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A Commercial Building Should Be Tarped After a Fire

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

A roofer uses a nail gun to apply tarp to a roof in preparations for shingling. Tarping is a normal part of the roof repair process.

Fire Cleanup Process

The roof of your commercial building is a key part of your building envelope. Once it's damaged in a fire, the elements can get inside and cause serious trouble. To prevent this, the first part of a fire cleanup should be to tarp the roof.

A Broken Envelope
The envelope is the boundary between materials on the outside of a building that are built to withstand wind and rain, and the materials inside that cant. it's important for three reasons:

  • It limits the flow of air for efficient climate control.
  • It prevents water damage from rain.
  • It reduces moisture buildup that can cause black mold.

After a significant fire, it's normal for the roof to sustain damage. It needs to be tarped before the next rain, if possible.

Tarp Services
As soon as the flames are out, you need to secure your property. Call a local expert in fire cleanup to immediately protect your commercial building. They'll inspect your property and send technicians to tarp and board the exposed areas.
Tarping a roof can be complicated. The goal is not only to protect you from damage, it's to get you reopened as quickly as possible. This means making tarps and boards as airtight as possible and as soon as possible. Every day your business is closed makes it more likely it will fail within two years, so time is not on your side.

Extracting the Water
You'll probably have water damage after the fire. This also needs to be removed as soon as possible. Many building materials are absorbent, meaning they're being damaged over time by the sitting water. Water that gets behind walls will often cause a long-term problem with excess moisture, which can cause explosive black mold growth.
Your restoration experts have large air movers and water extraction equipment to remove water as quickly as possible. This can occur during or immediately after your exterior is tarped and boarded. Once the inside has been dried, the roof repair is often the next step.
Tarping is a normal part of the roof repair process. Fire cleanup crews know all the tricks to get your commercial building open for business quickly.

3 Ways To Prevent Burst Pipes on a Commercial Property

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

The feet of a person standing at the entrance to a doorway. Wet carpet of a building A broken pipe causes damage in an Arlington, LA building.

Prevent Burst Pipes On A Commercial Property

Burst pipes can be devastating for property owners in Arlington, LA. Causes for bursting pipes range and can include:

  • Increased water pressure
  • Loose pipes
  • Winter Storms

You can prevent your property's pipes from bursting by taking preventative measures before a winter storm and repairing damages to plumbing systems as soon as they become noticeable. Here are 3 ways to prevent burst pipes on a commercial property.

1. Insulate Your Property's Pipes
Insulation prevents the water inside of pipes from freezing. When water freezes inside a building's plumbing system, the water pressure increases causing pipes to burst under the added stress. To prevent this, contact a plumber to properly insulate the pipes. You can also take action when a storm is approaching by letting your water run at a drip and opening cabinet doors to allow warmer air around pipes. Storm damage is a common cause of leaks and pipe bursts but can be prevented with preparation.

2. Replace Old Plumbing Systems
Outdated plumbing systems do not have rust-resistant materials and are prone to tears. The materials used to make older plumbing systems include cast iron pipes, which become eroded with frequent water use and changing weather conditions. When a winter storm hits, these plumbing materials become more vulnerable to bursts. Update your plumbing system to ensure its best functionality.

3. Inspect Your Plumbing System Regularly
Be diligent with your plumbing system catching tears, worn joints and leaks before they surprise you. Keeping your system up to date will prevent leaks from worn pipes and protect your building from pipe bursts during inclement weather. Leaks and burst pipes are preventable with proper maintenance and insulation.
If you have experienced a pipe break due to a winter storm, contact a local water damage restoration service to help clean your property. A professional service will also help to dehumidify your property and restore it back to normal.

Why Do I Need Emergency Board Up Service?

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blue tarp on roof Tarping roof area after fire damage.

If your Gardere, LA, home is damaged in a fire or other disaster, the last thing you want to deal with is arranging for emergency board up or tarp over services. Most likely, you would rather take a “hands-off” approach, leaving everything up to your insurance company. After all, it can be extremely upsetting to view your home in such a state. Furthermore, it’s tempting to feel as though the damage has been done at this point — why bother taking protective action now? Read on to learn why failing to properly secure your home could have dire consequences.

What Are Board Ups and Why Do I Need Them?

After a fire or other disaster, your home may have structural damage which leaves it open to further damage from other sources. For example:

  • Exposure to the elements, such as wind and rain, could cause additional damage to your home, which in turn could dramatically increase your remediation costs.
  • Depending on the extent and nature of the fire damage, without proper board-up service, you could face looters, thieves, or animal invaders.

Furthermore, many home insurance policies require that you take appropriate measures to secure your property pending repairs. Failure to do so could result in a loss of coverage.

Can I Do It Myself?
In the aftermath of fire damage, securing your home is a job best left to the professionals. While the property may appear safe, there may be indiscernible damage to your roof, floor, or load-bearing walls that can create unsafe conditions. Boarding up or tarping over damaged areas of your home is a service that is typically offered by premium restoration companies and some roofing professionals, who have the skills, equipment, and training to secure your property safely and correctly.
If your home has been damaged by fire, don’t underestimate the importance of prompt and professional board up and tarp over services to minimize your overall damage and reduce cleanup time.

How To Get the Most Out of Your Insurance Claim

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

flooded gym Flooded gym in Arlington, LA.

How To Get the Most Out of Your Insurance Claim

Disaster claims can be stressful. Knowing the process for dealing with an insurance claim can help you get a settlement quicker, so you can hire a remediation company, such as SERVPRO, and get your Arlington, LA, business open again. Being prepared ahead of time can also help you get more out of your insurance company. Here are some steps to take for a quick and thorough settlement.

React Appropriately
Right after your loss, things are going to be chaotic. While you need to think about contacting your insurance company promptly, you should also take the time to react to the situation properly. This includes:

  • Preventing further loss
  • Salvaging items
  • Photographing the damage and compare it to your inventory list
  • Avoiding throwing items away

Know Your Policy
Your policy has several key aspects that will be outlined on your declarations page. This document is confusing, so take extra time before a disaster to read and understand it. This can help the insurance claim process go smoother when you experience a disaster.

Call the Insurance Company
The biggest mistake a business owner can make in the face of a disaster is to delay making your insurance claim. Therefore, your first call should be to the insurance company to figure out your deductible, what will be covered, and what disaster restoration service they recommend.

Expect Extra Funds for Business Interruption
If you have a business interruption clause on your policy, you can expect extra funds for that. This will cover your lost income when you need to shut down your business and any extra expenses you have due to the interruption. This can include funds for new communication lines, a temporary location, extra transportation costs, or anything else you would not have incurred without the disaster.
The best way to get the most out of your claim is to understand the process and react appropriately. Additionally, you can discuss your extra clauses with your insurance agent and ensure you get any funds you are entitled to.

How To Prevent Basement Floods

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Gutter full of leaves needed to be clean Always clean your gutters.

Causes Of Basements Floods

A basement flood can cause severe harm to your house and necessitate water damage cleanup services. Luckily, there are some things you can do to limit this type of loss. Here are five common causes of basement floods and how to prevent them.

1. Clogs
Your property likely has a manifold that connects your house to the local sewer system. If the manifold clogs, your property could flood. The water could even destroy the foundation of your home. If you suspect there is a blockage in the gutter system, contact authorities in Baton Rouge, LA, right away.

2. Poor Drainage
Ideally, the downspouts of your drainage system should be more than six feet away from the basement. They also should drain away from the basement rather than toward it. If necessary, have a plumber fix the downspouts so any excess water flows into your yard or the street.

3. Improper Home Location
Even just the site of your house can cause a basement flood. Homes are supposed to be constructed on a slope so water can drain properly. However, if your property is at the bottom of a hill, the fluid could flow right into your basement. Luckily, you do not have to move to solve this problem. Erosion should level any slopes near your house over time.

4. Blocked Roof Gutters
The gutters on your roof can fill with debris. Leaves and snow may block rainwater, causing an overflow of liquid and a flooded basement. You should thus make sure your eavestroughs are cleaned regularly. If the gutters still get clogged, consider purchasing larger gutters that can better handle local storms.

5. Poor Sealing
Water can seep through gaps between the tiles and create a basement flood. Have the seals checked regularly and fix them if necessary.
By properly maintaining your home's gutters, you can reduce the number of floods in your basement. You may also want to contact local professionals who can fix your drainage system or remove major clogs in your pipes.

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.