Recent Commercial Posts
Flood Damage 101 for Commercial Property Tenants
Flooded Apartment Building in Watertown, NY
Severe storms and flooding in Watertown, NY, can cause massive damage to commercial properties. As a tenant, you may feel confused and helpless in the aftermath of a flood that has wreaked havoc on your place of business. Should you ever have to go through the highly unfortunate situation of dealing with severe commercial property flood damage, you likely already know you need to reach out to your renter’s insurance provider.
There are three more steps you should immediately take:
- Call your landlord or property management company to inform them of the situation.
- Start tracking the expenses you incur during this time. Your insurance may possibly reimburse some of these costs.
- If it is deemed safe by the authorities to enter the property, take pictures of each room and make notes about the extent of damage incurred.
Who Covers What?
Commercial flood damage can feel overwhelming. When you are a tenant, you may not know off the top of your head who should be responsible for covering what. Unless your lease specifies otherwise, structural damage is typically covered by the property owner’s insurance coverage, while the contents of the property are usually covered by the tenant’s renter’s insurance policy.
It may not be possible to continue operating your business after it floods. You will need to determine whether it is better to shift into a new, temporary space during cleanup, or put everything on pause until you are able to move back in. Check with your insurance agent to see if any of these costs are covered.
When you file a claim with your insurance company, they will likely send out an adjuster to determine the extent of damage done to the interior and exterior of your commercial property. You’ll also want to ensure a professional cleanup crew in Watertown, NY, is called in to clean up, dry out and sanitize the area, as well as uncover any hidden areas of flood damage.
Flooding is no fun. However, if you follow these steps, you can simplify the process and utilize your renter's insurance to guarantee a quick, smooth return to business as usual.
Leaky Pipe, Now What: How to Temporarily Fix Small Leaks to Avoid Business Interruption
Commercial warehouse space suffered water damage in a Adams, NY home
A broken pipe can interfere with your business’s operations, but depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to temporarily fix a leaky pipe, pushing off official repair until the close of day.
1. Shut Off Water
Before repairing a small leak, you may want to ensure that the water to the affected area is shut off, this allows you to work with a relatively dry surface and can help calm the initial panic of stopping the running water. You can turn off the water locally to avoid disrupting your entire business or, if you fear potential flooding and it makes you feel secure, you can turn off the water main.
2. Epoxy Putty
Once the water is off and the area is dry, you can use epoxy putty to perform basic water repair by filling in any holes or sealing any leaks. You can do this by cutting off a good chunk of putty and, using a putty knife, spreading it over the area. You may want to wear protective gloves to avoid contact with your skin. After the putty has cured/dried thoroughly, you can turn the water back on and check for any leaks.
3. Repair Clamps
If you do not feel comfortable using the putty, or if there is a crack in the broken pipe, then you may want to use a pipe repair clamp. These clamps come in a variety of sizes and are most likely available in any local hardware or home improvement store. The clamp slides over the crack and then, upon tightening the small bolts on the opposite side, provides pressure and ideally stops the leak.
4. Call a Professional
Whether your temporary fix works or not, you will likely want to call a local plumbing specialist in the Adams,NY , area to resolve the issue for you. While the above temporary fixes are good for the short term, they are by definition temporary.
The suggested repairs above can temporarily stave off any business interruption due to small leaks from a broken pipe, but you will likely want to seek out a more permanent solution in your off hours.
Commercial Mold Remediation Guidelines
If the answer to each of these questions is “yes,” the remediation plan meets the mold standards recommended by EPA and IICRC guidelines.
By the time you smell the distinctive musty odor, you have lost half the battle. Water damage or moisture has sparked the growth of black mold in your commercial building and left unchecked, the insidious fungus can do massive damage. Clearly, immediate steps must be taken to secure the property. The only question now is what sort of guidelines or mold standards for cleanup should you follow in Watertown, NY?
Make a Plan
There are no federal rules that a commercial property owner must adhere to when it comes to mold clean up, but the EPA provided broad guidelines in the 2008 brochure Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. First and foremost, it is important to assess the scale of the issue and form a remediation plan. Any strategy for cleanup and repair should follow these principles:
• Identify and fix the water or humidity issue.
• Communicate with employees and/or other building occupants.
• Clean up mold and dry all water-damaged areas.
• Select appropriate cleaning and drying methods and tools.
• Remove mold-damaged building materials.
• Arrange for professional help, as needed, from restoration specialists in [City, State].
If professional help is required, it is important to hire a firm and/or technician accredited by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC’s own mold standards require a written assessment and detailed action plan. All black mold must be eradicated by use of EPA-approved fungicides.
Follow the Plan
The EPA brochure also provides tips for preferred cleanup methods and removal and disposal of affected building materials. Pages of guidelines for such are included, along with a simple checklist to determine if the remediation plan has been a success:
• Has the instigating water/moisture issue been addressed and repaired?
• Have all materials affected by mold been thoroughly cleaned of the fungus and/or removed and replaced?
• Does the site visually appear mold-free with no signs of water damage?
If the answer to each of these questions is “yes,” the remediation plan meets the mold standards recommended by EPA and IICRC guidelines.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROjeffersoncounty.com/.
What Counts as Secondary Damage?
If your commercial property has experienced water damage, you should immediately take action to limit the extent of the secondary damage.
Determining whether damage is primary or secondary can pose a challenge. In a commercial property with water damage, primary damage is only caused by exposure to water, while secondary may range from black mold to other issues caused by water or high humidity. Here are five types of secondary damage.
1. Corrosion: Many parts of a commercial property, from building materials to fixtures, are made out of metal. Corrosion can affect HVAC components, pipes, or studs. Over time, corrosion may lead to costly structural or utility repairs.
2. Rot: Organic materials such as wood may rot as a result of water damage. Limit the extent of this damage with thorough drying and dehumidification. Rotted building materials may undermine structural integrity.
3. Mold: Mold is a common result of water damage that can start to develop within 48 hours of water damage. There are many types, including black mold, all of which result from damage that is not addressed in a timely manner. Prevent mold by quickly removing all standing water and thoroughly drying areas affected by water damage.
4. Electrical problems: Water can damage every essential system in a commercial property. Water in electrical sockets or other components can undermine the power in the property or cause dangerous malfunctions. Commercial restoration experts can help to ensure that the lights are safe to turn on and restore water-damaged appliances and devices.
5. Damaged materials: The line between damage from primary and secondary causes can be vague. Water damage that goes untreated may cause more extensive damage to materials that is secondary. These contents may need to be replaced.
If your commercial property in Watertown, NY, has experienced water damage, you should immediately take action to limit the extent of secondary damage. Whether you are worried about black mold or any other type of damage, you should contact a commercial restoration company. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROjeffersoncounty.com/.
Planning for disaster
Local large building that had a pipe break on the 4th floor.
How quickly your company can get back to business after a blizzard, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.
The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.
Develop a Business Continuity Plan.
Your organization’s risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.
Review Insurance Coverage.
Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.
Prepare your Emergency Plan.
Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.
Practice the Emergency Plan.
Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in
a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.
Secure Your Facility and Equipment.
Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.
Improve Cyber Security.
Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don’t open e-mails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.
Information provided by ready.gov
4 Steps to Protect Your Business From Fire
Fire damage in a commercial building in Carthage, NY
A fire can devastate your business.
The best way to avoid this scenario is to take steps to reduce the likelihood that a preventable fire will break out. You may also want to train employees or occupants in disaster preparation to limit losses from fires that start in other units or surrounding buildings. Here are four fire preparation steps you can take to protect your business.
1. Make sure the property is built with fire-retardant materials. The materials out of which a commercial property is built can impact insurance premiums. These materials may also impact the way that fire suppression systems are set up. You should also factor in whether structural additions or contents are potentially combustible or resistant to fire.
2. Frequently perform fire drills and train occupants on fire safety. Make sure that all employees and occupants of the building know what to do in case of fire, and post evacuation maps in strategic locations. You may also want to schedule fire preparation training that covers how and when to use fire extinguishers.
3. Regularly test extinguishers and fire suppression systems. Install fire extinguishers in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and have them regularly inspected. The supplier of the fire suppression equipment in your building can recommend a testing method.
4. Schedule a fire hazard analysis. A commercial property can become imperiled by fires that start in other units or neighboring buildings. Have a trained professional perform a fire hazard analysis to further reduce the likelihood that your building will sustain extensive damage.
Taking these four fire preparation steps should reduce the likelihood that a fire will start in your business. If a fire does start and damages your commercial property in Carthage, NY, you should carefully document evidence of damage and loss and contact a commercial fire damage restoration company.
Oh the floors we clean!
Before (bottom) and After (top). Years and years of wear and dirt build up.
This is a photo of a floor our crew recently cleaned. The bottom (before) shows years of traffic, dirt, and wear. The top (after) shows that they were able to successfully clean the floor with our high powered roto machine. A little elbow grease sure goes a long way. Our clients were extremely happy with the way this public bathroom looked when we were fully finished.
It's very important to keep up on the care and cleaning of your flooring, no matter what type, and no matter if it's business or residential. We can help you do that! From carpeting to tile and grout we can do the dirty work for you. If you have any questions about products or procedures we use please feel free to give us a call! 315-777-8377