3 Things To Know About Smoke Damage in Your Building
Fire and smoke damage on a building exterior.
Here Are the Answers to Three Commonly Asked Questions
After a fire at your Orlando, FL, place of business, it’s not uncommon to find that smoke damage has occurred. There are several things you may wish to know about this type of damage, including if its presence is to be expected, and how it may be removed. Here are the answers to three commonly asked questions.
1. It’s Normal After a Fire
It’s not usual to have smoke or soot damage result from a fire. These are natural by-products of flames and heat. Fortunately, many restoration services have the tools and training to deal with these types of damage as well. You may also like to know that both smoke and soot can be removed from affected office items which should be able to be restored.
2. It May Have an Odor
In many cases, smoke damage can have an odor that comes with it. This scent may linger on affected materials and in the air. The restoration team working on the property may have special cleaners to help get rid of this odor. They may also be able to use a ozone machine, or similar device, to remove the scent from the air.
3. A Restoration Crew Can Help
Any smoke cleaning and repairs of the damage should be handled by a local fire damage restoration crew. These professionals can help identify which materials need to be replaced as well as what can be restored. They can even help with item cleaning, which included paper documentation and electronic devices such as computers. Also, ask the team working on your business property about odor removal.
Remember, it’s normal to expect smoke damage after a business fire and the scent of fire and smoke can linger. Fortunately, a local restoration service can help clean, make repairs, and even remove these odors. If you have any questions about your restoration needs these professionals should be able to help.
How Good Is Your Commercial Insurance for Mold?
Mold growth in Casselberry, FL
As a property manager or a business owner in Casselberry, FL, there's no shortage of things to keep you awake at night. You might wonder what forms you haven't filled out, or what the next surprise will be. When it comes to your commercial insurance, you might wonder if there is a scenario out there that you need more robust coverage. What about an outbreak of mold in the dark and damp corners of your business? Could that be a problem? Well, just like a lot of things in life, it all depends. In general, though, so long as you have not been woefully, negligent, your commercial policy provides some basic protections against mold damage.
The Basics of Commercial Insurance for Mold
Insurances policies are complicated documents, so it is always best to go over your policy with your agent for final clarification. In general mold insurance covers these instances for a commercial property:
- Most policies provide for a limited fungus coverage
- The coverage pays for loss or damage caused by fungus or dry rot and bacteria
- The cause of the mold damage must be from a specified cause such as water damage or leaking fire-fighting equipment
Once the mold has been discovered, action must be taken immediately by your company. Failure to respond prudently with mold mitigation measures can result in a forfeiture of your mold insurance coverage.
The Basics of Mold Cleanup
Once mold is found in your building, it's smart to deal with a professional mold remediation company in Casselberry, FL. The experts will come to the scene quickly and begin the process of mold containment and a full cleanup. The mitigation company will help you work with the commercial insurance agent by providing a detailed list of services and repairs. In general, mold policies limit coverage to a specified dollar amount. This could be for multiple incidents, but the total payout would not exceed $15,000 a year.
Preparing a Disaster Business Plan
Commercial Exit Sign
How will your business be able to respond to natural disasters? Mother Nature can prove to be quite a formidable foe, throwing everything from floods, hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes at us. The key to your business surviving these worst-case scenarios is to be prepared in advance.
Being prepared for these types of scenarios means creating a natural disaster plan for your business. Some aspects to consider when designing that plan are explained in this blog.
What to Think About
There are many different factors you will need to consider when building a disaster plan for your business. This includes your employees as well as your assets such as equipment and merchandise.
Some of those considerations to include should be:
- How to safely protect your employees
- How to secure your assets
- How to get business up and running again
The Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov have created checklists that are available to offer assistance in identifying areas that should be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources can also show how prepared you truly are.
A Plan for Employees
When disaster strikes without warning, it’s important to have a plan that lays out procedures and safety measures for employees and visitors.
Make sure evacuation routes and exits from your facility are all clearly and visibly marked, provide an area where employees can take shelter when necessary, consider installing emergency lighting, and have designated staff “safety wardens” that are properly trained and ready to assist in all emergency efforts.
When you identify a shelter space, a basement or storm cellar is the ideal location in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. Choose a small interior room or closet or interior hallway if you have no basement space.
A Plan for Asset Protection
You’ll have to make careful decisions even if you have a brick and mortar location for your business to protect the assets inside the building. Everything from equipment to merchandise is at risk, which could cause thousands of dollars in losses.
Be sure you keep a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of your assets and merchandise, and yes, having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If your assets are kept on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is working and that the storage system, such as a cloud storage option, cannot be damaged.
Work with a contractor if you own your building to uncover areas that could need improvement in regard to structural integrity. This contractor can also walk you through possible safety upgrades and offer advice on areas that may not withstand certain weather situations.
Getting Back to Business—Fast
When a natural disaster does occur, it will be possible that your business will have to be closed for repairs due to damage incurred. And every day you remain closed is another day of no business and lost profits. It is smart to fund a “rainy day” account to help you out with additional costs that may not be covered by your insurance.
Compile a list of contractors who will be able to make themselves available for construction and repairs, and find a cleanup and restoration service company that will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
With SERVPRO® of Maitland/Casselberry, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.
Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Maitland/Casselberry to be there for you. 407-388-0404
Maitland Office Disaster Recovery Plan
SERVPRO Truck at a local business in Maitland, FL
It’s 2:45am on a Sunday morning. You get a call that there is an emergency in your office. The caller tells you that there was a small fire and that the sprinkler system put it out, but that the entire building is now damaged from the water. What will your next step be?
Do you have a plan of action? What if there was a way for you to start making the important phone calls before you even leave your house? What if there was something as simple as an app on your phone or tablet that would allow you to access all of the information that you need? That’s where our ERP comes in! ERP stands for Emergency Ready Profile or Emergency Ready Plan, and allows you to have a plan for any emergencies that may happen in your commercial building. The ERP has everything and anything you want to have in your preparedness plan, from the location of the main power shut off switch all the way to where the blue prints are located. Having a plan of action allows anyone from the owner of the building to the custodians working the nightshift to be able to possibly prevent additional damages from occurring, while stopping the main source of damage from spreading. The best part is you can access this ERP directly from your smartphone or tablet by simply installing the free SERVPRO Ready App. The app can be downloaded on as many devices as you deem necessary.
You may ask, “How will it benefit me and my business?” Not many business owners/managers know that about 50% of businesses are unable to reopen following a disaster. Of the businesses that do survive, the overwhelmingly majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And, knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your employees. Showing that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.
By working with SERVPRO of Apopka/Wekiva and West Orange, and allowing us to provide your business with an Emergency Ready Plan, your business can receive the benefit of over 30 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. Our teams are leaders in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your business back in working order.
The Emergency Ready Plan Advantages:
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
- -This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- -It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- -This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- -This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. In advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
- -Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call