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How to Prevent Black Water From Damaging Your Business

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded building. Sign that says WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Flooded building after storm in Temple, TX

There are few crises more devastating than flooding. If you are a business owner Temple, TX, then it is important for you to know how to protect your property from the long-term damage of floodwater. With the right information under your belt, you can safeguard your business assets from this kind of natural disaster.

Understanding the Dangers of Flooding

Water from outdoor floods is classified as black water, meaning that it carries a high number of contaminants such as sewage, bacteria, and soil. For this reason, it can do significant damage to building contents. Some tips to consider if your business is flooded include:

  • Closing off any flooded areas of the property
  • Removing any water-logged furniture from the premises
  • Throwing out insulation and other materials that are water-damaged

It is important to let damaged areas of the business dry out for at least 48 hours. You can also promote safety by ensuring that all electrical equipment is removed from the impacted areas.

Repairing the Damage
Contact a professional storm remediation team in the aftermath of a flood. They have the proper protective equipment to deal with floodwater, including boots, gloves, and face masks. A remediation team also has the tools to properly dry out waterlogged furniture. They may determine that the storm damage to an item is too severe and then properly dispose of it.

Preparing for a Flood
Before a crisis occurs, it is a good idea to storm-proof your business and minimize the effects of flooding. One recommendation is to inspect your business for any cracks that could lead to leakage during a storm. If a storm is approaching, remove any furniture or carpets from high-risk areas. This could save you from the trouble of disposing of water-damaged items in the aftermath of a flood. While floodwater can cause harm, there are ways to protect your business from sustaining long-term damages.

Is Business Interruption Insurance Necessary if I Have Property Insurance?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. With a business interruption insurance policy, you can have considerably less to worry about

Three Important Things To Know When You Prepare To Insure A Closed Business

Have you considered what you would do if a disaster or accident forced your business to close down temporarily? Have you thought about the money you’d lose as you work to rebuild? You’re not just losing profit but continuing to pay monthly bills like utilities and rent. Property and disaster insurance policies generally do not cover losses of revenue and expenses. This is why carrying business interruption insurance is critical for any business owner. Here are three important things you need to know as you prepare to insure a closed business.


1) What Does It Cover?


If you have a business that is closed in Temple, TX, interruption insurance can compensate you for the income you lose during the time that you are unable to be open due to a disaster covered under your property insurance policy. Coverage typically starts 48 hours after your company has closed down. A reasonable determination can be made, based upon your previous financial records, of the amount of revenue and operating expenses you are losing by not being open.


2) How Much Do I Need?


Interruption insurance is an area where it’s important not to scrimp. Even the smallest of disasters can derail a company for weeks, while a restoration company works to rebuild your property. It’s often far better to be prepared and pay a slightly higher premium each month than to run out of money when your company is still a long way from resuming operations.


3) How Is Cost Determined?


Interruption insurance is not a separate insurance policy. It’s generally added to property insurance or bundled as part of a package policy. The largest factors in determining coverage are the type of business and location. If your company operates machinery or kitchen equipment, it may carry a higher risk than a call center.

Nobody wants to think about what it would take to rebuild their business. But with a business interruption insurance policy, you can have considerably less to worry about.

4 Steps of Roof Restoration

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

4 Steps of Roof Restoration

Your roof protects your commercial building in Chilton, TX, from water damage and other problems that can be caused by being exposed to the elements. When you have a roof leak, it leaves your building vulnerable. Storm restoration experts can fix your roof in four straightforward steps.

1. Find Damage

The first thing technicians have to do is locate the damage. There are many problems that could lead to a leak:

  • Missing shingles
  • Damaged flashing
  • Dented vents
  • Clogged gutters

Once they have assessed the damaged roof, they can formulate a plan to resolve it. They will likely be able to tell you how long it's going to take to fix the roof leak and how much it will cost to do so. Before they can restore the building, however, they have to clean up the water damage the leak left behind.

2. Tear Out Soggy Material

Once a ceiling or wall is waterlogged, the material is not useful anymore. It must be torn out. The same goes for insulation. All soggy material must be removed before mold starts to grow.

3. Disinfect Area

Storm water from a damaged roof is often contaminated. This means that, even after the wet materials are gone, the remaining structure must be disinfected to remove all microbes or other germs that are in the water. Technicians use industrial cleaners to disinfect the area and prepare it for new materials.

4. Rebuild Structure

The restoration company doesn't just leave your building gutted. Any ceiling tiles or drywall that were torn out must be replaced. The problem that allowed the leak to occur also must be fixed. The job isn't done until everything is rebuilt.
When you notice that a roof leak has caused water damage to your building, it is important to call the professionals. They can work through the steps of the repair process to make sure your building is as good as new.

4 Steps To Removing Black Mold From Air Ducts in Commercial Buildings

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on air ducts If you suspect black mold is in your HVAC system, do not hesitate to call a remediation company

Four-Step Identification And Removal Process

Black mold growth in commercial facilities is problematic, especially when it occurs in the air ducts with no apparent signs elsewhere. Finding the cause of the growth is necessary for a thorough removal to happen. When you contact a mold remediation company in Holland, TX, they will most likely follow a four-step identification and removal process.

Testing
Assessment
Containment
Remediation

Testing
Before starting a removal, the company you hire will want to make sure that the growth you suspect to be mold is actually the fungus. Since your suspicion likely stems from some discoloration on the vents or a musty smell emanating from them, the only way to be sure of the mold is to test a sample. However, do not assume you can test on your own with an over-the-counter testing kit. Most store-bought kits are unreliable and often give false positives. A remediation company will collect samples and send them to a certified lab for testing.

Assessment
If the samples come back positive as black mold or some other fungal species, the remediation crew will set to work inspecting the rest of your facility. While you may have found mold on vents or inside ductwork, the real growth is likely located somewhere else in the facility. However, your HVAC system will also need to be inspected and cleaned.

Containment
The remediation professionals will need to contain the spread of the infestation, so they may shut down your HVAC system. When the crew finds the areas where the mold is developing, they will also need to seal these spaces off to avoid further contamination. Depending on the severity of the spread and the toxicity of the species, you may need to shut your facility down until the crew can remediate and restore it.

Remediation
Most remediations take between three and seven days. However, restorations can take longer, depending on the damage. During the process, the crew will clean ducts, systems, and spaces, eliminating the infestation.
If you suspect black mold is in your HVAC system, do not hesitate to call a remediation company. The longer you wait, the more exposed your facility becomes.

What to Do if You Spill Water on Your Wood Floor

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Water spilled on wooden floor Wooden floors are susceptible if a spill is left unattended

What to Do if You Spill Water on Your Wood Floor

Hardwood floors are easy to clean and can increase the value of a property. Unfortunately, they are also susceptible to water damage if a spill is left unattended. You should address a pipe burst or leak as soon as possible if you want to avoid lasting harm to your flooring.

1. Dry the Affected Area
Obviously, the first step toward ensuring that your wood floor doesn't suffer permanent damage is to dry it thoroughly. This should be done as quickly as possible. Because wood is porous, any moisture that infiltrates deep into flooring can become impossible to remove. For minor spills, paper towels or cloth towels are usually sufficient. A large spill caused by a pipe burst may require a mop and bucket or even a wet vacuum. As a secondary measure, spreading kitty litter over a surface can remove moisture surprisingly effectively.

2. Remove Residual Moisture and Dehumidify
While your floor may appear to be free of wetness, mold-causing moisture can remain well after you have coarsely dried a surface. Drier air is likelier to evaporate water from a slightly wet floor than humid air. This is why it is important to dry the air that will be in contact with your floor. If you have a dehumidifier, you should run it for at least a couple days. Turn on fans and increase airflow in your space.

3. Contact Help
If you lack the equipment to properly dry or dehumidify your property, you should locate a professional who is experienced in water restoration. While professional restoration will cost you, you will probably have to pay much more to replace a moldy or structurally damaged floor. Always try to objectively assess your current costs against the potential future costs of inaction.
Your Academy, TX, business is important to you. Dry your flooring after a pipe burst or accident quickly so that you can save yourself from trouble in the long run.

The Need for a Business Continuity Plan

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Any interruption in your day-to-day business procedures in Temple, TX, can lead to financial losses. A combination of lost revenue and the added expenses associated with the disruption often means a loss of profit from which is can be hard to recover. Much of the time, your insurance policies won't cover all of those losses and it certainly can't entice customers to return once they've moved on to your competitors. Protect yourself from this situation with a business continuity plan. 

Four Steps for the Development of a Business Continuity Plan

  • Identify critical business processes and determine the resources that keep those processes in motion. Consider the impact if you were to lose your facility, any of your personnel, technology including either hardware or software, or any of your key vendors. 
  • Identify the actions you'd take to recover. Document the plan, including objectives such as how to ensure employees are safe, what would be necessary to get critical business functions back online, how to protect company assets, and how you'll communicate with clients, employees, and vendors. 
  • Put together a business continuity leadership team. This group of professionals should be skilled at communication, logistics, and emergency response protocols. During a disaster, this team would put the emergency continuity plan into action. 
  • Train employees in how to follow the emergency response plan when a disaster takes place. These trainings could be presented in a variety of formats. For example, you could run a practice scenario or lead a tabletop discussion. Disaster recovery exercises should be run at least annually. 

Available Resources

Fortunately, there are many resources to help you create an effective emergency response plan. For example, FEMA has a continuity guidance circular and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety has a dedicated site to help you protect your business. 

Prevent serious losses with a solid business continuity plan. You'll appreciate the chance to utilize all resources for recovery following any type of disaster. With a solid plan in place, you can swiftly ensure safety and get critical business procedures back on track.

Steps To Take After a Flood Damages Your Home

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed on living room area, furniture damaged after storm Storm damage in a Chilton, TX home

Steps To Take After a Flood Damages Your Home

If your Chilton, TX, home becomes flooded after a storm, you may need to submit a flood claim to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help repair or replace the following:

  • Furniture
  • Carpets
  • Clothing
  • Window coverings
  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing systems

For other damages, you can check with a private insurance company. Either way, it is necessary to take the following steps to ensure a thorough cleanup.

Turn Off Electricity
If a flood forces you to evacuate your home, it is imperative to turn off all electricity before re-entering to prevent submerged wires from causing electrical shock.

Itemize Your Losses
Before cleanup begins, create a descriptive list of damages to your home and property with replacement values. You will need this if you intend to file an insurance flood claim.

Remove Soaked Items
Rugs and upholstered furnishings can quickly trap water and promote the growth of mold. Remove water-soaked items from your home promptly to prevent this from happening. Before submitting an insurance claim, check if your carrier first requires you to take reasonable precautions to prevent mold growth.

Cleanup
For extensive flood damage, you may need a professional flood restoration service to extract contaminated floodwater and handle mold removal and remediation. Even with the best containment measures, mold can rapidly form after a flood and permeate your home's air, walls, floors, and furnishings. It is best to address this concern as soon as possible to minimize its effects. Before submitting a flood claim, confirm that your insurance provider will cover the costs of mold containment and your expenses to relocate until you return to your home.
It may not be possible to eliminate the threat of flood damage to your Chilton, TX, home. Before submitting an insurance claim to a federal or private provider, it is best to research what is covered to help you budget for any scenario.

Salvaging Family Heirlooms After a Mold Infestation

7/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on couch Mold on couch after water loss

What Can You Do?

While dealing with a mold infestation is challenging for most homeowners, the most troublesome part is dealing with the mold contamination of cherished items. Unfortunately, porous items are often not salvageable after experiencing mold growth because mold spores do not linger on the surface; they find their way to the inside of the item and grow outward. If you have experienced a mold infestation that left your heirlooms contaminated, what can you do?

Discard the items
Contact a mold remediation company
Use a third-party cleaner
Attempt a DIY restoration

Discard the items
The most practical thing to do is to throw the item away after mold contamination. While it is difficult to throw away a part of your past, depending on the species of mold, it may not be healthy to keep the item. It is also likely the infestation caused irreparable damage to the item, meaning the only feasible option is to discard it.

Contact a Mold Remediation Company
Some mold removal companies in Rosebud, TX, have connections to other services that may be able to help. Mold removal requires a specialized skill set to protect the cleaner and the item. Some items are more conducive to rigorous cleaning than others. For example, fabrics may take the restoration process better than photos.

Use a third-Party Cleaner
If your remediation service does not know of any cleaner, you can search for one in your area. Professional services with this skill set will often advertise their capabilities. You can try to contact one of these cleaners and explain your infestation and describe the item or material.

Attempt a DIY Restoration
If the item is fabric, you can try washing it at home, however, do not put it in your dryer because any surviving mold spores can contaminate the machine. You want to wash the item by itself using vinegar. There are plenty of DIY options online.
Mold contamination is devastating for many reasons, but when it involves family heirlooms, it is especially troubling. Contact a mold remediation service to discuss your items and concerns.

How To Put Out a Fire

7/5/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighter putting out a fire with a powder type extinguisher. Don't just keep the spray in one place

How To Put Out a Fire

All responsible business owners are concerned about fire safety and protecting their buildings from a large fire. The potential for small fires should also be a part of your protection protocol. An integral part of the safety plan for your business in Marlin, TX, should be making sure that fire extinguishers are placed throughout the building and teaching everyone who works there how to use one. It's a simple four-step process that keeps a small flame from turning into a big disaster.

1. Pull the Pin
Every extinguisher comes with a tamper seal that keeps the contents inside, ready for use. Once this seal has been broken, the device has to be refilled or replaced, so it's important to only do so in the event of an emergency such as a kitchen fire in the breakroom. When you pull the pin, it breaks the seal so that the extinguishing agent can be released.

2. Aim the Nozzle
The agent will come out of the end of the hose, so before you release it, you need to aim the nozzle of the fire extinguisher at the particular place where the agent will be most effective. You want to spray the base of the fire , so you should aim low before you expel the canister's contents.

3. Squeeze the Handle
Once you are ready, squeeze the handle of the extinguisher to release the agent. Hold the nozzle steady so that the force doesn't move it away from the fire and waste the agent.

4. Sweep Along the Base
Don't just keep the spray in one place. In order to put out the flames and prevent fire damage, you must cover the whole base of the fire. Keep sweeping back and forth until the fire is out or until the whole canister is empty.
When the fire extinguisher is empty, the small fire should be out. If it is not, however, fire mitigation experts recommend evacuating and calling the fire department to take care of the larger fire.

Mitigating Commercial Loss After a Water Heater Fails

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mitigating Commercial Loss After a Water Heater Fails

There are many reasons to call a commercial water mitigation company in Belton, TX, including for a leaking water heater. However, most insurance adjusters suggest only calling these professional mitigation firms, like SERVPRO, for significant water disasters, like a failed water heater or broken pipe. Regardless of the reason for calling such a service to your property, every water mitigation company similarly handles water disasters.

Turn off water supply and electricity
Remove floodwater
Salvage and discard items
Restore the property

Turn Off Water Supply and Electricity
It is crucial to turn off the supply of electricity and water to an affected area for the safety of workers. A flood can become deadly because of electrical currents flowing through the water. The first thing any mitigation company should do is shut off the power and water supply to prevent further property loss and injury.

Remove Floodwater
Once there is a reasonable assurance of safety, the mitigation crew can remove the floodwater from your property. The company may use a combination of shop vacs, pumps, and specialty trucks, depending on the amount of water present in the facility.

Salvage and Discard Items
Depending on the category of the floodwater, items may or may not be salvageable. If the flood stems from a clean source, like a leaking water heater, then both porous and nonporous items can be salvaged, but if the floodwater is sewage, then most things should be discarded.

Restore the Property
Before the mitigation company can restore your business, they will need to dry out the area and restore the structural integrity of the building. The crew will reinstall flooring, insulation, drywall, and other materials. They will also fix any plumbing or electrical issues. Your property should look like new when they are done.
A leaking water heater or a broken water heater are only two reasons to call a mitigation professional. These companies, like SERVPRO, are well-equipped and certified to help mitigate your disaster.