Commercial And Residential Differences
As we move into the colder, wetter months, we all have to consider the possible damages that our structures can sustain during this time of year. Summer’s storms are past, and now from leaky roofs and moldy siding to deep ruts in the driveway or potholes in the parking lot, the fall and winter months will bring their own set of concerns to both home and business owners. Weather won’t be as violent, but rains can last a lot longer, and then will come sleet, ice, and snow.
For the homeowner, some of the exterior concerns due to weather will be:
- Eroded landscaping
- Rutted driveways, especially those that are graded either up or downhill
- Moldy siding, window sills, door-jambs, window panes, and roofing
- Rotting wooden fencing and decking
- Leaking roof
- Puddles and pooling
For the business owner, some of the exterior trouble spots can be:
- Potholes and eroded surfaces in public parking areas
- Eroded walkways or damaged, buckling sidewalks and public walkways
- Leaking roofs
- Damaged materials and machinery that have not been stored properly
When it comes to the interior spaces, businesses have to keep an eye on employee bathrooms and kitchen/break areas to make sure that leaks are handled immediately and that spills are cleaned up right away. During bad weather, customers and vendors will track water and debris into your building, and both for safety and aesthetics, it will be a good idea to keep up with this type of accumulation to prevent water damage. Have an umbrella stand ready for everyone who comes through the door!
Homeowners also need to keep up with spills, leaks, and traffic, but it will obviously not be such a large job. In a home, water damage is more likely to come from a water heater or dishwasher that is malfunctioning, or a washer that has developed an issue.
One thing both types of structures have to be concerned about is mold, however - it is never a good thing to realize that a colony has taken hold in either your home or your business.
Commercial Restoration Project
As a business owner, you already have a lot on your plate on any given day. You need to know who to call when something goes wrong or your business is damaged. Whether the damage your business is experiencing is from water, fire, or other weather-related issues, you need a company with the expertise and availability to assist you quickly after a disaster.
Here are some things to look for when seeking a Commercial Restoration Company.
Lost time is lost money. When looking for a company to help you restore your business, you need a team that understands how important and necessary it is to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
When in the midst of a disaster, you need to be able to pick up the phone and have immediate assistance from a team of highly trained professionals. It is important to pick a company that is available 24/7 for emergencies and near your business.
In times of stress, you need people who can talk you through it and communicate a plan, not add to it. When seeking Commercial Restoration, make sure you find someone that is ready to communicate a plan, a time frame, and peace of mind.
SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County is ready to be that company for you. We have experience in damage restoration and have covered commercial loss for many clients. Here are examples of restoration projects we’ve handled:
- Flood Damage
- Fire Damage
- Inclement Weather Damage
- Damage from Equipment Failure
- Damage from Vandalism
- Damage from Accidents
- Damage due to Aging of Property
Minimizing Mold Spores To Prevent Mold!
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Minimizing Mold Spores to Prevent Mold
Mold spores are everywhere in the air outside. They float through buildings all the time and there is no practical way to remove all mold spores indoors.
However if the concentration of mold spores inside is significantly higher than outside then it can start to cause health effects. A higher amount of mold spores also increases the potential for mold problems to start.
Sunlight to Prevent Mold
Mold loves dark spaces indoors to grow in. Allowing sunlight in will reduce the chances of mold growing so open the curtains in rooms during the day to let natural light in.
Warmth and Preventing Mold
Mold generally does not grow in cold environments. Warm, humid conditions are ideal for mold growth. Most molds need temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or more to grow.
Air conditioners to regulate the temperature of your house can help prevent mold growth.
Preventing Condensation Can Prevent Mold!
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Prevent Mold by Preventing Condensation
Condensation is another frequent cause of moisture. Condensation forms on cold surfaces when water vapor in the air cools and becomes liquid. Often you'll see condensation on metal pipes, concrete walls, water tanks and windows.
One way to reduce condensation is to keep the temperature warmer in rooms. For example, by installing insulation. You can also insulate the surfaces themselves such as putting coverings over metal pipes. You'll also have less condensation occurring if you keep the humidity in your home low.
Prevent Mold by Reducing Humidity
Many species of mold can begin to grow from humidity alone if the humidity stays high for long enough. In fact the humidity only needs to be higher than 55% before some molds can begin to grow.
The best way to keep humidity low in your home is through ventilation. Open the windows during the day, especially when it's hot since this is when humidity is usually the lowest outside. Close your windows when it's raining outside though.
It's especially important to ventilate the rooms where steam and moisture builds up, like the kitchen and bathroom. Exhaust fans help to reduce the humidity when doing things like cooking or washing dishes.
Air conditioners can also reduce household humidity, as can using dehumidifiers in your home.
Get YOUR Home Ready!
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Getting your home ready for the colder temperatures and stormy weather conditions of fall is smart, whether you are a homeowner, a business owner, or both. Weather may be unpredictable during the fall here in Texas, but you won’t have to worry about it if you prepare now. Here at SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County, we have some preparation projects for you to consider:
- Remove dead leaves and debris from your gutters and drainpipes. This will prevent clogging during wetter weather. Drain all outdoor faucets ahead of freezing weather now, as well.
- While late summer is not the time to heavily prune trees and bushes, it is a good time to remove any branches that are dead or look like they could prove dangerous during a fall storm. If you have a tree that you think may be dead or dying, contact an arborist to come and take a look at it. If it is actually dead and near your house, you will want to have it removed before anything happens during a fall storm.
- Examine all your windows and doors for cracks. If you find any, have them sealed now so that you can stay warm and save energy this fall and winter. You’ll be saving both time and money here!
- A roof inspection ahead of colder weather will tell you if your roofing needs any attention before fall storms. Loose shingles can be replaced more easily when it’s warm and dry outside. If you have siding on your home, look it over well for any loose sections; fall storms bring wind that can create problems here.
- Make sure your entrance walkways are in good shape with no buckling or crumbling. When the surrounding ground is wet it can compromise cement, causing it to crack and split, and that’s an accident just waiting to happen.
Safety Tips For A Storm Damaged Business!
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During storm season here in Texas, your business may experience some damage from flooding. Here are some tips you can follow to manage flood damage in your business:
- Do not enter the building until a professional has cleared it if you believe that it has been structurally damaged or if flood risk remains.
- Do not go anywhere near downed power lines or any standing water or metal objects near these downed wires. Stay away from damaged trees, and do not wade into floodwaters.
- Avoid using open flames, especially indoors. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Once the worst has passed, assess any and all damage that the building has received. Inspect every part of the property for possible destruction, including machinery, making sure to avoid standing water or using electricity.
- Do not climb onto your roof unless the building has been deemed structurally sound, and practice precaution when climbing and working on ladders.
- If using a chainsaw to cut fallen or damaged trees or branches, take precautions to ensure they do not cause any more damage when they fall.
- Remove any wet material, such as rugs or carpets, and properly dry them out to prevent mold from establishing itself. Dry your premises by opening windows and doors; it can be helpful to have fans running if it can be done safely.
- You are at risk for mold within the first 24-48 hours following a flood, so it is vital to remove the water as soon as possible and start remediation. Flooding poses a risk to drywall, support beams, and foundations, as well, and floodwater can also contain dangerous contaminants and sewage so it must be avoided.
- Keep track of everything that was destroyed or damaged in the storm by documenting it through photos or videos along with putting together a list of broken items. You will need this list for insurance purposes.
Should You Get A Roof Replacement?
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When it comes to knowing how often you should replace your roof, there really isn’t any hard and fast rule. You have to keep an eye on its condition to be able to tell if you need to start thinking about it. If your roof is showing signs of damage, that could lead to major water or storm damage to the rest of your home. Our team wanted to share a few potential issues your roof may develop; any one of these may mean it’s time to replace your roof.
An asphalt shingle roof should last between 20 and 30 years, so if you have a 40-year-old roof, just keep in mind that you will probably need to replace it entirely in the next 1-5 years.
Shingles can curl in two ways: by “cupping,” which happens when the edges of the shingles turn upward; and “clawing,” which is when the edges stay flat and the middle starts to come up. Both are signs of weathering and indicate that potential leaks may possibly be developing, depending on the extent. Every homeowner finds themselves replacing a missing shingle, but it can be just about impossible to get a new shingle to match the color of an old one. Granule colors have changed pretty significantly over the years, and shingle colors often change with years of weathering. If your roof is starting to look like a patchwork quilt, you may want to consider replacing it soon.
Cracked shingles are typically caused by wind damage, and if the damage is extensive and not isolated to just one area, you should start thinking about replacing your roof within the next few years.
Algae Or Moss
This is not a big deal when it shows up on your roof, but it doesn’t give your home or business a great look. You don’t want to take matters into your own hands by power washing or scraping it away since that will often chip off all the protective granules and essentially render your shingles useless. You can use a wash that's one part bleach and one part water to remove algae or moss, and if you do decide to replace your roof, consider tiles that are algae-resistant.
This issue is pretty obvious: if light can get in through your roof, so can rain. If you see any water stains during the next rainfalls, and if they spread or expand, you have an active leak, and it is time to contact SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County immediately to help remediate the water damage and potential mold growth.
A sagging roof is typically an indication of a structural issue and demands immediate attention. There could be a problem with the decking in the attic or with the supports in the foundation, which is even worse. You're not necessarily in imminent danger, but this is the kind of thing that's a lot easier to take care of when it's small and localized, so call your roofing professionals right away for this roofing issue.
When it comes to replacing your roof, there is no hard and fast rule. If you are experiencing water damage, it is probably time. Remember that SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County is here to help if you are dealing with water damage, fire damage, or a mold infestation. We are committed to getting your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Office Fire Safety Precautions!
In the event that a fire ever occurs in your office, it’s important to have a few fire safety precautions in place to keep your employees and commercial building prepared for dealing with one. While having a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors goes without saying, do your employees know what to do if the alarm sounds or they have to use the extinguisher?
Here are a few fire safety precautions that you should ensure are in place:
- Make sure your employees know how to use a fire extinguisher. Every 6 months or so, hold a training session where your employees learn how to use a fire extinguisher if they don’t already know how to use one. Something as simple as this could be the difference between an accidental office fire from a microwave or a lighter being extinguished or burning up everything in sight.
- Regularly change your smoke detectors’ batteries and ensure one is installed in every room. As a general rule of thumb, test your smoke detectors once a month and replace their batteries twice a year. By ensuring that your smoke detectors do their job and have the battery juice to sound, you can prevent office fires whenever smoke occurs first.
- Share your office’s evacuation plan. Depending on the size of your office, you need to have one or multiple evacuation plans to adhere to the building’s fire code. Make sure to take into account any legal requirements for fire evacuation plans before you post them around the building and share them.
- Do a few fire drills. Sharing your office’s evacuation plan isn’t enough. Hold a couple fire drills and run your employees through the proper evacuation routes so they know where to go if the building catches on fire. Rehearsing an evacuation plan makes it that much easier to take action in the event that a fire actually occurs.
With all of these fire safety precautions in place, we hope that you’ll never have to manage the aftermath of an office fire. However, If you ever end up dealing with fire damage, water damage, mold, or other natural disaster damage, give SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County a call at (281) 342-5326. Our team of professionals are trained and equipped to help you manage restoration and cleaning.
Tips For Preventing Water Damage At Your Business!
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Tips for preventing water damage at your business
Inspect gutters and drainage
Fallen leaves and other debris in gutters and downspouts can lead to water damage to the exterior and interior walls of a building. Regularly inspect your business’s gutters, downspouts, and drainage system, and remove any debris or buildup. Have gutters professionally cleaned on a regular basis to ensure water is draining properly and away from the building.
Clear your Roof
Snow and ice accumulation on your business’s roof can result in weakened roofing materials and create “ice dams,” which prevent melted ice and snow from properly draining. Regularly remove snow and ice from your business’s roof to prevent structural damage. Know your roof’s load-bearing capacity, and periodically check to ensure that snow and ice aren’t accumulating beyond its weight limits.
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How To Prevent Water Damage In Office!
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How To Prevent Water Damage In Office
Know the location of the main valve
The main valve is the point of control where all incoming flow passes through. Conventionally, it is located in the lower-most part of the building where your supply pipe branches off the main pipe. You need to find this valve and label it, clearly pointing out its location and how to shut or open it. Additionally, you need to teach your employees how to operate all the valves, and not just the main valve. Most offices close for the night after business hours. During this time, the main valve should be shut. Make it a routine that the last person to leave the building should ensure that the valve has been closed. This action will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.