How To Repair Important Documents After Water Damage
Document restoration is important to recover your belongings after a fire or water loss.
If you've ever had a home or business with water damage, then you know that it's not an uncommon problem. Water can cause a lot of damage to your building and belongings. It can also ruin important documents and photos, but luckily there are ways to repair them.
What is Document Restoration?
Document restoration is the process of salvaging damaged documents. The damage could be caused by water, fire, or smoke, but whatever the cause it's important to restore your documents as soon as you can so that they can be used again.
If you have suffered from water damage there are many steps you can take to restore your valuable information before it becomes irreparable and lost forever. There are three main techniques used during content restoration: vacuum freeze, gamma irradiation, and digitization services.
Vacuum freeze is a powerful drying technique used in content restoration. It is the only technique that is approved by National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA).
Vacuum freeze works by freezing the document and removing any moisture through a high-pressure vacuum chamber. In this chamber, the moisture is converted into vapor. In the right conditions, the condensation will turn into ice inside the chamber, removing the moisture from the document in question.
Gamma irradiation is a method of disinfection that can be used to treat documents, photos, books, and other paper products that have been damaged by water and sewage damage. This process involves safely exposing the object to radiation to kill any bacteria and viruses that might be present after a water loss.
Digitization services are used to convert paper documents into digital files. Digitization can also be used to convert photographs and other printed materials into digital files, which can then be stored on a hard drive or flash drive. The use of digitization services is particularly useful if you have large amounts of paper documents that need to be converted into digital copies.
Who Can Help With Document Restoration?
If you're looking for a professional to help with document restoration, SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg County can assist. As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO has the training, expertise, and equipment necessary to get your documents back in shape quickly.
Document restoration refers to the process of preserving damaged documents. In this article, we discussed the different techniques used by experts in their work and how they can help you recover your important documents after water damage. If you have any questions or need help with restoring your documents, please contact our SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg County team today!
Stay Prepared for A Water Damage Emergency
Stay prepared for a water damage emergency after a storm.
Water damage emergencies can happen at any time, and they can be costly to fix. However, there are many things that you can do to prepare yourself for these emergencies. Water damage is not only a threat to your home and property, but also to your family’s health and well-being.
You can't just assume that your pipes are in good working order. Plumbing is a complex system, and it's easy for things to go wrong without you noticing. So check for leaks regularly, especially if you've had plumbing issues in the past. Check for leaks under your kitchen sink or bathroom vanity by placing a bowl of water overnight on the floor underneath where the pipe enters into the wall.
If you suspect any plumbing problems, schedule for an inspection from a plumber so they can catch any problems before they get serious enough to cause damage to your home or property.
In addition to checking your roof regularly for signs of damage, leaks, and mold—which can lead to water damage—you should also look for any other signs that something might be wrong with your roofing system. For example, if you notice a heavy accumulation of snow on top of your roof during the winter months or hear loud noises coming from it when there is no wind, this could indicate that there's been some kind of damage that needs attention. Similarly, if you see any discoloration in areas where there was previously no discoloration (or vice versa), then this may indicate a leak has occurred somewhere in the system.
Additionally, you'll want to keep an eye out for any cracks or holes in shingles or flashing around chimneys and vents as well as any sagging shingle ends which could indicate problems with either the nails holding them down or the wooden structure underneath them
Tree and Scrubs
Trim trees and shrubs regularly. The shorter you keep them, the less damage to your home or property they can cause if they fall in a storm.
Another way to prepare for a water damage emergency is by investing in a water detector. Water detectors can be installed in the basement, garage and other areas of your home or business that are prone to leaks. They can detect leaks in the walls and floors, as well as ceiling leaks. In most cases, these devices will send you an alert when there is any moisture present so that you can take immediate action before it becomes a major problem.
In order to be prepared for a water damage emergency, it is important that you have adequate insurance coverage. Insurance can help you recover from a water damage emergency more quickly, as well as help with the financial loss incurred during such an emergency.
If you do not have insurance coverage on your home or business, it is highly recommended that you obtain proper insurance prior to any major events that may cause extensive damage or loss of property. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck with the bill after something happens!
It is important to have a plan for what to do in case of a water damage emergency. You don't want to be caught off guard and unprepared. Here are some steps that can help you create your plan:
- Know how to turn off water valves around the house and outside
- Know where all of your fire extinguishers are located (and how many there are)
- Make sure all smoke detectors—including those in kitchens and garages—are working properly, with new batteries installed if necessary
- Review your insurance policy and list all items covered by it in case of loss or damage caused by flooding from burst pipes or other sources of water supply disruption.
We hope these tips have been helpful for you in your preparations for water damage emergencies. If you’re still not sure what to do, seek help from a professional in water damage restoration.
How Do I Know I Have Mold Damage?
Here are some signs that will help you determine if there is a mold problem in your home.
You've been noticing some strange things happening in your Brookhill, NC home, and you think it might be mold. You need to take action now if you want to keep your home safe from the dangers of this fungus. Here are some signs that will help you determine if there is a mold problem in your home.
Visible Mold Growth
Mold is often black, brown, or green in color. It can grow on almost any surface and is usually visible if you know what to look for. Mold may be found anywhere in your home including: showers and tubs, kitchens, basements, and laundry rooms.
Mold spores are microscopic and float around in the air all the time. They can be transported into your home on clothing, shoes or pets’ fur as well as by wind currents that carry them through open windows or doors. Once inside they can grow on just about any damp surface such as wood paneling or carpeting if it has been wet long enough for mold spores to begin growing.
Even if you're not sure what to look for, you can tell if there's a problem with mold or mildew by looking at the walls. If they have water stains, that means there has been some water damage in your home. And even though these stains may be small and inconspicuous, they could indicate an underlying problem with mold growth.
If you do see evidence of mold on your walls or ceiling, it's best to act quickly before the mold spreads and causes more damage. This is especially important if you live in areas where the weather gets very hot during the summer months—mold loves the heat!
Discoloration on Walls
Mold can cause discoloration on walls, and it can also happen on other surfaces as well. In fact, mold can cause discoloration to a wide range of materials—including wood, drywall, and even paint. If you see any signs of mold growth in your home, then it's time to call in an expert.
Mold Test to be Sure
Mold can be hard to detect, especially if you don't know what you're looking for. You might think that the black spots on your wall are just dirt or maybe water stains from a leaky pipe. However, these could actually be signs of mold infestation! The only way to know for sure is by testing for it—but how?
You can test for mold with a mold inspection kit, which you can purchase online or at home improvement stores like Home Depot. Each kit will include everything needed to take samples from different areas throughout your home, including swabs and Petri dishes that can be used to send off samples for testing in a lab. Once the results come back from the lab, this information can help guide decisions about how best to deal with the problem before more serious issues arise down the line.
Mold can be dangerous to your home. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, do not try to fix it yourself. Contact SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg County immediately so we can evaluate the situation and determine the next steps to take.
The Most Vulnerable Areas of Your Home
Call SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg if you need storm damage restoration in your home!
The Most Vulnerable Areas of Your Home
During a storm, your Brookhill, NC home is not only at risk of damage to the outside structure but also to the inside. The most common areas that can be damaged from high winds or flooding are around doors and windows, roofs, decks and patios. These are all things you can fortify with some quick fixes before the next big storm hits!
Roofs are the most vulnerable part of your home, being exposed to all the elements. Roofing materials like asphalt shingles also offer protection, but you may need to take additional measures to make sure your home is safe during a storm. Guttering can act as an extra barrier against high winds that could blow debris onto your roof and tear off shingles or laminate sheets.
Windows are often the first part of a house to be hit by a storm. Because of this, they can be reinforced with storm shutters or other reinforcements to help protect them from damage. However, even with these measures taken, windows remain one of the weakest points in a structure's overall structure.
If you're worried about your windows and don't want to do any work on them yourself, there are companies that specialize in window fortification who will come out and do it for you quickly and efficiently.
If you’re like most people, you probably aren’t thinking about your doors as the most vulnerable part of your home as a storm approaches. However, they are; doors are easily damaged and offer little protection in the case of a strong storm. The best way to avoid serious damage is to reinforce or replace existing doors with steel frames and deadbolts or add a storm door to protect against winds.
While reinforcing existing door frames with steel rod or other material is relatively inexpensive, replacing them entirely can be expensive depending on which type of door is used. Storm doors cost between $100-$200 depending on size but may be worth considering if they offer enough protection from wind damage that could otherwise cause significant damage inside the house.
Deck and Patio
If you're looking to protect your home during a storm, one of the most important things to consider is the deck and patio. These areas are often overlooked by homeowners because they're not as obvious or visible as a garage door or roofline.
However, decks can be very vulnerable in strong winds and even minor storms.
Check for build quality. If your deck was built with cheap materials or poorly assembled, it may not withstand strong winds at all. You should also check for loose or missing boards on the deck itself; if these have been stripped off by high winds in past storms then there's a good chance that future storms could cause damage as well.
Be sure to check screws and bolts for rusting or cracking; if these are worn out then it could mean trouble for your deck in an upcoming storm season!
There are a few ways you can fortify these vulnerable areas to prevent post-storm damage. Some of these steps may seem like common sense, but they can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your home:
- Install storm windows and doors. If you have older windows or doors that aren't as strong as they used to be, now is the time to replace them with ones that are more resistant to wind gusts and high winds. Not only will this help keep your home safer from the elements, but it will also save you money down the road on air conditioning bills during hot summer months!
- Get an awning for your front porch. An awning is just what it sounds like—a canopy overhanging from a building's facade that gives shade from both direct sunlight and rainwater (and sometimes even snow!). By installing one, not only do you get extra protection against bad weather conditions; but also it adds curb appeal too!
- Install shutters on any windows where sunlight would come through normally without being blocked by something else first (such as curtains) so nothing gets trapped inside when moving objects around happens outside due to heavy winds blowing through town right after sunset tonight."
The most important thing to do is prepare before the storm arrives. If a storm is heading towards your Charlotte home, prepare as much as possible ahead of time, and call SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg if you need storm damage restoration in your home!
Water in the Crawl Space
Leaky pipes in your walls or flooring can also cause water damage in your crawl space.
Water in the Crawl Space
One of the best ways to protect your Berryhill, NC home from moisture is to make sure that it's properly ventilated. Water in the crawl space can cause significant damage to your home. The moisture causes mold and mildew to grow, which could lead to structural problems. It can also cause electrical issues, foundation problems, and even structural damage. But what if there's already a lot of moisture in your crawl space? How do you fix that? The answer depends on the source of your problem and whether or not it can be remedied.
Sources for Water in the Crawl Space
There are a number of sources that can introduce water into your crawl space.
- Your home's sump pump: Most homes have a sump pump installed to collect water that enters the foundation through basement windows and doors. If this pump malfunctions, it can allow water to back up into your home's crawl space, creating moisture problems in addition to flooding.
- A leaky pipe: Leaky pipes in your walls or flooring can also cause water damage in your crawl space by leaking down through the walls and into the dirt flooring below it. This can result in mold growth as well as other types of contamination if you don't fix it quickly enough.
- Rainwater: Some homes have drainage systems that direct all rainwater away from their foundations instead of having them keep it inside like many older houses do today—and those drainage systems may leak if they aren't maintained properly over time! This can result in excess moisture levels below ground level where no one wants them! Also, note that some areas get more rainfall than others; so even if yours doesn't seem like an area prone to average precipitation still take care not to let too much go unnoticed when considering this factor.
Inviting Critters into Your Crawl Space
Critters of all kinds like to live in damp places such as the crawl space, so it's no wonder that you might find ants, woodlice, spiders, and even mice in your crawl space. In fact, the sight of a mouse can terrify you enough to want them all gone immediately.
While these critters may not be harmful to people themselves (with the exception of some spiders), their presence inside your home can cause damage by chewing through wires and cables as they go about their business. It's important to get rid of them before they do any damage because repairing broken cables can be expensive!
There are some structural issues that could occur when water sits in your crawl space:
- Wood rot. The wood framing and floor joists in your home will begin to deteriorate after they are exposed to standing water and high humidity levels for an extended period of time. This type of damage is most common in basements and unexcavated foundations, but it can also occur in crawl spaces with poor ventilation. As this happens, structural integrity decreases and your home becomes less stable over time.
- Concrete cracking or crumbling away from the wall due to moisture entering through cracks or other defects in the foundation wall itself (such as pipes that have leaked through).
- Bricks or stone crumbling away from a masonry foundation due to repeated cycles of wetting and drying—particularly if there are gaps around pipes or plumbing vents where moisture may be able to enter at ground level before reaching higher up into your wall cavity where it would otherwise dry out as soon as it got inside (if not before).
A sump pump is the most common method used to pump out excess water and can be installed in your crawl space or outside of it. They come in different sizes, depending on the size of your crawl space. If you have a large crawl space with multiple feet of moisture buildup, you may need one that operates on larger amounts of water at once so that it doesn't clog up with debris.
A sump pump consists of a motor (that turns), an impeller (that spins), a housing (that contains these parts), and a float switch (that senses when there's too much water). When this happens, the float switch shuts off power until there isn't any more excess moisture present--and then automatically turns on again when conditions return to normal levels.
If you’re not familiar with dry wells, they are underground structures that capture water from your crawl space and funnel it away from the property. This is an important step in mitigating water intrusion into your home.
There are many reasons why a dry well is necessary:
- Sump pumps may not be able to empty rainwater into a storm drain fast enough.
- Dry wells allow sump pumps to work more efficiently by keeping them free of standing water so they don't lose suction power when this happens.
- Dry wells prevent flooding in basements or other areas of your home where you don't want excess moisture collecting near foundations (or anything else).
Water in the crawl space may be an indication that you need to install a sump pump. When you have a water damage event in your home or business, it's always a good idea to give SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg a call! We will get your West Mecklenburg property back to its preloss condition quickly.
But What About Smoke Damage and the Odor After a Fire?
Give SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg for any fire damage in your Charlotte, North Carolina home or business!
But What About Smoke Damage and the Odor After a Fire?
If you've experienced a fire, then you know how devastating it can be. However, what do you do if the smoke damage to your home is not immediately apparent? Or worse yet, what if there's damage to your personal belongings that get covered up by smoke and odors?
Structural Damage is Obvious
When there is structural damage to your home following a fire, it's pretty obvious. You can see the smoke damage on your walls and ceiling and on your furniture. Smoke damage is also called soot or charring.
When a home is exposed to excess heat, the resulting smoke can cause interior walls and ceilings to discolor and warp into irregular shapes. The wooden studs in the wall may swell up enough that they no longer line up with each other properly, creating large gaps between them where water can leak into the drywall behind them and start mold growth. The same thing happens when windows expand due to high temperatures—the seal around them breaks down, allowing moisture inside where it can cause more problems (like rain leaking through broken glass).
Smoke Odor and Damage are Not as Obvious
Not all fire damages are structural. Smoke damage can quickly destroy your personal property, especially if you don’t act quickly to mitigate the smell and damage done by smoke.
There are many ways that smoke can affect your belongings and cause permanent damage:
- Smoke destroys furniture by staining it and making it smell like smoke. If you want to sell a piece of furniture that has been exposed to a fire, but doesn’t necessarily have structural issues (like missing legs), then you need to clean it thoroughly first in order to get rid of any lingering odors.
- Smoke damages carpets and upholstery because they absorb the chemicals that come out of burning materials such as wood or clothing fabrics. If you don’t clean these items properly with professional equipment immediately after an incident occurs, there will be permanent discoloration as well as residual odor problems down the road when people sit on them or walk over them repeatedly over time
How does smoke cause odor in the first place?
There are many reasons why your home may smell like smoke after a fire. Some of these smells come from materials that were damaged by heat, while others are caused by chemicals released during combustion. Here are some examples of how smoke can cause an odor problem in your home:
If you have a kitchen fire, the burnt food will release unpleasant odors into the air and onto surfaces throughout your house. Even if you don't have any ruined food items on hand when this happens, you can still get some lingering smells from them later on—like if someone else cooks something similar or if there's already grease buildup in your oven that hasn't been cleaned out yet. This is especially problematic for people who love making homemade meals with lots of spices or herbs—these flavors can become pungent over time and linger long after being cooked out!
Burnt Electrical/Plastic Parts
Aside from burning foods such as meatballs or tortillas (which do not contain any plastic components), there are other things that may catch fire due to electrical malfunctions within their circuitry - including TVs/gaming systems/phones etc.) which means those kinds of products release toxic fumes into homes when they're left plugged in for too long without proper care taken beforehand (such as changing batteries frequently). And since most people aren't aware of these kinds of hazards until after something bad happens, it’s best practice not to leave any kind of electronic device running overnight unless absolutely necessary!
Cleaning and Restoring After Fire
If you have had a fire in your home or business, you should contact a cleaning service as soon as possible to attempt to minimize the effects of smoke odors and other contaminants on your property.
The first step in cleaning up after a fire is to use a vacuum cleaner to clean up any soot and dust in the affected areas. You may also want to wash walls, ceilings and floors with a solution of water and cleaning detergent before drying them thoroughly with towels or fans. If there are stubborn stains left behind by soot particles, try using an ozone machine or thermal fogger (a machine that sprays heat-treated water vapor) to eliminate these stains; however, keep in mind that some types of flooring may be damaged by extreme temperatures like this one. Finally, use an air filtration device such as an ionizer (which removes odor particles from the air) after removing all visible signs of smoke damage for best results during reconstruction efforts later down the road!
Cleaning up after a fire is no fun, but it’s important to remember that there are many steps you can take. It’s not just about what products or methods you use to clean up the mess; it’s also about how you handle yourself in this stressful situation. Take care of yourself and your family members so that everyone stays healthy during this time. Don’t forget that there are professionals out there who can help make things easier for everyone involved! Give SERVPRO of West Mecklenburg for any fire damage in your Charlotte, North Carolina home or business!
Where To Safely Put Your Space Heater
Fire damage in a living room.
Ways To Avoid A Burned Space Heater
If you are like many people, then you probably use a space heater to stay comfortable when the temperatures drop in Pineville, NC. As convenient as these little heat blasters may be, though, a burned space heater can also be deadly. Every year, approximately, 25,000 residential fires start because of them.
While there are several ways you can reduce the risk of this kind of fire damage, one of the top things to consider is where you put the heater. To lower the chances of needing a smoke cleanup team the next time you try to warm up your house in the morning, try one of these locations instead of the bed or the carpet.
In the Bathroom
While bathrooms often do not have carpeting, you still need to consider flammable furnishings such as:
- Window curtains
- Shower curtains
When you are using your heater in the bathroom, make sure it stays on the tile and away from any cloth or paper that may be nearby.
In the Bedroom
When it comes to the bedroom, there are probably more opportunities for a burned space heater to occur. If you have carpet, you should reconsider putting your heater in a bedroom at all. Not only does this device need to stay on the floor, but it should only be placed on a hard surface like wood, tile or laminate. Because it is unsafe to sleep while a space heater is on anyway, keeping it away from your resting place is probably a good idea.
In the Living Room
The living room is another location where you can find a lot of potential fire starters, yet it is also a common space for families to gather. If you want to heat up this area of your home, look for a suitable place to set the heater. If you have a fireplace area or another part of the room with solid flooring, that should be the spot.
There are many ways to avoid a burned space heater. Knowing where to put it is one of the simplest and most effective.
4 Ways To Protect Your Commercial Property from Hidden Water Damage and Mold Growth
Keeping an eye out for unhealthy amounts of moisture can go a long way in preventing mold growth
4 Ways To Protect Your Commercial Property from Hidden Water Damage and Mold Growth
Water: It's the most powerful force on earth and the foundation of every living thing. That force can wreak havoc in myriad ways, including mold growth, although not all water damage is immediately obvious. If you are a business owner or have a commercial property in Charlotte, NC, there are four ways you can protect yourself, your employees, and your building from hidden water and mold damage.
1. Immediately Address Unwanted Water
This goes without saying, but if your space floods, make sure to dry everything out thoroughly and properly ventilate the space with fans and open windows. Consult with a water and mold remediation specialist that can help you identify potential issues and problem areas.
2. Inspect Your Property for Signs of Moisture
Check for condensation on your walls, pipes and windows; notice whether any areas smell damp or musty. These are all potential signs of water damage. Make sure there are no leaks in your roof or the flashing surrounding your A/C units, and rule out water seepage around the foundation. The EPA recommends checking corner rooms with walls that get exterior exposure. Depending on your climate, insulating either the inside or outside walls will help.
3. Purchase a Moisture Meter
Keeping an eye out for unhealthy amounts of moisture can go a long way in preventing mold growth. A dehumidifier, properly sized for your space, can help keep those levels in check.
4. Have Your Property Assessed Professionally
Water and mold remediation specialists are experts at spotting the signs of hidden mold, knowing how to address it, and fixing it safely. If you have any doubts or concerns that unhealthy levels of mold might be present, call in the professionals to address your mold prevention concerns.
Taking precautionary measures to prevent mold from known or hidden water damage will pay off in the long run by getting you back to business as usual as quickly as possible after unwanted water. It will also give you peace of mind, which is priceless in and of itself.
3 Causes of Basement Floods
A basement flood in Collingwood, NC.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Flooding
Basement flooding in Collingwood, NC, needs to be dealt with right away or else the consequences can have far-reaching effects. It often begins as a small, deceptively benign problem until it grows into an expensive home improvement project. Therefore, to prevent a basement flood, it is best to respond to the first signs of water damage. It is important to know what are the most common causes of flooding.
1. Blocked Gutters and Debris
One thing that can cause a basement flood is when a gutter connecting your house to the sewer system becomes blocked. It is important to know when this happens and to contact the city as soon as possible because the water levels can rise quickly, causing damage rapidly. If your property stays flooded for too long it can disrupt the foundation of your home
The troughs along your roof collect debris — leaves, dirt, and animal byproducts — that can allow water to spill over, landing beside the basement. This can create leaks in the basement, but it is easily fixed. Simply clean out the gutters and judge whether a larger size is more appropriate for where you live.
2. Poor Sealing on the Floors and Walls
One thing to keep an eye out for is if the basement floors and walls are flooded or damp after wet weather. In some cases the floor tiles and the walls have not been sealed properly; this can let the water soak in. If you notice this, it would be worth having the seal checked and fixing it, if necessary.
3. Inappropriate Site Location
Often the cause of a basement flood is due to choosing a poor location on the site for the foundation. Residential properties are typically built on sloped land so that the water can drain away from the house. In some instances, houses are built on the lower point of a property, which can cause flooding.
Water damage can become severe if the problem isn't dealt with. Before you have to call in restoration experts, keep an eye on your basement and watch for these common causes of flooding.
How to Remove Post-Flood Odors
Make sure your odor removal involves the assistance of experienced storm cleanup professionals.
Three Steps To Deodorize Your Property
If you have recently experienced flood water-related odor issues at your Arbor Glen, NC, business, you are not alone. Many commercial property owners have suffered due to odors caused by mold growth, sewage loss, and other side effects of water buildup.
Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to get the issue cleared up and get your business back to smelling like it did before the storm. Get started by learning about these three steps to deodorizing your property.
1. Call Professionals
No matter what is causing the stench in your building, it is important to make sure your odor removal involves the assistance of experienced storm cleanup professionals. There can be many different reasons that your business smells the way it does, and some of the causes may be complicated. Bringing in help from people who know exactly how to handle the cleanup after a commercial flood will be very beneficial to you and your company.
Disinfection is often one of the first steps to removing foul odors from your property, especially if the odor is caused by mold growth. Trained technicians will understand that growth of this kind will continue to be the source of your odor problem unless the mold is eradicated as soon as possible. Masking the smell will only be a temporary solution, and the unpleasant aroma is almost certain to return if your building is not disinfected.
After any infection is taken care of, deodorization can take place. Professionals can use specialized equipment to remove odors and identify their sources. They may use a number of different tools and techniques to eliminate your odors once and for all, and if any new causes arise during the process, they can be addressed, as well.
Remember that mold growth and other similar causes of odor after flood damage in Arbor Glen, NC, can be complicated, and eradication will not always happen overnight. Trust that your building’s odor control and removal are in good hands, and with a little patience, you will soon be able to breathe easy in the workplace once more.