Recent Commercial Posts
Proper Sprinkler Maintenance Can Help Quench a Fire
Having a fire sprinkler system in a commercial building can help reduce the damage done by a fire.
If your commercial building has a fire sprinkler system in place, you expect this safety device to work if a fire breaks out in Louisa, VA. However, neglected sprinklers may not be able to work when they're needed. Consider these tips to ensure your building is as protected as can be.
• Have an inspection. Firefighters and commercial fire mitigation teams may do regular inspections on a fire sprinkler system to ensure everything is in working order. This inspection could look for damages to sprinkler heads, positions of valves and other important factors.
• Meet safety standards. The National Fire Protection Agency has set safety standards for this fire suppression tool. You should learn about the standards and make sure your system is up to code. If it isn't, you may not have the water power needed to put out a fire in a building of your size.
• Do regular maintenance. Doing a regular fire sprinkler cleanup can help ensure the system will work when you need it to. Dust and grime can build up on the sprinkler, which may block outgoing water. You can have the system cleaned and repaired to make sure it is at its best.
• Communicate with employees. Do you expect valves to remain open? Do you want sprinkler heads to be left untouched? No matter how you want the sprinkler system treated, you need to be sure to communicate this with your employees or tenants. Put up signs to make your wishes clear.
• Keep detailed records. You should keep records of everything done to your sprinklers. Whether there was an inspection, repair, or fire sprinkler cleanup, you should document it. This can help you prove you're keeping your system up to code, but it can also help you remember when you need another cleaning.
Having a fire sprinkler system in a commercial building can help reduce the damage done by a fire. If you want this system to work properly, you need to make sure it is maintained.
The Four Usual Suspects of Tile Discoloration
Ceiling damaged by mold growth.
The Four Most Common Causes of Tile Discoloration
When it came to (literally) building your business in Rhoadsville, VA, you opted for the convenience, ease, and longevity of ceiling tiles. Now you've noticed some tile discoloration and you're unsure if it's due to natural aging, issues caused by surrounding lighting, proximity to exhaust fans, or tile mold. Let's take a closer look at these four common issues and how to identify them.
Nothing lasts forever, not even ceiling tiles. If the tiles were installed before your business began operation out of your building, it's difficult to ascertain their exact age. For older buildings from a pre-no-smoking era, cigarette smoke may have quickened the aging process as well.
Lights are lights, right? Wrong. Ultraviolet lights actually cause discoloration. This type of lighting is typically used in healthcare facilities like hospitals and labs in order to sterilize equipment. UV lights affect and degrade the chemical bonds in ceiling tiles, which leads to bleaching and gradual fading.
Are the tiles near your exhaust fans showing more advanced signs of discoloration than other tiles? This may be caused by a lack of insulation in the duct, allowing the moisture the fan is redirecting to slowly seep into the surrounding tiles.
4. Tile Mold
One of the most prevalent suspects, mold, is caused by water damage through exposure to moisture due to plumbing-, HVAC system-, or roof-related issues. If the source of the problem is not found and rectified, your tiles will take on a telltale brownish hue that will make them appear darker than unaffected tiles.
Ceiling tiles may require less upkeep, but the discoloration is a common issue. While simple aging, light sources, and placement of fans can be relatively easy problems to address, tile mold should be confirmed and remediated by a professional mold restoration company. After all, keeping your business – and more importantly, your employees – thriving and safe is their business.
Reasons To Have Commercial Flood Coverage
To protect against flooding from storms, you need additional flood insurance.
Reasons To Have Proper Flood Coverage
You may feel pretty confident about the commercial insurance package your agent has put together for your business in Burr Hill, VA, but it may still be lacking something. If you don't have flood insurance, you could be setting yourself up for a devastating loss, particularly if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Here are some reasons to have proper flood coverage in addition to all the other policies in your portfolio.
Commercial Property Limitations
Your commercial property insurance is essential. A solid policy will cover most of the damages that might occur:
- Fire damage to the structure of the building
- Stolen property
- Damaged business personal property
- Repairs to building
Natural disasters are generally not covered under a standard commercial property policy. To protect against flooding from storms, you need additional flood insurance.
Flood Policy Coverage
While a flood policy does not cover damage from the storm to landscaping or others' property, it protects your building and the items in it. Good flood coverage can pay for repairs after a storm. It also covers any damage done to insured items, such as office or production machines, that need to be restored by water remediation specialists.
Finally, if you live in an area prone to flooding, a commercial insurance policy that specifically protects against the damage it can cause may be required by law. This is particularly likely if you have a federally backed mortgage or if you rent your commercial property from someone else. In the latter scenario, if the law doesn't require insurance for flooding, your landlord probably does.
Your business in Burr Hill, VA, needs protection from many problems that may arise. Your insurance agent can recommend the policies that are necessary for your particular business in your location. If you live in an area that floods often, make sure you get flood insurance. You will probably be glad you included it someday.
How Can Electronics Be Damaged by Fire?
An electrical fire can wreak havoc on your Burr Hill, VA, commercial building and its contents.
Post - Fire Causes Of Electronics Damage
An electrical fire can wreak havoc on your Burr Hill, VA, commercial building and its contents. This damage can include electronics that didn't ignite the fire. You may see this burnt equipment and think it's unsalvageable. However, there's a chance you or a professional can save some of it. The first step is knowing the various post-fire causes of electronics damage.
A fire can result in burnt or even melted electronics, media and memory. This damage can make it virtually impossible to restore any data. If it's essential data, you may want to consult with a data restoration expert to see if it's possible to retrieve it.
2. Smoke and Soot
Removable memory, such as computer hard drives and SD cards, is typically encased in semi-sealed assemblies. Although mostly safe, they're still somewhat vulnerable to soot and smoke damage after an electrical fire. After all, smoke can drift into the tiniest of crevices, causing various problems. Many people don't realize that smoke is magnetically charged, which can cause electronics to short-circuit. Smoke can also leave a black film on the interior of electronics, leaving them sensitive to overheating. Soot is acidic and can deteriorate electronics, shortening their lifespan. If a computer or other device is damaged, you can probably remove the memory. Then, move it to a safe location. You may be able to retrieve the data yourself.
After a fire, at least some of your electronics will probably receive water damage resulting from sprinkler systems and firefighters extinguishing the flames.
After an electrical fire, restoration must begin as soon as possible. This process includes electronics and computer cleanup. Fire damage will progressively and quickly get worse the longer it lingers. The longer it's left, the less chance of saving what could be salvageable early on.
3 Ways To Keep Employees Safe During Mold Removal
Whether you are removing black mold or any other kind, personal protection should be a priority
Here Are Three Ways To Do That
If you are a business owner in Rhoadsville, VA, who is dealing with mold growth in your commercial property, there are several steps you need to take. First, call a professional. After speaking with a mold remediation expert, the next thing on your to-do list is to consider how you want to coordinate business functions around mold removal. Think about your employees. You will need to figure out a way to keep them safe while the restoration efforts are underway.
1. Provide Personal Protection Equipment
Whether you are removing black mold or any other kind, personal protection should be a priority. To keep skin and respiratory systems clear of any possible contaminants, make sure you provide everyone in the area with appropriate PPE. At a minimum, offer face masks and gloves and direct everyone to wear protective clothing. No one wants to breathe mold.
2. Follow Mold Removal Guidelines
When it comes to cleanup, follow standard guidelines to prevent making any harmful mistakes. For example, the remediation crew should clean mold with soap and water. They should not use bleach or other chemicals that can cause adverse health reactions in humans. Doing so can put everyone at increased risk. Additionally, never begin cleanup before everyone is wearing PPE.
3. Keep Unnecessary Workers Away
While it may seem extreme to send employees home or close shop for the day simply because of mold growth, it may be necessary to at least temporarily relocate anyone who is not part of the cleanup. Having unnecessary people in the area can increase the number of people whose safety you need to worry about. Why put yourself in a position to face a liability?
No matter what kind of business you run out of your commercial property, any building can be susceptible to unwanted mold growth. To help you prepare for this kind of situation, have a plan in place for coordinating the essentials like employee safety. This can help make mold removal much easier if and when you need these services.
How To Know Whether Your Sprinklers Are Ready for a Fire
You must perform fire sprinkler tests
Below Are Some Of the Tests You Should Regularly Perform
A fire sprinkler system is a valuable piece of your Rhoadsville, VA, commercial building. It can prevent a small blaze from turning into a massive and destructive fire. While you may need fire sprinkler cleanup services after the system activates, this is a small price to pay compared to the thousands of dollars in damage that flames could cause.
You thus need to make sure that your sprinklers are ready for a potential emergency. That is why sprinkler tests are required by the National Fire Protection Association. Below are some of the tests you should regularly perform.
1. Water Flow Test
Simply open the inspector's test valve and let the water flow for 60 seconds. Ideally, the alarm should sound and send a signal to the local fire station. Before you perform this quarterly test, contact the fire department so it knows not to respond to the property.
2. Main Drain Test
This test of the fire sprinkler system checks both the drain valves and the water supply. To start, record the static pressure indicated on the gauge. Then let the water in the main valve run until the pressure stabilizes. Look at the pressure again before slowly closing the valve. The difference between the two pressure readings should be less than 10 percent. A larger variance could mean a dropped gate or obstruction.
3. Trip Test
A partial dry pipe valve trip test should be done each year. Ideally, you should conduct the test when the weather is warmer to limit freezing. Partially open the control valve and make sure the system trips within one minute.
You should also do a full trip test every three years. This is the same as the partial test but requires you to fully open the control valve so the water flows.
To comply with insurance requirements and NFPA regulations, you must perform fire sprinkler tests. You can then rest assured that your fire suppression system will work during a blaze.
Mold Prevention in Rental Homes
Hidden damp, moist areas are prime places for mold growth
When you own a rental property, keeping up with the maintenance of the home is key. These properties are often left vacant for extended periods of time between renters. Rental owners in Locust Hill, VA, should make mold prevention a priority in the maintenance of their homes so that the property is always safely available for the next tenant.
Steps To Prevent Mold
Whenever your rental property becomes vacant, do a thorough site inspection. If you know the property will be vacant for an extended period, take these additional steps:
- Check for leaky pipes or any signs of water intrusion
- Fix all leaks as soon as they are discovered to prevent water damage
- Inspect the foundation of the home
- Check the attic, basement, and other frequently overlooked areas where water might sit
- Turn off and disconnect any appliances that use water
- Turn off the water entirely, if possible
Adjust the temperature controls
Humidity helps mold grow, so maintaining the temperature inside the home while vacant is an important step in mold prevention. Whether this involves lowering the heat or adjusting the air conditioning depends on the climate in which your rental is located.
How Mold Happens
Mold grows when damp surfaces are left moist and unattended. Water from leaky pipes, malfunctioning appliances, or even built-up rainwater or snow, can seep into unseen places in any structure. Damp floors and carpets are easily discovered, but moisture hidden behind walls, in attics, and within cracks and crevices of a foundation can create problems. Hidden damp, moist areas are prime places for mold growth.
Mold prevention should be considered part of the general maintenance of any rental home. Periodically check-in while the property is occupied, deep clean between tenants, and turn off the water during all vacant periods. Promptly address any water intrusions as they arise to stop mold before it starts. If mold is discovered, find a mold remediation specialist to resolve the issue and restore the home to safe rental conditions.
Preventing Mold Growth After Water Damage
Mold growth after water damage in Louisa, VA
If your Louisa, VA, commercial property suffers water damage, there will be many things for you as a business owner to deal with. One of the most important is preventing mold growth.
How Water Incursion Leads to Mold
There are a variety of reasons that your business could be inundated with water. The following are some of the most common:
- Pipe breaks
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Heavy rains
- Snow melt
When water from any source enters a building, the risk for mold increases. This is because most indoor areas have all of the conditions necessary for mold growth except a water source. Most commercial buildings are in the right temperature range to sustain mold and have a variety of sources of nutrients present, including drywall, upholstery, and other materials.
How To Prevent Mold After Water Damage
Because water is key to mold growth, it is also key to mold prevention. As soon as everyone is safe and the damage has been documented, it is important to begin drying out the property. An experienced restoration service can assist you with this process if necessary. There are wet/dry vacuums and specialized pumps available that you can use to extract standing water. If you do not have access to these tools, you can use buckets to scoop out the water. After removing the standing water, there will likely be moisture remaining in porous surfaces. Dehumidifiers and fans can help dry these items. Ideally, you should ensure the property is completely dry within 24 hours. After this, mold can begin to colonize the area. Even if you believe you were successful in fully drying the property, remain vigilant for signs of mold growth, including a musty odor or deterioration or discoloration of walls and floors.
Mold damage often co-occurs with water damage. Fortunately, acting quickly decreases the likelihood of mold appearing and increases the likelihood that you can get back to business.
Brief Overview of Category 3 Water Damage
Blackwater comes from dirty and bacteria-filled sources
All water damage is not equal. In the same way, not all floodwater or water from other sources results in equal amounts of harm. When a professional cleanup and restoration company in Burr Hill, VA, is contacted to handle devastation caused by water in commercial property, one thing taken into account is the category of water that caused it. There are three categories, Category 1, or clean water, Category 2, or greywater, and Category 3, or black water. Category 3 is the worst kind of water damage.
What Is Category 3 Water Damage?
Category 3 water damage is caused by water that is highly contaminated. This black water contains substances, chemicals, microbes, and other contents capable of causing severe illness and even death.
What Are Possible Sources of Category 3 Water Damage?
Blackwater comes from dirty and bacteria-filled sources. This includes:
- Toilet overflow from a backed-up toilet
- Flood water that has picked up garbage or toxic materials
- Sewage overflow
- Runoff from rivers or the sea
- Contaminated groundwater
- Rising waters
What Are Options for Dealing With Category 3 Water Damage?
Because of the severe health risks associated with black water, Category 3 water damage should never be handled solely by untrained individuals. It is quickly absorbed by construction materials like wood, sheetrock, carpet, and anything that is porous in commercial buildings, allowing pathogens to spread and mold to breed. Exposure to such water carries the potential of contracting diseases like Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Norovirus. Building contents that have come into contact with the water must be thoroughly sanitized and may have to be disposed of. Cleanup should be left to professionals wearing proper personal protective equipment.
Not all flood water causes Category 3 water damage. However, since it can pick up harmful things as it travels, rising flood water often does. Besides water damage, it propagates the spread of mold and sickness, so it is best to have it handled by professionals as soon as possible.
How To Lower Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance
When your business suffers water damage from leaking pipes or flooding, it is more than likely that you will have to temporarily close your business operations while those repairs are made. In the event that your business in Hamilton, OH, is forced to close for repairs, business interruption insurance can help you stay afloat until restorations are complete.
What Business Interruption Insurance Covers
Business interruption insurance steps in to cover the cost of operating your business in the event of a shutdown due to covered reasons. When there is limited or no amount of money coming into the business, there are a number of expenditures that still need to be paid. Business interruption insurance can help with:
- Lost net income according to your financial records
- Employee payroll
- Loan payments
- Mortgage, rent, and lease payments
Business interruption insurance will not cover things like utilities, damaged property, damages covered by separate insurance like floods or earthquakes, or any lost income not documented in your financial records.
How To Lower Business Interruption Insurance Costs
The best way to keep costs low is to avoid the need to make any claims. Hire professionals to conduct regular scheduled inspections of the electrical and plumbing systems and to maintain their proper working order. Address every leaky or broken pipe as soon as it is discovered. Don't let an easily repaired leak become a large water damage claim. When damage does occur due to flooding, sewer backups, or burst pipes, work with restoration specialists to get your business back to safe conditions quickly. Clean, repair, replace, and restore everything as needed as quickly as possible.
The faster you can get your business up and running again, the lower your claim will be for business interruption insurance. To make a decision regarding the need for business interruption insurance, or the amount of it to purchase, consult your other existing policies. Check with your property insurance provider and your coverage regarding flooding and earthquakes.