How To Prevent Mold Damage After a Flood
Major storms and hurricanes can cause severe damage to your home. Between the heavy rain and strong wind, many homes are subject to flooding in Murfreesboro, TN. If your home has suffered from a flood, it is important to act quickly to clean up your home and mitigate any loss from water damage or mold growth.
If you suspect you have mold in your home, remove it as soon as possible, as even small amounts of mold can lead to:
- Unpleasant odors
- Damage to your home
- Dark and unsightly stains
- Rapid mold growth and infestation
Dry Out Your House
If your home is flooded after a storm, you should remove standing water as quickly as possible and dry out the flooded area. The longer the water stays in your home, the more likely it is to cause damage. Damp, humid areas are a breeding ground for mold and mildew, so you need to eliminate as much moisture as possible.
Get Help Quickly
Calling a professional water cleanup service is always recommended after a flood, as they are expertly trained to handle flood cleanup and mold prevention. In addition to drying out the flooded area, they will also clean, deodorize, and disinfect your home to remove any bacteria that has seeped into your floors and walls.
Document the Damage
Remember to keep a file with all repairs and expenses to file with your insurance company if you plan to file a claim. Gather receipts that show the cost of any damaged property and any receipts from professional cleanup services. Always check with your insurance provider for coverage under your policy.
There is no time to spare when dealing with mold growth after a flood. If you think you have a mold problem, removing the water from your house and thoroughly drying and disinfecting the area is your best course of action. Getting professional help and maintaining good records will ensure that you eliminate the problem, mitigate the damage, and prevent any additional loss.
4 Steps To Fix a Flooded Basement
Flooded basement in Smyrna, TN
4 Steps To Fix a Flooded Basement
If you return to your Smyrna, TN, home and find a basement flood, it may feel like it can never be fixed or will be an expensive unexpected cost. If you live in a flood-prone area, having flood insurance coverage helps ease the second concern. When it comes to the fix, along with getting help from a certified water damage and restoration company, there are four steps to take to get your basement back to as it should be.
1. Water Extraction
The sooner you can get the standing water out, the better chances you have of salvaging items and avoiding secondary issues, such as mold. Before grabbing buckets, mops and wet/dry vacuum, ensure it is safe to enter the area. Anytime there is unwanted water, electrical hazards increase.
2. Clear Out Wet Items
When a basement flood happens, there is a good chance there are many objects and belongings that are saturated. After taking videos and pictures of everything as it is for insurance purposes, remove anything that you can and store it in a dry, safe place to dry out. For bigger objects that can’t easily be moved, temporarily cover them to keep them contained.
3. Dry It Out
The key to dealing with any flooded area is getting it dried out. If the basement has windows and the humidity level outside is lower than inside, open them to increase ventilation. Run fans and a humidifier to aid in the drying process until help arrives with industrial tools.
4. Consider Waterproofing Options
As you deal with the mess, it’s the perfect time to consider reinforcing your basement to guard against a repeat situation. The first step is to determine the source. If it wasn’t an unexpected event, such as a pipe burst, there are many sealants and waterproofing methods that can create a barrier from water infiltrating your home.
A basement flood is never anything wants to find themselves facing. By taking quick action and getting the right help, you can get back to “Like it never even happened.”
How To Prepare an Emergency Plan for Your Company
Organizing an emergency contingency plan for your company may take time, but the effort is worth it
Here Are A Few Ideas On How To Prepare A Contingency Plan For Your Company
According to the Department of Labor, almost every business is required to have an emergency action plan. Since you care about your business and employees, you don't doubt the importance of having one, but sometimes it's difficult to know what all you need to include. After all, these are adults, not children, so everyone has experience with fire and emergency safety.
Make It Unique
Your company and your building in La Vergne, TN, is unique. If you run a small production factory, you shouldn't model your evacuation plan of a plan for a large, multi-floored office building. Walkthrough your space and note the exits, potential hazards, and resources for protecting yourselves. The number of employees you have, their physical abilities, and the location of your business should all be factors in your emergency plan.
Plan Different Scenarios
While fires are the most common type of business emergency, you may also need to prepare a contingency plan for other natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or mudslides, depending on where your business is located. If you work with explosives or dangerous chemicals, or you're located in an area where those are factors, you need a plan to shelter-in-place or to evacuate quickly and safely. Assign roles to your employees to keep track of their coworkers so that any evacuation or sheltering scenario is executed efficiently.
Report An Emergency
Create a plan that everyone understands for reporting emergencies. How will reliable information get to your employees so that everyone knows what to do? Select leaders and alternates to sound alarms, make announcements and call for the appropriate type of help whether fire rescue, EMTs, or emergency mitigation services.
Organizing an emergency contingency plan for your company may take time, but the effort is worth it so that you and your employees can stay safe during a disaster.
3 Mold Remediation Steps
Mold remediation in Murfreesboro, TN
Mold Remediation Steps
If you have discovered black mold in your building, prompt mold remediation is key to mitigating your damages and avoiding future problems. You can help make the process go more smoothly by familiarizing yourself with the steps involved.
1. Follow the Moisture
Mold can be difficult to track down because it often grows in places you can not see. One way professional mold remediation companies discover all of the areas of mold growth in a building is to look for the sources of moisture that fuel its growth. By locating moisture sources and tracing them to their point of origin, mold cleanup professionals can ensure all existing mold is removed and prevent future mold problems.
2. Make a Plan
Once all of the black mold has been located, your mold removal team will document it with writing, photos and video and then use that documentation to create a removal plan. The plan should include information such as when work is expected to start and be completed, who will be doing what, any testing that is needed and whether you will need to keep employees and clients out of the building while the work is being done.
3. Remediate Mold Contamination
The next step after creating the plan is to execute it. Mold professionals in Murfreesboro, TN, will work to eliminate all of the existing mold in your building while maintaining safety measures to avoid exposure. The process will involve isolating the contaminated area, suppressing dust, removing damaged materials, cleaning, testing and drying. You may need additional assistance to repair any leaks and replace damaged materials, such as drywall, furniture or ceiling tiles.
Black mold remediation is a multi-step process that involves assessment, planning and execution. Your professional mold removal team will have the experience and equipment necessary to safely locate and combat your mold problem and prevent additional damage and future problems.
Prevention Key to Avoiding a Water-Related Business Claim
Water damage in an office building
Business owners in Murfreesboro, TN, know the importance of having commercial insurance for unexpected events. While that may provide peace of mind, avoiding a business claim altogether is the best option. One of the top causes of claims is water damage to the commercial building and contents. Although not all water issues can be prevented, proper maintenance of the plumbing system can avert such problems as a burst pipe or leak.
In most cases, the insurer will cover an accidental pipe break. If mold growth occurs because of this issue, it may or may not be included. If the leak was ongoing and already resulted in the mold, or if precautions weren’t taken after a break to mitigate secondary damage, your business claim for mold will likely be denied. Instead of getting a surprise, help keep your business in the best shape possible with these tips:
- Insulate any exposed pipes.
- Maintain indoor temperatures above 55 degrees even if the building is empty.
- Verify that wall cracks and lines for electrical conduits, utility services and fire protection are properly sealed.
- Insulate recessed lighting fixtures and drafty areas near pipes, including attics.
- Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and properly draining away from the building.
- Consider installing an automatic excess flow switch to monitor the waterline.
Call the Professionals
If a pipe has already burst, immediate action is needed. The first step is to turn off the water to stop the incoming flow. A broken pipe can unleash many gallons of water, which increases the need for extensive cleanup and repairs. Along with calling a plumber and making a business claim, contact a mold and water damage restoration company to assess the circumstances. They have the necessary expertise, tools and techniques to clean up the situation and prevent secondary damage from happening.
While filing a claim due to unexpected water damage isn’t completely avoidable, maintaining your property and making a few improvements can help prevent an emergency.
The Optimal Number of Fire Alarms in Your Home
Man installing a smoke alarm in a Murfreesboro, TN home
How Many Alarms Should You Have In Your Home
A fire is certainly a scary thing. It has the ability to destroy your home in Murfreesboro, TN, and it poses a serious threat to the safety of your family. For these reasons, it makes sense to arm yourself with a few tools of fire prevention. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher, and probably one for each floor. A fire alarm is crucial, too. This can provide a quick alert to everyone that something is amiss and that it might be time to get out of the home. It can save lives and property. For your home to be adequately protected, you should consider how many alarms are optimal.
An Alarm on Every Floor
If your home fire alarm system is not interconnected, you should put an alarm on every floor at the minimum. You want everyone in the house to be able to hear it when it sounds. For extra safety, alarms should be placed in rooms where fires are more likely to occur such as kitchens. Finally, it is beneficial to place alarms in every bedroom for the following reasons:
- People might not hear a distant alarm when they are sleeping
- Individuals in one part of the home can alert others
- People are most vulnerable at night
A quick notice of an incipient fire is one protection against fire damage. The quicker a fire can be put out, the less devastation a fire will cause.
The Importance of a Professional Cleanup
While a fire alarm can save lives and reduce damage, even the smallest fire causes an array of odors and other problems. Cleaning up after a fire is difficult and requires a certain level of expertise. The services of a quality fire remediation franchise is the surest way to get your home back in order again and to remove smoke damage. Technicians will make sure the home is free of all the problems caused by fire. It is another way to protect your home from the ravages of fire.
Can a Toilet Overflow Cause (or Be Caused By) Sewer Damage?
A toilet overflow can be a nasty mess
Can a Toilet Overflow Cause Sewer Damage?
A toilet overflow can be a nasty mess. Sewage water, also called black water, gets everywhere. Unless the flooded toilet was unused since the last full cleaning, areas where the black water reaches should be considered a biological contamination zone.
Sewer damage or septic problems are a possible cause of toilet flooding. However, in most cases, the issue is with the toilet itself.
The three most common causes of overflow are:
- A blocked drain
- A malfunctioning float
- A blocked vent pipe
What Should You Do First?
If you can access the toilet shutoff valve, turn the water off immediately! Every ounce of water creates a much larger mess.
If there’s no shutoff valve, open the tank lid and carefully lift the float up. Don’t yank it —it could break off, causing a worse disaster. Once the float is high enough, you can prop it up using whatever is handy. However, always use the shutoff valve if one is available.
You can now consider what to do with the water in the bowl, but be careful what you stick in the toilet! It can cause sewer damage. If the sewage company finds things you shoved down the toilet, they may conceivably bill you for damages.
If you have a plunger, carefully use that. Follow good practices for use, because if used incorrectly, a plunger is often useless — or it could even make the mess larger.
If a plunger doesn’t work and you know how to use a snake (and have one available), go ahead and carefully try to snake the toilet. A blocked vent pipe can also often be cleared by a snake, so they’re very handy to keep in your toolkit.
If you’ve avoided sewer damage, you can concentrate on cleaning up the black water. Because of the pathogens, this should be left to a certified sewage cleanup company. Professionals have commercial disinfectants that can make quick work of toilet overflow damage.
3 Ways Renters Insurance Covers Mold Damage
Renters insurance can protect it against the ravages of mold damage after a flood
3 Ways Renters Insurance Covers Mold Damage
When your Rockvale, TN, rented property suffers water damage, you may wonder if your rental insurance covers costs for secondary damage, such as mold growth. You may encounter different types of fungi growth after a flood, many of which can take hold as soon as 24 hours after a flood. Understanding coverage circumstances for such an issue may help you maintain peace of mind in the wake of mold and water events.
1. Internal Flooding
Indoor flooding, such as water from burst pipes, leaking appliances or water lines and malfunctioning air conditioning units, can all cause mold growth soon after. Even if you dry the area with fans or towels, mold damage might still occur under cabinets or carpeting, which makes it difficult to spot. You may want to report the presence of mold to your insurance representative and your landlord as soon as you discover it.
2. Water Heater Damage
Rental insurance is likely to cover any mold problems caused by your rented apartment’s water heater. These appliances can crack and leak on occasion, which may cause mold growth at the source. Over time, spores become airborne and can travel to other parts of your home and find warm, moist places to grow anew. You can ask your insurance representative about the extent of your coverage for this circumstance.
3. Property Damage
Furniture, clothing and other personal belongings can be severely damaged by mold growth. A mold removal and remediation service may be able to restore some items, and your insurance will probably cover the cost. However, because insurance companies and policies vary, speak with your local agent before you commit to any type of restorations.
Rental insurance for your Rockvale, TN, apartment or other rental property can protect it against the ravages of mold damage after a flood. The better you understand your coverage, the faster you may be able to act when these problems arise.
Smoke Removal After a Fire
Smoke odor removal in Smyrna, TN
When a fire loss happens, no matter how big or small, the cleanup process often means replacing drywall, carpeting and other materials in your Smyrna, TN, building. Even after everything looks like its back to normal, there may still be lingering effects. A professional fire damage and restoration professional will ensure that proper smoke cleaning and soot removal are completed.
Smoke Removal Process
Unfortunately, smoke damage can last a long time. Along with soot, many of the burned materials produce gases while burning that can penetrate materials without leaving a visible sign of an issue. Removing the residue and odors means cleaning burned items to restore them back to normal. Below are steps taken to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Salvageable Items – Depending on what the belonging is, an array of methods or used to clean items. Oftentimes it will involve pressure washing, scrubbing and disinfecting surfaces.
Air Ducts – Since smoke and soot are in the air, particles can easily make their way into an HVAC system. Cleaning the air ducts is necessary to avoid contaminating other areas of the building and eliminating the problem.
Tackling the Air – Airborne odor requires innovative methods to get rid of. Certified professionals have high-tech tools on-hand to make the interior air fresh again.
Air Cleaning Techniques
To completely remove smoke odor, the smoke cleaning techniques used include:
Air Scrubbing – This involves a HEPA scrubber that removes airborne particles.
Thermal Fogging – A device is used to fill the air with a deodorizer. It creates a chemical reaction with odor molecules to eliminate them. This method does require leaving the property when in use.
Vapor Modification – A mineral oil-based compound is released into the air to combat the odor. It also penetrates affected porous materials.
Ozone Generation – Some types of smoke are harder to eliminate. This method oxidizes molecules via releasing oxygen. It often requires 24 to 48 hours in a controlled environment.
Fires can be an overwhelming experience, even long after the flames are out and repairs are done. Smoke cleaning services can help ensure the problem doesn’t linger.
How To Write a Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan is vital
Steps To Develop Your Emergency Response Plan
Sustained business interruption can cost your business thousands of dollars in lost revenues. Having a business continuity plan in place can help you mitigate your losses during a natural disaster, fire or another event that may interrupt your normal operations. These steps can help you develop your emergency response plan.
Set Realistic Goals for Your Plan
Before you begin writing your plan, you need to determine what you want to accomplish with it. The overall goal of your plan should be to keep your business running as efficiently as possible during a disruption event; however, it is a good idea to set smaller goals that will help you achieve your larger goal. You should consider and prioritize essential business processes:
- Human resources
- Customer Service
- Information Technology
- Shipping and Receiving
Complete a Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis
Completing a risk assessment and business impact analysis will allow you to determine what the most severe possible risks are to your business during a disruption event. You should talk to key stakeholders to determine what the impact on your business would be if key business functions were interrupted and prioritize addressing these functions in your business continuity plan by how likely disruption to that function is likely to occur and how severe the impact is likely to be.
Write a Plan for All Essential Functions
Once you have established which functions are essential and how to prioritize them in your plan, you should write a plan for dealing with disruption to each essential function. Consider including the names and contact information of professional disaster recovery services in La Vergne, TN, that can be called upon to help get your business running again during a disaster.
A business continuity plan is vital to minimize revenue loss and keep your business functioning during a disaster or other business interruption. These steps can help you get started on your plan.