4 Common Causes of Water Damage to Commercial Properties
Water damage can happen anytime in your commercial property
As a business owner in Towson, MD, you take great pride in your company. You have property insurance and conduct regular maintenance. Although you do everything right, sometimes problems arise. From a toilet overflow to a broken pipe, know the four common causes that may have your property under water and how to handle them:
1. Toilet Overflow
A toilet blockage or tank malfunction causes the water in the bowl to rise and overflow. The damage is easily contained when noticed right away by turning off the water valve on the toilet. However, with a commercial property you are not always notified as soon as the problem occurs. Rather, a regular cleaning of the restroom may reveal significant contaminated water flooding the facility.
2. Broken Pipe
At your property, a pipe may burst suddenly or a gradual leak may occur. Bursting pipes typically result from water expanding when the pipe freezes and could quickly cause flooding. Leaks usually happen due to age or degradation of the pipe and may slowly damage your property over time.
3. Supply Line Breaks
A water main often breaks due to corrosion of the pipe over time or extreme change in temperature. Although not specifically on your property, this type of damage can cause flooding at your business and in the street and surrounding areas.
4. Fire Sprinklers
A sprinkler system is an excellent way to prevent fire damage. However, sprinklers may accidentally activate if not maintained properly. In this case, turn off the water to the sprinkler system as soon as possible to prevent the need for additional water repair.
Regardless of the cause, water damage can cause significant problems to your business in Towson, MD. There are two important actions to take when a broken pipe or other malfunction wreaks havoc to your property. First, call a water restoration specialist to assess the damage, make a plan and restore your premises to preloss condition. Second, call your insurance agent, as water damage is typically covered under your commercial property policy.
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Cleaning Up Your Business After a Flood
Commercial Flooding in Towson, Maryland
Floods are dangerous and unpredictable, and they rarely recede without leaving their mark. The problem is that floodwater isn’t usually clean water – it can be filled with sewage, termed “black water” – and is not always easy to clean up. Whether from a storm, a busted pipe or a sewage overflow, facing the aftermath of a flood is never fun for any business.
If you’re worried about flooding in your Towson, MD, business, then it’s important to become familiar with some of the basics of content cleaning after such an event, such as what can be disinfected and restored, and what must be thrown away.
What To Throw Away?
Unfortunately, not everything survives a flood. Some things simply have to go. Here is a list of items that often need to be disposed of during the content cleaning process.
• Porous materials – contaminated wood, drywall, insulation
• Medication and food
• Furniture made with veneer or upholstery
• Carpeting and rugs
What To Keep?
Not everything in your business will likely be destroyed by contaminated floodwaters. While these tips can help you identify what can be saved, a content cleaning service can certainly help to speed things along. Here is a list of salvageable items that can potentially be sanitized and restored.
• Nonporous items – objects made of metal, glass, porcelain, hard plastic, silver, etc.
• Carpeting (only if floodwater is not contaminated)
• Wood furniture (if not soaked for too long)
• Appliances – heating, air conditioning, air ducts and vents
• Textiles, linens and clothing
What To Do After?
Although some items will need to be discarded and others can be restored, it’s important to remember that the best mitigation measure your business can take is to prevent disasters before they have the chance to happen. Whether you’ve suffered flooding already or are just planning ahead, it may be worth upgrading your business’s infrastructure so that it is more prepared for floods, storms and sewage overflows in the future.
Take measures to prevent a flooding from happening to your commercial building. However, if black water does enter the premises, take note of what can be saved and what must be thrown away when cleaning up afterwards.
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Fun Mold Experiment
You can contact SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville to get an estimate for mold remediation in your home: (410) 229-0012
Mold can easily grow within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage occurs. It begins to colonize in 1 to 12 days! SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville decided to put this to the test...
The photos on the left represent the control group. The pieces of drywall pictured encountered zero excess moisture.
The photos in the center mimic a water damage that occurs during the winter months and goes undiscovered until the spring when weather warms up and mold spores reach their "happy" place (70+ degrees). These pieces of drywall were submerged in water for ten minutes then placed in Ziploc bags to observe.
The column of pictures on the right represents a DIY water mitigation job. This happens more than you would think. A homeowner dries and cleans the water damage on their own without the help of a professional. Approaching a water damage this way often leads to the structure not being fully dried and susceptible to mold growth. These pieces of drywall were submerged in water for 30 seconds and then placed in the Ziploc bags for observation.
The results are right on. Mold growth was seen a mere 7 days after encountering moisture... and after 4 weeks?!? No thank you! It's of utmost importance to have water mitigated correctly after a loss. But, if it's not, we are here for you as well. Mold mitigation just happens to be one of SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/ Lutherville specialties.
Prepare Your Business for Emergencies Now
Being prepared for business fire emergencies is important for your employees to know the procedures
You hope to never have a fire in your Towson, MD, business, but if one were to occur, you don’t want to be without a contingency plan. The best way to prepare for an emergency is to create an action plan before the actual emergency. Here are four steps to take before a fire strikes.
1. Create a Thorough Plan
Discuss with your employees or managers how to make the most effective emergency strategies possible. In the written plan, include methods for reporting safety concerns, emergency contact information, the evacuation plan, emergency shut-down procedures, and individual safety policies.
2. Distribute the Contingency Plan
Your employees should be able to respond quickly to emergencies if they already know what to do. Include emergency plans in all your new employee training and hold regular meetings to make sure everyone is up-to-date on current procedures. Make it clear who is responsible for reporting emergencies and whose responsibility it is to make use of fire extinguishers or other emergency equipment.
3. Maintain Clear Evacuation Routes
Keep emergency exits clearly labeled and clear of obstacles. Keep pathways clear of loose cords or spare objects, such as garbage cans or unused furniture that sometimes gets set in back hallways and might become hazards when people try to evacuate.
4. Monitor Emergency Equipment
You have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in your building, but are they in good working order? Take time to check smoke alarms at least once a month to make sure the batteries are still good and there are enough alarms for the whole building. Check the expiration date on all fire extinguishers. If you have other emergency equipment such as sprinklers or defibrillators, you can include these in your regular emergency equipment checkups.
While no one ever expects a fire, taking the time to create and maintain a contingency plan can keep your employees safe and save time and money when it is time to restore your business after a fire.
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Towson Flood Damage - Overcoming Flood Damage in Towson
Towson Home Damaged from Flooding
Call SERVPRO for Towson Flood Damage Remediation
The unfortunate reality is that many homeowners will have to contend with flood damage Towson at one time or another. Flooding can occur for any number of reasons, such as a leaky or burst pipe, a natural weather event that brings floodwaters into the home, and more. Whether you have a few inches of water or several feet or water in your home, you need to find a company that offers a fast response to water remediation and flood damage in Towson if you want to return your home to normal.
Why a Fast Response Is Needed
Water may be an essential for life, but it also can be very destructive. Consider that water can cause your wood furnishings and fixtures to warp, mold or mildew. Mold can begin to grow on various other surfaces when water is not removed promptly. In addition, water staining is common. Such issues with staining, warping and mold growth can wreak havoc in your home, but you will find that the damage to your property is significantly reduced when you set up fast efficient Towson flood damage service. Keep in mind that mold and mildew damage can quickly spread to other areas of the home where water damage is not present, posing a health and safety hazard to your loved ones. Preventing the growth of mold in the home is a top priority, and a fast response to water damage is the best option to take.
What to Expect From Flood Damage Services
While flooding is common in homes in this area, you may have never had a reason to contact a professional service provider for Towson flood damage services in the past, and you may not know what to expect from the service. With SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville, you can expect a team of skilled and hardworking professionals to arrive at your home promptly and begin extracting the standing water from the home. As soon as the standing water has been removed, additional steps will be taken to reduce the humidity level in the home. Keep in mind that high levels of moisture can be almost as damaging to a home as water itself. The restoration work will begin once the water and humidity have been removed.
When to Call for Help
If you have discovered standing water in your home, you may not be certain when you should contact a professional for assistance with water remediation services. Towson flood damage services are available to help you with all aspects of water remediation, and this includes water extraction, which should begin as soon as possible. This can start as soon as fresh water is no longer pouring into the home. After you have turned off or stopped the flow of water into the home, you can begin eradicating the water through remediation services.
Water damage can be difficult to deal with, but there is a fast and easy solution to your problem available. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville for Towson flood damage services. As a locally owned and operated company, we have the resources and personnel to help restore your home. Contact us today at (410) 229-0012.
How To Deal with House Mold
Take precautions in your home to keep mold and mildew from growing
How To Deal with House Mold
Many types of mold growth can occur in your home in Towson, MD, and most mold problems can be traced back to water damage. Any time there is high humidity in your home, you raise your risk of having a serious mold problem develop. Most issues with mold must be handled by a mold remediation specialist so that the problem does not spread or return after cleanup.
Types of Indoor Mold
Almost any type of mold can grow indoors, but some are more common than others. The molds that grow most often in homes are the ones that are particularly attracted to surfaces found therein:
• Penicillium – wallpaper, air ducts and mattresses
• Cladosporium – carpets and fabrics
• Alternaria – showers and leaky sinks
• Aspergillus – hard surfaces
• Stachybotrys – wood and drywall
If you see mold growth or smell its telltale musk, it is better to contact a mold remediation specialist to see what kind of mold it is rather than try to figure it out yourself. Professional experts are better equipped to solve the problem and avoid further growth.
Other than taking care of water damage as soon as it occurs, you can help prevent mold problems by lowering the high humidity in your home. A dehumidifier keeps the air from dampening surfaces and making them more prone to a mold infestation. Running your air conditioner regularly helps keep air flowing throughout your HVAC system, reducing the likelihood of moisture buildup. Keeping outside humidity out of your home by having holes, cracks and air leaks repaired can bring your indoor humidity level to the 30-60 percent range where it needs to be.
No matter what type of mold may grow home, any type is unwelcome. You can take precautions against mold growth by limiting your home’s moisture levels, both on surfaces and in the air. If a mold problem does occur, make sure you have it handled by the experts as soon as possible.
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Have the Skill To Keep the Fire in Your Grill
Skills to keep the fire in the grill is needed during this time of the year
The weather is warming up in Towson, MD, and you can mentally smell the BBQ food you’re eager to cook outside. Unfortunately, a grill fire can surprise you as something that wasn’t on the menu if you are ill-prepared. Before looking up new recipes or seasonings to try, it’s worth learning the basics of grill safety.
Preparation Is the Key to Prevention
After ensuring the grill’s footing is stable and removing low-hanging tree branches and other flammable items near the grill, it’s time to start your grill the safe and proper way:
• Gas grills: Check the connections on both ends of the gas tank to make sure they are tight. After securing the connectors, coat the hose with a 50/50 water and soap solution before turning the grill on while its lid is open. If you witness any bubbles on the soapy hose during this test, immediately turn off the grill and have it serviced because those leaks put you at risk for a grill fire.
• Charcoal grills: A charcoal grill should be safely lit only with charcoal starter fluid or a charcoal chimney starter. Using other flammable liquids instead, a fire can get out of hand and cause flare-ups that can spread to your residence or cause BBQ smoke damage.
Meat Temperature Shouldn’t Be the Only Thing Monitored While Cooking
While cooking outside, exercise vigilance by following these tips to prevent a BBQ fire:
• Supervise the grill until it is off
• Turn the grill off if you suddenly smell gas
• Call emergency services if a gas smell doesn’t subside after turning the grill off
• Wear clothing that has no loose or hanging parts that could catch fire
• Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it
If Fire Spreads Despite Precaution
Following these tips, most accidents can be prevented. If a grill fire occurs and cannot be contained with an extinguisher, contact your local emergency number. If the fire damages your property, a professional fire restoration crew is worth considering to restore your home’s condition and remove any residual smoke smell.
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3 Mold Containment Methods To Keep Your Employees Safe During Remediation
Keep your Employees safe during Mold Remediation
Finding mold in your Towson North, MD, commercial building can be troubling for you as a business owner, especially when it comes to the well-being of your employees. While your first instinct might be to try and eradicate any fungi on your own, mold removal is best left to experts who have the knowledge and equipment to handle the job correctly. However, there are a few containment methods you can use that may keep your employees safe until help arrives.
1. Evacuate Affected Spaces
Once mold is discovered, it is a good idea to evacuate the area. Mold growth can be affected by employee or operational activity, which can send spores into the air and allow them to settle in other areas to grow anew. Evacuating and sealing off the area until mold mitigation and restoration specialists arrive can lower the risk of additional contamination.
2. Shut Off Ventilation Systems
If your building has suffered water damage and you have a black mold problem, temporarily shutting off your ventilation and air conditioning system can prevent the spread of spores to other areas. Moist air ducts can encourage fungi growth where you cannot see it, so shutting them down until they can be cleaned and sanitized can keep mold from spreading to other parts of your building.
3. Allow Specialists To Work Unfettered
Restricting access to affected spaces so your restoration techs can focus on mold removal may help them resolve the issue faster. Do not allow employees to enter rooms where mitigation is being performed, as negative air pressure chambers may be in use to kill mold spores in the air. Move operations from the area to another floor to give your techs plenty of room to work.
Mold removal at your Towson North, MD, business may take up to a week to complete. However, taking steps to protect your employees during mitigation and restoration can lower their risk of exposure to mold and allow your techs to work more efficiently.
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3 Steps for Handling a Flooded Furnace in Your Commercial Building
Water Damage in Commercial Building
When a plumbing mishap occurs in your Lutherville, MD, commercial building, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be vulnerable to water damage. If you discover that a pipe burst in your basement during a cold snap or because of some other issue, you may also be facing a furnace flood. While this can be troubling, there are a few actions you can take to handle the situation and resolve it as soon as possible.
1. Avoid Operating the Furnace
When you realize your furnace is flooded, your first instinct may be to try and operate it to see if it is still functional. However, this can be dangerous and cause further damage to the unit. If your furnace is electric, it is especially important that you avoid touching the furnace or its controls, as this could result in a serious electric shock. Seal off the basement and contact your local electric company to inform it about the furnace flood.
2. Call In Professional Flood Cleanup Services
Contacting a qualified flood cleanup and restoration company can be an effective step in dealing with a flooded furnace. Flood technicians have the equipment and experience needed to drain flood waters from your basement and employ drying and cleaning techniques that can prevent the growth and spread of mold, which can be especially important if flood waters have sat for more than 24 hours. Removal of the water may also help your furnace repair crew reach and repair your unit with more efficiency.
3. Have the Furnace Repaired
Once flood waters are cleared, HVAC experts can assess the damage to your furnace and advise you about whether it should be repaired or replaced. They can also perform air duct cleaning to ensure your building’s ducts are free of mold, which can spread quickly after a flood.
Dealing with a furnace flood in your Lutherville, MD, commercial building can be a stressful experience. However, when you know how to approach the problem, you can resolve it with confidence and get your heating system up and running again as soon as possible.
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Safeguarding Your Home Against Potential Flood Damage
Severe Flooding Damage can ruin your Hardwoods in your home or business
When there’s a severe storm making its way toward your Towson North, MD, home, the most important task is to get you and your family out of harm’s way. However, if you have a few days to prepare for a potential flooding event, there are ways to organize and safeguard your property from impending flood damage. Help eliminate your chances of getting hit with extreme storm damage by following these few handy rules for flood preparation.
? Elevate your electronics and necessary utility panels. Place any objects like wiring, sockets, appliances, electrical panels or heating systems at a higher elevation in your home if possible, or simply disconnect them before you leave to prevent a potential electrical fire before any flooding occurs.
? Waterproof your basement or cellar. This can help protect your valuables from becoming part of the flood damage, as well as prevent the interior drywall or insulation from soaking up excess water — a situation that could potentially lead to mold growth later on.
? Clear away any debris caught in your home’s gutters, downspouts or storm drains. Any buildup in these areas won’t allow water to flow naturally, which can cause it to get backed up and seep into your home. Clearing the way gives the water a place to escape and increases the likelihood of your home avoiding a major flood issue.
? Move your home’s furniture and valuables to higher ground if the option is available. Keep all important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, social security cards and the like contained in a steel lockbox or safe that won’t be affected by the presence of water.
Though it’s nearly impossible to be prepared for every extreme weather event that occurs in Towson North, MD, it is possible to take preventative measures to secure your home from the worst that flooding can do. Furthermore, seeking professional help from restoration specialists to clean up and secure your property after a disaster can help you return home that much faster.
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