Storm-proofing Your Hotel
The areas of the US that are being affected by extreme weather are widening, so business owners should no longer just assume that their region is going to experience the same weather as in years past. As the owner of a hotel, you need to reassess your storm preparedness and strengthen all your emergency plans to prevent and reduce damage to your property.
Sudden thunderstorms bring with them high winds, rain, hail, and tornadoes that will damage your premises. Today we’re sharing some tips to storm-proofing your hotel in advance of winter storm season.
- Landscaping. Clear your property of dead or dying trees, and make sure that those you intend to keep are properly cared for - pruned and stabilized ahead of coming heavy weather.
- Clutter. It’s bad business to have clutter around your hotel, anyway, even if it is in the areas where guests will never go. Items left lying about become flying objects when a storm hits, and that can cause dangerous situations to both your guests and your staff.
- Storm shutters. You may want to consider installing storm windows and shutters in your hotel, just to be safe. There are many options on the market, from roll-down steel shutters to see-through polycarbonate.
- Structural upgrades. For areas that are experiencing heavier snowfall than in the past, your buildings may need upgrades to handle the added weight to minimize the risk of roof collapse.
- Lightning rods. Installing lightning rods on your roof will help to prevent lightning strikes that can cause power surges and outages, which will in turn damage electronic devices in your hotel. Using grounded outlets and surge protectors will also help to prevent outages. Professionals can be consulted to determine how many rods you may need.
- Decking. Decking, balconies, and patios need to be built from durable materials and managed properly.
- Moisture control. Keep moisture out, if at all possible. Make sure caulking is done regularly and that doors and windows that need attention get it right away. Any water that penetrates your hotel interior is going to create conditions that are just right for mold and mildew to establish themselves. That’s bad for business. Regular coats of paint or stain will help to maintain a barrier to moisture.
Storms can occur at any time, no matter the time of year. Advance preparation and effective storm-proofing of your hotel will go a long way towards preventing and minimizing damage to your business. Don’t hesitate to call us here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville for assistance. We are here for you!
Where To Check For Water Damage In Your Restaurant
Damp areas are an attractive spot for a mold colony to grow, and that’s something no one wants, or needs, to see. Regular inspections of areas in your restaurant allow you to take care of issues before they can become serious.
Here are the top three areas to check regularly for water damage:
- The staff bathroom. Water is the name of the game when it comes to the bath area. Most commercial staff bathrooms are cleaned thoroughly several times a week, and these times are great for checking for leaks and damp areas. Look in the least traveled spots, such as corners of any closets, behind the toilet, under the sink. If there are any leaks in these places, they can be a danger until they are fully dry. You can invest in a dehumidifier for bathroom areas that seem to be more humid than normal.
- The main kitchen. This area of the business sees some pretty heavy-duty usage on a daily basis. Keep an eye out for spills and leaks and clean them up immediately to ensure that they are not attracting mold spores, which are always in our air and cannot be removed. The spaces under and around the coolers and freezers are places that can be damaged by water without you noticing, so get out your flashlight and make sure you see every corner clearly.
- The dishwashing area. This area, since it often has large appliances, also has nooks and crannies that need to be checked closely. A leak behind an automatic dishwasher or under a commercial sink can create huge issues down the road. Add that to the humidity in the air and possible unseen leaks or drips, and you have a recipe for the establishment of a mold colony. Have the machinery pulled out from the wall regularly, and make sure the areas behind them are clean, dry, and disinfected.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is always here to help you with any issues related to water damage in your home or business. Large-scale cleanups after flooding and fire are our specialties, and we are mold remediation experts, too.
Six Steps To Take When A Pipe Bursts In Your High-Rise Tower
If a pipe bursts in your high-rise, there will be a lot to consider. You will need to handle the issue quickly and safely so that your occupants don’t get injured and you don’t lose property or business due to downtime. A burst pipe in your high-rise can cause some serious water damage, so taking the appropriate steps will be vital to making sure your investment is protected.
- Step One. Call the professionals. They will arrive right away to assess the damage and to check the parts of the structure that have been affected to make sure the premises are safe.
- Step Two. While you are waiting for the professionals to arrive, turn off any water that is going to the affected area. Open faucets that are below the pipe burst so that pressure can be alleviated; this will help to prevent further issues.
- Step Three. Clean up of any standing water can be done safely, as long as it is not “black water” (sewer water). Standing water can lead to mold damage and continued damage to flooring and walls. Mops and buckets can be used to safely remove most of the excess. The goal here will be to prevent the spread of water and even more damage.
- Step Four. Open all doors and windows to begin the drying process by circulating airflow. Once the professionals arrive with their industrial-grade equipment, they will be able to complete the process.
- Step Five. Ensure that electricity is turned off in the affected areas to prevent shocking anyone. Water can easily run into electrical circuits.
- Step Six. Contact your insurance company to let them know what has happened, and make sure to take pictures of the damage as soon as you can after the event. Your professional water damage remediation company will work with your insurance company to make sure that everything goes smoothly and that you and the tenants of your high-rise tower can get back to work as soon as possible.
The SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville team is here to help you if you experience water damage to your high-rise tower. We are water and fire damage cleanup specialists, and we have the tools and experience necessary to deal with mold and mildew.
Restoring Your Store After Flooding Occurs
When you experience flooding in your retail or “big box” store, you will want to start cleanup right away. You will be vulnerable to some pretty big risks after an event of this kind, and those risks may include possible mold damage, structural damage, or contaminated water, just to name a few. You also need to know that insurance won’t cover some issues if they could have been prevented by taking proper steps. Calling professionals in to help will be a wise choice if you experience flooding in your store so that immediate and proper action can be taken to avoid further, preventable damage. You will be able to get back to normal operations sooner, too.
Minor leaks and common situations such as overflowing toilets can often seem like no big deal; grab a mop, get it cleaned up, and get back to work, right? But anything more than several square feet of soaked flooring actually needs professional drying, cleaning, and sanitizing! Water can quickly seep into sub-flooring and will make its way up into walls, soaking in and causing structural issues. It can linger for days, and even longer, leading to mold and mildew problems and destruction of drywall, warping of any wood, and other problems.
It is estimated that upwards of 30 percent of all property insurance claims are going to be for water damage restoration, which includes inventory losses, as well as losses of equipment, furnishings, and store fixtures. It is vital to your business that you employ the services of a professional company that can come in right away to start the drying process.
Also, keep in mind that, even while you may be tempted to rush into the flooded area to move stock and other valuables away from the water, safety comes first. Ensure that any electricity is turned off so that no one is put at risk of injury from electrocution.
If your store is affected by a flooding situation, call us here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville right away so that we can get you back to normal as soon as possible. We are fire and water damage cleanup experts, and we specialize in mold remediation, too.
Cleaning Up After A Restaurant Kitchen Fire
Restaurant fires can be disastrous but damage can be minimized if you stay prepared.
A restaurant kitchen fire creates a different set of issues than a fire in a home kitchen. The main issue is going to be that damage of this kind will mean the restaurant has to be closed until everything is back to normal. It will be unusual for a restaurant to continue a partial operation, since codes and regulations that address food preparation, storage, and serving are very strict, and rightly so. Therefore, the damage that a restaurant kitchen fire causes will have to be remediated immediately so that the business owner doesn’t lose too much time or money.
The restoration process will return the restaurant to its pre-fire condition and is done by first performing a complete assessment and inspection of the structure to determine the extent of the damage and what will need to be repaired or replaced. These repairs may even include the dining areas, depending on where the fire traveled.
Fire damage will require a lot of cleaning to deal with soot, ash, and removing smoke odor. Specialized chemicals may have to be used for counters, kitchen ranges and exhaust hoods, shelving, walls and ceilings, doors, and all appliances, since soot and smoke often create toxic fumes that are hazardous to inhale. Smoke odor may not even be fully removable in some cases, and that will mean surfaces have to be cleaned thoroughly and then repainted and resealed to eliminate the issue.
The kitchen equipment can possibly be repaired after fire damage, but in many cases, it probably can be replaced. The replacement costs may be less than the cost to repair and more convenient in the long run. Repaired units have to be tested and approved before being put back into service, and that can take more time than a restaurant owner wants to invest.
Cooperation with local fire and health officials throughout the restoration process will help to facilitate the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, and this means that the restaurant can be reopened for business.
Cleaning up after a kitchen fire in your restaurant will be time-consuming and costly. Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we are ready to help with this kind of damage. You can also call us for water damage cleanup or if you have developed an issue with mold or mildew.
What To Do If You Have Water Damage To Your Apartment
Pipe bursts and washing machine mishaps can happen. Stay on top of the situation by following these tips from SERVPRO.
When a pipe bursts or your washing machine breaks, damage from all that water can be difficult to handle. Dealing with water damage is time-consuming, expensive, and isn’t always covered by renter’s insurance; depending on the size of the event, restoration can cost between $1000 to $10,000.
When facing these kinds of potential costs, a renter may want to consider handling some of the repairs themselves to cut down on out-of-pocket costs, but this may not be the wisest thing to do if they are not handy. Today, we’ll share some tips to help you decide if you need the assistance of a professional or if you can do it yourself.
Evaluation. This step is the most important since it determines all your actions going forward. Some important factors are going to be:
- The amount of damage. A moderate amount of water in your apartment should be manageable, as long as you have the tools you need. Significant flooding or continually rising waters will be a different story, though, and you should call for help immediately in these instances. If your area has been affected by a natural disaster, that is not going to be the right time to take on a DIY project, either. Use the skills of professionals here and be sure to follow all instructions from your local disaster relief organizations.
- Consider the source. Figuring out where the water is coming from will be an important next step because it will help you to know what type of water you may be dealing with. Safety is always a concern when it comes to handling water that may be contaminated in some way, and in these cases, calling the professionals will be the right choice.
- Clean water is not a problem. It may come from rain or leaky pipes with no bacteria growing in it. This kind of water can be cleaned up with little to no professional help, depending on the amount.
- Gray water comes from your dishwasher or washing machine and can be slightly contaminated. It can also be safe to clean this type of water up by yourself, but be sure to use proper safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and other safety gear.
- The last kind of water is black water. It can come from sewers or through flooding from a body of water nearby. Never try to clean up this type of water on your own, as it can contain many kinds of highly infectious organisms and other potential health hazards.
If you aren’t sure what kind of water you are facing, call in the professionals for help.
The level of damage your apartment has experienced is also something to consider. Light damage can be handled by the resident, but significant damage can make your residence unsafe. In the case of safety, it’s always best to call in a water damage specialist.
The team here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is ready to help you with all of your water damage issues, as well as damage from fire. We are mold remediation specialists, too!
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOUR CONDOMINIUM SPRINKLER SYSTEM GOES OFF
The overhead sprinkler system in your condominium complex is there to keep everyone safe from possible fire damage, and there’s no question that everyone is glad it’s there.
However, when it does go off, there is always a mess to clean up. As a smart property owner, you know that it is important to handle any sort of water issues immediately so that you can avoid the costly problems that can arise from damp property, such as mold and mildew. Keep in mind that any intense heat will cause your sprinklers to discharge, and the sprinkler heads contain a temperature-sensitive mechanism that can only be activated when the temperature at the sprinkler head exceeds the allowable range. There is always the possibility that the sprinkler system will be triggered by high heat itself, in addition to an actual fire. You will also want to make sure that residents know never to hang items from the sprinkler heads, as this can damage them, as well as cause them to go off unexpectedly.
Here are a few cleanup tips to consider when cleaning up after your overhead sprinkler system goes off:
- Prompt professional assistance following a sprinkler discharge could be vital in saving your property and your residents’ belongings from permanent damage. Your actions in the first 24-48 hours can save you significant time and money and eliminate subsequent mold growth.
- Professional followup will also be a big help when it comes to odors, and they can evaluate the water damage and potential for mold growth in hidden areas as well as ensure that any affected building materials are dry prior to work area rebuilding.
- We recommend that you hire an independent water damage and mold remediation expert to represent you during planning, response, and closeout, and work together with their insurance carrier.
- Water within the sprinkler system is stagnant and non-potable, and the water picks up and absorbs oils and other contaminants within the piping, resulting in discoloration and odors from its sedimentary state. Cleanup actions typically not only involve moisture remediation but also involve surface cleaning from stains as well as additional measures to alleviate odors.
- Prompt action for cleaning is essential when it comes to fabric and textile items that have been affected to minimize permanent staining and damage.
If your condominium complex has been affected by water damage, whether from an overhead sprinkler system, flooding, or leaks both large and small, here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we are ready to help right away.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR HOTEL FLOODS
No business owner ever wants to experience any type of flooding; floods are messy, expensive, and time-consuming. Floods can also be dangerous, especially to someone whose business is in serving people, such as the owner of a hotel. Whether flooding comes from a pipe or equipment malfunction or from bad weather, there will be many issues to be handled, and we know you want to be prepared. So today we are sharing a few things to think about if your hotel experiences flooding:
Your guests. The safety and well-being of your guests, both those who are already staying with you and those you are expecting, is going to be at the top of any list. If the flooding is merely an inconvenience, take steps to ensure that your guests are moved to unaffected accommodations within your establishment, or partner with a friendly area hotel to make sure their needs are met. If the flooding is significant, you will want to make sure that everyone is out of harm’s way, first and foremost. Once you have determined that the flooding will not affect anyone’s physical well-being, you can take steps to handle the belongings that your guests may have had to leave behind.
Your premises. Call in professionals if necessary to get you back up and running, ready to do business. Any time spent on cleanup is going to be time you are not spending working your enterprise, so think carefully about that before you try to do it yourself, with the intent of saving money. You might not actually save money that way!
Your future business. News will get out, so you will want to handle that right away. If the flooding was due to equipment failure, make sure you take the necessary steps to bring your property up to the highest possible standards and advertise that fact. Flooding may have occurred due to bad weather, so you will want to do whatever you can to assure potential future guests that they will be safe from the same type of experience going forward. Improvements should be placed front and center on your social media and website so that people know you have done all that is necessary to ensure a wonderful stay at your hotel in the future.
If you experience water damage from flooding or damage from fire or mold at your Nashville hotel, you can call us here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville any time, and we will be there to help you right away. We care about you and your business.
FINDING WATER DAMAGE IN YOUR COMMERCIAL KITCHEN
Your commercial kitchen is a place where water damage and subsequent mold growth and equipment failure will be a concern. Since you and your cuisine staff spend many hours in your kitchen, it’s important to make sure that this area is free from flooding and leaks.
During the closing process, part of your kitchen staff’s job should always be to check for problems and let you know right away if they find any so they can be addressed. Whether it’s a bathroom, a sink water line, or a line that connects to your cooler/freezer area, your staff will be the first ones to notice water stains, a sure sign that a problem is developing. A quick response is always best when it comes to water damage since it can lead to some pretty tough issues if it’s not taken care of right away.
You can follow these tips to help you keep on top of any damage to your commercial kitchen:
- Check your dishwashing area for damage regularly. This area gets a lot of hard use every single day, and it’s important to assess your dishwasher space perhaps even more often than you inspect the other areas of your kitchen workplace. You’ll want to make sure your dishwashing equipment isn’t leaking water, which can create problems with your interior flooring, walls, and the valuable tools of your trade.
- Make sure your water heater is working properly. If your water heater isn’t functioning properly or if it has seen better days, have it checked by a professional and perhaps replace it. A malfunctioning water heater can flood your business and cause major property damage.
- Keep an eye on water lines to the sinks and coolers/freezers by inspecting them on a regular basis, looking for telltale drips, puddles, and hard water deposits. Some leaks are so small that they can be overlooked, and a mold colony could find it first. That’s not a situation you want to find yourself in when you own a commercial kitchen.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we are experienced and always ready to help with cleanup after water and fire damage and are experts in the area of mold remediation. If you happen to find water damage in your commercial kitchen, we can be there right away to help you restore your business to its best.
HOW TO REMOVE ODORS THAT ARE PERMEATING YOUR ENTIRE OFFICE
Stubborn, foul-smelling odors often remain in hard to reach or clean places in the office, no matter how hard we try. It may take an experienced and well-equipped professional to deal with the stubborn smells emanating from your office refrigerator when it has housed expired food. When odors permeate your entire office, they make the workday unpleasant for everyone, so today we’re sharing some tips that will help you remove them:
Clear the Air. Allow a stream of fresh air to flow through your enclosed spaces to get rid of bad smells. To do this, the location of your office windows will have to be near areas that offer fresh air, for example, away from dumpsters. High-rise office building windows rarely open, so any fresh air may need to be pumped in through your HVAC system.
- Open a window to allow fresh air to clear the room, lower the temperature, and reduce the humidity.
- Implement HEPA filtered HVAC filters and air purifiers in kitchens, restrooms, and offices as needed.
- Keep garbage and other trash receptacles away from the building, especially windows and doors.
Kitchen Odors. Kitchen odors often start on the inside of microwaves, refrigerators, trash cans and garbage disposals, so keep these tools clean by attending to them regularly. While your cleaning crew will typically remove your trash nightly--scrubbing out the inside of a garbage can, refrigerator, garbage disposal or microwave is generally considered a special service, carrying an additional fee. Surprisingly, there are some natural products you may find around your office kitchen that you can use to absorb or completely remove those stubborn smells, including:
- Fresh coffee grounds or baking soda
- White Vinegar
Some tips for use:
- For refrigerators, place an open box of baking soda or an open can of fresh coffee beans towards the back to absorb smells.
- For garbage disposals, freeze some white vinegar in ice trays and empty them into the garbage disposal, running it until the ice is gone. Repeat as necessary. You can also use fresh lemon or orange peels in place of the vinegar.
- White vinegar also works well with smelly trash cans. Just add some to a spray bottle, spray down the inside and outside of the can, and allow it to soak for about 5-10 minutes before wiping it down with a microfiber cloth.
- For microwaves that have food splattered and caked along the inside, mix two parts white vinegar and one part water in a dish. Place the dish in the microwave and turn it on for a few minutes. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the inside, repeating as necessary.
- If your office break room has a dishwasher, chances are the inside is never cleaned. Two cups of white vinegar in an empty dishwasher on a full cycle should do the trick.
- Additionally, old carpet and furniture absorb large quantities of dust and different smells over the years, and you may be better off by just removing and replacing them. If you would prefer to keep them, make sure to use green cleaning and extraction tools to avoid adding to the air pollution.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we’re experts on odors. If you need help with unpleasant smells in your home or office, we’ve got the skills and experience to take care of that for you. Give us a call at (615) 442-7768 today!