Keeping Mold Out of Your Office Building
Whether you live and work in a humid climate, or just in a space that tends to be humid, such as those in older buildings, you or your staff may be experiencing problems from mold and/or mildew or dust mites. Limited ventilation in places such as basement office spaces, or small kitchens/break areas and bathrooms, can cause moisture to build up, even in the driest of climates. It will only take 24-48 hours for a mold colony to begin growing once the airborne spores discover an environment they find attractive.
Using a dehumidifier is one of the best ways you can protect your business from a mold growth invasion. Using a dehumidifier will:
- Reduce humidity levels, making your building less inviting to allergens, particularly mold spores.
- Reduce the possibility that mold will develop on furniture, clothing, and other materials.
- Help to reduce the unpleasant odors that accompany mold and mildew.
- Allow you to breathe easier by reducing irritation to your skin and respiratory system.
- Reduce dust, so you won’t be cleaning and dusting as much.
- Provides a less humid environment for your office and staff, keeping electronics and tools free from rust and corrosion.
- Lower energy costs, helping your HVAC to run more efficiently. When the air in the home is humid, the A/C must work doubly hard by cooling the air AND removing the moisture. Your unit will wear out sooner under that stress.
- Run quietly and efficiently in the background of daily life. You won’t even notice them.
Another way to protect your commercial investment is to have routine cleaning done in all areas where water is prevalent, and keeping these areas dry daily will be helpful here, as well.
The team of SERVPRO of Belle Meade West Nashville is always available to help with your clean up issues in your home or office. Fire damage, water damage, and mold prevention are just some of our areas of expertise.
What to Do if Your Condominium Complex Sprinkler System Goes Off
The sprinkler system in your condominium complex is made to go off when it senses extreme heat (174 degrees Fahrenheit or above). The heads contain a temperature-sensitive mechanism that can only be activated when the temperature at the sprinkler head exceeds the allowable range, and they operate independently, with those directly exposed being set off. Most fires are extinguished, or controlled, by three sprinklers or less, but the damage from just one sprinkler head can be significant: a sprinkler head can release from 15 to 40 gallons of water per minute and can fill an entire bathtub in under two minutes!
Prompt and professional decision-making following a sprinkler discharge in your condominium complex is going to be essential; the actions you take in the first 24-48 hours will save you significant time and money in minimizing the water damage and help to eliminate the possibility of a mold colony getting started on your property. If your tenants complain of odors or signs of mold, respond immediately, and use professional help for mold remediation, should it become an issue.
The water in a sprinkler system is stagnant and non-potable and has absorbed oils and other contaminants within the piping, so cleanup actions will involve surface cleaning from stains, and elimination of odors, in addition to water damage restoration and moisture remediation measures. Where fabric and textiles are affected, prompt action must also be taken to avoid permanent staining and to preserve these articles.
The hard, non-porous surfaces in the condominium units, such as plastics, vinyl, ceramic tile, etc. will need to be done with a mild detergent followed by complete drying. Employ dehumidifiers for wet areas and during wetter seasons, as well, for comprehensive and complete drying.
The professionals of SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville will arrive equipped with specialized instrumentation to facilitate comprehensive project investigation, design and implementation, and will complete your damage recovery in a timely and excellent manner. We are experts in water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial restoration, and much more!
Residential Lightning Damage
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville, we handle fire damages caused by lightning strike roughly twice yearly on average, and 2018 was no exception. This past June, we began the work necessary to complete fire damage remediation on a local residence caused by lightning; the owner was at home and caught it quickly, so the fire itself was contained right away, but the smoke from that fire did a lot more damage than the actual flames itself, so there was still much to be done.
When the lightning hit the residence, it traveled through the electrical lines to one of the home’s electrical boxes, which then caught fire. The foyer of the home, a large entryway with a high vaulted ceiling, sustained the greatest damage, mainly where walls and ceiling met. Standing inside this area, sunlight could be seen coming in through the hole made in the roof by the fire. The home’s bonus room also experienced some damages, and the SERVPRO mitigation team went in with chem-sponge that was used to clean soot off of the walls, and they then worked from the bonus room area where the greatest damage was, moving back to other spaces further away until no soot particles were found. In doing this, SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville ensured that no fire damage or smoke damage went untreated. The affected walls in all of the damaged rooms were painted after the cleanup was completed, with drywall replaced where necessary.
It was also found that the garage door opener had shorted out during the event, so this was replaced, as well as the electrical box that caught on fire, with a complete replacement of the melted wiring to that unit.
Our professional in-house crew used a white-glove treatment on this residence and completed the entire project quickly; from the first contact to completion, the restoration project took a little over two weeks.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville, we are proud to serve the residents of West Nashville, especially when the worst happens. In the event of fire damage or water damages large or small, we’re here to help. And don’t forget - we’re also mold remediation experts! Call us today.
Storm Damage Prevention Advice for Your Tenants
Winter storms can appear on the horizon quickly and can surprise you with the damage they can cause. Snow, ice, and sleet accumulations can be devastating to a home or commercial building, causing damages that can take a significant amount of time and expense to repair. Here are several steps you can share with your tenants that will help prepare them for inclement weather events and possible flooding; preventive measures will reduce the amount of damage sustained by your property holdings and the time it can take to get life back to normal.
- REPORTING ISSUES. Make sure your tenants know who to call when they notice issues with exterior windows and doors. When windows are not sealed properly or broken, upcoming bad weather will be a real concern. Exterior doors need to be fitted properly, and if there is a large amount of swelling during wet conditions, advise your tenants to let you know immediately to avoid issues when they try to enter their homes.
- BE PREPARED. In the event that weather forces people to stay indoors for long periods of time, they will want to be prepared with food and other necessities. Candles and flashlights, for example, should be supplied to the household in case of power outages, while a source of clean drinking water should be at hand. Advise your tenants to think and plan ahead.
- COMMUNITY ALERTS. Your tenants can sign up for community alerts and weather warnings online. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and www.ready.gov are two sources they can turn to for alerts and information.
- CAR EMERGENCY KIT. Let your tenants know that an emergency kit for their car would be a great idea! Jumper cables, sand, flashlight, extra warm clothing, blankets, and bottled water are a few must-haves, and they will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your notifications.
- MAINTAIN PIPES. Make sure your tenants know ahead of time if there is to be a freeze; instruct them on how to keep their pipes from bursting by allowing a small amount of water to drip through the night and the times of extreme cold in order to prevent possible water damage.
- RESPONSE PLAN: Advise your tenants to have a plan ready for loved ones in the event of bad weather. In the event of flooding, make sure you have a system in place to communicate to everyone so that they know whether to travel or not. No one should brave driving through flood waters! Listening to weather updates is a good idea, and you’ll want to make sure you keep an emergency preparedness kit on site.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade West Nashville is always ready to help if your commercial property sustains damages from storms, water, or fire.
HVAC Maintenance in Your Apartment Complex
For the care of your HVAC systems in your apartment complex or commercial buildings, engaging a professional HVAC company to do maintenance on your system at regular intervals throughout the year will ensure that the heating and cooling of your property is running as efficiently as possible. Inspection and cleaning of the wiring and mechanisms of all your HVAC units will be completed, which requires the kind of training these professionals have. The experience and expertise of such a company are invaluable to any business owner since the comfort of all interiors and the energy efficiency of the buildings themselves are important to everyone: residents, tenants, and owner.
Here are some things you can do yourself as an apartment complex or commercial business owner both monthly and seasonally to maintain and prolong the life and efficiency of all your units and systems in between professional maintenance visits:
- Use pleated, high-efficiency filters: These types of filters have an electrostatic charge that works like a magnet to attract particles, including those that carry bacteria.
- Keep HVAC units free of grass, leaves, and pollen; make sure your landscaping company doesn’t allow grass to shower on top of any exterior units on the grounds.
- Clear two feet of space around all outdoor heating and cooling units.
- Inspect refrigerant lines each month.
- Replace air filter at least every 90 days.
- In summer, turn off the water to the furnace humidifier.
- In fall, replace the humidifier filter and turn on the water.
- Replace your carbon monoxide detector battery.
- Ensure outdoor AC unit is on firm and level ground.
- Clean AC condensate drain with bleach/water mixture.
Have your professional maintenance company check all your apartment complex ductwork to make sure it is all sealed properly during scheduled tune-ups on your HVAC systems. For more energy savings, pre-program the thermostats in your onsite offices.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade West Nashville, we care about you and your business. When it comes to maintaining the HVAC systems in your apartment complex or commercial buildings, we are here to help.
What is a Large Loss Response Team, and How Can We Help You?
When disasters strike, the people affected need to know that there is someone who can help with large-scale damages and destruction. A Large Loss Response Team (LLRT) is a company that is skilled and equipped to handle these types of events. The best of the best will be pre-qualified in restoration in this area so that those who are suffering don’t need to be concerned about the quality of service rendered, and each project will be supervised by a commercial operations manager who ensures that communications are seamless and mitigation is done in a timely and professional manner.
Clients who call on an LLRT can include: universities, municipalities, the hospitality industry, government offices, and apartment and commercial building owners, to name a few. Here are some ways an LLRT can help in the event of a disaster:
- Creating a custom recovery plan based on specific needs.
- Establishing a pre-approved pricing schedule before work begins.
- Assigning an account manager to act as a liaison for the entire process, from start to finish.
- Providing the necessary manpower and equipment that can handle the loss, no matter how large.
- Providing water, power, and sanitation services during disruptions.
Over 1,700 SERVPRO Large Loss Response Teams are strategically located around the nation, and have been mobilized to handle events such as the 2017 California wildfires, Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Matthew, and the 2015 Carolina flooding, among many others in recent years, and SERVPRO of Belle Meade West Nashville is proud and honored to have been recently designated as one of these teams!
Companies are awarded this distinction on past performances and experiences, financial stability, and certifications achieved, and because our team at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville is committed to producing quality work and service and committed to doing so as a solidly profitable and fiscally responsible business endeavor, we are very excited and proud to be able to say that we have achieved this designation - one of our biggest goals.
Our commitment to excellence has earned our franchise a highly respected reputation as being the company to call when a business has sustained serious commercial fire damage, commercial water damage, mold growth, or any other commercial disaster.
Preventing Mold Growth in Your Apartment Buildings
Mold can take hold in 24-48 hours if the conditions are right. Once it begins a colony, it is impossible to remove completely, and the best you can hope for is remediation. As an apartment building owner, you are responsible for a lot of people and a lot of living spaces. A mold infestation is one of those things you really don’t ever want to see. Here are a few ways you can stay on top of it:
- Educate your tenants. When a new tenant signs their lease, provide them with literature about mold and how it starts. Make sure the information is written in such a way that anyone can understand it, and make sure all their questions are answered sufficiently. Post this information in all public spaces, especially laundry and pool areas. You can include this information again in monthly emails to all tenants, and post it on your website.
- Schedule inspections. Schedule mold inspections; they can correspond with pest control to make sure your tenants aren’t overly inconvenienced. Engage a professional to check the places where mold is most often found. A person or company with mold remediation experience will know what to look for and what information to provide you with when it comes to problem areas or tenants.
- Regular cleaning. Schedule regular deep cleaning of all laundry areas and pool-related spaces such as public bathrooms and showers. If you have a clubhouse, you will want to include it in this schedule as well. Any place where your property experiences a lot of foot traffic and involves water is a prime place for mold to take hold.
- Patio rules. Institute rules for patio, deck, and balcony areas. This is where people have a tendency to store things, and it isn’t going to help you keep an eye on mold if spots such as these are cluttered and inaccessible.
Being proactive will go a long way towards preventing the outbreak of mold in your apartment buildings. If a mold problem begins, don’t hesitate to call us here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville. We are mold remediation experts!
Preventing Storm Damage to Your Office Building
Winter weather brings with it a lot of condensation, whether it be rain, snow, or ice, and all that water can be devastating to a commercial building, causing damage that can take a significant amount of time and expense to repair. There are several steps you can take to prepare your office building for the rainy season and any possible flooding; preventive measures will reduce the amount of flood damage your business sustains and the time it can take to bring your operations back to normal.
- GUTTERS: Well-maintained gutter systems are much better at diverting water to proper drainage areas. If your gutters are clogged with dead leaves and debris, rainwater can overflow and saturate the ground around the foundations causing damage there while backed-up water can spill into wall structures. A regular cleaning schedule for your gutters is a good idea. Remember: it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to begin to establish a colony if damp conditions persist.
- STORM DRAINS: Storm drains need to be maintained properly, as well. These are in place to move excess water away from buildings and parking areas. Your local government is usually responsible for this, but keeping an eye on them around your property will allow you to be able to report a problem right away and to be ready for storm waters.
- RESPONSE PLAN: Have a plan ready for your staff and tenants. In the event of flooding, make sure you have a system in place to communicate with everyone so that employees know whether to come into work or not. No one should brave driving through flood waters! Listening to weather updates is a good idea, and you’ll want to make sure you keep an emergency preparedness kit on site.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville is standing ready to help if your office building sustains storm damage. Responding quickly to any problems your business has sustained can get you back to work right away.
Keeping Your Hotel’s Pipes from Bursting This Winter
Frozen water pipes in your hotel can be a costly and damaging incident that can be prevented with some vigilance and preventative measures. Winter carries the potential to wreak havoc on any building, causing frozen or burst pipes. Here are some tips and popular tricks to keep your water flowing and the pipes in your hotel from bursting.
Everyone understands that when water freezes, it expands. In cases of extreme cold, ice can expand to the point of breaking through or bursting any pipes that have water sitting in them. It’s important to keep pipes warm and to keep the water inside them moving if at all possible when they are exposed to frigid temperatures.
Crawl spaces, attics, garages and other areas that are exposed to the outside temperatures without insulation are the most likely areas where pipe breakage will occur, so for these areas, it will be important to drain the supply lines or remove the hoses that are commonly left in the cold. Swimming pools and water hoses are two obvious places to start. Speak to your plumber or hotel handyman about having insulation or pipe-sleeves added to trouble areas. Keep storage area doors closed if water supply lines are inside.
If you suspect a pipe is frozen but not broken, it is possible to thaw the pipe and resume regular use. An indicator that a pipe is frozen is water trickling from a faucet when it would normally flow fast and free. If you locate a section you believe to be frozen, apply a heating pad or hair dryer while keeping the faucet open for a quick fix. If the water begins to run after some time warming, you have found the area!
Contact a professional to discuss measures to be taken in future that will keep these types of events from occurring again.
Enjoy your holidays, and keep your pipes safe to prevent water damage to your hotel property! If a disaster does occur, SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville is ready to help. We are experts when it comes to cleanup projects both large and small, and mold remediation is one of our specialties.
Preventing Mold Growth in Your Hotel
Mold is unsightly and unhealthy, and a mold issue can cost you valuable hotel business. Today, we are sharing some steps you can take to mold-proof your motel or hotel business so your guests can truly enjoy their stay with you.
- AUDIT PROBLEM AREAS. Do an audit of your business premises to identify the problem areas. Are the windows in some rooms frequently damp? Are there any persistent leaks in ceilings or hallways? Preventing mold from taking hold and spreading can be as simple as ripping up carpet or using mold-resistant cleaning and renovation products, or just cleaning out rain gutters.
- HANDLE MOISTURE. Mold can’t grow without moisture, so take care of wet areas immediately. Seepage after heavy rainfalls or melting snow and ice, or even carpet spills or minor flooding due to broken pipes, etc. need to be fully dried within 24 to 48 hours. Make sure any bedding and furniture that may have been affected are either completely dried or removed from the area.
- VENTILATION. Make sure all your staff members are educated as to good practices in the prevention of mold. All areas need to be properly ventilated, from the kitchen to the on-site laundry, if you have one. Your housekeeping staff needs to be trained to keep a lookout for leaking AC units in guest areas, and everyone should know what to look for in break areas, bathrooms, and other areas where they work daily. Dehumidifiers might be appropriate to use, especially in more humid regions or during very wet seasons in your area to prevent water damage and mold growth.
- LEAK INSPECTIONS. Regular inspection of exterior doors, windows, and roofing can expose any leaks or improper fits right away. Even the smallest leaks can, over time, cause a mold issue that can be difficult to eradicate.
- LIVING THINGS. Do you use live plants in your decorating scheme? We know they are beautiful and useful, too; they help to purify the air of indoor spaces, which is a welcome advantage. However, they can also accumulate mold on their leaves and in their pots. Make sure that part of their regular care involves checking for mold. Natural food stores carry products that can be added to water for your plants to keep excess moisture down while being safe for the environment.
- RESISTING MOLD. When it comes time to repair or renovate, keep in mind that there are many mold-resistant products on the market today, such as drywall or Sheetrock. Many paints now include mold-inhibitors, which are a great asset in the battle. Some cleaning products can be a benefit, as well in preventing mold growth.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville, we are experts when it comes to water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation and are here for all of your emergency service needs.