Storm Preparedness for Property Managers
Watch storm warnings.
Storm Preparedness Begins With Planning
As a property manager, you're responsible to oversee many tasks. Simply managing the day-to-day responsibilities can keep you busy. However, as storm season approaches, and the weather threatens to bring heavy, winds, rains, or snow, you want the confidence that comes with knowing you've already taken the necessary steps to minimize damages. Storm preparedness begins with planning.
1. Prepare a Handbook Detailing Storm Procedures
Which of your staff will handle each responsibility? How will you get in contact with emergency professionals or key personnel from businesses within your property? Put together a handbook with phone numbers, addresses, specific responsibilities, and an evacuation plan for each business within the building. The book should also include pre-and post-storm procedures, tips for safe evacuation and sheltering, and emergency medical access for any people with special needs. If you're not sure what to include in this information, contact local professionals for guidance.
2. Schedule and Run Practice Scenarios
Everyone in the building must know how to respond during an emergency. The best time to become familiar with escape routes and emergency procedures is before emotions are high. During evacuation drills, every person in the building should participate, from the cleaning staff and the front desk staff to the top executives. Boost storm preparedness by involving everyone in the building.
3. Watch Storm Warnings
When storms show up in the forecast, perform property management maintenance, such as emptying garbage receptacles, securing outdoor furniture, taking exterior furnishings inside the building, and trimming shrubs and trees on the property. It's important to keep an eye on the weather, so you can give building occupants plenty of notice before a storm hits.
4. Keep Documents in a Safe Place
Take time-stamped photographs or videos of the exterior of the building, including the property around the building, and store them in an off-site location. This step is vital when the time comes to file insurance claims.
Storm preparedness in Grantville, CA, involves much more than stocking up on supplies. Use these tips to keep your people, buildings, and property safe.
Storm Preparedness Tips for the Exterior of Your Building
An office building suffered severe damage due to a storm in Del Cerro, CA.
Problems with the exterior of your building take a long time to develop, but they often go unnoticed until storms or other events bring the trouble to your attention. By that time, issues with the exterior of the business may have become too large or expensive to resolve easily. The best way to adequately ensure your commercial storm preparedness and keep your building costs down is to focus on exterior maintenance and a regularly scheduled building inspection.
1. Learn to Recognize Early Warning Signs
Every building has areas that are more vulnerable to wear and tear than other areas. For example, you may see that areas around the windows are likely to show early damage. You may also want to keep a close eye on weather stripping and insulation as well. Look for signs, such as peeling paint, discoloration, and cracks or holes.
2. Keep an Eye on the Walls
Walls are a sturdy part of your building and require very little exterior maintenance. However, to keep your building maintained properly, you do need to look the walls over carefully every so often. You may want to work with a commercial building renovation expert to test for air or water infiltration, measure the thickness of paints and other coatings, and inspect the seals between the glass and other building materials.
3. Complete Repairs Early
One of the most important reasons to perform a building inspection regularly is to catch minor issues before they become much larger problems. If you have loose siding or holes around the windows, heavy storms could bring significant water and other physical damages to the building.
If you aren't sure what to watch for, contact a Del Cerro, CA, professional who has handled commercial storm damages. Exterior maintenance doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive to reduce the costs of working with renovation experts.
How To Mitigate Fire and Water Damage
Fire damage in Allied Gardens, CA.
Three Measures To Mitigate Damage
Firefighters rely on hoses that are capable of dispensing between 300 to 800 gallons of water per minute or more, depending on the hydrant and fire hose. As a result, fire suppression efforts often lead to a combination of extensive fire and water damage in homes in Allied Gardens, CA. Specialized mitigation and restoration methods are necessary to prevent the primary fire damage from becoming rapidly compounded and exacerbated by water. A company that specializes in both types of damage should pursue these three measures to mitigate damage.
1. Remove Water
The water used to put out a fire starts as clean, treated Category One water. Exposure to ash, soot, and smoke quickly degrades this water to Category Three flood water. A mitigation service will start by pumping out the water used for fire suppression.
2. Replace Materials
When no standing water remains, restoration experts can determine which building materials are capable of being cleaned or repaired and which need to be replaced. They will have to assess materials damaged by fire, water, or a combination of these two factors. This process will take longer than restoring either type of damage alone, as water can rapidly intensify the staining that results from fire damage.
3. Prevent Damage
In addition to concerns about structural integrity and air quality, water damage also introduces the risk of mold growth. A service specializing in both types of damage can take measures to ensure that no rebuilding occurs until the location is clean and completely dry, which can lower the likelihood that mold will develop.
If your home has been exposed to damage from both fire and water, rely on skilled restoration professionals with the experience and equipment to address all of the factors involved. Act quickly to notify your insurance provider and contact a water and fire damage restoration service in Allied Gardens, CA.
4 Common Causes of House Fires
House damaged by fire in San Carlos, CA.
The 4 Most Common Causes of House Fires
A home fire is a concern that every homeowner should be aware of. The U.S. fire department responded to over a million fires in 2015. Often, a fire happens accidentally, but it’s important to know how to prevent these situations from occurring. Here are four common fire causes in the home.
The kitchen is a favored room in most houses, but it can be a dangerous place if left unattended. While cooking, be sure to clear away flammable objects that might get in your way. Also, never leave the room while cooking with your pots and pans. If you get distracted in another room, you might not notice a potential fire risk until it’s too late.
2. Electrical Appliances
Any electrical equipment that is faulty can create a home fire. Check for any frayed cords, faulty plugs, or overloaded outlets. During the fire cleaning process, you might be surprised how much damage one hazardous appliance can create.
Candles can create the perfect atmosphere for a fancy dinner, but they can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. The small flames can easily catch paper on fire, and if you’re not paying attention, those flames can grow out of control. Remove any flammable objects such as books or magazines before you set the candles out.
A cigarette butt can stay lit for several hours even after you smoke. If one of these contacts furniture or drapery, the flammable material could burst into flames. To prevent this, try to avoid leaving cigarettes in the bedroom or other areas with a lot of furniture.
A home fire is never wanted, but it happens more than you might think. Be smart while cooking, inspect your appliances, and carefully discard your cigarette butts after you finish smoking. By taking precautions within your home in San Carlos, CA, you can decrease the risk of a disaster.
3 Steps To Take Following a Commercial Fire
Commercial fire damage in Del Cerro, CA.
3 Steps to Take After a Commercial Fire
If your commercial property has recently experienced a fire, you may be at a loss about what to do next. Fires disrupt business and can be very costly. It is a good idea to take steps toward fire restoration as soon as possible to limit the amount of money you lose and the extent of the damage to the property. Here are three steps that you can take to start handling the situation as soon as the fire has been extinguished.
1. Contact your insurer. Contact your insurer and discuss the extent of the damage as well as whether commercial damage remediation services are covered by your policy. You will need to document the full extent of damage to your property, including contents, in order to file a claim.
2. Contact a restoration service. If your fire insurance covers part or all of the cost of restoration, you should work with a company that accepts your insurance. Some fire restoration companies specialize in certain services such as smoke cleaning while others provide a full array of fire, smoke, and water cleanup services.
3. Schedule an assessment. Once you determine what your insurance will cover and what the restoration company you have chosen will do, you should schedule an assessment as soon as possible. Damage from fire and smoke will worsen over time. You can limit the extent of this damage by not touching or walking through the affected area and by boarding up holes in the structure. You can board up or fence off the damage yourself or rely on the restoration company.
A fire in a commercial property is a challenge, but full fire restoration is possible. Contact a certified commercial damage restoration company in Del Cerro, CA covered by your insurance that provides all of the services you need, from drying out the property to soot and smoke cleaning.
4 Signs You Need to Call a Restoration Company
Commercial water damage in Grantville, CA.
4 Signs You Should Hire a Restoration Company
As a business owner in Grantville, CA, you're expected to know quite a bit. Not only do you have to know how to run a business, but you may also have to know what to do when disaster strikes your building. If you are dealing with a pipe burst cleanup or any of the following, it may be time to call in a professional water cleanup crew.
1. Flood: Have you found standing water somewhere on your property? This could be caused by rain waters or a broken pipe. No matter what caused the flooding, you may want to call in some professional help. These expects can help you remove the standing water, restore the damage and prevent mold growth.
2. Leak: Has there been a leaky faucet or pipe that has gone unnoticed for some time? Even a small leak can cause a lot of damage when it isn't found right away. The water from a leak could damage drywall, destabilize structure and cause a mess in your building. After you have the leak fixed, you may want to get some help taking care of the water damage.
3. Mold: Do you smell something musty? Part of the pipe burst cleanup process may be removing mold that has grown. Standing water or excess humidity can lead to mold growth in as little as 24 to 48 hours. If you notice any signs of mold, you should call in a remediation team as soon as you can.
4. Sewer: Has the sewer in your building backed up? Sewage backup can lead to a stinky mess that causes water damage to your building. You may want to call in a sewer cleanup company to help you take care of these issues to ensure proper safety protocols are followed.
Whether you need help with a major pipe burst cleanup or a small leak restoration, it can be beneficial to turn to professionals. Getting expert help can make your remediation go much smoother and faster.
Typical Mold Types Found in Homes
Cladosporium has a peppery texture and can be black or green.
Although black mold is the most common mold growth that most homeowners recognize, there are actually a number of types of mold that proliferate throughout homes in Santee, CA. Recognizing the types of mold that may flourish in your home is one of the first steps in mold prevention and remediation.
Types of Mold
These are the most common types of mold growths found in your home:
• Black Mold (stachybotrys atra): This is the most common type of mold you’ve likely encountered in your home. Black mold may not even start off black, but may instead be gray or yellow-green before slowly darkening to black over time. This type of mold can cause extensive damage to homes.
• Cladsporium: Cladsporium has a peppery texture, and can be black or green. It’s very particular about its environment and tends to grow on fiberglass or on the backs of toilets. It also likes painted surfaces. Keep an eye out for this particular type of mold in dark crevices and on walls. If you notice allergic reactions with no discernible source, you may have a hidden mold growth breeding Cladosporium.
• Aspergillus: If you’ve ever found mold on your food, it’s likely that fuzzy green and white, earthy-smell mess was aspergillus. While it’s not particularly harmful, it can be pervasive and should definitely not be eaten if you find it on your food. It can also proliferate in air ducts, spreading its spores throughout your home.
So What Triggers Mold Growth – and What Can I Do About it?
Water damage is one of the quickest ways to trigger a mold explosion, particularly if your home has pervasive leaks. However, high humidity environments can also cause mold to grow. Humidity may come from your climate, or could be caused by steam over stoves or from showers. Minimize water leakage and humidity to minimize the spread of mold in your home.
What Affects the Cost of Fire Restoration?
Commercial fire damage in San Diego, CA.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Fire Restoration?
Whether your commercial building in San Diego, CA, was recently affected by a fire or you simply want to prepare for the unexpected, there is a lot you can learn about the restoration process after a commercial fire. One of the first things you'll want to know is how much it will cost. Your fire mitigation professionals may take a few factors into account when trying to figure out an estimate for the repairs.
• How much damage there is. The extent of the fire damage plays a huge role in how much you will have to pay for repairs. If it was a small fire contained to one room, your restoration costs may be less than someone who has to repair an entire industrial building. Most teams will have a restoration specialist to help you determine how much reconstruction is needed.
• How the fire was fueled. Fires can be fueled by synthetic materials, gasoline, dry wood and other materials. The type of fuel a fire had can affect the smoke it produced. Some fires may have a harsher smoke, so the restoration price may be higher because the cleanup process is more intense. Your team may have a mitigation manager help you determine the cleanup process needed for your project.
• How the fire was put out. Did firefighters have to cut ventilation holes? Was a large fire house used to dampen the flames? Were fire extinguishers the primary source of extinguishing? The methods used could affect the damage level and create a higher or lower estimate.
• How long the repair will take. The professionals also have to consider how long the job will take. If you want to put in a new sprinkler system during the repair process, you may add extra time to the job.
Without the help of a professional, it can be hard to estimate how much you will have to pay for fire restoration. When you don't understand the cleanup and repair process, it is hard to know how much goes into the reconstruction.
Take Care of Flood Damage With a Flood Cut
A flood cut can be needed after you have experienced flood damage.
Flooding can cause major problems in basements and other areas of the home. When excess water is not taken care of immediately, in as little as 24 hours, you may be dealing with mold contamination and structural damage. Depending on flood severity, one of the best ways to prevent mold growth from a recent storm or sewage backup in Del Cerro, CA, is to ask a restoration company to do a flood cut.
When Is a Flood Cut Necessary?
Whether a flood cut is needed or not depends on the extent of the damage and what type of flooding has occurred. Here are three types of water explained to help you decide when it’s time to call a restoration company.
• Potable Water: Generally clean; from sink faucets, showerheads, broken toilet tanks, snowmelt, or rain. This water is often the least damaging when taken care of quickly.
• Gray Water: Slightly health-hazardous; contains chemicals from washing machines, dishwashers, shower and sink drains. This type of damage may be more serious and require a flood cut.
• Black Water: Very hazardous; includes dishwasher water and sewage. This water contains various bacteria and diseases that should be avoided. More serious action such as a flood cut will likely be needed to protect the health of household members.
What Is a Flood Cut?
Building materials are very porous, allowing water to seep into the walls, soak through drywall, and leach into insulation (if present). A flood cut involves cutting and tearing out the drywall of any walls affected in a flood, at least 12 inches above the flood line, to ensure complete damage repair.
It’s even more imperative with insulated walls to tear out and replace these materials, because once insulation becomes wet, its insulating ability decreases dramatically. If the wall isn’t insulated, less invasive techniques are available that can dry everything out just fine.
Regardless of the type of flooding your home experienced, it’s often best to have a professional inspect and make recommendations to decide whether a flood cut will be needed. In no time your home can be free of damage and contamination and back to normal!
Experience Counts in Commercial Mold Remediation
Black mold was discovered on the ceiling in Allied Gardens, CA.
Commercial Mold Remediation
The black mold repair process for commercial properties in Allied Gardens, CA, is similar to residential projects. Professionals in both specializations use similar equipment, such as personal protective gear, air movers and dehumidifiers. However, mold cleanup is not exactly the same for businesses as it is for homes. Some of the major differences often include:
- Types of insurance involved
- Extent of the cleanup process
- The causes of the problem
While good insurance know-how is important for residential projects, it's arguably more important for businesses to work with a mold remediation company that is comfortable handling or advising on claims. Homeowner's insurance policies are usually clear-cut; they either do or do not cover mold damage. Commercial insurance providers have other concerns, and might need more detailed reports to pay out business interruption insurance or recovery benefits.
Black mold infestations in commercial properties could be limited to a room or two, but it's just as likely to spread throughout a building. This is due to several factors:
- Mold in businesses is more likely to go unnoticed than mold in homes
- HVAC systems are more complex, trapping and hiding spores
- Business owners sometimes wait too long, letting the problem get out of hand
The most common cause of mold growth in Allied Gardens, CA, homes is moisture. In a business site, such as a commercial laundry or a light manufacturing facility, water might be a core part of the economic activity. To make matters worse, businesses are often also susceptible to the same risks as homes, which include faulty plumbing, roof problems, bathroom humidity and even changes in drainage patterns due to nearby development.
There is not much business can do to prevent mold beyond the common measures, such as proper ventilation and regular equipment maintenance. However, the problem can be kept from getting out of hand by calling professional black mold experts. They can size up any potential infestations and recommend necessary cleanup actions.