Recent Commercial Posts
How Sprinkler Systems work to put out fires in commercial buildings.
A staple of modern fire prevention, sprinkler systems are a modern marvel when it comes to protecting buildings, their assets, and the people who live and work inside of them. Sprinkler systems are highly sophisticated and have saved countless lives and properties since their implementation in the early 1800s. Below are the three main steps that set off a sprinkler system.
1. A sprinkler head turns on when it detects high temperatures. Fire sprinklers turn on when high heat triggers the system rather than being activated by smoke. Hot air rises during a fire and spreads across the ceiling until it reaches a sprinkler head and activates the fire suppression system. Many sprinkler head designs feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands when it comes into contact with air between 135 and 165-degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid shatters the glass container when the surrounding air reaches temperatures in this range, activating the sprinkler head.
2. Sprinkler heads dispense pressurized water from the pipe system. Each fire sprinkler head is attached to a pipe that brings in water. When a sprinkler head becomes activated, a valve connected to the head opens and sends water out through the sprinkler head to douse the fire. Water pressure is important, as it causes water to spray out over a larger area.
3. Sprinkler heads function individually to limit water damage. Each sprinkler head in a sprinkler system functions separately. Many small fires can be extinguished with only one or two activated sprinkler heads. Sprinklers pose less of a water damage risk to a property than a fire hose. Some restoration specialists estimate that the average sprinkler system dispenses six times less water than a hose.
Disaster in Velva after a Long Weekend
When city employees came back to work after a long weekend, they were stunned to find a wet mess throughout their office space. A pipe had burst and completely flooded half of the City hall building.
After calling SERVPRO, technicians were on the site within two hours after the call and began extracting water from the rooms and removing restorable materials from the building. Additionally, they applied anti-microbial products to the affected flooring and walls to prevents mold growth. Technicians were able to answer all concerns that employees had and update the insurance professionals on the status of the work.
Once mitigation of the water damage was completed, reconstruction was scheduled, and materials were ordered to begin the build back work. This is a perfect case in why you never know what can happen over a long weekend and why we will always be here to help.
Spring Maintenance Checklist for Your Commercial Property
As we begin to transition from cold winter temperatures to warmer spring weather, here is a checklist of points on your property to check for winter damage and begin planning repairs. Compared to our typical North Dakota winter, this one has been pretty mild still, there was still a handful of weather events that had the potential for major damage. As our state continues thawing out, here are some things to check over and ensure for quality.
We are currently in a dangerous time of the year, as daytime temperatures begin regularly going over 32° the nighttime temperatures continue to dip well below that freezing point. This cycle of thawing and freezing can have a harsh effect on many parts of your building. Things like pipes, window seals, and drainage systems can become blocked or damaged. These should be constantly maintained throughout the year with a heavy focus during the winter and early spring months.
Additionally, here are things to look for during your spring inspection
- Pipes with minimal water flow
- Poor drainage pipes
- Cracks in the foundation, walkways, parking lots, and patios
- Broken or loose pavement
- Sink holes
- Missing roof shingles
- Separations or erosion in siding and masonry
- Rotting or loose boards
- Chipped paint
- Broken, cracked, or leaking windows
- Landscaping debris such as fallen leaves or branches
If you notice any of the damages listed above, you can begin making preparations for repairs, additionally, be sure to contact your insurance company if you suspect the cause of damage. While you may not have noticed the damage until days, weeks or months later, it is still possible you have not exceeded the timeline to file an insurance claim. For example, if a windstorm caused damage to your roof, but you were unable to get a roof inspection due to the cold, slippery conditions, you can still file a claim and be covered. When in doubt, it never hurts to ask your insurance company if your damage is covered.
Disaster in Stanley
It is estimated that over 300,000 gallons of water fell through the broken ceiling pipe in this Stanley church.
Just before Christmas, SERVPRO of Minot received a call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Stanley, ND. Above the Church’s indoor basketball court, a sprinkler pipe had burst cascading hundreds of thousands of gallons of water down on the church. This water spread throughout the building and spilled into the parking lot and nearby streets before being discovered.
This is one of the worst disasters we have seen this year. Due to the pipe burst not being discovered for a period of time, it meant that the water had time to soak into materials and contents throughout the church. Besides the collapsed ceiling, there was significant damage to the floors, walls, doors, and contents throughout the church.
Once we had received the call and had staff on site to assess the damage, technicians began working over the weekend to begin removing damaged materials and starting the drying process. With a job of this size (over 16,000 sq. ft.) it requires almost our entire staff along with additional temporary workers to make sure we are meeting deadlines for drying and saving as much of the existing structure as quickly as possible.
With a loss this devastating, it will be a while before normal operations in the church can resume. It will take a couple of weeks for drying to be completed, followed immediately by application of anti-microbial products to prevent mold growth. Once that is completed, a construction company will be brought in to build back and repair the building’s damaged and removed components until it is restored like new and ready to reopen. This will involve repairing the flood cuts in the drywall, replacement of damaged carpeting, repairs to the ceiling and, of course, replacement of the basketball court flooring.
This is a devastating loss for the Stanley community and people of the church, but SERVPRO of Minot is here to help get things back to normal and are glad that nobody was hurt in the loss.
Why Every Business Needs an Emergency Ready Profile
Life throws challenges at us all the time, and as a business owner, you know are constantly overcoming new challenges that arise throughout the day. Most of the time, these challenges don’t slow down your everyday operations, but when disaster strikes, your entire company can be put on hold until it is resolved. A pipe bursting, break room fire, or flooded first floor can put business on hold for days, weeks, or months depending on severity. Oftentimes a business can never recover after major building damage.
While you never know what disaster will strike, preparing for the worst can mitigate secondary damage and reduce the time doors are closed. A SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a free assessment strategically designed to: 1) Prevent damage from any disaster 2) Establish clear communication and authorization for work to begin and 3) Help your business recover from any unexpected event. The ERP is not a full contingency plan but rather an addition to your existing plan.
An ERP is a free assessment of your company’s facilities and potential threats to their structural integrity. This profile is established by identifying high risk events that are specific to your facilities and addressing response options. An example would be a restaurant being at a high risk of fire damage, do to cooking and hazardous conditions in a kitchen, therefore planning where a fire would take place, identifying key access points such as switches to turn off gas and power lines and then having contact info for the local fire department, insurance agents, and SERVPRO of Minot to clean any damage that occurs.
As a restoration company, the sooner we receive a call, the sooner we can have staff on site. Establishing SERVPRO of Minot as your Priority Service Provider means we can respond to your emergency faster than normal and get your business open ahead of schedule.
To learn more details about a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile, call our office today, or email Ben at benjaminr@SERVPROminot.com
Why Commercial Buildings should use professional cleaners to battle COVID-19
As we continue to battle through the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial buildings have been doing a great job of continuing to implement different measures for keeping the people in those facilities safe. Here are the reasons why a commercial building may consider or need to bring in a professional cleaning staff to battle against COVID-19
Having an Emergency Response Plan.
As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our community, more people are going to be exposed and test positive for the disease. What will your workplace do when that happens? If there is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 in your workplace, a response needs to be in place so that 1) employees can be safe and 2) work can resume without a fear of infection from the work environment.
A proactive plan should be developed that includes preventative measures to reduce potential exposure and also reactive measures for when exposure happens, and a COVID-19 positive person enters the workspace. This second situation, one where a person has potentially left the virus in the workplace, is one where a professional cleaning staff should be considered.
While normal custodial staff are equipped to handle regular cleaning operations, COVID-19 is different. This highly infectious disease could be transmitted to an unprepared custodial staff if they are not trained in wearing proper protective equipment (PPE) and if they are exposed, it opens a legal gray area in which they can claim they were knowingly exposed to biological contamination without the right equipment.
At SERVPRO of Minot we equip all our technicians with the right PPE, which includes gloves, respirators, and full suits for protection. Additionally, we have high-grade that have been recommended for CDC use against COVID-19. This combined with full coverage insurance for our technicians allows us to confidently send them into a biologically contaminated space.
Give us a call today to talk about setting up an emergency COVID-19 response plan. This will allow you to have a response plan in place to battle the spread of COVID-19 if it should enter your workplace.
What to do while your business is Shutdown
Across the nation, we are all doing our best to work through the coronavirus pandemic. As we try and contain the spread of the virus, millions have had their normal work routine shifted. This has caused chaos for many in the workforce. A survey by the U.S. Chamber of commerce found that 54% of small businesses have temporarily closed or will close within the next few weeks. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) While we can all hope that this emergency will pass soon, there are steps that business owners and managers can be taking now, to prepare for the reopening of the economy.
Continue Cash Flow
The first is to apply for loans and grants. By now, you have seen the federal stimulus package and the provision for loans and grants for business. This economic relief is supposed to help with the burden that the shutdown has caused for businesses across the country. If you haven’t already applied for this, you should consider it and act quickly to make sure you are prepared. Likewise, local banks and credit unions have been working with businesses to give out low-interest loans to pay for operations until they are ready to reopen.
During this shutdown it is important to do what you are able. While operations have been severely impacted for many businesses, doing what little is possible will help until full operations can resume. As an example, many local restaurants have offered curbside and take out options to maintain a source of cash flow. Although you will likely not maintain your regular cash flow, doing what you can, will help to get you through.
Another option is to utilize your social media channels to connect with your customers. Although they can not be at your location physically, you can still connect digitally. This shows your commitment to your customers and your appreciation for their business. Making sure your brand is still in your customers mind will make sure they return once able. Showing what you are doing to improve or change about your location during this closure is a great move.
Clean While the Building is Empty
At SERVPRO of Minot we are helping businesses during this COVID-19 shutdown by providing proactive bio-remediation cleanings. By going into offices, dealerships, restaurants, gyms, banks, and all other kinds of businesses, we are providing sanitation and disinfection of viral hazards giving those facilities peace of mind for when customers and employees return. Our hospital-grade disinfectants have been found to work against similar viruses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Following CDC guidelines and using the correct personal protective equipment, our technicians are prepared to completely sanitize any workspace without exposing themselves or other members of that organization. By completely sanitizing a space, it ensures that your facilities are not at risk of causing sickness to anyone who enters. The efficiency of our trained technicians allows us to cover a large space quickly, making it ideal for companies with large office spaces or facilities.
Even if you do not have a large space, cleaning your building during this shutdown with proven disinfectants and washing your hands afterwards will go a long way in stopping the spread of the disease, as well as giving your customers peace of mind once they return.
Even though your operations may be shut down or limited, there are still steps you can take during this time to make sure you are being productive and proactive. Be sure you are ready to bring your customers back in once it is safe and sanitary for you to do so.
US Chamber of Commerce (https://www.uschamber.com/report/special-report-coronavirus-and-small-business)
How to Get Ready to Go Back to the Office
Make sure you are ready for when you have to go back to the office
As we work through unprecedented times, it is important to remember we will get through these times. States across the nation have either suggested or enforced work from home guidelines while others have completely shut down non-essential businesses. Once these orders have been lifted and workers are allowed to return, having a plan in place will help to get back into normal operations.
As workers have been adapting to their new schedule, developing a plan for re-integrating them to get back up to their maximum productivity levels.
Make A Plan
The first thing to do is to set a date for the return to normal working conditions. As we are in the midst of the current situation, it is hard to predict when workers and businesses will be able to return to their regular workspaces. When the governmental levels lift their work from home orders, the individual organizations will have to determine when they will reopen. This may involve immediate reopening, setting it for the following Monday, or maintaining the work from home orders to further protect workers and visitors from potential exposure.
Once a reopen date has been set, each individual should be contacted and informed of the date with their confirmation that they can return. Some may have other priorities such as watching over their children or elderly family members and will be unable to return immediately. Others may just not feel comfortable leaving their house if there is still a threat of infection and should receive the best possible accommodations. This may involve continuing work from home or instituting safety measures.
Expect a Readjustment Period
It will be hard for workers to jump right back into their regular workflow. By the time of their return, many will have been working from home, or not working, for weeks and possibly months. It will take time to readjust to their normal morning routine, duties, and eating habits. For as long as that employee was gone, it will be equally as long, or longer, before they are able adjust back. There should be an expectation of a lag in productivity from those individuals.
Ways to help those workers readjust include being flexible with start times, one-on-one human support, and having a clear re-integration plan. Consulting with each employee and establishing a clear plan of what is expected upon their return will allow them to have clear tasks to focus as they get back into their regular routine.
While workers return, allowing those who are anxious or in a high-risk category, to stay at home may be the best choice. Even though the return to work order may go into effect, coronavirus will still be in the news headlines and many may not want to expose themselves by being in a populated workspace.
To calm fears, it may be worth considering a professional cleaning before they return. Having a completely sanitized space to return to, will do a lot to ease concerns. As school buildings, offices, and other community organizations are currently empty, now is the perfect time to do it, to clear any standing contamination and to avoid disruption.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 SERVPRO of Minot has been doing proactive cleanings. By doing a proactive cleaning, workers reduce the risk of exposure from unwanted pathogens. A proactive cleaning also allows employees to be in a space that will not impact the quality of their health.
Although there are not currently any products tested against this strain of coronavirus, the products our technicians use have shown effectiveness against similar strains to this new virus. Following CDC recommended products and cleaning guidelines, SERVPRO technicians have been using hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize workspaces during this time.
As a locally owned franchise, SERVPRO of Minot wants to help organizations stay healthy and get back to work soon. Asking your supervisor, facilities manager, or business owner to consider a professional cleaning would allow us to help get your organization back to normal.
Two tips for managing your commercial property
Tips for Managing Commercial Property
In today's world, oftentimes the people who are managing commercial properties, are not the owners. Think of a retail setting, there is probably a manger who is in charge of overseeing the operations, including the management of the property. This manager is most likely concerned with the variety of other tasks like promoting sales or managing staff. This means you shouldn't assume that they are handling the property management as well.
Two things you can do to make sure your properties are, make sure you have the best available technology and to have staff trained in correct management.
Technology could include: upgraded security systems, energy efficient lights and heating systems, and upgraded windows and doors for efficiency and security.
Another step would be to develop a plan and inform staff of that plan. This could range from a simple daily checklist, to a full emergency response plan in the event of disaster.
Emergency response plans are great for directing staff on what to do if there is an emergency. Things to include in this plan are contact numbers for contractors to come in and stop any further damage, meet up locations in case the building needs to be evacuated and business continuity plans for what will happen if the building can not be occupied for a period of time.
At SERVPRO of Minot we assist companies with putting together these plans and take pride in our attention to detail and planning when preparing these.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your business is managed properly and safely.
How SERVPRO can help stop the spread of Coronavirus for you
We are HERE TO HELP you with any solutions we can provide
Coronavirus has dominated the news headlines for the past few weeks. There has been a lot of fear and misinformation put out there and as the leader in cleaning of biological contamination in the Minot area, SERVPRO® of Minot wants to relay some accurate information as well as clarify our services which can be used to help the spread of disease.
The best way to prevent infection is to take personal steps to protect yourself
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently throughout the day.
- Stay home if you feel sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Wipe and disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as your steering wheel or keyboard, often
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
Wiping high-touch surfaces can be done on a personal scale at home as well as on a commercial scale.
SERVPRO technicians are trained to be able to safely clean and disinfect buildings, offices, and other high-traffic areas against a wide variety of germs. Using proper procedures, as well as advanced personal protection equipment, we can disinfect one of these areas while minimizing the chance of further spreading germs
A few things to note:
- There is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the Coronavirus. Although our technicians do use a medical grade cleaning product which has shown effectiveness against similar strains to COVID-19.
- Proactive cleaning will not prevent or protect the building from future contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.
With the current state of affairs, it is worth considering a professional cleaning to reduce the possible spread of disease carrying germs through your organization. This also gives a peace of mind to those who visit and work in your facility, knowing that we have thoroughly cleaned and disinfected that area. Being able to tell anyone who enters the area that it was recently professionally cleaned and disinfected can put an ease to a lot of worries that have surrounded COVID-19.
Minot Restaurants Rely on the Fast Response of SERVPRO to Mitigate Water Loss Emergencies
One of the most rewarding things about running a Minot restaurant is giving your customers a positive experience every time that they step through your doors. Small disasters can sometimes pose a significant threat to this positive experience, however, and you need to get the mess cleaned up quickly and thoroughly to prevent lasting damages to the building.
Every business owner focuses on cutting out the extra spending, even when it comes to approaching water damage in their Minot eatery. Most believe that these situations can get taken care of without professional intervention, but this is rarely the case. There are effects and lingering damages that can continue to affect your restaurant long after the initial mess has gotten seemingly cleaned up.
One of the things that you need to consider when it comes to cleaning up a mess like this is the far-reaching effects of water spreading throughout areas of your restaurant. With various flooring materials and drywall, saturation can occur in a brief period which puts a timeline on when the damage must get restored before the material becomes unsalvageable. Our SERVPRO team can say that We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster because that is the commitment that we have made to the clients we serve throughout the area.
Another reason that you should consider our SERVPRO restoration services for the water damage in your facility are adverse secondary effects. Lingering water and moisture can allow mold spores present in the environment to seat and colonize. When running a restaurant, mold damage is one of the situations that could stop your business in its tracks and prove costly to remediate and verify that the health hazard of mold exposure has gotten successfully removed.
Operating a restaurant has many rewarding aspects, but when you sustain water damages in your facility, you need to act quickly to ensure that the problem does not get worse. Our SERVPRO of Minot water restoration technicians are standing by 24/7 at (701) 852-7378
Ceiling Tile Discoloration: Culprits and Causes
Water damage on ceiling tile can indicate a bigger problem.
Imagine it, you’ve found the perfect home for your business, with just one or two pesky discolored ceiling tiles. It’s not a big deal, right? Not quite. Beyond being unsightly, ceiling tile discoloration can have serious causes, from water damage to tile mold. Before you overlook a stain or two, learn some of their top causes in Minot ND.
About Ceiling Tiles
Dropped tile ceilings are a common go-to for many commercial buildings across the country. Reasons include:
- Easy removal for access to HVAC and electrical system
- Clean, simple appearance
Drop tiles can create a pleasant, conservative look but can quickly take on a downright ugly appearance when they become stained. Here are some of the reasons that happens.
Dropped tile ceilings have been popular for decades and in some buildings, have been in place for that long. The older the tiles the more likely they’ve been exposed to cigarette smoke and other pollutants. The result can be a darker color that may be impossible to get rid of.
Brown spots are often the biggest giveaway to a leak somewhere above the tile. They often start small and radiate outward over time. Beyond being an eyesore, these spots often signal bigger problems like tile mold, and should never be ignored.
The ultraviolet light so common in offices is not great for ceiling tiles. Over time, tiles exposed to UV rays can take on a sickly hue that isn’t very attractive.
From water leaks and tile mold to harsh light, there are lots of things that can trigger tile discoloration. When you see tile discoloration, it’s worth the time and money to replace the tile. Because tile mold can spread, if you suspect water damage is the culprit, make sure you consult a mold remediation company like SERVPRO. It could save you expense and headaches in the long run.