3 Ways Mold Sneaks Into Your Air Ducts
Mold in an air duct system.
How Mold Enters and Forms Inside Ventilation Systems
HVAC cleaning can be an intimidating process for business owners in Forest City, NC. However, if air ducts aren’t inspected often, they can accumulate mold and spread it throughout the building. In order to completely solve a mold problem, you may need to understand how mold enters and forms inside the ventilation system.
1. Using the Air Ventilation System Before Mold Removal
Since moisture builds up when there is no air circulation, it’s easy to assume that air vents help prevent mold from growing. However, if mold has already formed, you may expect a completely different outcome because mold can travel easiest when it dries out. If you switch the air vents on before a HVAC cleaning professional comes in, you may be helping the mold find a more suitable area inside the building to grow.
2. Dust Accumulation Inside Vents
How does mold form inside vents if the airflow pushes it around? While an air ventilation system isn’t running, dust can form inside the ducts. Conversely, mold may also settle on the dust in the vents along with any moisture that has been sucked in. Since dust is often an accumulation of small organic particles, it can become a perfect food source for mold in the vents. That’s why you should consider cleaning vents routinely to help prevent mold in the ducts.
3. Moisture Inside the Duct Work
When a building is humid and the air conditioning is turned on, it sucks the moisture out of each room and through the vents. Along with an entire air duct system, there are several nooks and cracks in which the moisture may tend to accumulate. Since mold prefers a good source of moisture, it may start growing in these cracks and eventually spread onto the outside of the vents.
If you are a property owner in Forest City, NC, you may wonder whether or not mold has invaded your air ducts. A professional HVAC cleaning service may help you find and eliminate mold from within your ventilation system.
4 Things To Throw Away After a House Fire
It is strongly recommended all prescription and over-the-counter medication exposed to the elements of a house fire be thrown away.
After a House Fire, There Are 4 Things You Should Throw Away
Few things can be as devastating as a house fire and the long-term effects it can render. After firefighters have cleared your home, you may be left to face the difficult decisions of which personal belongings can be salvaged and which you must throw away. Rather than risk the potential health effects that fire damaged items can create, here are four items you should immediately throw away:
1. Perishable and Non-Perishable Food
Unfortunately, the high heat of a house fire can activate bacteria within the sealed cans and jars of non-perishable foods. Fumes from smoke or firefighting chemicals can infiltrate containers as well, meaning any items that have been exposed to these elements should be thrown away.
2. Burned Clothing
Textile items such as clothing, bedding or other linens frequently can be cleaned and disinfected after a house fire. However, the chemicals contained in smoke and soot could not only irritate the skin upon contact but could create health effects from inhalation. Thus, it is safer to throw out any singed or burnt clothing and textiles.
High heat, smoke, soot and even water from firefighting efforts can all alter the potency of your medications. Rather than risk the effects of altered medicine, it is strongly recommended all prescription and over-the-counter medication exposed to the elements of a house fire be thrown away.
The various minerals that come in contact with your skin through cosmetics are also at a high-risk for being impacted by the damaging effects of a fire. Products could be altered by the high heat, or soot deposits could render them unsafe. Any items that appear warped or covered in soot should be thrown out.
Fire damage in your Saluda, NC home can create a world of difficult decisions for your health and happiness. Remember to keep safety in mind, and throw away any items exposed to flames, smoke or water. Finally, consider the expertise of fire restoration specialists that may provide the peace of mind you need to rebuild your home to its pre-fire condition.
Help! There's Water Dripping From My Ceiling!
Water damage in a light fixture.
What Should You Do If You Find Water In The Light?
Sometimes water damage happens before you've had any evidence of a leak. You may be able to resolve some of those leaks by making necessary repairs, but there are some situations that require the services of a specialist. One of these is water in a light fixture. The risks of DIY repairs in this case include:
- Electrocution injuries or death
- Electrical fires due to corrosion or mold
- Injuries due to a soggy or collapsed ceiling
Think About Safety Concerns
Your first concern should be your safety and the safety of your family. Next, turn off the water and electricity before beginning any other repair efforts. Many water shutoff valves are located in the basement, if there is flooding in your path, it's best to turn off the electricity before getting near any water or electrical outlets, light switches, and other potential sources of electrical contact.
Talk to Your Insurance Company
After shutting off electricity and the water, contact your insurance company. Your chances of filing a successful claim to cover damages are better if you've taken the course of action recommended by the insurance company. You may be advised to take further safety precautions, such as contact the power company to shut off all electricity until a professional has given the okay to turn it back on.
Hire a Remediation Professional
Finally, contact a specialist with experience in cleaning up after water damage, including ceiling damage and electrical concerns. The specialist may take steps such as cutting around the ceiling fixture to release any pooling water in the light. This professional or an electrician can tell you whether fixtures and electrical wiring should be replaced. Don't turn the water or the electricity back on until you have approval from these experts.
Water damages can be scary, but with quick thinking and professional advice, you can bring the situation under control. Remember to focus on safety, cover your bases with the insurance company, and hire knowledgeable professionals in Mill Spring, NC.
Keep Fires at Bay With These Space Heater Safety Tips
Space heaters are wonderful inventions.
Prevent Your Space Heater From Catching Fire
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 do not care about 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:
- 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 Spindale, NC, there are certain safety features that Consumers Reports recommends 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 Spindale, NC, fire damage team today.
3 Ways To Eliminate Flood Odors
A thermal fogger is used to eliminate odors.
Three Ways Commercial Restoration Services Can Eliminate Flood Odors
If your commercial property in Rutherfordton, NC, has recently flooded, undesirable odors may linger long after floodwaters are gone. Restoration experts can identify and eliminate the sources of these odors as part of the storm or water damage recovery process. These trained professionals can prevent or identify and mitigate mold growth and determine the full extent of sewage loss. Here are three ways commercial restoration services can eliminate flood odors.
1. Thoroughly cleaning or removing contaminated porous materials. Any porous materials that remain intact after flood cleanup may be sources of persistent odors. Whether carpets or other porous contents or affected building materials were not thoroughly cleaned or disinfected or mold has begun to develop, a certified restoration service can identify why odors continue to linger. These companies are equipped to perform air sampling and testing if necessary and check for any signs of mold growth.
2. Clean air ducts and HVAC systems. Air conditioning and heating systems circulate air and odors throughout a commercial property. A certified restoration service can clean ductwork, vents, and other system components to put a stop to the recurrence of undesirable odors.
3. Use clean-up treatments to eliminate odors. Certified restoration professionals use treatments such as ozone or hydroxyl machines, fogging, and filtration systems to get rid of every trace of odor on the premises. These methods can help to get rid of stubborn flood odors that persist even after other cleaning methods.
Whether restoration experts trace the source of the odor in your commercial property to incomplete cleanup of floodwater or to mold growth, a storm and water restoration service in Rutherfordton, NC, can help you get rid of the smell. If damaged materials are the culprit, you may be able to file an insurance claim for sewage loss and replace contents or materials that need to be removed to eliminate an odor.
How Can Property Managers Prepare for a Big Storm?
Board up the windows of your building.
When a big storm hits Marion, NC, every property manager knows they’re in for a rough ride. Storm preparedness should be a key part of a manager’s strategy for the highest ROI – and the lowest stress. Fortunately, the process is both painless and inexpensive in most cases – especially when a property has been well-maintained.
What Are the Two Prongs of a Storm Readiness Plan?
Being prepared for a storm can be split into two parts: short-term and long-term planning. When a storm watch is announced, it’s going to be too late to start some planning – and there probably will be a run on supplies, such as:
- Ratcheting tie-downs
What Should be Done for Long-Term Planning?
Anything that can be purchased well in advance should be. Plus, your local storm damage restoration specialists can set up a free Emergency Readiness Profile for your business and perform a no-cost site analysis for storm preparedness.
One great option is to have storm shutters installed. Many can be closed in a hurry, so even sudden storms can be blocked. Another is to purchase low-cost, empty sandbags and keep them on-site. When a large storm is approaching, you can often fill them at local locations to barricade your building from floodwater.
How About Short-Term?
When the storm is a couple of days away, emergency supplies will disappear out of stores, so either have what you need or act immediately. Board up windows put all important paperwork in a safe, water-resistant location and back up anything possible to a secure cloud account. If possible, get your business vehicles in a safe place or have them driven out of town.
As soon as Marion, NC, has a storm warning, shut off all utilities, make sure electronics are unpowered and out of harm’s way and then evacuate. Good property management means staying safe and returning ready to respond.
Effective storm preparedness methods are straightforward and well-established. If handled well, property managers can ride out the storm with at least a little peace of mind.
3 Reasons Mold Grows in Your Home
Mold flourishes in places with a humidity level.
Reason Mold Grows In Your Home
Molds, including black mold, are always present in the environment. They can enter your home through open windows and doors, on clothing or through your HVAC system. Mold usually doesn't become a problem in the home, unless favorable conditions for rapid growth exist. These are three reasons mold may grow in your home.
1. You Live in a Place With High Humidity
Mold flourishes in places with a humidity level between 70% and 90%. If your home is located in a part of Forest City, NC, that experiences high humidity levels, controlling the humidity in your home will help you avoid mold problems. Consider installing a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels. Keep your windows closed when humidity levels exceed 80% and turn on the air conditioning. Aim for humidity levels between 40% and 60% inside your home.
2. You Have a Problem With Leaks or Other Sources of Moisture
If your plumbing, roof or appliances are leaking, black mold growth may result. If you find a moisture problem, repair the leak and contact a water remediation company to quickly dry out your property and perform mold cleanup. The longer your property stays wet, the more likely you are to have mold issues.
3. Your Home Has Poor Ventilation
Many modern homes are tightly sealed to make them more energy-efficient. Unfortunately, this can also lead to ventilation problems that can contribute to high moisture levels. You can increase ventilation in your home by running an exhaust fan or opening a window in your bathroom when you take a shower. Keep the outside vents on your dryer free of lint, so that moist air can be properly vented.
While having black mold spores in your home is normal, excessive mold growth is not. If you have a problem in your home, addressing these three potential causes of mold growth may help you eliminate it.
How To Create a Solid Fire Preparation Plan
Your fire preparation plan must include simple evacuation routes.
Fire Preparation Plan
A fire in your building in Saluda, NC, requires swift action. You need a fire preparation plan so that you can evacuate your building quickly. A solid plan can also prevent excessive damage to the building itself.
A fundamental necessity for detecting problems and reducing fire damage is a reliable fire system. A good fire alarm and suppression system consists of a few key elements:
- Smoke detectors in or near every room
- Control panel that reports alerts to a central location
- Sprinkler system that activates when the temperature gets too high
A functional fire alarm system lets you know where smoke is located. According to fire restoration specialists, while a sprinkler system may cause water damage when it is triggered, this problem is relatively small compared to the havoc that an unchecked fire can wreak.
No matter where the fire is located or how big it is, you want to make sure you can get everyone out of the building in an efficient manner. Your fire preparation plan must include simple evacuation routes. Make a map of the quickest way to get out of the building from every location, ensuring that the route does not intersect with the path that firefighters will be used to put out the fire. Post the evacuation route in every hallway and beside every door.
In addition to alerts and pathways for escape, any disaster preparation plan needs a detailed list of what is expected of everyone involved. For example, who is in charge of making sure everyone is accounted for once you reach the designated safe space? Who is tasked with communicating with the emergency personnel if necessary? Make a checklist of what will need to be done in the event of a fire and who is responsible for each task.
Every business owner dreads the thought of a fire in his or her building, but it's still important to be prepared. The key factors in a solid fire preparation plan are minimizing damage and getting everyone to safety.
Grill Cleaning Keeps Your Backyard Meals Tasting Great
Grill cleaning reduces the risk of a grease fire.
Easy Steps In Cleaning Your Grill
An outdoor grill is a convenient and delicious way to prepare meals in Columbus, NC. To get the best flavor, you'll need to clean your grill from time to time. Grill cleaning also keeps it performing at its best and reduces the risk of a grease fire. You can clean your grill in a few easy steps.
Before you begin, you'll need to get your supplies together:
- Grill brush
- Paper towels
- Dish soap
- Aluminum foil
- Work gloves
- Garden hose
Start with a warm grill and make sure all knobs are in the off position. Disconnect the propane tank.
Remove the grill grates and metal plates and soak them in a bucket of hot, soapy water. While they soak, cover the heating elements with foil. Use the grill brush to remove carbon buildup on the underside of the hood and grill walls. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the surfaces clean.
Continue your grill cleaning by emptying the drip pan over a trash can. When it's empty, soak the pan in the bucket. Remove the metal plates and grill grates. Scrub them clean with the grill brush and spray them with the hose.
Remove the foil and clean the heating elements with the grill brush, then remove the drip pan from the bucket and rinse it. Replace all items and reconnect the propane tank.
Enjoy Your Clean Grill
Grill maintenance helps you avoid the risk of a fire that could lead to damage and the need for emergency restoration services. To use your grill safely, always stay near it while you're cooking and keep children and pets away. Your grill should be kept away from the house, out in the open, where there are no overhead obstructions like low branches.
Grill cleaning is a relatively easy task that pays off with better-tasting food. It also gives you peace of mind as you prevent the risk of fire.
How To Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Winter Storm
You should gather emergency ssupplies.
Here Are Some Ways To Get Ready
As the weather gets colder in Old Fort, NC, the risk of a snow storm increases. Snow can build up on your roof, causing it to collapse. The chilly temperatures may also lead to a pipe burst in your building. Severe storms can even cut off your power and heat for hours or days at a time.
To protect your tenants and your property, you need to properly prepare for the impending storm.
First, you should figure out the severity of the threat to your property. Meteorologists will typically issue one of three warnings when a storm is heading to your area:
- Winter Weather Advisory
- Winter Storm Watch
- Winter Storm Warning
A winter weather advisory is issued when sleet, freezing rain or snow could reach your location. A winter storm watch, meanwhile, alerts you that heavier accumulations are on the way. A winter storm warning is the most severe. It signals imminent hazardous weather.
You and your tenants should remain fully informed about the nature of the snow storm. Sign up for your city's warning system, which should provide important updates. You can also listen to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather radio.
A minor storm can cause major damage if the cold air freezes your pipes. Use caulking and insulation to keep your entire property warm. You should also store the contact information for emergency restoration professionals. They can help fix your property if a frozen pipe does burst.
Even if you are fully prepared for the storm, an emergency can happen. You should thus ensure that everyone in your building has a supply kit. It should include a flashlight, blankets, non-perishable food and bottled water.
Before the next snow storm arrives, be sure your property is ready for the impending threat. Understand the severity of the incoming winter weather and stay updated on any emergency alerts. You should also gather emergency supplies and seal any openings to keep cold air out of your building.