4 Factors to Consider Before Buying Commercial Insurance
Key Elements to Consider When Buying Commercial Insurance
A reliable insurance policy can save your Swannanoa, NC, business if a fire ever causes damage to it. Before you invest in insurance, however, it’s crucial to ensure that you know exactly what to expect from your policy. Here are some of the key elements that you should consider when you make the decision to buy commercial insurance.
1. Location of Your Business
The area in which your business is located is a big determining factor in how much your insurance will cost. In many cases, the size of the city or town is directly related to its level of fire protection. Buildings in bigger towns and cities tend to have better fire protection and therefore require business owners to pay less for insurance. Smaller areas may lead to higher insurance costs due to poorer protection.
The cost of insurance is also determined by the building’s level of safety. A high number of hazards in a building usually translates to higher insurance costs. These higher rates are primarily due to the overall fire rating of the business. A low rating indicates inadequate protection, which means business owners will be charged more for commercial insurance.
The structure of a commercial building also plays a significant role in its fire rating. The way in which the building was constructed determines how vulnerable it is to a fire and the resulting damage. Relevant aspects of a building’s structure include:
- Materials (combustible vs. fire-resistant)
- Recent additions/remodeling
- Interior elements (e.g. wood floors)
The aspects of a building’s structure contribute to its overall safety and are therefore considered by insurance companies.
4. Availability of Fire Equipment
Making all of the fire equipment in your business easily accessible is crucial to the safety of your building and employees. Be sure that your fire alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinklers are up-to-date and functioning properly. It’s also vital to have an emergency plan in place that everyone in your business is familiar with.
Having commercial insurance is only the first step towards protecting your business. If you’re facing any kind of fire damage, don’t hesitate to call an emergency restoration company for help.
The Link Between Leaky Roofs and Mold Damage to Your Business
The formation of black mold in your Buncombe County NC, business is a serious matter, as it creates several problems, such as building damage, presence of hazardous spores and more. You will need to shut down all mold sources, including an undetected roof leak. Learn about how and when mold forms due to these conditions, as well as how to prevent it.
How Does Mold Form?
The conditions where mold starts are, unfortunately, very simple. Mold needs minimal requirements to feed, develop and thrive.
- Water or humidity
- Organic matter (carpet, wood, etc.)
- Dark, secluded places, such as an attic
When a ceiling leak takes place, humidity enters the location. If you do not fix the leak or dry the area, the humidity can lead to a mold situation in the commercial building.
How Long Does It Take?
Another reason to act fast in case of a leak is that most kinds of mold, including black mold, can grow and spread at a very fast pace. When the right conditions are fulfilled, it can take between 24 to 48 hours for growth to take place. Mold spores are everywhere, so the presence of untreated or constant humidity is enough to allow growth. Speedy treatment by mold remediation specialists can stop its development.
How Can Mold Be Prevented?
Cleaning your business to clean mold can be costly and time-consuming. Prevention is the cheapest and least disruptive method. Have a roofing contractor conduct a yearly inspection of the area to check for any repairable flaws before a roof leak happens. If leaks are already emerging, find the source and fix the problem with the assistance of a repair specialist immediately. Use a wet vacuum, towels or a dehumidifier to completely dry the area.
The existence of black mold in your location can harm your building and your reputation. Maintain your roof and search for leaks to stop mold before it starts.
How to Handle Water in Your Crawl Space
The crawl space under your home is probably not an area you visit very often. However, it should be inspected periodically to see if moisture problems have developed. A wet crawl space is something every homeowner in Biltmore, NC, should be concerned about. Keep in mind that “wet” can mean anything from slightly damp ground to standing water.
Determine the Cause of the Moisture
Start with the most obvious potential causes of moisture. Hopefully, you can identify the problem at this juncture. If not, continue investigating other, more obscure possibilities. Here are several things to look for:
- Weather-related flooding
- Clogged roof gutters or poorly positioned downspouts
- Running water near the crawl space opening
- Clogged drainage pipes
- Broken water or sewage pipes
Many of these causes can be determined by visual inspection. If necessary, get help to inspect areas inaccessible to you.
Take Appropriate Action To Remedy the Problem
Determining why the moisture problem exists is the first step in remediation. Next, you’ll need to apply the correct solution.
In many cases, a wet crawl space problem can be resolved by directing water away from your home’s foundation. Proper sloping and drainage are essential to ensure your crawl space stays dry. If your home is closely located next to a neighbor’s home, proper drainage along the fence line can also minimize the chances of runoff water seeping into your crawl space.
In the event of a flood, you may need a sump pump to remove standing water and direct it to an area away from your home. Less commonly, a break in the water line leading to your home or in the sewage line leading away from the home may require city crews to make repairs. Depending on the severity of the problem, the services of a professional cleanup and damage repair company may be needed.
A wet crawl space should never be ignored or minimized. Inspecting this area of your home on a regular basis can help you spot problems before they become serious and require costly repairs.
What Should You Do if a Pipe Breaks in Your Building?
Water damage to a Swannanoa, NC retail store
When you lead a company, you try to prepare yourself for anything. This should not only include comprehensive business strategies but also how to protect your employees and make the building where you work a safe place. Disasters such as fires, severe storms and floods can take a toll on people, equipment and the structure itself. If you discover bursting pipes in the office, you need to react appropriately to minimize damage and keep your operations running.
Causes of Broken Pipes
You may not spend much time worrying about the plumbing system in your Swannanoa, NC, building. However, if you neglect maintenance and upkeep, you could find yourself contending with bursting pipes and extreme water damage. The following can lead to these issues:
- Too much pressure
- Frozen pipes
- Moving pipes
Identify the Location
Water damage in Swannanoa, NC is nothing to take lightly. If you discover water on the floors of your office, quickly find the source. If it's a pipe problem, shut the water supply off immediately.
Alert the Professionals
You may not have the time or skill to fix a broken pipe, but a professional water damage remediation team can take care of repairs, cleanup and restoration. You shouldn't wait a moment to get a crew on the job. Cleanup teams can usually respond to your workplace within a few hours of your call. A timely response will reduce the risk of mold growing in the area.
Stay Out of the Area
Ruptured pipes can present a hazardous situation to you and others in the building. Keep away from the water and let the pros take over. If you must be in the building, make sure you do not touch anything electrical if you are near the water.
Bursting pipes can spill a significant amount of water onto the floors and walls of your office. Stop the water and then rely on the pros to successfully complete the restoration process.
Protect Yourself when Grilling This Summer in Asheville
Homeowners in the Asheville NC area love to grill, but there are many dangers that come with all the outdoor fun.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year.
Here are a few ways to stay safe and prevent house fires while grilling:
1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
9. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
10. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.
In case the you experience a house fire, call your local fire department immediately. Be sure to contact a licensed fire damage restoration company to cleanup and repair any damage to your home occurs.
Why SERVPRO -IICRC Certifications
At SERVPRO of Asheville, NC, we believe that our employees can best serve our customers by being trained and knowledgeable in the services that we provide. We require our employees to go through SERVPRO’s corporate training program, but we also require them to get their certifications through various professional certification boards, such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Since the IICRC is the standard-setting organization in the cleaning and restoration industry, we’re proud to be certified members!
What is the IICRC?
Within the cleanup and restoration industry, the IICRC is one of the major industry associations that certifies technicians and sets the standards that restoration companies use in their day-to-day operations. Since the 1970s, this nonprofit has helped define terminology and set procedures for cleaning and restoring fire damage, water damage, mold, biohazards, and more. Most importantly, they have created universally accepted certification programs that help educate technicians and demonstrate proficiency. Many insurance companies also recognize the IICRC, so most restoration companies follow the organization’s standards and best practices.
Why We Are IICRC-Certified
It’s every restoration company’s goal to have IICRC-certified employees and to become a certified firm. These certifications are not only a good foundation for our employees, but it also lets our customers know that we’re current with the latest restoration practices. We make sure all of our crew chiefs are certified and up-to-date, so you can rest assured your property’s in good hands. If you do have a disaster at your Asheville Area home, SERVPRO of Asheville is available 24/7, so give us a call at (828) 255-4535!
Signs of Frozen Pipes in Your Building
Frozen pipes can be prevented with the appropriate insulation; however, even the best precautions don’t always work.
If you’re operating a business or managing a property in the Asheville, NC, area then you will likely want to familiarize yourself with issues common in colder climates, especially frozen pipes. Before a freeze leads to broken pipes and water damage, you should familiarize yourself with the signs of frozen pipes to avoid extensive water cleanup and the potential need for restoration specialists.
1. Strange Odors
When pipes freeze, and most likely before any water cleanup is necessary, you may notice strange odors coming from floor drains and faucets. These odors occur because when pipes freeze, especially waste pipes, the ice blocks the areas where gas and other fumes would generally escape. If you begin to smell strange odors coming from areas they don’t typically, you may want to reach out to your local plumbing professionals to avoid any significant issues with water damage.
2. Slow or No Running Water
Additionally, if the water from faucets is slow or not running at all, your pipes may be frozen. Similar to the reasons that odors occur, the free flow of water is obstructed when ice begins to build up in a pipe, causing the water to trickle or stall altogether.
3. The Appearance of Frost on Pipes
In either of the above instances, you can take it upon yourself to investigate, looking in mechanical closets or crawlspaces. If, while investigating, you come across frost on the pipes, this is a sign that you likely have some ice build-up. If not taken care of immediately, the pressure within the pipes may become too great, leading to cracks and breaks in the plumbing.
Frozen pipes can be prevented with the appropriate insulation; however, even the best precautions don’t always work. The best protection, to avoid burst pipes and the resulting water damage, is to remember the steps above, checking your building daily for any possible signs of freezing.
Which Storm Shutters Are Best for You?
Storm shutters can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage from high winds and storms, but nobody can stop the storm from happening.
If you live in Asheville, NC, you may need to protect your home from the high winds associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. Most storm damage comes from wind getting in your house through the windows and doors, then wreaking havoc from the inside out.
Storm shutters shield the glass from high winds and debris. They come in many different styles, each with its own merits. Here is a guide that can help you choose the best type based on your needs:
1. Your primary need is the ease of use. You want protection that can be activated quickly and without a lot of labor. Roll-down shutters are the best option for this need, but they are pricey. They are permanently and inconspicuously attached to the top of your windows where they can be operated by a single person using a motor or crank.
2. You want protection that looks nice. Bahama and colonial styles are accessible and functional. These attach to your home’s exterior and add architectural style while being ready to close for storms. They are not as costly as roll-down styles and not as labor-intensive as installing corrugated panels each time it storms.
3. You appreciate the lowest price. You are willing to trade some hard work to get quality materials at a lower price. Sturdy corrugated panels are labor intensive since they must be brought out of storage, sorted, overlapped, and attached with many bolts each time you need them. For a little more money, accordion-style shutters can be permanently attached in special housing next to each window, making it easy enough for one person to close them. Accordion styles are more expensive than corrugated panels and less expensive than the decorative options.
Storm shutters can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage from high winds and storms, but nobody can stop the storm from happening. At least you can rely on storm mitigation professionals to help get your home back to normal after a storm.
Steps for Cleaning Moldy Paintings
Keep in mind throughout the process that mold remediation is often a job best left to the professionals.
Excess moisture can create an environment that mold needs to grow. If your home in Asheville, NC, floods or has a problem with high humidity, you may find mold on some of your belongings. This includes furniture, clothing, books, and even art. Here are a few mold cleaning tips to help you salvage affected paintings.
1. Determine Type of Painting
The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of painting you're dealing with. You may want to save your watercolor, but keep in mind that cleaning it with water may damage it beyond repair. Acrylic paint is sturdier. An oil painting, however, is probably going to be easiest to save as long as you don't use chemicals that damage the oils.
2. Remove Canvas from Frame
The next step of mold cleaning is to separate all the parts. Take the frame off the canvas and lay the canvas flat.
3. Clean Back of Painting
The back of the painting is the easier side to clean. Mist it with a rubbing alcohol and water solution and then gently wipe off the mold.
4. Clean Front of Painting
The front of the painting is tricky because it's best to do it without chemicals. The easiest way to clean it is by letting the mold dry first. Then use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to remove the mold damage.
5. Dry Painting
The sun is the best tool for drying your painting. While prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage it by altering colors, your painting won't be outside or on a sunny windowsill long enough for fading to become an issue.
Keep in mind throughout the process that mold remediation is often a job best left to the professionals. If you are ever uncertain about a step in the process, it is safer to call remediation specialists to take over the mold cleaning process.
3 Safe Procedures for Light Fixture Leaks
Dealing with water in light fixtures can be dangerous, contact SERVPRO for help.
Light Fixture Leaks: 3 Safe Procedures
Light fixture leaks are often a dangerous and inconvenient obstacle that can happen in any home. Ceiling damage can cause water from your roof to leak into your house. Sometimes water can even leak into your light fixtures. It is important to act swiftly with any kind of water damage in your home, and when electricity is involved, the damage can be deadly if left untreated. Whether you are a resident of Asheville, NC, currently dealing with water in light fixtures, or just a precautious homeowner preparing for the worst, these tips for safe and swift action can be lifesavers.
1. Turn Off Electricity
As soon as you notice water leaking from a light fixture, go to your breaker and turn the electricity off right away. You can call your power company and have it temporarily turn off the electricity if the breaker is inaccessible. Avoid touching light fixtures until an electrician checks and confirms that all electrical units are dry and safe. Any contact with an electrical unit that has been damaged by water can cause electrical shock and even death.
2. Turn Off Water
Ceiling damage can show itself in many forms. Sometimes small, dark spots appear on your ceiling where water is pooling, softening and discoloring the materials there. Water can leak into your home from rain water on the roof or even a burst or corroded pipe. Unfortunately, the extent of the damage doesn’t always show itself until it has gotten very bad. If you do notice any of these symptoms, turn off your water to stop any additional leakage.
3. Call a Professional for Cleanup
Contacting an electrician, plumber, and/or a professional cleanup service for water in light fixtures is suggested. Professionals will typically be able to safely cleanup and restore your home to its former state and advise you on how to prevent leaks in the future.
The most important thing to remember is to be safe. Dealing with water in light fixtures can be extremely dangerous, and it is best to contact a specialist for cleanup and repairs.