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3 Reasons You May Want a Mold Hygienist To Inspect Your Home After a Flood

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Someones hand holding a moisture meter on a wall testing for mold Testing for moisture levels in a Suwanee, GA home

3 Ways a Mold Hygienist Can Support You

Flooding in your Suwanee, GA, home can be a stressful event no matter what caused it. There are many aftereffects in the wake of moisture damage, and one of the most common is mold growth. Once an infestation takes hold, you will likely require mold cleaning services. Calling in a mold hygienist during the initial stages of remediation may help you better understand the kind of fungi you are dealing with and the best tactics for proper removal. Here are three ways this specialist can support you:

1. Taking Mold Samples

There are many different types of mold species, and black mold is the most common type present after water damage has occurred. A mold hygienist can take samples of visible patches and determine which strains are growing. This may help your mold cleanup and remediation service as well when it comes to approaching different solutions for removal of contaminated materials.

2. Supporting Insurance Claims

If you want to file a claim via your homeowner's insurance, having mold tested by a certified hygienist may be helpful. For example, if you want to be compensated for mold remediation costs, a report that highlights and supports specific clauses in your insurance policy could help streamline your claim. It is important to remember, however, that your insurance company’s regulations might restrict the effects of such a report.

3. Testing for Moisture Levels

There are many different facets to mold cleaning efforts, and one of the most important can be the moisture levels in your home after a flood. A hygienist can measure these before remediation experts tackle mold damage and remove affected building materials. Once moisture levels are tested, the specialist may recommend steps to lower humidity, such as opening windows and running fans in affected areas.
When your Suwanee, GA, home is affected by moisture damage, mold growth may soon follow. A certified mold hygienist’s report may help you feel confident about future mold cleaning efforts no matter what caused the infestation.

How To Stay Safe Before and After a Flood

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Red truck and a black car driving through a flooded street Flood damage in Buford, GA

Flood Safety

Few people consider the importance of flood safety until they're faced with rising water. Follow these safety tips to be better prepared for flash floods and other unexpected water events in Buford, GA.

Before a Flood

One of the best ways to prepare for a flood is to not live in a floodplain. That's not always feasible, however. If your home is in a low-lying area that's prone to flooding, you can prepare for an influx of water by taking the following steps:

  • Purchase flood insurance.
  • Prevent basement leaks and seepage by waterproofing the walls.
  • Create an emergency plan. Making sure all the members of your household are on the same page when it comes to flooding can decrease chaos and stress if a flood occurs.
  • Put together an emergency kit that contains essentials such as water, nonperishable food, first-aid supplies, and prescription medicine.
  • Don't forget to pack supplies for pets, too.
  • Keep important records and documents in a waterproof container.

Watch the weather forecast. If heavy rains are on the horizon, or if rapid snowmelt is possible, consider taking more immediate precautions:

  • Charge your cell phone and any portable batteries.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Put up obstacles. In a pinch, sandbags can help redirect water away from your home.
  • Longer-term barriers such as levees and flood walls can also prevent water from entering your residence.
  • If an evacuation is ordered, leave.

After a Flood

Once flooding subsides, there are still hazards present. Follow these flood safety tips to stay safe and minimize damage.

If you evacuated, don't return home until given clearance to do so.
Don't walk or drive through flooded areas. Water that may appear shallow may actually be much, much deeper.
Don't touch electrical components if you're wet or if they're wet.
Clean and disinfect any parts of your home that were exposed to flood waters. Better still, consider contacting a professional water mitigation company to do so.
Address any damage to your sewage system immediately.

Floods happen. By following these flood safety tips before and after a flood, you can minimize both the damage to your home and the inconvenience to your household routine.

Dealing With Water Damage After a Fire

8/24/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters working on extinguishing fire in Sugar Hill, GA Fire damage in a Sugar Hill, GA building

The job of firefighters is lifesaving and the condition of your business depends on it. However, the various ways in which firefighters work to extinguish a fire can end up causing secondary damage to your business in Sugar Hill, GA. Here are a few reasons that water cleanup and restoration may be required after a fire.

Damaged Surfaces

When firefighters show up at your business, they may cut holes in the walls or roof and break windows to facilitate the process of extinguishing the fire. They may do this in an effort to:

  • Prevent the fire from continuing to spread
  • Eliminate smoke that prevents them from seeing properly
  • Ensure that no flames are hidden behind the walls

The actions that firefighters take enable them to better address the emergency. However, the resulting damage can severely affect your building and must be appropriately removed with a fire cleanup.

Water Damage

Firefighters depend on a lot of water to extinguish a fire. The water that they use to put out the flames can cause serious damage to your business. In addition, any sprinklers that activate during the fire also contribute to the resulting water damage in your building. It’s crucial to schedule a water cleanup or smoke cleanup to remove any signs of damage.

Harmed Belongings

A fire doesn’t only affect the building itself. Once the smoke and flames have disappeared, you may also find that the belongings in your business have been negatively affected by the incident. If you come across any items that have traces of soot or are soggy as a result of water damage, be sure to have them professionally restored as soon as possible.
Don’t hesitate to call for help if you’re facing any kind of damage in the aftermath of a fire. Whether your building is in need of a smoke or water cleanup, restoration specialists can conduct a fire damage assessment and bring your business back to life.

4 Steps for Preventing Roof Leaks

8/24/2019 (Permalink)

Dirty gutters in a roof Clean and maintain your gutters

Even a minor roof leak can cause a lot of water damage to your commercial property. When storm systems bring heavy rain and winds, the extent of property damage can grow very quickly. The right maintenance and upkeep can reduce the possibility of damages and prolong the life of the roof.

Regularly Check Roof Covers

After storms, heavy winds, or when people have been on the roof, check roof covers for damage. Clean up any dirt and debris and look for tears, missing pieces, bubbling, or peeling. If you do find that the cover has been harmed, consider replacing it. This material is a sturdy line of defense and prevents water and insects from getting through the roof.

Clean and Maintain Gutters and Drains

Most experts recommend cleaning out the gutters and drainage system once or twice a year. If there are many trees on or around the property, or if there is a history of clogs, you should inspect and clean the drains more often. Regularly check for cracks and other damage around roof drains. This is especially important during winter when ice dams can break gutters and send water into the walls and ceiling of the building. A hidden roof leak in winter can become very expensive.

Inspect and Repair Perimeter Flashing

Roof flashing is an element of weatherproofing that should deflect water from the seams and joints of the roof. If the flashing around chimneys, fans, plumbing stacks, and the perimeter of the building is damaged, water may get into the building rather than being directed away. If water and wind damage do affect your property, water damage cleanup and restoration professionals may look for areas of vulnerability such as loose or missing flashing.

Check Items Attached to the Roof Structure

If you have satellite dishes, HVAC units, roof hatches, or any other items attached to the roof, regular inspections are necessary to be sure water isn't getting through. Make sure those items are secure, and the proper waterproofing steps have been taken.

Don't expose your Dacula, GA, property to extensive water damages. Protect against even a very small roof leak to avoid the costly, messy repairs of drips or flooding.

Claiming Gradual vs. Sudden Water Damage

8/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage on concrete wall Water damage in a Rest Haven, GA home

When it comes to making an insurance claim in Rest Haven, GA, many homeowners believe any water damage should be covered under their policy. Here is a closer look at gradual water damage in comparison to sudden occurrences and why many insurance companies may deny your claim.

No Time To Lose

The major reason why an insurance company will deny a water damage claim is due to chronic conditions. These types of issues include:

  • Leaking roof
  • Dripping pipe
  • Toilet tank crack
  • Punctured plumbing in walls
  • Rusted fittings
  • Old or worn gaskets

If left unchecked, these situations can cause persistent damage, which is then the homeowner’s responsibility.

Unfair Affair?

It might seem unfair that companies can deny an insurance claim because the homeowner didn’t notice the damage initially. It’s important to remember that insurance is meant as a safety measure against sudden occurrences and accidents.

Not noticing a problem right away doesn’t count as an accident, so claims against gradual damage will usually be denied. However, here are some situations when gradual damage does fall under your policy leading you to contact your insurance company right away.

Gradual Accident

If you had an accident at your home like major flood or storm damage that has led to water issues, there can be cause for a gradual damage report. The initial cleanup is usually taken care of by the original claim, but what happens when hidden leaks result from that accident later on down the line?

In these circumstances, it’s possible your claim will be accepted if you can prove gradual damage was caused by the original accident. A weakened pipe might not burst until months later, or a small leak that went unnoticed during the first cleanup can be overlooked until it causes real problems.

Make sure you investigate all gradual damage quickly, especially if you’ve made an insurance claim in Rest Haven, GA, after an accident in the past. You never know what difficulties can arise over time, and it’s better to take care of water damage early to prevent a real disaster!

4 Ways To Safeguard Your Rental Home From Mold

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Whenever the property is vacant, it is always smart to turn off the water

Protect Your Rental Home From Mold

If you own or manage a rental home, one of the most important things you can do is protect it from mold. Issues with mold can create problems in a home, and mold prevention ensures that you avoid many of these scenarios. In particular, the following are good things to do.

1. Assess the Property for Cracks and Leaks

One of the best ways to make sure mold growth doesn’t happen in your rental home is to scan the crevices, floors, baseboards, ceilings, windows, and pipes. Look for any cracks or leaks in these areas where moisture might build up and create mold. If you discover anything, fix it so you can avoid water damage and/or mold. If you happen to find mold, you can always call mold remediation specialists in Hamilton Mill, GA.

2. Keep an Eye on the Temperature

Another important thing to do is educate your tenants on temperature and mold prevention. Too much heat or too little heat can affect the moisture levels in the house. If it becomes too moist, the chances of mold are much higher. Since you will not be on the property most of the time, ask the renters to try to keep the house dry.

3. Turn Off the Water

Whenever the property is vacant, it is always smart to turn off the water. This way, if something leaks or a pipe bursts, you never have to worry about the house flooding. As a bonus, you will also save on repairs.

4. Replace Carpets Regularly

One area of the house that tends to get mold regularly is the carpet. If it gets wet and doesn’t dry fast enough, mold can build up. Therefore, it is smart to replace the carpets in a rental properly regularly.

Mold prevention can be more challenging in a rental property than in a regular home. However, if you plan accordingly, you should be able to protect this valuable investment.

Cigarette Fires Are Still Surprisingly Common, Here's How You Can Avoid Them

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Use an ashtray when your smoking

Cigarette Fires

Cigarettes continue to be one of the leading causes of house fires, accounting for thousands of incidents each year. Though a Suwanee, GA, fire damage cleanup crew can help mitigate the losses caused by a cigarette fire, there is no guarantee that your homeowners' insurance policy will cover a fire caused by the dangerous habit. For this reason, it is best that you avoid smoking in the home if at all possible. If you do light up while inside, be sure to take these measures to avoid becoming a victim of a disaster: 

1. Don't Smoke When Tired

You may think to yourself, "it could never happen to me" when it comes to the cliche of falling asleep with a lit cigarette in hand. As it turns out, this happens all the time. If you're tired but itching for a cigarette, walk outdoors into the cool night air and have a smoke, then put it out and go to bed.

2. Don't Smoke Around Children

Aside from other reasons, you shouldn't smoke around children because kids are often unaware of the dangers of fire. Children may not cause a cigarette fire by smoking, but they could play with matches or lighters and accidentally start a fire.

3. Don't Smoke in Bed

You should avoid smoking in bed for the same reason you should avoid smoking when tired — there's the very real risk you'll fall asleep with a lit cigarette. Again, if you must smoke, don't do it anywhere that you are so comfortable you may doze off.

4. Use an Ashtray

Only ever put a butt out in an ashtray. Be sure to double-check that the butt is out before walking away so as to prevent an ashtray fire.
Even with care, accidents can happen. If your home is the victim of a cigarette fire, contact your local fire cleanup crew right away. The right team can help mitigate loss and aid with odor removal.

Preventing Mold After a Flood

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Local home in Buford, GA suffered Storm Damage.

Mold growth can happen quickly after a flood in your Buford, GA, home. Depending on the source of water, the growth could start 24 to 48 hours after the water fills your home. Because this fungus can appear so quickly, you may want to take quick action to prevent the spores from finding a place to grow.

4 Tips to Prevent Mold Damage After a Flood. 

  1. Have the Water Extracted

Getting rid of the standing water in your home is a crucial part of mold prevention. It may be helpful to have access to wet vacuums, trash pumps and other major equipment. Rather than go out and buy the equipment you need, call in a professional flooding damage remediation team. Removing the water can help you get ready to dry out your home and belongings.

  1. Get Your Belongings Dried Out

Wet furniture, drywall and clothing can create the moist environment needed for mold growth. Once the standing water has been removed, you need to go a step further and get rid of the excess moisture. Drying out and cleaning your belongings helps you make sure your home does not have any moisture pockets perfect for mold. You may also need to use a dehumidifier.

  1. Go Through the Cleaning Process

If your remediation team notices any signs of mold, you need to get the spores cleaned out of your space. Mild detergent and other cleaners are often used to help with the mold removal process. Remember, once you see signs of mold, you need to act quickly to ensure it does not spread to other parts of your home.

  1. Create a Prevention Plan

Once you have the initial flooding problem taken care of, you may want to create a prevention plan to stop future incidences. Find ways to maintain a dry environment in your home. You may even want to install a sump pump in your basement or garage.

Fast action can help you put a stop to mold growth before it even happens. If you don't act fast enough, you should get help to remove the mold safely and efficiently.

What to Expect From FEMA After Major Flooding

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

FEMA may also contract with flood remediation and reconstruction companies

What to Expect From FEMA After Major Flooding

When your Buford, GA, neighborhood is hit by a major disaster, the Federal Emergency Maintenance Agency will be one of the first organizations to arrive. The agency may refer you to their disaster assistance partners for your immediate needs:

  • Emergency Medical Assistance
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Immediate Needs

In addition to directing you to resources for your immediate needs, FEMA may also contract with flood remediation and reconstruction companies to determine the extent of the damage and to help homeowners get back into comfortable routines.

Documentation That You Own Your Home

Once you have an appointment scheduled with the federal agency, begin to gather paperwork that shows you own your property. If you don't have your deed or title available (a common problem after natural disasters,) contact the county recorder's office, look up land records online and request a copy, or reach out to the state government and ask about registration of property records. If you have a history of paying property taxes, this information may be enough to get things started.

The First Round of Assessments

One of the first interactions you'll have with FEMA is an appointment at your home. They will arrive to assess the flooding damage to your home. The agency representative will take pictures and fill out the necessary paperwork. The representative may walk through each room, taking pictures, and writing up details, such as how many square feet of wet carpet needs to be replaced or how many cabinets have been damaged.

Federal, Insurance, and Public Adjusters

After the federal representative concludes assessments and paperwork, contact your insurance company. An adjuster from the insurance company and the Federal Emergency Maintenance Agency may visit your home, assigning dollar values to damage, measuring rooms, and preparing the paperwork that affects how much you'll qualify to receive. For the best results, you should also hire a public adjuster to represent your best interests.

Available Sources of Help

Remember FEMA is just one resource available when you're struggling to get back into your home. Reach out to disaster agencies, your insurance company, public adjusters, and local remediation and reconstruction companies for assistance.

Is Business Interruption Insurance Worth It?

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Interruption insurance eases the pain by covering employees’ wages until payroll resumes

4 Types of Losses That Business Interruption Insurance Covers

Choosing insurance can be a confusing and time-consuming process, weighing affordability against necessity. When it comes to protecting your business, interruption insurance may be overlooked, yet it can be a business-saver in the event of a disaster. Your business could be out of service for a month or more for restoration purposes. Property insurance covers physical assets, but what doesn’t it cover? Here are four types of losses that business interruption insurance covers that property insurance doesn’t:

1. Lost Profits

If your business is unable to run properly, time out of service will mean profit loss. Typically the insurance company will assess recent profits and reimburse the expected loss amount.

2. Lost Employee Wages

Employees can’t be without work for long without wages. More than a few weeks without a paycheck could be a deal-breaker for employees living paycheck to paycheck. Interruption insurance eases the pain by covering employees’ wages until payroll resumes.

3. Temporary Operating Location

Especially in the event of a fire, the building might be so damaged that you can’t work out of that location. Fire restoration experts will probably be required to get your business up and running again as soon as possible. A temporary location could be necessary to keep your business afloat. Business interruption insurance can cover relocation and operation costs.

4. Lease and Loans

Monthly lease and loan payments will continue to come due. This insurance might cover some of those costs (e.g., building and machinery). Eviction or repossession is a real possibility if a payment is more than a couple of months late so having this kind of coverage could be critical to the survival of your business.
As a business owner in Rest Haven, GA, you need the assurance that your enterprise will survive the worst calamity. You’ll want to weigh the cost of the interruption insurance against what you can afford and what you can’t afford to lose. Creating a plan for a potential disaster can diminish worries before and after a catastrophic event. This will allow you to concentrate on keeping your company financially secure until your business can be restored.