Looking Out for Your Business
Protecting a business from a major fire or water damage is not something that is at the forefront of any commercial property owners mind, but knowing what to do should that situation ever arise is vital. Here is some information about the various categories of structure damages, and the safety precautions surrounding them, that every business owner should know:
- Fire classifications and extinguishers - A fire with a stable supply of fuel, oxygen, and heat can double in size within 60 seconds; therefore, quick action is key to preventing catastrophic damage. Fires, and their extinguishers, are categorized into 5 different classes based on fuel types. An ABC fire extinguisher is typically what most people stock within their homes and businesses as it is versatile – it can extinguish 3 out of the 5 fire groups; however, fires result from Class K type situations, which require their own specific extinguisher. Click on the link above to learn more.
- Mold myths and facts - Bleach does not kill mold, it can even make a mold problem worse. It is effective if the growth is on a hard, solid surface, such as tile or glass, but it will not work when the surface is porous. Unfortunately, many growths occur on these materials, like drywall and wood, in our homes. Bleach does not soak into porous materials, which means it can’t reach the growth spread out through the pores, it only kills the surface. The outer surface of the affected area will appear clean, as the bleach will have whitened any stains and scrubbed away the exterior mold, but the internal mold will be quick to grow back. Follow this link to learn more mold myths and facts.
- Signs of a water damage - While it may seem like water damages should be easy to spot, many times their signs are subtle and hard to find. Water damages, particularly when they go unnoticed for a long period of time, can cause extensive damage to the structure of homes and they encourage mold growth. Early intervention can save you time and money. These signs can include stains, peeling, and a bad odor. To learn more about the signs of water damage follow the link above.
If you experience any damage to your commercial property due to fire, water, or even mold call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000 to handle all of your restoration needs.
Real Quotes from Real SERVPRO Customers
Dealing with any kind of property damage is extremely stressful, especially when mold is involved. At SERVPRO of Park Cities we understand just how difficult every job we arrive at can be for our customers, so we strive to make the process as easy and stress free as possible. Our number one goal is to please our customers, no matter what the job is. Here are some quotes from real customers about the service they received from SERVPRO during their mold remediation:
"SERVPRO were professional, timely, and met all our expectations. I have been involved with 8 church projects for construction, repair, and cleanup. SERVPRO was the best."
"I found SERVPRO to be an excellent company when we discovered some recent water damage and needed some mold remediation. They were very thorough and efficient in their work, and they kept me informed of what they were doing and the progress of the project. Shannon was great to work with and I would strongly recommend him and his company."
If you suspect mold growth in your home, call SERVPRO of Park Cities anytime at 214-522-3000.
Dry Ice Blasting for Commercial Properties
Commercial Smoke and Odor Cleaning
One of the major issues after a large scale fire (or a small one for that matter) is cleaning the contents and structure after the loss. This is done in order to eliminate the smoke odor that lingers on everything the smoke touches. On a recent commercial job SERVPRO of Park Cities needed to clean a massive 55,000 sq ft facility after they experienced a fire. After considering all our available options; hand cleaning, sandblasting, and dry-ice blasting, we determined that dry-ice blasting would be the best decision given the requirements of this particular job.
What is Dry Ice Blasting (Cleaning)?
Dry ice blasting is known by several names: dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, CO2 blasting, dry ice dusting, and even environmentally sustainable cleaning. Dry ice blasting is an efficient and cost-effective way for industries to maximize production capability and quality. Dry ice blasting is similar to sand blasting, plastic bead blasting or soda blasting where media is accelerated in a pressurized air stream to impact a surface to be cleaned or prepared. But that's where the similarity ends.
Instead of using hard abrasive media to grind on a surface (and damage it), dry ice blasting uses soft dry ice, accelerated at supersonic speeds, and creates mini-explosions on the surface to lift the undesirable item off the underlying substrate. If you want to read all the technical details, see the How CO2 Blasting Works page.
Why Dry Ice Blasting?
is a non-abrasive, nonflammable and nonconductive cleaning method
is environmentally responsible and contains no secondary contaminants such as solvents or grit media
allows most items to be cleaned in place without time-consuming disassembly
can be used without damaging active electrical or mechanical parts or creating fire hazards
can be as gentle as dusting smoke damage from books or as aggressive as removing weld slag from tooling
can be used for many general cleaning applications
Dry ice blasting uses compressed air to accelerate frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) "dry ice" pellets to a high velocity. A compressed air supply of 80 PSI/50 CFM can be used in this process. Dry ice pellets can be made on-site or supplied. Pellets are made from food grade carbon dioxide that has been specifically approved by the FDA, EPA, and USDA.
Carbon dioxide is a non-poisonous, liquefied gas, which is both inexpensive and easily stored at work sites.
We are very experienced at using this and other types of processes in order to mitigate any malodors from any type of commercial loss. If you or your company have experienced any type of issue, give SERVPRO of Park Cities a call at 214-522-3000
Preventing Mold - Controlling Humidity, Temperature, and Ventilation
The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.
Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:
- Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners should be used.
- Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister.
- Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area is ventilated and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.
Other things that can be done are to clean and repair gutters regularly, make sure the ground slopes down and away from the home’s foundation and keep air conditioner drip pans and drain lines clean. In addition, in air conditioned buildings in hot and humid climates, vinyl wall coverings on the interior sides of exterior walls should not be used, as these materials can trap moisture, resulting in mold growth underneath them.
In the case of floods or leaking pipes, any standing water should be promptly removed and water-damaged materials should either be dried out and cleaned, or removed and replaced. Porous materials that are wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth and should be discarded. In instances where the water damage is extensive, it is recommended that you call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-733-3193, so that we may assist you in preventing growth after a water damage, or remove the mold if it is already an issue.
Emergency Supply Kit
Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. In North Texas we are particularly prone to experiencing severe weather throughout every season.
Approximately 98% of all disasters declared emergent by the president are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Preparing an emergency supply kit can help keep you and your family safe if you're ever caught in an severe storm situation.
Build an Emergency Supply Kit
- Water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Hygiene items
- Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
Contact SERVPRO of Park Cities for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.
Kitchen Fire Safety
Firefighter working to put out a house fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Follow these tips to create a safer cooking environment:
- Be alert! If you are tired or have consumed alcohol don’t use the oven or stove.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from the stovetop.
- Keep an easily accessible fire extinguisher somewhere in your kitchen.
If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave a pan covered until it is completely cooled. Never add water to a grease fire!
If you have experienced a kitchen fire call the professionals at SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000.
Speed Up Your Restoration Process
For a property owner, a fire or water damage can be disastrous. It not only results in property and inventory loss, but oftentimes it also means a temporary loss of business. When you're depending on that business for your own livelihood or your employees then you don't have months to spare during a long drawn out restoration process.
In the aftermath of a disaster, quick response time can help minimize property damage as well as inventory or content loss. Here are some tips to help you be prepared for both a disaster and a quick turn around in the restoration process.
1) Download the SERVPRO READY Plan App.
The SERVPRO Ready Plan mobile application provides home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in SERVPRO professionals when disaster strikes. The Ready Plan app is a free emergency preparedness tool offered by SERVPRO and it can be downloaded on any smartphone.
For more information on the SERVPRO READY Plan mobile app and how it can help you be more prepared, contact SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals at 214-522-3000. Don't wait for a disaster to happen to download this app, do it today!
2) Call SERVPRO of Park Cities
Our professionals are highly trained and are prepared for any situation. They will be on scene within hours to assess and begin working to get your business back to normal. The sooner a SERVPRO professional is on the scene, the sooner your restoration process can begin.
3) Call your insurance agent and start documenting damage and inventory.
Without risking your safety, try and document any areas or items that may have been affected in the disaster. This will help both the SERVPRO professionals - so they know what to target - and your insurance agent - so they can start preparing the claim.
With help from SERVPRO of Park Cities your business can be back up and running quickly. If you experience a water or fire damage, mold, or any other kind of disaster call us anytime on our 24-hour emergency phone line 214-522-3000.
Since North Texas is located in "Tornado Alley" - an area of North America prone to tornadoes includes the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota - many of us that live here are used to dealing with the threats that tornadoes provide, but is our knowledge really up to scratch? Since we are currently in the middle of tornado season, mid-March through June (although tornadoes can occur at anytime of the year), check out these tips to see if you know everything you need to know about staying safe during a tornado.
- You should NOT open windows during a tornado. It is a common myth that it equalizes the pressure in your house; however, it does not do anything other than cause you to spend precious time outside of your shelter area. Doors should also not be opened, as it makes it easier for dangerous debris to fly into the house.
- Always pick an interior room, on a ground floor, and without windows as a shelter. If it is an option try to be in a room close to the north or northwest side of your home as tornadoes approach from the southwest typically. Hide under a sturdy piece of furniture or in a bath tub within your shelter area.
- Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 PM and 9 PM, but can occur at anytime.
- A tornado watch means that the conditions are right for a tornado, while a warning means that a tornado has touched down or there is circulation in your area. You should seek shelter immediately if a warning is issued.
- Never seek shelter under an overpass if you are driving during a tornado situation. Try to get off of the road and into a building as soon as possible. Many tornadoes can easily move cars, so you could be blown out from under an overpass or it could collapse on top of you.
If you experience any damage to your home or business during this storm season call SERVPRO of Park Cities 214-522-3000.
Preventing Grill Fires
As we get further into summer more and more people will be lighting up their grills family gatherings and holidays. While it may not seem like an outdoor grill would pose much of a risk to your home, without the proper safety precautions a barbecue can cause extensive fire and smoke damage to your home. The following tips can help you reduce the risk of a grill fire at your home this summer:
- Inspect the propane tank for holes or loose hoses before using. Periodically check the hose for holes by submerging it in soapy water. If any bubbles form the hose should be replaced.
- Keep the grill at a safe distance from the home and any flammable items. Never grill under any kind of overhang like a garage or a porch.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location not too far from the grilling area.
- Never leave a lit grill unattended, especially around children or animals that could easily knock it over.
- Use tools with long handles to keep a safe distance from the flame, and avoid wearing any clothing items that may easily catch fire (i.e. long, baggy sleeves)
- Always clean a grill after use, while its still hot, with a wire brush to avoid accumulations of fatty, greasy materials. Periodically check and empty any trays below the grill that may collect grease.
- If you use lighter fluid to light a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add the fluid to a flame, add it before lighting the grill.
If you experience any fire or smoke damage this summer call SERVPRO of Park Cities anytime at 214-522-3000.
Hail is a common occurrence around North Texas during storm season each year. Hail was the number one cause of homeowners insurance losses in Texas during the period from 1999-2011, at $10.4 billion. Knowing more about hail can help you be better prepared for the next time a storm hits - here are some interesting hail facts and tips:
- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) hail is responsible for over $1 billion dollars of property and crop damage each year.
- Hail can vary in size from pea-sized to pieces larger than grapefruits. While pea size hail is not particularly dangerous, it can cause roof damage over time that may eventually lead to a water damage.
- Hail comes from a specific type of thunderstorm cloud called a cumulonimbus.
- Hailstorms rarely last longer than 15 minutes, and typically last an average of 6 minutes.
- Meteorologists consider hail that has a diameter of 3/4 an inch or greater capable of causing significant damage to buildings and humans.