Recent Commercial Posts

Your Client Has A Property Lost – What Now? 1-4-8 Response Time

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

In last week’s article we discussed the potential cost benefits of using a remediation company, what that mean.  So, you have a client call in with a loss.  That’s when our 1-4-8 service guarantee kicks in.  Within 1 hour of receiving notice of loss your client will be contacted to determine scope of loss.  Within 4 hours of that notice we will have boots on the ground to visual determine the scope and begin necessary work to mitigate further loss.  By the 8th hour, we will have spoken with you and your client to provide an update on how the course of action will proceed.  Response time in any loss, be it fire, water, etc is critical, when trying to salvage both building and personal materials.  That’s why we are faster to any size disaster.   

Please follow our page, as we continue to explore the benefits of mitigation, and how this approach helps both your clients and your business. Please call us with any questions you have, 715-381-2266. Visit our site: SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley

We Had _________ Happen To Our Place of Business, What Now!

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Every business owner’s worst nightmare is something happening to the physical location of their company.  The place where your inventory, records, or employees report for work each day.  In a digital age, the brick and mortar location is still an important element of many companies.  What happens when a sprinkler head breaks, or that bag of popcorn in the breakroom microwave catches on fire?  Most businesses need to be in their facilities to conduct business, what’s your plan to get back into your building after an accident.

70% of businesses that go through some sort of disaster do not reopen.  Of the 30% that do reopen, half had emergency readiness plans in place.  It is hard enough to reopen a business after a loss, have you improved your odds by having a plan in place.  If not, SERVPRO of the Saint Croix Valley can help put one in place.  Our complimentary program, compiles the emergency contacts, shut offs and service entrances throughout the building.  Along with any other information of value, to first responders or employees.  The information is kept both in a hard copy, as well as, a mobile app on key employees’ phones.  Faster response times are always critical in any emergency situation. 

For our commercial insurance partners, teaming with SERVPRO to provide this plan is a fantastic way to give additional value and protection to your clients.  Reach out today to schedule a time to put your plan into place.

Please follow our page, as we continue to explore the benefits of mitigation, and how this approach helps both your clients and your business. Please call us with any questions you have, 715-381-2266. Visit our site: SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley

COMMERCIAL FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS MYTHS

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

If a fire breaks out in your business, acting fast to put out the flames could save you from costly damage and loss. That's why commercial fire sprinkler systems are so important.

Although sprinkler systems can protect you, your staff, your customers and your business from harm, myths about fire sprinklers still exist.

MYTH: Water damage caused by fire sprinklers is more costly than fire damage.

FACT: According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), sprinkler systems are actually more cost-effective than damage caused by other firefighting efforts. Since sprinklers can keep a fire contained within one room rather than allowing the flames and smoke to spread throughout the building, most fire damage clean-up will only occur in one space. Furthermore, water damage from fire hoses is typically more expensive to repair. Quick-response sprinklers only release 8 to 24 gallons of water per minute, whereas fire hoses release 50 to 125 gallons per minute.

MYTH: If one fire sprinkler is triggered, all fire sprinklers will go off.

FACT: When one sprinkler in your commercial sprinkler system goes off, only the adjacent sprinklers that sense high levels of heat will activate. According to FEMA, this means that only one or two sprinkler heads will go off in the event of a fire.

MYTH: Sprinklers are overly sensitive.

FACT: Fire sprinklers only ever activate when high heat is detected, so an employee burning their lunch or taking a smoke break too close to the building will not set off the sprinkler system. According to FEMA, only 1 in 16 million sprinkler heads activate accidentally, making their benefits far outweigh any risks.

As a business owner, safety and protection are important to keeping operations going smoothly. To help keep your company safe from any potential fire damage, install commercial sprinklers and place fire extinguishers throughout your facility.

If the unexpected does happen, know that you're not alone. SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley is committed to being by your side every step of the way to get your business on its feet as quickly as possible. Use our fire and smoke damage clean-up services and our water damage clean-up services to get your doors back open fast.

HOW TO PREVENT LEAKS IN YOUR COMMERCIAL BUILDING

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

A leak in a commercial building can be costly. Not only could it cause thousands of dollars in damage and repairs, it could also shut down your company until the destruction can be fixed. To help prevent the worst from happening, use these tips to tackle plumbing maintenance in your building and ensure that you can keep business as usual.           

Maintenance matters

Regular maintenance can help you prevent leaks that can cost your company a lot of money and headaches. The more proactive you are about maintaining healthy pipes and plumbing, the less likely you'll be to experience a major leak that causes you to close your doors. Follow these maintenance tips to keep your plumbing systems in great shape:

  • Inspect pipes regularly. A professional visual inspection of all pipes, faucets, toilet fixtures, and plumbing systems should be conducted at least quarterly. This can prevent plumbing failures before they become a serious issue.
  • Upgrade pipes, faucets, and fittings that pose a risk to your commercial property. Updating old plumbing that can't handle high-volume usage can save you money in the long run.
  • Pay close attention to your water heater and any filtration systems you have installed. These systems can cause big issues if they aren’t regularly maintained. Commercial water heaters, like residential ones, need regular maintenance to prevent leaks, system failures, and even explosions.

Prepare for emergencies before they happen

Small leaks are often simple to fix. However, if you don’t catch them right away, or more serious leaks are occurring in spots inside your building, an emergency preparedness plan can help you avoid costly damage. While making your own detailed emergency plan, keep these essential steps in mind:

  • Identify an action plan. If employees notice a leak anywhere in the building, they should know to whom to communicate the issue, who should be responsible for shutting off water valves, and where important water systems are located throughout the building.
  • Create an emergency contact sheet. This list should be easily accessible to all employees within the building. Include contact information for plumbers, building supervisors, other tenants, water mitigation damage services, and other people you may need to reach in case of emergency.
  • Protect your data. Business owners should have data backed up to an external hard drive or a cloud-based system to ensure all assets are protected in an emergency.
  • Determine off-site work locations. If the building has to close until repairs are complete, you may need to work remotely to keep business running. Employees and customers should be notified of temporary workspaces and working hours.

What to do if you have a plumbing leak

Maintenance and emergency preparation only go so far. When you've got a surprise leak, acting quickly and correctly can help you avoid serious damage to your commercial building. Follow these tips if notice a leak in your building:

  • Turn the water off in that area or at the main shutoff valve. This can stop the immediate problem until repairs can be made.
  • Block entry to and use of the area. Even slow leaks from faucets or toilet fixtures can become serious issues, especially in high-use areas like commercial buildings.
  • Call your plumber to make repairs. Use your emergency contact sheet to notify everyone who needs to be aware of the issue, and try to get the plumber there as soon as possible.

Once the issue is resolved, you may be left with damage. Call a reputable restoration company, like SERVPRO to get your business back on its feet as quickly as possible.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A LEAK IN YOUR COMMERCIAL BUILDING

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Leaks come in all shapes and sizes. With a little bit of education you can be better prepared for when they do happen.

It only takes a small leak in a commercial building to cause extensive water damage. The longer the leak goes unnoticed, the more damage you can expect.

Common leaks detected in commercial buildings

Any building can spring a leak. But commercial buildings are put under quite a bit more stress than residential buildings, with heavy use of bathrooms, kitchens and other water-intensive processes. Learn about the most common types of leaks found in commercial buildings, and what you can do to fix them.

Faucet leaks

Every faucet has components that can wear out over time, especially with frequent use. When a seal or other faucet component begins to leak, it leads to ongoing water loss. When the drip becomes a trickle or a flow, water loss can be extensive and your water bill can substantially increase.

Toilet leaks

Toilets have a number of parts that can wear and lead to issues, especially water loss. For example, a flapper that fails to create a solid seal will allow water to leak from the toilet tank drain. If leaks like these aren’t repaired as soon as possible, you may experience additional damage to other toilet components, your water bill may increase significantly, and you may eventually have to replace the entire toilet to remedy the problem.

Underground leaks

Underground leaks often go unnoticed. Signs that you may be experiencing an underground leak include:

  • Areas of wet soil
  • Areas where grass, plants, or other items are growing faster than their surroundings
  • Unexpected rises in water bills

Items like sewer drains, water supply pipes, or other buried piping systems require water leak detection equipment to help locate any leaks. If found, pipes can be dug up and repaired. If not, exploratory digging may be necessary to find the source of the leakage.

Hidden leaks

A leak can hide anywhere in a commercial building. If the leak is not discovered early, the amount of water loss and damage caused may be extensive.

Signs of hidden leaks include:

  • Increases in the water bill
  • Wet surfaces
  • Water marks and swelling of the walls, ceiling, and floors

Once the leak is identified, it may require pulling out walls, ceilings, and other major pieces of the building to fix the leak and repair the damage.

How to detect plumbing leaks in your commercial building

Installing a leak detection system can make it much easier to identify potential leaks and address them as quickly as possible. These systems can be extremely beneficial in commercial buildings, as they allow for the creation of a building-wide detection system.

Technology offers some exciting innovations in leak detection. Wireless water leak detectors can communicate by phone, text, and email when a leak is detected. Cloud-based sensors are also available that integrate with a portal where you can monitor all sensors in a system. There are even automated sensors which can shut off water in certain applications. If you are unsure which type of water leak detection equipment is best for your building, consult a contractor before installation.

What to do if you find a leak

If you suspect a leak in your business, contact SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley. We are here to help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 715-381-2266.

How Long Does it Take to Repair a Home After a Fire?

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Dealing with a home fire can be overwhelming. It takes time, money, and oftentimes unexpected factors arise that are almost always out of your control. While each restoration job is unique, it’s important to understand the general process and how long each phase can take.

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

 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.
  • Hire a trustworthy mitigation vendor, like SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley, 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.

SERVPRO Can Help

If you have experienced fire damage to your home, it’s important to begin the restoration process as soon as possible. SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley is a qualified fire restoration company from its nationwide network to help restore your home from beginning to end. WE are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 715-381-2266.