agent assigned to your case will deal with the aftermath of fire damage and fire loss by coordinating the fire cleanup efforts with the subcontractors needed to ensure the structure is returned to the same condition it was in prior to the fire.

The restoration team will eliminate all signs of fire damage, soot damage, smoke damage, and water damage. Equipment and furnishings destroyed as part of the fire loss will be replaced and air quality will be restored. The goal of the restoration specialists is to have residents of homes and employees of commercial businesses return to their structures with a positive outlook on the future.

Commercial fire damage, as well as fire damage to homes, are devastating not only in the loss of property but on an emotional level as well. Soot damage, smoke damage, water damage, and the residual poor air quality makes the efficiency of the restoration process all the more important. Whether a fire in business with the resultant commercial fire damage or fire in homes with the emotional toll taken on families, a good restoration company can minimize the effects of fire loss on those involved.

Flood Prevention Measures Your Business May Have

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system Installing a sump pump in a basement area may help stop flooding

3 Prevention Systems Your Business May Already Have In Place

A business in Brookhill, NC, may find itself in danger of flooding from high water. Fortunately, a local storm damage restoration service can help with restoration if damage does occur, but you may want to consider mitigation steps before the storm arrives. Here are three prevention systems your business may already have in place.

1. Sump Pumps

In some cases, the installation of a sump pump in a basement area may be able to help stop flooding. These units are designed to help regulate water flow, and when properly maintained can help keep an area free of pooling water.

2. Drainage

Another feature to consider for protecting your company property from high water is the drainage system. Proper drainage is important for flood prevention as it can help direct the flow of water away from the property. Drainage systems may include roof gutters, landscaping features such as a slope or rain garden, drainage ditches, and sewer drains. All of these provide safe areas for storm water to flow into instead of puddling around the business property.

3. Backup Systems

For a business having a backup system in place for any electronic data can be an important step for protecting the company against flooding. Theses systems may include cloud storage or a server where all the data can be stored independently from the actual computers. This way if the electronics themselves are damaged you know the data is safe. It’s also important to note that in some cases a restoration service may be able to restore the electronics depending on the damage severity.

It’s not uncommon for high water to lead to flooding. In many cases, a business property may already have some mitigation steps in place. These may include a sump pump, drainage systems, and backup systems for any electronics.if flooding does occur a restoration service can help repair any damages.

Here’s How to Fix a Flooded Basement in Your Home

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in West Charlotte, NC

Here’s How to Fix a Flooded Basement in Your Home

A basement is an excellent addition to a house in West Charlotte, NC, but they are more prone to being flooded than above-ground areas, of course. If you have a basement flood, it can cause damage to everything there, including

  • Wood and drywall
  • Carpets and furniture
  • Appliances
  • Stored items

You’ll need to decide if you require professional restoration or if you can fix things yourself. Also, there’s definitely some do’s and don’ts for what to do first.

Utilities Can Be Particularly Dangerous During a Basement Flood

A flood can short your wiring out or cause dangerous shocks if you contact it. Also, if it makes contact with gas appliances, it may cause a gas leak.
If you smell the “rotten egg” scent of gas after a flood, immediately drop what you’re doing and get outside. Quickly open any doors and windows on the way out if you can safely do it, but most important is to get out! Also, tell everyone else to evacuate. Call 911 immediately, and, if you can safely do so, turn off the gas at the meter.
If your service panel isn’t in the basement, you should go to it and turn off all power to the affected area as soon as possible. If the water is over the outlets, you’ll need to have the service meter pulled by an electrician or the fire department before you step in it.

Some Repairs Will Typically Require Professional Help

Many basements have cinder block walls, which may be fine in low-level flooding. However, if there’s wood trim, drywall or if the water level has reached the outlets, you should consult with an expert water damage restoration company. Also, heavy flooding can cause even cinder block walls to become structurally unsound, and that must be inspected. In some cases, insurance coverage will pay for much of the damage.
If you have a basement flood in West Charlotte, NC, you best bet is to call a certified restoration company as soon as possible. The longer water sits, the more damage it does, and they have special devices to remove moisture quickly.

What Type of Smoke Detector is Best for Your Home?

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Dual smoke detector Dual sensor smoke alarm

One important factor that can make a difference in the loss of life in a home fire, is a working smoke alarm. Many people neglect this important facet of home safety. A common reason is that the alarm has gone off and a startled resident removes the batteries, rendering the alarm useless.

The Difference Between Alarm Types

There are basically three types of smoke detectors manufactured for use at home. They initially react to different stimuli. Here is some information to help you decide which smoke alarm works well for your home in Brookhill, NC.

1. Ionization Alarm
These alarms tend to have a quicker response to a flaming fire. This may be a good choice for a cooking or grease fire in the kitchen area, or where curtains may start on fire from a space heater.

2. Photoelectric Alarm
Responding more quickly to smoke, an alarm with a photoelectric sensor can be helpful for a smoldering fire, such as in a fireplace or mattress.

3. Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm
This alarm combines both the photoelectric and ionization type sensors and could be useful in several areas of the home.

Placement is Critical
When it comes to fire safety, it may be of more importance where the detector is located, than which type is used. It is recommended that an alarm is placed outside each bedroom, near the kitchen, the laundry room and on each level of the home including the basement and above every stairway in the home. Whether they are hard wired or battery operated is not of as much importance as that they are functioning properly.

If a fire does cause damage within your home, call on the fire restoration professionals in Brookhill,NC to help with assessing damage and cleaning up fire and water damage. Properly installing a smoke alarm at each key point, however may alert you to any fire before significant damage can be done.

Common Causes of Flooding in Commercial Buildings

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Broken floor due to broken water pipe in an office A broken pipe is one of the most common culprits of water problems in the office

What Causes Water Damage Issues

In some places, water is a welcome sight. Your office isn't one of them. If you see water on the floor, dripping or running from the ceiling, or coming out of the walls due to a broken pipe, you know you've got a potential disaster on your hands. You need to act quickly and get a professional water removal company on the case. Before you ever arrive at this point, it's helpful to know what typically causes water damage issues.

Toilet Overflow

Most people have probably dealt with an overflowing toilet before. This can be a risky situation, as the water could contain human waste and other hazardous materials. This flooding problem can start due to the following causes:

  • Not enough water in the tank
  • A clogged drain line
  • Backed-up sewer line

Sprinkler Problems

If a fire starts in your Berryhill, NC, office, you're thankful for the overhead sprinklers. Of course, these devices can also ruin your walls, flooring, electronics and documents. Inspect your sprinklers regularly to make sure they work correctly. If they do come on, start the water repair process as soon as possible.

Pipe Issues

A broken pipe is one of the most common culprits of water problems in the office. Pipes under sinks, in the ceiling or inside walls could be leaking for weeks, months or even years before you notice there's a problem. Over time, the water could cause widespread damage and lead to mold growth. Proper upkeep and maintenance of the plumbing system's pipes are critical.

Water Line

The city's main water line into your building can experience problems from tree root growth or wear and tear. A break in this line could create severe flooding. It's good to have a qualified professional regularly inspect the main water line.
Don't let a broken pipe or other office issues leave your work area in ruins. Be aware of these flood-causing sources and be diligent about maintenance.

How the Pros Respond to Large-Scale Disasters

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of SERVPRO crew ready to asses flood damage from a storm Storm team ready in Charlotte, NC

You dread the thought of a natural disaster or some other incident damaging your office building. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, emergencies can occur and threaten your safety and the wellness of your business. Even in the wake of a catastrophic loss, you can take comfort knowing that a professional cleanup and restoration team is just a call away.

What the Pros Can Offer

If something such as flooding, severe thunderstorms or fires threaten your workplace, you need an experienced disaster relief team to help you rebuild. This is not a task you could do on your own. Professional crews give you the following benefits:

  • Timely, fast response
  • Industry-standard tools and techniques
  • Efficient cleanup and restoration methods

All Hands on Deck

Living and working in Charlotte, NC, you know that storm damage can be common. The effects can be significant, especially when multiple businesses are affected. Some cleanup companies may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of responding to the damage. The best companies, however, mobilizer their crews and send multiple teams to the area. Under the direction of the home office, individual franchises will combine their strengths, bringing skill, dedication, and equipment to the disaster location.

The Process

The cleanup crew will follow the same guidelines in a catastrophic loss as it would for a smaller task. The technicians start by evaluating the damage and inspecting the cleanup area. Next, the team will share the restoration plan with you and will coordinate with the property insurance agents so you can file a claim. The next step is cleaning up the damage, whether this is removing water or soot from a fire. The technicians will then sanitize the affected area, followed by rebuilding and restoring materials such as walls, flooring, ceilings, and roofs.
For a catastrophic loss, you can call upon skilled professionals to get your business back on track. You can have peace of mind no matter how bad the damage is.

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.