Business Owners Should Practice Flood Preparedness | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County
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It is not uncommon for home and business owners to underestimate their flood preparedness, especially if they are not in an area historically known for flooding. However, it was recently reported that natural disasters involve flooding in 90% of instances and affect areas that are not typically known for flooding quite often.
Planning is a smart idea for business owners not only to increase safety within the workplace, but it can also serve to allow businesses to reopen more quickly after the flood passes. By planning ahead, business owners can have the peace of mind to know that they are ready should a flood occur.
How to Practice Flood Preparedness
Some key ways business owners can practice flood preparedness are:
- Make use of the Flood Map provided by FEMA to get an overview of flooding rates in your geographical location.
- Copy business documents and keep them in a secure location such as a waterproof safe or safety deposit box.
- Develop an official training guide for emergencies so employees can be educated and know what to do.
- Designate evacuation routes and mark them clearly.
- Consider adding flood insurance to your business policy, which does not typically include it.
- Create a personal emergency kit for your desk and an office-wide one in case someone is stranded.
- Find creative ways to raise electronics if necessary.
How to Prepare Documents for a Flood
As you begin the process of reopening the business after a disaster, having helpful documents will make the process much easier. Consider preparing and storing copies of the following:
- The continuity plan for after floodwaters recede
- Contact information for all employees, vendors, suppliers and any other parties that might need to be contacted right away
- Your insurance policy records and agent contact information
- Digital file backups and recovery instructions
- Financial documentation that may come in handy
If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 24⁄7 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.
Does Your Business Have a Natural Disaster Plan?
When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO Central County | SERVPRO of Roselle.
Would your business be prepared to face all that Mother Nature can throw at it through floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes? The most important key to surviving these natural disasters is to be prepared for these situations.
Being prepared for these situations involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business. This blog will lay out some aspects to consider when designing that very important disaster plan.
Where to Start With Your Disaster Plan
There are many things you will need to consider, including your employees, your material assets and equipment, when developing a disaster plan for your business.
Some of those considerations should be:
- How to protect your employees
- How to secure your assets
- How to get business up and running again
Many checklists have been made available through sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that can offer information that will help you identify areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also help you see just how prepared you truly are.
Don’t Neglect Employee Safety
If a disaster should strike without warning, your plan must lay out clear and concise procedures and safety measures for the protection of your employees and visitors. Your evacuation routes and exits from your facility should all be properly and clearly marked, have an area designated that will serve as a shelter space, consider emergency light installation, and ask for volunteers to serve as designated “safety wardens” properly trained and ready to guide and assist with all emergency efforts.
When choosing a place for shelter, ideally this space would be a basement or storm cellar in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If there is no basement available, select a small interior room on the lowest level of the building, such as a closet or interior hallway.
How to Protect the Assets
In a brick and mortar location, you’ll still need to make careful decisions when it comes to protecting the assets inside the building. You have thousands of dollars tied up in equipment and/or merchandise that will be at risk should a natural disaster strike.
Be sure to have a complete and up-to-date inventory of all equipment and assets. Having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is also always helpful if insurance claims need to be made. If your assets are computer data-based and kept on a server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is making regular backups and that the storage system cannot be damaged, such as a cloud storage option.
If you own the building that you conduct your business in, get with a contractor to uncover areas that could be structurally strengthened. This contractor should be able to suggest possible safety upgrades and advise on any areas that may not make the grade in certain weather situations.
Getting Back to Business
When—and if—a natural disaster does occur, it may be entirely possible that your business will have to be closed for days or months due to the damage incurred. And every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is wise to set up a disaster fund to help cover any additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.
Keep a list of contractors handy who will make themselves available for repairs, and know which cleanup and restoration service will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
You can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.
Why Business Owners Choose Us for Restoration | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County
Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.
For many business owners, sustaining damage to their business can damage more than just their property—it can also damage their entire venture. In a recent FEMA study, they determined 40 to 60% of businesses will not reopen following a natural disaster. That is why if your business has sustained fire, water or mold damage, either due to a disaster or any other cause, it is important to choose a company that is well-versed in commercial restoration.
We know how important your business is to your livelihood, which is why we make it our mission to be experts in commercial restoration. Having a team you trust on your side will help you focus on other crucial business aspects and help get your doors open again faster. These are just a few of the reasons why business owners have chosen us for commercial restoration:1. We’re Proud of Our Response Time
You may be aware that our slogan is “faster to any size disaster,” but that’s more than just something we say. Our emergency line is open 24⁄7, 365 days a year to ensure our restoration experts are alerted right away when a business owner calls to report the damage.
A quick response time not only gives business owners peace of mind, but it also makes the restoration process more efficient. By getting to the scene quickly, our technicians can stop further damage from occurring, saving both time and money on the project. This makes for one less thing business owners have to worry about as they get their business on track to reopen.2. We’re Proud of Our Technicians
Our technicians are leaders in the restoration field because of the education and training they receive. They study the guidelines set forth by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to learn about best practices, restoration techniques and other insider tips in the field.
Technicians also have the opportunity to further their education through certification programs, online courses and other industry knowledge throughout their employment. This allows them to be prepared for any damage scenario your business might face.3. We’re Proud of Our Equipment
The materials and procedures we use on commercial restoration projects comply with the IICRC’s guidelines, ensuring we are tackling the job with the most advanced tools in the industry.
From water extraction machines following flooding or odor removal equipment to remove smoke after a fire, we’ve got the tools to make your commercial remediation a success.
If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.
Learn More About Our “Restore First” Mentality
Our team of highly trained restoration experts are available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When disaster strikes, we get there fast, but that is not the only reason why we need to be first on your list of calls if the worst should occur.
What sets us apart—our team of technicians have a “restore first” mentality, complemented by specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. By making this our mission, we are able to minimize potential disruptions to your home and life and get you back into your home as quickly as feasible.
How It Works
When a fire has damaged your property, it’s a scary time, but once you reach out to our team, we’ll take some of the weight off your shoulders.
No two fires act the same, so it’s logical that the damage they inflict would also be different. That’s why we believe in starting with a standardized process, but adding onto it and enhancing it to meet your individual needs.
1. You call us. When you reach out via our 24⁄7 Emergency Line, we will spring into action. Our first step is to ask you questions about the fire and your home’s unique space and needs. That set of questions helps inform our strategy.
2. We inspect and assess the fire damage. Our next step is to visit your home. During this visit, we will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage. Based on what we see and determine, we will take immediate next steps.
3. We board up windows and tarp the roof. Because fire damage often compromises windows, walls and roofs, we will make sure that your property is secured and protected from further damage. This will involve boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp over the top of damaged roofs.
4. We remove water and begin the drying out process. When we think of fire, we don’t think of water damage. But we should, because water is a necessary component of fighting fires. So our next step is to remove any standing water and start drying out objects and spaces when possible.
5. We remove smoke and soot from all surfaces. We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces in your home.
6. We clean and sanitize your home. This is another place where the “restore first” mentality comes into play. We will attempt to clean objects and surfaces whenever possible, rather than removing and replacing them. We also use industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment to help remove odors.
7. We complete the restoration. This is our final step, bringing your property back to the condition it was in before the fire. Restoration may involve minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet. It could also involve major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.
Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. Our team of highly trained restoration experts are available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Understanding Thunderstorm Damage
Our team is available 24/7 to help with cleanup and restoration.
Thunderstorms are a regular occurrence during the warmer spring and summer seasons, bringing along the risk of damage to your property.
Thunderstorms come in varying levels of intensity. Do you know what those are?
Across the world, an average of 16 million thunderstorms occur each year. The U.S. can see upward of 100,000 thunderstorms annually, with an estimated 10% earning severe status.
Thunderstorms need certain conditions to be met in order to form. Moisture and rising unstable air are required, along with a “lifting” mechanism, which could be things like hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing that rising motion.
There are three stages in a thunderstorm’s life cycle. Those are the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. It is during the mature stage that things like hail, strong rain, lightning, high winds and tornadoes are most likely to occur.
Common Types of Damage
Thunderstorms can prove dangerous in many different ways, but an extremely serious threat stems from the possibility of seeing flying debris due to high winds.
During severe storms, wind can see speeds in excess of 57.5 mph, and that is certainly high enough to result in damage to your property.
Even the most unexpected items could reach projectile status during a high wind situation. A smart thing to do is make sure you have scouted your yard for items that could turn dangerous, such as tree branches, lawn furniture, and fencing, and then taken steps to secure them before a storm comes into town.
Besides wind damage, thunderstorms can also produce these types of damage:
Lightning damage. Not only can lightning strikes cause a fire, they can also wreak havoc on your electrical systems. Since a lightning strike can pass through the wiring of your home, it can lead to the damage of anything plugged in.
Tornado damage. With wind speeds that can reach as high as 200 mph, tornadoes are especially destructive. They are able to cover a large area and do their damage in a limited amount of time.
Hail damage. Believe it or not, hail damage can top out around $1 billion a year. Small hail can damage crops throughout the country, while larger hail can damage vehicles, roofing and windows.
Flood damage. Rain almost always accompanies a storm, so it should not come as a surprise that heavy rains can turn into flood danger. Flash flooding can have the strength to rip trees out of the ground and sweep items and structures away.
If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that our team is available 24⁄7 to help with cleanup and restoration.
Contact SERVPRO for HVAC Maintenance To Keep Units Running Efficiently
Contact us at 908.650.8611 if you’d like to schedule a consultation to discuss HVAC cleaning.
Everyone who owns a home appreciates the comforts of an efficient central heating and air system, but there’s a large investment associated with operating them. Did you know that about half of the energy costs for a home are due to the heating and cooling system according to Energy Star? While that’s a significant chunk of change, just a little bit of maintenance can make the investment extend much further.
It’s important to catch problems with your HVAC system before they become serious: that’s where routine maintenance comes in.
Homeowners should educate themselves about how their HVAC system works to provide it with the best care.
- Swap your filters. Your HVAC filters need to be changed between every 30 and 90 days (depending on the type of filter used) for maximum air quality and efficiency. Other ways to improve heating and cooling include using the highest efficiency filter for your HVAC model and ensuring a properly secured fit when filters are installed.
- Reduce your dust. Simply keeping up with routine dusting and vacuuming will clear the dust and debris out before it has a chance to invade your air flow system, doing wonders for your HVAC cleanliness. Further the benefit by always using the highest efficiency filter for the vacuum, and purchasing one with a HEPA certification if possible.
- Check your drainage. As the AC runs, cooling coils work to remove water from the air and drain it away. If the moisture collected is not properly drained, water damage can occur and lead to mold growth. Regularly check drain pans and nearby surfaces for moisture accumulation to stop large problems before they start.
Tip: If you’re doing construction or renovations in the home, seal off supply and return registers in the house.
- Schedule regular maintenance checkups and cleaning. There’s no substitute for having a professional survey your system twice per year. While there are quite a few things homeowners can do to maintain their HVAC system, a professional cleaning can have a marked improvement in air quality and the efficiency of your unit.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation to discuss HVAC cleaning, contact us at 908.650.8611.
The Right Restoration Company Makes a Difference
When disaster strikes, we strike back! Contact us at 908.650.8611 for 24/7 emergency service.
While planning ahead for house fires might seem dismal, it is a wise choice for homeowners. You should create a fire evacuation plan for your household, and also consider the restoration company you will work with to restore your home if it’s ever needed. Picking a company that can respond quickly and restores thoroughly is highly recommended.Restoring Your Home and Belongings After a Fire
Fire damages are multifaceted—not only can they affect the structure of your home, but they can also damage your things and be detrimental to air quality. Finding a company that can handle all these aspects is vital to having the proper restoration completed. Here is how we restore after a fire:
It is important that the structure of your home is prepared quickly and well following a house fire because these are the elements that support your home. We will start with tests to get an overview of the damage severity so we know what repairs should be completed. By using industry-grade equipment, we will then begin to remove soot and damage from surfaces.
Because we know how important your belongings are, we make sure our technicians are able to restore most items as well. Wood and upholstered furniture can be cleaned and deodorized thoroughly. Oftentimes, we are also able to restore paintings, photos and electronics as well by utilizing appropriate tools and methods to protect them.
The smoke smell after a fire can linger for ages, but that is not the only concern. Fires can leave soot particles behind that cause serious health concerns with exposure as well. That is why instead of trying to mask the scent, we use air scrubbers to fully purify and deodorize the air. Our technicians will work with you to develop the best deodorization method for your needs in order to provide your family with healthy air once more.
If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 24⁄7 to help you recover.
How We Approach Restoration Differently | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County
If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 24/7 so we can address your damages quickly.
There is a lot that goes into choosing a restoration company as a homeowner. Not only are you picking someone to restore your home, but you are also forced to make a big decision during a stressful time in life. Choosing the right company will give you peace of mind and make your experience a positive one, but it’s important to pick one that is trustworthy.
Because there are so many types of damages that can occur from a disaster, it is important to choose a company that can handle a variety of situations.
When water damage turns into structural damage or a small kitchen fire releases toxic soot particles into the air, homeowners will want a company that can handle the entire situation. Seeking a company that can handle complications is essential for a positive experience.
Our Approach to Restoration
Our restoration jobs are just as much about providing excellent service as they are restoring your home. These are the ways in which we approach restoration differently:
With a Guaranteed Quick Response Time
Emergencies do not have respect for anyone’s schedule, which is why we do not have business hours. Our emergency service line is an around-the-clock service, meaning you can call us 24 hours a day to report the damage. Once we receive the call, our technicians will spring into action in order to get to you ASAP.
With an Experienced Team
Our restoration technicians are industry leaders with proven results. Trained according to IICRC standards, they will ensure the most up-to-date methodology is used in your restoration for any type of damage.
With a National Network
Our franchise locations are located across the country with over 1,800 locations. This means that we have a national network to utilize for resources. Therefore, we can treat a large-scale disaster with the same care and efficiency as we would an isolated spot of thunderstorm damage.
Contact us at 908.650.8611 for all of your restoration needs.
Frozen Pipes Will Burst | You Can Count on SERVPRO of Western Essex County To Respond
When disaster strikes, we strike back! Contact us at 908.650.8611.
Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.
Extreme cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst. In general, pipes are more likely to freeze when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting water damage can be extensive. Outdoor pipes and pipes in unheated areas of the home can freeze if they are not properly insulated or if temperatures are severely cold.
Outdoor pipes most likely to freeze include:
- Outdoor hose bibs
- Swimming pool supply lines
- Water sprinkler lines
Pipes in unheated or partially heated areas are also at risk of freezing, including:
- Crawl spaces
When A Pipe Bursts, We Respond Quickly
At SERVPRO, we know how devastating burst pipes and flooding can be. We are dedicated to responding immediately to water emergencies. Our professionals specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. They have extensive training that helps you get back to normal more quickly.
If your property has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® of Central Union County is always available to help 24/7 with cleanup and restoration, making it look “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 908.650.8611.
The Dangers of Lightning During Storms | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County
If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and restoration.
There are many ways in which a thunderstorm can cause damage. Flooding or wind damage are what often come to mind, but it is also important to consider the risks associated with lightning when discussing thunderstorms.
While some storms bring rain and water, every storm is made up of electricity, creating the possibility for lightning even in the absence of precipitation. Lightning bolts can be up to 500,000 degrees, causing damage and even fatalities when they strike. An understanding of what lightning is and how it can be dangerous is extremely helpful in helping homeowners prevent these risks.How Thunderstorms and Lightning Coexist
All thunderstorms contain the electricity that makes a lightning strike possible. What we know as a lightning strike is actually a rapid burst of electricity that occurs when this charge becomes agitated.
The atmosphere is not an ideal conductor, which is why lightning tends to strike objects—this creates a less resistant route in getting to the ground. When a home is the object that has been struck, lightning will usually forge this path through water pipes and wiring.How Lightning Is Dangerous to Homes
While there are many dangers surrounding thunderstorms, there are [three main ones involved with lightning striking a house]:
The risk of fire. One of the biggest dangers of a lightning strike to a house is the fire hazard it causes. Lightning is hot enough to ignite building materials, causing a fire to break out at the point of impact. Additionally, lightning traveling through wires can cause them to fray, creating fire hazards all throughout the home.
The risk of power surges. Because of the electrical charge at play with lightning, it can easily transfer that to the wiring in the home. This is what we call a power surge, which can affect any electronic device plugged in that is not routed through a surge protector.
The risk of shock waves. Shock waves are typically manifested in thunder, but they can also occur at the site of a lightning strike. Shock waves have been known to crack chimneys, break windows and explode cinder blocks, making them extremely hazardous to a home’s structure.