Archived Commercial Blog Posts
Flooded Basement Recovery Guide for Commercial Properties
Dealing with a flooded basement in your commercial property requires swift action and professional assistance.
As a business owner, dealing with a flooded basement can be a distressing and disruptive experience. Floods can result from heavy rains, snowmelt, or burst pipes, causing significant damage to your commercial property and interrupting business operations. In this blog, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to handle flooded basement recovery for commercial properties. By understanding the steps to take and enlisting professional help, you can efficiently restore your property and get your business back on track.
Prioritize Safety First
When faced with a flooded basement, prioritize safety above all else. Before entering the flooded area, ensure that the electricity is turned off to avoid the risk of electric shock. Be cautious of slippery surfaces and avoid wading through standing water, as it may be contaminated with hazardous substances. Consider using protective gear, such as rubber boots and gloves, during cleanup.
Act Swiftly to Mitigate Damage
Time is of the essence when dealing with a flooded basement. Act promptly to mitigate further damage to your commercial property. Start by removing valuable items and equipment from the affected area to prevent them from being further compromised by water damage. Place sandbags or barriers to redirect water away from vulnerable spots.
Contact Professional Flood Restoration Services
Handling a flooded basement in a commercial property requires expertise and specialized equipment. Contact professional flood restoration services, such as a company like SERVPRO of North East Chester County, immediately to assess the damage and initiate the recovery process. Experienced technicians will use industrial-grade pumps and dehumidifiers to efficiently remove standing water and moisture from your basement.
Document the Damage for Insurance Purposes
To ensure a smooth insurance claim process, thoroughly document the damage caused by the flood. Take photographs and videos of the affected areas, including any damaged items or equipment. This documentation will serve as evidence for your insurance claim and help you accurately assess the extent of the damage.
Implement Structural Drying and Mold Remediation
After the water is removed, the affected area must undergo thorough structural drying to prevent further moisture-related issues. Trapped moisture can lead to mold growth, compromising indoor air quality. Professional flood restoration teams will use advanced techniques to dry out walls, floors, and other structural components.
Restore and Repair Damaged Areas
Once the basement is thoroughly dried and free from excess moisture, commence the restoration process. Repair any damaged walls, floors, or structural elements, ensuring they are back to their pre-flood condition. Replace damaged electrical components and equipment that are beyond repair.
Consider Waterproofing Solutions
To prevent future flood incidents, consider investing in waterproofing solutions for your commercial basement. Seal cracks and gaps in the foundation walls and install sump pumps to redirect water away from your property. Waterproofing measures will add an extra layer of protection and give you peace of mind during heavy rainfall or snowmelt.
Dealing with a flooded basement in your commercial property requires swift action and professional assistance. Prioritize safety, act promptly to mitigate damage, and contact flood restoration services to initiate the recovery process. Proper documentation and communication with your insurance provider will streamline the claims process. Implementing structural drying, mold remediation, and thorough restoration are essential steps to restore your property to its pre-flood condition. Consider investing in waterproofing solutions to safeguard your business from future flooding incidents. By following this comprehensive guide, you can effectively recover from a flooded basement and resume normal business operations with minimal disruption.
Filing an Insurance Claim after a Commercial Water Loss
Experiencing a water loss incident in a commercial building can be a challenging and disruptive event. From water damage to property and equipment to the interruption of business operations, the impact can be significant. In such situations, filing an insurance claim becomes crucial to seek financial coverage for the losses incurred. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim after a commercial water loss, providing valuable insights to help you navigate the journey effectively.
Document the Damage
Before initiating the insurance claim process, it's essential to document the extent of the water damage thoroughly. Take detailed photographs and videos of the affected areas, including damaged property, equipment, and any visible signs of water intrusion. Maintain a detailed inventory of damaged items, noting their original value, purchase dates, and any relevant receipts or documentation.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Thoroughly review your commercial insurance policy to understand the coverage provided for water damage incidents. Pay attention to specific inclusions and exclusions, policy limits, deductibles, and any additional requirements for filing a claim. Familiarize yourself with the timelines for reporting the loss to your insurance provider and the necessary documentation they may require.
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the water loss incident. Provide them with a clear and concise description of the event, the date it occurred, and the extent of the damage. Follow their instructions on the next steps and obtain a claim number or reference for future correspondence.
Mitigate Further Damage
It is crucial to take immediate action to mitigate further damage after a water loss incident. This includes promptly stopping the source of water, removing standing water, and implementing drying and dehumidification measures. Keep records of all mitigation efforts, including invoices or receipts for services rendered, as these may be necessary for the claims process.
Work with Insurance Adjusters
An insurance adjuster will likely be assigned to assess the damage and determine the coverage applicable to your claim. Cooperate fully with the adjuster, providing them access to the affected areas, supporting documentation, and any requested information. Maintain open lines of communication with the adjuster, addressing any questions or concerns promptly.
Seek professional estimates from reputable restoration and repair companies to assess the cost of restoring the water-damaged areas. These estimates should outline the scope of work, itemized costs, and a detailed timeline for completing the repairs. Share these estimates with your insurance provider to facilitate the claims evaluation process.
Provide Accurate Documentation
When filing an insurance claim, ensure that all documentation is accurate, complete, and well-organized. Include photographs, videos, inventory lists, estimates, invoices, and any other supporting evidence that substantiates your claim. Detail the financial impact the water loss has had on your business, including lost revenue, extra expenses incurred, and any temporary relocation costs if applicable.
Follow the instructions and guidelines provided by your insurance provider regarding the submission of documents, deadlines, and any additional information required. Keep copies of all correspondence and documentation exchanged throughout the claim process for your records.
If you encounter challenges or complexities during the claims process, consider consulting a public adjuster or an attorney specializing in insurance claims. These professionals can provide guidance, advocate on your behalf, and ensure that you receive fair and adequate compensation for your water loss damages.
Filing an insurance claim after a commercial water loss can be a complex process, but with proper understanding and preparation, you can navigate it successfully. Document the damage thoroughly, review your policy, promptly notify your insurance provider, mitigate further damage, and collaborate with insurance adjusters. Provide accurate documentation and follow the prescribed claim process while seeking professional assistance if necessary. By following these steps, you can maximize your chances of receiving the appropriate compensation to help restore your commercial property and resume normal business operations.
How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire.
All fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are still working properly
How to Prepare Your Company for a Fire
A fire in your business can be devastating. There are many ways to minimize the damage and losses, but it is important to have a plan in place before a fire occurs.
Make Sure You are Insured
If your business is housed in a building, make sure it’s properly insured and that the coverage is up to date. Most buildings come with fire insurance as part of their mortgage payment, but this might not be sufficient for your needs. Make sure that you have enough protection to cover any damage caused by fires or other disasters. You should also keep up with changes in technology and industry standards as these could affect what kinds of services or products your business provides, which could change how much risk there is associated with them.
Develop an Evacuation and Emergency Action Plan for the Entire Business
The plan should include:
- a fire escape route for all employees to follow if there is a fire, including the safest way out of the building, what to do in an emergency, and where to meet after exiting the building.
- information on how to assist disabled employees or other people who may need help.
- plans for pets that may be left behind during an evacuation. This includes identifying where they will go while you are away from work, keeping them contained in certain areas of your business (such as inside cages) with food and water until you return home from work yourself, or having arrangements made with someone else outside of your business who can care for them while you are gone (a friend/family member).
Keep Your Building in Good Repair
Ensure that all exits are clear and unobstructed. Fire extinguishers should be readily available in areas where they are needed, such as near the kitchen and office area. All fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are still working properly (they should be replaced every five years). Installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is also a good idea, as it will give you more time to evacuate your building if there is a fire. Be sure to have an emergency exit plan for everyone who works at the business!
Keep a fire blanket on hand just in case something does happen!
Store Flammable Liquids Away from Ignition Sources.
Close the lid on containers that contain flammable liquids and place them in a safe location where they will be secure from fire. Do not store flammable liquids near things that can ignite, such as lint or paper, because even minor sparks can ignite these substances. If you see heavy smoke coming from an area where you keep your flammable liquids, evacuate immediately. You may think that putting out the fire is easy but it could cost you your life if you get too close to it. Call 911 right away if there are flames or smoke coming out of any area of your building.
Use a fire extinguisher on small fires only when they start off as burning embers or sparks rather than flames so they won't spread quickly across large areas within seconds which would make them harder for other people who might not have experience using one before trying doing so themselves without knowing how else those types work properly; although there's always room for improvement here too since these situations tend not necessarily happen every time.
Keep Electrical Equipment in Good Working Order, Including Wiring and Outlets
Wiring should be regularly inspected for any signs of damage, such as loose connections or frayed insulation. If you have concerns about the safety of your wiring, contact a professional electrician to inspect it before using it again.
Outlets should be tested regularly with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that no electrical current is leaking through them (a sign that they may have been damaged).
Being Prepared Can Significantly Reduce Damage if a Fire Occurs
If you're not sure where to start, here are some tips:
- Make sure you have the correct type and number of fire extinguishers for the building. In most cases, this will be either ABC or BC dry chemical extinguishers. You should also have a wet pipe or sprinkler system installed in your building.
- Leave detailed evacuation plans with your employees and make sure they know how to use them in case of emergency. The plan should include an exit map that shows all possible exits from every room in the building as well as any obstacles they may encounter on their way out, such as stairwells blocked by smoke or heat-related hazards like hot surfaces that could burn if touched; broken glass windows; inner doors with warped frames which cannot be opened by hand due to excessive heat buildup inside; etc.
Preparing your business for a fire can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow the steps above and make sure that your business is well prepared, you will decrease the risk of damage or injuries in case of an emergency.
Keep Sneaky HVAC Mold at Bay
Mold may be part of life, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming problem
Keep Mold in the HVAC System at Bay
Whether a new, old, small, or large business, the people running it have plenty of things on their minds. When it comes to the structure the business operates out of, it can be easy to overlook what can’t be seen. One area of maintenance easily forgotten is HVAC cleaning—a surprising key to mold prevention.
While mold can easily be spotted on walls, floors and areas prone to water, it can also hide in air ducts. Below are three steps to help spot and deal with sneaky mold issues.
1. Inspect the HVAC system. Unfortunately, mold is something that pops up quickly and never completely goes away. Fortunately, it’s easy to minimize its growth by regularly checking around the system for moisture—mold fuel. Any signs of moisture around ducts, vents and the system’s parts, such as blowers, could indicate it’s time for an HVAC cleaning. Also, check that the drain and condensation pans are draining and not retaining water.
2. Get the system cleaned. Mold doesn’t only need moisture to make its rounds. It can also grow on dust inside the ducts and vents. Cleaning vents help reduce the accumulation of mold and keeps airflow operating smoothly. Business owners in Chester Springs, PA, with the potential for mold in their vents, should call an expert to help resolve the issue quickly and professionally.
3. Preventive maintenance keeps the mold away. Once an HVAC system is cleaned, it's time to set up a regular maintenance plan. Change filters regularly to stunt future growth, and ensure that the filters are positioned correctly. Continue to regularly inspect the system and its components for any moisture buildup or improperly functioning parts. Additionally, regular general dusting and vacuuming can help air ducts stay relatively clean, keeping mold from serious growth. Lastly, be sure to set up an annual cleaning appointment with an HVAC expert.
Mold may be part of life, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming problem. While HVAC cleaning may not be on the priority list, its benefits can help put business owners’ minds at ease.
You Cook...We Clean!!!
We clean while you cook!!!
Everyone loves a home-cooked meal or dining out with friends at a favorite restaurant, but who wants to clean up the kitchen???
SERVPRO of North East Chester County is ready and willing to provide professional, deep cleaning of your commercial or residential kitchen! Our skilled technicians have the equipment and the know-how to restore your kitchen - the heart of your home or business - to a pristine state that looks, smells, and feels clean.
Our technicians will hit all of those hard-to-reach spots that probably haven't been cleaned since the appliances first came off the truck. Your kitchen will feel and smell so fresh you will want to host the next family dinner or friends' dinner party to show off your newly restored space.
Re-inspire your culinary staff with a professionally cleaned work space, and re-ignite their sense of pride and responsibility to maintain your restaurant kitchen. We take on the tough chores that you can never quite get to and can restore tired-looking, greasy equipment to a like-new luster!
How Business Interruption Insurance Can Help After a Fire
Following a fire, you may be required to evacuate your property while a fire cleaning crew assesses and repairs the damage.
How Business Interruption Insurance Can Assist Following A Fire
A fire can devastate your business in Phoenixville, PA, can displace you and your employees. However, having a contingency plan that includes an insurance policy with a business interruption rider can help you continue working. In addition, your policy may help you pay for various expenses, including the following when a business fire forces you out of your space.
After a fire, you may need to evacuate your space while a fire cleaning crew assesses and repairs the damage. Your clients and vendors may expect business as usual, and insurance can help you pay to move your operations to a temporary location equipped with everything you need to run your business, including:
- Phones, scanners and computers
- Desks, chairs and other furnishings
- Utilities and other services
Rent and Mortgage Payments
Although you and your team may operate from a different location, you must still pay the rent or mortgage on your fire-damaged space. Business interruption insurance can help you pay to maintain both, while a fire cleaning service ensures you can return to your original business home.
A business fire can damage the inventory you plan to sell, leading to significant income losses. Your insurance representatives can review your profits from prior months and recommend reimbursement for profits that you will not receive due to the damage to your inventory.
After a fire, you will likely need all hands on deck to ensure you can meet your operational needs. However, if your income drops significantly, you may struggle to meet your payroll obligations. Fortunately, you can maintain your entire staff when you rely on insurance to cover your staff's wages.
You may need to train your staff to operate new equipment, perform new tasks or learn other procedures following a business fire. Again, insurance can help relieve the financial burden accompanying training your staff.
A disaster at your business in Phoenixville, PA, does not need to shut down your operation when you have business interruption insurance to help you with your expenses.
Cleaning Water From a Wood Floor Helps Prevent Major Damage
Sometimes SERVPRO can save hardwood floors and sometimes they need to be removed and replaced. Call us before it's too late.
Cleaning Water From A Wood Floor Aids in the Prevention of Major Damage
Water and wooden floors in your Charlestown, PA, building don't mix well. After a leak, pipe burst or flooding in your facility, it doesn't take long for damage to set in on your hardwood flooring. It's critical to clean up the water as soon as possible to avoid replacing the wood.
To get started cleaning up a wet floor, you'll need:
- Shop vacuum
- Brush with stiff bristles
- Absorbent cloth
- Rubber gloves
- Mild detergent
Removing the Water
Time is of the essence when cleaning up a wood floor. Fibers in the wood will begin to absorb moisture quickly but release it slowly. Begin by using the shop vacuum and squeegee to draw out as much water as possible. Scrub the floor with detergent and a stiff brush to remove as much dirt and mud as you can. This process will help prevent mold growth, as mold thrives in moisture and feeds on organic material in the dirt. If the flood or pipe burst has already caused mold growth, a restoration company can mitigate damage.
Drying the Floor
Begin the drying process by increasing airflow. Open doors and windows and use fans to move fresh air throughout the space. Try putting a fan in a window or open door, then opening doors or windows on the opposite side of the room. This creates cross-ventilation to move moisture out of the area.
It's essential to dry the wet floor slowly and avoid applying heat. Wood that dries too quickly or is exposed to a heater can crack or split.
Refinishing the Floor
If your wood floor has minor warped or cupped areas, you can use a drum sander to repair them. Boards with heavy damage will need replacing. If floorboards are lifted at the ends, you can face-nail them back in place.
Cleaning up quickly after a pipe burst or flood in your Charlestown, PA, facility can help you avoid major issues down the road.
What To Do if You Smell a Musty Odor From Your AC
Black mold is a tiny organism that can create significant problems if not addressed in a timely manner. Call SERVPRO for more information.
What Should You Do If You Notice A Musty Odor Coming From Your Air Conditioner?
As a commercial property owner or manager in East-West Pikeland, PA, you know there are many tasks you must perform to keep buildings running smoothly. If you’ve ever noticed a musty odor when you run the heating or air conditioning, it might be time to check the ducts for black mold. An understanding of the signs, and how to prevent mold in the future, will help you identify the problem. Here are a few things to look for.
Signs of Mold
Even though it is small, mold leaves signs that will alert you to its presence. When determining the source of a musty odor, the first thing you should do is check for the telltale symptoms of mold:
Black dust near air ducts
Moisture or discoloration on floors or walls
Foul odors when air is flowing
If you notice any of these signs, the best thing to do is call a mold remediation specialist. Cleaning and sanitizing mold-affected items requires specialized equipment and expertise, so this is not a DIY situation. If you try to clean it on your own, you'll likely make the problem worse.
After your building is free of black mold, you’ll want to prevent it from coming back. Here are a few simple things you can do:
- Improve ventilation
- Keep gutters clean
- Change the HVAC air filter regularly
- Install a humidity sensor
- Inspect bathrooms and kitchens for water leaks
These tasks will help you keep your building free of excess moisture, which causes mold growth. Depending on your climate, you may want to consider a system-wide dehumidifier to keep levels under control. In addition, you can schedule an annual duct cleaning to ensure mold doesn’t grow unnoticed.
Black mold is a tiny organism that can create significant problems if not addressed in a timely manner. By ensuring your building has clean ducts, you’ll maintain a good space for everyone inside.
How To Create a Business Continuity Plan
A continuity plan can help business owners deal with storm or flood damage.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan and How Do I Make One?
A continuity plan can help business owners cope with storm damage or flooding at a commercial structure in Phoenixville, PA. Owners should take the following measures to limit lost revenue due to unexpected setbacks.
Perform a Business Impact Analysis
Any successful plan for continued operation after a storm or disaster calls for accurate operational data. Business owners should make several calculations:
- Average expenses and revenues
- Risk assessments for floods, storms and other types of damage
- Scenarios that could interrupt business
- The effects of supply shortages or service delays
This analysis can help owners make more informed choices with regard to property insurance policies and interruption riders. A gap analysis is another important component of a complete impact analysis.
Come Up With Continuity Options
Once a business owner has assessed the situation of a business and identified potential problems, the next step is to come up with solutions. A continuity plan may include measures to lower the total of an interruption claim or avoid the necessity of using this coverage:
- Reducing continued costs during closure
- Moving to a temporary location
- Operating out of an undamaged portion of the primary location
If specialized equipment or other issues prevent a business from operating, it is a good idea to file an interruption claim. This commercial policy rider can offset continued expenses such as rent or payroll until a business reopens. Business owners may want to refer to federal guidelines when developing a plan.
A plan cannot succeed without trained staff. Business owners should delegate responsibilities and complete training in advance of an interruption. Maintain open lines of communication in the event of a disaster.
These are the major stages of developing and implementing a continuity plan. If a business sustains storm damage or suffers from flooding in Phoenixville, PA, owners should rely on the expertise of damage mitigation and restoration professionals.