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5 Types of Storm Shutters To Protect Your Home

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

Accordion storm shutter Protect your home by installing storm shutters.

Protect Your Home With Storm Shutters

Keeping your home safe during a storm is dictated by the environment where you live. If you live in an area where storms with high winds are a regular occurrence, this may include installing storm shutters.

There are several types of window treatment available. Which is right for you may depend on a variety of factors:

  • Permanence
  • Appearance
  • Function
  • Degree of protection
  • Price

Accordion Panels

These protective barriers are attached to your home permanently. They consist of hinged panels made of metal or polycarbonate. When a storm threatens, you'll have to unfold them from their boxes at the side of your windows and then lock them into place. These panels are moderately priced and are considered an affordable option.

Bahama Awnings

These permanent window coverings are best in locations where it is hot and clear. They provide shade during sunny days and protection from debris when there are high winds. They're available at a wide range of prices, from affordable to higher-end.

Colonial Panels

These permanent panels are designed to be attractive and protective. They are on the higher end, pricewise, but come in a wide variety of designs, materials, textures, and colors. When a storm threatens, you unlatch them from their position by the windows and bolt them into place.

Rolling Shutters

These are attached permanently to your home and are available in many attractive designs. They provide a wide range of functions and can be operated mechanically. They are considered to be some of the most effective storm closures and tend to be among the most expensive.

Storm Panels

These purely functional panels are often made of aluminum, polycarbonate, or steel. They are only put up when there's a threat of a hurricane or high wind speeds. For installation, a steel channel must be bolted around the frames of doors and windows. These storm shutters tend to be some of the most affordable; only plywood is less expensive.

If you aren't sure which panels are best for Fuquay-Varina, NC, contact a home restoration professional with experience in high winds for recommendations. It may save you a lot of grief in the future.

Smoke and Odor Cleaning After a Commercial Fire

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone treatment uses oxidation to capture smoke from the air.

Cleaning Smoke and Odors After a Commercial Fire

If your Garner, NC, business has sustained a fire, there's likely a lot of work needed to get your building back to its former condition. If you're lucky, there's a minimum of structural damage, but you may still have a significant amount of smoke damage and smoke odor. So what's the best way to deal with it?

If you try to take care of the problem on your own using off-the-shelf products, it could take several weeks, and you may still not get the desired result. Your best bet is to contact a fire remediation company. The professionals can perform a thorough smoke cleaning using tools designed specifically for the task and get the job done within a few days. The restoration company typically uses the following equipment:

  • Air scrubbers
  • Ozone machines
  • Thermal foggers

Air Scrubbers

Air scrubbers use filtration to pull smoke out of the building. The air is forced through a series of filters, then returned after all particulates have been completely removed. The most common types of filters used are activated carbon, HEPA (high efficiency particulate air), and specialized odor-eliminating varieties.

Ozone Machines

Ozone treatment uses oxidation to capture smoke from the air. Ozone contains three oxygen molecules. When released into the air, it oxidizes the smoke and neutralizes the odor. Besides its superior smoke cleaning properties, ozone treatment has the added advantage of working as a disinfectant.

Thermal Foggers

Some lingering smoke odor may be hard to reach with other methods, in which case thermal foggers are employed. Using heat and pressure, tiny droplets are diffused into porous surfaces. This method can be used to get into any area where smoke has penetrated, making it much easier to clean and deodorize.

Getting rid of smoke damage after a commercial fire is a big job. While it's possible to perform odor and smoke cleaning on your own, hiring a professional fire restoration company to do the work can ensure that the job is done quickly, safely and completely.

Understanding How to Maintain Emergency Sprinklers

1/1/2022 (Permalink)

Automatic ceiling Fire Sprinkler at the Office You need to have regular emergency sprinkler maintenance.

How to Keep Emergency Sprinklers in Working Order

As a commercial building owner in Holly Springs, NC, you have to perform a lot of maintenance. From cleaning your HVAC unit to repairing your roofing system to performing emergency sprinkler maintenance, you're expected to do everything you can to keep your property up and running. Because the emergency system rarely gets used, you may wonder why this maintenance is important. Regular maintenance ensures the following:

  • Sprinkler heads are not plugged.
  • Sprinklers do not have accidental activation.
  • System has proper power.

Your commercial remediation expert may be able to help you better understand why this maintenance is important. The professional may also be able to go over what is involved in the maintenance.

Clean the Heads

Dirt and dust can build up around the sprinkler heads. This gunk may stop your fire sprinklers from properly releasing water in an emergency. A non-corrosive cleaning agent should be used to remove the buildup. If any of the heads have been painted over, your cleaning crew may need to find a way to remove the paint film.

Check Valves and Gauges

One important step of sprinkler maintenance is checking that the valves and gauges of the system are in the proper position. Depending on the style of your system, most valves should be open to ensure water can travel throughout the piping system. The gauges should show there is water pressure in the pipes. Without water pressure, the sprinklers may be unable to send out a forceful spray of water. Checking valves and gauges can also tell you if your system is currently getting the power it needs to run.

Have Annual Inspection

While you may want to look at the system yourself, it is often best to have a fire service professional look over the fire sprinklers. This expert can look for signs of wear and make sure the system can function in an emergency.

If you want to be prepared for the unexpected, you need to have regular emergency sprinkler maintenance. Without this maintenance, you may not discover your sprinklers are broken until there is a fire.

3 Reasons To Have a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile To protect your business an emergency profile is an indispensable service.

Emergency Ready Profile

When disaster strikes, the devastation can be tremendous. Extensive damage or loss of property can lead to uncertainty about the future of your business. To lessen the confusion that comes with a disaster, you need a plan of action in place before the devastation occurs. To protect your business in Boylan Heights, NC, an emergency profile is an indispensable service. This service can give you peace of mind in many ways:

1. Protect your assets. One of the most important uses of this type of profile is to protect your business’s physical location. An accurate assessment of your facility before a disaster is imperative. This assessment should include details of your business that would prove useful in the event of an emergency, such as contact information and safety details of the location. Your local emergency restoration service may provide a facility evaluation for no charge to your business.

2. Protect your clients. As a business owner, your clients are the priority. In an emergency, each client needs to be assured that your business will resume the operations and service of which he or she is a patron. An emergency profile lets your clients know that you are prepared for any emergency, and it can show that you value the loyalty shown to your business.

3. Protect your future. Only half of businesses that suffer an unexpected accident remain operational. Researchers have found that many of those businesses that do remain open have some type of disaster plan protocol. Within minutes, SERVPRO’s easy-to-use Emergency Ready Profile application provides you with the necessary tools to begin safeguarding your business with your own emergency plan protocol. With the ERP app and the experts from SERVPRO on your side, you will be able to better ensure the future operation of your business entity in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Creating an emergency profile is an excellent way to protect your business and its future operation, as well as the clients that allow your business to thrive. You can operate your business with the assurance that you are prepared for any disaster that could arise.

Mold Mitigation: Protecting Your Income Property From Water Damage

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on the bottom of a wall Water can lead to mold damage in your Middle Creek, NC home.

Mold Prevention

One of the scariest things for any property owner is water showing up where it doesn’t belong because it typically signifies greater issues or concerns. For income property owners that concern is twofold because they are worried about the health of the property and the welfare of their tenants, especially as water damage can lead to mold growth. Mold prevention, however, is a simple process that can be implemented in any property.

1. Air Flow and Ventilation

Mold growth requires moisture, and moisture thrives in closed off humid locations. Therefore, to mitigate the potential threat of mold, you should ensure that there is sufficient airflow and ventilation throughout your property by installing vented appliances, air conditioning and dehumidifiers.

2. Waterproofing and Roof Repair

Two of the main culprits for water damage are roof damage and poor seals around plumbing, windows and foundations. Performing annual roof inspections can pinpoint many problems, like missing shingles, damaged flashing and gutter issues, before they lead to leaks in the home. Additionally, checking the interior of basements and windows after storms for water can help you pinpoint any sealant issues.

3. Landscape Grading

Improper grading of landscaping can lead to water buildup in your property’s basement, which can lead to the development of mold, especially if the basement isn’t sealed correctly. Try to ensure that all landscaping is graded away from the house and toward external sewers.

4. Mold Resistant Products

Beyond preventing moisture damage, you can install mold resistant products, like mold-resistant Sheetrock and drywall or paint with mold inhibitors. These products offer hard exterior coatings or chemical composition that make water absorption impossible and therefore mold growth impossible as well. For more information on mold-resistant products and possible installation, you can contact a local mold remediation specialist in the Middle Creek, NC, area.

Water damage can lead to the development of mold, but for vigilant property managers and owners, who take mold prevention seriously, it doesn’t have to be too concerning. By ensuring proper ventilation, structural integrity and adequate landscape grading of your property, you can alleviate both your tenants and your own concerns.

Train Employees for Fire Safety

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration The P.A.S.S Technique

Fire extinguisher training should be done on an annual basis, at least, and should also be part of the initial training for new employees in Wilbon, NC.

The P.A.S.S Technique

If employees aren't confident they can safely put out a fire, they should evacuate instead. The acronym P.A.S.S. helps employees remember each step of using an extinguisher to reduce fire damage.

• Pull the pin. Find the pin at the top of the canister and pull it out to break the tamper seal.
• Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. When the source of water is doused, the flames should die down.
• Squeeze the handle to release the pressurized chemicals inside the canister.
• Sweep the spray from side to side, maintaining your focus at the base of the fire.

After working through the steps, keep your eye on the area. If flames reappear, repeat steps 2 to 4.

Annual Fire Response Drills

Use the following steps in case of a fire (and during yearly drills.)

• Pull the fire alarm and alert the fire department.
• Protect the designated evacuation path. If fire, heat, or smoke threatens to come between employees and the exit, personnel should evacuate instead of fighting the fire.
• Choose an appropriate extinguisher.
• Complete the P.A.S.S. technique.
• Observe the location of the fire to catch any flames that may reignite.
• Evacuate immediately if the fire is too big, if the air isn't safe to breathe, if the room is too hot or smoky, and/or if the evacuation path is compromised.

Once the ability to use the fire extinguisher has been mastered and employees have been trained in the fire response routine, schedule opportunities for employees to practice their responses to a fire.

Practice Safety

It doesn't take long for a kitchen fire to pop up in a restaurant or flames to appear in an industrial setting. Protect your employees with training on how to use a fire extinguisher and regular drills in fire safety techniques. Fire damage restoration professionals could provide you with further resources.

How To Prepare Your Business for a Flood: 3 Helpful Hints

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

External hard drive connected to a computer Keep your computer files backed up on an external hard drive

Prepare Your Business For a Flood

When flooding threatens your Garner, NC, commercial building, you may worry about what kind of damage it might cause and what impact such an event would have on your investment. Floods can cause a variety of problems, from shorting out electrical systems to damaging inventory and office equipment. While this type of destruction can be costly, there are a few strategies you can use to prepare your business for a flood.

1. Have a Flood Disaster Plan in Place

Being prepared can keep your employees and customers safe from black water and other safety threats during a flood. Have an evacuation plan in place and post it throughout the building. Discuss flood evacuation with your employees so they can act quickly and get out of the building safely during an unexpected water disaster. You may want to have your building inspected to ensure there are enough exits for the number of people your building can hold.

2. Back Up Your Business’ Data

If you keep some of your records on paper and stored in your building, it is wise to have them transferred to a digital format and stored on the cloud. Not only does this give you easy access to information when you need it in the future, it can protect valuable data from suffering flood damage. If you own a medical business, transferring patient files and other information to a secure data storage system can be especially important when your building is at risk for flooding.

3. Have a Flood Mitigation Company on Call

Trying to find a flood damage and mitigation company during a flood may take days, during which you may lose business. Being prepared beforehand by finding a service that suits your needs can help you save time and get help right away if a flood should affect your building.

Flooding can be a worrisome issue for you as a Garner, NC, business owner. However, being prepared can help you act confidently during a disaster and when it comes to keeping your employees, customers and building safe.

How Can You Avoid Kitchen Fires?

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Man installing a smoke alarm Install smoke alarms near your kitchen.

How To Avoid Kitchen Fires

Kitchen fires are one of the leading causes of home fires in Cameron Village, NC. Because of the potential danger this room poses, you should learn how to cook safely. Use these tips to reduce your chances of starting a fire.

• Install Alarms: Smoke alarms near your kitchen can help alert you and other members of your house to the possibility of a fire and reduce the amount of fire damage done.

• Use Timers: Timers remind you that your stove or oven is on, so you can check on food and turn the appliances off.

• Stay Attentive: When you've cooked a meal hundreds of times, you may wander away from the kitchen, but it's best to remain near whatever you're cooking.

• Keep a Perimeter: As you cook, your pot holders, wooden utensils and wash rags should be kept away from any appliances that generate heat.

• Get a Fire Extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and figure out which tips you need to know to use it properly.

• Clean the Area: Grease buildup can increase the risk of a grease fire starting, so you should clean your stove, oven and countertops regularly.

• Think About Clothing: While you don't have to wear chef's clothes at home, you should consider keeping dangling jewelry and loose-fitting sleeves out of the kitchen as these can catch on fire.

• Stop in the Kitchen Before Bed: It's easy to forget to turn off a burner or the oven, so you should make it a habit to stop in the kitchen each night before bed to ensure all of the appliances are turned off.

• Schedule Inspections: A fire damage restoration specialist can come in to inspect your home for potential dangers.

Because of the heat used in the kitchen, these rooms are notorious as starting points for house fires. Keeping safety tips in mind may help you keep your home from being engulfed in flames.

Fire Sprinkler Systems: Do You Have the Right System for Your Building?

12/12/2021 (Permalink)

Exterior fire damage to home. Flooding from fire sprinkler systems may be a small concern, but with the appropriate system installed this concern can be minimized.

Most states require the installation of fire sprinklers before a business can open; however, in Raleigh, NC, there may be other considerations to make, like what type of system should you install. Installing the proper fire safety system may reduce the risk of system malfunction and flooding, which can reduce the possibility of needing a restoration specialist.

1. The Prefilled System

Prefilled systems, or wet pipe systems, are the most common systems installed. The sprinkler lines are filled with water, and when heat from a fire occurs close to one of the heads, the system activates, opening only the heads in the affected area. These lines may be sensitive to temperature fluctuations and may be more prone to freezing, meaning that they should only be installed in a controlled environment.

2. The Dry System

If you are going to install a fire suppressant system in an area prone to temperature shifts below freezing, then you may want to look into the dry pipe system. Pressurized gas is pumped into these lines to keep water in a heated space, and when a fire happens, the pressure drops, causing the water to flow freely to the sprinkler heads.

3. The Deluge System

If you operate a business that is considered high-risk for fires, then you may be more interested in the deluge-style system. This system does not only activate sprinklers in the affected areas, when a fire happens all sprinklers are activated. Due to the activation of all sprinklers, flooding can occur over a large area, even if the original fire is small, causing water damage.

4. The Pressurized System

A pressurized system, or pre-action system, has a delay before activation. As with the dry system, the lines are filled with pressurized gas or air, and when the pressure drops water fills the lines; however, before releasing water, an alert is sent, providing owners the opportunity to investigate. The water will disperse when heat from the fire activates the heads, but only in the affected area.

Flooding from fire sprinkler systems may be a small concern, but with the appropriate system installed this concern can be minimized.

Leaky Pipe, Now What: How to Temporarily Fix Small Leaks to Avoid Business Interruption

12/5/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe. The suggested repairs above can temporarily stave off any business interruption due to small leaks from a broken pipe.

A broken pipe can interfere with your business’s operations, but depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to temporarily fix a leaky pipe, pushing off official repair until the close of day.

1. Shut Off Water

Before repairing a small leak, you may want to ensure that the water to the affected area is shut off, this allows you to work with a relatively dry surface and can help calm the initial panic of stopping the running water. You can turn off the water locally to avoid disrupting your entire business or, if you fear potential flooding and it makes you feel secure, you can turn off the water main.

2. Epoxy Putty

Once the water is off and the area is dry, you can use epoxy putty to perform basic water repair by filling in any holes or sealing any leaks. You can do this by cutting off a good chunk of putty and, using a putty knife, spreading it over the area. You may want to wear protective gloves to avoid contact with your skin. After the putty has cured/dried thoroughly, you can turn the water back on and check for any leaks.

3. Repair Clamps

If you do not feel comfortable using the putty, or if there is a crack in the broken pipe, then you may want to use a pipe repair clamp. These clamps come in a variety of sizes and are most likely available in any local hardware or home improvement store. The clamp slides over the crack and then, upon tightening the small bolts on the opposite side, provides pressure and ideally stops the leak.

4. Call a Professional

Whether your temporary fix works or not, you will likely want to call a local plumbing specialist in the Raleigh, NC, area to resolve the issue for you. While the above temporary fixes are good for the short term, they are by definition temporary.

The suggested repairs above can temporarily stave off any business interruption due to small leaks from a broken pipe, but you will likely want to seek out a more permanent solution in your off-hours.