Recent Commercial Posts

Steps To Take After a Fire

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Burning apartment. Avoid Further Fire Damage by Following our Tips.

No landlord likes to think about the damage that an apartment fire can cause. It's important to know what to do in case it happens in your building in New Bern, NC, though. Here are the steps you should take immediately after a fire.

Ensure Apartment Fire Is Out and Everyone Is Safe

As soon as you know there's a fire in the building, dial 911. Then focus on your responsibilities:

  • Alert all tenants quickly by text.
  • Check on elderly and disabled tenants to see if they need assistance escaping the building.
  • Exchange contact information with the fire officer on the scene.

Your primary concern should be the safety of your residents, but it's also vital that you make sure the fire is put out as soon as possible. The more damage you can prevent, the less expensive restoration will be.

Contact Insurance Company and Restoration Professionals

Once the fire is out, call your insurance provider. The company will send an adjuster who will assess the damage to the structure to help you get the claims process started. You also need to contact fire damage restoration experts so that they can assess what needs to be repaired and begin the mitigation process.

Provide Tenants With Information About What They Should Do

As the landlord, you are only responsible for covering the cost of the damage the apartment fire did to the structure and the property itself. Tenants are responsible for their own belongings. Ideally, the people who live in your building have renter's insurance so that they can get help with temporary relocation costs and the replacement of personal items.

If they don't have policies that compensate them for their losses, they may be able to get help from organizations such as the Red Cross.

Document Damage To Your Building

It's a good idea to accompany the restoration team or insurance adjuster on the walkthrough of your building. That way, you can take pictures or videos of the fire's aftermath. Take notes and make a list of repairs that need to be made so that you have the information you need for the insurance company.

Include Fire Report and Restoration Estimate in Claim

Other documentation you should gather includes the official fire report from the officer who was in charge of taking care of the flames and the estimate given to you by the head of the restoration team. These documents can corroborate your own records and thus increase the likelihood that your claim will be accepted.

Keep Tenants Informed Throughout Process

Tenants will likely be concerned about when they can return to their homes. Provide them with a general timeline, but maintain contact throughout the process to reassure them. Taking the initiative to keep them informed is good customer service and can help to put their minds at ease.

There is a lot to do after an apartment fire. You have a responsibility to make your building habitable again and to keep residents notified as new information comes to light. If you complete this checklist, you should be able to file a successful claim for the fire damage to your building.

Cleaning Up After Category Three Water Damage

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of an overflowing toilet A toilet overflow can lead to category 3 water damage.

A flood in a commercial facility is problematic. Not only can the flood water damage equipment, property, and inventory, it can result in business interruption. The key to resolving flooding issues, especially those stemming from category three water sources, is to hire an effective, licensed, and insured restoration service in New Bern, NC. These companies will use a proven five-step method to restore your building, allowing you to return to full operations.

5-Step Clean up Method After Water Damage

  1. Turn Off the Source

The primary concern in a category three or black water crisis is terminating the source of the flood. If a toilet overflow is the culprit, the water supply or waste line needs to be shut off or sealed to prevent any more water from entering the facility.

  1. Remove Black Water

When the source of the water is under control, the restoration team can get to work removing the flood water from the building. Most disasters will only require shop vacs or pumps, but in significant floods, the company might use a pump truck.

  1. Thoroughly Dry the Affected Area

With the water removed, the restoration service can begin drying out the property. The service team will probably open all windows and doorways as well as use fans and air movers. Depending on the time of year, dehumidifiers might be brought in to reduce the risk of mold development.

  1. Clean and Disinfect

The crew will need to disinfect any and all surfaces that came into contact with the category three water. Some items will not be salvageable, so you might need to get comfortable with disposing of some things.

  1. Restore the Area

With the area clean and disinfected, the team can begin restoring the facility, replacing carpets, drywall, insulation, anything flood-affected. When the crew is finished, you will not be able to tell there was ever a disaster.

Flood water can lead to significant interruptions and costs. The key to surviving the crisis is to bring in a restoration team as soon as possible to repair the damage.

Flood Damage Means Dealing With Black Water

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Street. Protect your Property from Flood Damage, and Avoid Black Water by Following These Tips.

Operating a successful business in New Bern, NC requires considering all the what-ifs. When that what-if is flood water, the solution isn't as straightforward as it may seem. If your property is flooded, along with the potential damage it may cause during and after the event, the water itself needs to be considered.

Categories of Water

Not all flood water is the same. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a nonprofit organization, has determined that there are three water categories.

Clear Water:

This is the least severe of the three. It is considered clear because it comes from a source that is free of sewage and non-toxic to humans. Instances of a flood with this type of water include a broken supply line, sink overflow or malfunctioning appliance. While it may be the safest of the three, it still may cause significant damage if not immediately taken care of. If it sits too long, it may evolve into the other types.

Grey Water:

This category means that the water may have some minor chemicals or contaminants that may cause discomfort but may not be too harmful to humans. Water discharging from a dishwasher or washing machine is a common culprit, as well as an overflowing toilet with urine only. While it may not pose a significant danger, it should be treated differently than the first type. Similarly, it can change categories if left unattended.

Black Water:

Highly unsanitary, it contains bacteria, fungi and contaminants that are harmful if ingested. Water from a natural flood falls into this category since the water is often coming from underground sources, thus making it potentially have sewage and chemicals. It also is known to cause black mold. Dealing with damage from this type of water requires extra safety precautions.

Storm Damage Remediation

While you may want to jump right in and start picking up the pieces after the storm, water damage is more serious than it appears. If the source makes it fall into Category 3, it will require extra planning and specialized equipment to properly clean, sanitize and restore the property. Even after the water is gone, it may leave behind lingering effects. Thus, it is recommended to hire a professional to tackle the job.

The first step is getting an assessment and beginning the drying out process. For safety purposes, it is best to avoid affected areas. In many cases, items will be removed to help minimize the spread of damage. Along with industrial sanitizing of the affected items, air scrubbers are used to ensure that unaffected areas remain that way. Dehumidifiers and air mover are also brought in to ensure the property is returned to its original condition.

Throughout the process, it is necessary to wear protective gear, including eye protection, respirations, boots, gloves and waterproof clothing.

While it may seem that any flood water is simply just that, there are different types. Knowing the water source is essential before cleanup can begin. Instead of wondering if it is safe to proceed, it is worth getting the assistance of a professional.

How Soon Should I Clean a Wood Floor?

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Wood Floor These Tips will help you to better Clean your Wood Floor in your Vanceboro, NC property.

A water pipe burst at your Vanceboro, NC, commercial building can quickly turn into a major disaster. The influx of water can inflict significant damage on practically everything in the area of the faulty pipe. When it comes to water damage, time is of the essence. This is especially true when trying to take care of a wet floor, especially a laminate or natural wood floor.

There probably won't be a way to avoid damage if the water has already come into contact with the wood floor. However, you must take several critical steps as soon as possible to begin mitigating the damage.

Water Exposure: Every Second Counts

It's essential to start the flood cleanup process as soon as possible to slow the loss. It can be helpful to know the procedure before experiencing this type of disaster so you can get to work immediately.

  1. Prioritize Your Safety

When water leaks into your building, water could flow into areas where electronics are plugged in. In this case, electric currents could be running through even the tiniest amount of standing water. It's vital to shut off the power to the affected area or the entire building before stepping foot into the flooded area.

Call a professional electrician or your power provider if you cannot safely get to the breaker box.

  1. Remove the Standing Water

A wet/dry vacuum is certainly not necessary for removing standing water from your floor. However, it will make the job much faster and easier. Depending on how much water you have pooled in the area and the size of your wet/dry vacuum, you might have to empty the vacuum's water receptacle once or more during the wet floor cleanup process.

  1. Clear the Flooded Area

It will probably be necessary to clear as many contents as possible out of the area to make room to work. After all, you will need to remove all the water and properly dry everything after a pipe burst. Some of these materials will probably be unsalvageable if they have water damage.

  1. Clean and Sanitize Everything

Once all contents are removed from the flood-affected area, everything must be thoroughly cleaned to prevent mold from growing and bacteria from spreading. This is the case even if it involves a clean water pipe bursting.

  1. Dry the Area and Contents Thoroughly

Next, it's critical to dry everything thoroughly as quickly as possible. Ensure that even small crevices are dry, as water can seep into the tiniest spaces. In addition to the damage the water itself does, mold can begin growing in as little as 24 hours. The best option is to contact water damage remediation professionals due to their knowledge, experience and industrial-grade equipment. Following a pipe burst in your structure, it's essential to begin the water cleanup process as quickly as possible to salvage your wood floor. A wet floor can lead to damage from the water itself as well as lead to secondary damage like mold growth. Immediately doing a thorough job will prevent further damage.

Follow these recommendations to ensure you perform the cleaning and drying process sufficiently.

A Proactive Approach to Plumbing Problems

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Professional performing a repair You can avoid Plumbing Problems in your New Bern, NC commercial building by following these important tips.

Plumbing problems cause a lot of expense for property owners throughout New Bern, NC. In addition to resulting water damage, those problems often shut down businesses for professional cleanup and restoration. Some of the most common issues faced by businesses include:

  • Leaks and clogs along the pipe system
  • Worn toilet and water heater components
  • Sewer blockages
  • Burst pipes

The good news is that a proactive approach can prevent situations such as a broken pipe or a clogged water main.

Avoid Plumbing Problems With Proactive Maintenance

Routine maintenance and inspections are some of the best steps in preventing plumbing problems. This begins with finding a reliable, qualified plumber. Check out online reviews and get recommendations from peers in your community. Schedule regular appointments with the plumber, so this professional is familiar with your system before a major broken pipe or other emergencies.

Automate Your Bathrooms

Inappropriate items flushed down the toilet are huge problem-causers in plumbing systems. It can be difficult to monitor what the public carries into the bathroom, but you can cut down on waste and clogged toilets by replacing paper towels with automatic hand dryers. Automated toilets and toilet paper dispensers can also reduce the risk of clogs. You might even consider installing bidet attachments.

Exercise Water Valves

Many property owners don't know where their main water valves are located, let alone how to find and exercise all the valves throughout the property.

However, simply closing and opening the valves once a year is a great way to increase the life expectancy of the valves. If you increase this exercise rate to two, three, or four times a year, you can be sure they will be operational during an emergency. Ask your plumber how to locate all the valves and complete the exercises. Also ask for recommendations about how often is appropriate for your business.

Flush the Water Heater

This is a vital part of yearly maintenance. You may have some experience with this task for your personal appliance, but commercial water heaters should be handled by professionals. The amount of sediment, specifically lime and calcium, that accumulates in the tank can cause a lot of trouble. As professionals handle this task, they often recognize warning signs of further trouble, such as cloudy water, rusted components, and worn anode rods. Additionally, it takes time to flush the sediment out of the take and many businesses just can't devote that much time away from their other responsibilities.

Complete Maintenance for Each Season

Seasonal maintenance is another huge aspect of preventative maintenance. Before the temperature drops, detach hoses from the building and all exterior water pipes are drained. Add insulation to exterior faucets and pipes that are next to the walls of the building. Frozen pipes are a big cause of pipe leaks during the winter and spring months. Reach out to local professionals to learn more about the tasks you can do during each season to keep your plumbing system in good repair.

Most plumbing problems can be avoided with regular maintenance and professional inspections. This proactive approach tends to be much less expensive than major repairs and reconstruction that follow water damage.

What Is Mold, Anyway?

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold Prevent mold in your New Bern, NC rental property to reduce risks.

Owning rental property is a potentially lucrative but stressful venture. One of the main problems is limiting vacancies and protecting your properties from damage during such inevitable circumstances.

Why Prevent Mold

Mold prevention should be among your primary concerns as it is an often costly and timely issue. There are several things a property owner can do to limit the risks of mold growth during vacancies, including:

  • Turn off the main water supply
  • Turn down the thermostat
  • Keep heat on

While these items will help reduce the risks of mold development, they do not represent everything a property owner can do. You might want to contact a mold remediation professional in New Bern, NC for more information and insight.

Mold Prevention for Rental Property Owners and Managers

Mold is a problem for any rental property, and it is a concern for most property owners. With the constant tenant turnover expected with such investments, buildings can be subject to varying temperature and water usage issues. Therefore, a property owner needs to recognize the risks and adjust to protect the structure and its integral components.

Plumbing Issues Result in Most Mold Concerns

Water damage is among the most common reasons for mold development. However, while the perception might be that a significant leak or break is required for mold to develop, that is not the case. A slow and steady drip can provide enough moisture for mold to thrive.

Therefore, if you want to avoid issues between tenants, it is best to shut off the water supply and drain the system. If there is no water in the pipes, then the risk of breaks or leaks is minimized.

Do not just assume the plumbing is Ok for the next tenant. It is often best to hire a plumber to inspect the system before turning the water back on to ensure everything is in working order.

Heat Can Become a Problem

When there is no one on your property, it is best to keep the thermostat turned down. Mold loves humidity, and if the temp is high enough in the property, it can lead to increased humidity in the building.

However, you do not want to bottom out your thermostat either because that can result in frozen pipes and breaks, leading to mold. It is better to leave your empty building at a consistent temperature, not too hot or cold.

You can install a dehumidifier in the property to help stabilize the indoor environment. If using a dehumidifier, you want to ensure that the humidity level never gets above 50%, which is the maximum level for indoor spaces.

It is also beneficial to inspect the property between tenants to ensure exhaust and ceiling fans are working correctly. Take the time in between tenants to make any necessary repairs and inspections.

Mold prevention is crucial in rental properties, especially during vacancies or tenant transitions. The process does not have to be complicated. You mainly want to maintain a steady temperature, lower humidity levels, and control water supplies. A remediation specialist can help you determine the best preventative steps for your property.

How To Get Rid of Odors After Flooding

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of an office building Flooding can cause damage to your building.

Your property in New Bern, NC, can take on a lot of damage if it floods during a storm. Between sewer overflows, mold growth and other problems, the storm damage restoration experts you hire probably have a lot of work to do. Because flood water is contaminated, a vital part of the cleanup process will include disinfecting and deodorizing every surface and item that remains in your building.

Getting Rid of Odors After Flooding

Item Salvage

Just because items are soaked from flooding, that doesn’t mean they automatically have to be thrown away. Your restoration team is trained and equipped to salvage many items damaged in the storm:

  • Electronics
  • Equipment
  • Office furniture
  • Textiles
  • Documents


Mold Remediation

Some of the odor that lingers after a storm is likely from mold growth. Fungus can start to gather and spread on surfaces in as little as 24 hours after a flooding event, particularly if the humidity levels in your building are high. By incorporating mold testing and remediation into the overall cleanup process, technicians are able to stop this secondary damage before it gets out of hand. Once the mold problem is resolved, the smell that accompanies it will be gone, too.

Structure Restoration

Standing water and sewage loss can compromise the structural integrity of your building. It is possible that part of your flooring, walls and ceiling will have to be torn out and replaced. After all the materials that can’t be saved are removed and the affected area is dried, the remaining structure must be sanitized to get rid of any bacteria that the water left behind.

Contaminated water in your commercial building can lead to many problems, including structural damage, mold growth and ruined belongings. Certified cleanup professionals can not only disinfect your building but also deodorize it. A thorough restoration process ensures that your space is free from all the effects of the storm damage so that you can get back to business as usual.

Keeping Businesses Clean in New Bern, NC

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds under water as warm as you can stand.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to develop new strategies and update preventative guidelines in an effort to keep people safe and informed. To help extend some of this information and keep our Eastern NC brothers and sisters aware of our services, here are some updates.

Symptoms

Illness from COVID-19 is quite diverse, from mild to severe symptoms that can potentially even include death. According to the CDC, symptoms may appear two days to two weeks after exposure:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Many of these symptoms can be related to other conditions and illnesses, so It is very important to consult your medical provider if you develop any severe or concerning symptoms to determine what they are being caused by.

Expert Level Cleaning Services

The SERVPRO franchise professionals here at SERVPRO of Craven/Pamlico are uniquely prepared and equipped during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have decades of experience in dealing with biological contaminants and other, similar pathogens. Our crews go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on their regular cleaning schedule.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

    • Kitchen/Food Areas
    • Bathrooms
    • Schools/Classrooms
    • Offices
    • Retail Spaces
    • Water Fountains
    • Shelving/Racks
    • Sales Counters
    • Carpets and Rugs
    • Stair Handrails
    • Elevator Cars
    • Playground Equipment
    • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. We follow all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Need Specialized Cleaning Services?
Call Us Today: (252)-637-7274

Tips and Best Practices to Minimize Your Risk

As our cities are beginning to reopen in “phases”, it is imperative to maintain vigilant, proactive measures to continue protecting yourself and others. Here are some tips to minimize your risks and exposure:

Practice Good Hygiene

    • Clean hands with sanitizer of at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol content and wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid touching your face and cover coughs and sneezes
    • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, tables, doorknobs, and handrails regularly
    • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning

At The Office

    • Don’t shake hands – use other noncontact methods of greeting
    • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible
    • When video calls aren’t an option, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces
    • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like desks, keyboards, light switches, doorknobs, and telephones
    • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings
    • Wear a mask to help protect others
    • Maintain social distancing regardless of time and place

Stay Home if...

    • You are feeling sick
    • You have a sick family member at home home

Sources:

Helping New Bern Landlords With Turnovers

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Make your property look its best with SERVPRO of Craven/Pamlico.

One of the common and often frustrating things for landlords to handle are tenant turnovers. Even commercial and industrial settings aren’t immune from the frustrations that the wrong tenant can cause. We here at SERVPRO of Craven/Pamlico counties understand this and are equipped to help get your property in condition for the next person or business.

A professional cleaning can remove years of accumulated dirt and potentially add a tremendous impact on the presentability of any given property. Being certified for trauma and biohazard cleanup, we can take on the toughest of scenarios; Even “hoarder” like conditions aren’t beyond our capabilities. We are more than happy to assist for a single instance or with a recurring schedule for apartments and other rental facilities. For more information about how we can help you with turnovers or any other cleaning and restoration needs, give SERVPRO of Craven/Pamlico counties a call today at: (252)-637-7274.