Recent Commercial Posts

Indoor Air Quality - Are you concerned?

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

Do you have any concerns about the indoor air quality of your office or other business property?

Has the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of your commercial building ever been tested?

There are three main strategies to controlling IAQ.

  1. Managing pollutant sources. This is done by simply eliminating pollutants if possible, by setting physical barriers (containment), by managing air flow with pressure differentials or by timing the necessary release of pollutants to coincide with times when the building is not occupied.
  2. Diluting pollutants and remove them through ventilation.
  3. Using filtration to clean the air of pollutants.

According to the EPA on their website, EPA.gov:

Indoor air quality is a major concern to businesses, building managers, tenants and employees because it can impact the health, comfort well-being and productivity of building occupants.

Most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors and many spend most of their working hours in an office environment. Studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others show that indoor environments sometimes can have levels of pollutants that are actually higher than levels found outside.

Pollutants in our indoor environment can increase the risk of illness. Several studies by EPA, states, and independent scientific panels have consistently ranked indoor air pollution as an important environmental health problem. While most buildings do not have severe indoor air quality problems, even well-run buildings can sometimes experience episodes of poor indoor air quality.

A 1989 EPA Report to Congress concluded that improved indoor air quality can result in higher productivity and fewer lost work days. EPA estimates that poor indoor air may cost the nation tens of billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and medical care.

SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties uses the three methods above during the mold remediation process.  If there are other IAQ concerns in a building, we often refer to our sister company, MB Mold & Air Quality Testing.  The CIEs (Council Certified Indoor Environmentalists) and CMSIs (Council Certified Microbial Investigators) at MB Mold & Indoor Air Quality Testing can test and monitor for most aspects of indoor air quality.  They specialize in Mold, Toxic Gases, Environmental Gases, Allergens, VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) and Methamphetamine residue.  They can assess IAQ issues and recommend resolutions.

Commercial VS Residential

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage is very different from residential damage. The main difference is the type of building. Commercial buildings are usually bigger than residential areas so a bigger building means more water. Commercial buildings are also used for business use. Commercial and residential water damage has different causes. Though there are similarities, there are different things to pay attention to. In addition, the water damage restoration process varies between commercial and residential properties.

Water damage restoration in a commercial property is similar to residential cleanup; however, it can be on a much larger scale. Timing is everything especially with water damage in a commercial property. Have you ever had a small pipe leak or clogged toilet, but ignored it? Later the pipe bursts or the toilet overflows and water will go everywhere. If this happens at your commercial property and you are the property manager or owner, don’t delay treating a leaky pipe or clogged toilet. Commercial property water damage can get worse faster than residential water damage. This is due to the size of the building, increased water use, and other potential risks. It’s critical to contact SERVPRO Culpeper & Fauquier Counties, your water damage restoration professionals, to treat the damage.

It’s important to begin the process of extraction, drying, and disinfecting immediately. Many individuals believe they can carry out these processes alone, but it is best for you and your business to trust experts to clean up the mess. If these steps aren’t carried out properly or fast enough, the chance of mold growth compounds the damage and increases the costs of repairs. Your commercial property can also lose value due to damage. In addition, the worse the water damage gets the longer the cleanup process. This can affect customers and business, so save yourself the time and the hassle and take care of the damage today. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties is an expert in water damage restoration, so trust them to make it "Like it never even happened."  

5 Ways to Get Ready for the Spring Thaw

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Prepare Your Property To Face The Spring Thaw

Spring weather can be quite unpredictable. Seasonal rain storms, rapidly melting snow and countless other conditions can all drastically increase the chances of your commercial building in Culpeper & Fauquier Counties, succumbing to flooding. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help prepare your property to face the spring thaw.

  1. Remove Any Snow Around the Building.
    Rapidly thawing snow is one of the greatest contributors to the spring flood. Removing this snow can help the melted water drain away from your property, thus reducing your flood risk.
  2. Check the Drainage Systems.
    Outdoor flood drains should not be obstructed. You also need to make sure to clear any debris from the gutters on your building's roof. Lastly, double-check any flood drains your building might have to ensure that they're unobstructed.
  3. Test Your Sump Pump.
    Ideally, you have been managing and maintaining your sump pump all winter. If you haven't, then testing the device is especially important. Check for a frozen pipe, and make sure to clear any debris out from the machine that could obstruct drainage.
  4. Hire a Professional to Inspect Your Building's Roof.
    If your building's roof has been buried underneath a layer of snow all winter, then it could have potentially sustained damage that you haven't noticed yet. It's a good idea to have your roof professionally inspected to make sure that it's ready to withstand storm and flood damage.
  5. Elevate and Waterproof Important Items.
    Any important documents or other items that you store in the lower levels of your building need to be moved to higher floors and sealed in waterproof containers. Preventing water damage is significantly easier than attempting to salvage wet documents after flooding.
    The spring thaw can bring about drastic floods that can cause massive amounts of water damage to your commercial building. Taking the proper precautionary measures can certainly help reduce the amount of damage your building suffers, but complete protection is never a guarantee. Contact SERVPRO experts if your property has sustained damage from flooding.

Common Commercial Plumbing Issues

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Plumbing issues can be devastating to a business. It can cause leaks that turn into a water loss that could affect productivity in your business. With plumbing issues, it can happen with little to no warning, sometimes it starts with a small leak and other times it can happen suddenly. It is important to fix these issues before they become big problems with big expenses. Some problems include leaking seals and drain clogs.

Leaking seals

Seals can go badly at any moment, so it is important to inspect for small leaks around these areas, if you wait it could turn into a major water loss. Leaks can occur wherever two plumbing components meet. This means sometimes they aren’t always noticeable. Not only can this turn into a bigger leak but if the seal completely breaks off when you aren’t present you could cause thousands of dollars in water damage to your property.

Drain clogs

Drain clogs aren’t usually an issue in homes however in commercial buildings they seem to be more common. The reason for this is people are more cautious of what they put down their own drain or toilet vs public restrooms. This causes debris to get stuck in the pipes clogging up the system and slowing down the release of water. It may not cause any immediate issues but could contribute to a major backup down the road. With commercial experience SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties is ready to assist any commercial restoration job.

What Should I ASK before investing in a commercial property

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

What is a commercial property? 

  • Retail buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Hotel / Motel buildings
  • Industrial buildings
  • Apartment buildings
  • “Mixed use” buildings, where the property may have a mix, such as retail, office and apartments.

Before investing in a Commercial Property the best thing to do your research

Common questions to ask

  1. Year built? Older buildings might be a great deal upfront, but they can have issues and require more investment down the road.
  2. What kind of property are you looking for?
  3. Are you looking to use the building for your own business, rent it out, build equity, and/or something else entirely?
  4. What kind of location do you need?
  5. Do you need to buy or could you lease the property?
  6. What's your situation regarding cash, financing, and/or ability to make a down payment?
  7. What's your risk tolerance?
  8. How much time can you commit to the property?
  9. How much work are you willing to put into the property?
  10. What skills/knowledge are you bringing to the table?
  11. What skills/knowledge will you need to hire experts for or contract out?
  12. What kind of property manager might you need (or not)?
  13. Are you willing to do the duties of being a landlord?
  14. Finally, are you ready/willing to make an investment/purchase of this size?

5 Ways To Lower Your Company's Water Consumption

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Of all the water issues worth discussing, one of the most relevant is conservation. In addition to being good for the environment, lowering your building’s consumption also reduces your water bill.

Here Are Five Measures You Can Take To Enhance Your Status As A Responsible Corporate Citizen

  1. Install Touch Free Faucets

Because executives carry their phones everywhere, they often become distracted before leaving the restroom. This sometimes results in running faucets. Touch-free sensors eliminate this trouble entirely. As an added bonus, the spread of germs is greatly limited. While they can be expensive, these water upgrades come highly recommended and are extremely popular.

  1. Submeter Irrigation

Faulty irrigation systems have the potential to create seriously destructive water issues. If your business floods, the resulting water damage may necessitate a commercial restoration service provider to repair. Submetering irrigation alerts building managers and landscapers when too much water is being used, possibly indicating a faulty system. The ability to address issues early on could prevent an inconvenient disaster.

  1. Add Flush Valves

Toilets installed before 1992 use between three and five gallons per flush. Introducing flush valves dwindles this by up to 40%. Unlike replacing old toilets with low-flush alternatives, you can keep your original commodes and the cost will be minimal.

  1. Trade Plants

Interior designers sometimes attempt to counteract the industrial feel of office buildings with trees and other leafy offerings. Some vegetation needs to be watered more than others. Try less thirsty options, such as sago palms, spider plants or orchids.

  1. Change Urinals

Although they require different cleaning methods than traditional urinals, consider ones that are water-free. With one training session, your cleaning crews will have no trouble understanding how to handle them.

Addressing these common water issues will work wonders in lessening the amount your office in Culpeper & Fauquier Counties, uses. For the sake of the future, implement as many solutions as possible.

Commercial Mold Damage Tips

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

If your commercial building recently experienced water damages, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage, and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold.

  1. Get Rid of Moisture - This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
  2. Protect Yourself  - You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
  3. Hire a Professional - The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds are properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future. 

SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties  is ready to help you ensure your commercial property is cleaned and ready to support your business. Give our team a call at 540-423-6688

Hotel Fire Damage Services

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage to a hotel can be a catastrophic incident. 

A challenge during a Hotel fire restoration is the inconvenience to the guests, leaving rooms with soot and smoke damage. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties uses a multi-step approach to minimize the damage and eliminate the odor as quickly as possible and with minimal interruption to your guests. Mitigation - Our technicians work to secure your hotel and prevent further secondary damage. This can include board-ups, establishing the temporary source of electricity and emergency drying of the structures that are wet after fire-fighting procedures. Structural Cleaning - Cleaning is one of the most labor-intensive and time-consuming steps in the restoration process. SERVPRO technicians use some of the best equipment and chemicals to clean the smoke and soot residues from your hotel. Our priority is to restore rather than to replace it.  Contents Cleaning - The contents of your hotel that are covered in smoke and soot are cleaned by SERVPRO professionals. While some contents can be cleaned on-site, other situations may require the contents to be moved to another site for cleaning and restoration. We ensure all contents are appropriately transported and cleaned while at our office cleaning location Specialty Restoration - Some content such as furniture, expensive artwork or upholstery needs special cleaning done by experts. 

Business Worries

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Running a business can be rather difficult. There are many things that need to be dealt with every day. Here are a few: employees, payroll, vendors, contracts, clients, insurance policies, budget planning, inventory, equipment, regulations, meetings, etc. As if that wasn’t enough on your plate. What could be next?

You have to worry about someone getting hurt on the job. After you go through the steps of is your employee okay and getting them help what do you do? Who cleans up after an accident/handles biohazards?

SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties does.

You have to worry if the inventory/supply that you carry is flammable. What happens it is and catches on fire? Who cleans up a fire job and to the best of their ability restores anything and everything instead of just replacing it first?

SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties does.

Well what happens if…. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties does it all!

Water For Days

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

absorbing water absorbing the water

How much water can one commercial building take?

In this case, enough to have our technicians work through the middle of the night. They removed water, upon water, upon water! Water for days as some might say.

The job site may not have been huge, but the amount of water in the building required us to be on the job site for a few days.

This included multiple pack outs to unsure that the proper cleaning was done to the items removed and to the building itself, wall checks to insure that there was no longer moisture in the insulation, equipment, and man power.

It isn't always the standing water that's the issue. Many things can be affected. Therefore, it is very important that we thoroughly check everything multiple times.

Commercial Properties Do's and Don'ts

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Ready Ready for Action

Let's start with what can be considered as a commercial property. Any building or land that is used with the intention to gain a profit. For example: an office building, medical centers, housing, hotels, malls, retail stores, etc. 

When renting or owning commercial properties: DO keep up to date with environmental problems or other issues. This could be anything from something hazardous, a storm causing a tree to fall on the roof, a laundry machine overflowing, or a kitchen stove catching on fire. 

DON't fret or lollygag in fixing these possible issues. Jump into action. Because the faster your reaction is, the faster SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties will fix the issue at hand. This means -> less damage -> less time out of use -> happy clients/customers/residents & less money spent.

So just remember: DO consistently check on possible arising issues. DON't wait around to fix them. DO call SERVPRO to get the job done right.

Finding The Positive In Your Negative

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

flowers in park The positive

Owning a Commercial/Residence can be stressful. When the going gets tough, all of the responsibility lies on you. In life, we have positive and negative experiences. What is most important out of these experiences is what we learn from it. 

Our little tip of advice is to try and find something positive in your negative experience.

But how is one supposed to do such a thing when a positive experience is always the easiest and a negative experience is always the hardest thing to go through. The first step is figuring out why is that?

Simple, when something positive in our lives happens our bodies naturally release something called endorphins. What is that? Well, in simple terms it gives you a feeling of happiness or wellness (for more info Google is an awesome dictionary).

Next step, how do we get these endorphins running during a negative time? That part isn't as simple; but it certainly is manageable! This ste[ doesn't have a direct answer because everyone's answer as to what makes them happy is different.

Some people may find it negative that it rained because they couldn't go on a walk in the park that day, but then they find the positive in it because it brought beautiful flowers tat they could look at the next time they went for a walk.

SERVPRO's negative is that we feel bad hearing how stressed out someone is about their home or place of business. Our positive that we try to find is that we are equipped professionals that can assist/fix the disaster that caused them to be stressed.

Freezing pipes

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

Top Commercial Mold Damage Tips to Remember After a Flood

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

If your home or commercial building recently flooded due to storm damage or some sort of plumbing issues, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your home or business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold in Fauquier or Culpeper counties Virginia.

Get Rid of Moisture

This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.  

Protect Yourself 

You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, PROTECT YOURSELF by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask. 

Hire a Professional

The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds is properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the future. Visit www.SERVPROCulpeperFauquierCounties.com.com for more information on mold removal.

Commercial Mold Damage Tips to Remember After a Flood

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

If your home or commercial building recently flooded due to storm damage or some sort of plumbing issues, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your home or business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold in Virginia!

Get Rid of Moisture

This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.  

Protect Yourself 

You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, PROTECT YOURSELF by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask. 

Hire a Professional

The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds is properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the future. Visit www.SERVPROculpeperfauquiercounties.com for more information on mold removal.

Prepare now!

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared.

Make and Practice Your Plan

Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit? Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app.

Learn Life Saving Skills

Do you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.

Emergency Ready Profile

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? I know personally I couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc. 

That's why we have our Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
 The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”  Give us a call today and set up your ERP!