How to Dry Important Company Documents Without Sacrificing Integrity
It may not seem possible to salvage wet documents after a business has flooded, but the methods below may offer the best chance of recovering those vital papers.
1. Clean Before Drying
Mud and other debris usually accompany flooding; therefore, before attempting to dry and salvage your business’s essential documents, you may need to get the dirt off of them. One of the best ways to remove all that muck is to place the wet papers under a screen and, after the mud has dried some, vacuum the debris from the surface.
2. Air, Fans, and Paper Towel
Air is likely the most obvious way to dry out wet documents; however, it may not be the most efficient. If you want to attempt any document drying with this method, then you will need plenty of dry space to layout your papers. Lay all the papers separately, using a paper towel to damp off excess water. Once excess water is removed, you can turn a fan on low to help circulate the air and speed up the drying process.
If some of your business documents haven’t dried after two days, then you can wrap each sheet in wax paper and freeze them, ensuring the prevention of mold. Most of the time it is necessary to leave the documents in the freezer for up to two weeks, but after that time you remove them and attempt air drying again.
4. Professional Help
While most people are familiar with the idea of using restoration specialists after a flood, many don’t consider that there are services like that for document drying. You can check the local Saluda, NC, area for professionals who specialize in the vacuum freeze-drying of documents. This process freezes your documents in a vacuum-sealed container and then, using heat and air forced through the container, dries the papers.
After a flood forces a business to close, wet documents can be one of the most devastating things for a company, but it doesn’t have to be if you are aware of the ways to save and dry those critical papers.
Got Mold? How Did This Happen?
If you notice mold at home, you need to start the cleanup process without delay.
From fires to floods to wind damage, the environment can play some mean tricks on your house. You do all you can to avoid these potential catastrophes, but they’re difficult to prevent altogether. Mold, such as black mold, is another invader you’d rather do without. If you’ve noticed this substance growing in your home, you want to clean it up in a hurry. The more you understand about how this grows, the better off you’ll be.
Loves the Cool, Humid Areas
You can find the black mold and other forms of this annoyance just about anywhere in Mill Springs, NC. It exists outside, floating on microscopic spores that can enter your home on the back of a pet, on your pant legs, or through a window. It flourishes in some of the following places:
• Cellars or crawl spaces
• Laundry rooms
• Bathrooms, particularly on shower walls
Water is a Culprit
When you think of water creeping into your home, you may think of a damaging flood. While this can certainly bring mold into your house, even small amounts of water over a long period of time can do the nasty trick. A broken pipe or supply line, for example, can induce mold growth in your walls. A moisture problem, such as a leaking water heater, can also invite mold where you don’t want it.
You Never Noticed
Mold growth can occur over the course of several years, and you may not have even been aware of it. This is why it’s vital that you check your plumbing frequently to ensure there are no leaks.
Course of Action
If you notice mold at home, you need to start the cleanup process without delay. Your best decision is to call a mold cleanup company. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to get rid of any mold.
You don’t want to take the appearance of black mold lightly. Know where this substance thrives, and take immediate action when you find it.
Bathtub Sewer Backup: Should You DIY or Call an Expert?
Structural issues and mold growth are much costlier to remediate than a bit of water.
Not much is worse than dealing with a sewer backup in your home, except maybe dealing with a bathtub backup. Your bathtub is a place where you're supposed to get clean, so the thought of sewage contaminating your bathing surface can be repulsive. If you're like most homeowners, you want to deal with the mess immediately, but before you do, you need to determine whether or not your particular mess is a DIY job or a job for the experts. Below are four questions you should ask yourself before attempting to clean the mess on your own:
• How bad is the damage?
• How long has the water been sitting?
• What kind of water are you dealing with?
• What kind of objects have been contaminated?
• Do you have enough ventilation to complete the job on your own?
If you answered "I don't know" to any of the above questions, leave the cleanup to the Forest City, NC, sewer backup cleaning experts.
Why Calling in the Pros is the Best Thing for Yours, Your Home's and Your Bank Account's Health
It's understandable that you want to save money on cleanup efforts, but saving now may cause you more headaches in the long run. For one, you risk your own health by attempting to handle possibly hazardous waste on your own and without proper protective gear. That alone makes DIY cleanup not worth the savings.
Two, because you don't have the proper training to deal with home flooding, you risk missing major issues. For instance, your bathtub may appear to be the only object affected, but for all you know, the floorboards got soaked as well. If you don't properly dry out wet materials, you risk water damage and costly structural issues—not to mention mold growth.
Three, structural issues and mold growth are much costlier to remediate than a bit of water. You stand to save more by allowing a professional to properly clean up the sewer backup mess sooner rather than later.
Addressing Storm Damage
Hail damage on the roof in a home in Mill Spring, NC.
Resolving Storm Damage
Storm damage is a concern to homeowners, but for residents in Mill Spring, NC, high winds and falling hail might specifically put you in need of roof repair. The roof is the most exposed element of a house, making it susceptible to damage. Always wait until a storm has passed before taking the following steps to address storm damage.
1. Check for exterior damage. Carefully exit your home and check around the yard for fallen limbs, missing tiles, or scattered debris. Look for branches that might have been knocked onto your roof affecting chimney bricks or satellite dish locations. Check roof edges, trim, vent locations, or flashing for wind damage, looking for spots where water can seep in.
Hail damage requires a closer inspection of the roof, but keep safety a priority. Roof repair might be necessary if dark or soft spots are found, roofing felt is exposed and multiple shingles are dimpled, cracked or broken.
2. Check for interior damage. If high winds or hail have done roof damage, a check of your attic or ceiling is necessary. Examine molding or walls for stains that are brown or rust colored, indicating a leak in the roof. If your paint is peeling or bubbling, water could be seeping in and may be trapped between the walls.
3. Address damage locations. You can keep the damage to a minimum by addressing problems as quickly as possible. Use a shop vac to clean up bigger pools of water, while well-placed fans can begin drying walls or insulation. Replace weakened framing support or roofing tiles if able, covering the inside floor beneath with drop cloths or buckets to maintain interior protection. You can use tarps or boards to cover roof locations that require more extensive work.
Roof repair is an unfortunate situation that storms with high winds and hail can cause homeowners. Be sure to safely inspect storm damage, moving on to address the areas as you are able. For bigger jobs, call in the experts to lend a hand.
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.