Recent Commercial Posts
National Guard Fire
This fire took place in the kitchen. However, a thick layer of smoke was everywhere. This is an image of the male latrine in our local National Guard. Every wall, floor, toilet, shower, and crevices had soot. We got there and went to work cleaning this up. We even got to ice blast the kitchen walls, to get off all melted paint and soot. This unit was lucky, in that this fire put itself out! It could of been a total loss if not. We have since finished this job and they are pleased with our work.
Does you office have a plan in place, in case the open the door to this disaster? That is what happened here. Let us help you to come up with a plan of action. Call us at 843-884-2258
This image was taking at a local facility. In the image you can see what appears to be mold. We cut out all this mess, cleaned the air, and followed protocol for clean-up. But, we wanted to share with our client’s ways to avoid this happening:
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:
- Roof leaks
- Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building
- Unvented combustion appliances
- Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings
Basically try to keep the moisture problems under control. If you have any questions, please call us at 843-884-2258
Small Business Fire Tips
We have been working on, a fire loss at the National Guard. Luckily, their fire extinguished itself before employees arrived. But, it makes us want to share tips for your business; to stay alert.
“Fire Prevention Tips for Small Businesses
Knowing how to prevent fires at your small business is invaluable. Here’s a list of 20 tips to help you do that.
Have a Safety Officer
It doesn’t matter whether you have two employees or 50; all small businesses need to have a fire prevention officer. This is the person who will be in charge of putting together escape routes and meeting places for your employees. This is also the person in charge of keeping your fire prevention efforts up to date.
It’s a good idea to make sure that boxes or other materials aren’t stored in stairwells. They can become both a fire and safety hazard. Make sure everyone in your company knows these are off-limits.
Watch Where You Smoke
Employees and managers should only smoke in designated areas that are outside of the building. Wherever possible you should have large ashtrays that don’t easily tip over and never empty the contents into a wastebasket.
Electrical cords with broken connectors or cracked insulation need to be replaced right away. If you need to use extension cords make sure you only use one to an outlet. As well you should avoid what’s call Octopus wiring where clusters of wires and plugs converge on an outlet.
Give Appliances Room
You need to leave a space behind coffee machines and computers so that air can circulate and keep them cool. All appliances need to be kept away from combustible materials. Whenever you can, it’s a good idea to unplug appliances at the end of every workday to prevent fires.
Know Arson Risks
This is one of the largest causes of workplace fires. Employees can help to prevent arson by locking doors after work days over. Checking to make sure outside areas are free of combustibles and hallways are unobstructed are some other good tips.
Check the Storeroom
It’s important to make sure you don’t store flammable materials beside the furnace. Even stockpiling flammable or hazardous materials in a storeroom or basement can be dangerous. Your local municipality should have a facility where you can get rid of them.
Maintain Your Machines
All the machines you use in your small business should be maintained properly to avoid any kind of fire. Keeping the machines clean is important and you should even switch them off when they’re not being used.
Get a Good Alarm System
It’s important for small business to have a good alarm system. That way, something that’s smouldering can be caught before it becomes a full-fledged fire. Sprinkler systems are an excellent idea. Check out the kind of compatibility your smart phone has with anything you choose through an app.
Take The Garbage Out
Regular garbage removal is an important part of preventing fires at your small business. You should have a designated routine and a collection point where all your refuse goes. Staff training is important here so everyone is on the same page.
Keep Fire Extinguishers Updated
Fire extinguishers need to be kept in places where they are accessible and visible. They also need to be fully charged and annually inspected by qualified people. If you haven’t already done so, set up a visual inspection once a month.
Keep Doors Closed
Another good way to prevent fires at your small business is to keep doors closed when you’re not using them. Don’t dismantle automatic door closers or prop open fire doors.
Check the Sprinkler System
Establishing a routine to check your sprinkler heads is necessary. Make sure they haven’t been painted over or damaged in any way. There should be a clearance of a minimum of 18 inches below them so they can work properly.
Inspect the Laundry Rooms
You need to clean out the lint trap on any dryers you have at your business on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to take a few minutes to look behind the dryers to make sure nothing has fallen behind them.
Service Cooking Fire Suppression Systems
If your small business is a restaurant, you need to have any cooking fire suppression systems inspected on a regular basis. Twice a year by qualified personnel from your local fire department is the norm here.
Clear Out Those Mechanical Rooms
Make it clear to everyone that works for you mechanical and storage rooms are two different places. If you’re storing anything in a mechanical room now, remove it and make sure the doors are locked when no one is working inside.
Maintain Your Standpipe Systems
These are a series of pipes that connect a water supply to your building. A flush test should be performed once every five years to make sure they are unobstructed.
Test Smoke Alarms
All the smoke alarms at your small business need to be replaced once every 10 years. You should check them at least once a month and replace the batteries annually.
Stay on Top of Fire Code Changes
Chances are your local municipality has updated information on how to keep your business safe from a fire. Staying on top of the fire code changes in your area will give you good cutting-edge information.
Have Good Spill Control Procedures
Cleaning up a hazardous waste spill in a timely and effective manner can prevent a fire. You can get government information here that can tell you best practices including what kind of protective equipment is necessary.
If you have any questions call us at 843-884-2258
We cannot stress enough the importance of being ready!
Does your business have an Emergency Ready Plan? Did you know 50% of businesses do not re-open after a loss? Usually the ones that do re-open had an Emergency Plan in place. As a business owner ask yourself the following:
- Who contacts the fire department
- Who contacts management
- Who gives building entrance
- Who will clean up the mess
With a plan in place, these things are listed. This way your staff knows what to do. At SERVPRO, we offer a free ERP to all our local businesses. Did you know that, an ERP saves time and money?
An ERP contains details like:
- Facility details such as shut-off valve locations
- Key employee and emergency contacts for the building
- Mechanical information about the building
- Priority areas in the building
- Secured areas and access points in the building
- Insurance contact information
- Property over view information
- Line of communication for authorizing work to begin
Call us at 843-884-2258, and let us talk to you about what we can offer. We are here 24/7 for emergency needs.
Mold and Statutes for Retail & Commercial Properties
Legal Issues of Mold Contamination
The legal issues associated with toxic mold are complicated primarily by the natural presence of molds in indoor environments and scientific uncertainty concerning toxic molds and their causal connection to adverse health impacts. Molds occur naturally and there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of molds and fungi. Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce and mold spores waft through indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin to grow and to digest whatever they are growing on in order to survive.
When Mold is Discovered & Not Addressed on Retail & Commercial Properties, Mold accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur. There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in indoor environments. Fortunately, most molds are harmless aside from their tendency to produce mild allergic reactions in allergy suffers.
From a regulatory perspective toxic mold has received mixed attention from federal and state regulators. In 1994, OSHA proposed rulemaking for standards addressing general indoor air quality in work environments. The proposed rulemaking considered exposures to toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins, but at least partially in recognition of the difficulty of developing a comprehensive regulatory regime for indoor air quality in all work environments, OSHA withdrew its proposed rule making on December 17, 2001.
Addressing Mold in Leases and Purchase Agreements
Given the increased attention to toxic mold, owners and tenants of commercial buildings and their attorneys are starting to address mold prevention and remediation directly in leases and purchase agreements. And, due to the current lack of scientific knowledge and regulatory uncertainty, the focus should be on risk assessment and prevention of mold problems.
Tenants and purchasers considering a transaction should have an assessment for toxic mold performed by a competent consultant with experience in industrial hygiene, mold sampling and mold remediation. This protocol should become part of their due diligence process. An assessment of indoor air quality for the presence of toxic molds will establish baseline conditions and, if necessary, allow the parties to correct a pre-existing mold problem.
Practices and customs for assessing toxic mold risk and indoor air quality are still developing. Some building owners may develop protocols for regular testing and may provide results to prospective tenants or purchasers. However, most retailers contemplating a lease or purchase transaction will likely have to request permission to perform a toxic mold assessment.
Although a matter for negotiation, it is likely that the retailer will pay the initial expense of an assessment. If a problem is identified, contractual provisions addressing the next steps should be considered:
- Will the building owner be required to perform remediation and to what extent?
- Who will control the consultant performing the assessment work and who will own the consultant's work product?
- Will the work product be confidential?
Because toxic mold problems can require expensive and intrusive remediation work, and negative publicity associated with a mold problem could result in serious financial and legal consequences, savvy owners will seek to control the information flow and to avoid making any open-ended commitments to resolve mold problems identified during the due diligence process. Such provisions are reasonable as long as the prospective tenant or purchaser can evaluate baseline conditions and the prospective tenant or purchaser is protected from disclosure obligations and non-disclosure liability should the assessment reveal a problem that could cause adverse health effects.
Once a decision to proceed with a transaction is reached, addressing ongoing responsibility for mold is important in leases (in purchase transactions where toxic mold issues are not resolved prior to closing, transaction specific provisions would be required), and this presents some challenges for drafters. As previously noted, molds thrive in moist environments where excess water is present and mold spores move through indoor air constantly. Thus, a small roof leak in a tenant space could lead to a moisture problem with resulting mold. In a multiple tenant building, the mold could spread from one tenant space to other tenant spaces. Disputes and possible litigation could result.
For single structure retailers, building owners are, over time, likely to require tenants to hire qualified consultants at tenant expense to perform periodic assessments for the presence of mold, to provide the assessment results to the building owner, and to perform remediation if necessary. Owners may also seek access to the premises to verify test results or to perform independent analysis. Although a regular assessment regime adds costs, it is sensible prevention and it may provide liability protection to retail tenants.
Some retail tenants may find it advantageous to adopt a testing regime even in the absence of a lease requirement. The main issues for lease negotiation are responsibility for remediation and reasonable limits to owner access. If the cause of the mold problem is a latent construction defect as opposed to a tenant failure to perform required maintenance or repair, it may be appropriate to allocate remediation responsibility to the owner. As with other owner access to perform or verify a mold assessment should, if possible, be conditioned upon reasonable prior notice and limited to times when the space is dark.
Focus on Prevention
Addressing mold issues in leases of space in multi-tenant buildings should also focus on prevention of conditions that can lead to mold and prompt remediation in the event of a mold problem. If the owner assumes the general repair and maintenance obligations for the building exterior and all building systems, tenants should require the owner to perform periodic mold assessments - whether or not the owner recovers its costs as a common expense. Indeed, because a mold problem could originate in one space but manifest itself in another or other spaces, there is tenant incentive for comprehensive landlord oversight of mold prevention.
Where tenants are responsible for maintenance and repair of their interior space only, owners will want some right of inspection to the extent that the maintenance and repair involves building systems that could lead to moist conditions or mold growth. Additionally, tenants may want the owner to promise to oversee all tenant-performed maintenance to make sure that compliance is reasonably uniform. As with single tenant buildings, leases should also address responsibility for remediation costs and acceptable times of access.
Owners & Tenants- Retailers should devise a plan that will be ongoing and protect both parties interest.
SERVPRO of Mount Pleasant does Mold Remediation Services . 843-884-2258
Filing Insurance for Commercial Loss
As a disaster remediation company, we are always looking for information to provide our clients. One interesting thing we found is “Entrepreneurs often overlook preparation for these rare events and focus instead on more pressing details, but taking steps to prepare for the unthinkable can be the difference between surviving and failing after a major storm.” As a business most watch for pricing, expenses, and such, but don’t prepare. The good thing is, we can come out and help you plan for the event of a disaster. Another interesting thing we found, is its always best to file a claim with your insurance.” Supporting Disaster Damage when Documents are Unavailable
In the case of a disaster that damages your business records, follow a two-step process.
First, document that the disaster occurred. In a recent (2014) Tax Court case, the Court faulted the taxpayer because he had never reported the disaster.
In this case, a taxpayer claimed flood damage had caused his business records to be un-recoverable, but he did not document the flood damage with an insurance claim or other evidence. If you can't prove the records were lost or destroyed, the IRS may assume you didn't have them in the first place.
The best way to document a disaster is to file an insurance claim. Even if you live in a disaster zone, the IRS has no way of knowing if your business suffered a loss unless you put the loss in writing.
How to Document Business Losses
You will need your asset records to document the losses to business assets, including vehicles, equipment, furniture and fixtures. Report casualty losses on your business or personal tax return. IRS Publication 547 describes the process for determining deductions for losses, including reduction in fair market value.
You can also file for assistance with FEMA (the federal emergency disaster assistance agency), or file a disaster assistance claim with the Small Business Administration.
Per the Tax Court case mentioned above, if your business records are lost or destroyed you must make a "serious and persuasive effort" to reconstruct your business records.”
“CNBC Make It” https://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/27/4-steps-for-disaster-proofing-your-business.html
“The Balance” https://www.thebalance.com/what-if-you-lose-business-records-in-a-disaster-397892
Water loss in your business
A commercial water loss can cause be a burden in many ways. It can mean less revenue and customer loss. If you company has a water loss, time is important.
- Identify the source of the water
- Turn off electricity if necessary
- Turn off the water
- Contact SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant 843-884-2258
- Call local HVAC, plumbers or necessary contractor to fix the leak
- If standing water is present, mark off the area with water signs, to warn people of the danger.
These are some of the things, you should do. The best plan of action is to have an emergency response plan in place. We offer a great plan at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant. We work closely with property manager, insurance, plumber, HVAC, or contractors, to get your business up and running in a timely manner. We make it "Like it never even happened." Call 843-884-2258 24/7
Mold in the workplace
Mold can be present in the workplace, as well as, at home. Mold is suspected of causing some health issues. If you suspect mold in your business, follow these tips:
“NIOSH states that excess moisture usually is the cause of indoor mold growth. If supervisors suspect mold is causing health problems among their employees, they should:
- Regularly inspect buildings for dampness.
- Prevent high indoor humidity with HVAC systems.
- Always respond when employees report health concerns.
- Establish procedures for recording and responding to indoor air quality complaints.
- Develop a plan for response and perform remedial action.
- Follow up to ensure corrective action has been successful.
- Encourage employees who have developed persistent or worsening respiratory symptoms to see a health care provider.
- Follow health care provider recommendations for relocation of employees diagnosed with building-related respiratory disease.
We are here to remediate the mold in your business, if you notice its presents. So, don’t panic call SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant at 843-884-2258
“Safety Health” http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/9007-health-risks-of-mold-in-the-workplace
Emergency Response Plan
Commercial loss does happen. The key to handling them smoothly is having a plan of action in place. At SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, we offer a ERP. We will come to your location, walk through with you, getting a plan in place. Here are some other tips, in the event your business suffers a loss such as a fire.
What to Focus on After a Fire
- Tip #1: Bring in your public adjuster early in the process to manage as many of the following as possible while you concentrate on your business and your employees!
- Document your property damage with photographs.
- Take steps to mitigate any further damage, including theft and vandalism.
- Prepare comprehensive lists of lost/damaged items.
- Track all out-of-pocket expenses related to the cleanup and rebuilding process, as well as any additional expenses you incur to mitigate your loss of business and to expedite your recovery.
- Analyze your policy, including all clauses, additions, extensions and exclusions, and develop a strategy for maximizing every available dollar.
- Bring in experts to prove the full extent of structural and other damages, as necessary.
The key to loss is staying one step ahead. Hopefully, you never have to use your emergency response plan. But, we are here to help you through that, as well as, if you suffer a loss. We are here 24/7 for emergency services 843-881-2258.
“Adjusters International” https://adjustersinternational.com/commercial-claims/loss-type/fire/
SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant
SERVPRO of Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Restoring Your Charleston/Mt Pleasant Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges
Flooding and water damage events at Charleston/Mt Pleasant commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant
SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.