Commercial Fire Prevention Tasks
You’ve heard all of the preventative steps, you’ve prepped your employees, and your commercial space is up to code. However, the easiest prevention methods are typically the most overlooked. Some of the biggest ways to avoid needing fire damage restoration services are usually some of the quickest to check. Inspect these things today and be sure to set reminders accordingly:
- Smoke Detectors. You should check these at least once a month and replace the batteries once a year, or as needed.
- Fire Extinguishers. See the directions on your fire extinguisher to determine when it expires and who you can call to replace them. Extinguishers can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Also, depending on your fire marshal’s standards, you may have to have your extinguisher certified.
- Fire Exits and Exit Signs. Can guests clearly see exit signs? Can they easily get to them? Consider having a fire drill to ensure guests and employees can easily get out of the building in the event of an emergency. Practice regularly.
- See any State or Local Guidelines. There are some local and state guidelines that businesses have to follow to stay up to code. Take a minute to read up on these laws or talk to your local fire marshal to learn about the guidelines.
Keeping your business, employees, and guests safe is important. Just by taking the time to make sure the basics of fire safety are taken care of, you can protect your investment.
Fire in your Commercial Space? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Fire Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861
Water Damage In Your Basement
Basement Water Damage
Water follows the path of least resistance, finding cracks and holes through basement walls. Flooding can often be associated with insufficient drainage around basement walls, heavy rains, a faulty sump pump, or a combination of these factors. There are many ways you can incur basement water damage, so here are some things you can do to help prevent and tackle basement water damage.
12 Tips For Flooded Basement
- Move all electrical outlets or plugs to higher levels in the basement.
- Do not store valuable items in a basement with potential flooding issues.
- The ground next to your foundation should slope away from the home.
- Point gutters and downspouts to discharge water at least 5 feet away from the home.
- Plant plants and borders at least 12 inches away from the foundation.
- Seal all windows and vents.
- Unclog gutters and downspouts.
- Waterproof the walls inside your basement with a roll-on concrete waterproofing product.
- Consider installing a sump-pump to pump out unwanted standing water.
- Address poorly-draining soil around the home by installing a French drain.
- Call a foundation contractor to address ongoing and outstanding issues with your foundation.
- Call a restoration company for emergency water damage extraction.
What are the long-term issues with flood-damaged basements?
Basements that experience regular flooding will expose homeowners to mold and mildew. Regular water damage to the foundation of your home can contribute to structural weakness. There are obvious costs to dealing with a flooded basement and no homeowner wants to clean up a flood multiple times. The overall value of your home can also be negatively affected by a flood.
Emergency Basement Water Damage Extraction
If you need basement water damage extraction, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has certified water damage cleanup technicians on call 24/7. Give us a call to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861
Water Damaged Ceilings
Ceiling Water Damage
Do you have ceiling water damage in your home? Does one of your ceilings have discoloration or dampness? It could be from a roof leak, a pipe between floors or a leak from your HVAC if your HVAC is in the attic. Typically homeowners don't notice a leak in their home until there are visual signs of it. In many cases like the ceiling, it is an ongoing issue but needs to be fixed as soon as noticed.
What To Do When You Find Ceiling Water Damage
Once you notice you either have discoloration, dampness or an odor possibly from water damage on your ceiling, the first thing to do is access where the water is coming from. This might require you to get into your attic. If no signs of leaking or clogging are evident from your HVAC, the next logical location to check is your roof. If you find this to be the case, it’s best to call a roofing professional and have them inspect your roof and determine the correct course of action to repair the issue that is causing water to get into your home.
Repairing Ceiling Water Damage
Once the roof or cause of origin has been fixed, you can focus your attention on the damaged portion of your ceiling. The best option for repairing the ceiling would be to remove the damaged ceiling and replace it with new drywall. One of the things to consider when repairing the ceiling is the size of the damaged area. You may want to hire a restoration contractor who would have the necessary tools and PPE. Many times, if the water has been an ongoing issue, there is mold on the surface or backside of the drywall and that makes the removal process more dangerous. If this is the case, you should hire a restoration professional who can properly handle the mold removal process without cross contaminating the rest of your home.
Water Damaged in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861
Locating Mold In Your Commercial Building
Locating the sources of moisture—and then removing them—can put an end to your facility’s mold problems once and for all.
Mold is part of our natural environment, which means it can find a home on any surface or in any nook of your commercial space. When mold starts eating away at materials, and affecting the look, smell or even the structural integrity of a building (particularly with wood-framed structures), the problem can quickly become a major issue.
Mold can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen and an organic source is present. Molds reproduce by creating tiny spores (viable seeds) that usually require magnification in order to be seen by the naked eye, and its spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air.
How mold impacts your building
When mold spores land on a damp spot and begin growing, they digest whatever they land on in order to survive. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food and insulation, while other molds feast on the everyday dust and dirt that gather in the moist regions of a building.
Mold begins to multiply whenever excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, and can run rampant if the moisture problem itself remains uncorrected. While it is virtually impossible to eliminate eradicate all molds and mold spores controlling the moisture in the air can control indoor mold growth.
The good news is that by finding and eliminating that source of moisture, you can reduce the chances of ever getting mold in the first place.
Mold in your commercial space? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861
Water Damage In Your Commercial Space
There are numerous situations in which a commercial property might suffer extensive water damage. For example, a flood from a storm or overflowing river bank might deposit massive amounts of dirty water throughout the first floor of a structure. Or, a burst/leaky pipe might cause water to collect in the spaces between the walls or floors in the structure, leading to mold growth and other issues in these hidden areas.
Whether it’s flood water damage or another form of moisture intrusion, what should you do when the commercial property you’re inspecting has water damage?
Confirming the Extent of the Damage
One of the first things you’ll want to do when you discover signs of water damage is verify the extent of the damage. However, a simple visual check probably won’t be enough to reliably establish the full scope of the problem.
Water can soak into many building materials far from the source of the moisture intrusion without creating obvious signs of damage for a long time. So, to accurately establish how far the water has spread, you need a specialized tool for measuring moisture in building materials—such as a moisture meter for building inspection.
Using a moisture meter, you can measure the moisture content (%MC) of the materials near where you noticed the water damage. By continuing to make checks progressively farther from the site of the damage, you can establish how widespread the damage is as well as the severity of the moisture intrusion.
With this information, you’ll be able to determine whether you need to focus on drying out the affected materials, or simply tear them out so they can be replaced with undamaged materials.
Contacting a Water Damage Restoration Expert
If you’re inspecting your own property and do not have experience in water cleanup/restoration work, it may be a good idea to contact a water damage restoration expert to handle the task of dry-out/tear-out for you. This is because water damage remediation work can be too delicate or dangerous for someone without specialized experience or training to risk.
For example, a professional in water damage restoration is likely to have the right tools and experience to minimize their risks from hazards such as mold spores, exposure to fiberglass insulation, and weakened floors that may collapse—all of which are common hazards in water cleanup and restoration work. Additionally, an expert is more likely to be able to successfully complete dry-out tasks in a way that minimizes the overall damage and risk of future problems.
Trying to handle dry-out and tear-out work without the requisite training and experience can lead to problems.
Drying Out the Affected Area
If you’re determined to handle the dry-out work personally, or the extent of the damage is especially minor, then it may be possible to remove the moisture causing the damage yourself.
However, you’ll need a few specialized tools to make sure you can completely dry out the area, including:
- Wet vacuums (to remove standing water quickly)
- Air movers and/or dehumidifiers (to extract humid air)
- A thermo-hygrometer (to track the humidity in a room)
- Pin and/or pinless moisture meters (to track the moisture content of building materials)
If the structure has a climate control system, then turning up the temperature slightly can help to keep water from condensing—allowing dry-out work to proceed just a bit faster.
When drying out a room in a building with flood damage, it’s important to keep the building as sealed against exposure to outside air as possible. Otherwise, mold spores and other contaminants can make their way inside and, with the help of the excess moisture in the structure, begin to proliferate. Any air movers attached to an opening should be sealed in place in such a way that they constantly force air out and prevent outside air from getting inside.
Any moisture-compromised furniture should be removed and assessed. If it is too water-damaged, it will need to be thrown out and replaced. The same goes for any building materials in the affected area.
While you’re busy inspecting and trying to repair the damage to your commercial property, be sure to document as much as possible about the damage, its cause, and the steps needed to fix it.
It’s good to do this because you may need to file an insurance claim for the cost of the repairs, and doing so without documentation could result in the claim being denied.
Having a moisture meter that can store readings with a date and time stamp, then transfer the stored data into an easily-presentable report on your computer can be immensely useful. This provides documentation about the extent of the water damage and when it was first inspected—making it a bit easier to prove an insurance claim.
Additionally, taking photographs of the damage can help to further establish proof of the water damage.
If materials or furniture pieces have to be thrown out, keep track of what is being disposed of as well. This may prove useful for determining the extent of your losses for the insurance claim. A water damage restoration expert will likely recommend that you collect thorough documentation as well, since it helps them get paid by the insurance company.
This, of course, assumes that you have an insurance policy on the commercial property that covers the costs of water damage. If your property doesn’t have such insurance, then the costs will have to come out of your pocket.
These are just some of the basic actions to take if your commercial property suffers water damage.
While contacting a water damage restoration specialist is probably the best thing to do, following these simple steps should help you mitigate the damage somewhat. As a basic rule of thumb, if the damage is severe enough to warrant filing an insurance claim, then you should probably hire an expert in water damage cleanup.
Water Damage in your Commercial Property? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a mitigation specialists. 502.241.6861
Flooding As A Result Of A Busted Pipe
Flooding can occur from a slow leak that suddenly builds over time, bursting a pipe. That stealthy leak can cause much damage over time, but the shear volume of water from a burst pipe can wreak havoc, compromising the structural integrity of your house as well as ruining your furniture, carpeting and various other belongings. There are a few more dangers you may not be aware of: the growth of mold, possible electrical fires due to circuits exposed to excess water—all affecting your family’s safety.
It’s important to contact a water damage restoration company to locate all of the leaks and take care of the damage itself, but there are things that you can do while you are awaiting their arrival. These measures will help to minimize damage to your property and make the eventual restoration process less costly to you. First and foremost, if the water level is rising, you should immediately shut off your water supply. You should also carefully relocate any electronic devices to a dry area, if possible. Check to see if water levels have reached electric wall sockets—you don't want to electrocute yourself!
Once you’ve gotten the water level under control, it’s imperative to remove as much excess water as possible. If you have time, you can rent a sump pump to drain the water. As you’re doing this, you should also set up fans to evaporate the water, as well as dry surfaces and carpeting. Just be sure to plug any of those devices in a wall socket that has not been compromised by water or moisture.
Next, you’ll want to remove furniture and other items to a dry area—even if it’s to your driveway. Remember that fabric can hold moisture for a long time, which means those items can become breeding grounds for mold. If the water invasion is extensive, you may even want to completely relocate yourself and your family to temporary housing. Until you know the extent of the damage to your home, you and your family may be in danger of falling materials like plaster, wood and insulation. And don’t forget that water conducts electricity!
Once you’ve performed the above measures and everything appears to be dried out, and there seems to be minimal damage, you may think that water damage professionals are no longer needed. For piece of mind, you should definitely contact the professionals. They have all of the necessary equipment and experience to locate any and all possible leaks. They also have mold remediation experience and can search for all instances of mold growth, both removing it and taking preventative measures. Be sure to do your research in selecting reputable water damage restoration companies via reviews, references and certifications.
Another benefit from having professionals take care of your water damage problem? Insurance. You’ll likely have to file a claim with your insurance company. The water damage restoration company can provide all of the necessary reports to submit to your insurance company so that your claim will be processed quickly.
So, when you experience that sudden invasion of water, don’t wait to begin dealing with problem. The longer you wait, the worse the damage. And don’t wait to contact the professionals—when you’re dealing with ongoing water damage, time is of the essence! Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County! 502.241.6861
Signs of Active Water Damage
Water Damage is one of the more serious disasters that can happen in your home. Water in places that should remain dry can lead to severe home damage. Also, water damage is also a likely sign of a water leak, which is not only costly in terms of repairing damages, but also in terms of your water bill. The sooner you can spot signs of water damage, the sooner you’ll be able to put a stop to any leaks and protect yourself, your home, and your wallet. Take a look at some of the signs that you might have water damage and how to spot them.
Use Your EarsOne of the first signs of a water problem isn’t necessarily visible, but instead, it’s audible. Water makes a sound, whether it’s a slow drip or a gush. It’s never a good idea to ignore the sounds of water inside your house when there shouldn’t be sounds of water. Listen for the sound of water running when there’s no reason for it – when the washing machine and dishwasher are off, when there’s no one taking a shower, and when no sinks are in use. If you hear the sounds of dripping or running water, follow your ears. You may track the sound down to a leaky sink or a toilet that needs a new stopper. But if the sound seems to be coming from behind the walls, under the floor, or from the ceiling, you might have a larger problem. You’ll need to examine the area where you hear the water coming from and track down its source so you can determine whether you have a leaky pipe, a leaky roof, or some other problem that may have caused water damage to your home.
Follow Your NoseYour hearing isn’t the only one of your senses that can alert you to a water problem. Water Damage often comes with a smell – namely, the scent of mold or mildew. If you smell a musty, damp odor anywhere in your house, that’s a sign that you not only have a water problem but that you also already have some water damage. It’s important to track down the scent of mold as soon as you notice it. Mold grows quickly, and can soon become a much bigger problem if you ignore it. It can also be a health hazard. Another scent that sometimes arises in a house with a water problem is the smell of sewage. You might smell this coming from plumbing fixtures in your bathroom. Needless to say, the smell of sewage in the house is not a good sign, and you’ll want to have that looked at right away.
Know The Visible Signs of Water DamageIf you spot a puddle or actual wet spot in some place where you know no water should be, that’s a pretty sure sign that you have some type of leak and you should look closer for further signs of damage. But the visible signs of water damage aren’t always so obvious. One thing to look for is an area where your paint is blistering, bubbling, or peeling. For example, if you notice the paint on the ceiling bubbling, it could mean that the roof is leaking, or, if you’re seeing it on a downstairs ceiling in a two-story house, it could mean that a toilet, sink, or bathtub located upstairs is leaking. You might also notice discolorations on your walls or wallpaper. You probably don’t think of water as something that causes stains, but water that leaks down the walls and isn’t cleaned up properly can damage the paint or wallpaper, leaving discolorations behind. It’s worth noting that even if you happen not to smell mold, you may see evidence of it. Look for black or green spots on walls and ceilings. Other signs of water damage include buckling or warping in wood floor planks or laminate flooring, loose tiles, deteriorating caulk, and cracks in cement. You might also notice that wooden door and window frames look swollen or warped, and that doors and windows stick in place and refuse to open or close smoothly. These are all signs that you should call a water damage restoration specialist to check out the problem and get your home on the road to recovery.
Check Your CheckbookEven if you don’t see any other signs, if you’re losing more and more money every month to your water company, you’ve almost certainly got a problem somewhere. It’s possible for leaky pipes and water fixtures to dump water in a place where you won’t notice it or where it doesn’t cause damage – a leaky toilet, for example, won’t necessarily cause water damage if the leak is inside the toilet system. But it will cost you money. A toilet that’s leaking internally may not damage your floor, but it can drain hundreds of gallons unnecessarily, bringing your water bill higher and higher. And it’s a good idea to get a handle on that kind of leak as soon as possible, because a leak anywhere can lead water damage eventually, even if it’s not currently causing damage, and that only compounds the expense. However, sometimes leaks that don’t appear to be causing damage actually are. If you haven’t been in your basement for a while, you might not see the water on the floor or hear it leaking down there, but it’s definitely still causing damage. And a leak that dumps water outside could be slowly damaging your home’s foundation. So if your water bill is showing signs of a leak, take it seriously and investigate, even if you haven’t noticed anything before. Water Damage is a serious thing, and mitigating it isn’t always something that can be done on a do-it-yourself basis. If you’ve located a water leak in your home, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can help. Contact us right away so we can help you treat your home. 502.241.6861
Winter and Frozen Pipes
As snow continues to fall and winter temperatures fluctuate below freezing, it's possible for your pipes to freeze. Not only do freezing pipes cause a great inconvenience, they also cause major property damage leaving you with extensive repairs.
What Causes Freezing Pipes:
Exterior freezing temperatures cause the water to freeze and expand, creating a blockage. This blockage will cause an increase in pressure and strain your plumbing system. If the pressure gets too great it will cause the pipe to burst.
Pipes located along the exterior walls of your property may not have the adequate amount of insulation in protecting them from the exterior freezing temperatures. Pipes located in the attic or basement may not be as warm as other areas of the house which can cause a greater tendency to freeze. Lack of use can cause freezing pipes. Leaving for an extended period of time and/ or lowing your interior temperature while you're away, can cause remaining water in your piping system to freeze when exterior temperatures drop below freezing.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
One of the first signs for the potential of frozen pipes is when exterior temperatures drop below freezing. You can take precautions like adding insulation to prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can show an accumulation of frost on the exterior of the pipe, this warning sign can indicate the pipe is frozen before you even turn on the faucet and there is a lack of running water, this can indicate that the pipe may be frozen.
If you experience a Water Damage as a result of frozen pipes in your business call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861
SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby also services Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.
Fire Damage: The next steps
Fire Damage can be a scary thing. Especially, if it involves your home or business. Follow the following steps to ensure that the damage is handled properly.
- Don’t touch anything.
Never enter your premises without the express consent of firefighters. Fire damage can result in an array of hidden, unsafe conditions. In addition, touching or removing items could void your insurance coverage - or lessen the amount that you receive for damage reimbursement. Commercial fires are a serious situation. When in doubt, call for professional help.
- Turn all utilities off.
Turn off water at the valve, and gas and electricity at the meter.
- Immediately contact your insurance company.
They can start the claims process rolling by sending out an insurance adjuster to assess damages and discuss the situation. They will also advise you of what you should or should not do to protect your insurance coverage. If you rent or lease space, contact the property owner’s insurance agent as well.
- After the “all-clear,” remove necessary items.
These include business licenses and permits, inventory and accounting records, employee documents, insurance information, cash, credit cards, and checkbooks, and other valuables. NOTE: Do not open fire safes until they have cooled as contents may ignite or the safe explode!
- Notify local law enforcement – and everyone else.
Alerting local law enforcement can help prevent further vandalism, theft, and liability issues. Employees, customers, suppliers and vendors should be notified of the situation, as well as the post office and your utility and credit card companies. Be sure to provide updated contact information.
- Call a pro.
Contact your local Rainbow International professional to schedule emergency board up and tarp over services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This will protect your business against additional intruder and weather related damage. In addition, schedule a remediation assessment with a professional in order to supply a rebuilding estimate and get the ball rolling with your insurance company.
- Keep extensive records.
Carefully collect and document receipts and expenses, and keep extensive records of all phone calls and rebuilding related discussions. Get written estimates before work is begun. Take care to read all items thoroughly before signature or approval.
- Need help?
The Red Cross may be able to offer assistance.
- Consider a loss assessor.
If things aren’t going your way with the insurance company and you feel the funds you’ve been allotted aren’t a fair reflection of the damage incurred, consider the help of a loss assessor or public adjuster. Unlike the loss adjuster, who works for the insurance company, a public adjuster is licensed by the state to negotiate declined claims and disputed settlement issues between your business and the insurance company on your behalf.
- Don’t expect a quick fix.
Though fire damage happens in a flash, understand it will take time to get insurance coverage, clean the site, secure necessary permits, rebuild, alert vendors, suppliers, employees and clientele, and reopen. Be driven, but realistic, about the time and effort involved in rebuilding.
Has your business suffered a fire damage? Don’t wait. Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. We have the knowledge, tools, and technology to restore your business to its pre-fire condition quickly! 502.241.6861
Preventing Frozen Pipes
During the winter, homeowners must take extra precaution against the freezing temperatures. If not, frozen pipes are in your future. Then, due to increased pressure, frozen pipes burst and can deposit hundreds of gallons of water each day into your home. The water damage is often immeasurable. But, you have an opportunity to prepare each year by winterizing your plumbing system.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Before freezing temperatures hit home, protect your pipes by following these useful tips:
- Outside, drain any remaining water from your swimming pool or sprinkler supply lines by following the manufacturer’s directions. Never put antifreeze in the lines unless directly told to do so by the manufacturer.
- Remove any outdoor hoses from the faucet, and close inside vales supply the hose. Ensure you drain the hose completely before storing it somewhere dry and indoors. Ensure the outside valve is open to allow any water inside the pipe to expand without bursting the pipe itself.
- Add adequate insulation in the attic, basement, and crawlspaces. Insulation helps retain heat more efficiently.
- Check throughout your home for water supply lines in unheated rooms. Be sure to insulate any pipes you locate, especially in the garage or underneath cabinets.
Here are a few more general tips for preventing frozen pipes throughout your home:
- Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm inside and circulating around the plumbing. Remove household cleaners or harmful chemicals to prevent children or pets from accessing them.
- At night, when temperatures are at their lowest, allow cold water to drip from any faucet with an exposed pipe. Even a trickle of water will prevent the pipes from freezing over.
- Ensure the thermostat is at the same temperature both at night and during the day.
- If you are leaving for vacation, set your thermostat to a minimum of 55-degrees Fahrenheit.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
There are times when, despite your best efforts, the pipes may freeze over anyway. In that case, here is how to thaw frozen pipes:
- Open the faucet. As you work to thaw any frozen pipes, the water will flow through the frozen portion, to the open faucet, and help melt the ice on the pipe.
- Apply heat to the frozen pipe with an electric heating paid, hair dryer, space heater, or by wrapping towels soaked in hot water. Never use an open flame device, blowtorch, or propane heater, though.
- Check all the faucets in your home. If one has frozen over, then chances are quite high that others have also frozen.
- Call for frozen pipes services immediately. The longer you wait, the more potential damage you risk in your home. Avoid water damage with the right team.
If you have frozen pipes in your home, pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. We provide frozen pipe and water damage restoration services when unexpected damage occurs. Give us a call at 502.241.6861