Recent Posts

How To Address Mold in Your Air Conditioning Ducts

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Dust accumulated in air duct Air ducts are a common location for mold.

How to Take Care of Mold in Your AC Ducts

 When you think of mold damage in your building, you probably picture large spores lurking on the walls or ceilings. Sometimes, however, the black mold is less obvious. It may be hiding somewhere in your Collegedale, TN, commercial property.

Air ducts are a common location for mold. They feed off the dust and moisture that is common in HVAC systems.
Musty odors and black dust near the air vents are signs of a possible mold problem. If the issue is not properly handled, the mold could spread and cause severe harm to your property.

Removing Air Conditioner Mold
Mold thus needs to be addressed immediately. Below are the basic mold cleanup steps:

  • Have a certified inspector check the property for mold
  • Replace the insulation, if necessary
  • Disinfect the ductwork
  • Find and address the source of the mold growth

Cleaning black mold improperly can just cause additional damage. Instead, you should use specialists who know how to remove the mold and prevent it from coming back.

Limiting Mold Growth
Because the black mold cleanup process can be costly and time-consuming, you should take steps to prevent an infestation before it starts. That means making sure your property has clean ducts. Bring in a technician at least twice annually to perform maintenance and fix any issues.
Dust and debris within the air conditioning vents can also promote mold growth. You should thus get the filters changed regularly.
There are also steps you can take to limit mold growth in the rest of your building. Be sure to dry wet areas immediately, clean clogged gutters and lower the indoor humidity.
Black mold can damage building materials and temporarily shut down your commercial property. Since mold often grows in damp places, you should regularly clean and inspect your air conditioner ducts. If you see spores or smell an unusual odor, mold remediation specialists can address the problem before it gets worse.

3 Major Causes of Home Fires

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Short circuit Age, faulty wiring, and improper use are all possible causes of a home fire.

Most Common Causes Of a Home Fire

There are many ways to protect your family and your East Brainerd, TN, home, especially when it comes to fire safety. Millions of blazes occur in the United States each year, and some of them cause catastrophic damage that require the services of a fire cleanup and restoration company. If you want to avoid this type of tragedy, it is important to know the most common causes of a home fire and how to prevent them.

1. Malfunctioning or Overheated Appliances

Your home’s stove, washer and dryer and air conditioning system can spark a fire if they fail to operate correctly or overheat. Faulty wiring, age and improper use might all contribute to such circumstances. To prevent this possibility, turn off or unplug appliances when you leave the house, keep your dryer’s filter and ducts clean and have your HVAC system maintained and checked annually.

2. Accidental Arson

The curiosity of children has often led to accidental fires that have raged out of control. Matches, lighters and hand-held units that light with the push of a button can present irresistible temptation to kids, even those who are old enough to understand that fire causes injury and damage. If you have children, keep all flammables out of reach or locked away and avoid leaving cigarette lighters or matches unattended.

3. Holiday Lights

A home fire caused by Christmas or other holiday lights can occur for several reasons. The lights may be old, have a faulty bulb or may overheat when left on too long. They might also be accidentally placed near flammable substances. Even smaller lights can cause a blaze, so you may want to ask a fire cleaning and restoration specialist about how to hang lighted decorations safely, especially if you have a smaller home where a fire might spread rapidly.

Preventing a home fire can be crucial to keeping your family and East Brainerd, TN, property safe. Understanding what might spark a blaze may help you eliminate risk factors around the house and practice fire safety tactics that can be beneficial to everyone who lives there.

5 Things To Expect From Damage After a Storm

8/18/2022 (Permalink)

Two dehumidifiers and two air movers (fans) placed in a hallway Commercial cleanup in Ooltewah, TN.

Here Are Five Things To Expect As You Navigate A Restoration

If your business has experienced water damage after a flood or a storm in Ooltewah, TN, it can be overwhelming to know how to begin the recovery process. 

1. Remove Standing Water
The most important first step is to remove the standing water from the building. The longer standing water remains, the more damage it does to your property. To avoid needing to tear out every last bit of dry wall and flooring, use a water pump to remove water. For small problems, a shop vacuum might work, but for bigger floods, a more specialized pump will be needed.

2. Inspect for Safety
Once the water is gone, the entire building will need to be carefully inspected for safety. A storm restoration team will have the necessary tools to inspect the areas behind walls to see where water has infiltrated.

3. Salvage or Scrap
After a thorough safety check has been conducted, decisions need to be made about the materials in your business. Some furniture and hardwoods can be salvaged, while it is often necessary to scrap drywall and ceiling tiles. Work with professionals who can help you know what all can be salvaged before you start to tear out everything. Salvaging can save you a lot of money in repairs.

4. Dry Thoroughly
Now that you're down to bare bones, everything needs to be dried out completely in order to prevent mold growth and structural damage. Pay special attention to crawl spaces, attics, and spaces beneath porches or decks. Untended mold that grows in those areas can cause more damage down the road once you believe that the restoration process is over.

5. Restore and Restart
Finally, your property can be restored to its former glory and you can focus on getting back to work.
Don't allow a restoration to overwhelm you. Before you tear out everything, work with professional restorers to help you navigate the process.

3 Tips for Determining Whether You Should File an Insurance Claim After a Flood

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

Electronic insurance claim. Filing an insurance claim.

Should You File An Insurance Claim After A Flood

In the event that your Harrison, TN, home goes through a flood, one of your initial instincts may be to file a claim with your insurance company. Doing so can potentially alleviate any reparations costs. However, this may not be the best idea. You could be denied a policy renewal or receive a rate hike from your insurance company if you file too many claims. If you're unsure about what to do, here are three tips for determining whether you should file an insurance claim after a flood.

1. Examine the Nature of the Damage
The exact nature of your home flood claim usually plays a part in determining how it will affect your status. If you're the one at fault for the damage, it's highly likely that your rates will be increased. You should also consider the type of harm that occurred. Unfortunately, many kinds of damage claims aren't appreciated by insurance companies. These are some to be wary of:

  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • Animal bites

If you file too many claims for this type of damage, your policy may not be renewed.

2. Study Your Policy
One of the most essential things to do during this process is studying your policy. Few companies handle claims the same way, so you'll need to do the research yourself. If possible, it may be best to speak with an agent directly. However, you should avoid doing so after a flood occurs. You can be negatively affected if you openly discuss not filing an insurance claim for recent damages.

3. Consider the Damage's Size
While you may be hesitant to pay for restoration efforts by yourself, it might be in your best interest. One too many filed claims could result in you losing insurance before a worse event occurs. After a flood takes place, get a sense of how extensive the damage is. If it's extreme, you'll probably want to file an insurance claim. However, you shouldn't waste your claims on smaller problems.
If you need the help of water damage restoration experts, you'll have to decide whether or not to file a claim. Stay calm and make the most informed choice possible.

Preparing for Severe Weather

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Severe Weather Are you ready if severe weather strikes your area tomorrow?

Weather Preparedness

Are you ready if Tyner, TN  severe weather strikes your area tomorrow? Where you live will determine the type of storms you’re most likely to face. Follow these safety measures and general tips to help you prepare.

Preparing for a Tornado

While tornadoes can occur in any of the states, there's a reason the region from Texas to South Dakota is called Tornado Alley. Tornado season occurs during spring and summer.

Do the following:

  • Follow the NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or TV newscasts. Obey the instructions given by local emergency officials.
  • Keep watch outside for signs of a tornado, like a dark sky, large hail, low-lying or fast-moving clouds, or roaring sounds.
  • Learn to recognize emergency alerts. The phrase "tornado watch" means a tornado is possible, while "tornado warning" means a funnel cloud has been spotted.
  • If a tornado warning is issued, immediately take shelter in the basement or storm cellar. If your home doesn’t have an underground room, hunker in an interior bathroom.

Preparing for a Thunderstorm

Thunderstorms are dangerous because they always produce lightning and can produce hail, strong winds, flash floods, tornadoes, and wildfires. Thunderstorms can occur anywhere in the US and are most common during the summer.

Do the following:

  • Prepare your home by shuttering windows and doors, and unplugging sensitive electronics.
  • Prepare your property by removing damaged tree branches that could fall during a storm, and bringing outdoor objects inside.
  • Watch the sky and tune in to your NOAA Weather Radio for information.
  • Learn to recognize emergency alerts. A "severe thunderstorm watch" means stormy conditions are likely to occur. A "severe thunderstorm warning" means they exist somewhere in the area.
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, the danger is imminent. Seek shelter immediately. Stay in a hard-topped vehicle if there are no buildings.

Levels of Water Damage

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle Water Categories

Oh no! You had a pipe break or a supply line break or you have flood damage in your home from something else. It's easy to look around at everything that needs mitigation and restoration and panic. However, a better idea is to contact a water damage restoration company. The first thing they will do is determine just how much damage the water in your home or business has done, so they can get you fixed and back to normal life as soon as possible.

Water Damage Classes

Most water damage restoration companies classify your flood damage according to three categories. These help them determine the kind of mitigation you will need, and how much restoration will be necessary.

Class 1 water damage in your flooded home or business means that only part of one room was affected and that relatively little water has been absorbed. This is the easiest to fix when it comes to water cleanup and drying.

Class 2 damage means that the water in your home or business affected an entire room, and has probably gotten into the walls and carpet. The restoration company will have to use more drastic methods when it comes to drying and mitigation.

Class 3 water damage means that the water in your business or home has absorbed up the walls, and even potentially into the ceiling. It can also mean that the pipe break or water supply line break that caused the flooding may have gotten water inside the walls, where water cleanup is more difficult.

What Kind of Water is in Your Flooded Home or Business?

After your restoration company assesses the amount of damage, they will also assess the type and cleanliness of the water in your business or your home. This tells them how concerned they need to be about bacteria and other microbes growing in the water.

Category 1 water in your home means that your flood damage was caused mostly by clean water. Water from a pipe break or supply line break is generally of this sort. There is little danger of microbes in your flooded home or business, as long as it gets cleaned up quickly.

Category 2 water requires more mitigation. This is water that may be slightly dirty, like a toilet that overflows with urine in it. The water also may contain chemicals, like laundry detergent after your washer leaks. This category can require a different kind of water cleanup or drying procedure.

Category 3 water is dirty. If your sewage pipe breaks or the water in your home or business came from a river overflow, this is the category it will fall into. This can be dangerous and requires immediate water cleanup for your flooded home or business.

Extra Steps: How To Clean Up After a Storm

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Basement damaged by floodwater Storm leads to garage flood in Apison, TN

How To Clean Up After a Storm

If a pipe bursts in your home in Apison, TN, you will likely have some flooding to handle. A flood from a storm, however, takes remediation to another level. Not only do you need to dry out your home, but you also will need to disinfect your home, both in areas that are directly affected and those that may be vulnerable to secondary damage.

Extracting Water

The first step to remediating any water damage is to remove the excess water from the area. With a flood with Category 1 water, the process is pretty straightforward:

  • Remove standing water
  • Dry remaining surfaces
  • Repair or replace damaged materials

Floodwater from a storm, however, is considered Category 3 water. It is contaminated and may contain all sorts of bacteria, viruses and other microbes. If you have flooding from a storm, flood mitigation experts must clean your home thoroughly after getting rid of the water.

Disinfecting Area

Anything that comes into contact with the floodwater must be disinfected before your home is considered habitable again. Technicians use specific detergents and industrial-strength cleaners to make sure all surfaces are sterilized. Then they test to ensure that the cleaners did the job well.

Cleaning Home

Even if part of your home doesn’t have flood damage, it may still be impacted and need attention. For example, it is a good idea to have technicians clean your HVAC unit. That much floodwater can significantly increase the humidity in your home, making all of it susceptible to mold growth. Cleaning and drying the ducts can discourage fungus from growing in hidden areas.

While there’s no such thing as a good kind of flooding, damage from clean water can be easier to clean up than issues resulting from storm water. Getting rid of the water is not enough; you must also make sure that your home is properly disinfected before technicians are finished with the job.

Tips for Filing a Renters Insurance Claim After a Fire

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Removing lint from filter Clean the screen to prevent a dryer fire.

Three Ways You Can Remove Lint From a Dryer

Almost 3,000 residential fires happen each year due to dirty lint traps in a dryer, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Preventing a lint fire in your Collegedale, TN, home takes little time and effort, and it can help save you thousands in fire restoration services costs. Here are three ways you can remove lint from a dryer. 

1. Clean the Screen To Prevent a Dryer Fire
After every load in your dryer is done, pull out the lint trap and clean it. Gently start in one corner of the trap and pull the lint away from the screen. Ensure that you don't have any lint left on the trap that might get into the vents. It's also helpful to clean the screen in warm, soapy water every two weeks to help remove built-up dust and small bits of debris that could cause a lint fire. Be sure to thoroughly dry the screen before putting it back into the dryer. 

2. Clean the Vents
Over time, pieces of lint get trapped in the vents and can eventually block airflow from the dryer. When that happens, you are at a much higher risk of fire damage happening to your home. Unplug your machine and remove the exhaust hose from the dryer. Use a vacuum to completely clean the inside of the hose and remove all of the accumulated lint. It's also helpful to access the exhaust hose from the outside vent and use a cleaning rod to remove the lint in the hose from that side. 

3. Deep-Clean the Interior of the Dryer
Because lint pieces can be small and light, they often make their way to the dryer's interior. If not addressed, the pieces of lint can quickly build up and cause blockages, which can be a fire hazard for your machine. While your machine is unplugged, remove the back of the dryer. Wipe down all surfaces with built-up lint and use a vacuum to access hard-to-reach places. 
Taking adequate care of your dryer and its components doesn't take a lot of extra time, and it can keep you and your family safe from a lint fire. 

4 Flameless Alternatives to Candles

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Wax warmer - candle alternative Using candle alternatives is just one way that you can reduce the chances of an emergency in your home.

Candle Alternatives

Many people like to use candles in their homes. They can provide pleasant scents and create an inviting atmosphere. However, they can sometimes present a danger. If you are unable to use candles in your East Brainerd, TN, home or would just prefer something safer, there are several candle alternatives to consider.

1. Wax Warmers
For some, the primary appeal of using candles is the fragrance. Scented candles are an easy way to add a nice aroma to a room. Electric wax warmers are able to do that without the use of a flame. Because they use heat and electricity, however, they should still be used with supervision.

2. Oil Diffusers
Another way to avoid the risk of a candle fire is to use a diffuser. Electric diffusers and reed diffusers both use scented oils to add fragrance to the environment. If you want something hassle-free, a reed diffuser may be the best option for you.

3. Warm Lighting
If for you, the appeal of a candle is its lighting instead of its scent, then you may only need to invest in a warm lighting fixture. There are a variety of candle alternatives that will serve this purpose. You could opt for a LED lamp that has multiple settings or even just a soft white lightbulb.

4. Flameless Candles
Don’t want to sacrifice any part of the candle experience? Try a battery-operated candle. These items look like regular candles but don’t put your home at risk. Some battery-operated candles come in various scents and some have a flickering light reminiscent of a flame, so you can easily create the atmosphere that you want.
Home fires can be devastating and fire damage remediation services can take a long time to complete. Using candle alternatives is just one way that you can reduce the chances of an emergency in your home. There are several options that you can use while still getting the experience that you are looking for.

3 Things You Need To Know About a Flood Cut

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed on drywall Flood cuts can prevent future damage to your property

Three Things to Know About Flood Cuts

If you have experienced a flood and it has damaged your home, you are likely under a lot of stress. A flood can cause significant damage, leading to a lengthy repair process. The following three guidelines can help you understand more about this process and what it consists of, which may help reduce some of the strain you're feeling.

1. You Might Need a Flood Cut if There Has Been Flooding in Your Home
If there has been a flood in Ooltewah, TN, and your home has sustained extensive damage, you may need to call a company that provides flood restoration services and speak to a specialist. These professionals can tear out materials in portions of your house and have a flood cut performed. This repair process involves cutting out the drywall that has been water-damaged so it can be replaced.

2. The Height of a Flood Cut Can Vary
Depending on how much flooding there is in Ooltewah, TN, the height of the flood cut may differ. Typically, drywall will be cut out 12 inches above the flood line, which means the materials ruined from the flood will be gone, and some extra material will be removed as well. This process ensures that everything remaining in your home is reliable to rebuild with.

3. Flood Cuts Can Prevent Future Damage
In some cases, if the affected portions of the wall were not thoroughly removed, there could be contamination, which means some negative effects of flooding, such as mold, could linger even after it seems that everything has been taken care of. A flood cut ensures that you are being thorough and getting off to a fresh start.
If your home has been damaged by a flood, you may feel uncertain about what to do or what the clean-up and repair process will look like. The more you know about how things such as flood cuts work, the less stress you will feel as you get your home back in shape.