What To Do After a Business Fire
Kitchen fire in a Sandy Springs, GA home
It's easy to think a fire could never affect your Sandy Springs, GA, business, but all too often these disasters affect businesses, leaving people out of work and business owners facing heavy costs in damage. It is possible to recover from this situation, however. Quick action and the correct fire restoration steps can help you get your company back on track.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have the go-ahead from the appropriate emergency responders, call your insurance company to discuss the terms of your fire insurance. The company may send out a professional to assess the damages and prepare a claim. When this is done, they make recommendations about fire restoration companies and advise you regarding the content cleaning process. You'll have the information you need about how much coverage you can expect for cleaning and repairs.
2. Don't Attempt DIY Repairs
If you try to repair the structure or your equipment, you could invalidate your insurance coverage. Instead of putting yourself and your property at risk, contact a professional with the training to handle disaster restoration. Many of these technicians are willing to respond around the clock and have the equipment and training necessary to provide a safe, rapid restoration.
3. Understand the Danger
Even though the fire has been put out, the remaining smoke and odors can be hazardous to your health. Anyone entering the property could be affected by breathing in those fumes and could further damage the fragile remains of the property. It's best to board up your services until you've been given permission to return to business. Leave the smoke cleaning services to professionals in Sandy Springs, GA.
There are plenty of tasks for you to complete, including coordinating necessary recovery services, communicating with the insurance company and your vendors, and finding a way to keep your customers satisfied during the recovery period. Leave the rest of the fire restoration worries to the professionals.
Hail Can Make Commercial Property Frail
Storm damage in Vinings, GA
Hail has varying effects on property depending on conditions at the time. Even if the hailstorm isn’t severe, long term exposure of multiple impacts will damage the exterior of a commercial property and require repairs for roof damage and other structural harm.
Understand Hail’s Variance
Just like any other natural event, there are a few different contributing factors to the damage each unique hailstorm can cause:
- Wind direction and speed can direct hail to hit vulnerable spots at high speeds
- Hailstones vary from pea-sized to the size of a baseball with different forces of impact
- Different materials absorb the impact differently, such as aluminum denting easily
- Coverage from nearby buildings or trees can absorb impact from certain directions
Know What Hail Damage Looks Like
Depending on the type of shingles and the storm, hail damage will look different when you inspect it. If your business has asphalt shingles, the roof should be evaluated for black-colored spots or missing shingle granules. Any fresh roof damage will be apparent following a storm since the substrate layer has no exposure to the sun and will shine brightly.
Wood shingles show damage differently. The shingles will appear split or sharp on the edge. They may also be a dark orange color or have visible impact marks. The cracking in wood makes it more visibly harmed than asphalt.
Prepare for Repairs and Water Damage Cleanup
Regardless of the type, water damage coming from the roof is the most revealing sign of roof problems. This can be ruined insulation in the attic or water seeping into the property. Repairing the roof as soon as possible to prevent further water damage is highly advised to prevent water damage.
Water damage becomes worse as it sits and deteriorate either, so reaching out to a professional storm cleanup crew can salvage damaged capital. Hail in Vinings, GA, is a threat regardless of how severe a storm. Keeping up proper maintenance and upkeep by understanding hail helps stop roof damage from becoming much worse.
Step by Step Guide to Managing a Toilet Overflow
Water damage in Atlanta, GA
As a homeowner, there are a few plumbing issues you can expect to crop up. Clogged pipes, leaky faucets and overflowing toilets are all common enough problems that you shouldn't be too surprised if they happen to you. The toilet overflow presents a unique challenge for Atlanta, GA, homeowners because it introduces the possibility of sewer damage.
If your toilet starts running over, consider following these basic steps.
- Stop the water. Your first mission should be to end the deluge of water. Most toilets have a shut off valve at the base. Check to see if your fixture has one. If not, you can stop the water by manually manipulating the float. If all else fails, you can turn off your home's water until the flooded toilet has been taken care of.
- Get some help. Once the initial onslaught of water has been stopped, you need to call in a water restoration expert to help you assess the damage. This professional can help you figure out why the toilet started to overflow. The team may also create a sewer damage cleanup plan to help you get your bathroom back to normal.
- Remove the water. Leaving standing water in any part of your home is unwise. The water damage team will likely remove the water as soon as they can. This helps reduce the secondary damage, such as mold growth and material contamination, that can happen as a result of a flooded toilet.
- Fix the toilet. Chances are your toilet overflowed for a reason. The most common reason is a clog. Work closely with a plumber to remove the blockage from the pipes. If this does not seem to be the issue, you can call the sewage company to figure out what's going on with your system.
The sooner you can address sewer damage the better it is for your home. This type of dirty water can lead to mold growth in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
What Is Mold and Why Does It Smell Musty?
When you follow that musty odor and discover mold in your building, at least you can count on professional mold remediation specialists to help!
You may not learn about the mold problem in your building until you hear complaints about the irritating musty odor. Some people think that the smell actually comes from tiny particles of mold in the air or from mold spores. Neither are true. Odors from molds are caused by mycotoxins, which are gases released during the digestive process of some molds.
What Is Mold?
Molds are fungi, just like mushrooms. Some scientists think the mycotoxin production from certain types of molds is actually an adaptation developed to protect the molds from animals and insects. Nobody is sure how many varieties of mold live on our planet because they are so abundant, living wherever oxygen and moisture are found, even in Atlanta, GA. Since molds exist abundantly in our environment, it's just about impossible to keep them out. Here are a few ways the spores can enter a building:
• On pets and clothing
• Through windows and doors
• Via cooling, ventilation, and heating systems
The problem is when mold spores land in a hospitable environment, one with organic material, moisture, and oxygen. That is when the mold begins to grow and form colonies. As it grows, it consumes organic material as food, producing that familiar musty smell.
How Can You Prevent Mold?
The best way to prevent molds is to make sure you are not providing a welcome environment for their growth and development. You can manage your building's environment by reducing humidity with ventilation systems and dehumidifiers, fixing leaky areas from pipes or roofing, and proper remediation of water damage.
When you do follow that musty odor to the source and discover mold in your building, at least you can count on professional mold remediation specialists to clean up the problem. During the cleaning process, professionals use HEPA air filtration equipment and containment procedures to reduce further spread of mold spores inside your building. This cleanup process will prevent mycotoxin production, making the environment more hospitable to your human building occupants again.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com.
Preparing a Residential Fire Escape Plan
Dealing with the loss of mementos and personal items due to a house fire can be devastating, but there are professionals who can help.
A house fire can happen to anyone, including residents of Atlanta, GA. To ensure that you and your family are prepared in the event of such an emergency, it’s critical to develop a personal fire escape plan. If you’re unsure of how to get started, here are some tips courtesy of the American Red Cross that you’ll want to keep in mind:
• Identify multiple points of exit. Make sure that you’ve identified at least two escape routes from each room of your home. Keep in mind that doors may be inaccessible due to excessive heat.
• Stay clear of smoke. Inhaling too much smoke can be just as hazardous as the actual fire itself. Make sure that you and your family practice staying low to the ground as part of any fire escape plan.
• Know what to do if clothes catch fire. If this happens, it’s imperative not to panic. Ensure that everyone knows the proper technique to stifle the flames: stop, drop, and roll.
• Designate a meeting place outside the home. When a house fire occurs, the smoke and flames can cause things to get chaotic fast. Identify an outside location where household members can meet up to ensure everyone is safe.
• Practice, practice, practice. Drills are important for any emergency escape plan, and fires are no exception. The Red Cross reports that you may have as little as two minutes to evacuate. Once escape routes are established, enact regular, timed fire drills to ensure everyone knows how to exit the home as quickly as possible if the unthinkable does happen.
Dealing with the loss of mementos and personal items due to a house fire can be devastating, but there are professionals who can help with cleanup and restoration, and material things can be replaced. Nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Preparing and practicing a fire escape plan is one of the best ways to ensure family members are prepared for an emergency. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com/.
So, Your Basement's Flooded—Now What?
If your home is in a flood zone, talk to an expert about measures you can take to mitigate storm damage.
Dealing with a flooded basement is never easy, but that doesn't mean that it has to be entirely difficult, either. Thanks to technology, homeowners no longer have to use the bucket method to clear a room of standing water. Rather, they can count on pieces of equipment such as sump pumps, trash pumps and shop-vacs to suck up water and spit it out outside, where it belongs. If you have two feet of standing water in your basement, call your Atlanta, GA, flood remediation team, or invest in the following:
• Sump Pump
• Trash Pump
• Truck Mount
Of course, these pieces of equipment are costly, and though they can clear a room of standing water, they do nothing when it comes to actually cleaning up the damage. A storm remediation team can help clear your home of standing water and perform the cleanup measures necessary to prevent mold growth and other secondary damage.
Steer Clear of the Water
If you don't have a sump pump or some other piece of water-ridding equipment already installed, you should steer clear of the water entirely. You never know where the water came from, and for all you know, it could be black water. Instead, stay on dry ground and snap photos of the damage from above. Send these to your insurance agency.
Contact the Professionals
Flood remediation teams are quick to respond, as they understand that the longer water is allowed to sit, the worse the damage becomes. When your home begins to flood, contact your local restoration team ASAP and ask for their first available opening. The right team can help clear your basement of water, save not-yet-damaged belongings and clean items that have already been touched by floodwater.
If your home is in a flood zone, talk to an expert about measures you can take to mitigate storm damage. Some such measures may include buying and installing certain pieces of equipment, such as a sump pump and truck mount. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com/.
How Contaminated Water is Categorized
You should avoid all contact with category 3 water and call a water damage mitigation expert in Atlanta, GA, to handle the cleanup.
When it comes to flooding, not all water is the same. If your home experiences a flooding event, the source of the water makes a difference in how cleanup will be handled by a water damage mitigation specialist in Atlanta, GA. Professionals use a rating system to identify how contaminated water is. Category 1 water is the cleanest while category 3 is the most contaminated and dangerous. Understanding this rating system is also important because it should determine how you deal with the flood water in your home while waiting for help.
Category 1 water is the cleanest water. This is water that is basically drinkable at the source. This could be from a broken supply line, burst water pipe or an overflowing bathtub. While category 1 water can still pose a serious threat if it comes in contact with electrical outlets or exposed wire, it doesn’t contain any substances that will harm you or your family.
Category 2 water is also called grey water. This is slightly contaminated water. It contains some substances that may make you sick if you swallow it. It might come from a dishwasher or washing machine that malfunctions. Category 1 water can also develop into category 2 water if it sits for a couple of days. Even though the water starts clean, over time it can leach potentially toxic substances from the materials it comes in contact with, like carpeting and upholstery fabric. Standing water also supports bacterial growth that can make people sick.
Category 3 water is also called black water. This is the most contaminated water. Raw sewage and flood water from storm surge or river overflow are categorized as black water. It contains pathogens and toxic substances that can sicken or even kill people and animals. You should avoid all contact with category 3 water and call a water damage mitigation expert in Atlanta, GA, to handle the cleanup. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com/.
Preventing Water Damage During Business Closures
It's relatively easy to make sure you have a clean and dry site to come back to, not a flooded one.
There are plenty of reason you might need to close your business in Atlanta, GA. When you're away, your site might be at risk for catastrophic flood damage. Water pipe repair is costly, so consider doing some preventative work if:
• You operate seasonally
• You were recently the victim of a fire or other premises damage
• Your location was shut down by legal authorities
• You're moving to a different location and selling your former property
• You temporarily suspended operations for an update or remodel
Regardless of the reason you decide to shutter your shop, the last thing you want is to come back to a disaster area. Here are a few steps that could prevent water damage while you and your staff are elsewhere.
Keep Your Equipment Working
One of the easiest ways you can safeguard your location against water damage is by maintaining your flood control equipment. Sump pumps are by far the most common water management tools, so check your pump batteries and ensure proper mechanical operation before you leave for any amount of time.
Close the Valves
You could also shut off your main water control. It's always a good idea to be familiar with these control valves: Quick reactions to a broken pipe can save hundreds of dollars in water pipe repair costs down the road.
Insulation is usually considered as prevention against freezing. However, you might be able to get something out of insulating your pipes even if you aren't afraid of them bursting. A little bit of insulation could control minor leaks, protecting sensitive equipment or interior finishes.
It's relatively easy to make sure you have a clean and dry site to come back to, not a flooded one. These are not steps you want to perform every time you leave. However, if you are planning on being gone for more than a few days, these simple processes could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on cleanup and water pipe repair. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com.
After Flood Damage To Leased Properties, Who Is Responsible For Insurance Claims?
Knowing your responsibility as a property owner before beginning the recovery process after a flood can help you.
Rental properties can endure a tremendous amount of water damage during a flood. It may not happen often in Atlanta, GA, but when a flood hits the property you are renting to tenants, questions may surface about who is responsible for what damage. While the lease may have an outline of what is covered by both the tenant and landlord, there can sometimes be legal questions associated with damage resulting in leaky pipes or broken sewer lines. To alleviate some of the frustration that can occur, property owners often request the tenants obtain and maintain renter’s insurance.
Flood insurance is not typically included in a standard property policy. Nor is it standard in renter’s insurance coverage. The insurance can typically be purchased as a separate policy, but most require a waiting period of 30 days before coverage begins.
Responsibility of Landlords
Landlords are typically considered responsible for insurance to the property. This property protection often includes:
• Structural damage protection
• Appliances replacement
• Restoration to the structure by qualified specialists
Responsibility of Tenants
Tenants are generally responsible for insurance that covers their personal possessions. If flood insurance is covered in the policy, the renter’s coverage can also include:
• Paid temporary relocation during unlivable home flooding
• Normal living expenses until the building can be occupied
• Replacement of damaged personal items
Under normal circumstances, landlords are not responsible for damage to their tenant’s property or their tenant’s possessions; however, this is not always the case. If the property owner is responsible for the damage through neglect or irresponsibility, the tenant may have a legal case against the landlord for damages incurred.
Knowing your responsibility as a property owner before beginning the recovery process after a flood can help you provide the best service for your tenants and prevent any legal battles. Since every water damage situation may have its own variations and problems, when in doubt about your responsibilities consider contacting your insurance agent, attorney, or accountant about what is covered by renter’s insurance in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com.
Smoke Damage: What You Need To Know
Fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building thanks to the flames and smoke produced.
Smoke Damage: What You Need To Know
If your business has a fire, you have a lot to do. Not only do you have to get an Atlanta, GA, fire cleanup crew to your building, but you also have to worry about smoke damage. This byproduct of fire is made up of the following:
• Carbon dioxide
• Carbon monoxide
• Harmful chemical from burning objects
With so much in the haze, it's not surprising that this smoke can do serious damage to anything it settles on. After a fire, you need to employ smoke cleaning services to save your building, equipment and other belongings.
Where It's Found
You may notice signs of soot on the ceiling directly above the fire, which isn't surprising. Walls, doors and windows could also be affected by the smoke. Any furniture, equipment, wall decorations and drapes may also have smoke and soot clinging to them.
This fire-related damage can be found in odd places on your property, too. The smoke may have found its way into filing cabinets and ductwork. Closed drawers and closets draw in the haze because of the temperature difference.
How To Clean It
Once you and your professional helpers have located all of the smoke, you need to start cleaning the walls and belongings. If you wait too long, the smoke odor may be embedded too deep into the fibers to come out. There are a lot of smoke cleaning techniques that can be used. The exact method you need depends on what's getting cleaned. Walls, for example, may use a spray and wipe method. Furniture may be cleaned with a foam cleaner. Documents, electronics and photographs may require the help of a specialist. You can rid the air of the odor by using ozone machines, air filtration devices and thermal foggers.
Fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building thanks to the flames and smoke produced. No matter how much damage you have to deal with, you want to address the problems as soon as possible through fire restoration and smoke cleaning. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com/.