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Handling Fire Damage to Your Apartment Complex

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

A fire at your apartment complex could be devastating. Your buildings and your tenants, along with their items of value and personal belongings, may have been lost or badly damaged by the flames, heat, smoke, or even received water damage from firefighting efforts. Firefighters may have found it necessary to cut holes in walls to look for hidden flames or in the roof to let out heat and smoke. The clean up after a fire will take a lot of time, patience, and preparation. Below, we are sharing the first steps you will need to take after fire damage to your apartment complex:

  • Insurance Company. You will need to contact your insurance agent before any fire damage is repaired or clean-up is begun. Be prepared with information on what is covered, what needs to be repaired or replaced, and how to find reputable companies that can take care of repairs to your property for you during this time.
  • Important documents. You will want to take steps to find and retrieve all important documents and replace those that have been lost or irretrievably damaged, such as tenant leasing and financial records, equipment and appliance warranties, mortgage and banking information, and tenants’ personal information.  
  • Soot Particles. Try to limit movement in the units to prevent soot particles from becoming embedded in the upholstery of all furniture and carpeting. Direct your tenants to place towels or old linens on rugs, upholstered furniture, and foot traffic areas to help alleviate this type of damage.  
  • Equipment and Appliances. Changing the HVAC filters in your apartment complex after a fire is a good idea, and if the power is out, let your tenants know that they will need to empty freezers and fridges and prop the doors open to get rid of the smoke. Check the wiring for ceiling fans before anyone turns them on as the wiring could have been damaged during the fire.
  • Fire Damage Specialists. You won’t want walls to be washed or surfaces painted without contacting a fire damage specialist. Walls and other surfaces, as well as carpeting and draperies, will need to be properly cleaned by a professional before any repair is done.

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville, we are ready to help you in the event of fire damage to your home or business. We are also experienced in the areas of water damage and mold prevention and remediation.

Tips to Prevent Winter Water Damage in Your Apartment Complex

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

The steady rains of winter or snow and ice can present problems in the form of water damage. Take a good look around your apartment complex; is the weather-stripping on doors and windows in good repair for damp conditions? Do exterior doors fit tightly and close as they should? The roofs of your complex need to be completely watertight, as well, to protect your tenants and their personal property from winter water damages.

The parking lots of your property need to have a well-planned drainage system so that tenants and visitors can get to and from their vehicles safely. If people have to wade into their homes, the floors will suffer, and a slip-and-fall accident due to wet floors can be a disaster for everyone, as well as increasing the risk for mold indoors from water damage. Make sure you keep an eye on potholes, as well; ice and water can dig pretty deep in a very short period of time!

Rain gutters and spouts need to be checked periodically; if a rain gutter becomes clogged with debris such as dead leaves or small branches, they aren’t going to be able to drain away rainwater. As water backs up, it will leak back into the walls of your building, sometimes without anyone knowing it, and you can find yourself with a damaged apartment unit and a mold problem.

Large trees on your property can become unstable if a large amount of water lands in the area. Do you need to take them out or cut them back so that they are not a risk factor? It’s something to consider.

Power lines and telephone poles on or near your apartment complex can be a possible issue. Contact your utility companies and have them come to take a look prior to wet weather to make sure you, your business, and your tenants will be safe.

For your records, take pictures of your property premises so that in case of damage you have proof of their prior condition for insurance purposes. Save these types of photos to a CD and/or the cloud for future access.

The paper records for your complex will be lost if exposed to water; make sure that your hard copies are kept in a manner that will preserve them in case of any water damage. Scanning them and saving to your computer system is always a good idea, and backing up those computer records will keep your business in working order, no matter what comes!

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville,  we are experts when it comes to water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, and all of your emergency service needs! Contact us right away if your business has received water damage of any kind.

Minimizing Storm Damage at Your Office

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Storms can become a problem with little warning. Watching the news can keep you informed beforehand, but bad weather is still unpredictable, so you need to take steps to keep your office safe from the damages that storms can cause.

Conducting an inspection of the premises of your business is vital to complete before inclement weather hits. A leaky roof or windows can cause problems during extreme conditions such as heavy rains and high winds. Do all your exterior doors and windows fit correctly, and is the weather stripping in these areas in good condition? Make an inspection of your roof to see if it is storm ready. A professional can complete this on a schedule throughout the year to save you time away from your business.

Loose shutters and rain gutters can present a real problem in high winds, as can unstable large trees. It’s a good idea to trim back trees and bushes with large heavy branches that are not in good condition so that the windows of your office and the vehicles parked there are not in danger of storm damage in high winds.

Many offices and businesses in older cities have drainage ditches at the front of the property. Take time to inspect this area and remove debris or dirt that might obstruct the flow of water from a heavy rain. A clogged drainage ditch can cause a lot of damage by backing up and flooding your property both during or after a storm. While this is often the responsibility of your local government, it is a good idea to be aware of any potential issues.

Make sure you have resources and instructions available for your staff in the event of violent weather. Most of us use our cell phones to communicate these days, but your cell phone service could be at risk when rough conditions hit. You might consider installing a landline in your office, just in case. If you or a family member gets stuck or injured at work or out doing errands, it will be vital that lines of communication stay open.

The team at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville is experienced and well-equipped to assist you in the event of storm damage, fire damage, or mold issues in your place of business.

Winter Fire Hazards to be Aware of For Your Business

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

With the changing of the seasons comes cooler weather, and for most of us, it is a welcome change. Who doesn’t love snuggling up before a warm fire at this time of year? We’ve pulled out the sweaters and fluffy blankets to stay toasty, and most of us will employ a space heater or two before spring comes around again.

In your place of business, you will be taking those extra steps to make sure your staff is comfortable during the colder months, as well. Let’s make sure they stay fire safe! Here are some winter fire hazards to be aware of:

  • Most businesses won’t be using a fireplace to warm their interiors, but those who work out of doors may build fires on the job site to keep hands and toes functional. Make sure your crew is careful to use metal receptacles for those bonfires and that they place them far away from flammable materials such as wood and linens. If a wind comes up, things could get dangerous fast.
  • In your offices, the use of space heaters will be helpful. Inspect every unit used to make sure that cords and plugs are in good working condition, and enforce a policy that ensures they are never left running when the room is unoccupied or when the workday is over. Designate someone to oversee this; they should be the person who is normally last out the door. As the owner, it may very well be you.
  • Employ a landscape company to remove leaves and dead vegetation from your property. In the event of a fire in your building, space that is cleared from the foundation and exterior walls will help firefighters to gain access as well as prevent a fire from spreading further.
  • When repairing or renovating your offices or outbuildings, use fire-resistant materials whenever possible. Flooring, furniture, and paint can all be produced or treated after purchase to make them more fire safe.

The team here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville is always available to help you keep your business fire safe. In the event of damages sustained from fire or water, we have the experience and know how to complete a cleanup project quickly and efficiently, getting you back to work as soon as possible.

Having a Storm Plan for Your Condominium Complex

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damages can happen any time of year, but during the colder months, they are even more likely to be a problem. Winter brings rain, snow, and 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 West Nashville condominium complex for the coming storm season to best prepare for possible storm damage and the accompanying water damage; preventive measures will reduce the amount of 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 to prevent water damage to your condominium roofs. If the gutters in your condominium complex 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 just good business sense.
  • 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.
  • LANDSCAPING. Take the necessary steps now to trim back or remove all trees or large vegetation, paying special attention to anything that could become dangerous during violent weather such as a blizzard or ice storm.
  • RESPONSE PLAN: Have a plan ready for your staff. In the event of flooding, make sure you have a system in place to communicate to everyone so that they 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 condominium complex sustains storm damage. Having a strong storm plan can get you back to business right away.

Maintaining the HVAC System in Your Highrise

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

As the owner of a highrise building, maintenance is something you are always concerned about. Every living or office unit needs to be cared for properly so that your tenants are content with their arrangements. High lease turnover is not an attractive prospect for any commercial building owner.

One of the most important aspects of your highrise is going to be the interior environmental climate you provide for your tenants, so HVAC maintenance is going to be high on your list of projects to complete thoroughly and regularly!

Depending on your total square footage, you might want to consider setting up a contract with a professional HVAC company. A business that handles large-scale maintenance of this kind will have a predetermined schedule that will include tune-ups, clean-and-checks, and other services whose purpose will be to keep your HVAC system and units performing at their best.

Changing filters and humidifier pads on a regular basis will go a long way to prolong the life of your system, and your HVAC company will include that in your contract. One less thing to worry about.

When it comes to natural gas heaters, a professional can handle these easily and safely, alleviating the stress that can be a part of this particular maintenance. Your HVAC company will be able to test to see if carbon monoxide is being released into spaces in your building due to gas not burning completely; this is a project that would be difficult for someone not familiar with this area. With the right equipment, they can determine oxygen levels as well as carbon monoxide levels and flue temperature, allowing your furnaces to be adjusted for optimum performance.

You will want to calculate cost and benefits before you engage a professional on a maintenance contract. Some companies will promise priority service and reduced rates for service calls to customers who have maintenance contracts, and then there’s the peace of mind you will have from knowing there is an experienced eye doing regular inspections, alleviating any guesswork.

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville, we know HVAC systems inside and out, and we have the experience necessary to keep your highrise system at top functionality.

First Steps in Dealing With a Kitchen Fire in Your Restaurant

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires can happen fast with very little warning. If one starts in your restaurant, you will need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control and causing fire damage and smoke damage to your property. Here are a few tips on the first steps to take in dealing with a restaurant kitchen fire:

  • If the fire is in an oven, close the door immediately and turn off the oven, leaving the door closed. Lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.
  • If the oven continues to smoke and you think the fire may still be going, call the fire department right away.
  • When it is a fire in a cooking pan or pot, use your oven mitt to put the lid on right away and move it off the burner and away from the source of heat. Turn off the stove and wait for the lack of oxygen to stop the flames inside your pot.
  • If you are not able to safely put the lid on the flaming pan, or if there is no lid readily available, use a fire extinguisher. Remember to always aim at the base of the fire, not the flames themselves.
  • Never use water to put out a grease fire. Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Try one of these alternative methods:
    • If the fire is small, put on the lid and turn off the burner.
    • Throw a healthy amount of baking soda on it. Do not use flour. Flour can explode or make the fire even worse.
    • Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large, wet cloth by laying the wet cloth on the fire itself. Swatting the flames with a towel or other material, however, may fan the flames and spread the fire.
    • Use a fire extinguisher. Every restaurant kitchen should have several fire extinguishers on hand for quick and easy access in case of fire damage.
    • If the fire is spreading and you don’t have control, get every person out of the premises and call 911 immediately.

For cleanup after any type of fire, the team at  SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville is always ready to help. We are experts in cleanups of all sizes, and mold remediation is our specialty.

What to Do if Your Hotel Floods

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding is a common occurrence in many parts of the country, and we are certainly no strangers to it here in Nashville. Whether it happens as a flash flood or as a slow buildup from constant rain, you need to be prepared for this type of event. As a hotel owner, there are some specific things to be aware of:

  • Your guests. The people who are staying in your property are at the top of the list of concerns when it comes to flooding. Make sure everyone is aware of impending danger, and touch base with each guest to make sure they know how to stay safe. Getting emergency contacts for your guests is a good idea, too, in case something unexpected happens and you need the assistance of a close friend or family member.
  • Medical issues. If there are guests staying with you who have medical issues or are either very young or very elderly, it might be a wise idea to get these people to a facility that can watch over them closely, such as a hospital or community safe haven.
  • Vigilance. Even if you think the flood risk is low in your area, stay vigilant. Understand the potential exposure of your property, using reports from such organizations such as the NOAA Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, which provides quarterly updates and maps that show areas that are at high risk during certain times of the year. Historic flood maps are another useful resource that will help you understand the potential risk where you are. Be informed as to how high water can possibly rise, and evacuate lower levels to make sure no one gets hurt.
  • Insurance. Take note of the flood insurance you have on your property before a flooding disaster strikes. Have your attorney go over it for you to make sure that your coverage is sufficient for any disaster that might bring water damage and storm damage. Copies of this coverage and all other key business information should be kept in a safe location that won’t be damaged by flood waters.
  • Proactive. Be proactive, and consider getting a sump pump to help minimize potential damages from flooding. Make sure all maintenance projects are current for the entire building, and especially the gutters, roofing, and doors and windows.
  • Emergency Kits. These may come in handy if people get stuck in the building for a few days. Water, food, first aid items, toiletries, batteries, flashlights, and other emergency items will need to be available in the event that a flood forces people to stay put.
  • Evacuation Plan. Design a flood evacuation route for your employees and guests and make sure it is posted where everyone can access it for a quick retreat.
  • Weather Eye. Keep an eye on the weather by accessing local weather broadcasts, and paying attention to evacuation orders. If the local authorities are insisting that you evacuate, it would be a good idea to follow their instructions.

Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville, we care about you and your business. We’re here in case an emergency happens, and we can help with clean-up projects both large and small. Call us today for help with damages from flooding or fire, and don’t forget that we’re mold remediation specialists!


11/13/2018 (Permalink)

In the aftermath of any disaster, some of your most valued recorded items, such as documents, photographs, and books, could be lost forever. SERVPRO knows that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions, and with years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, our restoration professionals will help you recover your paper goods before it is too late.

Our processes and facilities are:

  • Innovative: Vacuum Freeze-Drying and Gamma Irradiation. We use the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books. Our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration. In many water damage situations, like those involving sewage or flood water, documents will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals, and our team uses a gamma irradiation process to safely and effectively sterilize your important documents.
  • Secure.  Our facilities are managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians and are kept under surveillance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Digital. We use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents. Converting your paper files and photos to digital formats can have an invaluable impact on your business or home. With the help of SERVPRO’s restoration professionals in digitizing your documents, you can save storage space and have access to your records at the touch of a button. And perhaps most important of all, you’ll have digital copies of your valuable documents that can’t be lost in a flood or fire.
  • Flexible capacity. We can accommodate both large commercial losses and small residential jobs.
  • Full Service. SERVPRO offers a wide range of services, which includes drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization.

The types of content we handle:

  • paper documents
  • books and magazines
  • manuscripts and files
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • x-rays
  • blueprints and maps
  • parchment

You can count on the team at SERVPRO of Belle Meade West Nashville to handle all your belongings with care, including the vital recorded documents that are so important to any business owner. Call us today to learn more about our commercial document drying process at: (615) 242 9391.

The Benefits SERVPRO Can Bring To Your Hospitality Business

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Owning a business in the hospitality industry involves a unique set of challenges. Especially if your business is successful! You will enjoy lots of customers as a successful business owner, and that’s great! With lots of traffic, your business will experience wear and tear above and beyond the norm, however, so you need to be prepared for these types of events and take a proactive viewpoint to stay ahead of the game.

Having a company such as SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville on your team will be a great benefit to you here. SERVPRO professionals are experienced in cleanups after fire damage or water damages, whether large or small, as well as being experts in the area of mold remediation. As a national franchise, we enjoy great business relationships with insurance professionals, so anything that will involve claims will be a breeze when you work with us.

Does your business involve food preparation? Heavy duty cleaning projects for industrial kitchens are all part of a day’s work for the SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville team. Going over your kitchen areas thoroughly to get hard to reach places sparkling clean will be something you can enlist us to complete. Stripping all tips of floors and deep cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring them is also something that we here at SERVPRO excel in.

Perhaps your business is as a hotelier. Floors are a concern here, too, but from a different perspective. You will want all your spaces to look as though no one has even been there! Fresh and pristine hallways and lobby areas are great first impressions for your patrons, and a company like SERVPRO that has years of experience in cleanups of all kinds will be the perfect answer to this type of challenge.

In the event that your hospitality-based business suffers damage from storms, accidents, or machinery malfunctions, or any other unforeseen issues that can come out of nowhere, enlist the help of SERVPRO to get things back to normal as soon as possible.

The team at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is proud to serve the residents of Belle Meade and West Nashville. Call us today for help with all your clean up projects! (615) 242 9391.