Be Hurricane Ready
Are You "Hurricane Ready"?
This time of year can always be scary for anyone who lives in the possible path of hurricanes or may have friends and family who do live in a consistent path. Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents and tornadoes all of which can destroy homes, buildings, and roads. It is important to stay ready so you do not find yourself scrambling to brace for the impact. There is always the potential looming that our area could be hit by a hurricane. Here are a few things to know ahead of a hurricane if one was to head our direction.
Know the Difference
- Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
- Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
How to Prepare
- Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Always Know the RisksTo find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at www.ready.gov/prepare
Can my Carpets be Saved?
One of the most common questions asked after flooding or a water damage is, "Do my carpet have to be replaced?" After your home or business has been affected by water, you'll need to handle some repairs and assessments before you can determine whether the carpet can stay.
Step One: Contact a Professional
There are many reasons to work with a restoration professional immediately. These experts have the equipment best suited to facilitating a quick and comprehensive recovery from flooding. In many cases, your insurance company may prefer that you work with professionals and may not provide coverage if you didn't respond to the pipe break appropriately. Water damage restoration professionals can provide you with expert advice concerning water exposure to your home and furnishings.
Step Two: Consider the Length of Exposure
If the materials and furnishings in your home have been wet for more than 72 hours, it is probably best to replace porous items. For example, any padding under your flooring could be harboring mold spores. It is very difficult to thoroughly dry and clean padding, so it will also need to be replaced.
Step Three: Identify the Type of Flood Water
Did the water come from an interior pipe or did it back up from the sewage system? If the water came from a clean water source, such as a kitchen sink, there's much less risk than if contaminated water affected your home. If you aren't certain in your assessment of the type of water, ask a qualified professional for testing.
Step Four: Carefully Weigh Your Options
As restoration options are presented to you, consider time, inconvenience, cost, and safety. For example, if you have to replace the padding, you may need to spend a lot of time carefully removing the carpet so that you don't damage it. Before you handle either, you'll need to be sure you aren't exposing your home or family to mold and contaminants.
We are available to provide answers and advice. It's generally best to call us immediately after discovering your home/business has been affected by water. SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge 225-753-3434
Contents Restoration (Fire)
From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.
- Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
- Contents inventory
- Determine replacement and restoration
- Ozone treatment
- Odor removal
- We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
- We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
- Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.
- Thorough cleaning
- Proper handling of all electronics
- Photographs and artwork
- Soft goods
- Dry Cleaning
- Odor Removal
Protect Your Business from Storm Damage
Here are are, at the start of Hurricane season 2019. And as we watch the news today there is a storm possibly forming in the Gulf of Mexico.
So we thought it would be a great time to cover some tips to protect your business in the event of a storm.
A flooded building can wreak havoc on your business operations. If flood water is a real concern in Louisiana, it is important to do what you can now so that your business property is better protected later. Here's how you can protect your property from water damage.
Preparing Your Building
Before a flood even occurs, you can take steps to seal your building from water. Start by applying a waterproof coating to the exterior walls. Several other steps are also important.
" Install waterproof shields over windows and doors where possible.
" Strengthen walls to stand against the pressure of flood water or flood debris.
" Seal all areas where utilities enter the building.
" Anchor the building if necessary.
Protecting the Lower Levels
Inspect your first floor to ensure there are no areas where flood water can easily enter the premises. Regrade any land that slopes into your property, extend or redirect gutter spouts and repair any cracks in the walls. Move any valuable equipment or furniture to higher ground and create digital backups of any important paper documentation.
Taking Other Safety Measures
Water damage is not the only thing to worry about during flooding. It is also important to properly anchor any fuel tanks to prevent the water from sweeping them away, which can cause the lines to break and fires or explosions to happen. Sewer backflow valves are also important.
Preparing for Restoration
No matter how well you prepare your building for a flood, at least some damage is still likely to occur. Call a well-respected restoration company to help you remove moisture, dry materials and get your property ready to do business again.
Being 100 percent prepared for a natural disaster is practically impossible, but preparing now for a later storm means getting back into the swing of things as quickly as possible after any damage happens.
Commercial Air Duct Cleaning
Cleaning air ducts in a commercial building may seem like an unimportant item to add to a long list of “building needs”; however, it is not something to ignore, even if your ducts do not seem to be experiencing any issues. If you own a commercial property in the Baton Rouge area, consider using SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge when it comes time to clean the air ducts in your building. There are many benefits to having air ducts routinely cleaned, here are just a few:
- Decrease in dust reentering the system, which will cut down in cleaning and remove potential allergens from the environment.
- Reduce the risk of mold in your ducts, which will help lower the amount of mold spores spreading throughout your property.
- Remove any materials from previous pest infestations, and decrease the likelihood of any future infestations.
- Longer HVAC lifespan and greater HVAC efficiency.
- Better air quality for building occupants.
For more information regarding a duct cleaning service for your commercial property call SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at 225-753-3434.
Different Levels of Commercial Damage
SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge handles not only residential damage and restoration, but commercial as well.
There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:
Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include, but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include, but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.
Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”
Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®
Tips to Prevent Mold in your Commercial Business
Why should you worry about mold in your building? According to OSHA, some mold, over time, may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your business.
#1: Clean Out the Refrigerator
It can be difficult to keep track of shared refrigerators. Some people will always remember to clear out their leftovers, others won’t. Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold. Over time, mold can travel to the shelving and even outside the refrigerator. Consider instituting an office refrigerator policy. If something is left in the fridge by a certain time each week, it goes in the garbage.
#2: Look for And Repair Leaks
Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to go unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak such as lower water pressure; wet spots on the floors, ceilings, or walls; and condensation around window sills and in attic spaces.
#3: Keep It Clean
It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in work and let clutter take over his or her workspace. However, clutter creates lots of hiding spots for crumbs and dust, which are both great food sources for mold. Make sure to clear the clutter and wipe down hard surfaces regularly. Make sure to promptly clean all spills as well. Clean and sanitize break rooms and bathrooms frequently. Both rooms provide ample opportunity for mold growth. These rooms should be cleaned at least weekly depending on how regularly people use each room.
#4: Turn on the AC/Dehumidifier
Leaks aren’t the only way for moisture to accumulate in your business. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold as well. On hot days, fans can cool you off, but they don’t do much for humidity levels. Run your AC or a dehumidifier to cut down the humidity in the building.
#5: Clean out Trash Cans
While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent mold growth.
#6: Take Care of Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to mold growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.
#7: Slope the Ground Away from the Foundation
If the ground around your building slopes toward the foundation, water can accumulate and weaken your building’s structure. Additionally, it provides an ideal environment for mold to grow. The ground should slope away from the building. You should also make sure your building follows the local building codes for drainage. Mold is persistent. Even if you follow all the right steps it’s still possible for mold to grow and spread in your building.
Fortunately, at SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge, we have the right experience in mold remediation to make your place of business “Like it never even happened.” Unfortunately, mold doesn’t stay put, it grows quickly. You’ll want to give us a call as soon as you notice it, so we can start the remediation process. Our technicians have the training, equipment, and knowledge necessary to help locate and remediate mold efficiently. If you find mold in your place of business, call us today at 225-753-3434
Red Cross - Storm Weather Tips
Recently, Baton Rouge and surrounding areas have encountered flooding, tornadoes and thunderstorms. All of these storms have had a significant effect on residents in our area for both residential and commercial properties.
Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross, we like sharing their tips on how to properly prepare for upcoming storms.
Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:
1. Know your community’s warning system.
2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:
1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.
Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:
1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
2. Stay away from floodwaters.
3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
4. Keep children out of the water.
5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross. Please check out www.redcross.org for more information!
Water Restoration Company vs. Contractor
Imagine you come home for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with 8 inches of water.
What do you do?
Who do you call?
Do you call your family friend local contractor or Water Restoration Company?
What is the difference?
There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies. Here are a few:
- A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge is certified in drying water damage to IICRC industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
- A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/356 and someone to monitor your job daily.
- Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.
When you call SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians.
What to do AFTER a water damage
Understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical.
Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.
Gray water is slightly contaminated water; clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated.
Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, and chemicals. Black water is usually caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by a trained professional.
Make sure you...
-Shut off the water source if possible or contact someone to do it
-Turn off circuit breakers if safe from potential electrical shock. DO NOT enter rooms with standing water.
-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions.
-Move any paintings, art, computers, documents, and other items of value to a safe place.
-Do not leave any books, newspapers, or magazines on wet carpet.
-Do not use your household vacuum cleaner since there is potential for electrical shock.
-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and do not enter the room if the ceiling is sagging.