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3 Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

The difference between storm and flood damage is the source of the water that enters your building

Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

During a storm in Oklahoma City, OK, there may be damage done to your building. While you may think that all storm damage is the same, this is not always the case. There is one very important distinction that should be made. This is that floods are considered to be a separate issue from other types of water damage that may occur during a storm. The following are a few differences between the two.

1. The Source of the Water

The first difference between storm and flood damage is the source of the water that enters your building. During a storm, leaks can occur, allowing water inside. Even if the amount is significant, this is not considered to be a flood. Flood waters are those that rise up from the ground and enter the building from below. When trying to determine the type of water damage you have, this is probably the easiest way.

2. The Category of Water

Rain is classified as category 1 water, which means that it is clean and will not cause any significant harm to you. While flood waters may have risen because of the rain, they are classified differently. Once the rainwater begins to rise and mix with other sources, such as sewer water, it becomes category 3. This water is highly contaminated and should be avoided. Flood damage will require thorough sanitization.

3. Insurance Coverage

In most cases, water damage is included in commercial insurance policies. However, most flood damage is not and, if it is, coverage will usually be limited. If there are often floods in the area, it may be a good idea to invest in a separate flood policy to make sure that your property is covered during an emergency.
If your property has been damaged by flooding or anything else during a storm, you will likely need repairs. Contact a cleanup and restoration company to get your building back to its previous condition as soon as possible.

How to Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Removal

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

If you find mold in your Oklahoma City, OK, building, you should have it removed as soon as possible. In most cases, you will likely not want to close your business entirely during the mold removal process as this can result in lost profits. It is important, however, to keep the safety of your employees in mind. The following are a few ways that you can help prevent them from having to work in a contaminated environment.


1. Use Containment Methods During Removal
While mold removal is being done, the workers will likely set up containment areas to keep the mold from spreading throughout the building. This will help keep the areas where employees are still working clean.


2. Provide Protective Items
If the area has been contained but you are still concerned about the safety of your employees, you may feel better if you provide them with some protective gear. Face masks will help prevent them from breathing in any contaminated air. Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter is an option as well. These remove black mold spores and other impurities from the air, ensuring the area will be safe to work in.


3. Have Employees Work From Home
In cases of extreme mold growth, you may not feel comfortable having your employees come into work. If this is the case, you can always have them work from home. Depending on the severity of the contamination, removal can take more than a week, so closing the business during the process is not ideal. While there may be some limitations when work is done this way, it might be better than your other options.


When you need to have mold removal done, it is best to hire a professional mold remediation specialist. They will have the necessary training and experience to clean the area without creating a more hazardous environment for your employees. They will get the job done as quickly as possible, so you can get back to work sooner.

What Is Included in Commercial Insurance Fire Damage Policies?

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage after fire in Edmond, OK

Here's What Is Usually Covered By Most Insurance Policies

Fire damage is one of the most frequent insurance claims in the United States. In 2017 alone, almost 500,000 structure fires were reported, causing around $10.7 billion in damages. Not only do fires cause damage with the heat and combustion, but smoke gets everywhere and fire-fighting substances, such as water and foam, cause tremendous damage. Here’s what is usually covered by most insurance policies in Edmond, OK, although it should be noted that each company has different terms.

Structural Damage

Depending on the policy and property ownership, your policy may cover repairs and replacements to the structure, including

  • Roof
  • Supporting structure
  • Stucco, siding and concrete
  • Windows
  • Plumbing and heating systems
  • Interior walls, framing and painting


Ask your insurance adjuster if these are covered by your policy. Even if you rent your location, some policies will cover these types of damage, often under general liability, in what’s called “damage to premises rented.” Note that your coverage should include replacing items, such as carpet and roofing tiles, if a perfect match isn’t made between the replacement items and older ones, under the “uniform and consistent appearance” clause.

Fire Damage Coverage

Most items are covered by the majority of commercial property insurance policies. However, there are exceptions, and terms of individual policies can vary widely. Some policies cover actual cash value (the original value of the item minus accumulated depreciation), while others cover replacement costs. Replacement policies cost more but can help avoid massive out-of-pocket expenses.

Your policy may cover fees charged for fire-fighting services and smoke damage. Some policies include coverage for loss of business income during the disaster and the recovery time. Mold damage may be included, but this is now often being specifically excluded, so check to make sure you have a mold endorsement.

Fire damage to your business in Edmond, OK, doesn’t have to be the end. If you are careful and read your insurance policy, most forms of fire mitigation can be covered, not only providing peace of mind but possibly avoiding a bankruptcy and closing of your business altogether.

How to Remove Odor After a Flood

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

If you’ve suffered water damage after sewage loss or a flood in Oklahoma City, OK, you may have noticed that your home has a lingering odor even after you’ve cleaned it. When this occurs, it might be secondary damage caused by the water. Mold grows quickly in moist environments, so it is possible that this is what is creating the odor in your house. Here are a few things you can try to remove it.


1. Wash Affected Items
Soft and porous materials, such as stuffed toys, mattresses and clothing absorb water easily, along with the contaminants that it contains. If there were mold spores in the water, these items may now be the home of mold growth. If there are affected items that you have not washed, you should do this immediately. Some belongings, such as furniture, that cannot be so easily cleaned might need to be replaced instead.


2. Clean the Walls and Floors
While they may not hold water as easily as softer materials, hard surfaces are not entirely safe from mold growth. If these areas remained wet for an extended period of time, a mold colony may have formed. Scrub down any walls, floors and surfaces that were affected by the flood.


3. Hire a Professional
If you have done everything that you can and are still unable to remove the unpleasant smell from your home, then it may be time to hire a clean up and restoration service. Not only can they locate mold growth in areas that you might have missed, but they also have the tools and experience to remove it. They can also use professional equipment to eliminate any odors in the building.


Floodwater is highly contaminated and can carry sewage, bacteria and other contaminants like mold. If your home has been cleaned but you are still experiencing the bad smell, hiring a professional may be the best choice for you.

Mold Growth in HVAC Ductwork

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth in HVAC Ductwork

Unfortunately, you may have mold growth in your Oklahoma City, OK, business without even realizing it. Because the inside of ductwork is not readily visible, black mold growing in air ducts frequently goes unnoticed.

Identifying Mold Growth

Even if you do not see the mold inside the ducts, there will usually be other signs that you have a problem. These include:

  • A musty smell, especially when running the air conditioning
  • Black dust on vents
  • Health issues, such as coughing, headaches and nausea, that are not explained by seasonal allergies or other health conditions

Treating Mold Growth

When mold is growing in air ducts, it can be especially tricky to remediate. You may wish to contact mold remediation experts to help you get the problem under control. Although every situation varies, the general process for treating mold follows a similar pattern: identify the type and extent of mold damage, take apart and clean ducts and replace surrounding insulation if necessary. In every case, it is important to identify the cause of mold growth and address it so that the mold does not come back.

Preventing Mold Growth

Black mold, like many other molds, needs moisture and organic material to thrive. Unfortunately, air ducts provide both water and dust to nourish the mold and air flow to circulate the spores. This makes it easy for mold to grow quickly. Having ductwork regularly cleaned and maintained cuts down on the amount of dust and water available to sustain a mold colony. Routinely changing the filter in your HVAC unit is generally a simple procedure and goes a long way toward reducing dust accumulation and lowering the chances of a mold infestation. Your HVAC technician can show you how to change the filter and advise you of how frequently to do so.
Black mold in the ductwork of your Oklahoma City, OK, business is an unsettling thought. However, routine maintenance can mitigate any mold growth you may have and hopefully prevent the growth altogether.

How To Prevent Space Heater Fires in Your Home

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Space heater fires can happen

How To Prevent Space Heater Fires in Your Home

Space heaters can keep you warm during those long winter months. A burned space heater, however, can cause severe fire damage to your Edmond, OK, home that may require extensive smoke cleanup.
Space heater fires most commonly occur when the heater is left next to a flammable substance. You should thus avoid placing your space heater next to:

  • Upholstered furniture
  • Curtains
  • Bedding
  • Gas cans
  • Matches
  • Paint

There are several other steps you can take to avoid a space heater fire in your home. You can check for certain safety features before purchasing a heater. Once you do choose a heater, you should also make sure it is used properly.

Safety Features

When you are considering a space heater for your house, make sure you choose one with a strong cord. The cord should also be long enough so that it doesn’t require the use of a power strip or extension cord. An extension cord or power strip can lead to a burned space heater.
You should additionally look for a space heater with an automatic shut-off feature. This causes the heater to turn itself off when it tips over or gets too hot.

Proper Use

After you take your space heater home, make sure to place it on a level, non-flammable and hard surface. The floor is an ideal spot. You should similarly put it at least three feet away from flammable items. Keep your children and pets a safe distance away from the heater, as well.
Make sure to clean the space heater’s filter regularly. When you aren’t using the heater, turn it off and unplug it from the wall. You should also regularly check the cord and replace it if it appears worn or frayed.

Even if you follow the above advice, space heater fires can happen. If a burned space heater damages your home, you need to hire fire cleanup professionals. Fire damage cleanup experts can eliminate the smell and even remove soot from your carpets.

Should You Add Storm Shutters To Your Home?

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm shutters, give them a try!

Storm Shutter Category

High winds effect homes almost all over the nation, in one form or another. To protect your home in Edmond, OK, and to help lower your insurance premium, you should consider reinforcing one of the most vulnerable parts of your structure- the windows! No matter what your needs, there is a category of shutter for you.

Economy

If you want to install something quickly while you shop for more high quality shutters, or if you have already experienced storm damage, there are some cheaper and more temporary options available. If your wallet is tight or you are located in a place where hurricanes are infrequent, you may also be looking for something along these lines. There are a few options to choose from:

  • Panel shutters, $7-15 each
  • Fabric storm panels, $75 per window
  • 5/8 inch thick plywood, $1 per square foot

Efficiency

High winds don't stand a chance against high strength rolling shutters. This type uses a cranking mechanism to roll shutters down from a box housed at the top of your window along two tracks. They are attractive and sleek, made of polycarbonate or high quality metal. These shutters offer additional functionality in the form of insulation and privacy. This option usually costs between $20-30 per square foot of window area.

Style

You may have heard of Bahama storm shutters, iconic to island style houses. These shutters hinge at the top of your window and can be lowered down into place. Having originated in the Bahamas, it comes as no surprise that they are also meant to provide shade and keep your house cool. They come in standard window sizes, usually costing between $200-$1000 each. Not to mention they can add a fun pop of color to your exterior.
In a storm with high winds, such as a hurricane, protecting your windows should be given a high priority. Depending on where you live and what type of windows you have, your shutter solution can vary. Give them a try!

How To Respond to Burns in the Workplace

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Apply a sterile gauze bandage

A fire safety plan is an essential for business owners, and part of that plan must include how to response when fire damage directly affects a staff member or a customer. Are you prepared to treat burns and administer first aid? Take a look at important steps for preventing injuries and an overview of the appropriate treatment steps.

Prevent Burns

The best scenario is to avoid using the burn first kit altogether. Use the following tips to decrease the possibility of fire in your workplace. Prevention starts by recognizing the three most common workplace burns:

  • Thermal (heat)
  • Chemical
  • Electrical

Preventing burns starts with compliance with OSHA standards and MSDS safety protocols. The next step is to train employees according to your company safety plan. Finally, consistently maintain building safety systems and reinforce safe behaviors in your employees.

Contact Emergency Services

When fire damage affects the building, one of your first steps should be to contact emergency personnel and fire remediation and reconstruction experts. The same is true when an employee or customer is injured; immediately contact emergency medical professionals. With paramedics or EMTs on the way, it's time to implement some basic burn first aid.

Treat Minor Burns

Minor burns can usually be treated simply and without medical help:

  1. Cool the burned area.
  2. Remove jewelry and other tight items before swelling sets in.
  3. Leave blisters alone.
  4. Treat the area with a moisturizing lotion or aloe vera.
  5. Apply a sterile gauze bandage.

Treat Major Burns

Major burns require more attention. While waiting for the medical technicians to arrive, take the following steps:

Move the burned individual away from further harm.
Check for breathing. If the person isn't breathing, begin rescue breathing as appropriate.
Remove jewelry, belts, and other tight items before the person begins swelling.
Cool the burned area with a moist cloth or bandage.
Elevate the affected body parts above heart level.
Don't submerge large burns in water.

Hopefully, your Oklahoma City, OK, business won't be affected by fire. However, it's best to take steps to reduce the possibility of fire damage and prepare for the worst with appropriate first aid training.

How To Handle Commercial Water Damage

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

If your commercial property suffers of water damage, call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City for a quick response to your emergency.

Some of the most common causes in Oklahoma City, OK, of water damage in a business are a broken pipe or a sewage drain blockage, and the results can be devastating. Fortunately, there are ways to get back to normal after a pipe burst cleanup.

The First Step in Restoring Your Business

After you have gotten the source of flooding fixed, it is time to call a restoration company to get your life back to normal. Before the professionals arrive, there are a few tips you can use to ensure a minimal amount of damage.

? Make sure to gather any loose items off wet floors and air dry in a safe, ventilated area.
? Hang any damp or wet items in an area away from the flood.
? Raise furniture off wet flooring with wood blocks or aluminum foil.
? Mop any excess or standing water on floors inside the business.
? Do not turn on any electrical appliances inside the flooded area.

Once You Have Contacted Restoration Services

Before phoning professionals, you should do a quick walk-through so you know what to report to the restoration services company. How many rooms were affected, and how extensive is the damage? With this information in hand, contact a sewer cleanup company or water damage repair services. The professionals from the company you have hired to assess your business in Oklahoma City, OK, for a pipe burst cleanup can check how much damage they can clean up and how long it will take to restore any problem areas.

After the Assessment

Restoration professionals may immediately begin the cleanup process after they have assessed your business. Powerful pumps, vacuums, and dehumidifiers can remove most of the evidence of water in your business. Wall panels and flooring may need to be replaced during this process.

Once the restoration is finished, you should be able to get back to business. You will know that you did all you could to protect your livelihood. With a few hours of quick thinking and the help of a professional restoration service, a pipe burst cleanup will be a thing of the past.

Treating Burn Injuries in the Workplace

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

If a first-aid kit is available, use burn dressings or slightly moist sterile gauze pads to cover the burned area..

Fire damage can result in large losses to your business' material assets in Oklahoma City, OK. Along with those damages, there may be injuries to employees. Knowing how to provide burn first aid can be very beneficial in this situation. After calling the appropriate local emergency services, here are four things you can do to help.

1. Stop the Burning Process

Once the injured person has been safely evacuated from the building, take them to a safe area and have them sit or lie down so the injury can be looked at. Be sure there is nothing still burning, such as hair or clothing, that can cause further injury. If it is safe to do so, remove any restrictive clothing or jewelry before the burned area swells.

2. Asses the Injury

Just as the fire damage to your business needs to be assessed, so does the injury to an employee. Check the person to see how many areas of his or her body have been burned. Look carefully for burns to the face, as these types of injuries can cause the person to have trouble breathing, and he or she may need special attention or rescue breathing.

3. Cover the Wound

If a first-aid kit is available, use burn dressings or slightly moist sterile gauze pads to cover the burned area. A clean cloth can be used if emergency supplies are not available. 

4. Treat the Injured Person for Shock

Have the injured person lie down with his or her feet and, if possible, the injured area elevated above the level of his or her heart to help prevent shock. If the person is cold, cover him or her with a blanket or similar item. Have someone remain with the person until emergency services arrive.

Handling fire damage to your business in Oklahoma City, OK, and having an injured employee is a stressful situation. A little bit of preparation and first aid learned beforehand can go a long way in keeping everyone calm and ensuring the best outcome.