Recent Commercial Posts
How Commercial Cleaning Benefits Your Business
Commercial properties must be regularly cleaned to maximize their function and appearance. Commercial cleaning services range from general cleaning to more specialized services such as mold removal, fire and water cleanup, and air duct cleaning. Below is a more detailed description of the services SERVPRO of Birmingham offers:
- Water Damage Restoration - Water damage could be the result of a flood, water from a sink that has leaked, a pipe that has burst, or a faulty air conditioner.
- Mold Remediation - Buildings, offices, and homes can sustain microbial growth of mold if excess water and humidity are left untreated. Mold can spread and cause health effects.
- Fire Damage Restoration - Fire damage carries with it the trauma of fire destruction, debris, air quality concerns, and potential health risks to those exposed. Water damage is often a secondary issue when there has been a fire. Fire damage services may include removal of debris, cleaning the fire-damaged areas of an office or home, purifying and making the air fresh and safe to breathe, and remediating any water damage.
- Reconstruction - In the event of a fire, water, or storm damage, the immediate concern is to protect the building, home, or office from further damage and to secure the structure for restoration to occur. Services include but are not limited to drywall, electrical, painting, roofing, tile, and carpet repair.
How Commercial Cleaning Services Benefit Your Business?To operate at peak productivity, businesses need to provide a clean environment for their team and clientele. Specialty cleaning services include air ducts and HVAC, biohazard and sewage, carpet and upholstery, drapes and blinds, ceilings, walls and hardwood floors, odor removal, and deodorization, and vandalism clean-up. Why Hire a Professional Commercial Cleaning Company?The number one reason to hire a cleaning service is that they are professionals who are trained in the latest technology in the cleaning industry. The right cleaning products are necessary to achieve the proper level and appearance of cleanliness. One reason to hire a professional cleaning company is health and safety. Your staff or clients won’t get sick as a result of an unhealthy work environment. It is important to have immediate service any hour or day of the week, especially during an emergency. Trust the team from SERVPRO of Birmingham to ensure your cleaning needs are met and your business or commercial property is ready to handle the demand of the day-to-day operations. Give our team a call today!
When Was Your Last HVAC Cleaning?
During this winter season are you thinking about the air quality in your business or commercial property? Air ducts and a lack of HVAC cleaning can be to blame for this. In fact, a non-maintained ventilation system is usually the culprit behind getting good, quality air circulation in any building. This is why you should make it a priority to get your air duct systems maintenance by professionals at SERVPRO of Birmingham. Take a moment and think about how long have I had this system in place? Have I ever taken the time to have the system cleaned? Do I know what is hanging on to the vents in that system? You always want to take time to be mindful of your HVAC systems. Our professionals can evaluate air quality and the system to see if it’s time for service. If your system has been around for a long time and you have not conducted a thorough HVAC cleaning, there is a chance that your air ducts have begun to accumulate a lot of the following:
These particles can cause allergies and illness for everyone who breathes the air. Having your HVAC cleaned at your business or commercial property can help clear out your air ducts to help circulate better air quality, and bring your employees better peace of mind. Remember that proper maintenance of your air ducts and having regular HVAC cleaning can extend the life of your system and most importantly, save your business money from costly repairs.
How Extreme Cold Can Effect Your Business
This year we've seen colder than normal temps in our area and while we might enjoy a break from the heat, you always want to be prepared for those days of extreme cold temperatures. Did you know that your place of business can become damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health & the health of your customers are also at risk. Based on a report done by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), they estimated that in recent years, U.S. death rates in winter months have been 8 to 12 percent higher than in non-winter months. Much of this increase relates to seasonal changes in behavior and the human body, as well as increased exposure to respiratory diseases. Cold temperatures can also worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. For example, death rates from heart attacks increase as temperatures drop, likely due to the way cold affects blood circulation, blood vessels, and other factors With information like this, you must be aware of what could happen in your business should water damage or fire damage cut off your heat source. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness. Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused by long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95°F, seek medical attention immediately. We understand that a loss of heat from an emergency can affect your business. If you experience an emergency, know our team is ready to help you get your business back up and running.
Frozen Pipes in Your Commercial Business
Frozen pipes in your business can be a big mess. When pipes freeze, they expand and may burst, leading to major water repairs. While our team will always be there to help mitigate these emergencies when they occur, we want to do what we can to provide information to you that can potentially help keep your business out of these situations.
Tips to prevent frozen pipes:
- Water conservationists’ frown on allowing faucets to drip, but letting even a small amount of water to flow through pipes at all times can do a lot to prevent pipes from freezing. A steady drip is all that is needed to keep the pipes free from ice accumulation.
- Many pipes do not have proper insulation to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Pipe sleeves and heating tape can be applied to insulate the pipes. It is also a good precautionary measure to caulk around gaps where cold drafts can affect pipe temperatures.
- Shut off any outside water sources that you don't need, especially if you are expecting particularly low temperatures. When a building is left unattended, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks and in storage areas to allow heat from the room to circulate uninsulated pipes.
Dealing with frozen pipes:
- Hairdryer – This is one of the safest and most effective ways to thaw a pipe. Open the faucet and then heat the pipe by working back toward the area where the blockage has occurred.
- Space heater – A small heater can work much faster than a hairdryer. Simply direct the heater toward the frozen area of the pipe.
Make sure you and your employees know where the shut off valve is located. If you are dealing with frozen pipes or water damage from frozen pipes in your commercial building call SERVPRO of Birmingham as soon as possible.
Commercial Mold Damage Tips
If your commercial building recently experienced water damages, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage, and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold in Birmingham, AL.
- Get Rid of Moisture - This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
- Protect Yourself - You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
- Hire a Professional - The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds are properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future.
SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to help you ensure your commercial property is cleaned and ready to support your business. Give our team a call at 205.252.8110
Commercial Damage Levels
Downtime can be costly both to your business and your customers.
One of the areas SERVPRO of Birmingham has the capability to handle is commercial damage.
There are so many factors that can contribute to commercial damage occurring such as fires due to unforeseen circumstances, facility usage which puts wear and tear on your property, down to the most basic water damage. No matter the source of the damage, this downtime can be costly both to your business and your customers. When damage at your commercial property happens, how do you know to what level and extent? Below we have a grading system we use to determine the level of which your property is assessed and categorized to begin mitigation.
Small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.
Large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.” Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you have damage at your Commercial property. Give SERVPRO of Birmingham at call at 205.252.8110
Removing Malodors in a Commercial Business
Have you experienced flooding or water damage in your Commercial business?
These issues can leave unwelcome and defiantly unwanted odors in the air. This odor is most always displeasing to customers, employees or yourself. Based on the source of the issue, we have 5 tips to help solve the problem:
1. Ventilate the Building and Evaluate the Situation - Allows any lingering scents to disperse through a window, if possible. You can then work to identify and locate any centralized, problematic scents. If sewage loss is causing the odor, it’s best to stay away from the contaminated water and contact SERVPRO of Birmingham to mitigate.
2. Dry Wet Carpeting and Flooring - Carpet holds moisture and it could be the source of the scent. A wet and dry vacuum, which can be rented if needed, can shampoo the carpet and then dry it afterward. This sanitizes the area to potentially remove some of the smell.
3. Scrub Moldy Surfaces - Mold growth left alone will continue to reproduce and spread along with its musty odor
4. Spray Furniture and Upholstery - Furniture can be sprayed and scrubbed. Porous materials are likely not able to be fully cleaned this way since the fungus settles within.
5. Consult Professionals for Extensive Cleanup - There are many instances that commercial-grade machines will need to be used to remove the malodor. An expert SERVPRO technician can help remove problems caused by floodwater and/or other water damage. When dealing with flood odors, most do-it-yourself remedies will fix only the symptom. Trust the help from SERVPRO of Birmingham where we can assist you to remove most of the unwanted smells alongside any mold growth or other nuisance.
Hotel Fire Damage Services
Fire damage to a hotel can be a catastrophic incident. A challenge during a Hotel fire restoration is the inconvenience to the guests, leaving rooms with soot and smoke damage. SERVPRO of Birmingham uses a multi-step approach to minimize the damage and eliminate the odor as quickly as possible and with minimal interruption to your guests. Mitigation - Our technicians work to secure your hotel and prevent further secondary damage. This can include board-ups, establishing the temporary source of electricity and emergency drying of the structures that are wet after fire-fighting procedures. Structural Cleaning - Cleaning is one of the most labor-intensive and time-consuming steps in the restoration process. SERVPRO technicians use some of the best equipment and chemicals to clean the smoke and soot residues from your hotel. Our priority is to restore rather than to replace it. Contents Cleaning - The contents of your hotel that are covered in smoke and soot are cleaned by SERVPRO professionals. While some contents can be cleaned on-site, other situations may require the contents to be moved to another site for cleaning and restoration. We ensure all contents are appropriately transported and cleaned while at our office cleaning location Specialty Restoration - Some content such as furniture, expensive artwork or upholstery needs special cleaning done by experts.
Knowledge to Handle a Commercial Water Damage
SERVPRO® of Birmingham understands that Commercial property water damages have their own challenges.
This does not mean you need to be worried when an emergency does occur because we have certified technicians who understand the importance of getting your commercial property back up to normal as soon as possible. Our trained technicians work quickly to assess the situation, communicate a cleanup and drying plan, and start work immediately. We have the necessary resources to handle any size job. We understand that quick and efficiency must happen to minimize damage and to resume operations as soon as possible. SERVPRO® of Birmingham has a large loss team specifically trained and ready to go in event of a large loss. If your commercial property experiences a water damage emergency call SERVPRO® of Birmingham. Our teams are readily available to make your property “Like it never even happened.” Our teams are staffed with highly trained technicians in property restoration under IICRC industry certifications, our teams are equipped with the education to restore your property.
Top Causes of Commercial Fires
Commercial Property Destroyed by Fire
Fire damage to your commercial business can be catastrophic. It does not matter what your business does, it can mean downtime, loss of goods, costly equipment loss, loss of property, or worse. A fire can quickly move through a building and even put your team at risk. If you are not prepared it can be a situation that escalates faster than you are ready to handle. Good planning can help ensure that a fire does not happen or if it does, how it can be handled quickly and effectively. Below the United States Fire Administration has listed the top five leading causes of a commercial fire.
Top causes of fires in commercial buildings
According to data from the United States Fire Administration, between 2006 and 2015, the top causes of fires in commercial buildings were:
Cooking is a huge danger, and it was a culprit behind 30,900 fires within the past decade. This is why it is so important to install fire alarms and a sprinkler system in your kitchen to prevent against the worst!
Unintentional and Careless Behavior
This is a broad category. Unintentional and careless behavior, better known as accidents, caused more than 10,900 fires. While it’s hard to stop people from being careless, business owners and property managers can’t afford to be.
Intentionally set fires represented 9,800 of the total fires in these properties.
Problems with the electricity or wiring in a building caused around 7,000 fires in the past decade.
Problematic HVAC systems are the culprit behind about 6,000 commercial fires nationwide.
Trust that SERVPRO of Birmingham keeps in mind that time down for your business, is money lost. So our team will work around the clock to make sure it is “Like it never even happened,” and your business is back up and running!
Commercial Water Damage
When a commercial business experiences water damage it not only slows production time but can damage the goods used to operate
Downtime means money lost!
Here are SERVPRO of Birmingham, we understand that when a commercial water emergency occurs in your business it is important that the issues is mitigated quickly and efficiently. During these emergencies, it is not just the building that needs to be back up and functioning but the materials and equipment you use on a daily basis that allows your business to be successful.
SERVPRO of Birmingham has the ability to save things like office furniture, desk, and even sensitive information that may be stored in the office with our Document Restoration. We are in the business of restoring these items that may have been damaged during your water emergency. We always attempt to salvage anything damaged because we understand that it can keep the cost down for you and the insurance company as well the value it has to your company. If an item can be saved or restored it is worth the time to do so.
SERVPRO of Birmingham works tirelessly to treat each of your items with special care to protect. Our team is trained to keep your items from damage while we do work. Our content specialists team does wonders with your clean-up on all types of materials.
Trust that SERVPRO of Birmingham keeps in mind that time down for your business, is money lost. So our team will work around the clock to make sure it is “Like it never even happened.” and your business is back up and running!
7 Tips to Prevent Mold in your Commercial Business
Why should you worry about mold in your building? According to OSHA, some mold, over time, may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your business.
#1: Clean Out the RefrigeratorIt can be difficult to keep track of shared refrigerators. Some people will always remember to clear out their leftovers, others won’t. Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold. Over time, mold can travel to the shelving and even outside the refrigerator. Consider instituting an office refrigerator policy. If something is left in the fridge by a certain time each week, it goes in the garbage.
#2: Look for And Repair LeaksLeaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to go unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak such as lower water pressure; wet spots on the floors, ceilings, or walls; and condensation around window sills and in attic spaces.
#3: Keep It CleanIt’s easy for anyone to get caught up in work and let clutter take over his or her workspace. However, clutter creates lots of hiding spots for crumbs and dust, which are both great food sources for mold. Make sure to clear the clutter and wipe down hard surfaces regularly. Make sure to promptly clean all spills as well. Clean and sanitize break rooms and bathrooms frequently. Both rooms provide ample opportunity for mold growth. These rooms should be cleaned at least weekly depending on how regularly people use each room.
#4: Turn on the AC/DehumidifierLeaks aren’t the only way for moisture to accumulate in your business. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold as well. On hot days, fans can cool you off, but they don’t do much for humidity levels. Run your AC or a dehumidifier to cut down the humidity in the building.
#5: Clean out Trash CansWhile you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent mold growth.
#6: Take Care of Your HVAC SystemYour HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to mold growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.
#7: Slope the Ground Away from the FoundationIf the ground around your building slopes toward the foundation, water can accumulate and weaken your building’s structure. Additionally, it provides an ideal environment for mold to grow. The ground should slope away from the building. You should also make sure your building follows the local building codes for drainage. Mold is persistent. Even if you follow all the right steps it’s still possible for mold to grow and spread in your building. Fortunately, at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we have the right experience in mold remediation to make your place of business “Like it never even happened.” Unfortunately, mold doesn’t stay put, it grows quickly. You’ll want to give us a call as soon as you notice it, so we can start the remediation process. Our technicians have the training, equipment, and knowledge necessary to help locate and remediate mold efficiently. If you find mold in your place of business, call us Birmingham at 205.282.8110
Levels of Commercial Damage in Birmingham, AL
SERVPRO of Birmingham handles not only residential damage and restoration but commercial as well.
There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:
Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.
Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”
Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®
SERVPRO of Birmingham Can Restore Your Commercial Property from Storm Damage
What you want is access to a quality restoration company when recovering from storm damage in your Birmingham, AL area business. We have strategically located restoration teams with several years of experience helping businesses just like yours recover from storm damage throughout the area and all of the resources needed to assist you and your neighbors when an emergency situation strikes.SERVPRO of Birmingham has a special DRT division (Disaster Ready Team), who expertly trained teams composed of quality water, fire, mold, storm, and major event technicians, designed to assist you with cutting costs and saving time associated with the restoration of your business after a disaster. All of these teams are lead by an operations manager that assists with seamless communication and timely mitigation involving the recovery of your business. Services that SERVPRO of Birmingham provides to every business owner involves the mitigation of the wind, rain, and flood damage that causes substantial damage in a matter of minutes, requiring an immediate response and quick, efficient implementation to prevent excessive loss of revenue and productivity. It does not matter how small or large your property is; SERVPRO of Birmingham has the services, equipment, and personnel available to address the emergency affecting your business. We provide you with access to expertly trained storm and water damage restoration specialists, as well as cleaning and building preparation services to manage your restoration project from start to finish. Any storm can cause severe damage to your property when you are ill-prepared. Give us a call to help fortify your property against the wind, flood, storm, and tornado damage that this type of phenomenon generates. We can help protect your business and get things under control when everything is said and done. Contact SERVPRO of Birmingham at (205) 664-6770 for the professional restoration and cleaning services your company requires.
Birmingham, AL Commercial Property Management: Signs of Sewer Line Issues
While a blocked sewer drain is relatively common in commercial properties, legitimate concerns over sewer line functionality may be few and far between. However, when major sewer line issues occur, it is essential to remedy the problems quickly to avoid potential backups and structural damage. Be aware of these four signs, which may indicate sewer line problems.
While drain or toilet overflow are frequent problems in commercial properties, you should pay attention to odors surrounding these problems. For instance, if after clearing a clog you smell sewer gas, you may want to call a plumber for an inspection, as strong sewer smells can be an indicator of issues further in the line.
2. Clogged Drains
A blocked sewer will not only cause unpleasant odors to occur in your building, but the blocked pipe can also cause frequent clogging of your drains and toilets. This problem may also cause sewer backups into your facility.
3. Indentations in Landscaping
Also, while you may not have any clogging issues, it is still possible that your sewer lines have failed. Pipe breaks may cause indentations in your landscaping, like divots in the lawn. If the break is severe enough, it is possible that sewage is leaking into the grounds of your property. Eventually, this can also lead to a sewage backup in your building.
4. Deformations in Landscaping
In addition to indentations in the lawn, you may notice perpetual puddling in certain areas. You may also see that areas of your parking lot have sunken or cracked along with sidewalks. Depending on how close the break is to your building, you may even notice cracks in the foundation. These issues often require the expertise of a disaster restoration specialist in the Birmingham, AL area to resolve, which depending on your insurance policy may be covered.
A blocked sewer line can wreak havoc on a business and may even lead to significant business interruption. You should be aware of the warning signs of such a problem so that you can resolve the issue as early as possible.
Top Commercial Mold Damage Tips to Remember After a Flood
If your home or commercial building recently flooded due to storm damage or some sort of plumbing issues, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your home or business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold in Birmingham, AL.
Get Rid of Moisture
This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, PROTECT YOURSELF by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
Hire a Professional
The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds is properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the future. Visit www.SERVPRObirminghamsouth.com for more information on mold removal.
Are You Ready for an Emergency?
Setting up a quick and simple ERP
As a business owner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. We couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO® of Birmingham realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc.
Emergency Ready Program
Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage is of no-cost assessment to your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes SERVPRO® of Birmingham as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give us a call today and set up your ERP!
Join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared.
Make and Practice Your Plan Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit? Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app.
Learn Life Saving Skills Do you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.
March Tornadoes in Alabama
In March 2018, storms and even tornadoes came through Alabama causing a lot of destruction in it's path. Our Large Loss Division packed up and headed that direction to be able to assist those affected, including a university in the area.
Not only were homes and businesses destroyed but this particular university had severe damage in multiple areas.
SERVPRO of Birmingham South pulled ceiling tiles thru hallways, removed hanging insulation and other type of debris as well as extracted areas that were affected through out the structure. Many areas had to be swept and mopped. This job was ongoing for a few weeks due to the size of the school and the damage that the tornado left.
Whether it is your home or business, we are here to help you restore it quickly and professionally. All of our techniques are highly trained and prepared you handle everything with the utmost care.
Commericial Large Loss Fire in Alabaster
We received a call from a local insurance agent that we have a relationship with about a commercial building that had caught on fire.The building has multiple tenants, the source was unknown but once the fire department had came out to clear the scene, we were needed.In one of the tenants space: all affected areas were extracted including carpet and ceiling tiles, which had to be removed. We had to remove baseboards, sheetrock ceiling and insulation, and then cut exterior walls. Equipment was set. In the other tenant's space, they weren't as lucky and it had to be completely demoed. This job has been ongoing for two weeks due to the intense damage throughout the facility. These businesses are ready to get their daily routine back in order and we're thankful they called us to assist in the process.
Commercial Fire in Downtown Birmingham
2018 has started off very busy for SERVPRO and locally for SERVPRO of Birmingham. SERVPRO of Birmingham South also transforms into Storm Team Wilson; we were covering a few states north of Alabama that dealt with freezing temperatures, and a lot of busted pipes. We had teams from all over the country come assist these local franchises who were inundated with business.
With these storm events going on outside of Alabama, we also had a freeze event going on right here! SERVPRO of Birmingham South had freezing temperatures and even snow! We were getting calls left and right.
If that wasn't enough, right? A new apartment complex in downtown Birmingham had an electrical fire. This happened in between two floors but there was smoke and soot throughout. Our crews got there and extracted a significant amount of water. They had to remove baseboards, affected drywall and all water damaged and smoke affected carpet tiles from hallway. This is just the beginning. Our team is still actively working on the job.
Our team in Birmingham is able to handle large loss disasters such as this apartment fire. We know these events are unexpected and whether it's your home or business, you want it back in order as soon as possible. Were Here to Help!
As a partner with the American Red Cross, here is some great information on freezing pipes that they have on their website! Check it out!
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From FreezingBefore the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Prepare Your Business!
Prepare your business for winter weather!
-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rai, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
-Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
-Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
-Ask your SERVPRO Professional about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business.
What is an Emergency Ready Profile?
It is a "snapshot" of each building owned/managed by a business, that provides critical information for emergency preparation.
Commercial - Emergency Response Team
As we mentioned in a previous blog, SERVPRO of Birmingham South has been working long hours over the last few months due to hurricanes. Even though we are a storm team as previously mentioned, we also send crews on site to work for weeks at a time.
SERVPRO of Birmingham South also has a Emergency Response Team/Large Loss Division that handles commercial properties.
One of the commercial properties that we assisted was in Texas, a car dealership to be exact. They had over 30,000 square feet affected due to the hurricane. Most of the contents had to be disposed of or cleaned, flooring had to be removed, and equipment set.
SERVPRO of Birmingham South is able to cover large losses but also those that might not seem so big.
Emergency Ready Profile
As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? I know personally I couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc. That's why we have our Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give us a call today and set up your ERP!
Help Prevent Heat Related Fires
It’s going to get cold again here soon…
Besides using the fireplace to stay warm some people use alternative sources such as portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Heating equipment is the cause for many residential fires annually, causing deaths, injury and property damage. Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of a heating-related fire:
-Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment
-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions
-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
-Plug space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters
-Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business.
-Test alarms monthly
-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional
-Make sure fireplaces have a screen to help prevent sparks
-Make sure ashes are cool before putting them in a metal container
For more information on safety tips call your local fire department.
2017 Commercial Water Damage
In early January 2017, we received a call from an insurance company around 9pm on a Saturday night regarding a water damage at a commercial property. This was the day after Birmingham and surrounding areas got hit with rain, sleet, and some snow. Needless to say the roads were frozen over and most were closed.
This is NOT the way a business wants to start off the new year!
The sprinkler system had a malfunction on the 7th floor and water ended up all the way on the bottom floor, over 40,000 square feet was affected. Carpet, ceiling tiles, drywall, and debris had to be removed and many chairs as well as other furniture had to be cleaned.
Luckily, business interruption was very minimal. SERVPRO of Birmingham met with clients on site to review daily progress.
There were 300 air movers on site and our crews, averaging 35 people per day, worked two weeks (literally 15 days straight) to get everything back "Like It Never Even Happened."
Operation Green Wave
Over 1,200 bags full of food!
Operation Green Wave is SERVPRO of Birmingham partnering with Vineyard Family Services. This is done annually around Christmas time.
IT IS A SIMPLE PROGRAM THAT SIMPLY WORKS
- Food is purchased.
- Food is packed.
- Food is delivered to participating schools.
Vineyard Family Services is a faith-based agency and their backpack buddy program provides children 5-14 with nutritious easy to prepare food that they can take home. For more information on Vineyard Family Services check out their website WWW.VFSDADS.COM
What we do is go out to our clients and give them the green bags that they can fill up with food. Every year we seem to have more and more participation and mainly from our commercial clients. In December 2016 we collected over 1,200 bags full of food we were able to donate to Vineyard Family Services.
We hope to continue doing this year after year!
For Immediate Service in Birmingham, Call SERVPRO
SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Birmingham. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 205-664-6770
Whether your Birmingham home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Birmingham commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Restoring Your Birmingham Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges
Flooding and water damage events at Birmingham commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Birmingham
SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
SERVPRO of Birmingham is an IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Birmingham is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Birmingham
SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.