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Tips for Developing a Business Continuity Plan

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

If you own a business in Orange Park,FL, it’s bound to face an event that temporarily interrupts standard operations. Be it a hurricane, flooding, snowstorm or something else, a disaster can have dire consequences for your business if you’re not prepared. A sound business continuity plan can help, outlining the resources needed to keep your business operational during a crisis. Here are a few tips that will help you create a plan that will give you peace of mind.

Form a Business Continuity Team

During a crisis, your business will need multiple staffers, so more than one employee should be involved in preparing for an emergency. Gather a team comprising your most responsible, trustworthy staffers to plan for the worst. They’ll focus on things like measuring potential business impact and determining the resources needed to keep things up and running.

Develop a Plan

Talking about a plan is usually easier than developing one, but with a few steps, you can handle it with ease. Make sure to focus on some essential aspects of plan development:

  • Identifying the scope of the continuity plan
  • Identifying critical business functions and their interdependencies
  • Defining acceptable downtimes
  • Agreeing on the circumstance and methods of plan implementation

A checklist can be handy for making your continuity outline. Include major pieces, such as the location of critical data backups, as well as simple things, such as where basic supplies are kept in the building.

Train Your Employees

Your plan is only as good as its implementation, so familiarize your employees with it. Scenario-based emergency-response training is a great option that can provide insights you can use to tweak your plan.

It’s often not a matter of whether disaster will strike your business, but when. Don’t wait until you face flooding or storm damage to think about disaster response. Outline a business continuity plan with these tips and put your mind at ease.

Basement Floods: 4 Common Causes

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Basement Floods: 4 Common Causes Failed sump pump can also lead to a flooded basement in Jacksonville,FL

A basement flood may be on the top-ten list of most homeowner’s nightmares, but while it is worrisome, it may also be preventable with routine maintenance and inspection. Granted, no amount of preventative action will result in a definitive defense, but it can diminish the risks exponentially. If you want to protect your basement, then watch out for these four most common problem areas.

1. Improper Sealant

Water damage does not always have to be caused by a significant issue. Surprisingly, the improper use or inadequate coverage of sealant can allow moisture to seep into your basement causing a consistent water problem. Thankfully, you can get kits and products to seal your basement yourself.

2. Blocked Gutter

Another common cause of a basement flood is a clogged gutter. The consensus is that gutters need to be cleaned a minimum of five times per year. Regular maintenance of gutters and downspouts can ensure that rainwater is directed away from the foundation of your house rather than overflowing the eaves and flooding your basement.

3. Failed Sump Pump

Failed sump pumps can also lead to a flooded basement. Sump pumps, like any other appliance, require routine maintenance to function correctly. Cleaning out filters, checking on suction and inspecting power regularly can help prevent many sump pump malfunctions.

4. Clogged Drain

A clogged drain can be the most common cause of flooding because it disrupts the natural flow of water, forcing the liquid to either backup or exert excess pressure on the pipe, leading to leaks or pipe breaks. If you notice a drain is not functioning normally, you may want to snake the drain yourself or have a professional from the Jacksonville,FL, area check it out for you.

A basement flood may be a nuisance and can be damaging. While many of the most common issues can be resolved quickly without going to significant expense, the problem with flooding in this type of area is that not everyone notices the issue right away. Routine maintenance and even inspection of common problem areas may be necessary to prevent significant costs later.

3 Ways To Prepare for Storm Season

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Ways To Prepare for Storm Season Be prepared when a storm is set to hit your area

You know it's coming. Storm season in Jacksonville, FL, can wreak havoc on your home and cost you thousands of dollars in damage. While it's important to have your storm restoration company on speed dial, there are other ways you can prepare for the potential flooding that the season may bring.

1. Improve Your Drainage System

Flood damage is often caused by water that gets trapped somewhere it should have been able to easily flow away from. Clean your gutters on a regular basis. Make sure rainspouts are pointing away from the house. If the grading of your yard directs water toward your foundation, consider having it remodeled so that water flows away from your home instead to avoid flooding.

2. Protect Your Windows

Protection from storm damage is two-fold. You need to remove or secure things that could damage your home, and you need to put up barriers for the things you couldn't have anticipated. Trim your trees so that errant branches don't break off and crash through windows. Consider installing storm shutters to give your windows an extra shield.

3. Update Your Coverage

Despite all your best efforts, your home may still take on some damage during a storm. Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage to protect you from having to pay storm damage expenses out of pocket. If you live in a floodplain, you may be required to have flood coverage. Even if it's not required, however, it's still a good idea, since flood damage is likely not covered by your homeowner's policy. If your home's appraisal has changed, let your insurance company know so that it can update your coverage plan.

You may not be able to avoid all storm damage, but you can minimize your risk of problems if you are well prepared for storm season. Don't wait until flooding occurs to decide to do something about it.

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Mold FAQs

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold FAQs Mold damage may require restoration professionals rather then fixing yourself

Residents in Jacksonville, FL, often have questions about mold, such as what it is and how it affects homeowners. Read on to learn answers to some frequently asked questions about mold growth and get educated about these tricky little spores.

1. What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus, which means that it uses plants and animals as its source of sustenance rather than sunlight. It is not a plant or animal itself; fungi are in a classification of their own. Mold spores are very tiny and grow in areas of high humidity and warmth, such as indoor areas that have suffered from a great deal of moisture buildup.

2. Is Mold Common?

Mold is extremely common – to the point that there are more spores around you at this very minute than you can count. While many people tend to think of mold as a sign of disaster, the truth is that mold is an unavoidable part of this planet that only really becomes a concern when it begins to physically destroy your property.

3. How Do I Know If I Have a Mold Problem?

If you do have a mold issue on your hands, you may notice mold growth on areas around you house that have sustained water damage. Since it is also possible that the mold will be hidden from plain sight, you may want to have your home inspected after any storm-related destruction.

4. How Do I Handle Mold Cleanup?

Storm remediation specialists can usually identify areas of mold and clean up these and other water-affected sections around the building. It is typically better to leave restoration to professionals rather than try to fix things yourself, as you may cause further problems or miss hidden sources of mold completely.

Knowing the answers to these questions helps you to be better prepared for any future mold growth issues that should arise. You can rest easier now that you understand how to better control your house’s safety from water destruction in a future storm situation.

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6 Steps to Business Continuity During Disasters

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 6 Steps to Business Continuity During Disasters Storm damage to you Jacksonville home can interrupt living and unprepared damages from the storm

Each time you turn on the news it’s clear that disaster can strike a business anywhere, even in Jacksonville, FL. It could be a hurricane, local flooding, storm damage or other major event that can interrupt your business, and if you are unprepared it could stop your business for good. The best way to give your company a chance of survival in the face of a major disaster is to create a business continuity plan. Here are six important steps to making your plan:

1. Create a team. Assign roles to managers and key employees in your organization to assist on a business continuity team.

2. Conduct analysis. With your team, create a questionnaire to be used for gathering information about interruptions and disaster risks in your business.

3. Document key functions. The questionnaire should also be used to find resources and processes that are necessary to continue business in the face of disaster, along with the financial impact and documentation of those needs.

4. Develop workarounds. In your business continuity plan, be sure to document details of recovery plans including written processes for workarounds of critical processes.

5. Provide training. Include an emergency response plan that addresses immediate threats to personal safety and property. Provide training and practice for your different response needs.

6. Test your plan. Ensure your plan’s success by using your team to question and test the reliability and strength of the plan.

Staunch tools have been provided for free at Ready.gov to help businesses succeed in the face of disasters. With a business continuity plan and a team of dedicated personnel, you can reduce downtime and increase your business’s chance of survival from a disaster. Important final steps in your plan should include securing appropriate insurance policies, as well as identifying your local restoration specialists to get you through the entire recovery process from initial mitigation to final restoration.

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What You Should Know About Mold Remediation and Removal

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What You Should Know About Mold Remediation and Removal Mold growth on drywall.

Mold is found under the fungi classification. It is a soft green or at times grey growth which develops on objects or old food left for a lengthy period in warm, wet air. It can be found in outdoor and indoor places, thus, it is important for the indoor humidity to be kept below forty-five percent because a higher humidity supports the growth of this class of fungus. Floods and high humidity levels often lead to microbial growth and fungus.

What You Should Know About Mold Remediation and Removal

Microbial growth can be present in an area, but that does not classify it as mold. The most efficient method of controlling microbial growth is by the moderation of temperature. When the temperature is lowered, the rate of microbial growth decreases rapidly.

Mold and mildew are two fungi that people often tend to confuse. Mildew appears to be powdery and white in color then later turns to brown, black or yellow. The other fungus seems fuzzy but can appear in similar colors as the mildew. Mildew damages crops while molds damage the structural foundations of homes. Both fungi are usually accompanied by a musty odor which can lead to more health issues. It likes to thrive in moisturized areas and grows quickly into colonies with water exposure. These colonies are responsible for the production of irritants and allergens that affect the health of people.

For mitigation of molds to take place, all sources of moisture and water need to be addressed otherwise it may regrow. The first step is to remove all traces of moldy growth immediately. Five fundamental principles must be applied by homeowners and employers to ensure successful mitigation of this fungus. They should focus on the source and moisture removal, safety, contamination control and assessment. Proper mitigation is essential once the fungi is removed because areas must be monitored to prevent it from occurring again.

It is important to determine the party that will be in charge of the mold cleanup. An environmental hygienist can determine what treatment can be used for this fungus. These hygienists mitigate the problem by sealing off the affected areas with plastic sheets to stop dispersion of the spores. Fungus should be dealt with by the wearing a face mask with high filtration and neoprene gloves. Once the mold cleanup is finished, the air around it needs to be cleaned using air exchange and scrubbers.

It is essential for the environmental hygienist to have a protective suit because harsh chemicals are used for the mold cleanup. Hard surfaces with moldy growth have to be scrubbed with water and detergent and left to dry completely. Porous materials like carpets and ceiling tiles need to be disposed of by the environmental hygienists if they get moldy. The crevices of these porous materials are prone to mold growth, and painting can only happen once the environmental hygienists complete the mold cleanup otherwise the paint peels off. The correct mitigation strategies need to be employed for effective cleanup.

Visit our site for more information on mold remediation.

Maintaining a Commercial Roof

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Maintaining a Commercial Roof Commercial roofing and drywall effected by water damage

Proper maintenance of your commercial roof in Jacksonville, FL, can reap dividends when the weather turns rough. Repairing small problems in a timely fashion might make its surface less vulnerable to major roof damage from the routine and relentless forces of sun, wind and precipitation or a significant storm event.

A Roof Maintenance Checklist

Regular inspection, preventative maintenance and simple fixes are all prudent actions to take when it comes to preserving the structural integrity of a commercial roof. Though a proactive approach requires commitment, it can save you significant time and money in the long run. A safe and thorough check up with a digital camera in tow to record the condition is a wise move.
Recommendations include:

• a bi-annual inspection by a person with sufficient knowledge of roofing systems
• regular clearing of drainage systems to prevent ponding that could lead to collapse
• tree trimming and removal of overhanging branches
• repair of any cracks or fissures and damaged flashing
• waterproofing, if appropriate

Failure to address even minor peeling of roofing material can lead to leaks capable of compromising the interior of the building, and in the event of wind damage, produce roof destruction that becomes catastrophic. Roof damage can begin subtly.

Risks of Deferred Maintenance

Unfortunately, small leaks can let in enough water to damage inventory and furnishings or produce unsightly stains that could require drywall replacement, painting, or mold remediation. If the cumulative effect of leaks becomes profound, it could necessitate a roof rebuild that might close the doors temporarily, anger any tenants you may have or discourage customers who have to navigate the construction zone surrounding your building.

Since it is unlikely that you can remove all risk of roof damage to your commercial building, consider putting two exhaustive inspections a year on your calendar. It is a decisive step you can take toward preventing small problems from escalating into big ones.

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3 Ways Fire Damage Is Water Damage to a Business

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Ways Fire Damage Is Water Damage to a Business Fire sprinkler can save damage to your business

While it’s a relief to stop a blaze from claiming the rest of your commercial property, the process used to put fires out can lead to another concern: water damage. Following a doused fire, water cleanup may be necessary.

Water threatens your business as much as the fire once did, and it should not be left alone. There are three major types of water damage to be aware of following a fire at your Jacksonville, FL, business.

1. Pipe Burst

Debris from collapsing structures or the intense heat of a fire can deform pipes and lead to a burst. The pipe burst will continue to pour water into your business if the water is not turned off. If it is safe to do so, you should turn off the main shut-off valve to prevent further flooding while waiting for repairs. This will stop the water flow and prevent any other damaged pipes from bursting.

2. Fire Department

After a successful fire department rescue, the fire hose leaves behind moisture and chemicals that can deteriorate the business building if left alone. An expert fire and water damage restoration service is the best bet for removing the moisture from everywhere, including hard-to-reach places. This stops the water from housing mold growth or making drywall brittle enough to lead to more water cleanup.

3. Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are very common in most commercial complexes. Since these systems are heat sensitive, they could incorrectly deploy in areas where the fire hadn’t reached to cause additional damage. The doused areas then has water seeping into the flooring, and this water will degrade in quality the longer it stands or if it’s exposed to contaminants.

Smoke cleanup and fire cleanup aren’t your only concern when dealing with a fire. The water is worth considering. Being knowledgeable about the risks allows you to be proactive to stop the problem and reactive towards fixing the problem by using water cleanup services.

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Three Types of Water Involved With Flooding

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Three Types of Water Involved With Flooding Black water can contaminate after a flood and damage can be left behind

When storm season starts up in Jacksonville, FL, it can be important to figure out how to prepare for the rising waters. Other times, it’s good to be vigilant and watch for a burst supply line on a dishwasher or other appliance. However, it can also be important to know how to proceed after the damage has been done. Sometimes a homeowner just needs to let the home dry out. Other times, a flood cut needs to be done to prevent potential damage from contaminated water. In general, there are three types of water that are involved with water damage.

1. Clean Water

The first type of water that a homeowner may encounter is clean water, or Category 1 water. As the name suggests, this is water clear of contaminants. This type is usually found when water damage comes from a burst supply line that was connected to a dishwasher or cleaning machine. Mold growth may result from this type; however, regular cleanup methods may be able to fix the problem.

2. Contaminated Water

Category 2 water, or “grey water,” is the second type of water that a homeowner may have to deal with during flood season or in-home accidents. This type consists of water mixed with soaps, skin flakes, grease, and oils. If chemical traces are kept below a certain level, there is less chance of danger when exposed to grey water.

3. Black Water

Category 3 water is the type that has the most cause for concern for a homeowner. This type gets its name – black – because it may contain fecal matter. With this type of water, there is a chance that bacterial growth will result from contact. Flood cuts are often used to remove the contaminated area on drywall, and other methods are used in different situations.

When a homeowner runs into any of these three types, especially contaminated water or black water, and the damage they leave behind, it’s always good to get in contact with a professional cleaning service. That way there is a lower chance of any residual damage to a home.

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Sailing Safely Through a Flood

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

When flood water envelops your home and community in Jacksonville, FL do you know how to handle the disaster? Thankfully, many people and places disseminate information outlining safety and rehabilitation guidelines surrounding a flood. Every dissemination method emphasizes the importance of knowing the basics of how to handle a flood before the disaster is imminent.

1. Listen to authority. Your priority should be to learn what the authorities are communicating to the public. Do not ignore their advice! A common instruction is to evacuate the area. Do not return to a flooded home until those in charge say that it is safe to do so. Additionally, you might hear that it is unsafe to drive. In this case, only drive in an emergency. Seeking out and following the guidelines of the authorities are essential elements of your safety in the event of a flood.
2. Avoid flood water. A rule that is found in every flood situation is to stay out of the pooled waters from a flood. These waters could be littered with debris, or they could be electrically charged from fallen power lines.
3. Stay away from electrical appliances. You are at a high risk of electrocution after a flood. Turn off any electricity if you are able. Steer clear of wet electrical equipment. Electrical apparatuses that have sustained water damage are more likely to cause electrical shock. Beware of the effects of water on electricity.
4. Protect your body. In the situation of a flooded home, be sure to wear protective clothing. Boots and thick gloves will protect you from sharp edges and dangerous debris that may be in your house. Additionally, snakes and other critters could have entered your home in the water. Consider how to protect your body from these hazards as you clean up.

Anyone in Jacksonville, FL can sail safely through a flood if he or she knows these basics of how to handle flood water. Listen to those in control, avoid dangerous water and wet electrical appliances, and protect yourself while cleaning up. Visit http://www.SERVPROjacksonvillewestsideorangepark.com for more information on water damage.