Quick Guide to Creating a Continuity Plan for Your Business
Preparing for Storms in the St. Michael area
Flooding and storm damage can lead to the need for you to shut down your St. Michael, MN business for a time. This disruption can lead to a loss of revenue and customers. Because you want your business to be resilient, you should create a business continuity plan prior to any disasters. This type of plan can help you keep your company running smoothly even while dealing with a major remediation. Use this quick guide to help you create a plan for your company.
1. Consider Business Impact
How would your business be impacted by a flood or serious storm damage? You need to think about the time-sensitive processes and the resources required to complete them. This will help you better figure out what you need to focus on should there be an emergency.
2. Create Recovery Strategies
Setting up an emergency response plan gives you the knowledge you need to run your company without your normal resources, like an office building or warehouse. This plan may include recovery strategies for your building and everyday business activities.
3. Know Your Resources
If you want your business to get back on its feet after a disaster, you need to know who to call. Creating a relationship with a commercial restoration team can prepare you for any type of disaster. However, you may also want to learn about the government programs available to help you.
4. Train Your Employees
Once you have your business continuity plan created, you need to make sure everyone knows how to react to different situations. Run exercises to prepare your employees for floods, tornadoes, snowstorms and other potential disasters. If your team is trained and ready to respond quickly, you have a better chance of minimizing the downtime.
Creating a business continuity plan can help you and your employees prepare for a wide range of disasters. Working with a government agency or commercial cleanup and restoration crew can make it easier for you to create a plan that works for your company.
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Your Options When Flood Insurance Isn’t One
Flooded Home during a natural disaster in St. George
Flood insurance is a necessity in many parts of the country, but unfortunately, it’s expensive and difficult to get. Because of this, many homeowners go without the much-needed protection. If you do not have flood coverage but were recently the victim of a costly flood, you may qualify for FEMA. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the federal assistance program; to clear some of them up, this post answers some of the more commonly asked questions regarding the program:
• Who qualifies for the program?
• Does the program pay for all repairs or contract work?
• Do renters qualify?
• What kind of grants are available?
Who Qualifies for the Program?
Federal disaster assistance is available to individuals who live in disaster-designated areas and who sustained serious damage to their homes, vehicles and other property. These individuals typically live in a floodplain but not always. The government usually reserves funds for a small number of specified counties at one time. Check with FEMA.gov to see if St. Michael, is one of them.
Does the Program Cover All Repairs and Contract Work?
The grants given by the program may cover damages and repairs not covered by flood insurance but may not cover all damage. Whether or not a grant will help you restore your home to pre-flood condition really just depends on the extent of damage you’re dealing with.
Do Renters Qualify?
Yes, renters do qualify for FEMA grants. Renters may also qualify for an SBA disaster loan.
What Kind of Grants Are Available?
Several types of grants are available to help homeowners through such a difficult time in their lives. Grants may help to pay for uninsured and underinsured personal property losses and healthcare expenses, emergency home repairs, temporary housing and funeral expenses.
Even if you have flood insurance, it may not be enough. Federal disaster aid is in place to help individuals cover the cost of disaster-related expenses and to get back on their feet. Visit FEMA.gov to learn more.
For more information on St. Michael click here.
How To Eliminate Mold Odor
Air Scrubber used to remove odor from home
While many people think of mold as having a musty odor, the truth is mold can release a wide variety of unpleasant odors, depending on the type mycotoxin it releases. If you notice a strange smell you can’t seem to get rid of, you may be dealing with mold.
What Causes the Smell?
Mold releases small molecules called mycotoxin that cause bad smells. Different species of mold have different odors. Some of the most common mold odors smell like:
• Cat urine
• Car exhaust
• Old cheese
If you smell mold in your home, it means you have a mold problem, even if you can’t see it. You’ll need to eliminate the mold in your house in order to get rid of the smell.
Get Rid of the Source
Perform a visual inspection of the room or area where the smell is strongest. Check in the back of closets, behind furniture and under carpets. If you can’t locate any mold, you may need to call in mold remediation specialists in St. Michael, MN, to help. They will know how to locate moist areas in your home and check inside walls to locate the mold.
Killing mold is not enough to get rid of odors. It must be removed completely, either by scrubbing it off building materials with a biocide or by removing affected materials and replacing them.
If you notice the odor returns, chances are good the mold has also returned. It’s critical to discover the cause of excess moisture in your home and eliminate it to prevent mold regrowth. Check for leaks and broken water pipes to discover where the moisture is coming from. Your mold remediation specialist in St. Michael, MN, can help you do this.
You can also install a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA air filtration device, to help speed the process of musty odor elimination. These air filters are designed to remove very small molecules from the air, including mycotoxin. Just remember that an air filter can’t solve your mold problem. You still have to eliminate the mold to eliminate the odor.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information.
A Quick Guide to Preventing Home Water Damage
Water Loss in Buffalo Home
Water damage is one of the costliest disasters a homeowner can experience. When water floods home basements, bathrooms, or crawl spaces, there is also the potential for personal property damage, mold, and structural integrity issues. You can safeguard your residence against many types of damage caused by water in your home with a few preventative steps.
Although you probably use plumbing each day, you may forget to check your pipes and appliances regularly. Here is some practical advice on preventing plumbing problems in Buffalo, MN.
• Inspect tubs and showers for cracks and caulking issues.
• Check appliances for loose hoses and damaged hose washers.
• Monitor faucet water pressure for a potential broken pipe.
• Know where the water shut-off valve is and make sure it works properly.
• Do a pipe cleanup by removing any buildup. Also, check heating, cooling, and plumbing pipes for cracks or leaks.
Water seepage often occurs in basement structures, and it is a major issue. Ground water can cause serious damage, but you can prevent most potential water damage by resealing your basement at the first sign of seepage after a heavy rain. Also, consider installing a backwater regulator valve to prevent sewer problems.
Inspecting your roof can prevent unwanted water from leaking into attics and damaging ceilings. If windows are missing caulk, reseal the panes to prevent rain damage. Also, take time to inspect gutters as you clean them of debris, because they can easily allow unwanted water to damage your property.
At the first sign of flood water in your home, consider calling a specialist in remediation in Buffalo, MN. The cleanup specialists can help protect your possessions by removing the water, drying the area, and setting up a dehumidifier. They can also disinfect the property to prevent mold growth.
You may not be able to avoid all damage by water in your home, but you can prevent many potential flooding issues. By taking the preventative steps listed above, you can help safeguard your property from water damage.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information.
How To Prevent Ice Dams From Damaging the Roof of Your Building
The cold weather in St. Michael, MN, can create conditions for an ice dam to form on the edge of your roof. Knowing how to prevent them can help you to avoid issues such as roof damage and flooding.
What Are Ice Dams?
An ice dam can be a large wall of ice that forms along the edge of the roofs of buildings. It may include large hanging icicles and chunks of ice. They can form on lower areas of the roof because they do not receive as much heat from the building as higher areas and therefore do not get hot enough to melt. As warm air from the building rises to higher areas of the roof, the snow and ice there may begin to thaw, resulting in meltwater that can become stuck behind the blockage.
Why Can They Be a Problem?
A wall of ice can prevent melting snow and ice from being able to properly drain from the roof. This can lead to damage in the insulation, walls or roof of your building, potentially causing leaks and messy water damage.
How Can You Prevent Them?
By preventing the higher areas of your roof from heating up enough to melt, you can keep ice buildup from becoming a problem. This can be accomplished by taking several steps to keep heat from the building from reaching the roof.
These steps can include:
• Closing areas where air can leak upwards
• Adding insulation
• Installing roof or soffit vents
You may need to use a combination of these measures to ensure that dams do not form. Insulation can be especially important, and if your building has less than 8 inches you should add more. Heat cord or tape can also be added to melt off forming ice from the edge of your building’s roof.
Snow and ice can be unavoidable during winter, but you can prevent them from becoming a big problem. Avoid the hard-to-deal-with damage that can result from an ice dam by taking some time to stop it from forming.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information.
Keep Your Facility Fungus-Free With These Mold Prevention Tips
Mold spores are extremely tiny and lightweight, and as a result, they can spread easily from room to room, just wafting in the air until they find a place to breed. All it takes to attract spores and encourage mold growth are water and humidity. If spores find a nice, warm and wet environment, they could grow into hazardous and damaging fungi within a matter of days. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your facility spore-free and to prevent mold problems from brewing:
• Deep clean regularly. This may entail carpet cleaning, cleaning out your facility’s HVAC system and disinfecting all surfaces on a regular basis.
• Identify and remedy any moisture issues. If you know of a leak, have it fixed. If your building condensates, up the temperature or invest in better insulation.
• Keep humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent. Use a dehumidifier if necessary.
• Minimize mold spores by cleaning and dusting often.
You Can’t Prevent Spores, But You Can Prevent Mold
Spores are everywhere, and they can enter your building on someone’s clothes, via food or even upon a light breeze. Because of this, it is impossible to eliminate them from your building entirely. That said, you can prevent spores from finding an ideal breeding ground with regular cleaning.
Carpet cleaning is often overlooked, but the St Michael, MN mold prevention team recommends deep-cleaning your carpets on a monthly basis, at least. If you have the resources, you should really deep-clean your floors once a week, and when it’s raining or snowing outside, you should have them cleaned daily. Carpet retains a lot of moisture and it doesn’t receive a lot of sunlight, making it the perfect place for spores to land and make a home.
If you want to prevent mold problems from surfacing in your building, talk to your local mold remediation team about what more you can do to keep your facility as spore-free as possible. From carpet cleaning to moisture control, a little maintenance can go a long way.
Visit http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information on mold.
When Fire Damage Causes Water Damage
After the devastation of a fire in your St Michael, MN home, it can be immensely frustrating to find that belongings that weren’t damaged in the fire were still saturated by water, whether from the local fire team when dousing the fire or due to exposure to the elements after fire damage to the roof left the interior vulnerable to rain. Water cleanup after a fire can be difficult, but not impossible.
1. Be aware of hazards. Standing water left behind after a fire may contain soot or other substances that can cause adverse health reactions. Use protective gear when handling waterlogged belongings or furniture. During all stages of water cleanup, you should consistently focus on safety and assessing the situation before handling water-damaged possessions.
2. Determine what can be salvaged. Some items, such as plastics and other water-resistant materials, can be left to dry out and can be easily recovered. Others, such as furniture, clothing, and electronics, may not be. Furniture and clothing may be stained by dirty water, or may absorb enough water to mildew beyond cleaning or repair. Electronics, unless they are water-sealed, may short-circuit. They may not be safe to touch, and should be handled gingerly to avoid electrical shock injury.
3. Trust your sprinkler system. Believe it or not, sprinklers are actually a lesser culprit when it comes to fire-related water damage. This is because sprinklers help to suppress the fire, and minimize damage on all fronts. That means firefighters use less volume of water to douse the fire, and the damage doesn’t spread as far, minimizing exposure from loss of structural integrity.
After a fire, not all is lost. You may have to do some water cleanup, but overall a proper fire cleanup routine can be instrumental in saving as much as possible to rebuild again.
Visit http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
4 Tips for Preventing Dryer Fires
There are many ways for a fire to break out in a home in St Michael, MN. One overlooked location is the dryer. There are a number of ways for a dryer fire to develop. Nearly 3,000 of these fires are reported every year, and they result in over $35 million in property damage annually. Fortunately, with some routine maintenance, you should not have to worry as much about a lint fire forming.
1. Keep the Top of the Dryer Free of Any Debris
In the event a fire does break out in your laundry room, you do not want to give it more fuel that could cause it to spread to other areas of your home. Therefore, do not leave anything on top of your dryer. This includes clothing, boxes and books. You also want to keep the areas behind and around the dryer clear.
2. Clean Out the Lint Screen After Every Load
A good habit to get into is to clean the lint screen before every use. After a while, you will start doing it without thinking about it. Even a small amount of material in the system can result in a lint fire. To remind you, you should keep a small wastebasket in your laundry room.
3. Clean the Vent Line Regularly
You should detach your vent line once in a while and make sure it is not getting clogged up by lint or various pieces of debris. If you are unsure of what to look for in the vent, then you should consider hiring a professional to come out and take a look at it.
4. Inspect the Vent Hose
Another component to examine regularly is the vent hose. If your current hose is not made out of aluminum, then you should replace it with one that is. You want the hose to be as short as possible to reduce the likelihood of it getting crushed and potentially starting a lint fire.
Visit http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information on fire damage.
Prepare Your Home for Storm and Flood With These Tips
If you live in a storm and flood-prone area, there are certain things you can do to your residence to reduce the amount of storm and water damage to structure and belongings. Consider the following aspects to protect your residential property from the many consequences of flood water.
New Home Construction
Are you getting ready to have a home custom-built just for you? Then you are in a fortunate situation that allows you to make certain enhancements to it. Some items that are recommended include:
• Be sure to build the house on pilings.
• It’s best that you construct the structure on ground level.
• If possible, erect the property on compacted fill.
Ensuring these three guidelines can significantly decrease the overall risk of a flooded building during heavy storm and rain. It is often more difficult to make modifications to an existing structure, but it is not impossible.
Existing Home Modifications
Making changes to your house can be somewhat costly, but is a smart choice considering the sheer scale of damage flooding can cause. Think about constructing berm walls, levees and retaining walls. All these options can help deter flood water. Furthermore, raising the house off its foundation and creating a new foundation can prove itself to be quite effective as well. It is up to you if you want to leave the area open or close it in. Not only does this provide valuable protection to your home, it can also increase its value should you ever decide to sell it.
These are top tips for making your residence more flood-proof. Should your house in St Michael, MN ever experience water damage from heavy storm and flood though, reach out to restoration professionals who know how to clean up a flooded building. You are busy enough as it is dealing with the repercussions of flooding and shouldn’t have to clean up flood damage yourself.
Visit http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information on storm damage.
How to Prevent Toilet Overflow
Every homeowner in St Michael, MN dreads coming home to face a flooded toilet. Regardless if the toilet spurted clean or contaminated water into the bathroom, it requires a professional’s immediate help. The flooding may be a result of sewer damage causing waste to go back up through the pipes into the toilet. You can do a lot of good by preventing overflow before it happens by taking a few preventive measures.
1. Do Not Flush Random Items Down the Toilet
This is a particular concern in households with children, but even adults have been known to flush things down the toilet they should not. Some common items to keep out of there include:
• Baby wipes
• Body creams
Flushing these items can cause them to get stuck in the pipes. Even things such as body cream, lotion and grease should stay out of toilets because they can harden through the pipes, causing a backup.
2. Clean the Toilet Regularly
In addition to keeping solid objects out of the toilet that can cause significant sewer damage, you also want to perform regular maintenance on the septic tank system. You should contact a sewage company once every eight years to clean and maintain your home’s septic tank. You can also clean your toilet routinely by using disinfectants and liquid detergent.
3. Avoid Flushing
Hopefully, the kind of toilet backup you will contend with will not be anything serious. Some toilets will merely overflow a little bit before receding. You may be able to clean up a small mess on your own, but you want to avoid flushing until you know the issue is resolved. Use a plunger to try to move the clog out of position. If nothing at your disposal seems to be working, then you should hire a professional plumber in St Michael, MN to come out and address the sewer damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROwrightcounty.com for more information on water damage.