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5 Steps To Develop a Business Interruption Plan

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Business interruption insurance form and red pen for signing. Read your insurance contract.

Steps To Develop A Business Interruption Plan 

Flooding and other natural disasters can cause businesses in Gardere, LA, to shut down for good. However, implementing plans to deal with certain situations, such as a broken pipe and getting water restoration professionals quickly, can help your company survive. This is known as a business interruption plan, and there are several different steps to help you develop it.

1. Determine Your Risks
When calculating the risks that could interrupt your operations, examine both environmental and human-caused risks, such as flooding and a running faucet. Consider which ones you can prevent and the unavoidable ones. Once you have identified them, you should delve deeper into each hazard. Then, rank your disasters based on their likelihood of occurring and their severity.

2. Calculate the Costs
Once you have analyzed all potential risks, calculate the costs they would bring. For example, flooding could cause lost income, extra expenses, contractual penalties, and business closure.

3. Read Your Insurance Contract
The next step is to examine your insurance policy. Interruption insurance can be filed for when there is property damage or a government shutdown that prohibits your business from operating. These funds are available during the period of restoration. However, each policy can differ, so you must closely examine yours to understand any restrictions, such as exclusions, waiting periods, and coverage limits.

4. Implement Prevention Strategies
There are several strategies that you can develop to reduce your interruption. This includes preventing risks, deterring criminal activity, and planning to mitigate unpreventable hazards.

5. Create Communication Plans
Having a communication plan is the best way to keep customers and employees informed about your business's status during a disaster. A good plan will include a command chain, scripted messages, and open communication channels.
Taking these steps helps minimize the interruption of your business from large water damage and other disasters. This is the basis for creating a business interruption plan.

Should Discolored Ceiling Tiles Be Cause for Concern?

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

water damaged ceiling, mold growth on ceiling tilee Mold damage on ceiling tile

Installing ceiling tiles in your commercial property is a sound investment because tiles are durable and require little maintenance. One consideration that should not be forgotten, however, is that tile mold can grow over time. That’s why it’s critical to conduct routine maintenance on your ceiling tiles.

Items To Look for When Inspecting Ceiling Tiles

Set up a routine preventive maintenance inspection to look for signs of wear and other damages, including:

  • Discoloration - If you spot any tile discoloration, it’s time to inspect further. Stained ceiling tiles usually indicate that water is leaking from the roofing materials.
  • Warping - Warped tiles are another telltale sign of water damage.
  • Rusted and bent grids - These signs indicate further damage beyond the surface.
  • Dirt and dust - Dust and dirt are the perfect ingredients to encourage tile mold to grow. Keep tiles clean by wiping them with a wet cloth, along with a small amount of cleaner, if needed.

Situations That Require Repairs
If damaged or discolored tiles are discovered during maintenance inspections, repairs or replacements may be necessary. Before you go about the task of replacing any tiles, however, contact a mold remediation specialist to inspect the entire area for mold growth. Professionals are trained to know what to look for and how to best remedy the situation.
When you are ready to replace the damaged tiles, make sure the same pattern is still in stock. It’s a good idea to order enough replacement tiles for future use. If you don’t feel confident installing the replacements, calling a professional will ensure the job is done right.

Preventive Measures To Reduce Risks
Make sure to keep the air ducts of your HVAC system clean. This reduces the dust and mold emitted into the air from the heating and cooling system.
You can reduce the risk of tile mold in your Baton Rouge, LA, facility by following a few easy instructions.

An Explanation of Category 3 Water Damage

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Overflowing toilets are considered water damage category 3

An Explanation of Category 3 Water Damage

Water damage in your home is never a good experience. Even small flooding can ruin building materials, furniture, and personal items. Some types of floods can be even more destructive and concerning than others. For example, black water is the most dangerous, and it isn't something you should ever try to clean up on your own. It is important to understand what this designation means and what you can do to restore your Arlington, LA, home if you experience this type of flooding.

An Overview
When water is referred to as "black," it falls in category 3 water. Category 1 water comes from clean sources such as pipes and faucets. Category 2 water is dirtier but will not pose the same level of harm as the third category does. Here are some other explanations of this category of water and flooding:

  • Comes from broken sewer lines or overflowing toilets
  • Contains human waste
  • Can make a person ill upon contact; can be lethal if ingested
  • Can also contain other contaminants such as silt and hazardous materials

Your Responsibilities
Blackwater is easy to identify, as it will have the color (it also may be brown or gray). You may also see it coming from the source: your toilet or sewage pipes. You must do everything possible to avoid contact with this water. Do not try to go into the water to retrieve personal items. Instead, evacuate your home immediately and contact your local sewage company. You should also get in touch with an experienced flood restoration team to assess the damage and clean up your home.

Let the Pros Go to Work
Professional crews have the equipment and protection to safely handle sewage cleanup. The team will first remove all water from the premises. Then, crew members will thoroughly dry and sanitize the area. The company will test your home to ensure it is safe to return.
Blackwater poses significant challenges to your safety and health. Always enlist the help of professionals for these cleanup efforts.

The Effects of Smoke Damage After a Fire

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Hand with pink glove and blue towel cleaning a tiled wall with smoke damage Is your business smelling like smoke after a recent fire SERVPRO offers commercial smoke odor removal service

Smoke and Soot Damage

There are various types of damage that you might be dealing with after a fire in your Baton Rouge, LA, building. Your first thoughts are likely the damage caused by the flames themselves, but smoke damage can be a big issue as well. The following are some things that can be affected by smoke and soot.

1. Hard Surfaces
When doing smoke cleaning, hard surfaces are generally the easiest to address. Because the surface cannot be penetrated, wiping down these areas or objects with a dry or wet sponge is often enough. If there is a large amount of soot, you may need to vacuum any excess beforehand.

2. Soft Materials
Because they are more absorbent, soft materials are more difficult to clean than hard surfaces. The smoke can travel inside the cloth, trapping soot and odors. Some objects will need to be dry cleaned while others can be put in a washing machine.

3. Electronics
Even if they were not in the immediate area where the fire occurred, you should have any electronics inspected by a professional if it is possible they were affected. Smoke cleaning should be done before these devices are turned on. If there is smoke inside, the heat can cause soot to spread throughout the device, resulting in rust and permanent damage.

4. The Environment
If smoke odor is lingering in the building even after thorough cleaning has been done, there may be smoke and soot particles in the air. A fire damage remediation company can use professional equipment, such as air scrubbers, to remove anything that may leave behind an unpleasant odor.
After a fire, smoke cleaning should be done as soon as possible. While it may not seem like an urgent matter, the corrosive elements present in soot can cause more damage than you may think. It can cause rust, discoloration, and other issues if not removed. However, properly treating each area can prevent this.

3 Ways Regular Maintenance Saves You Money

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

LED bulb and simple light bulbs.Blue background Switch other fixtures to long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights

These Three Tips Can Help You Save Money

The maintenance cost involved with keeping a large facility up and running can be substantial. However, spending the effort and money to keep a facility well maintained can save money in the long run by prolonging the life of your equipment and reducing the number of avoidable repairs. 

1. Upgrade Your Lighting
According to EPA estimates, about 35% of the average commercial building's energy expenditure goes towards lighting costs. Replacing older lighting fixtures with modern, more energy-efficient versions can save you significant amounts of money on your energy bill. Upgrades to consider include upgrading older fluorescent and pressure sodium lighting to more energy-efficient fluorescent models and switching other fixtures to long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights.

2. Keep Your Equipment Well-Maintained
Equipment that is not well-maintained may operate inefficiently, increasing your operational costs or break down, costing you money in lost productivity and repair or replacement cost. Additionally, poorly maintained buildings are prone to leaks from faulty equipment, broken pipes, and worn-out roofs, which may lead to additional costs for water mitigation services in Gardere, LA. The maintenance cost you incur now can keep small problems from becoming large, expensive problems later.

3. Consider Alternative Cooling Solutions
Most facility management professionals have caught on to the idea of utilizing automated climate controls to adjust the thermostat so that money isn't being wasted cooling buildings when nobody is in them. However, you can take this a step further by installing supplemental HVAC units in areas that are used when the rest of the facility is closed so that you do not need to run the entire system.
The maintenance cost of maintaining your facility can be a drain on your short term cash flow but will save you money in the long term. These tips can help you balance upfront costs with long-term benefits.

What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Rental Home

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold found behind black barrier Black barrier mold

What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Rental Home

Mold spores are everywhere and are harmless when they're floating around, but the trouble comes when they take up residence in your apartment or rental home in  Arlington, LA. Whether it's in your bathroom or around your windows, mold can pop up wherever moisture is. As a tenant, here are some things to do when you discover mold contamination in your home.

1. Appraise the Situation
Before you do anything, take a closer look to make sure the substance you're seeing is actually mold and not dirt or mildew. If it's mildew, which looks fluffy or powdery and is usually gray, white or yellow, it is easy to clean off. If you determine that the substance is mold, try to find the source of the moisture it's feeding on. If it's around your shower or windows, that's a pretty obvious reason why it might be there, but if it's on your walls, there might be a pipe leaking, requiring some more intense water and mold cleanup.

2. Contact Your Landlord
If you've determined that there needs to be some action taken, call your landlord. Send them pictures of the mold and explain what's happening. Since mold is usually tied to a water problem, they'll want to respond quickly. When you do this, though, don't assume that they'll automatically take care of the cost of the mold cleanup. If the source is a leaky pipe that is outside of your control, it's usually their responsibility, but if you caused a flood or haven't been ventilating the bathroom properly when you shower, it's often your job to cover the expenses. If you think the mold contamination may be your fault, talk with your renter's insurance about what they'll cover and what they won't.
Mold is a common issue in homes, but it's important that you respond quickly if you think you've found some in yours. This keeps the mold cleanup process from becoming bigger and more costly than it needs to be.

Why Choose a Certified Drying Specialist?

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Worker, dehumidifier, air mover in commercial building Drying commercial services in Baton Rouge, LA

Why Choose a Certified Drying Specialist?

If your Baton Rouge, LA, business has experienced flooding, leaks or other water damage, you will likely need to hire professionals for the water clean up. Choosing a certified restoration service gives you peace of mind that the job is done correctly.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is a global leader with almost 50 years of experience in setting standards and providing training to restoration professionals. In addition to creating standards in other restoration areas, the IICRC offers certification in commercial drying. The IICRC certification ensures that restoration teams are up-to-date on the following:

  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Techniques
  • Project management

The IICRC standards are developed by industry leaders and rigorously tested to ensure they reflect the restoration industry's best practices. You can trust that an IICRC-certified restoration team will perform complex commercial jobs efficiently and thoroughly.

The IICRC standards go into great detail about the water clean up process, but the general steps are the same for most restoration jobs. The source of the water is addressed as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. The damage is then documented via photo or video for the insurance company. Standing water is extracted using pumps or wet/dry vacuums, and the remaining moisture is dried using fans and dehumidifiers. Cleaning, sanitization and mold removal are done as needed. Documents, antiques, electronics and other items may be moved off site for more delicate restoration techniques. Everything that cannot be fully cleaned and dried is removed from the property. Finally, all damaged items are repaired or replaced.
Whether your commercial building has experienced a roof leak, broken pipe, flooding or other water event, beginning the water clean up process as soon as possible can prevent further structural damage and mold growth. Bringing in an IICRC-certified restoration team in ensures that the job is done is properly and professionally, so you can focus on your customers, employees and other business matters.

Tips for Creating a Home Fire Escape Plan

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Create a fire escape plan for your home

During a home fire, you may only have minutes to escape your Gardere, LA, property. You and your loved ones will not have time to figure out a fire escape plan. That is why you need to come up with an fire preparation strategy ahead of time.

Making Your Plan

Involve every member of your household in the planning process. Each person should know the locations of the smoke alarms and the windows and doors.
Next, pick a meeting place outside of your home. This way, everyone will know where to go after leaving the house. Common meeting places include:

  • Stop signs
  • Light posts
  • Mailboxes
  • Neighbors' homes

Any security bars on your windows and doors may make it hard for family members to exit the home quickly. As you create your fire escape plan, make sure the bars have emergency release devices.
Finally, have every person in your house memorize the phone numbers for your local fire department and emergency restoration company. That way, someone will be able to contact these professionals from safely outside the home.

Practicing Your Plan
You should practice your escape plan twice each year. This will let you see if there are any faults in your strategy and give you time to correct them.
As each person exits the house during the drill, he or she should practice closing the doors behind them. This can slow the spread of a real fire. If you have an escape ladder, every member of the home should practice locating and using it.
You should also practice a scenario where you or a loved one are trapped in the home due to smoke or fire. In this scenario, you should seal yourself into a room by closing the door and covering and vents or door cracks.
A blaze in your home can be a scary situation. However, having a fire escape plan in place should help everyone keep calm during an emergency.

An Overview of Mold

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy tiles Moldy tiles

Black mold can grow anywhere, including inside your home in Gardere, LA. Not only does it present an environmental hazard, but it can damage the materials that make up the structure of your home. In order to avoid a mold infestation, you need to understand mold, what makes it grow, and how to spot signs of mold growth.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in nearly any environment that offers moisture, whether indoors or out. Although you can't see mold spores, they are in nearly all the air you breath. Once spores enter your home and find a moist environment to inhabit, black mold can begin to spread within a couple of days.
Areas that are prone to mold growth include:

  • Around the bathtub
  • Between tiles
  • Seals around kitchen and laundry appliances
  • Damp areas, such as ceilings where the roof leaks, or carpet where water collects.

How Is Mold Removed?
If you have a moisture problem in your home, it's almost certain you have mold. The mold must be removed, but you should never attempt mold cleanup yourself. A restoration company has the expertise to safely remove the mold and restore the materials of your home to pre-mold condition.
First, the mold specialists will seal off the area that has been exposed to moisture and mold and apply remediation techniques, including opening any windows and using special equipment to clean and dry exposed surfaces. While remediation and restoration are underway, you may be advised to avoid the cleanup area until the cleanup is complete.
Knowing the facts about mold and the factors that contribute to black mold growth can help you identify when you need to take fast action to reverse a potential problem or call a specialist to remedy it. Mold is a nuisance and a danger to your home you'd be best to avoid, if possible.

Types of Contaminated Water

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

flood water invading a home Category 3 water damage

Different Types Of Contaminated Water

Water damage can wreck havoc on your Baton Rouge, LA, home. That being said, not every home flood is the same. Floods are categorized by the types of contaminants present in the water. Understanding the differences among the different types of contaminated water can help you remediate the damage more effectively.

1. Clean Water Floods
Like their name implies, Category 1, or clean water floods, are categorized by an absence of contaminants. As the least dangerous types of floods, they typically originate from a supply line burst, a shower leak or some other type of clean water source. Just because these floods aren't as dangerous doesn't mean that they shouldn't still be taken seriously. A clean water flood can transform into a Category 2 flood if left untreated for too long.

2. Gray Water Floods
Gray water floods are also known as Category 2 floods. This flood contains mildly contaminated water, but nothing that could pose a biohazard risk. These floods are often caused when household appliances malfunction and flood, such as dishwashers and laundry machines. If left untreated for longer than 48 hours, a Category 2 flood will quickly become a dangerous Category 3 flood.

3. Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, or black water floods, are the most dangerous of all. They are categorized by the presence of biohazards, such as human or animal fecal matter, raw sewage and dangerous chemicals or pesticides. You should never attempt to resolve a Category 3 flood by yourself, due to the possible health risks. Instead, you should contact damage professionals as soon as you can. These floods are usually caused by toilet overflow, sewage back flow or a a flooding riverbank.
All types of floods are capable of inflicting serious amounts of damage. That being said, it's still important for you to learn the differences between the various types of contaminated water. Make sure to contact flood remediation experts for assistance, no matter which type of flood you're currently dealing with.