When a water damage issue affects your business, time is of the essence. Contact our certified team for effective commercial water damage remediation.
Establishments in Mount Vernon Rely on SERVPRO for Water Damage Restoration
Water incidents are one of the most common reasons for damage to commercial properties. If water damage restoration of your Mount Vernon commercial space does not happen fast, it can leave a lasting impact. A neglected water issue can quickly get out of hand and even force business closures, leading to substantial financial losses.
The Role of Heating and Cooling Equipment in Commercial Water Cleanup
Heat plays an essential role in speeding up the drying rate. SERVPRO techs implement various heat drying technologies to create an ideal dying condition. We use several types of heating equipment during commercial water restoration, including:
Indirect-fired furnaces utilize a heat exchanger to warm up the drying air before sending it into the drying zone of the building. As indirect furnaces are placed outside the structure, they cause the least business disruptions.
Portable electric heaters direct heat toward particular areas of a building rather than heating the entire airspace.
Direct expansion (DX) units can provide heating and cooling, and SERVPRO techs use these systems in commercial buildings with severe water damage. DX units can deliver humidity control while aiding in temperature control. They can preheat or precool the air entering a large desiccant dehumidifier and also heat or cool the air leaving a large desiccant. DX units provide a stable temperature control source over other heating and cooling units.
Don’t let your property be a victim of water damage, SERVPRO of Skagit and Island Counties is only a call away.
Providing Various Water Removal in Offices
Water can impact a business like office space in several ways, requiring several types of removal and moisture management needs. When the Large Loss SERVPRO team responds to emergencies, we work quickly to tackle these extraction and water removal expectations like:
Pooling surface water
Mounted Extractor Units
When many consider the direct means of water removal for Mount Vernon offices and shops, the elimination of surface pooling is one of the earliest obstacles. Little can be done to restore or recover a structure until the responding professionals have addressed its standing water concerns. Whether flooding or burst pipes, one of the most effective means of removing pooling water in the building is with a truck-mount extractor. These are ideal for water damage over several inches, and the units supply the most powerful production of any extractor in our inventory.
Generators are an important part of the water removal process as well. Nearly all of the equipment needed for moisture management in a structure runs on electricity, which might not be readily available after a significant disaster. Our trailered generator provides portable power supplied through several spider boxes in convenient locations for ample temporary power solutions.
Large-Scale Humidity Management
Humidity is another concern for the office, especially considering the likelihood of mold and microbial development without moisture regulation. Because of the magnitude of the humid area to be addressed and manipulated, large-scale dehumidification is necessary. We have trailered desiccant dehumidifiers to manage humidity in multiple spaces in the office simultaneously and to exhaust dry, warm air back into the structure through quick-connect hosing.
Understanding the necessary equipment used by our Large Loss team for water removal in Mount Vernon office buildings can help you appreciate our trusted team when disasters strike. Give our SERVPRO of Skagit and Island Counties team a call today at (360) 873-8744.
Correlated Effects of Flood Damage in Mount Vernon Offices
Flooding can introduce contaminants to the building when rising waters penetrate the main level of the structure.
Flood Damage Can Impact Mount Vernon Offices in Several Ways
Flooding can be uniquely challenging from one property to the next as different materials are affected, multiple floors of a structure, and sensitive equipment of an office building. Regardless of how flood damages occur, it is essential to note the kind of related impact it could have on the entire building. Appreciating the scope of damage shows how relying on experienced restoration professionals is wise.
Flood damage in Mount Vernon office buildings spreads rapidly. One of the first things that responding technicians recognize is migrating surface water's impact on exposed elements. Prolonged moisture absorption and saturation weaken building materials like flooring, wall systems, and ceiling tiles. Sagging or damaged construction materials pose a safety risk to employees if you continue to operate partially during restoration.
Contaminants and Pathogenic Threats
Flooding can introduce contaminants to the building when rising waters penetrate the main level of the structure. Biohazardous conditions must be met urgently, as exposed porous materials must be demolished and removed to prevent continually worsening pathogenic and bacterial threats.
Debris and Muck
Natural flooding can also bring in types of debris and waste. Muck-out cleaning is an essential part of post-flood damage mitigation. There are several substances, chemicals, and matter that can mix with intruding water, but the muck-out cleaning process typically focuses on:
Mold and Microbial Development
The moist conditions and amplified presence of microbes after a flood increase the probabilities of mold development. Organic materials like drywall and flooring are often targets for colonization, and the growth of these organisms poses a threat to exposed staff, customers, and structural elements.
Flooding is one of the more threatening situations for a commercial property like an open floorplan of an office building. Standing water spreads fast and deliberate mitigation is needed to help. Our SERVPRO of Skagit County team is available 24/7 when you call (360) 873-8744.
We Understand That Quick Action Is Crucial In Mount Vernon After A Flood
Our technicians mitigate water as soon as possible after a flood. We have drying techniques to prevent further damage, so call us right away.
My Watering Hole is Flooded
Your bar should belong in a TV show. Your loyal clientele feels comfortable sharing their lives with you and with each other over a drink or two. For many, it is a necessary stop on the way home from a busy day at work, and they cannot imagine Mount Vernon without your friendly ear and refreshing drinks in it. As much as people love you, they cannot protect you from overflowing bodies of water that may result in floodings in your neighborhood, your bar included. While your patrons have their problems to deal with, you are left with damage and need professional services to get you up and running again for the sake of your business and your client's mental health.
If you want to minimize the impact of commercial water damage in your Mount Vernon bar, SERVPRO is here to help. Quick action is crucial to avoid potential damage from becoming real. You want to protect the structure and foundation of your locale by removing water as soon as possible. Our crew can help you by using our truck-mounted pumps, as well as submersible ones and handheld extraction devices. The extraction prevents your walls and structural features from weakening due to water saturation.
We work towards drying your bar within appropriate health department parameters applicable to your establishment after flood damage hits. Our SERVPRO technicians are well-versed in the intricacies of a thorough restoration job. To complete the job most efficiently, they can intersect that process with your own regulatory needs. As we work, we identify the disinfecting needs of your place and ready relevant spots for any contractors that need to come in for repairs. Our staff is there to work and guide you towards a prompt reopening through it all.
Flood damage can be overwhelming for you as a business owner and to all the patrons who frequent your place, especially if their own homes are also in distress. Commit to opening your doors as soon as possible by calling SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 and let us leave your business "Like it never even happened."
Who Does Commercial Water Damage Restoration in Mount Vernon?
We aim to restore your property as quickly as possible, “Like it never even happened."
Mount Vernon Business Owners Can Rely on SERVPRO of Water Damage Mitigation
A water leak inside your business' office building can quickly become a devastating ordeal. Once water leaks from a supply line, it can build up on your office floors. Then the moisture can start to soak into your walls and raise the humidity levels in your building.
Our SERVPRO technicians know that keeping your business functioning is essential when conducting commercial water damage restoration in Mount Vernon. However, it is vital to remove it whenever moisture gets inside your structure within 48 hours. After two days, mold can start to form on any of your organic building materials. And since mold can cause health effects, we take all the measures possible to promptly remove moisture from your structure.
Steps to Mitigate Water Damage:
Workplace Hazard Mitigation
Water Extraction Services
Applied Structural Drying (ASD)
Water Damage Repairs
Water Damage Debris Removal
Clean Up After a Sewer Backs Up
Once our SERVPRO technicians deem the work area safe, we can begin inspecting your office to find out where the moisture went. We can use moisture sensors to tell if your carpets are wet or not. We can also use penetrating and non-penetrating meters to determine if your walls got wet.
Once we know where the moisture traveled inside your office, we can formulate a plan to extract and dry out your structure. If possible, we can schedule our work procedures so as not to hinder your company's day-to-day operations. For example, we can conduct work procedures in sections so that your employees can remain working in your office. Or, in some cases, we can complete our restoration procedures during your business' off hours.
If you ever notice an excessive amount of water on your office floors when you go into work in the morning, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744.
Are There Commercial Mold Removal Companies in Anacortes?
Our SERVPRO of Skagit County's rapid response team is available 24/7! Let our team eliminate further mold growth on your property.
Business Owners in Anacortes Can Depend on SERVPRO for Mold Remediation
Anytime your place of business suffers from any water leak, mold growth is always a possibility. If organic materials such as wooden floors or the paper backing on your drywall stay wet for more than two days, they can start to develop contamination. And once a fungus grows, it can begin releasing spores into the air that can contaminate previously unaffected places.
Whenever commercial mold removal companies in Anacortes like SERVPRO work on removing contamination, we always take special measures to reduce the spread of spores. For example, before we conduct procedures to remove contamination, we can contain the affected regions in your company's warehouse by setting up a plastic containment chamber. We can then attach an air scrubber to the section that creates negative air pressure inside it. The air scrubbers work towards containing any spores or other harmful particles so they cannot spread throughout your structure.
Once the affected area of your warehouse gets contained, we can begin removing the contamination. If your drywall has visible mold, we can remove it and dispose of it in sealed plastic bags. If there are fungi on your hardwood floors, we can use methods like sanding or soda blasting to remove the contamination.
Procedures to Remediate Fungal Contamination
Attic Mold Remediation
Basement Mold Mitigation
Bathroom Mold Restoration
Black Mold Inspection
Water Extraction Services
Applied Structural Drying
As a part of the mold remediation process, we can also find the source of the leak and repair it so that your building materials and contents stop getting wet. Suppose your affected materials are still wet after the contamination gets removed. In that case, we can then set up air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out your structural components so that the mold does not return.
SERVPRO commercial damage restoration services is top-notch. We have the manpower and equipment for every size disaster, no matter the size.
SERVPRO Can Assist with Fire and Smoke Damage Remediation in Anacortes
A fire started in your company's product storage facility, so what should you do? Even if the flames got extinguished promptly, much damage could still exist. Especially when burnt items smolder, they tend to put out excessive smoke. Since we are dealing with where your products get stored, many of your contents could have been negatively affected. The smoke can penetrate the boxes you have products stored in and possibly ruin them.
When a professional company like SERVPRO conducts commercial fire cleanup in Anacortes, cleaning contents can become a major focus. When smoke floats around your building, it can solidify when it touches cooler surfaces. Therefore, the items stored in your boxes could get coated by soot residues if they come into contact with smoke.
Anytime a fire breaks out at your place of business, our SERVPRO technicians can inspect all of your building materials and contents to see if they got negatively affected or not. Once we figure out exactly what the smoke damaged, we can then conduct the following procedures to help with the restoration process:
If smoke coming from the blaze contacted the products stored in your warehouse, we could take steps to clean all of them. We can pack out all of the contents inside your business' storage facility and clean them individually. Removing the items from your property can help speed up the process to work on remediating your structural components while cleaning your contents in a separate location.
If a fire ever sparks up where you have your company's products stored, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744.
How Are Documents and Computer Equipment Protected During Anacortes Commercial Water Removal?
SERVPRO has the training and technology to dry your water damaged documents.
SERVPRO Techs Take Special Care with Anacortes Commercial Water Clean Up
A water cleanup job for an Anacortes business property will bring numerous questions and concerns from the property owner. SERVPRO technicians work one-on-one with owners and are happy to answer questions regarding the restoration service and determine what areas of the structure are prioritized, such as:
Computers and data centers
Locally stored stock
When water removal occurs in an Anacortes commercial structure, the technicians arrive as soon as possible after the initial phone call and get to work. While one set of techs scope the property and seek out the migration path of the water, another crew determines if articles of importance require removal and if they can be covered in plastic and remain on-site during the restoration service.
Handling Wet Documents
While most businesses now utilize cloud storage and data centers for backups, mainly so employees can work remotely, critical paper documents are often stored on-site. These documents can get damaged by water and exposure to elevated interior humidity levels. For records that require drying, SERVPRO relies on the same methods as the Library of Congress utilizes for saving historical papers: freeze-drying. The vacuum freeze dryer used by SERVPRO carries the approval of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for document preservation.
In cases where computer equipment has been exposed to moisture, the technicians can arrange for an industry expert to inspect the units before reuse to ensure they are operational and safe to use. The devices should never be self-tested.
SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 stands ready for commercial water removal services in Anacortes businesses. The trained and certified SERVPRO techs are available 24/7 for any size water damage issue.
The Importance of Content Protection After Mount Vernon Office Flooding
Was your office recently flooded? Team SERVPRO is standing by with water removal equipment and trained technicians ready to help!
We Have Methods for Protecting Vital Documents and Equipment in Mount Vernon Office Flooding Situations
After flooding in an office building, the focus is the measures possible to get the facility back up and running at full capacity. Entrusting this outcome to SERVPRO means you are getting efficient efforts from certified technicians prioritizing your pressing concerns.
On-Site Relocation Solutions and Strategies
When equipment and other vital items become victims of flood damage in Mount Vernon offices, our professionals must respond fast to help. As part of our mitigation approach, we can relocate items in the path of migrating water to prevent unnecessary loss.
Pack-Out Process and Advantages
When substantial exposure occurs and the likelihood of contamination is high, we have leading cleaning professionals and certified technicians at our nearby SERVPRO facility to offer focused cleaning and restoration efforts. Some of these actions include:
Move-Back Inspections and Actions
With the actions taken to protect documents and equipment from the office building, certain clearances are required before these items return. As is the case with mold and fire damages, flood-damaged items require staging and inspection before loaded onto transports for reinstallation in the office.
From content relocation to move back, protecting the items that matter most in a flood is a trusted action for SERVPRO of Skagit County restorers. We can help when disasters strike – give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.
How can Anacortes Businesses Benefit by Hiring SERVPRO for Water Damage Restoration?
If your business is overtaken by water, you need to call the professionals. Call SERVPRO today for remediation assistance.
SERVPRO Saves Time and Money for Anacortes Businesses During Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration of your Anacortes commercial space can be expensive and time-consuming. You need professional restorers from SERVPRO who can begin restoring your property in no time to prevent any additional loss. After all, We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.
Drying the property and its contents as fast as possible is the top priority of SERVPRO restorers during water damage restoration of your Anacortes property. Restorers can achieve effective drying only by establishing a proper drying system during water damage restoration. As the moisture evaporates from surfaces, the air becomes moist, and evaporation slows down. SERVPRO techs need to dehumidify the air to maintain a high drying rate throughout the water damage mitigation process to bring the moisture level to a preloss condition as soon as possible.
How SERVPRO Technicians Dehumidify Air During Water Cleanup of your Anacortes Office?
SERVPRO water damage restoration experts in Anacortes use either of the following two types of drying systems to dehumidify air-
The Open System- This system uses outside air to reduce the humidity of the indoor air. The humid air inside the structure is exchanged for drier outside air. Such a system works best if the structure has proper ventilation and the outside air has a high temperature and low relative humidity.
The Closed System- In such a system, the affected area is closed off from other areas and needs dehumidification equipment. SERVPRO technicians control the indoor air movement with air movers and dehumidifiers to make such a system effective. Such a system is effective when-
Outside conditions are not acceptable.
Leaving the structure open is risky for security reasons
Don't let mold wreak havoc in your business. Call the experts at SERVPRO.
SERVPRO Provides Mold Inspections and Documentation for Mount Vernon Commercial Customers.
With the moist conditions we experience in Mount Vernon, especially during periods of heavy rain, it is not surprising that many commercial buildings experience mold infestations from time to time. Mold colonies need warm, moist conditions with an organic food source. These conditions are prevalent in most business and commercial buildings.
SERVPRO provides mold removal services to commercial business customers in Mount Vernon. Many of our customers are unaware that local and state laws require mold inspections and documentation based on their size if mold colonies are found. Mold can cause health effects for your customers and employees.
We can help you follow the legal requirements and remove the mold colony. Our services include:
SERVPRO removes the mold infestation without damaging the underlying structure depending on the infestation size, location, and surface type of the materials. We use a combination of solutions, including soda blasting and sanding and negative pressure areas, to protect the remainder of your building and contents. All materials removed from the building are bagged and disposed of in a manner consistent with local guidelines.
Call SERVPRO of Skagit County for flood damage in Mount Vernon and surrounding areas. We can help 24/7. Call (360) 873-8744.
Is There Any Harm In Delaying Water Damage Restoration in an Empty Anacortes Warehouse?
Excess water in a commercial setting can create damage for both contents and structure. Contact SERVPRO for water removal without adding any delays.
SERVPRO Simplifies Water Damage Remediation in Large Anacortes Properties
When you have a vast unused property such as a warehouse, you may hesitate to perform maintenance for every issue that arises because of its cost implications. However, when there is a case of water intrusion, delaying water cleanup and other remediation processes is likely to lead to extreme outcomes, including losing customers in the future.
Performing timely water damage restoration in your Anacortes warehouse is one way to ensure the facility is attractive to potential clients. Apart from the main features, such as the total square feet available for storage, clients also consider other aspects such as a properly ventilated property.
Delaying water damage repairs creates a chance for issues like mold development and rotting of structural materials. Apart from ruining the facility's visual appeal, such deterioration leads to the development of bad odors, which can be difficult to eliminate, causing potential clients to think the property has a ventilation problem. Our SERVPRO technicians provide sufficient resources like truck-mounted water extractors and commercial-grade air movers, and dehumidifiers to remove water and dry the building. Our service is useful when dealing with:
Cleaning up after a sewer backup
With help from SERVPRO of Skagit County, it is easy to perform water damage restoration. Call us at (360) 873-8744 when you need assistance.
What is the Best Method of Resolving Wall Cavity Water Damage in Mount Vernon?
SERVPRO has the tools to find any trapped water. We are standing by 24/7 to take your emergency water damage call.
Mount Vernon businesses can suffer from moisture damage trapped in structural cavities.
Our fast-responding SERVPRO team can work quickly to overcome surface water concerns and pooling with premier extractors. Mitigation can pave the path for efficient drying solutions, which often starts with detection devices like thermal imagery and hygrometers to track moisture migration.
What Tools Get Used for Water Damage Remediation in Mount Vernon?
We strive to overcome water damage in Mount Vernon businesses by addressing trapped moisture pockets found with discovery tools. Moisture monitoring tools can target caches trapped in structural cavities behind surface material. With metal track framework, the main moisture concerns exist with deteriorating drywall and other high porosity building materials. Several tools in our inventory or tactics play a part in evaporative drying of trapped moisture, including:
Recent fire and residual odor? Call our certified technicians at (360) 873-8744 to tackle the fire damage right away.
SERVPRO is Ready to Restore Mount Vernon Commercial Venues with the Latest in Restoration Techniques
Just as you selected the venue where your business operates, you should also take great care in choosing a professional fire restoration team to restore it. Even when the damage appears unsurmountable, taking quick action is the first and most crucial step in resuming normal operations. Review the qualifications of your selected team carefully and trust their experience and knowledge.
In Mount Vernon, fire damage restoration can be delegated to SERVPRO and our certified team of technicians. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies our staff in the latest techniques and industry best practices, which become available to you as soon as you call us for help. In the course of us working in your business, you should expect the following:
A thorough cleanup process inclusive of vacuuming with specialized equipment and application of industry-grade cleaning solutions on each surface
Removal of damaged items and creation of a staging area to clean and store those we salvage
Are You Prepared for Flooding with Your Handy ERP-SERVPRO'S Emergency READY Profile Plan? If not, in Mount Vernon, Call Us for a Free Consultation.
Your First Move Should Be To Contact a Reputable Mount Vernon Commercial Floodwater Removal Service.
Periodic flooding is just a fact of life in this part of the Pacific Northwest, and Mount Vernon, prone to the same excessive yearly rainfalls as the rest of the region, is no exception to this. In the spring, flood risks are especially significant as mountain snows melt and flow down into the Skagit River. However, the risk of flooding is always relatively high because of the area’s heavy rainfall throughout the year. Considering all this, it behooves local business owners to adequately anticipate and prepare for flooding, well before it happens. These measures help them avoid flood damage altogether or substantially mitigate it. With that said, if your business is ever impacted by floodwaters, contact a proven removal service for help.
What Makes SERVPRO Better Than Other Local Floodwater Removal Services?
Your neighborhood SERVPRO has built a strong reputation as one of the best Mount Vernon floodwater removal services. Time and again, we have proven both our dedication to pursuing excellence and to our customers’ satisfaction. Some of the many positive characteristics of SERVPRO are:
We are a local company, comprised entirely of caring experts who live near your business, so our technicians are faster to your location than most other services
Our experts are known for their skill in removing floodwaters, effectively dealing with biohazards, and remediating flood damage
Company workers are equipped with specialized commercial-grade remediation equipment like massive truck-mounted extractors that can rapidly remove large amounts of standing water from large commercial structures; and powerful low-grain refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers that can quickly condense moisture out of the air to levels below forty grains/pound
We offer 24-hour emergency service
These attributes have made us highly successful in handling flooding events at commercial sites. As a result, we have been able to save and effectively restore a wide range of businesses, including small retail shops, big box stores, office buildings of all sizes, and hotels.
What Specific Training and Industry Knowledge Do SERVPRO Technicians Have?
Company professionals receive both extensive in-house company training and take certification courses provided by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Our company trains them in such things as water restoration, mold mitigation, and carpet & upholstery cleaning. We also offer our employees continuing education in these subjects. Some of the various IICRC certifications they study to receive are:
Water damage restoration
Applied structural drying
Applied microbial remediation
These highly-valued industry certifications are indicative of our technicians’ wide-ranging floodwater damage remediation knowledge.
Looking Ahead, How Can I Prepare My Business for Potential Flooding?
According to SERVPRO, there are several ways to protect your commercial site from potential flooding and mitigate damages. These preventative methods range from the innovative to the conventional and include:
Creating a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Plan (ERP) for your business, which concisely lists all contact information and critical details about your property, before disaster strikes, so that a plan of action can quickly be implemented when a flooding event occurs
Inspecting and making sure your drainage systems are in good working order to reduce the speed at which your business becomes inundated with water
Repairing any damage to your structure's foundation to reduce the chance of floodwaters seeping into your lower floors
Protecting the perimeter of your property with sandbags to divert floodwaters away from your business structures
Covering all windows, doors, and service entrances with plywood in order to prevent as much stormwater from entering your buildings as possible
Although nothing safeguards your property completely from a flood, these measures should substantially reduce your chances of suffering a flood’s maximum effects.
How Can the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile App Help Me Limit My Losses in a Flood?
The Emergency READY Profile App is one of the newest tools in our arsenal. It establishes your neighborhood SERVPRO as your remediator, sets up a plan of action before disasters strike, and helps speed up response times whenever problems do occur. On the app, you can create and store crucial information like key contacts, property floorplans, utility shutoff sites, local weather, damage photos, and other things of importance. In the end, this all enables our experts to respond to and resolve your flood issues as soon as possible, thereby saving you money in the long run.
No one likes to think about their business flooding, but it pays to do so and plan ahead. With anticipation, you can often save your commercial enterprise and limit flood-related expenses at the same time. Remember, if a storm ever inundates your business, your friends at SERVPRO of Skagit County are here to help. Call us at (360) 873-8744 for assistance.
Fire Cleanup Helps Mount Vernon Businesses Get Back In The Game
No Mount Vernon business owner wants to face the after-effects of smoke damage to their property. Unfortunately, even if businesses take steps to prevent and remove fire hazards, there is always the risk of a blaze. Thankfully, SERVPRO of Skagit County is on hand to help with remediation.
Business owners in Mount Vernon sometimes ask if professional fire cleanup is essential, especially if it was small and easily contained. SERVPRO’s answer to that question is a resounding yes. An expert cleanup crew has access to the best equipment and cleaning materials for the job, which means a better outcome for your business.
Why Is A Professional Cleanup Service Best?
Professional cleanup is the best option after an incident because a trained cleanup crew has extensive knowledge of the task at hand. Unless you have trained to be a fire remediation professional, you cannot know all of the things you need to look for.
Here are some reasons to choose the professional option every time:
• Professional crews have access to a range of equipment for scrubbing, deep-cleaning, and thoroughly deodorizing premises after a fire • Trained teams are equipped with all the necessary breathing apparatus and personal protective equipment to clean up safely • Professionals know about the hidden effects of fire damage and can check for such effects • Experienced technicians are better judges of which items can be saved and restored which means you do not have to spend as much money on replacements
What Are Some Hidden Effects Of Fire Damage?
Soot damage is easy to see as it leaves behind a dark residue. However, there are some other effects of a fire that are not immediately visible:
• Microscopic soot particles – not all soot damage is visible, and smoke has a way of getting into materials • Strong odors – smoke leaves behind a distinctive smell which can be hard to get rid of • Corrosion – smoke, and soot, can destroy materials and cause long-term damage • Sticky residue – smoke residue can be tenacious and hard to get rid of
SERVPRO’s trained fire cleanup crews are aware of all the possible dangers and fully trained in the safest cleaning methods.
How Does SERVPRO Clean Fire Damage?
Our fire cleanup teams have a wide range of cleaning options at our disposal.
The first step in cleaning is to assess the situation and draw up an individual plan for your business. We will make your building safer if needed by boarding up windows or placing a tarp on the roof. We will also set up a staging area to use as a base for our operations and keep the rest of your premises protected.
We use vacuuming to capture loose soot particles and remove them from surfaces. Some residues are bonded too deeply to the surface, however, and vacuuming is not adequate. In such cases, we use wet cleaning to dissolve and loosen dirt, and then we rinse and dry the surface.
Our teams have a range of solvents and lubricants available to help dislodge stubborn smoke residue and leave surfaces clean. We train our technicians to assess residues and work out the more appropriate cleaning solution, strength, and application length.
Working with trained professionals, dramatically reduces the risk of corrosive damage from cleaning products, which is a genuine risk if you try and clean up the soot residue yourself.
How Can You Be Better Prepared For Fire Cleanup?
Of course, you hope you will not be in a position to need fire cleanup services. However, it's always better to be prepared for a disaster than to find yourself caught short.
One way to help your business prepare for fire cleanup is to make use of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan (ERP).
To take part in the ERP program, simply set aside time to walk through your facility and fill out all the information we ask. You can sign up for a free account and download the ERP app to make this process easy. Once you have your profile set up, follow the on-screen prompts to capture and fill out the information about your business premises.
You can use this information to build a comprehensive file that contains all the information your staff will need in the event of a fire. Your profile includes everything you need to take fast action if there is an incident, including where to find shut-off valves and exit points, how to navigate the chain of command, and who to contact. Your ERP also establishes us as your go-to fire restoration experts so you can get the help you need quickly.
In the case of fire, time is of the essence. If you need a fire cleanup, do not wait. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 today.
Who Do I Call for Late-Night Water Damage Mitigation?
Commercial Businesses Rely on SERVPRO's We Faster To Any Size Disaster culture to keep their doors open for business in Mount Vernon
Restoration Techs Provide Mount Vernon Businesses with Water Damage Repair
Restaurants are among the Mount Vernon businesses most commonly-affected by water damage. Whether the cause is a burst pipe in a restroom or a sink overflow in the kitchen, fast cleanup that is performed to code is a must for keeping employees and customers safe.
What Should I Avoid Doing During a Toilet or Sink Overflow?
If the toilet is the culprit, do not flush. A toilet overflow can indicate a plumbing issue that may be easily fixed by flushing. It is possible that flushing can worsen the problem.
Do not handle unclean water on your own. Even seemingly clean toilet water can hide microbes that may not be safe to handle without proper personal protection equipment.
Do not attempt plumbing repairs. While clogged pipes are a common cause for concern in fixture overflows, this may not always be the issue. Have a certified professional service your plumbing to determine the cause.
How Can SERVPRO Dry My Business?
SERVPRO utilizes two types of equipment together for structural and contents drying: air movers and dehumidifiers.
Air movers encourage the evaporation of water into the air by pushing it off of surfaces with a powerful fan. This process then allows dehumidifiers to isolate the moisture from the air for removal and replaces it with warm, dry air. This process is accelerated even more with moisture extraction tools.
Technicians use precise calculations to determine both the placement and proportion of air movers and dehumidifiers. The variables involved can vary depending on the extent of the water damage as well as the type of dehumidifier used. Some dehumidification units use refrigerant coils, while others may use desiccant materials like silica gel.
SERVPRO of Skagit County is proud to bring business owners service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster when they call (360) 873-8744.
Which Restoration Company do Landlords Use for Damp Spots in Building Hallways?
To maintain a healthy building and avoid expensive costs further down the line.
When Damp Spots Occur in your Mount Vernon Tenement, Use SERVPRO for Commercial Water Damage Restoration
How Does Damp Occur in a Building?
Tenement building in Mount Vernon can undergo significant stress during their lifetime, resulting in slow leaks or insulation deficiencies. As the owner of these blocks, you may notice damp spots yourself or receive notification from tenants and leaseholders. To ensure that you maintain good relationships with your clients, and protect your building, use a commercial water restoration service. Damp spots can lead to further issues down the line if the problem does not receive due care and attention. Our water restoration technicians have experience working with commercial landlords and can isolate the cause of dampness in your building. Once the source of moisture is under control, we can mitigate losses and restore any affected materials.
Is concrete adversely affected by moisture?
Sheetrock and concrete construction materials can crack or form fissures when there is exposure to water damage in your Mount Vernon building. These cracks can lead to mold growth or, over more extended periods, affect the building's structural integrity. Sometimes the root cause of cracking in a wall is tough to locate without using advanced water detection equipment. Our technicians place moisture sensors directly onto the surface of damp walls, floors, and surfaces, which provide a temperature reading. Using these readings, our team can assess where water may be residing and perform the necessary steps to reduce any lasting damages.
How do you dry concrete?
• Place a dehumidifier close to walls to ensure that the surrounding humidity remains low • Drill small holes into the wall to allow circulation into the cavity • Utilize advanced structural drying equipment like drying mats and Injectidry systems to remove moisture from the inner wall
To maintain a healthy building and avoid expensive costs further down the line. Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 for commercial water restoration.
How Can I Dry Up Water Losses Quickly in My Mount Vernon Gym?
SERVPRO has the equipment and experts to your business needs after a water incident occurs.
Standing water and excessive moisture can lead to hazardous conditions in your gym, so our professionals can help with efficient and effective extraction and drying solutions.
No matter how water losses originated in your Mount Vernongym, how you respond to this emergency can make the difference in how much this disaster ultimately costs. For businesses like yours, the most considerable losses happen when the structure must remain shut down to allow for restoration and recovery efforts to occur. Because we recognize how water losses can devastate your gym, we work to take whatever possible steps exist to keep your doors open to your members during the restoration the building needs.
From addressing standing water concerns to utilizing multiple drying tools, our professionals take direct actions against water damage in your Mount Vernon gym. Because of the expensive equipment throughout the main areas of your structure, as well as the costly flooring material to reduce the shock on joints during cardio, we begin our restoration of your gym with a thorough assessment of the damage and the spread of water loss effects.
What are the Benefits of Pre-Job Assessments?
In nearly all of the restoration jobs that our SERVPRO team undertakes, we ensure that all of our technicians and specialists are on the same page. Through a process known as job scoping, we can compile several pieces of critical information about the current water loss and determine what personnel and equipment are necessary to make a difference. There are specific benefits to allowing this evaluation to occur before much of the mitigation or restoration processes, and these include:
Current Conditions - The most direct benefit of a pre-mitigation assessment of the property is a determination of the existing damages to the gym. These are the immediate conditions that must get addressed.
Content Assessment - With several valuable pieces of equipment throughout the facility, our content management team can determine which of these units is in harm's way. If machines can get relocated or protected from migrating water, this can save time and money during the restoration phases.
Documentation for Insurance - Because many commercial structures like yours would lean on their insurance policies to help absorb some of the costs of this restoration, this pre-job scoping process compiles the needed documentation for these insurance adjusters to approve damage claims.
How Can I Remove Trapped Water in My Gym Floor?
Some of the most significant investments that you make in your gym is in its flooring materials. Whether you go with a rollout rubber mat floor style or textured soft tiling, it is sturdy and built to last. Ideally, our responding technicians focus on addressing these moisture concerns in the flooring as soon as possible to protect this investment. Some of the tools or processes that might be a part of this include:
Air Movers - High-velocity portable turbine units blast air to specific points where moisture and dampness are concerns. If water has moved beyond the surface, centrifugal units can get directed against the subflooring.
Drying Mats - Drying these flooring materials can sometimes prove successful with the use of our floor mat drying system. These mats draw steady moisture from the affected material, which can get continually monitored with surface moisture meters.
Controlled Demolition - In some cases where water damage is too widespread or flooring materials have begun to warp and distort with oversaturation, controlled demolition is the only suitable solution. Our in-house contractors can remove only the damaged portions of flooring to make reinstallation more efficient and less costly.
How Can I Be Sure the Problem is Gone?
There are many concerns that business owners have from a disaster, even after restoration work completes. You want assurances that the money invested in drying out the gym was well-spent and that worse conditions do not await you in the immediate future. We have several tools and devices that can provide that peace of mind by showing you the extent of our drying efforts. Also, we can ensure that we have successfully addressed the cause of the water damage so that this same situation does not threaten your gym again. We utilize several strategies to give you peace of mind after restoration, including:
With effective containment, it is possible to keep your doors open in a limited capacity while restoration and drying complete. If not, we can work around the clock to get your doors back open as soon as possible "Like it never even happened." Give our SERVPRO of Skagit County team a call today at (360) 873-8744.
How Are Flood-Related Microbial Growths and Odors Dealt with at Commercial Sites?
No matter the size or scope of the water loss event, SERVPRO can handle the restoration project.
Commercial Flood Damage Remediation Companies in Mount Vernon Use High-Tech Gear to Eliminate Microorganisms and Neutralize Unpleasant Odors
When your commercial site in Mount Vernon floods, the immediate resulting physical damage is readily apparent, but that's not all of your concern. Airborne moisture brought into your building by raging floodwaters promotes microbial growths that could cause unpleasant odors, structural deterioration, and adverse health effects. Not effectively handling microbes can cause harmful effects that could appear days, weeks, months or even years after the initial flooding. Poorly trained and less experienced remediation services are often unable to deal with these microorganisms properly. Luckily, though, there are reputable companies like SERVPRO that know how to do the job properly and have the right equipment.
What are the Potential Consequences of Failing to Eliminate Flood-Related Microbes from Your Commercial Structure?
Numerous problems could develop if flood-borne microorganisms are allowed to remain in your building. So, you need the help of a knowledgeable Mount Vernon commercial flood damage restoration service. With that said, here a few of the issues that might arise from a flood-related microbial infestation:
Persistent strong, musty odors that are hard to mask or eliminate
When Dealing with Bacterial and Fungal Infestations, What Equipment Does Companies Like SERVPRO Use?
Successfully resolving or mitigating the effects of bacterial and fungal infestations takes special remediation gear. Some of the tools SERVPRO uses to sanitize and deodorize your business are:
Advanced air scrubbers that remove airborne microbes/odor particles and those on surfaces around your facility
Thermal foggers that create a fog of neutralizing disinfectants, fungicides, or deodorants inside rooms of your building
Ultra-low volume (ULV) foggers, which atomize liquid disinfectants, fungicides, or deodorants and inject them into cavities and hard-to-reach places
A host of EPA and OSHA-approved deodorants, fungicides, and disinfectants
Using this arsenal of anti-microbial weapons, our technicians in Mount Vernon can often successfully eliminate most microbes on surfaces throughout your business, those in your HVAC system, and those in other difficult-to-access areas.
How Does SERVPRO's Anti-Microbial Equipment Work?
SERVPRO's state-of-the-art microbe-eliminating gear is remarkable. Our air scrubbers draw contaminated air into their series of HEPA filters, remove particles and odor-causing molecules, and blow out the clean, filtered air. First, the pre-filters remove larger particles, and a carbon filter attracts and captures odor-causing molecules. Finally, the primary filter takes even the smallest remaining impurities out of the outgoing air. Thermal foggers are also essential pieces of equipment. These instruments heat up and vaporize large volumes of solvents, making it easier for them to bond with and neutralize odor-causing particles. ULV foggers atomize deodorants and anti-microbial agents, creating a fine mist that can access hard to reach places.
Where Have We Successfully Used Our High-Tech Hardware in Mount Vernon?
SERVPRO technicians have effectively used their advanced equipment to resolve issues at a wide range of governmental, public, commercial, and industrial sites. Some of the locations we have operated at are:
Municipal offices and facilities
Small office buildings
Large office towers
Small retail outlets
Massive retail stores
Motels, hotels, and resorts
Restaurants of all sizes
Industrial and manufacturing plants
So, whatever kind of business you operate in the Mount Vernon area, help is available if you ever experience flood damage and related microbial issues.
As a business owner, you constantly concerned with protecting your investments and continuing operations. Unfortunately, unpredictable disasters can occur at almost any time. When these events do happen, they can cause significant financial losses and potential business closure. Floods are a particularly troubling threat for businesses around Mount Vernon, because the city, located near bays, lakes, and the Skagit River, is more prone to flooding than other areas. Intense storms with torrential rains and the associated snowmelt from neighboring mountains often cause floods in the spring. When this happens, your first instinct is to have the floodwaters removed, but you should also be mindful of unseen microbes and the long-term damage they can cause.
If and when your business experiences flooding, remember that there is practical help available. There are local flood damage mitigation and restoration companies with the skills and tools to help you. If your commercial property is ever affected by flooding, contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 for assistance.
When Floodwater Becomes a Display at Your Mount Vernon Museum
Each vehicle in our Green Fleet is stocked with equipment to restore you flood damaged building. We are always on call and ready to go!
Removing Floodwater from a Mount Vernon Museum
The Pacific Northwest is rife with history and culture, and with so many stories and folklore of the region, it is no wonder that places like your Mount Vernon museum experience so much foot traffic. With nearly forty inches of annual rainfall expected throughout the state, there are also causes for concern with conditions like natural flooding, flash flooding, and structural damage that allows for water penetration.
As the steward of historical artifacts and relics, you must act quickly to protect your business from the destructive power of flood damage to Mount Vernon buildings. There are some steps that you can take initially to help, but ultimately the recovery should get left to the qualified and fast-responding hands of our SERVPRO flood recovery team. We have years of experience and can respond with the right equipment to get extraction and drying efforts started within hours of your initial call.
We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster, but there are some steps that you can take while our technicians are en route to help best protect the items in your possession at risk from the current flooding. The first of these steps is to install any temporary damming or sandbags to prevent the movement of water effects, especially to susceptible areas with valuable cultural exhibits. You can also work to remove items likely to come into contact with migrating floodwater to a safe, elevated location or another site entirely.
Extraction is a crucial element to the work that we do after a flood, and our SERVPRO team has multiple options. From our light wands and wet-vacs that can work around tight spaces and confined areas to our trash pumps offering continual draw on the water more than 2 inches in depth, we have solutions that can get us to the crucial drying phases as promptly as possible.
The exhibits of your museum can capture the eye and the wonder of those passing through the museum, but they are also among the first to suffer damage from spreading flood effects. Let our SERVPRO of Skagit County team help with our experience and premier equipment. Contact us 24/7 by calling (360) 873-8744.
There are multiple points of concern when even minor water loss incidents occur in your hotel.
Reducing Water Migration with Fast Drying of Mount Vernon Hotels
One of the most challenging threats of a water loss incident that originates in a guest room of your Mount Vernon hotel is how quickly this situation can spread. With rooms adjoining the problem unit beneath and to each side, the likelihood of multiple areas experiencing loss effects is higher than you might think. Ideally, the best approach for these emergencies is to reach out to our rapid response team to have our skilled professionals implementing mitigation tactics as quickly as possible.
Identifying the source of water damage to Mount Vernon hotels must be something that your staff works to locate before our SERVPRO team even arrives at your building. Isolating the breach in your system could affect multiple guests as well in the plumbing grid, but staying ahead of this crisis would have likely had you moving these guests to a different area of your hotel until mitigation and restoration efforts completed.
Fast-drying solutions are the foundation that our successful water recovery team builds our reputation upon, and our SERVPRO team can mobilize quickly with equipment to help. The inspection of your damaged areas is critical to determining the right tools and tactics for drying and even extraction if necessary. A loss on the fourth floor of your facility can get much easier handled with our self-propelled weighted extractors, air movers, and dehumidifiers than attempting to move bulkier and noisier equipment like our gas-powered trash pump.
The application of these drying tools to the outer limits of the spread of water loss effects can reduce the migration of these effects and prevent further exposure to your guests. Because of how susceptible drywall, stucco, and other common construction staples for hotels are to moisture damage, we can work tirelessly to reduce the bloating and deterioration of these structural elements.
There are multiple points of concern when even minor water loss incidents occur in your hotel. With paying guests to care for, our SERVPRO of Skagit County can fixate on drying and restoring all affected areas to make the incident “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.
This flood in a daycare kept them closed for several days. They were in a rush to get open again and we arrived right away and began restoration.
Picturesque Transforms to Flood Damage in Mount Vernon
The propensity of the Skagit River to flood keeps Mount Vernon businesses near its beautiful banks on their toes. Torrential autumn rains in recent years caused officials to close Skagit Riverwalk Plaza when the waters rose to dangerous levels. If the newly installed floodwall does not protect your downtown restaurant, our highly-qualified team of managers and technicians have the training, skills, experience, and equipment to respond.
Equipment Inventories Beyond Compare
Because you need fast and reliable flood damage recovery in Mount Vernon, we invest in high-efficiency, commercial-grade water removal and structural drying equipment. Some businesses try to clean up flood damage using their contracted or in-house cleaning staff. The intensity and specialized nature of the need are often beyond what housekeeping services can support. We select and purchase our submersible pumps and extractors for their ability to clear large spaces of vast amounts of water.
Attentive Assessment of Contaminants and Rapid Removal
SERVPRO commits to mitigating any flood damage activity in your commercial building, followed by remediation of the effects quickly so you can return to serving delicious meals and drinks without disappointing your customers. Floodwaters are by definition Category 3, risking occupant exposure to blood and fecal-borne pathogens, dead animals, mud and sit, and chemicals. Our technicians are skilled and certified in containing the tainted water safely and disposing of it as required by local regulation. Submersible pumps and truck-mounted extractors assist in rapid removal. Our service vehicles provide power generation if electricity is temporarily unavailable.
Final Safety Steps
When water removal is complete, the SERVPRO crew moves on to thorough cleaning and disinfection of the spaces affected. Our crew uses EPA-registered products approved for use around food preparation. Once the surfaces are disinfected, applied structural drying commences. Air movers and heat facilitate the movement of moisture absorbed by your commercial building’s structural components into the air as vapor. Our dehumidifiers capture the airborne water for permanent disposal outside the premises. Technicians measure and monitor moisture levels throughout the process, ensuring that when your wait staff takes their next order all is clean, dried, and disinfected.
SERVPRO of Skagit County has the capacity to manage commercial water losses, including overland and waterway flooding. Call us day or night at (360) 873-8744. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.
How Costly Recovery Efforts Can Be For A Mount Vernon Warehouse
Mount Vernon warehouses provide a stable location for merchandise, products, and equipment to get stored when they are not yet ready for distribution or awaiting purchase. With so many facilities like this throughout the area, you have a dedicated list of clients that you support. Those that depend on your facility can become alarmed at the discovery that flooding or other disasters have taken place, and the best approaches involve saving the most money.
With a facility full of someone else’s belongings, flood damage in Mount Vernon can be an overwhelming circumstance. We strive to provide our commercial customers and residential properties with the same levels of attention and care. As part of a large loss recovery crew, we can ensure that even substantial properties like a warehouse spanning several thousand square feet have the right equipment, personnel, and products to restore.
Content management is a considerable element to flood recovery by our SERVPRO technicians, especially when many of the stacked and stored items can get safely stored offsite. Reducing these pressing threats to the items in your care can allow our specialists to get to work unhindered by a fully-stocked facility. The items removed get unique QR codes, allowing us to immediately tell our customers where the items are and escort them to these storage pods in our facility right away. Our cataloging of items and their condition can help with insurance claims as well.
Attempting to recover flood loss on your own can initially seem like it is a time and money-saving solution, but this is rarely the case. Our efficient professionals have state-of-the-art equipment and tools to remove standing water and to thoroughly dry the entire building in a matter of days. We can even track our progress to provide transparency to your insurance provider to ensure that as much of the work gets paid for by your provider as possible.
Flooding can be stressful and hit quickly to your entire facility, and that is why our SERVPRO of Skagit County professionals stay prepared for these emergencies 24/7. We can help you when you call (360) 873-8744. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.
Natural disasters can be devastating to businesses. While damage caused by some types of natural events—such as lightning or wind—will usually be covered by commercial property insurance, you need a special policy if you want protection from flood damage. This Q&A will help you understand this type of coverage and determine if your business needs it.
Frequently asked questions about flood insurance
Q. Does my commercial property insurance include flood coverage?
A. No. Damage from flooding, including flooding generated by hurricane-generated storm surge, typically is not covered under a standard commercial policy, including a Commercial Package Policy (CPP) or a Business Owners Policy (BOP). Flood insurance is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Q. What does flood insurance cover?
A.Flood insurance covers damage to your building and contents caused by flood. This includes losses resulting from water overflowing rivers or streams, heavy or prolonged rain, storm surge, snow melt, blocked storm drainage systems, broken dams or levees, or other similar causes. To be considered a flood, waters must cover at least two acres or affect two properties. Generally if water comes from above—for instance from rain or melting snow overflowing gutters and leaking onto your inventory—you’ll be covered by your standard commercial property insurance.
Q. What isn’t covered by flood insurance?
A. Property outside your building generally will not be covered. For instance, landscaping and septic systems will not be covered. In addition, flood insurance will not cover damage to your business vehicles, but this can be included in the optional “comprehensive” portion of your business vehicle insurance. Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property are also not covered.
Q. Do I have to purchase flood insurance?
A. If your commercial property is located in a high-risk flood area and you have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase a flood insurance policy.
Q. How do I determine my risk for flood damage?
A. Location is the most important factor for weighing your risk for flood damage. Is your business located in or near a flood zone? (Flood map search tools can be found online.) In what part of the building is your businesses equipment and inventory located? Anything housed on a lower floor, for instance, will be at greater risk.
Q. Where can I purchase flood insurance?
A. Flood insurance is available from the NFIP and some private insurers. However, NFIP coverage can only be purchased through an insurance professional; you cannot buy it directly from the federal government. To find a local insurance professional who is familiar with the National Flood Insurance Program, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531 for an agent referral.
Q. How long does it take to get flood coverage?
A. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.
Q. Does my flood policy cover mold?
A. Damage from mold and/or mildew resulting from the after-effects of a flood is covered, but each case is evaluated on an individual basis. Mold/mildew conditions that existed prior to a flooding event are not covered, and after a flood, the policyholder is responsible for taking reasonable and appropriate mitigation actions to eliminate mold and mildew.
Q. How much flood coverage can I get?
A. Commercial flood insurance provides up to $500,000 of coverage for your building and up to $500,000 for its contents.
Q. What if I need more coverage?
A. You can purchase what’s called excess insurance coverage to rebuild properties valued above National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) limits. Excess coverage includes protection against business interruption.
Storms and inclement weather can bring wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding that can devastate any business in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike, and storms don’t just strike during regular business hours; that’s why SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer 24 hour emergency service 365 days per year.
Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give our Professionals a call and they’ll be there fast with the help you need.
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable. Learn more about the Disaster Recovery Team.
Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:
Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to get the job done right the first time. They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Service.
Flooding, whether it occurs as a flash or from a slow buildup, is a common occurrence in many parts of the country. If you're wondering how to prepare your business for a flood, the post below highlights some key steps you should consider in your flood disaster planning.
Flood Planning Need-to-Knows
National Flood Safety Awareness Week took place from March 16 to March 22 and with the recent flooding we've had along the east coast of the country, it's a perfect reminder of the importance of flood preparedness for your business.
Even if you think the flooding risks are low in your area, it’s important to be vigilant. For example, during the 2013 floods in Colorado, a very rare weather event hit Boulder County and surrounding areas hard. A stalled weather front dropped 21 inches of rain very quickly, and the resulting damage to businesses, homes and civic infrastructure was devastating and widespread.
The first step to prepare for flooding is to understand your potential exposure. Fortunately there are some convenient resources. For example, the NOAA Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service provides quarterly updates and maps showing areas that are higher risk during certain times of the year. Historic flood maps are also a great resource for understanding the potential risks in your area. Knowing how high water could potentially rise and how long it will take to drain are valuable insights for developing a response plan.
In addition to getting flood insurance, here are some other important steps to keep in mind for preparedness:
Safeguard key information—be sure you keep copies of flood insurance and other key business information in a safe place where it won’t be damaged or swept away by flooding.
Prepare your building—depending on your building layout, it may be worth getting a sump pump to help minimize potential damage. Be sure to keep gutters and drains clear of debris, and to anchor fuel tanks. Also, if possible, minimize storage of especially valuable assets in the lowest-lying areas of the building.
Develop an emergency plan—design a flood evacuation route and share it with employees so they can get themselves and customers to higher ground, if it becomes necessary. Also, be sure to have an emergency kit onsite, in case people are stuck in the building.
And take it from the experts—preparation pays. "Flooding is dangerous and costly, killing nearly 100 people and causing an average of eight billion dollars in property damage in the United States each year," said Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, director, NOAA's National Weather Service, which produces an array of flood outlooks and forecasts, including watches and life-saving warnings. "A weather-ready nation is a prepared nation; one that will reduce flood losses by planning ahead, staying abreast of weather forecasts, and heeding the warnings."
Your plan for disaster preparedness should include flood information and outline how to prepare for floods. Read on for information about floods and flood safety tips, and how to make them part of your emergency preparedness plan as you prepare for a flood.
Types Of Flooding
Topography and weather conditions play a prominent role in the impact different types of flooding have on specific locales. The following are some examples of specific types of flooding.
Rising water may be the greatest risk to inland areas away from a river bed after a heavy snow pack begins to melt or after heavy rainfall.
Moving water is a serious risk in areas near rivers or in coastal storm surge areas because it creates significantly larger lateral forces on a building.
Overtopping, breaching or opening of dams, levees, and other flood control mechanisms, which are designed to divert the flow of water to provide protection, can lead to flood damage that may be more significant than if the levees were never installed. The Mississippi and Missouri River floods of 2011 included breaches of levees, as well as controlled flooding by the opening of various flood gates on levees. The result was thousands of acres of farmland, crops, livestock and fish farms being destroyed to protect urban areas.
Flash flooding can occur in every region as a result of slow-moving thunderstorms or excessive rainfall from any storm system.
Large, slow-moving tropical storms can dump excessive amounts of rain on coastal locations and then move inland to continue the devastation, resulting in widespread flood damage.
Floods can occur anywhere, often with little or no warning, and with devastating consequences. Protecting the bottom line in order to remain open, or to re-open quickly after a flood disaster, requires taking steps now to prevent or reduce flood damage should your business be in the path of rising water. Below is a brief overview of issues that small businesses must address to reduce the likelihood of flood damage and to prepare financially and operationally should a flood occur. Many of the topics covered here involve complex issues that are best addressed by hydrological, engineering, regulatory or insurance experts; the goal here is simply to outline the basics in order to help business owners understand why they need to mitigate against flood risk and some of the challenges they may face.
Tropical Storm Allison (2001): A Case Study in Flooding
Often, businesses and homeowners let down their guard when a tropical weather system does not result in hurricane-force winds. Tropical Storm Allison is a good example of how rains associated with a tropical system can be equally devastating. The storm dumped approximately 32 trillion gallons of rain (enough to meet U.S. water needs for an entire year), according to the Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project. This included 28 inches of rainfall during a 12-hour period just northeast of downtown Houston, and rainfall amounts ranging from 10, 20 and 30 inches in locations throughout the Southeast—earning Allison the infamous distinction as the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.
Understanding Your Flood Hazard
There are several flood principles that should be considered to determine your facility’s exposure to flood waters and the type of protection to be deployed:
Duration: It is important to know if flood waters are expected to recede quickly or may be trapped due to the slope of the land. The longer a facility is exposed to flood waters, the greater potential for flood-proofing failures due to a breach in the protection.
Depth: Flood waters greater than 3 feet create hydrostatic pressure on walls that can cause cracks in masonry and greatly increase the potential of collapse to unreinforced masonry. When estimating the potential depth of flood waters, it is always best to include a safety factor to account for inaccuracies in the estimate.
Velocity: As flood water velocity increases, so does the pressure exerted on flood protection. River flooding can be very fast moving water at first and then may settle down. Coastal locations may be exposed to wave action from storm surge.
Water Condition: Many times flood waters are dirty, brackish or contaminated with biological and chemical materials including waste water, sewage, pesticides, industrial waste, toxic and non-toxic chemicals, or oils. Debris that is churning in the water can impact buildings and flood protection systems, create breaches in the protection and cause extensive damage.
Location, Location, Location
Proximity to water is the number 1 risk factor for flooding, but property owners should not assume being out of the floodplain will help you entirely avoid the possibility of flooding. It is always a best practice to locate your property as far away from bodies of water as possible. Flood maps available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) identify 100-year and 500-year flood zones throughout the United States. The flood zones also delineate participation in the NFIP, as well as permitting and other requirements that communities adopt in order to meet NFIP standards and qualify their citizens for lower flood insurance rates. By definition, the 100-year and 500-year flood zones mean there is a 1 (.20) percent chance of flooding annually in an area based on topography and historical data; it does not mean that flooding will occur only once in a century (or 500 years). There also are other important points to consider.
Floods can and very often do occur outside the 100-year flood zone. In fact, approximately 25 percent of all flood damages occur in relatively low risk zones commonly described as being “outside the mapped flood zone.”
Specific boundaries on some flood maps may be arbitrary or include inaccuracies. For example, a property lying just outside the 100-year flood zone is almost equally likely to be flooded as one just within.
Obstructions or landfill can change the topography, storm-water drainage patterns, and flow of water over natural floodplains. Although permits are required for flood zone fill (and must be based on engineering assessments demonstrating “no impact”), it is possible that non-permitted work has occurred near your property.
Floods show no respect for the estimated probabilities. As Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Craig Fugate observed following a spate of natural disasters, “It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves. The term ‘100-year event’ really lost its meaning this year.”
The Importance of Elevation
When it comes to flooding, there really is no better solution than adequate elevation, aside from choosing a location well outside of a 500-year flood plain. If such a location is not possible, the best way to increase the safety margin against flood damage is to raise the elevation of your building above the 500-year flood elevation. Flood-proofing your building is another option to reduce damage. Through the NFIP, there is extensive regulation of floodplain development at the community level.
Permits are needed for a wide range of activities including construction of new buildings, additions to existing buildings, and substantial improvement to the interior of existing buildings that are within the most hazardous flood zones. Part of the permitting process involves whether your building site is higher than the base flood elevation (BFE), which is the elevation at which your property has a 1 percent chance of flooding annually, as indicated on the NFIP flood maps. Major storms and flash floods can cause waters to rise higher than the BFE—therefore, it is always a good investment to build in a safety factor several feet above the BFE. This safety zone is called “freeboarding.”
For example, IBHS’s FORTIFIED for Safer Business™ Standards, a package of enhanced voluntary construction standards that greatly increase a new light commercial building’s durability and resilience to natural hazards, requires FORTIFIED buildings to be at least 3 feet above the BFE or above the 500-year flood elevation. There are also ways to retrofit your existing building so that it meets or exceeds BFEs. While only a structural engineer/design professional can determine what is right for your property, the options include raising foundation onto pilings or columns or adding landfill, as long as “no impact” floodplain requirements are met.
When elevating a building so that the walking surface of the lowest floor is at the minimum elevation, areas under the BFE can be used only for parking and limited storage—under-floor bathrooms, utilities, and ductwork are not allowed.
Equipment, utility connections and all interior utility systems including ductwork must be elevated above the BFE. In addition, fuel and propane tanks must be properly anchored, since they can become buoyant even in shallow water.
What is “Dry Flood-Proofing”?
Sealing a building so that water will not enter is called “dry flood-proofing” or “flood-proofing.” Flood-proofing protects your building by coating the exterior with a membrane to prevent flood waters from entering. NFIP regulations allow flood-proofing as an alternative to elevation above the BFE for newly constructed or substantially improved non-residential structures only—new and improved homes must be elevated above the BFE to meet NFIP requirements. It is important to determine whether dry flood-proofing will provide the protections your property needs before choosing this option. This also applies if your business is located outside the 100-year flood zone, but you want to invest in additional flood protection. Dry flood-proofing is a complex procedure that should be done by professional experts. If done incorrectly, it may not protect your property and can lead to decay, mold, or termite damage:
As a general matter, dry flood-proofing is best suited to areas with clay soils where floods are short in duration and less than 3 feet deep.
Buildings in poor structural condition should not be dry flood-proofed, as the exterior walls will be under extreme pressure during a flood.
There are a variety of dry flood-proofing measures; a professional can help to determine whether any of them are right for your situation:
Applying a waterproof coating or membrane to exterior walls
Sealing all wall penetrations including where utilities enter the building
Installing waterproof shields over all openings, including windows and doors
Anchoring the building to resist flotation
Strengthening walls to withstand flood water pressures and flood debris
The Vulnerable Basement
Even above the BFE or outside the floodplain, basements are prone to floods because water may flow down into them. They also may have an increased hydrostatic pressure exerted upon them when the surrounding ground is saturated. Recognizing that elevation is the best form of mitigation, there are a number of additional measures business owners can take to reduce the likelihood and scope of basement flood damage.
Thoroughly inspect your basement and the surrounding property for evidence of water entry and sources of water flow and leakage.
Correct potential problems—for example, extend and redirect downspouts, re-grade sloping landscape, and caulk any interior wall cracks.
Basement walls should be designed to resist hydrostatic pressure.
Use flood-resistant materials where possible, including floor coverings, wall coverings, and wall insulation. Most flood-resistant materials can withstand direct contact with water for at least 72 hours without being significantly damaged.
Do not store valuable equipment, documents, or inventory in any crawlspace or basement where flooding is possible.
The “Green” Factor
In addition, there are steps you can take now to reduce health and environmental damage should a flood occur.
Anchor fuel and propane tanks to prevent them from being swept away. When they break away, the contents may leak, creating fire, explosion and pollution risks that can adversely affect health and the environment.
Install sewer backflow valves to block drain pipes from sewage back-up, which can occur if there is flooding in your area.
If you are supplied by well water, protect your well from contamination. A licensed well drilling contractor can inspect your well and suggest improvements.
Although many of us go through great efforts to fireproof our home, we rarely bring this outlook into the workplace. While there’s no replacement for a little bit of forethought and diligence, a fire at your place of business doesn’t have to mean the end of your company altogether. In fact, approximately 60 percent of all U.S.-based businesses reopen their doors after a disastrous fire. Some companies have even gone on to achieve a great amount of success and profitability after such an event.
Determine the Responsible Party
The first thing you should do in the wake of a fire at your business is determine the responsible party. This depends on a number of different factors, including whether you lease or own the building, the exact cause of the fire and even your specific amount of insurance coverage. Keep in mind that some insurance policies only cover the contents of the structure and not the materials used in the actual construction of the building.
Sometimes, you may need to wait until an investigation has been completed by your local fire department, police department or insurance company. If this is the case, make sure to maintain communications for further information and instructions.
Safeguard and Secure Your Remaining Property
If the fire has caused significant damage to the exterior walls, doors, windows or roof of your building, you’ll want to act quickly in order to safeguard and secure your remaining property. Smoldering remains should be fully extinguished and any large holes should be temporarily patched. Not only will this prevent vandalism after the fact, but a little bit of effort can go a long way towards minimizing the overall amount of damage caused.
Contact Anyone Who May Be Affected
Next comes the daunting task of contacting anyone who may have been affected as a result of the fire. This includes employees, board members, external partners and, in some cases, customers. If any activities or services need to be postponed or suspended, make sure to communicate that news, too. The last thing you want to do after a fire is to leave your valuable employees and business partners in the dark about the future of your company.
Furthermore, don’t forget to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. A simple call or email will typically suffice, though large claims may require face-to-face consultation or even an on-site inspection of the damaged property.
Get Your Documentation in Order
Your insurance company will require proof regarding any claimed losses as a result of the fire, so be sure to have any pertinent documentation, including receipts, user manuals and credit card statements, at the ready. You may even want to take digital pictures or video of your property. Not only can this be used in determining your overall losses, it could serve as hard evidence in case any court proceedings should follow.
Repair and Restore Damage
If the structure isn’t a total loss, you might be able to rebuild, repair and restore your business back to its original state. Calling a reputable restoration company like SERVPRO of Skagit County can save you a lot of time.
Initiate the Recovery of Sensitive or Critical Data
Depending on your exact case, you may need to take steps to recover any sensitive or critical data that was lost in the occurrence. Damaged servers, hard drives and even personal computers can all hold data critical to the day-to-day operations of your business.
If the situation warrants, you may even consider hiring a third-party that specializes in data recovery and restoration, specifically in the event of fire. Such individuals are more likely to be equipped with the right hardware and software tools than a company that offers general disaster recovery services. Most data recovery experts will also be able to work with you in order to introduce techniques in disaster recovery planning and data loss prevention.
Getting Back to Business
Once everything has been restored to order, it’s finally time to get back to business. Make sure to outline a comprehensive fire safety plan when moving forward, just in case your business experiences another fire. You might also consider increasing your insurance coverage for the future. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
A fire can cause severe damage to business equipment, materials, and structures. As a business owner, focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and staff education can help reduce your chance of fire and smoke damage. Here are three tips to help.
Assess the risk of fire hazards : The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses. If your local government offers it, a visit from a fire marshal is a great step for your fire prevention plan. If a marshal visit isn't available, ask for workplace fire risk assessment guidance from your building's property manager.
Have fire protection equipment : If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.
Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics.
Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.
Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.