Reopening Your Business Following a Natural Disaster
If your Firestone business was affected by a natural disaster, give SERVPRO of Firestone, Platteville a call.
Reopening your business after a natural disaster can be intimidating and exciting all at the same time. But if you don’t have a plan, it can be incredibly difficult to get back in business after even the smallest storm. Here are some ways to help mitigate the damage of any future storms and get back to business as quickly as possible.
Create a Reopening Plan
You should plan to reopen as soon as possible. As soon as you decide in what capacity you will be able to reopen your business, follow this process:
- Create a reopening plan that is flexible but still has a timeline and specific goals for how you want to get things done. A good example is "reopen my restaurant by the end of October."
- Plan ahead for communication with customers and employees about when they can expect to return to work or resume regular customer service hours.
Make sure that you have the necessary equipment and supplies to reopen your business. You may not be able to get the same equipment or supplies used for your previous location, so make sure you are prepared with alternative options.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company immediately after a natural disaster. Whether you have general liability or business interruption insurance, be prepared to provide proof of loss for your property, equipment, and inventory. You may need to file a claim for the damages you sustained due to the storm.
If you do not have insurance, consider getting it. Natural disasters can result in significant losses that could jeopardize your business if they go unaddressed by an effective policy like this one!
Communicate With Customers and Employees
It is important to communicate with customers and employees on a regular basis. You can do this through social media, email newsletters, text messages, phone calls, or even in person. This will ensure that they are aware of anything new regarding the situation.
If you plan on opening your business again after the storm passes (or if it hasn't yet hit), let people know what their options are for getting back into contact with you once things have stabilized enough for your company's operations to resume as normal without interruptions.
Prepare for Future Disasters
Here are some tips to help you prepare for a future disaster:
- Create a disaster recovery plan that
- Backup of your data and systems
- Find an alternative location for your business to operate from (if possible)
- Have an emergency kit for employees
- Keep updated contact lists with phone numbers and addresses of key personnel who are not at headquarters (e.g., IT staff, HR manager) at all times so you can reach them during emergencies.
If there's one thing we learned from this article, it's that natural disasters can be very dangerous for businesses of all sizes—especially if they're unprepared for them! But there are also steps you can take now that will help protect against future losses, and even bring new opportunities into being by helping others cope with their own struggles along with yours!
If your Firestone business was affected by a natural disaster, give SERVPRO of Firestone, Platteville a call and we will help you get back to normal as quickly as possible!
What Do I Do If My Washing Machine Leaks? Causes and Fixes
Even though leaking washing machines are a common issue, diagnosing them can be challenging.
Causes and Fixes of Washing Machine Leaks
Leaking washing machines are a common problem, but they can be tricky to diagnose. Luckily, we're here with the help you need. We've broken down all the possible causes of leaks and how to handle them. You'll learn how to figure out what's causing your leaky machine and what might be wrong with it, too.
What Is Causing My Washing Machine to Leak?
First and foremost, it is important to remember that there are many different causes for a washing machine leak. That being said, there are several things you can do to identify and correct the problem.
Check if your washer has a dripping faucet or loose hose connections. If so, replace them immediately! The water pressure from those sources could have been enough to cause leaks in other parts of your house as well.
Inspect all hoses and connections for signs of wear and tear: cracked or brittle hoses should be replaced immediately; loose connections may also lead to leaks if left unattended.
Fill hoses are especially susceptible to wear and tear over time! If there are no visible signs of damage on these hoses, try reattaching them with new clamps or hose clamps; this could solve issues with leaky fill hoses without having to replace them completely.
Check all valves on any water supply lines coming into your house (both inside and outside). They might be damaged or malfunctioning without you even knowing it. If one appears damaged by rust or corrosion, then replace it right away before any more damage can occur inside your home's walls or plumbing system. These kinds of damages could end up costing thousands of dollars down the line when repairs become necessary.
Check the drain pump: The washing machine has a pump that pushes water out of your house so that it doesn’t flood and damage anything around it. If this is broken or damaged, then water will continue to leak from your washing machine even after you turn it off because of gravity pressure from above. To fix this problem, simply replace any parts if needed (like an impeller) and reassemble after cleaning everything off.
What Should You Do If Your Washing Machine Is Leaking?
Here's what you should do if your washing machine is leaking:
- Turn off the water supply to your washing machine. Only turn it back on when you're ready to use it again.
- Remove the washing machine from its place in the flooring, if possible. Also remove any other items that might be affected by water leakage, like dishwashers or ovens.
- Replace any worn-out or damaged parts of your machine that may be causing leaks
Hopefully, this article has helped you get to the bottom of your leaking washing machine. Whether it's a simple fix or something more involved, it's good to know what's going on with your machine and what steps you can take to fix it. If you can’t DIY a fix for your washing machine, it is important to call a professional! If your leak has damaged your home, call a restoration professional for all your water damage cleanup and restoration needs.
Should I Worry About the Water In My Crawlspace?
If you notice water in your crawl space, don’t ignore it!
Is it Bad If There's Water in My Crawl Space?
As a homeowner, you probably think of your crawl space as nothing more than a place beneath your home. However, it is an important part of your home’s structural integrity. A wet crawl space can lead to serious issues with the safety of your house. So if you notice water in your crawl space, don’t ignore it!
Crawl Space Water Can Lead to Serious Problems
If you've noticed a musty smell in your crawl space, you're not alone. This is often caused by moisture and condensation from the ground below seeping into your home.
But mold and mildew aren't just a nuisance—they can cause serious issues. If you notice mold growing in your crawlspace or on any other part of your home's exterior, contact a professional right away to eliminate it before it spreads further throughout the building's structure.
Why Do Crawl Spaces Get wet?
Here are the most common causes of a wet crawl space:
Rainwater can seep through the foundation and into your crawl space. This is most common in areas with high amounts of rainfall, like coastal regions where there’s more water than normal precipitation. But even if you don’t live in an area that receives much rain, it could still be happening to you!
Water can also come from leaks in pipes or plumbing fixtures. If the pipes that connect to your plumbing system are leaking (for example, if a pipe has burst), then water can seep down into your crawl space.
Wet crawl spaces can also be caused by humidity, water heater leaks, or other sources of water infiltration.
Why Is a Wet Crawl Space a Problem?
While the crawl space is the foundation of your home and its walls are sturdy, they are not immune from water damage. Crawl spaces can be prone to flooding when it rains. Even if you don't have a basement, there's a good chance your crawl space has an opening that leads to the outside world. A wet crawl space is a problem because it can lead to a variety of serious issues, including:
Mold. One of the biggest concerns with water in your crawl space is mold. Mold grows quickly and thrives in damp environments, so if you have significant amounts of standing water on the floor or walls of your home’s crawlspace, you may see signs of mold as soon as you inspect the area. If left untreated, mold can cause structural damage to your home and make it uninhabitable by humans.
Rotting wood framing. Wood framing relies on ventilation for proper drying out after a rainstorm or snow melt—and when there’s no airflow at all from an enclosed space like a crawlspace, the rot will occur much more quickly than usual due to lack of ventilation.
Water In the Crawl Space Can Sit There For a Long Time
Water in the crawl space can sit there for months or years and do damage. The worse the damage, the longer it will take to fix. The longer water sits, the more difficult it will be to remove and dry out your crawl space.
If you’re dealing with a wet crawl space, don’t panic! The first step is getting an expert diagnosis from a professional. There are many possible causes of water in the crawl space, so it’s important to make sure you know what kind of problem you have before you start treating it. If the damage is minor and can be fixed by sealing off leaks or adding drainage pipes, then this may be all that needs to be done. However, if it turns out that your home has structural issues that need repair before there will be no more flooding problems at all then let our SERVPRO team assist!
The Different Types of Fire Extinguishers
As you can see, there are many types of fire extinguishers.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are an important tool for any household or office. They can help stop small fires from getting bigger and save you money on repairs. But did you know that there are different types of fire extinguishers for different types of fires?
Fire Extinguisher Ratings and Classes
The fire extinguisher ratings and classes are the most important when it comes to choosing the right type of fire extinguisher. A common misconception is that as long as you have a fire extinguisher, you’re good to go. This isn’t true! There are many different types of fire: electrical fires, chemical fires, paper fires…and so on. Therefore, there are different classes of fire extinguishers that can handle these different types of fires.
A rating is a measure of how effective a certain type of extinguishing agent will be at putting out specific types of fires (paper versus electrical).
Class A Fire Extinguishers
A class A fire extinguisher is used to extinguish fires involving ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, and cloth. It is commonly found in homes, offices, and other commercial buildings. This type of fire extinguisher is the most common type found in businesses across the country. Class A fire extinguishers are rated for use on class A fires only so if there is a risk of something else catching on fire in addition to the "ordinary combustibles" such as gasoline, you'll need another type of fire extinguisher or even multiple types!
Class B Fire Extinguishers
Class B extinguishers are the most common type of fire extinguisher, and they’re used to put out fires involving flammable liquids such as gasoline, paint thinner, and cooking oils.
Class B fire extinguishers must have a minimum rating of 2A:10BC. If your fire is too large for a Class B extinguisher to handle, it is important to call 911 or your local fire department right away so they can help you control the flames before they spread further.
Class C Fire Extinguishers
Class C fire extinguishers are designed for electrical fires. These should be used on fires that are not burning but have the potential to start burning. They should also be used on fires involving combustible metals such as magnesium. Class C fire extinguishers should also be used on fires involving flammable and combustible liquids such as gasoline or diesel fuel.
Class D Fire extinguishers
Class D fire extinguishers are used to fight fires involving magnesium, potassium, sodium, lithium, and their alloys. You may also use it for fires involving titanium and its alloys. These kinds of materials will burn very easily, and they can be hard to extinguish. They can catch on fire if they are exposed to heat or sparks.
Most fires in homes can be extinguished by using a fire extinguisher.
Most fires in homes can be extinguished by using a fire extinguisher. Knowing which type of fire extinguisher to use, will allow using the correct one for each situation.
- If you have a small fire and can see it, you need an ABC-class fire extinguisher. These are the least expensive and most common types of extinguishers that are found in many homes, offices, and factories. They’re also the ones that have little plastic handles on top with a pull pin inside them so all you must do is pull out the pin, aim at your target (the base flare) and squeeze until no more gas comes out – then throw it away!
- The second type is rated as BCF (Blue Canister Fire Extinguisher) because they contain carbon dioxide instead of water like an ABC model does; this means they are generally easier to use since there’s no mess created by spraying water everywhere around where they were used on purpose…but they still work just fine against Class B fires such as grease or oil-based fires too!
As you can see, there are many types of fire extinguishers. Each type is used for different types of fires and needs to be handled properly. Make sure the extinguisher you use is rated for your type of fire (Class A-D). If possible, keep a CO2 or Halon extinguisher in your home because they are effective against class B, C and D fires. If not available, then use ABC powder instead as they will still work on these types of fires.
Essential Steps Homeowners Should Complete When Making a Fire Claim
Fire damage to a home in Lochbuie, CO.
Four Tips to Support Your Insurance Claim Process
According to Home Advisor, residents in Lochbuie, CO, may pay between $3,000 to $30,000 for fire restoration services. The amount varies based on the blaze's size and how much devastation it caused. Many people don't have that much tucked away for a rainy day, yet remediation and rebuilding remain vital.
Therefore, you probably want to rely on your insurance policy to assist with the costs. Does navigating the system seem daunting? Don't fret. Use the following four tips to support your insurance claim process.
1. Start a Fire Insurance Claim Immediately
Call your agent or enter a claim through your online portal, documenting the day of the conflagration and what happened. Early warning allows the agency to begin its paperwork and arrange for adjuster visits. In addition, this closes a gap for concerning questions about why they didn't know about the conditions sooner.
2. Work With Professional Remediation Experts
Your insurance policy supports your post-fire repairs, but the insurer requires evidence and proof of the event and aftermath. Work with a licensed and certified fire restoration team to identify the physical damage, supplying insurers with evidence-based reports.
3. Protect the Property From Other Events
Fires expose homes. The flames created gaps, and the fire crews worked to put out the blaze. Insurers need to know they have proper measures to reduce outsiders from entering hazardous zones, mitigating potential lawsuits. Furthermore, you need to prove that the exposures are closed off to keep out the weather and animals.
4. Document Your Losses and Action
Work with the crew to understand if smoke cleaning is feasible for your belongings. Teams have various equipment to remove the stains and odor, helping you maintain your electronics and valuable possessions. Keep a record of what you can't keep, and snap pictures of it, proving it's damaged. Send images to your ensure to support your property loss request.
Homeowners in Lochbuie, CO, may submit a fire restoration claim to help with remediation efforts. File quickly, prove your interest in minimizing further harm and photograph everything.
What Insurance Companies Expect From Preferred Vendors
Highly trained, highly equipped, and highly experienced.
What Insurance Companies Expect From Preferred Vendors
If you are an insurance agent, you may already be familiar with the concept of preferred vendors. Representatives should be aware of the requirements that restoration companies have for franchises that take jobs associated with insurance claims. Voluntary programs such as the SERVPRO National Account Participation Agreement set higher standards for franchise locations than most independent restoration companies operating in La Salle, CO.
Regular Employee Background Checks
Franchise owners who want to work on insurance company claims must voluntarily agree to a total of 21 requirements under the National Account Participation Agreement. One of these requirements is to run regular staff background checks, which is mandated for several reasons:
- Companies that prioritize regulatory compliance run less risk
- Law-abiding employees are less likely to engage in criminal activity
- Insurers are more likely to cover preferred vendor claims
Additional skill-based requirements relevant to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification can also apply. Employees are trained and can pursue further professional opportunities through a program recognized throughout the restoration industry.
IICRC Validated Restoration Methods
The IICRC offers certifications in several areas ranging from specialization in restoring particular types of building materials or contents to more general damage restoration. An insurance agent may also want to seek out a franchise location that has a particular type of specialist.
Professional Vendor Program Projects
Vendors who participate in programs must guarantee that insurance companies and property owners get good results. Restoration jobs processed through the program tend to be in the process of insurance claim settlement or settled claims.
An insurance agent should know what preferred vendors are and be familiar with restoration industry certifications. Insurers should look out for qualifications in line with the National Account Participation Agreement. Agents can locate franchise locations of the largest nationwide restoration company to better serve La Salle, CO.
3 Tips to Prevent a Space Heater Fire
Space heaters cause approximately 25,000 house fires each year.
Minimize The Risk Of a Fire With Your Space Heater
Space heaters can be a simple and cost-effective way to heat a drafty room, but they can also be potentially dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters cause approximately 25,000 house fires each year. A burned space heater can cause serious damage to your home, leaving you to deal with structural repairs and smoke cleanup. These tips can help you minimize the risk of starting a fire with your space heater.
1. Select a Safe Model
Not all space heaters are created equal, and some are safer than others. Don't use a space heater that is more than 10 years old, has a damaged cord, or shows significant signs of wear. Newer models tend to come equipped with more safety features. A few to look for include:
A safety sensor that automatically turns the heater off if it overheats or gets knocked over.
Certification from an independent safety testing group, such as UL, CSA International, or Intertek.
A power cord that is at least six feet long --- using a power strip or extension cord exponentially increases your risk of a burned space heater.
2. Choose a Location Wisely
Where you place your heater is just as important as which heater model you use. Always place your heater on a hard, level floor, never on a table or counter. Do not place a heater within 3 feet of combustible items such as drapes, furniture, blankets, fluffy or shaggy rugs, gas, paint, or matches. Choose a low-traffic location where pets and children will not be likely to go near the heater.
3. Use Your Heater Correctly
Never leave a running space heater unattended overnight or if you are away from home. Always unplug the heater when you're not using it. When unplugging your heater, grasp the plug (not the cord) and pull it straight out. Never unplug by tugging the cord or pulling at an angle. Doing so could damage the cord, increasing the risk of a short.
Don't let a burned space heater damage your Gilcrest, CO, home. Use caution and follow safety guidelines closely.
The 72 Hours After Roof Damage
Mold growth on the ceiling due to a roof leak.
The First 72 Hours Following Roof Damage
Leaks can undermine the seal of a building envelope in a matter of hours after damage strikes the roof of a commercial structure in Johnstown, CO. Within 48 to 72 hours, conditions may deteriorate to the point where black mold starts to grow on saturated surfaces. Learn more about what can occur during the first three days after roof damage without damage mitigation, roof repair and water damage restoration.
The First Day After Roof Damage
The severity of water damage caused by a roof leak depends on the degree of damage. Here are some potential risks associated with graduated levels of roof damage:
- Minor roof damage exposes roofing materials to damage
- Moderate roof damage admits water under a roof membrane or deck
- Major water damage brings water into a building's interior
While minor damage may only affect the utmost layer of a roof, more severe incidents may compromise the seal of membranes and permit water to penetrate down into the interior of a commercial building and cause a ceiling leak.
The Second Day With a Leaky Roof
The first 48 hours after roof damage are critical for preventing black mold. Property owners should periodically inspect the condition of roofing, especially after severe weather or potentially damaging incidents. It is important to schedule roof repairs and take mitigation measures, such as tarping over damage, within this time frame.
The Third Day of a Roof Leak
Mold growth may start within 72 hours after a leak. Airborne spores settle in moist locations, and many building materials such as insulation and drywall contain cellulose. Fungus converts this plant fiber into simple starches and sugars for nourishment.
Water that filters down through building materials becomes more contaminated and may become grossly contaminated Category Three black water over time. Thorough water damage restoration can keep black mold at bay at a building in Johnstown, CO.
4 Reasons a Faulty Water Heater Could Be a Big Deal
A leaking water heater is a common problem that many homeowners face at some stage.
Four Reasons Why a Faulty Water Heater Is a Big Deal
Nearly every home in the U.S. comes with a water heater. This ingenious device makes sure everyone in the household has access to the wonderful properties of hot water for bathing, washing hands, washing dishes, and washing clothes. Not only does the appliance hold anywhere from 40 to 70 gallons of water, but it also is connected to your plumbing system. A leaking water heater is a serious concern for several important reasons.
1. The Location of a Failed Water Heater
In most homes, the water heater is located on a lower floor. This means it could be out of sight and out of mind; if the unit does leak it might not be discovered for a while. This gives the water time to spread throughout a home, causing additional damage. A local water damage restoration company in Fort Lupton, CO, should be called right away when water damage occurs.
2. The Volume of a Leaking Water Heater
Most units hold enough water to meet household demands and then refill after usage. This quantity is large enough to cause significant damage to household furniture, flooring and personal items. As more water streams into a broken unit, this further exacerbates the situation.
3. The Difficulty of Cleanup
Many homeowners might find it hard to get equipment down into the basement. A professional crew, on the other hand, has the necessary personnel to get vacuums, water pumps and dryers into the impacted area. This will result in a more efficient cleanup.
4. The Technical Nature of Dealing With a Broken Water Heater
While some situations dealing with water damage are fairly simple, handling a faulty water heater often involves complex concerns. This includes removing the old unit and reinstalling a new one.
A leaking water heater is a common problem that many homeowners face at some stage. The situation can be quickly resolved with the help of qualified professionals.
Commercial Property Insurance Basics
A commercial insurance policy can save you a lot of money in the event of a fire.
Property coverage is an essential item in every business budget. Most commercial insurance policies cover damage to your structure in Frederick, CO, as well as any equipment, furniture, or other items that are marred or destroyed in a fire. The answers to the following questions can help you decide which policy to purchase.
What Does a Commercial Insurance Policy Cover?
A basic policy is designed to pay for sudden, accidental occurrences that cause harm to your property. It prevents you from having to pay the cost of fire damage mitigation services out of pocket, and it doesn't just cover the building itself. Other features of your property may be included in the policy:
- Office equipment
- Manufacturing machines
- Important documents
- External structures
What Factors Affect Cost?
Most commercial insurance coverage provides comparable protection, but if there are factors that put your business at a higher risk of fire, your policy will likely cost more. For example, a restaurant owner is probably going to pay more for insurance than someone who runs an office building. Newer buildings with better safety features such as fire-resistant building materials and a state-of-the-art fire suppression system can often get better insurance rates. When you meet with your insurance agent, be sure to ask about the factors that affect the cost of your policy.
Does It Matter Whether You Own or Rent?
If you own property, you need insurance to cover all the items listed above in the event of a fire. If you are renting from someone else, though, you still need to protect yourself. Your landlord's policy will probably only cover the items he or she owns. You still need coverage for the items inside, such as computers, phones and files.
A commercial insurance policy can save you a lot of money in the event of a fire. Make sure you have the right coverage for your business.