Winter Safety Tips for Business Owners
Winter storm in Clear Lake, TX.
For business owners in colder climates, winter storms inevitably affect your company and staff in one way or another once the temperature starts to drop. Whether it's freezing rain, a snowstorm, or bitter cold, you don't need to let Mother Nature disrupt you every time she sees fit to throw a little weather your way. Following a few simple tips will prepare you and your employees for the next storm and keep you up, running, and safe until blue skies return.
Know Your Storm Warnings
There are a few key terms weather forecasters use to alert the public that a winter storm may be headed to the area:
- Winter Weather Advisory
- An advisory is issued when imminent sleet, freezing rain, or snow is predicted at 80% or more probability of affecting the area. These conditions could pose serious inconveniences or harm if caution isn't taken.
Winter Storm Watch
12 to 48 hours before a winter storm is predicted to hit the area, forecasters issue a watch that heavy sleet, freezing rain, snow, or even a blizzard, is possible. These conditions pose extreme danger.
Winter Storm Warning
12-24 hours ahead of a storm (or when a snowstorm is actually underway), a winter storm warning is issued to alert the public of the likelihood that heavy sleet, freezing rain, snow, or a blizzard is imminent. Extreme caution should be taken to protect lives and property.
Use Caution That Matches the Forecast
To keep your property and building safe, consider taking these precautions:
To avoid damage and interruption from a pipe burst due to freezing, make sure to leave a tiny stream of water running when temperatures drop below 20 degrees.
Keep an eye on the news ahead of an impending storm. If road conditions are poor, consider allowing your employees to work from home if possible.
Before winter, ensure tree branches are cut back from your building to prevent damage if they break under the weight of snow or ice.
Have the number of a storm damage service in Clear Lake, TX accessible in case the worst happens.
Though meteorologists can't accurately predict every weather condition you may experience, they usually can give warnings of the possibility of a snowstorm in enough time to act. Have an emergency plan in place before it hits can potentially save your building, your business, and your employees' lives.
Can My Mold-Damaged Paintings Be Saved?
Can Artwork With Mold Be Saved?
Mold spores are everywhere, and when dampness, humidity, or leaks are left untreated in a warm environment, they can grow and multiply on virtually any surface. Often, materials need to be torn out and replaced if the damage is severe, but what if you discover mold growing on valuable artwork? Don't despair — there are professionals in La Marque, TX who specialize in mold cleaning for specific situations just like this.
First, Address the Problem Area
Depending on the severity of mold damage in the surrounding area, you may need to wait for mold remediation specialists to come in and safely remove the paintings so they can fully address the environment in which the artwork was stored. This includes:
- Documenting the damage
- Determining the cause of excess moisture
- Removing and replacing damaged materials
- Conducting a thorough mold cleaning of the entire area, including the air
- Recommending or installing preventatives, such as a dehumidifier and moisture meter
Second, Restore the Artwork
In addition to documenting the damage to the surrounding area, a specialist will carefully document the damage to your artwork and, if necessary, separate and categorize the damaged items to create a plan to salvage them.
The first step in the cleaning process is to deactivate the mold by air-drying or freezing the pieces of art until the mold growth has been curbed. It's important to create airflow around each item to thoroughly dry it out and, if stacking multiple pieces inside a freezer, to separate each item with wax paper to avoid them sticking together.
Once the artwork is dry, the specialist will gently remove the dried mold from the surfaces with a HEPA-filtered vacuum. He or she will then begin the painstaking process of removing the more stubborn mold residue with tools or solutions appropriate for the materials used in the artwork itself. Cleaning or replacing the tools used during the process will help avoid cross-contamination and the possibility of spores settling back onto the artwork again.
Don't leave the fate of your precious artwork and photographs to chance by attempting to fix the damage yourself. Remediation professionals with years of experience in mold cleaning will be able to restore them to their former glory and make the damage "Like it never even happened."
5 Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Commercial Building
Commercial fire damage in Nassau Bay, TX.
5 Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Commercial Building
After a fire in your Nassau Bay, TX, building, it can be difficult to determine what your next step should be. Fire restoration will need to be done to make your building safe to work in again. The following are some things you should do during this potentially stressful situation.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
Depending on the severity of the damage, restoration can be expensive. Start a fire insurance claim as soon as possible, so you can use this money for repairs. You may also be able to receive payments for work missed due to the emergency.
2. Have Mitigation Done
Before repairs are made, mitigation is done to prevent further damage. This can include removing water used to put out the flames, boarding up windows, and covering missing walls or roofing with tarps.
3. Repair the Building
A fire restoration company can make repairs to the building and leave it looking as good as new. Many things are done during this stage, from large tasks like rebuilding rooms to minor repairs such as giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. Some building materials may need to be removed and replaced as well.
4. Clean Damaged Belongings
Some items may be damaged not only by the fire itself but by the resulting soot and smoke. These can carry corrosive elements that can cause metal to rust and may damage electronic devices. Smoke can also enter porous materials, like upholstery and carpeting. Smoke cleaning should be done for any affected objects and surfaces.
5. Remove Lingering Odors
Even after everything is cleaned, there may still be some odor from the smoke. Using an air purifier can help remove this. It will decrease contaminants in the air, so you have a fresh and clean environment.
Although it can be a lengthy process, fire restoration is necessary to keep your building in good condition. A professional company can provide many services, from cleaning to repairs, and can quickly return your building to its pre-fire condition.
How To Handle Water Damage After a Fire
Water and fire damage in La Marque, TX.
How To Handle Water Damage After a Fire
You do not just have to worry about fire damage after a blaze. The water and other materials used to suppress the flames can be just as harmful to your property. This is especially true if first responders had to use a fire hose. Hoses spray water with more pressure and power than home sprinkler systems use.
You cannot just ignore this water, either. The water could encourage the growth of mold spores in your home within just 24 hours. This mold may then destroy:
You thus need to address the water problem as soon as possible. However, you should not utilize any vacuums or wet appliances. You should also stay out of any rooms that show signs of structural issues. Here are some other steps you should take when you experience water damage following a fire.
1. Make Sure the House Is Safe
Talk to the fire damage professionals who responded to your home. Only enter the house when they say it is safe to do so. In the meantime, check to see if water has harmed the outside of your property.
2. Call the Pros
Next, contact your insurance provider and find out the details of your coverage. You should ask if there are any limits to your policy. You should also find out if your insurer will pay for temporary living expenses until you can move back into your house.
Be sure to call your local fire cleanup professionals, as well. They should know how to handle any harm caused by flames, smoke or water.
3. Document the Damage
After you are given permission to enter your house, take videos and photos of the affected areas. This should expedite the insurance claims process.
Both water and fire damage may affect your La Marque, TX, home after a blaze. Once it is safe to enter the property, document the damage and call your insurance provider. Then have restoration professionals repair your house as soon as possible.
Does My Commercial Insurance Policy Cover Floods and Hurricanes?
Storm damage in dealership in Dickson, TX.
Different Types Of Storm Insurance
Business owners in Dickson, TX, might think their commercial insurance covers damage from hurricanes and floods. In many cases, though, you need to purchase separate coverage. Here are a few types of damage for which you may need separate storm insurance.
This type of insurance coverage is currently a mandatory deductible in 19 states and the District of Columbia. It is a percentage deductible based on the value of your property. The cost of this coverage varies depending on your provider and where your property is located in relation to the coastline.
Hurricane insurance typically covers your building or structure and its contents for cleanup and storm damage restoration, including:
- Electronic equipment
Check your policy to see if passenger vehicles and machinery are included. Often, you need a separate policy to cover these items.
Wind and Hail Damage
Insurance coverage for hail and wind damage is included in standard property insurance for most of the country. In coastal areas, business owners may need to purchase separate storm insurance for these types of perils. Wind and hail damage may be covered under a hurricane policy.
Damage from flooding is different from hurricane damage. In many cases, the damage caused by hurricanes results from storm surge and rising water. When damage results from water on the ground, it is considered flood damage.
You can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. The program is managed by FEMA and offers insurance in participating communities through a network of companies.
If your business is in a high-risk flood area and has a mortgage through a government-backed lender, you must have flood insurance coverage.
It's best to review your policy from time to time to ensure you have the right storm insurance for the types of perils that can happen to your Dickson, TX, business.
How To Identify the Types of Water Losses
There are three water categories.
Not every water damage is the same. Minor spills involving clean water can be handled by a homeowner. Black water, however, is quite dangerous and should only be touched by a trained expert. It thus helps to know the different categories and classes of water losses. This can help you decide when to call emergency cleanup professionals.
1. Category 1
Category 1 water is the cleanest. It does not contain any bacteria or other contaminants that could harm humans. Category 1 water losses typically involve an overflowing sink or a broken supply line.
2. Category 2
Category 2 water, or grey water, may contain some physical, chemical, or biological contaminants that can cause sickness in humans. The water could come from toilet bowls with urine, dishwashers, or washing machines.
3. Category 3
This is also known as black water. It contains fungi and bacteria that can be dangerous. The fluid typically comes from storm surges, rivers, or streams. Water in this category should only be handled by sewage cleanup experts.
Water losses are also classified by the extent of the damage. Class 1 losses affect a small area and occur when the water has not greatly absorbed into nearby materials. Class 2 losses, meanwhile, may spread to the walls, carpets, and cushions.
Class 3 and 4 losses are the most severe. Class 3 losses affect an entire room, including the ceilings and insulation. Class 4 losses involve low porous materials such as concrete and hardwood. They thus require special drying techniques.
Overflowing water from a sink or tub that is contained to one section of your Clear Lake, TX, house can be handled pretty easily. Unsanitary black water, however, can be harmful and tougher to remove. This is especially true if the water has spread to hardwood floors or a large area of your home. If you suffer a Category 3 or a Class 3/4 water loss, you should thus call restoration experts.
3 Ways That SERVPRO Serves Adjusters and Their Clients
SERVPRO offers a service that is available to business owners 24/7.
3 Ways That SERVPRO Serves Adjusters and Their Clients
An insurance adjuster for business owners in Nassau Bay, TX, collaborates with a variety of professionals to assist clients, including commercial remediation specialists. These companies work with the owners and the adjuster to effectively repair properties after a disaster. However, one of these organizations stands out among the rest. SERVPRO goes above and beyond in serving agents and their clients through various methods.
1. Fast Response
Disasters can occur or manifest at inconvenient times. The insurance client might notice a leak right before the weekend or a fire could ravage a building in the middle of the night. A strong restoration company offers a response service that is available to business owners 24/7 and deploys experts in a matter of hours. Fast emergency repair helps the business recover fast and it reduces the insurance claim expenses, benefitting both the adjuster and the client.
2. Detailed Information
The information regarding commercial damage is important since it helps both the client and the insurance adjuster make the best decision regarding the case. SERVPRO has a claims information center that collects and organizes information in a way that is useful to the insurance agent. It provides a job file that includes photos, detailed descriptions, and paperwork, as well as job costs and industry-standard comparisons. Agents can request this information in both physical and electronic copies.
3. Pretesting Process
Adjusters prefer to restore property and objects instead of replacing them, as the latter is more expensive. The best way to measure restorability is to have a remediation company run pretesting on the affected area and belongings. In addition to determining what can be salvaged or replaced, the process provides information to both the technicians and the adjusters. They can see what equipment and methods they need for best results and the estimated costs from the procedure.
The right remediation company can make the repair process beneficial to both the insurance adjuster and the establishment owner. SERVPRO provides these services and more to successfully help both parties.
4 Tips for Drying Out a Commercial Building
Drying equipment in a Dickson, TX commercial building.
Water Damage Tips
When your Dickson, TX, commercial building suffers water incursion, whether it's from a pipe burst or act of nature, the same basic steps will have to be taken. These steps will help protect any occupants in the affected area and the building and its contents. Professionals will probably have to be called in to remedy the situation thoroughly. Still, you can follow water damage tips to begin drying out the building before help arrives. After all, the quicker drying begins, the less damage will occur.
1. Turn Off Electricity
If you can safely make your way to the breaker box, the power to the area should be turned off immediately. Never walk through standing water in which electrical items are sitting. The electricity can travel throughout the water, electrocuting you. If you can't navigate to the breaker safely, or if you're unsure, you must wait for a professional to cut the power supply.
2. Extract Standing Water
Next, all the standing water will need to be extracted. A wet/dry vacuum is excellent for doing this safely and efficiently. It will also remove smaller debris.
3. Remove Soaked Materials
After you've extracted as much water as possible, one of the most critical damage tips to follow is to remove as many wet materials as possible. This can even include drywall and flooring. Soaked carpet and padding typically aren't salvageable; it can't be dried entirely before mold growth occurs (within 24 to 48 hours). Water damage remediation experts are highly recommended, as they can bring in industrial-grade equipment.
4. Dry Remaining Contents
You can try to dry the remaining contents by opening windows and doors if the outside is less humid than inside, using dehumidifiers, running fans and turning up the heat via the HVAC system or space heaters.
If your building floods, it and its contents need to be thoroughly dried as soon as possible. These are a few damage tips and cleaning tips you can begin before professionals arrive on the scene.
Professional Fire Cleanup - 3 Strategies a Company May Use To Restore Your Home
Fire restoration may use tarps or boards to secure your home.
Professional Fire Cleanup
The results of a fire at Clear Lake, TX, can be devastating. From smoke damage to items ruined by flames and the water from the firemen’s hoses, there is much to clean up. A fire cleanup and restoration company can help return your home to normal, and there are several steps they may take when it comes to restoring building materials, cleaning carpeting, and assisting you with the salvaging and restoration of your valued belongings.
Once professional fire remediation technicians arrive at your home, they may tour the rooms and note how many were damaged by the blaze and whether adjoining rooms took any secondary hits from smoke damage or flames. Performing a careful inspection can let your techs know how much smoke and soot damage is present and allow them to create an ongoing plan of action.
2. Safety Tarps and Boards
If your home’s doors, windows, or ceiling were compromised by the fire, fire restoration may use tarps or boards to secure them before they move on with any other cleanup efforts. Not only can this make your damaged home safer by reinforcing building materials weakened by the fire, but tarps and boards can also prevent would-be looters from entering your home during the overnight hours, when it may be the most vulnerable to criminal activity.
3. Deep Cleaning Services
Your fire restoration technicians may give you several options for smoke cleaning your belongings and advise you about what can be salvaged. They might employ a variety of industrial cleaning machines, including air scrubbers and foggers, which can remove smoky smells and soot from walls and carpeting. The techs may explain these techniques to you before they put them into effect.
A fire in your Clear Lake, TX, home can cause a great deal of smoke damage, soot, and other issues. Calling in a professional fire cleanup and restoration company can assist you with the first steps toward the cleanup process and give you confidence that your home can be restored to its former state.
The Mold Remediation Process
Mold remediation in La Marque, TX
The Mold Remediation Process
The moment mold growth is discovered in your La Marque, TX, property, some questions instantly arise. How long will it take? Do I need a mold remediation and restoration company? What should be expected during the mold removal process? For the first two, the answers depend on the severity of the problem. In most cases, the process takes about one to five days. If the affected area is more than 10,000, enlisting an expert is recommended.
When it comes to the third question, choosing a certified professional provides peace of mind that the job will be done right and eliminate the potential for a future infestation. Below are key steps taking during mold removal.
Technicians will wear extensive safety gear, which includes gloves, goggles, face masks and a protective suit.
A containment system will be set up to seal off the affected area. This is essential to prevent spores from spreading and building a new colony.
The affected area will be treated with an EPA-approved biocide to kill the fungi. This is often a two-step process.
All affected surfaces will be cleaned with high-grade antimicrobial cleaners.
Any materials that can’t be salvaged, such as drywall and insulation, will be safely removed from the premises.
Once the physical mold is removed, an array of high-tech tools will be used, including HEPA air scrubbers and vacuums, which remove airborne spores.
A sealer or encapsulant will be used to reinforce areas prone to water damage.
Peace of Mind
If black mold isn’t properly handled, it likely means dealing with the same problem down the road. Since your time and money are important, getting professional help eliminates future headaches and lets you focus on running your business. Most certified companies also provide restoration services, which makes it much faster to get your business back to “Like it never even happened.”
If faced with mold removal, getting it taken care of the right way is essential. While it may mean added costs and time upfront, it ensures the problem won’t rear its ugly head again.