Flood Preparation for Your Business
Large flood in a Canton,GA building
Flooding from a storm can cause a lot of damage to a building. Some of it is easily fixed, but most will likely require the services of remediation experts. Making detailed plans before the storm strikes, however, can help you efficiently work through some of the resulting problems and ensure your business experiences as little loss and disruption as possible.
Have an Emergency Plan
It’s important to know what you and your employees need to do when it floods. Do you evacuate the building or just move to a higher floor? Do you need to take anything with you? These are decisions that are best made ahead of time. Your emergency plan will probably contain a few basic things:
- Elevation of sensitive equipment
- Delegation of specific tasks, such as accounting for building inhabitants and calling emergency services
- Evacuation map and protocol
Knowing what is supposed to happen and who is supposed to do it can be a lifesaver when flooding occurs.
Have a Continuity Plan
After a storm, the flood damage in your building may be so extensive that you cannot enter it again. A business continuity plan ensures that you are still able to conduct business even if you have to relocate. It often starts with backing up all important data in a remote location or on the Cloud so that business can proceed outside the office. This plan can also break down the division of labor, assigning specific responsibilities to specific people.
Have a Service Plan
Your commercial property insurance probably does not cover black water damage. To cover potentially expensive repairs, you will likely need a separate flood policy. It's also smart to have contact information for a good remediation company in Canton, GA, on hand, so all you have to do to start the repair process is make a phone call.
Storms can cause all sorts of problems in your building. If you are prepared ahead of time, however, you can limit the impact of flooding on your business.
How To Deal With Sewage Damage
Large water loss due to a broken pipe in Woodstock, GA
Residential floods in Woodstock, GA, can create a wide range of problems for homeowners. One common issue is sewage backup. When this happens, you need to undertake proper steps for sewer cleanup. The best way to make sure your home gets restored properly is to work with a residential water cleanup crew. You can also use these tips to help you deal with damage caused by dirty water.
Identify the Source
Before you can start cleaning up, you need to know where the sewage water entered your home and why. Common sources for this type of flooding include the following:
- Clogged pipe
- Flooded toilet
- Broken line
Once you know what caused your unpleasant flooding, you and your professional team will be better prepared to create a repair plan that includes fixing the source of the leakage. Your cleanup crew may be able to inspect your home to help you find the source. Otherwise, you may have to hire a plumber.
Use Disinfecting Techniques
A sewer backup poses unique risks to your home. Because sewage is often full of contaminants, such as fecal matter and urine, you need to make sure any surfaces touched by the flooding are thoroughly cleaned. In some cases, you may have to replace porous building materials to completely remove the sewage from your house.
Turn to Specialized Equipment
Sewer cleanup requires different machines than a normal flood cleanup. This is because your standing water may include sludge from the sewage lines. You should talk with your remediation team about using a trash vac to help speed up the water-removal process. This specialized equipment can suck up water and some sludge. Don't forget anyone working in the area should also use personal protective equipment, including gloves and goggles, to protect themselves from the sewage.
Sewer cleanup often requires a bit more time than other forms of water damage restoration. You need to remove the water and disinfect your home before you can start with the remediation.
Understanding Secondary Water Damage
Air movers on a facility water loss in Ball Ground, GA
When you have a leaky pipe in your building in Ball Ground, GA , it is in your best interest to get it fixed as soon as possible. Not only does it save you money on your utility bill, it also helps you prevent secondary water damage. Secondary damage can manifest as aesthetic problems, structural issues or black mold. It can increase the cost of your insurance claim and, as it is mostly preventable, may not even be covered by your commercial property policy.
Causes of Residual Damage
Secondary damage includes issues that are indirect consequences of a water problem. There are many reasons why this residual damage may occur:
- Lack of timely reporting to water mitigation experts
- Hidden issue undiscovered until damage had already happened
- Improper or incomplete repair procedures
- Failure to reduce high humidity in building
- Problem more extensive than technicians could handle in a timely manner
Any of these situations can result in secondary water damage. Until the problem is remedied, more damage can continue to pile on.
Types of Secondary Damage
Problems such as black mold most often occur because the excess water has no place to go. It starts to evaporate the longer it sits, significantly increasing the moisture in the air and on surfaces. This is the perfect setup for mold growth. The high humidity can also affect sheetrock, drywall and plaster, causing them to become waterlogged and sag. Flooring is affected, too, as the water loosens tiles, dissolves the adhesive that holds vinyl to the floor and makes hardwood floors swell and buckle. The longer the area remains humid, the worse the damage is likely to get.
The best prevention of secondary water damage in your commercial property is responding quickly when you notice there is a problem. Even if you don't think the problem is that big of a deal, contact mitigation experts to cover your bases. It's better to hear that you don't need their services than to find out later that you should have called.
There’s Still No Place like Home: Managing Your Expectations and the Cleanup after a Storm
Severe storm damage at Canton, GA
It can be challenging to look at your home after a severe storm, seeing the extent of the damage, but when a storm causes extensive water damage, the path to restoration can seem insurmountable. Thankfully, the storm restoration process can be summarized in a few simple steps.
1. Extract Excess Water
The first step in the process is to extract as much excess water as possible, using several wet/dry vacuums. It’s essential to remove the water thoroughly and quickly to avoid the buildup of mold because, believe it or not, mold begins to develop within 24 hours.
2. Remove/Tear Out Wet Materials
Once you have extracted the excess water, it is time to begin the tear out process. During this time your focus has to be on removing anything that’s wet, which goes beyond just removing rugs and furniture. You should also remove carpeting and the pad underneath, drywall and the insulation behind, and anything else where mold can develop.
3. Dry the Structure
Once you have removed any wet materials and opened the walls, it is time to dry your house. You are going to need to do more than just open doors and windows, while this helps it does not do enough to circulate the air. During this phase of the cleanup process, you’ll want to rent several industrial fans and air movers to help distribute the air and dry your home.
4. Seek Assistance
While trying to salvage your home can be a massive undertaking after a storm, you do not have to do it alone. You can look up storm restoration specialists in your Canton, GA, for assistance. Many insurance companies even require it. These professionals will not only have the tools necessary for drying out your home, but they clarify the restoration process and relieve some of your worries.
Storm damage, with its grueling process of water removal and tear out, can be overwhelming, but the few steps above should help alleviate some of that stress, and, while the cleanup process takes time, just know that there’s still no place like home.
5 Common Places To Look for Mold in Your Home
Mold damage on wall in Woodstock, GA
Mold is a common issue in many households, especially if the houses are old or leaky. Tiny mold spores can find refuge in damp environments and can reproduce and spread quickly. Mold growth can be hard to control, especially if it isn’t discovered in the early stages. If you are unsure whether your home has mold, here are five common places that mold can easily hide.
1. In the Basement
Basements are the perfect places for mold to grow if they are not carefully inspected often. Leaking pipes, broken foundation and excess moisture are all possible causes that can initiate mold growth. To find potential areas of mold, look for pooling water.
2. Near Air Conditioners
If the weather in Woodstock, GA, gets hot, you’ll probably be using an air conditioner. While this is a perfectly reasonable solution for keeping your home cool, condensation can gather, making it a cozy place for mold to grow. Inspect your conditioner often to prevent unwanted mold.
3. In the Shower
Bathrooms are humid, wet, and perfect homes for mold. Without proper ventilation, these damp areas can sprout mold spores. Keep an eye out for any fuzz on your loofahs, curtain, and washcloths.
4. In the Pantry
Old and expired food can cause mold to form, which can soon lead to a huge problem. If the issue isn’t fixed quickly, your entire pantry may become contaminated. Keep your storeroom updated and dispose of any old food items.
5. In the Attic
Attics take a big part in ventilating your home. However, if your roof has a small leak, it can lead to moldy drywall. This may spread into your entire home. After strong storms, make sure to look for any leaks and fix them quickly before they lead to bigger problems.
If you do find mold on wood or other surfaces, contact a professional quickly. Restoration experts can properly clean and sanitize your home to prevent further mold growth. Although mold can happen almost anywhere, you can take precautions and inspect your house for possible signs.
Two Crucial Fire Plans Every Business Needs
Fire damage in Ball Ground, WA
Most business owners in Ball Ground, WA, would probably list a fire as one of their biggest safety concerns. Although you can take preventative steps to reduce the risk of a fire, no business is ever fully immune from this threat. To protect your business, you should design and implement both a fire evacuation and contingency plan.
An Efficient Evacuation Plan
Ensuring your staff can evacuate in a timely and orderly manner in the event of a fire should be the top priority of your fire evacuation plan. To properly execute an emergency evacuation every employee needs to know the following:
- The location of fire alarms and all available exits, excluding elevators, which should never be used in a fire
- A specific location to regroup outside and away from the building
- The designated procedure to verify their safe departure
An Interim Contingency Plan
In addition to a fire evacuation plan, every business should also develop a proactive contingency plan that will enable essential operations to continue while the cleanup and restoration process unfolds. To create an effective plan, follow these essential steps:
- Identify the resources vital to your ability to function, such as specific staff or departments
- Designate a secure space to store duplicates or original copies of important documents, such as employee files, legal paperwork and accounting records
- Establish procedures that allow essential staff to work remotely, if possible
- Evaluate necessary steps to return to normal business operations
Communicate and Update Plans
An emergency plan cannot be effective if it’s not communicated to all potentially affected parties. For this reason, all staff need to be aware of your emergency procedures. Routine drills and access to written or illustrated plans can also be very beneficial. In addition, you should conduct annual reviews of your emergency plans, update as necessary and promptly report any changes to your staff.
The Benefits of Planning Ahead
Every business owner hopes to avoid a fire. While you cannot guarantee that a fire will never happen, developing a fire evacuation and contingency plan can provide peace of mind that your staff will know how to safely respond to the situation. Advanced planning can also help essential business operations continue while your building is being repaired.
4 Commercial Storm Preparation Tips
Air mover on a storm damage in a Canton, GA home
Many businesses are unprepared for storm damage, which can range from the slight presence of flood water all the way up to a completely flooded building. The four steps below can help owners and occupants of commercial properties limit the extent of damage and get back to work as soon as possible.
4 Commercial Storm Preparation Tips
- Check your insurance coverage. Make sure that your business or commercial property is protected against the most common types of storm damage in your region, including flood water. This may involve taking additional riders or endorsements on top of a standard business insurance policy.
- Check stores of emergency supplies. A commercial property should have a store of sandbags and polyethylene sheeting, hand tools, and possibly a generator and fuel supplies in the event of a storm.
- Have a data protection plan in place. Insurers can replace equipment that sustains storm damage, but it is much more difficult to restore corrupted or lost data. Businesses should have data backup plans in place well before a storm and follow protocols to prevent information loss.
- Come up with plans for evacuation and property safety. You should have a plan to limit damage as a storm is approaching. Lift and disconnect appliances, fixtures, and wiring. Shut off the flow of electricity to non-necessary appliances. You should also have a detailed evacuation plan for all occupants and visitors in the building posted in visible areas throughout the structure.
A little planning ahead of time can help you prepare a business in Canton, GA for a storm. If the property sustains damage, reach out to a commercial water or storm damage restoration service as soon as possible. These experts specialize in the removal of flood water and cleaning, drying, and deodorizing flooded buildings. A quick response can limit the extent of secondary damage resulting from water damage, including mold growth.
5 Steps to Saving Carpets in Flooded Rooms
Water damage causing drenched carpet in a Woodstock, GA facility
Flooding due to a heavy storm or a pipe break can lead to water damage throughout your home in Woodstock, GA. A quick response from restoration experts can help you reduce the extent of damage. One area where costs can be high is the replacement of flooring in affected areas. If you hope to keep your carpet after it has been covered by flood water, you'll need to take the following steps:
1. Act Immediately
The severity of damage increases quickly as water is allowed to sit and remain in contact with the flooring and other building components. The longer those contents are wet, the more likely it is that mold will grow. The most effective response is to remove all water and dry the area within 48 hours.
2. Ventilate Thoroughly
Moisture on materials, such as the paper-backing of carpeting, provides an ideal environment for mold to take hold. Slow the rate of damage to hidden areas by opening the windows and installing fans. This ventilation allows you to keep air moving to dry the area more quickly and will help maintain ideal drying temperatures. One exception to this is when remediation experts install heated fans. If the technicians close the windows, don't open them until you have the go-ahead.
3. Complete Clean and Disinfect
Discuss the availability of specialized cleaning products for rugs and other flooring with a restoration expert. As you clean, protect uncontaminated areas to avoid spreading water or mold damage.
4. Assess the Damages
Do you need to replace the carpet? If the water was from a clean source, such as a pipe break or a water supply line, you'll be able to save your flooring, clothing, and other items. The best way to determine what to save is to weigh the actual replacement cost and the sentimental value of the item. However, if the flood water contained any contaminants, you should work with a professional to determine what is safe to keep.
5. Confirm Proper Drying
Don't begin reconstruction until all wet materials have been appropriately dried. Get confirmation from your water restoration professional before covering affected wood or returning furnishings rooms with a carpet.
3 Reasons Not To Use Bleach To Get Rid of Mold
As tempting as it may be, it is not a good idea to use bleach to try to clean up mold.
When you think of do-it-yourself methods for fungus cleanup, bleach is probably one of the first methods that come to mind. After all, the bottle says it can kill almost anything, and most people assume that includes mold. Unfortunately, this popular substance often does more harm than good when it comes to mold removal. Here are three reasons why you should never use bleach to clean up mold.
1. It is corrosive. Chlorine bleach contains harsh chemicals that damage almost any surface with which it comes into contact. It breaks down the fibers in wood, rendering it weaker and prone to warping. It begins to corrode metal the moment it touches it. When you use bleach for fungus cleanup in your commercial property in Woodstock, GA, it is likely to cause more harm than good.
2. It doesn't work. Bleach is not an effective mold cleaner. It only cleans the surface where the mold can be seen. The chlorine doesn't reach down below the surface where the roots of the fungus are growing. If you can't eliminate the roots, you cannot resolve the problem. It is even possible that using bleach on mold can make it worse by increasing the area's moisture level, given the high percentage of water in the solution.
3. It isn't thorough. Because it only cleans or masks the mold on the surface, bleach does not do a thorough job of remediation. To be absolutely sure the mold problem in your commercial building is taken care of, you need to consult a mold remediation specialist. Specialists don't just wipe the surface down. They contain the problem, clean it, dry it and replace any damaged parts of the building.
As tempting as it may be, it is not a good idea to use bleach to try to clean up mold. Skip the bottle and go straight to the phone to call professional experts who can help you get rid of your mold problem. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcherokeecounty.com/.
3 Causes of Smoky Odors in the Home
Having smoke cleaning performed in your Woodstock, GA, home can eradicate offensive smoky smells, no matter their cause.
When smoky odors invade your Woodstock, GA, home, it can be difficult to erase them. Air fresheners and scented candles may mask the odor for a short time, but it usually returns. Calling in an odor detection and cleanup service can be effective when it comes to smoke cleaning, but knowing what is causing this smell in the first place and being able to describe it to the cleanup techs might make the resolution process simpler.
Tobacco smoke can cause discoloration in your home’s walls and ceilings over time, and drapes, carpeting and drywall all absorb the smoke odor. The trapped smoky smell then lingers and may even become more powerful if people in your home continue to smoke indoors. An odor removal company can use hot water extraction and other cleaning methods to remove tobacco smoke smell from your home permanently.
2. Small Fires
A small kitchen or utility room fire can leave behind a smoky smell that might linger for weeks. This can be especially true if the space is enclosed. The smell might be especially noticeable if the room’s doors and windows are closed. Smoke damage technicians can bring in ozone machines that clean the air instead of masking or temporarily reducing the intensity of the smell.
3. Fireplace Odors
A cozy fireplace can make time spent indoors over the winter quite pleasant, but when spring comes, you may notice a lingering smoke odor from the dozens of fires you lit over the season. Even efficient fireplaces can cause this type of smell, which can become trapped in your drapes, upholstered furniture and carpeting. A professional smoke cleaning service has access to thermal foggers and air filtration machines that remove these lingering smells for good.
Having smoke cleaning performed in your Woodstock, GA, home can eradicate offensive smoky smells, no matter their cause. Being able to target their source may be the first step toward fresher, cleaner air for you and your family to enjoy. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcherokeecounty.com/.