If Your Building Catches Fire, Will You Be Prepared?
Whether you own a multi-million-dollar corporation that operates out of a large commercial building or run a small, family-owned business that works out of a one-room retail store, it is important that you have a fire contingency plan in place. Your emergency plan should be well thought out; otherwise, you risk disorganization, chaos, confusion and injury in the event of a real emergency. To minimize damages and increase emergency response time, your evacuation plan should include the following:
• Minimum requirements
• An evacuation route
• A safe zone
• Emergency contacts
Your contingency plan should, at the very least, include an action plan that is specific to your industry and worksite. An insurance agency can help you assess your risks, and the local fire department or a Geneva, IL fire damage control team can help you draft a plan that addresses both those exposures and any obstacles posed by your building itself (e.g., layout, structural features, etc.).
Plan an Evacuation Route
Your evacuation plan should include a map of the best evacuation routes for each area of the building. In addition to showing occupants how to safely exit the building, your plan should also give clear directions to the nearest safety zone.
Establish a Safe Zone
Once all of your building’s occupants have made it out safely, they’ll need somewhere to go. Pick one location per emergency route where all occupants can gather. You will want to get a headcount and assess damages, which can be difficult to do if everyone is scattered across town.
Include Emergency Contacts
Your evacuation plan should include a list of emergency contacts, such as the local fire department, the Geneva, IL fire restoration team, local medical centers, a burn unit and an organization that deals in chemicals and hazardous waste.
Every business’s contingency plan is going to be different, but every business should have one. For more tips on what makes a strong evacuation plan, visit the United States Department of Labor. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Restoring Your Home After a Fire
Having your home and belongings damaged by a fire can be devastating for everyone involved. However, by getting content cleaning and fire restoration services on the job right away and investing in a few things like dry-cleaning and content storage, you can help to bring your home back to its former glory. There are a few steps you should follow to get everything on track for recovery:
• Getting in touch with your insurance company
• Locating a reliable fire and smoke cleanup crew
• Finding a storage space for undamaged belongings
After dealing with emergency services, your insurance company should be the first call you make. Your insurance professionals can help estimate how much your repairs will cost and direct you to fire cleaning professionals in St. Charles, IL who are covered by your homeowners insurance. This can help you get the financial support you need during the recovery process.
Choosing Your Crew
While your insurance company will likely suggest and endorse a number of cleanup crews, it’s ultimately up to you to decide who you want to trust with your home content cleaning. Do your research and find a company that has a reputation for getting the job done right and for following up on their results after you’re settled back into your home.
Finding Storage Solutions
During your cleanup process, crews are likely to use machines and chemicals that rid your home of smoke smells. It’s always a good idea to move undamaged belongings into a storage unit until your home is completely repaired to protect them from dust, debris, and even water from damaged roofing or pipes. Dry-cleaning may be appropriate for some minimally damaged belongings.
Between dry-cleaning, working with insurance agents and all of the other steps of content cleaning after a fire, the home recovery process can be a long one. However, it’s well worth it to feel safe and secure in your own home again.
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How to Keep Pipes Safe During a Freeze
Winter can be a beautiful and festive time of year. However, if you don’t adequately prepare your home, the freezing temperatures of winter can cause frozen pipes that burst and flood your house. If that happens, you could end up needing professional restoration services and water line repair. Here are some of the most vulnerable pipes:
• Outdoor pipes for pools and sprinklers
• Units in basements
• Pipes in attics and garages
• Units under kitchen and bathroom cabinets
Avoid frozen pipes in these areas with a few steps.
Drain Outdoor Lines
If you have a swimming pool or a sprinkler system, follow the manufacturer’s directions for draining the supply lines before a freeze comes to St. Charles, IL. You may be tempted to use antifreeze in these outdoor areas, but such chemicals can be harmful to the environment, your yard, your animals, and children.
Insulate Indoor Areas
Pipes in basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces freeze because these areas aren’t always well insulated. While the rest of your house may be comfortable when the weather is cold, these areas can see below freezing temperatures. Adding insulation in these parts of your home can keep the temperatures safer for pipes.
The pipes in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets can get too cold because your heater doesn’t affect the air around them. You can use heat tape or a similar product to keep these pipes safe from freezing temperatures. You may also consider a pipe sleeve. If a sudden freeze is coming and you don’t have these products, you can wrap the pipes in a newspaper and keep the cabinets open.
If you do end up with frozen pipes that burst, be sure to turn off the water supply to the pipe and secure the area. Then, you can call a professional restoration company to fix the damage. Doing so can help keep mold and other damage at bay. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on water damage.
Getting Rid of Bad Odors After a Flood
Flooding in St. Charles, IL can have a lot of consequences for your home, not the least of which is the bad odor left behind even after the water is gone. Prevent your property from being flooded with unpleasant smells, or, if they are already there, get rid of them by taking a few simple restoration measures.
Odors after flooding can be the result of mold growth. Mold can easily grow during and after flooding because of the moist conditions created by the water. Mold usually creates a stale or musty odor that can be quite unpleasant. One of the best ways to prevent this can be to stop mold from ever growing in the first place. Since fungus grows fast, as quickly as during the first 24 hours after flooding, you’ll need to act fast to keep it away. A restoration service can help you accomplish this by doing the following:
• Tearing out damaged drywall and other wet materials
• Dehumidifying the home
• Using bleach or other products to kill any remaining mold spores
While you may not be thrilled at the thought of replacing carpets and other materials, it can be worth it in the long run to avoid bad smells and worsening damage.
If your home already suffers from nasty odors, one way to fix it can be to disinfect the areas where you believe the smell is coming from. Even if mold growth is not immediately visible in these areas, microorganisms left behind from the flood water may still be present.
Restoration services can be useful in these situations as well and can help you make sure the disinfection process is completed safely and thoroughly. Again, while some items can be deodorized and salvaged, others, especially porous materials, may have to be replaced.
By preventing mold growth, you can avoid the unpleasant odors left behind after flooding. Stop smells before they happen by replacing damaged materials and drying out wet areas as quickly as possible.
Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on storm damage.
4 Common Causes of Pipe Bursts
Burst pipes can wreak havoc on any commercial property in St. Charles, IL. Whether pipe burst cleanup is required in the kitchen or basement, you need to take prompt action to save as much of your property as possible. It is always best to prevent supply line leaking rather than wait until something catastrophic happens, so you should be aware of what typically causes this type of flooding.
One cause of bursting pipes is simply the pipes becoming too old to function adequately. Many buildings made prior to 1970 have steel pipes, which are prone to early corrosion. In the event corrosion necessitates water cleanup, then you will probably want to undergo a total piping replacement throughout the building before you need a pipe burst cleanup.
This problem is prevalent throughout the colder months of the year. Before winter comes to your town, you should take preventive action to prevent the water inside the pipes from freezing and cracking the surface. You can apply insulation around the pipes to keep them at an optimal temperature. It is also a good idea to run the heater inside your building as often as possible to keep warm air circulating.
3. Tree Roots
Tree roots grow in an array of directions. They may end up damaging pipes located underneath your building, causing a backup. Once a tree root finds a pipe filled with water, it will continue to grow throughout the pipe because it provides a source of nutrients.
Environmental changes can add extra pressure on top of a pipe, causing it to burst and collapse. For example, new construction in your community can affect the soil. The increased weight causes the pipes to collapse and burst. Regardless of the reason, you do not want to wait when it comes to pipe burst cleanup. Find professionals in St. Charles, IL, who will be able to visit your property promptly to clean up the water. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Steps Toward Fire Damage Restoration
Apartment Complex Fire
Smart Steps Toward St.Charles Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage to your St. Charles Illinois home or office is devastating, but you should not wait to take steps towards restoring your property. Thanks to your fire alarm system, everyone got out of the building, but now you have to deal with your burned and heat-damaged possessions. When the flames are gone, soot and smoke can continue to cause fire damage. This is why it is important to start restoration as soon as you can.
The First Step To Fire Restoration
You should make notes about what items are ruined or damaged and take photographs too. You’ll be contacting your insurance company and a restoration contractor, so you want to be sure about your circumstances. Misunderstandings are common, but if you have photos and notes, you’ll be in a better position to know the extent of the St. Charles Fire IL, and what needs to be restored or replaced. This should be done within hours after the fire is extinguished.
Once you have a clear picture of the damage, call your insurance company. Hopefully, you can do this the next day. It is important to call them as soon as possible, so they will send an insurance adjustor to your home or office quickly.
Call SERVPRO St.Charles/Geneva/batavia Reputable Fire Damage Restoration Experts
When searching for a local cleaning and restoration contractor, make sure they are Institution of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certified. These professionals have been trained in the latest restoration technology and have health and safety certification. They will have experience in a wide range of fire damage St. Charles IL, restoration projects. You should also ask for proof or the proper licenses and insurance.
You may be able to locate a restoration contractor who also does reconstruction. This will save you a lot of time and money. They will first board up your home or office so vandals or thieves cannot enter. They will also work directly with your insurance company to create a restoration plan that will return your property to its pre-fire condition. They’ll inform your adjustor about the items that can be cleaned and restored and the ones that need to be replaced. Your restoration contractor should also be able to safely store some of your possessions during recovery.
Fire damage includes much more than burning. There can also be extensive water damage St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia when the fire department puts out the fire as well as smoke damage that can go into every part of the house including places that were untouched by the fire.
Let SERVPRO the Professionals Handle It
You may be tempted to get the restoration process started by cleaning things yourself. This is not recommended because it may only make it worse. Some things to avoid are:
• Wiping walls, ceiling tiles or any absorbent material
• Reusing carpet and upholstery that have smoke damage
• Using any food item including canned goods that were exposed to heat and smoke
• Turning on your computer, TV, or electrical appliances before they have been professionally cleaned
The restoration process after a fire can be stressful, but if you have a certified professional handling your insurance company and the construction, there is a good chance you’ll have a full recovery.
What is the water restoration process?
Water Restoration Process
Once you remove water from your flooded business, start the restoration process. Again, you need a restoration company to do the work. The company will begin by checking the severity of the pipe break, supply line break or any other plumbing issue that might have brought water in your business. After that, they will kick-start the water cleanup process by drying up all the affected areas. There are special drying tools specifically designed to do the job very quickly. Drying the water in your business will prevent the growth of molds in the flooded area.
Once the water in your business is completely dry, the restoration experts will check the walls and other parts of the flooded facility to see the extent of the damage. They will also check to see the extent of pipe break or supply line break and decide if there is need for replacement. They may use their drying tools to cleanup if they find the walls and other areas to be wet.
The water cleanup process will finally end with foundation repair. In some severe cases, the flood water in the business may seep through the floor down to the foundation. The restoration experts will check to see how far the water in the business has gone. In most flood damage cases, the water from supply line break and pipe break do not reach the foundation.
There is a little you can do to prevent flood damage caused by natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes. However, there are a lot of mitigation measures you can employ to reduce the likelihood of flood damage occurring in your business. One mitigation measure involves frequently checking for any incidences of pipe break and supply line break to prevent water damage. There are also other mitigation measures you can employ. You can remove debris from the gutters, seal cracks in the foundation, install window well covers and seal cracks around the house.
Removing debris from the gutter or installing window well covers by yourself is very dangerous. You need a restoration expert to handle these tasks.
Commercial Mold Cleanup
Mold and Mildew Remediation and Mitigation
There are steps that can aid in mitigation of the mold in your building. Mold and mildew mitigation is ensured by treating the colony directly and removing infected objects. The severity of the infestation determines what the necessary steps are for complete mitigation and deodorization.
Treatment is also available for commercial mold damage. Often, commercial mold damage is extensive. In some commercial mold damage cases, large furniture, carpet, or drywall may be removed, such as when there is mold growth behind the wall. Mold growth behind the walls may be caused by excess moisture. A professional is required in order to properly clean and disinfect the area of the mold growth behind the wall, as well as to perform the necessary repairs and deodorization.
When possible, items will be cleaned and disinfected before undergoing deodorization and being returned to the treated area. A professional mold remediation and restoration company will make sure that there is no mildew or mold in your facility, smelly odor, dry rot, black mold or growth behind the walls.
Preventing Mold Damage
Mildew and mold damage are natural occurrences and are not possible to eliminate entirely, but you can take precautions to prevent their growth in your business.
Why Is the Restoration Technician Cutting into the Building’s Walls?
Why Is the Restoration Technician Cutting into the Building’s Walls?
Few things can be more worrisome or stressful for a small business owner than a flood in a commercial building. As you watch waters rise, you see hard work and profits go down the drain. Following a flood in St. Charles, Illinois you’ll likely want to work with a restoration company to return your warehouse, office, or other commercial building to its pre-flood state. You probably don’t, however, want to further harm the property. As such, you may wonder why the flooding restorer is cutting into your commercial building’s walls.
Understanding the Flood Cut
During a flood, water can get virtually everywhere inside a commercial building. Because of this, restorers often must tear out drywall to allow water to drain. These cuts increase airflow, promoting drying of wall studs. Technicians generally make flood cuts 12 inches above the flood line. After they do so, they remove damaged drywall and insulation.
Preserving Existing Walls
No two floods or commercial buildings are identical, so restoration technicians usually must make a unique plan to deal with flood waters. Sometimes, restorers can avoid making flood cuts. If your company’s flooding did not involve contaminated water, technicians may try to preserve drywall instead of remove it. Also, if walls don’t have insulation, professionals may be able to successfully restore the property without cutting into the walls.
Taking Additional Steps
Following a commercial flood, restorers must take additional steps to ensure your business property retains its value. Generally, they do the following:
- Completely remove damaged flooring and walls
- Target dangerous mildew and mold
- Clean heating and air conditioning systems
Flooding can destroy any business in St. Charles, Illinois Fortunately, by collaborating with a qualified restoration company, you can likely restore your business to its pre-flood condition. While it may be difficult to watch restorers cut into your building’s walls, flood cuts may be the best way to save your company from long-term damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on water damage.
The Best Ways To Prepare For a Flood
The Best Ways To Prepare For a Flood
Most people who are involved in a flooding event are not prepared for it. Catastrophic storms or the breaking of a major plumbing line in a commercial building will usually happen quickly, often without much advance notice. The better a company is prepared for a major water event, the more likely it will escape from it without major damage. Here are four tips that could help minimize flood damage in St. Charles, Illinois.
Keep Gutters and Storm Drains Clean. This is a small and easy step to take, but it can have large implications. If the gutters or storm drains are clogged, they won’t be able to do their job, which is to carry water away quickly. A company should always make sure it has an annual or semi-annual cleaning of the gutters to facilitate the draining of water from the building.
Have a Plan. When it comes to potential storm damage, a well-prepared company will know who to call in the case of a flooding emergency. This is especially important because the quicker a water damage restoration company can respond to an emergency, the better it can prevent costly repairs. Knowing what company to call and having that contact number in a handy space will save precious time.
Protect Valuable Items. If a company owns any especially valuable items, such as rare art or family or company heirlooms, it would be a good idea to have those assets in a place where they would not be susceptible to water damage.
Invest in Training. Training employees on how to act during and after floods can pay big dividends. Employees should know what the most important steps are before the experts arrive on scene, such as operating sump pumps and vacuums.
Flooding is not something that most companies are prepared for. However, keeping these four tips in mind can reduce the damage to a commercial building. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on flood damage.