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3 Ways To Prepare for an Office Fire

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

Two workers wearing protective gear, one is with a shovel and the other person with a plastic bag. Clean up services after severe fire damage in Murfreesboro, TN.

3 Ways To Prepare for an Office Fire

Thinking about a possible fire at your office in Murfreesboro, TN can be intimidating. However, office fires are not uncommon. According to the National Fire Protection Association, it is estimated that over 3,300 fires occurred annually in U.S. offices from 2007-2011. Thorough preparation of your fire sprinkler systems and other fire safety elements means your office can be better situated if a fire does occur.

1. Ensure Fire Detection and Suppression Systems Are Working
Preventing fires is always the best strategy, and working smoke detectors are essential. Check your office’s detectors monthly.
If a fire does break out, sprinklers may be your first line of defense in fire suppression. The National Fire Protection Association has thorough guidelines for inspecting sprinklers, which range from quarterly to annual inspections for different components of the system. Your office staff should be familiar with these guidelines to ensure your fire sprinkler system is functioning and equipped to deal with any problems.

2. Maintain an Office Fire Escape Plan
All employees should know to follow an up-to-date emergency plan. Hold regular drills and seminars to ensure that if a fire starts, employees know where to go and what to do. Be sure to identify and clearly mark emergency exits — whether by door or window — and an outdoor gathering place for employees to meet.

3. Be Prepared for the Aftermath of a Fire
What happens immediately after a fire can be as crucial as events during the fire itself. Damage can occur from flames, smoke, and water — fire sprinkler cleanup can end up being a significant chore in itself. Have contact information for a fire restoration service in Murfreesboro, TN, so you can take immediate action in the fire’s aftermath.
Office fires may be daunting, but readiness is a vital tool. Certifying that your staff, as well as your fire sprinkler systems, are prepared allows for a prompt response in case a fire does break out.

How To Protect Your Commercial Building From Rain Damage

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

ladder in the middle of a room, air movers, worker placing plastic on floor. Concept of water restoration services Drying equipment on a commercial building.

Rain damage can cause serious problems for your Milton, TN, business. Fortunately, proper maintenance can help keep the building protected and in good condition.

Prevention

To protect your commercial building from inclement weather, it is important to maintain the building envelope. The envelope is the barrier between the outdoors and indoors. An envelope is considered loose if it allows significant airflow from outside in and tight if it does not. The envelope is made up of several components:

  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Foundation
  • Windows
  • Doors

Routine maintenance and regular inspections work together to keep your building's envelope strong and tight. Check for and repair cracks in the foundation and walls. Make sure the roof is leak-free and that the shingles or other roofing materials are secure. Doors and windows should be properly aligned and sealed.
Some business owners are comfortable performing inspections of the envelope themselves. Others prefer to hire a professional. Either way, it is important that the building be examined regularly to catch minor issues before they become serious problems.

Cleanup
Unfortunately, even buildings with properly maintained envelopes can suffer rain damage. If water inundates your business, it is important to act quickly to prevent structural damage and mold growth. Although black mold is the most notorious, all fungi can cause problems.
Dry the property out as quickly as possible. A certified restoration service can help with this step, but you may be able to start the process yourself if you have access to a wet/dry vacuum.
After the standing water has been removed, there will still be moisture in porous items. Fans and dehumidifiers can be used to finish drying the area. When everything is dry, professionals can help you determine what can be cleaned and salvaged and what needs to be replaced.
The building envelope is your commercial structure’s primary defense against storm and rain damage. Keeping it in good shape is the best way to protect your business from inclement weather.

5 Tips on How to Prevent Fire Damage to Your Home

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

Aftermath of a church fire in Murfreesboro, TN SERVPRO of Rutherford County can handle any size fire loss in the Murfreesboro area.

For the average homeowner, the very mention of fire damage is enough to strike terror into anyone’s heart.

According to FEMA, a fire can become life-threatening in just two minutes. In as little as five minutes, your home could be engulfed in fire.

When it comes to residential or commercial fire damage, fire safety is one thing that you can’t put on the back burner. Taking the proper steps on how to prevent fire damage can go a long way in saving your belongings and avoiding costly repairs.

5 Tips on How to Prevent Fire Damage

1. Observe Proper Installation of Fire Alarms

Fire alarms and smoke detectors are your home’s first line of defense. Early detection of smoke will not only save your property but most importantly, your life as well.

While the installation of smoke detectors has become a law, there are still many properties that don’t install their fire prevention systems properly. One of the first things to ensure is the proper installation of your fire alarm system. Larger buildings should have multiple fire alarms on each level.

As a general rule, you should follow these guidelines for a proper fire alarm installation:

  • Avoid placing the detector in recessed ceilings
  • Don’t install the detector near vents, doors, or fans
  • Install the device 2 feet from any corner
  • Install it 10 feet away from the stove
  • Install it 2 feet away from any lighting fixture

It’s always a good idea to test your fire alarm system once every month. Batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.

2. Watch Out for Candle Burns

A little burning candle never really caused any real damage, right?

Well, not really!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles caused 2% of home structure fires. Any source of fire poses a risk to your property’s safety.

Candles are great for setting the mood and providing a nice scent for the room but they shouldn’t be left unattended. Also, make sure that you place the candles on flat surfaces and away from drapes, pets, and children.

3. Inspect Home Appliances and Lights

Inspection of your home appliances and lights should be a part of regular home maintenance.

Make sure that your wires, plugs, and bulbs are not damaged. Just by having pets or using the vacuum can cause damage to your appliance wires. Once damaged wires are plugged, it might cause the appliance or light fixture to catch fire. Always keep your wires and cords organized and refrain from placing them under a rug or between a piece of furniture and a wall.

Double checking your appliances before plugging will help prevent fire damage in your home.

4. Pay Attention to Cooking and Heating Equipment

Aside from open flames, cooking and heating equipment are also primary causes of fires in the home.

For starters, you should make it a habit to keep your stove and oven clean. You should pay more attention to cleaning the grease around your stovetop since this can lead to a grease fire. Clean the vents, filters, and grease traps to prevent grease fires. Also, you should make it a point to keep flammable items away from the stove.

As for your heating equipment, make sure that it is installed and maintained by a qualified professional. Also, you need to check the heating device for potential damage on a regular basis.

5. Have Fire Extinguishers at the Ready

The worst thing that can happen once a fire breaks out is having no way to extinguish it. If you don’t have one already, it’s important that you secure a fire extinguisher for your home.

However, just having a fire extinguisher is not enough.

Make sure that you inform every family member where to retrieve the fire extinguisher. On top of that, everyone should know how to properly use the extinguisher in case a fire breaks out.

Get Restoration Professionals to Help You

If you’re unlucky and weren’t able to prevent damage to your home, your best bet is to work with a company that specializes in fire damage restoration.

Restoration is often cheaper than replacing the damaged areas. Plus, the former solution is a lot faster as well. For your fire restoration needs in Rutherford County, Murfreesboro, and Smyrna, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Rutherford County.

How To Use Candles Safely

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle If you want to use candles, consider flameless options.

There is nothing quite like the flickering flame of a lit candle, particularly if you are trying to be romantic. Unfortunately, they can be dangerous as well as romantic. A candle fire can very quickly cause massive destruction.

General Rules

There are some general rules you should always obey when using candles:

  • Keep clothes, hair and cloth away from the open flame
  • Never leave a burning candle in a vacant room
  • Don't use candles under shelves
  • Always place them on a heat-resistant surface

These rules may seem basic, but a lot of damage can occur if they are ignored. According to the NFPA, approximately 8,200 fires are started by candles every year, and many of these destroy homes. If you have a fire, you may need a smoke cleanup and fire damage remediation company in Blackman, TN.

Jarred Candles
Some people think that jarred candles are safer, but this is not the case. When they burn down to the bottom, the wax can superheat the glass. This causes the jar to explode. If you use jarred candles, make sure you do not burn them below the safety point (about 2 inches above the bottom of the candle.) Not only can they cause a candle fire, but the exploding glass is also dangerous.

Safer Options
If you want to use candles, consider flameless options. These are battery-operated versions that flicker just like the real ones. This can save you and your home. Flameless candles even come in scented versions that use fans and essential oils to provide the same fragrant effects. They are child and pet safe even if they are knocked over. The only thing you have to worry about is changing the batteries.
Candles can be beautiful, but it is always best to remember that they are an open flame. Candle fire incidents cost homeowners thousands of dollars every year. Taking simple safety precautions can save your home.

Tips for Preventing Water Damage When You Are Away

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes Insulate your pipes to protect them from extreme temperatures.

Tips for Preventing Water Damage When You Are Away

Taking a trip is a great way to unwind from the stress of everyday life. Coming home to find you need water pipe repair and damage mitigation can negate the relaxation you just enjoyed, though. Preparing your home before your trip is the best way to prevent unpleasant surprises when you return.

Inspection and Maintenance
According to water damage specialists, proper maintenance can help you avoid a flooded home. Before you go on your trip, complete your maintenance checklist:

  • Check for cracked and rusted pipes or supply lines
  • Inspect roof for damage or weak spots
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Test your sump pump to ensure it's working properly

Pipe Protection
Water pipe repair becomes necessary when unprotected pipes burst from freezing or other types of damage. If you are traveling away from your home in Walterhill, TN, during the winter, make sure that you have taken the necessary precautions. Insulate your pipes to protect them from extreme temperatures, particularly if they are located in exterior walls. Keep the heater on in your home so that the interior temperature stays warm enough to keep pipes from freezing. Open cabinets under each sink to ensure that warm air can get to the pipes.

Outside Assistance
While you are away, it helps to have someone else who can be your eyes and ears in your absence. Enlist the help of friend or neighbor to keep a watch on your home and look for signs of a broken pipe or other trouble while you are not there. If there is no one available to help, consider turning off your water main before you leave to keep water out of your pipes.
The best time for water pipe repair is before the leak causes damage to your home. If you take the right preventative measures before you leave for your trip, you can relax knowing that your home is safe in your absence.

3 Reasons Why Pretesting Matters

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse, black water damage in Lascassas, TN Commercial water damage

The Importance Of Pretesting Your Space

Once you've discovered water damage to your commercial property in Lascassas, TN, it's important to get the cause of the damage, usually a leak, under control right away. The next most important step is getting a complete understanding of the extent of the damage and how much it will cost to complete all of the repairs. To do this, the pretesting process is essential. While you may want to get started on remediation right away, here are three reasons why it's important to pretest your space.

1. Identify the Type of Water
The type of water that caused the damage is an important factor in how long it will take to clean up the damage and how much it will cost. There are three categories of water — white (1), gray (2), and black (3). Blackwater, or Category 3 water, is the most highly contaminated. Without pretesting, you may be quoted for a Category 2 cleanup, but the reality of cleaning up Category 3 water will impact the final cost on your insurance claim.

2. Manage Furniture
Filing cabinets, desks, shelves, and other furniture that can't be easily removed have to be factored into the cleanup process. The furniture will need to be raised in order to clean underneath, and restoration of damaged furniture will show up on your final bill. Make sure to take pictures of everything for your insurance agent.

3. Inspect the Area
The extent of the overall damage will be the biggest factor in managing your remediation. The water damage experts will be able to tell you exactly what has been damaged, where, and what steps will be needed to correct everything. Safety is the main priority, and the team will work to clean up your space so that you're able to safely conduct business again.
Without pretesting, it's easy to underestimate the hazards that must be managed and the total materials that will be needed to complete the project. Always take the time to understand the scope of damage before undertaking any remediation project.

5 Myths About Polybutylene Plumbing

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

The plumber connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. Most polybutylene systems won't fail for years.

5 Myths About Polybutylene Plumbing

If you are running your business out of an older building, chances are the plumbing is using some materials of questionable integrity. Here are some myths about one particular material that may convince you it is time for new plumbing.

1. Only Pipes With Plastic Fittings Experience Problems
This is not true. Your system may have metal fittings, but that doesn’t mean it won't fail. This is because systems with metal fittings still contain polybutylene pipes and plastic valves, which can fail. However, systems with plastic fittings have more components that can break and have a greater failure rate. Basically, it is a classic bad versus worse scenario.

2. Replacing Them Is Expensive
Replacing older pipes costs roughly the same as putting in new carpet or redoing the roof. To put this cost into perspective, it is usually cheaper than replacing all of your windows or waterproofing the basement. However, this is contingent on you using a re-piping specialist. While it can be an unexpected cost associated with a business, it can prevent you from needing water restoration professionals.

3. Everything Is Covered Due to the Class-Action Settlement Fund
The class-action settlement was very generous. However, it doesn't cover everything. There are serious limitations on free pipe replacements in Murfreesboro, TN.

4. Problems Occur Due to Poor Installation
While installation problems can occur with polybutylene pipes, this is not the main problem. More common factors include degraded fittings, water quality issues, chlorine levels, and age. One or more of these factors can contribute to a failure over time. In other words, even those that were installed perfectly are still susceptible to failure.

5. These Pipes Have Lasted 10 Years, so They Are Still Good
This is not true. Most polybutylene systems won't fail for years. In fact, it usually takes about 10 years for leaks to develop.
Like many business owners, you probably want to avoid water damage in your building. If this is the case, you should consider these common myths about older pipes and whether you should replace yours.

The Complicated World of Mold Insurance Claims

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall in Murfreesboro, TN due to humidity A professional mold mitigation franchise is your best protection against a fungal outbreak.

You can count on commercial insurance to cover your business in Murfreesboro, TN, in the case of many perils. When it comes to mold insurance claims, though, there are several unknowns and gray areas. This isn't too unusual in the insurance industry, but it can be even more complicated when dealing with mold. For this reason, it is always in your best interest to speak in depth with your insurance agent. Most policies have a fungus exclusion, which rules out coverage and payments, but there is also a thing called limited fungus coverage. This typically does provide some money to business owners for fungus damage, repair and repair under specified and named conditions.

Company Responsibility

There are several situations that are pretty clear when it comes to mold insurance claims. If you have acted negligently or improperly in maintaining your property, the insurance company is unlikely to honor a claim. This can take many forms:

  • Failure to maintain an adequate roof system
  • Failure to repair leaks
  • Incompetence in cleaning up after a flood
  • Failure to act on repairs in a timely fashion

In other words, if your company could have done something to limit damages and did not, and this inaction resulted in mold damage, the insurance provider will deny a mold claim. If you find mold on your property, it is crucial to take swift, appropriate action.

Mold Remediation
A professional mold mitigation franchise is your best protection against a fungal outbreak. A SERVPRO team is Faster to Any Size Disaster and they will come to your facility in a matter of hours. Trained technicians will work to stop and remove any standing water in the building, often the cause of mold growth, and they will take action to contain the spread of microscopic mold spores. The rest of the process includes removal, cleaning, and restoration of damages. The franchise, experienced with mold insurance claims, will help document any damages and repair costs to speed up the claims process.

How To Prevent Mold Damage After a Flood

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment inside a Murfreesboro, TN home Calling a professional water cleanup service is always recommended after a flood

How To Prevent Mold Damage After a Flood

Major storms and hurricanes can cause severe damage to your home. Between the heavy rain and strong wind, many homes are subject to flooding in Murfreesboro, TN. If your home has suffered from a flood, it is important to act quickly to clean up your home and mitigate any loss from water damage or mold growth.
If you suspect you have mold in your home, remove it as soon as possible, as even small amounts of mold can lead to:

  • Unpleasant odors
  • Damage to your home
  • Dark and unsightly stains
  • Rapid mold growth and infestation


Dry Out Your House
If your home is flooded after a storm, you should remove standing water as quickly as possible and dry out the flooded area. The longer the water stays in your home, the more likely it is to cause damage. Damp, humid areas are a breeding ground for mold and mildew, so you need to eliminate as much moisture as possible.


Get Help Quickly
Calling a professional water cleanup service is always recommended after a flood, as they are expertly trained to handle flood cleanup and mold prevention. In addition to drying out the flooded area, they will also clean, deodorize, and disinfect your home to remove any bacteria that has seeped into your floors and walls.


Document the Damage
Remember to keep a file with all repairs and expenses to file with your insurance company if you plan to file a claim. Gather receipts that show the cost of any damaged property and any receipts from professional cleanup services. Always check with your insurance provider for coverage under your policy.
There is no time to spare when dealing with mold growth after a flood. If you think you have a mold problem, removing the water from your house and thoroughly drying and disinfecting the area is your best course of action. Getting professional help and maintaining good records will ensure that you eliminate the problem, mitigate the damage, and prevent any additional loss.

4 Steps To Fix a Flooded Basement

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement in Murfreesboro, TN. A visible line is showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Murfreesboro, TN.

4 Steps To Fix a Flooded Basement

If you return to your Murfreesboro, TN, home and find a basement flood, it may feel like it can never be fixed or will be an expensive unexpected cost. If you live in a flood-prone area, having flood insurance coverage helps ease the second concern. When it comes to the fix, along with getting help from a certified water damage and restoration company, there are four steps to take to get your basement back to as it should be.


1. Water Extraction
The sooner you can get the standing water out, the better chances you have of salvaging items and avoiding secondary issues, such as mold. Before grabbing buckets, mops and wet/dry vacuum, ensure it is safe to enter the area. Anytime there is unwanted water, electrical hazards increase.


2. Clear Out Wet Items
When a basement flood happens, there is a good chance there are many objects and belongings that are saturated. After taking videos and pictures of everything as it is for insurance purposes, remove anything that you can and store it in a dry, safe place to dry out. For bigger objects that can’t easily be moved, temporarily cover them to keep them contained.


3. Dry It Out
The key to dealing with any flooded area is getting it dried out. If the basement has windows and the humidity level outside is lower than inside, open them to increase ventilation. Run fans and a humidifier to aid in the drying process until help arrives with industrial tools.


4. Consider Waterproofing Options
As you deal with the mess, it’s the perfect time to consider reinforcing your basement to guard against a repeat situation. The first step is to determine the source. If it wasn’t an unexpected event, such as a pipe burst, there are many sealants and waterproofing methods that can create a barrier from water infiltrating your home.
A basement flood is never anything wants to find themselves facing. By taking quick action and getting the right help, you can get back to “Like it never even happened.”