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Tips for Using a Drain Snake

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

A new plumber's snake Drain snakes all perform the same function, but they may vary in operation

Here Is a Guide For Using a Drain Snake

Dealing with clogged pipes in your Biltmore, NC, home is never fun, but it's a crucial task, nonetheless. If you suspect that your home's pipes are obstructed, take action as soon as possible. If too much pressure builds up, it can cause a pipe break. Here is a guide for using a drain snake so you can keep your pipes clean and avoid a costly home repair.

1. Find the right drain snake

Drain snakes all perform the same function, but they may vary in operation. Also called augers, drain snakes are slender, coiled tools that clear clogs in the opposite manner of plungers. Rather than pulling material out of pipes, snakes push into the obstruction and break it up. Drain snakes are long and flexible so they can reach clogs deep inside pipes. Some snakes are handheld; others are drill attachments.

2. Clear the clog

Once you have your drain snake, it's time to clear out your clogged pipes. To start, manually insert the head of the snake into the pipe. Next, use the handle to start uncoiling the snake and continue pushing the snake into the drain until you feel resistance. Go slowly and keep the snake's handle as close to the entrance of the pipe as possible for maximum control and force.
When you encounter the portion that is stopped up, rotate the snake as much as possible. This movement digs into the clog and breaks it up. Continue winding the snake until it uncoils to its full length. When the resistance stops, pull the snake out and run water full-force for a few minutes. If the water moves freely, you have successfully removed the clog.

3. Avoid future stoppages

Keep your pipes clean to avoid future blockages. You can use sink strainers to prevent buildups. If you have a garbage disposal, take care to use it properly. Run cold water while using the disposal and for a minute afterward. This helps ensure that all garbage is thoroughly flushed out of the pipe.
Clearing a clogged drain with a snake can be quite simple. However, some obstructions may require the knowledge and equipment of professional residential cleaners.

What Should You Do if a Pipe Breaks in Your Building?

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water in a retail store Water damage to a Swannanoa, NC retail store

When you lead a company, you try to prepare yourself for anything. This should not only include comprehensive business strategies but also how to protect your employees and make the building where you work a safe place. Disasters such as fires, severe storms and floods can take a toll on people, equipment and the structure itself. If you discover bursting pipes in the office, you need to react appropriately to minimize damage and keep your operations running.

Causes of Broken Pipes

You may not spend much time worrying about the plumbing system in your Swannanoa, NC, building. However, if you neglect maintenance and upkeep, you could find yourself contending with bursting pipes and extreme water damage. The following can lead to these issues:

  • Too much pressure
  • Corrosion
  • Frozen pipes
  • Moving pipes

Identify the Location

Water damage in Swannanoa, NC  is nothing to take lightly. If you discover water on the floors of your office, quickly find the source. If it's a pipe problem, shut the water supply off immediately.

Alert the Professionals

You may not have the time or skill to fix a broken pipe, but a professional water damage remediation team can take care of repairs, cleanup and restoration. You shouldn't wait a moment to get a crew on the job. Cleanup teams can usually respond to your workplace within a few hours of your call. A timely response will reduce the risk of mold growing in the area.

Stay Out of the Area

Ruptured pipes can present a hazardous situation to you and others in the building. Keep away from the water and let the pros take over. If you must be in the building, make sure you do not touch anything electrical if you are near the water.
Bursting pipes can spill a significant amount of water onto the floors and walls of your office. Stop the water and then rely on the pros to successfully complete the restoration process.

How SERVPRO Helps After Disasters

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of SERVPRO trailer Storm equipment ready

How SERVPRO Helps After Disasters

There are times when it's necessary for insurance companies, property restoration professionals, and many other service providers to respond appropriately and efficiently to emergency situations. When this happens, providers from separate industries to coordinate their efforts. To that end, SERVPRO leaders offer important resources such as claim services and emergency response tips for property owners.

Simplifying the Claims Process for Insurance Professionals and Property Owners

When fires or flooding damage buildings, there are a wide variety of individuals involved in the cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO offers several digital resources to simplify the completion of claims.


One of the resources provided is a Contents Claim Inventory Service. This inventory may include photographs and even barcoding. Homeowners, business owners, and insurance agents may use this information.
A Claims Inventory System offers convenient access to a lot of information that adjusters and agents use while filling out paperwork for claims.
Other digital resources connect professionals to specific search results and reduce any confusion surrounding the use of technology.


Professionals are the only people who need additional resources during natural and man-made disasters.

Prepare for Emergencies Before They Occur

SERVPRO also offers advice to home and commercial property owners. Some tips should be followed before an emergency takes place. For example, a three-day kit of water, non-perishable foods, a fire extinguisher, basic tools, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid supplies, personal clothing and hygiene items, and copies of vital documents (such as insurance policies) can make those first days after a disaster less frightening.

Simplify Claims Processes With Tips From Experienced Technicians

Company professionals may also offer suggestions for preparing for claims services. It's important to follow the instructions of your insurance agent for the best results, but suggestions such as documenting the contents of your home make recovering from the disaster easier for you and for your insurance agent.

Cooperation for Better Results

When disaster strikes Weaverville, NC, property owners, insurance agents, emergency responders, and other professionals are all under pressure to resolve an endless list of problems. Fire and water damage remediation and cleanup professionals work cooperatively with other industry leaders to smooth the process of claims services and other recovery efforts.

The Link Between Leaky Roofs and Mold Damage to Your Business

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Hand pointing at a ceiling damaged by water and mold Ceiling with mold damage in Asheville, NC

The formation of black mold in your Asheville, NC, business is a serious matter, as it creates several problems, such as building damage, presence of hazardous spores and more. You will need to shut down all mold sources, including an undetected roof leak. Learn about how and when mold forms due to these conditions, as well as how to prevent it.

How Does Mold Form?

The conditions where mold starts are, unfortunately, very simple. Mold needs minimal requirements to feed, develop and thrive.

  • Water or humidity
  • Organic matter (carpet, wood, etc.)
  • Dark, secluded places, such as an attic

When a ceiling leak takes place, humidity enters the location. If you do not fix the leak or dry the area, the humidity can lead to a mold situation in the commercial building.

How Long Does It Take?

Another reason to act fast in case of a leak is that most kinds of mold, including black mold, can grow and spread at a very fast pace. When the right conditions are fulfilled, it can take between 24 to 48 hours for growth to take place. Mold spores are everywhere, so the presence of untreated or constant humidity is enough to allow growth. Speedy treatment by mold remediation specialists can stop its development.

How Can Mold Be Prevented?

Cleaning your business to clean mold can be costly and time-consuming. Prevention is the cheapest and least disruptive method. Have a roofing contractor conduct a yearly inspection of the area to check for any repairable flaws before a roof leak happens. If leaks are already emerging, find the source and fix the problem with the assistance of a repair specialist immediately. Use a wet vacuum, towels or a dehumidifier to completely dry the area.
The existence of black mold in your location can harm your building and your reputation. Maintain your roof and search for leaks to stop mold before it starts.

4 Steps for Putting Out a Fire

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set It's important, therefore, that everyone in your building knows how to operate a fire extinguisher

How To Operate a Fire Extinguisher

Your commercial building in Barnardsville, NC, probably comes with its own unique potential fire hazards. Maybe you have a lot of electrical wires that may overload sockets. Your employees may work with a lot of flammable liquids. Even the company break room probably houses several items that could contribute to a fire. It's important, therefore, that everyone in your building knows how to operate a fire extinguisher. These four simple steps can make putting out a small fire easy.

1. Pull

To engage the extinguisher and minimize fire damage, you first need to pull the pin at the top of the handle. This breaks the seal and allows you to operate the handle.

2. Aim

Many people reason that they need to aim for the top of the fire so that the extinguishing agent trickles down. In order to be effective, though, you must aim at the base of the fire. Point the nozzle of the fire extinguisher at the lowest point of the fire.

3. Squeeze

Once you have the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle to release the agent. There is usually enough agent in a full-sized extinguisher to put out a small fire, such as a kitchen fire in the break room.

4. Sweep

While the agent is releasing, slowly sweep the nozzle from side to side, covering the whole base of the fire. Keep the nozzle moving until the fire is fully out. If the canister empties completely and the fire is still not out, this is a sign that the fire is too big to handle on your own. Call emergency services immediately.
Even if you are able to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, you may still have some fire or smoke damage that needs to be addressed. Fire restoration experts can help return your building to its former state.

How Storm Damage and Flooding Can Affect Your Business

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive

Common Areas a Business May Suffer Damages

Experiencing storm or flood damage at a Biltmore, NC, business can have a number of possible affects the property. Fortunately, a local storm damage restoration service can help you recover from these. Some common areas a business may suffer damages include the following:

1. Lost Data

Perhaps one of the biggest fears associated with storm damage is lost computer data. In many cases this risk of this can be offset with the use of a backup system, but if water does cause damage to your electronics, it’s good to know that a restoration service often has professionals who can deal with this problem. In many cases the device itself can be repaired, but in the event it can’t a professional will usually have a way to transfer the data to another unit.

2. Damaged Work Space

One of the most common forms of flood damage is to the building and furniture. In most cases if the water is removed and the area dried quickly, the structure itself will remain usable. In the event materials are too far gone to be salvaged, a restoration service can replace the damaged materials and have the area looking as though the flooding never occurred.

3. Ruined Documentation

Many businesses still keep paper files for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, flooding can result in damage to these valuable documents. You may find it a relief to know that in many cases your local restoration company may have a way to salvage these. This process may involve careful freeze drying and some time.
A restoration service can help your business recover from flood damage. Not only can they make repairs to the building and any damaged office furniture, but in many cases they may be able to help with electronics and documentation restoration as well. If you have any questions a professional may be able to help.

Correctly Snaking a Clogged Drain

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

a new plumbers snake on a white background An auger is a coiled line in a drum body, and it typically has a spiral head on the end

Basic Four Step Process

A clogged drain is a frustrating experience because it often happens when you have limited time to deal with it. For example, you are getting ready for a meeting that you are already late for, and you notice that the bathroom sink won't drain. Thankfully, some brilliant inventors designed a tool for the job, an auger. However, most people call it a snake. It is a coiled line in a drum body, and it typically has a spiral head on the end. While it is not a complicated tool to manage, there is a basic four-step process.

  1. Push
  2. Stop
  3. Rotate and Push
  4. Run Water

Push
It is necessary to clean blockages because if they are left, they can lead to a pipe break, which is expensive to mitigate. Therefore, to free your pipe of this clog, you will begin by extending the coiled line into the drain. Grab the end of the snake and pull out about a foot, inserting the head into the pipe. Then continue to push the snake into the drain until you feel resistance.

Stop
When you feel a slight resistance, don't assume it is the clog. Pipes bend and turn, which means you might need to apply extra pressure on your journey to the clogged portion of the pipe. To get through some bends, rotate the handle. If the auger has stopped and won't move easily, then stop pushing.

Rotate and Push
Once at the clog, you will need to turn the handle to rotate the auger head. Gently push as you turn the handle. The spiral head should break through the clog.

Run Water
Lastly, once the auger is moving freely through the line, go ahead and retract the snake back into the housing and run the water for several minutes. If the water runs freely, congratulations. However, if the problem persists, then you might want to contact a plumbing specialist in Swannanoa,NC, to assess and resolve any underlying issues.
A clogged is a nuisance. However, a snake can save the day. Just remember to push, stop, rotate and run water.

3 Tips for Restoring Fire Damaged Electronics

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

 Electronic device on fire with SERVPRO´s logo on top of it. It´s important to remember that in cases of severe damage it may be better to replace your device instead of repair it.

If your Asheville, NC, home has suffered a fire then you may be wondering if it’s possible to restore your damaged electronic devices. Fortunately, many fire cleanup professions do have the tools and knowledge to complete this task. Here are three things you can do if your electronics have been damaged by a fire.

1. Sort By Damage Type

Believe it or not a fire can lead to several different types of damage. Heat, soot and smoke damage are the most common, but in some cases you may even experience water damage from fire suppression efforts. The methods used for repairing electronics may vary by damage type, so if you can, you may want to sort any damaged items by type ahead of time to make it easier for your restoration professional to make an assessment.

2. Determine the Damage Severity

Another step for a fire cleanup is to determine the damage severity. Items located at the fire’s point of origin may be damaged beyond repair, while those further away may experience only light damage. The amount of damage a device has sustained will determine what type of repairs it requires.

3. Contact a Professional

When it comes to damaged electronics it’s always best to contact a fire restoration professional to make any repairs. Especially for more complex devices such as computers or cell phones. It’s also important to remember that in cases of severe damage it may be better to replace your device instead of repair it. However, many professionals may still be able to salvage any data you may have had stored, and transfer it to your new model.

If you know how, taking the time to sort your electronics by damage type and severity may help your local fire cleanup professional assess the repair needs. They can then begin the process of cleaning or replacing parts as necessary to get your devices back into working order. Remember, sometimes it may be better to replace the item altogether, and your professional will let you know if this is the case.

What To Know About Mold Containment During Remediation

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

If your home in Weaverville, NC, has experienced mold contamination, then your local mold remediation professionals may first set up containment around the affected area before beginning the remediation process. There are a few things you may wish to know about mold containment and what to expect.

1. Containing Mold Prevents Spreading

One of the main reasons for placing and mold contaminated areas under containment is to help prevent the spreading of spores throughout the rest of the home. Spores can be airborne meaning that they can land on clothing and be carried across to another room, or even be blown through the air with the use of a fan or exhaust system. Fortunately, mold remediation professionals have a number of ways to seal off the affected area until it can be thoroughly cleaned.

2. Wear Removable Protective Gear

When dealing with mold contamination, you will often see your restoration professionals wearing a number of safety items designed to help them prevent possible contamination of other areas of your home. These may consist of coveralls and shoe covers which can be removed and placed in a bag for washing when they are done for the day.

3. Wash Everything Thoroughly

Another important step to helping to prevent the spread of mold spore in the home is to wash everything thoroughly. This means removing and washing any safety gear at the end of the day, as well as any fabric items, such as pillows or rugs, that may have been in the contaminated space. You will also want to keep any cloth items the have been washed at a separate location until your local remediation professional has cleared the area of mold.

When dealing with mold contamination and the home, it's important to contain the area before remediation begins. This will help prevent spores from spreading further in the home. It's also important to wear the proper safety gear when in the area. Also, wash everything thoroughly when you're done. If you have any questions your restoration professional may be able to help.

Handling Crawlspace Cleanup After a Flood

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawling under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing If your crawlspace has suffered home flood damage, contact a water restoration company

You made it through a home flood and are now facing the very real storm damage aftermath. It’s critical that you don’t overlook any areas as you handle cleanup, especially the often-neglected crawlspaces. If not cleaned properly they can become major breeding grounds for mold that will quickly affect your entire home. Follow these steps after a flood in your Biltmore,NC, home to ensure your crawlspaces don’t become a casualty.

How Crawlspace Floods Happen

Your home can take on water from a hard driving rain, rapidly melting snow or even poor drainage. Flooding happens from the ground up, so the lower crawlspaces are often the first casualties of ground flooding. Flooding in these areas can lead to mold growth that rots the wood framing of your home and causes major damage.

Remove the Water

Once flood waters have receded, it’s time to get to action removing water. Old fashioned buckets may be enough to get out initial water. A shop vacuum is another good tool to have on hand to remove remaining water, so long as it’s not contaminated with human waste. That type of water is best removed by professionals.

Dry It Out

The most critical step in any crawlspace cleanup after a home flood is drying the entire area. Ventilating the crawlspace is the best and fastest way to ensure that it dries out before mold has a chance to take hold and cause major damage. Use fans facing outward to draw air out of the space rather than blow moisture in.
Your crawlspaces are out of sight and often out of mind. But they can be the ideal place for mold to take hold and cause major expense and headaches. If your crawlspace has suffered home flood damage, use the above tips. Or better yet, contact a water restoration company to evaluate the damage and help you take the steps you need.