Recent Posts

Black Mold – Color, Smell and Appearance

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Walls of a kitchen covered with mold A small water leak in your kitchen can a mold infestation in your Andrews, NC home.

Three Things To Know There is Mold In Your Home

Mother nature employs mold to breakdown natural materials in order to clear the land and open the way for new life. Dead trees, fallen leaves, and even animal carcasses can quickly become covered in mold – and that is a good thing. But when mold moves indoors in Andrews, NC, it can become dangerous, and that is not a good thing. To protect your family, have a mold inspection by a certified mold remediation team at the first sign of the unsightly fungus. The team can generally look for these three things.

1. Color

At first glance, asking if the mold is black appears to be a nonsensical question, but it is not as ridiculous as it first seems. Mold is a fungus that comes in many colors, and quite a few of those colors have been classified by the experts as black, or a species known as stachybotrys chartarum. The fungus thrives in dark places, but they can appear as red, yellow, green and even orange.

2. Smell

Like most other fungi, black mold has a distinctive smell, but unlike other types of fungus, the black smells very musty and more like mildew than having a sharp repellent odor. Because of the lack of a dangerous smell, most people need a mold inspection to find hidden black stachybotrys because they have no idea it is attacking their home.

3. Appearance

Often hidden inside of floors, walls, and ceilings, the rampaging fungus colonies thrive on moisture. That may explain why they appear as velvety and slimy at the same time. However, like other types of house mold, the black variety spreads quickly into patches of soft-looking colonies that eat their environment until they have grown puffy enough to release spores into the air.

Consider having a mold inspection if there is any chance your home has been invaded by mold. That is the best way to guarantee it is not the black type you are fighting. The professionals can quickly assess the issue and address any concerns you may have.

FEMA Assistance FAQ

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Fema Discover Center FEMA provides grants to help cover costs not covered by your insurance company.

FEMA Assistance FAQ

When natural disasters strike, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, often provides shelter, assistance, and inspections. What can you expect if they show up at your home?

  • The representative completes an overall assessment.
  • Paperwork is filled out, detailing the extent of the damage.
  • Proof of ownership is established.
  • Adjusters from insurance companies and the agency assign dollar values to property and belongings.

How Do I Obtain Assistance?

If you believe you qualify for federal disaster assistance, you'll need to apply by contacting www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling the agency. Act quickly to be sure you don't miss established deadlines. You may qualify for one or several grants to help you recover from flooding. These include grants for expenses related to medical, dental, and funeral costs, emergency home repairs, personal property losses, and temporary housing.

Are All Losses Covered?

FEMA provides grants to help cover costs not covered by your insurance company. This doesn't mean that the entire difference between the overall costs and your insurance coverage will be available. However, a disaster loan from the agency may give you the leeway you need to get your home back into a comfortable living condition. Work with a disaster recovery company in Cashiers, NC, to understand the potential costs.

What Do I Need To Pay Back?

The type of aid you receive affects whether you need to repay any of the funding. If you received grants, for example, you don't need to repay them. If you received loans, however, you will be responsible for repaying the amount. You may also find some relief by applying for a loan through the Small Business Administration. These low-interest loans are often available after natural disasters.

What Are the Requirements?

There are several requirements that may affect whether you qualify. These include providing proof of your citizenship status and proof of homeownership or rental status.

FEMA aid is not meant to cover all expenses related to getting your home back to pre-disaster condition. However, enlisting the agency's help can make the recovery process far less stressful.

Keep Fires at Bay With These Space Heater Safety Tips

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Portable electric heater, halogen light heater Space heaters are wonderful inventions.

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, NC, there are certain safety features that Consumers Reports recommend 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, NC, fire damage team today.

3 Ways You Can Prepare for an Insurance Adjustor’s Visit After a Flood

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

staircase of a house completely flooded during the river flooding Flooding can cause a surprising amount of damage to your Highlands, NC, home.

Prepare for an Insurance Adjustor’s Visit After a Flood

Flooding can cause a surprising amount of damage to your Highlands, NC, home. From having contaminated water drained away to assessing structural damage, the road to recovery and restoration can be difficult. However, knowing how prepare for a visit from your insurance company’s home adjuster can make filing a claim simpler and get you the money needed to cover the cost of repairs without frustrating delays.

1. Leave Items Where They Are

While it might be tempting to retrieve treasured items from flooded rooms or throw away damaged ones, it is a good idea to leave them where they are until the adjuster arrives. This allows him or her to see the damage as is. Take photos beforehand or take a video tour of the damage if it is safe to do so. It may be difficult to face the damage; however, leaving your home untouched after a flood can result in a more accurate repair estimate.

2. Create an Inventory

Once you tour your home, you can help the home adjuster by creating an inventory of damaged items and their worth. Include electronics, furniture or collections that have been appraised previously, such as sports memorabilia. Include prices if you can, but if any receipts have been destroyed by the flood, you can list amounts from memory or by pricing similar items. A flood damage and restoration company may be able to help you with the removal and estimated costs of repair for some items.

3. Get Contractor’s Estimates

You may be able to file an insurance claim with your adjuster with more speed if you reach out to a few building contractors and get estimates for repair costs. Make copies of their findings and submit one to the adjuster so he or she can include it in the detailed report.

Flood damage to your Highlands, NC, home can be difficult to handle. However, when you understand effective ways to help your home adjuster, the road to recovery can be a smoother one.

3 Useful Tips To Prepare for a Spring Thaw

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Keep your gutters clear.

Tips To Prepare for a Spring Thaw

Winter in Ellijay, NC, can present challenges on its own, but when packed snow, ice and a possible frozen pipe thaw in the wake of warmer temperatures, the ensuing water flow can cause significant property damage. Fortunately, knowledgeability and precautionary action can help to mitigate the difficulties of spring thaw flooding.

Taking Preventative Measures

It is important to acknowledge that while floods during spring can be virtually unavoidable, taking steps to prepare can help tremendously to protect your business and valuables. Such preventative measures include the following:

  • Have the building assessed for damage by a professional restoration service.
  • Install a sewer backflow valve or water pump, as well as a water alarm, in the basement level of the building.
  • Transfer valuables from lower floors to a higher level prior to spring thaw warnings.
  • Keep all flood drains, window wells, gutters, and downspouts clear of debris and in working condition.

Understanding Your Insurance Coverage

Always be informed and updated on all insurance policies pertaining to your business, especially those relating to water damage. Many companies will only cover the damage caused by a spring flood under a flooding insurance policy. It is also wise to ensure that backed-up sewer coverage is included in the policy, as such protection is often unavailable without paying certain premiums.

Securing Your Valuables

One of the most effective methods to protect valuables is to keep them out of harm’s way; consider relocating high-priority items to a secure, waterproof location, as well as removing assets from lower building levels during spring thaw advisories. Be sure to keep vital records, important documents and a list of all assets stored with said valuables, and take inventory on a regular basis to keep your records up to date.

Though spring thawing is an inevitable part of the season, keeping your business protected from water damage and flooding is simple and easy with the right preventative measures. Having a plan in place and being prepared can bring you security and peace of mind this upcoming season.

3 Key Components of the Fire Restoration Process

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Cabinets and walls of a kitchen black, damaged by fire. Concept of fire damage in a kitchen Kitchen fire damage in Sylva, NC.

Fire Restoration Process

After your home has been damaged by a fire in Sylva, NC, you will likely be eager to immediately begin the fire restoration process. However, it’s important to understand that there are various steps to follow before the restoration itself can commence. Proper procedures can help ensure your home is safely restored.

1. Evaluation

It’s important for your home to be evaluated before anyone can start cleaning it or removing items from the interior. The house should first be assessed for smoke damage, water damage from fire sprinklers and structural damage. These evaluations should be carefully completed in order to mitigate any further damage and to safeguard the people repairing your home.

2. Cleanup

Once your home has been evaluated, the damage cleaning can begin. Professionals can remove any water that is present and can also eliminate any additional hazards that could prevent restoration from occurring. Your home should have any smoke or soot removed in order to ensure the environment is clean and unlikely to cause respiratory issues. Cleanup is a vital part of making your home safe again.

3. Restoration

Now that your home has been assessed and cleaned, the fire restoration process itself can begin. Any necessary repairs to fix the structure of your home should occur, and items inside your home should also be replaced. While your home is being restored, make sure to keep in contact with the workers who are doing repairs and fixing your home. This can help you understand where expenses are coming from and why items may need to be replaced.

Knowing what to expect out of the fire restoration process can bring you peace of mind as your home is returned to its previous state. During this process, it’s often wise to work with fire damage restoration professionals who are experienced in cleaning and restoring homes that have undergone fire damage.

What To Do When Light Fixtures Drip Water

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Water dripping from a light fixture Water in light fixtures can be securely removed and replaced by an electrician.

What To Do If I Have Water Dripping From My Light Fixture?

A burst pipe in your ceiling or roof leak may not be apparent until water starts to pool or drip from light fixtures. Follow these three steps as soon as you notice water in light fixtures in your home in Tuckasegee, NC.

1. Know the Risks

Charged particles in water conduct electricity. You may receive a shock if you attempt to handle a fixture or even turn off the switch. Shut off the power at the breaker box or service panel for your home and use a non-contact voltage tester on dry electrical sources elsewhere in the residence to confirm that the electricity is off. If you don't have a meter on hand, shut off the power and call an electrician.

2. Fix the Source of the Problem

If the leak in your ceiling and water in light fixtures is due to a broken pipe, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve. This can mitigate damage until a plumber and electrician arrive. If a roof leak is the culprit, contact a roofer. You may also want to hire a residential water damage restoration firm to provide cleanup and ensure that secondary damage, such as mold, does not develop.

3. Address the Damage

Even after resolving the cause of a leak, you should not attempt to repair or replace any light fixtures exposed to water. You may want to eliminate any water that has pooled in the ceiling, which can cause ceiling damage. Place a large bucket or trash can with wheels under a ceiling bulge and pierce the bulge with a sharp object to reduce weight and pressure.

An electrician can safely remove water in light fixtures and replace these fixtures. Electrical wires can develop corrosion that can lead to electrical shorts or fires, so it is best to replace any lighting that has been exposed to water.

Flood Restoration 101: Understanding the Flood Cut

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

wet floor, person with a vacuum extractor, flood cut performed on a drywall. Flood cut performed on drywall due to flood damage.

Understanding the Flood Cut

When flooding occurs in a Hayesville, NC, commercial building, a flood damage restoration team will most likely need to perform a flood cut. A flood cut is a term used to describe the process of removing the bottom 12 to 24 inches of effected drywall to prevent further contamination. Some reasons a restoration crew might perform a flood cut on your building include:

  • They suspect that the underlying insulation is wet.
  • The water that flooded your building is contaminated by sewage or other contaminants from outside.
  • The crew suspects that secondary damage, such as mold growth or drywall rot, has already occurred.

Though it may seem counterproductive to tear out part of your building to restore it, if your restoration team recommends a flood cut, it is likely necessary. Disallowing a cut could result in secondary damage, which may end up being costlier and more damaging than a cut in the drywall.

What Happens After a Cut Is Made?

Once a cut is made above the line of flooding, your damage restoration team will remove any wet or rotted components. This may include insulation, electrical and hardware. Components that cannot be removed and replaced, such as the framing or studs, will be thoroughly cleaned so as to prevent further contamination.

For harder-to-reach areas, your team will use special equipment, such as heavy-duty pumps and vacuums, to pump water from inside the walls and dry out the interior of your building. Your team may use one or several air movers to complete the process.

Flood cuts are often necessary post-flooding, as mass amounts of water typically do not just sit on the surface. These cuts help professionals dry out hard-to-reach areas as well as serve to prevent secondary damage. If your building was recently flooded with water, contact your Hayesville, NC, water damage restoration team today regarding what needs to be done to dry out your building and ensure the best possible outcome.

Managing Smoke Detector Power

11/6/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Maintain and monitor your smoke alarm system.

Monitoring Smoke Alarm System

Keep your home in Cashiers, NC, free from fire hazards by maintaining and monitoring your smoke alarm systems. Read on to glean a few tips related to these important home devices.

1. Source

Know the power source of your chosen model of a smoke detector. Some models can be wired directly to the wall, and thus will run on your home’s electrical system. Others use replaceable 9-volt batteries or non-replaceable lithium-ion power sources. Some detectors may combine both of these methods as a backup in case of home power failure. Regardless, you should test the units each month to ensure that they are fully functional. If the device is blinking or beeping, this may be an indicator that the unit has insufficient power.

2. Age

Smoke detectors are not built to last forever. Both ionization and photoelectric alarm types suffer from reduced effectiveness as they age. A typical smoke alarm will only last for about ten years. Luckily, they are inexpensive to replace, typically costing less than $20. A wide selection of models is available at your local hardware or department store. Examine the date of manufacture on the back of the unit to determine an appropriate time to rotate out your set of detectors.

3. Safety

By maintaining your smoke detection systems, you can prevent fire damage and loss of life. Many residential fires occur while most people are asleep, so it is extremely important to have an automated system in place to alert friends and family to fire hazards. The risk of health and property damage from fire goes down substantially when smoke detectors are well-distributed throughout the house, especially if they are connected to activate one another when any single unit detects smoke.

By taking care of your smoke alarm setup, you can prevent physical harm to your occupants and damage to your home that could require costly professional fire restoration.

Recovering From Smoke Damage From a Nearby Fire

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Burned wall Smoke-damaged walls in a commercial facility.

Recovering from Smoke Damage Caused by a Closed Fire

Damage from a fire to a commercial property lingers long after the fire has been extinguished. The destruction can even extend to adjacent properties that were not engulfed in flames. Although the property may not have water damage from the fire fighter’s hoses, drifting ash, smoke, and soot can wreak havoc and bring your business to a grinding halt. Luckily, smoke damage is often a covered loss. Recovering a commercial building from a nearby fire can be done quickly and safely with help from restoration specialists, who use special techniques to repair the damage left behind.

Determine What Items Are Likely To Be Damaged

Certain objects are susceptible to smoke and soot damage, including the following:

  • Carpeting
  • Walls
  • Upholstery

The longer these objects are left uncleaned, the more likely they are to develop lingering odors of smoke. Your items may also need to undergo a sanitization process to become safe to use again.

Move Quickly To Get It Fixed

After a fire in Cullowhee, NC, it is important to work quickly to repair damage. Getting a professional inspection of the smoke damage is often crucial to determine the correct treatment needed. Once an inspection has taken place, restoration specialists can formulate a plan to bring the property back to normal, using these tools such as industrial air scrubbers, fogging equipment, and ozone treatments, all of which are designed to give a deep smoke cleaning to the building.

Get Back to Business as Usual

Once your commercial building has been properly cleaned of smoke and sanitized, it is also important to restore the building to how it was before the fire. Services often include the following:

  • Carpet reinstallation
  • Drywall repairs
  • Repainting walls

Smoke damage can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to last forever. Working with the right company after a fire can ease the burden of getting your business back on track.