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3 Steps To Take After a Fire in Your Home

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

Home Destroyed By Fire With Caved In Roof Call fire restoration professionals after experiencing a fire

Three Steps to Follow After a Home Fire

 If your home in Marion, NC is affected by a fire, you will likely want to begin the fire restoration process as quickly as possible. There are several measurements you can take to help quicken the restoration process.

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

After a fire has occurred in your home, it’s often helpful to contact your insurance provider in order to learn what your fire insurance will cover. Though every insurance company is different, damage from a fire is often covered, at least in part, by insurance. By talking with someone at your insurance company, you can also learn about the next steps your company may require you to take in order to complete your claim.

2. Avoid Causing Further Damage

Although you may be tempted to enter your home as soon as possible after a fire, this isn’t always the best idea. By entering your home after a fire, you could potentially worsen any structural damage, which could slow down the fire restoration process. Additionally, disturbing soot in the home could damage property and could cause respiratory issues. It’s often best to allow professionals who have the proper equipment to remove items from your home.

3. Request Board Up Services

When a home has been damaged by a fire, it’s often important that the home is protected in order to prevent more damage from occurring. Boarding up your home can help keep out wind and rain in addition to making it more difficult for thieves to enter the home. Once your home has been boarded up, the process of smoke cleaning and making structural fixes can begin.

The fire restoration process can often be made easier if you know how to properly make a fire claim and keep your home safe. If you need assistance restoring your home, it could be helpful to get in touch with fire damage restoration professionals.

How To Create a Solid Fire Preparation Plan

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Signs for the evacuation plan of the building in case of fire or a hazardous incident. 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.

Fire System
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.

Evacuation Routes
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.

Action Plan
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.

4 Steps to Preventing Water Damage in Your Home While on Vacation

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Shutting off the water supply line.

Prevent Water Damage In Your Home

One of the worst ways to end your vacation is returning to your home in Union Mills, NC, and finding that it’s flooded due to a broken pipe. There are some precautions you can take to prevent unexpected water damage. If you are planning on being away from home for more than a couple of days, it’s recommended you keep a checklist to follow, so you can avoid costly water pipe repair.

1. Clear Away Exterior Debris

It’s good practice to routinely check points around your home where leaves and other debris collect, such as gutters. Inspecting your home’s exterior before leaving will provide you with an added sense of security.

2. Keep Pipes and Spigots Insulated

If you live in a northern climate and plan to vacation during the winter months, one practical way to protect pipes is to cover them with an insulation sleeve. Covers are also available for spigots. Disconnect any hoses that aren’t in use, such as garden hoses.

3. Inspect Your Home for Leaks

Simply taking the time to inspect your home for leaks, or the potential thereof could prevent water pipe repair down the road. The most obvious places to check are all sinks, toilets, and tubs. Look them over thoroughly for any signs of seepage, dripping, dampness, or rust. Don’t forget some of the less obvious places, such as the water heater.

Water can also leak in through broken window seals and the roof. While you’re surveying your home in Union Mills, NC, you might as well check for missing or broken shingles and weak areas. Your goal is to keep from returning to a flooded mess.

4. Shut the Water Off

Even if you’re planning on asking someone you trust to stop by and check on your home periodically, it’s recommended to turn off the main water line. Remember to let all of the water drain from the faucets and toilet tanks will alleviate pressure buildup and help prevent the possibility of a broken pipe.

Taking a few simple precautions before you leave on vacation allows you to better relax and enjoy your time away. It also goes a long way toward preventing water pipe repair.

FAQs About Cleaning Under Your Home After a Flood

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

technician wearing protective gear going into a crawl space. Cleaning a crawlspace in a home in Nebo, NC.

A home flood in Nebo, NC, can cause a devastating amount of damage. Though many homeowners are eager to begin cleaning their homes, few people realize that the area underneath houses often need to be cleaned after a flood. Here are a few helpful things to know about cleaning crawlspaces after a flood.

What Are Signs of a Damaged Crawlspace?

Though damage in a crawlspace may not be immediately apparent, identifying damage in a timely manner is often important. The following are common indicators that a crawlspace has been affected by a storm:

  • An unpleasant, musty odor in areas above and around the crawlspace due to mold growth
  • Damaged subfloors or warped vinyl floors
  • High levels of humidity in rooms above the crawlspace

What Causes Damage to Crawlspaces?

A home flood can cause major damage to both the interior and exterior of a home, and though crawlspaces are often overlooked, they are still prone to damage. When water quickly accumulates underneath a home and is not removed or drained, the structure of a home can be affected. Damage to crawlspaces can also occur if there are high levels of humidity in the area, which can cause building materials to absorb the moisture and weaken.

How Can Under Your House Be Cleaned?

Fortunately, there are steps that professionals from a storm damage restoration company can take to clean your home’s crawlspace. First, water is removed under the crawlspace. If mold and high levels of humidity remain present after the water is removed, professionals may create negative air pressure in the area to dry up the area. Once the crawlspace is dry, professionals can restore or replace any building materials that have been damaged.

Though a home flood can wreak havoc on your home, it can be useful to understand more about cleaning underneath your home. Knowing the signs of a damaged crawlspace, common causes of damage and how the underside of your house is cleaned can make the cleanup process seem less complex.

4 Common Flood Mistakes To Avoid

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

entrance of a House fully flooded during the flooding of the river Flood damage to a home in Rutherfordton, NC.

Four Common Flood Mistakes To Avoid

Flooding poses a wide range of personal safety and property damage risks. Homeowners should be aware of the potential dangers of a flooded home in order to make more informed decisions. Here are four common mistakes that many homeowners make when attempting to eliminate flood water.

1. Mitigating Before Documenting

If mitigation begins before a homeowner documents the full extent of damage, it may be harder to make a flood damage claim and receive full compensation. Capture the worst of the damage in photographs or videos prior to pumping out standing water.

2. Making Direct Contact With Flood Water

Restoration professionals classify flooding as Category Three black water, which may contain chemicals and solid waste. Homeowners and mitigation workers should wear waterproof boots, hip waders, and other personal protective equipment while documenting or cleaning up damage inside a flooded home.

3. Turning the Power On or Off

It can be as risky to attempt to shut off a circuit breaker as it would be to turn on a switch or appliance anywhere in a residence that has suffered flood damage. Avoid electrocution by contacting an electrician or utility company and having an expert disconnect the electrical meter.

4. Delaying the Start of Cleanup

As soon as the damage has been documented and a homeowner has checked in with a flood insurance provider, there is no need to wait to start damage mitigation. Standing water will cause increasing damage to building materials and contents and mold may start to form within just 24 to 48 hours.

These mistakes are easy for homeowners to make. Knowing the risks associated with flood water can reduce the risk of personal injury, problems making a flood damage claim or secondary damage. Homeowners should stay in contact with a flood insurance provider and rely on the expertise of storm and water damage restoration professionals in Rutherfordton, NC.

How Can SERVPRO Help With Your Insurance Claim?

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green trailer SERVPRO's disaster mitigation crews can arrive at your property faster than any other service.

How Can SERVPRO Help With Your Insurance Claim?

Recovering from a fire, flood, or any other disaster at your commercial property in Spindale, NC, could be overwhelming, and navigating an insurance claim can add to your headaches. Fortunately, you can rely on claim services as part of the emergency response assistance SERVPRO offers. 

Damage Mitigation
You can count on the fastest possible response from professional teams who know how to prevent further damage to your place of business. SERVPRO's disaster mitigation crews can arrive at your property faster than any other service to prevent secondary damage from:

  • Mold due to sitting water after extinguishing a fire or a plumbing-related flood
  • Chemical contamination of the air due to burning synthetics
  • Electrical fires due to water-soaked wiring

Immediate disaster response can prevent secondary damage to increase your insurance provider's likelihood of covering your losses.  

A Full Range of Claim Services
Gathering everything your insurance provider needs to process your claim can be challenging, especially if you cannot access your property following a disaster. Fortunately, you can rely on SERVPRO's claim coordinators to inventory and photograph your losses, provide repair or replacement estimates, and communicate directly with claims adjusters to ensure the processing of your claim as quickly as possible.

Reliable and Trustworthy
You can count on a thorough and effective cleaning and restoration of your property by SERVPRO's urgent response teams. Your insurer can also expect a fair and accurate assessment of your losses from a team that works directly with adjusters to avoid unnecessary delays and inaccuracies when processing your claim. In addition, emergency mitigation efforts that focus on preventing further damage help you return to business as quickly as possible, and insurance companies avoid overspending on claims.
Business owners in Spindale, NC, who rely upon SERVPRO's urgent response and claim services following a disaster have the satisfaction of returning to businesses that look "Like it never even happened."

Cleaning Your BBQ Grill: 3 Simple Tips

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill at a summer barbecue party. Cleaning your grill can reduce the risk of a fire.

Grill Cleaning Tips

When barbeque season comes to Mill Spring, NC, you probably look forward to creating a variety of delicious meals for your family. However, before you use your grill for the first time this season, learning a few handy grill cleaning tips can reduce the risk of fire, give your unit a longer life and make your grilled food taste better.

1. Burn Off Excess Grease
You can prevent a grease fire in your charcoal or gas grill by lighting the unit, closing the hood and letting it run at its usual temperature to burn away any grease deposits you may have missed when you cleaned and stored the grill previously. Allow the grill to run for at least 30 minutes to ensure all the grease softens or burns off.

2. Soak and Scrub
Grill cleaning can be simpler once you let the parts soak in hot, soapy water. You can also use a store-bought grill cleaner to remove especially tough stains. If your gas grill includes stainless steel parts, use a cleanser specially designed for cleaning the metal to protect the finish. Most gas grills feature removable burner tubes and control knobs, so remember to clean these thoroughly as well.

3. Practice Safe Grill Maintenance While Cleaning
Grill cleaning can be dangerous unless you practice proper safety measures throughout the process. Make sure all the parts cool completely before you handle them and remain especially cautious when cleaning your gas grill to prevent leaks. A fire mitigation and cleanup company can provide you with information about the dangers of gas leaks and their relation to serious fires.
Barbeque season in Mill Spring, NC, is usually an exciting time and gives you and your family the opportunity to share delicious meals together. Knowing how to properly prepare your grill for the summer can help ensure that the food you cook on it, whether charcoal or gas-fueled, can make all the difference in the taste and flavor of your grilled meals.

What To Do About Water in Your Crawl Space

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Person getting inside a crawlspace A wet crawl space can have a big impact on your home.

How Did Water Get Under The House?

Most homeowners in Forest City, NC, take water problems very seriously. Water can cause a lot of damage to furniture, appliances and fabrics. But many people overlook a wet crawl space. It's easy to assume that since it's not part of the interior, a little water is okay. That may not be the case.

Causes of Moisture
So how did water get under the house in the first place? There are a few common reasons:

  • A leaky pipe
  • The slope of your yard
  • A misdirected downspout
  • A flood

Figuring out which of these is the source of the water will help you find a solution.

Potential for Damage in a Wet Crawl Space
A seemingly empty crawl space is a critical area in the home. The foundation and important structural elements are accessed here. When there is flooding, damage can happen. Water weakens wood joists and supports, erodes foundations and fosters mold growth. All these issues can become long-term problems that will need to be repaired. And the repairs can get costly. The best way to minimize damage is to address the situation as soon as possible.

Ways To Fix the Problem
Once you’ve decided to act, there are a few key steps. Stop the source of the water so that you can deal with the problem. Get a professional to clean the area and get rid of any mold that may have developed. Check the structural elements of your home. If something seems compromised, call someone to repair or replace it. You may want to invest in waterproofing or a pump that can help keep everything dry to help reduce future problems. It's also a good idea to add crawl space inspections to your home maintenance list
While it’s an easy thing to ignore, a wet crawl space can have a big impact on your home. Knowing that, take the time to make a plan to handle any problems you find when making inspections. You’ll sleep easier knowing you’re taking the best care of your home.

Tips for Dealing With a Partial Loss Business Fire

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Blue building, two windows broken and window phrame with smoke damage Fire damage in a building in Marion, NC.

Dealing With a Business Fire That Caused a Partial Loss

While property losses from fires in the U.S. fluctuate from year to year, the trend in recent years has been upward. In 2020, fires caused nearly $22 billion in property damage, an increase of nearly $8 billion from 2019. Not all of these fires caused complete and utter destruction; many were labeled as partial fire loss. This means that significant structures and objects remained, which brings up the need for a fire assessment team to come in and decide what can and cannot be saved.

The Process of Commercial Fire Restoration
Trained recovery technicians come to a site in Marion, NC, soon after the flames have been put out. Their job is to assess the damage and come up with an orderly and efficient plan to restore a business as though the fire never happened. At first, the team prioritizes safety and preventing additional damage to the facility and then moves on to the following steps:

  • Debris removal
  • Water damage cleanup
  • Soot and smoke damage cleanup
  • Content cleaning
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration of damaged structures

In a partial fire loss, technicians identify items that are good candidates for cleaning. This can save money, though not all items can be restored successfully.

The Process of Insurance Reimbursement
While the insurance process can seem complicated after a fire, there are ways to make things run more smoothly. Dealing with a full-service restoration contractor often speeds up the process and reduces expenses in the long run. A single contractor with a designated project manager can send an itemized list of services and expenses to the insurance adjuster. This provides clarity and simplicity and eliminates mistakes and questions.
Every commercial fire is a little bit different and dealing with a partial fire loss can be a challenging situation. Following an orderly and professional process is likely to get the best results.

4 Important Things To Know About a Flood Cut

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on a drywall. A flood cut is a cut made into the drywall, insulation, and other materials to avoid contamination and further damage.

Four Crucial Flood Cut Facts

Most homeowners, especially those in flood zones, fear to flood. The potential damage a flood can cause is nightmare fuel even to the most prepared homeowners. Still, according to storm damage remediation services in Saluda, NC, recovery is likely possible after most floods, and one recovery technique used frequently is the flood cut.

1. Definition
A flood cut is a cut made into the drywall, insulation, and other materials to avoid contamination and further damage. At its most basic, a flood cut is a mitigation technique.
A mitigation specialist will cut away the materials about 12-inches above the flood line. The reason companies cut above the flood line is to access dry materials.

2. Important of Tear Out
After heavy flooding occurs, the wall cavities can act as sponges and traps for excess water. Without a flood cut, the water remains trapped, and mold is likely to grow. Opening the wall cavity allows remediation teams to remove moisture damage and dry out the space, reducing the risks of further damage.

3. Restoration of Property
While it might seem counterproductive, a flood cut is a necessary step in property restoration. The cut and removal of damaged materials allow the restoration service access to essential structural components. They can assess the materials to ensure there are no risks to the structural integrity of the wall and house.

4. Professional Assistance
While homeowners might think a flood cut is a DIY process, it is best to use a professional service. You never know the trouble that might be lurking behind a wall. Having professionals on-site to deal with any issues that arise is a wise decision.
The aftermath of flooding is challenging to deal with. A professional service can help by using the necessary techniques to mitigate further loss. A flood cut is one of the most useful mitigation tactics professionals use.