Recent Posts

How To Inspect Your Sump Pump

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. It is a good idea to inspect your sump pump on a quarterly basis.

Sump Pump Inspections

Your basement may be a fun place to entertain or give you a lot of extra storage. Whatever its purpose, it can’t serve it well if it gets flooded. Regular sump pump inspections are necessary to ensure that, if extra water does flood your basement, it won’t stay there long. A reliable pump can significantly lower the cost of water remediation services if your basement floods. Here are some things to check off your list during the inspection.

Get Rid of Debris

A big part of pump maintenance is just cleaning it out. There are several places dirt, rocks and other debris like to hide in your pump:

  • Discharge pipe
  • Vent hole
  • Intake screen
  • Pit

Any obstruction in these areas can cause your pump to malfunction when you need it the most.

Check Cord and Power Supply

Over time, cords can wear out, especially if they are in an area like the basement where they may be trapped under boxes or twisted around other obstacles. Check the cord to make sure it is not broken. You also want to ensure that the sump pump is hooked up to a working power supply. It is a good idea to connect it to a generator so that if it is needed during a power outage in a storm, it will still function.

Test the Pump

Every time you inspect your pump, it’s a good idea to simulate a flood scenario to see if it works. Flood the basin with a bucket of water. If your pump is working, it will activate and drain the water. If it does not do this, you need to contact a repair technician in Cleveland, TN, to fix it.

It is a good idea to inspect your sump pump on a quarterly basis. This ensures that all debris is removed, it is connected to a reliable power source and it actually does what it’s supposed to do. Then when storms come, you know your basement is protected.

After the Storm: Roof Repair Expectations

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Tree fallen on the roof of a property. Roof damaged by storm, big hole on the roof a home The roof of a home destroyed by a storm in Charleston, TN

Roof Repair Expectations

Once the storm calms, it’s vital to check the roof of your Charleston, TN, damage. Any signs of missing shingles or leaks in the attic mean a roof repair is needed. After filing a claim with your insurer, the next step is mitigating the damage while you wait and secure the services of a trusted water damage cleanup and restoration company.

What To Expect
The first step, which is often required by insurance companies, is to complete any temporary repairs. When wind damage has torn off shingles or a branch has punctured the roof, those areas need to be tarped over to protect against any other bad weather while you wait. Once the roof repair company arrives, you can expect the following:

An assessment will be completed of the damaged areas both on the roof and inside the home.
Any wet materials or items in the attic will be removed, as well as any saturated materials on the roof.
The source of the water damage will be replaced, which may mean removing framing or other roof components.
Sheathing and underlayment will be inspected and replaced if necessary.
Damaged flashing or shingles will be replaced.

Roof Damage Prevention
While bad weather, especially hail and high winds, may not be avoidable, there are ways to prevent damage from happening.

Have the roof inspected prior to and after storm season. Look for missing or damaged shingles, mold or mildew growth and potential animal activity. Be sure to check the attic for any signs of a leak.
Keeping your gutters clean is the best way to eradicate standing water on the roof. They should be cleaned at least twice a year.
If you have trims near the home, ensure they are trimmed. A branch rubbing against the roof will slowly cause damage and creates the potential for it to fall on the home.

After a storm, it's important to ensure a roof repair is done quickly. This helps minimize secondary damage and gets your home back to being protected.

5 Important Fire Prevention Tips for Your Home

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Man Installing Smoke Or Carbon Monoxide Detector Install smoke alarms for optimal fire safety.

Fire Prevention Tips For Your Home

A home fire can be devastating to any family, but there are many ways to prevent one from happening in your East Cleveland, TN, home. Follow these five tips to protect your home from an unexpected blaze. 

1. Install Smoke Alarms for Optimal Fire Safety
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a residence and outside each sleeping area. Having alarms in place is a crucial fire preparation step, but don't neglect their upkeep either. Test out smoke detectors monthly and if battery operated, be sure to replace the batteries annually.

2. Be Mindful of Flammable Items and Their Surroundings
Any items that could catch on fire should be kept a safe distance away from anything that gets hot, such as a space heater or stove. 

3. Don’t Use Open Flames in the House
One of the best fire preparation tips is to limit any sort of flame in your home. Even the small flame of a lit candle presents a risk of a house fire, so instead use a safer alternative such as a battery-powered candle. 

4. Take Caution in the Kitchen
A cooking mishap can quickly become a disastrous kitchen fire if you don't know the right precautions. Always keep closeby when grilling, broiling or frying food. If a fire breaks out in a pan whilst cooking, place a lid over the pan and turn off the stove. Do not pour water over it or move the pan until it has completely cooled. 

5. Keep Electrical Wiring in Check
Electrical malfunctions are one of the leading causes of a house fire. In many cases, homeowners need the help of a fire damage restoration company in the aftermath of an electrical fire. Prevent one from happening by not overcrowding outlets or cords, covering any exposed wiring, and replacing faulty or damaged wires. 
Practice these essential fire preparation tips to ensure the highest level of safety for your home. 

3 Effects of Mold on a Commercial Building

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Dirty ducting When ducts are not cleaned regularly they fill with dust and mold.

Three Mold Effects on a Commercial Building

Mold is a major contributor to the decomposition of a building and, if left untreated, can cause heavy damage to a commercial property in Hopewell, TN. It does not take much for fungus to thrive and begin consuming the natural construction materials that compose the building. Favorable materials for fungus include:

  • Drywall
  • Concrete
  • Insulation
  • Wood

Your HVAC system can contribute to the spread of these harmful airborne particles if it is not routinely inspected and serviced. HVAC cleaning includes removing dirt and grime from the condenser unit and dust from air ducts. Here are three effects of mold on the natural construction materials of a building:

1. Rotting Wood
Mold functions as a cleaning agent for the wild by decomposing rotting substances. Your commercial building provides it the necessary nutrients to survive. Paired with a humid and dark environment, the wooden structure will give mold spores an opportunity to grow into colonies.

2. Mildew Odor
Mold spores will travel through your HVAC system and circulate into the rooms. They can also feed off the dust accumulated in the air ducts. When mold grows inside of the ducts, a musty smell will spread throughout the building every time the system turns on. HVAC cleaning is a preventative measure that should be added to the routine maintenance plans of your commercial building. This will decrease the number of mold spores that circulate, lessening the chances of a greater fungus problem.

3. Decomposition of Drywall
Drywall is another source of nutrition for mold. It is especially attractive for fungus because it provides a dark environment. If water from leaks or humidity dampens the drywall, it will meet all the criteria for it to grow. The problem may go unnoticed until it develops on the surface of the wall. In this case, the drywall is irreparable and must be replaced.
A mold problem can be avoided by hiring a professional HVAC cleaning service to improve the air quality of your commercial building. Frequently cleaning vents and using good air filters will also decrease the chances of microbial growth.

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.