Recent Commercial Posts

How To Create a Fire Contingency Plan for Your Business

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Two fire extinguishers You should also have plenty of emergency supplies on-hand, including fire extinguishers.

How to Make a Fire-Response Plan for Your Company

Every business in Rockvale, TN, needs to have a contingency plan in place in case an emergency breaks out. A fire can be caused from a number of sources, from electrical appliances to natural events. Before this happens, if it ever does, you should develop an evacuation plan that you review with your employees regularly. That way everyone knows what to do, so panic and confusion can be minimized.

1. Develop a Warning System to Protect Employees

The safety of your employees is of the utmost importance. You should develop a method to contact everyone in the building in case a fire ever breaks out. You should have fire alarms throughout the building, especially if you operate out of a particularly large property. You should also have plenty of emergency supplies on-hand, including fire extinguishers and a first aid kit.

2. Review Insurance Policies

Your contingency plan should also include all information relevant to your insurance policy. This includes information related to whether your policy covers fires at all and how much you stand to receive in reimbursement. If you have not spoken with your insurance agent for a while, then you need to speak with him or her to make sure you are covered for everything. It will help your business get back on its feet more quickly following an emergency.

3. Practice This Plan With Employees

It is a good idea to have practice evacuation drills with your employees so that people know how to respond to a fire. It is also a good idea to hold educational seminars to teach people basic fire safety methods. For example, it is recommended to hold a class teaching people how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

When you create a contingency plan, you hope you will never have to use it. However, it is always preferable to be safe rather than sorry.

5 Steps for Drying Out a Water-Damaged Building

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in the hallway of a building. Commercial drying in Smyrna, TN.

Water Damage Tips

When it comes to water damage, nothing is more important than acting quickly and calmly. These five practical water damage tips can help protect your belongings and commercial property in Smyrna, TN, from damage, or hold you over until water damage restoration specialists arrive.

1. Document All Damage

Immediately get photographic evidence of all the damage throughout the building. Try to identify the source of the leak, such as a pipe burst. Whatever the cause, documentation can save you time and stress when negotiating coverage with your insurance company.

2. Circulate Air

Of these damage tips, the most time-sensitive may be the use of air circulation to stave off further damage or warping. Buy or rent high-powered industrial fans to powerfully blow air. Open closet or cupboard doors to provide airflow. Depending on the humidity outside, crack open windows and vents. Large industrial dehumidifiers are also recommended to remove moisture from the air.

3. Remove Wet Items and Water

Remove wet flooring, furniture and other fixtures, as these only add to the moisture level. Keep in mind that household vacuums generally aren’t designed for water. Use an industrial wet/dry vacuum to absorb lingering water or mud.

4. Sanitize

Since the floodwater could contain waste and sewage, it should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Use warm, fresh, soapy water to clean floors, walls, or any other fixtures that have touched standing water. Don’t neglect ductwork; sanitize any ducts that were filled with water. These cleaning tips can help ensure that surfaces are safe for use.

5. Absorb Remaining Moisture

While fans and dehumidifiers are circulating and drying the air, you can tackle remaining moisture with desiccants, which are tubs of absorbent silica gel, clay or calcium oxide. Desiccants come in an array of sizes; visit your local supermarket or hardware store to find the size and formulation that’s right for you.

Discovering flooding or a pipe burst on your property can be overwhelming. By thinking quickly, staying calm and following these water damage tips, you’re sure to be standing on dry ground in no time!

Fire Restoration vs. Rebuilding? What Should You Do?

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinets damaged by fire Fire damage in a local home

Fire Restoration vs. Rebuilding?

 Fire can wreak tremendous havoc on our homes or businesses. In the unfortunate event it occurs, what matters most is what you do as the affected party.

Getting your life back together should be your major concern.

After a fire, be sure to take the following measures:

  • Take photos and videos of the damage for insurance purposes.
  • Examine the stability of the house and whether it is safe to salvage your remaining items.
  • Countercheck for electrical hazards such as exposed wires. If there are, seek professional assistance.
  • Limit your activities in the house to areas that are safe.

A typical fire disaster will also involve water, soot, and smoke damage. The damages caused can be disorienting and truly upsetting. You might even decide to bring everything down and rebuild afresh.

But with a professional restoration company like SERVPRO, they will do everything they can to restore your home before the fire

Fire Restoration vs. Rebuilding

Restoration is far more affordable than rebuilding. At SERVPRO, we will restore your home and all the damaged items. You even won’t know they were damaged. 

Your family will be able to resettle back into their warm and cozy home in no time.

When SERVPRO arrives at your home, we will:

  • Inspect and assess the damage of the fire.
  • If water was used by the fire department to put off the fire, we will drain it completely.
  • Repair the damaged structures of the house.
  • Smoke and soot repair.
  • General cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Restore damaged items.

For Fire Restoration in Murfreesboro, SERVPRO is Here to Help

Fire restoration can be a daunting process. But you cannot do it alone. You need help – professional help!

SERVPRO is equipped with state-of-the-art restoration equipment and has trained professionals who will ensure that the job is done timely and perfectly.

It doesn’t matter the day or time – we are always available to help. Your satisfaction is our number one priority.

When Security Fencing May Be Necessary After a Fire

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed on commercial building due to fire damage, debris on floor Fire damage to a commercial property in Murfreesboro, TN.

When Security Fencing May Be Required Following a Fire

If your building was recently devastated by a fire, you may be asked to vacate the premises until the structure has been fully remediated. While that is the safe thing to do, you may be concerned about the safety of your property while it’s uninhabited. After all, it is not uncommon for damaged or abandoned buildings to become victims of vandalism and theft, and vacancy may attract vagabonds. To keep your property safe, both your Murfreesboro, TN, fire remediation team and insurance adjuster may suggest a security fence. Before you install a fence, however, there are some things you should do beforehand:

  • Call in all service providers, such as plumbers, electricians and gas suppliers, to inspect your building's internal systems and ensure that all are in safe, working condition.
  • Turn off all utilities.
  • Invest in shutters, storm doors, commercial locks and other means of keeping vandals out.
  • Make a list of damaged and destroyed items.
  • Discuss your options with your insurance provider.

Why You Should Install a Security Border

You never know how long a fire will keep you out of your building. Depending on the extent of the damage, and what kind of damage was done to the internal workings of your building, you may be out of your building for just a few weeks or a few months. If your Murfreesboro, TN, fire restoration team informs you that remediation efforts will take months, you may want to install a security fence in the meantime. Not only will a fence keep the bad guys out, but it can also give you peace of mind and reduce your insurance costs. Insurance companies like to see property owners take initiative to protect their properties, and are likely to give you a discount for doing so. On the flip side, if you don't invest in a fence, you may be viewed as a risk, and you may see a bump in your monthly premium.

Don't risk additional damage to your building by failing to invest in adequate security. Talk to your insurance company about security fence options today.

How To Know If Your Facility Has Mold

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold spots in a white wall Mold damage in Lascassas, TN.

How to Tell If Your Building Is Moldy

No commercial building in Lascassas, TN, is completely immune from developing a mold problem. Mold can occur any time there is excess dampness or condensation inside a facility. If you’re unsure whether there is mold at your commercial property, an indoor environmental specialist can perform a mold test so you can try to catch it early.

First, here are a few questions to consider:

1. Has there been any recent water damage? Moisture is the primary source of mold, so whether it’s a leaky roof or the effects of flooding, any kind of water inside your commercial facility can lead to mold growth.

2. Are the air ducts cleaned regularly? HVAC and other ventilation systems are commonly known to carry mold, so it’s important to find out when they were last cleaned.

3. Is there a strong odor in the building? Sometimes a musty smell means there is mold present. If your employees report an unpleasant odor, it could be the presence of black mold, which is often smelled before it is seen.

Mold can hide in many places indoors, such as under carpet, inside walls and paneling, and in piping and insulation. It has also been found behind wallpaper, but it’s important to be cautious about investigating it without an indoor environmental specialist present; once exposed, mold spores can spread easily. It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors. If you do suspect a mold outbreak at your commercial facility, stay away from suspected areas until experts can come and perform the necessary tests.

If a mold breaks out but goes undetected for a long time, the more damage it can cause. That could disrupt your operations and impact you financially. If your building has suffered any water damage, watch for mold signs. The sooner it’s discovered, the sooner an indoor environmental specialist can come in to clean it up.

Why Do I Need Commercial Flood Insurance?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

standing water on carpet in an office building Storm damage in Rockvale, TN.

Expenditures are plentiful when you are a business owner in Rockvale, TN. However, you feel confident that the commercial insurance plan you have will cover your property and contents in a disaster. What about flood insurance? Is it mandatory? What are the benefits?

Mandatory Flood Insurance

There are times when you must purchase insurance coverage for potential flooding at your place of business:

• If your commercial property is located in a high-risk flood area, your mortgage company may require you to obtain this insurance.

• Flood zone maps designate which areas are low or high risk. When maps are rezoned, your business designation may change. The mortgage lender may notify you if your property is now in a high-risk flood zone, which requires purchasing additional insurance.

• At times, mortgage companies require insurance against flooding regardless of the flood zone.

Benefits of Insurance for Flooding

Flooding happens in areas regardless of the risk level. Even if you are not mandated to ensure your commercial property from floods, it is still a good idea:

• A basic commercial insurance policy does not typically cover floodwater. If water damage is not covered, you will probably have to pay a significant amount out of pocket.

• Even though there are federal programs in place to assist you in the event of a declared disaster, the money is not designed to fully cover complete restoration. Insurance can provide funds to restore your property to preflood condition.

• The water restoration specialist and your insurance agent can partner with you to seamlessly and efficiently get your business up and running after a flood.

Primarily depending on the location of your business in Rockvale, TN, you may be federally mandated to buy flood insurance. If you are not required to, it still makes good business sense to include it as a component of your commercial insurance policy. That way, you can be confident that your property is covered in the unfortunate event of flooding and water damage.

3 Ways To Prepare for an Office Fire

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

Two workers wearing protective gear, one is with a shovel and the other person with a plastic bag. Clean up services after severe fire damage in Murfreesboro, TN.

3 Ways To Prepare for an Office Fire

Thinking about a possible fire at your office in Murfreesboro, TN can be intimidating. However, office fires are not uncommon. According to the National Fire Protection Association, it is estimated that over 3,300 fires occurred annually in U.S. offices from 2007-2011. Thorough preparation of your fire sprinkler systems and other fire safety elements means your office can be better situated if a fire does occur.

1. Ensure Fire Detection and Suppression Systems Are Working
Preventing fires is always the best strategy, and working smoke detectors are essential. Check your office’s detectors monthly.
If a fire does break out, sprinklers may be your first line of defense in fire suppression. The National Fire Protection Association has thorough guidelines for inspecting sprinklers, which range from quarterly to annual inspections for different components of the system. Your office staff should be familiar with these guidelines to ensure your fire sprinkler system is functioning and equipped to deal with any problems.

2. Maintain an Office Fire Escape Plan
All employees should know to follow an up-to-date emergency plan. Hold regular drills and seminars to ensure that if a fire starts, employees know where to go and what to do. Be sure to identify and clearly mark emergency exits — whether by door or window — and an outdoor gathering place for employees to meet.

3. Be Prepared for the Aftermath of a Fire
What happens immediately after a fire can be as crucial as events during the fire itself. Damage can occur from flames, smoke, and water — fire sprinkler cleanup can end up being a significant chore in itself. Have contact information for a fire restoration service in Murfreesboro, TN, so you can take immediate action in the fire’s aftermath.
Office fires may be daunting, but readiness is a vital tool. Certifying that your staff, as well as your fire sprinkler systems, are prepared allows for a prompt response in case a fire does break out.

The Complicated World of Mold Insurance Claims

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall in Murfreesboro, TN due to humidity A professional mold mitigation franchise is your best protection against a fungal outbreak.

You can count on commercial insurance to cover your business in Murfreesboro, TN, in the case of many perils. When it comes to mold insurance claims, though, there are several unknowns and gray areas. This isn't too unusual in the insurance industry, but it can be even more complicated when dealing with mold. For this reason, it is always in your best interest to speak in depth with your insurance agent. Most policies have a fungus exclusion, which rules out coverage and payments, but there is also a thing called limited fungus coverage. This typically does provide some money to business owners for fungus damage, repair and repair under specified and named conditions.

Company Responsibility

There are several situations that are pretty clear when it comes to mold insurance claims. If you have acted negligently or improperly in maintaining your property, the insurance company is unlikely to honor a claim. This can take many forms:

  • Failure to maintain an adequate roof system
  • Failure to repair leaks
  • Incompetence in cleaning up after a flood
  • Failure to act on repairs in a timely fashion

In other words, if your company could have done something to limit damages and did not, and this inaction resulted in mold damage, the insurance provider will deny a mold claim. If you find mold on your property, it is crucial to take swift, appropriate action.

Mold Remediation
A professional mold mitigation franchise is your best protection against a fungal outbreak. A SERVPRO team is Faster to Any Size Disaster and they will come to your facility in a matter of hours. Trained technicians will work to stop and remove any standing water in the building, often the cause of mold growth, and they will take action to contain the spread of microscopic mold spores. The rest of the process includes removal, cleaning, and restoration of damages. The franchise, experienced with mold insurance claims, will help document any damages and repair costs to speed up the claims process.

How To Prepare an Emergency Plan for Your Company

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Organizing an emergency contingency plan for your company may take time, but the effort is worth it

Here Are A Few Ideas On How To Prepare A Contingency Plan For Your Company

According to the Department of Labor, almost every business is required to have an emergency action plan. Since you care about your business and employees, you don't doubt the importance of having one, but sometimes it's difficult to know what all you need to include. After all, these are adults, not children, so everyone has experience with fire and emergency safety. 

Make It Unique

Your company and your building in Murfreesboro, TN, is unique. If you run a small production factory, you shouldn't model your evacuation plan of a plan for a large, multi-floored office building. Walkthrough your space and note the exits, potential hazards, and resources for protecting yourselves. The number of employees you have, their physical abilities, and the location of your business should all be factors in your emergency plan.

Plan Different Scenarios

While fires are the most common type of business emergency, you may also need to prepare a contingency plan for other natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or mudslides, depending on where your business is located. If you work with explosives or dangerous chemicals, or you're located in an area where those are factors, you need a plan to shelter-in-place or to evacuate quickly and safely. Assign roles to your employees to keep track of their coworkers so that any evacuation or sheltering scenario is executed efficiently.

Report An Emergency

Create a plan that everyone understands for reporting emergencies. How will reliable information get to your employees so that everyone knows what to do? Select leaders and alternates to sound alarms, make announcements and call for the appropriate type of help whether fire rescue, EMTs, or emergency mitigation services.
Organizing an emergency contingency plan for your company may take time, but the effort is worth it so that you and your employees can stay safe during a disaster.

Prevention Key to Avoiding a Water-Related Business Claim

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in an office building in Murfreesboro, TN Water damage in an office building

Business owners in Murfreesboro, TN, know the importance of having commercial insurance for unexpected events. While that may provide peace of mind, avoiding a business claim altogether is the best option. One of the top causes of claims is water damage to the commercial building and contents. Although not all water issues can be prevented, proper maintenance of the plumbing system can avert such problems as a burst pipe or leak.

Prevention Tips

In most cases, the insurer will cover an accidental pipe break. If mold growth occurs because of this issue, it may or may not be included. If the leak was ongoing and already resulted in the mold, or if precautions weren’t taken after a break to mitigate secondary damage, your business claim for mold will likely be denied. Instead of getting a surprise, help keep your business in the best shape possible with these tips:

  • Insulate any exposed pipes.
  • Maintain indoor temperatures above 55 degrees even if the building is empty.
  • Verify that wall cracks and lines for electrical conduits, utility services and fire protection are properly sealed.
  • Insulate recessed lighting fixtures and drafty areas near pipes, including attics.
  • Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and properly draining away from the building.
  • Consider installing an automatic excess flow switch to monitor the waterline.

Call the Professionals
If a pipe has already burst, immediate action is needed. The first step is to turn off the water to stop the incoming flow. A broken pipe can unleash many gallons of water, which increases the need for extensive cleanup and repairs. Along with calling a plumber and making a business claim, contact a mold and water damage restoration company to assess the circumstances. They have the necessary expertise, tools and techniques to clean up the situation and prevent secondary damage from happening.
While filing a claim due to unexpected water or flood damage isn’t completely avoidable, maintaining your property and making a few improvements can help prevent an emergency.

How To Write a Business Continuity Plan

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Concept A business continuity plan is vital

Steps To Develop Your Emergency Response Plan

Sustained business interruption can cost your business thousands of dollars in lost revenues. Having a business continuity plan in place can help you mitigate your losses during a natural disaster, fire or another event that may interrupt your normal operations. These steps can help you develop your emergency response plan.

Set Realistic Goals for Your Plan
Before you begin writing your plan, you need to determine what you want to accomplish with it. The overall goal of your plan should be to keep your business running as efficiently as possible during a disruption event; however, it is a good idea to set smaller goals that will help you achieve your larger goal. You should consider and prioritize essential business processes:

  • Operations
  • Human resources
  • Administration
  • Maintenance
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Information Technology
  • Shipping and Receiving
  • Billing

Complete a Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis
Completing a risk assessment and business impact analysis will allow you to determine what the most severe possible risks are to your business during a disruption event. You should talk to key stakeholders to determine what the impact on your business would be if key business functions were interrupted and prioritize addressing these functions in your business continuity plan by how likely disruption to that function is likely to occur and how severe the impact is likely to be.

Write a Plan for All Essential Functions
Once you have established which functions are essential and how to prioritize them in your plan, you should write a plan for dealing with disruption to each essential function. Consider including the names and contact information of professional disaster recovery services in La Vergne, TN, that can be called upon to help get your business running again during a disaster.
A business continuity plan is vital to minimize revenue loss and keep your business functioning during a disaster or other business interruption. These steps can help you get started on your plan.

2 Ways to Safely Dry Wet Documents

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Documents damaged by water

Methods You Can Use To Restore Wet Documents

There are a lot of tasks to keep track of when attempting to restore your commercial building in Murfreesboro, TN, after a flood. Attempting to salvage wet documents after the incident can be frustrating, especially if you neglected to make backup copies. Luckily, there are multiple methods that you can use to restore important papers:

Air Drying Documents
Using this natural document drying method is ideal if you only have a small amount of papers that need to be restored:

  • Spread your wet papers out on a flat surface where they'll be able to sit undisturbed for a few hours. Make sure the area you select is in a room with adequate air circulation.
  • Gently dab the wet documents with a towel.
  • This can help soak up excess moisture, ultimately aiding the drying process.
  • Set up an oscillating fan to aid with air circulation.
  • Once your papers have dried a bit, weigh them down with a sturdy object, such as a book, to help prevent the edges of the paper from curling.

Freeze Drying Documents
You should use this method if you have 200 or more separate documents to salvage after severe flooding:

  • As soon as you notice the water damage, wrap the papers in a ziplock bag. Do not try to separate any pages that are clearly soaked.
  • Place the ziplock bag in the freezer. Leave the papers alone for several hours to allow them to freeze completely.
  • Remove the bag from the freezer and take the papers out. Repeat the steps from the previous method to air dry the documents.

Wet documents can cause problems for your commercial business, especially if you don't have any backup copies. The above methods can certainly help salvage these important documents after a flood. If these tactics are unsuccessful for any reason, you need to contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can for additional help.

Best Methods for Restoring Items After a Fire

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Two air scrubbers inside a building. We have the equipment to handle any fire damage in Lascassas, TN

Best Methods for Restoring Items After a Fire

All items are usually not destroyed when a fire sweeps through a commercial building. In some areas, the flames burn hot and the fire loss is complete, but in other areas, many items survive the fire or can be restored to good condition. Part of the expertise of a storm mitigation company in Lascassas, TN, is determining what can be restored and what needs to be replaced. Pretesting methods allow technicians to identify likely candidates for cleaning. In many cases, it will be less expensive to restore than replace. Objects that only suffer smoke damage can often be cleaned sufficiently to reuse.

Partial Loss
For insurance purposes, there is a distinction between complete fire loss and partial loss. With a complete loss, the object in question is fully replaced and paid for in accordance with the policy. For partial loss, the claim usually pays for the restoration of the item. It pays to be aware of the following situations concerning a partial loss:

  • Hidden damage such as mold, air ducts, and soot
  • Improperly repaired items
  • Delays in settling a claim
  • Disputes over items that qualify for a partial loss

As with all insurance claims, documentation is always critical and can speed up the settlement of a claim. An experienced storm remediation company can help with this aspect of fire recovery by itemizing all work and expenses and sending this on to the insurance company.

Complete Recovery
No matter the size of a fire, a full recovery for a business is possible. Fire restoration services include water removal and extraction, soot and odor removal, cleaning and sanitizing and repair and replacement of damaged items. Fire loss can be a challenging time, but there are services that are Here to Help. Trained and certified technicians have seen it all before and know the best methods to clean the damages caused by a fire.

What to Expect from the Commercial Fire Restoration Process

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Two fire extinguishers being checked to make sure they're still good What to expect from a fire restoration

A building fire can be a scary experience. Even after the flames are put out and the danger has passed, the aftermath can be a confusing time. You may not know what to do about your burned commercial property or what to expect during cleanup and restoration.

After the fire is put out by emergency responders, you should call a professional fire damage restoration company. These experts will walk you through the process of assessing damage and beginning the big task of restoring the site. Along the way you should feel free to ask questions, but here are the basic steps of the process so you know what to expect up front.

Step 1: Assessment

The restoration company you hire will first assess the extent of the fire damage your property has suffered. They’ll look at heat, soot, and smoke damage to all structures and furnishings to see how far the fire reached and how badly it affected all materials it touched. With this information, the company will devise a plan of action and be able to give you an accurate quote for how much the restoration job will cost as well as a reasonable timeline for getting the job done.

Step 2: Preventing further damage

Before cleanup and restoration can begin, the main priority will be to prevent further damage to your property. Damage from the fire might have exposed building interiors to the elements, putting you at risk for further damage from the weather or wildlife. The restoration company can put up tarps and other protective measures to keep the elements out for the most part.

Keeping vandals and looters out of the site might also be a concern. A professional restoration company should have methods for this, such as securing doors and windows or even hiring a security company to monitor the site.

Other safety measures might be shutting off all utilities to the site if that hasn’t been done already and disabling the possible cause of the fire. For instance, if faulty wiring is thought to be the cause of the fire, electricity should be shut off to prevent another fire from happening again before new wiring can be installed.

Step 3: Cleaning up

Finally cleanup can begin. This step may seem like a whole process in and of itself. Water from the fire department or damaged plumbing will be pumped away. Charred and broken debris will be removed. Soot will be washed away and surfaces scrubbed. Damaged furnishings will be disposed of for you. Interiors and undamaged surfaces and furnishings will be deodorized to get rid of the smell of smoke. Dirt and dust will be swept up. Soon your property will begin looking like itself again.

Step 4: Renovation

Once the site is cleaned up, repairs can begin. If there was structural damage done to your building, it will need to be renovated to be functional again. Interior surfaces and fixtures that were too damaged to be cleaned will be replaced. New furnishings will be bought. Utilities will be turned back on. You can choose to match the previous look of the property as much as possible or take this opportunity to make some updates and have a fresh start.

Step 5: Prevention

Finally, the nightmare is over! All repairs and cleanup are completed and your property is ready for business again. But not so fast. The final step may be a consultation with the restoration company to discuss how to prevent future fires. This kind of meeting might depend on the cause of the fire and the company you hired, but if the fire had been preventable they may offer some ideas for avoiding a repeat situation such as placing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in better places.

Your fire restoration team is here for you

You might be feeling overwhelmed after a commercial property fire, but hiring a great restoration company will set you on the right track. At SERVPRO of Rutherford County, our trained fire restoration technicians have you covered. With our 24-hour emergency service, we can get to your business quickly and begin immediate cleanup and restoration. No matter the size of your disaster, our goal is to restore your property and get your business back to functioning as quickly as possible.

3 Steps for Reducing Water Damage After a Flood at Your Business

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Water on keyboard of a computer You can reduce water damage by being prepared

When your Murfreesboro, TN commercial building is damaged by flooding, it can be difficult to know where to begin with cleanup efforts. Waterlogged drywall, ruined carpeting and damaged machinery may only be a few issues you have to deal with. However, there are a few steps you can take to begin the recovery process, and knowing some helpful damage tips may give you peace of mind as you work to restore your business.
When your commercial building is damaged by flooding, it can be difficult to know where to begin with cleanup efforts. Waterlogged drywall, ruined carpeting and damaged machinery may only be a few issues you have to deal with. However, there are a few steps you can take to begin the recovery process, and knowing some helpful damage tips may give you peace of mind as you work to restore your business.

1. Reduce Humidity Levels

After a flood, the humidity levels in your building may spike due to increased water vapor in the air. This may accelerate mold growth, especially in the case of black mold. Because this type of fungus can spread quickly, it is wise to lower humidity any way you can. Open the windows, run fans and turn on your building’s air conditioner if you have been told it is safe to do so. These damage tips may help you keep the threat of mold at bay until help arrives.

2. Call for Professional Flood Mitigation

If a pipe burst in your employee restroom and caused a flood, you may believe there is no hurry in calling for cleanup because the damage has already been done. However, calling in a flood damage and restoration company as soon as you can may reduce the risk of long-term problems, such as mold growth and structural weakness. Flood technicians might also be able to prevent the spread of flood waters to other areas of your building and prevent them from reaching major systems, such as electrical fuse panels.

3. Sort and Set Aside Items for Restoration

Flood technicians may be able to offer you cleaning tips and restoration options for your inventory or office equipment. While not all items may be salvageable, having assistance during this process can help you feel more confident about recovery.

Facing a flood at your Murfreesboro, TN business can be a stressful experience. However, being aware of a few helpful damage tips can give you the peace of mind you need to begin cleanup and restoration efforts.

1. Reduce Humidity Levels

After a flood, the humidity levels in your building may spike due to increased water vapor in the air. This may accelerate mold growth, especially in the case of black mold. Because this type of fungus can spread quickly, it is wise to lower humidity any way you can. Open the windows, run fans and turn on your building’s air conditioner if you have been told it is safe to do so. These damage tips may help you keep the threat of mold at bay until help arrives.

2. Call for Professional Flood Mitigation

If a pipe burst in your employee restroom and caused a flood, you may believe there is no hurry in calling for cleanup because the damage has already been done. However, calling in a flood damage and restoration company as soon as you can may reduce the risk of long-term problems, such as mold growth and structural weakness. Flood technicians might also be able to prevent the spread of flood waters to other areas of your building and prevent them from reaching major systems, such as electrical fuse panels.

3. Sort and Set Aside Items for Restoration

Flood technicians may be able to offer you cleaning tips and restoration options for your inventory or office equipment. While not all items may be salvageable, having assistance during this process can help you feel more confident about recovery.

Facing a flood at your business can be a stressful experience. However, being aware of a few helpful damage tips can give you the peace of mind you need to begin cleanup and restoration efforts.

Standard Renter’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover Floods

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Having renter's insurance in Christiana, GA can certainly add to your peace of mind

Standard Renter’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover Floods

Having renter's insurance in Christiana, GA can certainly add to your peace of mind. It’s nice to be covered in case of an incident, but you should be aware of the exclusions and deductibles your policy has.
A standard policy will usually cover most major types of loss, including

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Storm damage
  • Explosions
  • Smoke damage

Each company will offer different coverage, premiums, and deductibles. For instance, a renter's insurance policy may – or may not – cover identity theft if your ID or credit cards were stolen from home. Most will cover liability if someone is injured on the premises, such as the infamous slip-and-fall lawsuit.
However, virtually no standard policy will cover flood damage. Some companies can offer riders that will cover floods, but they must be specifically asked for. Usually, the best rates are found through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but not in every case, so it’s best to shop around and check a few insurance companies.

Flood Insurance Isn’t Just for Homeowners

Homeowners who are allowed to build within the 100-year flood plain are often required to get flood insurance coverage if they have a mortgage. However, anyone who owns property in participating communities, including personal property, can get coverage through the NFIP.
In any case, if your home does suffer a loss, such as a flood, fire or theft, your landlord won’t be responsible for the damage to your personal property unless serious negligence is involved. Also, flood insurance may pay for the additional costs associated with a forced move, including hotel bills and getting into a new rental. Some coverage will even include items stolen from a vehicle parked at the rental. Each policy has different payout caps and deductibles, but it’s usually relatively easy to find a renter's insurance policy that matches your needs.
If you have a flood that impacts your rental in Christiana, GA, contact the property managers immediately. You’ll need a storm damage cleanup company to get there as soon as possible to tarp and board exposed areas – a key step to preventing further losses for you and your landlord.

SERVPRO Holiday Safety Tips For Commercial Properties

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

The holiday season is here, bringing festive parties, cold winter weather, and plenty of other workplace hazards. SERVPRO is here to help keep your property and workers safe, happy, and healthy during the holidays with some practical disaster prevention tips. 

1 Decorate with care

Holiday decorations can keep the workplace mood cheery and festive. Keep high-traffic areas clear of decorations to avoid any mishaps. The best places to decorate are reception areas, lobbies, break rooms, and foyers. 

Be mindful of the weather as you hang decorations. Strong wind and heavy snow or ice can cause damage to your decorations, buildings, trees, and other property if you aren’t careful. 

After you hang all your decorations with care, walk about your property as if you are a customer, employee, or visitor. Can you see all the appropriate entrance and exit signs? Is everything easily accessible? Are there any tripping hazards? Are there any potentially dangerous decorations within reach of young children? Check to be sure all the fire extinguishers, strobe alarms, and other safety apparatus are visible and unobstructed.

2 Keep decorations aglow and avoid fire hazards

Make sure you select noncombustible or flame-resistant decorations. Unfortunately, many decorations are flammable. Keep them away from heat registers, radiators, stoves, and other heat sources. 

Avoid using candles and other open-flame decorations around commercial buildings. It’s easy to knock them over or forget about them when everyone goes home at the end of the day. 

If you decide to hang exterior lights, make sure you choose lights that are suitable for outdoor use. Fasten them to the building, walls, trees, and other places with appropriate light clips instead of tacks, staples, nails, or other things that might puncture the electrical cord. 

Avoid linking more than three strands of lights together and use as few extension cords as possible. This reduces the risk of electrical fire and avoids overloading extension cords and electrical outlets.

It’s best to turn off all holiday decorations when the building is closed. This significantly reduces the risk of electrical fires and other mishaps. 

3 Be prepared for a “white Christmas” with snow and ice removal

Do you have plans or the right equipment to handle any snow or ice that might come your way? It’s best to have a plan before the first snow or ice storm of the season. 

Walkways, parking lots, and other areas can become slippery very quickly when rain or snow freezes. Improper snow and ice removal can also block access to fire hydrants, handicap parking, loading docks, and other critical areas. 

It’s easy to forget to stock up on snowmelt, deicer, and other supplies to deal with winter weather. Make sure everyone stays safe this holiday season by preparing for whatever winter throws at you. 

4 Keep your building toasty warm and dry

During the cold winter months, your HVAC system is working overtime to keep the people in your commercial property toasty warm. Don’t forget to schedule a full HVAC inspection to make sure everything is running efficiently. Reduce the stress on your HVAC system by turning off cooling systems that aren’t necessary. 

Have the roof, weather stripping, and insulation inspected before winter weather sets in. The temperature changes and precipitation during the winter months can be hard on any roof. Repairing holes, leaks, or damage prevents energy loss and helps your HVAC system run more efficiently. It can also help prevent frozen pipes and damage from water leaks. 

5 Avoid a frozen pipes incident

Frozen might be an adorable kids movie, but it’s best to avoid any workplace reenactments. Even a cold draft can cause a pipe to freeze, especially in older, poorly insulated buildings. This is particularly dangerous during the holidays when business hours might be shorter, and fewer people are around your property to find leaks before they cause significant damage. 

When pipes freeze, the water expands. The pressure can cause the pipe to crack. Not only will this disrupt the water supply to the entire building, but it can also cause significant water damage and even flooding. The water leak can lead to mold and mildew damage. 

Winterize your property before winter settles in. Make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated to prevent them from freezing and bursting (especially pipes that run along exterior walls). Make sure all shutoff valves and levers are in good condition. Run water at a slow drip to prevent pipes from bursting if they do freeze, especially if your building will be unoccupied for any length of time. 

SERVPRO technicians are standing by throughout the holiday season to respond to any disaster. Whether the holiday potluck ends with a kitchen fire or a frozen pipe spills water, we will help you recover and return to normal quickly. Contact us today to learn more about our commercial restoration services. 

What To Expect From SERVPRO Commercial Restoration Services

10/5/2019 (Permalink)

If your business needs water or fire damage restoration, it is essential to choose a company that has experience restoring commercial properties. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and our experts are highly trained to help any business recover as quickly as possible. Here is what you can expect from SERVPRO and our process of restoring your commercial property to its original condition. 

1 Assessment

As soon as the fire is out, the storm is over, or the water main is turned off, our SERVPRO technicians will begin assessing your commercial property. We inspect to determine the extent of the damage and create a plan of action for restoring your building and property. 

Often, in the case of fire, water, and mold, the damage is more extensive than it appears on the surface. Our technicians will use all available resources like sensors, probes, and cameras to assess the condition of your entire building to make the right repairs and prevent future problems. 

When SERVPRO is dealing with commercial restoration, our technicians will also seal any leaks or address any immediate problems that could cause further damage. This might require putting tarps on a roof, repairing a pipe, or other preventative measures. 

2 Contact the insurance company.

As soon as there is damage to your commercial property, contact SERVPRO. Some insurance companies may try to deny or limit coverage if they believe you did not take steps to minimize damage or prevent further destruction. 

As soon as SERVPRO is on the way, notify your insurance company. Your insurance company will provide a claim number. If you would like our SERVPRO experts to help, give the claim number to the administrator assigned to your case. We will work with your insurance company on your behalf to provide documentation and begin processing your claim. 

SERVPRO franchises will work with nearly every insurance company, and many insurance adjusters prefer to work with us because SERVPRO is a full-service provider. 

3 Cleaning

Once our restoration experts assess the damage and create a plan of action, the first step is to clean the property. 

Water damage

If your commercial property suffered water damage, the type of water damage would determine the cleaning process. Contaminated “black water” is much more challenging to clean than stormwater or a leaking pipe. Our experts will remove the water and use industrial dryers, fans, and dehumidifiers to remove all the moisture from the building. 

Fire damage

Cleaning up after a fire is also a complicated process. Fire damage can compromise the structural integrity of your building. Our technicians will board up or tarp damaged areas to maintain security and prevent further damage. 

After removing the water from the sprinkler systems or fire trucks, SERVPRO technicians begin removing soot and smoke from the building. Soot is very greasy and difficult to clean, and the smoke smell is notoriously challenging to get rid of. It’s essential to use the proper chemicals and techniques to prevent further damage. SERVPRO uses industrial air scrubbers, ozone machines, and fogging equipment to handle all the chemical and smoke odors. Our technicians use chemicals to kill bacteria and seal surfaces so the smells don’t return or linger. 

Our SERVPRO teams include odor control specialists, upholstery and fabric cleaning technicians, and fire and smoke restoration experts. We ensure everything is clean and sanitized for your safety and to prevent future problems, like mold or bad smells. 

4 Restore vs. replace, including your documents

Our goal is to restore everything to pre-damage conditions. SERVPRO believes it is essential to clean and restore as much as possible. This “restore first” attitude saves you money and helps you get your business back up and running more quickly. 

Document restoration is another critical step in getting your business back up and running. If your business suffered any water damage, your documents might be exposed to sewage, bacteria, pesticides, or harmful chemicals in addition to water.

Our technicians use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method and gamma irradiation technology to dry, sterilize, and preserve damaged documents. Our drying processes are the only methods approved by the National Archives and Records Administration!

Our facilities are secure and HIPAA master-certified, so we can properly handle sensitive information. We can even use or computerized inventory system to digitize your documents. 

5 Repairing 

Once everything is properly dried, cleaned, and sanitized, our restoration team will work to repair everything. Our goal is to return your business to the pre-disaster condition. Whether that requires minor repairs like replacing drywall, installing new flooring, or painting or it demands total reconstruction, our repair teams are up for any size project. 

From start to finish, our SERVPRO team will work with you and your business to ensure the restoration process is as smooth and efficient as possible. But, you don’t have to wait until disaster strikes. 

Contact us today to set up your SERVPRO Emergency READY Program (ERP), so you are prepared for any incident. The ERP profile includes information like emergency contacts, locations for all your shut-off valves, and other vital details that you, your employees, and the emergency response team will need. You might not be able to prevent every accident or disaster, but you can be prepared for them!

Commercial Water Damage

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can strike a commercial property without warning and cause devastating damage to the building and businesses inside. In 2016 water and freezing damage ranked second in the top ten most common insurance claims for small businesses and the eighth most expensive insurance claims. The average insurance claim for water damage was $17,000. 

SERVPRO has expert technicians standing by 24/7 to take action if flooding or water damage strikes your commercial building. Whether it’s a broken pipe or a significant leak in the roof that causes water damage, do you have a plan to respond?

Common causes of water damage in commercial buildings

The most common causes of water damage in commercial buildings are plumbing malfunctions and broken or frozen pipes.

When the temperatures fall below freezing outside, your building’s pipes may freeze. The water inside the pipes turns to ice and expands, putting pressure on the pipes until they crack. This can cause significant damage since it most frequently happens overnight or during the weekend when nobody is around to catch the situation early.

Another common cause of major water damage in commercial buildings is malfunctioning toilets. Old toilets or those with weak water pressure are prone to clogging. Repeat clogs may cause a toilet to back up and spill dangerous “black water,” which is difficult and costly to clean up. 

Corroded pipes are another “usual suspect” in water damage.

Underground pipes can deteriorate over time when they are exposed to corrosive bacteria, different soil conditions, and invading tree roots. Over time, pipes become weak and eventually burst, causing significant water damage to buildings and surrounding areas.  

Avoiding Water Damage

You might not be able to prevent all water damage situations, but there are many easy things businesses and commercial property owners can do to prevent water damage or minimize the impact. 

Inspect regularly

Unlike residential properties, commercial buildings tend to have large HVAC units, an extensive network of pipes, and a bird’s nest of wires, ducts, and other components to maintain. One of the easiest ways to avoid water damage is to hire a professional to conduct regular inspections.

Catching problems and making repairs early can save thousands of dollars and a lot of inconveniences. 

Maintenance matters

Keeping gutters, downspouts, and drainage areas clean and clear is essential in preventing flood damage. Make sure the building manager or other responsible parties stay on top of regular maintenance that can keep potential accidents at bay.

To prevent pipes from freezing, keep the thermostat set at a minimum of 55 degrees. This is the easiest way to avoid water damage from burst pipes. 

Create an emergency response plan

Before there is a water damage situation, have a plan of action or emergency response plan. Do members of your team know where the major water shut-off valves are? Do key team members know whom to contact in the event of a water pipe burst or other emergencies? Is this information and plan of action written in an easily accessible location? 

It is wise to create and go over the emergency plan with key team members before there is a high-stress situation. Make sure there is a trusted individual who has the authority to make decisions in an emergency if you are not available. 

SERVPRO’s Ready Plan app is a great resource for commercial property managers and owners to develop an emergency response plan. Knowing what to do and what to expect in an emergency is very important and will make the recovery process much easier. 

Have a “Plan B”

It might seem excessive now, but do you have a plan in the event your business experiences extensive flooding or another emergency that prevents you from working from the building for an extended period? 

While many commercial buildings do have options for temporary workspaces, it is best to have a plan before you are displaced. 

Protect your products and your information

It is always wise to back up critical paperwork electronically and ensure all your essential documents are secure. Consider installing a waterproof file cabinet, safe, or other means of protecting valuable documents from water, fire, or other types of damage. 

Keep non-waterproof inventory or valuables above floor level to protect them from potential water damage. If there is a severe risk of flood or rain damage, put valuable inventory, machinery, paperwork or other vulnerable items on high, stable shelves or stacked wooden pallets. 

Know your insurance coverage

Most commercial property insurance policies do not cover certain types of water damage, and the exclusions often depend on what caused the damage. A standard insurance policy might cover cost from a burst water pipe but not damage caused by a backed up toilet. Many insurance policies exclude mold-related damage. 

Flood damage is not typically covered by private insurance companies in the United States. You can purchase “riders” or add-ons to your property insurance that gives you better coverage in the event of water damage — the National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance for homeowners or companies.

Commercial Water Restoration

After severe water damage, be very cautious when entering your building. Check for downed power lines, gas leaks, and serious structural damage. If any electrical equipment is wet, contact an electrician immediately and turn off the power in the building until everything is safe. 

Photograph all damage

Before any disaster strikes, take a complete set of “before” photographs of the property and business-related items. Insurance companies appreciate “before and after” photos to show the full extent of the damage. 

Contact your local building department

The local building department has all the information on the required building permits for any demolition, permanent repairs, reconstruction, roofing, and other restoration projects. 

Contact SERVPRO for cleanup and restoration

Cleaning up water damage can be a complicated and sometimes dangerous job. SERVPRO technicians receive the proper training to address every aspect of commercial water damage emergencies. 

SERVPRO technicians do more than clean up the water. They dry the building and property quickly, using all the right machines to ensure no moisture is left. Once everything is dry, SERVPRO technicians deep clean, sanitize, and deodorize the entire space for maximum comfort and safety. 

Water damage can lead to expensive repairs, time lost from work, and damaged goods and property, but you can have peace of mind that everything will be put to right as quickly as possible with SERVPRO’s expert technicians.