Recent Posts

3 Reasons You Should Not Drive Through Flooded Streets

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

One of the most common risks associated with flash flooding is drivers attempting to drive through water on a flooded street. These are three of the reasons you should not attempt to drive through floodwaters.

1. You Don't Know What Is Under the Water
Flooded roads may have debris, depressions or areas that have been washed away that you can not see because they are covered by water. Attempting to drive through what may appear to be shallow water could lead to a collision with an object under the water, losing traction and sliding off a washed-out road, or driving into water that is much deeper than it appears.

2. The Water Can Damage Your Car
Another reason not to drive down a flooded street is that the water can damage your car. Water that is six inches deep can flood the exhaust of your vehicle and cause it to stall. The water may also damage the engine, transmission, cooling and electrical systems of the vehicle. If the water is deep enough, it may cause interior damage to the floorboards, seats and other surfaces that will need to be professionally cleaned to avoid mold growth and other problems.

3. You Could Drown
About half of all flood-related drowning deaths occur because of drivers attempting to drive through floodwaters. Six inches of water can cause your vehicle to lose traction with the road. 12 inches of water will cause most cars to float. Large trucks and SUVs will float in two feet of water. Passengers in a car that gets swept off the road by floodwaters are at a high risk of drowning, which is why travel tips for Dunwoody,GA, advise drivers to turn around instead of driving through floodwaters.
Attempting to drive down a flooded street puts you, your passengers and your vehicle at risk. For these three reasons, do not attempt to drive through floodwaters.

How To Handle A Leaking Light Fixture

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

A cracked ceiling with peeling layer due to water leak. LED light. Water and light fixtures are a dangerous combination

Here Is What To Do Instead Of Trying To Fix It Yourself

Short of a burst pipe or overflowing dishwasher that suddenly floods your home, water damage is often difficult to detect until extensive damage has occurred. One clue that you may discover first is pooling water in light fixtures. If you see this in your home, do not try to fix it yourself. Water conducts electricity, so water and light fixtures are a dangerous combination. 

1. Turn Off Electricity and Water
Since you can't know the full extent of the ceiling damage and how much of your electrical system has been compromised, turn off the power to that affected region of the house as well as the water supply. Turning off the water supply will prevent additional water from building up in the light fixture. Alert anyone living in your household to the danger that you've discovered so that no one flips the breaker and gets hurt.

2. Call A Water Damage Specialist
A local water damage remediation specialist in Chamblee, GA, will be able to help you determine the extent of water damage in your home. They have special tools that allow them to measure the wetness levels in ceilings and drywall so that they know which areas need to be addressed rather than tearing down walls only to discover that there is no damage.

3. Work with an Electrician
Once a water damage remediation team has evaluated your home, they will be able to connect you with an electrician who can handle the water in light fixtures. The electrician will be able to safely remove and replace the fixtures as well as any wiring that has been compromised.
It seems ironic to advise that burns and electrocution are possible dangers of water in light fixtures, but those are most certainly safety hazards that you might face. Allow the professionals to handle this water damage cleanup for the safety of you and your family.

Who Pays for Fire Damage in a Rental Property?

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

House damaged by fire, windows and doors are boarded up Fire damage in Dekalb, GA

"I love when the sink breaks!" said no one ever. Depending on your handyman skills, making unexpected repairs around the house can be one of the downsides of homeownership. The great thing about renting in Dekalb, GA, is that there are things no one expects you to fix or pay for. In many rentals, tenants do not have to pay for household repairs from normal wear such as broken sink or toilet. Instead, when these situations occur, landlords expect renters to call a maintenance person who the rental property pays. But what if you are a tenant who experiences an apartment fire? Who pays for the damages then?

Who Is Responsible?

Here is the thing about fire damage: Landlords hold ultimate responsibility for all repair costs, but there are three things to consider:

  • Who / What Caused the Fire?
  • Who Has Insurance?
  • What Is the Damage?

While damages can be expensive, most landlords have insurance policies that keep them from having to pay for repairs out of pocket. The insurance company will seek to work with the insurance company of the tenant, depending on if the tenant has renters' insurance. If it is clear tenants have caused the apartment fire, they will be responsible for paying. The loss of personal items such as household goods and furnishings falls on whether tenants have any sort of protection coverage on the unit.

How Do Landlords Repair Damage?
Whereas tenants have to focus on the loss of personal belongings, property owners have to focus on repairing the damages to the building. When it comes to repairing fire damage, there may be several things you need to address. From inspection and assessment to removal of smoke and soot, you will need a fire damage remediation expert to help you take care of everything that comes after. It is important to keep in close contact with your insurance company throughout the process.
In the event of an apartment fire, landlords have the responsibility to make repairs, but the party responsible for paying can depend on the specific circumstances. It may be worth looking at your property or renters' insurance to see what it says.

4 Steps to Recover Water-damaged Electronics

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Above view of laptop with water drop damage liquid wet and spill on keyboard, accident concept Flooded electronics can be saved

Steps To Save Your Flooded Electronics

Has your commercial building in Dunwoody, GA, had electronic damage? If your building is equipped with any type of electronic device, it's best to be informed about what steps you can take to save your flooded electronics.

1. Exercise Caution

The first step before dealing with any mix of electricity and water should be to ensure your own personal safety. Consider putting on rubber boots or gloves if entering an area where water and electricity might be mixing. If you're uncertain, it's always best to go with the safer option of contacting a water damage cleanup specialist.

2. Unplug
After first ensuring that you will be entirely safe while doing so, the next step is to disconnect the flooded electronics from any power sources. For computers or other electronics that are plugged into the wall, you can simply unplug them. However, it is first recommended to locate a breaker panel or circuit breaker and shut off everything from there.

3. If Applicable, Remove Battery
If the device has a battery installed, exercise extreme caution when removing the submerged device. The chemicals in batteries can be dangerous for a multitude of reasons, and a wet battery can also catch fire. If you see any smoke, bubbling, or evidence of melting parts, do not handle the battery: call a professional.

4. Drain the Device
If it was safe to remove the device from the water and unplug it, the next step is to get as much of the water out as possible. Contrary to popular belief, soaking your device in a rice bag does not help. While it may absorb the water, rice leaves behind all the chemical contaminants that may have leaked out of any components. Instead, disassemble the device and individually dry each component with a microfiber cloth. If it cannot be disassembled, you can also shake the device.
While it can seem hopeless, with the right steps and some professional help, flooded electronics can be saved.

3 Reasons Why Desert Climates Are Susceptible To Mold Growth

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Here Are Three Reasons Why Desert Climates Are Susceptible To Mold Growth

The accumulation of black mold is a strenuous occurrence for any building owner in Dunwoody, GA. However, it can also be a confusing one. Those who work in desert climates don't tend to expect mold issues. After all, the substance thrives on dampness and water. These aren't things the desert has in spades. Unfortunately, it's certainly possible that desert-based buildings may need mold removal.

The mindset that desert climates don't experience black mold is often what causes this issue. Proper maintenance in said area may be neglected, which results in problematic water buildups. These are structural issues that desert building owners don't often look for:

  • Air-conditioning condensation problems
  • Building holes
  • Leaking water
  • Weather stripping failures

Forgetting about the possibility of these maintenance issues can cause substantial mold growth. This is why fixing said problems should be a priority after the fungus is detected.

Deserts aren't exactly the most humid areas, so it may seem odd that the climate would encourage mold growth. However, the heat can become a potent creator of the substance. Water isn't nonexistent in the desert. At some point it will rain or structural leaks will occur. If the resulting water isn't properly removed, the intense desert heat may trigger the swift and substantial creation of said fungus. This can make the mold cleanup process worse than normal due to excess growth.

A desert climate may not experience bountiful rain, but it does tend to have intense wind. This wind can cause damage to the structure of your building. If the damage results in holes or broken pipes, you could need mold remediation experts shortly. In fact, it's highly possible that any holes would be too small to catch easily but large enough to accumulate water.
Expecting the unexpected is an important doctrine, even when the unexpected seems outlandish. Any building owner should prepare for black mold, even one in the desert.

3 Possessions You Might Have To Trash After a Fire

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Throwing packs of drugs in the trash. Recovery and alternative medicine. Medicines are also susceptible to high heat, smoke, and fire

Items You Have To Throw Away

According to the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, in 2019 out of all the fires reported 27% were home fires. Fires can wreak havoc on structures, completely gutting them. They also often result in high heat, smoke and fire damage to the contents of homes. However, not all fires result in complete and utter devastation with little left to salvage. Sometimes there is a great deal that can be saved with the aid of a professional cleanup and restoration service in Dunwoody, GA. However, there are certain items you are likely to have to throw away.

1. Fabrics
Sheets, blankets, and clothing are often recoverable in the wake of a fire. Proper disinfection and cleaning can usually restore fabrics and textiles for use. However, this generally only applies to non-burnt items. Clothes or bedding that have been burned should be thrown away.

2. Food
You might have to throw away food, both perishables, and non-perishables. Some foodstuffs like those in open containers or charred cardboard boxes are obviously on the disposal list. However, even supplies sealed in cans or jars may have been rendered inedible by the presence of bacteria whose growth was spurred on by high heat. Refrigerated and frozen food occasionally survives in good condition, but if you notice any of the following signs, it is best to discard the contents of your fridge or freezer:

  • Soot in the fridge
  • A strange smell coming from food
  • A smoky odor in the fridge
  • Freezer food is soft without visible ice crystals

3. Makeup and Medicine
Cosmetics and medicines are also susceptible to high heat, smoke, and fire. Any sign of damage, like charring, warping, or fire extinguisher remains are indicators that you need to get rid of products in these categories. They are no longer usable.
While not all possessions in the aftermath of fire are ruined, the ones listed here are commonly beyond saving. If you observe any of the signs listed here, you should throw away the things displaying them.

Is Mold Damage Covered by my Insurance?

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Removing mold from the wall in the house. Hand in blue glove tears off wallpapers damaged by fungus Mold removal in Dekalb, GA

One thing that many homeowners don't understand about their insurance coverage is that an essential part of having that insurance is preventing risk, such as damage from fungus growth. When you sign up for an insurance policy, you are entering into an agreement that you will properly maintain your home and property, and the insurance company will protect you from financial loss.

Questions That Affect Coverage

When you find fungus growth in your home and wonder whether professional cleanup and removal is covered by your insurance company, you'll need to answer some important questions:

  • What caused the mold growth?
  • Could the damage have been prevented?
  • Did you neglect maintenance issues that led to fungus, mold, or mildew?

If the insurance provider finds that mold occurred because of steps you should have taken but didn't, the damage probably won't be covered.

Examples of Non-Covered Situations
Here are some examples of situations that your insurance policy probably won't cover:

  • A pipe burst in the basement that wasn't probably handled
  • An aging roof that allows water into the attic and structure of your home
  • Visible signs of mold that you don't do anything about
  • Residential flooding that isn't specifically covered by your insurance

Some policies do cover mold claims, but you need to be sure that there's specific language about it in your policy.

Covered Perils and Further Responsibility
You may receive mold coverage if the source of trouble falls under the "covered peril" window. Mold insurance coverage is generally available after fires, lightning strikes, vandalism, the weight of snow or ice, and accidental discharge of plumbing, sprinkler systems, and household appliances, for example. When a "sudden and accidental" incident takes place, you need to contact your insurance provider quickly because a delay in taking action could prevent coverage.
The best way to be sure that your insurance covers damage due to mold or fungus growth is to read your policy and speak to your agent. You should also understand the limits to the mold coverage. Your provider may also give you advice about how to avoid risks associated with mold in your Dekalb, GA, home.

Understanding if Carpet Can Be Saved After a Pipe Breaks

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on carpet Carpet damaged by water

Tips To Help You Understand If Your Flooring Is Reclaimable

It’s safe to say that no homeowner welcomes the presence of unexpected water. Intruding water is commonly seen as an enemy due to its swift-moving and damaging nature. Fortunately, there are cleanup specialists who can assist with water damage cleanup. If you experience a pipe break, storm or overflowing sink in your Dunwoody, GA, home, you may be wondering if you can recover wet carpet.

Categories of Water
It’s essential to identify what type of water has caused damage in your home. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification has classified the following categories of water:

  • Clean water
  • Gray water
  • Black water

Category one, or clean water, is classified as such because it does not contain harmful contaminants. Examples for this category include water from sink overflows, appliance malfunctions and a pipe break. Category two water, or gray water, comes from sources such as urine from toilet bowls and sump pumps. Category three, or black water, is totally unsanitary and includes sewage water and ground surface water. If the water in your home is from a category one source, your carpet might be saved.

Proper Cleanup
It’s imperative that homeowners enlist the help of a certified cleanup company to guarantee that water is properly removed from their homes. There are specific steps to follow in water damage renovation including inspection, water extraction, drying, cleaning, sanitizing and restoration. During each step, professionals use specific equipment and procedures. Mold is a common concern when water accumulates. Experts can use advanced equipment to detect hidden moisture and identify any mold issues. By acting quickly, professionals can minimize the extent of water damage in your home.
A pipe break or unexpected storm is cause for serious concern. Fortunately, damage is minimized with the help of professionals who can salvage carpet if the water came from a clean source.

What To Know About Partial Fire Losses

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Partial fire loss in a facility Partial fire loss in Mount Vernon, GA

Ways To Handle This Type Of Damage

Not every fire completely destroys a property. You could instead end up with a partial fire loss. Here are some tips for handling this type of loss.

Even if you only suffered a partial loss to your commercial property, you should hire structural engineers or contractors to survey the building and estimate the costs of repairs. Do not rely on the insurance adjuster's inspection alone. Choose a specialist who will survey each of these areas:

  • Windows
  • Structural iron and steel
  • Heating and plumbing systems
  • Roof
  • Interior walls
  • Siding, concrete and stucco

Smoke Cleanup
A partial loss often includes ash and smoke damage. Smoke can harm porous items, including curtains and rugs. It can also discolor tiles and marble.
Fire restoration professionals in Mount Vernon, GA, should be able to repair some of these items. You may have to replace other things, however. Either way, your insurance may help you pay for the fire loss.
The insurance adjuster may tell you that a deep cleaning is not necessary. However, this is just the insurance company's way of trying to save money. Insist on a thorough remediation.

Mold Cleanup
The water used to suppress the fire can cause mold growth inside wood and drywall. Get the property inspected right away to see if you have a mold problem. You should also check your insurance policy to find out if it has a mold exclusion.

Landscape Cleanup
Insurance does not just apply to the inside of your commercial property. The smoke and heat may contaminate soil and kill your outdoor plants. Harmed plants may not die right away, so keep your insurance claim open for a few months after the fire.
A partial fire loss can include smoke and mold damage. Your landscaping could be harmed, as well. Thankfully, you can use your insurance to pay for some of these repairs. The above tips should help you get your property back to normal as soon as possible.

How To Identify and Avoid Secondary Water Damage

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Empty building, wet wall, mold growth on wall. Concept Secondary damage Water loss leads to mold growth

How Secondary Damage Occurs And How To Handle It

When a basement or a showroom floor floods in Dunwoody, GA, rapid response is key. Most insurance policies cover the original damage, but they may not cover the cost of additional damage after the initial incident. If you do not properly address the source of the water damage, secondary damage like black mold could become an expensive complication. Understanding how secondary water damage occurs can help you prevent it during the initial clean-up effort.

Humidity is the main driver of damage that happens after the primary water damage. When the air in a water-damaged building becomes saturated, it becomes excessively humid. This high humidity can lead to further damage in the initially exposed areas and to areas that were not originally affected. This is often the result of:

  • Failure to promptly repair primary water damage
  • Inadequate dehumidification procedures
  • Inability to address underlying or unknown sources of remaining moisture, such as burst pipes

Growth of black mold on walls or ceilings, or even baseboards and floors, is evidence that the original damage has not been adequately cleaned or repaired. Buckling hardwood, peeling laminate or vinyl flooring, and sagging or cracking drywall can also result from extremely high humidity, which indicates secondary damage.

Keeping secondary damage to a minimum requires a multi-pronged approach, the goal of which is to minimize further exposure to water and humidity:

  • Stop leaks from burst pipes and address any other leak sources
  • Drain all standing water
  • Ventilate the building by keeping windows and doors open as long as possible
  • Install dehumidifiers in areas like basements where airflow is problematic
  • Remove all items other items, including drapes, furniture and carpeting until the space is completely dry

Water damage can happen to anyone. However, secondary damage in the form of black mold or sagging drywall can be avoided. With the right knowledge and help from water damage restoration professionals, your business can fully recover on the first try.