Recent Commercial Posts

5 Ways To Protect Your Business From Flood Damage

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

A Business protected from flooding with sand bags and plastic film. Owners have the power to minimize flood damage, but it requires forward-thinking and proactive approaches.

5 Ways To Prevent Flood Damage To Your Business

Commercial owners in Montclair NJ, do not have the ability to stop Mother Nature's rising waters; however, proprietors do have the authority to fight off flood damage. By taking time to evaluate the property, it's possible to minimize harm. The following are five ways to take action now.

1. Raise the Electrical Outlets

When inclement weather occurs, moisture could infiltrate the building from the roof and through the floor. This storm damage exposes electrical wiring to fluid. To avoid this contamination and the cost of fixing an entire electrical system, consider relocating outlets and major wiring systems to a higher location. Floods can rise use to several feet. Place these openings further up, at least 12 inches above the base flood elevation zone.

2. Invest in Barrier Protection

The incoming water is hard to fight off unless the perimeter has been protected with a watertight product. Keep a supply of sandbags or flood-protective material on hand. Line these around the weaker areas, especially doors and windows. Ensure they are at least 3 feet or more depending on the establishment's placement in the flood zone.

3. Safeguard the HVAC Unit

A ruined HVAC unit is expensive to replace, and it's one of the objects likely to incur flood damage if it sits on the ground at a low level. Move it to the roof or a higher floor.

4. Enhance Landscaping

Ward off flooding by planting flowers and shrubs along the business's perimeter. Use local greenery that thrives in the area's soil. The roots assist in maintaining appropriate soil levels and easing drainage issues.

5. Have a Generator

The sooner a water and flood restoration company begins cleanup efforts, the better. A generator allows for workers to get into the place faster and begin drying out the soaked material.

Owners have the power to minimize flood damage, but it requires forward-thinking and proactive approaches. Be open to changing devices' locations and consider methods to secure the area from water infiltration. Doing these things could save time, stress and money.

3 Things Business Owners Should Know After a Partial Loss From a Fire

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Window broken of a building, sky blue with white building, broken window with smoke damage Commercial fire loss in Montclair, NJ.

What To Expect After a Partial Fire Loss

A fire in Montclair, NJ, can wreak havoc on a business. Fire loss is often one of the first things business owners think about, and many people believe that a partial loss will mean a quick, inexpensive cleanup process. However, this may not be the case, and it can be helpful to know what to expect after a partial loss.

1. An Insurance Claim for Partial Loss Can Be Complex
Although you make an insurance claim after a partial loss, just as you would if fire and smoke damage had affected the entirety of your business, partial losses can make your claim more complex. It can take an extended period of time for an insurance adjuster to determine what items were damaged in the fire and what items weren't affected by the fire. Providing your adjuster with photographs and other forms of documentation of your business before the fire might help to expedite the process.

2. Unseen Damage Is Often Present
With a partial fire loss, people often think that a building has been minimally damaged. Unfortunately, there is often hidden damage associated with partial losses. During a fire, the air quality in a business is often affected by smoke and soot, and though your building's air ducts aren't visible, damage may be present. Additionally, both water and mold damage commonly occur after fires when sprinklers and fire hoses are used to extinguish the flames.

3. Restoration May Still Be Necessary
Though a partial loss from a fire means that some elements of your business are unaffected, restoration may be needed depending on what areas in your business were impacted. If structural elements of your building were damaged in a fire, restoration is often essential. Many business owners find it useful to employ fire restoration experts who can assist in cleanup and restoration.

When considering a fire loss, it's often wise to understand what a partial loss from a fire may involve. By understanding the complications that can come from a partial loss, such as difficulties with an insurance claim, unseen damage and the potential need for restoration, you can better plan for a fire and its effects.

How Does Storm Damage Differ From Flooding?

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning storm over city in purple light Damage resulting from either flooding or storms can cause severe problems and should be planned for, prevented, and handled as soon as possible.

What Is The Difference Between Storm Damage And Flooding?

Property owners may have a hard time differentiating storm damage from flood damage. Commercial properties can sustain water damage from either source. There are a few major differences to keep in mind that may help you manage these risks.

Storms Versus Floods

The most general distinction is that storm water comes from above, whereas flood water usually overspills natural bodies or courses of water and covers at least two acres of ordinarily dry land. Storm damage to a commercial property may originate from a variety of causes such as:

  • High winds
  • Heavy rain
  • Hurricanes
  • Snow
  • Tornadoes
  • Tropical storms

Most business insurance plans provide protection from damage caused by storms. Property owners will need additional coverage to offset the expenses of flood damage. If your property is located on a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the policies necessary to protect your investment.

Flooding occurs when water overflows a body of water or watercourse such as:

  • Beaches or coasts
  • Canals
  • Creeks
  • Dams
  • Lakes
  • Stormwater channels

For water to be considered a flood, it must not only cover two acres but affect at least two properties. If a commercial property is located in a high-risk zone and the owner has a mortgage from an insured and federally-regulated lender, he or she is required to maintain flood insurance.

Damage resulting from either flooding or storms can cause severe problems and should be planned for, prevented, and handled as soon as possible. Regardless of the source of moisture, the risk of mold and other secondary damage within a building can be just as severe.

Restoring Damage From Storms and Floods

Restoration specialists can help property owners determine the precise causes of damage and the best solutions. If a commercial property in Montclair NJ experiences flood damage or sustains damage during a storm, contact a commercial damage restoration company as soon as possible.

Smoke Damaged Electronics: Why You Should Always Call a Professional

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Keyboard of a computer on flames A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics.

Smoke Damaged Electronics

An electrical fire, or any fire, can leave your electronics in disarray. While it is tempting to turn everything on and see if it still works, it is best to avoid powering on most items. There are elements of a fire that can be hazardous to your electronics, and that damage may become irreversible if powered on. It is best to leave the cleaning and testing to the professionals and avoid these common smoke damage pitfalls.

1. Avoiding Magnetic Charges

Though it may not be common knowledge, smoke does have a magnetic charge. This charge can short your laptops circuit board, or damage other machinery and appliances. To protect your laptop, you should take it in for a professional computer cleanup, letting the staff know about your concerns. Best case scenario, they save your computer; worst case, maybe they salvage your files.

2. Dealing with Black Film

A regular and electrical fire can leave a smoke residue on your electronics called black film. This film infiltrates the internal components of your items, insulating them and making them vulnerable to overheating. It is necessary to dismantle all parts and thoroughly clean them.

3. Removal of Acidic Soot

In addition to magnetic charges and black film, the remnants of soot on your electronics are acidic which can lead to degradation. This means that if the soot is not adequately cleaned off, your item’s life span will diminish, likely substantially.

4. Cleaning with Appropriate Equipment

While most businesses employ janitorial staff, it is important to note that electronics cleaning is a specialized field. Many janitors do not have the necessary tools or experience to clean electronics after a fire. You will likely want to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Upper Montclair, NJ, area.

A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics. While the fire itself can be destructive, it is the smoke damage that does the most harm to these items. The intricate components and the variety of smoke, film and soot, make hiring a professional most beneficial.

How Smart Business Owners Prepare for Emergencies

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire safety plan for  business Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill.

How Prepared Are Smart Business Owners for Emergencies?

If you are like most business owners in Montclair NJ, you want to do what you can to protect your business from catastrophe. Of course, safeguarding your building and other physical assets is only part of the equation. You also must take steps to ensure your employees and customers are safe during an emergency. By taking your routine fire drill to the next level, you increase your odds of avoiding disaster.

Develop an Emergency Action Plan

Business owners have a duty to protect their employees and customers from injury. Before planning your drill, you must draft an action plan. To comply with OSHA regulations, business action plans must include at least the following components:

  • A procedure for reporting emergencies
  • An evacuation procedure, including escape routes
  • A description for continuing essential operations
  • A method for accounting for employees during the situation
  • An assignment of rescue and medical duties for designated employees
  • A detailed list of contact personnel inside and outside the organization

Hold Periodic Drills

Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill. During the drill, encourage employees to follow the action plan completely. You may also want to collaborate with emergency responders to make the drill as realistic as possible. Remember, planned drills are usually not as good as surprise one.

Evaluate the Success of Your Action Plan

After you complete a drill, you must have a method for evaluating its success. Ask each department to prepare a report card. Then, look for holes in your action plan. If the plan needs rewriting, do so before your organization’s next drill.

While you can probably use a restoration service to repair your business after a catastrophe, you can’t replace human life. With a complete action plan and a regular fire drill schedule, you can likely boost your odds of keeping everyone in your company safe during a disaster.

4 Tips for Removing Standing Water From Your Building

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Water removed from basement flood Basement flood cleanup.

How Do I Remove Standing Water From My Property?

Storms in Llewellyn Park, NJ, can bring a lot of water with them. With so much excess water, it's not all that surprising when your commercial building ends up with standing water in its lower levels. Even though it is not a shock, it can still be a challenge to deal with. Working with a team that has the specialized equipment needed to remove standing water can make this entire process a little easier. Keep these four tips in mind as you try to tackle this remediation.

1. Call in the experts. Your first step should be to call in a commercial storm damage repair team. This crew of professionals can help you remove standing water, repair damage and prevent the same flooding from happening again. The teams can also make sure the project is done quickly.

2. Consider the water. If your basement is full of plain water, you may be able to use a simple pump to suck the floods out of the space. However, if there's any sludge mixed in with the liquid, you may need to turn to a trash pump instead.

3. Remove all humidity. Once you have the standing water out of your building, the project isn't quite over. You still need to make sure all of the excess moisture is sucked from your space. Using special equipment, such as a dehumidifier, can help with this task.

4. Install a new pump. If you have a sump pump in your basement, you may need a new one after dealing with a two-foot flood. If you didn't have a pump, installing one may help you avoid more flooding in the future.

You can never predict what type of damage a storm is going to do to your commercial building. You can, however, make sure you work with a trained team that has access to a wide range of equipment if your property is affected by a storm.

3 Steps To Secure Your Building After a Fire

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

Outside of building board up. If you have experienced fire damage to your property make sure to board up windows and doors.

Protect Your Building After A Fire

A fire in your Verona, NJ, building can be disastrous, leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Unfortunately, extinguishing the fire itself is just the first challenge in what is often a long journey to recovering from fire damage. The next task is to secure the building and prevent further damage to the property. Follow these steps to minimize your losses and reduce your overall fire cleanup time.

1. Board Up Windows and Doors
Doors and windows are often broken during a fire due to heat, structural instability, or high-pressure water from a fire hose. Cover any damaged or missing windows and doors with plywood and secure all building entrances with locks if possible. Boarding up windows and doors adds structural stability and prevents exposure to rain, wind, debris, vandalism, looting, and wildlife. Never attempt to enter or secure a fire-damaged building until a firefighter or other professional has ensured that the building is safe to enter.

2. Cover Roof Damage With a Tarp
Your building’s roof is likely to have suffered some fire damage. Even if the roof appears intact, falling ash and hot embers can harm roofing materials, causing small leaks. Cover damaged areas with plywood, then cover the plywood with a tarp and secure the tarp with lumber.

3. Remove Valuables If Possible
If it is safe to do so, consider removing equipment, inventory, and other valuables from the building and transporting them to a secure location where they will not be harmed during repair work. Smoke damage and heat damage are not always readily apparent, so be sure to have any off-site items professionally inspected.
After a fire, it may take some time for fire damage repair and restoration work to begin. Securing your building can help prevent any further damage from occurring during this time. Furthermore, your property insurance policy may require you to take measures to mitigate your loss. If you aren’t comfortable with securing the building yourself, find a professional remediation company that offers board-up and tarp-over services.

3 Types of Protective Equipment Every Remediation Professional Should Have

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Specialists in PPE combating mold in an apartment in Montclair, NJ Make sure they use their equipment appropriately to avoid any issues

Learn About The Most Essential Pieces Of Protective Equipment They Should Have

One sign of professionalism you should expect from qualified mold remediation specialists is their ability to protect themselves and others. Mold spreads easily and can be hazardous, which is why it is important to safely eliminate it from your Montclair, NJ business. This goal is best accomplished when the professionals use their resources properly.

1. Protective Suit
Mold spores can easily cling to clothing and spread throughout the rest of the location or even other areas. The people working with it should wear protective suits that can be washed easily and prevent spores from getting attached. Disposable hazmat suits are the most effective solution to this issue. During smaller projects, removal professionals may wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants that are distinct from their casual outfits. They wash these items in hot water immediately after use.

2. Disposable Items
A disposable full-body suit may not always cover all body parts. Experts need other disposable items to protect other areas from mold growth exposure, including:

  • Gloves
  • Foot/shoe covers
  • Hair covers

Mold can cling to hands, shoes or hair and spread easily if there is no adequate protection. Therefore, technicians usually wear these items before entering the affected area. When they leave, they remove these items and carefully dispose of them. If they must re-enter, they put on new ones.

3. Face Mask
The most important protective item cleaners should have in their arsenal is a face mask, sometimes known as an air-purifying respirator. This item filters mold particles and any other harmful substances. There are both permanent and disposable masks and they block different particle percentages. If a mask does not include a built-in visor, remediators can use safety goggles to prevent mold, debris, and chemicals from entering their eyes.
Responsible mold removers do not just clean and restore the area effectively, but they also protect everyone inside. Make sure they use their equipment appropriately to avoid any issues.

What to Expect During Sewage Damage Cleanup

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on the floor of a Montclair, NJ home Water damage restoration in Montclair, NJ

What to Expect During Sewage Damage Cleanup

If a sink or toilet has overflowed in your Montclair, NJ building, then you will likely need to have sewer cleanup done. Depending on the type of water involved, this process may differ slightly, but the general steps will remain the same. You should expect the following to take place.

1. Remove the Water
The first thing that will need to be done during sewer cleanup is water removal. It is important that this is done as soon as possible to prevent further issues. Mold, rust, and warping wood can result from water damage if it is left for too long.

2. Disinfect Surfaces
If a flooded toilet is involved, then you will likely be dealing with category 2 or 3 water. These are both considered contaminated, although category 3 or black water contains more waste and bacteria. Any floors, walls, or other surfaces in the area will need to be cleaned and disinfected to remove bacteria and other harmful contaminants.

3. Clean or Replace Affected Items
Along with surfaces, items that have come into contact with the water will need to be addressed during cleanup. In some cases, cleaning may not be enough to remove all of the contaminants. This is often the case with large items made with absorbent materials. It is best to replace belongings that cannot be thoroughly cleaned.

4. Address the Cause
Whether it is a sewer backup or damaged plumbing, if the cause of the overflow is not addressed, the problem may occur again in the future. A cleanup and restoration company can perform an inspection to help identify the issue. They can also make any necessary repairs.
Any kind of water damage in your building should be taken care of as soon as possible. Not doing so can result in mold growth and other secondary damage. If the water is coming from damaged plumbing, sewer cleanup is often necessary. Having this service done will remove bacteria and other contaminants to keep your building sanitary.

3 Steps To Take if Your Roof Is Damaged by a Fire

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

The outside of a fire damaged home in West Orange, NJ Cleaning up after a fire in West Orange, NJ

Include These Three Steps In Your Fire Cleanup Process

Even if the flames never reach your roof, your roof may be damaged by measures the fire department takes to put out the fire. 

1. Cover Holes With Tarp

Fire damage can cause holes in your roof that may lead to leaks. Additionally, firefighters sometimes break holes in the roof to ventilate smoke, hot air, and gases. If your roof has openings, cover them with a tarp while you wait for roof repair. If your roof damage is too extensive to place the tarp yourself, a fire mitigation company in West Orange, NJ can provide tarp services.

2. Call Your Insurance Company

It is OK to make temporary repairs, such as placing a tarp, but do not start fire cleanup or make permanent repairs until you have filed a claim with your insurance company. Your adjuster will likely want to inspect the damage before repairs start. Additionally, an assessment will need to be made to determine whether your roof can be repaired or needs to be replaced. If you start repairs on your own, before the insurance company has a chance to inspect the damage, you risk spending money that your insurance may not compensate you for.

3. Document Your Damage

Take photographs of the damage to your roof, if you can safely do so. Keep records of any temporary repairs you have made and retain your receipts. If you have had your roof replaced since you purchased your building, it may be helpful to locate documentation that shows when the roof was replaced and how much you spent on it. Maintenance records may also be useful to have in case there is a dispute over whether the damage was caused by the fire or wear and tear.

A leaking roof can cause additional damage to your property and hamper your fire cleanup efforts. Taking these three steps will help you mitigate your damages.

The Process of a Sewer Cleanup Explained

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Basement flood in West Orange, NJ Sewer backup is a job for the experts at SERVPRO!

Sewer Cleanup Process

A sewer cleanup is a different animal from an ordinary water cleanup. That's because the water could contain a variety of substances that are harmful to humans and therefore extra caution should be used. Contaminated water sometimes holds viruses, bacteria and other microbes. Examples of this type of discharge include the following:

This type of water problem can properly be called an emergency and it is important to get professional help right away. A SERVPRO company will arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster. An experienced water mitigation franchise has the training and certifications to adequately address the situation.

The Use of PPE

The technicians involved in a sewer cleanup in West Orange, NJ, will use the necessary precautions to keep themselves and everyone else safe. This means blocking off access to the spill area as well as wearing gloves, eye protection and even hazard suits as conditions demand. Professional equipment and training are the keys to an effective and safe sewer cleanup. Sophisticated equipment will remove the contaminated water from the area and then powerful air dryers will eliminate excess moisture.

The Use of Approved Disinfectants

Whether the restoration team is dealing with a flooded toilet or some other source of contaminated water, the area will need to be cleaned beyond what a regular cleaning service provides. Technicians will use cleaning agents that have been recommended by leaders in the cleaning and restoration industry. This will help prevent odors and guard against mold growth. While each sewer cleanup is unique and demands specialized training and knowledge, a professional team should be able to handle any situation. This includes the restoration or replacement of damaged contents and the rebuilding of such structural items as drywall and insulation. A professional job ensures a commercial building is cleaned to the highest standards.

Why Does Mold Keep Growing In the Same Spot?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on drywall Mold growth can only occur if moisture and nutrients remain present.

Why Mold Tends To Return?

A building owner or manager may think a mold problem has been solved only to have new colonies form in the same place. Mold growth can only occur if moisture and nutrients remain present. Any traces of former colonies can also support regrowth. Learn more about why mold tends to return to the same locations.

Favorable Conditions

Mold thrives in locations with moisture, food and favorable conditions. A combination of the following factors can support growth:

  • Moisture
  • Nutrients
  • High humidity
  • Warm temperatures
  • Little ventilation
  • Undisturbed areas

It is not sufficient to eliminate any one of these factors, although a lack of moisture can limit the ability of mold to become established and multiply. A building owner or manager should also get rid of contaminated materials and lower temperatures. Once mold is no longer a problem, owners or managers can try increasing ventilation or treating the area with fungicides or preventative solutions.

Persistent Leaks

If a pipe or portion of a roof is prone to leak, mold growth will be more likely in the affected area. Rely on plumbers or roofers to fix the problem and cleanup and restoration professionals to limit primary and secondary damage due to water. If the problem recurs and conditions remain conducive, mold may resume growing in the same place.

Untreated Damage

Just as recurring water damage may cause mold to return to the same spot, untreated mold damage can also lay a foundation for future growth. When mold penetrates a porous surface, the hyphae may remain even if the surface appears clean. These filaments fulfill functions similar to roots and can support regrowth.

If conditions remain unchanged or damage is allowed to persist, mold growth will be likely to reoccur. A property owner or manager should rely on the expertise of water and mold damage specialists at a mitigation and restoration company in Montclair, NJ.