Recent Commercial Posts

Benefits of Pretesting

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of an insurance claim form and a hand filling in the form. Pretesting helps reduce the expense of claims.

When your commercial clients in Emporia, VA, need to fill out an insurance claim, it is in everyone's best interest to keep the total cost low. One of the reasons SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many providers is its commitment to start each cleanup job with a thorough assessment. Here are several ways that pretesting helps reduce the expense of claims.

3 Advantages of Pretesting 

1. Identifying Source

The first thing that certified mitigation experts do when they arrive on site is look for the source of the problem. For example, if they are there to repair water damage, they inspect the building for common causes:

  • Pipe break
  • Faucet leak
  • Toilet overflow
  • Unresolved storm damage

Identifying the source of the water loss helps to stop damage in its tracks. The cleanup team can restrict the flow of water to the area until the problem is resolved, thus minimizing claims expense.

2. Reveal Extent of Problem

Pretesting also shows how much damage your client's building has sustained. Just as an insurance agent or adjuster completes a walkthrough to verify the claim, SERVPRO technicians inspect the whole building to identify exactly which procedures are needed to mitigate the damage. Both you and your client can view this information as well as any updates to the process or the overall estimate through the Claims Information Center.

3. Prevent Secondary Damage

One of the most important results of a pretest is the prevention of mold growth or other secondary damage to the building. Knowing the full scope of the problem from the beginning reduces the likelihood that water damage will be left to fester and cause more issues in the future. The rigorous standards SERVPRO sets for its technicians ensure a job well done.

The first step to solving any problem is defining it properly. Pretesting allows cleanup experts to get a full picture of how much damage your client's building has so that they can formulate an appropriate mitigation process.

5 Tips for Preventing Mold Damage After Flooding

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of sandbags placed on door to block water from entering a building. After a flood it's important that you follow these steps to avoid mold damage.

Without mitigation, mold growth can begin 24 to 48 hours after a flood. These five tips can help you avoid this problem.

Tips to Help You Avoid Mold Damage

1. Remove Water Promptly

One of the most important steps to take is to remove standing water promptly. You can use a mop and bucket or rent vacuums created for the purpose. However, floodwaters can contain hazardous materials and should not be touched without wearing protective gear. In most cases, it is better to contact a flood remediation company in Emporia, VA, than to attempt to remove the water yourself.

2. Dry Wet Surfaces

Removing standing water will help prevent mold growth, but you also need to completely dry wet surfaces. Dry rags or mops can be used to soak up water on surfaces. Renting industrialized fans can also help dry out rooms quickly. However, using fans runs the risk of spreading any mold that may have already developed throughout your building.

3. Remove Wet Carpets and Rugs

Wet carpets and rugs take a long time to dry. Remove them from the building and place them outside to dry in the sunlight if possible. Have the rugs steam cleaned to remove contaminants.

4. Sanitize Surfaces

Once you have everything dried out, clean and sanitize surfaces to kill bacteria and other contaminants. Diluted bleach or over-the-counter cleaning and sanitizing solutions can be used.

5. Keep the Humidity Level Below 50 Percent

Mold grows best in an environment with humidity over 50%, so try to keep humidity levels in your building below this. If your business is located in a humid environment, try using a dehumidifier. You can also open windows and doors on days when the weather is sunny and dry to help lower humidity levels.

Preventing mold growth after a flood can be challenging. However, if you implement these tips quickly, you can increase your chance of success.

Preventing Fire Sprinkler Flooding

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial-Fire-Sprinkler Fires Sprinklers in a Commercial Building

Many commercial business owners probably don’t think about the flooding effects of their fire sprinklers being activated. However, if this does occur, it is an issue that should be dealt with immediately, before it gets out of control and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Of course, the obvious solution is preventing your businesses fire sprinklers from going off accidentally. Here are a few things you need to know about accidental fire sprinkler activation. 

Preventing Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activation

Did you know that the modern fire sprinkler system is NOT activated by fire alarms or even smoke caused by burnt food in the employee break room? They actually have to be subjected to extreme heat that melts the metal sensors or bursts the red liquid bulb on the device. Here are a few common reasons that can cause this to happen and sprinklers to accidentally activate: 

  • Improper fire sprinkler system installation
  • Vandalization of the system
  • A factory accident
  • Inappropriate use of the sprinkler heads

Preventing Loss by Taking Immediate Action

If the fire sprinklers do activate in your business, your first step should be to turn off the water. This is the first and most important step in any emergency flooding situation. Make sure that you have multiple people in your organization that know how to perform this task. Once the water is turned off, the next step is to begin the clean up process. With fire sprinklers, it is possible that hundreds of gallons of water have been released in a short period of time.

Therefore, water damage to machinery, equipment, electronics, walls and floors can happen very quickly. You should call a reputable and experienced water restoration company right away! The professionals at SERVPRO can quickly and properly dry every surface and reduce the risk of mold. 

Preventing It from Happening Again

Once you have your initial cleanup underway, you should contact your insurance provider and work on preventing this from happening again. Your employees should be trained to never hang anything from the sprinkler head, or even touch it! You should also consider the placement of sprinkler heads. They should be in a location in which it is difficult for person, or even a machine, to accidentally come in contact with it. 

While a flood in your business may seem inconceivable, you should take these steps to minimize damage in the event this does happen. If you do experience water damage in your commercial property, give us a call.

4 Ways To Lower Business Interruption Flood Loss

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded building and surroundings Flooding can lead to severe damage to your building.

Wherever you locate your business, there's always some risk of flooding, however small it is. It could be a result of a broken pipe or heavy rainfall. Your employees, clients and overall business need a plan in place for the unexpected so you can minimize the impact on your company if the worst occurs.

Minimize the Impact of Business Interruption Due to Water Damage

1. Identify Risks

To identify risks that could potentially cause business interruptions, you must assess preventable risks versus ones that aren't. Then, you can identify each element involved, including your property's vulnerability to the threat, all of your assets that are at risk and the total impact if it happens. How likely is the chance of a flood? How severe would the result of a flood be on your business?

2. Analyze the Impact of the Risks

To fully prepare, you must analyze the impact of potential flooding risks to estimate the costs of the various interruptions. These can include lost income for the business and employees, expenses to fix the problems, business delay, and multiple fines and penalties the company might incur.

3. Identify Ways of Preventing and Mitigating Risks

You'll need to identify any preventable hazards that could occur. Then, determine how to avoid these hazards from occurring. Some risks like large water damage from natural disasters are unavoidable. You must be proactive, taking measures to control and contain the hazards as much as possible before they occur. Part of this preparation is knowing which water damage restoration professionals to call.

4. Review Your Insurance Coverage

Business interruption insurance is helpful for property damage that suspends business operations. Make sure you understand the details of your insurance policy to know what's covered and what's not, including limits and exclusions.

A business can be susceptible to many negative factors. Knowing how to protect your Surry, VA, property and minimize the risk of significant damage from flooding can lessen the worry.

Prevent Flood Damage With Advance Preparations

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Image of sandbags placed on door to block water from entering a building. Use proper materials to prevent flood damage

Flooding is one of the most common types of damage after a natural disaster. It can happen anywhere, during any time of the year, and as the result of many causes.

Prevent Flood Damage

One of the best ways to prevent flood damage is to prepare before any signs of trouble:

  • Consistently inspect and repair check valves and vulnerable spots where sewer and utility lines enter your facility.
  • Protect vulnerable equipment, such as appliances, computers, and heaters, by moving them above the water level.
  • Reach out to Surry, VA, water damage cleanup and prevention crews for tips on improving the watertight qualities of your building.
  • Contact your insurance provider to be sure your policy includes water damage and for specific damage prevention advice.

Once you've done what you can to minimize any damage if water does get into your building, the next step is to keep as much flood water out when storm damage is imminent.

Water Control Supplies

There are several items you can purchase and keep on hand that are helpful when flooding occurs:

  • Keep sandbags on hand to place around doors and windows.
  • Store flood boards for your doors, so water doesn't get in when doors are opened.
  • Keep a pump on hand to remove floodwater.
  • Plastic sheeting, plywood, nails, and hammers are necessary for protecting vulnerable areas of the facility.
  • Include a few shovels in your storage.
  • Make sure you have first aid emergency kits installed around your facility, so they are easy to access.

With the right supplies on hand, you and your employees may feel more confident when rain or rising rivers threaten your business.

Routine Training and Education

Finally, you and everyone in your building should know how to behave when your facility is threatened. Create a flood plan that includes contact information for emergency response teams, anyone involved in caring for the building, and other critical team members. This plan should also include posted maps that show evacuation routes, shut-off points, and first aid kits.

When flooding does happen, you don't have much time to respond. When you've prepared, however, your employees know how to respond quickly for safety and damage control.