Recent Commercial Posts
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.