4 Steps for Recovering From a Business Fire
Fire damage in North Port, FL.
Four Steps to Get Back on Your Feet After a Business Fire
It doesn't take much time for fire to derail your successful business, and when the smoke clears, you still have a long process of cleanup to tackle. After all, smoke damage settles into furnishings, inventory, and even the walls and floors of buildings. Take the following steps to successfully deal with the damage.
1. Discuss Costs and Coverage With Your Insurance Provider
There are many cleaning and restoration professionals available who provide soot damage and smoke cleaning services. Some insurance plans cover this type of service. As you discuss the details of coverage with your insurance agent, consider asking about the following services:
- Protecting property from more damage
- Completing repairs for existing damages
- Storing inventory
- Remodeling buildings and structures on the property
- Replacing property, belongings, and inventory that are beyond repair
The better you understand your coverage, the better prepared you'll be to oversee the recovery process.
2. Restore and Replace Valuable Documents
Just about every business has important documents on-site. These may include proof of licensing, business credit cards, employee records, billing documents, contracts with providers, and even cash. Moving paperwork to a clean, dry location, away from further smoke damage, should help protect documents and help you get your business back on track as quickly as possible.
3. Save Receipts for Everything
Keep receipts and make a record of any money you spend that is related to the fire. The insurance company will need those records, and you may use them later to prove losses while completing taxes. Consider talking to an accountant for more information about special tax benefits.
4. Maintain Communication With Local Officials
Protect the safety of your employees, buildings, and other officials by alerting the fire and police departments to your comings and goings. Don't enter buildings or use utilities until you've had official permission. Discuss problems with your landlord or insurance company.
These four steps can help you and your North Port, FL, business recover from fire and smoke damage. What have you already done to protect your business and property from fire dangers?
What To Do After a Pipe Breaks
Water damage in a Rotunda West, FL home.
When a Pipe Breaks, What Should You Do?
When temperatures drop in Rotunda West, FL, water inside your pipes can freeze. As water freezes, it begins to expand and that expansion can cause your pipes to burst. Bursting pipes can do an incredible amount of damage in a short amount of time. While it’s natural to panic when water is gushing into your home, staying calm and acting fast can minimize the water damage. Follow this guide to deal with a broken pipe.
1. Turn off Your Water
Turn your water off at the main valve. This stops water from flowing into your house. The quicker you accomplish this, the less damage you’ll have.
2. Turn off Your Electricity and Gas If Necessary
If the water comes into contact with any electrical outlets or exposed wires, it can cause an electrical current to flow through the water. This presents a lethal hazard to anyone who comes into contact with the water. In these cases, it’s important to shut off the electricity. Likewise, if water comes into contact with any gas appliances you should call your gas company and tell them to shut off your gas.
3. Contact a Plumber
Call your plumber and let them know the situation. They’ll need to come to your home and fix the broken pipe.
4. Call a Water Damage Mitigation Specialist
If a lot of water was released by your bursting pipes, contact a water damage mitigation specialist in Rotunda West, FL, to handle the cleanup. They can extract the water and dry out the affected area quickly and efficiently. If water is left standing or materials aren’t dried out completely it can result in secondary damage and mold growth. The water evaporates, causing high humidity inside your home. This moisture in the air then condenses on ceilings and walls, causing water damage far from the original source. These damp materials are then a perfect breeding ground for mold.
Once you’ve managed the immediate dangers of bursting pipes, let an expert handle the cleanup. They’ll make sure your house is clean and dry as quickly as possible so you don’t have to worry about secondary damage to your home.
Mold: An Overview for Business Owners and Investors
Mold damage in Boca Grande, FL.
What Is Mold and How To Handle It
When business owners hear the phrase mold growth, they most likely get a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach because they anticipate the costly repairs and remediation necessary for toxic black mold. However, the cost is mostly dependent on mold coverage, type and overall damage. Although, before you go get your calculator out, it is a good idea to understand what mold is and how to handle it.
1. Causes of Mold
Mold is essentially a moisture problem. The spores thrive on water and will congregate and establish colonies when near a water source. This is also why mold is often found near plumbing, in basements, attics, bathrooms and wall cavities because it thrives in damp, dark and humid areas.
2. Dangers of Toxic Mold
Black mold is often used as a blanket term referring to toxic mold. However, the only way to tell what type of mold is present in your building is to have it tested. No matter the kind of mold, you should safely remove it following city and state regulations as quickly as possible, ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
3. Mold Growth
Mold spreads quickly, usually taking less than 48 to 72 hours to develop. It is because of the accelerated rate of growth and the variety of species that mold should be dealt with quickly and precisely. To slow mold growth or development, you may want to install dehumidifiers and other means of ventilation in your building or property.
4. Mold Remediation
Mold is a naturally occurring substance, and as such, you should be leery of companies promising the removal of all mold. Qualified mold remediation specialists in the Boca Grande, FL, area understand that mold cleanup and remediation is not about eliminating every occurrence of mold, as that is impossible, but instead returning mold levels to natural levels.
The phrase black mold has become scarier than reality because of manipulative advertising strategies. However, despite the hype, mold is still a problem that demands immediate attention, and as mold types vary greatly, it is best to seek professional assistance in the removal process.
4 Ways To Tell If Your Shower Is Leaking
4 Signs That Your Shower Is Leaking
The cause of a shower leak is not always obvious. Whether you notice a wet floor after showering or signs of moisture and water damage underneath your shower, here are four ways to determine the origin of a shower stall or bathtub leak.
1. Shower Pans and Leaks
Check a basement or crawlspace for signs of a leak from a first-floor shower. A shower pan leak on a higher floor may cause staining on the ceiling below. You may also notice water damage near the shower or in areas that share a common wall.
Test the pan by stopping the drain and filling the shower or bathtub about 1.5 inches deep. Wait between eight and 72 hours. Have someone walk around in the shower to determine whether weight triggers the leak. Replace shower pans that are more than 30 years old.
2. Caulking and Tiles
Spray water along a shower door track for several minutes and check for leaks. Cracked grout between tiles can also permit water to collect behind walls. Allow the area to dry completely before caulking or grouting a bathtub leak. You may also want to have mold testing and any necessary remediation completed before sealing cracked grout.
3. Shower Heads and Escutcheons
Clear clogged spray holes and check the O-ring inside a shower-head. Replace worn out cartridges, stems, or washers inside the valve. Replace the gasket or use caulk or putty on an unsealed escutcheon. Check for leaks between the head and valve by capping the showerhead.
4. Drains and Lines
Pour water from buckets or a hose down the drain and have another person monitor the area beneath a shower. Drain leaks are typically caused by a cracked flange or damaged gasket.
Regardless of the source of a shower or bathtub leak, you may want to hire a plumber. If your home has sustained water damage, or you suspect that mold is growing, contact a water damage restoration service in Manasota Key, FL.
Protect Your Building Envelope
A building’s envelope is, in a very basic sense, the actual building itself.
Protect Your Building Envelope
Rain damage can be a serious threat to your commercial building, easily causing thousands of dollars worth of damage after a bad storm. The most important thing you can do to protect your building is to ensure that the building envelope is in good shape and well maintained. It is much more cost-effective to maintain the property in such a way as to prevent damage than it is to repair after a weather event.
Rain Damage Can Present Big Problems
In many cases, damage done to commercial buildings is caused by water being where it’s not supposed to be. Black mold is just one example of the serious consequences that can arise when rain is allowed to intrude into the building. Get out ahead of potential problems by making sure that cracks are sealed and gaps are closed. There are other things that can help to divert water:
The use of these items can move water away from the foundation of your building and help to prevent water intrusion.
The Building Envelope and Why It’s Important
A building’s envelope is, in a very basic sense, the actual building itself. It is the physical barrier between the conditioned interior and the unconditioned environment outside. It is comprised of the roof and walls of the structure. Cracks, gaps, and other openings in the envelope, including doors and windows, can all present possible points of entry for water and air into the building.
Maintenance Can Make a Big Difference
Preventative maintenance can save you money in the long run. Once damage has been done, it usually becomes a much more costly situation to rectify. However, should damage to your building occur, bring in professionals to help with cleanup.
It is easier and cheaper to fortify a weak point than it is to replace a larger area that has become subject to rot or mold due to water damage. Keep in mind that Englewood, FL, can be subject to severe weather, including heavy rains. Protect your building from rain damage so it will continue to serve its purpose for years to come.
Can Family Heirlooms Be Restored After Fire Damage?
Clothing damaged by a house fire may retain a smoky smell
While the idea of your home being struck by lightning may seem extremely rare, lightning fire is actually responsible for millions of dollars in property damage annually. If your home and belongings have fallen victim to a house fire in North Port, FL, there may still be hope for restoring some of your precious belongings. With the help of a reputable fire restoration specialist, priceless family heirlooms may be returned to their previous state. Before your restoration team arrives, be sure to follow these helpful tips to prevent any further damage or loss:
Handle Heirlooms With Caution and Care
In the immediate devastation of a lightning fire, it may be difficult to take a step back from your belongings before jumping-in to inspect them. Moving forward with the following precautions may prevent further damage:
• Avoid movement of damaged goods to prevent shifting soot and ash
• Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling damaged property
• Do not wash painted surfaces without first consulting a fire restoration service for advice
Refrain From Operating Electronic Devices
In a similar nature to water damage, fire and smoke damage can have severe effects on electronic devices. Operating electronics that you suspect have had contact with either fire or smoke may cause:
1. Immediate corrosion caused by smoke residue
2. Further hazards to your device or residence
Delay Sending Clothing to a Traditional Dry Cleaner
Clothing damaged by a house fire may retain a smoky smell permanently if not handled with the correct equipment. Even a traditional dry-cleaning service can leave smoke-exposed fabrics with fixed lasting odors. Any fabric or upholstery laden with ash, soot or smoke should be treated by professionals who deal with home restoration after a fire.
You may be left wondering which of your family heirlooms can be salvaged after a lightning fire in North Port, FL. Follow these simple tips to prevent further damage until restoration specialists arrive.
Maintain Your Swamp Cooler To Prevent Mold
Avoid mold problems from a dirty or leaking swamp cooler.
To Prevent Mold, Keep Your Swamp Cooler Clean
In hot, dry climates, swamp coolers, or evaporative coolers, are a great way to cool your home. As the water in the cooler evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air and adds water vapor. However, in Placida, FL, where humidity sometimes rises, it’s important to pay attention to the barometer. If humidity is too high, the water won’t evaporate and mold growth can develop in your swamp cooler. If this happens, it’s critical you clean the mold out of your evaporative cooler before running it again.
To avoid mold problems from a dirty or leaking swamp cooler, it’s important to do regular maintenance on your unit. Follow these basic guidelines to keep your cooler working and prevent mold.
1. Check Water Levels Regularly
Check the water level in your evaporative cooler regularly. If the water level is too low, your cooler may not be able to cool the air effectively. If the water level is too high, a leaking swamp cooler can become a source of chronic moisture in your home, creating the perfect conditions for mold to grow.
2. Keep the Exterior Clean
You should wipe down the outside of your swamp cooler every couple of weeks. A surface build-up of dust or grime can interfere with its cooling abilities. Wiping it down can also clean off any pollen spores that may have settled there, waiting for the right conditions to grow.
3. Clean the Water Tank
It’s a good idea to clean out the water tank periodically. This removes any build up of sediment, lime or organic material that might serve as a breeding ground for mold.
4. Change the Cooling Pads
The cooling pads are one of the first places mold can grow. Inspect them regularly and replace them if they’re cracked or dirty. If you notice a musty smell coming from your swamp cooler, you may have mold. Changing the pads and cleaning the tank should help.
While swamp coolers can be an economical cooling option in Placida, FL, some care is needed. Don’t run your cooler on humid days and perform regular maintenance to prevent a dirty or leaking cooler from causing mold to grow.
3 Ways to Protect Against Dryer Fire
Your dryer’s lint screen must be cleaned every time you do a load of laundry.
3 Ways to Prevent Dryer Fires
You may not give much thought to your dryer as a fire hazard. You simply put wet clothes in, turn it on and take them out when they are dry. Fire restoration specialists, however, see a lot of fire damage that started as a lint fire. To protect your home in Boca Grande, FL, from dryer fire, you should remove lint before every use and have a proper maintenance schedule for your dryer.
1. Lint Removal
Your dryer’s lint screen must be cleaned every time you do a load of laundry. Remove the screen and wipe your hand across it. A ball of lint forms as you do this, making it easier to remove the rest of the lint from the screen. Every few weeks, it is a good idea to wash the screen with water to remove any residue that has collected on it. Vacuuming out the screen vent before you replace the screen can help prevent lint fire by keeping lint from building up in the area.
2. Vent Cleaning
The lint screen is not the only place where lint collects. Lint is also exhausted through the hose attached to the back of the dryer and the vent in the wall. Every six months, you need to clean the hose and the wall vent. This helps prevent a buildup of lint that can ignite a fire in your home in Boca Grande, FL, causing extensive fire damage.
3. Dryer Dusting
The third place that lint accumulates is in the body of the dryer itself. Approximately every six months, unplug the dryer, open the back of it and clean out any lint that you see. You can use your hose attachment on your vacuum and a dry cloth to dust the inside of the dryer.
Everyone can remember to clean the lint screen, but if you want to make sure the job is done thoroughly, you can hire professionals to clean the inside of the dryer and the vents. No matter who does it, though, keeping a rigorous maintenance schedule for your dryer helps to prevent lint fire.
Burns at Work: Is This Burn Minor or Major?
Do some burn first aid to help relieve the pain.
Basic First Aid Steps
If a fire breaks out in a commercial building in Rotunda West, FL, the fire damage can vary greatly. You may have to deal with structural problems, charred equipment and personal injuries. A fire repair crew can help with most of the property damages, but you may need to get help from a different source for personal injuries. If an employee gets burned at work, it may be a good idea to take quick action. You may be able to take care of minor burns on site, by following basic first aid steps:
- Cool the burn.
- Protect the blisters.
- Apply lotion.
- Add a bandage.
- Provide pain relief.
However, major burns often require medical attention as soon as possible. How do you tell the difference?
A major burn looks different than a minor burn. This injury is deep and large. To qualify as major, it should be over three inches in diameter or cover certain parts of the body, including hands, face, buttocks, groin or feet. The appearance of the skin will be dry and leathery. You may also notice the fire damage charred skin and created patches of colored skin. Usually, the colors can include white, black and brown. If a burn falls into this category, you may want to do some first aid until a first responder arrives. However, on-site treatment is not enough for this injury.
A minor burn is much more superficial than its more serious counterpart. The redness associated with it may remind you of a sunburn rather than a charred piece of skin. The injured employee will feel pain. The affected area may have blisters but should be no larger than three inches in diameter. If a burn falls into this category, you can do some burn first aid to help relieve the pain. You may still want to send your employee to the doctor, but it's not as vital.
Fire damage often affects buildings, but it may also affect your employees. Knowing how to react to personal injuries can help you make smart decisions.
How Do You Stop a Toilet That Won’t Stop Flushing?
Toilet overflow, while common, can be a nuisance to your business, especially when it hinders efficiency.
Toilet overflow, or a toilet flood, can be a common occurrence in many large business operations. Due to the extensive use of restrooms in these types of facilities, toilet mechanisms can become worn relatively quickly. If you are dealing with a toilet that is continuously running or flushing, you may have a problem with the gasket. To stop a toilet from constantly running, you may want to follow these four steps:
1. Shut off the Water Supply
The first thing you want to do is shut off the main water supply to the toilet that is causing the problem. Locate the slot for the flathead screwdriver on either the left or right side of the toilet and turn it to shut off the water.
2. Remove the Lid of the Flushing Mechanism
On top of the pipe running up the back of the toilet, there is a large bolt securing the lid of the flange and its components. You can loosen this slightly to remove the cover and expose the flange gasket.
3. Remove and Clean the Gasket and Weep Hole
You may notice that the gasket is covered in sediment along with the weep hole, and this is potentially causing your toilet overflow problem. Remove the gasket and clean it and the weep hole thoroughly before returning it to the toilet and testing the flow.
4. Replace the gasket
If cleaning the gasket did not resolve your issue, you may want to replace the gasket altogether. Replacing the gasket is a simple enough job; however, you may want to seek an experienced plumber in the North Port, FL, area if you have further issues.
Toilet overflow, while common, can be a nuisance to your business, especially when it hinders efficiency. The above steps may help resolve the most common problem in these instances; however, there may be times when it’s best to get a professional’s opinion.