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How Contamination Level Changes the Mitigation Process

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Picture of a refrigerator with the word Category on the side Category 1 water damage comes from a clean water source

How Contamination Level Changes the Mitigation Process

All flooding is not the same. When your home in Paces Ferry,GA, floods, the first question water mitigation experts are likely to ask is the source of the water. Where the water comes from often indicates the level of contamination with which they must contend. It can tell them a lot about the process they need to use to completely restore your home to its original state.

Category 1

Category 1 water is considered clean. Your home may be flooded by a clean source:

  • Broken pipe
  • Leaking pipe
  • Busted supply line

The water damage caused by clean water must still be repaired, but the process is pretty straightforward. The area can often be dried without having to remove a lot of damaged material.

Category 2

If flooding occurs as the result of a leak from your refrigerator or an overflowing washing machine, this is considered a Category 2 incident. Some cleaning is required, because the water may contain a few contaminants. As long as the materials involved are not saturated and can be adequately disinfected, they may not have to be removed.

Category 3

Flood damage from a storm or sewer line falls within the third level of contamination. This can complicate the cleanup process extensively. Even if the walls, floors and ceilings affected by the flood are still structurally sound, any area the contaminated water touched may still have to be removed in order to ensure all the microbes in the water are gone. Just because it doesn't look or smell dirty, that doesn't mean that it isn't. Technicians know it is better to err on the side of caution when the water comes from a source that is likely contaminated.
Understanding the mitigation process for flooding in your home can help you plan ahead. When you hear that the damage was caused by Category 3 water, you can adjust your expectations accordingly.

How to Prevent a Dryer Fire

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent fire hazard Take your vacuum attachment and clean underneath and around the lint screen the best you can

Steps To Prevent A Lint Fire

While the kitchen is the most common room for house fires, dryer fires are another common problem. The heating of the dryer combined with lint build up can cause your dryer to burst into flames. A lint fire is scary, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent it.

Safety First

It's important to realize that even when the lint is properly cleaned from your dryer, there is still a chance of a dryer fire. For this reason, you should never run your dryer:

  • When you are sleeping
  • When you are not home
  • When you are going to be outdoors

Leaving your dryer unattended can cause the fire to spread further, which can cause extensive damage. In addition, unplug your dryer before you start cleaning out the lint.

Vacuum Out the Lint Screen and Dryer

You probably already clean out your lint screen every time you start a new load. However, a lot of lint can get past the screen, and eventually lead to a lint fire. Take your vacuum attachment and clean underneath and around the lint screen the best you can. Refer to your owner's manual to see how to safely vacuum out the inside of your dryer.

Cleaning Out the Hose

Pull out any lint you can reach after removing the hose from the back of your dryer and the wall. If you can't reach it all, use a dryer vent snake to push it all the way through. In addition, check the pathway from the hole in the wall to the outside of your house. Use the snake to ensure that all of the lint is out of the vent.
These steps can help reduce your risk of a lint fire. You should do this at least once every six months, and more often if you do a lot of laundry. If you do experience a dryer fire, let your fire restoration experts do what needs to be done to cleanup the mess.

The Ins and Outs of Basement Flooding

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

View of heavy rains in backyard Heavy rains can cause flooding to your basement

The Ins and Outs of Basement Flooding

If you have a basement in Virginia Highlands,GA, you probably are well aware of the looming threat of flooding in this infamous room. Sometimes it can't be avoided, so it's in your best interest to arm yourself with knowledge in preparation for this damp event.

Causes

In order to prevent a basement flood before it occurs, or prevent more flooding after an initial incident, you will need to locate the source. There are many ways for water to pool at this lowest point in your house, so you will want to make a thorough inspection. Some usual suspects are:

  • Hurricanes or heavy rain
  • Poor drainage
  • Inadequate sealing
  • Pipe or appliance rupture
  • Sump pump failure

Professional Solutions

Often, homeowners don't have the time or equipment to deal with flooding thoroughly. In this case, do your best to stop the flooding if it is coming from inside the house, and turn it over to the professionals. Try to have a water damage remediation service picked out beforehand so you can be sure they are a company you can trust. In the meantime, remove as much contents as you can to a drying area outside and turn off the electricity in your basement.

Pumping

It is possible to pump out the water yourself, especially if your basement is bare and any pipe repair is already done. You can rent a submersible pump from your local hardware store. You will need to use a generator and extension cord so that the electricity can remain off in the water damaged area. Be sure to point the hose carrying the water out of the basement away from your house, ideally into a storm drain.
Flooding isn't the end of the world if you properly dry it out, or call people who can pump and ventilate for you. If you have a plan, you won't have time to panic while you are efficiently restoring your home. Be the best homeowner you can be!

Quick Guide to Commercial Roof Maintenance

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Workers installing concrete tiles on the roof Roof maintenance in Buckhead, GA

Flat roofs on commercial structures are more susceptible to roof damage than sloped roofs on homes. Still, businesses use them as a means of conserving interior building space and to place equipment. If your commercial building has such a roof, keep an eye out for damage and get maintenance when needed.

Roof Problems Often Begin With Wind Damage

Flat roofs provide a safe, secure and secluded location for many kinds of equipment:

  • HVAC
  • Refrigeration
  • Backup generators
  • Communications

Unless there is a tornado or powerful hurricane, the wind will not blow such equipment off the roof. However, wind load can slightly flex the equipment and damage the roof at the point of contact. Damage to the roof membrane can open a path into the building for water to follow.
Minor wind damage is difficult to detect, but the subsequent water damage is readily apparent. It is essential to inspect the roof from the inside. Catching water damage quickly can eliminate the need for a roof rebuild.

Standing Water Poses Additional Risks

Many commercial structures have flat roofs that pitch slightly to accommodate drainage. The pitch, however, does not eliminate the possibility of occasional pooling. Long-term or frozen pools can cause roof damage. The best strategy is to keep the roof dry.

Snow and Ice Can Cause Catastrophic Roof Failure
During the winter, snow and ice can accumulate on flat roofs. Unless there is a plan in place to clear them, the excessive weight can cause the roof to collapse. Of course, the act of removing it can also cause damage. The bottom line is that cold winters are a constant threat to the integrity of your roof.

Roof Maintenance Keeps the Indoors Dry

Over time, your roof will become damaged. You can’t avoid that. However, you can prevent the damage from causing bigger problems, like mold. Routine inspections and simple repairs can keep your structure dry and safe.
If roof damage allows water to become a problem indoors, help is available in the Buckhead,GA, area. Water damage elimination experts have the training, experience and equipment necessary to solve your water problems.

Safety Equipment Used to Get Rid of Mold

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

A man wearing yellow headphones for ear protection, goggles and an air-purifying mask The type of face mask or respirator worn will depend on the size of the remediation

Protective Equipment to Remove Mold Damage

You’ve got the black stuff growing in your bathroom and need it gone. Now, people are coming toward you in white, plastic coveralls and wearing face masks. They look like something out of a horror movie. It’s OK, though. They’re getting themselves ready for the mold.
You know the mold remediation specialist and his team are stepping into a potentially dangerous situation that might risk their health. They need to suit up and get protected. What type of protective equipment does a technician need to wear to get rid of the black, nasty stuff?

1. Full-body Suits

For large remediation projects, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends complete coverage of the body. Disposable coveralls protect any exposed skin from coming into contact from mold and mold spores. Full-body suits made from breathable material such as TYVEK ®also prevent the spores from transferring to clothes.

2. Face Masks or Air-purifying Respirators

The type of face mask or respirator worn will depend on the size of the remediation. Technicians will wear an N-95 respirator during a medium mold damage cleanup. These facemasks cover the nose and mouth. A P100 respirator is also known as a powered air-purifying respirator. It covers the full face. Only respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are to be worn throughout the remediation process.

3. Gloves

Like face masks and full-body suits, gloves protect the skin from coming into contact with mold. A technician uses long gloves which extend to the middle of the forearm for the best protection. Gloves come into different materials such as natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane and polyvinylchloride (PVC).
All these things are protective equipment a mold remediation technician uses to safely remove mold damage from your home in Ridgeview Park,GA. To keep you and your family healthy from the effects of mold a specialist needs to keep themselves healthy as well.

5 Common Causes of Solar Panel Damage

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

solar panel damaged Solar panel damaged in Sandy Springs, GA

5 Common Causes of Solar Panel Damage

More and more homes in Sandy Springs,GA, are installing solar panels. They may require extra expense upfront, but in the long run, they're a sustainable and cost-efficient energy alternative. If you're thinking about investing in solar power, you may be concerned about the potential for panel damage. Here are five of its most common causes.

1. Extreme Weather

Since solar-powered panels need exposure to the sun to work, they're also regularly subjected to a variety of other elements, including the weather. Snow, rain, and hail all have the potential to damage panels, as well as other parts of your home, requiring the aid of an experienced storm damage restoration company. Fortunately, it usually takes an excessive amount of snow, rain, hail or wind to actually cause harm. Panels and their racking are carefully designed to hold up against most of what Mother Nature throws their way.

2. Fire

Faulty wiring can cause panel and roof damage if left unaddressed. To protect your solar panels, make sure their wiring is fenced in or otherwise contained and that children or pets are unable to access it.

3. Tree Branches

Falling tree limbs and branches have the potential to cause panel damage. For this reason, it's important for solar panel owners to keep nearby trees trimmed and well-maintained.

4. Overheating

The job of a solar panel may be to soak up the sun's rays, but that doesn't mean it's immune to overheating. Panels that regularly get too hot may require the installation of fans or another type of ventilation system to ensure that things run smoothly.

5. Lightning

Lightning is a solar panel's nemesis. If one of your panels gets zapped by a lightning strike, it's likely done for. Fortunately, solar panel owners have a variety of lightning protection systems to choose from, including grounding schemes and surge protection devices.
Solar panels are built to withstand the elements, but they're not immune to them. By keeping these five common causes of damage in mind, owners can prepare for potential panel damage and protect their eco-friendly investment for years to common.

4 Things Your Property Insurance Should Cover

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Man holding a paper that says are you covered? Damaged documents

4 Things Your Property Insurance Should Cover

The commercial building you own in Morningside, GA, is a big investment. It is wise to make sure that it is protected in the event of a fire or some other catastrophe. When you purchase commercial insurance, your package should include a property policy. Here are five things that you should expect such a policy to cover.

1. The Property Itself

Property insurance is designed to pay for fire restoration services for the structures you own that have fire damage. There are several structures it includes:

  • Building
  • Signs
  • Satellite dishes
  • Fencing

It also includes damage to the part of the property that you own that surrounds your building. Your landscaping, sidewalks and driveway are also included in the coverage.

2. Manufacturing Equipment and Supplies

If you produce goods in your building, the machines used to do so can get damaged by fire just as easily as the building. You may also lose some of the inventory of completed products in storage or the materials used to make them. If any of these items are in the building and get damaged, the property policy of your commercial insurance package can reimburse you for the loss.

3. Office Equipment and Furniture

During a fire, your furniture, phones, computers and other office equipment can be damaged. Even if it's not burned by the flames, smoke and soot can damage sensitive equipment. The items you and your office employees use every day are protected by your property insurance. 

4. Documents and Records

The recovery of important documents may be on your to-do list after a fire. Unless they are completely destroyed, it is likely that restoration experts can restore accounting records, payroll documents and other important items.
The specific policies found in a commercial insurance package may vary slightly from business to business, but any business owner who has property needs a property policy. It covers damage to your building and the important items inside it.

Limit Storm Damage With a Water Tight Building

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Roof covered with a blue tarp to help limit storm damage. A building envelope protects against the intrusion of rain, hail, snow and ice

Water has a way of finding entry into a commercial building during storms and floods. Old roofs, cracked windows and faulty siding are just some of the ways moisture can infiltrate a property and cause rain damage. Too much moisture or high humidity in a building can cause structural weakness over time and promote the growth of mold. The presence of mold affects indoor air quality and can cause unpleasant odors in a building. There are many ways to address this issue by scheduling preventative maintenance, conducting regular inspections of the roofing system and fixing any leaks. Making sure your commercial building in Atlanta,GA, is sealed against moisture is a great way to protect your investment and its contents.

The Damaging Effects of Water

Water is a corrosive element and can break down wood and fabrics and damage electronics. Its presence in the form of high humidity provides a fertile ground for black mold to proliferate. During a heavy downpour, it's important that your building has all of the elements in place to keep out moisture. A building envelope, which consists of your roofing system and grade wall systems, does the following:

  • Protects against the intrusion of rain, hail, snow and ice
  • Funnels water away through the use of drains
  • Provides weather protection and temperature control features

Rain damage poses a serious threat to the longevity of your building. In fact, floods are one of the most common disasters to impact a business. They can have devastating effects and can even cause a lengthy business disruption. Working with a storm remediation team in Atlanta,GA, puts your company in a strong position to handle a disaster.
The best way to reduce rain damage to your building is to be prepared. Many buildings have cracks in the walls and other weaknesses that allow rain to get to areas where it doesn't belong. Shoring up these areas before a storm strikes is good business.

3 Tips for Proper Drain Cleaner Use

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Pipes underneath a sink. Avoid using cleaners on a completely blocked drain

Are Drain Cleaners Really A Quick-Fix Solution For A Clogged Drain?

Chemical drain cleaners are found in almost every household. They’re widely available in stores, and millions of people use them regularly. Is a drain cleaner really the quick-fix solution for a clogged drain? According to plumbing experts, they should be used as a last resort. Follow these three tips for responsible cleaner use that can help extend the life of your drain and pipe system.

1. Avoid Using Cleaners on a Completely Blocked Drain

The truth is that if your drain is suffering from a stubborn block, a chemical cleaner may do more harm than good. Many drain cleaners contain potent chemicals such as:

  • Lye and potash
  • Bleach, peroxides and nitrates
  • Sulfuric acid and muriatic acid

These chemicals work to break down a clog until it can be flushed away. Unfortunately, it’s common for the materials of the clog to move down a drain and form a new blockage. You may have to resort to professional services for a clogged drain that is deep in your pipe system, which can be expensive.

2. Do Not Use Drain Cleaners on Weak Pipes

If you have an older home or live in an old apartment building, be wary of drain cleaners. They’re chemical solvents that produce heat in order to target the material of a clog. The heat can warp and damage soft piping, especially plastic pipes.

3. Try Safer Alternatives First

It’s easy to go to a convenience store to grab a drain cleaner for sewage cleaning in Vinings, GA. However, there are safer and more effective alternatives. Try using a plunger or auger to clear a clog first. If that doesn’t work, purchase an eco-friendly biological cleaner that contains natural enzymes or bacteria that eat away at the material in a drain.

Residential water experts are professionally trained to clear a clogged drain and do not suggest using chemical drain cleaners. Follow these three tips to keep your drain and pipe system in top condition.

How To Prevent Mold

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing on walls in the basement Moldy basement

Many business owners are aware that water damage can cause mold growth. Sometimes, mold is visible. Other times, it lurks where it cannot be seen. Certain types of mold spores can travel easily through the air, making them difficult to eradicate. If you have experienced unwanted dampness in Lenox Square,GA, there are several things you can do to deter mold from growing.

Where To Focus Your Efforts

Mold can form anywhere there is moisture or where water gathers. To reduce the chance of mold growing in your office or building, focus on the areas that are most likely to get wet:

  • Basements
  • Bathrooms
  • Windowsills
  • Washing machines
  • Kitchens

These areas need to be checked and dried as quickly as possible. Any areas that have experienced water damage should be dried out 24–48 hours from the time of the incident.

Which Prevention Methods Help

There are several methods that can help with mold prevention in high-risk places. If possible, use mold-resistant building materials, which are less hospitable to mold. To inhibit growth, the core of mold-resistant drywall is covered in fiberglass instead of paper. Maintain proper ventilation and appropriate humidity levels throughout your building to help create an environment less hospitable to mold.

How To Dry Wet Areas

If prevention measures fail and areas get wet, there are actions you can take to prevent mold growth. Wet items that can be removed, such as rugs, should be removed and dried as quickly as possible. Flooring, walls and other items that cannot be easily removed can be dried with increased air circulation. Circulation can be increased by opening windows and doors or using a hair dryer. More intense water saturation may need to be dried with professional equipment like commercial drying fans.

The best way to prevent mold is to keep your building dry. However, if areas become wet or moist, small jobs can be taken care of with do-it-yourself methods. When water damage is more severe, it may require the help of professional mold remediation specialists.