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Understanding Secondary Damage and How To Prevent It

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Old wall covered with mold due to humidity Mold growth caused by water damage

Dealing with a flood in your home in James Island, SC is an overwhelming experience. Whether your basement floor is damp or underneath several feet of water, the process of dealing with insurance, bailing out water, rescuing your belongings, and restoration can go on for a long time. However, it's incredibly important not to cut corners during the cleaning and restoration process. If you do, you run the risk of damage from black mold and other issues that can cost you even more time and money.

What Is Secondary Damage?

This refers to damage that occurs after the initial incident. In the basement flood example, the flood is the initial, or primary, problem. This event can damage many items and even the structure in your home, causing them to become waterlogged and have to be repaired or replaced:

  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Furniture
  • Personal belongings

If, however, in the course of cleanup, you discover that there is black mold growing, the mold is a secondary issue caused by the initial problem. Because mold isn't a guaranteed outcome of a flood, it is not considered to be a primary type of damage.

How Can You Prevent Mold Damage?
Mold isn't something that you want to deal with in your home. Therefore, it is important to take the proper steps when cleaning up from a flood to ensure that it doesn't become a problem.

Contract with a water damage remediation company that understands the potential risk of secondary issues.
Begin to remove water and clean up after a flood as soon as you can safely do so.
Remember that basements are high humidity environments, so it's important to run dehumidifiers, heaters, AC units, or fans to circulate air and dry out the area thoroughly.
Be patient; don't rush or cut corners to finish the restoration job quickly. Take care to do it well to prevent future problems.

Prevent black mold and other long-term secondary damage to your home by working with professionals and taking the time to do the job right.

How To Navigate Claims for a Partial Loss Fire

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building destroyed by fire, empty building Commercial fire damage in Hollywood, SC

How To Navigate Claims for a Partial Loss Fire

Many business fires result in significant damage to a building but do not totally destroy everything. This is often known as a partial loss fire. This type of fire loss creates a few challenges for the claims process. To protect itself and to claim everything it is entitled to, a company should lookout for a few situations. It should make sure that instances of hidden damage are accounted for and documented. It should make sure that the cleanup and restoration process is done in a professional manner according to the best industry practices; this includes watching out for unnecessary delays and making sure that any repairs match the quality of the original building construction.

Treating Smoke Damage
When smoke wafts through a property, it often leaves pervasive smells as well as fine pieces of soot. A restoration is not complete until these issues have been addressed. A local fire remediation company in Hollywood, SC, should have the expertise to treat smoke odors. The effective diminishment of smoke signs includes the use of sophisticated methods:

  • Air dryers
  • Air scrubbers
  • Ozone machines
  • Cleaning agents
  • Deodorization

The masking of odors is only temporary, and the smell of smoke will soon return. Experienced professionals know that a part of fire loss includes pervasive odors. The job is not complete until those odors are eliminated.

Cleaning Up After a Fire
Comprehensive fire restoration requires a lot of knowledge and training. Each fire is unique and presents multiple challenges for a crew. Therefore, it is important to work with a franchise that has ample resources to deal with the aftermath of a partial loss fire. Experienced technicians will make sure all areas of primary damage and secondary damage are addressed. They will restore items where they can, and replace them when necessary. They will try to limit the extent of fire loss, and they will even help in the process of completing insurance claims.

3 Tips for Protecting Your Home from Floods

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road Don't drive through standing water

Consider These Three Tips When Creating Your Plan

Flooding is one of the most commonly occurring natural disasters in the United States. Because of the capacity for flooding to cause severe property damage and create safety hazards, every household needs to have a flood safety plan. These three tips can help you protect your home from a flood.

1. Install Gate Valves
Floodwater can enter the sewer system and cause sewage to back up into your home. Backflow valves are devices that allow water to flow in only one direction, preventing backflow from sewage. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes recommends a type of backflow valve, called a gate valve, as the best method to flood proof your home against sewage backup. These hand-operated valves are more complex than check or flap valves, but offer stronger seals, providing more protection.

2. Do a Complete Retrofit
If your home experiences frequent floods you may need to take more drastic measures to improve flood safety. Placing your home on columns or piers that elevate the entire structure above flood level is a costly option, but may be worthwhile if the alternative is having to perform flood restoration year after year. Less expensive options include wet-proofing and dry-proofing. To wet-proof your home, install vents in the foundation that allow water to flow through the vents, instead of rising into the structure. To dry-proof, apply waterproof sealants to your walls to make them more resistant to penetration by floodwater. A general contractor in Folly Beach, SC, can help you with these modifications.

3. Don't Drive Through Standing Water
One of the most important safety tips is to avoid driving through standing water. Even the tallest vehicles will float in two feet of water, presenting significant drowning risk.
Establishing a flood safety plan is critical for reducing the chances your home will be severely damaged by flooding and keeping your household safe. Consider these three tips when creating your plan.

3 Reasons Why a Tenant Can File a Mold-Related Lawsuit

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

a lawyer in his office showing a document with the text lawsuit written in it It is important to avoid mold insurance claims and lawsuits

3 Reasons Why a Tenant Can File a Mold-Related Lawsuit

As a Charleston, SC, commercial property owner, it is important to avoid mold insurance claims and lawsuits. Mold damages your property and creates legal problems with your tenants if you are found liable. It is important to exercise proactive mold remediation and prevent its emergence. Look at the following reasons tenants have filed suits against owners to detect and stop weaknesses within your property.

1. Construction Damage
One flaw that can lead to a mold claim is pre-existing or recent construction damage. The building, installation and renovation processes can be chaotic, with many tools and events involved. As a result, certain materials can get destroyed without anyone noticing. These imperfections may let outside water or humidity inside the area, creating the optimal conditions for mold development. Any construction project should receive a thorough inspection to detect and fix any damage.

2. Weak or Misused Materials
Some tenants also make mold insurance claims due to the use of faulty materials. This type of incident occurs mostly when construction workers or contractors neglect the use of waterproof materials, which would otherwise discourage the humidity that benefits mold. Alternatively, they may also use organic and nutrient-rich materials, such as paper, wood and synthetics, in moist places. The use of inorganic materials, particularly in damp and warm areas, can significantly reduce potential mold.

3. Inappropriate Techniques
Successful construction and installation are not just about avoiding damage or using the right materials, but also correct building techniques. The wrong move can diminish the purpose of any structure. For example, a window with a small frame may allow water to seep from outside. Also, someone who installs a roof with wrong measurements may let inside warmth and moistness, both factors crucial for fungal growth. Hire experienced contractors who know how to effectively use their resources.
There are several ways you can protect your building from mold issues. Make sure high-quality construction takes place, arrange for continued maintenance and seek the assistance of mold remediation specialists to prevent litigation and mold insurance claims from dissatisfied tenants.

3 Things To Do After Water Damage to Your Building

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Wet floor inside building Commercial flood in Charleston, SC

Actions To Keep In Mind In Case Your Company Experiences This Type Of Disaster

Whether it is a flood or a significant plumbing malfunction, water damage can cause serious problems for your business in Charleston, SC. Water in the wrong place could cost your company thousands of dollars. In really bad situations your business could even be shut down for a period of time, resulting in lost revenue. While a major water problem can seem overwhelming, there are things you can do to minimize damage and restore your facility to working order. Keep these actions in mind if your company experiences broken pipes or some other type of disaster.

1. Call for professional help. Some problems are just too large for you to handle with your own staff. A nearby water restoration company is trained to help when water damage is severe. A professional company has the equipment, the trained personnel and the knowledge to complete a full restoration of your facility. They will arrive only hours after the call and begin to work on stopping the source of the water leak immediately.

2. Consult with your insurance company. You don't necessarily have to call your insurance agent right away, but it should still be one of your first calls. It's okay if the water cleanup is already underway, but you will want to gain a better understanding of what is covered and what your responsibilities are. Documentation of cleanup costs and facility damage will help a claim get settled and paid quickly. The restoration company you hire may also be able to help you with the claims process.

3. Check to make sure everything is completed. Cleaning up water damage has many steps and an inexperienced company might miss a few things. Make sure all areas of your building are free of damage. It is critical that areas have been dried out to prevent problems such as odors or future mold growth. By hiring the right restoration company, you ensure the job will be accomplished to your standards.

4 Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Safe

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Prise multiple Always unplug your small appliances after using them

Kitchen safety has become a popular topic lately. This is especially true as many people are afraid of kitchen fires. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the fire risk in your kitchen in Charleston, SC.

Here Are Some Tips To Make Your Kitchen Safer

1. Manage the Microwave
Putting metal in your microwave is bad. But, many people don't know how many items contain metal. For instance, twist ties can cause fire damage to your kitchen if put in the microwave.
Additionally, it would be best if you use oven mitts when removing food from the microwave. This is because short periods can make food and dishes hotter than you expect. If your microwave catches fire, turn it off and call for help.

2. Stay Nearby
A grease fire can start when the food you are cooking becomes too hot. Therefore, you should always stay nearby when you are cooking. This lets you turn off smoking or boiling grease or oil. Turn off your heat source if you leave the kitchen.

3. Unplug Your Appliances
Always unplug your small appliances after using them. This keeps you from needing a qualified restoration company. It would be best if you also threw out any appliances with damaged cords. Similarly, use these small appliances when they are plugged directly into an outlet, not into an extension cord.

4. Learn to Cook Properly
Using complex tools, like deep fryers, is necessary for some recipes. However, it is important to know some tips for using these items before attempting them. Using them correctly can prevent a fire. Therefore, you should always follow the manufacturer's instructions. This includes making sure appliances are dry and not near water. This also means never touching hot surfaces and avoiding trying to do too much at once.
Kitchen safety should always be a goal. Follow these tips to make your kitchen a little more fire-resistant.

How To Salvage Wet Building Materials

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Selective focus on edge of water damaged swelled laminated plywood Swelling wood might look worse than it is

How To Salvage Wet Building Materials

Pipes can burst at any time since they may be old, corroded or damaged. Pipes often rupture in the winter when you're visiting relatives during the holidays, and water isn't moving through the pipes. Water freezes in the supply line if it isn't insulated properly. This can cause pressure to build and the pipes to erupt, sending gallons of water rushing into your home. If you've returned from vacation to a flooded house in West Ashley, SC, it is possible to clean and salvage some building materials to lower the cost of your home repair.

Real Hardwood
Swelling wood might look worse than it is. If your floors are made of real hardwood, such as any of the following woods, it is possible to salvage them:

  • Oak
  • Walnut
  • Pine
  • Maple

Removing a board every few feet gives the swollen wood room to expand and prevents it from warping. Consult with a water damage restoration specialist and a carpenter so that the drying and cleaning process is done correctly for the best results.

Subflooring is not made of strong enough material to withstand flooding, so it will need to be replaced. You often need to rip it up to complete a water pipe repair, so expect that purchasing new subflooring will be part of your restoration cost.

Unless your cabinets are made of real hardwood, they also may need replacement. Like subfloors, most cabinets are made of porous particleboard that soaks up water. This swelling wood can rot and mold very easily. Even if just one part of the cabinet is damaged, the whole section should be replaced to ensure that mold doesn't grow and spread.

Drywall repair is a toss-up. Drywall may absorb water, swell and pull away from the screws holding it in place. However, it may dry out well enough that it can be rehung. If drywall sits in water for too long, it gets mushy, starts to crumble and needs to be replaced.
Recovering from a major flood in your home is daunting, but salvaging swelling wood where possible will help to cut down on repair costs.

4 Reasons Why Mold Keeps Coming Back

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

hand with water damaged ceiling Mold damage in Johns Island, SC

Don't Allow Black Mold Take Over Your Home

Black mold is an extremely tenacious organism; it always seems to rear its ugly head again right when you start to believe that you've gotten rid of it for good. You've exhausted all of your treatment options, yet the mold just won't give up. Before you head back in to defend your Johns Island, SC, home, make sure you're not guilty of the following common mistakes.

1. You Didn't Replace Your Water Damaged Possessions.
Feeling sentimental about your possessions is understandable and it can be difficult to get rid of your favorite items after they've fallen victim to mold damage. You might think that your favorite rug is clean after mold remediation, but there's probably still spores hiding in the material. As tough as it is, you're better off just replacing your items.

2. You Didn't Ventilate Your Home Properly During Remediation.
Any type of moisture can attract black mold, including moisture in the air. Next time you head in to tackle the problem, make sure you open your windows and doors to let the moisture escape. It's also a good idea to invest in some floor fans to aid with air circulation or a dehumidifier.

3. You Didn't Remediate the Initial Water Damage.
If your mold problem is a result of water damage, then you have to make sure you resolve the initial damage before you engage in mold cleanup. Make sure to completely clear out and dry any standing water, as well as identify and fix the source of the damage.

4. You Didn't Use the Correct Cleaning Products.
It's natural to immediately reach for the bleach when you discover a mold issue. Unfortunately, bleach doesn't actually kill mold; it only changes the color so you can no longer see it. Instead, try mixing your own non-toxic cleaning solution using equal parts white vinegar and water.
Don't allow black mold to take up continued residence in your home. Contact mold remediation experts for assistance dealing with any persistent mold issues.

What Damage to Expect at Your Business After a Storm

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Thunderstorm background, phrase If you have storm damage we can help If you have storm damage SERVPRO can help

What Damage to Expect at Your Business After a Storm

After a storm at your Charleston, SC, place of business, you may be wondering if a tear out should be done in order to restore damaged walls. Fortunately, a local storm damage restoration service can help with a variety of repair needs. Here are some damage types you can contact them about.

1. Roof Damage

After a storm, roof damage can be expected. This can occur from hail, flying debris, or water from gutter overflow. Any damages to your roof should be repaired as soon as possible in order to prevent other long term damages. During this process it’s not uncommon to see the damaged space tarped or boarded over in order to protect it until repairs can be completed.

2. Flooding

Storm flooding can create the need for a tear out. This is done by removing the section of damaged wall and replacing it with new material. Flood water damage is classified as black water. This means it can carry bacteria which is why it’s important to consult with your restoration service to find out if this step may be necessary. Additional, your repair team can help with water removal, drying the area, content cleaning, and restoring the space back to it’s original condition.

3. Wind Damage

Storm winds can also cause damage to your business property. High winds cane send objects such as branches, rocks or unsecured lawn furniture flying into the building. Additionally, they may damage roof shingles, or tear loose gutters. A restoration team can asses this damage and make the appropriate repairs.

A local service can help with your business’s storm restoration including a tear-out if needed. These professionals can handle a variety of damage types from damage to your roof from wind and hair, to storm flooding. They can also help take care of any wind damage that may have occurred. With a little time and work, your company can look like the damage never occurred.

How To Prepare for a Fire Disaster

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Make sure all exits are easily accessible with no barriers

A business owner's biggest worry is dealing with a fire or other disaster. While you can never totally prepare for a catastrophe in Fort Sumter, SC, making some fire preparation plans ahead of time can mitigate the damage and reduce risks.

Create a Fire Emergency Plan

The first step is to select an emergency preparation team that is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive plan. The team should consist of members from all areas of the business and cover all shifts. Consider the following items in your plan.

Design a facility map that identifies the location of hazardous and flammable materials, fire extinguishers and building exits.
Create a written disaster preparation plan with procedures for employees to follow. The plan should identify the preferred exits for team members and the meeting locations outside. The plan must also designate who is responsible for alerting employees and the fire department in the event of a fire.
Assign key employees and designated alternates to account for all persons in the building, including visitors.
Make sure all exits are easily accessible with no barriers.

Implement and Test the Plan
A fire preparation plan is not effective unless all team members are aware of their role and follow the implemented procedures. The plan must also be tested so that deficiencies can be addressed and corrected.
Conduct emergency training with all employees and post facility maps in key areas throughout the facility. Organize periodic fire drills to ensure that everyone complies with the plan. When first implementing the plan, frequent fire drills should be conducted. Time each drill and evaluate the total evacuation time. Analyze the results and communicate the information with all employees.
If your business has a comprehensive fire preparation plan, you can reduce the risk of extensive fire damage. It's critical to contact a fire assessment service after the fire is extinguished, however, so that renovations can take place as quickly as possible.