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Tips on Preparing a Small Business for a Winter Storm

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan Create a business continuity plan

If you own a business in a northern state, you need to prepare for the inevitable snow storm. Closing the business means lost revenues so you want to keep it running if possible, but you also want to ensure that your employees stay safe. It is important to have a plan in place so that when bad weather arrives you and your workers are prepared.

Winterize Your Building in Advance

Before winter arrives, prepare your building for the cold weather.

  • Drain the water from the underground sprinkling system.
  • Inspect the roof of the building for any damage and repair any issues.
  • Remove dirt and debris from rain gutters and roof drains.
  • Trim all trees around the building so that branches can’t fall on the building if they become loaded with ice or snow.
  • Seal any gaps on the exterior of the building.
  • Plan ahead for snow removal services for the parking lot and make sure you have plenty of ice melt or sand on hand to keep walkways free of ice.

Create a Business Continuity Plan

Identify any potential risks to your business, including those risks pertaining to a snow storm. Such issues as a pipe burst due to frozen pipes or loss of heat and electricity must be identified.
Evaluate the costs involved with each risk, such as business interruptions or damage to the property.
Evaluate the ways in which your team will be able to mitigate each risk. Investing in a generator, for example, can protect the business from costly repairs.

Develop a Communication Plan

If you need to shut down operations, you must have a plan for contacting employees, vendors, and contractors. Keep a current listing of phone numbers and email addresses and devise an alert system for notification. Make sure you train your employees on all emergency procedures.
Snow storms can’t be avoided if you live in Lochwood, TX, but being prepared will help to protect your employees and your business.

Protect Your Home From Dire Fire

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Testing a smoke alarm Test your smoke detector regularly

Your house in Northeast Dallas, TX, is an investment worth protecting. To prevent a catastrophic loss, your residence needs your evaluation to ensure it has proper safeguards against a home fire. Fire preparation is key to prevent the chaos and costs of mishandling a fire.

Always Think Fire Safety

By being constantly mindful of fire safety, you can stop any hazards from ever happening. A fire savvy mindset involves mindfulness of several things while around your house:

  • Putting out candles when you cannot actively monitor them
  • Turning off space heaters or other flame sources when not awake
  • Putting out cigarettes with water and keeping them away from flammable garbage
  • Moving flammable objects a few feet away from heaters, ovens or fireplaces

Install and Test Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are the best first line of defense against a surprise fire. It’s recommended by the Red Cross that, at a minimum, every floor has a fire detector and an additional one outside each bedroom. If you do not have one outside every sleeping area, it is beneficial to install more.

Your next step in fire preparation is to clean and test your smoke detectors regularly. They should be occasionally dusted to allow them to work effectively. Once a month, the test button on one unit should be pressed to ensure all alarms are connected and functional so you can identify any that need a unit or battery replacement.

Have a Plan

Everyone in your home should know the procedure for a home fire. You should identify the fire escape routes and inform everyone in the home of them. Every resident should be advised to dial emergency services once safe from a major fire to get the fire department on the scene as soon as possible.

Fire safety is your home’s safety. Although your burnt home may seem lost, there are professional residential fire restoration companies that can help restore your property. Adequate fire prevention helps you act on the fire immediately so you can protect your home from more extensive damage.

Mold Damage in a Crawlspace Can Be Removed By Professional Soda Blasting

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Mold damage in a crawlspace can be removed by professionals

Mold Damage in a Crawlspace Can Be Removed By Professional Soda Blasting

The crawlspace is frequently among the most forgotten parts of a home. After all, how much time do you spend there? However, it’s critical to keep this space maintained for the structural integrity of your home.
It’s also subject to elevated levels of water damage. Possibly the three most common forms of damage to it in Urban Reserve, TX, are

  • Flooding
  • High humidity
  • Pipe leaks

Any of these three can lead to mold damage, which is also common to crawlspaces. If you smell a musty odor emanating from there, you need to either get under your home to look for mold or have it professionally inspected. Once mold is discovered, the best form of removal is probably soda blasting.

A Little Water Can Cause a Mold Explosion

A pipe connection that has formed a little leak can cause a big problem, especially if it’s hidden. As the building materials absorb the water, mold can start growing within 48 hours. Mold spores are so tiny and ubiquitous that they are impossible to remove entirely, so it’s likely to happen after a water intrusion.

Soda Blasting Is Super Effective at Cleaning Up Mold

Baking soda is a mild abrasive compared to others. For instance, sand has a Mohs hardness rating of around 6.5, whereas soda is rated around 2.5, so it doesn’t significantly damage the surface being treated. It’s also water soluble, meaning all the material is easily washed away, and any residue left over is entirely harmless for the environment or human health.
Perhaps the greatest benefit for use in the crawlspace is that baking soda directly kills the mold spores and eliminates the odor. While other blasting materials will only remove the surface contamination, the anti-microbial effects of the soda will seep into the affected materials, providing a deep cleaning for the best long-term results.
Once you’ve determined that your home has mold damage in Urban Reserve, TX, you need a top mold cleanup company to determine the best way to eliminate the damage and repair the underlying cause. SERVPRO is Here to Help fix mold and smoke damage for all homeowners.

Commercial Cleaning for Preventative Measures

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says prevent business interruption SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas provides proactive cleaning services for businesses of all sizes.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today at SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas. We are here to help around the clock to provide proactive cleaning services.

How to Prepare Your Business for the Next Flood

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

flooding car in basement carpark Flood damage in Vickery Meadows, TX

How To Mitigate Flood Damage

As a business in Vickery Meadows, TX, you will need a solid action plan to survive the flooding trend that has been ravaging the country. Many small companies have already crippled under the pressure of its adverse effects, and those that survive often sink deep into debt.
Here are some measures you can take to mitigate flood damage:

  • Install backflow prevention valves
  • Set up a flood shield
  • Get insurance

Backflow Prevention Valves
A backflow prevention valve is a plumbing fixture that allows water to flow only in one direction. If you install it in all your drains, there’s no way flood water could enter the building through those pipes. However, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing these devices, and you should let the experts decide which one suits your application.

Flood Shield
Also known as flood barriers, these panels are designed to protect all kinds of openings from storm damage. These fittings are specifically built for commercial applications, and that explains why they are not cheap. Alternatively, consider boarding up all the windows, doors, ventilation shafts, and other openings to prevent damage on a budget.
Mother nature has been acting up in the past couple of years, and science predicts there’s more to come. Natural events that could have been a small issue 50 years ago can cause considerable flooding and damage today as people have destroyed nature’s delicate balance. For that reason, it is wise to get flood insurance to cover your business. That should cushion it from unexpected losses in the event of a black water flood or worse.
Flooding is the most common disaster in the country right now, and people need to know how to live with it. The idea is to make buildings water resilient rather than trying to block the water out. That will reduce the extent of water damage and cut the recovery time significantly.

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Damaged walls after a kitchen grease fire A kitchen grease fire in Lochwood, TX

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

A grease fire is pretty much the worst accident that could happen in a kitchen. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of house fires, claiming over 3 000 homes in Lochwood, TX  each year. That's why you need to know how to stop this potential disaster before it spirals out of control.
Here are some of the things you should never do when dealing with a grease fire:

  • Do not pour water on the fire
  • Do not attempt to move the pot
  • Do not use any other baking product beside baking soda

Turn Off the Heat

Turn off the heat as the first thing you do when the oil starts to smoke. If there's a flame already, cover the pot with a metal lid to starve the fire of oxygen. However, it is worth noting that this procedure works if you spot the flame before it gets out of control. It's the main reason why fire experts advise people to stay in the kitchen while cooking.

Pour Baking Soda

Baking Soda can put out small fires, but you have to use a lot of it. The good thing is, this baking agent will not cause any contamination, even when it falls on foodstuffs. Alternatively, use a generous amount of salt to put out the blaze.

Use a Chemical Fire Extinguisher

When everything else fails, use a chemical fire extinguisher to put out the oil fire. You need to be extra cautious as the extinguisher's pressure might spread the burning grease all over the kitchen. Its contents will also contaminate everything it comes into contact with, and a fire cleanup is the only way to undo its effect.
Although cooking does not always present danger, a grease fire can burn down the house or even worse. Use these tips to neutralize this risk before it's too late, but never try to be a hero if the fire breaks out.

Minimizing Flood Risk for Your Home

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Floodwater entering a house Flood damage in Northeast Dallas, TX

Water damage due to flooding is in the top three reasons for homeowners’ insurance claims. Many homeowners don’t realize how common it is to have a first-level or basement flood. This summary of flood risk and flood prevention may help you reduce your risk level.

Common Sources of Home Flooding

The following flood dangers are a few of the ways water can make its way into your home and cause damage:

  • Internal sources such as broken pipes or leaking appliances
  • Rivers or streams overflowing during severe storms
  • Sump pumps failing
  • Municipal failures, such as water main breaks and dam breaches
  • Drainage malfunctions during severe storms

Whatever flood culprit threatens your home, it’s important to minimize your risk. Determining your home’s risk level is the first step.

Reducing Your Home Flood Risk

The best strategy for reducing your risk of a ground-level or basement flood is to arm yourself with information and preparation. A flood risk assessment for your home will tell you whether you should have flood insurance and will allow you to design a custom emergency preparedness plan. Your local flood remediation service or insurance agent can arrange a risk assessment for you.
If your property bears even a moderate risk for flooding, it’s prudent to purchase a flood insurance policy issued by the US Government. Your conventional homeowner’s policy will not cover home water damage unless the source of the flooded area was inside your home; if a water heater leak caused a basement flood in your Northeast Dallas, TX, home, your homeowner’s policy would likely cover you.
Based on your risk assessment, you can create a comprehensive flood prevention plan. In general, it’s a smart idea to schedule a walkthrough of your home with your family to identify emergency evacuation routes and discuss your plan. Signing up for local and national emergency notification services is also a good precaution.
A home flood risk assessment is your template for your emergency response plan. Creating and implementing the plan can mean the difference between a little water in the corner of your basement and extensive water damage.

Should I Update My Plumbing System?

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Building plumbing system Building plumbing system in Oak Tree Village, TX

Should I Update My Plumbing System?

If your Oak Tree Village, TX, commercial property was built or repiped sometime between 1978 and 1996, there’s a good chance that it has polybutylene pipes. What once was hailed as a great new plumbing technology eventually turned into a bunch of burst pipes and flooded properties. Then, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was introduced. So, which is the best decision, keeping the old pipe system and risking a disaster or paying to repipe the building with PVC? The old pipes:

1. Degrade

What they didn’t realize about the material of this type of pipe is that it degrades over time. Water treatment chemicals, such as chlorine, can break down the material making it brittle. Over time, mini-fractures will form in the pipe, eventually causing it to rupture under the water’s force. Unfortunately, there’s no way to detect a problem with the pipe since the deterioration starts from within the pipe.

2. Affect the Water

Brittle, degrading pipes can affect the quality of the water. Chemicals can leach into the water.

3. Aren’t Repairable

There’s no way to repair a damaged polybutylene pipe since it degrades from the inside out. Replacement is your only option to protect your building.

4. Aren't Up to Code

Building codes in the United States and Canada no longer recognize these pipes. If you want your building to be up to code, you’ll have to get your building repiped with PVC.

5. Won’t Be Covered by Insurance

More than likely your insurance won’t cover your building if it has these old pipes. At the very least your insurance premiums may be a lot higher than they would be with newer pipes.

6. Lower the Building’s Value

No one is going to want to buy a building that’s not up to code. If they do, it’s going to probably be for a lot less than your building is worth. Getting your building up to code will make it much more appealing to potential buyers when it’s time to sell.
Getting new plumbing for your building could get expensive. If your building sustains water damage due to degraded polybutylene pipes, restoration professionals can return it to its preloss condition.

Cleanup Procedures After a Toilet Overflow

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow An overflowing toilet can be much worse than an inconvenience

Seeing water on the floor of your building can be disastrous, depending on how much there is and how it got there. It may seem simple enough to clean up a moderate amount of clean water, but what happens if it came from a toilet? This could be the result of sewer damage, which poses health risks to you and everyone in the workplace. To protect everyone's safety and to clean up the mess thoroughly, it's important to follow the right steps and get expert help if necessary.

Your Responsibilities

If you or someone discovers that there is a flooded toilet in the building, prompt action is vital. The faster you can take care of this matter, the less damage and risk you'll have to worry about. Here are some guidelines you should follow first:

  • Inspect the area and evaluate the extent of the flood and damage.
  • Close off the bathroom and make sure no one comes inside until the flood is cleaned up.
  • Contact a professional flood cleanup company if you detect black water.

How Toilets Can Overflow

Many people in Oak Highlands, TX, have dealt with a toilet overflow at work or at home. Sometimes, this can occur due to clogs in the pipes that prevent water and waste from flushing properly. Using a plunger can often resolve this. For severe clogs, you may need to get in touch with a plumber. The toilet itself could be failing or improperly installed. Another likely culprit is a backed-up sewer or damaged sewer line. In addition to calling a sewage company to repair the damage, you should contact a disaster cleanup team to make your building safe again.

Cleanup Process

The water removal crew will wear protective gear while extracting water from the floor. Technicians may have to tear out flooring and drywall as well. The team will dry and sanitize the places where water was sitting. Lastly, technicians will replace and restore any materials that suffered sewer damage.
An overflowing toilet can be much worse than an inconvenience. To reduce your risks of sewer damage, make sure you follow these tips.

Should You Have a Mold Test at Your Commercial Property?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

use thermal imaging camera to check mold and die temperature A clearance test is used to determine if the mold has been eradicated from your business.

Should You Have a Mold Test at Your Commercial Property?

The presence of mold at your commercial property in Hamilton Park, TX, can cause several problems for your business. While the latter stages of a mold outbreak has several obvious signs such as visible colonies and a musty odor, the early stages can be more difficult to spot. If you suspect mold on your property, an indoor environmental specialist can determine whether or not you have a mold problem. By catching the problem early, you can save money, limit any disruption to your company and protect the health of employees and customers. While mold is a naturally occurring organism, it is not something you want to have growing indoors.

Getting Expert Help

An indoor environmental specialist will have the training and equipment needed to detect mold. There are at least three reasons when a mold test is a good idea:

  • Your company has experienced water damage and has favorable conditions for mold growth
  • You suspect mold is present but there have been no visible signs
  • Your company has undergone mold remediation and wishes to verity mold growth is back to normal, natural levels

A mold remediation team in Hamilton Park, TX, understands the facts about mold. The company can do a mold sampling in accordance with the guidelines set by professional organizations. Experts will be able to accurately interpret the results of a mold test.

Hiring Professional Cleanup

If mold is present in your company, an indoor environmental specialist will lead an inspection and damage assessment of your property and direct the cleanup process. This includes mold containment, air filtration, HEPA vacuums and cleaning of all surfaces with powerful cleaning agents. When the mold cleanup is finished, it will be "Like it never even happened," and air quality will be safe from the irritants and allergens of mold spores. Detecting the presence of mold in your commercial property is an important step to a healthy working environment.