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Proper Management of a Water Heater Failure

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Proper Management of a Water Heater Failure A leaking water heater may pose a danger to your electrical system

Proper Management of a Water Heater Failure

The discovery of a leaking water heater is a nuisance that most homeowners in Murphy, NC, will have to deal with at some point. More often than not, you won't realize what has happened until after a significant amount of water has escaped due to one of the following:

  1. A faulty gasket or rusted out water heater base
  2. A thermostat that has malfunctioned
    A drain valve that has failed due to loosening over time
  3. Pressure buildup as a result of setting the temperature too high

Take action immediately once a failed water heater is identified to limit damage and aid in the recovery of affected areas. Water damage restoration professionals are able to help with this process.

Safety Precautions

A leaking water heater may pose a danger to your electrical system. Be sure to cut power to all outlets and receptacles that are in the vicinity. Refrain from using appliances that are near the broken water heater until you ensure the area is completely dry. If the appliance is not properly grounded, there is a small chance of electrical shock when you make contact with it.
You must also be conscious of the buildup of mold in areas that have become saturated. Prompt action is necessary since it takes only 24 to 48 hours for mold to germinate and start growing.

Limit the Damage

Although you may cringe at having to remove material you may have spent hours installing, it is critical that you do. Wall coverings can be affected up to 20 inches above the water accumulation and are ideal places for mildew to form. Any insulation should be removed in addition to the drywall. Don't think twice about having to rip out carpet or flooring as well. Sanitizing these materials is nearly impossible, and odors can linger well into the future.

Managing the mess of a leaking water heater can be frustrating. Be proactive and ensure you begin the cleanup process as soon as possible after detection of the problem.

Steps to Take After a Fire

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Steps to Take After a Fire SERVPRO of Nantahala is prepared to act quickly to help you get your business back to normal.

Businesses in Cashiers, North Carolina, suffer a wide range of consequences after a fire: lost assets and equipment, damaged buildings and environmental hazards, just to name a few. Dealing with details and the interruption to your operations can feel overwhelming, but there are a few key steps you can take. Your insurance company, along with skilled fire restoration technicians, will play key roles in the aftermath of a blaze.

3 Steps to Take After a Fire

  1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

Once you and your employees are safely accounted for and the flames are put out, your next phone call should be to your insurance company. The commercial property portion of your business policy provides the fire insurance coverage to handle your recent loss. Try to get as many details as possible ready before you get on the phone, but keep in mind that you’ll probably be in contact with an adjuster who’ll assess the destruction.

  1. Hands Off Everything

For both safety and practical reasons, you should not touch any damaged or destroyed areas of your premises after a fire. Although it might be tempting to “rescue” equipment, furniture or even filing cabinets, keep in mind that your insurance adjuster needs to document the post-blaze state of your property.

  1. Contact Cleanup and Restoration Services

After the flames have been put out, your premises likely suffer from smoke and fire damage as well as flooding and water damage from fire suppression efforts. An expert fire restoration company will assess what work must be done and then perform clean up to bring it back to its former condition. Typical services include board-up services for missing walls and windows, tarp-up on impacted roofs, water removal, smoke cleaning, and final cleaning and sanitizing.

Fire’s natural properties make it a destructive force that not only consumes but leaves lasting effects behind in its wake. Thankfully, a fire restoration professional in Cashiers, North Carolina, can help your business on the path to recovery.

How to get your Commercial Toilet to Stop Flushing

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial How to get your Commercial Toilet to Stop Flushing Toilet overflow can lead to water damage.

Dealing with a toilet overflow in Franklin, NC, can be overwhelming. Many toilets in commercial buildings are equipped with a flushometer to automatically flush the contents away. However, this device can cause the toilet to continually flush if something is wrong. If you are dealing with a continual flush, you may have to worry about water running out of the bowl. A commercial water damage expert can help you deal with any resulting water damage, but you may be able to avoid this issue if you can get the toilet to stop.

4 Steps to Avoid Your Toilet to Overflow

  1. Uncover the screwdriver slot. Most flushometers have a screwdriver spot for a flat head screwdriver. You may have to uncover this spot. Once you do, use a screwdriver to turn off the water coming from the flushometer.
  2. Remove the top lid. Once you have the water stopped, you need to make sure you won't be dealing with this toilet flood issue in the near future. Your toilet-fixing expert can use a wrench to remove the top lid of the flushometer. Some water may come out when you remove the cover.
  3. Clean the gasket. With the lid removed, you can now see the gasket. You may notice built up sediment or a clogged weep hole. This device should be able to stop a toilet, but if it is too dirty it may cause a toilet overflow.
  4. Get the flushometer ready again. After the gasket has been properly cleaned, you need to get it ready to function again. Replace the cover and top lid. Then turn the water back on.

Taking care of your commercial property means fixing toilet overflow issues and reacting quickly to other potential hazards. No matter what kind of water-related issue you have, you should make sure to react quickly to avoid major water damage to your business. Knowing who to call in a time of crisis can save you a lot of time.

Places Mold Can Hide

5/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Places Mold Can Hide Mold on the surface of your wall may just be the outward manifestation of the moldy drywall underneath it.

A small patch of mold growth on your wall may not seem like a big deal. It could just be the proverbial tip of the iceberg, though. Mold damage is often not limited to what you can see. It may be hiding behind the wall, under the flooring or inside cabinets. Quick mold remediation is the key to finding all its hiding spots and getting rid of the growth.

Behind Walls

Mold on the surface of your wall may just be the outward manifestation of the moldy drywall underneath it. Inspection may reveal several problems:

  • Leaky pipes
  • Overflow from the floor above
  • Wet or moldy insulation

Mold cleanup professionals may have to tear out portions of your wall and remove the insulation. Once everything is clean and dry, they can then add new insulation and rebuild the wall.

Under Floorboards

Flooring such as carpet or hardwood floors can hide a moisture problem and the mold growth it fosters. Certified mold specialists may find a larger problem when the flooring is removed. If you see mold on wood when you look at your floor, it is probably not the only mold that is present.

Inside Cabinets

You may not ever think to look at the back of your cabinets, but frequent inspection is important, particularly if the cabinet is under a sink. A small leak can cause a lot of damage. If you have water damage that goes unmitigated, you may soon have a mold problem as well. If this happens, your cabinets may have to be removed and replaced during black mold cleanup.

Mold growth can hide in a number of places. You may see a little bit of mold on the surface that indicates there is a larger problem beneath it. You may not even see any mold at all until the places it is hiding are revealed. Check common hiding places frequently to make sure you don't have a fungus problem.

A 3-Step Smoke Alarm Inspection

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage A 3-Step Smoke Alarm Inspection Homeowners should press the test button on a smoke alarm at least once every month

Take These Three Steps to Determine Whether any Smoke Alarm is Functional

Smoke alarms are critical safety devices. A wide range of detector designs are currently available. Homeowners may be interested in a smart detection and alarm system, hardwired system or standard battery-powered alarms that use the best detection method for a particular area of a residence. A homeowner can take these three steps to determine whether any smoke alarm is functional.

1. Check the Age

The sensors and machinery in a smoke detector become less responsive over time. Fire safety experts recommend replacing an alarm every 10 years, regardless of the battery type. Newer detectors that run on long-life lithium ion batteries must be replaced, as there is no way to replace this built-in battery without installing a new alarm.

2. Test the Alarm

Homeowners should press the test button on a smoke alarm at least once every month. Regular tests can be helpful for making sure an alarm is connected to a power source. If the test button does not function, check the battery or wiring. If a power source is available, another component in the alarm may be malfunctioning and require replacement or repair.

3. Replace the Batteries

Alarms that rely on replaceable batteries should receive new batteries every year. This applies to nine-volt or PP3 batteries as well as alarms that run on AAA, AA, C or D batteries. Alarms that run on lithium ion batteries should operate for up to 10 years before the entire alarm unit should be replaced.

Each of these steps is important to ensure that every smoke alarm in a residence will be able to sound in the event of a fire. It is a good idea to test each alarm monthly. Switch out replaceable smoke detector batteries or battery backups at least once a year. In the event of fire damage, homeowners should contact a fire restoration company located in Cashiers, NC.

Finding an Alternative to Sand Bags

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Ways to Protect Your Building From Flooding

During storm season in Franklin, NC, you may be looking for ways to protect your building from flooding. The sand bag is a traditional method, but there may be other ways to keep floodwaters at bay that are not as cumbersome or potentially messy. These alternatives can change the way you think about flood protection.

Think Big

Rather than drag out many small sand bags, what if you could prevent flood damage with one large one? With a little forethought, you can make this plan a reality. You just need:

  • Sand
  • Machine to fill bag
  • Reliable crew to run machine

Once you have the supplies and people to fill the sand bag, you are left with one 18-inch tall bag instead of many smaller ones.

Think Easy

The simplest way to fight storm damage is to find a method that doesn't require any planning on the day of the storm. A QuickDam is made of absorbent material that expands when it comes into contact with water. You place these flood dams around your building where you need protection at the beginning of the season, and they expand as soon as there is excess water to block. When waters recede, the product deflates.

Flood cleanup experts recommend finding ways to reroute water away from your building during a storm. Some dams use water itself to do this. You place the dams and use a hose to fill them up. This is a great alternative when a storm sneaks up on you, because they can be filled much more quickly than sand bags. In less than five minutes, you can have your entire building surrounded by a barrier filled with water.

Instead of having a group place one sand bag at a time to protect your building from an impending storm, consider other alternatives. You can find something that offers faster setup, more convenient usage or larger coverage so that you don't have to do a lot of storm cleanup after the flood subsides.

Keep Fires at Bay With These Space Heater Safety Tips

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Keep Fires at Bay With These Space Heater Safety Tips Following these tips you can prevent your space heater from catching fire and causing Fire Damage to your home and belongings.

Space heaters are wonderful inventions, as they are energy efficient, affordable and effective. However, despite their many benefits, they do come with one major drawback: fires. If you’re not careful with your personal hotspot, you could end up with a burned space heater and worse, a burned home. Don’t let that happen, and use these tips to prevent your space heater from catching on fire:

Safety Tips for Space Heaters 

  • Buy a space heater that comes with built-in safety features.
  • Find a safe place to put your little heater.
  • Keep the three-foot rule in mind.
  • Practice safe habits.

Safety Features To Look For

When shopping for space heaters in Franklin, North Carolina, there are certain safety features that Consumers Reports recommends you look for. For one, the heater you buy should come with a safety certification as well as a Very Good or Excellent Fire Safety Score. Anything less than that is likely not safe. Secondly, look for automatic shut-off features. The ideal heater has a sensor that tells it when it's overheating and turns it off automatically. Finally, the heater should have at least a six-foot cord that is equipped with a GFCI plug, which grounds the connection so you won’t get shocked when plugging it in.

Find a Safe Place To Put Your Heater

A large reason for burned space heater accidents is location. Keep the three-foot rule in mind when finding a place to put your heater: three feet from all combustible materials, and surrounded by a three-foot, child-free, pet-free safety zone. Make sure to place the heater on a solid, level and nonflammable surface as well.

Practice Safe Habits

Finally, make sure that you practice safe habits with your space heater. Turn it off each night before going to bed or when leaving the home, install working smoke alarms, and never plug another item into the same outlet that the heater is on, especially if using an extension cord (which you shouldn’t do anyway).

The tips above should help you prevent burned space heater accidents, but in the event that your heater does catch fire and you need smoke cleanup help, reach out to your Franklin, North Carolina, fire damage team today.

4 Tips for Staying Safe During a Flood

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 4 Tips for Staying Safe During a Flood If you live in an area that often experiences severe weather and flooding, you should make flood safety a priority.

If you live in an area that often experiences severe weather and flooding, you should make flood safety a priority in your Murphy, NC home. Use the following tips to help keep you, your family and your home safe during a flood.

1. Make an Emergency Kit

Depending on the severity of the storm you are expecting, your emergency kit may vary from time to time. However, there are some items that should always be included, such as flashlights, radios and batteries in case the power goes out. Canned food and bottled water are good additions as well.

2. Have an Evacuation Plan

While an emergency kit can be helpful for less damaging storms, you need to know how to leave your home safely if the weather becomes a threat. Create a flood safety plan with your family that includes each member as well as any pets. Make sure to practice ahead of time so you are all familiar with the procedure.

3. Do Not Travel Through Flood Waters

If you do need to evacuate your home, only travel on roads that have not been flooded. Even if the waters look shallow, there may be road damage or debris lurking underneath. Depending on the speed and depth of the moving water, cars can be carried away resulting in a dangerous situation.

4. Have Your Home Cleaned As Soon As Possible

The need for flood safety does not end when the flood does. Flood waters can cause contamination and might make your family sick if it is not completely removed. If water from a flood has entered your home, it is a good idea to hire an emergency remediation service to help with cleanup as well as any necessary repairs. Throw away any food that has been in contact with the water.

It can be difficult to know what to do during an emergency situation. Keeping these safety tips in mind will be beneficial to you and your family the next time you find yourself expecting severe weather.

The Nuts and Bolts of Category 1 Water Damage

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Nuts and Bolts of Category 1 Water Damage When it comes to flooding and other water concerns, there are three categories of severity.

There are times when the presence of water brings relief and joy and times when it makes you gasp. Water in a swimming pool or at the beach is a welcome sight, but water on the floor or in the ceiling or walls of your Murphy, NC office building causes great concern and anxiety. There are different levels of water damage. It’s helpful to understand when you’re dealing with clean water and when you have dirty water to take care of.

Types of Water Damage

When it comes to flooding and other water concerns, there are three categories of severity. Each of these requires various mitigation and cleanup steps.

  • Category 1: This comes from a source of sanitary water such as a broken or leaking supply line or overflowing sink. It poses no risks to one’s health.
  • Category 2: Has significant contamination of materials that could cause one to become ill.
  • Category 3: Known as black water, it can be lethal if ingested. It includes feces, heavy metals and silt.

How Category 1 Damage Occurs

This is a common type of water damage in a commercial building. It can happen due to a broken pipe or issues with the main line. This flooding can either be gradual due to a slow leak, or it can come suddenly in large bursts.

How Can You Combat It?

Though category 1 brings in unthreatening clean water, it can still inflict heavy monetary damage to your facility. The best way to mitigate problems is to call a professional water removal and cleanup team. Technicians will evaluate the extent of the damage and will ensure that the water doesn’t mix with unsanitary sources. Next, the team will extract the water and dry the area. A thorough sanitizing process then follows.

Though category 1 damage involves clean water, you still want to call a trusted company to get rid of it. The faster you respond, the faster you’ll be back to your regular work duties.

Types of Businesses That Are Most Likely To Get Sued for Mold

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Types of Businesses That Are Most Likely To Get Sued for Mold No matter what type of business you own, preventing mold or quick remediation is the key to avoiding lawsuits.

Types Of Businesses That Are Most Likely To Get Sued For Mold

When you own commercial property in Murphy, NC you have an obligation to the people who work or live there to keep it in good condition. This, of course, requires cooperation from tenants, business managers and anyone hired to build or maintain the building. Failure to address a mold problem in a timely manner can affect the status of mold insurance claims as well as lead to lawsuits for various types of businesses.

Landlords

People who own or manage properties with multi-family units are often susceptible to lawsuits when a mold infestation occurs. They may be sued due to various reasons, including:

  • Injury
  • Poor air quality
  • Property damage

Because the law requires landlords to maintain a habitable space for renters, failure to do so can leave them vulnerable. It is advisable for building managers to contact mold remediation specialists as soon as a fungus problem is discovered.

Contractors

Professionals who oversee the construction of commercial property may also have to file mold insurance claims, particularly if they are sued for mold growth during or after the building is built. Any number of problems can cause water damage during construction, and this can lead to mold if it's not remedied quickly. It is in contractor's best interest to prevent mold by ensuring that the right kind of materials and proper techniques are used.

Employers

It is possible that employers can be sued over mold, too. Like landlords, employers are required to provide safe spaces for employees to work. The building must be able to be utilized for its intended use. Employers should stay on top of maintenance not only to provide the information needed for a mold claim but also to avoid issues with personnel.

Mold insurance claims may help building owners pay for remediation, but legal costs are typically covered by liability policies. No matter what type of business you own, preventing mold or quick remediation is the key to avoiding lawsuits.