Recent Commercial Posts
Tips on Creating an Effective Fire Escape Plan
If you don't have a fire escape plan, create one today
Chances are good that you'll never have to worry about dealing with a fire in the workplace. However, in the off chance you experience this emergency, you'll want to be ready to be prepared. Responsible businesses in Bunker Hill Village, TX, create a fire escape plan. Putting one in place can help put your mind at ease that in the case of a disaster, you and your co-workers can be safe.
Know Your Building
You go to work five days a week, but how well do you know the layout and design of your office? If a fire starts, everyone will need to know how to exit quickly and orderly. Identify these key areas of your office:
- Where the fire escapes are on each floor
- Where to find the fire alarm and how to set it off
- Any barriers to exiting or areas that could
- pose safety concerns during a fire.
The last thing you need during a fire is for people to panic. Make sure you give responsible people key tasks to fulfill. In your emergency escape plan, there should be a floor warden for each level of the building. This person is in charge of creating the plan and checking areas such as the bathroom once a fire starts. A floor monitor makes sure everyone gets out safely and that no one is left in the building. Also, assign someone to direct people out of the building through the correct exits.
Create a Map
Everyone should have a visual representation of the fire escape plan. The map should clearly show where to meet outside of the building and how traffic should flow from each floor.
At least once a year, your organization should stage a fire escape drill. Emphasize getting everyone out with order but purpose.
If you don't have a fire escape plan, create one today. Firefighters and professional fire cleanup crews will do their job. Yours is to get everyone to safety.
Proactive Cleaning for Your Commercial Space
SERVPRO of Town & Country can provide proactive cleaning on a commercial scale.
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 business in Town & Country, 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 at SERVPRO of Town & Country today!
Mold Damage After Flooding
Water damage can lead to mold growth in as little as 24-48 hours
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.
What Do You Need To Know About Mold Standards?
SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage
What Do You Need To Know About Mold Standards?
If you are a business owner or property manager in Hilshire Village, TX, being familiar with mold standards is part of the job description. This information will help guide you through mold cleanup as well as ensure the job is being completed to current standards. One important resource is the ANSI/IICRC S520 publication, known as the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. While it probably is not critical that you know this document, available in both hard copy and electronic format, inside and out, any mold mitigation franchise you deal with should be knowledgeable about its contents.
Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification
The IICRC is a mouthful, but it is a recognized leader in mold standards and the best methods for cleaning up a variety of commercial and residential situations. Among other tasks, it provides information on the following items:
- Certification standards for cleaning companies
- The effects of disinfectants on cleaning different materials
- The importance of standards in the cleaning industry
The organization publishes a variety of publications on cleaning standards, how to make sure mold clean companies are current on techniques and equipment and the best methods to restore various materials such as carpeting, tile flooring, and clothing. Publications can be ordered at www:IICRC. org/store or by calling 360-693-5675.
American National Standards Institute
ANSI and the IICRC work together to provide guidance and clarification on such issues as how to clean black mold and the concepts and procedures for restoration, cleaning and inspection of properties with mold damage and other issues. Mold standards for cleaning and restoration have been established through a rigorous process that involves government agencies and cleaning companies throughout the U.S. As a property owner when you hire a mold cleaning company it is important that the company knows and understands advances in the industry. This will make sure your building is cleaned safely and effectively.
3 Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage
Flooded building in Houston, TX
Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage
While they both involve water, there is quite a bit of difference between flood damage and other damage caused by storms. These differences can influence the way that the situation needs to be handled. If your building in Houston, TX, has been affected by either of these, you should keep the following distinctions in mind.
1. The Type of Water Involved
There are three categories of water that range in contamination levels, with Category 1 being clean and Category 3 being highly contaminated. A large portion of storm damage will involve clean water. However, flood water will always be Category 3. This is because, as the water rises, it mixes with dirt, debris and sewage that contains waste and bacteria.
2. Insurance Coverage
Because flood damage can be expensive to repair, insurance companies do not include it in their basic policies. If you want to ensure that any damage is covered, you will need to purchase a separate flood policy. This is an especially good idea if you are in a location that floods often, but it can be useful in any area.
3. The Cleanup Process
Flooding can cause a lot of damage to the structure of your building as well as the items it contains. It can contribute to mold growth and other secondary damage. When Category 3 water is involved, it can be even worse. Because the water is highly contaminated, it can be more difficult to clean any materials that have absorbed it. You may need to throw out and replace items that could have otherwise been repaired.
Whether your building has been affected by flood damage or another type of water damage, you should have it removed as quickly as possible. A cleanup and restoration company can do this for you. They will perform mitigation to prevent the damage from spreading and will make any necessary repairs. Once the process is complete, your building will look as good as new.
3 Ways To Lower a Business Interruption Claim After a Flood
Flooding can have a serious impact on your Houston, TX commercial building.
When indoor flooding damages your Houston, TX commercial building, the results can be disastrous. Water can ruin floors, walls and business equipment that may take considerable time to replace. If you have business interruption insurance, which covers lost profits and other costs, it can help you recover and give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your investment. However, there are a few ways you can lower the cost of a claim and boost the future well-being of your business.
1. Do Not Wait To File a Claim
Whether a flood at your business was caused by a broken pipe in a bathroom or a burst water line, acting fast can lower a claim and allow your insurance carrier to file as soon as possible. Consider adding your policy holder’s mobile app to your phone, if it has one available, so you can file from any location and send photos of the damage instead of waiting for an insurance representative to contact you.
2. Work With a Flood Mitigation Service
Even if you see visible damage after a flood, it is wise to act right away. Letting dirty water sit may cause other serious issues, such as mold growth. Call in a flood damage and cleanup service to perform mitigation, which can prevent contaminated water from spreading and reduce the risk of structural issues.
3. Deal With Larger Issues First
Problems caused by flooding can range from ruined walls and ceilings to damaged electrical outlets. However, when it comes to dealing with large water damage issues, you may want to tackle the most serious first. For example, if a third-floor flood is causing the ceiling on the lower floor to sag and leak, having it repaired first may prevent a ceiling collapse and a further delay in reopening your business.
Flooding can have a serious impact on your Houston, TX commercial building. While having business interruption insurance protects your profits, knowing how to lower a claim might help you recover faster to benefit your company, employees and customers.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/ for more information on commercial water damage.
Be Proactive About Your Plumbing
Water stains on ceiling
Be Proactive About Your Plumbing
When managing a commercial building in Spring Valley,TX, it is in your best interest to stay ahead of potential issues, including your plumbing. If plumbing problems are ignored, they can develop into large scale restoration issues, that may cause your building to close for a period of time. What should you look for to avoid this?
Even the smallest drip of water can indicate something is wrong, like a broken pipe. You should also check your pipes and connections regularly for corrosion. If you do find a site that has accumulated water, you may need to call a water damage restoration company. Keep a wary eye out for:
- Water spots on your ceiling.
- Accumulated water on the floor.
- Signs of mold or mildew.
- Wetness on the outside of pipes.
It is very important to consistently check all of your drains for clogs and backups by testing their flow rate. A camera inspection is also a good idea, to see what kind of condition they are in. Common plumbing problems in drains are root infiltration and bellying. If you end up detecting a slow-down, get them snaked, hydrojetted or power-rodded in order to clear them out again.
You should regularly inspect all the shut-off valves along your water main and throughout the building. This ensures that you will be able to shut off water to individual sections of the building in the event of a localized emergency- that way you don't need to shut off the entire building's water. You should also be sure to check water pressure, a healthy range can be anywhere between 40 and 80 psi.
It is easy to take your plumbing for granted- out of sight, out of mind, right? However, plumbing problems can easily be avoided if you actively monitor your pipes, valves and drains. Build it in to your maintenance routine!
What To Do To Prevent a Apartment Fire
Ensure proper placement of smoke detectors in your apartment building
Three Tips For Property Owners To Keep In Mind
An apartment fire in Houston,TX, can wreak havoc on a commercial property. And regardless of whether a building contains just two – or 200 – units, it only takes a blaze in one flat to possibly cause massive fire damage to the structure. Fortunately, there are things that a landlord can do to help minimize the chance of a destructive fire. Here are three tips for a property owner to keep in mind.
1. Install Fire Sprinklers Throughout the Building
If a blaze begins, a fire sprinkler system can help to extinguish the flames and prevent the fire from spreading to other parts of a building. Therefore, a landlord may consider installing or updating a sprinkler system for the commercial structure. It’s also important that the sprinklers are tested on a regular basis to ensure that they will work properly in the event of an emergency.
2. Ensure Proper Placement and Maintenance of Smoke Detectors
It is generally well known that smoke detectors can save lives in a fire. Smoke alarms may also aid in stopping an apartment fire from burning out of control by providing residents with more time to quickly call for emergency services. Abiding by fire safety rules and regulations and placing detectors in every unit – as well as scheduling regular tests of the alarms – is critical to the safety of residents and the building. It’s always vital to remember that professionals who specialize in fire damage restoration can repair a building. Lives cannot be replaced.
3. Inform Residents About Fire Safety and Have Fire Drills
If building occupants are informed about fire safety and are prepared in case of a blaze, damage may be mitigated. Therefore, a property owner may decide to hold fire drills multiple times a year.
An apartment fire can be disastrous. However, by taking precautions such as the tips listed here, the risk of a blaze may be significantly reduced.
Commercial Construction: New Projects In The Heart Of The Galleria Houston Texas
Park Place, new highrise luxury living development, breaks ground and begins construction in the heart of The Galleria Houston TX
It seems that Houston is in a construction uptick over the past 12 months - on almost every highway feeder road you can count the cranes putting up steel framing and glass exteriors. Although the most recent upswing in construction has been around the multi-family sector there are also large developments going up in mixed-use, commercial office and industrial.
- At the corner of Westheimer Rd and Mid Lane, Stonelake Capital Partners, is constructing a Class-A, 16-story, office building which is expected to house 200,000 square feet of office space.
- Arise Post Oak is a 36-story highrise that has been long-awaited and has just broken ground on Post Oak Boulevard at San Felipe. The Dinerstein Cos. is constructing the building according to the Houston Chronicle. Anticipated completion of the luxury living high rise is anticipated to open in mid 2021.
- The 32-story, Hanover BLVD Place, is completed in Uptown and hosts 281 apartment units. The land was originally purchased in 2015 and completed construction mid 2019. Hanover BLVD Place features two amenity decks: the lower deck includes a resort worthy swimming pool and outdoor entertainment space. The top deck has an impressive clear-bottom, cantilevered pool, an entertainment reception room with kitchen, plus a health and fitness center with views of Downtown Houston.
Commercial Real Estate Women CREW Multi-Family Panel Luncheon
Commercial Real Estate Women of Houston host multi-family panel speaker luncheon at Houston Junior Leage
Members of the SERVPRO of Town and Country team had the unique opportunity to attend the CREW Houston Multi-Family Panel luncheon hosted at The Junior League of Houston ballroom.
CREW Houston is dedicated to promoting women in the commercial real estate industry through education and providing opportunities for women to connect and do business together. Their members range from loan officers to architects and every commercial real estate position in between.
The panel consisted of three speakers:
- Laurie Baker - Camden Living
- Brian Dinerstein - The Dinerstein Companies
- Kimberly Erickson - LifeWell Senior Living
The three speakers had very distinct views on the multi-family industry. The major theme that surfaced during the panel discussion was the need to truly understand who your ideal tenant is.
Brian Dinerstein referred to his campus housing several times as the next big money maker. He raved about how college students do very little damage to the property when compared to traditional apartment tenants. In addition he noted that rent is always paid on time since most of the funding comes from student loans as part of the cost of living at college.
Laurie Baker of Camden noted that they had recently expanded their portfolio to include a 65+ age requirement on one property. She raved that the tenants are excellent and turn over is very limited as older tenants tend to stay long term and are less likely to move frequently. She did mention the struggle to continue to provide amenities that aged with her long-term tenants. Camden has begun investigating if they may need to add in-house medical staff or end of life care as part of their amenity package.
Kimberly Erickson agreed with Bakers comments and stated that working in senior multi-family living is a different ball game. There are extra amenities needed especially related to at home health care and the over all need to keep properties maintained and well cleaned. In addition she mentioned their largest strung in owning and operating a assisted living facility is finding the right staff that is personable and well trained in senior care that can stay on long term and maintain the health and happiness of their tenants.
Overall the SERVPRO of Town & Country team got a deep understanding of the many complex business problems that effect the array of property types that exist within the multifamily industry.
Smoke and Odor Cleaning After a Commercial Fire
Ozone treatment uses oxidation to capture smoke from the air
If your Houston, TX, business has sustained a fire, there's likely a lot of work needed to get your building back to its former condition. If you're lucky, there's a minimum of structural damage, but you may still have a significant amount of smoke damage and smoke odor.
So What's the Best Way to Deal With it?
If you try to take care of the problem on your own using off-the-shelf products, it could take several weeks, and you may still not get the desired result. Your best bet is to contact a fire remediation company. The professionals can perform a thorough smoke cleaning using tools designed specifically for the task and get the job done within a few days. The restoration company typically uses the following equipment:
- Air scrubbers
- Ozone machines
- Thermal foggers
Air scrubbers use filtration to pull smoke out of the building. The air is forced through a series of filters, then returned after all particulates have been completely removed. The most common types of filters used are activated carbon, HEPA (high efficiency particulate air), and specialized odor-eliminating varieties.
Ozone treatment uses oxidation to capture smoke from the air. Ozone contains three oxygen molecules. When released into the air, it oxidizes the smoke and neutralizes the odor. Besides its superior smoke cleaning properties, ozone treatment has the added advantage of working as a disinfectant.
Some lingering smoke odor may be hard to reach with other methods, in which case thermal foggers are employed. Using heat and pressure, tiny droplets are diffused into porous surfaces. This method can be used to get into any area where smoke has penetrated, making it much easier to clean and deodorize.
Getting rid of smoke damage after a commercial fire is a big job. While it's possible to perform odor and smoke cleaning on your own, hiring a professional fire restoration company to do the work can ensure that the job is done quickly, safely and completely.
Preparing Your Business for High Winds
Prepare your Spring Valley,TX building with emergency items
Preparing Your Business for High Winds
If you're a business owner in Spring Valley,TX, you know how important it is to be prepared for high winds and the possibility of hurricane damage. Taking the proper precautions could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs and lost work time. Consulting with a good storm restoration company and following the steps below should go a long way towards keeping everything safe and secure.
1. Building Preparation
If possible, make some modifications in advance. Have the roof of your building inspected to make sure that it can withstand the effects of a severe storm, and have shutters installed. Make sure all utilities such as gas tanks or water heaters are secured and raised up above floor level to minimize any possible water damage. Filing cabinets and bookcases should be anchored to wall studs, and other equipment should be secured with Velcro or straps. Inspect the outside of the building for trees that might fall over. This advance work should go a long way towards preventing hurricane damage.
In the time leading up to a hurricane's landfall, take steps to further secure the building by boarding up any otherwise unprotected windows and doors with plywood. Place sandbags around any areas that might be susceptible to flooding. Remove any valuables to a safe location, and turn off all utilities.
2. Secure Important Info and Documents
In a secure place, maintain a list that includes all contacts relevant to your business, including lawyers, suppliers, employees and banks. Important documents, like insurance papers, tax documents and contracts, should be backed up and readily available in an offsite location. Documents that are going to remain in the building should be kept in waterproof containers.
3. Be Prepared for Disaster
Keep an inventory of emergency preparedness items on hand in case you or your employees are not able to leave the building. This includes items such as:
- Pillows and blankets
- First aid kits
- Battery-operated TVs or radios
- Tool kits
It's always a good idea to plan well in advance of a severe storm. With good preparation, you'll have a much better chance of keeping safe and avoiding major hurricane damage.
Water Leaks Are the Most Common Business Loss – Are You Prepared?
Pipe break on commercial property in Hillshire Village, TX
Believe or not, but water from damaged pipes is one of the main causes of business loss. Leaking pipes, if they go undetected, can wreak havoc on a building's structure and eventually, its contents. For this reason, it is important that your Hilshire Village,TX, building is covered in the event of a water loss. When shopping for a policy, look for the following types of coverage:
- Coverage for flooding
- Coverage for damage caused by sudden events
- Damage to fire protected systems
- Cost to tear out and repair building components
The above items are typically covered, though flood damage typically requires you to have a rider flood insurance policy. Damage caused by sudden events, however, is almost always covered if caused by suddenly damaged pipes or a sewage backup. Like every type of insurance policy, however, there are exclusions.
Common Exclusions for Water Damage Policies
When shopping for a water damage policy, it is important that you read the fine print, as it is not uncommon for policies to include wording that excludes what one might think is a covered peril. For instance, many water damage policies exclude the following damages:
- Those caused by slow leaks
- Leaks caused by freezing
- Mold damage
Unfortunately, if a leak has been present for a certain period of time, and if it causes structural damage or mold growth, neither the structural damage nor the mold growth will likely be covered. Additionally, if you live in an area prone to freezing, damage caused by burst pipes caused by freezing will not likely be covered either.
Water damage is one of the most common losses business owners face, yet many are unprepared for such an event. This is typically because they do not read the fine print before purchasing a policy. If you want to ensure that you're covered for water damage, whether it is caused by damaged pipes or flooding, discuss your unique exposures with your Hilshire Village,TX, water damage remediation company.
Personal Protective Equipment for Safe Mold Remediation
If you find mold in your Texas home, give SERVPRO a call!
Whether professionals are handling a mold outbreak in Houston, TX or you hope to tackle the problem yourself, it is crucial that personal protective equipment is used. Cleaning up mold often involves the handling of potentially hazardous substances. Additionally, mold spores are microscopic and could become airborne or transported from one area to another during clean up. The right equipment could prevent this and protect other areas of the property.
Items of personal protective equipment include:
• Disposable hair covers
• Safety goggles
• Air-purifying respirator
• Tyvek suits or clothing that can be immediately and appropriately laundered
• Disposable gloves
• Disposable shoe covers
While your property is in the process of remediation, containment is necessary to protect unaffected areas from new mold growth. There are several containment methods approved by the EPA, both full and limited. Full containment may occur when contamination of an entire building requires that layers of the wall are removed. Appropriate containment prevents the transfer of mold colonies into areas of the building that have already been treated.
Limited containment could simply require a sheet of 6-mil fire-retardant polyethylene with a slit entry and flap. This sheeting may be held in place by duct tape. In many cases, containment also involves sealing off doors, pipe chases, and air vents to keep mold away from other areas of the property. Remediation experts have access to these materials and others used for containment.
Some air purifiers can be used to remove mold spores or at least remove odors that are caused by mold. If this method of controlling mold contamination is used to protect your Houston, TX building, it's best to choose a filter that uses approved technology and is in compliance with established standards. Remember that these purifiers don't provide mold remediation; instead they are a tool for prevention. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/ for more information on mold.
Securing Your Building After a Fire
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience fire damage in your business.
Fires are known for causing a lot of destruction. Big fires can create extensive damage to the exterior of buildings as well as everything inside. If you are dealing with fire damage and must wait until everything is restored, you might run into break-ins and looting. Here are four things you can do to ensure the security of your property during the restoration process.
1. Remove All Valuables
In case you do have intruders, it’s best to store any important documents or expensive appliances in a safe and secure place. This also ensures that nothing will get damaged during the fire cleanup process.
2. Board Up All Openings
Gaping holes in vacant commercial buildings are easy targets for looters. To decrease the risk of attracting unwanted attention in Houston, TXboard up all windows and openings. If you are concerned that plywood isn’t sufficient enough, you can reinforce the boards with carriage bolts and braces on the interior.
3. Fence Your Property
Setting up a portable chain fence around the perimeter of your property is an easy way to keep intruders out. Be sure to install the fence properly so that there are no easy ways to climb over or under. Simply inform the fire damage professionals how to enter through the gate so that they can do their work.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Building
It’s a good idea to check up on your building often to look for any problems such as recently shattered windows or broken locks. Consider installing cameras or security guards as an extra precaution.
Dealing with fire damage can be challenging enough, but by taking a few of these precautions, you can prevent looting from happening. The duration of the restoration process may differ due to the extent of the damage, but with a secured property, you can be reassured that no one will invade your building. Visit http://www.SERVPROtownandcountry.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
5 Common Problems for Commercial Irrigation Systems
If you have an irrigation system in Houston, TX, you need to know how to troubleshoot any problems that arise. Getting familiar with the common issues that affect the outdoor sprinklers can help you better find the source of the problem. Use this list to help you figure out what could be going wrong, but you should remember to call in a commercial water damage specialist if you cannot get to the source of the problem quickly.
1. Low Pressure: Your irrigation can lose pressure for a variety of reasons. Clogs, electrical issues, open valves and piping cracks can lead to low pressure. You may notice this problem if water does not seem to be coming out of your sprinklers as it should. Many systems are equipped with a pressure gauge to help you better keep an eye on this part of the irrigation system.
2. No Electricity: Irrigation problems can also be caused by a loss of electricity. Whether your system got unplugged or a fuse blew, you should make sure the system has the power it needs.
3. Broken Pipes: A crack in your pipe can stop the entire system from operating correctly. If you notice a puddle of water in a particular part of your lawn, it could be a sign that water is escaping the pipes in an unconventional location.
4. Dirty Lines: Clogs can easily mess up your lines and cause serious irrigation problems. Rocks, twigs and dirt can find their way into valves and other parts of the system. Regular cleaning may help you avoid this potential issue.
5. Damaged Valves: The valves of your system have to be able to turn on and off. If this piece of the sprinkler is damaged, water may not be able to properly travel through the valve or the valve may not be able to stop the water.
If your commercial irrigation system goes off the rails, you likely want to get it fixed as quickly as possible. Being familiar with common problems can help you troubleshoot and come up with a fast solution. For more information about commercial water damage, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/.
3 Steps for Preparing Your Business for a Winter Storm
The Disaster Recovery Team is ready for your restoration emergency.
When you’re a business owner, you never have time to slow down if you really want to make your establishment into a success. Unfortunately, the weather often has other plans, especially during the chilly winter months in Houston, TX. Closing down for a day won’t kill business, but experiencing a pipe break or other serious damage as a result of a winter storm certainly can. That’s why you should always prepare your business before the storm can hit by:
• Clearing out and shutting off your water before the storm hits
• Making a plan for snow and ice cleanup ahead of time
• Replacing weather stripping on exterior doors
1. Avoiding Frozen Pipes
Frozen and burst pipes are the most common form of winter storm damage that the modern business encounters during winter conditions. The issue starts off with a small leak but can quickly develop into a flooding deluge in a matter of minutes. That’s why shutting off your water and clearing out your pipes before a storm is crucial for protecting your premises. This way, you’re not only preventing more water from working its way into the building but also getting rid of any that might already be present in the pipes.
2. Weather Stripping
As snow falls, it’s likely to pile up against your doors. While this in itself is harmless, it can quickly become problematic when the snow begins to melt. If your weather stripping is worn, melting snow can seep under your doors and into your business, ruining rugs, carpeting and other belongings in the process.
3. Cleanup Plans
In the event that all of your efforts fail, you should already have a snow and ice cleanup crew chosen to come take care of any issues you might experience. Having a team already chosen allows you to mitigate further water and ice damage from the winter storm, meaning you’ll have your business back as soon as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
Dealing With Secondhand Smoke Damage
When you think about smoke damage on your commercial properties, chances are that you probably pictured it resulting from fire damage. While that is what happens in most cases, you can also suffer from it when a nearby building experiences a blaze. Even though the flames were not on your premises, smoke carried on the wind can drift toward you, causing secondhand smoke and soot damage to your buildings and possibly your equipment. If this happens to you, you’re not without recourse. Remembering some vital tips should aid you in getting your business back to normal in Houston, TX.
Will My Insurance Cover Secondhand Damage?
Your business probably has a complete indemnity package that includes typical essentials such as general liability and property, along with specialized coverages such as business interruption insurance. Most companies benefit from a risk management strategy based on both general and specific risks they face doing business, but they often overlook the powerful protection that coverage offers. Whether it’s an adjacent business affected by a blaze or wildfires burning in a nearby forest, the resulting fire, soot and smoke damage will likely be reimbursed by the property portion of your policy.
How Do I Recover From My Loss?
There are two basic components of recovering from destruction inflicted by a fire:
• Reimbursement for and replacement of contents
• Restoration of buildings on your premises
After you’ve contacted your insurer, your next phone call should be to a company with expertise in smoke cleaning, soot removal and odor remediation. Besides these key smoke damage services, these technicians will also rectify any water damage you’ve incurred from fire suppression efforts that affected your property. While your insurance company will play a key role in paying for these efforts, it’s the restoration professionals in Houston, TX, that will bring your buildings back to their former condition, making them safe for occupation so you can return to business.
The Importance of Cleaning Items Properly After Water Damage
You can feel almost as victimized by an onslaught of water in your home as you would a masked intruder. The dangers are both immediate and potentially long-term when you are dealing with a broken pipe, backed up sewer or other water damage situation. The specific dangers involved depend on the type of water damage you are facing:
• Clean water
• Gray or black water
The process and dangers for pipe burst cleanup, which usually involves clean water, are different than what you’d need a sewer cleanup company to do.
Clean Water Cleanup
The main focus when dealing with clean water cleanup is getting the water out as quickly as possible. This means addressing the flooring, but also wet walls, furniture and belongings. It takes just 24 hours for mold to begin growing on drywall, carpeting, upholstery and other material. Mold can be damaging and a hazard, so it is important to look at each item and restore it properly. Hidden damp areas invite mold and insects as easily as areas you can see.
Another problem with delaying pipe burst cleanup is elevated humidity levels in your Houston, TX home. You could end up with mold far from the broken pipe. The humidity will also make the HVAC system run harder, which can be costly.
Black Water Cleanup
Dealing with black water is infinitely worse. Not only do you have the same potential dangers as you would with clean water cleanup, but you also face contaminants and microorganisms that could prove deadly. These contaminants will remain present until everything is thoroughly cleaned and dried. It is important to note that not all materials can be cleaned satisfactorily and should be disposed of. A trained and qualified sewer cleanup company can be your best bet for restoring what can be and advising you what should be thrown away.
If you are dealing with a broken pipe and need pipe burst cleanup or sewer cleanup company services, the most important thing is to get started right away. Time is not on your side, and delaying can result in more serious problems that may affect your home.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.
How to Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage
How to Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage
If you live in Houston, Texas you know the likelihood of flooding in your property is higher than in many other areas. For some businesses, flooding can have catastrophic consequences and can ruin their buildings. Being prepared for such an event, however, will go a long way toward helping you retain the integrity of your property and deal with flooding events quickly and effectively. Here are a few tips to help you prepare yourself and your business for flood damage.
Educate Yourself on the Insurance Process
It is not commonly known that commercial insurance does not always cover disaster-level flooding. A yard flood or backup of sewer or drain is often covered, depending on the insurance company and any endorsements you may have added to your policy, but flooding caused by a flash flood or hurricane is not. Flood insurance is a separate policy that is purchased through FEMA, and has its own set of rules and endorsements.
Cleaning Gutters and Storm Drains
A great way to mitigate storm damage to your property is by regularly cleaning your gutters and storm drains. While it won’t guarantee that your business will be free of harmful bacteria or pathogens in the event of a flood, it will certainly lessen the risk and lighten the load when it comes to restoration. This is because the garbage, leaves, and other debris that often gets caught in these places can often carry harmful substances that will make your business, or at least the affected area, temporarily unlivable.
Familiarize Yourself with Restoration Companies
There are plenty of disaster restoration companies in Houston, Texas but not all of them are equal. It’s important to have a good understanding of the differences between companies, including customer reviews and reputability. Find the one in your area that you feel most comfortable allowing into your commercial property to treat for flooding and other disasters before the event comes, because it’s important to take action as quickly as possible once it does. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on flood damage.
Large Loss Equipment for Commercial Water Losses
Large Loss Equipment for Commercial Water Losses
When a large commercial building has a large water loss it takes the right equipment to get the place clean and operational once again. The amount of water that enters a facility when a pipe breaks will eventually cause a lot of evaporation. All that humidity is hard to get rid of with our traditional Desiccant Dehumidifiers.
The picture is of Desiccant Dehumidifier which can move 5000 cubic feet of air every minute. Its job is to move hot dry air into the building while removing humidity.
When your office or commercial property has a water damage it's important to call a remediation company that has the right equipment to do the job right. Call SERVPRO of Town& Country when you have a water damage.
Fire Sprinkler System Information
Fire Sprinkler System Information
Many commercial buildings will have a fires sprinkler system installed to avoid heavy losses during a fire. Here are some frequently asked questions about fire sprinklers and why they are needed.
A fire suppression system is heat censored and will turn on when there is enough heat next to the sprinkler head.
- Do they all turn on flooding the whole building?
Only the sprinkler heads that sense heat will turn on during a fire. There are some older systems that may have sections turn on but today's systems are more sophisticated.
- Why don't fire sprinklers freeze?
Some have frozen before but it's not likely. The fire suppression system is full of water mixed with glycol to deter freezing.
In most cases the water damage is far less expensive that a fire damage. Keeping fire sprinkler systems up to date and maintained will help keep the costs of a loss lower.
Emergency Response Profile - SERVPRO App
The SERVPRO Application for businesses is known as the Emergency Response Profile or ERP App. It can be downloaded on the App Store for both Apple and Android.
The ERP allows businesses to add pictures and locations of gas and water shut off locations per profile. Each profile can be shared with other employees of a building to help them know where to shut off gas or water in an emergency.
The ERP is not a contingency plan but an Emergency Response Profile. The goal is to help mitigate damages due to water or fire disasters.
No more having employees calling around trying to find out where the shut off locations are located to stop the water from entering. Now they can look at their phone or computer and know exactly where to go to shut off the water.
Download the ERP App or give SERVPRO a call and we will schedule an appointment to walk your employees through the process.
Commercial Flood Restoration
Commercial Flood Restoration
Cleaning the home after flood damage can be a difficult task. The floodwaters will bring contamination in the house. If the storm water mixes with the sludge from the sewer, the storm will carry a lot of toxins to the drainage systems. If the drainage systems do not function properly, the blockage is a likely possibility. As the drainage channels fill up, the possibility of the flooding in the house is quite high. The best way to prevent this flooding and contamination is to install the appropriate backflow prevention devices in your sewerage and drainage channels. However, you still have to disinfect your floors and walls while cleaning the house. Once you eliminate the excess water and mud, you need to wash the surfaces with the appropriate detergents. While the surfaces might appear clean to the naked eye, they might be full of toxins that come with the floods. It is critical to disinfect every surface with the chlorine-based solutions to restore the healthy environment in your home.
Besides the mitigation, a restoration company can help you when drying a flooded home. A flooded home is risky to your occupants, meaning that engaging a restoration company to help with the drying procedure is vital. A restoration company that repairs the supply line break as soon as possible can help you to reduce the damage in your flooded home.
If the water damage causes the sewage to flow into your home, your entire home might be contaminated. As you embark on the restoration program, it is vital to think of the mitigation as well. Flood mitigation helps to reduce the effects of water damage and save money on water cleanup and sanitization. After undertaking the water cleanup and disinfection, the next step involves drying the surfaces and eliminating the moisture in the indoor environment. After flood damage, the water in home hardwood floors can percolate to the foundation and cause the wood to rot. When the water in business floors affects the carpets, you might have to replace them. The water in business appliances can cause extensive damage, especially if it affects the electronics such as printers and computers.
The restoration will also involve replacing the wood panels in the wake of the water damage. While mitigation entails taking some precautions to prevent the severity of water damage, the restoration involves water cleanup, drying, and home repair. A pump is vital when it comes to eliminating the water in business floors, storm water in the damaged drains, and water in business parking lots. The best way to get rid of the water in business carpets is to use a dryer. Once you start pumping the water in business premises, you can contact the insurance company to estimate the damage. The water in home crawlspaces might have some toxins too. While undertaking the water cleanup, you should look out for the hidden areas if you want to eliminate the water in home floors, foundation, and crawlspaces.
The pipe break in your plumbing system can cause the water to leak. When looking for the pipe break, scrutinize the walls for any signs of dampness. A pipe break can be quite difficult to repair if the pipe is hidden within the walls. The effect of the water in home flooring will depend on the resilience of the material. The supply line break can wreak havoc on the hardwood flooring and force you to undertake some expensive repairs. The best way to deal with a supply line break is to call a plumber. While identifying the supply line break can be a daunting task, a plumber can do it with ease. Restoring the solid wood furniture is quite easy if the damage is minimal. The wallboards cannot be salvaged since they absorb water and act like sponges when wet.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.
Commercial Fire Damage 101
Commercial Fire Damage 101
This is a team of people who are professional in tackling fire incidences. They train, equip and distinguish fires regardless of its intensity at any location. They restore homes and premises after a fire tragedy or incident and advice on what to do in case of fire.
Damage by Fire
This damage emanating from a fire break out either accidental or intentional. Fire damage can be caused by flammable materials placed near a source of fire or stored inappropriately. There are various sources of fire accidents that can cause a fire damage. They include human error, combustible materials where materials that are easily flammable are carelessly handled. Another source of fire is a faulty equipment or machine where an individual fails to report a malfunctioning equipment where it can produce a spark leading to a fire damage.
Clutter is also another source of damage when not cleaned regularly, piling up will occur raising temperatures in the pile and if the temperature becomes too much a fire is a likely occurrence. Another source of fire damage is arson where a person can intentionally light a fire that may lead to a fire damage. Human error has been blamed for most of the fire accidents around the world. This is when a person switches off water and the same water system is used elsewhere to extinguish a fire accident. Failure to report a faulty machine or equipment is another human error that can cause damage by fire.
Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage restoration is an action done after several processes and applications have been passed through. Fire damage restoration It is also possible after a fire been completely extinguished. The processes include; inspection and damage assessment, tarp and cleaning assessment, drying and water removal, renovation and repair and finally restoration. After all the mentioned processes have been passed through, the fire damage restoration is finally achieved.
Fire cleanup is a task done to remove the remnants of a fire that have been left behind after a fire has been extinguished. During a fire cleanup, public health safety rules must be followed on how safe to clean a place after a fire break out. Protective clothing should be worn, heavy gloves and safety shoes that are fire resistant to avoid burns. A technician's advice should be sought when dealing with an insulation that has been soaked or when replacing a drywall.
Smoke damage is the discoloration of floors, walls, and garments within the building. Smoke damage causes black marks also known as soot that is thick in nature and cleaning it requires a special approach. The smoke damage should be assessed to ascertain whether to use a dry or a wet cloth. In the event that clothes have been affected by the smoke damage, washing them in warm water and detergents will remove the smoke soot.
Soot is a black substance that forms as a result of combustion that is incomplete thus leading to soot damage. Soot damage can be cleaned by using a dry sponge or a wet cloth depending on the nature of the soot which can be oily or dry. When it's oily, soapy water and detergents are used to clean the soot damage but after consulting on the best detergent to be used.
Commercial Fire Damage
Commercial fire damage can be devastating to a business enterprise in terms of business losses and even the premises themselves. A commercial fire damage can lead to employee job losses; customers will start seeking an alternate source of their supplies. Businesses are encouraged to ensure their businesses against fires and also train their employees on how to avert these fires. Techniques on how to avoid commercial fire damage are also taken into account.
The smoke smell can stick onto garments or walls and even ceilings of a building. Removing the smoke smell requires thorough cleaning of garments, walls, floors, and carpets within the building. By completely getting rid of smoke smell purifying the air in the house is required.
Fire in Home
Fire in home may occur by accident or intentional. Home owners should take care of appliances that they use to avoid fire in home. For a fire in home to be averted, faulty appliances should be repaired, dispose of those that are not used or are spoiled safely and also have an emergency number at hand in case a fire incident occurs. Training is also recommended to avoid fire in home.
Fire in Business
Fire in business may be severe depending on the material a business is using or what the business enterprise is engaged in. Fire in business requires training to be carried out on employees to avert a fire crisis. Business enterprises are encouraged to have a direct communication line for fire safety experts who will help out in the event of a fire in business.
A restoration company is a company involved with extinguishing fires and handling fire damage, training of company employees and even home owners on how to face a fire accident. A restoration company should operate on a 24-hour basis because fires happen at any given time of the day. Also, a restoration company gives expert advice on how to restore business premises or a home after a fire accident.
Board up is the covering of walls, windows and even walls with boards after disasters like fire. The board up technique adds privacy to the affected area and also helps secure equipment from further damage. Board up is one of the very first things that a competitive restoration company does on getting to the scene.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.
The First Step In Commercial Mold Damage
The First Step In Commercial Mold Damage
What is the proper first step to take when mold in the home or commercial mold damage is located? There are many conflicting answers to this question, but mold damage requires one simple first step. Call a professional restoration company to handle the remediation and mitigation process immediately. That’s the first step in dealing with mold damage, mold growth, and mold removal. The next step is to remove any water that might cause mold damage or mold growth to occur.
Flood water is a big problem that causes mold to grow quickly, but it’s not just flooding that causes mold in the home or commercial mold damage to form. If a pipe in the wall is leaking, it can cause mold growth in the walls. While mold growth of any kind is a major problem, it’s mold growth behind walls that sometimes causes the biggest issues since it’s not easily noticed and handled as quickly as other mildew, fungus, or even dry rot in a home or office.
What People Can Do to Assist Commercial Mold Damage and Mold in the Home
Get rid of the water damage first. Moisture and humidity love to work together to allow this fungus to grow. It also helps other types of mildew grow, and no one wants any kind of fungus or mildew in their home or office. Moisture also speeds up the process of dry rot, which is a sign of mold damage. Mold growth in the walls can occur when dry rot is present, which is why getting rid of all standing water and water damage is a must.
The next most helpful thing people can do when they find mold in the home or commercial mold damage is shut down the air or heat depending on the time of year. Not only can this system cause the smelly odor that fungus such as mold or even mildew emits to spread faster throughout a building, it also helps mold damage spread throughout the building when spores are spread. Deodorization is nearly impossible when this kind of mold damage occurs.
Home and business owners must know they cannot do their own mold removal. It’s only going to spread spores and make the damage worse. Mold removal is best handled with professional equipment designed to remove mold from places the naked eye cannot even see, such as mold growth behind walls, and it’s also designed to allow for professional deodorization to remove the smelly odor mold emits.
The Signs of Mold Growth
Mold can grow anywhere, but most people notice mold growth behind walls when they notice the smelly odor that comes with it. It might not respond kindly to deodorization. Only professional deodorization works to get rid of this smell, but it’s a big sign of mold growth behind walls. Dry rot is another sign, as well as the growth of any other fungus or mildew around the house or office.
Home and business owners might panic if they notice black mold growing, but it does not always cause concern. Mold occurs in many different forms, and many types of fungus look like black mold. The best thing people can do is call a restoration company to handle remediation and mitigation when they find any mold, whether it’s black mold or another color.
Remediation and mitigation are mandatory when any black mold or other mold is present in a home of office. The first step when mold is found is always to call a restoration company. A restoration company is employed to handle remediation and mitigation on top of mold removal. Calling them is the only way to get rid of a smelly odor forever, and
it's the only way to properly remove mold from a home or office. This is not a DIY job. It's the kind of job no one should do on their own, because it only makes things worse.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold.
Memorial Commercial Property Care: 8 Steps for Recovering from a Fire
Water Damage Fact: A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours
Commercial properties and businesses affected by a fire require expert commercial fire damage restoration teams that quickly remediate the damage. Every day that your business is closed or operations are slowed because of the fire means a loss of productivity and revenue. In addition to fire and smoke damage in commercial properties in Memorial, water damage and structural damage caused by the firefighting can be significant. Here are 8 steps to help you quickly recover from a fire in your business.
1. Adhere to Fire Department Warnings. Before entering your commercial property after a fire, it is imperative that you heed the warnings given by the fire department. Even walking through a fire-ravaged property can be hazardous.
2. Take Photos and Videos. If the fire department has indicated your property is safe to walk through, take photos and videos of each room, focusing on the damage. Be sure to include damaged items or structural features, including any smoke and water damage.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company. It is vital that you call your insurance company as soon as possible. An insurance adjuster will assist with the filing of your claim so that you can get back to your Houston area business quickly.
4. Setup a Temporary Office. If the damage was significant and you will be displaced for some time, you will need a temporary office to handle your business, insurance claims, and the restoration process. This temporary office can be leased, or you may elect to use a room in your home.
5. Call a Commercial Fire Restoration Team. The damage caused by the fire, the smoke, and the water must be assessed as soon as the property has been deemed safe by the fire department. Serving the Memorial and Northwest Houston area, SERVPRO of Town & Country can respond at any time of the day or night to complete the damage assessment and begin the restoration process.
6. Identify Items for Restoration. While at first glance, many items in your Memorial area business may appear destroyed, the SERVPRO team can clean, sanitize, and restore items to pre-fire condition.
7. Remove Furnishings and Structural Items Destroyed. There may be items in your business that are destroyed because of the fire. These items need to be inventoried, removed, and disposed of properly. Our fire damage restoration team will handle this process for you. It is important to understand that the water, steam, and heat from the fire may have caused significant internal damage to electrical appliances; prior to using these items, they must be evaluated for safety.
8. Restore the Property. After you’ve filed your insurance claim and the property has been cleaned, dried, and smoke damaged remediated, the process of rebuilding can begin. The level of damage obviously will dictate the amount of time to rebuild and make your commercial property safe once again. At SERVPRO, we understand that every hour spent cleaning up water damage and fire damage restoration is an hour of revenue lost. We strive to remediate the damage as quickly as possible so you can get back to business.
If a fire has recently affected your commercial property in the greater Houston area, call SERVPRO immediately. Our professional team will respond quickly with all of the tools and equipment necessary to properly restore your property. We will work directly with your insurance company and begin remediating water damage in your Memorial commercial property.
About Town & Country SERVPRO
The SERVPRO team of Town & Country is faster to any size disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when disasters strike. We are experts in the field of mold remediation, water damage, flood and fire cleanup, and other events that damage your property.