Recent Commercial Posts

Cleaning vs Sanitizing vs Disinfecting

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

It is important for all parties to understand the different levels of cleaning that may or may not be possible for each surface. All surfaces can be cleaned, many surfaces can be sanitized, and some surfaces can be disinfected.

The three main levels of microbe control are:

General surface cleaning – physically removes visible dirt, organic matter, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. General surface cleaning is accomplished with water, detergent, and physical scrubbing of the surface. The guiding principal is to remove microbes if possible, rather than kill them (with a sanitizer or disinfectant). In addition, thoroughly cleaning a surface can reduce the need to disinfect because without the nutrients and moisture needed to survive and multiply, most microbes cannot live on a clean and dry surface for very long.

Sanitizing – reduces but does not necessarily eliminate all the bacteria on a treated surface. Sanitizers do not have claims for viruses or fungi. To be a registered sanitizer, the test results for a product must show a reduction of at least a. 99.9% in the number of each type of bacteria tested on non-food-contact surfaces. Examples of non-food-contact sanitizers include carpet sanitizers, air sanitizers, laundry additives, and in-tank toilet bowl sanitizers.

Disinfecting – works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. Disinfecting destroys or irreversibly inactivates infectious or other undesirable microbes, but not necessarily the spores of bacteria and fungi. The number of microbes killed during a disinfecting process will vary, depending on the specific chemical and how it is used.

High-Touch Cleanup vs Enhanced Cleanup

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

A COVID-19 cleanup scope is dependent on the type of coronavirus situation.

High Touch Cleanup: Cleanup of high touch surfaces is required for a situation involving a person who is suspected to have COVID-19 or a Person Under Investigation (PUI); which is someone who is involved in a quarantine situation or has come in contact with someone who has been in a quarantine situation, or has come in contact with someone testing positive. This includes cleaning and disinfecting of high touch nonporous surfaces and cleaning and sanitizing of high touch porous surfaces.

Enhanced Cleanup: Enhanced cleanup is required for an area in which a person who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19 has inhabited. This includes cleaning and disinfecting of all nonporous surfaces and cleaning and sanitizing of all porous surfaces. This enhanced cleaning includes walls up to 8 feet but excludes ceilings.

A combination of High Touch Cleanup and Enhanced Cleanup may be needed within a structure based on where the infected individual has directly traveled or occupied.

Five Tips to Protect Employees’ Health

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Five Tips to Protect Employees’ Health

Healthy employees are crucial to your business. Here are 5 ways to help them stay healthy.

1) Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of reprisals, and ensure employees are aware of these policies. 2) Have conversations with employees about their concerns. Some employees may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

3) Develop other flexible policies for scheduling and telework (if feasible) and create leave policies to allow employees to stay home to care for sick family members or care for children if schools and childcare close.

4) Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about their plans. Discuss the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive “emergency sick leave” policies.

5) Promote etiquette for coughing and sneezing and handwashing. Provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, soap and water, and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Call SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County at 570-424-2290 to clean and disinfect any areas a sick customer or employee visited.

 

Five More Tips to Protect Employees’ Health

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Five More Tips to Protect Employees’ Health

Healthy employees are crucial to your business. Here are 5 more ways to help them stay healthy.

  

1) Plan to implement practices to minimize face-to-face contact between employees if social distancing is recommended by your state or local health department. Actively encourage flexible work arrangements such as teleworking or staggered shifts.

2) Perform routine environmental cleaning. Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, handrails, and doorknobs. Discourage sharing of tools and equipment, if feasible.

3) Consider the need for travel and explore alternatives. Consider using teleconferencing and video conferencing for meetings, when possible.

4) Provide education and training materials in an easy to understand format and in the appropriate language and literacy level for all employees, like fact sheets and posters.

5) If an employee becomes sick while at work, they should be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home immediately. Call SERVPRO at 570-424-2290 to clean and disinfect areas the sick employee visited.

5 Steps to Minimize Mold Risk During and After a Prolonged Shutdown

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

5 Steps to Minimize Mold Risk During and After a Prolonged Shutdown

  1. Maintain indoor humidity as low as possible, not exceeding 50%, as measured with a humidity meter. Building managers may consider continuous monitoring of indoor humidity using a digital hygrometer, ideally more than once daily, to minimize the need to access the building.
  2. After a prolonged shutdown and before occupants return, buildings should be assessed for mold and excess moisture.
  3. After an assessment has confirmed that mold and moisture are not detected, OR after remediation has been completed, a building HVAC system that has not been active during a prolonged shutdown should be operated for at least 48 to 72 hours (known as a “flush out” period) before occupants return.
  4. After a building is reopened and occupied, routine (e.g., weekly) checks of the HVAC system are recommended to ensure operating efficiency.
  5. If no routine HVAC operation and maintenance program is in place for the building, one should be developed and implemented.

Source: CDC

Know the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting vs. Sanitizing

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

Source: CDC

Use Caution After Flooding

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration Information

For Homes, Businesses, Schools & More…

After the flood waters recede and the clean up has been done, most folks want to get back into their homes or businesses and start rebuilding. The problem is that wood that has been submerged in water has likely absorbed a large amount of water. Rebuilding too quickly after a flood can cause continuing problems such as mold growth, insect infestations, and deterioration of the wood and wall coverings.

Flood waters are not clean water; therefore, most porous building materials must be removed and replaced with new materials.

Caution!

  • Inspect for structural and electrical damage from outside to determine if it is safe to enter.
  • Electrical safety is extremely important in floods. Check for fire hazards and gas leaks. Use battery-powered light sources.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or vinegar.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, rubber gloves, and eye protection.
  • Be watchful for fire ants, snakes, or other animals.
  • If mold is present, wear a respirator that can filter spores.

Source: Texas A&M

Insurance Claims After Flooding

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Insurance Claims

If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance adjuster immediately.

  • Begin cleanup, salvage, and drying as soon as possible. Do not wait for adjuster. Take photos for use as an inventory. All steps suggested on this page can be taken before an adjuster arrives.
  • Clean home or business so the adjuster can see the damage.
  • Keep damaged materials for proof of loss.
  • Leave a phone number where you can be reached when the adjuster arrives.
  • The adjuster will assess damages to the house. The owner should sign a proof of loss statement. Additional damage can be added when found.
  • Contact governmental offices for information.
  • If you do not have flood insurance, your homeowner’s or business insurance likely will not cover the loss. If the flood has been declared a federal disaster by the President, apply for assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362).

Source: Texas A&M

Food and Water Sanitation After Flooding

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Food and Water Sanitation

Until your local water company, utility, or public health department declares your water source safe, purify your water, not only for drinking and cooking, but also for washing any part of the body or dishes.

Water: Strain water through a clean cloth or filter; then boil water vigorously for a full minute; let cool. If boiling is not possible, use fresh unscented liquid chlorine bleach (8 drops or 1/8 tsp/gallon of clear water; 16 drops or 1/4 tsp/gallon of cloudy water); stir; let stand 30 minutes. Iodine and purification tablets are not recommended.

Food: Undamaged, commercially-prepared foods in all-metal cans or retort pouches can be saved if you remove the labels, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them, and then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of potable water. Finally, re-label containers that had the labels removed, including the expiration date, with a marker.

Utensils: Discard flood-contaminated wooden cutting boards and spoons, plastic utensils, baby bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. Thoroughly wash metal and ceramic pans, utensils, and dishes with hot soapy water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tsp chlorine bleach/quart water.

Source: Texas A&M

Electrical Safety After Flooding

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical Systems

Be sure all electric and gas services are turned off before entering the premises for the first time.

Download and carefully review the publication, “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment,” by NEMA.org. This 11-page document, published in September 2019, provides advice on the safe handling of electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. Outlines items that will require complete replacement or that can be reconditioned by a trained professional. Equipment that is covered includes electrical distribution equipment, motor circuits, power equipment, transformers, wire, cable and flexible cords, wiring devices, GFCIs and surge protectors, lighting fixtures and ballasts, motors and electronic products.

You should always have an electrician check for grounds and other unsafe conditions before reconnecting the system.

Source: Texas A&M

Myths and Facts About Sprinkler Systems (Part 1)

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Sprinkler head in a commercial building

Myth: “Water damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage.”

Fact: Water damage from a building sprinkler system will be much less severe than the damage caused by water from firefighting hose lines or smoke and fire damage if the fire is allowed to spread. Quick response sprinklers release 8-24 gallons of water per minute compared to 80-125 gallons per minute discharged by a fire hose.

Myth: “When a fire occurs, every sprinkler head goes off.”

Fact: Sprinkler heads are individually activated by fire temperatures in excess of 155°F. Residential fires are usually controlled with one sprinkler head. 90% of all fires are controlled with six or fewer heads and a study conducted during 80 years of automatic sprinkler use found that 82% of the fires that have occurred were controlled by two or fewer sprinkler heads.

Source:  American Fire Sprinkler Association

Myths and Facts About Sprinkler Systems (Part 2)

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Sprinkler head in a commercial building

Myth: “A smoke detector provides enough protection.”

Fact: Smoke detectors save lives by providing an early warning to a smoke or fire incident, but can do nothing to extinguish a growing fire or protect those physically unable to escape on their own, such as the elderly or small children. Too often, battery operated smoke detectors fail to function because the batteries are dead or have been removed. As the percent of homes in America that were “protected” with smoke detectors increased from zero to more than 70%, the number of fire deaths in homes did not significantly decrease.

Myth: “Sprinklers are designed to protect property, but are not effective for saving lives.”

Fact: Sprinklers provide a high level of safety. Statistics reveal that there has never been any multiple losses of life in a fully sprinklered building. Property losses are 85% less in residences with fire sprinklers compared to those without sprinklers. The combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in all buildings could reduce overall injuries, loss of life and property damage by at least 50%.

Source:  American Fire Sprinkler Association

Commercial vs Residential

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Southern Monroe, we have the opportunity to work with some great individuals and companies. One of the main goals for SERVPRO as a whole is to have heavy and genuine influence and presence in the communities and Counties. The franchise is able to keep that rapport with business owners and homeowners alike. Being able to access both commercial and residential accounts allows growth not just at a monetary level but also growth within the community, One of the driving forces behind SERVPRO's success is the way in which the brand converses with its clients. From being there one on one with a homeowner helping them through the mitigation process to meeting with COI's on large commercial accounts. Creating ERPS for their businesses and making them feel at ease when it comes to disaster restoration. The opportunities for SERVPRO are endless and it allows our reach of services to continue to grow and develop.

Commercial water loss

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water loss is something we all have to deal with. It can sneak up on you in a matter of minutes potentially causing tremendous amounts of damage to building or structure in which it has originated from. SERVPRO prides itself on continuing to set an industry high standard on the protocols and procedures used to deal with commercial water loss. From the state of the art drying software and equipment, we use to the continued training the SERVPRO staff receives to make sure that the job is not just done correctly, but done on time and done in a professional fashion. Next time you or anyone you know suffers a devastating loss call SERVPRO and they will come out and get the job done right. 

Emergency Document Drying and Recovery

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

When tragedy strikes, you can lose not only your most valuable assets but also your most important documents. Sometimes this means irreplaceable assets such as artwork and letters from loved ones becoming ruined resulting in a devastating loss. Luckily, the methods for restoring documents have become more and more advanced in recent times. While no piece of paper can ever be returned completely to the original condition, the drying and recovery methods we use can greatly improve the condition of documents formerly destined for the garbage can.

Tragedies can strike at any time, and when these disasters damage our documents who do we turn to? At times like these, we need a professional who can come in and assure us that our documents can be restored. We offer our document recovery services for homeowners, business, government organizations, schools and healthcare professionals. Even items considered to be a total loss can sometimes be fully recovered using our advanced techniques.

We are a full-service restoration and document recovery firm. Our mission is to save your damaged documents from the destruction of fire, smoke, water, and moisture. Recovering your damaged documents is our specialty.

We currently are able to restore documents of nearly all types which includes but isn't limited to:

  • Artwork
  • Blueprints
  • Books and Manuscripts
  • Business Records and Documents
  • Coated Papers
  • Drafting Linens
  • Electronic Media - Of All Forms
  • Film
  • Legal Files
  • Manuals
  • Maps
  • Paintings
  • Paper Money
  • Parchment
  • Patient and Medical Papers
  • Pulp Paper
  • Reference Books
  • Text Books
  • Textiles
  • Vellum
  • X-Rays

Our team of document restoration professionals is both certified as well as capable of getting the job done with years of experience and the best, most advanced training available. We combine experience, training, and state-of-the-art technology to restore and preserve your documents as close to their original state as possible given the damage to the content and available technology.

For water damaged documents there are several methods available to remove the water and any moisture from your documents ensuring that they are fully restored to their maximum potential. The process involves freeze drying, vacuum thermal drying, air drying, desiccant air-drying and other advanced techniques. If your document is capable of being saved, we're capable of doing it, and we have some of the most competitive prices in the market when it comes to the document restoration business. We can offer you direct billing or work with your insurance agency at your discretion.

Our team of highly trained professionals can handle documents damaged by smoke, fire, and water. Each type of damage presents its own unique set of challenges and problems based on the type of damage and the form of media that has been damaged. Water damage can be especially bad as it often packs an onset of problems by not only causing all of the problems associated with typical water damage but also setting up the perfect habitat for mold. Thankfully, we are well versed in stopping and preventing mold damage to documents as long as you act quickly and contact us to begin the restoration procedures ASAP.

Our document restoration service for fire and smoke damaged documents is the most thorough you will find in the industry, anywhere. We know that with this type of damage it's not only the damage you can see on the surface but also what is trapped on the inside that you can't see with the naked eye. Soot and smoke damage can wreak havoc on your media but our team of experts is able to remove even the most extensive damage.

We use the most state-of-the-art technology in the field and we keep upgrading our restoration methods as new and more improved ones become available. So you can easily rest assured any document restoration performed by us will be done while making use of the latest and the best technology available. If you have any documented damage we invite you to contact us and join our family of customers. We hope to hear from you soon!

How to reduce flood damage in businesses

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

One thing all business owners hate is for their operations to be slown down or even halted all together. One thing flood water hates is to be confined outside and not allowed in for the party in your business. Lets just say flood damage is that guy at the party who keeps tracking in mud on your new white carpet. There are ways to avoid this issue all together. One thing your business can do is Call SERVPRO when something happens. Businesses all over the globe hire maintenance departments to take care of the day to day operations. Not be the hero when flood water comes into play. SERVPRO is a company that has mastered the art of mitigation and they should be the first ones you call when these things happen. To ensure your production and operations continue to flow smoothly allow SERVPRO to take charge and fixes issues that occur. 

SERVPRO and Commercial business

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been working with Commercial accounts for decades. One thing that SERVPRO strives itself on is the fact that we can transition from a residential job to a commercial job without a problem. SERVPRO makes sure that all of its production crew members are trained and ready to take on anything. From cleaning out giant warehouses to removing mold in Hospitals SERVPRO is the with a smile and ready to go. One major factor toSERVPROS success with Commercial business is that fact that SERVPRO has built relationships to the point where it has National accounts that entrust SERVPRO to be its Sole and primary restoration company. Over the years this list of national accounts continue to grow and grow. This allows SERVPRO to grow as a brand as well. The more business we get the more the brand can grow. 

SERVPRO jumps into action for Hurricane Harvey

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Major Hurricane at Category 4 strength on Friday, August 25 causing widespread devastating flooding and wind destruction along the Texas and Louisiana coast. After making landfall, the storm’s track continued through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, causing heavy rains and additional flooding situations.

Flooding

Unprecedented flooding occurred across Houston, Beaumont and Port Arthur in Texas. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 inches in Houston.

Response Update

SERVPRO has mobilized and deployed Disaster Recover Teams to the most heavily impacted areas of Texas and Louisiana. Over 400 fully-equipped storm crews have been deployed and additional crews are being added daily.

With a disaster of this magnitude, residents and business owners are encouraged to be patient while SERVPRO makes every effort to respond to each need as quickly as possible.