Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Regular Maintenance for Fire Sprinkler Systems
Your fire sprinkler system is just one component of an important fire protection plan
The fire sprinkler system in your commercial building is a vital component of your fire safety system. If you haven't spent much time lately worrying about fires, it's time to take a minute or two recognizing how prevalent fires can be:
- There's at least a 20 percent chance that you'll be affected by a serious fire at least once in your lifetime.
- During one year, about 3,615 people a day will be injured in a fire, and nearly ten people will die because of a fire – just in the United States.
- Nearly a quarter of a billion dollars are lost because of fires in a single year.
When flames break out in your business, you aren't just responsible for your own safety but also for the safety of your employees and customers.
Why Hire a Professional
With this in mind, it's crucial that you understand how to be sure your fire sprinkler system is operational. For most systems, the sprinklers are attached to a series of pipes on the ceilings or walls. Depending on the specifics of your system, there may be water in the pipes at all times or the pipes may be hooked to the water main. This and the delicacy of the system make it difficult to conduct your own inspections and testing. Because of this, it's generally best to contact a fire suppression system professional to provide maintenance.
The Importance of Regular Checkups
Without timely repairs, the system may activate when there isn't a fire, or it won't activate when it should. If the system does spray water into your building, fire sprinkler cleanup and water damage technicians can address the water damage. However, it's difficult to trip a fire system accidentally, so with routine checkups, you shouldn't need this service. On the other hand, if the system doesn't activate when you need it to, the fire damage and associated risks could be significant.
Protect Your Business and Your People
Your fire sprinkler system is just one component of an important fire protection plan. For the safety of your Fallbrook, CA, business, building, your customers, and your staff, the system must be regularly maintained, tested, and repaired.
The Aftermath of a Storm
A storm is a violent disturbance of the atmosphere
The Aftermath of a Storm
A storm is a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds that are accompanied usually by thunder, rain, lightning, and snow. Instances of storms are on the rise, the latest being the IRMA hurricane that hit the eastern Caribbean coast. Hurricanes bring with them such issues like hurricane damage, ice damming, river flooding, tornadoes, snowstorms, flooding, and ice damage. Storm damages on properties and buildings can be as a result of flash floods, roof leaks, structure damages, and roof damage.
Forms of damages that accompany storms
- Wind damage
- Hurricane damage
- Water damage
- Ice dams
- Ice damages
- Roof damage
The process to restore your home after wind damage or flooding requires one to use the services of a restoration company that will ensure that the home restoration process is done professionally.
The following are the steps of storm remediation.
i. Emergency contact: In a storm restoration, the first step you should take is to ensure emergency contact to your local restoration company. Emergency contact should be made as soon as the storm subsides to initiate the process of restoration. Restoration companies provide their services on a 24/7 basis making it possible for you to get in touch with them at any time of the day. Among the information that you should relay to the restoration company includes the level of roof damage that could be determined by the presence of a roof leak. Roof leaks and ice dams call for a roof repair. You should also inform them of the level of floodwater and the amount of groundwater.
ii. Prioritize your health and safety first: Flooding disrupts power sources, which may cause electrocution to individuals. Immediately the restoration personnel is on the site, they should begin the process of storm remediation. The process depends on the levels of river flooding, wind damage, hail damage, levels of floodwater, and ice damage. Flood pumps can be used to get rid of floodwater and groundwater that has the risk of damaging your property. Blocking of broken water pipes and fixing frozen pipes is necessary for limiting water inflow. Inspecting the roof for roof leaks is also important since water damages may occur due to ice damming that provides natural water blockage.
iii. Documentation is necessary for a storm restoration process as it captures the extent of such issues as water damage, roof damage, hail damage, ice damage, and hurricane damage. Documented information on storm damage helps victims in filling their insurance claim forms. You should document the damages as soon as you are safe and the storm is over. Documentation of damages due to ice damage, hail damage, hurricane damages, and wind damages can be done through photographs and recorded videos.
iv. You should contact your insurance company agent: Contacting your insurance agent ensures that there is a formal inspection and documentation of damages. Insurance policies should cover all the costs of storm remediation. Such costs associated with storm damages include the cost of water restoration, home restoration, and storm restoration.
v. Seek Federal Disaster Assistance: When storms such as IRMA strike, they cause destruction and huge losses to businesses. The federal government assists victims of hurricane damage, wind damage, hail damage, river flooding, ice damming, and ice dams. Groundwater and flood water can also be very destructive. The federal government will come to your rescue by facilitating such remedies like roof repair, heating of frozen pipes, home restoration, water restoration, storm restoration, and purchase of flood pumps to combat flooding. Roof repair will fix minor roof leaks if they exist but a new roof may be needed if the damage is severe.
vi. Management of damages: This process involves addressing the various damages suffered such as roof damage, water damage, wind damage, hail damage, and hurricane damage that come in the form of storm damage. Heating up frozen pipes after ice damming and purchasing of flood pumps should be a priority. This stage is where elaborate home restoration steps are taken. Hail damage and ice damage are responsible for roof damage and you will need to carry out roof repairs. Ice damming leads to ice dams and frozen pipes that need heat up to restore the water supply. Ensure that during a water restoration process, you use dehumidifiers and flood pumps to eliminate groundwater and floodwater.
The success of home restoration will depend on the storm remediation steps taken to facilitate water restoration. You can avoid losses due to river flooding through compliance with early warning systems.
3 Ways Mold Can Spread Through Your Home
Professional mold remediation can help prevent further damages to your home or business.
Mold is a common problem that many homeowners in Fallbrook, CA, must deal with at one point or another. In some cases, you may discover that it is growing in multiple locations within your house. If this is happening, then you may be unintentionally spreading mold throughout the building. The following are a few ways in which mold can spread.
1. Water Damage
Black mold needs moisture to grow, so if you are noticing the fungus in many different areas of the house, then it is likely you have multiple instances of water damage. This can be caused by something simple like a leaking pipe or may be the result of a storm. If this is the case, you should have the damage repaired quickly to prevent the mold growth from getting worse.
2. Air Conditioners, Fans and HVAC Systems
Mold grows from spores that are too small to see with the naked eye. This makes it easy for them to travel undetected through the air. If you have a growth in one area, the air circulation in your house might be spreading mold to other places. To prevent this, you should keep your HVAC system, fans and air conditioners turned off until the fungus is removed.
3. DIY Mold Removal
If you have tried to clean up a mold growth on your own, then it is possible you made the problem worse instead. Spreading mold after cleanup is easy to do if you don’t take the right preventative steps. The area should be thoroughly blocked off, and protective gear should be worn over your clothing, so you don’t accidentally carry spores to other areas.
Because mold is very easy to spread, it is a good idea to have a professional perform removal instead of attempting to do it yourself. A mold remediation company will have the necessary training, experience and equipment to get the job done well without spreading the fungus to other locations. They will inspect the home to find all areas of mold before doing cleanup and repairs.
Saving Important Documents After a Flood
Your client calls to report that the basement of his or her business in Fallbrook, CA, has been flooded. The big problem is that the flood saturated many important documents. As distressing as this can be, there is hope. The documentation restoration process used by water damage experts is designed to save important documents, even if they have been damaged by flooding. Here are some techniques that the professionals use to make sure your clients don’t lose valuable data.
SERVPRO uses the same freeze-drying methods employed by the Library of Congress to save wet documents. Many types of documents can be restored this way, including:
- Invoices and other paper documents
- Books or manuals
Document drying starts with freezing the damaged items. Once frozen, they are placed in a vacuum chamber, removing air. Moisture turns to vapor, and even more, vapor is released as the chamber is slowly warmed.
If the flooding was caused by a storm, it is likely that the document restoration process will include sterilization. Storm water is considered Category 3 water, which can contain harmful bacteria. Gamma irradiation is used to combat this bacteria. Gamma rays can pass through fibers and kill bacteria at the DNA level by breaking up covalent bonds. Because no heat is produced in this process, it is safe for delicate documents.
Another way that SERVPRO can help your client retrieve their damaged documents is with digitization. Converting important data to digital files can help save a lot of storage space. Digital documents can also be stored remotely, freeing them from the dangers of any flooding, fire or damage to the building that may occur in the future.
If your client has a flooding disaster that damages important documents, there is probably no need to panic. When you choose SERVPRO as a preferred vendor, its document restoration team can help your client retrieve the important information needed to run his or her business.
How Can SERVPRO Prevent a Catastrophic Property Loss After a Water Event?
Your dedicated SERVPRO professionals will reply to a water emergency call within the hour.
How Can SERVPRO Prevent A Catastrophic Property Loss After A Water Event?
When a home sustains water damage, it’s imperative to begin the evaluation and repair process as soon as possible to limit the potential for catastrophic property loss. With 24-hour availability and over 1,700 locations in the U.S. and Canada, SERVPRO is the premier emergency restoration franchise that can contain the devastating effects of water infiltration and minimize the overall cleanup cost. By keeping some basic water damage facts in mind, you’ll be reaching out to your local SERVPRO office in Fallbrook, CA the next time you’re tasked with handling a flooding emergency.
1. Water will begin to destroy property within minutes.
When water makes contact with furniture, carpet, flooring, and personal possessions, it’s absorbed immediately. This can cause floorboards to bend and warp, furniture finishing to bleed onto carpets, and treasured heirlooms to form mold spores. Your dedicated SERVPRO professional will reply to a water emergency call within the hour. This fast response time can save a home from extensive flooding damage.
2. Water damage causes a musty odor to develop quickly.
It takes less than a day after a catastrophic water event for an entire home to develop a stale, unpleasant smell due to water absorption. With 24-hour service available 365 days a year, your local SERVPRO franchise is always open to eliminate mildew odors by restoring affected materials such as drywall and wooden surfaces.
3. Waiting to address water damage will cost you.
After about a week, a home affected by a catastrophic water event begins to deteriorate dramatically. Internal support systems such as floor beams can start to rot and become structurally unsound, and mold growth will likely accelerate rapidly. The restoration process for these serious issues can be exorbitantly expensive. That’s why calling a dedicated SERVPRO professional to assess damage at the first sign of flooding is so important.
While a major water event inside a home can be a source of stress and anxiety for everyone involved, contacting a local SERVPRO professional to assess the damage within a 24-hour time frame can typically reduce overall restoration cost and prevent a catastrophic loss of property.
5 Tips for Commercial Fire Safety
Practice your evacuation plan
5 Tips for Commercial Fire Safety
As a business owner, the safety of your employees and everyone else in your building in South Oceanside,CA, is in your hands. Are you prepared to respond quickly in the event of a business fire? Follow these safety tips to ensure that you can answer that question in the affirmative.
1. Safety Features
Your two main sources of protection during a fire are your fire suppression system and your fire extinguishers. Have your fire suppression system, including alarm panels, fire doors and sprinklers, inspected regularly. Make sure you have enough working fire extinguishers to place one at least every 75 feet and that they are mounted properly.
2. Fire Codes
Your building is bound by both state and federal fire codes. Exits must be properly marked and the pathways to them unobstructed. Electrical plates must be used to cover all wiring so that none of it is exposed. Comply with all laws and make immediate changes when mandated by fire marshals.
3. Material Labeling
All potentially hazardous or flammable material must be stored properly. It is also essential to label liquids that could easily contribute to a business fire so that anyone who sees them knows what they are.
4. Evacuation Plan
Before firefighters can put out the fire and fire damage specialists can restore your building, everyone must vacate it. Having an evacuation plan helps everyone know what they’re supposed to do. This plan should be posted in prominent areas, especially around exits.
5. Evacuation Practice
Even the best plan is useless unless people know about it. Fire drills are a necessary part of fire preparation. Having a drill twice a year helps your employees practice fire safety plan so that they know what to do in case of an emergency.
The best business fire protection is preparation. Keeping your building up to code and enforcing safety measures can help you prevent most fires, and having a workable fire suppression system and evacuation plan can help get people to safety for the fires you can’t prevent.
Does Your Wall Need a Flood Cut?
Flood cut after flooding
Storm flooding can be a serious concern for homeowners in North San Diego County. Once rising water works its way into your home, it can be very hard to eliminate the problems it causes:
- Structural damage
- Mold growth
- Bacterial or chemical contamination
Your walls are quite susceptible to water damage, especially if they’re insulated. The best way to prevent damage from spreading is to make a flood cut in any wall that’s been exposed to water.
What Is a Flood Cut?
When drywall gets wet, the water seeps in and spreads from the point of contact, weakening the material. To make sure all the damage is removed, a clean, horizontal cut (called a flood cut) is made across the wall, 12 inches above the area that was exposed. After this cut is made, a contractor can tear out and dispose of the soggy drywall material from the flooding. Just as important, the area behind it can now be inspected, cleaned and dried before a new section is put into place. Any moist insulation must also be replaced to prevent mold from growing and because it will no longer act as an insulator.
When Is It Needed?
A cut may not be needed if the floodwater is clean and there’s no insulation or other absorbent material behind the drywall. In that case, professional methods can be used to dry the wall’s interior without completely removing it. In a bad storm, flood waters can carry sewage and other hazardous chemical and biological waste. If these seep into your home, they’ll contaminate your living space, making it very unhealthy. Cutting and replacing compromised wall material is the only way to be certain that all the damage is repaired.
After flooding from a major weather event, you should have any damage repaired by an experienced storm damage restoration service. We can determine whether flood cuts are required to return your home to a safe and healthy living environment.
Workplace Burns: First Aid Steps
First Aid Steps
If your employees face minor burns at your Fallbrook, CA business, you’ll need to follow proper burn first aid steps to help preserve the victim’s health and well-being. There are four steps to help soothe, treat and protect minor burns after a commercial fire causes fire damage and injuries.
1. Remove Tight Items
A burn victim should carefully remove watches, rings and other jewelry. That way, he or she is not at risk of further injury if the burn swells and makes such items stick.
2. Soothe the Burn
It is important to cool and soothe the burn as soon as possible. Run the damaged skin under cool water or use a wet compress, making sure that the temperature is not extremely cold. Once the burning pain is under control, apply a soothing moisturizer such as aloe vera to provide further first aid relief.
3. Clean and Bandage
If a blister is found and it has broken, clean the affected area and apply an antibiotic as soon as possible. Next, cover the burn with sterile gauze to keep it protected from the elements and moisture.
4. Alleviate Continuing Pain
Fire damage can disrupt normal thinking, but you need to care for burn victims before handling any building-related issues. If a victim is still suffering after following the three steps above, find an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen to aid in easing the pain.
Know When To Get Help
In the aftermath of a commercial fire, it can be hard to remember where to turn for professional assistance. Seek emergency aid by calling 911 if a burn victim seems to have an issue that first aid alone cannot fix. For matters related to your property, SERVPRO of Fallbrook/South Oceanside is ready to assist you. In either case, use your best judgment to decide whether or not a situation can be handled by you alone.
Understanding Mold and How It Spreads
Mold damage on wall in South Oceanside,CA
When you’re faced with the possibility of black mold at your South Oceanside, CA commercial property, your immediate reaction is presumably to stress out. While there’s reason to be vigilant when it comes to mold cleanup, there’s less reason to be stressed if you understand what you’re dealing with from the beginning. So, what is mold and how does it spread throughout a property? Here are some introductory facts regarding the growth of mold and its typical survival through means of a moisture problem.
Mold is a Fungal Species That Thrives on Heat and Moisture
There are a variety of different strains of mold, each coming in colors like green and black that are sometimes considered to be an indication of toxicity. Nevertheless, experts have mixed opinions on the extent of toxicity levels among different mold growths. The important thing to focus on as a business owner is that black mold blossoms when it’s in a warm, humid environment that has plenty of access to moisture and a dark hiding place that sees little daylight. These factors joined together create perfect breeding grounds for it to flourish, making these conditions a sign of significant problem areas in your building.
How To Stop Mold From Spreading
The first step to take is to call in a trained team of professional mold remediation specialists to handle the mold removal. This ensures its rightful elimination on site and it can give you peace of mind as a property owner. Meanwhile, you can do your part by seeking out any moisture problem areas that can lead to mold growth. Secure proper ventilation in rooms of high humidity such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Search for cracks or leaks in basement or cellar walls and floors. Inspect your doors and window frames for leaks due to faulty sealant.
Whatever measures need to be taken regarding your black mold problem, address them now so they don’t become more of an issue later. This can guarantee that your South Oceanside,CA, commercial property is a safe, healthy environment for anyone who enters in the future.