Recent Commercial Posts

How to Restore Damage When a Toilet Floods Two Floors

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

 

When a toilet floods in a commercial property, the resulting water damage may affect more than one floor. If water works its way down through building materials, it can lead to significant sewer damage that requires restoration. There are five steps you should take to clean up the damage and restore your property to sanitary condition.

1. Clear the Clog or Backup

Depending on whether the toilet is flooding due to a clog caused by inappropriate materials being flushed or a backed up sewer line, you may need to contact a plumber or sewage company. Until the problem is fixed, the leak may continue or become worse.

2. Remove Standing Water

Limit the severity of the leak between floors by eliminating all standing water near the flooded toilet. You will still need to determine the extent of the damage to building materials such as floors and ceilings. 

3. Consult Restoration Specialists

Commercial water and sewer damage restoration experts can help you determine which materials will need to be replaced. These experts can also help with cleanup and remediation.

4. Clean and Disinfect the Area

Toilets that flood tend to lead to a leak of Category Two or Category Three water. Category Two water or gray water may contain bacteria or chemicals but does not contain solid waste. Category Three or black water contains solid waste. Either type of leak calls for thorough cleaning and disinfection.

5. Dry the Affected Area

Take measures to dry the area affected by sewage damage as quickly as possible. This can help to prevent mold and other secondary damage from starting to develop.

When you experience sewer damage in a commercial property rely on the skills of professional plumbers and restoration experts. These specialists can resolve the problem quickly and completely, enabling the tenants of the building to get back to business.

Is Smoke Damage Covered By Insurance?

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

 

If your commercial building or one adjacent to yours recently sustained a fire, and you are left dealing with smoke-related damage, you may be worried about making a claim with your insurance company. Is smoke damage a covered loss? Read on to learn everything you need to know about smoke claims to put your mind at ease.

Soot Damage and Insurance

In most cases, damage from smoke will be covered by your commercial insurance policy. This is even the case if the fire occurred at a company right next to yours. However, there are some steps you need to take to properly file your claim and increase the chances of it being accepted. They are as follows:

  1. Contact your insurance company to report the smoke damage and file a claim.
  2. Assess your loss and prepare a smoke cleanup plan with the help of professionals.
  3. Record proof of any damage and repairs through photographs, receipts and other documents.
  4. Prepare for the insurance adjuster to arrive for surveying purposes.

Following the steps above will increase the chances of restoring your property as best as you can. Having a solid plan in place will also make it more likely that your insurance company will approve your claim.

Smoke Cleaning Assistance

As you can see above, creating an action plan for cleanup is one of the most important parts of this entire claims and restoration process. A reliable , fire damage restoration company should be able to arrive on an emergency basis, assess the situation and help you build a cleanup plan that will likely include reducing odors and eliminating smoke from your building.

Smoke damage isn’t always easy to deal with, and communication with your insurance provider can be even more frustrating. Following the steps above and knowing where to turn for cleanup help can make your business’s post-fire future more positive.

Under Construction: How To Prevent Water Damage

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

 

A building doesn’t have to be fully constructed to have water damage. Construction projects are often delayed by water piperepair and the subsequent damages a busted pipe causes. To keep your construction business in , as profitable as possible, you want to prevent the flooding you can and mitigate the rest quickly.

The Cost of Damage

Any delay during a project can cost you money. When you have to stop construction because of a broken pipe, there are several expenses involved:

  • Extra labor needed to conduct the repair and rebuild the damaged area
  • Mitigation charges from professional water remediation services
  • Additional materials needed to rebuild the damaged section

Non-monetary costs of the delay may include damage to your reputation and potentially impatient client response. Your insurance may cover some of the financial burden, but repairing the relationship with your client is your responsibility alone.

The Prevention of Damage

Timely water pipe repair is a great solution, but it’s even better to avoid flooding in the first place. Before construction begins, create a plan for careful on-site water management. Institute a drainage system, and test pumps and plumbing before major work begins. During construction, it’s easy to let your plan fall to the wayside, so hire people to make sure your team follows the guidelines you set forth. They should monitor piping systems and help keep the air pressure in the pipes under control. Finally, keep water mitigation specialists on speed dial to ensure that, if there is a problem, you can get it resolved before a large area of your site is flooded.

Preventing water at your construction site increases the chance that you may never have to worry about water pipe repair. By keeping water sources closely monitored and structuring drainage systems wisely, you are more likely to stay on schedule, and that helps you please your client.

Answering the Call

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

When Hurricane Harvey left his wake of destruction the Emergency Response Team from SERVPRO answered the call sending teams to . Taking supplies and equipment our teams went down to help the residents and were humbled by the generosity of a community that didn’t have any clue how they were going to recover financially, much less emotionally from the impact of the storm. Rescuees were evacuated by boats from their homes and neighborhoods, leaving everything behind, but the spirit of giving and resilience impacted the teams from Knoxville.

The long-standing relationship between SERVPRO and the insurance companies helped our teams make a big impact and quickly. The insurance adjusters were recommending people call SERVPRO because it was a name that they could trust. Our teams were able to start water mitigation quickly and come alongside homeowners and other countless volunteers to help these families begin to get some semblance of recovery started.

Imagine your home with six to eight feet of standing water with the rescue boat pulling up outside and telling you it was the last call. Our team was humbled time and time again meeting over a hundred different families that had met that fate and yet met our team with smiles on their faces. Unanimously our team was impacted, and have spoken so highly of these families since their return.

SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac are professionals at serving you. That is why we are here, and that is what we do.

Exploring the Science of Drying

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know, there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damage structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and places a fan or two around the damage, professional service may be necessary. 

What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air is, indeed drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO has been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

SERVPRO is proud to utilize a newly developed tool SERVPRO DryBook.

The SERVPRO DryBook is a proprietary tool allowing us to capture and track the steps of restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This ensures your restoration is done properly and efficiently. It also improves results and restores your property at a faster rate, getting you back in your home sooner.

Coffee Stain

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Years ago I worked for a company that prided itself on its customer service; they called it ‘legendary.” They didn’t just view customer service as the interactions between employees and guests or the quality of their food, but also as the cleanliness of the building. It was all part of the customer experience. One of the illustrations used to convey why cleanliness is part of customer service was The Coffee Stain Story.

A person books a flight across the country and they were able to get a great price and no layovers. The flight boarded on time, the seats on either side were empty, so there was plenty of room to be comfortable, the movie was good, and the headphones were complimentary. Flight staff was courteous and brought the passenger a free drink. The plane even landed on time. It was an incredible flight.

But, when they lowered the tray table, they noticed a small coffee ring stain. And even all of the free stuff, extra room, and no inconveniences, it was all they could think about. When they were asked “how was your flight,” they would respond with “It was OK, but my tray table was dirty. Had a big old nasty coffee ring on it.”

The story shows how the perception of their experience was hugely impacted by such a tiny detail, and customer perception is customer experience. It was taught to us to show how important every detail can be, and we must do all that we can to control the controllable.

Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

looding and water damage commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

when to call 911

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Know when to call 911

Even if you are fully trained in first aid or CPR always alert 911 right away during an emergency situation including:

  • Fire
  • Serious injury
  • Sudden violent illness (poisoning)

911 operators are trained to assist in any way possible, so it is important to answer their questions as best as you can, listen to them carefully, and do NOT hang up.

Take a class

Several types of courses available will teach first aid, CPR, and how to utilize an AED correctly. The American Red Cross’ website has a tool to help locate classes based on your city, and help you learn to handle:

  • Cuts, burns, head injuries, and broken bones.
  • Someone who cannot breathe
  • When a person’s heart suddenly stops beating

Make a First Aid Kit

First aid kits have all that you need for rapid response to many situations to treat those that require medical attention. It is incredibly important to have a kit nearby including in your home, at work, and even in the car.  A well-stocked first aid kit should include the following:

  • Directions on how to treat basic injuries and when to call for more help
  • Bandages
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Gloves to prevent contamination risks
  • Antiseptic solution or wipes

Be sure to check and restock your first aid kit regularly.

The knowledge and experience you will gain from learning these skills can empower you to make the right decision and take swift action in the event of an emergency.

Awareness of Business Damage

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Damage? To My Business? No way!

We don’t want your business to have any type of damage, but the reality of it is that any damage that can affect a residential property can also affect your commercial building. It is a topic no one likes to think about, but is necessary to be knowledge of.

So What Can Happen?

Storm: Damage caused by strong winds and heavy rain which can remove roof tiles, break windows and more. Storm damages can be very devastating and can cause your business to be put on hold until it’s restored.

Water: This damage can be caused by burst pipes, floods, rain or a number of other things. In any case, this can then result in contaminated water affecting surfaces and furniture, in mold growing and in items being eroded. Electricity and water damage are particularly volatile when combined.

Fire: This type damage can come from a gas stove, faulty outlet or a cigarette that isn’t properly put out. In any case, this can then cause severe destruction to your property which requires cleaning and restoration services.

Mold: This is highly unhygienic as well as being unappealing to look at. Mold spreads quickly around properties as air-borne spores and remediation is very important to prevent it from getting out of hand. Mold grows in any kind of moist environment. Even that small leak under your office’s bathroom sink can eventually cause mold growth.

Don’t remain unaware of what can happen to your commercial building. If you have any uncertainties of a problem you may be having, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO Bethesda/Potomac. 301-530-7400

 

Organization is Key

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:

Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.

Keep Only What You Need at Arm’s Length:

Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you’ve established for them.

Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:

Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.

Eliminate Digital Clutter:

Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper files – with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor of calendar reminders.

Create A Daily Paper System:

Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled “To Read,” “To Do,” and “To File.” Establish set days for each, so that you don’t get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.

Disinfect Regularly:

Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard, and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.

Tips provided by Forbes, The Dangers of a Messy Desk.

National Building Safety Month

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

in 2018, Building Safety Month celebrates 38 years. It is an initiative of the International Code Council also known as ICC. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public on " what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable and energy efficient homes and buildings."

Some of the topics and tips that are shared throughout the month on the ICC website are Disaster Safety and Mitigation as well as Fire Safety and Awareness.

The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials " improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play, " and this month will increase awareness.

For more detailed information please visit iccsafe.org as a reference.

Commercial Fire Restoration

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

Restoring your Commercial Property After a Loss

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Commercial Water Restoration Presents Unique Challenges

SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. 

SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac can respond immediately to your commercial water damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

What is an ERP?

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

No one ever plans for a disaster, but you can always prepare for it. Did you know 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster? Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your Bethesda/ Potomac business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO emergency Ready Profile

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • a concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
  • a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
  • establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
  • provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information

Ladder Safety

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

As the summer comes to an end and people are having work done to get ready for fall such as; paint jobs, cleaning gutters, one should pay careful attention to the following ladder safety tips.

Ladder climbing takes place in almost every home and workplace. 

Falls off ladders are near the top in causes of fatal work related injuries in the construction industry and the third leading cause in all industries combined.

- Be sure to inspect the ladder before using it. Check for broken or missing parts, as well as grease, oil or other substances that could result in a slippery surface.

- To ensure stability, place the ladder on firm, even ground. Make sure it is not near any electrical wires or power lines.

 -  When setting up the ladder, use the 4 to 1 rule. For example, if the ladder touches the wall 16 feet above the ground, the feet of the ladder should be 4 feet away from the wall.

 -  Before climbing the ladder, make sure the braces are fully extended and locked in place. Never climb higher than the third rung from the top of the ladder, and never try to “jog” or “walk” the ladder to a new location. Descend and relocate the ladder instead.  

-When working from a ladder, stay in the center and do not reach more than a comfortable arm’s length away. Keep your feet braced against the side rails and lean slightly forward.

-Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.

-Whenever possible, work within sight of someone who could provide assistance in the event of an emergency.