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What Exactly Is A Commercial Disaster?

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Equipment malfunction caused this flood in a manufacturing plant. Not only was the production floor affected, so to was this restroom.

One definition of a disaster is a serious disruption, occurring over a relatively short time, of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental loss. When we talk to people in the commercial setting they think of a disaster as a major weather-related event. A tornado, a great flood, or something similar.  The truth is we see disasters, all be it on a smaller scale, to commercial property on a weekly basis.

A disaster in a commercial setting is anything that causes disruption to business or causes damage to services or goods that negatively impact profitability. Here are the most common disasters we see.

Failed Plumbing: Just like your home, a commercial building is just as susceptible to failed plumbing. Frozen pipe bursts are common in the winter because people may times try to cut cost and may not keep the property from freezing. The strain on plumbing because of everyday harsh use also can weaken the plumbing and make it vulnerable.

Appliances & Equipment: From a simple water heater malfunction to major machinery using high water pressure. Appliances and equipment, even with the best maintenance sometimes fail. Evaluate the equipment in your commercial building. If you are a restaurant or food service provider you may be more at risk.

Sprinkler System Malfunction: Have regular maintenance performed on your sprinkler system annually. This the best way to prevent malfunctions.

Roof Leaks: Okay this one is kind of weather related. But it doesn’t take huge thunderstorm to leave water in your building if you have roof issues. A regular shower can do a great amount of damage if the roof allows it to leak inside.

Leaving Your Stove On Can Cause a Fire in Your Home

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

There are many things inside of your home that can cause fire damage. Some of them are even objects that you use every day of your life, such as your stove. At first glance, they are merely a part of your home and nothing to worry over, as they should be. However, if these devices are misused, they can cause a fire. Accidentally leaving your stove on, after you finish cooking, is an unfortunately common way to set a fire in your home.

Detecting a burning odor and hearing your smoke alarm in your Minneapolis home are significant indications that fire Damage is occurring. The bacon grease left in your pan from cooking breakfast has caught fire and then spread to your nearby paper towel roll and cooking ingredients. By the time you use the fire extinguisher to smother the flames, your cupboards and belongings have already been covered in soot. Additionally, whatever foodstuffs were in the area have been burnt up by the fire.

At first glance, the damage may seem like something you can handle at home. Afterall, it has mostly been caused by smoke. However, only professionals, like SERVPRO, know specifically what cleaning method to use on the remains of a fire.

Soot adheres at a high temperature but selecting a method of remediation also depends on the temperature of the surface area. SERVPRO knows precisely how to remediate the fire damage left behind in your home. Our technicians can carefully investigate your kitchen and figure out what cleaning methods to use. In fact, we may have to use more than one as it is common for multiple types of soot and staining to be left behind. To handle the soot, we can use lubricative, chemical, or abrasive cleaning techniques.

SERVPRO Investigates to Quickly Find Sources of Mold

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Running a pub can be rough, dealing with customers day in and day out who have had a little too much to drink. The place can get out of control, but even under the best circumstances, there are several gallons of moisture hitting the floors every day. If the serving area, the bar itself and the storage areas for the liquor do not have proper maintenance performed, mold growth can happen quickly. A single broken nozzle in the serving area or even spillage from a solid night of business can create the perfect conditions for mold growth to occur. 
 
When you experience commercial mold damage in your business, give us a call. We have 24-hour emergency services available from a trusted leader in the restoration industry. Being a locally owned and operated franchise has its privileges, we have access to the personnel and equipment necessary to handle any size disaster. With several years of experience, we understand how mold acts and can effectively mediate the exposure your business faces. 
 
Mold growth, especially in buildings, may cause health effects in certain people. A variety of practices, used correctly, mitigate mold issues in buildings. Maintaining the proper moisture levels inside of a building helps mediate mold growth and prevent possible mold damage restoration conditions. SERVPRO technicians understand that mold spores are present in our environment, both indoors and outdoors. 
 
It is a part of our job at SERVPRO to educate you about the possible ways to spread microscopic spores  throughout your business and properly limit exposure to your professional environment. Spores can float through the air and often enter through open windows or doors. If not maintained correctly, your ventilation system could contain large numbers of mold spores and spread them throughout your building. 
 
SERVPRO experiences cases of infestation on a daily basis. Most often producing strong, musty odors in areas just out of view, before growing into colonies and spreading to other regions. The moisture level that exists has an enormous impact on how far the contamination spreads, however, small areas can live for a very long time before the right conditions are in place to expand them further. 
 

Heavy Rains Can Cause A Nasty Problem

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy rains can put a lot of stress on the local drainage systems. When the sewer system reaches maximum volume waste water is forced out through floor drains, tubs, or any plumbing connected to the city sewer. Buildings with basements are particularly susceptible.

These situations are real health hazards. The water can contain solid waste and many other pathogenic hazards. It is never acceptable to enter areas affected by a sewer back up unprotected.

At Risk: With these kinds of health hazards all are considered at rick when in this environment but some are more susceptible than others. The very young, the very old, and anyone with a compromised immune system need to steer clear of these areas.

Category 3: All water damages are classified by category based on the degree of contaminationOne, being the cleanest down to three, which is considered grossly contaminated. Many times, you will hear this kind of loss be referred to as “Black” water.

Personal Protection: The IICRC has a strict standard for handling a water damage such as a sewer backup because of the potential health concerns. All persons who are involved with the clean up of a sewer backup are required to wear personal protective equipment. In this case it calls for boots, gloves, protective clothing, and a full-face respirator to protect the eyes and respiratory system.

Staying Safe During a Storm

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Priorities, people!  The most important thing is staying safe during a storm.  There will be plenty of time to review the damage, later.  In our modern, technology-driven age, we can sometimes forget how powerful the forces of nature are.  Here’s a few tips on how to protect your family and friends.

If You’re Outdoors

Find Shelter Fast

In the event that you’re caught in a thunder and lightning rainstorm, the best way to reduce the chances of danger is to get inside a protective structure.  If you can see lightning, there’s a chance it can hurt you.   Make sure and bring your pets inside with you and protect them, too.

Things to definitely avoid:  standing under a tree and being near powerlines.   Lightning is attracted to tall objects and  you could get hurt, either by the tree if it should crack or the lightning could hit you, too.  High voltage powerlines can come down in heavy storms and once down, move like writhing snakes.  People have been killed because they were ‘whipped’ and electrocuted by powerlines.

Should a protective building not be near, get in a car with metal roof and sides.  Metal is a great conductor of electricity.  Better to have the voltage go around you instead of through you!

Stay Off your Landline

Lightning has been known to travel through telephone wires.  Shocks from landlines are actually the leading source of lightning-related injuries. 

Avoid Potentially Wet Areas

This includes swimming pools and even showers and bathtubs.  Water is also an excellent conductor of electricity.  So is metal plumbing.  Lightning can run through metal pipes and shock you if you touch a metal faucet at the time it strikes.

What if You Can’t Get Inside?

There are just some times when there are no protective structures.  In these cases, the following rules apply:

Get to a lower elevation.  Lightning strikes less often at lower elevations.

Avoid being in situations where you are the tallest object.  This could include open meadows, athletic fields, golf courses etc.  Remember, the tallest objects in an area are practically ‘lightning targets’.  Don’t be one!

If you feel a staticky sensation in your hair, it could be that a lightning strike is imminent.  In this case, assume a crouched position transferring your weight to the balls of your feet with your shoes touching.  Next, tuck your head and cover your ears (make yourself as small as possible). This will improve the odds of avoiding a direct hit.  When the staticky sensation passes, make a ‘bee line’ for the nearest car or building.

If You’re Driving

Don’t Touch

The safest car to be in during a lightning storm is one where the entire cabin is composed of metal – something that isn’t found as commonly anymore.  Non-metallic materials actually increase the chances that the passengers may be injured.  In the event that the car is hit, the current may pass through the vehicle’s electrical systems, the GPS, cell phone chargers, car door handles, foot pedals, steering column and steering wheel.

The best advice in a situation like this is not to touch anything metal in the car’s cabin during the storm – including the radio. 

Drivers should also avoid driving through standing water.  Engines can easily stall in as little as 6” of water.  This increases the chances of being hit by another vehicle or getting caught in a flash flood.

Moving Past the Storm.  Restoration Services.

While these tips will not protect your property, they could save your life!  In the event that you should require water or storm damage restoration after the storm has passed, SERVPRO is here to help.

There when you need us.  We’re here for you when you need us most.  In many cases, we’ll be at your door within an hour of your call.

Share our knowledge.  Experience has shown us that what most people want is to understand what is happening all through the restoration process. 

Winter Water Damage

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

In the wintertime, we tend to forget about mold becoming an issue in the home. For the most part, we associate mold with humid summer days creating the perfect environment for mold growth in dark, damp spaces… but this is not always the case. For example, mold growth can strike quickly after a flood or fire even in the winter. We recently encountered a home in which the pipes had burst on the third floor of the dwelling. With no one home, the water soaked the home for 2 days before the leak was discovered. Our crew began working in the home within 72 hours of the disaster and within that time mold growth could be seen on wet surfaces throughout the house. If not properly treated mold can quickly make its way into difficult to find places like vents and ducts where it may cause health issues to those in the home if not removed.

Homes Can Be Restored With SERVPRO

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Handles the Remediation Process From Inspecting the Damage to Paint and Flooring

We all make mistakes at one point or another, and sometimes accidents happen, even at home. If you've had the excitement of a small fire in your home recently, you'll most likely have been surprised at the amount of damage a small fire can cause. While you may have already cleaned up part of the damage, especially your personal belongings, damage to trim, carpeting, walls, floors, or anything else that is a part of your home's structure should be repaired and restored by professionals. 

If you live in a rented home and have had fire damage, having professional restoration work done by those skilled in recreating your home's damaged interior is the best way to make sure you'll receive your deposit back when you move out. If you have insurance, either homeowner's, in the case of your own home, or renter's insurance, we can provide you with an inventory list that details which items are beyond repair or restoration. 

As we conduct our inspection, we may find that internal beams have also been charred by the flames' heat. These should be replaced with new lumber prior to repairing any walls. Then we can continue the work with either paint or wallpaper, as well as moldings and rails. We can also repair any damaged carpets and area rugs, as well as hard floors. Wood, tile and other hard surfaces that cover your floor can be cleaned and refinished so that the fire Damage is minimized to a great extent, and many times, be completely removed. It's always possible that fire damage may be so severe that it requires partial replacement of flooring, though, just as other interior structures can at times. We can handle any problems involving your floor, and we will always restore as much as we can before replacing the remainder. 

Fire damage includes smoke and soot, and this can affect soft furnishings in your home. Drapes and curtains, as well as your upholstered furniture and heavier winter blankets, should all be cleaned by experts in the field. Don't throw these items away, as we are very adept at saving these kinds of items for many of our clients. We know how to dry them all the way through, so they won't rot or become a haven for mold in the future. 

Getting Rid Of Odors After Flooding

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

When the water is gone, sometimes after the property has been repaired, flood damage can leave one hard effect in the form of a stale, musty odor. The remaining musty smell is unsavory to deal with, but it could also be a bad sign that your flood cleanup efforts aren’t quite done. If you are dealing with the aftermath of flood water damage here are a few tips to get rid of musty smells.

Get Rid of the Moisture

Getting rid of a mildew smell in your carpet often comes down to simply ensuring the source of the water damage smell has been fully removed. Mold remediation experts can help by inspecting for lingering leaks and mold issues. Once you ensure everything is dry and water damaged carpeting is removed, you’re ready to move to the next steps.

Drying and Treating

Once the immediate water damage and mold issues are addressed, you’ll want to :

  • Treat the carpet with a cleaning solution. A homemade one involves mixing a cup of vinegar and two cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto the carpet lightly, being sure not to over saturate and trigger mold growth.
  • Pour baking soda over the treated areas. Baking soda is known for absorbing odors. Let it sit on the area overnight then vacuum it up.
  • Clean the air. Your circulating air can be cleaned just like a saturated item. Try some homemade deodorization by placing bowls of white vinegar or clean cat litter around the effected space. Both are known for lifting odors.

Do You Know Where Your Shut Offs Are?

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Shutoff tags are a great way to reduce confusion during a loss

Knowing where your shutoffs are in your commercial building could save you thousands of unnecessary damage to your building.

Knowing where your shutoffs are and clearly marking them enables the building owner to shut off water several minutes before first responders can.

In the case of sprinklers that malfunction and turn on, just 1 minute less of water flowing could cut days off of a drying project.

If you don;t already , make sure you put together a plan of where the following shutoffs are:

  • Gas

  • Water

  • Electricity


Commercial buildings often times require elevated training and equipment to dry and repair.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints.

We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Boarding Up Your Home

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Preparing for storm season.

Boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through—especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even
worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.”