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3 Ways To Reduce Your Commercial Fire Risk

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke detector of fire alarm in action Consider including smoke alarms on your Noblestown, PA facility

3 Ways To Reduce Your Commercial Fire Risk

Most people have never had to operate a fire extinguisher or flee a burning building, yet according to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year over one million structure fires cause damage to property. If you want to reduce the risk of fire damage for your Noblestown, PA, business, this discussion may help boost your preparation quotient.

Fire Extinguishers
The benefit of well-placed fire extinguishers can’t be overstated. The following facts about commercial fires illustrate their importance:

  • A high percentage of commercial fires don’t require an emergency response because an extinguisher was available.
  • Most business fires happen when workers are present, and a small fire can be handled with a good fire extinguisher.
  • Cleaning up a little bit of foam from the extinguisher is far preferable to the damage that can occur while waiting for emergency responders to arrive.

Knowing where to store your extinguishers and how to use them are crucial factors in their effectiveness. It is essential your employees know where your extinguishers are located and their proper operation. Your local fire remediation specialist or fire department can help evaluate your site and recommend the number and placement of fire extinguishers.

Smoke Alarms
Commercial building codes require smoke alarms because they are your best chance of detecting smoke and fire in the early stages. A working smoke alarm and a good fire extinguisher can be a life-saving combination. Consider including smoke alarms on your facility maintenance schedule. Backup batteries should be replaced every six to nine months, and the alarm exterior should be vacuumed monthly to remove dust and lint.

Fire Sprinklers
Most regional building codes require fire sprinklers in commercial buildings. They may save your facility if a fire starts when no one is in the building. If no one is there to hear the alarms, the sprinklers can completely extinguish a fire or keep it at bay until emergency services arrive.
A small kitchen fire in your lunchroom doesn’t have a chance against the fire prevention triad: a working smoke alarm system, nearby fire extinguishers, and fire sprinklers. They can be the difference between a little smoke damage and costly commercial property damage.

Why You Should Worry About Mold After Flooding

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Background of mold, sign that says ANYWHERE Microbial spores are everywhere

Why You Should Worry About Mold After Flooding

How could water mean mold growth? It seems like something so ordinary, yet it is the catalyst of fungal spores. Therefore, for business owners in Fayetteville, PA, water damage from flooding is a much larger issue than soggy carpeting. The longer the fluid sits in the establishment, the more likely you'll have a bigger threat, and that could mean more time shut down and a larger restoration bill. Mitigate the situation by working swiftly and considering the following three points.

1. Mold Loves Moisture

Microbial spores are everywhere. Your company has them on a daily basis. They make their way onto the premises through windows, doors and you. In fact, you pick them up outside and bring them in. Usually, that means very little because they lack anything to make them grow; however, when standing water is permitted to linger, you provide the spark needed for development. Fungus only requires a few things to spread: water, organic matter and itself. Add darkness to it, and you have a perfect storm.

2. It Spreads Quickly

You may not realize that mold growth is fast. Within 24 to 48 hours, those little beings begin to multiply, eating away at the structure. Their function in nature is to break things down. Outside, that's a log. Inside, that's your walls, floorboards, and ceiling. Without a doubt, proprietors need to work immediately to prevent a major catastrophe.

3. It Needs Removal

You'll have to gut the place of any contaminated sections. The bacterial and fungal spores are trouble, and they will cause a shutdown. As an environmental hazard, people won't be allowed in until the place clears inspection. Hire a water and mold restoration company as soon as flooding occurs. Doing so, may limit the reproduction or even prevent it from happening. They'll tear out ruined areas, dry out the sections and rebuild what is needed.
Don't allow mold growth. Seek assistance as soon as you see flooding issues. This may keep it at bay.

How To Prevent a Mold Re-Infestation

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Air purifier machine in a house Air purifiers with HEPA filters trap mold spores

Five Ways To Keep Mold From Coming Back

Even after black mold and other fungus varieties have been fully remediated, the growth can return. This is because mold remediation does not eliminate all mold spores. They are invisible and can be found almost everywhere. Fortunately, a little preventive maintenance decreases the chances of a re-infestation. The following are five ways to keep mold from coming back.

1. Keep humidity low. Ideally, indoor humidity should be below 50%. In particularly humid rooms, like bathrooms and basements, you may need to run a dehumidifier.
2. Run an air purifier. Air purifiers with HEPA filters trap mold spores. Fewer mold spores circulating around your home means a lower chance of them landing somewhere they can grow. You can also install HEPA filters in your HVAC system or use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
3. Use mold-resistant products. Toxic black mold is usually found in water-damaged insulation, drywall, or other building materials. If your home is prone to mold growth, you may want to replace these materials with mold-resistant alternatives. Additionally, you can apply a mold-prevention product such as a mold-control spray or mold-resistant primer.
4. Clean up spills and water damage immediately. In many areas of your home, all that is needed for mold to grow is a little moisture. Therefore, it is important to clean up water, everything from small spills to large appliance leaks, as quickly as possible to prevent an infestation.
5. Check for mold frequently. Check mold-prone areas of your home frequently to spot any mildew before it becomes a large infestation. Mold cleanup is easier and more effective if the growth is caught early.
Even the most fastidious homeowners can experience a mold re-infestation. If the problem is too large for you to handle alone, or if you suspect black mold or another potentially toxic variety, a certified restoration company can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

5 Places To Check for Mold After a Storm

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall with mold growth. Water can saturate drywall, making its way deep into your building’s structure

Five Areas That Mold Can Be Found In Your Building

If your commercial building in Robinson Township, PA, has experienced widespread damage due to a flood, it can be near impossible for you to track down all the areas that have been saturated with water. If water damaged areas are not addressed in a timely manner, mold growth can take over your building. To keep the situation from growing out of control, it is essential you get help from a water and storm damage restoration specialist to remove standing water and stop mold in its tracks. Here are five common areas that mold can be found in your building after a flood.

1. Flooring Materials

While wet flooring is a common place where mold can be found, it is often hiding below the surface where you can’t see it. Often, soaked porous materials, such as carpeting and certain types of hardwood floors, need to be discarded.

2. Appliances

Mold and other bacteria may start to develop in the refrigerator after a flood, especially if the power went out for an extended period of time. Growth can also occur in ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines if the insulation gets wet.

3. HVAC Systems

Mold growth in your HVAC system is particularly problematic. Don’t turn on your system until all mold is removed to keep it from spreading to other areas of the building.

4. Dry Wall

Water can saturate drywall, making its way deep into your building’s structure. Removal of the drywall is typically necessary to find and remove any mold.

5. Furniture and Other Personal Contents

Furniture, office equipment, and personal belongings left in the building at the time of a flood can be a suitable surface for mold to grow on. A content cleaning specialist can be helpful for restoring any salvageable items.
What may start out as a small amount of fungus can spread quickly, thriving in areas that contain standing water and excess humidity. A restoration specialist can target mold growth in these areas and get your building back to its pre-flood condition.

3 Types of Home Fires Not Covered by Insurance

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Structure of a garage with fire damage Fire damage in a Neville Township, PA home

3 Types of Home Fires Not Covered by Insurance

A solid homeowner's insurance usually includes protection against home fire. While most plans cover nearly every scenario and fire damage, there are some incidents that cannot be included. These fires are usually either unlikely to occur or are often used for exploitation and financial gain. If you are a homeowner in Neville Township, PA, you might need to learn more about these fires to prepare working with an insurance agent and a residential remediation company.

1. Vacant Fire
A common exception in general fire insurance involves a vacant home. While a vacant home fire can be defined differently by multiple insurance providers, a house is generally considered vacant if there are no inhabitants for 30 days in a row. So, if a fire occurs due to vandalism or a natural disaster in your uninhabited property, it cannot be covered. However, you can add separate vacant home coverage to your existing plan.

2. Self-Inflicted Fire
Sometimes, a home fire may be caused by someone with the intention of hurting you or destroying your property. This is generally considered arson. However, in the insurance field, this term only applies to fires started by owners to make a claim. Insurance companies send investigators who collaborate with police to determine the cause. If the authorities discover a third party started the fire, it is classified as vandalism and you can make a valid claim.

3. Unlikely Hazards
There are also other situations that insurance agencies cannot properly cover because either the loss is too great or the causes are too unlikely to include in a general plan. Destruction caused by a war conflict or an incident involving nuclear energy are likely excluded from your policy. However, there are some agencies that provide additional, specialized coverage in addition to the regular risk areas.
Insurance for a home fire can cover a variety of factors, from natural disasters to vandalism. However, there are a few exceptions you must consider when choosing the right plan for your property.

The Facts About Water Damage

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a living room Air movers drying up the affected area after water damage

If you're a conscientious homeowner, you do your best to keep up with maintenance and necessary repairs. While there are things you can do to prevent disasters and emergencies in the home, you can't always prepare for everything. Something such as a pipe burst or sewer backup can inflict widespread damage. It's important to understand these issues and how professional flood remediation teams can get your home back into good condition.

Typical Causes of Water Damage

Coming home and seeing flooding can be a nightmare. Water can find its way into the house in many ways. Even minor issues can turn into big problems. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • Roof leaks
  • Broken or leaky pipes
  • Leaky or bursting appliances such as a water heater or dishwasher
  • Backed-up sewer

The Assessment
You should call a professional cleanup team and your homeowner's insurance company immediately after you discover a pipe burst or another cause of the flood. Cleanup crews will first inspect the home and determine the cause of the issue. The team will review the extent of the damage, come up with a restoration plan and share the timeline with you.

Removing the Water

Incoming water from a broken water line or severe weather can leave large amounts of water on the floor, walls, ceilings and your belongings. Technicians will use industrial-strength machines to extract all standing water. Crews will also take the machines to furniture, carpet, and materials that are saturated with water.

Dry it Up

It's not enough to get rid of the water. A professional water removal team in Coraopolis, PA, will also thoroughly dry the affected area. The technicians will use fans and dehumidifiers to make sure your entire home is moisture-free.

Sanitize and Rebuild

To keep mold away, the crews will disinfect all affected materials. For any materials the technicians can't save, they'll rebuild and restore your home.
Don't let a pipe burst or other problems keep you out of your home too long. A disaster relief company has the right processes and tools to make your house safe again.

The Secret to Having a Reliable Fire Sprinkler System

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial fire sprinkler system It is essential to schedule regular sprinkler maintenance with a local company

Automatic fire sprinklers are an ingenious idea, designed to save lives and protect property. However, most homeowners set and forget these systems, and that’s where they go wrong. Neglected sprinklers are more likely to fail in the event of a fire, or cause water damage if they leak. Here are some of the things you could do to avoid sprinkler failure in Edgeworth, PA.

Regular Sprinkler Maintenance

Sprinkler maintenance is the first step towards securing your property from a fire. For example, if you have a wet pipe system, there is a high chance water could freeze in the piping, resulting in a lot of pressure in that area. Such situations can break fittings or forcefully open sprinkler valves.
Other reasons for sprinkler failure include:

  • Mechanical damage
  • Corrosion
  • Deliberate sabotage

You have two options when it comes to maintaining a sprinkler system – do it monthly or quarterly. Most companies in this line of work charge surprisingly low rates for this service, and it can save you thousands of dollars in return.

Use the Right Materials

Steel based sprinkler systems are more likely to fail compared to CPVC systems. Metal gets corrosion and scaling over time, leaving it at a high risk of blocking. It happens when the metal’s ions break away after reacting with stationary water that has 6.5 PH or more. These particles build up in one spot, and that translates to more maintenance expenses.
Scaling is a result of water minerals settling to form a solid layer in the pipes. That limits water flow during a fire and can even clog the sprinklers completely. To avoid these complications, replace the entire system with a newer one that will not corrode or let the water freeze.
That said, it is essential to schedule regular sprinkler maintenance with a local company. It will not only save you from potential body injury claims, but it will also protect your property from a fire.

5 Ways SERVPRO’s Claims Inventory System Can Help Your Business

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Claim Document . Electronic mail. Working with SERVPRO’s electronic claims system can help with your insurance claim in several ways

SERVPRO’s Electronic Claims System Can Help in the Restoration Process

When you make an insurance claim for your Carnot, PA, business after it suffers a disaster, your insurance agent may recommend working with a local SERVPRO for restoration. One of the reasons for choosing this service is the use of their electronic inventory system. There are several ways the use of this system can help the restoration process.

1. Keeping Lists

In many cases, a claim requires a list of damaged items for review. This database can store these lists and allow your restoration team to update them as they assess the damage.

2. Storing Photographs

Photographs of the damage may also be required for the restoration. This database can also store these so that they remain with the relevant damage list.

3. Remote Access

Another benefit of using this system to help with your insurance claim is the fact that it offers remote access. This allows you or your agent to stay up to date with the restoration without having to play phone tag or visit the job site.

4. Electronic Database

One of the benefits of an electronic database is that all the information can be stored in one place without having to compile tons of paper documents. It also reduces the risk that relevant paper documentation may be lost or damaged.

5. Progress Reports

Another aspect of the electronic database is that it can keep track of progress reports. This means that as aspects of the restoration is completed, the workers can update the progress file, allowing you know know what’s been accomplished.

Working with SERVPRO’s electronic claims system can help with your insurance claim in several ways. This system can keep track of lists and photographs, as well as store progress reports. It also offers remote access allowing you to know what's going on from any location where you can lot in. In addition, the electronic database helps prevent the loss of paperwork.

Is Your Company Covered for a Mold Claim?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Mold infestation in a corner of a wall Mold damage in Moon, PA

Is Your Company Covered for a Mold Claim?

The right amount of general liability insurance for your company protects you from life's unexpected moments. One of these surprises could be the presence of mold in one or more corners of your property. What exactly, though, will your insurance cover for a mold outbreak? Mold insurance claims are often downright confusing, so it is always a good idea to have a detailed discussion with your agent at least once a year. Policies and coverage can change without warning, so it is best not to assume you have robust coverage for a mold claim in Moon, PA.

Beware of Exclusions

Mold exclusions in policies began showing up in the 1990s in response to some hefty awards handed out to policy holders. It is actually called a "fungus exclusion" and puts limits on the following mold insurance claims:

  • loss or damage caused by mold
  • loss or damage caused by dry rot or bacteria
  • Loss or damage caused by mold spores, toxins, smells and by-products of fungi

Property owners can still collect on a mold claim through a few exceptions to the fungus exclusion. A term known as Limited Fungus Coverage applies to the cleanup and repair of damage caused by a mold outbreak. In short, reasonable expenses for mold remediation are allowed in these cases.

Watch Out for Policy Changes

In addition to speaking with your insurance agent, ask about the availability to pay higher premiums for more robust coverage. In all cases of mold growth, call in a mold mitigation team that will arrive Faster to any size disaster. A mold outbreak moves quickly, spreading through the HVAC system and other pathways. A rapid and professional response cuts down on costs. You can limit your mold insurance claims with prompt action, and keep expenses and damages below the $15,000 normally approved for damages. This limit for damages is an annual limit and includes expenses associated with mold mitigation.

Common Pipe Noises and How To Address Them

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water leak out from piping system make ceiling damaged Water leaking from a plumbing system in Morgan, PA

Common Pipe Noises and How To Address Them

A noisy pipe is not just an inconvenience. It could also be evidence that something is wrong with your plumbing system.
If the problem is not addressed, it could lead to a pipe break that causes major damage to your Morgan, PA, home. Some common pipe noises are:

  • Banging
  • Hammering
  • Whistling

These sounds each signal a potential issue within your plumbing system. Below is a discussion of the causes of these noises and how to address them.

Banging and Hammering

Banging or hammering occurs when there is a sudden stop in the flow of water. Momentum causes the water to slam against the sides of the pipes. This can damage the joints and connections, which can lead to a pipe burst.
To combat this issue, start by inspecting the pipes for any signs of vibration or looseness. If your pipes bang against the wood while vibrating, you can install a rubber pad between the wood and the pipe to reduce the noise.
You can also try installing an air chamber, also called an anti hammer device. There are several different types, all of which fill up with air that absorbs the sudden increase in water pressure. This, in turn, reduces the risk of a pipe break.

Whistling

Your pipes may make a whistling noise when water flows quickly through an obstructed area. This can occur when a faucet is running.
To determine where the noise is coming from, turn a faucet on and see if you hear the whistling. If you don’t, turn that faucet off and move on to the next one. Once you have found the source of the whistling, you can take that faucet apart and replace the brass screw and the washer.
By performing the above maintenance tips in your home, you can avoid a burst pipe. If you do find yourself dealing with a pipe break, however, try calling water repair specialists. They not only fix a broken pipe, but they also can assist with the cleanup process.