Recent Posts

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.

3 Reasons Your Sewer May Back Up After a Storm

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Water flows out of road sewage hatch. Drainage fountain of sewage. Sewage damage in Asheville can require from an expert.

What Causes A Sewage Backup? 

You may not associate heavy waters with a sewer backup. Usually, this type of problem is caused by bad plumbing or blockages in your sewer lines. However, when your Swannanoa, NC, commercial building is filled with sewage after a big storm, you may start to wonder what caused this issue.

1. Overwhelmed Sewer Systems: When lots of water enters the ground all over the city, the city sewer system may become overloaded with water. When this reservoir is full, the liquid has to flow someplace else. This can mean the rainwater pushes the sewage back up into your building. Installing a backflow preventer can help you avoid this unsanitary problem.

2. Storm-Caused Damage: Storms can cause trees to fall down and other major damage. While this destruction doesn't seem to have anything to do with your sewer backup, it could in fact be the cause. If a downed tree were to break a sewer line, it could cause the dirty water to seep back into your building. Line breaks are a major cause of sewage loss. Having your system inspected regularly can help you spot and fix weakened areas before they become a problem.

3. Rain-Induced Clogs: Blackwater can carry foreign objects into your sewer line. Heavy rain, for example, could pick up rocks, twigs and lawn ornaments. As the water flows to the nearest drain, the items it carries end up getting stuck in sewer drains and lines. These clogs cause the sewage to start to flow backward back into your building. It can be hard to prevent this type of issue.

No matter what causes a sewer backup, it is never a fun problem to have. The unsanitary conditions of the water require you to call in a commercial restoration specialist who has dealt with sewage problems in the past. Without help from an expert, you may be unable to completely resolve the problem.

How To Tell the Difference Between Mold and Mildew

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

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

How Do I Know If It's Mold Or Mildew?

Although many people use the words mold and mildew interchangeably, they're actually not the same thing. While they're both a type of fungus, they have several distinct characteristics. Here's how you can tell the difference between mold damage and mildew growth in your Asheville, NC home.

Appearance and Odor
Mold and mildew differ in appearance, making them easy to tell apart. Mold can come in several different colors:

  • green
  • red
  • black
  • blue

In contrast, mildew tends to be either white or gray. In addition, mold is usually raised and appears slimy or fuzzy, while mildew is flat and appears powdery.
Furthermore, mold and mildew differ in their odor. Mildew has a musty smell that can be reminiscent of damp socks, while mold tends to smell more powerful and pungent.

Areas of Growth
While mold and mildew both grow on natural materials like wood, leather or paper, temperature affects which type of fungus will grow. Mildew will usually grow at temperatures ranging from 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit, while mold grows at temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason why mold damage is harder to remove is that it burrows underneath surfaces, while mildew growth tends to occur surface-level.

Removal Process
A significant difference between mold and mildew is how to remove each. Although normal household cleaning products and a scrub brush can be used to get rid of mildew, it can be trickier to treat mold damage. Some species of mold can be eliminated using cleaning products such as white vinegar, Borax or bleach, while others will require professional assistance. Contacting mold remediation specialists can help you remove insidious mold growth in your Asheville, NC home.
Understanding the main differences between mold and mildew is key to both eliminating it and preventing its recurrence. Using this guide can help you to determine whether your home is experiencing mildew or mold growth.

3 Tips for Preventing Winter Storm Damage to Commercial Structures

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Floor of an office with mud, flooded office Flood damage to an office building due to a broken pipe.

Steps To Prevent Winter Storm Damage To Your Commercial Property

A winter storm has the potential to cause as much storm damage as a thunderstorm. Sleet, ice, wind and snow all pose risks to structures. There are some actions that can help prevent or mitigate the negative impacts of blizzards, snow squalls and other winter weather events on commercial buildings.

1. Winterize Exposed Pipes and Faucets
Sudden temperature drops may result in a pipe break, which can, in turn, lead to a water catastrophe that requires the services of a professional cleanup service in Barnardsville, NC, to handle. Insulating exposed pipes and outdoor faucets and taps can keep them from freezing and bursting. First, the water valves connecting to them need to be shut off and any attached hoses disconnected and stored in a sheltered location. Second, the water needs to be drained out. Finally, protective pipe insulation needs to be wrapped around each pipe and faucet.

2. Clean the Roof and Gutters
It is important to clean debris and gunk out of gutters before a winter storm. This will allow liquid to drain properly in the case of freezing rain. It is equally important to remove snow and ice from both the roof and gutters after the event. A pileup of packed snow can collapse the roof, and even if it doesn't, when melted it may cause mold and other damage. Water can also freeze in the gutters, creating ice dams whose weight can pull them off.

3. Caulk Cracks and Openings
Small holes and cracks around windows and other areas can allow cold air to seep in. Even indoor pipes may freeze if chilly winds enter the structure, lowering the temperature. Doing an inspection of the building and reapplying and applying caulk to any areas that need it can help prevent this.
A winter storm can cause a great deal of trouble if appropriate measures are not taken. Pipes exploding and roofs falling in are very real possibilities that can be warded off with a little extra work, so it is important to keep a close eye on the weather and prepare for severe incidents.

3 Tips on Pet Fire Safety

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Dog sitting on a carpet bottom of the picture it says FIRE TIP Place a Window Cling to alert firefighters about pets within your home in case of a fire.

Keep Your Pets Safe In The Event Of A Fire

Emergency personnel worldwide agree that a carefully devised fire escape plan is necessary for all homeowners. Not only is it critical to account for your human family members, but preparing a plan for your animals is important as well. Follow these simple steps to keep your household pets safe in the event of a fire emergency.

1. Practice
When practicing your fire escape plan, make sure to include your pets. Pet preparation is essential, so ensure you have the proper precautions in place for your furry friends:

  • Emergency supply kit
  • Collar with name and contact information
  • A place to stay if evacuation is required

Make it a routine to grab your pets when you gather your family and head out the door during a fire drill. Repeating actions helps make your escape feel second nature when panic ensues.

2. Pet-Proof Your Home
Family pets are often responsible for igniting house fires. Pet-proofing your house in Biltmore Forest, NC, ensures both pet safety and fire prevention.
Many animals possess incredibly inquisitive natures. As such, they curiously investigate any open flame, stove knob, or culinary appliance. Avoid a fire emergency or the need for fire damage assessment by pet-proofing your kitchen and smothering any candles or open flames before leaving the house.
If you are the proud owner of a puppy or another young pet, keep it secure in a gated room or crate when you are away. Baby animals' mischief knows no bounds, so ensure both of your safety by keeping them enclosed and away from fire hazards.

3. Cooperate With Firefighters
Make firefighters' jobs uncomplicated by providing them easy access to your pets. Keeping your animals close to an entrance ensures their safe recovery in the event of a fire. Furthermore, place leashes and collars in locations that are simple to find. Entry closets or garages are handy places where emergency workers may look to locate pet paraphernalia.
With practice and preparation, you can avoid the catastrophes created by a housefire. Always include pets in your fire emergency plan to keep your entire household safe and secure.

Preventing Mold After a Flood

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Two air movers Use fans and a dehumidifier to increase evaporation speed and reduce moisture in the air.

How Do You Get Rid Of Mold After A Flood

Faced with flooding, business owners in Barnardsville, NC, have another worry to add to the list: mold growth. Since mold spores are always around, the aftermath of excess water provides an ideal environment for it to flourish. Immediately addressing the issue is essential to minimizing its spread.

Fast-Growing Fungus
When mold has moisture, a food source and a warm, humid environment, it can start to grow in 24 to 48 hours. The longer it sits, the increased chances of it spreading to another area. If the issue isn't taken care of, new colonies have the potential to form throughout the property. Below are a few ways to prevent mold growth.

If the outdoor humidity levels are lower, open the building to increase airflow and ventilation.
Remove saturated items, especially absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles and paper.
Begin extracting any standing water.
If safe to do so, use fans and a dehumidifier to increase evaporation speed and reduce moisture in the air.

Professional Help
While those steps may help minimize it from spreading, getting the right help is essential for proper cleanup and avoiding future issues. This is especially important if the excess water came from a sewage backup or natural flooding. This type of water will also have bacteria and other contaminants that require additional safety measures for cleanup. When choosing a certified water and mold damage company, you get peace of mind that they will adhere to industry standards, have the tools and techniques to restore your business, and use an array of methods to clean and salvage as much as possible.
Although it may be easy to focus on all the extra water, mold growth needs to be a top consideration after any kind of water issue. Acting fast and finding the right expert to handle it makes it faster and easier to get back to "Like it never even happened."

Handling the Immediate Aftermath of a Commercial Fire

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Dealing with the aftermath of a commercial fire can be confusing and panic-inducing.

Fire Restoration And Claim Success

Dealing with the aftermath of a commercial fire can be confusing and panic-inducing. Most people, if they're lucky, never experience a fire disaster. However, as a manager or business owner, if you do experience such a disaster, it is crucial that you understand what to do following the event. There are at least three steps that you should take immediately following the emergency to ensure fire restoration and claim success.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company
When the fire department leaves the scene, the first thing that you should do is contact your commercial insurance provider. You will need to explain the circumstances surrounding the event and officially request to file a claim. Your fire insurance policy agent should schedule an insurance adjuster to come out to the site and review the damage. Depending on the severity of the incident, it can take a few days or more for the adjuster to arrive.

2. Contact a Restoration Service
You should not hesitate to hire a remediation or restoration company in Asheville, NC. Waiting can lead to more damage, and that is likely damage that your insurance company will not cover. A significant job of a restoration service is mitigation, meaning to stop further problems from developing. On contact, the restoration service should send out a project manager or team to inspect your facility and come up with a recovery game plan. The service will also work with your insurer to help protect the claims process.

3. Take Pictures for Proof of Loss
If your facility is accessible and safe to walk through, you should go around and take pictures of the damage and equipment loss, some equipment is likely salvageable through smoke cleaning. Additionally, you want to find receipts or any evidence of past purchases to show the insurance adjuster when they arrive for their investigation.
A commercial fire is a terrifying experience. It is normal to feel out of your depth during a rare personal experience. However, it is also necessary to keep your wits about you and follow standard fire restoration protocols to ensure business recovery.