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Mitigating Fire Damage for Your Business

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

two people wearing protective gear, one using shovel the other has trash bag, cleaning up debris after fire damage Mitigating fire damage to your business in Gainsborough, GA.

Are You Prepared?

No one likes to think about what will happen in an emergency. Making a contingency plan for things like natural disasters isn’t at the top of anyone’s “want to do” list. There’s a reason, though, that schools across the nation have recurring drills for a variety of situations as part of their emergency plans: If your people know what to do in the event of a crisis, you're less likely to experience losses.

1. Prepare Your People
People are the backbone of your business. As valuable as your staff is to you, you’ll want to have fire response measures in place that include an evacuation plan that you actually practice.
Think back to your fire drills from school. Everyone knew to stay quiet and stay together while walking quickly to a predetermined location. You practiced it often. Your teachers reminded you to stay together and not to run. When you got to the predetermined safe location, there was someone in charge who took attendance and reported anyone missing to the fire department. As a business owner, take charge of your employees’ safety by practicing these things, too.

2. Prepare Your Documents
Virtually every organization generates paperwork and records. Anything that’s vital for your business should be stored in a fireproof safe.
Another good failsafe for you to work into your contingency plan is keeping a second copy of those documents at an alternate site. Check with your legal department or independent council about whether you should keep those copies in the cloud or retain physical paperwork in a second location offsite.

3. Prepare for Afterwards
If the day comes where your company requires the services of a fire restoration specialist, you should have more than just a vague idea of who to contact. Be aware of the businesses in Gainsborough, GA, that perform these services and their reputations.
Time is of the essence in an emergency. Your fire contingency plan will help your business thrive no matter what Mother Nature has in store for you.

What Is a Board Up Service and Do I Need One?

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

House completely burned, roof structure is falling down. Severe fire damage in North Atlanta, GA.

What Does Board Up Services Mean

When your home has sustained fire damage in North Atlanta, GA, your first priority is to get your family settled in a safe place, not worry about your damaged home since it will be a while until everything can be repaired. Despite the challenges you're likely facing as you recover from this disaster, properly securing your home is important. One of the first things that will be recommended by a fire damage restoration company is an emergency board up service. This service is an important part of your home restoration for several reasons.

1. Insurance
Most likely, your insurance company will require that your home is properly sealed in between the occurrence of the damage and when the repairs are done. Insurance pays for what is originally quoted, and if more damage is done, you'll have to pay more.

2. Liability
If your home isn't properly secured by a board up service, anyone who enters your home and gets injured could press charges.

3. Damage
Further damage from weather, animals, or humans makes an already difficult situation worse. Securing your home prevents most of the additional damage.

4. Property Loss
An open home is an open invitation to people who want what you have. While you may think there isn't much left, anything from appliances to pipes to your HVAC system can be stolen for profit, leaving you to foot the bill.

5. Professionalism
When you trust a company to do the board up service for you, you can be confident that it will be done correctly. DIY may sound simple, but in addition to being a two-person job, you can cause more damage by improperly placing boards or your efforts simply aren't effective because you're not using the right materials.
Securing your home with a board up service after a fire is not only recommended by most insurance companies, but you can have peace of mind knowing that your home will be protected until the restoration is complete.

Mitigation and Restoration Are Essential Stages of Water Damage Cleanup

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Thermal Imaging camera Assessing the area with a thermal imaging camera.

When a flood cleanup company examines a water-logged facility, the team should discuss two cleanup stages: mitigation and restoration. What are they different, and why are both vital to repair? It's probably tempting to dry everything out move on, but the specialists should explain that in cases of water damage, that effort isn't enough. Owners must consider both phases because prevention and rebuilding are vital to securing the area. Collaborate to establish a plan of action that gets your operations back up and running without concerns of future issues.

What Happens During Mitigation?

When the storm ends, and the water recedes, a restoration company should immediately attend to the property. The fluid from rain and floods permeates into porous materials. This lingering moisture, if not appropriately treated, permits mold, mildew and bacteria to develop. Rot and structural integrity could also become issues as wood and ceilings. The goal of mitigation is to reduce the likelihood of these secondary conditions.
A flood cleanup company in Doraville, GA, works with certified environmental specialists to assess the premises, testing to determine where contamination exists and how to treat it best. Within hours, the crew begins drying efforts. The workers should complete the following actions:

  • Pull up saturated carpet
  • Remove damp objects for content cleaning
  • Toss soiled valuables
  • Run industrial dehumidifiers
  • Perform necessary flood cuts

Once the room is dry, the team scrubs the walls and sanitizes with antimicrobial spray.

How Is Restoration Different?
While the early efforts focus on minimizing further concerns, the restoration company concentrates on mending the physical structure. This part of the project is slower. In remediation, crew members accomplish tasks at the same time. During the restoration, workers rebuild. Often, workers complete one thing before moving on to the next. Staff members replace anything pulled out, patch the walls and add a coat of paint. They also return any valuables that they salvaged.
A flood cleanup company understands that preventative measures are necessary. Their efforts with mitigation save owners future hassles. It's tempting to want to dry and paint, but taking time to care for the space is vital.

4 Steps To Take After a Toilet Overflow

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Plumber in Brookhaven, GA unclogging a toilet with manual auger A toilet auger can be used to dislodge the clog.

Here Are Four Steps To Take After A Toilet Overflow

Water should be considered a major enemy to your Brookhaven, GA home because of the sheer amount of damage it can cause. Sewer damage can be especially alarming, and no one wants to hear the sound of water sloshing to the floor in the bathroom. What should a homeowner do when the water starts gushing over the rim of the toilet bowl? 

1. Turn Off the Water
Shut the water off the moment you sense the toilet might overflow. Most toilets have a water supply valve located on the wall behind the toilet. The valve is generally shaped like a football and is attached to the pipe or hose underneath the toilet tank. Turn the valve clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Alternately, you can turn off the main water supply to your home.

2. Plunge the Clog
Once you’ve shut the water off to the toilet, begin plunging the clog. Vigorously push the plunger up and down to clear the clog. It’s wise to place some old towels around the bottom of the toilet to catch any water that may land on the floor. Remember, sewer damage should be considered an emergency situation because of potential bacteria and viruses in the water.

3. Use a Toilet Auger
If a plunger doesn’t work, a toilet auger can be used to dislodge the clog. First, place the hook end of the tool into the drain hole. Next, turn the crank clockwise until it stops. This generally indicates that you’ve reached the cause of the clog. Finally, pull back on the auger and turn the crank counter-clockwise. The pulling and cranking should release the clog.

4. Call Emergency Professionals
If you feel inadequate at performing any of these steps, a professional sewage company can assist you. In fact, it’s wise to enlist the help of professionals who have the right equipment and protective gear to handle sewer damage.
A flooded toilet is an emergency situation that most homeowners will face at some point in their lives. Follow these steps to properly handle a toilet overflow.

3 Advantages of Using Professional Storm Services

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Technician standing on a water extractor machine in Brookhaven, GA. Professionals know the best methods for drying, sanitization and restoration.

3 Advantages of Using Professional Storm Services

Hurricanes, typhoons, heavy gusts, tornadoes, snowstorms, flooding and other weather-related disasters in Brookhaven, GA have the potential to cause severe structural damage and create big messes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, reports that between 1980 and 2020, the U.S. has experienced 285 such incidents where costs hit or exceeded $1 billion. The combined total expense of storm restoration, storm response and repairs for these events is over $1.875 trillion.
Insurance companies provide much of the funds required for fixing flood damage and other harm done to commercial properties. It is advantageous for them to employ the services of a professional storm company for multiple reasons.

1. Faster Response
Situations needing storm restoration generally worsen as time passes. Water damage especially tends to spread, promoting mold growth and rendering certain items irreparable as they become saturated. Drywall, carpeting and other building materials often have to be thrown away in the wake of a deluge but may sometimes be preserved if swift action is taken. A faster response results in numerous benefits, including:

  • More possessions can be salvaged
  • The advance of damage is slowed or halted
  • Cleaning costs are lower
  • Restoration costs are lower

2. Quality Service
Professionals are trained to provide quality aid. They are capable of identifying existing issues, assessing the extent of the damage and prioritizing what needs to be done. They know the best methods for drying, sanitization and restoration.

3. Resource Availability
Storm response services also possess the necessary resources to get the task done. There are teams of experienced experts ready to mobilize at any given moment. They also have the tools needed to effectively perform their tasks readily at hand.
Having a storm restoration business on call also speeds up the claims and restoration process. Professional teams can help owners create itemized lists of needed replacements and repairs and evaluate and record damage. They also mitigate the impact of disasters.

3 Ways To Conserve Water

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Woman washing her hands with soap in Brookhaven, GA. Install touch-free faucets.

Three Ways To Conserve Water

Water issues in your community may have you looking for ways to cut costs and conserve water at your business in Brookhaven, GA. Not only is this good business sense, it's good for the environment, but it can be hard to know what to do. 

1. Replace Faucets
Especially in a large office building, a lot of water gets used in bathrooms and kitchens. One water upgrade that will actually lower your monthly bills is to install touch-free faucets. The initial cost may be high, but the faucet won't be left running by a forgetful employee, and the upgrade will pay for itself over time. A less costly option is to replace the aerators on your faucets. Lower pressure means less water consumption. Hands still get clean, but you can save gallons of water.

2. Manage Irrigation
When does your irrigation schedule change? If the answer is "Never," it's an easy fix that will definitely save money and conserve water. There's no need to run the irrigation system during a rainy season. Even in dry seasons, you may not need to run the irrigation for as long as you think. The best way to decide this is to sub-meter your irrigation system so that you can see exactly how much water is being used for the plants. Try running the irrigation for ten fewer minutes at each session. If your plants don't die, you've found a way to save.

3. Check for Leaks
One major source of costly water issues is invisible leaks. There may be a single toilet in the building that runs all the time or a pipe deep in a wall that has developed a leak. If your water bill begins to creep up inexplicably, call a water damage restoration specialist to inspect your building. If they discover a leak, they will talk you through the process of getting it repaired, saving money and conserving water.
You care about the water issues in your community, your bottom line, and the environment. These tips can save money and conserve water for the benefit of your company and the community.

Does Commercial Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Back of a drywall shows a patch of mold growth in Brookhaven, GA Mold growth from moisture in Brookhaven, GA

Water damage from storms, floods and leaks can cause significant damage to your property. To make matters worse, the moisture from these events also provides a fertile breeding ground for mold. If your property has suffered water damage, you should review your commercial insurance policy to see what coverage is provided for mold.

Why Mold Is a Problem

Many people may see mold as primarily an aesthetic issue and focus on getting rid of the stains and smell. However, mold damage is a serious problem for several reasons:

  • Can grow on almost any surface
  • Often grows under floors, behind walls, in ducts, behind ceiling tiles and other places where it isn't visible
  • Feeds on the material it grows on, which may damage or destroy it

What Commercial Property Insurance Covers
Most commercial insurance policies include a fungus exclusion that eliminates coverage for damage caused by the growth, proliferation, presence, or spread of bacteria, fungus and wet or dry rot. Mold, mildew, spores, toxins, by-products and scents produced by fungi are included in this exclusion.
The standard ISO commercial policy contains three exceptions to the fungus exclusion. Mold that occurs because of fire or lightning is covered. A specified cause of loss that occurs because of fungus is covered. Finally, mold that occurs because of a specified cause of loss other than fire or lightning is covered by mold insurance, called Limited Fungus Coverage.

How Limited Fungus Coverage Works
Limited Fungus Coverage applies when a specified cause of loss results in mold. For example, if you have a broken pipe and the water damage from that pipe causes mold, then the cost of removing the mold or repairing any damage caused by the mold is covered up to the $15,000 limit.
Though commercial insurance policies broadly exclude coverage for mold, if the mold occurs due to a covered cause of loss, limited coverage applies in most policies. An insurance professional in Brookhaven, GA can help you review the specific coverages in your policy.

How Do Experts Restore Fire Damage?

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Burned building in Brookhaven, GA Fire damage in Brookhaven, GA

Four Stages of Fire Restoration

A home that has recently sustained damage from a fire should be cleaned and restored by certified professionals. This process starts with damage cleaning and continues through rebuilding to the finishing touches. Learn more about the four stages of fire restoration.

1. Inspect

Experts will examine the location of a fire to determine which building materials and contents need to be cleaned or replaced. This assessment will also identify the mitigation measures that should be taken and the scope of restoration. An all-in-one company can provide a verbal briefing within hours after inspecting damage followed by a single estimate that accounts for mitigation and restoration.

2. Mitigate

Mitigation should begin as soon as fire damage specialists have a clear idea of the extent of damage and homeowners have photographic or video evidence to provide to an insurer. The primary goal of this phase of the process is to prevent damage from getting worse prior to cleaning and restoration. Mitigation may involve boarding up broken windows or structural breaches, tarping over holes in the roof or putting up security fencing.

3. Clean

Cleaning is a critical step toward fire restoration. Professionals use commercial-grade equipment to remove soot and any standing water remaining after fire suppression. After eliminating water and debris, experts may tear out damaged building materials or wipe down stained surfaces. Restoration can proceed after cleanup is complete.

4. Restore

Restoring a fire-damaged residence can range from cleaning and replacing a few components all the way to a full rebuild. This process may take days or weeks, depending on the extent and severity of the damage. Finishing touches may include cleaning smoke damage and odor mitigation.

Homeowners should rely on a one-stop shop that provides all of these services with a single estimate and schedule. Insurance companies prefer to work with an IICRC-certified fire restoration company located in Brookhaven, GA.

3 Reasons You Should Not Drive Through Flooded Streets

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road in Brookhaven, GA Driving on a flooded street puts you and your passenger at risk

Three of the Reasons You Should Not Attempt To Drive Through Floodwaters

One of the most common risks associated with flash flooding is drivers attempting to drive through water on a flooded street. 

1. You Don't Know What Is Under the Water
Flooded roads may have debris, depressions or areas that have been washed away that you can not see because they are covered by water. Attempting to drive through what may appear to be shallow water could lead to a collision with an object under the water, losing traction and sliding off a washed-out road, or driving into water that is much deeper than it appears.

2. The Water Can Damage Your Car
Another reason not to drive down a flooded street is that the water can damage your car. Water that is six inches deep can flood the exhaust of your vehicle and cause it to stall. The water may also damage the engine, transmission, cooling and electrical systems of the vehicle. If the water is deep enough, it may cause interior damage to the floorboards, seats and other surfaces that will need to be professionally cleaned to avoid mold growth and other problems.

3. You Could Drown
About half of all flood-related drowning deaths occur because of drivers attempting to drive through floodwaters. Six inches of water can cause your vehicle to lose traction with the road. 12 inches of water will cause most cars to float. Large trucks and SUVs will float in two feet of water. Passengers in a car that gets swept off the road by floodwaters are at a high risk of drowning, which is why travel tips for Brookhaven, GA advise drivers to turn around instead of driving through floodwaters.
Attempting to drive down a flooded street puts you, your passengers and your vehicle at risk. For these three reasons, do not attempt to drive through floodwaters.

How To Handle A Leaking Light Fixture

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

A cracked ceiling in Brookhaven, GA with peeling layer due to water leak. LED light. Water and light fixtures are a dangerous combination

Here Is What To Do Instead Of Trying To Fix It Yourself

Short of a burst pipe or overflowing dishwasher that suddenly floods your home, water damage is often difficult to detect until extensive damage has occurred. One clue that you may discover first is pooling water in light fixtures. If you see this in your home, do not try to fix it yourself. Water conducts electricity, so water and light fixtures are a dangerous combination. 

1. Turn Off Electricity and Water
Since you can't know the full extent of the ceiling damage and how much of your electrical system has been compromised, turn off the power to that affected region of the house as well as the water supply. Turning off the water supply will prevent additional water from building up in the light fixture. Alert anyone living in your household to the danger that you've discovered so that no one flips the breaker and gets hurt.

2. Call A Water Damage Specialist
A local water damage remediation specialist in Brookhaven, GA will be able to help you determine the extent of water damage in your home. They have special tools that allow them to measure the wetness levels in ceilings and drywall so that they know which areas need to be addressed rather than tearing down walls only to discover that there is no damage.

3. Work with an Electrician
Once a water damage remediation team has evaluated your home, they will be able to connect you with an electrician who can handle the water in light fixtures. The electrician will be able to safely remove and replace the fixtures as well as any wiring that has been compromised.
It seems ironic to advise that burns and electrocution are possible dangers of water in light fixtures, but those are most certainly safety hazards that you might face. Allow the professionals to handle this water damage cleanup for the safety of you and your family.