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How to Properly Dry Important Documents After Water Damage

6/26/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts.

How to Dry Important Documents Properly After Water Damage

Water damage can hit businesses hard. Not only can it require repairs to the building, but also poses issues if important documents seep in moisture. Luckily, wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts. Here are a few techniques the document drying process consists of in the event your Baton Rouge, LA, business be impacted by water.

1. Freezing Wet Documents
After any flooding event, locate any wet papers of value and get them to a freezer. Taking swift action here will prevent the growth of mold and stop rapid deterioration of the paper. Once you have the document frozen, restoration experts can transport them to a facility with state-of-the-art technology that allows these items to be restored to their prior condition. A specialized vaccuum-dry freezer is used to draw out any moisture from the paper, a method which is commonly used for restoring some museum archive items.

2. Gamma Irradiation
Depending on how much moisture an item retained and the contamination level of the water it had contact with, it's a possibility that molding or bacterial growth has occurred. To alleviate this, experts rely on a process known as gamma irradiation. This entails using powerful radiation to destroy any microorganisms and sterilize the item at hand.

3. Digitize Documents
With proper freezing and radiation, most items plagued by water damage can be restored. But to provide extra peace of mind, digital copies of impacted documents are often created. This gives relief to many business owners who don't have to compromise their documentation again in the event of future water or fire damage.
While it may seem that any papers that get caught in water are a lost cause, wet documents can be dried and saved. Immediate freezing helps preserve them before undergoing gamma irradiation and digitizing to complete the restoration process.

3 Steps To Take After A Sewage Backup

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Man using sewer inspection camera Plumbers will use a specialized camera that they place into the pipes and can locate the problem in the area.

Three Steps To Take After A Sewage Backup

Whether you have a clogged main sewage pipe or your sewer system gets overwhelmed after a severe storm with significant floods, you could face a sewage backup. When that happens to your Monticello, LA, home, you need to know what to do to keep your family safe. Here are three steps to take after a sewage backup.

1. Call a Plumber To Determine Why the Sewer Backup is Happening
When you find a sewage backup in your home, you first want to call a plumber to determine why the sewer system has backed up. The plumber will use a specialized camera that they place into the pipes and can use to locate problem areas. If you have a clog, they will clear the clog at that time. If your system was overwhelmed by heavy rainwaters, you'll need your system pumped to prevent further problems.

2. Determine if the Area is Safe to Go Into
When dealing with a sewer backup, it's essential to evaluate the situation before you attempt to start cleaning up. If your problem is limited to a simple bathtub backup, you'll be fine to handle things yourself. Ensure that you use protective equipment and a bleach-water solution to clean and sanitize your bathtub. However, if the sewage spill is more widespread, always err on the side of caution and contact a water damage restoration company to clean up for you. The longer the sewage sits, the more widespread the damage will be, so contact a company as soon as possible.

3. Stop it From Happening Again
Regular maintenance of your system is vital to help prevent a sewer backup. Have a plumber scope your pipes and remove any buildups or clogs every year. If you have a septic system, ensure that you keep your gutters clean of debris to avoid flooding your drain field, which could cause your septic system to get overwhelmed.
Dealing with a sewage backup can be a stressful situation. However, following a few simple steps and relying on the pros will help you get your house back to normal in no time.

After a Flood: The Do’s and Don’ts

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Flood water in a home level of water reaches the stairs Flood damage in a home in Zachary, LA.

The Do's and Don'ts After a Flood

After a severe storm ravages Zachary, LA, safety should also come first. While you may be eager to determine the amount of damage your home has received from flood water, wind and other issues, some key things should and shouldn’t be done.

Flooded Home Do’s
If your home has sustained significant flooding, it is best to evacuate and not re-enter until it is deemed safe by the professionals. Once you have been given the go-ahead to re-enter, below are a few steps that should be taken next:

Document the damage for your insurance company. This includes taking videos and pictures, as well as retrieving important documents.
Any food, medicine or other consumables that have been touched by flood water should be discarded.
Verify that water is safe before drinking. If you are not certain, boil it beforehand.
Open doors and windows to get enhanced airflow.
Avoid using any electrical equipment that could have sustained damage.
If possible, begin extracting water and drying out affected areas.

Water Damage Don’ts
Knowing that safety is of the essence, avoid just imping in and tackling the water issues. If there is extensive water in the home, it is best to contact a certified mold, water and storm damage restoration company for an assessment and to handle the cleanup process. Stormwater often means that there are potential toxins, contaminants, microorganisms and other substances that will require specific safety gear and industrial-grade equipment. Water may also be lurking in hidden areas. Even if you think you have cleaned up a small issue, there could be mold starting to grow out of sight. When getting your home back to preloss condition is the priority, it’s best to let the experts handle the mess.
After the flood water starts to go down, it’s easy to want to rush in and start the cleaning process. Keeping safety in mind and following the above tips helps ensure the cleanup process goes safely and smoothly.

3 Tips for Fire Hazard Mitigation While Cooking

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Smoke detectors can alert you to the danger so you can evacuate in time.

Three Tips for Preventing Fires While Cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2014 to 2018 U.S. fire departments were called to approximately 172,900 home fires connected to cooking activities. Kitchen fires are the leading cause of residential fires in the nation and can result in serious fire damage that may require the services of a professional restoration business in Baker, LA, to deal with. It is important to take safety precautions to lower the likelihood of a devastating event like a grease fire occurring. Here are three tips for doing so.

1. Keep Flammable Items/Substances Away From the Cooking Area While Cooking
If you have your stove or oven on, combustible things like wooden utensils, oven mitts, oil-coated spatulas and food wrappers can easily go up in flames, so it is important to move them out of the danger zone. Grease splatters, puddles and buildup also easily catch fire, so it is important to keep your work area clean.

2. Install the Appropriate Equipment
There are some things your home needs in case of a fire:

  • Carbon monoxide monitors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers

Having these valuable tools can help you identify and handle such situations before they become too severe, or at least alert you to the danger so you can evacuate in time.

3. Don't Leave Fires Unattended
This is one of the most important tips. You do not ever want to walk away from cooking food. If you need to take a phone call, go to the bathroom for a prolonged period of time or leave the proximity for some other reason for longer than a couple of minutes, you should turn the range or stovetop off.
These are not the only fire safety tips you should heed. However, they are important ones. Fire, and by extension cooking, is not something to be taken lightly. Because of this, it is best not to cook while tired or distracted, particularly if you are frying something or using grease.

How Security Fencing Will Protect Your Commercial Property After a Fire

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Fence A security fence acts as a great deterrent.

How Would Security Fencing Protect Your Commercial Property?

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a devastating fire or another damaging event on your commercial property, there are many issues you must handle. In addition to making renovations and covering costs, you must also consider protecting the property from further damage.

Advantages of a Security Fence
There are many reasons to install security fencing around your property before you begin renovations to your building.

Safety Concerns - Curiosity entices many people, both young and old, to explore a deserted structure. Damages caused by fire will undoubtedly present many opportunities for injury. Tripping over broken structures or falling into crevices are only a couple of the concerns. Someone who is injured may also seek legal counsel, which could be very costly to your business.
Vandal Issues - There are those who may look to benefit from an unprotected building by stealing anything that could be salvaged. A security fence acts as a great deterrent.
Wild Life Concerns - Many small animals, such as raccoons and mice will more than likely occupy the open space very quickly. This can cause more damage to the property.
Insurance Compliance - Some insurance plans require that the property is secured with fencing before renovations can begin. A non-fenced area can become more damaged and cost more to renovate. In this case, the insurance company may not cover any of the damages after a fire at your property in Baton Rouge, LA.

Steps to Take When Installing a Fence
Talk with your insurance agent about the optimum fencing for your location. They will consider many issues when determining the best fit, including the property location and the size of the overall property. Wire mesh and chain link options are two of the choices available. Your fire restoration service can help you install the security fence.
Keep your building protected and reduce further damage after a fire with secured fencing around your property.

How To Keep Water Heaters in Good Condition

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Connecting a hose to water heater Flushing a water heater

The last thing you want while taking a shower is cold water gushing out of the showerhead. Your first inclination may be to buy a new heater. There are easy instructions, however, that can help prolong the life of your heater in Monticello, LA, for many years.

Routine Maintenance on Your Water Heater

Conducting routine maintenance on your unit will reduce the risk of failure. If your heater malfunctions and you experience water damage, call a water restoration expert right away.

Test the Temperature-Pressure Release Valve - This valve regulates the pressure and temperature in the tank. To test it, put a pail below the discharge pipe. If water isn't released when you lift the lever, the valve must be replaced.
Check Electrical Connections - Periodically inspect the connections to ensure the unit is working properly.
Clean Sediment Within the Tank - As sediment builds up inside the tank, it can block the pipeline. If left unattended, it can also create cracks in the tank. Flushing the tank will reduce these risks.

Steps on Flushing a Water Heater
Performing a water heater flush may sound complicated, but it is really quite simple if you follow these steps.

Make sure the heater is turned off, then locate the drain valve and attach a garden hose to it.
Open the drain valve to release the water. While the water is flowing, turn on the hot water faucet in the kitchen or bathroom.
After several minutes, close the water supply valve and allow the water to continue draining until it stops
Once completely drained, make sure all of the valves are closed. At this point, turn the water supply on.
Check the faucet and wait until the water begins flowing smoothly again. This means that the water heater tank is full.
Turn the power and heating element back on.

Perform some routine maintenance on your heater to keep it running smoothly for years.

4 Tips for Preparing Your Business's Exterior for Storms

4/23/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Four Storm-Proofing Tips for Your Business's Exterior

Your commercial business insurance and relevant riders are all lined up to carefully cover your company for this year's stormy season in Zachary, LA. Your employees are knowledgeable about all of your safety protocols, and you've inspected the interior of your site for vulnerabilities and moved all important documentation out of potential flood zones. How about exterior maintenance? While it might feel like a lost cause to try and perform any repairs or make improvements when big storms are imminent, protecting your building from the outside can make a big difference in how well it withstands a storm's lashing. Here are four tips.

1. Secure Loose Objects

Complete a thorough exterior building inspection, starting with loose objects that could be tossed by winds and cause more damage. Antennas, trash cans, hanging signs, and benches could all become projectiles that damage your building. Secure them outside or bring them indoors.

2. Protect All Glass

From individual windows to large glass storefronts, protect your business by using storm shutters. There are many types available at various price points. At the very least, use duct tape over the glass to prevent shattering.

3. Clean Out Downspouts

Cleaning downspouts, gutters, and drains is probably a part of your regular exterior maintenance routine, but going over them an extra time right before a big storm ensures that water can drain away from the building properly.

4. Look for Entry Points

Keeping your building maintained regularly ensures that you don't have huge repair projects right before a storm. Check the roof, windows, doors, and foundation for any possible points of entry for water. Plus, if you do have to call a water damage restoration company to help clean up after a storm, you can be sure that the damage was a result of the storm and not poor maintenance.
Exterior maintenance of your building is an important part of your storm preparedness plan.

Mold Standards You Need To Know Before Commercial Mold Clean Up

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Technician wearing protective gear while removing mold Mold clean-up services in Baker, LA.

Mold Standards

When hiring experts to clean up a mold issue in your commercial business, you expect them to be aware of mold standards. However, it's important to be aware of these standards, yourself. Slipups can cost you financially, as well as lead to the regrowth of the mold that was causing the problem in the first place. Educate yourself on the rules and regulations to be safe.

Standards for Professional Mold Clean Up

If you bring in an honorable professional mold remediation team, they will not skirt around important regulations. It's your responsibility as a commercial business to make sure that the experts you bring in are holding up their end of the bargain. Some resources that you can acquire on mold standards include:

  • The ANSI/IICRC S520 - Mold Remediation -
  • Third Edition: 2015
  • EPA guidelines for mold remediation in schools and commercial buildings
  • OSHA's Mold Standards

These documents are up to date at the time of this article's publication but always check for the newest edition. Also, it's important to be aware of the state plan in Baker, LA and whether or not it is OSHA-approved. This means that it is up to par or better than the standards outlined by OSHA.

Examples of Standards Set Forth

The availability of the documents above varies. Here are some examples of what you will find in the aforementioned resources:

  • Safety tips
  • Inspection and determination standards
  • Regulatory equipment, tools, and materials
  • Principles of mold eradication

The list goes on! The experts you bring in should already have knowledge of these standards. If they do not follow the standards set forth in your state, you can take action.

Why This Is Important for Mold Clean Up

Mold overgrowth can have devastating ramifications for a commercial building. The structural and property damage is not worth skipping out on reading a few legal documents. If standards aren't met, you're faced with the chance that black mold will reappear, and the mold clean-up process will have to start all over again. Educating yourself and your business can save valuable time and resources down the line.

Protecting Your Business From Flood Damage

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Sealants on a table. You can also help protect yourself by sealing any cracks in the outside of your building.

Flood Damage Protection for Your Business

If you own a business, you know you need to protect your building from flood damage. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can do this in Baton Rouge, LA.

Have a Plan

One of the most important ways you can protect your business from a flood is to have a clear plan for what happens if it is going to flood. This plan should:

  • Be comprehensive
  • Encompass before and after the flood
  • Have vital information on what to do

Keep your flood plan on-hand or in an accessible place.

Keep Vital Information On-Hand

You will need to keep important information like insurance policies and the number of a storm damage remediation company in a separate location. This can help you get things started even before the floodwaters recede.

Prepare for Flooding

You can prepare for flooding by keeping some flood supplies on hand. You can easily store absorbant flood barriers and plastic sheeting.

Keep Electricity Away From Water

Whenever possible, move your electrical outlets to water safe heights. You should also keep all electronics like computers and printers off the floor. If it is safe and you suspect that it might flood, consider shutting down the power to any electronics and unplugging them. This will help to protect them against flood damage.

Use Flood-Resistant Landscaping and Materials

If you have the choice, choose flood-resistant materials to decorate your office. Most of these materials can survive around 72 hours in the event of a flood. This can save you time and money when you want to return to normal business operations.
Decorate your premises with native landscaping. Native plants help provide a barrier and can survive a flood if it is something normal for your area.

Seal the Cracks

By using water-resistant materials, you can also help protect yourself by sealing any cracks in the outside of your building. This will keep water from seeping in.
Protecting yourself against flood damage is important in all areas. If you follow these suggestions, they can help you get back to business faster.

3 Fire Extinguisher Facts Every Business Should Know

3/25/2022 (Permalink)

Three Red tank of fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher is designed to battle specific types of infernos.

3 Fire Extinguisher Facts

A fire extinguisher is a crucial piece of safety equipment that can save lives and spare commercial properties from extensive damage mandating professional cleanup and restoration. Because of this, every business in Monticello, LA, should maintain at least one functional device. To ensure it’s readily available in an emergency, every owner and manager should also recognize three key facts about this vital fire suppression tool.

1. Device Doesn’t Last Forever

Extinguishers do not have an indefinite shelf life. Unfortunately, they also do not typically come with an expiration date sticker.
To determine the viability of your device, you should complete annual inspections and check for compromised components. Specific defects that may make it unusable include a broken handle, missing locking pin or a cracked nozzle. The gauge should also be in green. If it’s not, replace the device.

2. Multiple Types Exist

A fire extinguisher is designed to battle specific types of infernos. Class K units, for example, can douse a kitchen fire sparked by grease while a Class A device is designated for use with blazes involving ordinary combustibles, such as wood and paper. Additional distinctions include Class C for electrical fires and Class B for flammable liquids.
Attempting to smother flames with the wrong type of device can be ineffective. To combat this potential dilemma, evaluate your company’s specific fire risks and purchase your extinguisher accordingly. Check the canister’s label to confirm the class. You can also purchase a multipurpose device, which can be used against a variety of blazes.

3. Should Be Accessible and Visible
Minimizing fire damage requires prompt action. To ensure an expedited response, mount your extinguisher in a safe, accessible place and post signage to identify its location. You should also ensure staff recognize this area and refrain from blocking the site.
Because an inferno can erupt suddenly, having a functioning fire extinguisher easily accessible is a crucial safety strategy. Understanding key aspects of the device can ensure it’s in prime operating condition and ready to perform in an emergency.