Is Your Business Practicing Good Fire Prevention?
Fire can be devastating to businesses large and small. Did you know that sixty to eighty percent of businesses never recover from commercial building fire damages in Phoenix? It’s vital to protect your business and to do that, keeping up with the latest fire code is necessary. Be sure your business is practicing good fire prevention with these steps.
Preventing building fire damages by following the fire code
The Phoenix fire code is updated each year. The Phoenix Fire Code, based on the International Fire Code, provides minimum fire and life safety standards for buildings, processes, and fire protection equipment installations in the City of Phoenix. The Code is a companion code to the International Codes which were adopted by the City of Phoenix Planning and Development Department establishing the construction requirements for all development in the City of Phoenix. ??Too many owners of commercial property fail to update the fire prevention system they have in place when these updates are made but it’s important to stay informed and in code for your safety.
Code violations that are common among commercial property owners include:
- Failure to install sprinklers within buildings that now require them.
- Failure to install fire alarms where they are now required.
- Failure to update fire prevention equipment to comply with structural changes to the property such as signs, extinguishers, and fire department hookups.
- Failure to maintain fire exits up to code standards.
How to ensure you’re following the fire code to keep your business safe
The common violations listed above are simple to avoid considering the potential alternative and should be taken more seriously. If you’re unsure how to follow these basics, contact your local Phoenix Fire Department and request to have a firefighter come to visit, prior to the official inspector, and educate you on the fire hazards in your commercial property as well as any violations that exist. This will help keep your business protected from fire and within code.
What happens if you experience a fire
Unfortunately, regardless of safeguards that may be put in place fires still happen, leaving significant dame. When that happens property owners call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix for our fire mitigation and restoration services. We also provide reconstruction for structures when needed as well. Fire remediation can help restore your commercial property to pre-fire condition, but it’s important to act fast to get fire remediation specialists out as quickly as possible to address the damage. If you find yourself dealing with commercial property fire damages, trust in SERVPRO and our professional fire remediation services that we’re known for. With immediate emergency service 24/7, call 602-386-4268 and our trained fire technicians will be there to restore your commercial property damaged by fire.
How to Get Rid of Soot After a Home Fire
House fires can cause a lot of damage, and not all of it comes from the flames. Even the smallest of fires in a kitchen can cause some serious damage. You may suffer from extensive soot damage, which can be a challenge to clean up. Here are a few tips on getting rid of soot after you experience a fire in your home.
What is soot?
Soot, also referred to as lampblack or carbon black, is a fine black powder that can be sticky and is a product of incomplete combustion. It can be messy and can leave a foul smell. During a fire, soot can spread to the whole house, attaching to several surfaces. The acidic properties of soot can damage your home and belongings if the soot is not removed immediately and effectively.
Do all fires result in soot?
Most of the materials used for the construction of your home can catch fire and allow it to spread throughout the structure. This means you will likely experience some level of soot in your home after a fire, regardless of how big or small the fire is. While you might be enticed to clean up the soot on your own, cleanup is best left to cleanup professionals, as it can be more difficult to completely clean than you might anticipate.
Call in fire clean-up specialists
Most often the sizable effects that stand out from a house fire of any kind are smoke and soot damages. This is common and can prove challenging to remove without the right equipment. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Central Phoenix professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through soot damages throughout your household. While the most concentrated of this effect can get found around the fires originating point where it burned the longest debris and film from the combustion leaves a dark, often black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials in other places too. That is soot. Unless the fire didn’t spread at all and was quickly extinguished, it’s time to call fire clean-up specialists, or those skilled in fire damage remediation, to help with clean-up.
How is soot be removed?
Removing soot residue requires various approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the present film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high-powered vacuums to get used instead. SERVPRO can assist in cleaning ductwork. Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor remaining in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor usually requires thermal fogging to break apart odor molecules and leave no noticeable scent behind. Our highly trained technicians will know exactly what to do to address the soot throughout your home and get it back to normal.
If you suffer a home fire, regardless of the extent of damage, it is a good idea to contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix to help with all your fire damage remediation needs, including addressing soot. We can be reached 24/7 at 602-386-4268. We’re here to help 24/7 with your remediation needs!
Minimizing Damage to Your Home After a Flood
If your home experiences a significant water issue such as a burst pipe, the first step most homeowners take is to do whatever is needed to stop the water. This keeps damage at a minimum, which is a wise move, but here are a few more tips to minimize damage to your home after a flood.
Pick up or move any items that can be impacted by water
If there are rugs or carpets in the flooded area that you can pick up, remove them as quickly as possible. If possible, you may want to take them outside and drape them over something sturdy to let the water drain out. Water can do a significant amount of damage in a short amount of time, especially to items that have color of any kind. Shoes, bags, area rugs, pet gear, books, or magazines, should all be picked up and moved. Most things can hang to dry and won't suffer significantly from water damage if addressed quickly. If any items that are perishable in nature are flooded, it’s best to simply dispose of the item to prevent the risk of contamination. This includes chew toys, pet food, or anything that is quickly impacted by water.
Get as much water as you can up until help arrives
Once the floor is clear, you can concentrate on getting up some of the standing water until help arrives. A handful of towels or a mop may be enough to get the mess under control, or you may want to use a shop vacuum if you have one. While the SERVPRO water remediation team will be able to help with water cleanup, the sooner you can remove standing water, the better, until professionals arrive with equipment suited to extract all water from the home.
Prop up furniture and other larger unmovable items
Some larger items impacted by water may not be able to get moved out of the water impacted area by the homeowner. If that’s the case, there are still steps you can take to minimize the damage until SERVPRO arrives. Use aluminum foil or small wooded blocks to raise furniture up off of wet floors, especially if it's carpeted to minimize damage. By doing this, you're protecting your furniture from prolonged water exposure and possibly reducing the risk of discoloration of carpeting. Whatever you can do to get larger pieces as much out of standing water as possible will help. Wipe down any wood furnishing that have become damp to potentially minimize warping.
Water damage in a home is always unexpected. Act fast to stop the water flow, then call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at 602-386-4268 to help with water remediation. We’re available 24/7 to help with any water emergency you may have and will respond quickly to your call. These few activities while you wait for help to arrive can make a difference in keeping damage to a minimum.
How to Prepare for Severe Storms to Stay Protected
Typically, Phoenix has severe storms during monsoon season, but this year has been anything but “typical”. With unusual storm patterns of late, it’s good to be prepared. Extreme winter weather often increases the risk of storm damage. A snowstorm or even the presence of graupel can bring extreme cold, ice, and high winds. Keep yourself, your business, and your employees safe by having a plan to respond to severe winter weather in place before it occurs.
Know the risks related to storms
Slick and icy roads, blowing hail or pelting rain, and decreased visibility all raise the likelihood of weather-related damage to homes and businesses, including a loss of power or downed lines. While it may be tempting to go outside and address those issues yourself, the best plan is to stay inside, and stay off the roads whenever possible. Those storm-related issues can be addressed once the storm resides, so don’t risk further damage or personal harm by trying to fix anything during a storm.
Prevent damage or keep it at a minimum
When water freezes, it expands, often leading to an unexpected pipe burst. To minimize the chance of this happening during an exceptionally freezing storm like we’ve experienced recently, make sure your pipes are properly insulated. Inspect the pipes seasonally to check for any leaks or loss of integrity. Plan ahead and have a list of trusted and reliable plumbers, electricians, and storm restoration specialists to call when you need help. Researching these trained professionals before you need them will speed up the process of any repairs if you do suffer damage after a storm. It will also decrease wait time until help arrives which can help minimize further damage.
Keep employees home
While many businesses are working from a work-from-home model, not all businesses are able to do that, and therefore have employees in the office. Watch the news and pay attention to all storm warnings and emergency alerts during severe winter weather to see if it makes sense to have your employees stay home versus driving into work under adverse conditions. This will keep them off the roads and away from the associated risks that go along with driving during winter storms. If your business experiences significant storm damage, call in storm remediation specialists to assess the damage, as it may be extensive enough to have to keep employees away until the damage is fixed.
A snowstorm can be frightening, especially for those of us who really aren’t used to having to deal with snow, hail, and the damage it brings. Being aware of the dangers they carry is important to keep your property safe. If you do experience damage from a storm, call the pros at SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at 602-386-4268 to help get the damage addressed as quickly as possible.
Got Mold? Don’t Try to Handle it on Your Own
Moisture can get into your home in a variety of ways, from storm damage leaks to water pipes bursting to a slow, undetected drip from a pipe. Homeowners may want to address the situation themselves, but it is best to leave mold remediation to the experts. Should you see signs of mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix to take care of the situation before it gets worse.
Not all mold is visible.
One of the most important reasons to call a professional mold remediation service for mold damage to your home is that the issue can’t be fixed without professional intervention. The impacted area must be dried, cleaned, sanitized, and possibly repainted or rebuilt if the mold infestation was significant enough to cause some real damage. Even when mold appears to be gone, it’s not, and if not cleaned thoroughly and completely, mold spores can continue to grow and spread to other parts of your home causing more damage and unwanted musty odors. No one wants that!
Why cleaning mold on your own is not enough to get the job done.
Trying to eliminate mold damage yourself can be injurious to the home, rather than helpful. Even if you remove all visible signs of mold growth in your home, it’s almost impossible to get rid of airborne spores and hidden patches of growth without advanced tools that professionals use. SERVPRO uses advanced moisture detection tools to identify patches of mold behind walls and surfaces that can’t be seen on the surface, and air scrubbers to filter as many spores out of the environment as possible. Also, keep in mind that you really can’t remove mold altogether. Since microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, indoors, and outdoors, removing all mold from a home is impossible. Remediation is what keeps mold growth at bay, which in turn prevents mold damage.
Moldy smells mean there’s a problem.
After the mold has been addressed, the musty odor it causes can remain if not addressed as well. These odors won’t likely go away on their own. SERVPRO technicians use industrial-strength chemical fogging machines to defuse odor molecules, even if they are embedded deep within the walls, floors, or other materials of your home. When mold appears in your home, SERVPRO mold remediation professionals will:
- Inspect and assess mold damage.
- Suppress the mold.
- Implement air filtration.
- Remove mold and mold-infested materials, if applicable
- Clean mold-impacted contents in your home
There is more to cleaning mold than simply wiping it off surfaces, which is why mold remediation is best left to the professionals of SERVPRO versus trying to handle it on your own. SERVPRO of Central Phoenix is the leading provider of mold damage remediation services. For our expert help with mold in your home, give us a call at (602) 386-4268. We’re available 24/7 and will work with you to address your mold issues. Call the pros when you get mold!
Keep Your Sump Pump Maintained to Protect Your Basement from Water Damage
Though common in other parts of the country, Arizona doesn’t have many homes with basements. However, there are homes that offer this feature but because it’s not common, many homeowners are unfamiliar with sump pumps, how they work, and how to maintain them. It’s important to keep your sump pump maintained to protect your basement from water damage. Here are a few tips on what to look for and what to do.
Your primary sump pump is no different than any other appliance in your home; without power, it is completely worthless. As a safeguard, invest in a high-quality battery back-up sump pump to protect your basement should there be a power failure. A battery kept continually charged by the backup system operates a separate pump linked to the discharge pipe, providing you hours of protection until power is restored. Some backup pumps even monitor the condition of the battery and alert you when it needs to be replaced.
Discharge Pipe Issues
If the discharge pipe is not installed or pitched properly, water will collect and eventually cause a blockage. Arizona has very hard water and it can cause sump pumps to freeze up if the flow is impeded in any way. Be sure to check and make sure your sump pump and discharge pipe were correctly installed. If you’re unsure, call a professional to check it for you.
Stuck Pump Float Switch
There are several different types of sump float switches. Vertical and tethered floats are the most common. It’s important to know which one you have, as vertical floats seem to work the best as tethered floats are known for getting stuck on the sidewalls of the sump pit, causing a flooded basement. Take the time to find out what float switch you have to protect your basement from future water damage from a flood.
Under-Powered Sump Pump
There are a variety of sump pumps available, each appropriate for different applications. Make sure your sump pump has the correct horsepower pump, capable of keeping up with your flow of water. If you’re unsure if the existing pump you have is adequate, call in a professional to check for you.
Outdated Sump Pump
It is generally recommended that sump pumps should be replaced every five to seven years in order to be effective. If you purchase a home with an existing sump pump, be sure to find out how old the sump pump itself is, and keep the five-year mark in mind to protect your basement from flooding should the sump pump fail.
In general, sump pumps are very effective at keeping basements from flooding, but should you experience a flood in your basement, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at 602-386-4268. We’re available 24/7 to help with your water remediation needs.
SERVPRO’s Commercial Restoration Services Can Assist Businesses in a Disaster
Homeowners all over the country are aware of the professional restoration services offered by SERVPRO, from fire damage restoration to water or flood restoration to mold remediation. Did you know that SERVPRO can assist businesses during a disaster too? We offer commercial restoration services for businesses large and small. See how we can help your business should you experience a disaster.
Commercial water damage restoration services
Floods and other water damage can really impact a business. Excessive water can cause a business to close until the property is back to normal, which can cost a business a lot of money waiting for things to be restored back to pre-flood times. SERVPRO of Central Phoenix has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.
Commercial fire damage restoration services
Even the smallest of fires can cause big headaches for businesses. First, you have to get the flames extinguished. Even after the fire is out, there is a lot of damage that needs to be addressed, whether its damage causes by flames, soot or smoke, or the remains of the chemicals firefighters used to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO knows how important it is to restore businesses as quickly as possible to reduce the opportunity for more damage (like mold growth if moisture isn’t removed) as well as reduce the time a business is closed. We know that every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity, which is why we offer fast and professional commercial fire damage restoration services 24/7.
Disaster recovery team
Aside from fire, water, floods, and mold, SERVPRO offers a complete disaster recovery team for businesses. This team can service a single location or locations across the country. The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is comprised of our best of the best in restoration. Our highly trained large-loss specialists are qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster to help get businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible, regardless of the disaster. Every large loss is supervised to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation. Our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor makes us uniquely qualified to help businesses during disasters.
If your small business experiences any kind of disaster, contact the professionals at SERVPRO 24/7 at 602-386-4268 to get back in business quickly.
Don’t Panic If You Have Mold in Your Home; It’s More Common Than You Think
After a particularly wet storm season, or if a leaky pipe has gone unnoticed, mold can begin to grow in your home. Left unchecked, mold damage can cause significant damage to your property, and there is a need to prevent its growth or conduct remediation procedures aimed at mitigating the resulting damage. If you find that you have mold, don’t panic; you’re not alone in having mold in your home. Here’s what you need to know.
What causes mold?
The primary cause of mold damage in Phoenix is moisture. Without it, mold cannot grow, and that means the secret to controlling mildew growth lies in regulating the moisture content in your property. Our SERVPRO technicians understand that the dampness in your property can be because of indirect water intrusion, direct water intrusion, and intermittent intrusion. Keep in mind that mold spores are everywhere, inside and outside homes, so while mold can never be removed, it’s damage and growth can be mitigated.
How water impacts mold growth
Direct intrusion takes place when your roof or plumbing system leaks, your windows are poorly sealed, or water runs off from bathtubs and showers. Our SERVPRO team has the skills and resources to fix these issues, so it’s crucial to call professionals immediately to prevent further damage. Indirect water intrusion is rising damp. That can happen when moisture seeps up from underground, and your property ends up with wet concrete slabs, furniture, cabinets, or carpets.
Intermittent water intrusion may be condensation that results from inadequate ventilation, vaporizers, humidifiers, high humidity, and high steam. To lower the moisture content and improve air quality, we may set up dehumidifiers. The role of these devices is to extract that additional moisture from the air. Regardless of how the water intrusion happens, all can lead to mold growth.
How SERVPRO addresses mold remediation
The first step is to locate the water source and stop additional moisture from happening. Once we dry the wet areas and stop moisture entry, we address any materials that may have been damaged by mold. These materials can either be cleaned or need to be removed, depending on the extent of the damage. After that, we can perform deodorization. SERVPRO uses thermal foggers that emit deodorizing agents that have antimicrobial capabilities to reduce the chances of mold growth. SERVPRO is certified by IICRC to do mold remediation, and has the right tools, following state regulations when doing our work.
SERVPRO of Central Phoenix is a trusted industry leader in mold remediation, and we take pride in our highly trained technicians. If you experience mold growth in your home, know that it’s more common than you think. Don’t panic, call us at (602) 386-4268 and be offered proven mold remediation services.
Handling Ash and Soot Cleanup After a Home Fire
Whenever a homeowner experiences a house fire, cleaning ash and soot residues becomes essential to get a home back to normal. Smoke created by a fire fills the house and leaves behind residue that’s difficult to clean. Soot residues discolor and ruin contents and building materials inside your house, which is why it’s important to address ash and soot cleanup after a home fire.
Replacing vs. cleaning damaged items
Replacing materials inside your home can get expensive, so cleaning items instead can save you money. SERVPRO's fire damage technicians in Phoenix use various approaches to cleaning during the mitigation process, depending on what is damaged by soot. The purpose of cleaning smoke-related damage is to restore the materials to the conditions they were before the fire.
Depending on the items, some cleaning methods work better in certain situations than others. The type of cleaning used depends on the kind of materials that got burned and the type of materials soot damaged.
Fundamentals of cleaning soot damaged items
There are four fundamental elements required to address residues so that they get removed effectively. The first element of cleaning is temperature. Heat increases the speed of chemical reactions in products. SERVPRO's restoration technicians always select the best temperature based on which chemical gets used and the material being cleaned. The next element is agitation. When soot-damaged materials get agitated, the residues get dislodged, and chemicals get distributed across the surface. When cleaning smoke-damaged surfaces, we agitate the surface with towels, brushes, air and water pressure, and sonic vibrations from ultrasonic machines. Soot residues also get cleaned through chemical action. Most chemicals get designed to cause a reaction with the soot, therefore assisting in its removal. The reactions that take place include dissolving, emulsifying, changing pH, oxidizing, bleaching, and digesting. The last element of cleaning is time. Most chemicals need time to appropriately react to the soot and work efficiently. The amount of time needed varies based on the product, type of residue and the kind of surface affected by soot.
Call the cleaning professionals if you experience a house fire
In most scenarios, soot gets cleaned the best by using a variety of elements and principles of cleaning. For professional help with cleaning residues call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at (602) 386-4268 any time of the day. Our technicians will endeavor to restore all your possessions to pre-fire conditions to help you recover from the disaster of a house fire.
Water Remediation Services Can Keep Businesses Open After Water Damage
Businesses large and small are all working hard to keep open during recent times, especially with the holidays right around the corner, so if water damage occurs, it can present a big problem as well as the possibility of closing while water damage is addressed. SERVPRO strives to extract water and clean up water damage while your business remains operational.
How SERVPRO professionals mitigate water damage issues in businesses
The first and most important step when water damage occurs in a business is to secure the area; safety is always a top priority. Keeping foot traffic and other personnel away from the water damage protects people and property. After the source of the water damage is addressed, whether it’s a broken pipe or flooded dishwasher, the next step taken is to extract all the water from the structure as quickly as possible. SERVPRO's commercial water removal technicians then use equipment to dry the materials and contents inside the business. The final stage of the drying process is the cleaning and deodorization.
After the building is secured and the source of the problem gets fixed, our trained technicians begin the extraction process. The goal of extraction is to vacuum up as much water inside the business as possible while keeping the business open. We can extract water in small sections at a time so that we do not impede foot traffic. Depending on the situation and extent of the flooding, various types of water removal equipment is used. In most cases, a truck-mounted extractor can address the water issue, but in other scenarios, a portable one is more efficient and less intrusive during business hours. Depending on the surfaces affected, we use either light-weight extraction wands or heavy-duty extraction tools to get the job done. Some extraction tools are heavy-duty extraction systems using the bodyweight of the machine operator to compress the carpet making it easier to vacuum up water. If there are more than two inches of standing water present, a submersible pump gets used for pulling up the water more efficiently.
Drying out the business building
Upon final water removal, we then dry out the remainder of the moisture. We complete the drying process by creating the best environment to speed up the evaporation method. When technicians dry out a structure, different types of equipment are used depending on the situation. In most cases, air movers and dehumidifiers get set up in a way that uses dry air from the dehumidifiers to circulate hot, dry air around the affected room. The drying process also sometimes gets completed a small section at a time so that only a portion of your business is blocked off. Whenever possible, our trained professionals will endeavor to address the water problem while not being intrusive on the business operations.
Cleaning and deodorization of the property
After moisture levels return to preloss conditions, the final cleaning and deodorization stage takes place. We make sure that your business remains a clean, odor-free environment to continue to attract customers. For help from the experts if you experience water damage in your business, call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at (602) 386-4268 24/7 to get the help you need to stay open for business.