Tips for Protecting Your Business Against Fire Devastation
Having an evacuation plan is important in your Ohio commercial building incase of an emergency
When you own your own business, you can't afford to be unprepared for extreme circumstances. If your commercial building in Jackson Township, Stark County, OH, caught fire, for example, it would be helpful to have a plan for dealing with the aftermath. Here are some fire preparation tips that can help you handle emergencies as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Every important electronic document should be regularly backed up, and at least one backup copy should be stored in an off-site location. There is a collection of essential information you need to keep your business running smoothly, including:
• Payroll records
• Customer contact and billing information
• Supplier contact information
• List of inventory, equipment and essential assets
• List of the cost of replacing essential equipment and supplies
It is also advisable to store the numbers of fire mitigation experts and your insurance company with the copies of your important business documents. Then you don't have to scrounge to find the first numbers you need to call.
Proper fire preparation involves knowing that your business is covered if something should happen. Review your insurance portfolio with your agent to make sure that you have covered all your bases beyond the standard general liability and property policies.
Every business should have a detailed disaster preparation plan. The plan should include evacuation procedures, task delegation, relocation decisions and a business continuity outline. All employees should receive training on the plan as well as the opportunity to complete a test run to identify unforeseen flaws. Don't wait until the fire damage has already occurred to decide how you are going to proceed.
It's never too early to protect your business against potential fire devastation. Make sure you have protected important information, made an emergency plan and purchased sufficient insurance coverage. Sufficient fire preparation could mean the difference between your company’s survival after a fire and its demise.
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What Type of Damage Can Cold-Weather Storms Cause?
Storm Damage to Ohio commercial building after a severe storm hit the area
Cold-weather storms can cause just as much damage to your Jackson Township, Stark County, OH, building as thunderstorms or tornadoes. While a blizzard may not cause rain flooding, it can introduce other issues for your property:
• Burst pipe
• Collapsed roof
• Ice buildup
Your storm damage restoration professional may be able to go over other types of damage common in the winter months.
When the temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes may be at risk for freezing up. This is especially true for any plumbing in exterior walls. If you don't heat your entire building, you may have an even higher risk of getting a frozen pipe somewhere on your property. When the liquid within the piping freezes, it expands. This can cause cracks to form, which can lead to leaks and floods.
Winter storms are often associated with high winds that can cause roof damage. If parts of your roofing system are torn off, it can expose the plumbing in your attic to the cold weather. This can lead to a burst pipe, but a damaged roof can invite other moisture into your space as well. For example, the weight of the snow on your roof can cause a collapse, which sends lots of snow into your building.
Ice buildup is another common roofing problem caused by winter storms. The snow accumulates on your roof. As the weather warms up, the snow at the peaks starts to melt first. Once the melt reaches the edges of the roof, it may start to freeze again. This cycle causes the formation of ice dams, which can lead to standing water in your commercial building.
Winter storms can be unkind to your commercial building in Jackson Township, Stark County, OH. Knowing that you may have to deal with a burst pipe or another source of flooding during the winter can help you prepare for the worst eventuality.
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Steps To Take After a Pipe Break
Pipe Break can flood your Ohio home, do not delay if you find a busted pipe.
Bursting pipes at your home in Jackson Township, Stark County, OH, require quick action. Every homeowner knows that something should be done, but many are not sure of what exactly that entails. When putting down towels and placing buckets around the house is not enough, what should you do next? How long is too long to wait until taking further steps?
Following Homeowner First Steps
A pipe has broken in your house. Try as you may, you cannot slow down water from the bursting pipes. Take the following actions immediately:
• If it is safe to enter your home, turn off the main water shutoff valve until you can fix the broken pipe. Use caution when electricity is involved. If you are unsure of your safety, wait until the professionals arrive.
• Water restoration specialists are typically on call 24 hours a day for these types of emergencies. As soon as possible, have a reputable company come to your home and assess the situation.
• After the source of the problem is addressed and the inspection is complete, the company can begin the process of water removal, dehumidification and restoration.
• Touch base with your homeowner’s insurance agent to inquire if water damage is covered in your specific policy.
Waiting Too Long
When you discover flooding in your home and do not act immediately, you run the risk of secondary water damage and further problems:
• There is no acceptable amount of time for standing water to remain in your home. Every minute that passes could mean further damage. Mold takes hold in as little as 24-48 hours and spreads fast.
• Quick action keeps the damage contained. Standing water causes further complications, such as leaking through floors into ceilings below.
To avoid secondary water damage, do not delay if you find bursting pipes at your home in Jackson Township, Stark County, OH. Fix the broken pipe, contact a water restoration specialist, and begin the process of restoration as soon as possible.
For more on Jackson Township, Stark County click here.
How Landscaping Can Help Protect a Home From Flooding
Many homeowners think of landscape design as a way to improve the aesthetics of their property and enhance their enjoyment of the surrounding nature, but landscaping can also help protect a home from flooding. Outside flooding can destroy the lawn and garden around a house and increases the risk of water damage inside the home. These three tips can help you decrease your chances of flooding.
1. Make Sure Water Drains Away From the House
It’s important to check your downspout before the rain storm comes. Not only do you want to look for and repair any damages, but you should also ensure that water drains away from the house. In addition to the standard downspouts used in home construction, there are also ornamental rain drainage systems that can help direct the water even further away from the house. Diverting this water to a garden bed, or other porous surface, can also help prevent flooding.
2. Check That Rain Water Has Somewhere To Go
Outside flooding occurs when rain water does not have a clear path to a drainage source or when water cannot be absorbed into the ground around the house. As part of your landscaping, you can install other drainage sources such as sub-surface drains or catch basins. You could also install a dry streambed or a swale on a sloped surface to create a path for the water to flow away from the house.
3. Ensure That Your Mulch Can Withstand Heavy Rains
Lightweight mulch can easily float away in a rain storm. This mulch is harder to clean up after a storm, and during a storm it can clog drains and result in flooding. Using heavier mulch that stays in place may help avoid these problems.
While there may be no fool-proof way to avoid all outside flooding when the rains come to Jackson Township, OH these tips may help you minimize water damage and preserve your property. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststarkcounty.com for more information on water damage.
Smoke Can Damage Electronics
After a fire of any size in your home in Jackson Township, OH destruction caused by smoke can occur in places that might not be the first to come to mind, such as inside electronics. Today, most homes are filled with technological gadgets that would be challenging to live without. If you discover after the fire cleanup that any electronics have been compromised, you may need the services of a professional to return them to their previous condition.
Electronics That Can Be Affected by Smoke
Smoke contains acids that can create corrosion on metal surfaces, and corrosion can lead to failure of the device. Whether the electronic device is for work, play or for health and safety, it is important to have it assessed for damage as part of the fire cleanup process. Examples of electronics that are subject to corrosion from smoke damage include the following:
• computers, modems, routers and printers
• tablets and portable music players
• virtual assistants
• fax machines and other office equipment
• televisions, DVR machines and DVD players
• stereo components, including radios, CD players and speakers
• kitchen appliances
• alarm systems
• video and audio equipment, including cameras
• cell phones
• game controllers
• cable boxes
• thermostats, heating and cooling equipment
• humidifiers and dehumidifiers
• medical devices
To be safe, it is best to assume that any electronics that have been present in a house fire have been exposed to smoke. Electronics exposed to significant levels of smoke can overheat immediately, in which case the damage may be obvious. Corrosion, however, will not be immediately apparent. That is why it is important, before powering up the electronic device, to have it checked by a professional technician.
Much of life in the twenty-first century involves technology, and electronics are a staple in the vast majority of American homes. In the unfortunate event of fire cleanup, assessing the condition of electronics is a must. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststarkcounty.com for more information on fire damage,
Duct, Duct, Mold!
Part of managing indoor air quality means managing mold. Mold spores are traveling through the air searching for moist environments where they will grow into colonies. You are aware of those places where mold likes to grow and you regularly search your building in Jackson Township, OH for leaky pipes as well as rain and flood damage. You search the usual places, like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. You can't see any mold, yet you still smell that familiar musty smell. Is that a coincidence that the odor is stronger when the air conditioner is running? When was the last time you had HVAC cleaning done in your building?
Odorous Digestive Gases
You are actually smelling gases from the digestive process of mold. Those gases, called mycotoxins, are not produced by all molds. Production depends on the type of mold and the substance being consumed. Cleaning vents regularly can help your indoor air quality, prevent the spread of spores, and help you find hidden mold in the heating and air system.
Mold Inside HVAC Systems
What does mold have to do with your HVAC? Microscopic spores travel through the air, including inside your HVAC system where moisture and condensation are often by-products. Mold spores only need a hospitable place to rest, digest, and reproduce. Here are some places to check for mold growth during HVAC cleaning:
• Air ducts
• Supply and return registers
• Cooling coils
• Drip pans
• Porous building materials near the HVAC system
Don't forget to change the filter regularly to help your system run efficiently and to keep microscopic spores contained.
When There's a Problem
If you do smell mold, or even see it during routine HVAC cleaning, you can rely on specialists to help find and resolve any mold problems. During cleanup, they use special containment techniques and HEPA air scrubbers to prevent further spread of mold spores in your building. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststarkcounty.com for more information on mold.
Help! Water Is Pooling Under My Kitchen Sink
One of the most undetected areas of flooding is often under the kitchen sink. Bottles, buckets, and brushes often fill the dark area, and most people have little reason to use a flashlight to check the water supply line on a regular basis.
Signs of Water Damage
Under-sink pipes can often drip for weeks before the water is noticed. In fact, it is usually only after one of the following signs suddenly appear that a leak is often discovered.
• Finding buckling of flooring inside a cabinet or beneath the sink.
• Seeing water stains on the inside of cabinet door.
• Locating mold on the wall or floor of the area under the sink.
• Noticing wet or dripping items taken from under sink area.
• Discovering water in front of the cabinet on kitchen or bathroom floor is causing flooding.
Any unusual water in home areas can be a sure sign of trouble, so prepare to take action.
Steps After Water Discovery
First, deal with the dripping and pooling water. Take pictures of the area and the dripping water. Then place a bucket under the leaking pipe and remove all the items under the sink. Next, lay an absorbent cloth down in the pool of water to keep it from soaking any further into the wooden cabinet. If the area is excessively wet, continue removing water until the area is dry.
Secondly, inform the insurance company in Jackson Township, OH of the situation. Let the agent know there are pictures of the area and offer to forward them.
Thirdly, call a water repair and restoration professional to evaluate the situation. The team can check the area for mold, clean the vicinity, and begin sanitizing the water-soaked region. If rotting wood is found, the crew can suggest a kitchen repair of flooring and subflooring as needed.
The last thing to do is to remember to check under kitchen and bathroom sinks periodically. If signs of flooding water are found, repeat the above steps to keep areas water and mold free. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststarkcounty.com for more information on water damage.
Affected by Category 2 Water Damage
If your business has been flooded and exposed to category 2 water damage, due to a broken pipe or too much rain, it's best to hire a restoration professional to handle the water pipe repair and ensure that your property is safely restored. The approach taken to remedy the flooding should be tailored to those specific details, including the environment, the severity of water damage, and the needs of the business owners in Jackson Township, OH. Before proceeding with any water pipe repair, you should understand what's at risk when dealing with category 2 water damage.
Three Categories of Water
• Category 1: water from sanitary sources, generally safe for ingestion
• Category 2: contaminated water with potentially unsafe levels of contaminants, both organic and inorganic
• Category 3: obviously contaminated water with pesticides, silt, organic matter, heavy metals, and toxic organic substances
Four Classifications of Water Damage
• Class 1: limited levels of water and absorption; affecting a small area of a single room
• Class 2: large amounts of water and absorption; affecting an entire room, including carpeting and pad, walls, and structural components
• Class 3: the largest amount of water and absorption; affecting ceilings, insulation, carpeting, subflooring, and resulting in structural saturation
• Class 4: specialty materials affected by water, such as hardwood, brick, concrete, and stone
An Example of Water Damage Categories
Category 2 water damage could be water that was originally clean but has sat long enough to absorb chemicals from the carpeting. The severity of damage could be bumped into a higher category if water has traveled through building materials. For example, a broken pipe on the second floor could cause category 1 water damage on the second floor. As the water travels to the floor below, it may pick up contaminants as it travels to the first floor, resulting in category 2 water damage on that floor. When you need water pipe repair in Jackson Township, OH restoration professionals can help you determine the extent of risk and damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststarkcounty.com for more information on commercial water damage.
After the Flood: When Employees Can Return
When your business in Jackson Township, OH gets flooded, there is probably going to be a transition time when no one can be in the building. The structure may be flooded with black water, or there could be harmful debris lying everywhere. Loyal employees may be anxious to return, though. Before they can do so, a few key things must happen.
Call the Experts
To speed up the process of letting employees return, one of the first calls you should make is to a team of flood restoration professionals. These specialists are trained to expedite the flood cleanup process efficiently and thoroughly. They can assess various elements of your property:
• Water damage to walls, floors and ceilings
• Contamination level of the floodwater
• State of the items affected by the flood
This assessment helps them determine what needs to happen to restore your building to its former glory. They can also give you general time frame for how long the repairs may take, which you can then share with your employees.
Disinfect the Surfaces
If the floodwater tests as gray or black water, significant disinfection must occur in order for it to be a healthy environment to return to. All surfaces that contaminated water touches must be disinfected with commercial-grade cleaners before anyone can safely enter the building.
Restore Air Quality
The last step that takes place before anyone can return is testing air quality to make sure it’s clean. Workers who spend eight hours a day cannot be expected to return to a workplace that has an old, musty smell. Air filtration devices can help improve the quality of the air dramatically.
Before employees can return after your business in Jackson Township, OH is flooded, you must be able to provide an acceptable working environment, free from stagnant air and black water. To do that, you need to hire professionals who can make the process go as smoothly and as quickly as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststarkcounty.com for more information on storm damage.
Tips to Avoid Frozen Pipes
Broken Water Pipe
Winter is Just Getting Over With but Pipes Still Break
Whatever part of Ohio you are in, most people are experiencing very cold or freezing temperatures this time of year. Everyone wonders what needs to be done to protect their pipes in freezing temperatures. It is important to protect your pipes and your plumbing system in cold weather. It is especially important if you plan to be away from home for long periods of time.
On the inside: If you will be away from home for days at a time, make sure that all of your pipes are kept warm, especially in spaces that receive little or no heat. If any pipes will stay exposed to freezing temperatures, open up one faucet with a very small drip to keep water moving through the pipes.
On the outside: Protect your pipes as you would protect your plants. Cover up your outside faucets with foam or towels to insulate them.
Especially if you plan to be away from home this winter, remember to leave your contact information with a neighbor. You might consider giving them a key to your home, too, and leaving your preferred plumber's contact information behind should an emergency occur.
Wondering what happens if pipes freeze? When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way a soda can would. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts and could result in serious damage. Pipes and valves on outside walls or in the attics are the most common trouble spots. If you open a faucet and water does not come out, you may be dealing with a frozen pipe.