Understanding the Basics of Mold
When you understand what causes black mold to grow, it is easier to prevent it.
If you notice a dark, fuzzy substance growing in the corner of your living room, you likely have a black mold problem. Mold is a fungus that grows anywhere there is organic matter and water to feed it. When you own a home in Lynnville, TN, it is important to understand the basics of mold and how to get rid of it if you find it in your house.
The Mold Growth Trifecta
Anywhere there is a moisture problem, there is the possibility of mold growth. Mold needs three things to really thrive:
• A little extra moisture
• An organic surface to attach to and feed on
• A warm environment, roughly between 78 and 85 degrees
Mold is present everywhere. Patches of mold can form without a warm climate, but it won't multiply as rapidly. The closer the environment comes to matching mold's ideal home, the harder it is to keep black mold under control.
Your Mold Prevention Plan
While mitigation experts can perform mold cleanup, the best plan is prevention. The first strategy is robbing mold of one or more of its preferred environmental factors. Keeping your home cooler decreases humidity. The less humid your home is, the less likely it is to develop a mold problem. Even if you see a mold problem forming, a suddenly cooler, drier atmosphere can slow its growth. Another way to slow down the growth of mold is to keep the surfaces of your home clean. Mold attaches easily to dust, grease and other types of grime. Knowing prevention measures can be helpful if it takes a couple of days for the technicians to arrive to fix the problem or if their process gets delayed in the middle of remediation.
When you understand what causes black mold to grow, it is easier to prevent it. By controlling moisture, dirt, and temperature, you are less likely to see mold growing in your home.
How To Make a Strong Water Damage Insurance Claim
Water damage to a kitchen floor.
How to File a Successful Water Damage Insurance Claim
No matter the reason, water damage can be a costly problem for homeowners. While an insurance claim may not be the first thing on your mind while in the middle of a disaster in Lynnville, TN, there are steps you may want to take before you clean up the flood water to make sure you can make a solid insurance demand.
1. Insurance - If you have renter’s insurance or homeowner’s coverage, you need to determine if the damages are covered. Flooding due to factors completely out of your control are typically included. Flooding that results from a pipe burst when pipes are poorly maintained is generally not covered under an insurance policy. Therefore, present your claim with your best evidence.
2. Pictures - Photos of the affected area can be a solid statement to your insurance company. Taking pictures while the water is still standing, and then again once the water is removed, can help your insurance adjuster assess the incident. Calling in a restoration team to document the cleanup procedure can also help solidify your insurance claim.
3. Inventory - Once you have contacted the insurance company, and the restoration team has finished its cleanup, it is time to take an inventory of your personal property damage. When noting items, it is important to include the make, model, and function of each article. If you have time, list the replacement cost or value of each piece as well.
4. Settlement - When the adjuster visits the flood site, make sure you are there to answer any questions about the incident. After the insurance company offers a settlement, they often give you half the money in advance of the repairs. When you can show the repairs are completed, the other half of the money will typically be paid out.
Water damage can be costly in Lynnville, TN, and an insurance claim can take time. By being proactive, you can help make sure your claim is a strong one.v
How To Eliminate Mold Odor
Mold damage in a Columbia, TN home.
How to Get Rid of Mold Odors
While many people think of mold as having a musty odor, the truth is mold can release a wide variety of unpleasant odors, depending on the type mycotoxin it releases. If you notice a strange smell you can’t seem to get rid of, you may be dealing with mold.
What Causes the Smell?
Mold releases small molecules called mycotoxin that cause bad smells. Different species of mold have different odors. Some of the most common mold odors smell like:
- Cat urine
- Car exhaust
- Old cheese
If you smell mold in your home, it means you have a mold problem, even if you can’t see it. You’ll need to eliminate the mold in your house in order to get rid of the smell.
Get Rid of the Source
Perform a visual inspection of the room or area where the smell is strongest. Check in the back of closets, behind furniture, and under carpets. If you can’t locate any mold, you may need to call in mold remediation specialists in Columbia, TN, to help. They will know how to locate moist areas in your home and check inside walls to locate the mold.
Killing mold is not enough to get rid of odors. It must be removed completely, either by scrubbing it off building materials with a biocide or by removing affected materials and replacing them.
If you notice the odor returns, chances are good the mold has also returned. It’s critical to discover the cause of excess moisture in your home and eliminate it to prevent mold regrowth. Check for leaks and broken water pipes to discover where the moisture is coming from. Your mold remediation specialist in Columbia, TN, can help you do this.
You can also install a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA air filtration device, to help speed the process of musty odor elimination. These air filters are designed to remove very small molecules from the air, including mycotoxin. Just remember that an air filter can’t solve your mold problem. You still have to eliminate the mold to eliminate the odor.
Tips To Handle Your Flight Cancelation
How to Handle a Flight Cancellation
Few variables in airline travel are more frustrating than a canceled flight. Adverse weather conditions may abruptly change your travel plans. Even when weather forecasts in Mount Pleasant, TN, are favorable, storm fronts can move in quickly and ground your plane. Fortunately, storm tips can effectively help minimize the disruption.
1. Buy a Travel Policy
Surprisingly, few travelers consider buying a travel policy. It can save you big money if your flight plans go awry. The policy cost is often a fraction of the ticket price, and most policies offer canceled flight and delayed trip benefits. If your flight is affected by conditions beyond your control, such as a storm hazard, your policy may allow you to recover airfare, hotel expenses and meal costs. Each policy's benefits and exclusions differ, so you may want to carefully review this option before your trip.
2. Use a Flight App
Major airlines usually offer an app you can download to check the status of your flight. The information allows more time to revise your plans when cancelations are anticipated.
3. Rebook Your Flight
Depending on weather patterns, it can be a smart move to reroute your flight to a nearby airport. Storm activity can vary widely between airport locations. For a little extra time and expense, your travel plans need not be abandoned. You can simply drive a rental car to the nearest open airport.
4. Defer Your Departure
When possible, it can work to your advantage to defer travel when forecasts predict extended, severe storm conditions. Unless you absolutely must maintain your travel schedule, moving your flight date out could lower the chance of encountering additional flight delays.
The good news is that you can effectively deal with unexpected storm conditions by strategically reframing your travel plans. Leveraging a few simple tips can help put you back in control and reduce the impact of a canceled flight.
Don’t Dish Up Mold in Your Restaurant
Store food properly.
Mold Is Not Something You Want To Serve at Your Restaurant
Customers enjoy coming to your restaurant in Pulaski, TN because they value your delicious, high-quality, fresh food. So how can you keep it all fresh and avoid mold growth in the kitchen? Make sure you don’t dish up something unexpected by taking a few precautions.
1. Store Food Properly
When appropriately stored, food can remain fresh and mold-free for three to four days, allowing you to use as much of your inventory as possible. Store canned items in new, clean, covered containers and cover fresh foods with plastic wrap to keep moisture in. Keep all foods refrigerated at the proper temperature, 40 degrees or below, to prevent mold growth. You can also decrease high humidity issues in your refrigerator by not packing in too much food and allowing proper air circulation.
2. Ventilate Appliances Correctly
Steam and warm air are the perfect environments for growing mold, and of course, that is the definition of a fast-paced restaurant kitchen. It is important to make sure that moisture-creating appliances are vented outside and that you have a high-functioning HVAC system to help circulate outside air into your work area. Maintain your HVAC system and check drip pans regularly for cracks in the bottom or overflowing liquid, as that can lead to damage and unnecessary repairs.
3. Address Leaks Quickly
Regularly checking appliances allows you to catch any leaks quickly. However, if you find that you didn’t catch the water damage in time, there are professional remediation specialists who can prevent further damage and control existing issues. Addressing the problem in a timely manner can keep costs down.
Your highest priority is to serve the best food Pulaski, TN, has to offer, and these steps can help make certain that you can do that every day. Storing your food carefully, ventilating appliances correctly and quickly fixing any leaks can prevent mold growth and help keep your kitchen healthy and efficient.
Fire Safety Tips for Parents
Do not let young children near open flames.
Parental Fire Safety Tips
In a home fire, you have under five minutes to escape. If a fire occurs at your home in Columbia, TN your first thought is your kids’ safety. Imagine the terror of running room to room searching for them. Now, instead visualize your children prepared for this emergency situation. When you teach your kids about fire escape, you save precious moments that can make a difference.
The best way to ensure your kids’ safety is to prevent a fire from happening in the first place:
- Do not let young children near open flames. This includes fireplaces, grills, fire pits, candles and stovetops.
- Keep flammable liquids and incendiary sources, such as lighters and matches, out of reach of children.
In a fire, be alerted quickly and have a plan of escape:
- At minimum, keep one functioning smoke detector at each floor of your house, especially in or near the bedrooms. Test the detector monthly while your children are home so they recognize and understand the meaning of the alarm. Change the batteries twice per year.
- Create a fire escape plan. Find two ways out of each room and agree on an outdoor meet up place. Get escape ladders for the second floor.
- Teach your children how to call 911.
Practice techniques to evacuate your home efficiently if necessary:
- Twice a year, run through the fire escape plan with your children.
- Practice how to stop, drop and roll if clothing catches on fire.
- Have your kids practice staying low in a fire. This includes rolling off of the bed and crawling on the floor.
- Rehearse checking doors for heat and closing them as you go.
- Repeat, “Get out, stay out,” when practicing to emphasize the importance of not returning inside of the house once out
Prevent, prepare and practice to ensure your kids’ safety in the event of a home fire in Columbia, TN. Once you and your children are safe from harm, make a plan to restore the damage to your home by contacting fire restoration specialist and insurance agent as soon as possible.
4 Leading Causes of Home Fires
Candles look and smell nice, but they are also a fire hazard.
Common Fire Causes
According to the NFPA, firefighters respond to a home fire every 24 seconds somewhere within the country. That’s an alarming statistic considering that most house fires spread uncontrollably, leaving a wake of destruction. While you can never be truly prepared for such a disaster, there are things you could do to prevent it.
Common fire causes in Pulaski, TN includes:
- Unattended kitchen appliances
- Careless smoking in bedrooms
1. Cooking Equipment
Kitchen fires account for 48% of all home fire incidents in the nation. That comes as no surprise as most open flames and heating elements live in this room. Usually, the fire starts when you walk out or get distracted, then the food overcooks until it catches fire. This flame spreads to any flammable items nearby and results in a nasty flare.
Most people are cautious in the kitchen, but they sometimes fail to do proper care and maintenance on heating. These devices need inspection at least once a year to make sure they are in good condition. Also, keep all portable heaters at a safe distance from any flammable items such as curtains, books and furniture.
3. Smoking in Bedroom
Smoking is the last thing you should do in a bedroom. A cigarette butt that is not properly put off could stay alit for a couple of hours. That poses a grave danger considering that it’s the same room you keep all your flammable stuff such as beddings, clothes and mattresses.
Candles look and smell nice, but they are also a fire hazard. If the open flame comes into contact with the table cloth or topples over when no one is looking, you might be in for an expensive fire cleaning project. It is better to use flameless candles if you have kids and pets in the house.
A home fire can incur thousands of dollars in fire damage, even when you manage to put it out before it spreads further. That’s why you need to know where it starts and take the necessary precautions.
What Sort of Noises Come From a Water Heating Unit?
Schedule regular maintenance to your water heater.
Is It Normal For Water Heater To Make Noise?
Houses can be full of a lot of strange noises. When you hear creaks and groans, you may wonder if the sounds are from your Columbia, TN, home settling, or larger issues with piping. Even your water heater can start to make some unseemly noises.
• Screeching: Have you been hearing a sound reminiscent of a scream? This could be a sign that a valve in your heater is not opened all the way. As the water flows through the smaller-than-normal opening, it creates a screeching sound.
• Humming: A loose heating element can start to vibrate as the water heats up around it. This problem can be addressed by tightening the element.
• Tapping: This noise is often harmless when it comes from your water heater. As the liquid inside starts to cool down, it may cause a tapping noise.
• Rumbling: Sediment buildup is common in older units. If you hear a rumbling, it could be a sign that some buildup is being stirred around in the unit. As the chunks hit the sides and heating elements, it causes a rumbling.
• Crackling: Sediment can also lead to a popping or crackling sound. When the buildup is caked onto the heating element, water may get trapped beneath the residue. As the water warms up, it is forced back through the residue with a loud popping noise. A regular water heater flush can help you avoid this noise.
• Knocking: Knocking in your pipes is usually associated with a change in water pressure. If a faucet is quickly turned off, the pipes may shake from the sudden change. As they shake, they may hit the walls in your home and cause you to hear a knocking sound.
Some noises that come from your water heater could be a sign of a problem. Because you want your heater to continue working for years to come, it may be beneficial for you to schedule a regular inspection with a residential water maintenance team.
Preparing Your Business To Operate Even After Adverse Weather Events
The drying process in a Spring Hill, TN office.
Prepare Your Business From Natural Disasters With The Following Four Steps
A storm can be especially disruptive to normal business operations. One way to stay functional in the face of natural disasters is to develop a continuity plan before trouble ever strikes. By doing so, you can prevent surprise weather from cutting off operations for the foreseeable future. With these four steps, you can be prepared for whatever nature throws at your business.
1. Prepare a Plan for Major Events
You should plan for any potential disaster that could hit your business at its current location. These can include but are not limited to hurricanes, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, or tornadoes. Whatever historically happens in the region should be countered with a plan.
If possible, a team of employees should be assigned duties for enacting the procedures. Emergency suppliers are worth arranging with for disaster mitigation. This is also a good time to make and safely store a copy of the building’s insurance policy. Any computer data should be consistently and securely backed up off-site or in a cloud service.
2. Create Checklists
Once a procedure is worked out, checklists are ideal so everything can be easily recalled. These are worthwhile to review and check off several days before a forecasted natural disaster. All employees should be informed of where these checklists are and required to review them occasionally throughout the year.
3. Practice the Procedure
In areas where dangerous weather can strike with little notice, preparedness drills are recommended. This ensures the continuity plan is fully functional and no important part is missing if the time comes to follow the actual procedure.
4. Establish Communication and Alternate Work Locations
All essential employees can be asked to provide an emergency contact number to arrange work. The business location could become devastated by storm damage or be undergoing restoration by an expert storm damage cleanup team. This alternative location can be working from home or another designated commercial property.
Preparation is vital to protecting your business in Spring Hill, TN, from many days of lost revenue and catastrophic loss. With a continuity plan, you can be ready for the worst and more than prepared for most other storms.
Does My Business Need Commercial Flood Insurance?
Stormwater inside a commercial building in Lynnville, TN.
When business owners purchase a commercial insurance policy for their property in Lynnville, TN, they sometimes think they are covered in the event of a flood. However, most policies do not include flood insurance, and they must purchase coverage separately.
Am I Required To Purchase Flood Coverage?
Two factors determine whether you need coverage for floods. First, if your commercial property is in an area that is high-risk and prone to floods, and second, if you are paying a mortgage from a federally insured or regulated lender, you will need to have a commercial insurance policy for floods.
What Does Flood Coverage Include?
An insurance policy for flooding covers flood damage repair to your property and its contents in the event of a flood. It includes losses from:
- Prolonged or heavy rain
- Overflowing bodies of water such as streams or rivers
- Blocked storm drains
- Storm surge
- Melting snow
Water covering at least two acres or affects a minimum of two properties is defined as a flood for coverage purposes.
What Does Flood Coverage Exclude?
The property outside of your building, such as landscaping and septic systems, is not covered by insurance for flooding. Your vehicles are not covered by a flood policy, although you can purchase coverage in your business vehicle policy's comprehensive section.
Business interruption insurance is also a different type of coverage not included in a flood policy, as is the loss of use of an insured property.
How Can I Obtain Flood Coverage?
The National Flood Insurance Program, a program managed by FEMA, offers insurance for flooding through a network of insurance professionals and NFIP Direct. Your policy goes into effect after a 30-day waiting period, so it's essential to plan for coverage.
While flood insurance involves a separate policy, you can purchase it for your Lynnville, TN, property to ensure you are prepared if your property experiences a flood.