3 Steps for Cleaning Your Business' Inventory After a Fire
Give SERVPRO a call after commercial fire damage.
The aftermath of a fire at your Asheville, NC business may leave your inventory, machinery and office furniture with troublesome smoke damage. You may wonder if any of these items are salvageable or if they will need to be replaced. These decisions can be difficult; however, a service that specializes in repairing fire damage and restoration can assist you with the industrial dry cleaning and care of your inventory, and there are a few actions you can take before its technicians arrive.
1. Sort Items for Cleaning
Once your building has been deemed safe to enter by local fire officials, you can start sorting through your inventory and supplies to see what can be salvaged and cleaned. If you own a restaurant, metal items such as pots and pans and utensils can be sterilized with boiling water. Canned foods that have been warped or otherwise affected by heat should be discarded. If you are unsure about whether an item can be salvaged, you can set it aside for content cleaning professionals to inspect.
2. Check for Inventory Damage
If you believe stored inventory has suffered smoke damage, you may be able to recover some losses by having some items professionally cleaned. For example, if you own a clothing boutique and smoke damaged items stored in a back room, your restoration specialists may have dry cleaning processes available that can make these items like new once again.
3. Arrange for Storage Needs
Your building’s inventory, furniture and other items may require storage after a fire to protect them while repairs are made. Make a list of which can be stored easily and which may require considerable space. Your fire restoration technicians may also be able to advise you about content storage.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire at your Asheville, NC business can be challenging. However, working with smoke damage and restoration experts who can assist you with dry cleaning and other services after a fire can help you get your business up and running again as soon as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Tips for Ridding Plants of Mildew
Mildew is a form of mold that grows primarily on living plants. Your Asheville, NC shrubs, indoor plants or crops may be susceptible to plant mildew. While this form of mold usually does not spread to your home, you may still want to work with a mold remediation team to address the issue as soon as possible. Mildew can actually act as a parasite and kill the plants it is on. To save your greenery, keep these tips in mind.
• Determine the mildew type. Mildew growth usually falls into one of two categories. It is either powdery or downy. Downy growth usually only affects a particular type of plant, such as grape or tomato, but powdery can affect any type of plant. Determining the type of mildew you're dealing with can help you figure out how you need to get rid of the growth.
• Avoid mildew cleaners. While you may be tempted to spray your plants with cleaners advertised for getting rid of mildew, this can actually do more harm to your vegetation than good. Before you spray any cleaners, make sure they are designed for use on plants.
• Use natural elements. Sunshine, water and outdoor air can help your potted flower survive the plant mildew. Direct sunlight allows your vegetation to dry out. Mildew, like mold, needs excess moisture to thrive. You can use water to remove the mildew from the surface of the leaves. Use moderate amounts of water to ensure you don't make the moisture problem worse. Outdoor air is another great way to get your greenery to self-adjust to normal moisture levels.
• Be careful when watering your plants. One common cause of mildew growth is trapped water on leaves. While you need to water your vegetation, you should try to put the appropriate amount of water near the roots rather than on the leaves.
Getting rid of plant mildew can help you keep your indoor and outdoor greens healthy and thriving. Removing the growth and controlling moisture is a great place to start. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on mold.
What Lightning Strikes Can Do To Your Home
Many people view a crazy, thunderous storm as something to admire and enjoy in Asheville, NC. However, the effects of a lightning strike on your home can create significant hazardous situations, potentially leading to a lightning fire, structural or electrical damage and more. Here are a variety of ways that a powerful strike and ensuing storm can cause problems for your home and your family’s safety, and how to address these issues should they occur.
? Fire danger is the most common result of a formidable strike on your home. Given that strikes are most likely to hit the roof, a potential lightning fire breaking out on the roof or in the attic space becomes far more likely than in any other area of the home. However, lightning can target wiring and pipes as well, igniting your interior systems and creating a widespread household fire risk. If a strike has hit your residence, calling the fire department immediately is crucial to handling any potential fire dangers.
? If a strike does hit any of the electrical wiring, a power surge can be set off throughout the home. This explosive event can cause appliance damage, potentially starting a house fire. If a powerful storm warning is announced, take early precautions by unplugging your appliances and technological devices. Meanwhile, using surge protectors in your electrical outlets can help your home avoid damage, as well.
? The shock waves produced by massive strikes can lead to structural or foundational problems. A shock wave can fracture brickwork, stone masonry and concrete, leaving a major impact on your home’s structural supports. Once the storm has passed, inspect your home and call professionals should you find any cracks in your walls or foundation.
While witnessing the power of Mother Nature in Asheville, NC can be awe-inspiring, the potential for a massive storm to cause a lightning fire is a considerable threat. Learning about the dangers and preventing hazards can be crucial to getting back to normal after an immense weather event. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on fire damage.
Mold Cleaning and Remediation: Best Practices To Follow
Mold in a residential property.
If you discover black mold or any other sort of fungus in your building, don’t assume that you know the right thing to do. Chances are that some of the DIY mold cleanup procedures you’ve been told to use are wrong, and they could put you and your building’s occupants at risk. There are three sets of mold standards professional adhere to that you should know about:
• EPA standards
• OSHA standards
• IICRC standards
EPA and OSHA Standards for Mold Cleanup
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have their own approaches to handling mold that they suggest building owners and Asheville, NC mold remediation experts adhere to:
• Building owners should not attempt to clean up spaces larger than 10 square feet on their own.
• Because an HVAC system can easily become contaminated with mold, the ductwork and units should be inspected and cleaned thoroughly.
• If flooding was caused by a sewage backup or if the water is otherwise contaminated, it should be cleaned up by a professional only.
• If you are concerned about how the water or mold may affect your health, contact a professional.
IICRC Mold Standards
When it comes to mold remediation efforts, the team you hire should adhere to IICRC’s standards. Those standards differ from EPA and OSHA’s in a few ways. The greatest difference in methods is the way in which these organizations test for mold. The IICRC rejects the EPA’s method for detecting mold, which involves a visual assessment. Instead, it utilizes the “Indoor Fungal Ecology” test, following the three Cs:
A remediation expert who adheres to this methodology should look for conditions conducive to mold growth, quantify the water damage and categorize the type of water as either clean water, gray water or black water. By following these three steps, a professional should be able to effectively remediate the problem.
Every mold remediation expert adheres to different mold standards. The important thing is to ensure that the professional you hire follows guidelines appropriate to your situation. Ask about a company’s approach before making the final hire.
Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on mold.
3 Reasons Your Commercial Toilet Keeps Flushing
A malfunctioning toilet in your Asheville, NC commercial building can cause a variety of issues, from repeated toilet overflow to increased monthly water bills. One common issue that commercial toilets suffer from is repeated flushing, when water runs into the unit without stopping. There might be several reasons for this problem, and knowing what they are may help you remedy the problem quickly.
1. Dirty Gasket
The gasket within a commercial toilet’s flushing apparatus can become caked with sediment over time. This can be especially common if you live in an area with hard water. Sediment may also affect the gasket’s weep hole and how well the gasket’s suction works. You can remove and clean the gasket and weep hole, which may resolve the continuous flushing.
2. Broken Flapper
Sometimes the flapper, or seal, on the inside of the toilet may become brittle or old. When this happens, the seal can become misaligned and cause the toilet to fill constantly. This constant filling may eventually cause a toilet overflow or a toilet flood, which can cause water damage to your building and require the services of a flood remediation and water cleanup company. The seal is located inside the flush canister, and if it is cracked, you may need to have it replaced.
3. Leaking Toilet Tank
A leaking toilet tank may cause repeated flushing, as the unit will sense it needs to fill due to a water loss. However, you can stop a toilet from leaking with a simple test. Add three drops of red food coloring into the water of the tank and wait about twenty minutes. If the water in the toilet bowl is red when you check it again, this means the toilet tank has a leak and you will need to have it repaired.
A malfunctioning toilet in your Asheville, NC commercial building can cause a toilet overflow and water damage to your floors. Knowing why this might occur and how to resolve the problem can help you prevent costly repairs. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on commercial water damage.
File a Flood Damage Claim in 4 Steps
Even though you may be overwhelmed by the aftermath of flooding in Asheville, NC you shouldn't hesitate to file a flood claim to cover damage to your home. Make sure that you keep the name of your insurer and policy number on hand during the disaster and are aware of the extent of your coverage.
1. Notify your insurer as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the flood, it may take insurance companies some time to process claims. It is a good idea to start the insurance claim process, document damage, and take the first steps toward limiting the extent of secondary damage by starting cleanup and remediation as soon as you can.
2. Document all flood damage. Take photographs of all damaged property, structural damage, and standing water. You should also make a complete list of damaged and lost items that includes dates of purchase, values, and any receipts you can find. Once you have documented the damage for your flood claim, you may dispose of affected and ruined items so that they do not pose a mold hazard.
3. Talk to an adjuster about your claim. An adjuster will contact you after you file your claim to discuss the damage and your coverage and help you prepare a sworn statement of the amount of damages you are claiming accompanied by supporting documentation.
4. File Proof of Loss within 60 days. File Proof of Loss documentation with your insurance companies within two months of a flood. The National Flood Insurance Program and insurance companies can only make payments once Proof of Loss is on file.
Maintain a reliable method of contact such as a cell phone number or email address so that an adjuster can contact you regarding the status of your flood claim. Depending on the extent of damage to your home, you may also want to contact a residential damage restoration service.
Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on storm damage.
What Causes a Home To Have Noisy Pipes?
You may be used to all the sounds your Asheville, NC home makes each day. You probably know which steps creak and what it sounds like when the house settles in the winter. However, when your home's water pipes start making new or unusual noises, this may indicate that one is about to suffer a pipe break. Since this can cause considerable flood damage, knowing why your pipes are making noise may help you prevent this issue.
Over time, sediment can build up in your home's water pipes that might narrow the path the water flows through. This can be especially common in areas that have a high percentage of lime or calcium in their water. As the pipes narrow, this can cause a whistling sound whenever the water spigots are turned on. Replacing these affected sections may prevent you from having to fix a broken pipe later, when the water can no longer flow through it.
Loose Pipe Straps
If your home's pipes bang or clang when a sink or appliance is turned off, this may mean that the metal pipe straps that secure them to the wall are loose or failing. Since rattling can cause a pipe burst, this is a problem that should be remedied right away. Check interior and exterior pipes, inspect the straps, and replace any that are worn or broken to prevent an eventual pipe break.
Water Heater Needs Servicing
You may sometimes hear a rumbling or crackling sound coming up through your home's pipes. However, this sound is probably emanating from a water heater that has sediment buildup. Over time, sediment can form in the tank and trap some of the water, which boils and causes the strange sounds. You can call in a qualified restoration company to flush out and clean the tank so that it runs quieter and with increased efficiency.
Your Asheville, NC home's water pipes probably make a variety of sounds you may be used to. However, some of these sounds could indicate an inevitable pipe break, and having them checked out may prevent a costly and damaging flood. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on water damage.
The Benefits of a Professional Mold Inspection
Mold damage at this Fairview home was discovered when a bathroom tile found coming off of the wall.
If your home has the telltale musty odor of mold, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands and conduct mold testing yourself with a take-home kit. Do these kits accurately assess the state of mold in your home, though? Experts in Asheville, NC who have been trained and certified are more likely to make an accurate assessment during their mold inspection.
Mold Is Everywhere
Every home has mold. There are many places spores are present:
• Indoor air
• Outdoor air
• Furniture upholstery
• Wooden surfaces
• Window treatments
• Other surfaces
All your DIY mold test kit is going to tell you is that your home contains mold, which is already a given. If you suspect you have a serious mold problem, an environmental hygienist should be hired to conduct mold testing and pinpoint the problem.
Inspection Is Key
The detection of mold is only a small part of the certified hygienist’s job. What a mold kit cannot do is provide the visual inspection, which is the most vital part of getting to the root of the problem. These tests can be interpreted many ways. When professionals in Asheville, NC test for mold, they use the information they get from the test as a starting point to arrive at their ultimate diagnosis. The discovery of the condensation, poor ventilation, a cracked foundation, water damage or inferior drainage systems they find gives them more useful information than the test will show.
If you are worried enough about whether you have a mold problem to attempt your own mold testing, you are worried enough to call a professional environmental hygienist. Taking care of your mold issues in a safe and timely manner is too important not to enlist the help of someone who can make an accurate assessment that far surpasses the results you will get from a mold kit. The inspector can then advise you on the next steps you need to take to remedy the problem. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on mold.
Are Flood Policies Necessary in Low-Risk Zones?
Commercial water damage threatened the books at this Asheville School Library
Flooding in Asheville, NC isn’t isolated to areas within flood zones. For instance, flooding may happen because of heavy spring thaws, uncommon accumulations of rain, and the rapid approach of extra storms after wildfires. It doesn’t take much water to do serious damage. Further complicating the issue of whether to own commercial insurance for flooding are common misconceptions about flood insurance.
• A flood policy isn’t necessary if the business isn’t established in a flood plain.
• Floods and any type of flooding are covered by existing insurance policies.
• Flood policies are all the same and all-inclusive.
• Natural disasters are the only cause of flooding.
Misconceptions To Clear Up
Another serious misconception in Asheville, NC is that low-risk flood zones are essentially no-risk zones. Unfortunately, flood maps change as environmental factors change. A commercial property may be outside of a flood zone one year and within a high-risk flood zone within a year. This means that even businesses built on properties outside of flood plains should have a commercial insurance policy for flooding as recommended by FEMA. That policy should be suited to the specific needs of the business and its environment. The policy should also be written to include flooding that takes place due to burst pipes, sprinklers triggered by fire alarms, fast-melting snow, and other emergencies not triggered by a natural disaster.
The Truth About Flooding and Insurance
The truth is that there are different types of policies to cover commercial properties, homes, repair costs, business inventory, and relocation costs. If a business’ insurance company doesn’t require flood insurance, business owners may still want to consider the value of an insurance policy specifically for flooding and water damage. According to FEMA, one inch of water can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars beyond the cost of clean-up services. The annual cost for adequate flood insurance is much, much less than that. When considering whether to purchase a flood policy, business owners should carefully weigh their potential losses against the investment in commercial insurance. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
How To Deal With Mold Until a Professional Can Remove It
In just 24 hours, mold can develop within your commercial building in Asheville, NC. You need to address this right away before black mold starts to grow, which is much more dangerous. You should leave mold cleanup to the professionals, but it may take a couple hours for someone to come out. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to prevent the mold from escalating further.
1. Shut Off the Building’s HVAC System
You may see mold on drywall and assume it is localized. However, that patch actually releases various spores into the atmosphere, and they can spread to various parts of the building through the air conditioning system. However, it is still good to air out the affected room, and you can open up windows to promote circulation. Additionally, you can also bring fans into the room to promote adequate airflow.
2. Keep People Out of the Room
Whether there is black mold in the basement or a bathroom, you want to put up caution signs informing people to stay out until a professional comes. It is dangerous to be in a room with a significant moisture problem, and you do not want to put your employees in harm’s way.
3. Do Not Apply Bleach to the Mold
You may think you will be helping the mold cleanup crew by applying bleach to the affected area beforehand. For starters, bleach is not as effective at removing mold as most people think. In fact, there are some circumstances where bleach will actually exacerbate the problem. Bleach is also toxic, and you need to be wary of breathing in any fumes.
The best thing you can do when there is black mold in your building is to stay out of its way until a professional crew comes around. Mold is considered an emergency, so you probably will not have to wait long. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevilleeast.com for more information on mold.