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What You Should Know About Category 3 Water Damage

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

flood cuts performed on drywall, wet floor. Concept water damage in a home Water damage in an Oxford, OH home

When water damage occurs to your home in Oxford, OH, it is vital to prevent additional issues as quickly as possible. You want to get everything cleaned up right away. However, when Category 3 black water is present, it is not safe to do this yourself.

What Are the Water Damage Categories?

Different water carries varying levels of health risks. The bacteria present depends on the source. Some potential causes of flooding in your home include:

  • Weather events
  • Clogged gutters
  • Broken pipes
  • Sewage backup
  • Appliance malfunctions

There are three types of restoration categories based on the cleanliness of the floodwater:

Category 1 damage is from clean water resulting from broken pipes, overflowing sinks or bathtubs, and rainwater leaks. This water does not pose a health threat to people and can be cleaned by removing any standing moisture and drying with an air mover.

Category 2 water contains contamination from chemicals, mold, or bacteria stemming from broken dishwashers, overflowing toilets, sump pump failures, or broken aquariums. Cleanup of this type requires personal protection equipment and carpet padding replacement.

Category 3 is the cleanup process for black water, which contains toxins and organisms that cause illness and disease. This type of flood requires professional restoration experts.

What Are the Dangers of Sewage Cleanup?
When sewer backups or rising floodwaters occur, the water is extremely hazardous. Flooding from these sources can contain feces, chemicals, fertilizers, medications, tetanus, and many other risks. Professionals must clean this type of damage to ensure proper drying and sanitation.

What Should You Do to Protect Your Home and Health?
You must call a professional restoration service to address this type of hazardous flooding. The unsanitary water can seep into the structure of your home and cause significant health problems for you and your family. Experts will thoroughly disinfect and restore your home.
Damage from Category 3 black water is an emergency that you must address right away. Enlisting professional help to restore your home to normal is the best way to ensure proper cleanup procedures and precautions.

3 Steps for Filing a Fire Claim

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Outside of a hotel wall damaged by fire Fire damage in a hotel

Steps To File Your Commercial Fire Claim

A fire at your business may seriously impact your ability to conduct business or halt it altogether. To get your business running at full capacity, it is important to take these three steps to file your commercial fire claim.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company
One of the first things you should do after a fire is to contact your insurance company to report your fire damage. Most insurance companies provide customers with multiple ways to begin this process. You may be able to file your claim by calling your insurance agent in Hanover Township, OH, or the claims department of your insurance company. Your insurer may provide a website or mobile app that will allow you to begin the claims process online. Be prepared to provide your policy number, address and a description of what happened and what was damaged.

2. Document Your Losses
When you file a fire claim, your insurance company will probably send someone to inspect your damages. However, it is useful to provide your own documentation, such as photos of the damaged property, receipts or other documentation that proves the value of your damaged property, recent maintenance records and proof of income. If you need to make temporary repairs, photograph the damage before you repair it and retain your receipts for supplies and labor used to make the repairs. Hold off on permanent repairs and fire restoration services until your insurance company gives you the go-ahead to proceed.

3. Keep Everything Organized
Write down your claim number and the names of anyone you talk to at the insurance company. Keep your photographs, damage estimates, receipts and other documentation in an easily accessible place.
Nobody wants to have a fire, but if a fire does occur, properly filing your fire claim can help you restore your business as quickly as possible. These three steps will help you with this process.

Top 4 Commercial Irrigation Troubleshooting Tips

1/1/2021 (Permalink)

Water loss in an office Water loss in a Hanover Township, OH office

An efficiently functioning irrigation system is important to many businesses in Hanover Township, OH. Completing routine maintenance each spring can help you identify and address potential issues early, helping to minimize downtime. However, irrigation problems can develop during the growing season. Knowing key areas to troubleshoot can help you quickly restore your sprinkler system.

1. Ensure Adequate Water Flow

If your irrigation system is experiencing lack of water flow, you should check the main water valve and ensure that the water supply is on and then verify there is optimal water pressure. When reinstating water flow to your system, you should slowly increase pressure to minimize the risk of cracking or bursting components.

2. Check Controller and Sensors

If your system does not initiate, and you know there is adequate water pressure, proceed to the controller. You should test stations and valves to ensure they are receiving the appropriate voltage. In addition, review programming information to verify run time and start time settings and reprogram if necessary. You may also want to confirm that rain sensors are functioning properly and not interfering with normal operations.

3. Inspect For Clogs and Debris

Debris can cause valves to malfunction and clog sprinkler heads. You should remove all heads and clear any existing obstructions. You may also need to temporarily shut off the water supply, so you can dissect the valve, inspect its components and clear any clogs.

4. Assess for Damaged Elements

Analyzing the inside of your valves enables you to check the diaphragm and seals for damage and signs of deterioration. In addition to inspecting the internal components of valves, you should also check for broken sprinkler heads or leaks resulting from cracked lines or worn washers.

The Benefits of Routine Maintenance

Your irrigation system contains numerous elements that are essential of its functionality. To address potential irrigation problems and ensure optimal performance, it’s a good idea to complete an annual maintenance review every spring. Completing this evaluation also reduces the risk of potentially destructive sprinkler flooding, which may be costly and require extensive cleanup and restoration efforts.

What To Do If You Smell Mold But Don't See It

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on wall Commercial mold growth

Mold growth is a common problem, so it is no surprise to find the fungus growing in commercial buildings in Hamilton, OH. Unfortunately, in some cases, you may have an infestation long before it becomes noticeable. When this happens, the first sign will likely be a mold smell. If your building begins to smell musty, there might already be a significant amount of growth.

Why You Might Smell Mold But Not See It

When you have a mold smell in the building but don’t see anything out of the ordinary, the most likely reason is that the mold is growing in a hidden area. This can include the following:

  • Inside walls
  • Beneath flooring or carpeting
  • Inside drains and other plumbing fixtures
  • Inside upholstered furniture or other fabric items

Although mold will sometimes appear as discoloration on surfaces, if it grows in areas such as these, you may only become aware of the growth because of the fungus smell. For this reason, you should not ignore any unpleasant odors that you notice in your commercial building.

How You Should Handle It
If you notice a mold or mildew smell, particularly if there are no visible signs of growth, one of the first steps you should take is to hire a mold remediation company to perform an inspection. Because these professionals have the necessary experience and equipment, they will be able to locate any growth much more quickly and easily than if you were to take on the task yourself. If mold is found, they can then perform removal and cleanup to remove the odor from the building. Once the growth has been removed, you will need to take certain precautions, such as cleaning regularly and reducing moisture, to prevent the mold from returning.
Even if you cannot see any problems, a mold smell in your building will more than likely indicate some kind of fungal growth. It is best not to ignore any musty odors, as mold can spread quickly when not removed right away. Maintaining your building once the mold is removed will help prevent future infestations.

5 Ways To Lower Your Company's Water Consumption

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Women's hands to wash their hands with soap bubbles Install touch-free faucets

Of all the water issues worth discussing, one of the most relevant is conservation. In addition to being good for the environment, lowering your building’s consumption also reduces your water bill.

Here Are Five Measures You Can Take To Enhance Your Status As A Responsible Corporate Citizen

1. Install Touch Free Faucets
Because executives carry their phones everywhere, they often become distracted before leaving the restroom. This sometimes results in running faucets. Touch-free sensors eliminate this trouble entirely. As an added bonus, the spread of germs is greatly limited. While they can be expensive, these water upgrades come highly recommended and are extremely popular.

2. Submeter Irrigation
Faulty irrigation systems have the potential to create seriously destructive water issues. If your business floods, the resulting water damage may necessitate a commercial restoration service provider to repair. Submetering irrigation alerts building managers and landscapers when too much water is being used, possibly indicating a faulty system. The ability to address issues early on could prevent an inconvenient disaster.

3. Add Flush Valves
Toilets installed before 1992 use between three and five gallons per flush. Introducing flush valves dwindles this by up to 40%. Unlike replacing old toilets with low-flush alternatives, you can keep your original commodes and the cost will be minimal.

4. Trade Plants
Interior designers sometimes attempt to counteract the industrial feel of office buildings with trees and other leafy offerings. Some vegetation needs to be watered more than others. Try less thirsty options, such as sago palms, spider plants or orchids.

5. Change Urinals
Although they require different cleaning methods than traditional urinals, consider ones that are water-free. With one training session, your cleaning crews will have no trouble understanding how to handle them.
Addressing these common water issues will work wonders in lessening the amount your office in Hamilton, OH, uses. For the sake of the future, implement as many solutions as possible.

Getting To Know Fire Extinguishers

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Set Different Types of Extinguishers (Water, Foam, Dry Powder, Halon, Carbon Dioxide There are three types of household extinguishers

A fire extinguisher is a must-have for your home in Hamilton, OH. It can keep a small fire from getting out of hand or give you time to escape a large one. Choosing the right extinguisher is important, as is understanding how to use one.

Types of Extinguishers

There are three types of household extinguishers:

  • Type A: Fires from combustibles like wood, cloth and paper
  • Type B: Fires caused by flammable liquids like cooking oil or gasoline
  • Type C: Electrical fires

Many household models are classified for all three fire types.
Extinguishers are available in disposable and rechargeable varieties. While rechargeable models are more costly, it is usually cheaper to refill them than purchase another disposable one when the gauge indicates low pressure.
The label shows the extinguisher's classification rating. The higher the number, the greater the effectiveness against each type of home fire.

Extinguisher Weights
The weight of an extinguisher refers to the amount of chemical inside. A 2-pound fire extinguisher is best for the car, a 5-pound model is good for the kitchen or laundry room and a 10-pound extinguisher is appropriate for a work area or garage.

How To Use an Extinguisher
For fire preparedness, it's best to know how to use an extinguisher before an emergency arises. An easy way to remember the steps is to use the acronym PASS:

  • P: Pull the extinguisher's pin.
  • A: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames above.
  • S: Squeeze the trigger to release the agent.
  • S: Sweep the extinguisher back and forth until the flames are gone.

After a Fire
Don't hesitate to call emergency services if you doubt whether the fire is out. Even a small fire can cause smoke, water and chemical damage in your Hamilton, OH, home. An emergency restoration company can help you clean up and restore your house to its pre-fire condition.
Along with an escape plan, owning a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it is the best way to be prepared for a fire emergency in your home.

What’s the Real Scoop on Mold?

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Bread mold is a common form because of the nutrients, warmth and moisture levels

Here's What You Should Know About It With Respect To Your Home

You’ve probably heard of mold in the context of a structure or building that experienced mold damage. You’ve also probably heard of it associated with old food such as bread mold or fridge mold. Have you wondered about a connection between what’s found on food items vs the type that requires professional remediation and cleanup? As a resident in Oxford, OH, the black, blue or green fuzzy growth on your food is often a nuisance when it shows up on things you were planning to eat. It often has an odor and an unappetizing appearance and taste. Here’s what you should know about it with respect to your home.

Understanding Mold
Mold is a type of fungus and like other types of fungi it thrives on plants and animals as food source. It exists in the form of microscopic spores that are found everywhere, including the air. When these spores settle on certain surfaces such as food, mold forms. Fungus growth is impacted by the following factors:

Moisture levels: Mold loves water.
Temperature: Warmer environments spur growth.
Aeration: Sealed packaging inhibits mold formation.
Light levels: Different types of fungi respond differently to available light.
Nutrients: Some fungi thrive on sugars, whereas others feed on salt.
pH levels: Most varieties survive in environments that are more acidic than alkaline.

Bread mold is a common form because of the nutrients, warmth and moisture levels typically associated with its storage. The mold that forms on most food surfaces does not usually pose a threat to a building structure or its contents.

Dealing with Mold
Maintaining a clean environment requires discarding of items that contain bread mold. If you have mold damage in your home, especially as a result of water damage, call a provider of professional mold remediation services who is trained and equipped to safely clean your house, restoring it to pre-damage conditions as quickly as possible.

Why You Need To Protect Pipes During the Winter

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

The pipelines in the insulation and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private household Protect your pipes during the winter

During the winter in Hamilton, OH, it is essential to prepare your home for below-freezing temperatures. Taking pipe freeze prevention measures will keep your home from flooding due to a burst pipe.

What Causes a Pipe To Burst?

Sub-zero temperatures cause the water inside pipes to turn to ice. As ice forms, it expands and creates pressure on the surrounding structure. Eventually, this expansion becomes uncontainable and leads to a burst pipe. Frozen pipes which are susceptible to bursting include ones found in uninsulated spaces, including:

  • Kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Garages and basements
  • Attics and crawl spaces
  • Exterior walls

A flood cleanup company can help dry out carpets or other furnishings if a burst pipe drenches them.

How To Keep Pipes From Freezing
During the cold months, pipe freeze prevention is achievable by insulating all exposed pipes or maintaining adequate heat circulation around them. These measures can ensure that the water inside does not freeze. Maintaining a consistently warm temperature throughout the day and night, and keeping the heat on while you are away from home will help avoid frozen pipes. Turning on the faucet to allow cold water to drip also ensures that the water traveling through exposed pipes does not freeze.

How To Keep Frozen Pipes From Bursting
If water drips out slowly when you turn on the faucet, this could indicate that your pipe is frozen, and, despite your pipe freeze prevention measures, you need to act quickly. If you determine that a burst pipe has not occurred, cover a portion of the exposed pipe with a heated blanket or use a hand-held hair dryer to warm it gradually. Be careful to avoid extreme heat shock, which could increase the risk of a burst pipe. Keeping the faucet turned on will encourage the existing water flow to dissolve the ice.
If you experience flood damage due to frozen pipes in your Hamilton, OH, home, contact a flood restoration company to handle the cleanup.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Business Before a Storm

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Green external hard drive Back up your information to an external drive to keep them safe

Disaster Preparedness Tips

Disaster preparedness can help keep your Oxford, OH, business running smoothly after a storm. There are several steps that you can take to get ready when you are expecting severe weather.

1. Back Up Important Documents
Whether flooding from the rain damages your electronics or a power surge ruins a computer hard drive, this can lead to the loss of important files. Back these up onto cloud storage or an external drive to keep them safe.

2. Move Objects to Higher Floors
If you are expecting a flood, move important or expensive items, such as paper documents, upholstered furniture and computers, to a higher floor. This will keep them from absorbing water in case it gets inside the building.

3. Inspect the Building
Your building is more likely to be affected by severe weather if it is already damaged. An essential part of disaster preparedness is inspecting the building and making necessary repairs. You can hire a cleanup and restoration company to do this for you.

4. Create an Emergency Plan
Business preparedness should also include a plan for dealing with emergencies while you are at work. Know what you will do if the power goes out or the weather becomes dangerous. Make sure all of your employees know what to expect during this situation.

5. Prepare to Work From Home
Something else that you can do to keep everyone safe is to make plans to work from home. This will eliminate the need for travel in hazardous conditions while allowing you to remain productive. If you need to, find a way to keep everyone connected during this time, so you can get in touch for any necessary discussions.
Using these tips for disaster preparedness, you can limit the ways in which a storm will affect your business. It is important to keep not only your building safe but your employees as well. Take the time to account for both in any plans that you make.

How To Prepare a Fire Escape Plan for Your Business

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Workplace security mandates that every company has a contingency plan at the ready

Prepare a Fire Escape Plan For Your Business

When it comes to minimizing harm during a fire, having a contingency plan in place is the most important measure any business can take. Follow the below guidelines to create one for yours.

Check Your Equipment
Before establishing an evacuation plan, make sure you have up-to-date and operable:

  • Emergency lights
  • Fire doors
  • Extinguishers
  • Alarms
  • Bullhorns, whistles or megaphones

These items are critical to executing effective, organized escapes during emergencies in Morgan Township, OH. If your location needs improvements in relation to any of these elements, consult a fire safety expert who can provide proper guidance.

Create Your Plan
Discuss with your team where fires are likely to break out, why they might start and what should be done during specific scenarios. Your contingency plan will benefit greatly if you first examine the overall picture before getting lost in the details.
Have at least two escape routes for every location. Post maps illustrating these paths in clearly visible, well-trafficked areas. Reinforce this information through mass emails explicitly outlining specific steps to be followed. Remind employees that heavy equipment such as chairs and filing cabinets can be used to break windows if an alternative passage is needed.
Designate outside spots where groups are to gather. The individual tasked with performing a headcount should have everyone’s name and assigned assembly point at the ready. Remember that each post must be spacious enough to comfortably accommodate the expected number of employees.
Running practice drills provides assurance that everyone knows exactly where to go and what to do during a true fire event. Besides extensive damage requiring a commercial fire restoration professional to fix, actual blazes create panic and confusion. Therefore, never warn your staffers ahead of time. The element of surprise is an essential ingredient in revealing any plan’s weaknesses.
Workplace security mandates that every company has a contingency plan at the ready. Put one together as soon as possible if yours is not already protected.