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Recover Faster with a Business Continuity Plan

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

business continuity plan Recover faster with a business continuity plan

Savvy business owners in Capistrano Beach, CA, know that the unexpected can and will happen. Instead of being caught off guard, developing a business continuity plan makes it easier to weather a disaster. Whether it is flooding that requires a temporary shutdown while a water damage and restoration professional restores the building or mechanical malfunction causes an interruption, being prepared for anything makes it easier to get back on track.

Essential Elements

A continuity plan should cover three areas:

Preparedness – Determine the potential events that could impact the business and establish protocols to minimize or eliminate them.
Response – Have clear procedures in place to handle a disaster and ensure everyone’s safety.
Recovery – Know the operations critical to success and define ways to restore them.Ensuring Success
Once those three elements are made clear, executing the plan requires communication, planning and research. To ensure its success, the following are recommended:

Build a team to oversee the process. Include key members from the departments that are critical to the overall success of the company.

Take the time to identify and rank all the what-ifs. Along with the potential effects of storm damage, consider fire risks, staffing issues, supply chain interruptions and other areas that would be the most threatening to operations.

An overall analysis of critical functions should be completed. This will help business owners rank their importance and better identify department-specific processes to ensure a smoother recovery.
Ensure you have the plan written down with each procedure clearly laid out.

Since a plan is just a plan, regular tests should be done to validate strategies. Doing so will also shed light on any missed opportunities or oversights that could be detrimental in a real situation.

Although unexpected events happen, businesses don’t have to be lost in the chaos. Stay ahead of the game by developing a continuity plan to get back on track faster.

3 Places Mold Can Hide in Your Facility

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Man looking at a vent Check your vents for any mold growth

Here Are Three Places To Look For Mold

Mold can appear in your facility in Three Arch Bay, CA, when and where you least expect it. Mold requires four conditions for growth: darkness, moisture, organic material, and a surface to grow on. Unfortunately, most facilities have spaces that meet all of these requirements. Therefore, it's not unusual for facility managers to need a plan for remediation and mold prevention. Here are three places to look for mold.


1. Carpet

Carpet catches organic materials and hangs onto them. It can also capture moisture through:

  • Leaks
  • Spills
  • Floods
  • Moist room air

To minimize mold growth in carpet, check room humidity levels, and adjust accordingly. If a flood has introduced moisture, use fans, dehumidifiers, and wet/dry vacuums to dry the carpet as quickly as possible. You can call a mold remediation specialist to help with the cleanup.


2. Ductwork

During the cooling season, the air supplied to the facility has a high moisture level, causing water to condense and accumulate inside duct linings. Damaged insulation can also cause moisture accumulation on duct exteriors, and leaky ductwork can allow moisture to escape into spaces with unconditioned air.

Consider having ductwork inspected regularly as part of a mold prevention plan. Also, ensure that air-flow rates are within the design range of your system. Rates that are too high can draw moisture from the face of the cooling coil and into the ductwork system.


3. Ceiling Tiles

Many ceiling tiles are made from porous materials that readily absorb dirt and moisture. Tiles near the HVAC system vents are particularly susceptible to mold growth as these areas are high in humidity and dirt.

Mechanical piping is often located above suspended ceilings, and leaks can cause moisture to accumulate inside the ceiling. Roof leaks can also lead to water damage and wet tiles.
To prevent moisture from accumulating in ceilings, inspect plumbing systems regularly and repair roof leaks promptly.

Regular inspections along with prompt attention to excess moisture can help your mold prevention plan and keep your facility in Three Arch Bay, CA, in good working condition.

3 Candle Safety Tips

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Burning candles There are plenty of candle alternatives that reduce or eliminate the risk of fire

Use These Tips To Safely And Properly Use Candles In Your Home

Candles can be a great, cozy addition to your home in College Park, CA. Candles have many benefits, including creating a relaxing ambiance and helping your home smell good. However, it's important to be safe while using candles to prevent a candle fire or other accident. Using a candle without proper care can quickly turn into an emergency. Be sure to use candles safely and properly to stop a preventable accident.


1. Do Not Keep Anything Flammable Near Candles
Flammable objects like curtains and loose papers can quickly create a fire emergency. If you are burning a candle, be sure to keep it away from anything that is capable of catching fire. Any liquids that are highly flammable should be kept completely clear of the candle, and you should create a plan for what to do if something does catch fire that includes calling the necessary emergency services and contacting a fire restoration company.


2. Don't Leave Candles Unattended
Leaving a candle unattended while you leave the house or even just the room can be an easy mistake to make, but it can quickly lead to a candle fire. Be sure to extinguish your candle when leaving it.
Additionally, if you have children or pets, be sure to keep them away from the candle and do not leave them unattended with the candle, either.


3. Try Candle Alternatives
There are plenty of candle alternatives that reduce or eliminate the risk of fire. For example, using battery-operated or electric candles can help eliminate the risk of a fire and smoke cleanup. If you like the scents of candles, try an essential oil diffuser or wax warmers. When you need a light source in case of a power outage, use a flashlight instead when possible.

A candle fire can spread quickly and create a fire emergency. 

5 Things Commercial Owners Can Do After a Building Fire

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO drying equipment Fire restoration services in Treasure Island, CA.

Five Things To Do After A Fire

Fire restoration is a complicated, multi-step process. In-depth cleaning must take place to avoid significant issues such as mold and structural loss. It's imperative that commercial owners in Treasure Island, CA, understand that this takes time and outside assistance. While owners allow professionals to tend to the facility, there are vital steps that proprietors should take. The following are five things to do immediately after the fire occurs.

1. Initiate Your Claim
Contact your insurer, and ask to use your fire insurance policy. Create a claim, and discuss details of the process. Know your deductible, maximum coverage and any exclusions. Inquire about mortgage assistance and property loss as well. Ask questions. It's better to know what the agent needs than to hope you are doing something right.

2. Gather Important Business Documents
While the building undergoes fire restoration, owners may not have access to essential paperwork. Locate your reports and accounts files. Have a copy of mortgage statements or lease agreements. Take them to a safe place for continued reference.

3. Secure the Facility
Protect the property from further harm. Contact a fire remediation company to oversee the area. These professionals arrive directly after the blaze and assess immediate vulnerabilities. The team should board up any openings and put a tarp over the roof.
The main goal here is to limit entrance. Keep others out, including curious bystanders, animals and rain.

4. Approve Remediation Efforts
Allow some work to begin before insurance approval. For instance, allowing water and smoke cleaning to start promptly could reduce overall costs, time and trouble. Save the receipts. Insurance usually compensates for it. Always speak with agents, however, to see what is required on that end.

5. Locate Temporary Workspace
The building is typically off-limits during remediation. Hunt down a temporary venue where you can set up shop and continue projects.
While specialized crews focus on fire restoration, owners should focus on insurance communication and business operations. In doing so, the operations may continue and financial help may be received.

What You Should Know About Landlord Insurance

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Landlord insurance form Landlord insurance will cover the damage to your structure

What You Should Know About Landlord Insurance

Many things can be destroyed by fire damage: homes, furniture, and vehicles being among the most common. When this occurs in a rental building, there can be confusion about who pays to replace the content and hire the restoration company. In this case, a line must be drawn between the landlord and the tenants' responsibilities. Therefore, landlords need to know more about the potential expenses and who pays them.


The Expenses That Will Occur

An apartment fire will affect both the landlord and tenants in Laguna Beach, CA. While fire, smoke, and water damage are the biggest expenses, other things need to be considered. Here are some of the expenses that will occur after a fire:

  • Restoration
  • Legal fees
  • Relocation
  • Lost income


The Ways They Are Paid

Deciding who is responsible in the event of an apartment fire is complex. To completely cover the damage, there should be both landlord and renter insurance. Understanding these policies will help establish how costs are paid. This is because the landlord and renters insurance covers different things. In general, these policies cover the belongings owned by the insured.

Landlord insurance will cover the damage to the structure. Most policies will cover the building, utilities, and provided appliances. Ensure that your policy provides enough coverage to completely replace all of these items to avoid out-of-pocket costs.

On the other hand, renters insurance will cover the tenant's possessions. This includes all of the personal items in their unit. Furniture, electronics, and clothing will all be covered. Renters should have appropriate coverage to ensure they do not have out-of-pocket costs.

When an apartment fire occurs, the tenants and landlord have different responsibilities. Because of this, these individuals should have their respective insurance policies. This will prevent landlords and tenants from having out-of-pocket costs due to a fire. Knowing more about potential expenses and how they are paid can prepare both renters and landlords for disasters.

Understanding A Flood Cut In A Nutshell

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO drying equipment ready to remove moisture Severe floods can happen when you least expect them. The team at SERVPRO is ready to respond to any size flood in your commercial building.

Understanding A Flood Cut In A Nutshell

Flooding can be a major problem for commercial buildings in Laguna Beach, CA. It can lead to structural damage, mold growth, and sewage contamination. In certain cases, your flood cleanup company may start talking to you about doing a flood cut. This term may sound daunting, but it is a simple procedure that can help speed up the remediation process for your building. Learn more about this process to figure out if it is right for your flood remediation project.

What Is It?

Simply put, a flood cut is the removal of drywall in a flooded building. If the contractor has to tear out drywall, he or she will make a cut 12 to 18 inches above the flood line. Any drywall below that line is removed from the wall.

When Is It Necessary?

This restoration procedure isn't always necessary. You may have to have it done in your building if any of the following is true:

  • The wall is insulated.
  • The water is contaminated.
  • There is potential mold growth in the wall.

If the flooding involves only clean water, there is a greater chance that you won't have to have any of your drywall taken out.

How Does It Help?

Removing the bottom portion of the drywall allows the interior of the wall to dry out faster. It also allows the restoration experts to visually see what's going on. They may be able to see signs of mold growth or other issues. Drywall is a porous material, so it often soaks up a lot of water. If the floods in your commercial building included any black water, removing the drywall helps remove all signs of contamination from the structure.

When your Laguna Beach, CA, building is affected by flooding, you want the issue to be addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Tearing out most of the lower drywall may seem counterintuitive, but it can actually help speed up your building's restoration.

3 Safe Flameless Candle Alternatives

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Led Pillar Candles Sitting outside in Aliso Viejo, CA, in the evening breeze with mood-enhancing candles on the table evokes a nice feeling.

3 Flameless Candle Alternatives That Aren't Dangerous

As inviting as traditional candles are to create a certain appeal, they pose a safety concern. Flame-free options give you the look and feel of real candles. Here are three flameless candle alternatives to consider.

1. LED Pillar Candles

Pillar candles are one of the most common alternatives. They're available in varying sizes, colors, and scents to suit your decor. Pillars are versatile enough to sit on a mantle or in the bathroom during a soak. With an LED feature, they'll last longer than battery-operated options.

While you can light a real pillar candle, the open flame automatically puts your home in danger, especially if you get sidetracked. An unattended candle can quickly become dangerous. Never leave candles lit near curtains or bedding. Always extinguish the flame if you're going into another room or falling asleep. If the unfortunate occurs, the experts in fire damage restoration will be there to restore your home.

2. Tea Light Candle Alternatives

Placing tea lights around your home provides the appeal of real candles without the concern for safety. Their footprint is minimal, so you can place them almost anywhere without cluttering your space. Tea lights are ideal for tables as the low profile means they won’t block fellow diners from view or become obstacles when reaching for food.

3. Outdoor Solar Lanterns

Sitting outside in Aliso Viejo, CA, in the evening breeze with mood-enhancing candles on the table evokes a nice feeling. You have, however, likely experienced an uptick in the wind, which has caused your tableware to topple. Imagine this experience happening with a lit candle.

Enjoying a beautiful evening with family and friends outdoors shouldn’t be a potentially dangerous event. Instead, incorporate alternatives such as outdoor solar lanterns into your tablescape. They recharge throughout the day to be ready for the evening ahead.

Candle alternatives provide inviting options such as fragrances and the ambiance of a flickering wick without the worry of an open flame. By incorporating innovative options, candle fire concerns will be a thing of the past so you can enjoy your future.

Can You Flood-Proof Your Home?

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. SERVPRO can respond immediately to your home or business after a severe storm. Call us when you need it!

Is Your House Flood-Proof?

Short of buying a home that sits on the top of a hill in the middle of a desert, the best way to protect your home from flooding is to develop a good flood safety plan. Here are four safety tips you can follow to minimize costly damage to your home.

1. Elevate Your Home

If you are buying a home, check FEMA’s website to find out how high local rivers and lakes are expected to rise during a severe storm. If possible, buy a home above the flood line. If you are buying a home on a beach, you can elevate your home by setting it on piers or columns.

2. Elevate Electrical Systems

For maximum flood safety, you must ensure that electrical systems are not on ground level. Safety tips include elevating electrical wires, breakers, sockets and outlets at least 1 foot off the ground. Air conditioners, furnaces and water heaters should be elevated and secured. Generators must be installed above the flood line or else they can become damaged, useless, and possibly dangerous during a flood.

3. Protect Sewer Systems

During a flood, backed-up and overflowing sewer systems can cause unsanitary conditions that spread disease. Flood-proof your sewer system by installing backflow valves on all pipes that enter your home.

4. Make a Last-Minute Effort

If flooding is imminent, some last-minute efforts can help minimize damage to your home in Laguna Beach, CA. Clean gutters to help route the water away from your home. Try to get kitchen appliances off the ground. Move valuables upstairs or onto countertops to minimize losses.

With a little planning, you can minimize the damage your home experiences during a flood. If flood damage occurs, enlist the help of a professional storm damage restoration company to return your home to its pre-flood condition. Remember to always watch and adhere to any flood safety or evacuation warnings.

3 Ways a Company Becomes a Preferred Vendor

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green vehicle parked outside a building SERVPRO of Laguna Beach / Dana Point is here to make it "Like it never even happened."

Three Ways a Business Can Become a Preferred Vendor

After a crisis at your business in Laguna Beach, CA, you don't want to spend time shopping around for a reliable restoration company. You want to trust that your insurance agent has your best interest in mind when they recommend a company to help you. You can trust you are in good hands when a vendor has achieved preferred vendor status with your insurance company. Here are three things vendors must do to become your insurer's preferred choice.

1. Join the Preferred Vendor Program
There are likely many restoration companies in your area, and some may have been in business forever. But it helps you as the client to have peace of mind when a company has backing from a larger certification entity. A SERVPRO franchise owner must join a national account and agree to a checklist of 21 qualifications before becoming a preferred vendor.

2. Complete All Checklist Items
Of the 21 items on the checklist, a vendor must maintain background checks on their employees, keep equipment up-to-date, and pass all audits to achieve preferred vendor status with an insurance company. Your insurance agent can see all restoration vendors in the area, but preferred vendors have completed the checklist to demonstrate that they are committed to quality service.

3. Maintain Training and Quality Service
As new technologies and research become available, most professions update their practices. A commercial restoration company is no different. To maintain preferred vendor status, franchise owners must provide continuing education opportunities to their employees. The owner also has access to the company metrics that report performance and customer satisfaction. He or she must use that data to improve the company's services to maintain a spot on the preferred vendor list with your insurance company.

Your insurance agent wants to help you recover quickly from a crisis at your business. You can trust that a preferred vendor with your insurance company has undergone rigorous testing and training to achieve that status.
 

What Are Storm Services and How Can They Help Insurance Agents?

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Board on roof The team at SERVPRO responded and boarded up the roof after a storm in California.

What Are Storm Services?

When a major storm, such as a hurricane, strikes Dana Hills, CA, insurance agents can have great difficulty in finding any storm restoration available. Not only is this vexing for your clients (as well as you), it leads to greater damage when mitigation efforts aren’t applied immediately to storm damage. You need a top restoration company as soon as possible after a disaster.

What’s First?
As soon as the storm has passed, damaged buildings will be searched by a storm response team. The next step is to secure the property. This is done in three ways:

  • Reinforce the structure as necessary.
  • Remove any floodwater and squeeze out the moisture.
  • Tarp and board exposed areas.

That’s the job of the restoration company. They’ll bring in everything needed to reduce further damage.

What’s Next?
SERVPRO has a separate National Accounts Division to provide storm services directly to insurance agents and their clients. As a Preferred Vendor, they’re used to working closely with insurance company professionals to expedite the claim. They know exactly what forms you need and can often begin storm restoration within days – or hours!

What Do Storm Services Include?
As a Preferred Vendor, they can begin to protect the property even before the claim has been formally begun. Their top priority in a storm response is to prevent further damage.
To expedite the claim, all their files are available electronically through the cloud. With a computer or smart device, insurance adjusters and agents can share all the files instantaneously, dramatically increasing response times. It also removes any confusion or lost paperwork – and hard copies are also available, of course.
In a major disaster, SERVPRO can bring in assets from over 1,700 locations to begin the process even faster. Hundreds of local franchises will band together in a crisis to shift trained crews to where they’re needed, even for widespread flood damage.
The close collaboration between a Preferred Vendor and an insurance company ensures the highest quality storm restoration at a pre-arranged cost. It’s the best way to reduce stress for everyone involved.