Recent Posts

Signs of Frozen Pipes in Your Building

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Bursting pipe. Frozen pipes can be prevented with the appropriate insulation; however, even the best precautions don’t always work.

If you’re operating a business or managing a property in the Asheville, NC, area then you will likely want to familiarize yourself with issues common in colder climates, especially frozen pipes. Before a freeze leads to broken pipes and water damage, you should familiarize yourself with the signs of frozen pipes to avoid extensive water cleanup and the potential need for restoration specialists.

1. Strange Odors

When pipes freeze, and most likely before any water cleanup is necessary, you may notice strange odors coming from floor drains and faucets. These odors occur because when pipes freeze, especially waste pipes, the ice blocks the areas where gas and other fumes would generally escape. If you begin to smell strange odors coming from areas they don’t typically, you may want to reach out to your local plumbing professionals to avoid any significant issues with water damage.

2. Slow or No Running Water

Additionally, if the water from faucets is slow or not running at all, your pipes may be frozen. Similar to the reasons that odors occur, the free flow of water is obstructed when ice begins to build up in a pipe, causing the water to trickle or stall altogether.

3. The Appearance of Frost on Pipes

In either of the above instances, you can take it upon yourself to investigate, looking in mechanical closets or crawlspaces. If, while investigating, you come across frost on the pipes, this is a sign that you likely have some ice build-up. If not taken care of immediately, the pressure within the pipes may become too great, leading to cracks and breaks in the plumbing.

Frozen pipes can be prevented with the appropriate insulation; however, even the best precautions don’t always work. The best protection, to avoid burst pipes and the resulting water damage, is to remember the steps above, checking your building daily for any possible signs of freezing.

Which Storm Shutters Are Best for You?

9/18/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage behind paint on wall. Storm shutters can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage from high winds and storms, but nobody can stop the storm from happening.

If you live in Asheville, NC, you may need to protect your home from the high winds associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. Most storm damage comes from wind getting in your house through the windows and doors, then wreaking havoc from the inside out.

Storm shutters shield the glass from high winds and debris. They come in many different styles, each with its own merits. Here is a guide that can help you choose the best type based on your needs:

1. Your primary need is the ease of use. You want protection that can be activated quickly and without a lot of labor. Roll-down shutters are the best option for this need, but they are pricey. They are permanently and inconspicuously attached to the top of your windows where they can be operated by a single person using a motor or crank.

2. You want protection that looks nice. Bahama and colonial styles are accessible and functional. These attach to your home’s exterior and add architectural style while being ready to close for storms. They are not as costly as roll-down styles and not as labor-intensive as installing corrugated panels each time it storms.

3. You appreciate the lowest price. You are willing to trade some hard work to get quality materials at a lower price. Sturdy corrugated panels are labor intensive since they must be brought out of storage, sorted, overlapped, and attached with many bolts each time you need them. For a little more money, accordion-style shutters can be permanently attached in special housing next to each window, making it easy enough for one person to close them. Accordion styles are more expensive than corrugated panels and less expensive than the decorative options.

Storm shutters can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage from high winds and storms, but nobody can stop the storm from happening. At least you can rely on storm mitigation professionals to help get your home back to normal after a storm.

Steps for Cleaning Moldy Paintings

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. Keep in mind throughout the process that mold remediation is often a job best left to the professionals.

Excess moisture can create an environment that mold needs to grow. If your home in Asheville, NC, floods or has a problem with high humidity, you may find mold on some of your belongings. This includes furniture, clothing, books, and even art. Here are a few mold cleaning tips to help you salvage affected paintings.

1. Determine Type of Painting

The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of painting you're dealing with. You may want to save your watercolor, but keep in mind that cleaning it with water may damage it beyond repair. Acrylic paint is sturdier. An oil painting, however, is probably going to be easiest to save as long as you don't use chemicals that damage the oils.

2. Remove Canvas from Frame

The next step of mold cleaning is to separate all the parts. Take the frame off the canvas and lay the canvas flat.

3. Clean Back of Painting

The back of the painting is the easier side to clean. Mist it with a rubbing alcohol and water solution and then gently wipe off the mold.

4. Clean Front of Painting

The front of the painting is tricky because it's best to do it without chemicals. The easiest way to clean it is by letting the mold dry first. Then use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to remove the mold damage.

5. Dry Painting

The sun is the best tool for drying your painting. While prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage it by altering colors, your painting won't be outside or on a sunny windowsill long enough for fading to become an issue.

Keep in mind throughout the process that mold remediation is often a job best left to the professionals. If you are ever uncertain about a step in the process, it is safer to call remediation specialists to take over the mold cleaning process.

3 Safe Procedures for Light Fixture Leaks

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

An electrical breaker panel Dealing with water in light fixtures can be dangerous, contact SERVPRO for help.

Light Fixture Leaks: 3 Safe Procedures

Light fixture leaks are often a dangerous and inconvenient obstacle that can happen in any home. Ceiling damage can cause water from your roof to leak into your house. Sometimes water can even leak into your light fixtures. It is important to act swiftly with any kind of water damage in your home, and when electricity is involved, the damage can be deadly if left untreated. Whether you are a resident of Asheville, NC, currently dealing with water in light fixtures, or just a precautious homeowner preparing for the worst, these tips for safe and swift action can be lifesavers.

1. Turn Off Electricity

As soon as you notice water leaking from a light fixture, go to your breaker and turn the electricity off right away. You can call your power company and have it temporarily turn off the electricity if the breaker is inaccessible. Avoid touching light fixtures until an electrician checks and confirms that all electrical units are dry and safe. Any contact with an electrical unit that has been damaged by water can cause electrical shock and even death.

2. Turn Off Water

Ceiling damage can show itself in many forms. Sometimes small, dark spots appear on your ceiling where water is pooling, softening and discoloring the materials there. Water can leak into your home from rain water on the roof or even a burst or corroded pipe. Unfortunately, the extent of the damage doesn’t always show itself until it has gotten very bad. If you do notice any of these symptoms, turn off your water to stop any additional leakage.

3. Call a Professional for Cleanup

Contacting an electrician, plumber, and/or a professional cleanup service for water in light fixtures is suggested. Professionals will typically be able to safely cleanup and restore your home to its former state and advise you on how to prevent leaks in the future.

The most important thing to remember is to be safe. Dealing with water in light fixtures can be extremely dangerous, and it is best to contact a specialist for cleanup and repairs.

Black Water: Minimizing the Damage to Your Business

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Dirty floor, mud in office building, flood damage to office Flood damage to a commercial office in Fairview, NC.

Black Water: Reducing the Impact on Your Business

No one will argue that flooding within any commercial building is a desirable circumstance. Water damage can take a toll on the flooring, walls and any belongings that come into contact with excessive moisture. It’s even more imperative that the situation is quickly and sufficiently tended to if you’re dealing with a black water issue.

Where Black Water Comes From

Oftentimes contaminated by a number of microorganisms and bacteria, this dirty water can infiltrate a building in a number of ways:

  • Flooding from storms will often carry contaminants and debris into interior spaces.
  • The overflow or rupture of sewage or septic systems can leak waste into your business.
  • Standing clean water can quickly become dirty and contaminated with mold and bacterial growth if left unchecked for a period of time.

It is especially important to handle the situation immediately if water has appeared inside your building due to any of these circumstances.

What To Do If Your Business Is Contaminated

Mold can begin to form quickly, often within 48 hours, so taking fast action is imperative. Make sure people are evacuated from contaminated areas to limit their exposure to bacteria and mold if water has been left standing. The following steps should then be taken to begin the cleanup process:

  • Remove any standing water as soon as possible
  • Thoroughly dry areas affected by water damage to limit the spread of mold and bacteria growth
  • Clean all salvageable affected items and dispose of those that can’t be adequately cleaned and disinfected

When Help Is Needed

Depending on the size of the area suffering from water damage or the level of black water contamination, working with professionals in Fairview, NC, can supply peace of mind that cleanup will be completed properly so that your business can return to normal. Beginning immediate water remediation is the key to quickly bouncing back from a flooding incident.

Important Steps in Mold Remediation

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removed and mold has been found due to broken pipe Mold found after a pipe break.

There are many issues you could find in your home, but few cause more concern and stress than mold. Certain areas of the world are more prone to mold growth, but this unwanted invader can grow in any home, regardless of the location, style, or age. Fortunately, if you discover mold in your Black Mountain, NC, home, there is a way to make things right. Even if you have black mold, with the right steps, you can clean it up, and your home can once more be livable.

Understand the Moisture Issues

Mold doesn’t just magically appear one day in your walls, under or on your floors, or on your roof. It grows because of a moisture problem, so it’s critical to understand how this issue is occurring. The mold remediation process begins by pinpointing where the water issue is coming from and what the source may be. Is it a leaky pipe or a larger plumbing matter? A professional will help identify the root cause and put an end to it so mold growth doesn’t continue.

Assess the Problem and Devise a Strategy

It is difficult to come up with a mold cleanup plan unless you understand the full scope of the problem you face. Find out how much mold you have and which types of mold are present at home in Black Mountain, NC. Make sure you document whether you have black mold, as this is the most troubling form of the fungus. Take pictures and record your findings.

Clean It Up

Enlist the help of a professional to assist in your cleanup efforts. The faster you do mold remediation, the less likely the mold will continue to grow. Here are some critical steps:

  • Stop the water issues
  • Get rid of damaged items
  • Clean the moldy areas thoroughly with a detergent solution.

If you find black mold or other such mold issues, get professional help right away. With the right actions, you can enjoy your home once more.

Effective Ways To Inform Employees About Mold Containment

7/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Contact SERVPRO for Mold Remediation if you notice evidence of mold and mildew.

Effective Ways To Inform Employees About Mold Containment

Many employers are not sure how or whether to inform employees that the company will be undergoing mold removal. When talking about mold growth and removal, business owners can feel out of their depth. But "mold" doesn't have to become a four-letter word in Biltmore, NC. Your employees' perception of safety depends upon whether you provide transparency during the containment process. Communication can prove more beneficial than leaving your team in the dark. You can do this. Here's how:

1. Anticipate Employee Concerns

Most of your staff is probably familiar with media hype surrounding black mold. In fact, the color of mold is not a true indicator of type. A good mold remediation specialist can brief you on general questions people have about mold removal and containment. Armed with the facts, you can address concerns and reassure your workers that their safety is your top priority.

2. Provide Employee Education on Mold Containment

Mold containment is generally necessary to stop mold from spreading. It may involve sealing off an area with plastics, shutting down HVAC or other systems that spread mold via air circulation or even constructing airtight negative pressure chambers. By understanding how mold containment works, employees will often see the positives and understand the process.

3. Keep Employees in the Loop

Periodically issue updates about the changes your employees will see in their work areas as the containment process gets underway. Informal meetings or e-mails can help keep staff concerns to a minimum.

4. Designate a Contact Person

Name a point person in your organization. Make it clear that employees can contact this individual with any questions they may have as containment proceeds.

Take the time to address employee concerns, educate workers about mold removal and issue progress updates. If you do so, your employees will likely feel confident that their safety and their ability to work effectively will not be compromised.

Candle Safety and Alternatives

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Battery powered candles near a bathtub. A candle fire is usually started because someone left it unattended.

Tips For Candle Safety and Alternatives

Candles can be fun to use in the home as decorative objects, aromatherapy, or mood-setters. However, they can be dangerous when left unattended. The open flame can easily ignite nearby books, curtains, or other flammable items. This can lead to serious damage and might require a lot of smoke cleanup. To avoid a fire from starting, here are a few tips.

Keep Flammable Objects Away

While burning a candle, try to keep the surrounding area as clear and tidy as possible. The open flame might ignite an object if it’s close enough. Never set the candle near flammable objects. A few examples that are easy to ignite included the following:

  • Bedding
  • Books
  • Paper decorations
  • Curtains
  • Furniture

If these objects are near the candle, you might want to reconsider. A candle fire can get out of hand a lot faster than you might think.

Don’t Lose Sight of a Burning Candle

A candle fire is usually started because someone left it unattended. If you are leaving the room, try extinguishing the candle and relighting it when you return. If you are going to bed or leaving the house, make sure that there are no open flames or hot wicks left without supervision.

Candle Alternatives

Many people use candles for the smell. If this is the reason why you’re using an open flame, consider using wax warmers, reed diffusers, or air fresheners. These alternatives not only smell wonderful, but they can dramatically reduce the risk of a fire starting.

If you are looking for mood-setters, electric candles or tea lights do very well. Powered by batteries, these objects reproduce the flickering light of a candle without the risk of a real flame. Along with these, many people love the aesthetic of fairy lights.

With these tips and alternatives in mind, you can reduce and remove the risk of a candle fire starting. By being aware, you can keep your house in Weaverville,NC safe from fire hazards.

4 Ways Water Damage Can Occur in Your Home

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Rusty burst pipe spraying water after freezing in winter. A pipe break can cause serious damage to your Asheville home.

Causes Of Water Damage In Your Home

Homeowners should be aware of the many ways water damage can occur in their homes. When left unattended, water from a pipe burst or leak may require you to call in repair and restoration professionals. To keep your home safe and secure, here are four things you can look for that commonly cause water damage.

1. Malfunctioning Appliances
As your house gets older, so do the appliances. Pipes can rust, hoses can weaken, and the efficiency of your household machines can lower. Deterioration of appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters is a common reason for water damage and flooding. To prevent any sudden disaster, inspect your appliances often.
However, you can’t always prevent appliances from malfunctioning. Water detectors can let you know immediately when something goes wrong. This can help you minimize the damage and clean up the water quickly before the problem gets worse.

2. Bursting Pipes
When sudden pressure occurs in a pipe, there is an increased risk of a pipe burst. This can happen when drains get blocked, toilets get clogged, or when garbage disposals malfunction. Old pipes can burst or leak easily, too. If a problem does occur, shut off the water line quickly and seek professional help.

3. Blocked Gutters
The sole purpose of your gutters is to direct water away from the roof. However, gutters can easily get blocked by leaves, dirt, and branches. This creates a dam in the gutter which prevents water from flowing smoothly down the contraption. When water overflows, it can spill onto the side of the house and soak into the structure.

4. Broken Gutters
Your gutters may not be blocked, but they could be damaged. If there is a crack or break in the material, the water can leak through and cause serious water damage or flooding. You might want to inspect your gutters after heavy storms to check for any damage or blockage.

A pipe burst can cause serious damage. Be sure to keep your home in Asheville, NC, safe and dry by taking precautions against water disasters.

How To Put Out the Grease Fire You Might Have Started

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen, stove, refrigerator Fire damage in Weaverville, NC.

How Do You Stop A Grease Fire?

You’ve just moved to Weaverville, NC and your new friends don’t know you very well yet, so they have allowed you access to the kitchen. They’ve even been encouraging you to cook. You want to leave a good impression, so here are the steps you need to take should you accidentally start a grease fire:

1. Turn off the source of heat. Typically, this means turn off the stove your pot or pan is sitting on. If the dial is on the back of the stove, avoid reaching directly over the fire while you do so.

2. Cover with a metal lid or another pot, pan, or even cooking sheet. The idea is to remove as much oxygen as possible from the flame.

3. If you cannot get something on it to cover, throw on baking soda (tons of it) or salt.

4. Use a Class B fire extinguisher as your last resort. If you are unsure of what that is, it is better to simply follow the next step and forget this one.

5. If the fire is taking too long to contain or is larger than you feel comfortable dealing with, get out of the house. Shut the door on your way out to help keep the fire contained, and once you are a safe distance away, call 911.

In order to keep yourself and the rest of your property safe, do not do the following:

  1. Use water or any fabrics to put out a grease fire.
  2. Use baking powder or any powders that looks like baking soda or salt. They might look the same on the outside but are made of different chemicals and can lead to a less-than-fun chemistry experiment.
  3. Try to move the flaming pot or pan.

As much as you may want to save the cosmetics of the kitchen, safety is always more important than easy fire cleanup. The steps above may help you put the grease fire out sooner and with less damage, but if you have any doubts, you should always follow step #5 first and seek the help of professionals.