Tips for water damage in your apartment complex.
With so many shared walls and spaces, water damage in an apartment community can get messy pretty quickly. Of course you can never know when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as a property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be ahead of the game. Take these measures today to prevent water damage tomorrow.
- Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
- Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rain storm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
- Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re Traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.
- Clear Downspouts Consistently – This is especially important if there are a lot of large trees throughout your apartment community. When leaves, branches, and other debris clog the gutters, the risk of flooding is increased. Clear all debris from the gutters frequently. If you know a storm is about to hit, make sure everything is clear and that water is being effectively carried away from the building.
- Apply Dry-Proofing Methods – One cost effective way to prevent large scale water damage in low-lying areas is to apply waterproofing coatings and sealings. You can also elevate electrical equipment at least three feet off of the floor and install waterproof structures around circuits and electrical breakers.
- Check For HVAC System Blockages – If the line that moves condensation from the HVAC system is backed up, it can create serious water damage. Backed up water can seep through ceilings and through light fixtures or in between walls. When water leaks between walls, it can go undetected and result in mold damage in addition to water damage.
Preparing your business for a storm.
Severe weather conditions seem to make the national news on a regular basis. With the possibility of additional weather events including higher than average flood water, commercial property owners who prepare in advance can better protect their business and their customers. Ensure your assets remain safe from water damage by taking steps before you are faced with a hazardous situation.
Consider Flood Insurance
Insurance companies typically view flooding as rainwater that hits the ground in quantities. Many types of standard insurance policies do not cover rain-related damage. Flooding can devastate a business, leaving substantial cleanup costs and destruction in its wake. For companies that are not in a flood plain, flood insurance may be a cost-effective option.
Address Building Weaknesses
Flood waters move swiftly, and a flooded building can be dangerous. It may not be possible to take preventative action once the water begins entering the building. Consider what can be done in advance to protect items in key areas of the building:
Clear storm drains and gutters of debris.
Remove valuable items from the basement and store them elsewhere.
If there are fuel tanks, make sure they are securely anchored and up to code specifications.
Purchase a sump pump.
Safeguard Business Critical Data
Keep backup copies of crucial documents such as insurance policies, vendor information and emergency contact numbers. If possible, store them off-site to avoid water damage. Otherwise, put them in an area that is least likely to be impacted by flood water, such as a second floor or in a waterproof safe. Keeping the data safe can help restore business quickly.
Create an Emergency Plan
Disaster recovery planning can protect employees and guests during an extreme weather event. Flood water rises quickly, so having a documented plan in place beforehand can ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of a flooded building. Keep the contact information for water damage restoration technicians up-to-date. Address building and employee readiness and make sure there is a detailed evacuation route that can take people away from danger in flood conditions.
What to do after a Hurricane.
Hurricanes have devastated countless families and homes in Delaware in the past. Storm damage to a home from a hurricane is a stressful experience for a homeowner in many ways and can even be worse when they are not sure what steps to take afterward. In the event of your home becoming damaged by a storm, take the following steps:
1. Take Photos and Document the Damage
It is important that all storm damage to your home is well documented to make your insurance claims process much easier. Take as many photos of all areas affected and make sure to compile a list of all damaged items as well.
2. Perform Emergency Repairs
After sustaining damage, prioritize the repairs that have to be made to the property. Your focus in doing so should be to ensure that additional damage does not occur. Some examples of these emergency repairs include covering broken windows with plastic or securing tarps to your roof to prevent rainwater from entering. Any permanent repairs should be placed on hold until your insurance claims adjuster is able to review the damage. Until your adjuster is aware of the full extent of the damage and has all materials accounted for, you should refrain from throwing out any damaged items.
3. File a Claim Quickly
It is important to know that insurance companies sometimes work on a first-come, first-serve basis, especially if overwhelmed by many claims during a hurricane season. Because of this, you should work to get the process started and file a claim as soon as you are aware of the damage. After contacting your insurance provider, provide your claims adjuster with photos, an inventory of affected items, and fill them in on the extent of the damage. Your adjuster will come to your property, further assess the damage, and work to determine the payout amount your insurance will cover.
4. Secure Safe Lodging
Safety should be the number one priority at all times for you and all inhabitants of the home. If the home is uninhabitable, or unsafe for any reason, we strongly recommend finding a safe place to stay while repairs are being made to the home. Keep in mind that if your damage is part of a covered claim, the loss of use coverage in a standard insurance policy will typically help pay for your family's lodging. Ask your claims adjuster if you are covered by your policy.
SERVPRO of Dover Middletown is a professional storm damage company that specializes in water damage, fire damage, and mold damage. Our emergency services are available 24/7 to assist you at SERVPRO of Dover Middletown. Contact us anytime for services.
When Disaster Strikes-Quick Response is needed
When a disaster strikes, it is imperative to respond quickly in order to prevent further damages and complications. Fires, mold infestations and floods from broken pipes, overflows or heavy storms – all such disasters must be dealt with in a timely manner. If not handled immediately you could experience on or more of these issues:
- If water-damaged structures and contents are not dried out quickly and correctly, Growth can begin to grow within the first 24 to 48 hours after the disaster.
- Excessive water can cause: rusting in metals, corrosion in electronic components, cracking, splitting or warping of furniture items, color bleeding or transfer in fabrics, furniture stains and secondary damage to upholstery, drapery, clothing, wallpaper, photos and papers.
- Fire or smoke damaged properties can also experience irreversible damage, regardless of the size of the fire. Soot residue is highly acidic and can pit or corrode the metal in doorknobs, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, etc. It can also etch glass in windows, mirrors and cabinets, causing them to look soiled and cloudy. Moreover, plastics, appliances, fabrics and vinyl windows can become discolored.
- The safety and security of the home can be compromised. Windows and doors may become weak and function improperly, wet materials may collapse and electrical installations and components can be a hazard when they come in contact with water. Slips and falls are also potential dangers.
If you’re not sure how to act after experiencing water, fire or growth problems in your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Dover Middletown. We have a team of restoration professionals ready 24/7/365 to help you.
Being Prepared for Storms
Storms can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americas cope with an average of the following intense storms:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,000 tornadoes
- 2 land falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disaster are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk.
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example.
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire other to do the same.
Share your experience with neighbors, friends, and family and help them build a plan as well!
Commercial Hard Floor Cleaning
Although many people view hard flooring as an easier cleanup, it still takes the proper care and maintenance year round to keep it looking presentable and clean. According to the Institute of Inspection of Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the first step to maintaining your hard surface flooring is identifying the type you have. The IICRC states that there are primarily six different categories of hard flooring such as, natural stone, concrete, ceramic, wood, resilient and specialty. Each category may take a different method of cleaning to ensure that it lasts a long lifetime.
Using a walk off mat is critical to keeping dirt and extra contaminants from entering your building and sticking to your flooring. Just as dirt wears down carpet, it also can damage and cause erosion on hard surface flooring. According to the IICRC, five feet of walk off mat will reduce dirt from entering the building by 33% and 25 feet of walk off mat will reduce almost all dirt by time the person has entered your clean Nashville business.
Make sure to clean up spills right upon discovering them. This is not only extremely important for your customers’ safety, but also will stop from causing a stain or water damage on your flooring. Find the proper cleaning product for the type of flooring you have, mark off the area, clean the spill up and dry the area fully before letting people walk back over the surface.
We spoke previously about vacuuming carpet regularly to eliminate dirt build up and although there is isn’t much material for dirt to build up on with hard surface flooring, the dirt will cause erosion, breaking down the flooring and possibly causing visible damage. Make sure to provide daily maintenance to the surface by mopping, scrubbing and cleaning the area thoroughly after the commercial traffic is done for the day. This will lead to a longer lifespan and will help eliminate replacing the flooring early on.
Last but not least, sometimes it’s nice to treat your flooring to some special treatment. If there are stains or tough to clean spots that have developed over time, this doesn’t always mean that the floor needs to be replaced. Contact your local restoration company to help clean the surface with their specialty equipment.
Are your business' ready?
Your company is expanding, or perhaps you have already opened new locations. On any given day your sales team is firing on all cylinders, your office is bustling with activity and your operations team is running circles around itself trying to keep up.
Maybe your territory is limited to Delaware, perhaps regional, or even nationwide. You know one the biggest threat to your organization is operational downtime.
That's where we can help.
SERVPRO of Dover Middletown is a full service commercial restoration firm. We specialize in commercial drying, cleaning and decontamination needs. Our upfront approach uses a collaborative method to reduce operational risks, minimize downtime and save you money.
Consider this: 50% of businesses that suffer a major disaster will never reopen. And of those that reopened, most of them had a plan.
Do your employees know your chain-of-command?
Do your night teams know where your water shut-offs are?
Would your employees be able to direct first responders to your fire riser room?
Put simply: Is your team prepared to deal with situations like fire, water & mold damage? What about situations bigger than your Operations capacity?
Thankfully, SERVPRO of Dover Middletown is your ace-in-the-hole with our robust Emergency Readiness Program and Service Level Agreements.
With the Emergency Readiness Program SERVPRO will help you create a functional cloud based data set that can be used for things like staff emergency manuals, emergency contact information and building emergency critical information. Because disasters often happen when you are away, your team will have all of this data at their fingertips, wherever you need it, with a push of a button.
To strategically align your building operations to make sure you have the help you need in an emergency, give us a call today. The consultation and Emergency Readiness Program is offered at no cost to your facility.
Bar/Resturant onwers need this info!
Statistics Restaurant Owners Should Know
During 2006-2010, an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, with associated annual losses of:
- Two civilian deaths
- 115 civilian injuries
- $246 million in property damage
In eating and drinking establishments, direct property damage per fire was 75% lower when a wet pipe sprinkler system was present, compared to fires with no automatic extinguishing equipment present.
Fires are less common during the overnight hours (from Midnight to 6 a.m.) but cause more property damage.
Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments by Major Cause (2006 - 2010)
- Cooking equipment 57%
- Heating equipment 10%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 7%
- Smoking material 7%
- Intentional 5%
- Cooking equipment 40%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 13%
- Intentional 10%
- Heating equipment 7%
- Smoking Material 5%
Total annual property damage for eating and drinking establishments = $246 million
If your commercial kitchen is affected by a fire or in need of a deep clean call SERVPRO of Dover Middletown.
We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists
As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.
- Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
- Odor Control Technician
- Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
If you want a job done right the first time, give us the professionals a call first, we will leave it looking "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage Cleanup
What to do?
Whether you’ve had a minor leak from an overflowing hall toilet or you had a pipe burst in the basement, it’s important to know how to clean up water damage properly to reduce the long-term effects. Let the experts help you with your water damage clean-up by giving you a list of do’s and don’ts!
How to Clean Up Water Damage: Do’s & Don’ts
Call a professional – this is especially important for larger floods since they have the ability to cause serious damage to your home, including mold. At SERVPRO, we have helped your friends and neighbors with all their water damage restoration services since 1967, so you can trust us to get the job done right.
Dry standing water – whenever possible, dry as much standing water as you can by soaking it up with sponges and towels. It’s also smart to use a box fan on the affected area to speed up your drying time—but be sure not to plug in or set the fan on any of the wet areas.
Remove saturated items – you should remove any saturated rugs or carpets, especially on hardwood, to an area where they can dry out thoroughly.
Ventilate the area – if you have a flood during the summer, use your air conditioning to accelerate drying.
Remove sensitive materials – whenever you can, remove any sensitive materials from the area, including computers, artwork, rugs, books, and anything else that can be easily transported and dried in another area.
Call your insurance company – it’s incredibly important to check with your insurance company to see what is covered for your home as soon as possible.
DON’T operate electronics – do not operate TVs, vacuums, or any other electric appliances when standing on wet flooring, especially concrete—it could result in a serious injury.
DON’T use heat to dry – in a closed-off interior space, you shouldn’t use heat to dry any affected areas because it can increase the mildew growth.
DON’T leave wet fabric together – whenever possible, separate wet fabrics and give them space to dry apart as soon as you can.
Since 1967, SERVPRO has been the name your friends and neighbors have trusted when it comes to their water damage cleanup, so you can rest assured that we know how to get your water damage cleaned up quickly and correctly. Call us today to schedule your service!
Being prepared for a flood.
How You Can Prepare for a Flood?
Build an emergency kit
This type of kit may come in handy in a variety of emergency situations, including a flood. Store the contents of your emergency kit together, somewhere you can easily grab it in a hurry if you must evacuate on short notice. A basic kit includes the following:
- Water: One gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes. Try to have at least three days’ worth in your emergency kit.
- Food: Shoot for at least a three-day supply of non-perishable items.
- Manual can opener: You must be able to open canned non-perishable food without electricity.
- Radios: A hand-crank or battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio.
- Flashlight: Don’t forget the extra batteries.
- First aid kit: Complete with bandages, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment, medicine, cold compresses, gauze pads, scissors, and tweezers.
- Whistle: Signaling for help is easier when you can make noise.
- Emergency shelter kit: A tarp or plastic sheeting and duct tape are perfect for a makeshift shelter if you need one.
- Personal sanitation items: Pack moist towelettes, garbage bags, and twist ties in your emergency kit.
- Local map: GPS is all the rage, but don’t underestimate a trusty paper map.
- Extra cell phone charger: You might not have time to grab the one you normally use, so keep a spare in your emergency kit.
Make a family communications plan
Discuss certain points with your family so everyone can think with a level head if a flood occurs:
- Create a meeting spot if the flood strikes while the adults are at work and/or the children are at school.
- Parents, talk with your children’s schools to learn their flood evacuation policies.
- Talk about what to do with your pet in case of an evacuation. You may decide to leave your furry companion with a family member or friend outside the immediate danger area. Whatever you do, don’t leave your pet behind.
Take precautionary measures at home
- Don’t build or buy a home in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce it.
- Lift the furnace off the ground by setting it on bricks to protect it if the basement floods.
- Install check valves to ensure flood water doesn’t back up the drains.
- Seal the basement walls with waterproofing compounds.
- Construct barriers around your home to stop flood waters from getting in.
Once the flood passes and the danger subsides, your home might not be the same as it was. That’s where storm damage cleanup and restoration services come in. The goal of recovering from any disaster is to restore your home to its original condition. Contact SERVPRO of Dover Middletown today to learn more.