How To Identify and Address Black Mold in Your Home
Black mold can be particularly dangerous
How To Identify and Address Black Mold in Your Home
You have probably heard horror stories about what happens to homes with mold damage. Mold can cause a lot of harm in a short period of time. That is why you must be proactive and perform a mold inspection of your Nashville, TN, house.
Of course, in order to do a proper inspection, you have to know what mold looks like. Mold actually comes in many different shapes and sizes. Some mold is bumpy or hairy, while other mold appears flat. Mold can also be in several different colors, including:
Black mold can be particularly dangerous. You should thus check for this particular type of mold during your inspection.
Identifying Black Mold
Despite its name, this mold is not always black. It can also be grey or dark green. It additionally features a musty odor that makes it easier to find during a mold inspection.
It is also important to note that this kind of mold thrives in wet areas. This mold is thus usually found near moisture.
Mold plays an important role in nature. It helps break down organic matter such as fallen trees and dead leaves.
However, once inside your home, mold can colonize and contaminate your belongings. If you do find mold during your inspection, you should address it right away.
The house mold will continue to spread until you eliminate the conditions that are causing it to grow. That usually requires reducing the humidity or removing excess water. Larger infestations may also require the assistance of mold remediation professionals.
Once you see or smell mold in your home, you should perform an initial mold inspection to determine the extent of the problem. If you believe the issue is severe, contact an environmental hygienist who can accurately test for the fungus. You can then decide whether you need black mold cleanup specialists.
We are Cleaning Experts
We can help sanitize residential and commercial properties.
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville, (615) 731-4222
The Impressive Power of a Hail Storm
Hail storm in Percy Priest, TN
Fortunately, hail storms don't come along very often. They require a precise sequence of weather patterns—an unstable air mass and a steep temperature gradient, for starters—that happens more frequently than a blue moon but less often than a regular thunderstorm. If you are like most people, you probably remember most of the hail storms you have witnessed. They are notorious for causing damage to cars, boats, windows and siding. A powerful hail storm also can cause roof damage, especially if the pieces of hail are large. As hail stones forcefully bombard the roof of your building it is not unusual to see shingle damage in the form of cracked or missing shingles.
Dealing With Hail Damage
If your company in Percy Priest, TN, faces an onslaught of hail stones, the roof might not be the only problem you face. Along with roof damage comes water damage in the following forms:
- Water in the attic
- Wet insulation and walls
- Wet electronic components
- Mold growth throughout the building
After a big storm it is always essential to shore up your roof with repairs. This could come in the form of damaged shingles, battered gutters and missing chimney caps. A roofing contractor will make sure the roof is capable of keeping water from rain, snow, ice or hail.
Taking Care of Water Damage
If water penetrates your building envelop, it's critical to eliminate any excess moisture in your building. A professional storm mitigation company in your area will have the resources and training to dry out your building and its contents. This task requires powerful fans, wet vacuums and air dryers to remove any standing water as well the moisture in furniture, paper documents, and clothing. Electrical systems may be compromised and need expert attention. If the roof damage to your building is extreme it is possible board up and tarp services will be needed to secure your building from additional storms.
Water Damage Contamination Levels
Here Is a Breakdown of The Three Categories
When water infiltrates a home, it can cause significant damage. If your Hickory Hollow, TN, home has been damaged because of a flood or a broken pipe, your actions will depend on the toxicity level of the contaminated water. This will help you make informed decisions about how to proceed.
The toxicity level depends on the source of the offending water. A broken water supply line causes much less contamination risk than floodwater or sewage. Here is a breakdown of the three categories:
This low-toxicity level is also known as “clean water” or water that has come from clean sources. Here are some examples:
- A leaking appliance water line
- A broken clean water pipe
- A leaky water heater
- Overflowing clean water from a bathtub or shower
- Rainwater leaking in from above ground
Your conventional homeowner’s insurance policy will generally cover damage caused by contaminated water at this low level. Your agent can outline your coverage and initiate a claim.
This moderately toxic level of water contamination is referred to as “gray water.” It may contain small amounts of food, soil or grease. Water leaking from the drain of a shower, washing machine, sink or dishwasher is considered gray water. This level of damage is likely to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
“Black water” is the name for this highly contaminated category. Common sources include seawater, sewage, groundwater or floodwater. It is not recommended that you do the cleanup yourself if you have Category 3 damage. The contaminated water may contain toxic chemicals, sewage, and physical hazards. The best strategy is to consult an emergency water remediation specialist to assess your damage and supervise the safe cleanup process.
If you experience floodwater damage, you would need to have purchased a specialized flood policy prior to the damage in order to be covered. Your insurance agent can help you determine whether you need this type of policy.
A home water-damage event can be unnerving and costly. Once you have discerned whether you have clean, gray or black water, you can get the cleanup going and begin moving your home and family back to normalcy.
How To Pick and Use the Right Fire Extinguisher
Putting the right fire extinguisher on each floor of your home can keep your house safe
A fire extinguisher is an important feature of any home. Yet not everyone knows what type of extinguishers they should buy. There are three main types of extinguishers, each of which has a different function:
Picking the Right Extinguisher
Extinguishers labeled A are designed for ordinary combustible fires. Meanwhile, B extinguishers are meant for flammable liquid fires, and C extinguishers are for use on electrical fires. You should look for an extinguisher labeled A:B:C, which means it can fight all three types of fires.
Extinguishers also have numbers next to the A and B designations. The higher these numbers, the more effective the extinguishers are.
Stove-top extinguishers can go on the hood of your range. Two-pound extinguishers are ideal for the car, and five-pound ones work best in the laundry room or kitchen. A 10-pound fire extinguisher is designed for areas such as a workshop or garage where a fire may not be noticed right away.
Make sure that all of your extinguishers are placed in easily accessible locations. They should also be close to the exit of the room so you can leave quickly if the home fire gets too intense.
Using and Maintaining Your Extinguisher
Of course, having an extinguisher is pointless if you don’t know how to use it. There is a simple acronym you can remember:
- Pull the safety pin
- Aim toward the flame
- Squeeze and hold the trigger
- Sweep near the flames
After you use your extinguisher, you should refill or replace it immediately so it is ready for any future emergencies. Keep in mind that an extinguisher can also lose pressure on its own over time. You should thus check the pressure gauges regularly.
Putting the right fire extinguisher on each floor of your home can keep your house safe. However, extinguishers alone aren’t enough. You should also create a fire preparedness plan and go over the various escape routes in your home. You may also want to have the contact information for a fire restoration company in Percy Priest, TN, readily available.
Franchises Provide Local Services
Professional restoration in Antioch, TN
When your property in Antioch, TN, needs immediate help due to storm, water, fire or other damage, you want the best service possible, as well as peace of mind that you are getting hometown help. Contacting a locally owned SERVPRO franchise ensures both. Local franchise owners are part of your community, as well as certified and trained to handle any disaster.
Trust the Facts
Getting your property back to pristine shape is a top priority. To make that happen, you need a trusted restoration expert that is always available and provides top-notch personal service. The local service you get is backed by a franchise model that has continued to top the list of restoration services by established publications for more than 15 years. When you choose SERVPRO, our proven track record can help ease your mind.
Offering coverage in 48 states, we have more than 1,700 franchises.
Along with helping with individual disasters, we also are a leader in large-loss disasters, such as flooding and hurricanes.
Established relationships with major insurance providers ensure smoother claims and restoration services.
Local owners and their employees receive nationally and locally accredited training and maintain certification for all areas of property restoration.
Always Available to Help
Contacting a SERVPRO franchise for your disaster means you get fast, 24/7 service. Our highly trained professionals are Faster to any size disaster. From mold mediation to smoke damage to general cleaning, we offer a host of services with a personal touch. We work with the individual and insurance companies to ensure repairs are done right and in the most cost-efficient manner. Incorporating the latest technology for both our physical services and the paperwork behind it, our electronic claims service provides instant access to all the documentation associated with every claim.
Ideally, a disaster will never happen. When it does, you can have confidence that a local SERVPRO franchise will make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO Holiday Safety Tips
The holidays are a wonderful time for traditions, family, and fun. While you’re decking the halls, cooking delicious feasts, and enjoying the warm glow of holiday lights, don’t forget to go through our SERVPRO Holiday Home Safety Checklist. Taking a few extra precautions will keep you and your home safe and prevent many common holiday season accidents.
1 Hang your lights with care!
Inspect indoor and outdoor electrical outlets before you use them. Cracked or damaged sockets, exposed or loose wires and other issues can cause a shock, electrocution, or even start a fire.
Don’t forget to inspect the cords on your lights and other electrical decorations as you put them up. Frayed cables can easily cause a fire. Also, make sure there is a bulb in each socket. Replace any damaged light strands each season.
Do your Christmas lights have a holographic UL label? This means they passed strict safety tests at Underwriters Lab, a third-party safety testing facility. A red label indicates the lights are safe for indoor and outdoor use, a green label means they are only safe for indoor use.
Holiday decoration and Christmas tree fires are often more damaging than other types of house fires. One easy way to prevent electrical fires is to use light clips to attach the holiday lights to your house instead of tacks or nails. Never hammer anything into an electrical cord.
Only use extension cords that are designated for outdoor use for external lights and decorations. A simple rule of thumb to avoid overloading your extension cords is to plug no more than three sets of light strands into each extension cord. The best practice is to plug outdoor lights, inflatables, and other decorations into circuits that have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). This type of outlet will turn off if there is an overcurrent.
Don’t forget your indoor light safety, too! Keep your indoor lights and electrical decorations away from furniture, carpeting, drapes, and other potentially flammable materials. Check the cords and extension cords before you plug them in. Keep the cords and decorations tucked away to prevent tripping, but make sure they aren’t crushed, kinked, or twisted.
2 “Candle, candle, burning bright…” Candle safety
December is the peak month for candle-related house fires.The Red Cross reports that holiday fires cause more than $554 million in property damage every year! Candles are responsible for an average of 22 reported fires each day during the holiday season. Many candle fires begin in the living room and dining room.
The safest way to enjoy the look and smell of candles is to use flameless candles around your home. If you do decide to use real candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can melt or burn. Place them in sturdy candleholders that won’t easily tip over or spill hot wax.
Be careful of loose clothing, hair, flowing decorations, and other flammable items. Never light candles if someone is using an oxygen tank in the home.
Make sure you blow out all the candles when you leave the room. Avoid using candles in the bedroom or during times when you might doze off and don’t allow the candle to burn all the way down to the holder or container.
3 “Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree…” Tree safety
Did you know that Christmas tree-related accidents result in an average $13 million annually in property damage? A dry Christmas tree, electric lights, and various heat sources can be a dangerous combination.
Fresh trees are less prone to fire than dry Christmas trees. Choose a Christmas tree that has healthy, green needles that are a little difficult to pull off. Stay away from trees that are browning or “shedding” needles.
Before you put up the tree, cut about half an inch off the trunk to help it absorb water. Use a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water and keep the bottom two inches of the trunk submerged in water.
Place your tree away from radiators, fireplaces, heat vents, candles, and other heat sources. Live Christmas trees do better in cool temperatures, so turn down the heat a little and consider putting your tree close to the window or door.
To avoid electrical fires, only use Christmas lights that have the UL or ETL/ITSNA safety seal. Don’t use any damaged light strands.
Don’t forget to unplug the Christmas lights before you head to bed, even if you have a fake tree! Whether you turn everything off yourself or use light timers, this will keep your home safer, lower your electric bill, and give you peace of mind.
4 Cook with caution
Cooking equipment is the leading cause of reported home fires. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two days with the highest reported kitchen fires.
Many people enjoy baking and cooking special meals and treats during the holiday season. It’s easy to get distracted or take unnecessary risks while cooking your festive feast.
Prevent stove fires by making sure your oven and stovetop are clean before you start cooking. Don’t forget to clean the exhaust hood and duct over your stove regularly to prevent dust, dirt, and grease build-up.
Make sure you plug appliances into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets to prevent electrical shock and other issues. Keep all electrical cords away from the sink and hot surfaces. Don’t forget to unplug everything when you are finished.
As tempting as it might be, never disable your smoke detector. Many people unplug or disable their smoke alarms while cooking, but this is a dangerous practice, and it’s easy to forget to turn the smoke alarm back on.
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy in the event you have a small kitchen fire. Make sure you know how to put out cooking fires, especially grease fires! Speaking of deep frying, if you plan to deep-fry your turkey, keep the deep fryer at least ten feet away from your home and deck.
Did you know that dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives? Sharpen your cutlery before the holiday cooking frenzy to keep your fingers a little safer.
5. Baby-proof your home
If you plan to have holiday guests with small children (or even pets), you can help everyone stay safe and rest a little easier by baby-proofing your home. Move cleaning products to higher shelves or lock those cabinets. Zip ties make easy, affordable temporary baby locks on cabinets.
Cover all the outlets with safety plugs, and keep decorations with small pieces out of reach of curious fingers.
Take extra safety precautions in the kitchen if little ones are around. Angle all the pot handles on the stove or countertop back toward the wall, so they aren’t easily grabbed, knocked, or pulled over (this is a good safety practice at all times).
To check the “baby-proof” status of your home, get down on your hands and knees, and look around your home from a curious little kid’s perspective. Move hazardous items out of reach or into other parts of your home.
6 Have an emergency plan
Fires and other home emergencies occur more frequently during the holidays. It’s critical to have an evacuation and response plan ready for your family. Now is a great time to either review your emergency plan or create a new one.
Make sure everyone knows how to evacuate your home in the event of a fire. Identify a safe place where everyone will gather if you do need to evacuate your home. Don’t forget to include your pets in the emergency plan!
SERVPRO is here to help with any type of disaster, from cooking and Christmas tree fires to frozen pipes and other winter home accidents. Our expert technicians are available 24/7 to respond to any size disaster, even during the holidays!
Preventing Winter Storm Damage Around Commercial Properties
Snow and Ice can cause all sorts of damage to your property if not taken care of correctly.
Winter is on the way, bringing freezing temperatures, ice storms, snow, and other winter storms. From frozen pipes to roof leaks, there are many ways winter weather can take its toll on your commercial property.
SERVPRO technicians are experts at helping businesses and homeowners recover from winter storm damage. However, with some preventative work, you can prepare your business for winter and avoid costly damages. Here are some practical ways to prepare for winter storms.
Common Types of Commercial Property Damage From Winter Storms
Understanding the common types of winter storm damage can help you prevent damage to your own commercial property.
Ice and snow are heavy and can cause the roof to buckle under the weight. Many commercial properties have flat roofs that are at higher risk of collapsing during a winter storm than other types of roofs.
Roof leaks are more common than collapsed roofs. Leaks are often caused by ice dams. Ice dams form when a ridge of ice develops along the edge of the roof, preventing the melting snow and ice from draining correctly. The water has nowhere to go, and it leaks down through the roof and into your building.
Leaking roofs can cause all kinds of costly property damage and can lead to other hazardous issues like mold, mildew, and weakened building structures.
When the temperatures fall below freezing, there’s a chance the water pipes can freeze. When pipes freeze, the water expands and can cause the pipes to burst, leading to flooding and expensive water damage.
Don’t forget about your sprinkler systems, too! When the temperatures drop below freezing, your fire protection pipes can freeze and burst as well.
Ice is heavy! One inch of ice weighs about the same as a foot of snow (about 5 pounds per square foot). This is a lot of extra weight to put on canopies, loading docks, tree branches, and other things that can collapse and cause severe injury or damage.
Preventing Winter Storm Damage
It’s better to prepare for winter ahead of time than to try to get everything done quickly before a looming storm. Before the temperature drops, be sure you get your property ready for winter.
Prepare for snow removal early
Having a plan in place for snow removal saves you a lot of hassle when winter weather decides to strike. Check the condition of your snow shovel, snowblower, or other snow removal tools. If you are using a snowblower, make sure it runs properly, and you have enough fuel, so you aren’t caught off-guard.
If you do not plan to remove snow from your commercial property yourself, you’ll need to hire a snow contractor early. Make sure you clarify what areas they will treat (walkways, driveways, parking lots, loading docks, etc.).
Businesses need to keep rock salt or ice melt on hand to prevent injuries from slipping and falling. There are many types of ice melts on the market, and it can be confusing to choose one that works best in your area (each ice melt product is designed for a specific temperature range).
The most basic guideline for choosing the right ice melt product is this: if the temperature in your area is 5 degrees F or warmer, regular rock salt is an excellent choice; if you expect temperatures to fall below 5 degrees F, choose a salt blend product that includes calcium chloride.
Prepare for power outages
Winter power outages usually happen when cars slide into telephone poles or falling trees knock down power lines. Make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated to prevent them from freezing if the power (and heat) goes out.
Make sure you have flashlights, extra batteries, and other emergency supplies on hand. Check your backup generator in the fall to ensure it is in good working order. Also, check the backup batteries in any security systems, fire alarms, and other systems that primarily rely on electricity.
Winterize your landscape and address drainage issues
Even in winter, poor drainage can cause significant problems. Frozen patches can lead to dangerous, slippery spots for visitors, and oversaturated areas can cause your grass or landscaping to die.
Ensure your gutters, drain pipes, and other drainage systems are clear and in good condition to prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams are easy to avoid, but they can cause extensive water damage.
Trim trees and shrubs to reduce the risk of branches breaking and falling under the weight of ice or snow. Also, ensure the grading around your building is slowing away to avoid water and ice accumulating next to the foundation. This can cause serious water damage.
Prepare your roof
Inspect your roof each fall. Look for loose shingles, damage to the flashing, or places where water is pooling. Also, assess the condition of the insulation in your attic area. Increasing the insulation in the attic can reduce heat costs and help prevent ice dams from causing water damage.
Inspect the windows and doors
Inspect all the windows and doors to ensure the seals are in good condition. Replace old windows or doors as necessary. This helps reduce energy costs and prevents moisture from building up around the windows. Excess moisture can lead to property damage, mold, and mildew.
Prepare your pipes
Avoid frozen or burst pipes by wrapping and insulating the pipes, and sealing cracks and openings around exposed pipes. Keep your thermostats indoors above 55 degrees F to prevent the pipes from freezing. Inspect the insulation around pipes each fall to make sure it is still in good condition.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes the pipes freeze. Early season storms can catch people by surprise, the pipes may get caught in a freezing draft (especially in older buildings), or you might not turn the heat on early or long enough. If you don’t clean the frozen pipes up right away, it can lead to more property damage and other issues, like mold and mildew.
Keep A SERVPRO Restoration Expert On Speed Dial
No matter what season it is, commercial property owners and managers should keep a SERVPRO restoration expert on speed dial. If you have an issue with frozen pipes, roof damage, or other issues caused by Mother Nature (or anything else), we will restore everything as quickly as possible so your business can get back to normal.
We are available 24/7 to respond to any type or size of commercial property damage, and our mission is to make it "like it never even happened.” Contact us today to learn more about our commercial property services.
SERVPRO Preventing Storm Damage To Commercial Properties
Severe storms can bring strong winds, heavy rain, hail, and even flooding. There is never a good time for your business to experience storm damage. It’s inconvenient, frustrating, and costly.
No matter how severe the storm damage, SERVPRO technicians are restoration experts. We will be there fast to get your business up and running as quickly as possible. Here are some practical tips to prevent storm damage to your business or commercial property.
Preventing wind and hail damage
Strong winds can damage your commercial property in a matter of minutes. It’s difficult to predict what kind of damage a storm can do ahead of time, but there are a few steps you can take to prevent property damage.
Inspect your roof, exterior walls, and doors
Before and after major storms, inspect your roof, walls, and doors. Move from top to bottom to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Start by inspecting the roof. Make sure all the shingles fit together correctly and are firmly nailed down. While it isn’t required, it’s a good idea to ensure your roofing is highly rated for wind and impact resistance.
Make sure skylights and pipes are correctly sealed to prevent water damage inside the building. Regularly inspect the sheathing and connection between the roof and walls. Everything should be tightly nailed down and strong enough to withstand updrafts that can lift the roof off the building in very severe storms.
Next, inspect the exterior walls, windows, and doors of your commercial building. Ensure the siding is firmly attached, and windows are properly sealed. For the best protection in strong windstorms, make sure all your exterior doors have triple hinges and a deadbolt lock. Install braces on any overhead doors that will withstand high winds.
Consider installing impact-resistant glass in your windows. Impact-resistant glass prevents shattering and provides an extra layer of protection against severe wind and hail.
Prepare your outdoor areas
Make sure any storage sheds and outbuildings are secure. Inspect their roofing, windows, siding, and doors. Securely anchor all the outbuildings if you are expecting particularly severe storms and high winds.
Check your outdoor signage, light fixtures, fences, and dumpsters. Move any equipment and inventory to safe places and anchor anything that you plan to leave outdoors. Even large, heavy items can become projectiles in strong winds. Ask your property insurance agent if you need any special endorsements to cover your signs and outbuildings.
Keep large trees and shrubs around your building pruned and healthy. Unpruned trees and landscaping can cause severe property damage. Remove unhealthy branches that are likely to fall or break in a storm. Also, remove branches that grow across each other or touch each other. Make sure trees and shrubs are not too thick, preventing the wind from blowing through or around harmlessly.
Protect your vehicle fleet
If you own company vehicles, never park them under a tree during a severe storm. The safest place to park vehicles during a severe storm is in a garage or storage building. If that’s not possible, park your cars safely away from things that could cause damage, like branches, lampposts, and power lines.
Preventing flood and water damage
Flooding is one of the most common and expensive weather-related disasters in the United States. Your disaster preparedness plan should outline what to do in the event of a flood. There are also steps you can take to prevent flood damage to your business.
Clean and prep outdoor areas
Keep your gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems clean to prevent water from pooling or backing up into your building. Add extensions to downspouts to move water far away from the foundation.
Observe how water pools or moves around your property. The grading and landscaping should help water drain away from buildings. Help direct water away from your building by adding soil to low areas and adding drainage pipes where necessary.
Check your foundation and basement
Inspect your foundation for cracks and gaps where storm water can get into your building. If you have a basement, make sure there are no cracks in the walls and ensure your sump pump is working correctly.
Elevate exposed equipment and property
Air conditioning units, fuel tanks, inventory, and inventory you store outdoors should be elevated and securely anchored.
Prevent ice damming
During winter storms, ice dams can form when the attic warms the roof, which melts the snow and causes water to drip toward the eaves. When the water re-freezes, it creates an ice dam, causing water to back up under the shingles and soak through the roof and walls.
The easiest way to prevent ice dams is to minimize heat escaping through the ceiling with proper insulation. Make sure attic spaces have enough ventilation to draw out excess heat. Make sure your roof has waterproofing shingle underlayment that helps prevent water from leaking in.
No matter what kind of storm damage your home or commercial property might incur, SERVPRO technicians are equipped to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. We are standing by 24 hours a day to respond to any size disaster. Contact us today to learn more about our commercial restoration services.
Commercial Fire And Water Damage Prevention Tips
No matter what kind of commercial building you have, fire and water damage are a risk for businesses all over the country. Many events that cause significant damage to commercial buildings can be avoided by taking simple preventative measures.
Having quality fire and water damage prevention is the best and cheapest defense. SERVPRO would rather help you avoid an incident, but our commercial restoration team is standing by to help you recover quickly.
Here are some simple steps to prevent fire and water damage to your commercial building.
Keep your fire protection equipment up to date.
When was the last time you checked the expiration date on your multipurpose extinguishers? Do all your employees know where each fire extinguisher is around your building? Have you checked to ensure your smoke detectors are in good working order? Is your emergency kit supplied with items like a flashlight, bottled water, and first aid kit? Many businesses also include fire escape masks to prevent smoke inhalation in the event of a fire.
Many local governments offer to have a visit from the fire marshall to conduct workplace fire risk assessments and help you create a fire prevention plan. This is an excellent tool for lowering your risk of fire damage.
Protect your building from accidental or intentional fires
The US fire departments respond to more than 3,000 office property fires each year. Most fires are caused by human error, like leaving a coffee pot on, burning food in the kitchen, or spilling liquids on electrical equipment.
Fires that occur between 3 pm and 12 am are usually the most damaging because fewer people are around to catch it early. Keep dumpsters away from the building and empty trash cans inside your building every day to prevent smoldering papers or things from becoming a full-fledged fire.
Keep the trees and bushes around your building trimmed. If you have security cameras or motion sensor lights, it is essential to have a clear line of sight around your property. This will make it easier to spot problems or suspicious activity.
Keeping your HVAC and electrical systems maintained is key to fire prevention and safety. About 9% of commercial fires happen because HVAC systems and other appliances malfunction. Have your heating systems and other appliances inspected regularly, especially before the winter months when your heating systems will be working overtime. Ensure the smoke detectors in utility and storage rooms work correctly.
No smoking policies can dramatically reduce the risk of fire around your commercial property. Cigars, cigarettes, and other smoking materials cause about 9% of fires in office properties. Make sure your employees know and abide by the smoking rules. Provide safe ways to dispose of cigarettes in all the designated smoking areas to reduce the risk of fire.
Prevent commercial water damage with regular inspections.
When was the last time the roof, plumbing, and electrical systems in your commercial building were inspected by a professional? Sinks, toilets, and leaking roofs are common causes of water damage in commercial properties.
An easy and effective way to prevent expensive water damage is to have your facility inspected regularly. Air conditioners, water heaters, water pipes, and other plumbing can develop leaks, cracks, and weak areas over time. It’s essential to catch problems early instead of waiting until they cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Old toilets usually have weak water pressure, which can lead to more clogs. If the toilets clog frequently, it can cause damage to the pipes and lead to black water flooding. Newer toilets are more efficient and effective. Consider replacing old toilets and plumbing before there is an issue.
Have the sprinkler systems inspected to prevent leaks and malfunctions. Sprinkler systems are excellent at minimizing fire damage, but if the pipes leak, they can cause severe water damage.
Inspect your roof frequently. Look for damage to the perimeter flashing or areas where water is not draining correctly. Make sure the gutters and drain pipes are clean, especially before any major storms to prevent your roof from leaking.
Consider installing water leak detection sensors that will send an alert if there is a leak. These are especially useful around water heaters ice and beverage machines, and other utilities that have the potential to cause serious damage if they malfunction.
Perform Risk Assessments
A risk assessment is a careful inspection of your property and work habits to look for things that could cause damage to people or property. Many companies perform risk assessments for you, or you can designate a person in your organization to receive risk assessment training.
The benefit of conducting regular risk assessments is that you are aware of the vulnerabilities and threats to your property so you can take steps to prevent accidents. It is always better to be proactive than reactive.
Develop an Emergency Readiness Plan
Use the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program (ERP) to prepare for disaster ahead of time. A SERVPRO disaster recovery specialist will assess your business and help you create an emergency READY profile for your building and property.
The ERP profile includes critical information about your business, like emergency contact information, locations for all your shut-off valves, and other vital details that you, your employees, and the emergency response team will need to know in the event of a disaster.
Having this information in one place will help you and the SERVPRO team respond quickly and effectively to minimize damage in an accident or disaster. There is even a Smartphone app with access to your plan from anywhere, 24/7.
SERVPRO specializes in commercial property restoration from any disaster. Our technicians will clean and repair your business quickly, so you can get back to serving your customers. Contact us today to set up an Emergency READY program for your business.