Recent Commercial Posts

Disaster Shut Down

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded office Don't get caught unprepared.

When you own a business, there’s never a convenient time for a disaster to strike. Fire, flooding, or destruction from a natural disaster can take time to mitigate and should be dealt with immediately before the damage spreads. Once the immediate danger is handled, cleanup and restoration of the damage can begin. In a world where time means money, any amount of downtime can put your business at risk of lost revenue and productivity. Remember, every hour spent cleaning up and repairing damage is an hour of opportunity lost for your business.

If you are a small business and have limited resources, it can be difficult to recover from a disaster, especially when it interrupts your daily operations. However, with the support of the right disaster commercial recovery team and a comprehensive recovery strategy, you can get back to business faster.

Be Prepared Before an Emergency Hits

According to FEMA, almost half of all small businesses affected by a disaster will never re-open their doors. For those that do, 90 percent will fail within a year if they don’t resume their operations within five days of the damage occurring. Why is that? Depending on the type and extent of damage, general operations may have to stop within the affected area. Meanwhile, life as usual goes on for customers and clients who are not directly impacted by the disaster. While some may be willing to wait for the business to reopen its doors, any long-term business disruption can send customers and clients looking elsewhere to get their needs met.

Businesses, large and small have a better chance of recovering from a disaster and successfully returning to business as usual if they have a plan before disaster strikes. Even when a disaster plan does exist, only 80 percent of companies spend time re-evaluating their plan each year. If you do not have one, it’s time to create one, so your business can go on as usual in the event of an emergency.

Creating a Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

If a fire, flood, or natural disaster were to occur, would you know who to contact to save your business? Regardless of the size of your business, having a ERP  for your business will give you a roadmap to recovery if an emergency occurs. This plan will help you save time and limit your property losses by saving as many assets as possible. It includes:

commercial services - commercial space with painters plastic hanging in windows

Compiling a list of emergency contacts, including phone numbers and addresses.

Phone calls

E-mails

What is Involved in Commercial Restoration?

SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley offers multiple restoration services to our commercial clients, including:

Emergency mitigation services to protect remaining business assets and building from secondary damage

Stabilization of building

Boarding-up your facility

Drying and dehumidifying your building

Recovering documents

Restoring electronics and wiring

Restoring your location to preloss condition

Reconstructing your building

What Should You Do if a Disaster Shuts Down Your Business?

When disaster strikes in the Saint Croix Valley and surrounding areas, SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley is ready to get to work. As a leader in property emergency services, we can help your business overcome the devastating setbacks of property damage caused by fire, water, or other natural disasters. We can assist our commercial clients in preloss planning and project management in helping create a solid business disaster recovery plan.

10 Tips to Keep Your Office Space Clean

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Maintaining a clean work space means a healthy environment for your employees and a presentable establishment for clients. Avoid germ buildup and dirty spaces with these simple tips to keep your office space clean.

Desk Duty

All the hustle and bustle of a busy workday usually leads to a cluttered desk. Take some time at the end of your day to clean your desk area. Straighten out office documents and throw excess papers, food wrappers and other trash away.

Avoid Food Messes

When work gets busy, it’s easier to stay at your desk and have lunch while typing away on your computer. Eating at your desk, however, guarantees a messy workspace as crumbs and even liquids fall into the crevices of your keyboard or stick to the desktop. Over time, stains become harder to remove and bacteria begins to accumulate.

Kill the Germs

If eating at your desk is your thing, then make sure to maintain a healthy work environment. Dust and other particles accumulate overtime. Wipe those germs away at least once a week with a quick wipe down of your desktop with a multi-purpose cleaner.

Antibacterial is Your Best Friend

Germs spread fast in any environment. You’ll want to keep hand sanitizers in stock and easily available to avoid the spread of germs. The last thing you want is for the entire office to come down with a stomach bug, flu or cold.

Group Effort at Play

Break rooms or common areas should be cleaned regularly to avoid germ buildup. As a place where all workers spend time, don’t shy away from maintaining this area. Avoid leaving dishes in the sink, throw out old takeout from the refrigerator and sanitize the countertops.

Trash Duty

If your office doesn’t have a daily janitorial service, make sure to empty your trash every night or every other night so bacteria and odor don’t become a problem. Make this a group effort. Designate a different work associate to take care of the trash on certain days.

Get Those Hard to Reach Places

When it comes to a full office cleaning, make sure all spaces are accessible. You may consider rearranging office furniture to avoid hard-to-reach places, like large gaps behind filing cabinets or sofas.

Carpet and Tile Cleaning

With paperclips, staples and papers, office floors can get pretty dirty. Whether you need to vacuum or mop, keeping the office floors clean makes your workspace safe and presentable for clients and visitors.

Do Your Part

Your area is your responsibility. Take the time to ensure it is maintained on a day-to-day basis. Office cleanliness is a group effort that can be made easy when everyone participates.

If you need commercial cleaning, such as carpet cleaning or clean up after a fire or water loss, give the pros at SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley a call 715-381-2266.

5 Quick Cleaning Tips That Can Boost Productivity At Work

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

It’s a well-known fact that a neat and tidy offices increase productivity. Not to mention, keeping your office clean of germs will encourage less employees to take off work. Giving your office a deep clean Spring Cleaning will help boost your productivity and give your office the look it needs to attract the best customers.

If you are looking to clean your office yourself, these are the top 5 things you can do to keep your office clean in order to ensure and increase productivity

Clean your phones!

Phones are a cesspool of germs. When your employees get sick, productivity declines. If they continue to do so, it becomes an even bigger problem. Cleaning your phones daily with an anti-bacterial wipe is the number one way to ensure phones are germ free and your employees are healthy enough to produce.

Get rid of that smell

Floors and carpets that are not properly cleaned will absorb bad smells. It’s proven that certain smells, such as orange, increase energy and productivity. Working In an environment that doesn’t smell good is a factor that declines worker morale. Cleaning and shampooing your carpets will guarantee this problem is corrected. You can rent a carpet vacuum and risk the chance of harboring mold under the damp carpets, or you can call a commercial cleaning service who may be better equipped to handle that kind of situation.

Keep desks dust free

Dust carries many allergies which cause a lot of people to get sick. Not to mention, working in a dirty space declines staff morale. Dusting your commercial space, as well as all of the desks every night is very important. It;s also important to move all the supplies off a desk and wipe the desks once a week.

Sweep that floor

Working in an office space that is cluttered or dirty does not help increase productivity. On the contrary, it decreases productivity. It is also something that may turn off prospect customers. Sweeping floors every night is imperative to having a clean and put-together office. First appearances are very important and if a customer sees a dirty floor, they may not trust your product or service

Empty the trash

Full trash cans attract little critters. Especially trash cans full of snack and lunch wrappers. Emptying the trash daily is very important when it comes to maintaining the productivity in an office. An employee working in an area that smells like a garbage bin won’t be as focused and productive as one working in an office with fresh air. Not to mention these little critters carry contaminants that may make you and your employees sick.

SERVPRO ERP, the Bridge to Your Business Continuity Plan

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO offers all commercial, educational, and governmental buildings a free Emergency Readiness Plan, which includes a walkthrough of the building and a report in both hard and digital copies.  Which can be accessed on any mobile device, anywhere and anytime.  70% of businesses go out of business after a major disaster to the physical business, and of the 30% that make it through the disaster only half have some kind of plan in place.  And that 50% is who this article is directed at.

When I sit down and chat with businesses, nursing homes, schools, city governments, or hospitals that all have some sort of plan in place they don’t initially see the value in having SERVPRO put together an ERP for them.  That’s when I ask about their plan, and usually get the same types of answers:  “Our employees will work remotely.” “Our residents and staff will be moved to another facility.” “Why reinvent the wheel?" And more answers along the same lines. All having to do with continuing work.

That’s when I ask the question, Well how do you plan on stabilizing the building once the disaster is under control?  How do you plan on securing the premises and contents of the building?  What if you as the owner or decision maker aren’t available, will the employees know how to contact the next person in line, or your insurance agent.  Do they even know where the binder with the master plan is kept, and if you are at the scene, will you be able to get to it.  That’s why it’s nice to have an app on your phone that you can access with ease. 

If a company already has a continuity plan in place, the SERVPRO ERP is a great bridge to get your organization stable and into the plan you have in place for situations that stop you from working as normal.  The faster a damaged building can be secured and mitigation can be put in place, the more of the building that can be saved and the faster the reconstruction can begin.  If your business does not already have a plan in place, the ERP is a great base to build your plan from. 

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

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.