Common Water Woes in Commercial Buildings
A backed up sewer can manifest by a flooded toilet
Don't Forget About the Role of Water on Your Property
Managing or owning a commercial building in Santa Clara, UT, can come with a lot of responsibility. To keep your business running smoothly, don't forget about the role of water on your property. Things like leaking pipes can cause water damage, which can become a big concern if left untreated.
Your sewer is one of the most important and interconnected systems in your building. It gets used daily, but is often not appreciated. Sewer water can be contaminated, so do not attempt to address any damage you find on your own. Professionals use specialized tools and personal protective equipment when handling sewers. A damaged or backed-up sewer can manifest itself on your property in a few different ways:
- Flooded toilets
- Bathtubs or sinks that won't drain
- Soggy or smelly patch of lawn
If you consistently discover pooling water in the bathroom or kitchen areas of your building, you may have leaking pipes. In a multi-storied building, this issue may also present as water dripping from the ceiling. To prevent further damage, you should turn off your water. The solution could be as simple as tightening some bolts, or could extend to replacing your plumbing. Certified water restoration services can assess the damage and give you an estimate.
Weather events like flooding and heavy rain can cause water damage or toilet backup on your property, especially if it has a basement. Below freezing temperatures and ice storms may also indirectly contribute to water damage by causing a pipe break. If your property is coastal, hurricanes and humid air can also be an issue. If your area experiences anything like this be sure to thoroughly inspect your building afterwards, to catch any damage early.
There can be many sources of water damage, so be sure to remain vigilant. Knowing the usual suspects may help you stay on top of any issues- leaking pipes, weather events and clogged sewers. Knowledge is power!
How To File a Claim for Water Damage
Wait for the adjuster to inspect the property
What Insurance Will Cover and What Isn't Covered?
Water damage is one of the most common reasons homeowners file claims with their insurance companies. There are many ways homes could be affected, and, naturally, this leads to plenty of questions about what insurance will cover and what isn't covered. Some of the most common questions include
- Are bursting pipes covered by insurance?
- What is gradual water damage, and why isn't it covered?
- Are sewer backups covered under my policy?
- Does renters' insurance cover flooding?
Before you take steps to fix broken pipe results on your own, find out how to file a water damage claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Whether your home has been affected by bursting pipes or heavy rains, you need to notify your insurance company of the trouble. The sooner you take action, the better the cleanup process will be. Make sure you have your policy number available and be prepared to answer questions about the situation.
Prevent Further Damage
The insurance representative may have you turn off the water supply and begin removing water. They may also ask you to move valuables to a safe, dry area. Before you start moving things around, you should carefully record the damage and take pictures of the damage. Video evidence is even better evidence to provide to the insurance company.
Wait for the Adjuster
Don't throw anything away while you're waiting. It's also best not to begin major cleanup and reconstruction until after this professional has inspected the property. If you are working with a water cleanup and remediation company, make sure they are willing to work with your insurance company. In fact, your insurance agent may recommend a specific water cleanup company.
Make a Detailed List of Damages and Losses
Your inventory list should include model numbers, the age of damaged possessions, the condition the belongings were in before the flooding, replacement costs, and actual cash value of the belongings. This task may take you a lot of effort, but the results are necessary for accurate reimbursement.
When your home has been affected by water damage, whether from bursting pipes or a slow leak from the roof, begin the process of filing your claim as soon as possible. Your Mesquite, UT, home and family deserve your best efforts.
3 Places Mold May Be Hiding in Your Home
Mold damage inside a wall on a Hurricane, UT home
Areas to Check for Hidden Mold
If you have a mold growth in your Hurricane, UT home, it may be easy to locate some sources of the problem. However, in many cases, mold can hide in areas that are difficult to spot. If you don’t see any damage but you still have an unpleasant musty odor in your home, the culprit is likely hidden mold. Here are a few areas to check.
1. Plumbing Fixtures
Because there are often high levels of moisture in bathroom and kitchen areas, this is an easy place for a mold growth to form. If your showers and sinks are not left to dry completely after use, there is a chance that mold will begin to spread. Sometimes, you may find it lurking in corners, but it can also find a home in your drains as well. To help prevent this, dry these items as soon as you’re finished and use a fan or open a window to reduce humidity.
2. Air Conditioning Systems
In many homes, air conditioners are in use almost constantly during the warmer months. While a convenient way to cool your home, these devices can become a source of mold growth if they are not properly maintained. Make sure that moisture is draining from the unit as it should, and regularly clean the filters.
3. Walls and Flooring
Even if your walls and floors look perfectly fine, there may be mold underneath the surface. If there has been a leak, water can sometimes enter the inside of your walls and cause mold spores to spread. Similarly, you may find mold on wood, carpet or laminate flooring if water has found a way into the area. Fixing leaks quickly and regularly cleaning the surfaces of your home can help keep mold from growing.
Sometimes it can be difficult for you to locate the source of your mold problem, and even if you do, it can be hard to remove it. Using a professional service is the best way to clean and restore your home. Whether it’s moldy drywall or a growth in your plumbing, a mold remediation service can help get rid of it.
TLC for Home Smoke Alarms
Install alarms throughout your home in Washington, UT
Have you ever gone into a home and noticed that there were no working alarms? The U.S. Fire Administration published some sobering statistics. Take a look at two important facts:
- Three of five deaths due to home fires take place in homes without a working smoke alarm.
- Your risk of dying in a home fire is reduced by fifty percent when you have functional smoke alarms.
The value of a working smoke detector should be the number one takeaway from these statements.
Install Alarms Throughout Your Home
The quality of today's smoke alarm makes it easy to install and maintain these important devices. Take a moment now to locate your alarms. There should be an alarm inside each of the bedrooms in your home, one alarm outside the sleeping area, and an alarm located on every level, upstairs, downstairs, and in the basement. Many homeowners install an alarm in or near the kitchen as well. Do you have enough alarms in your home? Are they located in the correct places?
Test the Detectors
Your next step is to test each smoke detector. Start by locating the date on each alarm. If the date of manufacture is more than ten years ago, the device needs to be replaced. If the alarm is less than ten years old, you can replace it. Next, push the red test button. If the battery is working, the device will emit a powerful beep. If you don't hear a beep, replace the battery and then test again. If the battery doesn't solve the problem, the device needs to be replaced.
In many modern homes, an interconnected system comes with the home. If there's a malfunction within this system, your best option is to contact a fire damage and remediation professional who has experience with your type of system.
One-half of home fire deaths take place between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when people are asleep. Keep your Washington, UT, family and home safe from the devastation of a home fire. Make sure each smoke alarm in your home is well-maintained and ready to sound.
4 Steps for Fixing a Leaking Commercial Roof
Leaking roof in a St. George, UT building
Follow These Steps to Properly Repair your Roof
While a roof leak might seem like a small problem, it can end up causing quite a bit of damage to your St. George, UT building if it is not addressed quickly. As the area around the leak begins to deteriorate, the amount of water that enters the building will increase and may damage the floors underneath. Follow these steps to properly repair your roof.
1. Inspect the Roof
Before you can begin work on your damaged roof, you will need to locate the source of the leak. Inspect the roof to find any cracks or other problems. If you are inexperienced in this area, it might be a good idea to hire a professional service to do this for you.
2. Remove Wet and Damaged Materials
Once you have located the source of the roof leak it is time to begin working. If there are materials in the roof and the ceiling underneath that have been damaged from the water, they should be removed. Warping and rotting materials will need to be replaced.
3. Dry and Clean the Area
Before you begin restoration, you should make sure that the area is completely dry. If there is moisture trapped between the roof and the ceiling, this will continue to cause problems in the future. It will weaken the structure and may contribute to the growth of mold. Be sure to have the area cleaned as well to remove dirt and signs of corrosion.
4. Repair Large Areas, Seal Cracks, and Replace Shingles
The last step is to repair the damage. If there are large areas that need work, you should address these first. All cracks should be sealed to prevent moisture from entering the roof. If the damage was caused by a severe storm, you may need to replace missing shingles as well.
Following these steps will ensure your roof is back in working order in no time. Because a roof leak can lead to extensive damage if not taken care of, it might be a good idea to hire an emergency restoration company instead of trying to tackle the project on your own.
Restoration After a Fire in St George, Utah
Fire Damage can be devastating in St. George and SERVPRO of St. George can help you Restore your home.
Fire is one thing we cannot live without, but it can cause great damages if not properly handled. There are several possible causes of fire in St. George, Utah just as in many other places. These reasons range from protein fire whereby you forget food in your microwave, and it ends up burning to a furnace malfunction. Whichever the cause, recovering from a fire loss can be simplified if you get the right service providers.
Damages Related to Fire Damage
The most devastating thing about a fire is that it creates more disaster than just burning. After the firefighters leave the fire scene, you are left with more to deal with including soot damage, smoke damage, water damage from fire, not to forget the need to improve the air quality.
What should a Good Fire Cleanup Team Do?
Consider getting a company with a well-trained team. A team that will respond promptly to your call for help. Second, they should own powerful and useful equipment that will make the fire cleanup process fast and efficient.
Luckily for you, there are reliable and credible fire cleanup companies in St. George. After putting off the fire, there obviously will be a lot of smoke and soot accumulation. Not to forget the water damage from fire that will have occurred as the firefighters tried to save your property.
Soot damage will not only have befallen on the walls but also on furniture, carpets, and even upholstery. The team you call in should clean up all those and dry them to avoid mold formation. Every corner of the premises should be cleaned up thoroughly leaving it as it was during pre-fire condition.
Cleaning properties such as carpets and sofa sets might require added attention. Small pieces of glasses might have landed on these items. Also, they might have accumulated a lot of soot and smoke smell. In this case, the cleanup company should be ready with right chemicals to help restore your property. Drying is as crucial, this will call for high-powered vacuum cleaners.
Procedure to Follow When Doing a Fire Clean Up
The majority of fire damage services providers in St George, Utah know the importance of following the right procedure when handling a fire damage. First, they should help you to determine what could have caused the fire. This information is crucial as it's what insurance company will use to compensate for the damages.
They should also help you separate stuff that is beyond restoration due to soot or smoke damage. The team should also contribute to estimating the intensity of water damage by fire. They should be able to clean every piece of broken glass or clean up any wall paintings that might have fallen off as a result of firefighting.
In the process of putting off the fire as well as during the fire, air is contaminated. The smoke smell also lands on stuff such as carpets and sofa sets. Improving the air quality should, therefore, be a priority when doing a cleanup. This can be done by using high powered fans that will increase the air circulation. In case the odor persists, air neutralizing sprays should be employed.
Why Is Flood Water Called Black Water?
Category 3 water may originate from heavy rains
Black water is a term used to refer to Category 3 water damage. This grossly contaminated water may contain solid waste and other harmful substances. Learn more about Category 3 water and why flood damage calls for cleaning and disinfecting.
Categories of Water Contamination
Restoration professionals classify damage involving water into three categories. The scale ranges from clean water to highly contaminated water:
- Category 1 water is clean and treated.
- Category 2 water, or gray water, is contaminated but does not contain solid waste.
- Category 3 water, or black water, is highly contaminated and may contain solid waste.
The most common cause of Category 1 damage is a supply line break. Category 2 water often originates from an appliance or shower overflow. A flood or sewer backup can result in Category 3 water damage.
Contaminants in Category 3 Water
Category 3 water may originate from heavy rains, rising bodies of surface water or overflowing sewer mains. Water from any of these sources is exposed to many contaminants:
- Heavy metals
Damage restoration experts recommend wearing personal protective equipment, such as waterproof boots, gloves and even hip waders, when cleaning up this type of damage.
Risks Associated With Contaminated Water
Contaminated water has all of the contents necessary for microbes and fungi to thrive. Standing water can lead to mold growth within 24 to 48 hours. Homeowners should document damage and extract standing water as soon as possible to limit risks of infection and mold.
A homeowner dealing with Category 3 water damage should consider seeking professional assistance. Within hours or days, damage mitigation and restoration experts can eliminate standing water and clean and disinfect the affected portions of a residence in [City, State]. These specialists can also recommend whether to clean porous building materials and contents or to throw them away to reduce the risk of recontamination.
How To Protect Your Business From Winter Storm Damage
Frozen pipes can expand and then burst from the pressure, leaving water damage in your commercial building
How to Prepare Your Commercial Building When a Winter Storm is Approaching
When a winter storm is approaching, you’ll want to take quick action to prepare your commercial building and minimize any damage the harsh environmental elements can cause. By keeping some basic preparation tips in mind the next time a storm is headed your way, you can make sure your business in Veyo, UT, is still thriving after it passes through.
1. Avoid frozen pipes
A plumbing network that freezes up due to cold temperatures is a flooding disaster waiting to happen. Frozen piping can expand and then burst from the pressure, leaving extensive water damage waiting for you when you re-open after a storm. To avoid such an unpleasant surprise, clear out your pipes and shut off all plumbing systems before a winter weather event.
2. Formulate a snow and ice removal plan
There is still potential for major storm damage to wreak havoc on your commercial building even after the clouds clear. Large amounts of melting snow and ice on your roof in the aftermath of a winter storm can cause flooding and structural damage, resulting in an extended shutdown of your business while expensive repairs are made. Make sure you have arrangements for immediate removal of snow and ice after a weather event so you can keep your doors open.
3. Have a plan of action for a worst-case scenario
Storm events are unpredictable, and sometimes they can cause significant damage to your business despite your best efforts. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a detailed inventory of all assets and equipment in and around your commercial building for insurance claim purposes. You should also have the contact information of a reputable disaster restoration contractor on hand to assist with the cleanup process and help you re-open your business as soon as possible.
A winter storm has the potential to exert major damage to your commercial building. However, by preparing a detailed preparation plan well in advance of a weather event, you can be confident that your business will still flourish in the aftermath.
How To Clean and Remove Bathroom Mold and Mildew From Commercial Facilities
Our technicians wearing protective full- body suit
Basic Procedures to Clean Up Mold
Mildew in commercial buildings is a common occurrence due to the increased usage of the facilities. However, persistent problems may lead to the development of bathroom mold. While it is simple to keep mildew clean with over-the-counter cleansers, mold requires stronger chemicals and more precautions. Therefore, if you are attempting to clean up mold, you should follow some basic procedures.
1. Safety Preparations
When dealing with mold, there are specific safety measures you should take, regardless of the size of the infestation. At a minimum, you should be wearing a respirator, protective eyewear and gloves. If the problem is extensive, you should consider wearing a protective full-body suit.
2. Deal With Existing Damage
To get mildew clean, you typically have to use an over-the-counter cleaner and wipe it away. Mold will not go away so easily. To eliminate mold growth, you will likely have to deal with the existing damage. For example, if a leaky pipe is the cause of the infestation, you will need to fix the leak to prevent further mold development.
3. Limit Ventilation
Additionally, to reduce the spread of mold spores and infestation, you should limit ventilation. To do this, you should seal off contaminated areas by closing doors and putting up plastic. Cover vents and door frames as well. Open exterior windows and install a fan to pull any mold spores outward, away from the facility.
4. Clean and Disinfect
Once the area is safe and all contributing factors remedied, you can clean and disinfect the bathroom. A mold remediation specialist in the Central, UT, area is likely better suited and prepared for this process because of his or her training. A specialist can manage the whole process, allowing you to stay safe and clear of the contaminated restroom.
While most property managers are familiar with the process to get mildew clean, mold is a different organism. Mold requires more work and precautions before removal, and remediation is likely better left to the experts.
The First 24 Hours After a Disaster Are the Most Critical
Input the number of your local SERVPRO into your phone today.
When disaster strikes a commercial building, how the owner responds in that first 24-hour period is crucial to mitigating losses. Whether loss occurs because of a flood, burst water line, fire, lightning strike or any other reason, damages will only grow progressively worse when unattended. For this reason, building owners and their insurance companies should have a fast response damage cleanup crew on speed dial.
The Consequences of Putting Off Disaster Cleanup
More often than not, when business issues arise after hours or over the weekend, owners take the "It can wait till Monday" approach. However, while sorting paperwork and responding to customer requests really can wait until the next business day, flooding, water damage, fire damage or other similar concerns need to be dealt with immediately. Some consequences of putting of remediation beyond the 24-hour period are as follows:
- Mold growth
- Buckling floors
- Sheetrock and plaster sag and cracks
- Release of vinyl from flooring
Secondary issues such as those mentioned above are much costlier to remediate than primary damage, as they often involve removing and replacing materials. As any fast response disaster cleanup crew knows, replacing materials is much more expensive than restoring them.
Work With a Crew That Is Always Open
Your Enterprise, UT, SERVPRO franchise has the benefit of being both locally owned and part of a larger corporate structure. These two facts mean that professionals can respond immediately to yours or your customer's needs. SERVPRO franchises have a reputation of responding to calls within one hour, of being on site to perform an assessment within four hours and of being available to conduct a verbal briefing within eight. In isolated situations (meaning, entire communities aren't affected), your local disaster remediation team can have your building on the way to restoration immediately after the verbal briefing.
To ensure you can address water, fire or flood damage within the 24-hour window, have a fast response team on call. Input the number of your local SERVPRO into your phone today.