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5 Commercial Building Areas to Inspect While Preparing for a Storm

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 5 Commercial Building Areas to Inspect While Preparing for a Storm Cracks on roof

Building Inspection When Preparing For A Storm

When you are preparing for a storm in Indian Hill, OH, it is important to perform a building inspection on the exterior as well as the interior. Doing this will allow you to find any areas of concern that could contribute to damage to the property. Be sure to check the following areas thoroughly.

1. Walls

Perhaps the most obvious area to inspect is the walls. These can have cracks or weak sections that might let water inside. Performing exterior maintenance to fix these problems can prevent weakened structure and the spread of mold.

2. Doors and Windows

The areas around your doors and windows can sometimes deteriorate more quickly than others. Because of this, you should check them carefully. Make sure that they are sealing properly and won’t let water inside.

3. Roofing

During the building inspection, it is important to check the roof as well. Damage here can result in leaks that can cause water damage inside the building. Ensure that there are no cracks, missing shingles or debris.

4. Gutters and Drains

Exterior maintenance should not be entirely contained to the building itself. The drains and gutters connected to it should be looked at as well. If these are not cleaned out, they can cause water to back up and enter the walls and ceiling.

5. The Surrounding Area

While you may be more concerned keeping the building maintained, do not overlook the rest of the property. If there are objects and debris in the yard, these can be picked up by the wind and thrown against the building. This can damage the walls and roof and may even result in shattered windows. Trim any nearby trees as well.
It is important to do exterior maintenance if you are expecting a storm, but this is not the only time it should be done. Have a professional perform inspections and needed repairs regularly to keep your building in top shape. If there is damage after severe weather, an emergency restoration company can restore it to its previous condition.

Protecting Your Business in Case of Fire

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Protecting Your Business in Case of Fire Fire protection systems include fire extinguishers

Business Fire, Are You Prepared?

Business fire – the nightmare you don’t want to come true. Between 2013 and 2017, according to the NFPA, U.S. local fire departments reported an average of 18,582 fires with over $850 million in direct property damage. Fire preparation is all about inspecting, maintaining and repairing equipment and training employees in fire safety. Are you prepared?

1. Inspection by the Local Fire Department

Always calendar annual inspections and be ready for the fire marshal to inspect your property. Continue to inspect, maintain and repair equipment as needed. Verify any violations from the last inspection are now compliant.

2. Hazardous Materials

If your business deals in hazardous materials, are you ready for the possibility of a business fire or explosion? In 2016, in Cincinnati, OH, and around the nation, local fire departments received 425,000 calls concerning possible fires started by hazardous materials. Keep HazMat suits and other equipment in top condition. Have the emergency response plan in place and practice drills often.

3. Fire Protection Systems

Fire protection systems include fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers and fire suppression systems. To reduce the amount of fire damage inspect, maintain and repair the systems as necessary. Extinguishers must have tags marked with dates of inspection and it is essential the extinguisher type fits the type of fire. Inspect and test fire sprinkler systems according to NFPA Code 25.

4. Fire Safety Plan

Your employees need training in fire safety. They should know the location of all exit doors and fire extinguishers. Post emergency exit plans clearly throughout the business. Instruct your employees in the operation of fire extinguishers. Have a plan in place and educate your people. Practice fire drills regularly.
Worry over a possible business fire will not be an issue with inspection, maintenance, repairs and training. Speaking with a hazmat or fire cleanup specialist can give you peace of mind that you are protecting your employees and your business.

What Property Owners Need to Know About Mold Growth Lawsuits

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What Property Owners Need to Know About Mold Growth Lawsuits Frozen pipes in your building may be covered by your insurance

Many property owners recognize the structural hazards posed by mold growth, but not everyone is aware that tenants can sue property managers over mold damage. In order to avoid potential lawsuits, the best course of action is to be proactive. Know your insurer’s policy on mold insurance claims, understand your responsibility as a property owner and take steps to prevent mold growth before it becomes an issue.

Insurance Coverage

It is a good idea to ask your insurance providers about their policy on mold insurance claims. Some types of property insurance may only cover mold damage if it was caused by a specific event. Covered events might include:

  • Snow or ice damage
  • Frozen pipes
  • Building fires
  • Accidental leakage from appliances or air conditioning

Furthermore, every landlord should also carry liability insurance. Liability insurance can be a lifesaver if a tenant decides to sue because his or her personal property is ruined by mold. You may also encourage your tenants to carry renter’s insurance with a mold claim policy so they are not left without a method of recourse should they incur any damages.

Warranty of Habitability

According to the law, a landlord must agree to keep the rental premises fit for human habitation at all times. While there are no laws specifically pertaining to keeping a building mold-free, tenants may sue for mold-related damages under the warrant of habitability, so long as they can prove that the mold has led to unsafe living conditions.

Mold Cleanup and Prevention

Mold insurance claims and lawsuits can quickly become a headache for everyone involved, so the best option is to pursue mold remediation when necessary and take preventative measures to deter future mold growth. Good maintenance is key. Keep humidity low, and regularly inspect for leaks, condensation or signs of water damage. Ask your tenants to promptly report any problems or concerns, and address them immediately.

Despite your best efforts, mold and water damage can occasionally happen. If your rental home ever requires water damage repair or mold remediation, rental property restoration specialists in Madeira, OH, are available 24/7 and Here to Help.

The Fire Restoration Process

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Fire Restoration Process Preventing further damage includes boarding up and tarping your home

4 Steps in Getting Your Home Back to Normal

After a fire in your Indian Hill, OH, home, you may feel overwhelmed by the fire restoration process. Knowing what to expect beforehand can make the situation less stressful for you and your family. Every fire and home are different, and the restoration process varies accordingly. Here are four general steps that occupants take in getting their home back to normal after a fire:

1. Inspection

Surveying the damage after a fire is critical to knowing the next steps that you need to take. However, this can be dangerous if you are not careful. Do not re-enter your home until the fire department has said it is safe to do so. Do not turn on any appliances or lights that were near the fire.

2. Preventing Further Damage

Preventing further damage is key to the fire restoration process. This includes boarding up or tarping over any openings in the structure to prevent wildlife, criminals, etc. from getting inside. Additionally, it is important to remove any water left over from the fire extinguishing efforts because mold growth begins quickly. After the water has been removed, smoke damage should be addressed. Smoke and soot are corrosive. The longer they are allowed to sit, the more damage they cause.

3. Cleaning

After taking precautions to prevent further damage, clean-up efforts can begin. Damage cleaning takes many forms and may occur on-site or at another location. In addition to cleaning the surfaces of your home and the items within it, it may be necessary to address any lingering smoke odor. From air scrubbers to ozone machines, there are a variety of methods to remove smoke particles from the air in your home.

4. Repair and Restoration

After the smoke (and soot and water) clears, it is time to repair the damage caused by the fire. You may have to repair dry wall, replace carpeting and windows or even fully reconstruct parts of your home to get it back to normal.
Regardless of the extent of damage done, an experienced restoration service can help you with every step of the fire restoration process.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Using a Fire Extinguisher Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can help minimize the potential damage from a fire

There are many scenarios people in Cincinnati, OH, can find themselves in where there is a need for a fire extinguisher in the house. No matter what the source of a fire in a home is, knowing how to use this device is an essential part of understanding and implementing fire safety and preventing fire damage. 

How To Remember the Directions

The first thing to remember before trying to put out a fire in the home is to call the fire department. Once the fire department is made aware, a fire extinguisher can be used to attempt to control and eliminate a fire. An easy way to remember how to use an extinguisher is the acronym PASS.

  • P – P is for Pull. Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher. This allows the handle to be squeezed, and also breaks the seal so the extinguisher can work. 
  • A – A stands for Aim. It is important to remember to aim low toward the bottom of the fire. 
  • S – The first S in the acronym is for Squeeze. Squeeze the handle, or the trigger.
  • S – The second S is for Sweep. Sweep the nozzle from side to side across the bottom of the fire until it is extinguished. If the fire does not go out, or if it starts back up again, then repeat step two through step four. 

It is extremely important to remember that evacuation is the number one priority if the fire doesn’t seem to be affected by an extinguisher!

Potential Fire Damages 

There are many possible sources for fires in a residential area, including kitchen utilities, outlets, candles, wiring, and many others. Preventing fire damage is key during a residential fire, whether it is from a kitchen fire or from any other source in the house. 

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can help minimize the potential damage from a fire. In situations where damage does occur, a local restoration company can be contacted to help with cleanup and fixing any damage left behind. 

Tips for Removing Foul Odors After a Flood

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tips for Removing Foul Odors After a Flood Flooded home in Cincinnati, OH

Tips for Removing Foul Odors After a Flood

The water damage that occurs when your home floods in Cincinnati, OH, often comes with odors and mold growth that continue to permeate your residence long after the water has subsided. You can take care to eliminate odors and preserve the safety of your dwelling with the following measures:

1. Air Things Out

Open all doors and windows to allow air to circulate in your residence. This should help dissipate any lingering smells that remain and will also facilitate drying of the affected areas.

2. Dry the Wet Areas

You may install dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Removing moisture from porous and absorbent surfaces such as carpet and upholstery can greatly reduce the chance of foul aromas remaining after the flood and can mitigate the appearance of mold.

3. Deodorize Your Home

There are natural and inexpensive methods that you can utilize to expedite the deodorizing process in your house. Baking soda sprinkled into carpets and other absorbent surfaces then vacuumed up can help greatly with getting rid of foul odors. On less porous surfaces, vinegar applied liberally can aid in combating persistent smells.

4. Keep an Eye Out for Mold

As with any area that has had prolonged exposure to moisture, mold growth can be a threat that, if not addressed immediately, poses a potentially recurrent problem that can present itself throughout the life span of your residence. It is imperative that proper steps are taken to ensure that mold and spores do not have the opportunity to spread in your home.

5. Be Aware of Contaminants

Sewage loss can lead to your home being contaminated by sewage contents when flood water finds its way past your threshold. This can leave behind an overpowering smell even after the moisture has been removed due to the bacteria in the water. These smells often cannot be removed by household cleaners and require the services of a professional flood restoration company.

Mold growth and lingering odors are just two of the issues you may have to contend with after a flood. Fortunately, with experienced mold remediation specialists, you don't have to go it alone.

Commercial Storm Preparation

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Commercial Storm Preparation Keeping your gutters clean will help keep water from backing up under shingles and into your building

How to Protect Your Assets and Employees in The Event of a Flood Damage

Many business owners in Indian Hill, OH, are inadequately prepared for a major rain storm event. Do you know how to protect your assets and employees in the event of a serious flood damage situation?

1. Site Assessment

One of the simplest things you can do to prepare your company for severe weather is to inspect the site. Ensure that the foundation has no major points of fluid entry and that the roof and gutters direct rainfall away from the base of all buildings. Trim any trees with dead branches, as these can become an airborne hazard during high winds. Most larger buildings will need a lightning rod, which must be maintained and properly grounded. If your site has windows that require storm shutters, draw them at the first sign of trouble.

2. Training and Readiness

Don't forget the human element. Since your employees are your most valuable asset, you must supply your workforce with sufficient information about how to respond to a severe rain storm. For tornadoes, designate an interior hallway on the ground floor as a temporary shelter. For hurricanes and other long-term hazards, ensure that your staff comply with local evacuation orders and other pertinent ordinances. If you keep normal working hours during a potential weather event, stay aware of outdoor conditions through a NOAA radio broadcast or website.

3. Other Considerations

Your insurer can assist you with a business continuance plan should a thunderstorm make normal operations impossible. Retain paper copies and digital backups of all policies, records, and tax information. If you anticipate filing a claim, contact your adjuster as soon as possible. You will also likely need a qualified professional service to help with flood cleanup.

You can't prevent a rain storm, but you can keep it from disrupting day to day activities at your workplace. Safeguard your employees and your inventory by preparing for every type of severe weather.

Landscaping and Water Damage

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Landscaping and Water Damage Most homes constructed according to typical building codes will have correctly sloped roofs and gutters that divert rainwater away from the house.

Many homeowners in Cincinnati, OH are unaware of the relationship between problematic landscaping practices and flood water entering the home. Protect yourself against unnecessary basement or outside flooding by implementing a few simple yard management strategies.

1. Roofing and Gutters

Most homes constructed according to typical building codes will have correctly sloped roofs and gutters that divert rainwater away from the house. However, if the slope and porosity of the soil immediately surrounding your house are causing issues, it may be beneficial to extend the reach of your gutter downspouts with some inexpensive attachments. These flexible hoses will deposit the water farther into your hard, which can prevent water from pooling around your foundation during a rain storm.

2. Ditches

For some yards, simply redirecting the gutters may not be enough. Outside flooding problems from other properties may cause unintended water flow to your residence. In these cases, extra landscaping design may be required. A drainage ditch with a large perforated PVC pipe at the bottom can solve a number of flooding issues and divert unwanted water into the storm drain. Such a solution provides immediate results and can be implemented by any homeowner with a few inexpensive materials from a local hardware store.

3. Mulch

Another tip for the homeowner wanting to improve rain drainage involves the type of ground cover. Short grasses in silt or clay soils tend to provide little protection against erosion. Over time, these materials will dissolve in rain water and flow away from the property, exacerbating flooding problems. Using gravel or heavy mulches can improve drainage in problem areas that naturally get exposed to heavy rainfall, while preventing the soil beneath from washing away.

While the above tips can reduce the risk of interior and outside flooding, they are not a replacement for a qualified flood restoration service in the event that a significant amount of water enters your home.

Water Categorization: Category Two

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Categorization: Category Two Floodwater has three categories and four classifications, and the hazardousness of the water increases with each ascending scale.

Floodwater has three categories and four classifications, and the hazardousness of the water increases with each ascending scale. Therefore, category one, class one is the least concern in terms of water damage, with category four, class four being the most concerning. Category two falls in the middle of the spectrum, and there are many likely causes, like a failed water pipe repair, that may have led to its development.

1. Category Two

Category two likely started from a sanitary broken pipe, meaning that it originated as clean water and then became contaminated over time. While this type of water started from a clean source, it would now be considered grey water, and it should not be consumed at this point.

2. Standing Water

While a water pipe repair may have fixed the initial issue, the water that was left standing after the break has had time to absorb chemicals and bacteria. The waiting and absorption can cause an escalation in classification and category because the water becomes contaminated and unsafe.

3. Soaking Through

As stated previously, waiting too long after an area has flooded from a sanitary source allows for absorption and an increased categorization. However, this transformation also occurs when the clean water soaks through from a higher level to a lower one. The water passes through building materials and collects contaminants along the way, meaning that the water can be category one on an upper level but category two on a lower level.

4. Proper Handling

A plumbing specialist in the Cincinnati, OH area should be called in to handle the removal and cleanup of category two water damage because of the health risks. Gray water is not safe to consume or touch, and it should be dealt with rapidly to avoid further deterioration and contamination.

There are several tiers to water categorization, and while a water pipe repair may stop the flooding from a clean source, the standing water can quickly transform into category two or worse. Therefore, when a pipe breaks or your building experiences flooding, call in a professional.

4 Ways To Prevent Mold

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Ways To Prevent Mold Mold can feed off any organic material, particularly when it is accompanied by excess moisture.

4 Ways To Prevent Mold

When you own commercial property in Cincinnati, OH it can be difficult to stay on top of everything that goes on in your building. Being vigilant about mold removal and prevention, however, can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Here are four tips on how to prevent mold and how to handle it quickly if you do find a growth in your building.

1. Keep Building Clean

Mold can feed off any organic material, particularly when it is accompanied by excess moisture. Make sure spills are cleaned up quickly and thoroughly so that fungus doesn't have a chance to thrive under your carpet or floorboards.

2. Keep Building Dry

Commercial mold cleanup specialists recommend monitoring your building's moisture level to reduce the chance of mold growth. Humidity should always remain at 30-50%. Dehumidifiers can be placed throughout the building to help keep the moisture level in the air where you need it to be.

3. Repair Damage Quickly

Mold removal isn't something you want to wait to do. As soon as you identify a problem, you should have professionals who specialize in mold remediation to assess and resolve the issue. They can also help you make a plan to prevent mold in the future.

4. Communicate With Staff

You can't be in your building all the time, so it's important to communicate with the people who are. Your custodial staff is a great source of information on what is going on at your commercial property. These employees are the most likely to notice problems early so that you can call someone to fix them.

While preventing fungus growth is likely your preference, mold removal can usually be a fairly quick process if you catch it early enough. Taking care of your building and communicating regularly with those who help do so can ensure that you are aware of any issue that occurs.