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Mold Growth: Your Responsibilities as a Landlord

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold Growth: Your Responsibilities as a Landlord Mold on wall in an Andrews,NC apartment

One of the challenges of owning rental property in Andrews, NC, is that you must often depend on the vigilance of your tenants to know there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Once you have been notified that mold cleanup is needed, however, you should respond quickly to prevent the issue from becoming larger. This not only helps you serve your customers better but also makes you less likely to become party to a lawsuit.

Quick Response

The hallmark of a great landlord is that he or she is readily available to tenants. While it is not necessary for you personally to be on call 24/7, responding to complaints in a timely manner can foster a great relationship with them. Consider making multiple reporting tools available:

  • Office phone with reliable receptionist
  • Email response within 24 hours
  • Form posted on website
  • Online portal where maintenance process can be tracked
  • 24-hour emergency line

Preventative Measures

The need for mold cleanup can often be avoided by taking care of leaks and water damage as soon as they occur. Ideally, your tenants will report problems like this as soon as they notice them. Since mold can start to grow quickly once excess moisture is present, you should consider it a high-priority issue. By fixing it before mold contamination has a chance to infest your property, you serve your tenants well.

Outside Help

If a problem does persist long enough for mold spores to settle and grow on a surface, it is in your best interest to hire mold remediation experts to get rid of the growth. These certified contractors have the specialized skills and equipment necessary to thoroughly mitigate mold issues. Regular cleaning methods will not be sufficient to remove the growth.

Fast response and resolution are the keys to mold cleanup. Both are necessary to provide great service to your tenants.

How Does Fire Damage Affect Business Revenue?

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How Does Fire Damage Affect Business Revenue? Fire loss in Cashiers,NC

A fire at a commercial property can halt business for an indefinite period of time. Here are several ways that fire damage may negatively impact revenue and options, including interruption insurance, that can help to offset losses.

Property and Equipment

A fire can result in partial or total losses. These losses may involve a business's

  • Structure
  • Equipment
  • Contents
  • Inventory

Commercial property insurance covers all of these losses, but even a partial loss may prevent a business from operating. Shutting down a business will probably result in lost revenue. If an enterprise can operate out of a portion of the affected location or a temporary location, it may not be necessary to rely on interruption coverage.

Loss of Business

Interruption insurance offsets revenue lost during fire restoration or rebuilding. The cost of a business interruption rider on a commercial policy or a separate policy depends on the average daily income, operational costs, and risk level of an enterprise. This coverage can be applied to

  • Regular expenses
  • Temporary relocation costs
  • Payroll
  • Taxes

Interruption coverage makes recovering from a fire less devastating for any business. Combined with commercial property insurance, an interruption policy may be vital for sustaining a successful operation during and after a disaster.

Restoration Expenses

Restoration may take a considerable amount of time. Although the expenses of this process should be covered by commercial property insurance, an interruption policy can cover a variety of costs and losses. Depending on the policy, interruption coverage may be extended for up to 720 days.

Protect your business from risks posed by fires and other disasters with commercial property insurance. Add an interruption insurance rider or policy for additional coverage. A property policy will cover the costs of hiring a fire damage mitigation and restoration company in Cashiers, NC. Business interruption coverage can compensate for lost revenue and continued expenses during the restoration period.

What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Home Insurance and Sewer Backups

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Home Insurance and Sewer Backups Call your agent in Andrews,NC to update your home insurance policy

Home Insurance And Sewer Backups

A sewer backup can be an extremely messy problem for any homeowner in Andrews, NC. To further complicate the situation, your home insurance policy may not cover cleanup and restoration costs, forcing you to fund repairs out-of-pocket. Carefully reviewing your current coverage may spare you considerable frustration in the long run.

A Costly Problem

A sewage overflow inside your basement or bathroom is highly unsanitary and can cause significant destruction. Depending on the specific cause of the backup and the extent of the damage, you may face numerous cleanup and repair requirements, such as the following:

  • Disinfecting the contaminated area
  • Removing saturated drywall and insulation
  • Repairing broken sewage lines
  • Replacing destroyed personal property

Without adequate home insurance coverage, these expenses can quickly mount and become extremely costly.

Potential Causes

A sewer backup often strikes unexpectedly. If your community’s storm water and sewer lines converge, your home may be particularly vulnerable, particularly if the area becomes inundated with rainwater that overwhelms the system.

If you are fortunate, you may notice subtle symptoms of a plumbing issue that may cause a sewage backup. Examples of specific signs include consistently slow-flowing drains and a lingering sewer gas odor. If you experience either situation, you may have a clogged or damaged pipe. Contacting a licensed plumber may allow you to resolve the potential issue early, sparing you from a messy sewage cleanup.

Safeguarding Your Home

You can minimize your risk of clogged or broken sewage lines by planting trees and shrubs away from pipes and throwing diapers, feminine hygiene products, wipes and paper towels in the trash instead of your toilet. Installing a back-flow valve can also prevent sewage backups.

However, possibly the most efficient way to safeguard both your home and financial security is to update your home insurance policy to ensure you are adequately covered against a sewer backup. Insurance can be a valuable financial safety net, but insufficient coverage can be extremely costly. If disaster strikes, having both your insurance company and a professional cleanup and restoration team on your side can make all the difference.

Dealing With Personal Electronic Devices After a House Fire

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Dealing With Personal Electronic Devices After a House Fire Heat and smoke can cause damage to your personal electronics

From smartphones to smoke detectors, most residents of Andrews, NC, own dozens of electronic devices. When fires sweep through homes, electronic devices commonly melt or quit working altogether. Those that continue to function sometimes have problems. Even worse, they may be covered with dangerous chemicals and foul-smelling smoke. For at least three reasons, electronic devices should be included in your fire cleanup.

1. Electronic Devices Are Part of Your Daily Life

If you are like most people, you carry your smartphone with you everywhere you go. You also probably use your alarm clock, television, microwave and other electronic devices every day. Because you interact with your electronic equipment frequently, you must be sure it is free from smoke, chemicals and other fire residue.

2. Heat and Smoke Can Cause Damage

Even if your personal electronic devices seem to function properly, heat and smoke may have damaged their inner workings during a fire. As such, part of fire cleanup must be thoroughly inspecting and cleaning your electronic devices. An electronics professional can likely tell you whether you can continue to use your devices or if you need to invest in new ones.

3. All Belongings Should Be Cleaned

Finally, when developing a post-fire strategy, it is important to commit to cleaning everything in the affected area. This includes electronic equipment. When you address everything that may have sustained even minor smoke damage, you know you aren’t inadvertently leaving toxic or smelly substances behind.

If you have been through a residential fire, you may be tempted to focus on cleaning your home, personal belongings and treasured keepsakes. Checking to see that your personal electronic devices continue to function is only part of the equation, however. You also must ask a skilled restoration technician to include electronic equipment in your overall fire cleanup. Once you know your electronic devices are free from fire damage, you can use them without worrying about contamination.

The Dirty Dozen: Black Water Facts

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial The Dirty Dozen: Black Water Facts Flood damage in Cashiers,NC

A severe flood occurs in Cashiers, NC, causing water damage to your commercial property. You contact your insurance agent and a storm restoration specialist. At this point, the experts inform you that the flooding consists of black water. What does this mean?

Review the twelve facts below to learn about this type of water and how it is treated

  1. Black water is considered Category 3 water damage. Category 1 is clean water and Category 2 is gray water.
  2. The color categories refer to contamination levels. Black is considered the most contaminated as it contains viruses, bacteria and microorganisms.
  3. The source is important to differentiate between the levels. The most contaminated water comes from flood waters or sewage backups.
  4. Contaminated water may be hazardous to your health. Do not touch or ingest this water. Viruses may also be airborne. Specialists wear protective gear during mitigation efforts.
  5. Cleanup of this type takes the most time and effort. Due to the impact of bacteria, professionals take extra caution and measures during the recovery process.
  6. Storm restoration technicians set a containment area. To prevent secondary contamination by flood water or airborne germs, the impacted area is sealed off.
  7. Contaminated water is pumped out. Industrial pumps and vacuums remove excess storm water.
  8. Impacted, porous materials are removed. Items such as drywall and carpet padding soak up the infected water and must be disposed of properly.
  9. Remaining areas are professionally dried. Moisture is monitored and removed from structures, contents and air.
  10. Once dry, exposed contents are cleaned and disinfected. This process kills remaining germs and mold.
  11. Air filtration devices sanitize the air. This removes any lingering germs and odors.
  12. Rebuilding and restoring take place. Your property can be properly restored.

When your commercial property falls victim to water damage in Cashiers,NC, it is critical to act fast. This is especially true when flooding results from storm water. Although mitigating contaminated black water is time-consuming, the process can help restore your business to pre-storm condition.

How Water Damage Restoration May Look in Your Home

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How Water Damage Restoration May Look in Your Home Water damage restoration in a Franklin,NC

Water from broken pipes, a leaking water supply line, or flooding can lead to swelling wood, soaked carpet, or other types of damage. Homeowners dealing with these problems in Franklin, NC, may be wondering what the restoration process may look like for them. There are a few things to expect depending on the type and severity of the damage.

1. Materials May Be Salvageable

You may be relieved to know that in many cases the materials that comprise your home can be saved. Hardwoods are more naturally resistant to water damage than many softer materials, so if swelling wood is caught in time, a flood and water damage specialist may be able salvage the floors. Similarly, drywall can be dried and sanitized, although you may need to do some cosmetic cleanup, such as adding a new coat of paint.

2. Replacements May Be Needed

Depending on the damage and materials around it, you may find that replacing some parts of your home is necessary. Some examples of this may include soft woods, such as ply-board cabinetry, that soaked in too much water, or carpet soaked by a tainted water source.

3. Changes May Need To Be Made

In addition to your water pipe repair and restoration of the damaged areas, there may be some additional changes your water damage professional may recommend for your home. These may include measures that can help you prevent future problems, such as landscaping changes to direct water away from your home, changes to your plumbing, or the installation of a sump pump to help remove water from your basement.

In many cases, swelling wood may need to be replaced. Other materials may be able to be dried and restored. The exact restoration process will depend on the materials and type of damage that occurred. A professional may be able to answer any specific questions you may have.

Property Owners Guide To Wood Floor Restoration After a Burst Pipe

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Property Owners Guide To Wood Floor Restoration After a Burst Pipe A pipe burst can ruin the wood floors of any property owner, but when you know the process and the people to call, you can minimize the stress.

A pipe burst in your building can be detrimental to a wood floor. As the property owner, you will want to mitigate any further damage by acting as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, with different operating hours, there are times when a burst pipe may go unnoticed for days. When you experience this type of damage, here are a few steps you can take.

1. Remove Standing Water

First, remove any excess water and dry the wet floor thoroughly. You can remove the water by using wet vacs and various pumps. You can dry the area by using fans, industrial air movers, and dehumidifiers. It is not essential to purchase any of this equipment, as most of it can be rented at home improvement stores.

2. Remove Damaged Boards

Once the area of the pipe burst is completely dry, remove any damaged boards that are stained or swollen. These boards will likely not sand well and when stained will probably be discolored. You can remove boards by using a circular saw, cutting along the inside edge, and then prying them free with a crowbar. After removing all of the damaged boards, replace them with new boards that are of the same type of wood already in place.

3. Sand Dried Floor

After the removal and replacement of damaged boards, it is time to do the tedious task of sanding all of the floors. While you can use small orbital sanders and other hand sanders, it is a better use of your time to rent a large heavy-duty floor sander.

4. Call Restoration Specialist

As floor restoration is a massive job that requires a fair amount of technical skills, it may be beneficial to seek help in the Franklin, NC, area from certified restoration specialists, as they have the skills and equipment to get the job done quickly.

A pipe burst can ruin the wood floors of any property owner, but when you know the process and the people to call, you can minimize the stress and worry of this issue. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnantahala.com/.

Storm vs. Pipe: How the Cleanup Process Differs

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm vs. Pipe: How the Cleanup Process Differs While all flooding requires drying and restoration, a flood in your home that came from contaminated water requires extra effort.

There are many ways your home in Franklin, NC, can flood. All flooding is not created equal, though. Depending on where the water comes from, it can be clean or filled with bacteria and microbes. The contamination level of the water dictates certain portions of the process remediation experts use to clean it.

Contamination Categories

One of the first things the mitigation technicians are going to want to know is how contaminated the floodwater in your home is. Before they start cleanup, they may test to see what category it falls under.

• Category 1 – Clean water from faucets and supply lines
• Category 2 – Dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines or toilet tanks
• Category 3 – Contaminated water from outdoor flooding or overflowing toilets

Water damage caused by a leaky faucet may require fewer steps and precautions. Flood damage that occurs as the result of a storm means that not only does the water have to be extracted but also your home must be sanitized.

Cleanup Process

When a flood results from a clean water source, drying out the area so that mold growth doesn't occur is the main goal of the cleanup process. If the water is infested with bacteria and microbes, however, the entire area that is affected must be sanitized before it is inhabitable again. Antimicrobial treatments are used to clean surfaces, and certain items can be sterilized using gamma irradiation. Industrial foggers or air purifiers may be needed to make sure that no contaminants remain in the air. Professional cleaning is necessary when you are dealing with Category 3 floodwater so that you don't accidentally spread the contamination through other parts of the house.

While all flooding requires drying and restoration, a flood in your home that came from contaminated water requires extra effort. Flood mitigation specialists have the knowledge and tools to clean up after a flood no matter how dirty the water may be. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnantahala.com/.

The Aftermath of Mold Growth Left Alone

9/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Aftermath of Mold Growth Left Alone Black mold and its other relatives are unwanted house guests.

As a living organism, mold needs sustenance to thrive. You may think that by removing what it needs, the mold will die off on its own in your Franklin, NC, residence, but even without ideal growth conditions, it can still find a way to reproduce and survive. This resilient fungus could be black mold that threatens damage to your home. Removal is necessary to fully stop its infestation.

Hidden Mold Makes Your Home Susceptible

A main problem with mold is that it can thrive on a variety of household items. The spores can continue to survive and spread to areas you thought were treated. These central spores can hide in several hidden locations:

• In carpet padding
• Inside walls
• Under or behind furniture
• Within building insulation
• Behind wallpaper

Despite your cleanup efforts, it’s still likely these dark areas will be damp if you don’t have the right tools to remove the moisture. A moisture problem can persist in the air or around hard-to-reach locations.

Mold Goes Dormant and Strikes Later

Even if it cannot find a way to thrive now, untreated black mold can simply go dormant until it receives what it needs. The area may be dry now, but that could change based on what caused the problem in the first place.

If left untreated, the water damage that initially led to the fungus can create a way for it to return once more. To your surprise, the mold can come alive to spread spores around your residence again.

Mold Can Be Defeated

Despite mold’s resilience, there are ways to kill most spores in your home. Mold cleanup specialists from professional mold damage services follow protocol to treat the problem using commercial-grade tools. They can remove the moisture, sterilize furniture, locate all mold growth and remove all problematic spores from even difficult locations.

Black mold and its other relatives are unwanted house guests, but they do not have to take over your home. With treatment of the problem, you can evict the mold and remove its welcoming environment. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnantahala.com/.

When Does Mold Damage Occur After Flooding?

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth is a type of secondary damage that can result from water damage caused by flooding. Property owners must take quick action to eliminate standing water, clean up, and thoroughly dry areas exposed to flood waters. It is helpful to have a sense of how long it takes for mold to develop in order to understand the importance of hiring a restoration service as soon as possible following a flood.

The Time Scale of Mold Growth

Within 24 to 48 hours, or one to two days, a property may have the following mold precursors:

• Musty odors indicative of the presence of microbiological volatile organic compounds
• The development of spores within a few hours

Within 72 to 96 hours, or three to four days, mold may start to grow.

• Small fast-growing colonies can appear within 72 hours
• Visibly identifiable colonies may be evident within 96 hours

This time scale is based on the experience of industrial hygienists and remediation professionals. Property owners should contact certified experts as soon as possible to prevent mold from starting to develop. Standard clean-up methods involve disinfecting and thoroughly drying surfaces and contents exposed to black water to eliminate spores and harmful bacteria.

How Experts Prevent Mold Damage

Clean-up professionals should perform the following steps to address a flood situation in a commercial property:

• Assess the extent of the damage
• Eliminate the presence of standing water
• Clean up solid wastes and residues
• Disinfect the affected areas
• Thoroughly dry the affected areas

These steps can prevent mold from starting to grow. The longer it takes to start this process, the more of a chance spores will have to develop and begin to multiply. Contact an industrial hygienist or mold expert to determine whether mold is present in your property in Franklin, NC. Commercial restoration experts can help owners make the quick decisions necessary to prevent mold growth. Visit SERVPROnantahala.com for more information on mold.