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Basic Facts About Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

sprinkler head, the device provides protection against fire in a room. Regular upkeep is another vital factor in keeping your property safe from fire damage.

Commercial Fire Sprinkler System Fundamentals

A fire sprinkler system is one of the best ways to protect your commercial property from fire and smoke damage, as well as property loss. Why invest in a sprinkler system?

  • The system is always ready to respond even when no one is in the building.
  • Commercial sprinklers quickly and effectively smother flames, often before the fire department arrives.
  • The amount of smoke, ash, and soot is decreased.
  • Sprinklers activate in affected areas of your building, limiting the spread of property damage.
  • Sprinklers use less water than the fire department.

Fire Sprinkler System Basics: Activation

The key to properly maintaining the fire suppression system in your Olympia, WA, building is understanding how the sprinklers work. Generally, the system is activated by temperatures above 155 degrees Fahrenheit. As the air heats up, it shatters the plug inside each sprinkler head, releasing water quickly. This leads to reliable activation and a response isolated to only the at-risk rooms in the building. If the fire spreads, sprinklers will activate as heat advances.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

The fire sprinkler system is just one component of your overall fire safety plan. Check with your local fire department or professionals who offer fire sprinkler cleanup and restoration to learn more about how many smoke detectors to install and where. Ask about which types of fire extinguishers are appropriate for your situation. Provide evacuation and first aid training to your employees and schedule opportunities to practice those skills.

Inspections and Maintenance

Regular upkeep is another vital factor in keeping your property safe from fire damage. Schedule professional inspections and testing as directed by the manufacturer or as outlined in applicable regulations. The system doesn't require much maintenance, but it is important that sprinkler heads are free from dirt, dust, and greasy residue.
An automatic fire sprinkler system can protect you from the loss of your property while dramatically reducing the amount of damage that occurs during a fire. Don't be misled by misconceptions about sprinkler systems; make sure your property is safe.

How Lightning Affects a Home

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. The most terrifying aspect of severe torment is not knowing when or where lightning will strike. If you hit your house, you may start a fire.

How Does Lightning Affect A House?

If you live in Yelm, WA, you know you will experience a few extreme thunderstorms every year. While most of the thunderbolts just light up the sky, they can hit your home. The worst part of a severe storm is never knowing when or where that bolt may come down. If it hits your home, the power behind it causes instant damage, including a potential house fire.

The Effects of Lightning

The two most common damage it causes is a power surge or lighting fire.

Surges: These are the most common issue that arises. Considering that a bolt may have tens of millions of volts and a standard home uses around 220 volts, your electrical system can’t handle the power. Any items, including appliances, that are plugged in may be damaged. There are surge protectors on the market that can help minimize the damage.

Lighting Fire: A bolt from the sky is extremely hot, even up to 50,000 degrees. No matter how sound your home may be, those kinds of temperatures are bound to cause some damage. In many cases, the fire may start in the attic or upstairs area. Surprisingly, the damage isn’t always immediately noticeable. Since it penetrates the home, flames could be spreading behind walls or other hidden areas.

After a Strike

Even if you don’t see visible signs of trouble, it is imperative to call emergency responders to inspect the home. They will have the tools to detect hidden dangers. Along with ensuring the home is safe, it is important to do the following:

  • Verify circuit breakers, outlets and light switches are functioning properly.
  • Use a resistance tester to ensure the wiring is not damaged.
  • Inspect plumbing fixtures and pipes for leaks.
  • Check that water supply lines don’t have any extra pressure or leaks.

If the strike results in a fire, contact your insurance company and a fire damage and restoration specialist as soon as possible to minimize the damage.

While a lighting fire may seem rare, the odds are higher than many people think. Knowing that it can happen and being prepared for anything is key to easing the unexpected situation.

How To Restore Water Damage in 4 Steps

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Professionals from a restoration company are drying a house SERVPRO has the equipment and experience to extract water from your home or business, leaving your property dry.

How To Repair Water Damage In 4 Easy Steps

Water damage to your Olympia, WA, home is a major hassle. Fortunately, swift action can prevent further problems. The following steps outline the water cleanup process.

1. Assess the Damage

The first thing you need to do after a flood is survey the damage. Identify and repair the source of the water. Fix broken pipes, patch leaks and take other necessary action to prevent further inundation. Determine whether the water source is clean or contaminated and if there are any electrical hazards. Some homeowners may feel comfortable completing the restoration process themselves, but others may choose to hire a certified restoration service.

2. Dry the Area

Keep in mind that water damage can lead to mold growth within 24 hours, so it is important to dry the area as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Use pumps, wet/dry vacuums, fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the water. If the humidity outside is low, open windows and doors to increase airflow.

3. Clean Affected Items

Depending on the source of the water and how long it has been stagnant, you may have to sanitize items that came into contact with it. Even clean water, such as from a water heater leak, can foster microbial growth and should be treated as contaminated after 24 hours.

4. Repair and Replace Damaged Items

After everything is clean and dry, you can begin the restoration process. Remember that some things, such as fiberglass insulation, affected by contaminated water cannot be completely cleaned and need to be replaced. Even if you can do some of the restoration yourself, professional assistance is often needed to restore delicate items like electronics, antiques and photographs.

Hopefully your home will never incur water damage. If it does, dry the property out, clean it thoroughly, and make any necessary repairs. Acting quickly helps prevent further damage and allows you to restore your home to its preloss condition.

Preparing Your Commercial Building for a Flood

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

A Business protected from flooding with sand bags and plastic film. If you need a flood cleanup after a storm, don't try to tackle the problem yourself. calling SERVPRO is the best solution.

Flood Preparation For Your Commercial Building

If your business in Olympia, WA, is located in or near a high flood zone, flood insurance is a must. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can be added to your commercial building insurance plan. There are some flood prevention techniques you should also consider to reduce the risk of flooding.

1. Determine Your Base Flood Elevation

This calculation, known as the BFE, determines if your lowest floor is above or below the acceptable flood level. If it is below acceptable levels consider elevating the building at least 3 feet above the BFE, if possible. Contact your county's floodplain administrator for details in determining your BFE.

2. Install Flood-Resistant Materials

Use materials that are flood-resistant wherever possible. Water-resistant wall coverings, flooring and wall insulation will reduce the risk of water damage. Most of these materials can handle contact with water for about 72 hours before extensive damage occurs.

3. Utilize Dry Floodproofing Techniques

Flood prevention techniques, such as dry floodproofing, help to make your building watertight and keep floodwaters from invading your building.

Water-resistant shields should be placed over doors and windows located at or below the BFE. Water-absorbent sandbags, plastic tarps and sheeting should be placed in strategic areas around the building before the storm hits. These devices help to stave off shallow floodwaters.
Permanent swing flood doors or temporary flood gates can be installed to prevent deeper water from entering your building.

4. Invest in Backup Electrical Power

Consider purchasing backup power for your mechanical equipment and air conditioning system. Humidifiers and blowers help dry out materials quickly. If you find yourself in need of flood cleaning after a storm, however, don't attempt to tackle the problem yourself. Contact a water restoration service as soon as possible.

By implementing some smart flood prevention techniques, you can reduce the risk of severe damage to your building.

4 Storm Preparation Measures for Property Managers

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning storm over city in purple light For the best results, storm preparedness should be a constant property management effort.

Property Managers Should Take These 4 Storm Preparation Steps

Property management can take measures to prepare for storms that may limit the amount of damage sustained by a commercial building. Here are four steps toward storm preparedness that owners or managers can take on a seasonal basis or whenever severe weather is on the forecast for Olympia, WA.

1. Check Doors and Windows

Many storms involve high winds. Exterior doors with worn flashing, sealant or tracks may be prone to blow open. This can quickly introduce rain and debris to a building interior and result in damage. Building owners and managers should make sure that doors close completely and windows are waterproof.

2. Clear Drainage

A functional drainage system is another crucial part of storm preparedness. Make sure that roof drains, gutters and downspouts are clear and that water is routed away from the foundation of the structure.

3. Trim Trees

Falling tree limbs can severely damage the roof of a building and result in damage to the interior. Owners or managers of properties with tall trees that have overhanging branches should contact a tree trimming service prior to storms with high winds or heavy snow and ice.

4. Secure Outdoor Items

Wind gusts can turn outdoor items such as patio furniture or trashcans into dangerous flying debris. Items may be fastened down or temporarily stored indoors. Don't forget about items on the roof. It may be a good idea to disconnect antennas or other equipment and store these items inside until the storm passes.

For the best results, storm preparedness should be a constant property management effort. Owners and managers may not have enough warning to take all of these steps prior to a major storm in Olympia, WA. It is a good idea to develop and follow a seasonal storm preparation plan to limit damage. If a structure suffers storm damage, contact commercial mitigation and restoration experts.

How To Prevent Wind Damage To Your Commercial Building

3/12/2022 (Permalink)

Building with roof damage Before the storm comes, seal any crevices or cracks so the wind cannot enter your property.

How To Protect Your Commercial Building From Wind Damage

Wind can damage your commercial building in many ways. You could end up with missing shingles or a roof leak. However, there are some ways to mitigate the harm to your Yelm, WA, property.

Outdoor Areas

You probably do not keep all of your assets inside. You may have some of the following outside, as well:

  • Sheds
  • Equipment
  • Inventory

Make sure all of these items are anchored to the ground. Anything that cannot be secured should be brought inside. You should properly attach outdoor signs to your property, as well.

Do not forget that wind can knock large shrubs and trees into the top of your building. To prevent a damaged roof, trim any branches that have grown close to the structure.

Doors and Walls

Before the storm comes, seal any crevices or cracks so the wind cannot enter your property. Similarly, you should secure all windows and siding.
Pay special attention to the exit and entrance doors. Install a triple hinge and a deadbolt lock on each door.

Roofs

Have an inspector check out your building prior to the storm. The expert can tell you if you are at risk for a roof leak. The inspector should notify you if the shingles are loose or fail to meet local building codes. Make sure the inspector looks at the sheathing, skylights and HVAC units, as well.

Company Vehicles

Your vehicles are a valuable part of your business. Fixing them after a storm can be expensive. To keep them safe, store them inside when possible. If you have to park them outside, avoid placing them under power lines, lamp posts or trees. You could also ask one of your employees to take the vehicle home with him and keep it in his garage until the storm passes.

A wind storm does not have to cause a roof leak or other forms of damage to your property. By protecting your building ahead of time, you can limit your need for commercial cleanup and restoration services.

What To Do About Lingering Mold Odor

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

mold growth on the wall If you suspect or have discovered a mold problem in your Olympia, WA, home or business, give our SERVPRO of Lacey team a call!

What To Do If Mold Odor Remains

A mold smell at your Olympia, WA, business can create an unpleasant environment for you, your employees and your customers. Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate the smell.

Cause of Mold Odor

Mold growth often releases mycotoxins that emit strong odors. Mold is commonly described as smelling

Musty
Earthy
Damp

Although an unusual odor is often an early sign of a mold problem, the fungus smell can linger even after the mold has been removed by an experienced restoration service.

Removal of Mold Odor

Following the mold remediation process, there are several things you can do to eliminate any residual mold smell. Remember that air fresheners usually only cover up the odor, and the mildew smell will return when synthetic smell fades.

If the weather permits, open the windows and doors to let in some fresh air. Turning on fans while the doors are open improves air circulation and will help eliminate the odor more quickly. Run an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to trap some of the mycotoxins.

Baking soda and vinegar may seem old-fashioned, but these two cleaning products are great for getting rid of tough smells. Add vinegar to the washing machine to eliminate odors in washable items. Sprinkle baking soda over carpets or upholstered items and let the powder sit for about fifteen minutes before vacuuming up the musty odor.

Prevention of Mold Odor

The only way to prevent mold odor in the future is to prevent mold growth. The most effective way to do this is to keep your building dry. Keep the humidity below 50% if possible. Run a dehumidifier in particularly humid areas. Clean up spills and water damage as quickly as possible.

Even after a mold infestation has been remediated, the moldy smell can linger. Fortunately, fresh air and a cleaning session are often all you need to get your business smelling fresh and clean again.

How To Clean a Dryer Exhaust

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

using a bristle brush to clean the lint trap on a clothes dryer. SERVPRO of Lacey can take care of your fire damage restoration and cleanup needs in Olympia, WA, home or business

Cleaning A Dryer Exhaust

The accumulation of lint in a dryer exhaust can lead to a dryer fire. Thick winter clothing and bedding tends to increase seasonal buildup. Homeowners should thoroughly clean a dryer exhaust at least once a year and perform regular maintenance to keep the lint trap, vent tube, and exterior vent clear. It is not difficult to reduce the risk of a lint fire with the right tools.

Vent Pipe Cleaning Rods

Vent pipe cleaning rods have long attachments with circular brushes. These rods can clear lint out of a significant portion of dryer vent tubing. There are several styles of cleaning rods to choose from:

  • Manual rods
  • Rods with power drill attachments
  • Rods with extended brush heads

It may be necessary to remove and reinsert a cleaning rod several times to clear a duct. If you do not have a cleaning rod, try using a vacuum attachment to remove at least some lint from around the dryer end of vent tubing.

Long Wire Brush

A long wire brush can be helpful for extracting lint from an exterior vent. A blockage at any point of the exhaust system can increase the risk of a lint fire. Professional assistance may be necessary to clean out the entire duct.

Firm-Bristled Nylon Brush

Limit the amount of lint that ends up in the exhaust by keeping the dryer lint trap clear. Clean the filter by hand after each load. Use a nylon brush with firm bristles to remove impacted lint from the screen every six months or more frequently if necessary.

A homeowner can use all of these tools to avoid a lint fire. It is advisable to schedule a professional dryer duct cleaning about once a year. If a fire breaks out in the laundry room of a residence in Olympia, WA, a fire damage restoration service can help homeowners clean and rebuild.

Is a SERVPRO Franchise Right for You?

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Workers are carrying restoration machines from a company Our SERVPRO team offers emergency water restoration services and we are available to respond to your residential or commercial loss 24/7.

Do You Have What It Takes to Own A SERVPRO Franchise?

For the enterprising individual, owning and operating a franchise in Yelm, WA, is an exciting way to go. This is especially true of those with a strong business model, such as a SERVPRO franchise, that promises a comfortable return each month. How can you recognize those promising options? Do some research into the following factors:

  • Your specific goals
  • Your investment capital
  • Your expected level of involvement

What Do You Hope To Accomplish?

Before getting involved with any new business opportunity, you need to be certain of your goals. Are you looking for a hobby business? Will this new business be your primary source of income? Are you hoping to own multiple franchises? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether a SERVPRO franchise is right for you.

How Much Money Do You Have Available?

A SERVPRO business opportunity comes with corporate support, but you'll still to have some money available for the startup. Some of the most common costs associated with new franchises include the franchise fee, working capital (few businesses are profitable from the get-go,) inventory purchases, and equipment rental fees. You'll probably need a significant amount of money set aside and a good credit score to get a loan.

How Involved Do You Expect To Be?

Franchises through SERVPRO are locally owned and certified. When you become a franchise owner for SERVPRO, do you plan to be hands-on with the fire and water cleanup and restoration services and the mold mitigation and remediation work? If you don't plan to participate directly, who will do the work? How will you pay employees?

Are You Ready To Get Started?

Each SERVPRO franchise is based on a great business model, and the franchises are some of the best to own and operate. With a lot of corporate support and access to local resources, you could operate a small local disaster business or work toward a much-larger multi-location system.

Inspect Your Commercial Building and Keep It Weatherproof

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Workers are checking and restoring a company after water damage SERVPRO of Lacey understands the stress and worry that comes with experiencing water damage on your commercial property. Call us!

Keep An Eye On Your Commercial Building And Make Sure It's Weatherproof.

Is your Olympia, WA, business in a building that is comfortable, dry and weatherproof? If so, thank the heroes responsible for exterior maintenance. It is their job to keep your building maintained. Proper maintenance ensures that the weather stays outside where it belongs.

Damage to the exterior lets in the weather. Some, like broken windows, is obvious and demands immediate attention. Other damage starts tiny and grows into serious maintenance problems. Examples of minor damage are:

  • Small holes in siding
  • Loose or cracked windows
  • Gaps around vents, pipes and other exterior features
  • Damaged masonry

Routine Inspections Are the Key to Preventive Maintenance

Every building has problems that are easy to overlook. They don’t interfere with the business operation, so they go unreported. The first step in fixing them is finding them. The best way to identify them is through a complete building inspection. Think of this as a close inspection of the building with the help of a checklist. Here are some of the tasks that an exterior maintenance inspection might include:

  1. Inspect the roof. Look for areas where the roofing material needs repair. Check the vents, air conditioner and other features attached to the roof to make sure they won’t leak. Check the gutters and downspouts. Make sure that rainwater will flow down and away from the building.
  2. Inspect the walls. Look for openings that might let water in. A structural engineer can help you determine if there is water damage.
  3. Inspect the masonry. Areas that are failing might provide a path for water to get inside. Bring in a professional to check the situation.
  4. Inspect the doors and windows. Make sure that they stop the flow of air and water.

Some exterior maintenance problems can’t wait. One of these is water damage. There are local water damage restoration specialists ready to come to your aid. They are just a phone call away.