Recent Commercial Posts
Creating an Emergency Action Plan for Your Business Can Be a Lifesaver
Create an emergency action plan for your business
Unexpected events are a frequent occurrence in life, but businesses seem to get more than their share. They are so common that, in a given year, emergency expenses usually average out and can be considered a normal cost of doing business. However, some emergencies are more extreme, and having a contingency plan can help mitigate the severity of the damages to both your bottom line and the health and welfare of your employees.
Planning Always Pays Off
Regardless of the size of your business, you should have an evacuation plan in place for common hazards. The plans for Tice, FL, should be specific enough to address events such as:
- Severe weather
- An active shooter
However, an effective plan should also have built-in flexibility to handle circumstances beyond the foreseeable. Planning not only pays off directly in these situations; it keeps employees and management aware that your operation is well-organized and cares about the people there.
Emergency Action Plans
Many businesses covered by OSHA regulations require an emergency action plan (EAP), particularly if the organization has more than 10 employees. This is a well-developed, written contingency plan that employees can use to respond effectively during emergencies. The plan should include:
- How and when to report emergencies
- Evacuation procedures and escape routes
- Fight, flee or shelter in place policies
- Training procedures, especially for employees who run critical operations or who stay to respond to emergencies
- Names or job titles of specific employees who perform rescue or fire-fighting duties
Creating an EAP contingency plan in Tice, FL, isn’t just for large employers; it’s beneficial for everyone and can even help reduce liability by showing a good-faith effort to do everything possible in an emergency. With adequate training and a solid EAP, you can help avoid injuries and reduce clean-up and restoration costs from fire and water damage. Small and medium-sized businesses can usually come up with a successful plan in as little as 10 or 15 minutes, so it’s well worth your time to address this in advance.
Clean Water Causes Category 1 Water Damage
Category 3 or black water
Sewage can back up and fill your company’s basement. Rivers can overflow their banks and shut down your operation. Of all possible sources of water damage, that from clean water is the least catastrophic. When it is the culprit, Category 1 water damage is the result.
The Level of Contamination Determines the Category
The clean water supply line to your business is the water main. When it fails due to a broken pipe, the result is most often Category 1 damage. Of the three water damage categories, this is the simplest to remediate. There are, however, circumstances when fresh water causes more serious damage. Some examples of this are:
Freshwater may interact with chemicals stored in your business or used in the manufacturing process. These chemicals contaminate the water and can raise the level to Category 2 or grey water. In extreme cases, toxicity can raise the damage to
Category 3 or black water
Freshwater may mix with and spread sewage from an in-house sewage treatment system. Raw sewage will automatically change the designation to
Category 3, the black water level
Freshwater flooding, without the addition of chemicals or sewage, temporarily causes Category 1 damage. However, a delay in the cleanup may allow the water to spread and absorb toxic elements from your workplace. The water is no longer fresh and the diagnosis changes to Category 2 damage.
It Is Important To Remediate Water Damage Quickly
All forms of water damage have something in common. They set the stage for mold growth. It is important to remove this moisture as quickly as possible. Moisture removal will prevent mold from establishing a foothold. Out-of-control mold is one of the worst problems that a business can experience.
When a clean water or other of flood moves in on your Tice,FL, area business, help is close at hand. There are water damage remediation experts in the area who are ready to use their equipment and experience to get your business up and running again.
Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage
Preparing your business for Storm and Flood Damage can minimize the cost of restoration and repair.
Flooding in Fort Myers, FL can lead to a lot of flood damage. Sewage buildup, leakage, and storm damage can ruin buildings and destroy businesses. It’s important to be ready in the event of a flood so that your business can minimize the cost of restoration and repair. If you are preparing for a storm, here are four things you can do.
4 Ways To Prepare for Flood Damage
- Move Furniture and Electronics
You can reduce the risk of damage to your building by moving any furniture and utilities to a higher level. Items such as computers, important documents, and machinery should be moved up to a floor that is less likely to receive damage. If you are concerned about your electronics, try to back up all important data needed for the business so that you don’t lose anything that is vital to your company’s success.
- Manage Your Insurance Policy
It’s nearly impossible to completely protect your commercial building from a severe storm, so it’s important to have insurance that covers the damage. Flood insurance can provide the financial means to handle the cost of repairs. Standard insurance policies don’t normally cover flooding, so consider this type of insurance if the risk of water damage is high.
- Evacuate Before the Rain Starts
When flooding occurs, your employees and customers come first. Evacuate the building before there is any sign of floodwater. Train your workers beforehand so that they know how to escape the building and where to find higher ground. Keeping people safe is a top priority in the event of a flood, and by having an evacuation plan, you can prevent chaos and confusion from erupting.
- Keep Your Gutters and Storm Drains Clear
You can keep the storm damage to a minimum by cleaning your gutters and drains. These structures are made to direct water away from the weakest parts of your building. If gutters get clogged, the water can overflow and lead to more destruction.
There are many things you can do to prevent flooding and minimize water damage. By taking these precautions, you can ensure the safety of your employees as well as the preservation of your property and data.
The Benefits of Interruption Coverage for Your Business
Commercial fire clean up in a Lehigh Acres, FL
A fire in your commercial building can wreak havoc on your business plan. In addition to calling fire restoration services as soon as possible to get repairs started, you need a good business interruption policy to help sustain you until those repairs are finished. Interruption coverage for your business in Lehigh Acres,FL, has several benefits.
Even if your building is out of commission, that doesn’t mean those monthly bills magically disappear. You are likely still responsible for many of the same expenses that you have when your building is fully functional. These expenses may include:
- Employee wages
- Insurance premiums
- Equipment leasing
- Business loan payments
A solid business interruption policy can cover your expenses. This means you don’t have to worry about whether or not you can stay current on your financial obligations.
Depending on the severity of the damage sustained from the business fire, you may need to move the daily activity of your business elsewhere for a while. If damage is extensive, it may take weeks to get your business up and running in its rightful location again. Most businesses cannot afford to be out of commission for that long a period of time. Your interruption insurance can help with the costs of temporary relocation, allowing you to continue operations while your building is being restored.
Even if you do relocate your business, the change is likely to result in a dip in your income. While your property insurance covers the actual fire cleaning process, an interruption policy can cover any revenue you lose as a result of the fire. The insurance company takes into account projections of how much you would have made if the accident had not occurred to determine how much it will pay.
Whether you own or rent your building, business interruption insurance is necessary. It can protect you from financial loss from a delay in operations in the event of a fire, flood or natural disaster.
How To Tell If Water Damage Is Category 3
The most severe type of water damage is Category Three. Flood water and water from a toilet overflow are both in this category. Consider the following factors to determine whether Category Three water damage is present in a commercial structure.
What Is the Source?
Three categories are used to classify water damage. These include:
• Category One water, which is clean and treated
• Category Two water, which may contain chemicals or microbes
• Category Three water, which may contain contaminants and solid waste
Category One water damage usually results from a supply line break. Category Two water, also referred to as gray water, may come from an appliance leak or a backed-up shower. Category Three water, also known as black water, is typically flood water or originates from a sewer backup.
How Long Has Water Been Standing?
The condition of water left standing will deteriorate after about 48 hours, regardless of the original source. This may be caused by contact with:
• Building materials
A building owner or facility manager should quickly eliminate standing water and promote drying. This can limit primary damage and prevent secondary damage, such as mold growth.
Which Cleaning Method Is Recommended?
If a building has Category Three water damage, several stages of cleaning will be necessary. These may include:
• Removing water
• Tearing out porous building materials
• Cleaning and disinfecting the area
• Drying the area
Porous materials such as drywall and contents such as carpet will probably not be able to be thoroughly disinfected. These materials and contents should be torn out and replaced. Restoration should only proceed after an area has completely dried. Otherwise, the risk of mold growth may persist.
Category Three flood water or water from a toilet overflow can cause extensive damage at a commercial building in Charleston Park,FL. An owner may want to rely on the expertise of water damage restoration professionals.
3 Ways To Prepare for High Winds
Prepare for high winds in Lehigh Acres,FL
High winds can cause extensive damage to a commercial property. If a hurricane, tornado, or strong winds tear off roofing materials or flying debris breaks a window, this can compromise the integrity of the building envelope and lead to significant storm or water damage. Here are three ways to prepare for intense wind or hurricane damage.
1. Inspect the Building
Schedule regular inspections of a commercial property to ensure that the exterior is in good shape and ask about ways to fortify a building against winds. Openings such as doors and windows and the roof are some of the most important and vulnerable parts of any structure. Strong winds can rip off shingles or other roofing materials and a hurricane or tornado can even tear the roof off of a building.
2. Install Shutters or Board Up Windows
Heavy winds tend to pick up debris that can break windows. If your property is located in a region with a high risk of hurricane damage, you should consider investing in the installation of storm shutters. You can also protect the interior of a building by boarding windows up with plywood.
3. Reduce Potential Debris
Heavy tree branches can fall and damage the roof or structure of a building. Have dead or overhanging branches trimmed on a regular basis. You should also strap down or store outdoor objects such as trash containers or moveable seating when the forecast calls for high winds. Planning ahead can help to limit the amount of wind damage a building sustains.
If flying debris compromises any part of the building envelope, it may result in flooding if rain is present. In addition to storm damage, this exposure can raise the risk of mold. Quickly resolve wind or hurricane damage by relying on the expertise of a commercial storm damage cleanup and restoration company located in Lehigh Acres,FL.
Is a Small Business Claim Hiding in Your Pipes?
Water related damage can cause a burden on your business
Plumbing problems in your building can hit your pockets hard. Insurance provider The Hartford released a study showing that the eighth most expensive business claim is freezing pipes and water damage. The average claim is $17,000. Any business in Ft. Myers, FL, is at risk of unforeseen plumbing hazards. Keep reading to learn more about preventing these costly mishaps.
Plumbing Disaster Prevention
A pipe break in your building isn't fun — and neither is filing a business insurance claim. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the possibility of ending up in this situation. Consider following these simple maintenance tips:
• Place non-waterproof items above floor level
• Seal gaps and cracks in your property's foundation and exterior
• Know how to turn off the building's main water supply after a pipe breaks
• Remove snow and ice from the roof
• Clear drains, downspouts and gutters
• Keep the building's heating at or above 55 degrees
• Cover and insulate exposed pipes
Business Insurance Coverage
Commercial property insurance may omit coverage for water damage, depending on its source. For instance, the policy may cover costs associated with pipe breaks but not rainfall, flooding or sewage backups. In most cases, mold-related hazards are excluded. However, you can have your insurer add this coverage to your policy, which is known as an endorsement or "rider." So, if you need to file a business claim, you can have confidence knowing your merchandise, paperwork, furnishings and building are well-protected.
Water-related damage can take a huge bite out of your profits. You need insurance so if you have to file a business claim you'll be covered. Also, take preventive measures to avoid the hassle of pipes freezing and bursting. If you do encounter a major emergency, it's ideal to bring in a reputable commercial cleanup company in Ft. Myers, FL, to handle the job. By doing this, you can return to the daily operations of your business much faster.
For more on Ft. Myers click here.
3 Ways Professionals Contain Mold During Cleanup
Mold contamination is the last thing your Fort Myers, FL business wants to face. But when the near ubiquitous spores have found a dark, damp place to thrive in your building, you may soon be faced with the immediate and pressing need of remediation.
Mold is a fungal presence that can cause immense property damage to the surface it’s growing on. To limit the possibility of cross-contamination with unaffected areas of the building, a professional mold cleanup team can utilize a variety of containment methods during the cleanup process:
1. Shutting Off HVAC Units
Once mold is present, it is vital to shut off all air circulation units. The microscopic spores can be carried along the slightest of breezes, and should they come in contact with other damp places within your property, mold is likely to grow. Rather than encourage the dispersal of spores through airwaves, all fans should be turned off along with the heating and cooling systems.
2. Isolating the Affected Area
Dependening on the size of the affected area, various tactics may be utilized to isolate the contaminated space from the rest of the property. All doors and windows should be shut, and a single layer of polyethylene sheeting may be used to seal the space off.
For extensive mold growth or contaminated areas larger than 100 square feet, a negative air chamber can be built to restrict airflow from escaping the room. Double layers of polyethylene sheets and physical barriers can form a sealed entrance for workers during the entirety of the mold cleanup process.
3. Wearing Full Personal Protective Equipment
Mold spores can be carried on shoes and clothing, making full protective gear a must during cleanup. Disposable clothing including a bodysuit, shoe covers and hair nets shield the body from exposure. Goggles, gloves and a respirator mask provide further protective cover.
IICRC certified companies will have the materials to create a well-contained mold cleanup area. This can ensure mold doesn’t become the new business owner you didn’t ask for! Visit http://www.SERVPROcentralftmyers.com for more information on mold.
The Six Steps of Water Mitigation After a Pipe Bursts
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience water damage in your business.
If your business experiences a serious plumbing failure, such as a supply line leaking or a burst water pipe, the damage can seem catastrophic. Once you’ve turned off the main water supply to stop the water flow, you may feel overwhelmed or confused about what to do. Instead of struggling to clean it up yourself, call water mitigation specialists in Fort Myers, FL. They can handle a pipe burst cleanup quickly and efficiently so that you don’t lose time and business. When you call for help, these are the six steps you can expect during the water mitigation procedure.
1. Inspection and Assessment
The first thing water mitigation specialists will do when you call is come and inspect the damage. Once they have assessed the extent of the damage, they can formulate a comprehensive plan for the water cleanup and restoration.
2. Source Identification
If you haven’t already located the pipe or supply line that caused the flooding, water mitigation specialists can help you. You will almost certainly need to bring in a plumber to make the necessary repairs.
3. Water Extraction
It’s critical that the pipe burst cleanup begin as quickly as possible to limit the water damage and the secondary mold damage that can occur if water is allowed to sit. Experts come with specialized equipment, such as submersible pumps and wet vacs, to extract all the standing water.
Even after the standing water has been removed, everything will still be wet. Industrial strength fans and dehumidifiers will be deployed to dry everything out as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth and prevent continued water damage to building materials.
Wet materials can develop an unpleasant odor. Upholstery, carpets and other materials may need to be professionally cleaned and sanitized to remove any smells.
Water can warp wood and cause drywall to crack and crumble. If building materials have been affected, a team of water mitigation specialists in Fort Myers, FL can replace them. Once they’ve completed this step in the pipe burst cleanup process, your business will be back to its original state. Visit http://www.SERVPROcentralftmyers.com for more information on commercial water damage.
When a Pipe Breaks, Act Fast
Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage, especially when the water or the pipe is not dealt with quickly. To prevent significant water damage from ruining your structure, there are steps you need to take as soon as possible:
• Identify the source of the issue
• Turn off the main water valve
• Fix the broken pipe
• Look out for and remove safety hazards (if you can do so safely)
• Call a Fort Myers, FL water damage restoration team
Mitigate Damage Before Help Arrives
While your local water remediation team should arrive within hours of your phone call, a few hours can mean the difference between mold growth and a mildew-free building. In the meantime, act as your own handyman and get to work.
First, shut off the water supply to your building. Open up a faucet to relieve any pressure that may build up while the supply line is off. If you cannot fix the bursting pipes on your own, call a plumber. Fixing the source of the problem is key, as remediation efforts will be for naught if the same issue happens when you turn the water back on.
Turn up the heat in your building and start getting rid of water. Use towels, buckets, a sump pump, fans and any other moisture wicking methods at your disposal. If it’s nice outside, open a window. If the pipes burst inside a vanity or beneath a sink, open cabinet doors and let the warm air flow in there.
Depending on how bad the damage is, you may not be able to do much beyond the aforementioned steps. However, your Fort Myers, FL water damage team should be arriving any minute, so sit back and wait for help. If you acted quickly, they should have to do nothing more than give you the OK to start cleaning and to provide advice on how to prevent broken pipes in the future. Visit http://www.SERVPROcentralftmyers.com for more information on commercial water damage.
How To Take Care of Smoke Damage in Your Building
A commercial fire in Ft. Myers, FL is an unfortunate situation for any business owner to deal with, even if it isn’t your business. Another part of the building that is not insured under your policy, for example, can still cause severe smoke damage in your area. Some business owners assume this isn’t a covered loss, when, in reality, the majority of commercial fire policies often cover similar losses. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you have smoke damage from a fire you didn’t cause, here are a few pointers to make sure the damage gets taken care of.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The first thing you should do if you aren’t sure about what your insurance policy covers is to contact your insurer. Scanning your policy can be frustrating, especially when trying to navigate complex insurance jargon. Ask your agent or broker what your policy coverage entails, specifically regarding smoke damage. With a better understanding of your insurance policy, you will have a firmer handle on how to move forward and on what is covered, for future reference. Your insurance company may also refer you to licensed disaster restoration professionals who can treat the affected area of your building.
Choose a Reputable Restoration Company
Disaster restoration companies are a dime a dozen, and it’s important to make sure you’re choosing one with a good reputation and ethical standards. As mentioned before, your insurance company may refer one to you, but most insurers will not require you to use their recommendation.
Let the Professionals Handle It
One of the biggest mistakes you could make with smoke cleaning is to do it yourself. Without a professional background in restoration, you could end up doing more harm than good. A licensed restoration professional will assess the affected area for soot damage with state-of-the-art, high-tech equipment that will help them to determine which areas and items are salvageable and which need to be completely replaced. Visit http://www.SERVPROcentralftmyers.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Dealing With Water Damage at a Commercial Building
Dealing With Water Damage at a Commercial Building
Water is capable of causing quite a bit of destruction in a short amount of time. Whether it is due to broken pipes or flooding, water damage needs to be dealt with immediately.
Determining the Cause
There are a variety of ways water can sneak into your building and cause damage. The sooner you can locate the problem the sooner you can implement water cleanup procedures. Damage may be due to:
• Bursting pipes
• Leaking Roof
• Malfunctioning HVAC system
• Backed-up water main/sewer
Once you know the source of the water, you can determine what to do next. If it is gray or black water, you are dealing with a much more serious issue. You will most likely need to call a water mitigation specialist in Fort Myers, Florida. Clean water sources can still cause a lot of damage if left unattended, but these types of issues aren’t associated with disease and bacteria.
Flood or Sewage Damage
Flood or sewage backup may contain deadly bacteria that could lead to illness or death. You will need to go beyond simply eliminating the moisture. Certified restoration companies have the appropriate equipment and expertise to deal with the situation. When dealing with a commercial building, it is imperative to reestablish a safe environment for employees and customers.
Clean Water Damage
If you aren’t dealing with gray or black water, the cleanup is a little easier. It is important to dry the area out quickly. Building materials and insulation can wick moisture behind walls and lead to mold. Proper cleanup may require flood cuts and bringing in industrial size fans and dehumidifiers. Professional services are helpful in these situations as well.
If you are dealing with damage from flooding or other water sources, take care of the problem as expeditiously as possible. You want to prevent as much further damage as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROcentralftmyers.com for more information on commercial water damage.
What To Do After a Fire in Your Building
What To Do After a Fire
Even if you plan to be prepared for an emergency, no one plans to have to endure a fire. The most prepared people will still find themselves going through the same stages of loss and shock that affect everyone else. Being prepared does offer advantages, though. It gives you the opportunity to create a plan you can follow easily, so you are not stuck trying to solve problems in the moment. Knowing who to call for fire restoration, making sure your fire insurance fully covers your assets, and making a plan for all the services you might need in an emergency relieves those pressures.
Steps To Take After the Fire
Understanding the basic steps you need to take to be safe after a fire in Fort Myers, Florida allows you to be prepared to take them.
Assess everyone for injuries, contact 911, and make sure anyone who is hurt has medical attention.
Stay out of fire-damaged homes until the authorities give you the all-clear to re-enter.
Contact your insurance company to find out about the next steps for filing a claim and getting cleaning services.
Coordinate with loved ones and insurance contacts to move forward with smoke cleaning and restoration.
Having these steps in place can help you feel peace of mind.
Creating the Backbone of Your Plan
For a plan like this to work, you need to have the right resources in place to manage your fire risks, and you need to have the contact information for those resources on hand. Make a fire preparedness plan that gives you easy access to the following items so that you will be ready:
Contact information for your insurance company’s claims department
Contact information for a restoration company with local service
A number or location for a safe place to stay if your home can not be re-entered
By taking these steps, you can make sure your access to fire restoration and other support services is ensured, making it easier to recover from a fire in Fort Myers, FL.
Visit http://www.SERVPROcentralftmyers.com for more information on fire damage.