Recent Commercial Posts
Cleaning Your Business After a Fire: Important Steps to Take
We can restore your property back to pre-fire conditions.
Cleaning Up After a Fire at Your Business
When a fire breaks out at your Nashville, TN, business, cleaning up afterward can be a challenge, even if the fire did not impact every part of the building. Smoke damage, discoloration of walls and floors and a lingering smell of smoke might all be problems you face after a fire. If you are currently dealing with the aftermath of a fire at your business, there are a few important steps to take that may help you get back to operational status faster.
Talk to the Fire Department
Once the fire is extinguished, you can approach the firefighters and ask a few important questions. While they might not be able to answer all your questions, you can make several inquiries, such as:
- What started the fire
- Which parts of the building were affected
- Who to contact to get a copy of the fire department’s report
Knowing as much as you can once the fire is contained or extinguished can help you plan cleanup efforts with more efficiency.
Inspect the Building
Work with your insurance company to take stock of soot damage, water damage from fire hoses and how many rooms were affected by flames. Inspecting the building can help you gauge how much it may cost to fix and whether any rooms have safety issues as a result of the fire. Remember to include interior walls, windows and doors in the inspection.
Removing Smoke Odors
Once fire damage is cleaned up, smoke damage may cause unpleasant odors to linger. Your fire damage checklist should include contacting a company that specializes in removing these odors. These professionals have access to machines and cleansers that can clean the air and deodorize your building. Getting rid of smoke odors can be challenging and calling in a professional at the outset can ensure the odors are neutralized permanently.
After a fire, your Nashville, TN, business may be affected in many ways. However, taking action such as calling for professional smoke damage repair and staying on top of insurance reports can help you get your company up and running again.
Protect Your Commercial Kitchen From Fire Damage With These Tips
Fire in a Commercial Kitchen While Cooking
If you own a restaurant, bar or commercial kitchen in Antioch, TN or Nashboro Village, TN, reducing fire risk is critical to continued profitable operation. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fire departments responded to over 7,410 structure fires in the kitchen of restaurants and bars in 2017 alone. Most of these fires were preventable, resulting in three deaths, 110 injuries, and $165 million in property damage annually in commercial kitchens. These tips will help keep you and your staff safe while preventing shutdowns due to fire code violations.
What Are My Ducting and Air Movement Requirements to Prevent Fire?
While Chapter 7 of the NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations covers this extensively, here are a few key items to keep in mind.
First, commercial kitchen ducts should never pass-through firewalls, share an exhaust system with the building ventilation, or have obstructed access panels. While doing these things on a commercial kitchen remodel can save costs in the short term, the fire risk increases significantly. If disregarded, your commercial kitchen work will likely not pass inspection.
Make sure to maintain a minimum clearance of 18 inches between combustible materials and the kitchen ducts. This standard is based on Section 4.2 of the NFPA 96, however is one of the easiest to disregard once the kitchen is operational. Ducts can build up high levels of radiant heat that can ignite combustible materials like boxes, cups, plates, utensils, or other kitchen materials.
If you would like additional information on the types of combustible and non-combustible materials that should and shouldn't be kept near the duct, consult Chapter 3 of the NFPA.
What Are My Commercial Kitchen Fire Extinguisher Requirements?
"The NFPA 96 requires automated fire suppression equipment for all grease removal devices, hood exhaust plenums, and exhaust duct systems in a commercial kitchen, as well as any cooking equipment that produces grease-laden vapors." - Koorsen Fire & Security
The NFPA 96 requires use of class K fire extinguishers in conjunction with automatic fire extinguishing systems. These extinguishers also require installed placards stating their extinguisher class. However, in the case of a commercial kitchen fire, it's critical to activate the automatic fire extinguisher system before using portable-type extinguishers. This is because high-efficiency cooking appliances in many modern commercial kitchens are capable of achieving high temperatures that can raise the vegetable oils to intensely high temperatures. When oil ignites at these high temperatures, it can already be so hot that a portable extinguisher is not enough to stop the flames.
Another standard that you should familiarize yourself with is the UL 300 standard.
According to this article by Insureon, a kitchen’s cooking equipment must meet these UL 300 requirements:
- Fire-extinguishing nozzles in the hood, ducts, and above each cooking appliance
- An automatic fuel shut-off capabilities for both gas and electric power sources
- A manual fuel shut-off pull for all power sources
- A wet-chemical fire-extinguishing system that meets UL 300 criteria (one of which is undergoing semiannual checkups by a certified professional)
If you need immediate assistance after a fire, our teams are available 24/7/365. With our promise of being Faster to Any Size Disaster, you can count on SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville to be there when it counts. Call us today at (615) 731-4222 for rapid assistance.
Easy Steps To Take To Stop a Constantly Flushing Toilet
A toilet that won't stop flushing can be frustrating.
Simple Steps to Stop a Constantly Flushing Toilet
Whether it is a toilet overflow or a toilet that will not stop flushing in Nashboro Village, TN, both can be equally frustrating problems to deal with. Here are the steps to take for both an automatic and manual flushometer to stop a constantly flushing toilet.
1. Shut Off the Flushometer
The first step to resolving the issue for a manual flusher is to shut the flushometer off. There will be a spot where you can use a flat screwdriver on both sides of the flushometer. Using the screwdriver, turn the slot to turn off the water completely; this will help you avoid a toilet flood as you work to fix the problem.
2. Remove the Top
The next step is to remove the top of the toilet. If you are dealing with a manual flushometer, you must use a wrench to unscrew the lid. It is wise to do this as soon as possible to avoid toilet overflow.
3. Clean the Gasket
Remove the flange cover. Once you do that, you will see a gasket loaded with sediment. Take the gasket out and clean it thoroughly, including the weep hole found on the gasket. Follow all the two preceding steps in reverse order now that the gasket is clean, and this should stop a toilet from flushing.
4. Clean the Diaphragm
If you are working with an automatic flushometer, you simply hold down the chrome button until you hear two clicks that are two seconds apart. If you hear the clicks, you need to clean out the diaphragm kit, which is found when you remove the top of the flushometer.
5. Tighten Solenoid
The final step is to tighten the solenoid. Then observe whether there are any missing bowl rings or if any of them are double stacked. If so, you’ll need to replace or remove them.
Follow the steps above to fix an automatic or manual flushometer that won’t stop running. However, if you have experienced a toilet overflow or a flooded bathroom in your property, contact commercial building restoration services as soon as possible.
What Goes Into a Fire Damage Estimate?
Commercial fire in Hickory Hollow, TN
What Does a Fire Damage Estimate Entail?
After a fire on your commercial property, one of the first steps is having an insurance adjuster out to evaluate the damage and determine what you can claim on your insurance. You may also have a commercial fire professional from Hickory Hollow, TN, out to determine exactly what you can salvage, and how. But what exactly does a fire damage estimate entail?
Evaluating What Can Be Saved, and How
While an insurance estimator is determining how much you can be reimbursed for your losses, a fire damage estimator’s job is to:
• Provide immediate emergency response to prevent secondary damage through mitigation
• Fully assess the extent of the damage and give an accurate picture of remediation efforts
• Determine what can be cleaned and restored
• Determine what should be torn out/destroyed and rebuilt/replaced from scratch
• Provide a cost breakdown for cleaning and teardown services
• Deliver an approximate timeline for completion
Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of Fire Damage Restoration?
The amount of a fire damage estimate may not match with the amount of an insurance claim, but only the fire damage professional and insurance adjustor can provide accurate information on that depending on the extent of the damage to the property. The claim may fully or partially cover the cost of fire remediation. Unless you intend to pursue further claims with your insurance company, anything not paid by the claim would come out of pocket.
Does Cleanup Include Deodorization?
If you’re working with a qualified company, yes. Smoke odor can permeate items with a lasting stench, often associated by yellowed smoke stains. If the odor is strong enough, it can last years and create an unpleasant effect on anyone in the vicinity of the smoke-damaged, contaminated items. A reputable, qualified company will include deodorization in your fire damage estimate, and will have the tools and chemicals necessary to remove smoke odor from even the most porous items without damaging them.
How To Recognize Mold and What To Do Next
Black mold damage in Smith Springs, TN.
What To Do If You Find Mold and How To Recognize It
In Smith Springs, TN, there are many hazards that a small business owner or landlord has to take into account when maintaining their buildings and places of work. One of these hazards is mold and the smelly mycotoxin that always accompanies it. When allowed to go unchecked, this hazard can potentially ruin the hard work that has gone into a building or grind the business conducted within to a halt. To help prevent this, here are a few steps for renters and maintenance workers on how to recognize and fix mold growth.
1. Use Your Eyes
Mold can easily be mistaken for dirt or dust if not thoroughly inspected. Depending on what fungus present, the mold could take on a variety of different shades and textures. However, mold may not have a visual presence.
2. Use Your Nose
Spores often incubate where small hidden leaks show up or where condensation builds as a result of a possibly broken air condition unit or something similar. When this happens, investigators can rely on their noses. Mold growth is often revealed by a variation of a musty odor.
However, it's important to take note of any new smells. This is due to the scent of mold changing based on the spore count and where it is in its life cycle. After all, the smell is formed by the mycotoxin released by mold eating and multiplying.
3. Fix the Problem
Once the mold has been found, whether it’s out in the open or recently excavated, it’s important to immediately focus on mold remediation. This is because mold spreads quickly, often manifesting within 48–72 hours. If it looks like the mold is relatively contained and has only covered a small surface area, it is possible to get it cleaned up. In this case, cleaners should use the proper equipment and maintain safety standards during the process.
When maintaining a building, it’s good to be perceptive. If the mold has spread, remember that it’s important to call in a professional cleaning service. Safety should always be a priority when dealing with mold and its mycotoxin.
How Necessary Is Flood Insurance for My Business?
Flood insurance can be necessary for your business.
Like any natural disaster, a flood can become very problematic as a disruption to business operations. It’s imperative that it is handled efficiently, so business can continue as soon as possible. While considering the best process, you likely think of commercial insurance for floods. To know if commercial flood insurance is worth the cost for your Antioch, TN, business, you must first understand its scope.
What Does a Typical Flood Policy Cover?
Flood insurance covers any water damage that was nonexistent before the flood event. There are several flood events where losses are covered:
- Overflowing bodies of water
- Excessive or extended rainfall
- Storm draining blockage
- Broken dam
- Broken levees
- Storm surge
- Melting snow
If the damage is due to a pipe burst or precipitation overfilling gutters, the flood policy is not necessary. Those events are covered by regular commercial insurance if negligence cannot be determined.
Is Flood Coverage Standard in Business Insurance?
Flood damage is not traditionally rolled into a baseline package. The federal government offers coverage through the Nation Flood Insurance Program, known by its abbreviation of NFIP. NFIP is offered by FEMA alongside private options in the market.
There is a caveat to the necessity of flood insurance. Any business mortgaged by a federal lender in an area with a major flood risk is mandated to buy flood insurance. Outside of flood-prone areas, it is not required.
How Do I Remedy Flood Damage Once Insurance Takes Effect?
A local commercial storm recovery company will send out experts to evaluate and create a plan to repair the damage. If you have flood insurance, the policy provider will work with connected partners to fix up your business from the storm damage.
Even if you don’t have an appropriate commercial insurance policy, you can contact a restoration company for estimates of repair costs. Depending on the area, it may be more economical to keep a flood policy rather than wait for a costly disaster to hit your business. Checking the flood risk and prices in the area gives you a cost-benefit analysis to determine if it’s appropriate for your business.
3 Problems You Might Face After a Commercial Fire
Commercial fire restoration in Antioch, TN.
What To Expect After A Fire
Dealing with a fire at your Antioch, TN, business can be an extremely stressful experience. Knowing what to expect in the aftermath of a fire — including plans for water cleanup, smoke damage and other effects — can be very helpful in your efforts to rebuild and get back to normal.
1. You May Deal With Significant Water Damage
Though it sounds paradoxical, water cleanup may be a large part of the post-fire restoration process. Water from sprinklers or firetrucks, while necessary to control the blaze, may do harm to the building and you and your employees' personal effects. Be prepared to deal with soggy items, water-saturated furniture and even structural damage due to water.
2. Smoke May Be as Damaging as Fire
The need for smoke cleanup is often overlooked or seen as less important than fire cleanup. Unfortunately, the fact is that smoke alone can do significant harm to your workplace. Odors from smoke can linger in building materials, equipment, furniture and personal items long after the fire is over. Severe smoke can stain or discolor walls, ceilings and other surfaces.
3. Structural Integrity May Be Compromised
In ideal circumstances, a fire will be sufficiently controlled, preserving the majority of the building and contents. However, you may be left with structural damage from the fire itself, or from attempts to fight the fire. Flames may weaken your property's floors, foundation, or other supports. In desperate situations, firefighters may need to cut holes through the walls or roof to release smoke or gain access to certain areas of the building.
It is always useful to have a phone number for fire restoration services in your workplace contingency plan. A qualified company can help with water cleanup, smoke remediation and other restoration efforts. The better you prepare for the potential aftermath of a fire, the more quickly you'll be able to recover should one occur.
The Impressive Power of a Hail Storm
SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville are storm damage restoration experts.
Fortunately, hail storms don't come along very often. They require a precise sequence of weather patterns—an unstable air mass and a steep temperature gradient, for starters—that happens more frequently than a blue moon but less often than a regular thunderstorm. If you are like most people, you probably remember most of the hail storms you have witnessed. They are notorious for causing damage to cars, boats, windows and siding. A powerful hail storm also can cause roof damage, especially if the pieces of hail are large. As hail stones forcefully bombard the roof of your building it is not unusual to see shingle damage in the form of cracked or missing shingles.
Dealing With Hail Damage
If your company in Nashville, TN faces an onslaught of hail stones, the roof might not be the only problem you face. Along with roof damage comes water damage in the following forms:
- Water in the attic
- Wet insulation and walls
- Wet electronic components
- Mold growth throughout the building
After a big storm it is always essential to shore up your roof with repairs. This could come in the form of damaged shingles, battered gutters and missing chimney caps. A roofing contractor will make sure the roof is capable of keeping water from rain, snow, ice or hail.
Taking Care of Water Damage
If water penetrates your building envelop, it's critical to eliminate any excess moisture in your building. A professional storm mitigation company like SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville will have the resources and training to dry out your building and its contents. This task requires powerful fans, wet vacuums and air dryers to remove any standing water as well the moisture in furniture, paper documents, and clothing. Electrical systems may be compromised and need expert attention. If the roof damage to your building is extreme it is possible board up and tarp services will be needed to secure your building from additional storms.
3 Steps to Prevent Mold Growth
Mold growth in Nashville, TN
Mold Prevention Steps
You might think that mold growth only appears in the wake of severe water damage, such as the damage inflicted by a flood or broken pipe. In reality, however, such seemingly inescapable factors as high humidity or nearby plumbing fixtures such as sinks and showers can lead to mold contamination. Luckily, there are three simple mold prevention steps you can take to protect your Nashville business' building:
- Install an air filter and dehumidifier
- Install a humidity meter
- Fully treat any moisture problems right away
Air Filters and Dehumidifiers
Air filters and dehumidifiers are available for purchase at any home goods store and are both worthy investments. Air filters comb through your building's air and trap the mold spores that exist in almost every environment, and dehumidifiers help make your building inhospitable to potential mold growths.
Working in conjunction with dehumidifiers or on their own, humidity meters will also help you manage the humidity levels in your building by alerting you if they reach a certain threshold that is inviting mold growth. Knowing there's a problem is always the first step toward fixing it, and this device will give you peace of mind that your building is not at high risk.
Water Damage Remediation
Mold spores are incredibly fast-acting and can start to spread on a surface with a moisture problem within 24-48 hours. If you have a broken or leaky pipe, don't wait to call the plumber and clean up the mess, and if a flood strikes, make sure to remove all wet materials and set up a dehumidifier immediately.
Mold prevention might feel like a lot of trouble, but you'll be glad you did it in the long run. Mold remediation can be a lengthy and intensive process and requires the assistance of your local mold cleanup specialists. In the event that you suffer water damage and notice a mold growth in your building, however, don't worry too much — SERVPRO of Nashville will make it seem "Like it never even happened."
How To Clean Electronics After a Fire
SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville can clean electronics after a fire
After you've experienced a fire at your business in Nashville, TN, the cleanup to-do list can be pretty long. One element that requires special attention is your technology. Whether an electrical fire is how the larger fire started or your electronics were damaged by a fire caused in some other way, there are important considerations that you need to know about if you hope to recover any of your electronics.
Understand the Damage
When a fire occurs, computer cleanup is not as simple as wiping off the monitor and the keyboard. Smoke gets into the interior of your machines and leaves a film. That film can hold a magnetic charge, turning soot damage into a short circuit that can permanently damage your device. Without proper cleaning after a fire, your technology can pose a danger to you and you risk losing all of your data.
Transfer Your Data
In an effort to save the data on your computer, remove the hard drive, and see if you can transfer your information to a different computer. Never turn on your devices after an electrical fire. Smoke damage can cause your device to malfunction.
Call a Professional
If you hope to recover your data and your devices after a fire, depend on a professional. You're likely working with a commercial fire restoration company, and they will be able to connect you with an individual who is trained to salvage and restore electronics that have been damaged in a fire. The upfront cost of working with a professional to restore your devices will pale in comparison to the cost of replacing all of your technology if you insist on attempting a DIY approach.
During cleanup after an electrical fire, pay special attention to your computers and other devices. Proper cleaning by a professional increases the likelihood that you won't need to spend a lot to replace all of your technology.
Which of Your Pipes Need To Be Repaired or Replaced?
Replacing your old pipes with new plumbing can help prevent water problems in the future
Which of Your Pipes Need To Be Repaired or Replaced?
Older commercial buildings are more prone to water damage. That is because they often have defects in the below systems:
Your insurance company may charge you higher premiums for premises that are more than 30 years old or poorly maintained. You are also more likely to require water cleanup and restoration services for these properties. To prevent a future leak or flood in your Nashville building, you should update your plumbing system.
These pipes are particularly prone to problems and need to be replaced. Many commercial properties built from the 1970s to the 1990s utilized these pipes. Back then, this piping was seen as cheap and easy to install.
However, it soon became clear that chlorine and other water-treatment chemicals make these pipes brittle. This leaves the pipes prone to breaks and cracks. These pipes are thus no longer recognized by American building codes and must be replaced.
Other Problematic Pipes
Pipes can malfunction due to corrosion or erosion. Erosion occurs when the water wears down the metal of the polybutylene or other pipes.
When the metal reacts with the water in the pipes, corrosion occurs. Older iron, copper and steel pipes are particularly likely to experience corrosion.
Because many of the pipes are often hidden under concrete or behind walls, it can be easy to forget about them. By the time you notice that something is wrong, water may have already seeped into an office or apartment.
If your property does contain outdated pipes, hire a plumber who has the technology to locate and inspect them. The plumbing expert should discover any issues and can fix them before they cause a major water disaster.
Replacing your old pipes with new plumbing can help prevent water problems in the future. Polybutylene pipes, in particular, will degrade over time and need to be changed.
Why Do Older Rental Properties Have Drain Problems?
Tree roots that have grown into pipes may cause clogs in your drains
Older rental properties in Nashville, TN often have clogged or slow-moving drains. These problems are often caused by aging plumbing systems. In some cases, the material used in the pipes is to blame. Between 1978-1995, polybutylene pipes were used extensively, and it's estimated that they were installed in 6 to 10 million homes. It is believed that oxidants, such as chlorine, in the public water supply react with the piping and cause them to flake and become brittle.
What Causes Clogs in Older Homes?
Each older home is different, but common reasons for drain clogs in older homes include:
- The angle of the pipes to the main line
- Tree roots that have grown into the pipes
- Sludge buildup from soap, hair or debris from remodeling projects
Homes built before 1995 may experience drain clogs more frequently. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid water damage.
How Can Old Pipes Be Maintained?
If you have a clog, try cleaning the drain with a pipe snake, clean the drain trap if one exists or use a chemical drain cleaner. If you are unable to resolve the problem, call a professional who has experience working with older plumbing.
For regular maintenance, enzyme treatments can be used as a method for preventing slow or clogged drains. Enzyme treatments contain a form of bacteria that feeds on drain-clogging materials such as hair, algae and food waste. They will grow and multiply, spreading beneficial bacteria throughout your drain system. Harsh chemicals can kill the bacteria, so treatments will need to be repeated occasionally. Enzyme treatments will not harm pipes and are safe to use on a regular basis.
If you suspect you have polybutylene pipes in your rental property, call a professional to see what steps to take next.
If you have rental properties with older plumbing or polybutylene pipes, regular maintenance can go a long way in preventing water damage. If clogged drains cause flooding, a flood restoration specialist can help you mitigate any damage.
Commercial Building Damage Caused by Hail
You can't eliminate the possibility of roof damage from a hailstorm
Hailstorms can wreak havoc on your commercial building in Nashville, TN. Roof damage caused by hail can create leaks inside the structure, but it's not the only way hail can harm your building.
Ways That Hail Can Damage Your Building
There are many ways that hail can damage your business.
Roofing materials and equipment - The roofing materials can crack or become loosened during a hailstorm. HVAC equipment and skylights are prone to hail damage if they aren't properly protected.
Leaks inside the building - Once hail has caused roof damage, water can easily leak into your building, causing structural damage and ruining flooring, furniture and equipment. When that happens, you must call a storm damage restoration service right away.
Outer building materials - Siding can sustain damage and windows can break.
Preparations To Protect Against Hailstorms
Make sure your roofing materials are resistant to strong impact. If they aren't, consider installing new roofing. Hail guards or shields can be installed around HVAC equipment to reduce the risk of damage. Just make sure the materials meet the uplift pressure requirements of ASCE 7.
Skylights must comply with specific standards developed by the American Society for Testing Materials and the American National Standards Institute, more commonly known as ASTM and ANSI, respectively. Solar panels must also be designed to meet the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission. These standards have created rigorous testing methods to ensure that equipment can withstand hailstorms.
It's important for your maintenance department to conduct routine inspections on the materials and equipment on the roof. You should also inspect the roof right before and immediately after a hailstorm. Many business owners also schedule an annual inspection with a professional to ensure there are no hidden problems.
You can't eliminate the possibility of roof damage from a hailstorm, but if you follow some important steps you can reduce the risk of serious damage to your building.