Recent Commercial Posts
Apartment Fires: Responsibility Versus Ownership
Fire damage in Memphis, TN
Apartment Fires: Responsibility Versus Ownership
An apartment fire can create many victims, leaving not only property owners but tenants scavenging for salvageable items and wondering how they are going to rectify the situation. Fire damage for residential owners is straightforward, but when it comes to investment properties and renters, it can get confusing. Who is responsible for what?
The property owner is likely responsible for the structure, meaning that tenants do not need to worry about rebuilding their dwellings. Unfortunately, restoration work can take a while which means that renters are responsible for finding another place to live.
2. Electrical and Plumbing
An apartment fire can cause significant damage to the electrical and plumbing systems, which again is the responsibility of the owner and not the tenants. As the owner of the property, both the structure and the habitability of that structure are your responsibility. However, this may be challenged if it is found that the fire was intentional or due to renter negligence.
3. Personal Property
The property owner is not responsible for a tenant’s personal belongings. Most renters will have or should have renter’s insurance which should cover personal property loss. These policies will either cover the cost to replace the items or the true value of the items.
Again, as the property is the responsibility of the owner, the restoration expense is also their responsibility. Their insurance policy should cover the cost to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Memphis, TN, area. However, this does depend on whether the fire was caused by accident, neglect or criminal intent.
While it is often difficult to understand who should pay for what after an apartment fire, it primarily comes down to ownership; the property owner or landlord is responsible for the building, and the renter is responsible for their personal property. However, all of this depends on the cause of the fire and whether it is deemed criminal or accidental.
3 Common Causes of Water Damage in Commercial Buildings
The structural integrity of your building in Cordova, TN, is important for the safety and well-being of everyone who enters it. Issues such as leaking pipes or a damaged foundation, however, can compromise the structure. When you have your building inspected, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of the three major causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
1. Damaged Pipes
Pipes can get damaged by extreme temperature changes. Sometimes, pipes just get old and wear out. Pinhole leaks happen when bad water corrodes copper pipes from the inside. No matter what damages your pipes, they must be repaired quickly before the problem results in a complete pipe break.
2. Undetected Leaks
Water stains on the ceiling or walls that bow out are telltale signs of leaking pipes. Once you see the signs of a leak, quite a bit of damage may have already happened. An undetected leak can cause thousands of dollars in damage that can only be repaired by water restoration experts. The sooner you call for help, the less damage the unwanted gush is likely to cause.
3. Exterior Cracks
To prevent water damage, it is just as important to maintain the outside of your building as it is to keep a watch on the inside. Gaps in your siding, cracks in your foundation or leaks around your windows can let water into your building the next time it rains. If a leak happens on the roof, the problem may result in significant mold growth before you ever know it exists. Foundation problems not only have the potential to affect your water pipes but also your sewer lines, resulting in toilet backup and other unpleasant issues. Keeping your building in good condition both inside and outside is essential to circumventing possible water issues.
Exterior problems, cracks and leaking pipes are serious issues that must be dealt with in a timely manner. Defend your building’s structure with regular inspection and maintenance.
Do you have mold growing in the break room sink?
Some people find mold in home or commercial mold damage in their home or office kitchen sink. This happens if there are leftover food particles stored in the sink or some type of grease left over from meals. Scrub away the mold using water from the faucet. At this time, you should clean the whole sink so that the mold doesn't return.
Mold in home or commercial mold damage can also be found under the home or office sink. This can happen if there is a leaky pipe or some condensation on the pipe. To rid yourself of this type of mold, call the services of a local mold removal company. The mold removal technicians can do remediation services and do some deodorization. The deodorization can get rid of the smelly odor that you might smell in the kitchen. Your mold damage technicians will also teach you mitigation techniques that will equip you to fight any future fungus and mildew that may show up in your kitchen.
When you have a history of mold in home and commercial mold damage, it's important to always have mold remediation and mitigation services close at hand. You never know when you'll deal with a smelly odor from mold damage. Whether you have a smelly odor from mold or are dealing with fungus and mildew, calling in the expertise of your local mold remediation and mitigation technicians should take care of the problem before it gets any bigger.
Mold In The Sink Drain
If you find mold in your kitchen sink drain, perform mold removal by taking out the drain gate. Next, you will want to scrub in the drain. If you can't reach the mold from the top of the sink, go under and unscrew the pipe to get at the mold.
If your office or home sink has a garbage disposal, run it and clean it every day. This action alone can do a lot to prevent fungus, mildew, and other mold damage from returning to the sink drain.
Visit SERVPRO of Bartlett/Cordova/East Memphis
for more information on mold damage.
SERVPRO of Bartlett/Cordova/East Memphis Fire Team Creates Another Happy Customer
Happy Customer Feedback - Local Memphis Church
At SERVPRO of Bartlett/Cordova/East Memphis we are blessed to receive lots of positive feedback from our customers. They come in the form of emails, phone calls, handwritten letters, and occasionally a simple text message. We would like to share the sweet text message our Fire Production Manager received last week from a customer who recently experienced a significant fire loss at her commercial property.
"Good afternoon Chuck. This is Pastor Ruby! I wanted to personally take a moment to say thank you for your sensitivity, your professionalism and your expertise in handling this difficult situation for AWM…while I am aware that you deal with fires, catastrophes and natural disaster daily, the think that’s sticks out in mind is that you felt our loss and you treated me with empathy, compassion and heart….Let me simply say thank you and I pray that every individual you assist will experience that sincerity that I felt as you continue to do your job. Stay blessed! Pastor Ruby Holland."
Our Fire Team is hard at work once again creating a happy customer. Thanks to everyone on our team for all you do to help our customers through these difficult times.
SERVPRO of Bartlett/Cordova/East Memphis
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Weathering the Storm: Creating a Disaster Plan for Your Company
Disaster preparedness is an essential and multifaceted element of any business
Disaster preparedness requires a multifaceted plan to ensure the continuity of your business, the safety of your employees, the security of your building, and proactive planning for building and business recovery. Read below for a more thorough overview of these essential elements of disaster planning.
1. Continuity Preparations
One of the first steps in business preparedness is the creation of a business continuity plan. This plan is typically written and printed in a binder or several binders and distributed to top executives and managers in case of an emergency. The plan compiles all vital information regarding business operations, such as procedural changes, managerial and executive contacts, and any financial and crisis readiness information.
2. Employee Preparations
Disaster preparedness can be vital to the safety of employees. You may want to prepare an emergency checklist that is distributed to all employees. This checklist would define emergency procedures and inform workers of all emergency exits, shelters and evacuation measures. Also, while it may not be regulated, you may want to conduct monthly safety meetings to ensure that all employees are knowledgeable of safety protocols and company expectations.
3. Building Preparations
Beyond operations continuity and employee safety, building preparations should be taken to minimize structural and property damage in the event of an imminent natural disaster. Operating in Cordova, TN, where hurricanes and high winds are typical, you may want to invest in storm shutters and biannual inspections of your roof. Additionally, when the weather turns, you may want to secure heavy objects, such as furniture and machinery, and elevate delicate equipment, such as computers, in case of flooding.
4. Aftermath Preparations
Lastly, you may want to contact a disaster preparation and restoration company to go over your emergency planning options. Some companies offer preplanning services that allow you to create a personalized recovery plan for your business.
Disaster preparedness is an essential and multifaceted element of any business. An emergency plan should encompass preparations for business continuity, employee safety, building security and restorative planning.
3 Secrets Commercial Walls Can Hide After Water Damage
Drywall Water Damage in Bartlett
Commercial buildings in Bartlett, TN, often contain sheetrock walls separating tenants, offices, and common areas. Although the plasterboard is sturdy and holds up well to daily wear and tear, it has a secret weakness – water. When sheetrock gets wet due to damage from a rampaging flood, broken pipes, or torrential rains the damage is typically much more extensive than what meets the eye. That is because the gypsum wallboard material can absorb many times its weight in water per square inch. The absorption alone is usually responsible for the three secrets the walls can hide after water damage. They are:
1. After drywall begins to absorb water, it can lose much of its structural integrity and become weak and crumbly. As the board swells, the water can push the paper covered edges until it slips off and the seams cease to align. Nail holes can suddenly pop and are no longer able to hold the crumbling wall against the wooden frames.
2. Wet drywall can stay wet for a very long time after water cleanup. Once the gypsum panel absorbs water, it can freely share the liquid with the framing boards holding it up. If the support materials are the typically used pine two by fours, the wood will commonly absorb and retain water as long as the sheetrock stays wet. The water can then weaken the building structure as it absorbs more liquid and the wood fibers swell and separate.
3. Mold growth can appear within 24 to 48 hours after the water damage first occurs. By the time most commercial water repair and restoration teams have begun to process the area, mold is probably already growing in damp, hidden spots within the walls. The fungus can easily survive on drywall’s paper backed cellulose and may continue to grow for as long as the gypsum is wet, and the walls are left undisturbed.
Walls can hide most signs of water damage, but sagging walls and water stain lines are tell-tale indications the walls are keeping a secret. The most cost-effective treatment is usually replacement of the gypsum boards.
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6 Cleaning Methods for Personal Belongings After a Fire
Cleaning Belongings after Fire
The flames of a fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building in Bartlett, TN. However, smoke can do just as much harm to your belongings. As you try to cleanup after a fire, you may need the help of a commercial fire cleanup crew to take care of your property and the content within. Content cleaning can come in many forms, including the following:
1. Ultrasonic: The combination of ultrasound and a cleaning solvent is used to agitate the surface and deep clean. This method is only appropriate for non-porous items as they will be immersed in the solution.
2. Dry: Dry-cleaning can serve two purposes. Either it provides a light clean for objects that don't need much, or it serves as a pre-clean before another method. The dry-cleaning method is great for clothes and other objects that can't get too wet.
3. Wet: This typical method uses water as the primary cleaning agent. In some cases, the professionals may include soap or other cleaners to help rid your belongings of residues.
4. Foam: Upholstery fabrics often cannot be submerged in water, so a foam technique may be better. This method uses a foaming cleaner and a brush.
5. Immersion: Sometimes content cleaning needs to get serious. For items severely damaged, an immersion into the cleaning solution may be necessary. These belongings may have to soak for a while for the best effect.
6. Spray and Wipe: When items cannot be submerged or wet, a spray and wipe cleaning may be another option. This allows the professionals to use a light layer of cleaner that is wiped away almost immediately.
Content cleaning is a necessity after a fire. If you are thinking of doing content storage until your building is ready, you should still clean the items before putting them away. Waiting too long after a fire could make all of the cleaning methods, from dry-cleaning to immersion, unsuccessful.
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When and Why to Use Flood Cuts
Flood Cuts after Storm Damage
If your business property in Bartlett, TN, floods, chances are that the floors are not the only part of the building that will be affected. Walls with water damage from flooding can become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold, and it can compromise the structural integrity of the building. A flood cut marks the spot 12 inches above the water damage to tell water damage restoration specialists where to begin when they tear out damaged walls.
Is a Flood Cut Necessary?
While flood cuts are common when businesses have taken on water damage, in certain circumstances, replacing the wall can be avoided. The walls may be salvageable if the following conditions exist:
• The water that caused the flooding is clean water.
• The walls are not insulated.
• There is no sign of mold spreading into the wall.
If all these conditions are met, it is possible that technicians can drill small holes in the wall and use industrial dryers to prevent further damage. If, however, the water in question holds the possibility of contamination, everything it touches must be removed and replaced. As insulation cannot be dried and used effectively after it has been wet, it must be replaced as well.
How Does a Flood Cut Help?
Measuring a whole foot above where the visible damage lies might seem like overkill at first. However, when it comes to flood damage and the potential complications it poses, you will probably agree that it is better to be safe than sorry. Humidity does not have the courtesy to stop at the flood line. To ensure that every inch of your business is protected from mold growth and contamination, restoration professionals remove any drywall and insulation that might have been affected.
Flooding can seem like a disaster, but it does not have to turn into an ongoing devastation. With the help of a flood cut, technicians can replace the drywall and keep your building in Bartlett, TN, and all its inhabitants safe from further issues.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPRObartlettcordovaeastmemphis.com for more information.
What Should Go Into a Business’ Fire Escape Plan?
Every office building in Memphis, TN, needs to have a fire escape plan. At the bare minimum, this plan needs to include a layout of the property that clearly shows where all the escape routes are located. The plan should also include information about how many people are inside the building at any given time. This will help firefighters immensely during the evacuation efforts. However, there are a number of other things your emergency escape plan should contain.
1. Location of Fire Extinguishers
Everyone in the building should be able to use a fire extinguisher if the need ever arises. You may want to consider conducting a seminar to teach people this useful skill. You want to keep extinguishers at key points around the office. It is good to have one in the break room where the fridge, microwave and other appliances are located. It may be good to keep them in stairways, too.
2. Location of First Aid Kits
You also want people to be able to find first aid kits in your fire escape plan. As per the Red Cross, you should always contact 9-1-1 following an emergency of any kind because people may need more intensive medical care. However, a first aid kit can be tremendously helpful for addressing minor wounds right there at the scene.
3. Smoke Alarms
Finally, you want the plan to contain the locations of all smoke alarms. It is also paramount to have professionals come out frequently to inspect these alarms. It is a good idea to make sure they are always fully operational, so they will not fail you if you ever require them.
Once you have created your fire escape plan, you need to share it with all employees. Run practice evacuations from time to time so that everyone knows what to do and where to go should a fire ever break out.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObartlettcordovaeastmemphis.com.
3 Facts About Secondary Damage
After a flood, the direct contact with the water causes the initial damage. Unfortunately, when your business floods, this will not be your only concern. Secondary damage is a complex concept. It involves any damage that occurs after the initial problem. For instance, once the water is gone, it does not mean that there will not be further trouble.
1. Mold, Bacteria and Fungi Growth
The biggest concern that most people have after a flood is the mold growth. This is especially a concern when it comes to black mold. A strong cleanup is the best defense against mold. Make sure you do not have any water trapped or moisture left in the air. Time is of the essence when it comes to mold. Not only do you need to make sure that the main flow of water is gone but the moisture should no longer linger in the air.
2. Structural Decay
The high humidity in the air can cause structural decay to start taking place. This is why it is important for you to remove every sign of water from your business after it floods. Make sure to use cool air to dry out the building. This can help rid the air of moisture that causes decay and black mold. Structural damage is difficult to come back from. In fact, there are cases that are irreversible.
3. Wood Warping
After a flood, you may notice the wood floor warping. Additionally, you may notice the curving of a stairwell or the exterior and interior doors warping. These are symptoms of secondary damage. When this happens, you can end up with a security risk to your business.
Fortunately, black mold, structural decay and wood warping are preventable. Professionals trained to handle commercial flood damage will know how to prevent any future problems from arising. Once you have an expert in your corner, your Cordova, TN business can return to normal.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPRObartlettcordovaeastmemphis.com for information on commercial restoration emergencies.
Lessons on How to Deal with Fire Damage at the Workplace
Lessons on How to Deal with Fire Damage at the Workplace
All catastrophic events are unfortunate; they lead to the destruction of property and sometimes, loss of lives. Out of all possible disasters that could occur in a house or an office building, fire is the most dreaded. Yes, nobody likes to play with fire, and instead of dealing with fire damage, home and office owners should put measures in place to prevent the occurrence of fires. For instance, installing a fire suppression mechanism or a fire sprinkler system can go a long way towards controlling commercial fire damage at the workplace.
However, fires, unlike storms and hurricanes that can be forecasted, are unpredictable. Sometimes, no matter how many fire suppression mechanisms or fire sprinkler systems have been put in place, the damage will still occur. Therefore, it's imperative to have to have a fire damage restoration professional on speed dial. After calling 911 for the fire truck, the next call to be made on that phone should be to alert the fire damage restoration company with a fire hose and fire truck to handle the commercial fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage.
What to Do Before the Help Arrives
All office buildings should have meeting points, evacuation plans, as well as other emergency measures. Most workplace fires are of electrical nature. An electrical fire in the office can be caused by faulty equipment or antiquated and loose wires. What steps should be taken in the event of a fire? Say someone discovers a utility room fire at the office, what should they do? Well, first of all, is to raise the alarm.
If the fire is too big to be contained, one should leave the room and call the fire department with a fire truck and fire hose to handle the situation. No one should attempt to put out a big fire by themselves, those fire extinguishers are meant for small fires. Just focus on getting people out of the building, and no one should go back for their belongings or anything else. Let the firefighters deal with the commercial fire damage, soot damage, and smoke damage. They have the necessary equipment including the fire truck, fire hose, fire sprinkler system, and fire suppression tools.
Dealing with the Damage
After an electrical fire or utility room fire, there are three types of damages: there is soot damage, smoke damage, and water damage. Water damage is a consequence of attempts from the firefighters to contain the inferno using fire hose or a fire sprinkler system. Water from the fire truck drawn via the fire hose into the burning building will lead to a certain degree of water damage. What hasn't been already affected by the fire damage is most likely to be destroyed by the water. Care should be taken not to use water when it's a utility room fire or electrical fire.
After the fire has been contained and building cleared as safe for entry by the firefighters, people can now access the property and try to salvage whatever is left before it gets completely ruined by smoke damage and soot damage. There should be no attempts to try and restore the damage, that's the job of the fire damage restoration company. Fire restoration efforts should start as soon as possible, probably right after the firefighter truck leaves. If the fire restoration team hasn't arrived by then, you can try to move items unaffected by the fire before the smoke stains them permanently. Anything else regarding fire restoration should be left to the professionals.
Clean Up and Restoration
The process of cleaning up and fire restoration should be left to the professionals, as stated earlier. The home or office building owner has neither the training nor the equipment required to undertake this process. On top of that, the fire restoration professionals are experienced and know what to do keep losses at a minimum.
The fire damage restoration company should have proper certification and should be specializing in dealing with matters commercial fire damage, utility room fire, and electrical fire through fire suppression. The team is responsible for any exercises or activities that need to be undertaken to make the building safe to work in again. The property cannot be used until the clean-up exercise has been completed.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObartlettcordovaeastmemphis.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Flood Damage and Rapid Response
Flood Damage and Rapid Response
When it comes to flood damage, or any other type of water damage, rapid response is crucial. The reality is that the water damage can be limited when the mitigation process starts quickly. SERVPRO offers emergency and rapid response. SERVPRO offers these services around-the-clock, 365 days a year. They can be on the scene of water in your business situation rapidly. These water damage mitigation services provide immediate estimates and can commence work on flood damage cleanup and restoration immediately. Water Damage Restoration and Water Cleanup When selection a water cleanup service, a home or business owner needs to select a company that utilizes the latest technology. In addition, a home or business owner must ensure that a provider is selected with an experienced team of professionals. Water cleanup must be both thorough and rapid. The longer water remains unattended following a flood damage incident, the greater the long term and even permanent consequences.
Visit our website for more information on commercial water damage.
Electrical Equipment and Smoke Damage
Electrical Equipment and Smoke Damage
During a fire in a building there is often the major damage of smoke and soot that is easily visible. However, there is another damage that will be almost invisible and hard to detect.
Every electrical item, especially the big ones, have fans to draw in air to cool it and keep it from overheating. During a fire these fans run overtime to keep the machine cool but are drawing in acrid smoke. The smoke will then leave soot within the electrical item that eventually will eat at the copper and plastics slowly.
When your office or commercial building has a fire give us a call and we can asses the damage, do the cleanup, and rebuild any damaged areas from a devastating fire.
Experienced Mitigation Technicians
The single most important thing that any property owner who notices water in their business that may lead to flood damage can do is to call in their local professional water damage restoration company. A water damage restoration company will have powerful and sophisticated equipment at its disposal, equipment that is specially designed for use in flood damage restoration and mitigation. And it will have trained and experienced staff, with tens of thousands of hours between them of successfully carrying out the restoration and mitigation of water damage.
It is for these reasons that a professional restoration company should be called. Any time flood damage occurs, time is always the most crucial factor. Waiting too long to begin the restoration and mitigation process of a flooded home or business will all but ensure that the water in the home or water in the business will cause permanent damage. In the worst cases, this damage could result in the total loss of the building's value.
Luckily, there is a set process that has been proven over decades and that every restoration company is well versed in. Carrying out these established water cleanup protocols is the best way to minimize damage to a flooded home or business.
For more information visit our website http://www.SERVPRObartlettcordovaeastmemphis.com.
Commercial Fire Damage Assessment
When the team arrives on location, they will begin the assessment of the damage caused as they await the fire truck to finish the putting out the fire. Smoke damage and soot damage is aggravated by water present in the building. A firefighter can only draw up the action plan of what to do for a successful fire restoration process and in collaboration with a fire restoration expert, they can make an intensive fire damage, smoke and soot damage assessment of the commercial property.
Sealing and Clean Up
The fire damage company starts by looking for ways it can stop the smoke damage and soot damage from getting worse. For instance, to prevent water from leaking into the property, they seal all busted pipes as well as holes in the roof and walls. Commercial fire damage companies then remove all items with heavy soot damage from the property for disposal.
The next process is to remove all the stagnant water left after the fire truck has left. This process is done with a flood pump and a dehumidifier. Cleaning then begins, and this involves removing soot from items and surfaces as well as fumigating the room to expel the smoke smell. All carpets salvaged from the property will have to be professionally cleaned. This is part of the commercial fire restoration.
For more fire related questions please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObartlettcordovaeastmemphis.com.
Fire Damage Restoration for Commercial Properties
After such a tragedy as a fire, it is only best that the building is equipped with fire suppression mechanisms, such as a smoke sensor. Modern technology has made it possible for an installed fire sprinkler system to go off once the sensor goes off. Install a fire hose, fire sprinkler system, smoke sensor on strategic areas in the property, and at least one fire hose per floor.
It is dangerous to try and put out an electrical fire with water and so, a firefighter can come in handy at pointing out the best options for putting out an electrical fire or a utility room fire. Most fires get out of hand because of human error. A study conducted by commercial fire restoration experts show that many suffer severe fire damage since the fire suppression systems in place such as the fire sprinkler system and the fire hose did not have any water in them. This places a bigger burden on the fire truck.
After the entire process is over, consult a firefighter on how to avoid a utility room fire. This can include advanced fire suppression instruments among them extra fire extinguishers and a fire hose. After the company is through, it is good to consult with the restoration experts and fire fighters on the best fire sprinkler system, utility room fire, smoke damage as well as get the drills on how to avoid an electrical fire that is more damaging.
For more fire related questions please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObartlettcordovaeastmemphis.com.
Emergency Ready Profile
Have you ever felt unprepared when confronted with a damaging fire. Maybe it was a broken pipe that continued to flow for hours because nobody knew where the shutoff location was.
I know it seems counter productive for a restoration company but we are trying to help your business be more prepared from the damaging effects of fire and water.
The Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a tablet and phone application that allows you to take photographs of shut off locations for water, gas, and fire suppression systems. Each photograph can have a written explanation of how to turn off the different utility systems.
Our hope is that your commercial property will have less damage during a loss and be able to get back into business more quickly.