Can You Clean Smoke-Damaged Electronics?
Computers can suffer from smoke damage.
The aftermath of a fire at your Northshore Town Center, TN, home can feel overwhelming. Many of your belongings may have suffered untold damage, including your valuable electronics. Fire cleanup efforts for these items are usually different from other belongings because of their delicate components, but there are several ways a professional restoration service may be able to help.
The Effects of Smoke on Electronics
Computers, televisions, tablets and even cell phones can suffer from smoke damage, even if they were not outwardly affected by the heat from a fire. There may be problems you cannot see, including:
- Wiring and insulation damage caused by soot
- Corrosion of internal components
- The possibility of a short circuit from magnetic charge
These unseen problems may pose a danger to you or other users, so having the electronic items examined by a fire cleanup and restoration service may help you salvage them properly.
The Cleanup Process
The first step your restoration technicians may take is to gauge the amount of visible damage and manage that first. For example, if your laptop has visible soot on the keyboard and screen, your techs will probably use commercial-grade cleansers to clear it away. Allowing your techs to examine your electronics and perform fire cleanup on them may prevent the items from shorting out and rendering them useless.
Listing the Damage
Most electronics carry significant value, so you may want to keep a running list of which can be salvaged by your restoration service and which cannot so you can enter a claim to recoup your losses. Remember to include a copy of the sales receipt for each item and a photo so your insurance company can compensate you properly.
When your Northshore Town Center, TN, home suffers fire damage, your electronics may need different fire cleanup techniques than your other belongings. Having them examined and cleaned by a restoration service can give you peace of mind when it comes to caring for these valuable items.
3 Signs of Black Mold in Your HVAC System
Black spots of mold on an HVAC system
Three Signs of Black Mold In Your HVAC System
Mold spores are living microscopic particles that attach themselves to hosts and develop into colonies. There is no commercial facility in Westmoreland Heights, TN, that can be cleared of mold spores. However, there are ways to prevent mold growth such as:
- Keeping humidity levels at or below 40-60%
- Cleaning frequently
- Addressing water damage immediately
Your HVAC can be a major contributor to the circulation of mold.
1. Mold on the Evaporator Coils
Black mold colonies manifest as dark green, black, or gray-colored slime. If you notice this type of fungus developing on the evaporator coils and the drip pan, it is likely mold spores are being circulated. Mold can originate in the condenser unit and travel through the air ducts.
2. Mold on the Air Vents
A fungus that is circulated through the HVAC system will manifest as black and green spots on the air vents throughout the facility. These spots are difficult to scrub off and can corrode the air vent. If you find mold spots on the vents, it is likely mold colonies are developing inside of your HVAC.
3. Musty Sell When You Turn On the HVAC System
A musty smell that becomes stronger when you turn on the HVAC system is a clear indicator that there is mold growing inside of the ducts. The air ducts provide fungus with the humid and dark conditions necessary for it to thrive while the accumulated dust provides a source of nutrients. The colonies will then release more mold spores into the air and contribute to a mold problem.
If you believe you have black mold inside of your HVAC system, contact a professional HVAC cleaning service to aid in clearing it. Clean ducts are essential to keeping your building mold-free. A problem that has persisted and spread throughout the building should be addressed with mold remediation services.
The Do's and Don'ts of Electronics Cleaning After a Fire
Not all computers can be saved after an electrical fire.
The Aftermath Of A Commercial Fire
Sensitive components need precision cleaning techniques after a commercial fire. This applies to computer systems and sensitive electrical equipment. The right measures can salvage critical systems, protect records and save money. An erroneous process after an electrical fire can result in more damage to some of the most important resources a company owns.
The first step involves contacting a trusted fire cleanup company in Ebenezer, TN. Trained technicians are there to help in the aftermath of a commercial fire.
The Computer Cleanup Process
Any time fire comes close to computer equipment there is cause for concern. Untrained individuals should not attempt a repair without first consulting with an authorized repair service. A fire could result in smoke, soot and even water harming the computers. The best process involves several important steps:
- A close inspection of each item
- A determination of optimal cleaning options
- A consideration of sending the item off to the manufacturer
Not all computers can be saved after an electrical fire. The good news is the recovery process can work if the proper procedures are followed.
The Recovery Process for Other Electrical Items
In addition to computer systems, a fire can damage the building's electrical infrastructure as well as the HVAC system. All of these areas fall under the province of specialty cleaning and should be approached only by trained technicians. Immediately after a fire, untrained workers should not attempt to clean these items of smoke damage, nor should they turn on the equipment.
If possible, before the technicians arrive, the equipment should be unplugged or disconnected from the power source. Once on-site, technicians use specialized equipment and proprietary cleaning products to restore what is salvageable. This makes sure sensitive electronics have a chance after a fire.
A hands-off approach is often the wisest course of action after an electrical fire. Trained technicians will know what to do and what not to do in a complicated restoration situation.
Answering 3 Common Questions About Commercial Flood Insurance
Flood insurance protects your property from flood damage.
Commercial flood insurance can be a bit confusing. You have to purchase it separately from your regular property insurance. There are also some exclusions to most flood policies. Here are the answers to some common questions about this type of insurance.
What Is a Flood?
Essentially, a flood occurs when water accumulates on dry land. However, the NFIP has a more detailed definition. The NFIP describes a flood as the complete or partial inundation of water on a normally dry area that contains either two or more properties or two or more acres. It can result from mudflow, runoff, or an overflow of tidal waters. Common causes of floods include:
- Broken levees or dams
- Heavy rain
- Fast-Melting snow
- Post-hurricane storm surges
What Does This Insurance Cover?
As its name implies, flood insurance protects your property from flood damage. You can only purchase it from the NFIP, which offers up to $500,000 in-building coverage and up to $500,000 in personal contents coverage. This money can go toward emergency restoration services.
Building coverage includes harm that occurs to the actual structure, including the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. Contents coverage, meanwhile, pays for damage to furniture, equipment and other items inside the property.
While flood policies are fairly thorough, there are certain exceptions. Any property outside your building, including company vehicles, is typically excluded. Insurance also will not cover damage to precious metals or currency.
Who Has To Buy This Insurance?
Many business owners should consider purchasing flood coverage since it is not included in typical commercial insurance policies. However, if your company is in a high-risk flood zone and has a mortgage from an insured or federally regulated lender, you are required to purchase flood insurance.
The NFIP lets business owners purchase flood coverage for both their building and the items inside it. This insurance could keep your Blue Grass, TN, company afloat following a storm.
This Is the Smoke Alarm You Need
Pick the right smoke alarm and test it monthly.
How To Choose The Right Smoke Detector
You probably think that simply installing any smoke alarm in your home is enough. However, there are several options to choose from. Read on to find out how to choose the right smoke detector for your particular residence.
1. Consider the Size of Your Home
A bigger home will need more units. When purchasing, consider:
- Number of rooms
- Square feet
- Sleeping location
- Special needs
You need to put a smoke alarm in each room, as well as the hallways leading to bedrooms. Also factor in attics, basements, and both ends of staircases. Essentially, make sure you'll be able to hear the alarm at any time of the day.
2. Choose a Type
If you have a larger residence, you should look into devices that can be wired along with the same network.
There may be regulations in Hardin Valley, TN, so make sure to check before installing. Often, these regulations can require hard-wired devices. If this is the case, you have to have them installed by local fire prevention and remediation specialists.
3. Make Sure It Works
This may seem obvious, but you need to test your smoke detectors. Think about fire safety. You may only have 2 minutes to evacuate. Does your alarm do its job in time? Check if batteries need replaced. If your system is hard-wired, it may also have backup batteries. Make sure these are in working condition. Keep in mind that placement should also be conducive to monthly testing. If you can't reach the alarm or don't have a ladder, reconsider placement. You should also keep units free of dust and grime that may inhibit usefulness.
Further, look for the circle logo on your units or their packaging. There should be a "UL" denoting that they have been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories. This is the most common certification, but there are others. Always do a quick internet search to verify your alarm's standard testing.
If you pick the right smoke alarm and test it monthly, you are doing the best that you can for fire prevention. Practice how to turn off the alarm without dismantling it from the wall or ceiling. Stay safe.
4 Possible Sources of Sewage in Your Home
Toilet overflow in a home in Rocky Hill, TN.
Four Potential Sewage Sources in Your Home
Your home's plumbing system brings in clean water and discreetly clears away the used and dirty water. Occasionally, pipes break, and sometimes those pipes are in the process of taking away contaminated water. When this happens, professional sewage cleaning is a necessity. A number of situations in your home in Rocky Hill, TN, could result in a black water spill.
1. Toilet Overflow. While this might seem minor, any time water from a toilet that contains urine or feces overflows it is a serious situation. The water potentially contains harmful bacteria and microbes that are detrimental to human health. Plus, the water can contaminate flooring and other materials.
2. Clogged Pipe. A discharge line that is obstructed could result in a sewage backup, spilling out contaminated water into an area of the home. As with all other types of spills requiring professional sewage cleaning, a water damage mitigation team should be called. Trained technicians will work safely and quickly to remove the dirty water and clean and sanitize the home.
3. Pipe Burst. Older pipes tend to weaken with age. After forty or fifty years of use, many piping materials are at or near the end of their lifespan. This is especially true of galvanized steel piping. If the pipe that breaks is carrying used water, the spill should be considered potentially harmful to human health.
4. Flood. Though this situation has nothing to do with the plumbing system, it is still an issue important to homeowners. Outside water coming into a home from overflowing streams or lakes or heavy rains is often contaminated with germs, chemicals and other substances. As such, it should be treated with the highest level of concern.
No matter what the source of the spill, sewage cleaning is best handled by a professional company. It will have the appropriate equipment and training to deal with the situation safely and efficiently.
Removing Soaked Building Elements
Water restoration services in a Farragut, TN residence
Building Elements That Have Been Soaked
Getting your home back in order after a serious flood in Farragut, TN can be a daunting task. The following guide will inform you of the usual procedures employed by qualified restoration professionals, such as ventilation and insulation tear out.
The first step in any water damage scenario is to assess the extent of moisture entry. After all standing water has been removed and the area is generally safe to enter, the work of bringing the home back to its original condition is only just beginning. Damp materials, such as drywall or carpet padding, can harbor mold growth and may cause surrounding wood surfaces to lose structural integrity. Because these water-retaining elements are often not easily visible, professional identification may be necessary.
2. Removal and Replacement
A professional restorer may opt to tear out affected drywall that has been sufficiently damaged, especially if the insulation behind it is also soaked. Some modern insulation materials made from basalt and steel slag have improved draining properties. These likely won’t need complete replacement as long as they are exposed to sufficient ventilation during the cleanup process to remove all water vapor. Plaster-based wall and ceiling spackling might dissolve and flake away if flooded, and it may also need to be scraped off and replaced at a relatively low cost.
3. Sanitizing and Drying
The final step for most flood or storm restoration processes involves decontamination and vapor expulsion. Any loose belongings that contacted flood water will need chemical or UV decontamination. Your chosen cleanup service will also usually elect to set up ventilation points with air movers and dehumidifiers to ensure that no lingering damp air remains.
With a little extra know-how, homeowners can be prepared for any sort of flood situation. The tear out and replacement of a few building materials can save a lot of money in the long run.
What To Do When a Storm Approaches
Storm damage to a home in Bearden, TN
When a Storm Approaches, What Should You Do?
Many circumstances can lead to flooding. These include:
- Heavy rain or snow
- Coastal storms and heavy wind storms
- Overflowing dams
- Damaged sewer systems
When flood water rises, it may lead to power outages, lack of transportation, flooded buildings, and landslides. These situations make up the most common natural disaster in the United States. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your Bearden, TN, home and family from harm when storms develop.
Protect Your Family First
The safety of your family should be your top priority. The rise of flood water often leads to unsafe conditions. The best way to maintain safety is to follow the instructions of local authorities. Follow this list of dos and don'ts.
- Do go around pools of water; don't drive through them.
- Do avoid bridges over fast-moving water.
- Do move to higher ground or go upstairs in your home.
- Do evacuate when told to do so.
- Don't re-enter your home until you have permission from first responders.
Prevent Damage to Your Home
There are steps you can take to protect your home as well as your family. Before storms or damaged sewer systems lead to water damage, make sure you know what the risks are to your family. Check with your local government to determine the risks of flooding and the most common type of situations. Next, keep supplies on hand to board up your windows and plug any drains in your basement. Consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Protect important documents by storing them in a waterproof container.
Take Action When a Storm Approaches
If you know that a storm system is on its way, consider buying a sump pump. You should also move appliances and valuables to higher levels of your home. Turn off the electricity to lower levels of the home. Clean out drains and gutters around your home.
Taking steps before a storm to control flood water and keep it out of your home is a good way to protect your home and your family. Check with water damage remediation professionals to learn about more steps you should take.
3 Reasons That Property Managers Could Face a Mold Damage Lawsuit
Commercial mold damage in Knoxville, TN
3 Reasons Why a Mold Damage Lawsuit Might Be Filed Against a Property Manager
As a commercial property manager in Knoxville, TN, you have certain responsibilities when it comes to issues of mold in the buildings that you manage. Mold can be a touchy subject, because mold insurance claims tend to be nebulous. Many insurance companies have riders that exclude mold damage so you have to have a secondary insurance plan of some sort—it can be confusing! Here are three reasons why you as a property manager could face a mold damage lawsuit. Understanding the possibilities will help you to ensure that you have the proper coverage.
1. Property Damage
If it is discovered that mold has damaged the tenant's property or products, the mold claim will likely be over who is responsible for paying for damages and how much things are worth. One way to avoid this issue is to have the building inspected before you rent it and come to a formal, written agreement with the tenants about who is responsible for what in the event of damaged property.
2. Commercial Fitness
Commercial buildings don't have to be inhabitable the way residential buildings do, but they do have to allow for the intended business to function. If a tenant feels that the building is no longer fit for its intended use, then lawsuits over mold insurance claims could result.
3. Prevention and Remediation
Preventing mold growth and remediating existing mold are probably the most common reasons that property managers could find themselves involved in a lawsuit. Mold prevention looks like responding to concerns about leaks and dampness while remediation is about repairing an existing problem.
Especially if you've agreed with your tenant about who is responsible for what aspect of mold remediation and prevention, keeping up your end of the bargain and maintaining good records will help you if you are faced with a legal dispute. When in doubt, hire a professional mold remediation specialist to provide an assessment.
Although mold insurance claims that result in a lawsuit at a commercial property are less common than at a residential one, it's important to know what responsibilities you have and how to prepare for them.
How To Safely Extinguish a Grease Fire
Dealing with a grease fire in your home in Blue Grass, TN, is a terrifying experience.
How To Put Out a Grease Fire In Your Home
For many homeowners, one of the greatest joys you can have is cooking homemade meals. However, that joy can quickly change to fear when facing a fire. Regardless of your experience in the kitchen, a fire can happen to anyone at any time. As a result, everyone needs to be familiar with the process of extinguishing one. The following is a step-by-step guide to putting out a grease fire in your home:
1. Eliminate the heat source. The first step you need to take is removing the heat source by turning your burner off or unplugging the stove. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control. Be sure to wear oven mitts to avoid burns.
2. Smother the flames. The best method for eliminating a stovetop or oven fire is to smother it by putting a lid over the pan. This quickly cuts off the oxygen supply. Make sure to use a lid that is not made of glass, as the intense heat can cause it to shatter. Another option is to use baking soda and pour a generous quantity on the fire. If you own a fire extinguisher, you can use this as a third option. Never use water on a grease fire, as oil and water do not mix, and this can cause an explosion.
3. Call 911. If the above steps do not eliminate the fire, or if it spreads, call 911 immediately and evacuate everyone in the residence. Do not stay and continue to attempt to put out the fire; your life is much more important.
Dealing with a grease fire in your home in Blue Grass, TN, is a terrifying experience. By arming yourself with the knowledge of how to properly handle one before it starts, you can get it under control and prevent too much damage from occurring. Afterward, fire restoration services can help you with fire cleanup and assess any damage.