How To Avoid Maintenance Costs
Maintenance is an inevitable cost of running a business, but those costs can be minimized
Running a business in Conroe, TX, is hard enough without getting hit with a huge maintenance cost. Here's how you can use simple facility management strategies to keep those expenses as low as possible.
Maintenance is an inevitable cost of running a business, but those costs can be minimized. Here are some of the most common maintenance expenses businesses face:
- Storm damage repairs
- Equipment repairs
- Vehicle repairs
- Replacement of parts and equipment
Storm Damage Repairs
One of the best ways to minimize costs from storm damage repairs is to storm proof your building. A professional storm-proofing service in Conroe, TX, can help you take preventative measures that can save you money on repairs later on.
Equipment and Vehicle Repairs
Routine maintenance can help you catch problems early and repair them before a small problem turns into a huge maintenance cost. Having equipment and company vehicles regularly serviced and inspected will keep them in excellent shape for as long as possible. You should also make sure that all employees understand the correct way to handle the equipment. Incorrect handling can shorten the lifespan of equipment, leading to more frequent maintenance and replacements.
Cleaning costs can be reduced in a number of ways. First, you should make sure your building is an appropriate size for your business. Larger spaces require more time to clean, costing more money. You should also encourage your employees to do simple tasks, such as throwing away trash and cleaning their work stations, to reduce the amount of time it takes custodial staff to clean. Another way to reduce this time is by installing surfaces that are easier to clean, such as concrete floors rather than carpet.
With successful facility management, you can significantly lower your annual maintenance cost. Methods to consider include storm-proofing your building, having equipment and vehicles serviced often, teaching staff how to handle equipment and reducing the amount of time required to clean the facility.
3 Causes of Basement Floods (and How To Fix Them)
Basement flooding in The Woodlands, TX
Here Are Three Common Causes Of Basement Flooding
Most residents of The Woodlands, TX, will deal with a basement flood at least once in their lives. Depending on what’s in your basement, flooding can cause all sorts of problems, from destroying your heirloom Christmas tree skirt to shorting out your deep freezer. Unfortunately, once a basement has flooded, it’s likely to flood again, so it’s best to address the cause of the problem head-on.
Due to the nature of basements, basement floors and walls must be properly sealed against incoming water. These seals are usually installed when the basement is constructed. If your floor or wall seals are faulty, water can seep through, especially after heavy storms when the ground is saturated. The good news is that the floor and walls can be re-sealed.
Poorly Planned Drainage System
This extremely common basement flood culprit of basement flooding is easy to remedy. Downspouts are meant to divert rainwater away from the foundation of the house. Occasionally, downspouts are placed too close to the basement wall, or water from the downspout drains toward the basement wall. This puts too much pressure on your weeping tile and leads to leaks. Extend downspouts to at least six feet away from the basement wall in a place where they can drain away from the house.
If your gutters become clogged with leaves and debris, they can overflow. This creates a waterfall effect right next to your basement wall, causing leaks. The fix is easy: grab a ladder and clean out your gutters. Of course, if your gutters fill frequently, consider switching to larger gutters or installing gutter guards.
A basement flood is rarely a one-time occurrence. The next flood could require costly restoration work, and water damage is often a major red flag to buyers and insurance companies. Find out what’s causing your basement to flood and fix the problem right away.
3 Tips to Create a Fire Escape Plan
By creating an emergency escape plan you are boosting your company's safety
3 Tips to Create a Fire Escape Plan
An important part of your fire safety strategy is your fire escape plan. This is the measure that protects your employees from the dangers of a fire. Therefore, you must create a solid plan.
1. Identify Potential Hazards
Inspect your property and write down any potential hazards. These will include cooking areas like kitchens and microwaves. Look for overloaded power outlets. Take note of any mini-fridges or space heaters employees have brought in. Once you have identified these, you can make rules to limit their presence. For instance, you can ban non-essential cooking stations. You can also ban smoking on your property. Measures like this reduce your chances of a fire and your chances of having to call a remediation company.
2. Assign Emergency Roles and Responsibilities
A key aspect of any fire escape plan is to have certain employees in leadership roles. These people need to regularly attend the fire drills, lead others, and understand their responsibilities. The roles you must fill are the fire safety wardens, route guides, and floor monitors.
3. Make an Escape Plan
You can use an online template to start making a fire escape plan for your business in The Woodlands,TX. Draw out each level of your building with possible routes, fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits. Be sure to include accessible routes as well. Include a meeting place that is a safe distance from your building. It must not be in the way of the fire department.
To keep your plan relevant, check your fire extinguishers regularly to make sure they are working. Also, make sure your first-aid kits are well stocked. If your building changes in any way, be sure to update your plans.
By following these tips to create an emergency escape plan, you are boosting your company's safety. This is because your employees will be prepared and able to get out of the building if a fire occurs.
Why Bleach Is Not the Answer to Your Mold Problem
Bleach is not the solution
Handling a bit of fungus cleanup in your business might seem like a do-it-yourself job, but are you sure? Before you reach for the bleach, you should know that it is not the best way to eradicate mold.
How Mold Works
Mold is a fungus that spreads through airborne spores. Most of the time, there is no need for concern. However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that if the conditions are right, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to settle and a little over a week for it to start spreading.
Mold needs a good source of moisture, food and warmth. The more porous the nutrient source (drywall, wood, fibers), the better. Mold will penetrate these surfaces and grow deep down in them, making it hard to get rid of the infestation.
Why Bleach Is Not the Solution
Bleach is not considered an effective method for fungus cleanup for a few reasons:
- It is not effective for long term use.
- It only cleans the top layer of surfaces, allowing mold to continue growing underneath.
- It encourages growth because it creates moisture.
Furthermore, the EPA advises against the use of the chemical because if the work area is not properly ventilated, it can cause harm to those using it.
How To Take Care of the Problem
To clean up mold, you have to find the reason for the moisture that is helping it grow. Fixing water issues such as broken pipes is the first step in mold removal. The next step is to dry the area completely and get rid of the affected materials. Some small infestations might be manageable on your own, but if you are dealing with a mold problem that extends beyond 10 square feet, it is safest to ask a mold remediation specialist for help.
With the right knowledge and help from your local expert in Egypt, TX, fungus cleanup might end up feeling like a minor job, after all.
A Good Way To Get Ahead of Potential Water Damage
Commercial water damage
A Good Way To Get Ahead of Potential Water Damage
If you are looking for a good, inexpensive way to increase your company's emergency preparedness level, setting up an emergency profile is worth considering. After all, having a solid plan in place for dealing with a water emergency can spell the difference between survival and going out of business. Establishing the profile is relatively simple and there is no cost to your facility. The purpose of the profile is to allow your company in New Caney, TX, to react quickly in a disaster. It will set up a concise document that contains all of the needed responses measures during an emergency, offering clarification during a time of chaos and stress.
How To Begin
Your first step is to call your local SERVPRO team, an acknowledged leader in cleaning and restoration throughout the North America. A representative will begin the process of setting up your emergency profile, which will contain the following pertinent information:
- The contact information of your preferred water remediation company
- The chain of command in your company for dealing with emergencies
- The process for authorizing work
- The location of vital shut-off valves at your facility
- The identification of priority areas
The purpose of the document is to speed up disaster response. It avoids the wasting of time that occurs when workers wait for access to the building and approval for work orders.
How To Implement
Once the emergency profile contains the necessary information, your company decides who has access to it. All of the information can be included on a simple ERP app. The app can be downloaded onto a variety of devices and your team will have access to it through the normal procedures of computer programs. It will take a short time to download and then the information can be managed and updated as necessary. In the case of an emergency, you or one of your team will access the app and set the response in motion.
The Limits of Renter's Insurance for Fire Damage
If you have renters insurance, it is important that you understand what is covered
If you have renters insurance, it is important that you understand what is covered. This allows you to better plan for disasters. It also helps you to decide if you need better coverage. When it comes to a fire, you will most likely be covered for the personal contents of your apartment. This includes items such as your clothing, furniture, artwork, books, music and just about everything else you have moved into the apartment. If you have your own appliances, these should be covered too. The cost of this type of insurance is often fairly reasonable since you do not have to cover the actual building.
The Importance of Speaking With Your Agent
To get a better understanding of your renters' insurance, you should contact your insurance agent about once a year, or of course in the case of an actual fire. It is not unusual for the agent to recommend a few tweaks. Some of the things you can make changes to include the following:
- The dollar amount of coverage
- Policy language
- Contact information
- Liability coverage
If you have bought anything of considerable value, you should then raise the amount of your coverage. Fire damage can even destroy such things as jewelry and computer systems.
The Value of Fire Restoration
If your apartment does fall victim to a fire, your renters' insurance should also pay for cleanup efforts to help you recover more quickly. A local fire remediation team in Porter Heights, TX, can arrive at your place quickly and minimize the level of damage. Professional technicians will work to restore fire and soot damage as well as any water damage caused by firefighters or a sprinkler system. They can offer advice on how best to clean the smoke odors that have penetrated into clothing and furniture. The goal is to restore your apartment back to good condition again. A quality company will help you coordinate the costs and expenses with your insurance company.
How to Care for Wet Items After a Flood
Furniture damaged by water in Shenandoah, TX
How to Care for Wet Items After a Flood
Having water in home always makes for stress and anxiety. Even a moderate amount of water can ruin personal belongings, building materials and furniture. With the right response, however, you can salvage these items and preserve your home. Following some basic guidelines can give you peace of mind and spare you a lot of heartaches.
Get Rid of the Water
Before you can care for the damaged items, you need to stop the source of the flooding. A plumber can help you identify where the water is coming from and can also repair or replace a broken pipe or other related issues. You should then do the following:
- Extract any standing water from the floor.
- Extract water from furniture.
- Contact a professional flood removal company to help with extensive flooding.
Tearing out Damaged Materials
You won't be able to save all items when there is water in home. Materials such as drywall and wood could become saturated with water and beyond repair. A restoration company in Shenandoah, TX, can help you remove these materials and replace them.
Caring for Clothing and Furniture
If clothes and furniture come into contact with floodwater, thorough dry cleaning can help you spare them. This process will not only help remove odors but should also ward off mold growth.
Carpets can bear the brunt of flooding. Along with thoroughly removing water from the carpet, technicians will dry and sanitize it.
If any electronics become wet from the flood, make sure you turn off the electricity in your home or at least unplug the devices. Do not attempt to turn them on. Carefully use a cloth to dry items such as computers. However, you should let a professional clean the insides of these items.
If you discover water in home, there are ways to salvage most of the items. Follow these steps and call upon an experienced professional to clean up, rebuild and restore your house.
How to Pick PPE for Mold Cleanup
Protect yourself while cleaning mold
You Know How Basements Often Have "That" Smell?
It's a little damp, a little musty, but all basements smell like that, right? They can because of the amount of moisture found in basements, but they really shouldn't if you're controlling moisture effectively. However, maybe you've discovered a leaking pipe or window in Rayford, TX, and now there is mold damage in your basement to clean up ASAP. Before you start, you need the correct personal protective equipment, or PPE. Depending on the extent of cleanup, you will require different PPE to keep you safe. The EPA has a great guide that categorizes cleanup as:
For minimum cleanup, the affected area should not be greater than ten square feet. Face masks, such as N-95 respirators, are necessary, plus goggles or some form of eye protection, and gloves. N-95 respirators prevent you from inhaling mold spores while you're cleaning.
In a limited cleanup, you need to wear the same PPE you would wear for a minimum cleanup project — face masks, goggles, and gloves — and you should add overalls that protect your clothing. A limited cleanup area should not exceed 100 square feet. For a project of this size, it would be best to contact a mold remediation specialist to ensure that you do, in fact, have the proper materials and PPE to tackle the project. A smaller area can still have a large quantity of mold, and it is important to ensure that you can complete the job completely to avoid future problems.
A full cleanup project requires heavy-duty protective equipment to handle mold damage. You will need a full-face mask with a respirator, gloves, shoe coverings, head covering, and disposable clothing. For a project like this, it is strongly recommended to contact a professional for help.
Face masks aren't the only piece of protection that you need when cleaning up mold in your home. It is important to consider the extent of the mold damage before beginning so you can protect yourself appropriately.
Commercial Generators Are Not the Same as Portable Ones
What kind of generator does your business need?
What kind of generator does your business need? There are many available, and it can be very confusing. Most of them are small, portable units meant for light applications or brief residential power outages. Typically, they’ll have less than 10,000 watts and will require hand-cranking.
However, businesses in Conroe, TX, often need something more substantial. In most cases, the ideal unit for mid-to-large operations is a standby diesel or natural gas one.
Types of Generators
Generators can cost a few hundred dollars – or a few hundred thousand. Some common features include
- Portable or fixed
- Standby on on-demand
- Diesel or gasoline
- Natural gas or propane
Portable Gasoline Generators Are Highly Economical
Small businesses using under 10,000 watts can often get by with a basic portable gasoline generator. These are often started by pulling on a rope, so they need to be run every other month so that they’re easier to crank up.
Some may include a battery for easy starting, so it’s important to keep that charged. You typically run extension cords to whatever needs power directly from the unit.
Most Businesses Need Standby Generators
Standby generators are designed to turn on automatically as soon as a power outage occurs. They can use either gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane, and in some cases (such as natural gas), they may run indefinitely if connected to a local service pipeline. They’re required by law to be run through a transfer switch. Without one, it can electrocute line workers who are sent to fix the cause of the power outage.
The easiest way to avoid problems is to get the correct unit. It should match your wattage needs and the best available fuel source.
Diesel generators usually last the longest. However, they require tanks and can run out of fuel. Many businesses are switching to natural gas, since pipelines are run in urban areas, allowing for indefinite use.
If you’ve had storm damage to your business that required the use of a generator, you’ll need to make an insurance claim for the repairs and hire an approved restoration company. SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster.
4 Steps for Handling a Fire Claim
Commercial fire damage in Porter Heights, TX
Here Are Four Steps For Handling A Claim
A fire can cause damage and destruction to your business in Porter Heights, TX, and it is imperative to take the necessary recovery steps and file a fire claim to maintain your operations. Acting quickly and staying organized helps prevent your business from experiencing any major downtime or interruptions.
1. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurer as quickly as possible to report the fire and schedule a meeting with the adjuster. Be sure to have your policy number and the address of your business ready, and provide your contact information so your insurance company knows how to reach you.
2. Start Repair and Cleanup
Do not wait for the adjuster to arrive before beginning cleanup. If you can handle any temporary repairs and secure your property, you should do so to avoid any additional damage or loss. Calling a professional fire restoration and cleanup service is recommended to make sure the process is done properly with the right equipment.
3. Document and Record the Damage
Take photographs of any fire damage before discarding debris or damaged items, and keep records of any costs incurred to repair and restore the property for your fire claim. If the damage is severe enough to temporarily close your business, keep track of any ongoing expenses that you cannot suspend while your business is shut down. If you conduct business at a temporary location, document those expenses as well to submit them with your claim.
4. Provide Financial Statements
For any items that require replacement or repair, provide records to verify the value of the items before they were damaged. You need documents that support any lost business income due to the fire. Be prepared to show bank statements, tax returns and contracts to your insurer.
Filing a fire claim can seem like a lot of work, but staying organized and knowing how to proceed can substantially minimize financial losses. If you are prepared, you can have your business back up and running in no time.