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What You Should Know About Sewer Cleanup

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Image of sewage damage Sewer backup can cause severe damage.

A sewer backup is one of the nastiest things that can happen. Not only does it smell bad, but it can also be extremely dangerous. It usually involves grey or black water and can cause you to be very ill if you come into contact with raw sewage.

Black water is the most dangerous and consists of completely contaminated water.
Grey water is moderately dangerous and consists of floodwater that does not contain feces or other serious contaminants. This requires a sewer cleanup company to repair.

Both of these can result in illness if you do not have them cleaned up properly.

What To Do About Sewer Cleanup

What You Can Do

The first thing that you need to know about major sewer damage is don't attempt it yourself. Although there are a few things that you can do on your own, you should always use a remediation company in Washington, NC, to clean any major flooding.
You can open windows, throw out disposable items and move items outside. You can also clean up small spills and minor things like a flooded toilet.

What Professionals Will Do

Professional sewer cleanup companies have the knowledge, equipment and experience to deal with broken sewer pipes or a large backup.
The first thing they will do is to extract or clean any large areas that have been contaminated. They vacuum and remove large debris and floodwater.
Then they dry every surface using fans and air dryers. After things are dried out, the company sanitizes nonporous surfaces. This includes floors, carpets, walls and anything else that needs it.
Not even a proper sewer cleanup can decontaminate every surface. Surfaces that cannot be sanitized are removed for disposal.
Once this is finished, they decontaminate what items are left and deoterize your home. Once this process is complete, the company collects up the debris into the proper recepticals for disposal according to city, state and federal guidelines.

A major sewer backup can be both problematic and dangerous. If you are having sewer troubles, always be sure that you clean properly to avoid contamination and illness.

How To Safely Clean Up After a Water Intrusion

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded kitchen Flooding can cause severe water damage.

If you discover floodwaters penetrating your home in Washington, NC, you will have to take immediate action. First, it's important to know the proper cleanup method for each of the three levels of contaminated water. Cleaning up water from an overflowing river would probably necessitate many more safety precautions than cleaning water from a bursting supply line in your home.

1. "Clean" Water

Clean water (aka Category 1 or white water) comes from a relatively sanitary source. This means it's safe to touch without protective gear. Just because the water is clean doesn't mean you can ignore it, though. Within 48 hours, white water can develop into gray water. Mold is also likely to begin growing during this time.

2. Somewhat Contaminated Water

Gray water (aka Category 2) is not thought of as highly contaminated water. However, it does come from an unsanitary source. Water from a clothes washing machine or an aquarium could be considered gray water. This water is known to have bacterial and/or chemical contaminants. You should wear rubber gloves throughout the cleaning process. It's critical to clean and sanitize the area thoroughly before it has time to develop into something more toxic (i.e., within the next 48 hours).

3. Highly Contaminated Water

Black water (aka Category 3) is heavily polluted. It's likely to be highly unsanitary due to biohazards like fecal matter or blood. It could also contain dangerous chemicals or an unknown array of contaminants. You'll definitely want to hire water damage restoration professionals to ensure that the proper cleanup techniques are used for the well-being of your family and home.

Even the cleanest water can cause severe damage to most household materials, as well as the structure itself. Knowing that it is contaminated water adds another important factor to the restoration process. Before you begin the remediation process, it's essential to determine the level of contamination.

Storm Tips for Renters

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded room Flooding damage

Strong storms often flood apartment buildings, particularly if there is foundation or roof damage. Before the next storm arrives in Washington, NC, it's important to know your responsibilities as a renter. They start with having a good renter's insurance policy.

Storm Tips

Make Sure You're Covered

The best thing you can do to protect yourself against a flooding event is get good coverage. While the building's owner is responsible for flood damage restoration to the building itself, there are several expenses that your rental policy may cover:

  • Repair or replacement of belongings
  • Cost of temporary relocation
  • Medical expenses for injuries sustained during flood

It's important to know exactly what the terms of your insurance coverage are before you need it. Talk to your agent about the policy that is best for you and ask questions for the clarification you need to make the right decision.

Protect Important Documents

When you share a wall, ceiling or floor with another tenant, you don't have a lot of control over what happens in your building overall. One thing you can control, however, is how well you protect your own belongings. Most items are replaceable, and your renter's insurance should cover the cost of doing so. You may need your important documents such as your insurance paperwork, birth certificates and your rental agreement before mitigation is complete, though. Store them in a waterproof container, and save electronic copies with secure cloud backup.

Communicate With Your Landlord

Restoration of your apartment is a joint effort. You are responsible for your belongings, but your landlord is going to be the one who is in touch with the owner and the technicians in charge of the building restoration. Make sure the office manager has a way to contact you so you can stay informed about the progress of the cleanup.

If your apartment floods during a storm, you'll quickly learn how important it is to be prepared. With a good renter's insurance policy and reliable backups of all your vital information, you can do your part to make restoration go smoothly.

What Is Secondary Damage?

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded city Water from a flood can cause substantial damage.

Water from a flood or leak in a home can cause substantial damage to the structure and contents. The damage directly caused by the initial water event is called primary damage. However, water can also cause other types of damage, such as black mold. These are referred to as secondary damage.

What Secondary Damage Is

This damage is any damage done to your property as a result of a water event after that event has stopped occurring. For example, if your home floods and standing water remains in your home for several days after the flood, the damage caused by that standing water would be considered secondary. There are several common examples of secondary water damage:

  • Mold growth
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical damage
  • Material damage
  • Wood rot

Mold Growth

Black mold and other types of fungus thrive in wet environments and areas with high humidity, such as homes with standing water from a flood event. Mold can begin growing in a flooded home in as little as 24 hours, which makes it particularly important to dry out your home as quickly as possible. Once mold has begun to spread, you may need the assistance of a mold remediation company in Washington, NC, to remove it.

Other Secondary Damage

Water that seeps into electrical sockets can cause severe damage to the electrical systems of your home. Metal pipes, vents and other fixtures may corrode when exposed to flood water for extended periods of time. Additionally, materials such as wood, drywall, flooring and structural components may crack, sag, buckle or rot. The longer standing water remains in the home, the more likely these problems are to occur.

Standing water and high levels of moisture in your home can lead to black mold and other issues that can further damage your property. Drying out your home quickly can reduce the amount of damage that occurs.

3 Reasons You Might Find Mold in Your House

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person cleaning up mold on white wall. Mold thrives in places with excess moisture.

If you have black mold or other fungus growing in your house, you may be wondering why. The short answer is that mold tends to grow in environments that are most conducive to it. Identifying the conditions in your home that make it a good place for mold to thrive and eliminating them is the key to preventing future fungus problems.

3 Conditions That Make Mold Thrive

1. Excess Moisture

Mold grows best in damp conditions. This is why it is commonly found in places that normally have a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and crawl spaces. A moisture problem from a leaking pipe, roof leak, flood or storm damage can create ideal conditions for mold growth in your home. If you have mold, one of the first steps to take is to look for water damage and repair the issue that caused it.

2. Food Sources

In addition to water, black mold and other fungi need a food source to survive. Indoors, mold tends to feed off of organic materials such as the wood in your moldings, wallboards and ceiling and dust and dirt on surfaces. Because it is nearly impossible to eliminate all the food sources, it is usually more productive to focus on reducing moisture.

3. Lack of Sunlight

Direct sunlight can kill the mold; however, indoor lighting does not have the same effect. Despite that, mold still prefers to grow in dark places, so it is particularly important to avoid damp conditions in the parts of your home that are also dimly lit. A mold cleanup specialist in Washington, NC, can help you identify the areas of your home where mold is most likely to be a problem.

Black mold and other fungi grow in places where the conditions are most conducive. Because moisture is the element most under your control, eliminating excess moisture in your home is one of the best ways to combat mold.

How Fire Restoration Damage Is Estimated

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Image of estimate form on a clipboard and with a pencil laying on top of the form. Fire damage restoration estimate.

Whenever a business is damaged by fire, the process of fully restoring that business to preloss condition involves multiple steps. One of the first steps in that process is to estimate the cost of restoring the property.

Factors To Consider

The total cost of restoration depends on several factors. When assessing the cost of restoring property after fire damage, restoration professionals consider all of these factors:

  • Temporary repairs
  • Security
  • Roof damage
  • Water damage
  • Smoke damage
  • Debris removal
  • Contents cleaning
  • Fire Cleanup

Estimating Fire Damage Restoration Costs

Buildings that have been damaged by a commercial fire often need to be boarded up and protected from unauthorized entry and theft. Additionally, your estimate may include costs for removing odors and stains caused by smoke damage. In addition to the cost to restore the structures, amounts will be estimated for the cost to remove debris, clean and restore contents, clean up the property and move the undamaged property into storage during the restoration process.

Estimating Water Damage Restoration Costs

Temporary repairs to mitigate ongoing damage are particularly important for water damage claims. A restoration professional in Washington, NC, will include the cost to dry out your property, place tarps over openings in your roof, board up broken windows, clean and deodorize damaged contents, remove debris, and reconstruct your property. If there is evidence of mold damage caused by the water damage, your estimater may also include the cost of mold remediation services.

Whether your property has been damaged by fire, water or some other cause of loss, it is important to have a professional provide an estimate of the cost of restoration that includes all of your expenses, rather than just the cost to repair your buildings. Accurate cost estimation reduces overall restoration costs and speeds up the process of restoring your business to preloss condition. A restoration professional in Washington, NC, can work with your insurance company to assist you with this process.

4 Benefits of Hiring a Professional

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

Image of SERVPRO equipment to dry areas damaged by water. SERVPRO of Bath uses state of the art equipment to completely dry areas damaged by water.

Commercial or residential water damage can a very challenging and costly problem faced by property owners. From general plumbing issues to running toilets, there are many things that can cause flooding.  Even though it they could seem easy to clean and repair on your own, there are some benefits to hiring a profession restoration business to handle the repairs.

4 Benefits to Hiring a Restoration Professional

1. To Prevent Mold Spores from Spreading

A water damage restoration business is trained to properly clean areas where water moves, in between the walls, under your floorboards, and creeping into places that are not seen or may be hard to reach. These professionals can help you salvage areas that could have to be replaced if proper cleaning doesn’t take place. And, in locations where mold has developed, a professional can clean it properly to prevent the mold spores from spreading.

2. To Avoid More Damage

If someone is inexperienced with how to clean and restore areas where water damage has occurred, it is possible for someone to make a mistake and make the problem worse or allow it to escalate if it’s not handled correctly immediately. Professionals in this line of business are able to visit the business right after the mold damage has occurred to prevent further damage or problems from developing.

3. To Identify Signs of Moisture Which are Hidden

A professional will be able to use stage of the art moisture tools to identify hidden signs of moisture that are more often than not undetectable to home and property owners. They can also take more steps to prevent future water damage from occurring.

4. For Top-Notch Restoration Services

A water damage professional will be able to replace and restore flooring, insulation and dry wall for a finished product that looks wonderful using the highest quality materials available to them.

Encapsulation: Your Solution to Crawlspace Humidity

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person looking into a crawlspace Crawlspace humidity is a common problem.

Is there a crawlspace under your home? Whether it's full of random storage items or left empty during the year, it's also part of your home that plays an important role in supporting the structure of your home. Sadly, crawlspace humidity is a common problem that exposes the foundation to mold and rot unless you take preventative measures.


What Benefits To Expect

Encapsulation is an effective method of protecting the open area below your home. Crawlspace humidity creates an inviting environment for mold but sealing the space or installing a vapor barrier of polyethylene keeps moisture out. While many Washington, NC, homeowners still haven't heard of this protective step, there are several benefits:

  • This airtight barrier is also resistant to insect infestations and other pest-related problems.
  • Encapsulation may reduce the amount of energy by almost 20 percent.
  • The sealed space improves your ability to maintain temperatures in your home, effectively reducing your utility bills.
  • Your property value may increase.
  • Combine this step with a dehumidifier and the right amount of ventilation to avoid expensive repairs related to moisture and mildew.

With the heavy-duty barrier in place, you can feel confident that your home is protected against expensive water damage.

How To Tell You Need Services

How do you know if your Washington, NC, home needs this type of protection? There are several signs that the empty space below your home is causing trouble:

  • Musty smells from the empty space
  • Floors that feel squishy underfoot
  • Constant pest problems you can't control
  • High utility costs in spite of home improvements
  • Visible evidence of moisture around windows or on ductwork

As humidity builds up below your home, the effects are easily recognized. It's best to take action before you need to call in water damage repair experts.

When To Get Started

Crawlspace humidity is a significant cause of home damage. Adding a polyethylene barrier prevents damage to the foundation and the rest of the home. If you haven't considered this solution, now is the time to give it some thought.

Tips for Cleaning Dryer Lint

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person cleaning dryer lint Cleaning the dryer lint on a frequent basis is the best way to prevent a lint fire.

Having a washer and dryer in your home is convenient, but improper maintenance can pose a unique fire threat. To prevent a lint fire in your home in Washington, NC, you need to keep the combustible material away from heating elements. The best way to do this is to clean the lint out of the dryer on a frequent basis.

When to Clean the Dryer Lint

After Each Use

Every time you use your dryer, lint builds up on the removable screen. To prevent fire damage, you need to remove the lint at the end of every dry cycle. There are several ways to do this:

  • Gather lint by hand
  • Brush lint off screen with cleaning brush
  • Vacuum lint off screen with hose attachment

If you are already using the vacuum hose to remove lint from the screen, go ahead and vacuum the inside area where the screen belongs before replacing it. This removes any lint that fell away when you were pulling the screen out. It's also a good idea to wash the screen with warm water occasionally, especially if you use fabric softener, as it can build up and clog the spaces that allow air to flow through.

Every Six Months

Even if you are diligent to clean the screen after every use, a lint fire could still happen if too much builds up in the exhaust hose or the machine itself. Fire restoration specialists recommend that you clean your dryer thoroughly every six months. After unplugging the machine, detach the exhaust hose from the wall and vacuum it out. Then remove the back panel of the machine and vacuum the accumulated lint out of its interior. Not only does this help prevent a dryer fire, it also helps your machine perform better.

Clothes create lint as they dry, and it's important to keep it away from the heating elements in the dryer. Regular maintenance can help prevent a lint fire and keep your dryer running well.

Troubleshooting a Commercial Irrigation System

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of an old rusty pipe Inspect your commercial irrigation system routinely.

Outdoor irrigation system problems can cause flooding. If the problems are allowed to continue, that flooding can eventually reach your business. It can get bad enough to push water under and into your building, causing you to have to call a water damage repair company in Washington, NC. It is best to focus on troubleshooting your sprinkler system before it causes a major problem.

3 Ways to Troubleshoot a Commercial Irrigation System

1. Broken Sprinkler Heads

Broken sprinkler heads are a common problem with sprinklers. A broken head may:

  • Not turn on
  • Gush water
  • Dribble water
  • Spray erratically

If your sprinklers are doing any of these things, have them replaced as soon as you see any damage. A malfunctioning head can cause water to flood your grounds and building. A visual inspection of your system may be necessary to find this particular problem.

2. Low Water Pressure

Gauging just the right amount of water pressure may be difficult, but extremely low water pressure is indicative of a serious problem with your system. In some cases, reduced water pressure is caused by a leak between the mainline and the sprinkler heads. To find out if you have a leak, check for spongey ground between the site of low pressure and the main irrigation system valve.

3. Stem Leakage

Another major indicator of irrigation problems is leaking around the valve stems. Not only can this flood your business, but it can also be surprisingly hard to detect. Most valve stems start by dripping. This can go unnoticed for months if you don't inspect them regularly. Unfortunately, these leaks are often only discovered when they get bad enough to flood your business and cause damage.

Most irrigation system problems can be easy to diagnose by visual inspection. You should inspect your system routinely to make sure that it is not going to cause a flood. It is easier to find and fix the problem early instead of waiting until your property is flooded.