Recent Commercial Posts

3 Reasons Your Business Needs Fire Insurance

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building burned Fire damage in a Kettle Corner, RI building.

Reasons To Purchase Fire Insurance

Because fire is one of the most common causes of damage to business property, most businesses choose to purchase fire insurance. If you are still undecided, these are three reasons you should purchase this coverage.

1. Fires Cause a Lot of Damage
In an average year, fires cause more than $10 billion in damage to property. One of the reasons that fires are so destructive is that it isn't just the flames that cause damage. Smoke can damage both the structure of your building and its contents, requiring extensive smoke cleanup. Additionally, water and other fire suppressants used to combat fires can cause substantial damage to your property. Without insurance, you will need to pay for all of these damages, plus any fire department fees yourself.

2. Your Business Is Likely To Be Repaired Faster
Few businesses have the cash on hand to repair or replace property lost in a fire. Whether your fire insurance company pays you directly or issues payments to the contractors doing the repairs, that cash flow can help you start making repairs quickly so that you can get your business up and running and start generating revenue as soon as possible. Without insurance, you may not be able to begin repairs until you can raise the funds by taking out loans or obtaining other financings. The increased time it takes to complete repairs could result in your business closing permanently.

3. Your Insurance Company Can Recommend Contractors
It is an unfortunate fact that not all contractors are reliable. Most insurance companies have a list of fire restoration professionals in Kettle Corner, RI, that they regularly work with that can be relied upon to do quality work.
Purchasing fire insurance helps you avoid the risk that your business may not be able to survive the aftermath of a fire. Consider these three reasons when making your purchasing decision.

Is Black Mold Grounds To Sue a Commercial Landlord?

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Floor with mold growth Mold damage in East Greenwich, RI

As a commercial business owner, the last thing you want is black mold destroying your property. If you rent, your building landlord may be responsible for this costly issue. Find out if you have grounds to sue upon finding mold invading your commercial space.

First Steps When Mold Overgrowth Is Suspected

Black mold can often go undetected. Therefore, if you notice any signs at all, it's best to contact your landlord immediately. Ask to have professional mold remediation experts brought into the site. This will establish a paper trail, providing evidence that you have reported the issue. Landlords are legally required to remove the mold and provide compensation for any damages incurred. There are certain laws that protect tenants from improper building conditions. Look into garnering professional legal advice to find the specific building codes for commercial rentals in East Greenwich, RI.
At this stage, you should familiarize yourself with contractual caveats in your lease agreement, including (but not limited to):

  • Responsibility of tenant for property damage;
  • Preventative measures required by the tenant;
  • Mold removal rules;
  • And landlord responsibility for fixing plumbing and ventilation issues.

Remember that water damage, such as that from leaky plumbing, will likely cause mold overgrowth. Figure out whom your lease agreement holds responsible for fixing any defects in the commercial property. It is usually the responsibility of the landlord to promptly address any maintenance requests. However, there may be a separate mold addendum that outlines preventative measures or instances in which to contact property maintenance. Ensure that you have done everything mentioned to mitigate the possibility of fungus overgrowth in your rental. Then, and only then, do you have enough reason to move forward with a lawsuit.

Grounds To Sue
Once you've carefully considered the above steps, you may move on to exploring legal options. Just ask yourself:

Did the landlord refuse to take action?
Have damages to your property occurred?
Have you lost income due to these damages?

Even if the landlord did take action, destruction of your property beforehand may still be enough to sue. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you can start looking into filing a lawsuit against your landlord due to black mold.

3 Fire Prevention Tips for Your Business

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Thai people in the conflagration preventive extinguisher training program, Safety concept. Train your employees ho to use a fire extinguisher

Consider Incorporating These Three Tips Into Your Plan

Your fire prevention plan is one of your best defenses against fires occurring in your business. 

1. Know Your Risks
You should be familiar with fire safety codes for your business. The National Fire Protection Association publishes information on commercial fire safety. Additionally, the fire marshal and local government in Warwick, RI, may offer resources that can help you prevent a business fire. Ask about having the fire marshal visit your property. If this isn't an option, your building's property manager may be able to assist.

2. Train Your Employees
Without proper employee training, most of your fire prevention efforts will fail. Make sure your employees are familiar with your fire plan and know what to do if a fire occurs. Training should include instruction on evacuating the building, contacting emergency services, providing first aid, scheduling fire restoration services, and using fire extinguishers. Designate one of your employees as your fire safety officer. This person will be responsible for creating escape routes, updating your fire plan and ensuring your fire safety equipment is up to date. Establish meeting points for employees so that you can make sure everyone is accounted for during a fire.

3. Install Fire Suppression Equipment
Sprinkler systems that automatically deploy when extreme heat from a fire is detected are 95% effective at preventing the spread of small fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In addition to sprinklers, fire extinguishers should be installed in all areas of your business, so that employees can put out small fires that do not trigger the sprinkler system. Cooking areas in your building should be outfitted with fire suppression systems designed to douse cooking fires.
A comprehensive fire prevention plan can help you avoid fire damage and mitigate any fires that do occur. These three tips can help you create an effective plan.

3 Reasons You Need Fire Insurance Now

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling of a commercial building burned Fire damage in Apponaug, RI

Fire insurance isn’t often top of mind when running a thriving business, but it should be. Without it, a simple conflagration can spell the end of the Apponaug, RI, business you’ve worked so hard to build. Still not quite convinced? Here are some reasons to invest in this important coverage without delay.

According to the National Fire Protection

Association, firefighters respond to a blaze in the U.S. every 24 seconds, resulting in billions of dollars in damage. Fires can result in:

  • Loss of income
  • Brand damage
  • Business closure

And those are just a few of the immediate threats. Here are a few more reasons why getting a fire insurance policy makes sense.

Because Your Business Is High Risk

Operating a food establishment? This is one of the most obvious places where a fire threat exists, but there are many more. Businesses that require welding or other open flame practices are at risk. Even a salon or religious building can be the victim of bad wiring, so take heed.

Because It Covers More Than Fire

One of the most devastating losses in a fire can be the loss of profits. Most fire coverage providers offer add-ons for business interruption that can help cover everything from staff expenses to temporary relocation. Insurance can also cover things like fire restoration and smoke cleanup to get your business back on track.

Because Fires Are Expensive

While the average cost of a home fire is estimated at $12,000, a single warehouse fire can exceed $100,000. While fire policies don’t typically cover everything, they will absorb the bulk of costs, enabling you to keep more money in your pocket just when you need it.

You’ve put too much work into your business to see it lost or irreparably harmed due to fire damage. Give it the protection it deserves. Contact a fire insurance company today!

5 Tips for Water Damage Restoration

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Stair of a building with black water. Concept of water damage in a building Commercial water cleaning in Hoxie, RI

Five Steps to Get Your Company Back in Working Order

When your Hoxie, RI, business has to deal with water damage, it's important to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Here are five tips to help you get your company back in working order.

1. Contact a Professional

One of the first things you should do if your company experiences damage caused by water is to contact a professional restoration service like SERVPRO. These professionals have the training, tools and knowledge to deal with a number of flood damage related problems, and conduct any necessary repairs.

2. Thoroughly Dry the Area

The next step you will want to perform in the water cleanup is to thoroughly dry the area. This will help prevent any standing water from going stagnant, and keep it from soaking into areas where it can cause further damage.

3. Sanitize After Drying

Another step to perform after water damage is the sanitize any part of the property that has been affected. Doing so can help prevent any potential contaminants from settling into the building.

4. Inspect for Related Damage

The restoration team may also want to inspect for any related damages. This may mean possible sources of the flood damage such as broken pipes, as well as areas such as soaked carpeting or drywall, and damaged walls or flooring. These could lead to other issues if left unattended.

5. Check for Mold

The restoration team may also check for potential mold growth as spores like damp areas such as those commonly found after flooding has occurred. They cannot only locate potential growth spots, bur remove spores and help prevent further problems.
When dealing with water damage at your Hoxie, RI, business, the first thing you may want to do is contact a professional restoration service such as SERVPRO. These professionals can help you with every step of the process including drying the affected area, sanitation, and inspecting for any related damages. They may also check for potential mold growth. Once these steps are completed repairs can begin.

4 Tips for Preventing Water Damage

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water meter, on top the phrase Check it out Check your water meter

Water Leaks Can Be Easily Prevented

Is your building in Cowesett, RI, at risk for water damage? There are many threats that can cause a water leak from a pipe or the like, but, with some general knowledge, you can be informed on how to avoid them.

1. Check Water Meter
It's worth regularly checking your building's water meter to see if there are any unusual numbers. A pipe break can happen underground after the water meter, and you will be charged for all the water leaking out of it. Additionally, it's spotty if your insurance will cover such a leak, as, usually, water leaks underground are not insured.

2. Inspect Pipes
The best way to stop a water leak is to take steps to prevent it before it happens. Check all of your building's pipes and waterlines, and be sure to give special attention to any older areas of the building. Additionally, if there are areas with pipes that are highly trafficked by employees, be sure no one has accidentally damaged anything.

3. Prepare for Winter
Everyone has heard the cautionary tale of a fierce winter breaking pipes. Yet, some commercial owners are still uninformed about how to prevent this. While many methods can be used, the goal is to keep the pipes above freezing temperature. Depending on the location, this can be difficult. All pipes indoor should have airways, whether it is a doorway or an air vent, open to them so heat can reach them. Remember that still water is also more prone to freezing than running water.

4. Schedule Inspections
If you're uncertain about anything, have any questions, or are generally simply a person who likes to be well-prepared, it's always best to call in a water damage professional to inspect your building for any damages. These men and women should be trained in identifying leak-prone areas and the company should have many years of experience under its belt.
Water leaks can be easily prevented with some proper knowledge and a careful mind.

Should I Repair a Small Water Leak at my Commercial Facility?

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

ceiling stained and sagging due to water damage Water damage on ceiling

As the owner or manager of a commercial facility in Hillsgrove, RI, your plate is full of tasks to complete and jobs to manage on a daily basis. When you discover a small pipe leak, it may be tempting to leave it be and worry about it later. See why addressing a small water leak now can save you time and money down the road.

The Cost of a Small Leak

While it may seem minor, a slow leaking pipe can cost you thousands of dollars in water costs alone. Many times, commercial building management won't realize they have a water leak until they see a spike in the cost of their regular water bill. If your water costs are fairly consistent, a sharp spike in water usage may be a good indicator that a leak has occurred.

Identify the Damage
Even if you can't visibly see a pipe break, there are several key indicators to watch for that may be cluing-you-in to potential pipe damage. Discovering the cause of a minor leak is imperative. The longer you allow the leak to go unrepaired, the more likely the water damage severity will increase. The following are common signs of minor to severe pipe damage:

  • Sitting water on the floor
  • Water coming from an electrical outlet
  • Low water pressure
  • Damp walls
  • Discolored water coming from faucets

The Issue Quickly
Once you identify where the water leak has occurred and the severity of the water damage, you should address the issue quickly. Call a water disaster company to address larger leaks right away. Not only can they fix the leak, but can also repair any damage that the water has caused to flooring, fixtures, carpet or drywall. Never let a small pipe break slip through the cracks of your busy list of things to-do. Doing so may be costing your commercial facility thousands in utility payments and future damages.

Preparing Your Company for a Fire

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor A proper evacuation strategy is arguably the most important part of a contingency plan

Preparing Your Company for a Fire

As a business owner, you want to assume that nothing bad will ever happen to your company's building. Unfortunately, a disaster can strike at any time. Fire damage, in particular, can often occur without warning. That is why you need to have a contingency plan in place.
In fact, most companies are legally obligated to implement an emergency action plan. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls for any business that provides or requires fire extinguishers to create an evacuation plan. The only exceptions are for companies where no one evacuates during a fire because all employees are trained to extinguish blazes.
OSHA requires an emergency plan to feature certain elements. They include:

  • Ways to report an emergency
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Ways to ensure all employees are present after evacuation
  • Emergency contacts

Evacuation
A proper evacuation strategy is arguably the most important part of a contingency plan. Make sure that your employees know a safe way out of the building. You may also want to keep respirators on hand so employees can protect themselves from smoke damage as they escape.

Other Features
While not required by OSHA, you may also want to include in your plan a description of the emergency alert system. You should also come up with a secure location where you can store important documents within or outside the office.

Implementation
Once you have drafted your emergency plan, be sure to discuss it with your employees. You should then put it somewhere in the office where everyone can see it. You may also want to consider sharing the plan with emergency responders or fire restoration professionals in Cowesett, RI. This way, these organizations will know what to expect from you during and after a disaster.
A fire can cause severe heat and water damage to your property. A contingency plan can help you prepare for the worst. By being prepared in advance, you can minimize the harm to your employees and business.

Taking Care of a Roof Leak

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

The building collapsed from the storm. Collapsed buildings Damaged roof in an Apponaug, RI building

Take Action and Consider the Following Three Tips

When the storm blew through Apponaug, RI, the intense, high winds potentially hurt the building's exterior, in particular creating a roof leak. These are not always obvious, often appearing down the road only weeks after water has built up in the ceiling. As a business owner, you'll want to have the rooftop inspected and repaired as soon as possible, avoiding major problems and potential shut downs. Protect your establishment. Take action, and consider the following three tips.

1. Get an Inspection
As soon as the system finishes, contact a roofer to look over the top, seeking any cracks, holes or missing shingles. These weaknesses need immediate attention, covered with a tarp to avoid additional water absorption. At this point, a water remediation team should be called and asked to evaluate any trouble. You'll need to understand how much moisture entered the ceiling and the rooms underneath. Tests can be done, determining humidity exposure as well as mold development.

2. Secure and Clear the Area
While the outside is tested, begin looking for any internal complications deriving from the roof leak. Is the carpet soggy? Are walls or ceiling tiles showing stains? Notify the crew of any issues. Then, work with them to safely remove electronics and furniture from the rooms, avoiding further loss. Do not allow others to enter; in fact, post signs warning of issues.

3. Seek Water Restoration
Your experts need to tear out any water-logged structure from the damaged roof. The section is repaired, and then the location needs to be dried thoroughly to avoid microbial growth. With that completed, cleaning occurs, along with an application of antimicrobial spray. Finally, the team begins to tackle repairing anything else that was ruined. Ceiling tiles and drywall get patched, and a fresh coat of paint is applied.
It's important to check for a roof leak anytime a severe storm passes through. By finding and fixing damage early, your company can minimize destruction.

What Protective Equipment Do You Need When Removing Mold?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Face mask An N-95 respirator provides the best protection if you find mold in your building

Below is a List of The Personal Equipment You Will Need

If there is a small amount of mold damage to your Frenchtown, RI, building, you may be able to remove the fungus on your own. However, you must make sure to protect yourself before beginning the mold cleanup process. Below is a list of the personal equipment you will need.

Face Mask

When you are dealing with mold, you can't just wear an ordinary face mask. Even a surgical mask is insufficient.
Instead, look for an air-purifying respirator. This is a specific type of mask that filters out small particles, including mold spores.
Air-purifying respirators are available in both reusable and disposable forms. They are also categorized based on their efficiency. Ideally, you want one that is rated N-95 or higher. This means that it filters out 95 percent of air particles.

Disposable Shoe and Hair Covers

To protect your feet and head during the black mold cleanup, be sure to purchase covers for both your shoes and your hair. You can find them fairly easily on Amazon or similar online marketplaces. Be sure to discard them any time you leave the infected area. Otherwise, the spores could spread, and mold growth could occur in the rest of the building.

Goggles

Safety goggles will not just keep mold spores out of your eyes. They will also block other debris that could enter the air during the mold removal process. Goggles can also prevent harmful cleaning chemicals from entering your eyes.

Disposable Tyvek Suits

You can wear a Tyvek suit over your regular clothes and dispose of it when the job is complete. Any clothes that do get exposed to mold should be washed in hot water immediately.
By purchasing and wearing the above items, you can protect yourself from mold. However, large mold removal projects should not be tackled alone. To ensure the fungus doesn’t return, you should utilize mold remediation specialists.

What Are the 4 Stages of Fire Sprinkler Activation?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Active fire sprinkler in East Natick, RI

What Are the 4 Stages of Fire Sprinkler Activation?

Commercial property owners should be aware of how fire suppression systems with sprinklers function. Two common misconceptions are that sprinklers activate by sensing smoke and that the entire sprinkler system will activate as soon as a fire is detected anywhere in a structure in East Natick, RI. These four steps set forth the functions of a standard water-based fire sprinkler design.

Sprinkler Head Detects High Temperature

While some fire alarms and smoke detectors are activated by sensing the presence of smoke particles in the air, only elevated ambient air temperature can turn on sprinklers. A sprinkler head will activate upon detecting hot air in the range of 135 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Bulb Bursts and Valve Opens

The most common sprinkler head design features a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based fluid. Exposure to high temperatures causes this liquid to expand and shatter the glass. Once this occurs, the fire sprinkler is activated.

Water Sprays From Sprinkler

An open valve or plug releases pressurized water from a pipe and the sprinkler mechanism on each head sprays this water in an arc. Most minor fires can be suppressed by a single sprinkler head. This may limit the amount of water damage that results from fire suppression.

Additional Sprinkler Heads Activate

Larger fires can elevate temperatures throughout a structure. As hot air reaches more sprinkler heads, each head will individually undergo the first three stages of activation. A bigger blaze should activate more sprinkler heads.
A more accurate awareness of fire sprinkler function can help property owners anticipate the extent of fire and water damage after a blaze at a commercial building in East Natick, RI. The combination of these two types of damage calls for timely fire sprinkler cleanup, as soot and water must be removed before the area is cleaned and disinfected so that fire damage can be fully restored.

Mold 101: Understanding the Basics

1/4/2020 (Permalink)

Black Microscopic Mold Spores Our specialized filtration equipment allows us to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air.

Mold 101: Understanding the Basics

What is mold? The answer may seem obvious - it’s the black, slimy stuff that creates problems in our bathrooms, beneath our sinks and anywhere else there’s a moisture problem. But do we really know what this building pest is? Understanding what black mold is, is one of the first steps to forming a strategy to get rid of it. Learn more about what mold is, how it works and how it affects your Hoxie, RI, business.

Understanding Mold’s Makeup

Mold is a type of fungus that comes in a wide range of colors, from black to white to pink, gray and more. It may look like a solid mass of gunk, but it’s made of filaments, which are thread-like structures. Fungi produce via little seed-like spores that are lightweight and easily spread through the air. Mold thrives where you have a moisture problem, so the spores easily replicate in:

  • Bathrooms
  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces

and just about anywhere that never dries out. In fact, mold spores are all around us, and we even inhale them. The problems only start when mold takes root in a building.

Mold’s Damage

Mold can quickly cause stains to upholstery and porous materials, as well as musty odors. Some molds, black mold in particular, may trigger allergies. And when mold truly begins to thrive in wood, drywall and similar surfaces, it can cause rot.

Getting Rid of Mold

Mold can be notoriously difficult to get rid of, in part, because there’s more to it than getting rid of visible mold. Mold remediation companies specialize in identifying the source of moisture feeding the mold. They remove visible mold and also take steps to destroy the leftover roots and spores that can cause mold to return.

Black mold is all around us in the environment, but we don’t have to just live with its destruction. Educate yourself on different types of mold cleanup and contact a mold remediation specialist to take care of any mold problem you may be experiencing.

An Explanation of Category 3 Water

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Blue water background with a sign that says Water Categories When floods occur, and water rushes into your building, it will be in one of three categories

You never want to see water in your building in a place it doesn't belong. Flood water can do devastating damage to the flooring, walls and ceiling of your building. Your equipment and materials are also at risk. When flooding occurs, it's important to recognize what type of water is in the area. Some water can be hazardous or even fatal to your health.

The Categories

When floods occur, and water rushes into your building, it will be in one of three categories. These are:

Category 1: Otherwise known as clean water from a broken supply line or overflowing sink or appliance.
Category 2: Sometimes called gray water; contains chemical or biological contaminants.
Category 3: Called black water; contains contaminants such as human waste or heavy metals.

The cause
Category 3 flood water often infiltrates buildings and other public areas due to a broken or backed up sewer line. An overflowing toilet can also introduce this type of water.

The Effects
As if storm damage to your Warwick, RI, building isn't bad enough, when it is coupled with black water, there are significant health risks. Even touching this water can cause a person to become extremely uncomfortable and ill. Ingesting any of this water could cause death.

The Response
You should never get near category 3 water. If you know the flood is due to sewage issues, either by sight or by the way it smells, evacuate the building immediately. You should then contact city utility and maintenance crews. It's also important to get in touch with a professional flood cleanup team. This crew has the experience, expertise and equipment to safely remove the water. Once the team gets rid of the water, technicians will thoroughly sanitize the area to ensure it is safe to return to work.
Flood water comes in various forms. You hope it's never category 3, but if it is, make sure you call the professionals right away.

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump with dirty water in it Category 2 water can come from a failed sump pump

When it comes to water pipe repair, the type of water that's erupting from that broken pipe may matter more than you think. Water is classified into one of three categories. Category 2 is the middle distinction: not clean, but not necessarily hazardous to your health. Read on to learn more about this type of water and why classification matters.

Where Does Category 2 Water Come From?

Category 2 water is considered dirty because it's been used — meaning it's come into contact with people or it's been mixed with chemicals. It can come from a variety of sources, such as the following:

  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Failed sump pumps
  • Industrial equipment

Obviously, this is an incomplete list. In short, if the water was run through an appliance or other type of equipment, or if it came into contact with humans, such as through a break room dishwasher that now requires a water pipe repair, it's likely Category 2 water.
Because there can be a bit of uncertainty about its level of contamination, Category 2 water is often referred to as "gray" water. It's not clean like Category 1 water, and it's not contaminated with sewage, bacteria, or other toxins like Category 3, or "black," water.

How Should Category 2 Water Be Cleaned Up?

While there may be ambiguity about just how toxic Category 2 water is, the fact remains that it does contain microorganisms and is therefore potentially hazardous to humans and pets. For this reason, cleanup is best left to a professional water damage cleanup company. It will have the equipment and experience necessary to clean the flooded area quickly and safely.
If your commercial property in Apponaug, RI, has sustained water damage, it's best to act quickly. The water from a broken sump pump or water pipe repair might seem harmless enough, but the responsible move is to identify the type of water damage involved and enlist the help of professionals as needed.

How To Handle Smoke Damage From an External Source

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in an East Natick, RI commercial building

A fire can cause great devastation to your commercial building, and it doesn't even have to be in your offices to do so. A fire that breaks out next door to your property in East Natick, RI, can cause smoke damage in your building. The claims process for reporting this type of damage is very similar to how you would report it if the property you own caught fire.

Document the Damage

Once you have contacted your insurance company to report the issue, you should collect evidence to support your claim:

  • Pictures of soot damage on walls, ceilings and other surfaces
  • List of damaged items that must be repaired or replaced
  • Estimate of the cost of repairs from a fire restoration company

You may not be able to obtain the fire report from the owner of the building where the fire occurred, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Having this report can verify the date and time of the fire, which can show your insurance company that you reported the smoke damage in a timely manner.

Hire Restoration Experts

Not only can fire restoration experts help with reporting estimated costs, they can also execute the smoke cleaning process to make sure that every surface and crack is soot free. They can use industrial cleaners on every affected surface. Ultrasonic technology can help them get smoke residue out of places that are hard to reach. Finally, they can use purifiers with HEPA filters to remove smoke molecules from the air, removing the odor from your building and improving the air quality.
Just because the flames aren't inside your building, that doesn't mean that the smoke will stay out, too. If an adjacent building catches fire, your building could easily sustain smoke damage. Report the damage to your insurance company and hire professionals to take care of the remediation process, just like you would if your own building caught fire.