How to prepare your Business for the Fall season
What does the fall season mean to you? Perhaps vibrantly colored leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, early morning fog and cooler weather setting in. As the seasons change its always a great time to check in on the health of your building. Temperature and weather changes can affect structures more than we think.
SERVPRO of Edmonds would like to offer you some great advice on how to prepare your business for fall.
- Clean Out Your Gutters: Throughout the summer months there a high chance your gutters filled with leaves and grime and this will get worse as fall progresses. Clogged gutters can form ice dams in the colder months that prevent your drainage systems from working properly. Then, leaks can happen within the business, causing a multitude of issues. Get ahead by simply clearing out your gutters as the leaves begin to collect.
- Light Up Your Outdoor Area: Fall and winter means less daylight, leaving a possibility for more accidents. If you don't have lights outside of your home and driveway yet, installing some is a great way to keep your home just a little safer. Lights around the perimeter of your driveway and business or home can mean fewer accidents and even act as a deterrent for break-ins.
- Check In On Your Heating System: Fall signals the first time in months that you will be using your heating system. Schedule an annual heating system checkup, and manually survey your heating vents to make sure they aren't blocked by anything that could be a fire hazard. Dust off vents and clean filters to ensure everything is functioning properly.
Lastly make sure you have SERVPRO of Edmonds’s contact information on hand if you may have an emergency; our helpful team can be reached at 425-775-5723.
Common Causes of Fire Damage in Commercial Properties
Fires within commercial buildings can cause a devastating amount of damage. Thankfully a large amount of fire damage can be avoided with a good, up to date fire system. The most effective fire systems include detection, control and extinguishing. A key part of fire systems are fire alarms and sprinklers, which demand constant maintenance to not only ensure the buildings safety, but also your inventory and save human lives. Being able to identify the most common causes of commercial fires should be the first step in prevention. Makes sure you consider an ERP – Emergency Ready Profile for your commercial property. SERVPRO of Edmonds offers this as a cost-free assessment to help you develop your emergency plans. Call us at 425-775-5723.
Here are the 3 most common reasons why fires occur in commercial building.
- Kitchen: Approximately 25%-30% of all commercial fires occur because of cooking and human error in the kitchen. Due to the kitchen being a high-risk zone, this area requires extra caution while using and more prevention. Sprinklers and Fire Alarms should be central in the kitchen and a fire extinguisher should be easy to access while in the kitchen.
- Arson: Roughly 10% of all non-residential fires occur on purpose. These fires are the most destructive because they are usually planned after working hours where nobody is around to pull the fire alarm. Some of the most common areas to start an Arson Fire are bathrooms, trash cans, dumpsters and garages. To try and prevent these fires from occurring we suggest making sure trash cans are emptied at the end of the day, keep dumpsters away from the building, keep trees and shrubs trimmed, putting motion cameras or lights in unused or dark areas and installing smoke/fire curtains near doorways. Due to the nature of Arson fires, these are the hardest type of fires to prevent. These few steps are a great way to prepare and minimize damage to important parts of the office.
- Human Error: These also account for about 10% of commercial building fires and can be very hard to prevent. Human error could include forgetting to blow out a candle, leaving heating equipment near walls or flammable objects or as simple as overloading an outlet. The best way to prevent these is to make sure everybody in your office knows the risk of what can happen and urge them to be cautious when dealing with anything that could possibly be harmful.
We hope that these tips help your building and employees stay safe. The number 1 way of preventing a fire is proper preparation and preparedness. If you believe your Commercial Building is at risk for any type of emergency, then ask SERVPRO of Edmonds to create an Emergency Ready Plan to help you get prepared!
Training Employees on Utilizing Portable Fire Extinguishers
Do you have a portable fire extinguisher in your workplace? Let’s hope so! Do you know how to use your fire extinguisher properly? If not, what good is having a fire extinguisher if you don’t know how to use it?
OSHA requires employers who provide fire extinguishers in the workplace that are available for employee use to also provide an "educational program" for affected workers that covers the principles of fire extinguisher use as well as the hazards of incipient-stage (early stage) fire-fighting. This educational program must be provided as part of new employee orientations, and the employer must also provide an annual refresher training on this topic. In addition, the employer must provide all fire brigade members, as well as fire watches and any other worker who has been assigned any job that requires the use of a portable fire extinguisher, with hands-on training on the equipment they will be required to use.
The most important thing to consider when designing your fire extinguisher training program is your workplace. Focus your training on the type of emergencies employees really may face. For example, an office complex, manufacturing facility, hospital facility, and university dorm should all have markedly different programs. Furthermore, employees with different roles should be trained based on the threats they face and the emergency response protocols that are established. Every successful program should combine classroom and hands-on instructional elements. Many of the basics can and should be covered before allowing trainees to exercise hands-on application.
Trainees should leave the program with knowledge of the sources of fire, classes of fire and their corresponding fire extinguishers, how to identify an extinguisher, how to assess a fire situation, and fire emergency protocols. Here at SERVPRO of Edmonds we practice proper Fire Extinguisher training and we encourage all businesses to do the same. If you are curious about preparing your business for unexpected risks contact SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 and inquire about our Free Emergency Ready Profile assessment.
Working In Edmond's Long Term Care Communities
A topic not always discussed but certainly a concern is the amount of upkeep and care necessary for property (specifically multifamily). A vast part of our population falls under ‘The Matures’, Baby Boomers, Generation X and is profoundly changing our economy, specifically real estate and financial markets. We often refer to these groups as an ‘Aging in Place’ individual or group in a multifamily community. It is necessary that we identify the special needs of the aging community – both the people and the physical structures they inhabit. Special considerations and planning must be made to keep things running smoothly such as mental health, medical and management (financial and maintenance) concerns. Being prepared for the unexpected is key; something we are very familiar with at SERVPRO of Edmonds. We are very careful to follow meticulous covid-19 precautions and even offer covid-19 decontaminations.
Important statistics regarding aging populations and the properties they inhabit:
- 65% of the nation’s owner-occupied homes are inhabited by individuals older than the age of 55.
- By the year 2025 there will be 94.9 million senior adults live in our country thus leading to a higher demand for long term care facilities.
The two areas of major concern include the following:
Architectural Concerns for the property; is the property structurally sound? Damaged in any way? Are the energy efficiency issues?
Physical Concerns for the inhabitants; is the resident safe and in good health? Is their unit outfitted with the correct fixtures for their mobility level? Do they have enough set aside for their retirement income?
According to the Community Association Institute statistics over 60% of condos and HOAs throughout the United States are under-funded for reserve replacements and 4,000 associations have no reserves at all. This is a large concern considering unexpected maintenance and emergencies can happen at any time and we know this all too well at SERVPRO of Edmonds. If you think you have an emergency in your property don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723. We have vast experience in multi-family, commercial and residential properties.
How To Limit Flood Damage Before A Storm Event
The devastation caused by flood water in Edmonds, WA can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to limit the effects of water damage by taking preventative measures. You may have heard about a business in your area going through certain processes to limit the likelihood of a flooded building, but you can also do them as a homeowner.
Know the Flood Level Near Your Area
Governmental officials carry out evaluations to assess how high flood water will rise in a given area. It’s crucial to know the level water could reach during a storm. You can find out the flood level for your area by:
• Going to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website
• Checking with your insurance company
• Contacting local building authorities
Once you’re aware of that information, it becomes much easier to take proactive measures. Get started by hiring licensed and insured contractors to make modifications to your home, so water-sensitive parts of your abode, such as the electrical system, are not as prone to problems from excessive moisture.
Apply Protective Coatings to Walls
It’s possible to buy sealant products to apply to the walls of your residence to help keep moisture out. Do research to find the best-reviewed and highly rated options and invest in some of them before you hear about the next flood threat.
Have a Cleanup Plan
Think ahead by deciding what you’ll do if preventative measures don’t keep the water out completely and it becomes necessary to clean up after a flood and salvage what’s left of your possessions. Because there are so many safety risks associated with flood recovery, it’s smart to contact professional disaster recovery specialists to let them handle the job- such as SERVPRO of Edmonds.
These steps could help you protect your home and reduce the chances you’ll deal with a flooded building. Water damage can be severe, and flood water is particularly dangerous. Flood prevention could also reduce disruption to your life and residence. Visit http://www.SERVPROedmonds.com for more information on storm damage.
Residential Cleaning of Smoke and Soot Damage
House fires can be devastating for any number of reasons. Even fires that were put out before they could cause extensive damage or harm can unfortunately result in several problems, including damage from smoke. Smoke can harm many different items in the house and typically leaves a strong, sour smell behind even long after the fire has gone out. Cleaning up the soot and smoke damage can be time consuming and requires special protocols. You can start with these steps:
1. Assess degree of smoke and soot damage to home.
2. Contact professional cleaning services.
3. Continue with home recovery efforts.
Getting the Right Help
Because smoke is such a powerful smell, professional service providers are often required to thoroughly remove it. Professional cleaning firms such as SERVPRO of Edmonds offer special smoke cleaning services. Contact our team and ask about smoke damage cleaning rates. You may find it helpful to have one of our project managers facilitate an in-person visit and estimate for you.
A provider will visit your home and may begin by cleaning soft surfaces to remove the heavy, smoke smell. Curtains, bedding, furniture, carpet, and upholstery can all trap and hold smoke smells; often this cannot be removed by a simple DIY scrubbing.
Cleaning your home’s structure can also be a challenge to complete on your own. Professional home cleaners as well as service providers specializing in fire restoration may be able to help you restore the structure of your home by removing soot damage from various surfaces. The composition of soot depends on what was burning and for how long; some surfaces can be easily wiped clean while others could require deeper cleaning with special products in order to be fully restored.
Recovering From a Fire
Cleaning is typically an important part of recovering from a house fire. Removing smoke damage and soot can be accomplished with the help of experienced professional restoration firms operating in your area.
For more on cleaning soot and smoke damage visit us at http://www.SERVPROedmonds.com.
Types of Storm Damage Restoration
Storm damage can come in many forms, each devastating in its own way. Ice damming, frozen pipes, hail damage, wind damage, hurricane damage, flooding, and river flooding are all common effects of storm damage. SERVPRO of Edmonds professionals are here to help victims navigate storm damage restoration.
Flooding can be caused by runoff ground water, overflowing storm drains, torrential rains, hurricanes, or extreme thunderstorms. Flood water doesn't need to remain in a structure long to cause massive amounts of damage. Unfortunately, even small amounts of flood water can cause mold or mildew to begin growing in a structure.
The use of a proper flood pump is almost always necessary in situations where flood water and water restoration is needed. A reliable company such as SERVPRO of Edmonds will know exactly which type of flood pump is needed to remove any standing water. Apart from using a flood pump, industrial drying tools are also commonly needed for proper storm remediation.
Hail damage and wind damage are common forms of storm damage that professional home restoration companies are familiar with. Roof damage and roof repair may be necessary. If hail damage occurs, a professional storm restoration company can give homeowners advice on what steps to take toward storm remediation. Roof leak related issues such as roof leaking can be handled easily by the professionals at SERVPRO of Edmonds.
Ice damage can take place almost anywhere with cool winters. Frozen pipes, Ice damming, and other forms of ice damage are very common problems many people face each winter season. Ice damming is caused by buildup of ice around the edge of a roof which then can stop melting snow from draining correctly. If an ice dam has caused roof damage to your home or business, removing the ice dam and preventing future ice damming is key. Ice dam removal may require the help of professionals as well. These same professionals may be able to help with frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can lead to substantial damage to a structure.
Visit http://www.SERVPROedmonds.com for more information on storm damage or to get help immediately and to be prepared for the next winter storm.
Do you have moisture in your crawlspace?
Crawl spaces are prone to moisture and mildew due to the high levels of humidity and exterior water intrusions in these areas. Some of the most common causes of increased levels of humidity in the crawl space include water leaks, damaged insulation, and inadequate ventilation. To get rid of a mildew and moisture problem in the crawl space review our following tips:
- Check for water leaks in the foundation walls and crawl space ceiling — make sure there are no cracks that allow water to leak inside the crawl space. While checking for cracks, be sure to also inspect the HVAC ducts and plumbing components for leaks.
- Ensure that the gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation. Water that flows toward your house could enter your crawl space and basement.
- Make sure your crawl space is properly ventilated — for every 150 square feet of crawl space area, there should be 1 square foot of ventilation. However, consult a professional to determine if you should keep the crawl space vents closed and, if so, find other ways to control the humidity in the crawl space.
- Use plastic sheeting covers to insulate/encapsulate the crawl space floor and foundation walls. Vapor barriers like plastic sheeting covers trap the moisture that is evaporating from the soil and walls.
- If your crawl space is already insulated, inspect the insulation once or twice a year. Make sure the insulation is not missing or sagging, which indicates that there could be a water problem.
- Make sure dryer vents always discharge to the outside and not into the crawl space. If they do this can lead to a major increase in humidity.
- Call SERVPRO of Edmonds. Our trained and certified mold remediation technicians can diagnose your crawlspace moisture problem and get your crawlspace dried out in no time. Our technicians will remove any wet insulation in your crawlspace, treat any mildew with an anti-microbial solution, dry the wet floor joists or subfloor, and remove and reset the vapor barrier so that you have no more problems of moisture damaging your crawlspace.
SERVPRO of Edmonds is available to provide estimates for crawlspace remediation upon your request. Call our team at 425-775-5723 for questions, we are always ready to help!
Preventive Maintenance for Rental Property Owners
When renting out your property the hope is that tenants will treat the space kindly and maintain it well. How can you ensure your property is protected? Take proper precautions and work smarter, not harder. Performing preventive maintenance on your investment properties will keep you from paying costly utilities, damage repairs, and renovations. At SERVPRO of Edmonds we enjoy working with Property Managers and helping them protect their client’s investments. Education and preparedness is a great part of success and we have put together some helpful tips for rental property owners or managers:
- Know Your Tenants Before signing a lease, always have a clear understanding of who you are renting to; set your expectations accordingly. Are they responsible? Trustworthy? Clean?
- Set Up a Preventive Maintenance Schedule
Put together annual and monthly maintenance schedules to share with your tenant so that they are aware of your plans. Do regular inspections to check on any problem areas in the home, such as drafts, wall cracks, and leaks.
Some items to include on your maintenance schedules are:
- Pest control and prevention
- Carpet cleaning
- Landscaping upkeep
- HVAC inspection and cleaning
- Kitchen appliance inspection
- Maintenance tasks can pile up quickly. If you or your tenant feel overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional to handle one or more tasks. While cost is a factor, outsourcing maintenance tasks can conserve your most precious asset: time. Choose a professional company that is licensed, bonded, and insured.
- Track Expenses. Maintaining a property appropriately will help keep large costs down, maintenance costs can certainly cut into the bottom line of your investment if you’re not careful. Keep records to track profitability.
Emergency Board-Up and Cleaning Services
Emergency Board-ups are necessary and vital after unexpected accidents. These are not situations that happen everyday but when they do it is important to be prepared and know who to call. The experts at SERVPRO of Edmonds can provide emergency board up and cleaning services related to drywall damage, glass cleaning, debris cleaning and furniture moving or salvage and non-salvage items.
Examples of situations that require board-ups:
- After hours break-ins and looting. Was a door or window broken or damaged? Is there a mess related to the break-in? Call SERVPRO of Edmonds to secure the building 24/7.
- Vehicles colliding with buildings through walls or windows. This is a common problem at retail locations with high traffic levels. Unfortunately drivers aren’t always paying attention and building can suffer severe damage when mistakes are made.
- Earthquakes cause structural damage, broken windows and compromised entry and exits. Board-ups can secure the building until damage can be assessed.
- Fires that compromise structural integrity, such as windows, doors, walls or even roof entry.
Don’t leave your home or building vulnerable by avoiding a board-up. Call SERVPRO of Edmonds to handle the board up and clean-up at 425-775-5723.