Business Management: Preparing for Disaster
Have a disaster plan ready for your business in Lost Mountain, GA
4 Elements of Disaster Preparation
Disaster preparedness is an often overlooked element of business. However, knowing how you will react in an emergency has a lot to do with survival and, essentially, business preparedness. Without a definitive and well-executed plan, you potentially risk losing your business in the weeks and possibly months following a disaster. To ensure the survival of your company, make sure you at least understand the four essential elements of disaster preparation.
1. Know Your Insurance Policy
It is not enough to know that you have insurance coverage. You need to understand the extent and limitations of that policy so that you can make more informed decisions in the event of a disaster. Being intimately aware of your policy’s restrictions means that you can be better prepared for your financial obligations if an emergency should occur.
2. Contact Critical Vendors
Disaster preparedness mandates that you keep a list of all contacts pertinent to business operations. This list should have the information of all vendors critical to your services so that you can keep them in the loop. You don’t want vendors restocking your inventory at a facility that doesn’t exist anymore.
3. Keep Backups of All Data
If your building experiences a fire, you don’t want your company’s critical files turning to ash. Backing up all critical data via secure cloud services or off-site facilities is a great way to protect data from fire or water damage. There are companies called managed service providers that specialize in protecting digital information.
4. Develop a Response and Communication Plan
While a disaster restoration specialist in the Lost Mountain, GA, area can help you create a response plan by assessing your business, you will need to create an effective communication plan with your managers and other critical staff. Response and mitigation are only part of the solution. As a manager, you must keep the business running even in the absence of a facility.
Disaster preparedness is a critical component of any business operation. When disaster strikes, your business cannot afford to halt altogether. Maintaining pivotal operations for your brand's survival is vital.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover in a Fire?
Find out with your insurance agent in Kennesaw, GA what type of coverage you have
While you might already know that homeowners insurance covers one’s home and belongings in a fire, you might wonder if the same is true if you rent your home in Kennesaw, GA. In short, the answer is yes. Renters insurance does offer coverage if a fire occurs. If a fire ever does hit your home, it is important to learn the specifics of what your insurance covers, so you know what to expect.
What Is Covered?
If a fire occurs, there are several different types of costs that can accrue. That’s why policies cover fire under several different coverage types:
- Personal property: After your deductible is met, your insurance may cover your personal items that were damaged up to a certain limit. Although you should check, most policies offer replacement cost instead of the actual cash value of the item.
- Liability: If a third-party experiences property damage due to a fire you accidentally caused, your renters insurance can cover it.
- Medical: If someone else is hurt in a fire you accidentally caused, a small amount of coverage can go towards the expense.
- Loss of Use: If your home is deemed uninhabitable after a fire occurs and is being repaired by a fire restoration company, your insurance may cover the cost of having to stay in a hotel and other living expenses.
What Isn’t Covered?
Almost every cause of a fire is typically covered by your policy. Of course, fires out of your control like those caused by extreme temperatures, storms, or some other external factor are generally covered. You’ll be glad to know that even a fire you accidentally start is generally covered as well. The only type of fire damage that probably isn’t covered by your insurance is arson or damage due to a fire that you caused on purpose.
Fortunately, renters insurance can be a huge help if a fire ever occurs on a property you’re renting. Every policy is different, so make sure to find out the details of yours right away.
Bread Mold: The How, Why and Dangers of Food Mold
Mold growth can lead to a variety of health problems
Potencial Risks Of Bread Mold
Many homeowners are familiar with bread mold, the fuzzy blotches of green and black that seem to show up on your loaf of bread overnight. It is a frustrating conundrum, but common enough that people accept it and move on, but why does it happen and what are the potential risks?
1. How and Why Mold Forms on Bread
While fungus does not enjoy frigid temperatures, it is not unusual to find moldy food in cupboards, and there are instances of fridge mold as well. Mold enjoys cool, dark and damp spaces, and while a bread drawer may be a dry space, bread does have a somewhat moist consistency that suits mold well. Additionally, bread is filled with food for this type of organism.
2. Dangers of Consumption
While many types of mold can be poisonous if ingested, bread mold is more likely to cause temporary discomfort and possibly nausea and vomiting. Some people may be allergic, however, which can create more problematic symptoms. Essentially, any type of mold should not be ingested if it can be avoided.
3. Safety Precautions
While moldy bread is not the most dangerous substance, it should still be handled with care because it still presents the risk of minor illness. Therefore, to protect yourself, you should follow four steps when discarding moldy food.
1. Do not smell the food item.
2. Seal the item and discard in a covered bin.
3. Scrub and disinfect the storage area.
4. Ensure that the mold did not spread.
4. Other Potential Mold Concerns
While moldy bread may just be moldy bread, it is possible that it is the result of a more substantial fungus growth problem. Truthfully, food mold is common and likely not the symptom of a more significant issue, but if you notice the spread of mold in addition to bread molding quickly, you may want to call a mold remediation specialist in the Acworth, GA , area to inspect your property.
Bread mold typically occurs because of the age of the bread. While it may not be harmful in the long term it is a fungus, and you should handle it with care.
4 Steps To Take To Begin a Water Damage Claim
Contact a water removal professional service in Kennesaw, GA
4 Steps To Take To Begin a Water Damage Claim
Filing an insurance claim after water damage hits your home in Kennesaw,GA, can be daunting. Stress from the water damage can linger while you try to figure out when to move quickly and when to wait for help; however, no matter what part of your home the flood water damaged, you probably want to begin the claim process as soon as possible after discovering the water. Here are some simple steps to get you started.
1. Contact Water Professionals
No matter what caused the water damage, the first step is typically to contact a water removal professional service. The team can quickly remove the water and help you prevent additional damage to your home that standing water can cause.
2. Telephone Your Agent
When you notify your insurance agent about the pipe burst, the overflowing toilet, or dishwasher eruption, the water damage claim begins. Be prepared to answer questions and send the company any photos you may have taken of the incident.
3. Request an Inspection
During your initial conversation with your agent about the insurance claim, don’t forget to request an inspection by a licensed insurance adjuster. Not only can he or she inspect the water damage, but the inspector can also interview you and collect any additional information you have gathered since the initial interview.
4. Process Claim Forms
Upon receiving the claim form, promptly fill it out and return the pages to your insurance company. If you fear you do not have all of the necessary information, contact your agent to stipulate that the company allows addendums. Request a letter stating the length of time any additional information will be accepted.
Water damage repairs and restoration can be a long process, but if you follow these four steps, you can be well on your way to moving through the insurance claim with a minimum of trouble. During the days, weeks, and sometimes months following the water fiasco, don’t forget to ask questions, keep receipts, and remain in contact with your insurance agent.
Processing Commercial Smoke Damage
SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County in Acworth,GA is certified by IICRC
Tips: How to Manage Your Smoke Damage Claims
A fire in your place of business in Acworth, GA, can be a serious interruption even if the incident is comparatively minor. Learn how to manage your smoke damage claims and get assistance by reading the following tips.
1. Accreditation and Standards
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates and maintains standards and guidelines related to how various professional restoration services operate. By voluntarily complying with IICRC codes, these companies facilitate communication with their customers and other specialists. When you use an IICRC-certified business to examine and repair your soot damage and other fire-related issues, you can be sure that their work will follow established procedures.
2. Insurance and Documentation
Another reason to use an IICRC-certified company is the effect on the claims and liability process. Your insurer may require that your company use a restorer in compliance with BSR-IICRC S740, which is the section of code that determines the professional restoration of fire and smoke damage in personal items. After you have taken inventory of everything affected and have contacted your insurance adjuster, the smoke cleaning process can begin according to these standards. These guidelines serve as a guarantee of the safety of the client and the efficiency of the methods used.
3. How to Begin
The restoration service will likely begin by moving sensitive damaged materials away from the building. Here, vacuum freeze drying and dehydration can restore documents, electronics, and other affected assets without unnecessary side effects. Most restoration services will seek to repair your business equipment instead of replacing it in order to save the client money. Note that many types of smoke-related fire damage are covered on many policies, such as damage resulting from a fire on an adjacent property.
By understanding the relationship between smoke damage and your company’s insurance policies, you can better manage potential incidents and keep downtime to a minimum.
5 Things Every Homeowner Can Do To Help Prevent Frozen Pipes
Water damage after a pipe burst in Acworth, GA
5 Things Every Homeowner Can Do To Help Prevent Frozen Pipes
Winter can be a perilous time for your home’s water supply lines. Frigid temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and potentially rupture. This, in turn, can cause significant water damage that may require professional cleanup and restoration. Fortunately, you can employ a variety of simple strategies to help minimize the risk of a pipe burst inside your residence.
1. Insulate Exposed Pipes
Some areas inside your house, such as the garage and attic, may be uninsulated. Any exposed water line in these cool zones is vulnerable to freezing. To minimize this threat, you should insulate exposed pipes, especially ones located near exterior walls. For a long-term solution, you can also consider properly insulating the entire room.
2. Open Cabinet Doors
Plumbing lines under bathroom and kitchen sinks are also susceptible to bursts. Instead of insulating these pipes, you can open cabinet doors on particularly cold days to help warm air circulate more efficiently.
3. Allow Faucets To Drip
Flowing water can also help prevent frozen pipes. You can reduce the risk of a pipe burst when the temperature drops below freezing by opening your faucets and allowing a slight water drip. This technique may be particularly helpful for pipes located along exterior walls.
4. Cover Outdoor Faucets
Your home’s outdoor faucets are constantly exposed to outside elements. Installing faucet covers during the winter may help insulate these structures from frigid temperatures, helping to minimize the risk of subsequent damage.
5. Keep the Heat On
Conserving energy and lowering utility bills may be an important goal for many households in Acworth, GA, but turning your home’s heater off when you’re away can be detrimental. To help preserve your pipes and minimize the risk of ruptures, you should strive to maintain a constant indoor temperature of at least 55°F. Instead of turning your heater off, consider slightly lowering the thermostat.
A pipe burst can be extremely destructive and costly. Employing these strategies can help homeowners protect the pipes inside their property during the winter, minimizing the risk of significant water damage.
Invest in Fire Extinguishers for Your Home
Invest in Fire Extinguishers for Your Home
If you have never owned or used a fire extinguisher, it might be time to visit your local hardware store in Kennesaw,GA, and begin your education. Find an associate and explain that you are considering the purchase of an extinguisher for your kitchen. You will want one for the kitchen because, after all, that’s where most home fires start. If you decide to purchase an extinguisher, make sure it
- Has a rating that includes the letters ABC.
- Is the biggest extinguisher that you can easily handle.
- Has a flexible hose for directing the spray.
- Is refillable.
Make Certain That the Extinguisher Is Easily Accessible
Place your new fire extinguisher someplace where it would be easily accessible in the event of a stove fire. If a fire should occur
- Pull the pin.
- Aim the hose and nozzle at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle and spray the entire base of the flames.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed.
After the fire, refill the extinguisher at your earliest convenience.
Not Every Kitchen Fire Requires an Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are excellent at putting out fires. They are also excellent at making a mess. There are some situations where using the extinguisher should not be your first choice. Grease fires are one example. If you have a grease fire in a pan, the most effective solution is to cover the pan and smother the flames. Best of all, it requires only a simple cleanup.
Fire Extinguishers Don’t Always Prevent Large Fires
Sometimes, a fire extinguisher only delays the inevitable. If you attempted to extinguish a fire in your home and still suffered extensive damage, you could at least say that you tried. You still have insurance, and the local fire damage remediation experts are still available to show up and put your home back in order.
Tips for Grilling Safely
If you enjoy grilling at your Lost Mountain,GA, home then you may already know some of the important safety steps for avoiding a grill fire. If you’re new to grilling, then some of these tips recommended by many fire damage professionals may help.
1. Before You Grill
One way to help prevent a barbeque fire before you even begin to cook, is by placing your grill in a safe location. It’s recommended to have a debris free area away from the house, awnings or overhanging trees. It’s also recommended to clean your grill before use, and on propane units to check all the connections to ensure there are no leaks.
2. While You Grill
There are also steps to help avoid a grill fire while you cook. Never leave your grill unattended, and keep children and pets away from the unit while it is on. Keep an eye out for any embers or sparks that may occur during the cooking process to ensure they don’t land anywhere where they can catch. If you smell gas while using a propane unit turn the grill off immediately. If the smell persists call the fire department.
3. After You Grill
You can help prevent fire and smoke damage by following safety steps after you finish cooking. Ensure that your grill is properly turned off after use, or if using a charcoal grill that all the coals or embers are completely cool before they are removed from the grill. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper cleaning.
With the right safety steps in place you can prevent a grill fire at your home. Keep your grilling area clear of debris, make sure the grill is placed away from any area where sparks could catch while you cook, and always make sure any embers are put out when the grilling is complete. If you do experience a fire, a restoration professional may be able to help.
Dealing With Mold Damage Properly in Your Acworth Home
Microbes can spread quickly. Help control the process by calling in SERVPRO technicians.
SERVPRO can Help Prevent the Spread of Mold on Your Property
A variety of situations can arise when you come across mold, bacteria, or fungi growing in your home, many of which have the opportunity to cause health effects for you or your loved ones.
Finding mold damage in your Acworth area home is not the end of the world. Homeowners experience these issues quite often and seek professional help to mitigate the damages they experience in their homes.
SERVPRO technicians are expertly trained to handle mold and other microbial growth issues in your home. Microbes are living organisms that often have an effect on the quality of our indoor environment. Some types can contaminate the air that we breathe or the water that we drink. However, microbes are also a vital part of the ecosystem and a necessity of life.
Mold and other fungi are multicellular organisms that digest materials found within their surroundings to obtain nutrients rather than eating like animals, or making food like plants. Bacteria live in soil, water, and other organic materials. Like fungi, bacteria also absorb surrounding materials. However, bacteria are usually single-celled organisms.
At SERVPRO we help control microbial growth by removing moisture sources needed for the organisms to spread and remove contaminated materials from your home. When focusing on quick drying procedures, some chemicals may be necessary to control growth or prevent further contamination.
SERVPRO technicians only use EPA-registered broad spectrum disinfectants in the right mixture and dwell time according to product labeling. We use specific equipment to maintain the correct temperature and pH levels to rectify the situation while also making sure to protect our workers and the occupants of your home properly throughout the process.
Without the proper knowledge and experience, it is entirely possible for you to spread the contamination further, infecting additional areas of your home and adding to the issue rather than fixing it. Attempting this type of remediation on your own is highly questionable, especially if the area is larger than 10 square feet.
While the use of disinfectants like bleach alone is highly ineffective for mold remediation, anyone attempting to perform this job should concentrate on physical removal of contaminated porous materials and efficiently dry the area to avoid microbes returning within days.
Make sure to contact SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County immediately after discovering mold damage on your property. We can help. (770) 966-1442
How Do Ice Dams Result In Mold Damage?
Ice dams in Los Mountain,GA
An ice dam results from uneven temperatures on a roof. Snow melts and refreezes at the eaves, preventing additional snow melt from draining off of the roof. Find out more about the causes of ice dams and how these formations can result in water damage.
How Do Ice Dams Form?
Ice dams are more likely to form if a roof has uneven temperature levels. A dam results from:
- Warmer temperatures higher on the roof
- Cooler temperatures lower on the roof
- Insufficient drainage
If snow melts, runs down the roof, and refreezes, water can pool behind the dam of ice. Standing water may damage roofing materials and lead to leaks.
What Causes Uneven Roof Temperatures?
Warm air can rise through the ceiling toward insulation and the roof surface. Heat may transfer from the:
- Ceiling to insulation through conduction
- Insulation to roof sheathing through convection
- Insulation to the surface of the roof through radiation
- Heated interior toward the roof through air leakage
- Chimney to the roof surface
- Exhaust system to the roof surface
Any of these causes, or solar heat gain, can result in an ice dam. Property owners should take measures to maintain a uniform roof temperature.
How Can You Prevent Dams and Damage?
There are several ways to prevent ice dams. A building owner may:
- Remove snow with a roof rake or push broom
- Ensure ceilings are airtight
- Increase insulation between the ceiling and the roof
- Ventilate the roof
All of these methods reduce the likelihood that ice will form a dam. Removing snow is a temporary fix. The other methods can address the issues that cause ice dams.
Mold may start to grow in just 24 hours after a leak. Discard water-damaged insulation to prevent black mold. If an ice dam results in damage to a commercial building in Lost Mountain,GA, contact water damage mitigation and mold cleanup professionals.