Recent Posts

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.

Pretesting, Innovative Tools Help Salvage More Damaged Property, Belongings

3/11/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed in a lobby room Restoration services in Zachary, LA.

Pretesting, Innovative Tools Help Salvage More Damaged Property, Belongings

If your commercial property in Zachary, LA, sustains a water loss, the initial scene can be overwhelming. While it may seem like little is salvageable and your insurance claim will be over the top, a certified mold and water damage and restoration company will have the tools and expertise to perform pretesting and make a restoration plan to minimize claims and get your property back to “Like it never even happened.”

Inspection

Even though you may already have damage, a key to minimizing costs is ensuring it doesn’t spread. After calling a professional, they will quickly respond to start the saving process.

Within four hours, a technician will arrive on-site to assess the damage and develop a mitigation plan.
The professional will clearly explain the assessment and plan, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the process.
After the on-site visit, the professional will communicate the scope of the project with your insurance agent or claims adjuster.
Pretesting will be done to determine if items can be restored.

Restoration

Once the cleanup and restoration process begins, certified professionals have an arsenal of tools and techniques to clean, repair and restore the structure and many of the items within it. These include:

Moisture Detection: This is used to measure and monitor moisture levels, including detecting hidden water.
Water Extraction: To speed up the drying process, portable or truck-mounted extraction equipment will be used to pump out high levels of water.
Drying: Industrial-strength humidifiers and air mover are used to eradicate leftover moisture from throughout the structure.
Cleaning and Deodorizing: Salvageable belongings will be removed and taken to a secure location to clean and remove odors. Different methods will be used depending on the item, such as dry, immersive or wet cleaning. Air scrubbers, thermal foggers and anti-microbial treatments are used in the property to eliminate odors and sanitize.

A water loss may seem like a difficult situation to get out of, but taking quick action and pretesting damaged items ensures more can be restored instead of replaced.

3 Steps To Stop a Continuously Flushing Commercial Toilet

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Water in toilet bowl flushing These steps can help your toilet from flushing continuously.

3 Steps to Stop a Commercial Toilet From Flushing Constantly

Commercial toilets flush by using a water-diverting device called a flushometer. This device enables tankless toilets, which are optimal for high-use bathrooms. If you manage a business property in Baker, LA, you probably have this type of fixture. Most of the time they operate smoothly, but sometimes they can accumulate built-up sediment that leads to a toilet overflow. When this happens, the flushometer does not stop flushing. Although flooding can be a daunting problem, there are simple steps you can take to clean out a typical manual flushometer and stop a toilet from flushing.

1. Take Apart the Flushometer

First, find the slot for a flathead screwdriver on one side of the flushometer. Turn the slot to shut off the water. Next, remove the top lid of the flushometer by loosening it with a wrench and then twisting it completely off. Placing a soft buffer material between the jaws of your wrench and the flushometer’s top lid can prevent scuffs.
Once the top lid is removed, you can unscrew and remove the flange cover. This should be done slowly and carefully, as trapped water may be released upon opening.

2. Clean the Gasket

Once the flange cover is removed, you can see the gasket. There will likely be a lot of sediment built up. This is typically the root cause of toilet overflow. Remove the gasket and clean it thoroughly, washing off all sediment. There may be a tiny opening called a weep hole. Use a small object to clear out this hole, being careful not to expand it in the process.

3. Reassemble, Test and Restore

Reinsert the gasket, and put the flushometer back together by reversing the steps of disassembly. If the problem persists after the water is turned back on, you will need to replace the gasket. If damage is sustained from the toilet flood, a local restoration and cleanup specialist can help get your property back in top shape.
These steps can address a toilet overflow in manual flushometers. Keep them in mind to avoid water damage in your commercial building's bathroom.

What Does SERVPRO Do To Help With Insurance Claims?

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Technician is inspecting something When you need an emergency response cleanup and repair team, there are plenty of choices. But few can do what SERVPRO offers.

How Can SERVPRO Assist With Insurance Claims?

When the unthinkable happens and your worst nightmare comes true with a flood or fire in your home, help is available to get your through the ordeal. Different key groups play important roles to ensure you can stay in or return to your home. Firefighters, disaster cleanup and restoration professionals, and your insurance company will do their part to make this ordeal as pain free as possible. If you choose an experienced, reputable restoration team such as SERVPRO, they’ll make sure claim services go smoothly.

SERVPRO Specialties

When you need an emergency response cleanup and repair team, there are plenty of choices. But few can do what SERVPRO offers. The team will do the following for you:

  • Work effectively with your insurance company to process claims.
  • Come on the scene in a timely manner and complete the job quickly.
  • Use best practices and techniques to clean up and restore your home.
  • Provide excellent customer service.

Importance of Insurance Coverage

Even small floods or fires can cause costly damage to your Baton Rouge, LA, home. While you may not be able to replace all items, you can have peace of mind knowing that you shouldn’t have to front the bill. This is why you pay for reliable, reputable insurance. Claim services shouldn’t have to be difficult to work with. You can make things even easier when you hire the professionals at SERVPRO. They know how to work in tandem with your insurance agent. Because of the team’s efficiency and reliability, the insurance company can process your claims quickly and without issues.

What the Insurance Company Wants

Your insurance agent will ask for details of the incident and the extent of the damage. The repair and restoration team will conduct a thorough investigation and will assess the damage and what needs to happen to repair or replace it. The team will share these findings with the insurance company.

Don’t waste any time following a flood or fire. Call SERVPRO and your insurance agent for claim services immediately.

When Can You Enter Your Home After a Fire?

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

A home restored from fire damage Did you know that SERVPRO offers fire damage cleanup and restoration services? Our crew is faster to any size fire damage disaster that might occur.

When Is It Safe To Return Home After A Fire?

If a fire started unexpectedly in your home and you were able to successfully escape, you are likely thankful for your safety but eager to try and rescue your belongings. Even if the fire has stopped burning or your home appears safe to enter, it is important you wait until a fire damage cleanup team can come to the site and assess the situation. Continue reading to learn when you can safely enter your home in Baker, LA, again after a house fire.

Steps To Take As Soon You Evacuate Your Home

As soon as you and all your family members escape your home, follow these steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1
  2. Get in contact with your insurance agent
  3. Call a fire restoration company to board up your home

What Is Emergency Board Up?

After fire damage has affected your home, there’s no way to know for sure if the structure is safe enough for you to enter. You will be able to enter home after it has been assessed and safely secured with board ups and tarp overs wherever necessary. This process involves boarding up broken windows and doors and placing tarps over a broken roof and areas with stability or leakage issues. This prevents further damage to your home, someone getting hurt, or someone easily gaining access to your home.

Who Can Perform an Emergency Board Up?

You should never perform a board up on your own. While you might want to reduce costs by doing the process yourself, you can create extensive damage to your home and put yourself at risk. It is in your best interest to wait until the fire restoration team can come and determine what action needs to be taken.

It is important to take all the necessary steps after a fire occurs in your home before you trying entering your home. Once you get into contact with the restoration company and they board up your home, you’ll be able to safely enter the house.

Do Tenants Have to Pay for Flood Damage?

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

A room flooded is being restored Recovering from flood damage can be difficult, especially when you need help to remove, repair, and restore damaged property.

Is It Necessary For Tenants To Pay For Flood Damage?

If you rent a commercial property, you may be worried about insurance coverage in the event of a flood. Considering you don’t own the building, you may be uncertain on the type of renter’s insurance you need – or if you need renter’s insurance at all. Don’t get caught out when it’s too late and your property is already flooded; learn what you need to know about flood damage and flood insurance in Zachary, LA.

What’s Covered by the Building Owner

When it comes to renter’s insurance, the building owner is liable for insuring the actual structure itself. If any structural damage is incurred during a flood, then the building owner’s insurance will take over paying for any repairs and replacement. This generally includes damage to roofs, windows, walls, building systems, and external parking and fixtures.

What’s Covered by the Tenant

As the tenant, you are responsible for obtaining renter’s insurance for anything inside the building. This means any furniture, appliances, inventory, computer equipment, or other property specifically belonging to you. If your items are damaged in a flood, you should obtain appropriate insurance coverage to safeguard your belongings.

What If the Building Owner Supplies Equipment and Furniture?

Because those items are the property of the building owner, in this specific instance, they would also be covered under the owner’s insurance rather than the renter’s insurance. Nonetheless, you should discuss the extent of insurance coverage and expectations with the building owner ahead of time, well before a flood.

Recovering From Flood Damage

Recovering from flood damage can be difficult, especially when you need help to remove, repair, and restore damaged property. It’s not impossible, however, and a good business owners’ or renter’s insurance policy can make all the difference. Before shopping for an insurance policy, do a complete inventory of all equipment, merchandise, furniture, and other items that you would have covered by the policy before determining what’s the best policy for you.

What Causes Smoke Odor Damage?

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Restaurant damaged by fire, two man cleaning debris from the restaurant, ceiling collapsed Commercial fire damage in Baker, LA.

Causes of Smoke Damage

Smoke odor can be very persistent. If a smell lingers after a fire at a commercial property in Baker, LA, property owners or managers should identify and eliminate the sources of the odor. Here are several causes of smoke damage that can be eliminated through smoke cleaning.

Smoke Particles

Smoke particles can be as large as several microns and range all the way down to 0.001 micron. There are several ways to filter out larger particles:

  • Air filters or purifiers
  • HEPA filters
  • HVAC air scrubbers

None of these methods will be able to eliminate the most miniscule smoke particles. It will be necessary to neutralize the odor of these particles in order to get rid of every trace of damage.

Lingering Traces

Very small smoke particles can cause odors to persist even after filtration. Smoke cleaning professionals use several odor neutralization methods:

  • Ozone machines
  • Hydroxyl generators
  • Thermal fogging
  • Vapor modification

All of these methods are effective for eliminating smoke smells. Ozone machines and thermal fogging work quickly, but require evacuation. Hydroxyl generators and vapor modification take longer to achieve the same level of odor neutralization, but treatment can continue while occupants remain in a structure.

Surface Residues

Smoke smells may also be due to residues found on surfaces such as ceilings, walls, furniture, or window blinds. Restoration experts may use chemical sponges or wet cleaning solutions on surfaces. Furniture and other textiles may benefit from dry-cleaning or foam treatments. These methods may remove discoloration and odors from items or materials that have sustained damage.

A smoke cleaning service can recommend solutions for eliminating particles, residues, and any traces of smoke damage lingering in a structure in Baker, LA. Property owners may need to document and maintain proof of damage in order to demonstrate the need for professional cleanup services. Smoke odor remediation may be covered by commercial property insurance policies.