Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting, and the effects can be more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volumes of water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is also greater than a typical residence. Commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number.
Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and also building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage like mold or microbial growth may be more problematic than in a home, due to the larger occupancy of a business or other commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.
Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:
Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water. Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically more subtle. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, unventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.
SERVPRO is known for our excellent tile and grout cleaning. Running any business can be a very demanding job. Sometimes owners get so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that they forget about some other very important things, such as a spectacularly clean floor. There are huge benefits to having your tile and ground cleaned. If you have never experienced professional tile and grout cleaning, then you are in for a treat.
Benefit #1: The largest benefit to investing in this service, is that it will change the look of your whole business.
Benefit #2: The floor will look brand new, and your customers will take notice.
Benefit #3: When your tile, and grout is clean, it changes the whole atmosphere of your business.
Benefit #4: When you properly clean your tile and grout you show your employees, and customers, how much you care about their safety and health because clean floors means that you properly removed the dirt and buildup from them and made your overall building much healthier.
The floors will be cleaned, and then the grout would be sealed so that the dirt doesn't easily creep back into the grout. It is well worth the investment. Having your floors cleaned is an investment that will pay out over, and over again.
With proper maintenance, your floors will never get back to the dull, dirty look that they had before the cleaning. With the noticeable change of your tile and grout, the confidence in the way you do business may change forever. Your confidence is not the only thing that will increase, your customer’s confidence will increase also.
For more information on having your tile, and grout professionally cleaned, please contact us. We would be delighted to help you give your business a new look that you, and your customers will feel great about.
What Commercial Owners Need To Know About Moisture and Mold
Black mold and mold cleanup are among the most difficult maintenance issues that commercial owners face in North San Bernardino City, Ca. Microscopic yet aggressive, these diminutive agents of decay are capable of causing rapid structural damage and can be difficult to detect. Maintaining a low-humidity interior to prevent moisture problems and taking immediate action to inhibit fungal growth after a flooding event are essential for avoiding potentially devastating restoration or remodeling steps.
Why Is Mold Such a Serious Structural Problem?
High indoor humidity is the most common causes of black mold growth. When moisture levels meet low-airflow interiors, most porous building materials become an easy target of infestation, including drywall, insulation, hardwood flooring and of course carpeting.
While many commercial buildings created after the 1970s have been designed to accommodate high-humidity environments, prevention and maintenance remain key. Common signs that your building may be at high risk for black mold growth include:
• Roofs, soffits or other exterior portions of the building material that consistently leak • Poorly maintained fire sprinkling systems that drip • Indoor humidity levels that are consistently over 60 percent • Standing water or frequent indoor condensation • Lack of thorough ventilation • Poorly maintained HVAC equipment • Distinctive, musty odor
How Do You Remediate Indoor Mold?
While severe black mold gowth can be easily detected visually, in many cases fungal infestations do their worst damage behind the scenes, ruining insulation and rotting walls from the inside out. Even a relatively minor moisture problem can provide the perfect conditions for rapid growth.
For these reasons it is essential that business owners and property managers contact an experienced SERVPRO franchise to quickly diagnose and address issues. Your local remediation specialist will provide a preliminary visual inspection, perform an air quality check, and take laboratory samples to determine the concentration and type of mold present. Depending on the severity of damage, ventilation, deodorizing and sanitizing procedures may be needed to rehabilitate indoor spaces.
What You Need to Know About Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage, unfortunately, is a part of life sometimes, and most people will undergo a fire loss travesty due to fire in home or fire in business. Furthermore, it's spectacular when everyone in the home or business survived the fire alright. However, it's still devastating dealing with the fire loss. For those who worked so hard in accomplishing their business or dream home and the loved ones who enjoyed the comfortableness and sentimental memories, the effects of the fire loss can really be detrimental whether it's from a fire in home or fire in business.
Having said that, there are some things that should be done to take care of oneself and family mentally and emotionally while undergoing the rebuilding process. The first thing to do is to let out the cries and screams concerning the devastating fire damage and comfort the family. Doing this will let out the steam necessary to regain one's composure to focus and deal with this incident immediately by dealing with the home or commercial fire damage and fire cleanup. After that's done, further professional and emotional help, if needed, should be taken.
1. Ensuring the family, pets, and co-workers are far away from the property on fire- to prevent possible injuries from the fire, and poor air quality from smoke damage and soot damage
2. No entering of the premises where the home or commercial fire damage occurred unless fire firefighters give the OK- to prevent injuries due to the roof possibly caving in from the fire loss, or due to poor air quality from the soot damage/smoke damage
3. The restoration specialist must be contacted- since they are highly trained to properly handle the fire loss, smoke damage, soot damage, air quality, fire cleanup, and more for fire in home and fire in business
4. Assessing the fire damage- this is only when the fire professionals say it's alright to enter the premises. Assessing the damage is required for the fire insurance claim regardless if it's a fire in home or fire in business, and it should be done before initiating any fire cleanup. Taking pictures of all the areas and items with apparent fire and soot damage, and writing down every other thing concerning the air quality and smoke damage are very helpful for home and commercial fire damage claims.
5. Preventing possible further damage, if and when it's safe to go inside where the home or commercial fire damage occurred- this includes doing some fire cleanup by mopping the floor that's drenched with water from rain, water damage from the fire, or firefighters. Another thing that can be done is to improve the air quality from smoke damage and soot damage by opening up windows and doors.
6. Getting further instructions from the fire restoration specialists- they will give more viable information concerning insurance claims, fire cleanup, preventive measures to prevent future fire damage, and more. They will also give specifics concerning fire in home or fire in business.
What You Should Know About Mold Remediation and Removal
What You Should Know About Mold Remediation and Removal
Mold is found under the fungi classification. It is a soft green or at times grey growth which develops on objects or old food left for a lengthy period in warm, wet air. It can be found in outdoor and indoor places, thus, it is important for the indoor humidity to be kept below forty-five percent because a higher humidity supports the growth of this class of fungus. Floods and high humidity levels often lead to microbial growth and fungus. Microbial growth can be present in an area, but that does not classify it as mold. The most efficient method of controlling microbial growth is by the moderation of temperature. When the temperature is lowered, the rate of microbial growth decreases rapidly. Mold and mildew are two fungi that people often tend to confuse. Mildew appears to be powdery and white in color then later turns to brown, black or yellow. The other fungus seems fuzzy but can appear in similar colors as the mildew. Mildew damages crops while molds damage the structural foundations of homes. Both fungi are usually accompanied by a musty odor which can lead to more health issues. It likes to thrive in moisturized areas and grows quickly into colonies with water exposure. These colonies are responsible for the production of irritants and allergens that affect the health of people.
For mitigation of molds to take place, all sources of moisture and water need to be addressed otherwise it may regrow. The first step is to remove all traces of moldy growth immediately. Five fundamental principles must be applied by homeowners and employers to ensure successful mitigation of this fungus. They should focus on the source and moisture removal, safety, contamination control and assessment. Proper mitigation is essential once the fungi is removed because areas must be monitored to prevent it from occurring again.
It is important to determine the party that will be in charge of the mold cleanup. An environmental hygienist can determine what treatment can be used for this fungus. These hygienists mitigate the problem by sealing off the affected areas with plastic sheets to stop dispersion of the spores. Fungus should be dealt with by the wearing a face mask with high filtration and neoprene gloves. Once the mold cleanup is finished, the air around it needs to be cleaned using air exchange and scrubbers.
It is essential for the environmental SERVPRO specialist to have a protective suit because harsh chemicals are used for the mold cleanup. Hard surfaces with moldy growth have to be scrubbed with water and detergent and left to dry completely. Porous materials like carpets and ceiling tiles need to be disposed of by the environmental hygienists if they get moldy. The crevices of these porous materials are prone to mold growth, and painting can only happen once the environmental hygienists complete the mold cleanup otherwise the paint peels off. The correct mitigation strategies need to be employed for effective cleanup.
Mold spores – A microscopic one-celled reproductive body that is reproduced by mold and can be found in the air environment we breathe. A mold spore is capable of giving rise to a new individual adult spore either immediately or after an interval of dormancy. When inhaled, many types of mold spores can cause health problems.
How Mold Spores Spread Into The Air
Toxic black mold grows in what is termed a colony. The mold spores are bound within a slimy mass which generally keeps them intact. The greatest health threat comes when the colony loses its moisture. source. When this happens the slimy mass dries out and allows the spores to break free into the atmosphere. It is then that the toxic black mold spores becoma an airborne hazard to people and animals. Because toxic black mold spores are relatively heavy, they do not remain airborne for very long. In homes and buildings it is often easy for the spores to land on another surface suitable for it to thrive. It is important to note that even dead mold spores pose a health risk to humans and pets.
What Makes Black Mold Dangerous
Black mold contains mycotoxins. These are massed in groups named trichothecenes. There are over 60 types of trichothecene. The most common found in toxic black mold are: •Cyclosporin •Roridin E •Satratoxin F, G and H •Sporidesmin G •Stachybotryolactone •Trichoverrol •Trichoverrin •Verrucarin J
Symptoms of Exposure to Trichothecene Mycotoxins
Trichothecene mycotoxins are a group of dangerous toxins produced by multiple types of fungi. Symptoms of exposure and health problems may occur in both humans and animals. The actual danger to any person or animal exposed to the mycotoxins varies depending upon several factors. Common symptoms of contamication include redness of the skin, burning pains, or even blisters. Oral or respiratory exposure may cause vomiting or diarrhea. Generally speaking exposure can cause fatigue, ataxia, hypotension, coagulopathy and sometimes death.
Copyright 2017 SafeAir Certified Mold Inspection Inc.
While floods are probably best known for causing extensive water damage to homes and businesses, they can also cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into houses through drain pipes. These backups not only cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.
Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral – the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located under the street, and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that may extend into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the possible sewer backup problems.
Causes of Sewer Backup
•Blockages due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture can make their way into sewer line cracks causing extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. They can also travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If you suspect that city trees are responsible for sewer line damage, your plumber can contact the city and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes a blockage is the result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and property owner.
•Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately so that a city operator can investigate.
•Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab which allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. Thus, water can show up in a basement which has never had a water problem. This frequently happens when the ground is saturated after repeated or heavy rain storms. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Homeowners can also prevent flooding by water-sealing the basement.
•Homeowners and business insurance do not cover flood damage: Only flood insurance will cover your losses in the event of a flood. Federal flood insurance policies can be purchased directly from an insurance agent or a company representative, and are available to communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. Nearly 100 insurance companies write and service NFIP policies. In order to find an agent or company servicing your area, visit www.floodsmart.gov or call (888) 379-9531. Your insurance agent or broker can handle the claim for you.
Ways to Prevent Backups in Your Lateral and in the City Main
•Dispose of Grease Properly: Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly, after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water can cause significant problems. As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.
•Dispose of Paper Products Properly: Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers, and feminine products can cause many problems in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main because they do not deteriorate quickly, as bathroom tissue does.
•Replace your line with new plastic pipe: One way to prevent tree roots from entering your line is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe. If you still have problems with tree roots growing in your lateral, you may have to have roots cut periodically.
•Illegal Plumbing Connections: Do not connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.
•Install a Backwater Prevention Valve: A backwater valve is a fixture installed into a sewer line, and sometimes into a drain line, in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in. Property owners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of backwater valves. The cost to install one depends on the type of plumbing in your home or business and the difficulty of installation. Check with a qualified plumber.
All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. If you hear the sound of thunder, then you are in danger from lightning. Lightning kills between 75 to 100 people each year and being outdoors in the most dangerous place to be. Always listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your area.
A THUNDERSTORM WATCH means a thunderstorm is possible for your area.
A THUNDERSTORM WARNING means a thunderstorm is taking place in your area.
IF YOU’RE OUTDOORS: •Keep an eye at the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing winds. Lightning often proceeds rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin. If you hear the sound of thunder, go to a safe place immediately. •The best place to go is a sturdy building or a car, but make sure the windows in the car are shut. Avoid sheds, picnic areas, baseball dugouts and bleachers. •If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as far as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder. •If you’re with a group of people stay about 15 feet from each other. •Stay out of water. It’s a great conductor of electricity. Swimming, wading, snorkeling and scuba diving are not safe. Also, don’t stand in puddles. •Avoid metal. Stay away from clotheslines, fences, and drop your backpacks because they often have metal on them. •If you’re playing an outdoor activity, wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike or thunder.
IF YOU’RE INDOORS: •Avoid water. It’s a great conductor of electricity, so do not take a shower, wash your hands, wash dishes or do laundry. •Do not use a corded telephone. Lightning may strike exterior phone lines. •Do not use electric equipment like computers and appliances during a storm. •Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING: •Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or send for help immediately. •The injured person does not carry an electrical charge, so it is okay to touch them.
Portable Generators: 3 Critical Precautions to Take So You Don't Die from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning | OnSafety
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths, caused by portable generators reportedly being used inside homes and/or garages, have been reported in Florida in recent days. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, there are widespread power outages. CPSC is warning consumers to take three critical precautions to prevent loss of life from poisonous carbon monoxide when using a portable generator:
1. NEVER use a portable generator inside your home. One portable generator can emit the same amount of deadly carbon monoxide gas as hundreds of mid-size cars. Just as you would not leave a car running in a closed garage, do not run a generator inside a garage, home, shed or near open windows or vents.
2. Portable generators need air and distance. Place generators OUTDOORS ONLY, at least 20 feet away from your home.
3. Carbon monoxide is called the “invisible killer.” This deadly gas is colorless and odorless and can quickly incapacitate and kill you and your family in minutes. A working CO alarm can detect high levels of the gas in your home. If it goes off, do not ignore it. Get out! Then call 911.
Old man winter is gripping much of the nation and that means many consumers are turning up the heat in their homes. Some are using drastic measures to stay warm, increasing the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning—an invisible, odorless, colorless killer. Did you know that winter is peak season for CO deaths in the United States? The deadly gas kills more than 400 people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CPSC urges you to protect yourself and your family. Don’t let carbon monoxide creep its way into your home this winter. Follow these safety tips and put the freeze on CO!
First and Foremost: •Install CO alarms with battery backup on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. •Have a licensed professional inspect and service heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances in your home, including chimneys and vents, every year.
Do This: •Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to make sure they are working. •Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately, and then call 911. •Make sure portable fuel burning space heaters have an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS). An ODS shuts off the heater if oxygen levels start to fall to protect against CO poisoning. •Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire, and keep it open until the ashes are cool to avert the buildup of carbon monoxide, especially at night while families sleep.
Never Do This: •Never use a gas oven or stove to heat your home. •Never use kerosene space heaters in enclosed spaces; always properly ventilate. •Never use portable generators inside the house, including in the basement, shed, or garage— generators should be outside at least 20 feet away from the house when in use. •Don’t use charcoal or gas grills inside or operate them outside near open windows or doors.
Remember, CO can’t be seen, can’t be heard and it can’t be smelled, but can be stopped!
How to Create Your Company’s Emergency Preparedness Plan
Having a plan in place during emergencies for your business is key to making sure your employees and customers stay safe.
While it may seem difficult to start fleshing out your emergency plan, there are plenty of resources available to make sure you develop one that’s best for your company. According to Ready, a government organization dedicated to creating emergency preparedness plans, there are five steps necessary in developing your preparedness program: 1.Program Management: What you need to “organize, develop and administer your preparedness program.” 2.Planning: What information you need to know about your business to begin examining what hazards your company should address. 3.Implementation: Your written down preparedness plan that covers areas such as resource management, emergency response, crisis communication, business continuity, etc. 4.Testing and Exercises: Put your plan into action to determine whether your plan is actually effective. 5.Program Improvement: Times change, people change, and regulations change, so make sure you change with them by regularly scheduling reviews of your preparedness plan.
If you are still doubting the need for your business to have an emergency preparedness plan, then don’t take our word for it. Ready has plenty of case studies from major companies such as Morgan Stanley, Equity Technologies, and Penn State University reaffirming the value of a solid emergency preparedness plan.
If you don’t have a plan of your own, get one started today, and check out Emergency Lighting’s stock of smoke alarms, lights, and accessories made to get you through any emergency.
Key Testing Tips for Batteries and Bulbs
When testing your commercial emergency exit signs, there are two main components to check for full operation. Bulbs and batteries. These are the first things to review during scheduled maintenance tests. Fire code requires that all emergency lights and lighted exit signs be inspected at a monthly minimum.
Certain models will have two sets of bulbs that should be checked during these monthly tests. The first set runs on your 110 volt building power, and the second low voltage set comes on with a power failure. These low voltage bulbs are powered directly from the on board reserve battery. As a result, a sign that appears to be working may fail during a power outage because the low voltage bulbs have burned out.
Likewise, many defective batteries maintain just enough charge to light the bulbs for a few seconds after being triggered. If you don’t test reserve batteries for at least thirty seconds, you may find that the lights work each month only to find that they go out when you really need them. By testing the lights for at least thirty seconds you can make sure your batteries don’t just have a misleading surface charge.
Annual testing of emergency signage is also a standard code requirement. This involves running the lights under only emergency power for the full minimum of thirty minutes. Written records documenting the testing must be maintained and available for review by the fire inspector
To test your lights, use the small “push to test” button on the casing. Push and hold this button for thirty seconds to test the bulbs and battery. If the lights dim right away, or some of the bulbs don’t work it is time for some repair.
For a large facilities with many devices, or for the annual thirty-minute test find your circuit breaker or fuse that supplies your emergency lighting. Turn off your circuit breaker and observe that they’ve all lasted through the test period. If other equipment shares the same circuit be sure nothing will be damaged by the interruption.
If your lighting systems are powered by an emergency generator, this is an opportunity test all at once and guarantee your building is fully equipped to maintain safety during any potential outage.
2015 - 2018 Emergency Light LLC. All Rights Reserved Website Design: Cazarin Interactive