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Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Developing a contingency plan is a key first step

You certainly hope your business property in La Marque, TX  never experiences a fire. You still need to be ready for the possibility, however. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the more efficient you will be in getting all your employees to safety and minimizing the damages. Developing a contingency plan is a key first step.

What To Include in the Plan

A well-developed plan takes time. Establish a team of experts in your organization and meet with them regularly. Addressing each of the steps below will keep you on track.

Identify the potential risks in each area of the business. Focus on the highest threats first.
Decide on the best course of action to mitigate the risks. The contingency plan for each threat must include the steps needed to get operations back to normal. It must also address who should contact the fire department and the fire restoration service.
Determine who is responsible for implementing the plan for each threat. Depending on the size of your business, this may involve several employees.
Update the list as new risks are identified.

How To Implement the Plan

After the plan is finished and approved by top management, training each employee on the plan is critical to its success. The evacuation plan must be made clear to everyone. This includes understanding the alert system, knowing where to safely exit the building and knowing where to meet outside. Each employee must let their designated person know they are safe. Don’t forget any visitors or vendors in the building.
Conduct fire drills periodically so that everyone feels comfortable in case a true emergency hits. Drills may be frequent at first until all employees understand their roles. Evaluate and address any issues with implementation, and continue to test the system.
A comprehensive contingency plan can help to protect your employees and your business in the event of a real disaster.

Why Trust SERVPRO

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in the hall of a building SERVPRO is an IICRC certified company

Why Trust SERVPRO

A business owner should not have to worry that the mitigation crew in Clear Lake, TX, is trained for the work they will perform. As an insurance agent, you can help point your client toward a certified professional, like SERVPRO. There are several reasons to trust this company over other mitigation and restoration companies.

1. IICRC Certification 2. Employee Certification 3.Franchise Training

IICRC Certification
The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification offers a mitigation certificate program that is the industry standard for disaster relief specialists. Every SERVPRO company is certified for the comfort and confidence of commercial businesses and insurance companies. With this certification, clients can rest assured that the restoration company working on their site understands the correct cleaning methods and regulations for mitigation.

Employee Certification
Every member of a SERVPRO team must complete training before being allowed to operate in the field. Every team member must know the protocols to keep your clients and their businesses safe. It is also crucial that every employee knows how to expedite restoration efforts to reduce business interruption.

Franchise Training
Before anyone can use the SERVPRO name, the owners and operators must complete in-house training. The training covers everything from fire restoration to water mitigation and optimal cleaning strategies. Beyond the fire and water damage education, crews also learn about mold containment and removal.
SERVPRO is a known restoration company for a reason. They have designed a business built on the highest industry standards. If you are an insurance agent looking to help a struggling client, or if you are a business trying to recover from a recent disaster, then contact a mitigation professional. However, know that SERVPRO is an IICRC certified company. They are also a one-stop-shop for mitigation and restoration. Your client or their company will appreciate the knowledge and professionalism of the recognized and capable brand of SERVPRO. Contact a representative for more information.

The Fire Restoration Process

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Water and soot on the floor Cleaning of smoke and soot in Nassau Bay, TX

The Fire Restoration Process

A fire can do serious damage to your Nassau Bay, TX, home. The following steps outline the fire restoration process:

1. Assess the situation. After all family members are safe, it is time to take stock of the damage done. File a claim with your fire insurance, and ask if they have any specific instructions for you. Ask the fire department if it is safe to go back inside your home.

2. Secure the property. The fire itself or the fire-fighting efforts may have left holes in the roof, broken windows, or created other openings in the structure. Tarp over or board up these openings to keep out wildlife, trespassers, and inclement weather.

3. Address water damage. If you are cleared to go back inside your house, it is important to begin the fire restoration process as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If there is water left over from the fire extinguishing efforts, dry it up as soon as possible. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours. There are specialized pumps and vacuums available for standing water. If porous surfaces have been soaked, you may need a dehumidifier to finish the drying process. Opening windows and doors can also help.

4. Clean smoke and soot. When soot accumulates on surfaces, it can lead to corrosion. Different types of fire and smoke lead to different types of soot. A professional can determine the appropriate cleaner to use for the soot present in your home. Smoke and its residual odor can linger long after the fire has been extinguished. Fortunately, there are different smoke cleaning methods available today. A professional can determine the best approach for your home.

5. Repair and replace damaged items. Some items may only need a new coat of paint, but other items may have to be fully replaced or rebuilt. A professional can help you determine what is and is not salvageable.
Restoring fire damage can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately, a qualified restoration company can help you with every step of the fire restoration process.

Water Damage Doesn’t Always Mean Ruined Possessions

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fan for Water Damage in Kitchen Take quick action to begin the drying process

Discovering water at home is something no homeowner wants to experience. Along with dealing with the water itself, it can ruin belongings and create the ideal conditions for mold growth. Whether a broken pipe or malfunctioning appliance caused the issue, it can seem overwhelming and a hopeless endeavor salvaging items.

Cleaning Tips

While some items may not be saved, a surprising number of your treasures may be salvageable. From furniture to artwork and electronics, quick action may limit the damage.

Remove items from the affected area as quickly as possible.
For items that are still wet, rinse them off and gently wipe down with a damp cloth.
While furniture, rugs, and similar items can be taken outdoors to dry, some objects may be affected by the sunlight. If possible, let those items dry inside the home.
Use fans, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers to eliminate moisture. If the humidity outdoors is at an acceptable level, open windows.
Fragile paper-related items and artwork must be gently handled. For artwork, open the frame to let air in. Photographs stuck together should be lightly soaked to naturally separate and laid flat to dry.
Metal items should be cleaned and dried to avoid rust forming.
Organic materials are prone to mold. Any textiles and leathers should be dried as soon as possible.

Professional Help
If there has been an extensive amount of water loss, handling it on your own can involve a significant amount of time and resources that would be better spent elsewhere. A professional water remediation and restoration expert not only has the tools to clean up the water mess and eliminate the chances of mold growth, but they also have the tools and know-how to clean most items in the home. Along with dry cleaning services, they also have methods that include wet, foam, abrasive, and immersion cleaning processes.
While no one wants water in their Dickson, TX, home, it doesn’t have to mean replacing your belongings are losing precious treasures. Take quick action to begin the drying process can do wonders for your water loss.

Why You Should Hire a Certified Water Damage Expert

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

White brick wall with the words WHAT IS THE IICRC The IICRC It's a non-profit certification body for the restoration industry founded in 1972

Many things can cause a broken pipe. Some of the most common causes in La Marque, TX, include tree roots, corrosion, and broken joints. When pipes burst, your property is at risk of structural damage and bacterial growth if water clean up doesn't happen immediately.
Calling a clean up and restoration company will be necessary for your property's structural integrity and the safety of all occupants. Make sure the company you hire employs IICRC technicians who are trained and certified for this type of work.

What is IICRC?

IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is the body of experts who set standards for the cleanup and restoration industry. Professionals with this certification learn the best practices of the trade, including mitigation practices, hazardous waste clean up, and commercial drying techniques.

Why Hire an IICRC Specialist?
The professionals who are certified by the IICRC are trained to put your best interests into their work. This means making the health and safety of your business's occupants a priority while also restoring your facility to a pre-disaster state. During the water clean up process, the IICRC specialist will save what is salvageable and remove any mold, bacteria, and other hazards to health that could be a threat to your employees and clients.
Following cleanup, a commercial drying specialist will inspect the structure and make plans for the best way to ensure your building dries to a safe indoor environment. The drying specialist has been trained in complex commercial structures, technology, and techniques for various building materials and equipment.
Hiring a worker without certification could pose a liability risk to your business. If the property is not disinfected and dried correctly, mold and sewage could remain and dangers could present long after clean up has occurred.
When disaster happens, put the safety of your team first. Only hire skilled and certified technicians who have been trained in best practices. When you do, you will always have the best outcome.

How Improper Mold Containment Can Squander Your Cleanup Efforts

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic covers, mold containment concept Containment is the isolation of the work areas to prevent cross-contamination of clean, unaffected areas of the building structure.

How Improper Mold Containment Can Squander Your Cleanup Efforts

There are several reasons to hire a mold cleanup professional when dealing with a mold problem, one of the most important of which is that professionals understand the steps to take to avoid cross-contamination. Mold contamination is a very real possibility during mold remediation efforts, and preventing it often necessitates heavy duty commercial equipment and protocol, the likes of which include the following:

Specialized air filtration systems, such as HEPA vacuums and “air scrubbers,” which help prevent mold spores during the remediation process
The removal of mold-infested materials
Personal protective equipment
Containment hallways

Improper containment that doesn’t utilize the above could have adverse effects on your building.

The Risk of Contaminating Mold-Free Areas
The biggest risk you run by attempting DIY mold cleanup without proper containment efforts is cross-contamination. Mold spores are extremely lightweight and can become airborne with even the most minimal disturbance. Failure to adequately isolate work areas could mean that airborne spores will travel out of the affected areas and to previously clean sections of your building.

Increased Expenses and Repairs
Cross-contamination may not seem like a big deal right now, but it can prove to be a costly problem in the future. If the spores come into contact with any level of moisture, they can quickly flourish into a mold infestation. If this were to occur, you would have to go through the whole remediation and restoration process in a different area of your building, thereby rendering all your previous cleanup efforts futile.

Professional Mold Remediation Is Well Worth the Cost
If you’re like many building owners faced with a mold infestation, you may attempt to mitigate costs by performing the mold cleanup yourself. Unfortunately, DIY mold remediation typically does more harm than good because it often results in cross-contamination. Professionals have the proper tools and processes for quickly and efficiently eradicating mold populations while avoiding mold contamination. For this reason alone, it’s always a good idea to work with a mold remediation specialist in Dickson, TX.

4 Steps for Getting FEMA Assistance

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup Get FEMA assistance

If your property isn't located in a floodplain or other area where flooding is a high risk, you may not have considered flood insurance to be a priority. Unfortunately, many types of natural and manmade disasters can result in flooding and water damage. For example, water leftover from firefighting efforts is a big concern after a fire. A burst pipe that goes unnoticed over a weekend can lead to significant flooding. Each of these situations may present unique requirements from your insurance company, but few situations are quite as complex as applying for FEMA coverage when you don't have insurance coverage.

Do You Qualify for Assistance?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, people who own or manage property in eligible counties qualify for federal assistance. In the event that Clear Lake, TX, is an eligible community, property owners and managers should take the following steps:

Apply for Federal Aid

The first step in applying for aid from FEMA is either using the phone the call 800-621-3362 or visiting www.DisasterASsistance.gov. Whether you call or visit the website, you are likely to get in touch with a representative between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and it's possible to connect with someone all seven days of the week.

Identify Appropriate Grants

There are a variety of grants available whether you have flood insurance or not. If you own property with renters, you may connect some of your tenants with temporary housing. There are grants available for uninsured and underinsured property losses and emergency property repairs. Register for the grants that are most appropriate for your situation.

Attend Federal Inspections

A few days after you've registered by phone or online, a federal representative will contact you. They'll present official identification, won't ask for money, won't make recommendations, and won't approve or deny requests. However, they will make a careful survey of the damages your property has suffered. You'll receive official news about your claim after the inspection results have been submitted and reviews.

Check the Status of Your Case

You can follow the progress of your case by going online or calling the same federal help number. It's important that you understand the type of help you're going to receive before you contact commercial property damage agencies. You'll need specific flood insurance and FEMA information to share with these professionals.

Should You Schedule a Mold Inspection Before Buying a Building?

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores - 3D Illustration - Text on image that says THEY THRIVE If you suspect that mold may be present, contact a company that provides mold inspection and remediation services.

Three Reasons To Schedule A Mold Inspection

Buyers in the commercial property market may receive conflicting advice about the importance of mold inspections. An inspection prior to purchase costs less than mitigation, but it can still be a considerable expense for a building you do not already own. Here are three reasons to schedule a mold inspection prior to purchasing a commercial property in Dickson,TX.

1. You Can Smell Mold

If you smell mold, you should try to determine the extent of the growth. Look around the premises for any signs of visible mold. These odors are caused by microbial volatile organic compounds, which are off-gases emitted by mold during the active growth cycle. The odor indicates that active growth is likely present. An inspection can help you discover hidden mold and determine the severity of the mold problem.

2. The Building Has Water Damage

A building that has water damage is also likely to have secondary damage in the form of mold. Try to find out about the origins of the damage, how long it has persisted, and whether restoration has been attempted. If the water damage is still present when you are considering purchasing the property, a mold inspection is even more important to determine the costs of mitigation, restoration, and mold remediation.

3. You Would Like To Avoid Mitigation Costs

If the presence of mold in a building would be enough to deter you from making a purchase, you should schedule an inspection. If you do not want to invest money in the property to get rid of any mold found during the inspection, you can move on to another property that may not have a mold problem.

These are three reasons to schedule an inspection prior to purchasing a commercial property in Dickson,TX . If you suspect that mold may be present, contact a company that provides mold inspection and remediation services.

How To Secure a Business After a Fire

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Floor covered with soot. Technician using an extracting vacuum Smoke clean up in Nassau Bay, TX

Three Things To Keep In Mind About Securing The Property

All is not lost when your business in Nassau Bay, TX, is impacted by fire damage. It may seem like that when it first happens. Charred walls, lost shingles, and smoky odors only create a sense of defeat and loss. However, there is hope. With the assistance of insurance and restoration teams, your place can reopen and get back to work. In the meantime, as an owner, you should understand the possible threats to the exposed premises, safeguarding it as much as possible after the incident. Here are three things to keep in mind about securing the property.

1. Be Aware
Once the fire has claimed your building, it became a hazard to you; however, for criminals, it became a treasure trove for looting. Thieves don't care that it is dangerous to enter. They see holes and openings, welcoming them in without a problem. Knowing this, don't just walk away from the scene, leaving it unattended. Doing so, only poses more complications. Make a plan to oversee.

2. Secure the Land
Prevent unwelcome guests by boarding up the fire damage immediately. Work with a fire restoration company in Nassau Bay, TX, to evaluate the premises, determining the best methods for protecting the establishment. The crew can place tarps over any exposed roofing and boards over any holes in the walls, windows, and doors. Also, it's important to think about how all of this is placed. Consider screwing some of the plywood on the inside, making it difficult for others to take them down. These extra preventative measures should keeping out animals, robbers, and inclement weather.

3. Remove Valuables
While the remediation team handles the fire cleanup, you can search and remove anything of importance. After all, you don't want anyone getting hands on important documentation such as tax returns, employee records or contracts. With assistance, gather what you can, taking them to a safer location. In addition, any high-priced commodities may be removed and stored elsewhere, leaving less temptation for burglars.
The experts can fix the fire damage. During that time, proprietors should be vigilant, remaining cognizant of intruders.

How Property Managers Should Prepare for a Storm

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

BE PREPARED, message on business card shown by a man, vintage tone Be prepared and keep your building and your employees safe

As a property manager, you know that thorough storm preparedness is a key part of your job. If you find out that a hurricane or tornado is approaching your commercial building in Dickson, TX, you must take steps to prevent major flood damage. There are things you can do before, during and after the storm to make sure your building is ready.

Before the Storm

Before storm season even arrives, draw up a playbook that describes everything you will need during an emergency. Your playbook should include these items:

  • Addresses and phone numbers of your staff members
  • Emergency contacts for your employees
  • Roles each employee will play during a storm
  • List of essential personnel

Be sure to review the storm preparedness playbook with your staff well in advance. This way, they will know what to do before the storm hits. You should also work with the owner of the premises to ensure all the businesses in your building are informed about any upcoming storm.
Finally, review your insurance policy ahead of time. Make sure that your insurer covers the cost of flood cleanup.

During the Storm

As an impending storm gets closer, you should go over the plan again with your staff. Tell your nonessential employees that they can work from home. Essential workers, including front desk clerks and engineers, should stay on site until it is no longer safe for them to do so. Before the employees leave the premises, make sure that they know who to contact for updates.

After the Storm

Once the tornado or hurricane has passed, you and your maintenance supervisors should inspect the premises for storm damage. Be sure to take photos and videos to show to the building owner. You can then call storm cleanup specialists for assistance with the restoration.
Property management can be difficult during hurricane and tornado season. With a proper storm preparedness plan, you can help keep your building and your employees safe.