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3 Things You Should Know About Smoke Alarms

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Hands changing the batteries of a smoke alarm How often should you change the batteries in your smoke alarm?

Three Things to Know About Smoke Alarms

While it is a small device that you likely think little about, the smoke alarm is an important part of every Wildwood Lake, TN, home. It can alert you to a fire in time to prevent serious damage or allow you to safely leave the building in the event of a serious blaze. There are a few important pieces of information that you should know about this useful item.

1. How Many Alarms Do You Need?
The number of smoke detectors needed in your house depends on how large it is. Each floor should have at least one alarm. Also, make sure that there is an alarm in each individual bedroom as well as one outside of each sleeping area. If you have a basement or attic, these should have their own alarms as well.

2. How Should You Maintain Them?
Keeping your alarms in working condition can help prevent the need for fire damage remediation and serious repairs by quickly making you aware of a conflagration. Every smoke alarm should be tested at least monthly to ensure it is functioning properly. Dust and debris should be removed to prevent the sensors from malfunctioning. Most alarms will need to be replaced at least every 10 years.

3. How Often Should You Change the Batteries?
Depending on the type of smoke detector you have, this varies. Devices that use traditional 9-volt batteries need to have them replaced every six to 12 months. This includes hardwired alarms that use batteries as a backup in case of a power outage. If your alarm uses a lithium battery, this does not need to be replaced.
Having a smoke alarm in each area of your home as well as properly maintaining them is a vital way to help keep you and your family safe if you experience a fire. Test them regularly and change the batteries often to keep these useful little devices ready in case of an emergency.

Commercial Property Insurance Basics

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Insurance Policy A commercial insurance policy can save you a lot of money in the event of a fire.

Commercial Property Insurance Basics

Property coverage is an essential item in every business budget. Most commercial insurance policies cover damage to your structure in South Cleveland, TN, as well as any equipment, furniture or other items that are marred or destroyed in a fire. The answers to the following questions can help you decide which policy to purchase.

What Does a Commercial Insurance Policy Cover?
A basic policy is designed to pay for sudden, accidental occurrences that cause harm to your property. It prevents you from having to pay the cost of fire damage mitigation services out of pocket, and it doesn't just cover the building itself. Other features of your property may be included in the policy:

  • Office equipment
  • Furniture
  • Manufacturing machines
  • Inventory
  • Important documents
  • Landscaping
  • External structures
  • Fences

What Factors Affect Cost?
Most commercial insurance coverage provides comparable protection, but if there are factors that put your business at a higher risk of fire, your policy will likely cost more. For example, a restaurant owner is probably going to pay more for insurance than someone who runs an office building. Newer buildings with better safety features such as fire-resistant building materials and a state-of-the-art fire suppression system can often get better insurance rates. When you meet with your insurance agent, be sure to ask about the factors that affect the cost of your policy.

Does It Matter Whether You Own or Rent?
If you own property, you need insurance to cover all the items listed above in the event of a fire. If you are renting from someone else, though, you still need to protect yourself. Your landlord's policy will probably only cover the items he or she owns. You still need coverage for the items inside, such as computers, phones and files.
A commercial insurance policy can save you a lot of money in the event of a fire. Make sure you have the right coverage for your business.

3 Tips for Maintaining Your Commercial Roof

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Missing shingles on a roof due to high winds.

Commercial Roof Maintenance

When you live and work in East Cleveland, TN, storms and other powerful weather events can be a standard part of everyday life. They're also the reasons for all kinds of industrial and commercial roof damage, from damaged skins and flashing to leaks and clogs. Unfortunately, these kinds of problems can sometimes force businesses to close for repairs or clean-ups. Here are three non-nonsense tips for maintaining your commercial roof for years to come.

1. Schedule Regular Inspections

Two times a year is the recommended frequency for roof inspections. Whether they're done by you, the owner or manager, or by a professional roofing company representative, an assessment can highlight current or potential problems. Examples include issues involving the roof's materials, drainage and surrounding trees, and sunlight and wind damage.

2. Take Care of As-Needed Repairs

If you find that a recent storm or high winds have caused roof damage, go ahead and fix the minor problems before turning them into major headaches. Whether debris compromises a section of flashing or a microburst dislodges shingles, resolve these issues as soon as possible. If you and your team don't have the knowledge, tools and safety equipment to make the repairs, hire a reputable commercial services company to do the work.

3. Invest in a Maintenance Plan

Consider investing in a maintenance plan to reduce your stress and the risk of a complete roof rebuild. Many reputable commercial roofing companies offer maintenance plans that take into consideration your unique property and its needs. Having help on speed dial and on the way after a storm or unexpected event gives you great peace of mind.
These three tips for maintaining your commercial roof can take some of the stress out of business and property ownership or management. Implement one or all three to enhance the integrity and longevity of your property. Don't let roof damage ruin your or your customers' day!

3 Ways for Buyers To Differentiate Between Fire Extinguishers

4/17/2022 (Permalink)

Types of fire extinguishers You can also contact an expert to see what type of fire extinguisher would work best in your home.

Ways To Differentiate Between Fire Extinguishers

Buying a fire extinguisher for your Hopewell, TN, home is very wise. However, it can also be confusing. There are many different types of extinguishers available, so you may be unsure about which kind to buy. If you need advice in this area, here are three ways for buyers to differentiate between fire extinguishers.

1. Size

The size of an extinguisher is one of the most important factors to consider. Essentially, larger extinguishers will be more effective against substantial fires. However, you may have difficulty handling or even picking up the heavier ones. These are the usual sizes of extinguishers:

  • Two-pound
  • Five-pound
  • Ten-pound

Take into account where you plan to be using your fire extinguisher. For instance, a two-pound model would be the easiest to use in a mobile space.

2. Chemical

The chemical in an extinguisher is also something to consider. The most common materials used are carbon dioxide, air pressurized water and dry chemical. These options are each effective against different types of fires, so consider the intended use before investing. For example, a home fire around or from electrical items should be dealt with using dry chemical material. If you're worried about how much damage a certain chemical could cause, it may be taken care of during the fire restoration process.

3. Fire Classification Label

Every extinguisher should have a label that denotes what type of fires it's effective against. Most use A, B or C. In general, A is combustibles, B is liquids and C is electricity. There should also be numbers in fine print next to the letter. This denotes how effective a fire extinguisher is against certain fires. If this aspect confuses you, keep in mind that the more expensive options are likely more effective. You can also contact an expert to see what type would work best in your home.
Getting the right extinguisher, like any part of the fire preparedness process, can be highly important. Think it through and make an informed decision.

How To Prevent a Pipe Burst: 4 Tips for Avoiding Frozen Pipes

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Man installing insulation in an attic. You should insulate the attic of your home to keep exposed pipes warm.

How To Keep Your Piping Warm Through Wintertime

If you are a homeowner in Wildwood Lake, TN, knowing how to prepare your residence for every season can help you prevent common weather-related damages. In the colder months, some of the most common problems people report to water damage remediation experts involve frozen pipes. Because of this, knowing how to keep your piping warm through wintertime can end up saving you a lot of time and money down the road. Here are four tips.

1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate!

Whenever you encounter a pipe freeze, you run the risk of it bursting. For this reason, you should insulate the crawl spaces and attic of your home to keep exposed pipes warm. When it comes to insulating these areas, less is never more. For more protection, add more insulation.

2. Tape Them Up

In addition to insulating different areas of the house, you also want to protect the actual pipes themselves by wrapping them up with heat tape. Be sure to use products that have passed third-party testing, and follow any manufacturer instructions.

3. Seal Leaks

Another common cause of frozen pipes is when air is able to leak into the space where the piping is. Whenever the temperatures are low enough, even a little bit of air can quickly lead to a pipe freeze. As such, you should promptly seal any leaks you notice near pipes, electrical wiring, or dryer vents using caulk or another form of insulation.

4. Keep Water Flowing

One of the best ways to prevent freezing is by keeping the water flowing. If you can let water drip overnight, even a trickle can be enough. Additionally, if your pipes are already frozen, it does not mean you have a pipe burst. If a freeze occurs, try turning on the water and leave the faucet on even if water does not come out. Call a professional if you need further assistance.
When the temperatures drop, knowing how to avoid frozen pipes in your home can save you a lot of headache. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to keep your residence protected.

Ice Dams 101: Understanding the Risk

3/19/2022 (Permalink)

Ice-cycles hanging from a home roof Ice dam, can tear off shingles, cause water damage, and more.

Understanding the Risks of Ice Dams

Ice can be functional and even beautiful -- that is, until it’s all over your roof. The ice that builds up along the edge of your roof, also known as an ice dam, can tear off shingles, cause water damage, and more. Make part of your winter prep learning the signs and impacts of these ice structures, as well as how you can prevent them in your South Cleveland, TN, home.

What Is Ice Damming?
This is the result of a combination of heat, pressure, and cold temperatures. They occur when snowfall packs onto a sloped roof that’s poorly insulated. Heat from this type of roof combines with pressure from the snow’s weight to melt the snowpack at its base. The snowmelt drips can result in:

  • Gutter damage
  • Water leaks
  • Popped shingles

How Do They Destroy?
It may not seem like an ice dam can wreak havoc, but it can. Water can melt, pool and refreeze in gutters, forming a heavy log of ice. Before long, your gutters can tear off under the weight.
Ice that has nowhere to go can also start backing up into your roof. It can get under your shingles and re-melt. The result can be everything from popped shingles to water damage in your attic. If the water continues to leak into your house, it can start to damage insulation, drywall and more.

What Can You Do?
The good news is, besides investing in ice dam coverage, there are many ways to tackle dam prevention. You can start with improving your roof’s insulation. It’s also a good idea to clear your gutters so they can more easily channel meltwater away and don’t get backed up.

An ice dam can be an unfortunate side effect of cold weather, but it doesn’t have to be. Understand how these ice blocks form and what you can do to prevent them. Work with a winter storm professional to help prepare your home, and you’ll get through the season dam-free.

How To Avoid a Mold Problem in Your Building

3/19/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth in commercial building Excess moisture can lead to mold formation at your building in Hopewell, TN.

How to Prevent a Mold Infestation in Your Building

Excess moisture can lead to a mold formation at your building in Hopewell, TN. Although mold exists inside all buildings, routine measures, including air duct and carpet cleaning and periodic structure assessments, can keep mold spores from spreading and causing mold problems.

Schedule Inspections
A critical part of preventing mold from overtaking your building's internal spaces involves addressing potential leak sources, including:

  • A damaged roof
  • A faulty HVAC unit
  • A stressed plumbing system
  • An insufficient door or window seal

Scheduling building inspections can lead to repairs that ensure excess water does not enter your building.

Monitor Moisture Levels
If your building is situated in a high humidity region, tracking humidity levels is vital in preventing mold problems. Relying on well-maintained dehumidification systems is one of the best ways to control moisture levels and prevent conditions leading to mold growth.

Give Carpets Attention
Working with your building's maintenance staff to keep high traffic areas clean is necessary to keep mold spores from spreading throughout your building. Daily carpet cleaning with a HEPA vacuum can extract microscopic spores from carpet fibers vulnerable to moisture retention after repeated contact with wet shoes. Entry mats strategically placed near doorways can contribute to keeping carpets dry and preventing mold problems.

Replace Old Systems and Parts
If your building is old with a complex plumbing system, you should schedule routine plumbing inspections and replace old pipes at risk of bursting. Faulty plumbing can cause gallons of water to pour into your building's interior, where it can saturate furnishings, equipment, and spaces within walls and ceilings. Professional water extraction services can dry out your building's interior, but this may not be enough to prevent costly building repairs from mold damage.

Invisible mold spores can be challenging to detect in your commercial building, but keeping them from spreading uncontrollably through system maintenance, carpet cleaning, humidity monitoring, and other measures, can ensure your building's healthy and clean environment.

Creating an Inventory System for Your Business

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Note pad with words written " Inventory System" with three pencils. Remember to create your inventory list.

Developing an Inventory Management System for Your Company

Before you can hire a remediation company, such as SERVPRO, for your disaster-struck business in Cleveland, TN, you are going to need to provide your insurance company with a list of everything in the building. It can be impossible to create this list when facing a disaster, so it is best to make one beforehand. Here are some tips for creating an inventory.

How Do You Create an Inventory?
The first step to create an inventory is to decide which method is best for you. While it can be a simple list of everything in the building, you will probably want a visual record. You can use one of these digital tools to help you make your list:

  • Spreadsheet
  • Mobile app
  • Video camera

Once you have decided on a format, you can start making your list. Don't forget to include any items you have in your storage closets. Pay special attention to any high-value items you have, such as expensive equipment. It may also be best to ask your agent what items would be covered if you made an insurance claim, so you know what to include.

Why Do You Need One?
An inventory is an excellent way to help expedite the insurance claim process. Not only will it help when dealing with the insurance company, but it will also be helpful when dealing with a disaster restoration company.

How Should You Store It?
Don't let your inventory become part of your property loss. Be sure to keep a copy in a fireproof safe, safety deposit box, or the cloud. You could also email it to your agent for safekeeping. This is a bonus because your agent will tell you if you have enough coverage to pay a full insurance claim.
Creating an inventory is an important step for any business and can make recovering from a disaster easier. After you create yours, be sure to keep it safe or email it to your insurance agent before disaster strikes.

You Wouldn't Want To Drink It

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

mud on floor, flood damage Floodwater enters a building in Wildwood Lake, TN.

Flooding poses many problems for Wildwood Lake, TN, homeowners beyond the obvious cleanup requirements. Contaminated water, black water and clean water from an uncontaminated supply line are all part of the puzzle, and each has special requirements in the restoration process. One of the first steps a restoration company takes is determining what type of water is making a mess of your home.

3 Categories of Water

Restoration companies categorize water into three groups:

• Category 1: This is water that is safe to drink. Known as “clean water,” it is provided through a sanitary source, such as drinking fountains and faucets. Water in your toilet tank and water heater is also considered clean.

• Category 2: Water in this category is “gray water.” It contains contaminants that can make you sick if you drink it. Gray water can come from an overflowing clothes washer or dishwasher, or may be water flushed from sink drains. It can even be water from an overflowing toilet that may contain urine, but not feces.

• Category 3: Known as “black water,” this is the worst type of contaminated water. This type of water comes from sewer backup or overflow with feces, along with floodwaters from rivers or streams.

Making Restoration Plans

A sink or tub overflow involves clean water, which has no special handling or disposal requirements. Depending on the severity of the overflow, you may be able to salvage flooring, carpeting, baseboards and furniture, as well as drywall.

Contaminated water, including both gray and black water, should be handled by restoration professionals. It requires special training and tools to assess both the water and water damage and to develop a restoration plan for your Wildwood Lake, TN, home. If you are unsure whether your water supply line has been compromised, be sure to boil your water until supply system operators tell you it’s safe to use.

Three Questions To Ask Yourself About Fire Alarms

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

Hand replacing battery of a smoke alarm You might think about changing the batteries in your smoke alarm.

Three Questions To Ponder When It Comes To Fire Alarms

You probably have at least one smoke alarm in your Hopewell, TN, home, but how often do you really think about it? For many people, the answer is probably “not often.” Your alarm can help prevent fire and smoke damage in your home by warning you at the first indication of a blaze, but only if you follow proper procedures. The next time you find yourself thinking about your alarm, ask yourself these questions.

1. Do you have the right number of smoke alarms in your home?

It is unlikely that you only have one fire alarm in your home, but it is possible that you still don’t have as many as you should. There is no set number of alarms that you should have in your house as the answer depends on the size of your residence. Each level of your home, including basements and attics, should have at least one alarm. There should be an alarm placed inside each bedroom as well as in the hallway outside each sleeping area.

2. When is the last time you replaced your alarms?

While you might think about changing the batteries in your smoke alarms, at least when they start beeping at you as a reminder, you might not have considered that the alarms themselves need replacing as well. The detectors in a fire alarm will start to wear out between eight to ten years after you’ve started using them, so it is important to replace them around this time.

3. Are you taking proper care of your alarms

In order to keep your alarms working properly, they should be well maintained. Be sure to replace the batteries immediately when the reminder sounds so that you know they will work in case of an emergency. Each fire alarm should be cleaned regularly and tested at least once a month.
A fire damage repair service can help in the event of a fire but keeping properly maintained alarms in the necessary areas of your home can help prevent significant damage and keep you safe.