Recent Commercial Posts
Commercial Fire Causes
Preventing fires in commercial buildings, especially some of the more common ones, is relatively straightforward. For example, many business owners are surprised to learn that a fire started in a common area, or near a water heater. The fire's damage and the loss of business while the restoration is underway can significantly impact the business.
Our teams have seen many fire sites where the fire could have been prevented. Rest assured that we can be on-site to begin cleanup and restoration in less than four hours and return your business to normal operations as soon as possible.
Several of the more common causes of commercial fires include:
- Misusing equipment by untrained or careless employees
- Improperly discarded cigarettes
- Poorly maintained boilers, water heaters, or heating systems
- Combustible trash placed near heating systems
- Electrical and heating systems maintained by unlicensed technicians
Our team is available 24/7 to begin restoration and mitigate further damage caused by materials utilized by the fire department to control the fire.
How Long Will the Process Take?
Every fire restoration project can vary and be different in terms of the extent of the physical damage, the impact of water and fire retardants used by the fire department, and smoke/soot that may have spread throughout the building. One of SERVPRO's team leaders assesses the damage before developing a plan to restore your business. Details are discussed with the business owner and the insurance company if required.
Fire restoration can include the following actions:
- Removal of all materials that cannot be repaired
- Smoke and odor damaged materials are removed for cleaning and deodorization
- Professional cleaning of all surfaces
- Restoration of damaged structures and commercial materials
Call SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties for help with fire damage to your commercial building or business.
Insurance Companies Use Preferred Vendors
As a property owner, dealing with the aftermath of an emergency can be very overwhelming. If your building has sustained water, smoke, or fire damage, you may be wondering who can guide you through the cleanup process. You should contact your insurance agent for immediate help. Your insurance company will likely recommend an accredited restoration service provider. Though you aren't obligated to use their selected company, here are some ways that preferred vendor programs help you along the path to recovery.
Quality Restoration Processes
When you work with trusted professionals who specialize in emergency clean up, you can have peace of mind knowing that your property is in good hands. When you choose to use the restoration company suggested by your insurance, you save yourself the hassle of finding an available, trustworthy company. Your insurance company holds contracts with local professionals and this helps ensure that the cleanup experts will be quick to mitigate the damage done to your property. Plus, they manage your restoration project through to completion.
A preferred vendor program helps foster trust between your insurance agent and your provider - so you know they are both working hard on your claim. Some restoration companies, such as SERVPRO, are held to very strict guidelines to receive insurance referrals. Your insurance company vets the contractor - checking their IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) validation, performing background checks, etc. - so you don't have to.
Warranties and Confidence
When you are dealing with a restoration claim, you want to make sure that you're making the right choices. Since you may not have extensive knowledge of the industry, preferred vendor programs are helpful. You can rest assured that your property will be quickly and properly treated, and the work should be guaranteed.
If you have experienced any type of damage that requires emergency services, call your insurance agent right away for advice. Your insurance company has likely already forged relationships with experts in this industry, so you can take a deep breath and let the pros handle it.
Secure Your Building After a Fire
A building that has been hit with a fire may not seem like a desirable location, but there are several factors that can attract looters, trespassers, or vandals. Here are a few reasons that SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties has put together about why a building owner or manager should secure the premises after a fire has been extinguished.
To Prevent Further Damage
Every person that enters a building damaged by fire is likely to make damage worse. Several factors may include:
- Admitting debris
- Admitting water
- Grinding soot into surfaces
Boarding up holes in doors and windows and using tarps to cover a damaged roof are the best ways to prevent these types of damage. A building owner may also want to consider installing security fencing until restoration is complete.
To Limit Liability
A property owner may be liable if anyone, including a third-party, sustains an injury on the location of a fire. Security measures can make it more difficult for trespassers to get into a structure that has fire damage and risk becoming injured.
To Discourage Looting
A number of items in a fire-damaged property may be desirable to looters. Even after many contents and parts of a structure have become damaged or destroyed, a business may retain some elements, such as:
Looting may still pose a risk regardless of whether building materials, fixtures, or other contents are intact or in need of being disposed of and replaced. A board-up, combined with security fencing, can help to limit losses and damage caused by trespassing.
Securing a building demonstrates an owner's desire to mitigate damage. Most insurers will seek evidence that mitigation is taking place. Securing a location with fire damage is one of the best ways to indicate an intention to restore the building for functional use as soon as possible.
In order to keep businesses cool throughout the hot summer season, our HVAC systems will be working nonstop. What you may not know is that with frequent use, HVAC systems can actually be fire hazards. We usually think of electrical malfunctions, complications involving cooking equipment, or careless accidents as the culprits of commercial fires. Even though complications involving HVAC systems are not the first cause of commercial fires that comes to mind, fires of this nature can be devastating for businesses. It is beneficial for commercial businesses to gain awareness of common fire hazards associated with HVAC systems in order to understand how to effectively protect against significant fire damage.
Three Common Hazards
One way in which HVAC systems can be fire hazards is if the system has a leaky fuel line. HVAC systems are home to flammable fuels, including gas, petroleum, and oil, which can easily catch fire if the fuel line leaks upon other damage. This fire hazard can be avoided by making sure that your commercial business’ HVAC system and fuel line receive regular, routine maintenance. Regularly scheduled maintenance is incredibly important in protecting your business from a fire due to an HVAC system’s leaking fuel line because leaking fuel lines can often go unnoticed.
Damaged electrical connections within an HVAC system can also be a fire hazard due to the prevalence of exposed or burnt electrical wires. Over time, electrical connections loosen, which result in damaged wires, thus increasing the risk of a fire igniting. A common sign of damaged electrical connections within an HVAC system is the smell of burnt plastic, which is due to the melting of the plastic coating on electrical wires. In the event that you notice this smell in your business’ building, it may be a sign that your HVAC system has damaged electrical connections and therefore, needs to be repaired or replaced in order to avoid a dangerous fire.
Oftentimes, HVAC systems are stored in closets or storage areas inside of commercial businesses. As a result, they may be too close to other objects, such as cardboard boxes, crates, or miscellaneous equipment. Under this condition, the HVAC system is more susceptible to damage and, if a fire were to ignite, it could easily spread to the surrounding objects, thus creating a larger, more dangerous fire. This increases the likelihood of the fire spreading to other areas of your business, which can be devastating. Keep the area around HVAC systems clear in order to protect your business from this hazard.
We're Here to Get You Back in Business
This Pandemic Won’t Last Forever
This global pandemic crisis caused by COVID-19 has taken away many of the social activities that we as Americans enjoy, but it will not last forever. When businesses reopen, people will be ready to socialize, dine, and enjoy all the activities that they used to. We wants to help Cullman and Blount County businesses get back to work. We have years of experience cleaning biological contaminants and viruses similar to COVID-19 and we use EPA-approved hospital-grade cleaning products.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
We follow the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and adhere to their strict protocols for cleaning and disinfecting both porous and nonporous surfaces. The CDC recommends the routine cleaning of all high-touch surfaces including:
- Light switches
- Counter tops
- Bathroom fixtures
- Common areas
SERVPRO Technicians are Uniquely Prepared
Our highly trained professionals are required to undergo rigorous initial and ongoing specialty training and we are uniquely positioned to respond to any biological cleaning need. When you are ready to get back to business, SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties wants to help. Our team is specialty trained to provide the highest level of commercial cleaning and restoration services. Call us today at 256-736-2036.
Act Fast on Water Damages
There are three categories of water that can flood your business in Walker and Winston County. Category 1 water is the best-case scenario. Category 1 damage comes from clean water sources, such as a broken supply line or a broken pipe. The key is to act quickly before any damage becomes worse. Untreated category 1 water can quickly turn to category 2 or 3 water.
1. Turn Off Electricity
When water is involved, your first safety concern is electricity. Turn off all electric sources near the flooded area. If the water is confined to a single room, then cutting power to that room will suffice, but if the damage is multi-room, consider cutting power to the building. Call your utility company if you can’t reach the panel safely.
2. Stop the Flow
Once the threat of electrocution has passed, find the source of the flooding and stop the flow immediately. Stopping it could be as easy as turning the valve off on an overflowing toilet tank or something a little more difficult, like completely shutting off clean water to the whole building. It is important to know where all the water valves, inside and outside, are in your building.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as the risk of electricity and flowing water is resolved, call your business’ insurance company in order to discuss the coverage for your assets. Many insurance policies cover flooding from broken pipes but not from a natural flood. Ask your insurance company to work quickly so you know what is covered. Be sure to take pictures of the damage for your records.
4. Get Help for Cleanup
If it’s a small flood, you may be able to start the clean up process by yourself, but be sure to call a water mitigation company quickly. These companies know exactly what to do to ensure the damage is at a minimum.
Flood damage recovery can be a long process. The good thing is that category 1 water is clean water and that makes the situation a lot less complicated.
What to do if Your Commercial Building Floods
Extensive flooding can cause a lot of issues for the office or building that has been affected. The primary concern inside a building is not only the water, but it’s also the humidity levels. Humidity can ruin paperwork, electronics, and can cause mold growth in areas that were not affected by flooding.
Flooding from a bursting pipe or water sprinkler system can dump gallons of water into the building at a fast rate. That much water can affect multiple floors in a building which can be very costly. Conventional drying methods will not be able to dry out a large building properly.
Extracting the water is the first crucial step. We have equipment that can remove large amounts of water in a small amount of time. Our air movers and large desiccants will also remove the humidity quickly. Call SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties to get the job done right.
HVACs Need Cleaning, Too
Your HVAC unit has to do with cooling and heating your home. Maintenance for your HVAC system is essential if you want your unit to run correctly for a substantial amount of time. Cleaning your HVAC system also entails duct maintenance as well.
Cleaning the ducts and vents means that they will be cleaning separate elements in the HVAC unit. It is important to clean multiple areas in the unit because it is unknown what lurks in your ducts. So, when turning on the air conditioning unit, those who have allergies may react from the dust, dander, or mold in the unit.
There are many advantages of cleaning your ducts/ HVAC unit. One benefit is having a more efficient system which will result in lower utility bills. Another benefit is having a healthier living environment. Keeping up with the system will also keep up the longevity of the unit, it's just like a “tune up” with a vehicle would improve its life span.