Recent Commercial Posts
COMMERCIAL MOLD DETECTION & REMOVAL SERVICES
Mold and Your Business. Mold contamination is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. Mold, a fungus that is found in damp places, can grow almost anywhere moist conditions exist. Left unattended, it can cause health problems as well as serious structural damage to your facility. As your go-to experts in mold remediation, we take a methodical and systematic approach to carefully identify the source of the mold growth and help eliminate mold from your working environment.
WHY IS MOLD A PROBLEM?
Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on and can grow anywhere:
- HVAC system
- Furnishings and more
In your home, all molds have the potential to cause side effects:
- Breathing Difficulties
- Skin irritation
- Allergic reactions
- Aggravation of asthma symptoms
The presence of mold in your building means significant repairs may be necessary. This presents a financial problem for business owners.
If you suspect mold in your business, count on SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotte to quickly remediate the issue and let you get back to business as soon as possible. Once we assess the damage, we'll work with you to create a comprehensive remediation plan unique to your needs. Then, we'll keep you informed every step of the way to ensure we're always on the same page and providing the best work. With our guided expertise, innovative tools and technologies, we'll get your business up and running again as soon as possible.
3 Steps After a Commercial Fire Loss
- Do anything you can to prevent protect what is left: Whether it's tarping your property, shutting off water mains, or putting up emergency fencing, it's up to you to prevent further damage to the property after the fire. If you neglect to do this, your insurance policy might not pay for the additional damages. Call a professional loss consultant who can explain to you what steps you need to take under your current insurance policy plan.
- Talk to people: After suffering such a devastating loss, your first response might be to take a break for a few days and process everything at home. This is one of those times where you are going to have to go against your instinct and talk to lots of people. You will want to start by gathering documentation. Get a fire report from the fire marshal's office. Seek a copy of current building codes from building department inspectors, and ask engineers or architects to write out the extent of the building's damage. Or if you feel you can handle it on your own, hire a reputable licensed public adjuster who will help you with gathering all the information you need, along with helping you process your insurance claim.
- Contact your insurance company ASAP: Amidst everything else going on, it is absolutely imperative that you don’t neglect to call your insurance company to report the damages as quickly as possible. If you take too long to contact your insurance agent, it could cost you big in the long run. You don't need to sign any paperwork or give estimates early on, just let the insurance company know that a damage has occurred.
How Long Does it Take to Repair a Home After a Fire?
The Fire Damage Repair Process
PHASE 1: MITIGATION AND DEMOLITION – 3 WEEKS
First, the mitigation vendor will come out to assess the level of damage in the home. The affected rooms will be tested for soot and smoke damage by using special sponges or gloves, and a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum and deodorizer will be used to clean the air. The mitigation vendor will also explain what the demolition and rebuild phase may consist of (if applicable) and determine whether it makes sense to do more complex tasks such as flood cutting, a process that determines the water accumulation in drywall, or tearing down walls and ceilings, and removing floors. These tasks may be necessary when a severe fire occurs as water damage can occur from extinguishing the fire. Lead and asbestos testing may also take place depending on the state the house is in and the year it was built.
PHASE 2: GENERAL CONTRACTOR AND SUBCONTRACTOR – 3-6 MONTHS
Once the home has been mitigated, the next step is called “build back” which encompasses the repairs required to return the home to pre-fire condition. The build back phase is when a general contractor comes in. He or she will assess the damage, write an estimate and send it to your insurance carrier adjuster (if you’re filing a claim). Keep in mind it can take some time to negotiate cost (up to 2-3 months), but once all parties agree and you sign a work authorization, work can begin.
The general contractor often takes on subcontractors to rebuild other parts of the home, such as installing flooring or drywall (or uses an architect for larger losses), so you can get the type of flooring, roofing, etc., you want in your newly restored home.
When all work is complete, you and your contractor will perform a final walk through to review the repairs and you will be asked to sign a Certificate of Satisfaction, which is documentation needed to close out the job.
The Amount of Time Depends on the Amount of Damage
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all time estimate for the restoration process. It depends on the size of the house, severity of damage and vendors involved. A small house with light damage could be fixed in a couple of days, whereas a larger job requiring a full gut (or complete rebuild) could take six months or more. It’s always helpful to ask for a scope of the work involved as well as an estimate, so you have a better sense of what to expect for your specific situation.
Here are some other things to consider when a home fire occurs:
- Permits can prevent demolition from happening. For example, you may have to hold off on a rebuild if the building fails lead or asbestos testing.
- Repairs can take time, but it’s also important to be aware of your timeline, especially if your insurance company is covering alternative living expenses (ALE). For example, if you’ve spent 5 months negotiating costs and only have 9 months of ALE, you would have already spent more than half of your ALE before the restoration process began.
- Hire a trustworthy mitigation vendor with proper credentials and good reviews. If the mitigation is not done well, it can create more work for the general contractor.
- Avoid cleaning prior to speaking with a professional company, as it could cause further damage.
- Collect all sentimental items to handle/clean yourself to avoid potential accidents while professionals are there.
How to Handle Commercial Water Damage Cleanup
How to Handle Commercial Water Damage Cleanup
Water damage can strike your Indianapolis commercial property at any time and without notice. The effects of commercial water damage can be devastating to a business owner who is now faced with having to cleanup the water damage and reopen their business as soon as possible.
Do you know how to handle water damage at your commercial property? Are you prepared to make the necessary decisions after a pipe breaks, your roof leaks, or the streets flood to protect your property? What is your plan?
Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. A little preparation for a water damage emergency and a plan of action in the event it ever happens can significantly reduce property damage and will get you back to business as soon as possible.
Commercial Water Damage Prevention
Large-scale losses can be prevented by following a few simple guidelines. Know where your emergency water shut-off valves are located, and have a contingency plan in place in case you are not available. Create an emergency plan with directions for what to do in an emergency as well as a list of phone numbers of approved companies to call in an emergency situation. Make sure someone you can trust has the authorization to make decisions if you are unavailable.
It is a good idea to locate a water damage restoration company near you, who provides emergency response before disaster strikes. Do your due diligence and call a few different companies to ask any questions you might have about their services or their experience with companies similar to yours. How quickly cleanup begins will impact the size of the loss.
Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Water damage can happen at any time. Whether from natural disasters, leaking roofs, frozen pipes, sewage backups, or flooding, water damage is a serious concern and a major threat to your commercial property.
Understanding the source of the flooding is essential for proper cleanup, as clean water from a broken pipe or a leaking roof during a rainstorm will be treated differently than floodwaters and sewage backups. Always protect your health, and let the commercial water damage experts handle the cleanup and restoration of your property.
Preventing Mold Growth After Water Damage
Every water damage restoration company is going to be concerned with preventing or mitigating mold growth after water damage in your commercial property. Mold growth can begin 24-48 hours after water damage, and starting extraction and drying as soon as possible after water damage is your best line of defense against mold.
Proper removal and drying of the water is critical after a water damage emergency, and will prevent any long-term problems some experience after attempting water damage cleanup themselves, or by hiring someone who doesn’t have the proper equipment or experience.
Commercial Flood Insurance
Commercial Flood Insurance
What Does Commercial Flood Insurance Cover?Commercial Flood Insurance helps protect your business from the damage costs that come from floodwater. A commercial flood insurance policy will not only protect the location of your business but also the physical contents and assets. A commercial flood insurance policy is designed to protect your business if your floors, walls, ceilings, equipment and fixtures as well as furniture, inventory and business property sustain floodwater damage. Call today to get a quote and find out how easy and affordable it is to add flood insurance protection to your portfolio of business coverages.
Do I Need Commercial Flood Insurance?If your business property insurance doesn’t cover flood damage – and most don’t – you should consider adding a commercial flood insurance policy. Start with a commercial flood insurance quote. Even if you live in an area that doesn’t flood, you’ll need a policy if:
- You run your business in an area that has cold, snowy winters and warm springs. Fast melting snow is one of the top causes for commercial flooding.
- You experience moderate rainfall during the year. Even with moderate rainfall, a drain could become clogged and eventually overflow into your place of business and cause flood damage.
How Does a Commercial Flood Insurance Policy Work?Flood insurance from The Hartford is provided through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Typically, the government requires a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance policies. So it’s important to buy a commercial flood policy well before a potential flood event is headed your way. It’s easy to get a quote. Just contact your local agent or call 1-800-296-7542 to speak with one of our flood insurance specialists. We’re eager to answer your questions and quickly assist you in getting the right flood coverage at the right cost for your business. The Hartford is a participant in the federal Write Your Own (WYO) Program, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Flood Insurance Program http://www.fema.gov/protecting-your-businesses. WYO flood policies are underwritten by the federal government and issued, sold, and administered by authorized private insurance companies, including Hartford Fire Insurance Company, Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest and Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company. Accordingly, Hartford WYO flood policies are written subject to the rules, regulations, terms, conditions, and availability of the National Flood Insurance Program. All policies must be examined carefully to determine suitability for your needs and to identify any exclusions, limitations or any other terms and conditions that may specifically affect coverage. In the event of a conflict, the terms and conditions of the policy prevail.
Does My Business Need Flood Insurance?
Natural disasters can be devastating to businesses. While damage caused by some types of natural events—such as lightning or wind—will usually be covered by commercial property insurance, you need a special policy if you want protection from flood damage. This Q&A will help you understand this type of coverage and determine if your business needs it.
Frequently asked questions about flood insurance
Q. Does my commercial property insurance include flood coverage?
A. No. Damage from flooding, including flooding generated by hurricane-generated storm surge, typically is not covered under a standard commercial policy, including a Commercial Package Policy (CPP) or a Business Owners Policy (BOP). Flood insurance is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Q. What does flood insurance cover?
A.Flood insurance covers damage to your building and contents caused by flood. This includes losses resulting from water overflowing rivers or streams, heavy or prolonged rain, storm surge, snow melt, blocked storm drainage systems, broken dams or levees, or other similar causes. To be considered a flood, waters must cover at least two acres or affect two properties. Generally if water comes from above—for instance from rain or melting snow overflowing gutters and leaking onto your inventory—you’ll be covered by your standard commercial property insurance.
Q. What isn’t covered by flood insurance?
A. Property outside your building generally will not be covered. For instance, landscaping and septic systems will not be covered. In addition, flood insurance will not cover damage to your business vehicles, but this can be included in the optional “comprehensive” portion of your business vehicle insurance. Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property are also not covered.
Q. Do I have to purchase flood insurance?
A. If your commercial property is located in a high-risk flood area and you have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase a flood insurance policy.
Q. How do I determine my risk for flood damage?
A. Location is the most important factor for weighing your risk for flood damage. Is your business located in or near a flood zone? (Flood map search tools can be found online.) In what part of the building is your businesses equipment and inventory located? Anything housed on a lower floor, for instance, will be at greater risk.
Q. Where can I purchase flood insurance?
A. Flood insurance is available from the NFIP and some private insurers. However, NFIP coverage can only be purchased through an insurance professional; you cannot buy it directly from the federal government. To find a local insurance professional who is familiar with the National Flood Insurance Program, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531 for an agent referral.
Q. How long does it take to get flood coverage?
A. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.
Q. Does my flood policy cover mold?
A. Damage from mold and/or mildew resulting from the after-effects of a flood is covered, but each case is evaluated on an individual basis. Mold/mildew conditions that existed prior to a flooding event are not covered, and after a flood, the policyholder is responsible for taking reasonable and appropriate mitigation actions to eliminate mold and mildew.
Q. How much flood coverage can I get?
A. Commercial flood insurance provides up to $500,000 of coverage for your building and up to $500,000 for its contents.
Q. What if I need more coverage?
A. You can purchase what’s called excess insurance coverage to rebuild properties valued above National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) limits. Excess coverage includes protection against business interruption.
Get Your Commercial Automatic Toilet to Stop Flushing
1. Uncover the screwdriver slot. Most flushometers have a screwdriver spot for a flat head screwdriver. You may have to uncover this spot. Once you do, use a screwdriver to turn off the water coming from the flushometer.
2. Remove the top lid. Once you have the water stopped, you need to make sure you won't be dealing with this toilet flood issue in the near future. Your toilet-fixing expert can use a wrench to remove the top lid of the flushometer. Some water may come out when you remove the cover.
3. Clean the gasket. With the lid removed, you can now see the gasket. You may notice built up sediment or a clogged weep hole. This device should be able to stop a toilet, but if it is too dirty it may cause a toilet overflow.
4. Get the flushometer ready again. After the gasket has been properly cleaned, you need to get it ready to function again. Replace the cover and top lid. Then turn the water back on.
Taking care of your commercial property means fixing toilet overflow issues and reacting quickly to other potential hazards. No matter what kind of water-related issue you have, you should make sure to react quickly to avoid major water damage to your business. Knowing who to call in a time of crisis can save you a lot of time.
Getting Rid of the Smell After a Fire
Smoke is Sneaky
Once you've been given the go-ahead to reenter the building, you may need the judgment of fire damage professionals to determine what items can be salvaged. Because smoke can permeate various parts of an indoor space, it's essential that you get a proper inspection. Smoke also produces small amounts of carbon in the air, ultimately creating soot, and completely removing the odor from some items can prove challenging.
There Are Different Types
In addition, be aware that there may be multiple soot damage culprits, as there are different types of smoke:
• Dry smoke
• Wet smoke
• Protein fire residue
Although any kind of smoke damage is a hassle to deal with, wet smoke – involving plastic or rubber – can be sharper in odor and harder to address. Dry smoke involves wood or paper and can also be difficult to clean. Protein fire residue, which can be subtle, has a familiar, pungent odor.
Porous Materials are Vulnerable
Every surface likely needs attention after a fire, but the permeable ones are usually trickiest. Items such as curtains, rugs, and other upholsteries probably need to go to the dry cleaner. Another task on your list should involve keeping your cleaned items out of the building until a proper smoke cleaning is complete.