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3 Common Sewer Issues That Affect Businesses

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet, toilet paper inside toilet bowl One of the primary causes of an overflowing is a clog in the toilet bowl

The Three Most Regular Sewer Issues That Affect Businesses

There are various sewer issues, from a blocked sewer to a broken pipe, that can affect businesses in Walker Springs, TN. Though certain problems may require help from professionals to resolve, others are fairly simple to fix, and it's often useful for business owners to know what common sewer issues may affect their properties.

1. Toilet Overflow

An overflowing toilet is a common problem in businesses and can be a major inconvenience to customers and staff at your business. One of the primary causes of an overflowing is a clog in the toilet bowl or in the toilet's pipes. Fortunately, both of these issues are normally relatively easy to fix by using a plunger or a toilet auger (also known as a drain snake) to remove the clog.

2. Blocked Sewer

A sewer that is blocked can cause various issues in your business, such as water backing up in drains. There are many reasons that your business's sewer may be blocked, and the cause will generally determine how the issue is fixed. Since fixing the main sewer line can be complex and time-consuming, it can be useful to contact emergency restoration services for assistance.

3. Pipe Breaks

A broken pipe is a common issue that affects many businesses in Walker Springs, TN. Cold weather or a change in water pressure are just a few reasons a pipe can break. Likewise, older pipes are also more prone to breaks. In many cases, a plumber can catch minor issues before they result in a burst or broken pipe, which is why it's often useful to have regular inspections on your pipes.

Though a blocked sewer or broken pipe can be overwhelming for business owners to handle initially, it's generally helpful to know what issues commonly occur in businesses. With an understanding of common sewer problems in businesses, you can prepare yourself for sewer issues and learn to mitigate the damage if a problem occurs.

5 Places Mold May Be Hiding in Your Home

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

The bottom of a drywall has been removed in a bathroom Inspect your bathroom for signs of mold.

Mold Could Be Hiding in These 5 Places in Your Home

Few things can destroy the comfort, value and appearance of a house faster than mold. Unfortunately, spotting mold growth is not necessarily easy. Here are five places mold may be hiding in your home.

1. Drywall

The drywall that makes up most of the surfaces of your home can attract mold. That is, mold loves to eat the cardboard that holds drywall together. If you have mold in a room, you may need to remove the affected drywall to prevent spores from moving into other areas of your house.

2. Subflooring

Mold needs an organic food source to grow and spread. While there are likely hundreds of organic things in your home, mold may first settle on wood. As you may suspect, mold on wood can be a serious problem, as mold spores can work themselves deep inside your subflooring, trim and other wooden surfaces.

3. Carpeting

Carpet and padding can be a hotbed for mold growth. If you have carpeting that routinely retains moisture, you can probably assume mold is growing beneath your feet.

4. Grout

You probably don’t think much about the grout between tiles. You should, though. Mold loves to cling to the porous surface of grout. Spraying your grout with bleach, though, may not address the problem. After all, bleached mold may continue to live, despite seeming to disappear.

5. Moist Places

If you want to find mold in your Cumberland Estates, TN, home, check out the moist areas. After all, because mold needs humidity to thrive, it often lives in wet places. Specifically, inspect your kitchen, bathroom, laundry area, basement and attic for signs of mold. If you notice any, work with an experienced mold removal service to be sure you completely eradicate it from your home.

With a bit of effort, you can likely find hidden mold in your house. If you lack the expertise or equipment to locate mold, though, you may need a professional team to help you stop mold growth.

A Closer Look at Types of Fire Alarms

8/18/2022 (Permalink)

white smoke detector and red warning light This type of fire alarm is better at detecting smoldering fires.

Two Main Types Of Alarm In The Market

Home fires in the U.S. cause many injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. These devastating fires come from many sources, with the following causes among the most common each year:

  • Cooking
  • Heating appliances
  • Electrical
  • Smoking
  • Candles
  • Chemicals

The good news is that all of these fires can be detected by a modern fire alarm. When installed in a home in Karns, TN, these units alert occupants of the presence of danger by loud noises and sometimes by visual signs. Many types can be purchased online and in stores. All are effective in reducing fire deaths and minimizing fire damage to property. Here is a closer look at the two main types of alarms on the market.

An Ionization Alarm
This type of fire alarm excels at detecting fires with open flames. It operates by using a bit of radioactive material inside the unit that sits between two electronically charged plates. A current of ionized air runs between the plates. When smoke enters this area, it breaks the current and sets off the alarm. These units should be installed in every bedroom and at least one on each floor of the house, including basements and attics.

A Photoelectric Alarm
This type of fire alarm is better at detecting smoldering fires. It uses a beam of light in a chamber and a light sensor. When smoke enters the chamber, it reflects the light toward the sensor and triggers the alarm. This technology is a solid choice to prevent smoke damage to a home. For even more protection, a person can get a combination alarm that uses both technologies just described. In the case of fire damage, a professional fire mitigation company can restore a home to its original condition. An experienced crew employs advanced equipment and proven techniques to clean and restore a home. Along with working fire alarms, a mitigation franchise is part of a solid protection plan against fire damage.

How To Tell When Your Water Has Been Contaminated

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Spots of mold growth on bathroom tiles Mold damage in West Hills, TN

How to Determine Whether Your Water Is Contaminated

If someone told you that your home in West Hills, TN, had contaminated water, it’s likely that you would do something to remedy the situation. Since clean water is vital to everyday functions such as cooking, cleaning, bathing and drinking, a water supply that is compromised can make things challenging for any resident. However, because there are different levels of contamination, some people may not recognize an issue right away, especially if it is on the more subtle end of the spectrum.

Some signs of contamination include the following:

  • Soap scum, rust or mineral buildup accumulating around water sources, such as sinks and tubs
  • Laundry is stiff, even after a proper washing
  • Water has an odd flavor that is metallic, salty, moldy, chemical-like, etc.
  • Water emits an unusual odor

Sources of Contamination

By understanding the most common sources of contaminated water, you can better evaluate the likelihood of it occurring in your own home. Residences situated near landfills, fracking sites, commercial laundromats, manufacturing businesses, farms or other places that have significant amounts of chemical or bacterial run-off that can affect groundwater or water sources should be extra diligent. It can also be helpful to regularly check the water report in your area to monitor any major changes.

Taking Action

Since having contaminated water in West Hills, TN, may not necessarily be as obvious as a black water problem, it can be helpful to run an initial home test or have a professional check your supply line for extra peace of mind since it can come from a variety of sources. If you suspect you have an issue with your water supply, depending on its severity, you will likely need to find a new source for drinking water, have it undergo further home treatments before consumption or use, and assume it is not potable until it is properly evaluated, repaired and tested by a professional.

3 Facts That Will Make You Want To Buy Flood Insurance

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. To protect yourself against this, you need to add flood insurance.

Is Flood Insurance Good For Your Business

If your business has a high risk of flooding, your commercial insurance agent has probably already talked to you about flood insurance. However, those who live in low- and moderate-risk zones on the FEMA maps can also purchase policies. If you're in these lower-risk areas, you're probably wondering if the cost is worth it. Even though some policies can be steep, paying for a storm restoration company can be even higher. Here are some facts you can use to decide if flood insurance is a good option for your business in Pleasant Ridge, TN.

1. Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover Storm-Related Flooding
Standard commercial insurance only covers water while it is in the sky or leaking from your pipes. In other words, it's not going to pay for flood damage. For instance, they will cover water damage from a window that broke during a storm. However, your insurance will not cover damage from the rising creek behind your office buildings. That can leave you paying for a lot of damage even though you have property insurance.

2. Your Business Is at Risk of Flooding
It's more how much, not if. Flood maps tell you your business's risk of flooding. In short, zones V and A have a high risk. Zones C, B, and X are moderate- to low-risk. Zone D hasn't been mapped yet, although there is still a risk of flooding.

3. Government Aid Isn’t Free
The majority of government aid for businesses is loans that you need to repay. Plus, you have to live in a federally declared disaster area to get this money, meaning buying a commercial insurance policy is a better option.
Buying a flood policy is your only chance to protect your business. Without one, you could be facing steep monetary losses for cleanup costs. On top of this, you would have to replace any damaged items associated with the flood. This can add to your losses. Crippling totals can bring your business to its knees. To protect yourself against this, you need to add flood insurance. This small step can do great things for protecting your business.

3 Signs You May Have Mold in Your Commercial Property

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wooden structure Moldy attic in West Hills, TN

Three Signs of Mold Growth

There are some generally musty places in commercial properties, especially in basements, attics or garages. However, the nature of these spaces does not necessarily mean that you have a mold problem. While a mold smell can be indicative of a problem, it can also be a result of humidity and improper ventilation. Although, as a property owner, it is crucial to know and understand at least the following three signs of mold growth.

1. Smell

The first sign, while not definitive proof of a problem is a fungus smell. As mold develops and eats, it releases Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds, and many of these chemicals smell especially musty or pungent. However, mold can smell different depending on the type and who smells it. For some, the scent is like acetone, nutty or meaty.

2. Sight

Aside from the mold smell, you can sometimes tell you have a mold problem by sight. If you notice a textured green and black growth on your walls or ceilings, then it might be mold. However, as there are several varieties or species of fungus, the sight alone is not a definitive way to diagnose a mold problem.

3. Water

Now, if you have a mildew smell combined with the visual of a textured growth on your walls and an existing water leak in the same area, then the mold is likely. However, again, sight and smell alone are not definitive, and at this point, you should call in a specialist.
Mold testing and removal services in the West Hills, TN, area are companies dedicated to diagnosing mold issues, testing for results and resolving the problem for the property owners. For commercial property owners, using such a service is necessary to ensure compliance with all city and state regulations.
While mold smell is not enough to verify an infestation, combined with the vision of growth and an existing water problem make a mold diagnosis is likely. Therefore, to continue operations and remain compliant with regulatory bodies, contact a specialist and have your property tested and cleaned.

Preventing Water Damage in Your Commercial Building

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Pipe system covered with insulation Prevent a bursting pipe by insulating your pipes.

Prevent Flooding In Your Property

Water in-home or business offices can damage important paperwork and assets that you need to keep your company running. While water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO can assist with cleanup, you may still have to temporarily shutter your business during the remediation.
Even closing your company for just a few days could have devastating consequences. You should thus try to prevent flooding by following the steps below.

1. Prevent A Broken Pipe by Turning up the Heat
Pipes often freeze when they are exposed to cold temperatures. Over time, those frozen pipes could burst. You should thus set the thermostat of your building to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

2. Insulate Pipes
You can also prevent the need for burst pipe cleanup by insulating your pipes during the winter. You can easily find pipe insulation at your local hardware store. You can use the insulation to prevent water in home offices, as well.

3. Seal Gaps
Cold air often enters buildings through gaps and cracks in the walls and foundation. You can close these gaps with spray foam, caulk or weather stripping. This will save you money on your heating bill and prevent pipe bursts that lead to flooding.

4. Maintain Your Sprinkler and HVAC Systems
Even a small leak in your sprinkler line or air conditioner can cause big problems over time. Regularly inspect these systems for problems and perform basic maintenance each year.

5. Clear the Roof and Gutters
While you are inspecting the HVAC and sprinkler systems, check your downspouts and gutters for debris. Clogs could cause a backup of water that ultimately leaks into your building. Be sure to remove excess snow from the roof, as well. Ice accumulation could prevent the roof from draining properly.
The above tips should help you limit severe flooding of your Knoxville, TN, building. However, if you do experience water in home or business spaces, SERVPRO professionals will respond quickly and get your property back to normal.

Flood Risks Increase After a Wildfire

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

A view of the spreading flames from the Canyon Fire 2 wildfire in Anaheim Hills and the City of Orange Preparing your home for a wildfire is important when wildfires are present nearby.

After a Wildfire, The Risk of Flooding Increases

Homes in Cedar Bluff, TN, not located in a flood plain aren’t required to acquire FEMA NFIP coverage. If the area has been affected by a wildfire, it may be worth reconsidering this extra layer of protection. After the fires are out, there is a significant increase in the chances of flooding.

The Secondary Effects of Wildfire Damage
If your property is still recovering from the fires, you don’t want to have to deal with flooding damage on top of that. Unfortunately, once the vegetation and topsoil are damaged, it leaves a new layer of ash and soil that is not able to properly absorb rainwater. This damage increases the chances of two destructive natural events:

Flash Flooding: Prior to the fire, that aesthetic greenery was working hard behind the scenes to slow down water flow. Once it’s gone, even under half an inch of rain has the potential to create flash floods and thousands of dollars of damage.
Debris Flows: Eroded soil no longer prevents the water from slowly flowing downhill. Instead, it increases its speeds, enabling it to pick up large debris on the way.

When To Get FEMA NFIP Coverage
While this coverage is an added cost, it is worth considering after a fire. While it depends on the extent of the damage, it may take two to three years for the vegetation to regrow and up to five years for the soil to return to the necessary absorption capabilities. While a storm and water damage restoration company will be able to return your home to its preloss condition, those repairs will likely not be covered by your general homeowner’s policy.
While FEMA NFIP coverage is a must for homes in flood plains, it is also a good idea for people living in areas recently affected by wildfires. With an increased risk of flooding, obtaining this extra insurance may offer added peace of mind.

3 Steps To Take After the Storm

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Missing roof shingles after a storm in Norwood, TN.

Three Things to Do After a Storm

A severe storm in Norwood, TN, isn’t uncommon. If the latest weather event has caused damage to your home, you know the first thing to do is file a flood insurance claim. Since others are likely doing the same, it means that getting the cleanup process started may take longer than expected. While it’s important to follow guidelines set forth by your insurer, there are three steps that may help minimize damage and speed up the process.

1. Document Damage
Any damage caused by the storm needs to be documented, from missing shingles to water-logged curtains. It is recommended that homeowners take videos and photographs of all affected items and structural components. This also includes documenting areas that may lead to other potential problems, such as signs of mold growth.

2. Avoid Secondary Flood Damage
Your flood insurance will likely require that you minimize the risk of secondary damage, such as mold damage. Depending on the situation, this may involve tarping up a hole in the roof or boarding up windows to prevent Mother Nature from unleashing a second round of damage. In many cases, it will also be necessary to begin water extraction and start to dry out flooded areas.

3. Contact a Restoration Company
Knowing that water easily leads to other issues, it is ideal to contact a certified water and storm damage remediation company. These professionals are typically available 24/7 and arrive on-site within 48 hours to provide a thorough assessment. Many of these companies also offer tarp services, further adding peace of mind that work is being done right. Along with completing a thorough assessment and developing an action plan, the company will work with your provider to maximize your claim and speed up the cleanup process.
After the storm, homeowners know how important it is to contact their flood insurance provider. While they may have to wait for the adjuster, steps still need to be taken to prevent additional damage and ensure a speedy recovery.

Seeking Out Winter Storm Damage as a Homeowner

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof High winds can cause serious problems with your home's roof.

Identifying Winter Storm Damage

When a powerful winter storm comes to Solway, TN, it can bring sleet, heavy snow and high winds. These conditions can also cause considerable damage to your home; however, knowing what to look for in the aftermath so you can plan repairs and prevent further issues that may worsen with time.

Roof Damage
High winds can cause serious problems with your home's roof. Depending on its age and construction, it can take on different types of damage, including:

  • Broken or missing shingles
  • Damaged flashing
  • Bent or hanging gutters

Broken gutters can be especially worrisome, as moisture may remain on your roof if it cannot drain properly, which could cause structural weakness. Check each area of your roof after high winds for missing shingles, which may also cause moisture problems in your attic.

Burst Pipes
A winter storm can bring bone-chilling temperatures that may affect your home's plumbing. Outdoor pipes can be especially vulnerable when water trapped inside can freeze and expand, causing them to burst. You can prevent this by insulating your pipes, and after a storm, inspecting the vulnerable exterior wall pipes in your basement for leaks may help you prevent a flood.

Downed Tree Limbs
High winds and heavy snow can snap tree branches and cause them to fall on your roof or damage your gutters. This type of problem may lead to poor or slow drainage, so calling in storm damage and restoration service for assistance as soon as possible could prevent further issues. Heavy tree limbs could rip tiles from your roof as well, so if any trees in your yard overhang your roof, you may want to check after a blizzard.
A powerful winter storm in Solway, TN, can cause many different types of damage to your home. Knowing what to look for once bad weather passes can help you protect your property and the time and money you invest in it.