3 Steps To Protect Your Business From Winter Storms
Insulating exposed pipes minimizes this risk.
Prepare Before the Temperature Drops
A winter storm can do serious damage to your Houston, TX, commercial building. However, a little preparation can protect your building from cold temperatures, ice and snow. The following are three things to do before the temperature drops to make sure your business is ready for winter.
1. Inspect Building
Make sure your building is ready to withstand strong storms. Check the foundation and roof as well as the seals around doors and windows. Perform any necessary repairs promptly.
Also, check the area around your building for potential threats. Remove any sick trees or weak limbs so they do not fall on the building during a winter storm.
2. Protect Pipes
Frozen pipes are a common occurrence in winter. A pipe break can flood your building and lead to mold growth if not cleaned up quickly by the business owner or experienced restoration service. Insulating exposed pipes minimizes this risk. There is special insulation available at hardware stores, but you can use newspaper as insulation in a pinch.
Keep the thermostat set to at least 60 degrees to decrease the likelihood of a frozen pipe. If a pipe is located inside a cabinet, leave the cabinet door open to allow heat to reach the pipe. Leaving a trickle of water running through at-risk pipes also minimizes the chances of pipes freezing.
3. Gather Supplies and Make a Plan
Even well-maintained buildings can suffer storm damage and power loss. Have emergency supplies, including blankets, flashlights, water and non-perishable food, on hand for all employees. A battery-powered weather radio should also be available to keep everyone updated on the situation. Keep a snow rake on the premises to clear snow off the roof as needed.
Make sure everyone knows where all supplies are located. Create an emergency plan so that all employees know how to stay safe during severe weather.
A winter storm can result in snowbound employees, power outages and damage to your commercial building. Fortunately, a little preparation can minimize these risks.
3 Benefits of Using a Certified Mold Remediation Company
Mold damage in a Spring Valley, TX home.
Why Hire Mold Damage Professionals?
If your home in Spring Valley, TX, currently suffers from a mold problem, your best option is to go to the mold damage professionals. But what does that mean, and how do you find a good company that you can trust?
Certified mold experts can be found in most locations. What helps them stand out is that they are certified by the IICRC, which means they have been certified and proven to be experts in mold cleaning. In all honesty, these types of services are often the best option, and here are three reasons why.
1. Certified Professionals Know What They're Doing It's simple: Getting professionals who have mold certification means that they are qualified to do the work. They know how to find the mold, and then they do a proper job of eliminating it. Mold is one of those problems that needs to be completely removed. Certified mold professionals know how to get the job done.
2. They Have the Right Equipment
Getting certified takes work. Companies that took the time and effort to get certified also took the time to get the right equipment for the job. Depending on how big your mold problem is, they'll bring the equipment needed to remove the mold and restore your home back to its best self.
3. They Find the Cause of the Mold
The best part of using certified mold remediation services is that they not only remove mold, but they find the cause of the problem. Most mold is caused by unchecked water damage, such as broken pipes, leaking roofs and humid bathrooms. Before repairing damage, these experts will seek out the cause of the problem, and stop it from making things worse.
With all of these benefits, it's usually safest to go with a certified mold company. Because they are certified, you get the reassurance that they have the skills, equipment and authority to take care of your mold remediation.
3 Things You Must Do After a Business Fire
Fire damaged school.
Things To Do After A Fire In Your Building
When disaster strikes your business in Bunker Hill Village, TX, it can be hard to keep a calm head. This makes it more difficult to figure out what steps you need to take to get back to normal operations. Smoke damage and water from firefighters can wreak havoc if not handled properly. Here are three things you should do after a fire in your building.
In order to mitigate smoke damage as much as you can, it is important to ventilate your building as soon as possible once the fire is out.
Turn off your HVAC system to ensure it does not spread smoke further through the building.
Open every door and window to allow smoke to exit and fresh air to enter.
Place industrial fans facing out of doors and windows to push smoky air out.
2. Remove Soot
Soot damage can be very detrimental if not cleaned up properly. You'll need a powerful shop vacuum to suck up loose ash and other debris from any fabric or soft surfaces. Furniture, draperies and carpet can become permanently damaged very easily, so be careful to gently suck soot up without pressing it into the surface as you clean.
3. Deep Clean
Once you've cleared up the ash and soot, it's time to deep clean every surface in the area. Smoke cleaning should entail wiping down all walls and ceilings. First use a dry sponge to remove soot, then wipe with a vinegar spray. You should also clean all tables, counters, and other hard surfaces. Any heavily damaged items will need to be replaced so they don't continue to spread the smoky smell throughout the space.
Getting your business up and running quickly after fire and smoke damage occurs will help your bottom line and let your employees and customers get back to life as they know it too. It is always a good idea to get a professional fire damage assessment as well to ensure your building is safe for use.
Mold Damage After Flooding
Large commercial flood damage in Houston, TX.
Water damage can lead to mold growth in as little as 24-48 hours. Since mold spores multiply in moist conditions, you will need to get the area dry as quickly as possible. Mold can form on any organic material, even in places you cannot see. Once formed, you may notice a musky smell in the vicinity of the water damage. If you have experienced flooding in Houston, TX, there are a few things you can do to restore damaged items and keep mold from forming in the first place.
Where Mold Might Form
When standing water is left to sit, bacteria and mold can begin to grow and multiply. Your best protection is to remove the water, disinfect, and dry any items that came into contact with the floodwater. Mold forms easily on pulpy surfaces and may infect many different types of items:
- Building materials like carpets and drywall
- Paper products such as photos, documents, and cardboard
- Ceiling tiles
- Underneath flooring or behind walls
Mold spores are always in the air around us, so once wetness sets in, mold growth is likely to occur over a short time.
How To Keep Mold From Forming
The best way to keep mold from forming is to dry the area. If you have standing water, a professional can use an extraction machine to remove it. Specialized fans can be used to circulate the air and dry the area faster than it would dry on its own. If the water came from a contaminated source or picked up pollutants along the way, the area will need to be disinfected with the appropriate products. Some materials may need to removed and replaced and others may need to be taken in for specialized cleaning or restoration.
If you have mold growth, your best course of action is to hire a professional remediation company to fix the problem. They can identify and clean mold in unseen places and restore your building to its preflood condition.
How To Deodorize a Smoky Home
Ozone treatments emit ozone into the area.
How To Deodorize a Smoky Home
Home deodorization can be tricky, especially if you are dealing with a smoke odor. Certain short-term solutions can trick you into thinking you have removed the odor, but the odor returns a few hours or days later. Additionally, not all permanent solutions work for every situation. The following outlines the differences among various odor removal techniques to help you choose the one most appropriate for your Spring Valley, TX, home.
When dealing with lingering odors, it is important to remove the particulates that are causing the smell rather than simply covering them up with other fragrances. The following are some common items that may cover up an odor for a little bit:
- Air fresheners
Eventually, the pleasant aroma from such items will fade and the smoke odor will return. In other cases, the fragrance from the air freshener may combine with the smoke smell and create an even more unpleasant odor.
Smoke odor, whether from a fire or cigarette smoke, is a very long-lasting problem. The particulates tend to get trapped in porous surfaces and put off an unpleasant smell until they are properly removed. Fortunately, there are several methods of home deodorization that can effectively handle smoke odor, including the following:
- Air scrubbing
- Ozone treatment
- Thermal fogging
Air scrubbing filters the smoke particles out of the air. Ozone treatments emit ozone into the area, and the ozone combines with the smoke particles to form a new particle that does not produce a smoky odor. Thermal fogging is better for areas affected by fires where the high temperatures caused surfaces to expand and trap the smoke odor. A certified restoration service can help you choose the best odor removal method for your home.
Home deodorization is often frustrating, especially if the offending smells linger for long periods or reappear. The best deodorization methods are those that permanently remove or alter the smoke particles so that they no longer emit unpleasant odors.
Create a Maintenance Plan for Your Building Exterior
Storm damage in Hilshire Village, TX
Check The Outside Of Your Building Frequently
It is important to set up a routine maintenance plan for your commercial building. Not only will it keep your property looking great, but proper exterior maintenance protects your building from storm damage as well.
There are many areas on the outside of your building that should be checked frequently.
1. Roofing Inspection
Your roof is the most exposed part of the building, which makes it prone to damages during heavy winds and rainstorms. Inspect the roofing materials routinely and after a storm. Missing or damaged pieces should be replaced as soon as possible.
Inspect the gutters and drains for leaves and debris which can clog the drainage system, causing water to pool. Make sure skylights and HVAC equipment are protected from the elements.
2. Window and Building Caulking
To keep your building maintained before winter arrives in Hilshire Village, TX, check the caulking around the windows and doors to make sure there are no gaps around the frames. If the caulking has dried out, remove it and fill the space with fresh caulk. Be sure to caulk both the inside and outside of each window.
Your building inspection should also include checking the exterior of the building. Seal any cracks or gaps in the brick and cement. Inspect the foundation as well.
3. Landscape Upkeep
Landscape inspections should be a part of your exterior maintenance plan. Check for areas that are prone to flooding and look for pooled water from the irrigation system. Make sure all sprinkler heads are in good condition and replace any damaged units.
Keep trees and bushes trimmed frequently. During a storm, loose branches can break off and damage the building and break windows. Lay down mulch and keep landscaped areas weeded regularly. If your building sustains water damage during a storm, contact a water restoration service right away.
Implement an exterior maintenance plan to reduce the risk of storm damage to your building.
3 Factors for Fixing a Flooded Basement
Speeding up the drying process.
3 Factors for Fixing a Flooded Basement
A basement flood requires urgent attention to prevent mold and structural damage. It is important to assess three factors, which may vary based on the cause of flooding and the design and location of a residence in Houston, TX.
1. How Much Water Is Present
The depth of standing water in a basement is an important consideration for determining the extent of the damage. Water deeper than an inch may pose a greater risk of structural damage. Depending on the source of water and whether you have flood or sewer backup insurance in addition to homeowners insurance coverage, it may be necessary to foot the restoration bill out of pocket.
2. Interior and Exterior Pressure
In the event of a basement flood, hydrostatic pressure may be important to assess and consider when setting a schedule for cleanup and restoration. Pumping water out too quickly can cause structural damage that results in leaks or even causes basement walls to collapse. Basement flooding experts can determine the right pace for pumping out water while preserving the integrity of your home.
3. The Category of Water Damage
As mentioned above, a basement flooded with outside water or sewer water may not be covered under by homeowners insurance. Sewer water may be Category Two gray water or Category Three black water. Both contain microbes, but Category Three damage also involves solid waste. It will be necessary to disinfect damage that results from exposure to any type of contaminated water.
It is important to extract water from a basement flood as soon as possible. It may not be possible to quickly pump out all of the standing water in a structure, as equalizing pressure levels may be necessary to prevent structural problems. The category of water damage will also determine insurance coverage and the extent of cleanup required for a flooded residential basement in Houston, TX.
The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses
Storm damage in Bunker Hill Village, TX.
The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses
A devastating natural disaster such as a tornado or other severe weather event can result in a catastrophic loss at properties throughout Bunker Hill Village, TX. Find out more about the three main obstacles property owners and insurance agents must overcome in order to achieve a timely recovery.
1. Many Properties May Be Affected
Adverse weather such as flooding or a tornado can affect an entire neighborhood, town or city. When these events occur, local restoration franchises and independent remediation firms may all have their resources strained to the limit. The difference among these service providers is that franchises in a national company can share staff and resources to meet sudden spikes in demand for mitigation, cleanup and restoration.
2. Insurance Response Can Be Limited
Insurance agents and adjusters in a region affected by severe weather, or any other disaster resulting in catastrophic loss, may also have claims from many clients to inspect. As a result, it may not be possible to visit every affected property before mitigation is needed to limit the severity of the damage. Relying on a restoration company that arrives on-site within hours and thoroughly documents conditions makes it possible to start alleviating the destruction sooner.
3. Property Owners Must Act Quickly
The severity of storm damage can increase significantly over the hours following an incident. It is important to extract water within 24 to 48 hours to prevent serious mold problems. A local restoration franchise that is part of an extensive network can ensure that mitigation and cleanup measures stay on schedule.
Each of these factors has the potential to hold up recovery from an incident that causes catastrophic loss in Bunker Hill Village, TX. Property owners and insurers can avoid delays by relying on a restoration company that has over 1,700 locations across North America. Affiliated local and regional franchises can work together to provide mitigation, cleanup and restoration services after a large loss.
Why Preventative Maintenance of Your Commercial Plumbing System Is Important
Flushing the water heater is an important preventative maintenance step, as well.
Be Proactive With Your Plumbing System
A commercial building needs proper maintenance in order to function properly. The plumbing system is no exception. You need to take care of your pipes, sewers and drains to avoid any plumbing problems. In fact, there are several benefits of being proactive with your plumbing system. Preventative maintenance:
- Keeps the pipes running properly
- Limits water temperature spikes
- Assures everything is up to code
- Prolongs the life of your system
How Does Preventative Maintenance Save Money?
Perhaps most importantly, being proactive can help you financially. After all, fixing a water main can be expensive. Specifically, a broken pipe may necessitate costly water damage repair services.
Emergency cleanups are typically more expensive than regular maintenance calls are. You should thus have a professional regularly inspect your Hilshire Village, TX, property for potential issues.
What Does Preventative Maintenance Entail?
The preventative maintenance should start with your pipes. The professional should look for signs of corrosion or leaks. He or she can also test the water pressure within the building. Low pressure could be a sign of sediment buildup or other plumbing problems.
However, the plumber you choose should not only look at your pipes. The drains, water heater and sewers should be inspected, as well. Slow drainage may indicate a clog deep in the system. A professional can use advanced cameras to locate the problem and then break up the clog with high-pressure jets.
Commercial bathrooms are common locations for leaks. Have someone check the seals and gaskets in the toilets. The caulking in the toilets and sinks should also be inspected.
Flushing the water heater is an important preventative maintenance step, as well. Best of all, you can do this yourself. A professional can also inspect various parts of the heater, including the vent pipes and burners.
Frequent inspections of your pipes, toilets, water heater, drains and sewers should prevent plumbing problems. Even a small leak can cause lots of damage, so being proactive about water issues is cost-efficient.
How To Keep Your Furry Friends Safe in the Event of a Fire
Your pets need to be a part of your emergency fire plan.
House fires are the most common disaster that emergency responders respond to, according to the United States Fire Administration, but they are also the most preventable. While many homeowners in Houston, TX, have a fire emergency plan in place, many do not have one that includes their pets. Thousands of animals are left without homes each year due to the lack of pet preparation. If you want to keep your furry friend safe and in your care even if a fire breaks out, keep these pet safety tips in mind when drafting your family emergency plan:
- Include your pets in your plan! Pets get left behind because their owners panic and aren’t sure what to do with them in an urgent situation. By being prepared, you can act swiftly and effectively when it comes to keeping your loved one safe.
- Practice makes perfect. When performing a fire drill, take your pet with you as if you were dealing with a real emergency.
- Keep in mind: Though your pet is your family too, do not delay leaving if a fire becomes too dangerous, even if you haven’t found your pet yet, as this could put you in danger.
Prevent House Fires
The first item on your fire emergency plan should be “Prevent House Fires.” You won’t have to worry about evacuating if there isn’t any fire to escape from. You can help keep your home, family and furry friends safe by doing the following:
- Put Out Flames: Pets, like children, are naturally curious and will likely investigate the source of an open flame should there be one. When you’re not around to keep an eye on your pet, extinguish all flames.
- Go Flameless: If you cannot remember to blow out the candles when you leave or if your pet is always curious, buy flameless candles.
- Remove Stove Knobs: Larger dogs can reach stove knobs and yours may accidentally turn one on with its nose when sniffing around. Remove knobs when you’re not around.
Your pets needs to be a part of your emergency fire plan. If they're not already, use the above tips and make them one.