Recent Commercial Posts
Roof Damage After a Fire: Everything You Need to Know
If your Bryan, TX roof has suffered from fire damage call SERVPRO of Brazos Valley
Roof Damage After a Fire: Everything You Need to Know
Roof damage is never good news. In fact, you may have been in such a state of shock after a fire that you didn't even notice the damage that was done to your home's roof. You might not even realize how bad the situation is until it starts raining and water begins to drip into the living room or bedroom of your Bryan, Texas home. That's why it's important to act quickly when dealing with roof damage caused by fire. We'll explain how SERVPRO can help with this common problem, as well as other things you should know about repairing or replacing a damaged roof in the aftermath of a blaze:
Roof Damage is Devastating
Roof damage is devastating to a homeowner, and fire damage only complicates things. Damage caused by flames is one thing, but soot can also cause significant problems. If possible, have a professional tarp the roof until it can be repaired or replaced.
If you've been in a fire, it's likely that your roof will have suffered some damage. While flames are one thing, soot can also cause significant problems. Soapstone and clay tiles are easily damaged by soot and ash because these materials absorb moisture from the air, which increases their weight and makes them heavier than usual. This causes them to crack or break apart on the surface of your roof. Shingles made of asphalt are susceptible to melting when exposed to flames for long periods of time; if this happens then their water resistance is compromised as well and they may leak soon after being installed or repaired.
Soot can also be extremely harmful to gutters that have been installed over an extended period of time because they accumulate debris which eventually clogs them up entirely (even if they're made out of metal). The same goes for siding -- if there's any kind of stain left behind by smoke particles then it will become difficult if not impossible for anyone trying to clean off those surfaces later down the road without damaging them further!
Finally. insulation has its own set of issues associated with this too -- most notably that its normal function becomes compromised due to increased heat loss. Heat is lost due to condensation caused by excessive humidity levels within an enclosed area.
Call the Professionals
Due to the severity of roof damage, it is recommended that you have a professional tarp the roof until it can be repaired or replaced. This will help keep the elements out and prevent further damage from occurring.
When you have a company like SERVPRO of Brazos Valley come in to tarp your roof, we will also check for interior water damage. This is because when the fire has burned through the ceiling of your home and reached your attic, it can cause water from the fire sprinklers to leak down into the living space below. This can cause mold growth, which can lead to all sorts of health problems such as respiratory issues and skin irritation.
Your SERVPRO professional will take precautions to make sure that there is no mold growth in your home.
Working with Insurance
Fire-damaged roofs can be a very stressful and confusing thing to deal with, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. We would recommend calling a professional roofing company like ours to ensure that your fire-damaged roof is repaired as quickly and effectively as possible.
We can work with your insurance company and negotiate a fair price for your roof repairs. From that point forward, we will handle all aspects of the tarping process including:
- Finding any hidden damage on your home's exterior that may have been caused by smoke or water leaks during the fire
- Setting up temporary protection from rain until we remove damaged shingles from the roof decking
- Removing old shingle pieces (if necessary) using specialized tools designed specifically for this task
Act Quickly After a Fire
After a fire has damaged your roof, it is important to care for it properly. This will help you save money in the long term because you won't have to pay for more expensive repairs later. If you are not sure how to do this, it is best to hire a professional. A good roofing company will be able to help you get your roof back in shape and ensure that it stays that way.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the chaos of a fire and forget about your roof. But when you do have a professional fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Brazos Valley come in, we will check for interior water damage and negotiate fair prices for your roof repairs.
Business Owners Should Expect Experts To Do These 3 Things During Mold Remediation
Mold remediation in Burton, TX
Owners Should Expect To See The Following Three Things
One of the major concerns about water damage is moisture's ability to trigger black mold growth. Business owners may go from dealing with a broken pipe or toilet overflow to being told that fungus has infested the space. When this happens, proprietors should prepare for several stages of cleanup. To minimize the spread and restore the building, owners should expect to see the following three things.
1. Block Off the Contaminated Space
A water remediation company in Burton, TX, must start mold cleanup by cutting off the microbes' ability to migrate. After a thorough inspection, the experts determine what is harmed. They cut off the area from foot traffic and set up negative air chambers to stop airflow. It's best not to enter the space, allowing only the professionals to enter and leave. They wear protective gear to limit exposure levels.
2. Remove Moisture Promptly
Black mold feeds on water, so specialists perform a meticulous inspection to see how much dampness is present. With the supply stopped, the reproduction begins to slow down too. Moisture reading tools inform specialists about troublesome spots, guiding the team as to where to start extraction and drying procedures.
Carpet and drywall are concerning since they are porous substances that cannot be treated with chemicals. Tear out these items to reduce wetness and spore count. Flood cuts are made, usually a few feet above the waterline, to ensure proper cleanup. Industrial dehumidifiers run around the clock. These devices extract moisture from the air and materials, quickening the drying time.
3. Sanitize What Is Left
Once aired out, the mold remediation crew washes the rest of the interior and applies an antimicrobial spray. These work effectively on non-porous substances, killing lingering microbes. Content cleaning crews use high-tech equipment to tend to electronics and valuable documents.
Water damage may easily lead to black mold, so it's imperative to act immediately. Secure the impacted areas, and focus on getting these locations dry. With the help of professionals, owners can hinder mold development and restore the property.
The Best Bleach Alternatives For Cleaning Mold
Depending on the material, you may prefer to use standard or slightly stronger cleaning vinegar to kill mold
Mold-Cleaning Bleach Substitutes
Bleach is of limited use for cleaning mold. The most common chlorine-based solution is strictly a surface disinfectant and does not sink into porous materials. As a result, the root system of mold may resume growth after fungus cleanup. Here are several substances that are more effective for eliminating mold.
Distilled white vinegar is one of the best antifungal cleaners for porous and non-porous materials. There are several ways to use a solution of acetic acid in water to cleanup mold:
- Apply standard white vinegar at 5% concentration
- Apply cleaning white vinegar at 6% concentration
- Dilute standard or cleaning white vinegar
Depending on the material, you may prefer to use standard or slightly stronger cleaning vinegar to kill mold. Vinegar may be less likely to damage, discolor or degrade many sensitive substances than bleach. Keep in mind that vinegar is acidic and may react upon coming into contact with certain substances.
Sodium borate, which is often referred to as Borax, is another effective alternative for fungus cleanup. Dissolve one cup of this white powder in one gallon of hot water. Like bleach, sodium borate is basic, whereas vinegar is acidic. If you are not sure about the best cleaning substance for delicate materials or contents, consult with mold remediation experts.
In some cases, it may be necessary to use a fungicide to kill mold. These substances are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Make sure to follow the instructions on any mold killer you use. Many commercial building owners prefer to have these treatments applied by restoration professionals for maximum effectiveness.
If you see signs of mold growing in a commercial property in Bryan, TX, you should call in fungus cleanup specialists. It is crucial to determine the true extent of an infestation.
What Damage Can Smoke Do to Your Business?
Many business owners understand the devastation caused by heat and flames, but smoke damage can also impact your property.
What Harm Can Smoke Cause To Your Business?
Fire can cause damage to your Bryan, TX, property in a number of ways. Many business owners understand the destruction that the heat and flames cause, but smoke damage can also take its toll on your property.
What Damage Can Smoke Do?
Smoke can affect your property in several ways:
- It can get into porous surfaces such as drywall, carpet, upholstered furniture and window treatments. These elements can absorb smoke odor.
- Smoke from organic materials can leave behind grease and stains.
- Smoldering plastic or rubber can create a thick, sticky substance that corrodes surfaces.
- Smoke can stain surfaces, leaving behind black residue that requires smoke cleaning.
How Can Damage Be Repaired?
Fortunately, a professional restoration service can help you with smoke cleaning. Odor can be reduced or eliminated using ozone machines, thermal foggers and air filtration devices. Dry cleaning can help remove light residue or act as a pre-treatment for wet cleaning.
Some upholstery needs special treatment, as the fabrics may shrink or pucker with wet cleaning. Foam cleaning is a good alternative for these fabrics. Another option for delicate surfaces is spray-and-wipe cleaning.
Other items may require immersion cleaning, which involves dipping the damaged content in cleaner. Abrasive cleaning helps treat damage from smoke on surfaces that can withstand a more aggressive approach.
Electronics can also sustain damage from smoke.
The residue contains corrosive acid that can harm computers, printers and other devices. These surfaces should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified technician.
When Should You Call for Help With Smoke Cleaning?
The sooner you begin the restoration process, the better. Smoke can cause further damage and corrosion by lingering on surfaces. Calling a professional restoration company can help you get back to normal as soon as possible with the goal of restoring your assets instead of replacing them.
Don't neglect damage from smoke on your Bryan, TX, property. Quickly cleaning and restoring your building, furniture and electronics can help you get back in business.
3 Methods Experts Use to Contain Mold
Mold only grows in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if it's winter, the cold may also be a benefit in reducing mold spread.
Mold Containment: 3 Expert Techniques
Is your building in Brenham, TX, in need of mold cleanup? If it has tested positive or you have suspicions of mold, it's time to call in a mold detection and removal specialist.
1. Physical Barriers
One of the simplest and most straightforward steps a specialist takes is to construct physical barriers around the contaminated space. This helps with two things: restricting foot traffic through the area and stopping mold spores from physically spreading. Physical barriers usually consist of polyethylene sheeting. Multiple layers are used depending on the level of mold present.
2. Air Pressure
An expert uses negative air pressure to further prevent the spread of mold. The physical barriers are mainly to prevent people from tracking spores on their shoes, and the use of air pressure stops mold contamination through the air. As this is the main way that mold spreads, it is an effective technique for halting further spreading. Negative pressure is maintained with special machines and an exhaust pipe to the exterior of the building. The mold cleanup experts can tell if the pressure is negative by watching which way the polyethylene sheeting billows inside the contamination area.
3. Restricted Airflow
The pros also suggest that you shut off the HVAC system in your building. This helps to keep air stagnant and serves to also halt the spread of more mold. It's also suggested to turn off any ceiling fans, standing fans and other air circulation fixtures. Additionally, it's best to limit foot traffic through the area as people moving quickly can also stir spores into the air. An added benefit of keeping your HVAC system off is a temperature change.
Mold only grows in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if it's winter, the cold may also be a benefit in reducing mold spread. With an experienced pro by your side, mold cleanup is a cinch.
Is a SERVPRO Franchise Right For You?
SERVPRO is on standby 24/7/365 and ready to respond. Our team is ready to restore your home or business, no matter the size of the damage. Call us!
Do You Have What It Takes To Own A SERVPRO Franchise?
If you’re considering expanding your business portfolio or looking for an excellent franchise opportunity in Burton, TX, that offers a solid return on your investment, a SERVPRO franchise could be just what you’ve been looking for. SERVPRO consistently ranks near the top of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list. SERVPRO has ranked among the Top 10 on that list for seven of the last ten years.
SERVPRO began as a painting business. It was founded in Sacramento, California, in 1967 by Ted and Doris Isaacson. Within a few years, the Issacsons expanded the business to include cleaning and restoration and began offering franchise opportunities. Eventually, the company headquarters moved to Gallatin, Tennessee, so that the headquarters would be within 600 miles of half of the people in the United States. Today, SERVPRO is a national leader in disaster remediation services, with over 1,800 franchise locations so far.
The SERVPRO Business Model
A deep commitment to quality service is at the heart of every SERVPRO franchise. While each franchise is locally owned and operated, all franchisees have the support, backing, and name recognition of North America’s biggest names in the cleanup and restoration industry. Other franchise benefits include:
- A robust startup package
- An exclusive, dedicated franchise territory
- Extensive initial training to become SERVPRO certified
- All necessary technology to run a successful business
- Unparalleled corporate support
- Ongoing training opportunities to stay abreast of the latest technology
- A proven business model with excellent success rates
How To Open a Franchise
SERVPRO is committed to finding and nurturing the highest quality franchisees. Successful franchise applicants must pass background and credit checks. All franchise owners must have prior business experience and sufficient financial stability to meet the initial costs of opening a franchise, including franchise and license fees, equipment, vehicles, and staff.
If you’re an experienced professional with a passion for providing your clients with the highest quality restoration services, a SERVPRO franchise could be right for you.
Explaining Certification Standards
IICRC is one such ANSI member organization. This is the relevant agency for most water clean up situations.
Standards Of Certification Explained
If you find yourself in the midst of a water clean up scenario in Burton, TX, the options can be overwhelming. Many professional restoration services exist to serve a variety of needs, but not all are accredited for the same tasks by the same agencies. The following information may help you choose the right company for your business restoration needs.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is an agency that manages and documents a large number of standards across a variety of professional disciplines. It is a non-profit entity and has no legally-binding authority. However, many of the standards originated from and maintained by ANSI have been adopted by local, state and federal agencies. Though conformity with ANSI standards is voluntary, compliance is frequently beneficial because it facilitates communication with consumers and other businesses.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is one such ANSI member organization. This is the relevant agency for most water clean up situations. The IIRC standards cover a number of dependent domains, such as the relevant codes for flooring restoration, fire and smoke damage, mold contamination and many others.
3. BSR-IICRC S550
The BSR-IICRC S550 describes the standards for professional water damage restoration of commercial structures. This would be the bureau most relevant for the water damage that might result from a broken pipe in your place of business. If you are seeking a professional cleanup service to stop water retention and dry sensitive materials, compliance with this specific IICRC standard is likely the best way to gauge the capabilities of the company.
Navigating the maze of acronyms involved in selecting a water clean up specialist can be daunting, but the relevant information is fairly simple to obtain. Keep your business in order by understanding the standards that restoration services use to repair and replace the vital components of your property.
The Proper Schedule for Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
By having a regular testing schedule, you can protect the fire sprinkler system’s dependability.
The Appropriate Maintenance Schedule For Fire Sprinklers
When you own a business in Brenham, TX, it is important to make sure your fire system is working properly. Regular tests of each fire sprinkler and the function of the system as a whole help keep your business compliant with national, state and local fire codes. It also ensures that your system provides the necessary fire suppression during an emergency.
The first level of testing is the visual test. Set a schedule for visual inspections of the sprinklers, alarm and signal devices, control valves and pipes. Once or twice a month, you should check sprinklers for certain issues that could alter its effectiveness:
Valves and gauges should be checked every quarter to make sure they look like they’re supposed to look. At least once a year, check your system’s pipes and fittings, and make sure any signage posted is still accurate.
When it comes to how well your fire system functions, there are certain time frames for testing each of the parts. While the National Fire Protection Association does not require official certification to perform tests, your state and local agencies may have such restrictions. No matter who performs the test, though, you don’t want to wait until the fire sprinkler system malfunctions and floods your building to know there is a problem. Then, on top of replacing broken parts, you’ll be calling water restoration specialists to clean up a mess that could have been avoided with proper maintenance.
The mechanics of your system should be tested quarterly, and switches should be tested at least twice a year. Your test technician should complete a full test of the system annually to check water flow, alarms and antifreeze concentration. Every five years, it is a good idea to send a sampling of sprinklers to be tested in a lab and replace old sprinklers and valves before they become faulty.
To avoid fire sprinkler cleanup, your system needs regular maintenance. By having a regular testing schedule, you can protect the fire sprinkler system’s dependability.
Ways to Prevent the Spread of Mold During Cleanup
Professionals help limit mold contamination by creating a containment area.
What Can Be Used To Prevent Mold Growth
By the time you discover mold, from seeing it or smelling it, you already have a big problem. Mold spores exist in the air all around you and are never fully gone. The problem is when spore populations are excessive and when they encounter a damp environment indoors, where they take hold and grow. Mold thrives anywhere with moisture and oxygen, including in Bryan, TX. Indoors, you often find mold on materials damaged from water, such as from a leaking roof or a broken pipe. It's critical for mold cleanup to begin as quickly as possible, even in the first 24 hours, to prevent the fast growth and development of additional colonies.
Since spores are so small, they easily find their way indoors flowing in your ventilation system and even hitching a ride on your clothing. With particles dispersing that easily, how can you avoid mold contamination in other parts of your building especially during cleanup procedures? Well, professional mold remediation specialists minimize further contamination through two key practices.
1. Containment. Professionals help limit mold contamination by creating a containment area. Ventilation and fans are turned off and a negative air chamber is created using basic principles of airflow, where air moves from high pressure to low-pressure areas. This in conjunction with physical barriers helps prevent the escape of spores from the contaminated area during mold cleanup.
2. Air Filtration. Mold spores are tiny, microscopic particles and exist naturally in the air. To prevent additional spreading of the spores from the mold contamination area, filters knowns as high-efficiency particulate absorbers (HEPA) are used with all air scrubbers and vacuums. These filters trap the tiny particles and prevent airborne distribution to other parts of your building.
When you have mold growing indoors, spores are more abundant leading to further spread of mold in your building. The process of mold cleanup is a serious task that should be done with deliberate care and consideration. Thankfully, professional mold remediation specialists use careful containment and filtration methods during the removal of mold-infested materials, minimizing the spread of mold in your building.
3 Tips for Winding Down Wind Damage at Your Business Property
Missing shingles on a roof due to high winds.
Prevent Wind Damage To Your Business
With the power to bring in foreign objects from around town or forcefully move objects on your premises, property damage is a valid fear with wind. It can damage walls or cause a roof leak by slamming objects into a building. By adhering to these three tips, you can prevent damage to your commercial property in Burton, TX.
1. Protect Windows
Windows are one of the most vulnerable entryways for objects to wreak havoc indoors. By protecting windows with plywood before a major storm, you can stop loose objects picked up by the wind from coming through easily broken glass to break valuable electronics or furniture. If your business is in a constantly stormy region, storm shutters are helpful to quickly lock down the building.
2. Landscape With Wind in Mind
If the weather often includes severe wind, the premise should be landscaped so trees are a distance over their total length from any building. Trees can fall over or snap to cause a damaged roof. A roof leak leads to storm debris and water finding a way indoors to further damage business assets.
If the trees cannot be relocated, proper maintenance is essential. If the tree is decaying or damaged, it is likely a candidate for becoming harmed by the wind. If a tree is identified as high risk, it should be replaced or removed altogether.
3. Make the Roof As Windproof As Possible
There are specialty shingles with wind-resistance ratings. They are often made of asphalt and need special installation by a roofing expert. With them installed, you can worry less about missing shingles except in the most devastating storms. Additionally, owning a roof tarp is recommended so you can protect a damaged roof until it can receive repairs.
Storms can be very powerful, but they can be mitigated. Even with preparation, the assistance of a specialty storm damage cleanup service for a roof leak and other property damage can, fortunately, treat the aftermath. Wind doesn’t have to win. By preparing for it beforehand, you protect your investments.
Is My Fire Sprinkler System Ready for a Commercial Fire?
Sprinkler head activated.
A well-designed fire sprinkler system is an excellent way to protect your commercial building. They not only save money, they’re the best way to save lives. Many insurance companies also often offer massive discounts on their fire insurance premiums for buildings with a sprinkler systems, too.
However, Burton, TX, regulations may require proper maintenance as well, depending on the use of your property. NFPA 25 establishes the required maintenance and inspection schedule for all types of fire suppression systems. If you meet these standards, your risk of severe property damage from a fire plummets to a fraction of a building without active suppression.
What Are the Benefits of Fire Sprinklers?
Water fire sprinkler systems are the most common. The benefits are many and include:
- Low cost
- Drastic reduction in fire damage
- Virtually eliminate fatalities
- Slash water damage
A study in a single Texas county in 2018 showed a financial savings of over $140 million and no fatalities during the year on properties with well-maintained fire suppression systems. Interestingly, it also found that in 93% of fires, only a single sprinkler head activated.
This makes fire sprinkler cleanup much more affordable. Fire hoses pump out ten times the volume of a single sprinkler head, so the damage tends to be isolated. Fire damage experts in Burton, TX, can restore all the damaged areas back to their original condition either way, but buildings with sprinklers are always going to be much less expensive to repair.
Is Testing Required?
Yes. NFPA 25 has a strict schedule for sprinkler system testing, which includes some maintenance. It’s also how you can be certain the system is fully functional.
You may be able to do weekly inspections yourself (or an employee) for some systems. Mostly, this is just a check to ensure the water pressure gauges show enough pressure and to look for obstructions near sprinkler heads. However, monthly, quarterly and annual inspections need to be by an expert in most cases.
If your fire sprinkler system has been inspected and tested according to schedule, you can be almost certain your building is ready for a fire. It’s probably the best protection for the money.
How Can I Deduct Storm Damages For My Business?
Drying a commercial facility after storm damage in College Station, TX.
If your business in College Station, TX has sustained severe storm damage and your insurance policy doesn’t include coverage for storms or floods, you will need to pay the expenses out of pocket. It may be possible, however, for you to claim a deduction on your income taxes to cover some of the expenses.
Business Casualty and Theft Loss Deduction
There are some rules you will need to follow in order to take a deduction for your business losses. The losses are grouped into two categories: casualty losses and theft losses.
These losses would include the damages of business property due to one of the following events:
- It is an unusual circumstance.
- The event was unexpected and was not intentionally triggered.
- It was a sudden and fast-moving situation.
Examples of storm damage casualty losses include floods, earthquakes, and accidental fires.
If someone has stolen money or property from your business unlawfully, your loss may be tax-deductible. Losses can include such crimes as robbery, burglary, or blackmail.
In order to take the casualty and theft loss deduction, you will need to provide proof of the event. You have to explain such things as:
- Details about the casualty, including the date it occurred
- Documentation showing the value of your property before and after the event
- Proof that you own or lease the building
- Any insurance reimbursement
How to Figure the Deduction
You should consult with your tax accountant, but a general rule of thumb is:
- If the property is totally destroyed, you must figure out the price the property was worth at the time of destruction, taking into consideration any improvements made and any depreciation. From this, you should subtract the salvage value of the property as well as any insurance reimbursements.
- For property that hasn’t been completely ruined, you should evaluate the fair market value (FMV) of the property before and after the event. Annual appraisals typically show the FMV.
If your business insurance doesn't cover storm damage, discuss your tax options with your accountant right away.
Preventing Pipe Leaks From Wrecking Your Business
Surround pipes that are exposed to low temperatures with warming insulation
Damaged pipes are disruptive to any office. The physical ruin that even a little dampness creates is shocking. By executing preventive measures, you can lower the odds of a water-related disaster from ever developing.
Causes of Leaking Pipes
Broken plumbing is the result of many factors, including:
- Cracked seals
- Clogged lines
- High water pressure
- Intrusive tree roots
- Loose water connectors
The existence of these problems commonly results in destructive flooding, in which case your building may require the sort of extensive refurbishment that only a commercial water restoration expert can provide. Find one that services businesses in College Station, TX, before further destruction or mold has the opportunity to develop.
Prevention of Leaking Pipes
Avoid dealing with the aftermath of damaged pipes and use these defensive actions to keep yours from becoming a problem instead.
Start with your interior. Have your HVAC regularly inspected by a qualified contractor who can assure that your drain lines remain clear of clogs. As winter arrives, decrease the chances of faucets freezing by gently running them. Surround pipes that are exposed to low temperatures with warming insulation.
Attend to your exterior with the same level of care. Periodically inspect your roof and have any deterioration immediately treated by a professional. When leaves start dropping, clear gutters and downspouts of debris. If your building features outdoor hose connections, remove the spigot bibs in the fall and turn off the connections in colder months to inhibit pipes from bursting.
Leak detection systems can also be employed to prevent flooding. Ones that are active use moisture detection sensors to automatically halt water flow. Passive systems, also known as water alarms, are inexpensive and easy to install. The downside is that their batteries must be regularly replaced.
Damaged pipes are a common occurrence with the potential to negatively afflict your office. Reduce the chances your building suffers a watery mess with these recommended procedures.
4 Reasons Why Fire Sprinklers Can Keep Your Business Safe
A fire sprinkler system could be a great solution
Here Are Four Reasons Why
Even if the National Fire Protection Association reported more than 100,000 structure fires that were nonresidential in 2019, the majority of fire damage does not occur in commercial buildings. A big reason for this is because most businesses have a fire sprinkler system installed. It might seem like it would be more dangerous to experience a fire at a store or hotel than at home in Brenham, TX, but that is not true; again, thanks to sprinklers. Sprinkler systems can make a big difference when it comes to fire safety.
1. Reaction Time Is Fast
In the event of a fire, you need to respond quickly. A fire sprinkler can react much quicker than most people can. This is why they are so effective. As soon as a sprinkler senses fire, it releases between 10-25 gallons of water every minute.
2. Water Targets Specific Areas
Some people worry that sprinklers will release fire everywhere. This is not the case. When heat activates the system, fire suppression only occurs around the area of the temperature increase. This way, water does not unnecessarily damage unaffected parts of the building.
3. Sprinklers Require Professional Installation
When you invest in this form of fire protection, you will need to call in a professional. By law, sprinkler systems need to follow NFPA safety codes and standards. In addition, local regulations will also apply. Because of this, you can rest assured knowing everything in your system works correctly.
4. Accidents Are Rare
Contrary to popular belief, it is rare for a sprinklers to operate on accident. This can be a concern for some business owners because fire sprinkler cleanup is often not an easy job without the help of a fire damage restoration expert. The good news is, you should not have to worry about this unless you are near the system with excessive heat.
If you are a business owner who is looking for a way to keep your commercial property safe, a fire sprinkler system could be a great solution. With fast response time and professional installation, this fire safety equipment can be a life-saving investment.
How To Identify and Prevent Frozen Office Pipes
Water cleanup services
One primary cause of water damage is a pipe bursting triggered by freezing. Knowing how to prevent this situation from forming can stave off a situation where you must hire a commercial water restoration specialist to help return normalcy.
Identifying Frozen Pipes
Your office plumbing in Bryan, TX, may be compromised if one or more of the below scenarios exist:
- Water refuses to run or only trickles out
- Your pipes display a visible frost
- Odd smells are detectable
Broken pipes create big problems. When one of the above conditions is detected, hire a diagnostic technician to tend to your building’s structural vulnerabilities before a messy water cleanup situation transpires.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
It is impossible to stall winter’s arrival, but preventive measures reduce your odds of sustaining water damage induced by freezing. Before temperatures drop, drain water from your most vulnerable spigots. Perform this action inside bathrooms and kitchens, as well as with sprinkler water supply lines.
If your kitchen has cabinets with piping, open them and allow warm air to circulate. Keep thermostats steady, never allowing the temperature to dip below 55 degrees, especially when nobody is around. On exceptionally cold days, allow faucets to drip, as any movable liquid discourages blockages from forming.
Similarly, more intensive structural improvements can be made to discourage icy accumulation. Placing insulation around vents and lighting fixtures works great to prevent heat from escaping. Sealing fissures further reduces warmth seepage. Spots surrounding utility service outlets remain especially susceptible to wall fractures, so pay extra attention to these areas.
Finally, install heat-emanating 60-watt bulbs within zones where freezing is most likely to take hold. Be sure to remove combustible materials from the vicinity of your new lighting, as failure to do so could cause a fire.
Water damage precipitated by frozen pipes is entirely preventable. Protect your office by lowering the chance of issues developing during the snowy season. Then, periodically check for signs of frosty complications before a critical scenario develops.
3 Strategies for Avoiding Water Damage During a Business Closure
Drying equipment in Bryan, TX
Actions To Take Before You Close Down Your Business To Prevent Water Damage
Your Bryan, TX, business is probably a major financial and emotional investment that you strive to protect. However, you may be overlooking some common dangers that could damage it if you do not take steps to prevent them, especially when your business is closed for a holiday or a long weekend. One such issue is unexpected flooding. However, there are a few actions you can take before you close down that may prevent water damage and the need for costly water pipe repair.
1. Shut Off the Main Water Valve
Turning off your building’s main water valve can prevent leaks, flooding from a broken pipe and plumbing line malfunctions. If you have a landlord, notify him or her that you are closing the building for a holiday or vacation so he or she is aware the water will be turned off. If your building has in-cabinet plumbing, leave the doors open to expose the pipes to warm air, as this may prevent them from freezing.
2. Have Your Sump Pump Tested
If your building’s basement has a built-in sump pump, it is wise to have it tested before you leave for any length of time. A flooding cleanup and restoration service can help you test your pump and advise you about whether you might require any additional flood protection. This can be especially important if your building sits in a low-lying area and your basement has flooded in the past.
3. Insulate Larger Pipes
If you are unable to shut off your building’s water because you share it with other businesses, you can still protect your section of it by ensuring larger water pipes that run along exterior walls are well insulated in cold weather. This can prevent water from freezing inside the pipes, which may cause them to burst and leave you with an expensive water pipe repair bill after you return from vacation.
Unexpected flooding at your Bryan, TX, business during a closure can result in water damage and other costly problems. However, you can avoid water pipe repair and restoration costs by treating and adjusting your building’s plumbing system before you leave.
Most Commercial Fires Are Partial Losses
Commercial fire loss in Bryan,TX
Most Commercial Fires Are Partial Losses
While improvements in building materials and fire safety have made a major difference in recent decades, a fire loss is still one of the most common insurance claims in Bryan, TX. This is especially true in older commercial structures, many of which were built before modern electrical codes, but a fire can happen in any structure. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 2018 statistics show that
There were almost 500,000 structure fires.
Fire departments responded to a fire about every 24 seconds.
Total property loss was almost $44 million.
However, most fires don’t end up as total losses. A partial fire loss claim is considerably more common, and while it’s a big relief to not lose everything, a partial loss does bring up some additional issues that you should be aware of.
A Partial Loss Can Include Hidden Damage
Not only does smoke like to find its way into every crack and crevice, but water and mold are also likely to cause considerable damage behind walls after fire suppression efforts. This requires an inspection by an expert, who may use thermal imagers and other equipment to locate hidden damage.
Also, a partial fire loss may leave a visible portion of the business untouched. The insurance company is required to pay for a “uniform and consistent appearance,” meaning that they may have to repaint or retile undamaged areas to match the restored portions of the building.
A Partial Loss May Be a Lower Priority for Insurance Companies
Commercial fires can often impact multiple parties in shared buildings. This can overwhelm an insurance adjuster, who is often facing a serious backlog of work. Even if your business has just smoke damage, it may be enough to shut down normal operations, so you might have to be assertive about your needs. Generally, the best way to speed up your claim is to call a professional fire restoration company that is used to dealing with insurance companies in Bryan, TX. Not only will they help with insurance claims, but they are also the ones who will do everything necessary to return your business to its original condition.
What Is Black Water?
Commercial water damage in Bryan,TX
What Is Black Water?
When preparing your business to handle floods in Bryan, TX, you may have heard of the dangers of black water. But what is it, and why is it called that?
Blackwater isn’t necessarily black, though it can be dark or cloudy in color. The term refers to water that has been contaminated by a source of sewage, such as toilets or wastewater mains. When floods mix with water from unclean sources, or water damage causes leaks from unclean sources, this can lead to black water. There are a few important things everyone should know about this contaminated fluid.
1. Why It’s Unsafe
Contaminated water is unsafe because it exposes you to the bacteria and other disease agents in fecal matter. Because black water comes from toilets and wastewater lines, it is generally contaminated with high levels of feces and other bodily wastes. Exposure to this can cause severe health problems, especially if the water has been standing long enough to stagnate and breed bacteria. Because of the high risk of water damage, most flood water is considered black.
2. Black vs. Gray
Not all contaminated water is considered black, however. Dirty water from other appliances, such as washing machine water or water mixed with coolant from a refrigerator, is considered gray water. Gray water poses its own risk but is not the same sort of health hazard as its black counterpart.
3. How To Avoid It
When waters start to rise, it’s best to avoid coming into contact with the water if at all possible. Any flood water, whether moving or standing, may have come in contact with a contaminated source. To try to prevent water contamination, however, always check that your structure’s water and sewage lines are appropriately reinforced against water damage. Shut off water to the building if necessary if you are capable and if you know that a flood will soon strike.
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3 Ways To Prevent Mold From Spreading During Cleanup
Anyone present during mold cleaning should always wear protective gear
Ways to Reduce the Chance of Spreading Mold
If there is mold growth in your Brenham, TX, building, you will need to have it removed as soon as possible. However, during the removal process, it is sometimes possible to spread the mold even more. For this reason, mold cleanup should always be done by a professional, and certain procedures should be followed. The following are some ways to reduce the chance of spreading mold.
1. Contain the Area
One of the most important things to do during mold removal is to properly contain the area of the growth. This will keep mold contamination from easily spreading to other places in the building. Plastic tarping, as well as negative air pressure, may be used to keep the spores from leaving the containment area.
2. Wear Protective Clothing
Anyone present during mold cleaning should always wear protective gear. This may include gloves, face masks and Tyvek suits that are worn over your regular clothing. Not only will this help to protect you from the mold and keep it from causing any health issues, but it will also help to keep you from carrying mold spores throughout the rest of the building. Removing the protective gear before you leave the area will allow you to walk through other spaces without carrying stray spores with you.
3. Reduce Air Circulation
Because spores travel through the air, it is important that circulation is limited during mold cleanup. If your building has an HVAC system, this should be turned off during the process. You should also make sure that there are no fans in use. Keep windows and doors closed to prevent any wind from stirring up the mold.
Because it is so easy to inadvertently spread mold, you should be sure to hire a professional mold remediation service to perform the mold cleanup for you. They will be able to locate all instances of mold growth in the building and can remove them thoroughly and safely. Once the mold has been removed, you should perform maintenance regularly and manage moisture levels to keep it from returning.