Recent Commercial Posts

Commercial water damage

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

frozen pipe This pipe is frozen and could bust causing water damage in your commercial building.

Many – perhaps even most – older commercial buildings are equipped with piping that is very often no longer sound. A system that was state-of-the-art at the time of installation may be a piping type that is now recognized as problematic. Or, it was meant for planned replacement because builders knew that plumbing doesn’t last forever.

Commercial property owners rarely think about a building’s piping system. It’s hidden and if it hasn’t leaked yet, at least obviously, it’s forgotten. But, be warned: it will spring a leak one day, whether it’s a discrete damp spot in one corner or an indoor burst that drenches building materials and displaces tenants. Further, water on upper floors inevitably damages lower floors. Even worse, undetected and hidden leaks prompt mold growth.

Older types of piping fall into several categories. Cost-effective and easy to install, polybutylene piping outfitted millions of buildings from the 1970s to the 1990s. The material was a bust, however, because water treatment chemicals like chlorine make it brittle and prone to breakage. Even if piping remains intact, water quality suffers as chemicals leach into the water. Polybutylene pipe must always be replaced. 

Cast iron or galvanized metal piping suffers from erosion, corrosion, or a combination of the two. Erosion occurs in every metal piping system, water flowing within a pipe creates friction and wears it away. Corrosion, however, is when the metal chemically reacts with water and is a bigger challenge for metal piping. Galvanized iron piping, for example – steel coated with zinc – outfitted many structures built before 1960. Over time, zinc erodes and corrodes pipes, reducing or blocking the flow of water, increasing the risk for leaks, and affecting water quality. Galvanized pipe isn’t reliable for more than 25 years.

Newer commercial structures may be outfitted with stainless steel and copper if construction budgets are lavish. Plastic plumbing types – PEX, PVC, CPVC – may appear in newer installations. Though durable and flexible, they have their own difficulties: vulnerability to freezing conditions or UV degradation. No piping lasts forever.

Should you ever experience water damage due to pipe failure. SERVPRO of Dubuque is ready to make it "Like it never happened.”

Commercial VS Residential

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Commerical and Residential Buiildings This photo shows Commercial VS Residential buildings.

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 have 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 Dubuque, 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 Dubuque is an expert in water damage restoration, so trust them to make it "Like it never even happened".  

ERP- Emergency Ready Plan

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro ERP Emergency Ready Plan other known as ERP

What is an Emergency Ready Plan? Why should you have one for each of your commercial properties?

You never know when a disaster will hit. Will it be in the middle of the night when no one from maintenance is available? What if it’s an apartment complex? Wouldn’t a document with emergency information available on site be valuable?

Let me explain what an Emergency Ready Plan is.

It is a no-cost assessment of your facility. We will create a document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.  It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. It will show the best access to the building as well as the best locations for vehicle and equipment placement in the case of an emergency.   It takes just a little time to complete and will not take you away from your other duties. 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 down by having an immediate plan of action. It establishes your SERVPRO of Dubuque 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.  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.” When you sign a call first agreement with SERVPRO of Dubuque you can set up a preauthorized amount of funds so that SERVPRO of Dubuque can get started immediately if you have a loss. You also can get preferential pricing and priority service in the event of a major disaster in your community. SERVPRO of Dubuque will ensure it is "Like it never even happened."

2021 New Year’s Resolution: Plan Ahead!!

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

New years Goal. Plan. Action

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life.  This year, make a resolution to be READY.  No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it.  The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” in 2021.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve location and priority areas.  The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Dubuque as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 22 years of Experience and a System more than 1,700 locations strong.  The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time investment, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future.  By utilizing the free SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device, putting help at your fingertips.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood.  Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time that your business is inactive and helps get you back into your building more quickly following a disaster.  Don’t wait until disaster strikes, resolve to be READY.  Contact our Sales and Marketing department Callie Waterman, Jenny Dazey or, Ken Shannon at 563-584-2242, and make an appointment to establish your Emergency READY Profile and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2021.

No Power.... No Problem!

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

cam lock power outlet on desiccant Photo of power outlets on exterior of desiccant.

One of the biggest hurdles that we encounter in the event of a disaster is the lack of usable onsite power.  Either there is no power available at a job site or the power is not reliable or is potentially unsafe due to damage.

Our Blog about our portable generators explains their capabilities and can be found here: https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/blog/post/180441/storm/we-got-the-power 

In addition to these portable generators, our Desiccant Dehumidifier is also a power source.  Additional information about the drying capabilities of this cutting edge technology can be found here: https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/blog/post/85591/storm/residential-desiccant

For the purposes of this blog, the Titan 5000 Desiccant generator's capacity is fully utilized during the startup and heating up of the desiccant wheel.  Once that process is completed, there is a significant amount of additional power available.  The machine is equipped with cam lock outlets to distribute this available power to other equipment. 

In the event of a water damage loss at a commercial building with out usable power, the desiccant functions as a power generator.  In addition to supplying dehumidified air to the entire structure, the power that it distributes can be utilized to run the necessary air movers, HEPA Air Filtration Devices, temporary lighting or other corded tools or equipment.

Another reason why, SERVPRO of Dubuque is the most well equipped and prepared disaster restoration contractor in the NE Iowa, SW Wisconsin and NW Illinois.  If you experience a fire or water damage event at your commercial building, local help is ready and available from SERVPRO of Dubuque.

Prevent winter water damage in your building.

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes Frozen Pipes can result in winter water damage.

As temperatures drop during the winter months, one of the largest risks of weather related damage facing commercial properties is water damage from frozen/broken water lines.  As extreme cold and winter storms make their way across the Midwest during the coldest months of the year, water supply lines are at risk of freezing.  The freezing of copper supply lines, water lines for heating boilers and other water system components, can result in bursts or other damage to these lines.  When the water in the pipes begins to thaw, water will start leaking out of the damaged pipes.  Those leaks could range from an occasional drip out of a pin hole or hairline crack or they could be geysers from highly pressurize lines.

The amount of water damage can be significant from both, a high volume of water or a small leak, which can result in mold growth from remaining unnoticed for a duration of time.  Either way, the best way to avoid these potentially dangerous and expensive issues it to prepare in advance.

Hose spigots along the exterior perimeter of the building should be properly serviced prior to winter.

Obviously, it is important to maintain heat in the building during winter months, but in the most extreme cold, additional precautions may be necessary.  Be aware of any outlying areas, away from the core of the building, that might have water supplied to them.  Restrooms in shop areas or areas of the building that are maintained at a lower temperature than finished spaces.  Supplementary heating may be necessary during extreme cold snaps. 

In areas where pipes are most likely to freeze, some experts recommend allowing a faucet to drip will prevent freezing.  For more suggestions if you discover that your pipes have frozen, check out additional tips from Consumer Reports.

https://www.consumerreports.org/home-maintenance-repairs/how-to-keep-pipes-from-freezing/

If you experience a water damage from frozen pipes this winter, give the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Dubuque a call.  We have the knowledge and equipment to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

Indoor Air Quality - Are you concerned?

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

IAQ Sensing Equipment Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Equipment

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 Dubuque 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.

HIPPA Certified Document Response Team

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Static and portable document drying Here are the two types of document drying chambers we utilize. The first is SERVPRO's large stationary unit and the second is our portable unit.

HIPPA Certified Document Response Team

What does that mean? Well, one of the unique services that we offer at SERVPRO of Dubuque is Document Restoration. 

Other restoration companies also offer this service, so what makes the service from SERVPRO of Dubuque different?

For starters, we have one of the only HIPAA Certified Document Response Teams in the area.  If an event causes documents to get wet, response time is critical to stabilize the documents before they begin to degrade.   All documents are treated using the HIPPA confidentiality safeguards and rules.

HIPPA rules were designed and are required to ensure confidentiality for medical records.  We restore a lot of medical records.  On the other hand, wouldn’t you want your important personal and business financial documents treated with the same level of confidentiality?

Our HIPPA Certified Document Response Team will inventory your documents, manipulate them as little as possible to prevent mechanical breakdown of the paper, transport the documents to secure freezer storage.  Once the documents are frozen to stabilize them, our clients have plenty of time to discuss restoration options and decide on the next course of action.

The most effective method of restoration is vacuum freeze drying.  The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to very low temperatures and as heat is reintroduced, sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.

To accomplish this, we have a large freeze drying chamber located here in the Midwest. We also have access to one of the only mobile drying chambers in the country.  If the documents are an extreme security concern, the mobile unit can be delivered to a client’s building and the restoration can take place onsite.  The process can be costly, but we have had projects where the documents are not legally allowed to leave the premises due to contractual agreement.  We are one of the only restoration companies that can accommodate this request.

Here is a list of items that can be salvaged using vacuum freeze drying:

  • Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, text books, reference books, manuals
  • Business/Personal records and documents:legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogs, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
  • Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
  • Keepsakes: photographs, leather and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
  • Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
  • Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, water colors

We can handle any size document job.  From a single file cabinet filled with personal financial documents to a warehouse full of sensitive corporate documents.  The SERVPRO of Dubuque Document Response Team can be a very valuable resource and can meet one of the needs of your disaster recovery plan.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers Large and Small!

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Phoenix D385 SERVPRO of Dubuque's small desiccant dehumidifier

Desiccant dehumidifiers are extremely powerful pieces of specialty drying equipment, I have posted a few blogs here in the past on SERVPRO of Dubuque’s website about our amazing Titan 5000 Hybrid Desiccant dehumidifier (https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/blog#174138). 

Some jobs have the specialty drying needs of desiccant humidification but either the buildings are simply not large enough or wet enough to warrant the use of our 5000 CFM Titan.

One of our newer additions to our stable of equipment is the Phoenix D385 Portable Desiccant Dehumidifier. This machine which is about the size of our normal commercial LGR (low grain refrigerant) dehumidifiers that we use every day, runs off standard household or building power.  It is a specialized piece of drying equipment that produces extremely dry air and is capable of efficient and effective dehumidification in a much larger range of temperature conditions than a standard LGR.  This machine can be very effective for drying stubborn, low evaporation materials such as ceramic tile & hardwood floors, plaster, brick and concrete.

As powerful as the 5000 CFM Titan is, the new D385 allows for a much more focused drying effort.  We are excited about this new addition and how it will allow SERVPRO of Dubuque to even better service our customers!

Previously, desiccants were only used on commercial and industrial properties due to their large size and excessively loud noise levels. The Titan 5000 is perfect for large residential, habitational or institutional properties because of its low noise levels, plus it is small and maneuverable enough to fit into a driveway or parking stall.  The D385 is perfect for the smaller commercial or residential projects or specific water damaged materials that need targeted drying.

Our desiccant dehumidifiers are just more things that set SERVPRO of Dubuque apart, another reason why we are an industry leader in the restoration industry.

Has your business planned for disaster?

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Digital ERP Emergency Ready Plan Technology

If you haven't established an Emergency Plan, SERVPRO of Dubuque is here to help.

According to www.ready.gov, a website of the Department of Homeland Security, when a business suffers from a disaster the likelihood of reopening is only around 60%. When disaster comes, you can either be ruined or you can be ready with the help of technology. Disasters happen. The difference between those who make a comeback and those who don’t is preparedness. Here are some of the best ways to prepare for the worst.

  • Backup online: Various services such as Google and Dropbox offer secure, online document storage. Backup your important computer files and/or images of important documents online where they can be recovered immediately.
  • Stay informed: Follow local news, local government, FEMA and SERVPRO of Dubuque on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Twitter also allows users to alert first responders in the event that rescue is needed.
  • Mark yourself safe: Keep your family and friends up-to-date. Use Facebook’s Safety Check, or The American Red Cross’ Safe & Well site to mark yourself safe after you’ve been caught up in a natural disaster, or crisis situation.
  • Update Contact Info: Maintain current contact information in your e-mail and phone for family and friends you may need to contact in the event of an emergency.
  • Stay charged: Keep a portable charger charged up and ready to go in your home and vehicle. Solar powered chargers are available as an alternative to portable chargers. Solar chargers don’t require recharge and may be more reliable in the event of a natural disaster or crisis situation.
  • Get an Emergency READY Plan profile.

Your local SERVPRO of Dubuque marketing department is specially trained to assist you in preparing an Emergency Plan for your business.  Our READY Plan software is available at no cost and once completed you can manage in online yourself through the READY Plan mobile app.

Give us a call to make an appointment to have an Emergency READY Plan custom configured for your business.

Emergency Plan for Business

10/21/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Dubuque's marketing staff to get your no-cost ERP done today!

Almost 70% of businesses that don’t have an emergency plan in place, when are shut down due to a “significant disaster” never reopen?

Most of the numbers identifying the effects of storm damage from 2018 have not been released yet, but they are expected coincide with that data as well.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are prepared for a disaster.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve location and priority areas.  The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Dubuque as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years of Experience and a System more than 1,700 locations strong.  The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time investment, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future.  By utilizing the free SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device, putting help at your fingertips.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood.  Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time that your business is inactive and helps get you back into your building more quickly following a disaster.  Don’t wait until disaster strikes, resolve to be READY.  Contact our SERVPRO of Dubuque Marketing Representative, Ken Shannon, and make an appointment to establish your Emergency READY Profile.

Remember the only investment you are required to make in the ERP is a bit of your time answering questions now, so we can have solutions ready when you are in need.