Archived Commercial Blog Posts
Electronics Cleaning After a Fire
Remove any electronics that may have been damaged by heat or smoke.
Tips On How To Clean Your Electronics After a Fire
A fire doesn’t discriminate, it will damage everything in its path, including your electronics. After a fire, what you should do is remove any electronics that may have been damaged by heat or smoke. This includes anything from computers to cell phones, laptops, and tablets. A device that has been exposed to extreme heat can become damaged internally as well as on the outside. Even if your equipment isn't showing signs of being affected by the fire (such as no visible burn marks or smoke damage), you should clean it with anti-corrosive agents before using it again. Here are a few tips on how to clean your electronics after a fire.
The first step to cleaning electronics after any fire is to dry them out.
Although there are many ways to dry out electronics, we recommend that the first step is to use a hair dryer on the lowest setting. Avoid using vacuums and heat guns as both can damage your electronics. You also don’t want to put them in an oven as this could damage sensitive components inside of them.
Using a soft brush, clean the outside of your equipment and remove soot.
Using a soft brush or non-abrasive cloth, gently clean the outside of your equipment. Do not use water or harsh chemicals. Be careful not to use electronic equipment with damaged circuitry. Remove any protective casing and covers from the damaged equipment before cleaning it so that you can get into all areas of the device more easily.
Use an anti-corrosive solution to clean the electrical parts while they are still wet.
After the fire, you should clean all the electrical parts using an anti-corrosive solution. This will prevent any corrosion from occurring in the future. The best way to clean these parts is by using a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent such as detergent or vinegar and baking soda solutions.
Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card and drive heads.
Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card and drive heads with a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent. You can use isopropyl alcohol or distilled water to wipe the surfaces, but make sure not to touch any components with your bare hands. Use a cotton swab, not a cotton ball; it will be easier to properly clean the small areas you need to reach without damaging them.
If you have experienced a fire in your home or business, we hope that this post has been helpful. Cleaning your electronics after a fire can be very difficult and, in many cases, requires professional help. If you are in need of fire damage cleanup and restoration services, including electronics cleaning, don’t hesitate and reach out to our SERVPRO team today!
Please contact us if you have any questions about what to do after a fire or how our cleaning services could help.
3 Things To Include in Your Business Continuity Plan
Update your business's continuity plan.
A Business Continuity Plan Should Contain These Three Items
Most businesses in Manda,TX, have a continuity plan in place to help ensure that they can function in an emergency. These plans should be kept up-to-date and looked over thoroughly on a regular basis to help ensure that they contain pertinent information and that everyone knows what to do. Here are a few things you may want to consider including in your plan.
1. A Plan For Operation
After flooding, one of the first things to consider is how to keep the business in operation while repairs are being made. In some cases, only minor repairs may be needed allowing disruptions to be minimal. In other more extreme circumstances, it might be necessary to consider moving to a separate location until the property is restored. Consider including plans for a variety of scenarios.
2. Emergency Numbers
Another recommended section to include in a continuity plan is the numbers you may need in an emergency. These may include insurance agents, your IT specialist, and even the information for a local storm damage restoration service. Having these numbers in an easy-to-access location may help you save time, as well as help ensure that everyone knows who should be contacted in each planned scenario.
3. Recovery Strategies
In many cases, you may want to include recovery strategies for any problems caused to your company by storm damage. These may include approximate costs of operations, budgeting concerns, how long alternate modes of operation may be required while repairs are being made, and ways to show your customers that your company is still running strong. Having these plans made beforehand can help you be prepared if an emergency should happen.
When updating your business's continuity plan, it is important to include plans for how the company can stay open after an emergency. You may also want to include contact information for insurance and restoration companies, and outline strategies for recovering from the damage. If you have any questions about the process a professional may be able to help.
How To Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood
Mold removal in New Sweden, TX.
How To Avoid Mold Growth After a Flood
Flooding is a risk that every business should be aware of and plan for. Floods aren't always the result of natural disasters. A water main break outside of your business in New Sweden, TX, can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Water damage can also occur as a result of a burst pipe or a broken water heater. Cleaning up from flooding of any kind can be overwhelming, but there are some steps to take to expedite the process and prevent mold, which can begin to grow as soon as 24-48 hours after a flood.
1. Remove Standing Water
The first step is to remove standing water. Depending on the quantity, you may be able to do this with a mop and bucket or shop vacuum, or you may need to rent a pump. The longer water stands, the more damage it does to your business. Call in reinforcements (neighbors, coworkers, family) to help until a professional can get to you.
2. Toss Waterlogged Materials
From carpet to drywall, most waterlogged material should be disposed of. While there are some things that can be salvaged, such as hardwoods, most items found in standing water should be considered contaminated and tossed.
3. Dry Everything Thoroughly
One way to ensure mold prevention is to dry everything thoroughly. Water damage can go deep into subflooring and walls, so keep dehumidifiers and fans running. Prop up furniture that can't be removed so that as little surface area is touching the ground as possible.
4. Work with a Professional
Always trust a commercial remediation expert to give you the final say as to the condition of your property. They will be able to check for moisture pockets in hard-to-reach places where mold growth is likely to occur and provide remediation and prevention tips.
The quickest way to recover from water damage is fast action. Begin the cleanup process as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage to your business.
Crunching the Numbers on the Cost of Fire Restoration
Board-up services in Austin, TX.
Fire Restoration Process
A large fire at your business in Austin, TX, could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even more. If you have prepared well, your insurance policy will pay much of this, as well as many of the costs for cleanup and restoration. The estimate of damages and expenses will depend upon a complex mix of factors:
- The size of your facility
- The scope of the fire
- The presence of expensive infrastructure
- The extent of soot, smoke and water damage
- The level of structural damage to the building
The amount of fire damage is different for every fire. A basic understanding of the process for professional fire restoration services will provide a few clues on cleanup expenses.
Information on a Detailed Estimate
It is important to note that a general idea of costs is a vague document that has little benefit. You want specific details. Working with a full-service contractor is often the best way to get concrete figures.
The bid for work should include information on board up and tarp services (if needed), security surveillance (if needed), smoke and odor mitigation, debris removal and moving and storage services. There could also be information on the cleaning of objects such as furniture and clothing as well as the reconstruction of structural components.
If you have any questions, a project manager should be able to provide clear answers. Though each job is unique, you still deserve to know where you stand as soon as possible.
Expectations of a Commercial Fire Cleanup
A rapid response by a professional team is one of the best ways to save money after a fire. Restoration by experts makes sure the work is done correctly and that problems do not reoccur in a week or month. Also, it could limit the costs of a business interruption.
An accurate estimate can help you deal with the challenges of a fire. It is an important step on the way to recovery.
What You Need To Know About Mold and That Musty Smell
Mold damage in Manda, TX.
If you’ve noticed a damp, musty smell in your commercial property, you may be concerned about mold and the presence of mycotoxins. The good news is that not all molds are toxic. In the majority of cases, the mold you find only poses a threat to secondary water damage on your property, which is a good reason to address it right away.
To get a handle on what you’re dealing with, here are a few basics you should know about mold:
It’s a type of fungi whose purpose is to decompose dead organic matter.
It needs water, oxygen, a nutrient source and temperatures between 40-100 degrees Fahrenheit to grow.
The musty odor you smell comes from MVOCs — microbial volatile organic compounds — that are naturally occurring, and in some cases, due to mycotoxins.
The color of mold is influenced by its nutrient source and how long the colony has been there.
Mold can continue to spread unless these three things are addressed:
All existing mold is completely removed and disposed of properly.
All nutrient sources (wet, damaged materials) are removed and disposed of properly.
Moisture levels in the space are returned to a healthy level.
Mold remediation specialists address all these issues by utilizing years of knowledge and experience coupled with state-of-the-art tools. During cleanup, they will use HEPA air filtration systems to scrub the air clean and high-powered dehumidifiers to remove all excess moisture. They can also get rid of the moldy smell and show you exactly what you can do to keep it from coming back.
Musty smells and the presence of mold in your property in Manda, TX, aren't ideal. Swift removal of the offending material is your first priority, then all you need to do is take care of whatever is causing the dampness and moisture.
How to Handle Both Water and Fire Damage
Water and fire damage in Pflugerville, TX.
How to Deal with Fire and Water Damage
A commercial fire in Pflugerville, TX presents more than a few problems for a business owner. Many can feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. After the fire has been extinguished by the fire department, for example, business owners may find that they now have to deal with water damage on top of the fire and smoke damage. Though your business insurance policy is referred to as fire insurance, it will usually cover any water damage to the premises as well. Thankfully, there are restoration professionals who are trained to handle both types of damage, even simultaneously. Here’s what to expect from these companies when treating your building for water and fire damage.
Restoration professionals will use state-of-the-art equipment to assess the severity of water and fire damage on the premises, including all surfaces, belongings and assets. This will include identifying areas that have been damaged by water and those that have been damaged by fire, smoke or soot.
Boarding and Tarping
If windows or ceilings have been destroyed, fire restoration professionals will cover them with boards and tarps. This will prevent any further damage, especially from water, to the affected area. This also creates a more secure environment for the restoration professionals to work in.
Removing Water, Soot and Smoke
A fire hose uses a lot of water in a short amount of time. This inevitably causes water damage on the surfaces on which it is used. Once the environment is secure and the property inspected, restoration professionals will remove any moisture before addressing soot and smoke damage. This is because soot can often mix with the water, and treating areas for soot that haven’t been treated for water is nearly impossible. Once the water has been dealt with, workers will get started on removing all soot and smoke damage.
The remainder of the fire restoration process will be devoted to cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring the affected areas to their pre-fire condition. Once that’s completed, a well-done restoration job will mean your building will look as good as new.
Water Damage During Construction
Commercial water damage cleanup in Manda, TX.
Reduce The Risk of Dealing With Destruction
Is a construction project in your Manda, TX, business’s future? You may want to take action to reduce the risk of water damage. If your building sustains such loss, it can lead to expensive consequences like water pipe repair. Effects such as delayed construction or reputation damage can also negatively impact your business. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help prevent your business from becoming water damaged during construction. Here are three steps you can take to reduce the risk of dealing with destruction.
1. Evaluate Building Materials
Are the materials that your builders are using high-quality? If they are being stored inside during construction, are they properly tarped or covered in plastic? If the wrong materials are being used, there is a greater risk of a mishap occurring.
2. Conduct Regular Quality Checks
Make sure that your building’s waterproofing and plumbing systems are functional throughout the building process. If you find an issue during construction, correct it as soon as possible. For example, if you find a broken pipe, create an emergency plan for water pipe repair.
3. Be Your Own Advocate
If a builder refuses to address a waterproofing or plumbing issue, refuse to pay for the work. You need to know that you can rely on your commercial property to withstand regular water usage without a disaster occurring.
What If Water Damage Already Happened?
If a plumbing issue fell through the cracks during construction and you are now left with a broken pipe or a flooded building, it is time to call in the help of trusted professionals. A water damage restoration company can usually help clean up any damage that is present, and a trained technician can help with water pipe repair. Moisture damage is not fun to deal with, but following the steps above and having a remediation plan in place can help you protect your business and its future.
What's the Best Way To Get a Quote for Fire Restoration?
Commercial fire damage in New Sweden, TX.
When a fire damages your New Sweden, TX, commercial building, you want to figure out how much the repairs are going to cost. This type of estimate relies on a variety of factors, including the following:
- Who does the repairs
- How long the fire burned
- What fueled the fire
- How long the restoration takes
Even though there are so many elements that affect price, you may be able to get a quote. In order to get a quote, you need to work with the right people.
Work With Your Insurance Provider
Chances are some of the fire damage repairs are going to be covered by your insurance policy. While you should have some idea of what your coverage is, you may not know exactly how much the policy pays for. You can call your insurance provider to find out what parts of the fire cleanup are fully or partially covered. For example, your insurance may help pay for the cleanup, structure repairs, belonging replacement or building restoration.
Working with your insurance provider can not only help you get an estimate, but it can also help you find professionals in your network. Some providers may only want you to work with licensed contractors to do the repairs. Learning about the requirements you have to follow can make filing your claim easier.
Get Professional Help
If you want to know how much you're going to have to pay after a commercial fire, you need to work with a team of fire restoration experts. These professionals will be able to give you a quote because they know how much it costs to repair common fire damages. If you work with a novice or try to make the repairs yourself, you may not follow fire codes, which can cost you more in the long run. Professionals also may be able to get better prices on building materials and get the job done faster.
After a fire, there are a lot of repairs that may need to be made. You may want to get an estimate before committing to a specific fire restoration team.
Mold’s 6 Most Common Hidden Locations in Commercial Buildings
Mold cleanup and removal in Pflugerville, TX.
Mold's Most Common Hidden Locations
Mold requires water and food to thrive. Food can be as easy as dust particles or skin cells which are found almost everywhere in most commercial buildings. That means the unpredictable element in mold growth is obtaining a water source. Although high humidity can allow for colony reproduction, most often the source of mold’s life-beginning liquid is a result of water damage. Here are six of mold’s most common hidden locations in commercial buildings in Pflugerville, TX.
1. Ductwork often contains moisture during summer’s cooling season. When the duct lining materials collect moisture, mold can quickly form.
2. Carpet has a smorgasbord of food sources for hungry molds. Food crumbs, skin cells, and dirt can easily combine with moisture inside the carpet fibers. When the liquid reaches the pad, the carpet can stay wet for a long time, and that often means a long life for mold.
3. Electrical equipment in basements or closets provides warm air for mold to thrive in. If water from a leaky pipe or humid air appears near electrical equipment, mold growth can appear in as little as 48 hours.
4. Ceiling tiles love to absorb water and feed mold. Since mechanical piping and sprinkler systems are typically suspended above ceiling tiles, when the tubes develop even a very small leak, mold can appear.
5. Paper is a favorite mold meal. Whether documents are stored in a basement or inside a dark closet, if the paper gets wet, mold often follows.
6. Appliance drain pans can hide mold. When appliances collect condensation or defrosting water in the drain pans, mold can quickly develop. If the drip is constant, the colonies can thrive and send out spores to other parts of the building.
Mold can often be hidden in these six secluded spots, but building managers understand when conditions are right the spores can spring up anywhere. For that reason, a good preventative program begins with trained personnel looking for signs of water damage. By identifying the conditions supporting mold growth, the need to call a professional remediation team is often eliminated.
Reasons To Purchase Interruption Insurance for Your Business
Severe storm damage in Manda, TX.
Reasons To Purchase This Additional Policy
When a natural disaster or a plumbing problem renders your building in Manda, TX, unusable for a period of time, you will want to have a plan in place for continuing your business while you rebuild. Property insurance may cover the actual damage recovery done by restoration experts, but you need business interruption insurance to cover lost revenue or the expenses associated with temporary relocation.
Property insurance helps you cover the costs of water damage restoration. Additional coverage is needed for the myriad of other ways your business is impacted by a damaged building. Interruption insurance gives you working capital to handle continuity expenses:
- Lost revenue
- Utility payments
- Payroll coverage
- Relocation costs
You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not you will still have a business to run after you rebuild. Continuity coverage can give you the working capital you need to bridge the gap.
Most problems that occur as the result of a storm are not quick fixes. You need coverage for problems that last longer than a few days. Your business interruption service can kick in as soon as 48 hours after your business experiences a loss due to stormy weather, but the payout can hold you over for an extended period of time.
Interruption insurance helps you maintain momentum and keep your business afloat. Many businesses without such coverage find it hard to recover after damages make it impossible to continue regular operations, and sometimes that results in a permanently closed business. Continuity coverage helps you keep going despite the difficulties that storm damage has caused.
As you rebuild, you shouldn't have to worry about whether or not your company will stay afloat. When you add an additional policy to your business owner's insurance portfolio that handles expenses associated with the interruption of your business, you can get peace of mind knowing that your income doesn't have to take a hit just because your building did.
What Should I Include in My Commercial Fire Damage Claim?
Fire damage in Manda, TX.
What To Include In A Commercial Fire Damage Claim
If your Manda, TX, business has been damaged by fire, you’re probably aware of the importance of filing your commercial property insurance claim as soon as possible. After all, the sooner you can file a claim, the sooner funds can be released and fire damage repairs can begin. However, acting too quickly can result in accidentally omitting some damage from your insurance claim, leaving you with inadequate resources to complete necessary restoration work. Before submitting a claim to your insurance adjuster, make sure you haven’t overlooked any of these common types of damage.
1. Structural Repairs
Damage to your building’s structure may be obvious, especially for parts of the property that have been burned or destroyed by flames. However, the intense heat from a fire can also damage window and door frames, warp glass, and weaken structural components like steel and iron.
2. Mitigation Expenses
Many insurance policies require that you take steps after the fire to prevent further property damage. The cost of any fire mitigation measures, such as boarding up windows and doors or installing a tarp to cover roof damage, should be included in your claim.
3. Water Damage Remediation
Water damage is frequently a corollary of fire damage, usually due to the large volume of water used to put out a fire. Water can seep into porous surfaces and can damage electronics, equipment, and inventory. Wet surfaces and high humidity quickly become an ideal breeding ground for mold, which can spread rapidly through your building. Remember to include the costs of professional water remediation and mold testing in your insurance claim.
4. Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot often affect the entire building, including areas far from the fire. Smoke can cause staining and discoloration and is highly damaging to electronic devices. Lingering smoke odors often require professional odor removal.
Taking the time to complete a thorough property insurance claim can ensure that all your fire damage repair and restoration expenses are covered.
5 Places to Check for Mold Growth at Your Business
Mold growth on ceiling tile
Mold Prevention Tips
Business owners live with this nagging concern in the back of their heads: is there mold growth in the building? Because mold remediation can be costly, a diligent business owner in Austin, TX, knows the likely places—bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and storage rooms—and keeps them clean and dry. But there are a number of other sneaky places where mold can grow. For true mold prevention, here are five to keep an eye on.
1. Ceiling Tiles
If you notice discoloration on ceiling tiles, that indicates a leak which means that there is a prime environment for mold growth. Roof leaks, HVAC systems, and other mechanical systems that are prone to leaking or condensation make it more likely for your ceiling tiles to experience water damage.
Spills drips, and floods can cause mold to grow on and under carpet. It's important to clean up water from carpet as quickly as possible to avoid damage. This includes proper drying and ventilation. When in doubt, contact a water damage restoration professional for help.
3. Electrical Equipment
Gaps around outlets and cables that allow moist air to flow in and out can cause mold. One mold prevention tip for these areas is to caulk around outlets and cable boxes.
During summer months when the air conditioning is running all day, moisture can build up inside and outside the ductwork of your HVAC system. If this happens, you'll ultimately be blowing mold into every room of your business. One prevention strategy is to be careful of where the temperature is set. Another is to replace ducts that have linings built in which tend to accumulate more debris and, therefore, mold.
Stacks of paper that are stored in even slightly damp environments can grow mold fairly quickly. If your office keeps a lot of paper on hand, be sure that it is stored in an area that is dry and well ventilated.
Mold prevention is an important aspect of running a safe business. Keep an eye on sneaky places where mold can grow in order to avoid costly remediation.
How Do Restoration Experts Clean Up Commercial Fire Damage?
Commercial fire damage in Manda, XT
As soon as a fire in a commercial building goes out, the property owner should contact restoration experts in Manda, TX. Restoration professionals clean up every sign of fire and smoke damage as quickly as possible. Every day that a fire limits operations can prove costly for businesses. A restoration company should arrive on site within hours and take the following measures to assess, mitigate and clean up fire damage.
Inspect the Fire Damage
The first goal of restoration professionals involves determining the effects of fire on building materials and contents. An expert inspection of damage informs all of the following measures:
- Documenting damage for insurance purposes
- Estimating total costs of restoration
- Mitigating primary and secondary damage
- Scheduling cleanup and restoration
An inspection will determine whether a loss is partial or total. Ruined building materials must be torn out and disposed of and contents should be taken off site for cleaning or reported as losses. A total loss may require rebuilding a structure and replacing all contents.
Mitigation and Cleanup Measures
Mitigating fire damage may start by covering up breaches in the roof, walls or windows of a structure to limit access and exposure of materials that can be cleaned and restored. Cleanup may start with the extraction of standing water, removing debris and treating soot damage. Even after all surfaces have been cleaned, it may still be necessary to remediate smoke damage.
Restore Affected Areas
The affected areas of a structure should be cleaned and rebuilt during restoration. Any materials remaining intact must be sanitized and may require repainting, first with a primer resistant to soot staining and then a fresh coat of paint. Specialized soot and smoke cleaning methods may be used to clean contents. Thermal fogging or ozone or hydroxyl treatments may be necessary to eliminate stubborn smoke damage at a commercial building in Manda, TX.
3 Steps To Take if Water Damage Has Affected Your Electronic Devices
Turn off the electricity in your building
Take The Following Steps If You Find Yourself With This Issue
Water damage in your building can come from a variety of sources. Whether there’s flooding from a storm in Cele, TX, or a broken appliance that has overflowed, excessive moisture can cause problems. One such problem is flooded electronics. Electricity and water are not a good combination.
1. Turn Off Electricity in the Building
Flooded electronics can be a safety hazard, so you should avoid handling any of these devices if the power is still on, particularly if there is still flooding in the building. The best action to take in this situation is to locate the breaker and turn off the power to the building. Once this has been done, you can begin unplugging items from their power sources.
2. Do Not Turn On the Device
Along with being unsafe, turning on devices while they are still wet can lead to electronic damage. Any objects that are still on, such as those powered by batteries, should be turned off if it is safe to do so. Avoid the temptation to test any devices before all moisture has been thoroughly removed.
3. Have Electronics Inspected and Repaired
Depending on the device that has been affected and the severity of the water damage, you may be able to simply drain some items on your own. Particularly sensitive electronics or those that have been completely submerged should be looked at by a professional. A cleanup and restoration service can often perform these tasks for you to ensure the device does not suffer permanent electronic damage.
If you have important or expensive electronics in your commercial building, these should be treated as quickly as possible after water damage has occurred. Flooded electronics can rust quickly which may make repairs difficult. The water can also cause some devices to short circuit. The easiest way to minimize this damage is to have these items taken care of by a professional.
Expect the Unexpected When a Toilet Overflows
A toilet overflow can cause major problems in your Austin, TX building
Expect the Unexpected When a Toilet Overflows
A toilet overflow is seldom a simple problem in a commercial building, especially when it happens in a multi-story building. The resulting sewer damage is likely to go through the flooring and contaminate the ceiling below and the contents of that room. A professional water mitigation team in Austin, TX, will take the following actions to restore the impacted rooms:
- Inspection and assessment of the property
- Removal of contaminated water
- Removal of affected ceiling and flooring materials
- Tear out of contaminated insulation
- Dry out of area disinfection
The technicians from the sewage company will also investigate and determine what other materials have been tainted by the dirty water. They will either restore or replace as necessary.
The Impacts of Sewer Damage
The water from a flooded toilet is known as dirty water or black water or a category 3 water spill. It is a situation that requires fast remediation. The presence of dirty water in a building is a danger to human health. It can contain pathogens and other substances that should not be touched by human skin. Technicians will use protective equipment such as gloves, masks and eyewear as they clean up the spill. They will also utilize specialized equipment and techniques to restore a building to its original condition.
The Importance of Quality Remediation
A building that has experienced sewer damage should be cleaned to the highest standards. Approved disinfectants should be used to clean any surfaces that have been in contact with black water. The area should also be dried out with industrial fans and air dryers. This removes excess humidity from the building and reduces the possibility of secondary damage such as mold growth. A trained team of technicians will be able to handle water problems both large and small, including a toilet overflow that jumps floors. A commercial building with water damage should be addressed by a qualified and certified restoration company.
3 Tips for a Flood-Proof Flower Bed
Creating curb appeal that can withstand heavy rains can help your home weather any storm.
Homeowners with flower beds always welcome a good rainstorm — that is, unless it results in outside flooding. However, you can create landscaping that can handle all of that extra water. Construct a flower bed that stands up to heavy rain drainage with these three tips.
1. Choose Flood-Tough Plants
Certain plants are built for handling heavy rain and runoff. They are native to areas that get a lot of precipitation, so they can exist in standing water and not develop root rot or other issues. Here are some plant families that are made for outside flooding:
Shrubs and small trees
Varieties of wildflowers
Pine trees such as Colorado or white spruce
Perennials like daylily and hosta
These are just a few examples of plants that are good for soaking up water.
2. Go Heavy on the Mulch
Along with keeping weeds down, mulch is good for water control. Do not skimp on thickness or weight. Lay a thick layer of heavy hardwood mulch in your beds to help soak up water and keep the mulch from floating away. If it does and you see signs of water damage to your foundation, you should call a storm damage professional for an inspection.
3. Divert Your Downspouts to a Rain Barrel
Even if you clean your gutter system regularly to prevent backflow, a lot of water rolls out of downspouts into the flower beds edging your house. Installing a diverter and rain barrel lets you choose where water flows, avoiding oversaturation. The diverter goes inside your downspout and can be switched to let water flow out the end of the spout or into the barrel. As a bonus, you have extra water for gardening during dry spells.
Outside flooding is a serious concern during the rainy season in Austin, TX. Creating curb appeal that can withstand heavy rains can help your home weather any storm.
Do Your Employees Know How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?
Make sure all your employees know how to use a fire extinguisher
Do Your Employees Know How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?
It's your responsibility as an Austin, TX, business owner to make sure your workplace is a safe place for employees and customers. With this in mind, you may have a fire extinguisher, or several, located throughout your property. It's also required that you provide training for your employees on how to use the device. Most training include the simple-to-remember PASS method:
P for pulling the pin that breaks the tamper seal.
A for aiming low at the base of the fire.
S for squeezing the handle that releases the extinguishing agent.
S for sweeping the device side to side slowly until the fire goes out.
Repeat the PASS technique as often as needed until the fire no longer reignites. Many employees and customers may already feel comfortable with this part of your fire safety training classes, and there are other skills and facts to include throughout the year.
Cover All Areas of Extinguisher Usage
The PASS method is just one part of using a fire extinguisher appropriately. It's also important that employees alert other of the fire, especially if alarms haven't already gone off. There should be a designated member of the staff with the responsibility of contacting the fire department. Everyone in the building, including the person using the extinguisher, must have access to a safe path of evacuation. It's imperative that heat, flames, or smoke do not get between this person and the exit.
Make Sure You Have the Right Extinguisher
There are several types of extinguishers, so you must be sure to have the right device for the type of work you're doing. The best way to determine which device is right for your situation is to ask your local Austin, TX, fire department. For example, the Class K device is specifically meant for a kitchen fire, especially if grease and oil are present.
Workplace safety is an important responsibility. Fire damage cleanup and remediation professionals may also be a source of information. Be sure to provide routine training on the use of the PASS technique, evacuation routes, and your updated fire safety plan, in addition to installing the correct fire extinguisher.
Keeping Your Business Safe During Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms and inclement weather may be hard to predict.
As a business owner in Austin, TX, it's important to keep your workspace and employees safe during inclement weather. Storms can develop quickly and bring damaging rain, wind, hail, and lightning. A severe rainstorm may lead to flash floods, which can create dangerous travel conditions. High winds during thunderstorms may also down trees and create power outages. Debris and hail may be blown into structures and cause damage. Here are some ways to prepare your workplace for severe weather.
1. Storm Preparation
Before severe weather hits, take steps to secure your buildings. It's a good idea to discuss thunderstorm and lightning safety with your team, make a list of items to bring inside should a storm hit, and make an emergency preparedness kit. To prepare the exterior of your building, keep trees and shrubs trimmed, secure any loose flashing, and consult with a local fire department regarding lightning rods.
2. Storm Response
During an intense rain storm, keep calm and put your preparation plans into action. Keep yourself and your employees safe by taking shelter in a secure area of the building. Choose a place that is away from windows, skylights, and glass doors, as these are more likely to be broken by strong wind or hail. Use battery-powered TVs and radios to listen to emergency updates from local or national weather services.
3. Storm Recovery
Once the storm has passed, continue to make safety a top priority. Listen to radio or TV stations for updated information or safety instructions. Some areas or roads may be inaccessible due to downed power lines or flooded roadways. Keep yourself and your employees out of storm-damaged areas. If you need assistance with flood cleanup or storm cleanup, contact professionals in emergency restoration services immediately.
Thunderstorms and inclement weather may be hard to predict. Use these tips to keep your business and your staff safe in the event of a severe storm. Taking some basic safety precautions can lessen the damaging effects of a major rain storm.
4 Steps of Fire Damage Restoration
Whether the flames have affected only a small area or have ruined a large portion of the building, you should have the damage taken care of.
After a fire in your Austin, TX, building, fire damage restoration will need to be done. If you have not experienced this process before, you might not know exactly what to expect. The following are some of the things that will be done to get your building looking great again.
Before anything else can be done, an inspection will need to take place so the restoration company can determine the extent of the damage. They will look over each area of the building and locate affected rooms and items.
After inspection, the next step in fire damage restoration is mitigation. This is done to keep damage from spreading and becoming worse. During this stage, missing areas will need to be covered with tarps or boards to keep out rain and debris. If water was used to put out the fire, areas may be blocked off to keep water from spreading.
Because smoke and soot travel through the air, smoke cleanup should be done in the area surrounding the primary damage, even if the flames did not reach that far. Smoke carries acidic elements that can cause damage and corrosion to surfaces as well as belongings. Electronic devices and equipment should be inspected before use to prevent damage.
The final step in fire damage restoration is to make the repairs and restore the building to its previous condition. Some materials may need to be replaced, and if the fire was severe, workers may need to completely rebuild certain rooms or areas.
Repainting will likely need to be done as well.
Whether the flames have affected only a small area or have ruined a large portion of the building, you should have the commercial fire damage taken care of by a professional. A fire damage remediation company will be able to clean the area thoroughly and make repairs quickly without sacrificing quality, so you can get back to business.
How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Facility
Mold also appears near roof leaks
How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Facility
Mold prevention in a large commercial facility can be difficult. That’s because facilities contain some of the key ingredients that mold needs to thrive: darkness, moisture and organic nutrients found in dust and dirt.
Mold is also hard to contain because the spores often grow in places you cannot see. By the time the mold is visible, it may have already caused severe damage to your Pflugerville, TX, property. Common hiding spots for mold include:
- Ceiling tiles
- HVAC systems
- Electrical equipment
- Masonry surfaces
Black mold cleanup can be a complicated process and may force you to temporarily close down your facility. That is why you should take the below steps to stop mold growth in your building.
Install Ultraviolet Lighting System
This mold prevention strategy should reduce the spread of mold within HVAC units. Place the ultraviolet light on the duct side of the coils. The light should then kill most of the microorganisms in the ducts before they are transported into the rest of the building.
Properly Train Maintenance Personnel
Mold often appears near leaks or standing water. You should thus make sure that your maintenance workers check for water damage regularly and clean up the liquid as soon as possible. This will reduce the chances of you needing major mold cleanup in the facility. Employees should also immediately address any cracks or holes that could lead to flooding.
Store and Clean Paper Properly
Paper records should be kept in places where you can properly maintain the temperature. Storing paper in humid areas can lead to a buildup of mold.
Meanwhile, any paper damaged by water should be dried, photocopied and discarded immediately. Paper that has been wet for more than 48 hours may require specialized cleaning.
By following the above mold prevention tips, you can limit the spread of this fungus in your facility. Still, because of the extensive darkness and moisture within the building, some mold damage may be inevitable. If this occurs, mold remediation and cleanup specialists can help limit the destruction.
What You Should Know About Your Commercial Storm Coverage
Commercial storm damage in Sweden, TX
Standard commercial property insurance policies cover damage from fire, explosion, burst pipes, storms, theft and vandalism, however, many commercial property policies specifically exclude some types of storm damage. Coverages vary by location and policy. A good place to begin the process of ensuring your business has all of the storm insurance coverage you need is to review your policy with an insurance professional in New Sweden,TX. Some topics you may wish to discuss include:
Types of Property Covered
Expensive or specialized business equipment may need to be scheduled separately to be covered by your policy. Typical commercial property policies cover the following types of property:
- Furniture and equipment
- Exterior signs
- Fences and landscaping
- Important documents
- Property belonging to other people that is damaged while in your possession
Hurricanes and Windstorms
Damage from a tornado, straight-line winds or thunderstorm is covered by most standard commercial property insurance policies, however many policies exclude storm damage and storm cleanup costs caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. If your business is in a coastal area, you may want to consider adding a storm insurance policy or rider that specifically covers hurricane and windstorm damage. Some coastal areas have residual markets, called Beach Plans, that exist specifically to provide coverage for property in areas at high risk for hurricane damage that the standard market may decline to cover.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance coverage helps cover the cost of expenses that are ongoing while your business can not operate due to damage from a covered peril. Much like with your property coverage, you may need a separate rider to cover you for business interruptions that result from hurricane damage.
Reviewing your storm insurance policy can help you avoid any surprises in the event your business suffers a loss. It can also help you identify any unique risks you may have and work with your insurance professional to ensure your coverage best meets the needs of your business.
3 Tests That Identify Mold
Be quick and thorough.
When mold spores make contact with water they can multiply, spreading throughout your home and potentially causing damage. That can be deleterious for homeowners. Harder still, the infestation is not always noticeable, hiding instead behind walls or on the carpet. Should you suspect water damage or detect a musty smell, you'll want to act quickly, calling in a mold remediation company in Austin, TX. Allow their environmental hygienist to perform a mold assessment. Here are three tests the specialist may use to determine the level of growth.
1. Bulk Testing
Many times trouble lurks in hard-to-see locations. Therefore, it is customary for experts to ask permission to remove small pieces of the home such as cutting small holes in walls or ceiling tiles. While that may seem extreme, it helps detect flourishing colonies. Results can determine whether black mold or other species are present as well as how much has accumulated. From there, the team can put together a plan to remove any infected areas and begin restoration.
2. Air Testing
A stale odor sometimes means that scum is in the air, so several vials of the atmosphere may be collected from various rooms, and even perhaps during different times of the day. This won't necessarily determine concentration levels, but it is a good indicator that something is hiding out-of-sight. If the mold assessment comes back positive, employees may begin examining the air handler to see if it's contaminated.
3. Surface Testing
Sometimes spots appear along walls, in showers or on the ground. In these cases, swabs can be taken, showing what is present. If it's mold, the company will begin removal and restoration efforts. It could be mildew, though, and that requires different cleaning. The business can help you scrub it away and give tips for preventing further development.
Be quick and thorough. Anytime you suspect trouble with fungus, contact an environmental hygienist to investigate the property and complete a mold assessment. The evaluation can help determine exposure levels and provide information for the sanitizing process.
Here is a photo of tenting being implemented on a job.
Water damage can occur from a variety of causes, with varying degrees of severity. In the event that a large structure is only minimally impacted, as opposed to an entire room or building, a method called "tenting" can be used to dry the structure.
By using this technique, we are able to isolate the affected area separately from the rest; that allows us to narrow down our focus only onto the area that needs to be dried out.
Tenting also enables us to efficiently dry materials within the building without having to remove them, which makes it easier to return the structure to preloss conditions.
Should you encounter a water loss in your commercial building, please call SERVPRO of Pflugerville, and let us put our expertise to work for you!