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Swamp Cooler Maintenance Tips

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of mold growth. Mold can spread quickly, so it's important to act fast to protect your home.

How To Manage a Leaking Swamp Cooler

If you don't live in the Southwestern area of the U.S., the term "swamp cooler" may be unfamiliar. If you do live in the Southwest, however, you surely know about these devices and how they work. You may not know how to keep them from developing leaks or creating mold problems, though. If you're struggling with a leaking swamp cooler, here are some ways to manage the situation.

How To Prevent Mold Buildup

If you're a new homeowner or haven't had a swamp cooler before, here are the basics. Swamp coolers are simple, evaporative devices that cool air inexpensively and efficiently. Swamp coolers work by passing hot, dry air over water. The coolers use less electricity than air conditioners, but they are prone to mold infestations. While swamp coolers are generally seen as environmentally-friendly choices for air treatment, they don't work in all climates. The coolers introduce extra humidity into the air, and this can create mold growth. If you suspect you have a leaking swamp cooler, check for and fix any issues as soon as possible. Common issues include an incorrectly set or broken float valve, loose water lines, misplaced or incorrectly placed pads, or a cracked reservoir. Take preventative measures regularly to help ensure that your cooler works properly.

How To Clean Mold Buildup

If you smell a musty odor and find mold buildup, it's crucial to have your swamp cooler cleaned. Mold deposits can continue to grow and release spores into the air if left unaddressed. To help circulate the air and release some of the built-up humidity, open your windows or doors to encourage airflow. Check inside your swamp cooler to see the cellulose pads are compromised. If so, they may need to be replaced. If the mold has spread into your home's air ducts, you should call a professional mold remediation team to handle the situation.


If you need help with a leaking swamp cooler in Flat Rock, NC, contact professionals before the mold get out of control. Mold can spread quickly, so it's important to act fast to protect your home.

How To Prevent Extra Damage to Your Roof After a Storm

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Damage to roof. The mitigation process for roof damage involves not only taking care of the problem but also protecting the roof during downtime.

The roof on your house in Hendersonville is your home's first defense against water damage from storms or heavy precipitation. When the storm causes roof damage, your home can become vulnerable to all kinds of problems, including ruined insulation, weakened structural materials and mold growth. By calling flood restoration specialists as soon as you suspect your roof has damage, you are likely to prevent further damage that neglecting the compromised roof would allow.

Inspection

The first thing that the specialists are going to do is inspect your roof. When they do, they are looking for specific issues that need to be addressed:

• Core components of roof, such as decking, shingles or the membranes that seal out the elements
• Level of saturation in insulation
• Condition of the flashing
• Condition of drains, gutters and rain spouts

Once technicians know the extent of the roof damage, they can formulate a plan. Any time they're not working on the roof, they use measures to protect your roof from taking on more issues.

Overnight Protection

From the time the mitigation specialists arrive to look at the roof to the time they completely finish repairs, there are going to be long blocks of time when they are not actively repairing the roof. Therefore, it's important that something be done to protect the roof while it's under repair. Some areas can be boarded up as long as the edges of the board are sealed with a waterproof tape or film. A tarp can also cover the roof to provide protection from rain and further wind damage. No matter what measures are used, the roof should not be left open if it has damage.

The mitigation process for roof damage involves not only taking care of the problem but also protecting the roof during downtime. Boards and tarps prevent further damage by isolating the roof from those who mean it harm.

Property Owners Guide To Wood Floor Restoration After a Burst Pipe

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Wet wood. A pipe burst can ruin the wood floors of any property owner, but when you know the process and the people to call, you can minimize the stress.

A pipe burst in your building can be detrimental to a wood floor. As the property owner, you will want to mitigate any further damage by acting as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, with different operating hours, there are times when a burst pipe may go unnoticed for days. When you experience this type of damage, here are a few steps you can take.

1. Remove Standing Water

First, remove any excess water and dry the wet floor thoroughly. You can remove the water by using wet vacs and various pumps. You can dry the area by using fans, industrial air movers, and dehumidifiers. It is not essential to purchase any of this equipment, as most of it can be rented at home improvement stores.

2. Remove Damaged Boards

Once the area of the pipe burst is completely dry, remove any damaged boards that are stained or swollen. These boards will likely not sand well and when stained will probably be discolored. You can remove boards by using a circular saw, cutting along the inside edge, and then prying them free with a crowbar. After removing all of the damaged boards, replace them with new boards that are of the same type of wood already in place.

3. Sand Dried Floor

After the removal and replacement of damaged boards, it is time to do the tedious task of sanding all of the floors. While you can use small orbital sanders and other hand sanders, it is a better use of your time to rent a large heavy-duty floor sander.

4. Call Restoration Specialist

As floor restoration is a massive job that requires a fair amount of technical skills, it may be beneficial to seek help in the Hendersonville, NC, area from certified restoration specialists, as they have the skills and equipment to get the job done quickly.

A pipe burst can ruin the wood floors of any property owner, but when you know the process and the people to call, you can minimize the stress and worry of this issue.

4 Reasons to Hold Off on Mold Testing Kits

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on a wall. Choosing the best option for mold testing is essential for planning treatment.

Mold testing is a vital part of figuring out where mold is so you can act to remove it from your Hendersonville, NC, home. You may consider buying a mold kit, but those have a number of flaws that make them unreliable. Here are four reasons why DIY mold tests are inferior compared to the alternatives.

1. They Don’t Give Much Information

A mold sample only tells you that there is mold at your home. It doesn’t inform you of the species or location. You may also be oblivious to any potential water problems feeding the mold.

While it can be used to verify that there is a fungus in your home, you need more information to know if it could cause property damage and is worth removing.

2. They Are Scientifically Questionable

These mold testing kits are Petri dishes that give a place for a mold sample to grow. There is no comparison control sample to compare what’s in the air versus where you sampled.

Additionally, any that offer a service to send them off for evaluation involves sending them through the mail. Depending on shipping, the kit’s receipt could take days. This potentially taints the sample due to heat or package mishandling.

3. They Are Not Effective for Every Infestation

Dead or airborne mold spores will not show up in a test with a mold kit. Different species may settle more easily on the testing dish, so the tests tend to have dominant growths. With the other types overshadowed, you could miss finding a specific mold infestation.

4. They Don’t Compare to Professionals

An environmental hygienist has the commercial tools and methodology necessary to find all mold and identify problematic locations. Mold is almost unavoidable in your home, but only certain infestations need treatment. An expert mold damage restoration company can act on these findings to remove the mold growth and its cause.

Choosing the best option for mold testing is essential for planning treatment. By understanding these reasons against DIY mold products, you can make the right choice to protect your home.

Checking for Hidden Damage After a Flood

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

worker with protective gear going inside a crawlspace, you can only see feet and legs Check your crawlspace after a home flood.

Examining for Hidden Damage Following a Flood

It can be devastating when a home flood occurs after a storm in Hooper's Creek, NC. The first stage in the cleanup process is to remove excess water so the repairs can begin. However, there are places in a home where storm damage can go undetected if not properly checked.

Hiding Places

The crawl space, for example, is the area between the first floor of the home and the ground. It usually houses crucial parts to the home, like key structure materials, plumbing and electrical wiring. If it becomes inundated with water, this can cause a whole new set of problems. Below are some reasons why checking the crawl space is critical after a home flood:

  • Dampness can lead to mold and spreading of spores.
  • It often has insulation, which is prone to moisture.
  • It’s a dark space where rodents and other pests like to hide.

Keep in mind that it can be a very dirty job to clean up a crawl space, so it’s advisable to hire a restoration company with the proper equipment. Also, because important wiring is usually found in this area, for safety reasons it’s best to leave it to the experts to navigate.

Drying the Crawl Space

Once the professionals have identified a problem in the crawl space, here are some of the things that will generally happen:

  • The materials inside will be removed, especially those that already show signs of mold or rot.
  • It may need to be sealed off with a special coating to prevent moisture from coming back in.
  • You may wish to prevent future water leakage by modifying the drainage system around your home’s foundation.

Nobody likes having to deal with a home flood. But the sooner the damage is assessed, including in those hidden spaces, the sooner the recovery and restoration can begin. This will also give you the opportunity to fix anything that could become a repeat problem later on. Then your home can be back in order and you can enjoy it once again.

Why Bleaching Will Not Solve Your Mold Problem

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

white hairy fuzzy mold Mold can grow anywhere.

Why Bleaching Won't Help You Get Rid of Mold

If you’ve located mold in your Mountain Home, NC, facility, you might reach for a container of chlorine bleach to clean up the mess. After all, it’s supposed to clean and disinfect better than anything else, right? Well, yes and no. While bleaching may be the best solution in some situations, this is not the case with fungus cleanup.

Bleaching Is Not the Answer

There are several reasons why you should never use bleach to clean up mold, and all of them are rooted in science:

• Mold spores spread “roots” into the surfaces they inhabit. These roots reach deep beneath the surface and are difficult to get rid of without the right kind of cleaning product.
• Bleaching doesn’t treat beneath the surface. Bleaching is only effective on hard, nonporous surfaces. Most of the materials in your facility, except for glass or tile, do not fit this description. Bleach cannot “soak in” to surfaces such as wood, concrete or carpet, which means that bleaching will leave the roots intact beneath the surface.
• Bleaching removes the stain but doesn’t prevent mold growth. While bleaching does make something look clean, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is clean, at least not beneath the surface. Just because the stain is gone doesn’t mean that the root cause of the problem is.

Bleaching Makes Things Worse

When it comes to fungus cleanup, not only does bleaching not solve the problem, but it can actually make it worse. Bleaching leaves behind lots of water – the prime ingredient for mold. This will cause mold to grow in new places, in addition to the original problem area, and it could easily come back with impressive force.

Researching Is the Way to Go

When you need to handle a proper cleanup of mold, you need to find effective ways to eradicate not only the surface mold but the roots as well. Researching the best products, methods and professionals specializing in fungus cleanup puts you at a huge advantage and ensures your problem is taken care of properly and thoroughly.

How To Get the Smoke Out

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning a camera Electronics can break down over time from exposure to smoke.

How to Get Rid Of Smoke

The smell of smoke permeates your clothes, curtains, sofas and walls. After a fire at your home in Zirconia, NC does the odor ever come out? Yes, there are steps you can take to get rid of that unwelcome scent. Through a combination of dry-cleaning, wet-cleaning and other techniques, a professional fire restoration specialist can help you enjoy your home again.

Content Cleaning

The smell of smoke sticks to the majority of your belongings. What contents of your home can be cleaned, and how?

  • Smoke odors are removed from clothing using professional dry-cleaning.
  • Fabrics and upholstery including furniture, rugs, curtains, and bedding are tested to see which method of cleaning is most appropriate. Cleaning may be wet or dry, depending on the item.
  • Electronics can break down over time from exposure to smoke. The outside of these items are cleaned using proper techniques to prevent further damage.
  • If your possessions must be removed from your home, the professionals categorize, inventory and pack items before transporting the boxes to content storage. Content cleaning and deodorizing occurs before you retrieve your belongings.

Structural Cleaning

Smoke and grime coat the interior spaces of your house. What surfaces need cleaned?

  • Smoke adheres to walls, carpeting, wood floors and ceilings. These surfaces are tested and matched with the proper cleaning method.
  • Many times, soot can be successfully cleaned. Other times, surfaces will be primed for painting or refinishing instead.

Deodorizing

The smell of smoke remains in the air, even after the rest of the contents and structures are clean. How does the air get refreshed?

  • The source of the odor is identified and targeted, rather than covered up by a fragrance.
  • Two professional methods used include Ultra Low Volume (ULV) and thermal foggers.

The last thing you want after a fire in Zirconia, NC is the daily reminder of smoke in your home. Through proper wet and dry-cleaning procedures, smoke and soot are eliminated. Partner with your homeowner’s insurance agency and a fire restoration company to return your home and contents to pre-fire condition.

Three Steps To Minimize Damage Due to Leaks in Your Home

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Leaky faucet A faucet leak can lead to hundreds of gallons of wasted water.

One of the most common sources of home damage in Flat Rock, NC, is a slow leak that doesn't get the attention it deserves. Did you know that a faucet leak under the kitchen sink can lead to hundreds of gallons of wasted water in a single day? The estimated costs of even average leaks can total a couple of hundred dollars a year per leak. If you've found a leak under your kitchen sink, act fast to minimize the damage of flooding.

Act Fast to Prevent Serious Damages

• Shut off the water at the shutoff valve. There may be a valve located under the kitchen sink. If you have a basement, the home's main shutoff valve is probably there. Otherwise, check in the crawlspace or near your water heater.

• Call the insurance company. If you have leaks, flooding, or standing water in the home, there's a potential for significant damages. The insurance company may cover the costs of hiring professionals to complete repairs or to take steps to ensure that long-lasting water damage doesn't cause further trouble.

• Call restoration professionals. If you catch the leak quickly enough, you may be able to handle any necessary kitchen repair on your own. However, if the leak has been happening for several days or weeks, you'll want the expert attention of flooding remediation professionals. These experts have the tools and training to locate leaks, recognize the signs of further damage, and completely dry building materials, so your home and family aren't exposed to further damages.

Protect Your Home and Family

Your home may be one of your most significant investments and even minor leaks can pose a serious risk to the well-being of the building. Learn to recognize the signs of hidden leaks and keep the phone number of your plumber or water restoration professional on hand. When you do notice signs of trouble, use these three simple steps to avoid further, expensive damages.

3 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Event of a Fire

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter Keep your pets safe during a fire emergency.

How Do You Save Your Pets On Fire?

During a fire emergency in Balfour, NC, it can be essential that everybody in your home evacuate and meet in a safe location. While you should always be most focused on keeping yourself and your family safe, you can also spend some time on pet preparation so that you can have a better chance of getting your pets out of danger, too.

1. Practice Evacuating

In the confusion caused by a fire, it can be hard to think of everything you need to do right away. If you have a plan in place and practice it a few times, you can be better prepared to handle a fire emergency. This can not only be helpful for pet safety, but also for the safety of everyone in your household.

2. Notice Where Your Pets Are

An important part of the planning process can be noticing where your pets usually spend their time. It can be especially helpful to note where they hide when frightened. You don’t want to put yourself at risk by spending too much time searching for your dog or cat during a fire emergency, but you can be better prepared to get yourself and your pets out as soon as possible by having a checklist of areas you can look.

3. Keep Collars and Leashes Handy

Fires can be especially frightening to pets. By keeping their collars and leashes handy, you can more easily guide them out of the house. If you are unable to find them, it can be easier for the fire department to get them out if they are wearing collars. It can be a good idea to hang leashes by the door you are planning to evacuate through.

You can be better prepared to keep your pets safe during a fire emergency by following these safety tips. Be sure you put them to good use.

Which Contents Can Be Cleaned After a Flood?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Green hose extracting water from a room Water extraction to a business in Mills River, NC.

After a flood in Mills River, NC, business and commercial property owners may be curious about which contents can be cleaned and which will need to be discarded and replaced. Nonporous materials tend to be able to withstand the process of content cleaning, but exposure to black water may irreparably damage porous materials.

Can Porous Materials Be Cleaned?

Several types of porous materials call for special cleaning methods or may not be able to be cleaned:

  • Carpets and carpet pads
  • Rugs
  • Mattresses
  • Upholstered furniture

Porous materials absorb contaminated floodwater and may be difficult or impossible to clean. Leaving these contents intact may increase the likelihood of microbial exposure or mold growth and lead to undesirable odors.

Content Cleaning Methods

Some porous materials can be cleaned using the following methods:

  • Abrasive cleaning involves agitating the surfaces of contents
  • Dry cleaning is an effective method of pretreating contents or cleaning delicate materials
  • Foam cleaning may be suitable for upholstery to avoid shrinkage
  • Immersion cleaning involves dipping items into a cleaning solution
  • Spray and wipe cleaning is suitable for items that cannot withstand wet cleaning
  • Wet cleaning can help to remove heavier residues

It is a good idea to consult with content restoration experts as soon as possible after flooding occurs. There could be some cases in which these experts may be able to salvage a rug or remove the upholstery and stuffing from furniture and reupholster the item. Other items, such as mattresses, may not stand up to any of these methods and should be replaced.

How To Hire Cleaning Experts

A commercial restoration firm in Mills River, NC, can provide content cleaning services and help owners ensure that the structures of their properties are safe following a flood. Restoration experts may be able to limit the extent of secondary damage caused by black water and make it possible for more contents to be restored.