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How to Handle Water Contamination at a Commercial Building
Commercial office clean up in Northglenn, CO
How to Handle Water Damage at a Commercial Building
Water damage that occurs at a commercial building in Northglenn, CO can create a precarious situation for a business owner and employees. If a flood occurs in an office, it’s important for building occupants and employees to understand the severity of the situation and to know what to do about it. Flood water may not be clean water. The water may be (or become) contaminated, and it’s vital that individuals in the building are prepared. Here are three examples of how to handle water damage at a commercial building.
1. Explain Water Contamination to Employees
Water damage can happen at any time, and often without warning. Damage may result from a natural disaster that strikes, or it could occur due to something like a toilet overflow in a restroom, a broken pipe, or a broken supply line, for instance. It may be advantageous to prepare employees for the possibility of an emergency like a flood. Explaining water contamination may be a great place to start.
There is a classification system that is used to explain the level of contamination in water, and there are three categories of contaminated water. These categories range from clean water (category one), to moderately contaminated water (category 2), and highly contaminated (category three). Taking time to explain water contamination and providing examples about the three-category system of contaminated water to employees may help to facilitate the cleanup of a flood, as well as help prevent individuals from becoming ill.
2. Make an Emergency Plan
Creating an emergency plan may help prevent employees from becoming ill due to any contaminated water. While category one water poses no health risks, category two and category three contaminated water can be very dangerous. It may be beneficial to have a plan in place for an emergency. This plan may include requiring employees to report any damage and to avoid contact with flood water.
3. Call a Professional
In the event of a flood, professionals who handle water damage should be called for assistance. Professionals are trained and qualified to make repairs, as well as properly assess whether there is clean water or contaminated water in the commercial building.
What’s That Smell? Understanding Why Mold Stinks
The team at SERVPRO has professional cleaning techniques to treat mold properly.
Stale, musty, stuffy – whatever words you use to describe it, we all know the telltale aroma associated with mold smell. While it’s frustrating to face that smell, it’s even more frustrating to smell it and not see mold anywhere. But rest assure, if a mold aroma is in your Thornton, CO building, the fungus is thriving and it’s up to you to find it. Learn more about what causes mold to smell and what options you have for finding it when you can smell it but can’t see it.
Understanding the Stink
Mold is a collection of fungal organisms that replicate via spores. Wherever those spores land, they can potentially thrive particularly if the environment is warm, dark and moist such as you might find in:
• an attic
• a crawlspace
• a bathroom
• beneath a sink
Basically, anywhere a leak, condensation or the like is continuous, mold can grow. As it grows, mold releases microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). These gasses are responsible for the mold smell. Over time, poor ventilation as well as an increase in mold growth, can make the musty smell stronger and even harder to get out of clothing, upholstery, carpets and other porous surfaces.
How Do I Find It?
Oftentimes the fungus smell will be the only clue that there’s mold afoot – a frustrating reality for someone trying to get rid of the odor. Fortunately, there are a few things you and professionals can do. On your own, you can start by investigating areas where water may be gathering. Try window sills, areas near your water heater and refrigerator, beneath sinks and throughout the bathroom.
Next, a mold remediation specialist can help by using an infrared camera to find heat radiation – a signature that points to moisture inside of walls.
Mildew smell and mold smell is bad enough when you can see the fungus and even more frustrating when you can’t. Contact a mold remediation expert to learn more about your options to detect hidden mold and get your building smelling refreshed.
Professional Cleanup After a Commercial Fire
Fire damage in a local business.
Professional Cleanup After a Commercial Fire
Unlike homes that usually just have a smoke alarm, most commercial buildings feature some type of fire suppression system as well as a fire sprinkler system. When a utility room fire or an electrical fire breaks out, the fire sprinkler system will kick in and put it out. A fire suppression system uses a type of material designed to put the flames out and to keep the flames from spreading. Once the fire truck arrives and workers use a fire hose to extinguish the flames, property owners will need to know how to take care of the commercial fire damage after getting approval to get back inside from a firefighter.
One of the first things a fire damage company will do after getting to the scene of the fire is a full inspection. They want to know how severe the fire was, what they can do to get the building ready for tenants or customers again and how to handle any other issues. These experts will find the source of an electrical fire or a utility room fire and take steps to keep a second fire from breaking out. A firefighter working for a local department can help with this step.
Soot Damage Cleanup
Soot damage cleanup is especially important because the soot can make the smoky odor in the building smell even worse. Fire restoration professionals use cleaning supplies to remove the thick soot from the walls and floors. They use products that regular people do not have access to and products that will keep the soot damage from spreading as they clean. Most building owners will notice thicker or darker soot damage near the source of the fire, but this damage may be visible all the way through the building.
3 Reasons To Seek Water Damage Remediation After a Fire
The high temperatures brought in by a fire can cause the metal of pipes to melt and warp.
Following a fire, you need to hire professionals to handle the smoke cleanup. However, you also need to hire people who know how to address the necessary water cleanup. While smoke and soot will damage various items, water can enter your building in Thornton, CO following a fire, and you need to take care of that, too.
3 Reasons To Seek Water Damage Remediation After a Fire:
- Burst Pipes
The high temperatures brought in by a fire can cause the metal of pipes to melt and warp. This causes water to leak out, and if you do not shut off the main water valve during a fire, then it can leak everywhere. The places more prone to this kind of damage include the basement of the building and the bathrooms.
- Storm Water
Occasionally, fires are caused by storms from lightning strikes. The initial strike can create an opening in your building that storm water pours in from. Part of the water cleanup efforts will involve putting tarps and boards over any exposed area, but until those fixtures can be put into place, a significant amount of water can make its way inside.
- Extinguishers and Hoses
A severe fire will necessitate bringing in firefighters to put out the flames. Their hoses will douse the flames, but they will also bring in a lot of water. This is a necessary inconvenience. Water can be pumped from a room, but it is difficult to salvage an area that has been exposed to a big fire. Even using a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire will necessitate professional cleanup to ensure the materials are disposed of properly.
Do not delay the fire cleanup efforts. Many items can be salvaged following a fire, but if you wait, then those chances decrease. Find a service to assist you with both fire and water cleanupso that your business gets back up and running in no time.
What Is Smoke Damage?
Smoke and soot stains in Thornton, CO
Smoke damage is an additional type of damage that results from fire. Smoke may stain surfaces or contents and cause an undesirable odor to linger. Commercial fire damage restoration companies typically also offer smoke cleaning services. There are several aspects of damage caused by smoke that experts can eliminate.
Smoke may stain surfaces such as ceilings or walls, as well as the contents of a structure. A cleaning service may remove discoloration by using
- Chemical sponges
- Degreasing solution
- Content cleaning treatments
Surfaces may be wiped off, dried, and treated with a stain-blocking primer prior to repainting. If these measures are not taken, stains may resurface over time. Non-porous items stained by smoke may be immersed in cleaning solution and treated with ultrasonic waves. Delicate materials may benefit from dry-cleaning or foam treatments.
Residual particles of smoke in the air can cause odors to linger. The best way to eliminate particles of smoke is to use an air filtration system. Cleanup experts may recommend using air purifiers, HEPA filters, or HVAC scrubbers. These smoke cleaning methods will remove some particles. The smell may still persist, as particles can be as small as 0.01 micron and may not be captured by filtration equipment.
The best way to banish smoke odors is to use a specialized treatment. Restoration experts may recommend
- Ozone machines
- Hydroxyl generators
- Thermal fogging
- Vapor modification
Ozone and thermal fogging are the fastest and most effective methods, but both require evacuation. Hydroxyl and vapor treatments are slower, but can be completed while occupants remain in a structure.
A smoke cleaning strategy should account for every sign of damage. If staining and smoke odor are present at a commercial building in Thornton, CO, the owner should contact a cleanup and restoration service that can provide all of the equipment necessary to get rid of smoke damage.
Dealing With Category 2 Water Damage
Commercial office clean up in Henderson, CO
If you've suffered water damage at your Henderson, CO, business, it's important to know exactly what you're dealing with. Whether it's from a broken pipe or a severe storm, professionals categorize water damage based on the type of water involved. In the case of Category 2 water damage, it's advisable to contact a professional water mitigation company to take care of any needed water pipe repair and to clean up damage to the flooded area.
What Is Category 2 Water Damage?
Category 2 water damage is defined by the presence of a significant amount of the following contaminants:
Common sources include:
- Dishwasher water
- Toilet bowl water containing urine
- Flood damage from sump pumps
Water from these sources is known as "gray water," and can contain harmful microorganisms. Exposure to this water can cause discomfort or sickness. If Category 2 loss has occurred, it's important to make sure workers or tenants leave the building until professional water mitigation can be completed.
When the water mitigation professionals arrive, they first carry out emergency repairs, which may include sump pump or water pipe repair, and removal of any standing water. Next, they assess the problem to determine the exact nature of the damage to the property. Based on this assessment, the technicians then decide which specialized techniques and equipment to use. Any affected areas of the structure that cannot be salvaged, such as drywall and carpeting, is removed. The same applies to any office equipment, furniture and or other items that have been severely damaged.
Once this is done, the water restoration professionals will thoroughly dry, clean and disinfect the remaining areas and items, using water extractors, dehumidifiers, and specialized agents to eradicate any mold and microbes. The next phase includes any necessary repairs to the structure, along with cosmetic restoration such as wallpapering and painting.
If you have category 2 damage, it's important that you don't try to do the water pipe repair or water cleanup on your own. A professional water restoration company has the experience and know-how to make the necessary repairs, making sure your business gets back to normal quickly and safely.
Why Sand Bags May Not Be the Ideal Flood Deterrent
Sand bags can help minimize flood damage in your commercial property
When a severe storm threatens to flood your community, a sand bag barricade is often the first defense mechanism that many business owners consider. Although effective, this flood control method has several drawbacks that may make alternative flood deterrents more appealing.
Disadvantages of Sand Bags
When properly deployed, sand-filled bags can help minimize flood damage. However, erecting an efficient barricade and then disposing of wet bags once waters recede can be challenging for several reasons:
- Filling an adequate number of bags can be time-consuming.
- Bags are often heavy.
- Saturated bags hold contaminants and must be properly disposed of.
To erect a 100-foot long sand bag wall that is 12 inches high, you need approximately 600 bags. Accomplishing that task may require extensive manpower. In addition, if you do not receive adequate notice of an approaching storm, you may not have enough time to complete your temporary flood dams, leaving your business vulnerable to flood damage.
Effective, Time-Saving Alternatives
Businesses located in coastal communities typically learn of significant storms, such as hurricanes, well in advance, allowing adequate time to set up flood barricades. However, thunderstorms and other weather phenomena capable of producing excessive rainfall are not always as predictable. Luckily for every business owner in Brighton,CO, many flood control devices exist that require minimal preparation.
Numerous companies offer lightweight or reusable options. For example, you can obtain lightweight bags filled with a water-absorbent polymer that are typically more manageable than traditional sand-filled bags. You can also purchase absorbent or water-filled tubes that you can deploy, drain and reuse, an option not possible with traditional sand bags.
Minimizing Flood Damage
Whether you elect to use a traditional sand bag defense or try an alternative flood deterrent mechanism, the goal is to save your business from devastating water damage and a potentially lengthy flood cleanup. Most business owners would likely agree, however, that time-saving and lightweight alternatives may be advantageous, especially if you have limited manpower or lack sufficient time to safeguard against rising waters.
Is Your Business Ready for Cold and Flu Season?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that Fall and Winter are the most likely times to contract a cold or flu, with the start of the season beginning in October and peaking by February. While staying home from work and minimizing contact with others while sick will reduce the spread of the virus, it doesn't stop the risk of exposure.
The likeness of contracting a cold or flu increases in confined environments like office buildings and schools. Cold and flu viruses are airborne in nature and therefore easily spread through vents and air ducts. By having your ducts and vents professionally cleaned you are minimizing your exposure, and therefore reducing the risk of getting sick this cold and flu season!
For more information about how cleaning your air ducts and vents can keep your business healthy you can either check out our Air Ducts & HVAC page, or OSHA's (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings online brochure. For any further questions or to schedule an appointment for cleaning your air ducts and vents this cold and flu season, give us a call at 720-223-8888, we are happy to help!
Smoke and Water Damage after Fire
Cleaning Smoke Damage
Smoke damage is one of the worst types of fire damage. The smoke and soot that people see on the walls and floors may be just the beginning. That smoke can penetrate inside drywall and hardwood or tiled floors. Even after removing the flooring, fire restoration experts may see signs of the fire trapped inside the walls. Smoke damage will also affect any fabric in the vicinity of the fire too. The smoke can make items stored in a back room or a warehouse smell like they were in the middle of a fire. Commercial fire damage companies know how to clean and remove those smoky odors from any type of material.
Few people think that a utility room fire or an electrical fire will cause water damage, but this damage usually comes from the fire hose attached to a fire truck that a firefighter uses on the scene. That fire hose can completely extinguish the flames and keep the flames from spreading to a neighboring building. The high pressure used by the fire truck with that fire hose though can cause flooding and structural damage. Fire damage professionals can reduce the impact that water has on the building.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorththorntonbrighton.com for more information on fire damage.
Preventing Commercial Water Damage
Holidays can be both a boon and a bane for a commercial property in Thornton, CO especially if you’re dealing with water pipe repair. While the increased crowds can help business growth financially, they can also strain older facilities and place additional stress on your plumbing, leading to the potential for a broken pipe or flooded washroom. Here are four steps you can take to ensure your commercial property is protected against water damage.
1. Track Weather Changes
Environmental hazards and stressors can put your commercial property at increased risk for water damage. Monitor weather reports frequently and communicate with personnel about what to do in the event of a storm or impending freeze. In many cases, knowing the weather ahead of time can enable you to make small changes – such as leaving a faucet dripping in the event of a hard freeze – that can eliminate the need for later repairs.
2. Inspect Pipes Regularly
If possible, plan to inspect the pipes in your facility at least once a season. As staffers or tenants leave on vacation and the crowds swell, you may not have time to walk the property or inspect your plumbing thoroughly during the holiday season, so it’s best to conduct your inspections during slow periods when you can allocate ample time for repairs.
3. Perform Preventive Maintenance
The easiest water pipe repair is the one you can schedule at your convenience. If you notice small leaks beginning to form or damage on the exterior of your pipes during your regular inspection, contact a professional as soon as possible. Just as in medicine, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for water damage.
4. Prepare for Possibility
Although following these steps can help you prevent water damage from occurring, no plan is foolproof. If your commercial property in Thornton, CO needs a water pipe repair during the holidays, you have options. In addition to reaching out to plumbing professionals, there are specialized restoration outfits that can help stop damage in its tracks and get your property back to its productive best quickly and safely. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorththorntonbrighton.com for more information on commercial water damage.