Recent Commercial Posts

Own or Manage a Business? Consider the SERVPRO ERP

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

No one ever plans for a disaster, but you can always prepare for it. Did you know 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster?

Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information

This App is of no cost to you. It is a complimentary service that SERVPRO of Catonsville will provide to you. While we hope that you will call us for help in the event of a disaster, that choice will always be yours!

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About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.

Commercial Water Damage Prevention

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Every day, thousands of commercial buildings experience water damage. In fact, water is the most common type of damage that commercial buildings experience. When it is not dealt with promptly and effectively, the problem can rapidly grow from a minor issue to something costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. 

How can you best protect your business from water damage and minimize the fall-out when something does happen? Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare an Emergency Plan
  • Given how integral water is to all life and most industries, it is almost guaranteed that a commercial building will have to deal with water damage at some point. Thus, one of the best things a business owner can do is prepare for that inevitability ahead of time to keep losses to a minimum. Because water damage can grow exponentially if not addressed immediately, time is of the essence. 
  • Your emergency plan should include:
    • A blueprint is showing where the shut-off points are for water, electricity and gas plus a set of instructions on how to shut them down fast.
    • A conveniently located toolbox.
    • A list of emergency phone numbers, such as the fire department, plumbers, SERVPRO of Catonsville, emergency personnel, and police.
  1. Regularly Inspect Vulnerable Areas
  • Inspect Your Roof Regularly
    • Check all rooftop penetrations, both interior and exterior.
    • Look for water stains.
    • Check all flashing, drains and seals. 
  • Inspect Your Walls Regularly
    • Check wall joints around doors and windows.
    • Check flashing and sealant integrity. 
  • Inspect Your Windows Regularly
    • Check for air seal integrity.
    • Test all locks and other mechanical parts.
    • Check flashing and joints.
    • Look for water stains or mold growth on window sills and interior walls.

Emergency plans and inspections are both measures to lessen any disruption to your commercial building. Questions about commercial water damage or how to prevent it? We’re here to help. Call us! 410-242-7370.

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About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.

Commercial Building Fire Safety

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Maintaining fire safety in your commercial building is essential to protect your employees and your customers. Proper fire safety also provides a level of protection for your equipment, tools, merchandise and raw materials, records and the building itself. There are four crucial elements to a commercial building fire safety system.

#1: Fire Alarms

Fire alarms are your first line of defense against the potential risks of fires and are perhaps the most critical element of a commercial building fire safety system. When a fire alarm sounds, everyone in your building knows that a potential danger exists, and that immediate evacuation is necessary. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, employees and customers should recognize that the system works to protect them.

Fire alarms should be inspected and maintained at least annually to keep them in proper operating condition. You should also conduct regular tests of the fire alarm system along with fire drills to ensure that your employees understand and can conduct fire safety and evacuation procedures. Contact your local fire safety authorities for information on local, state and federal requirements for fire alarm systems.

#2: Emergency Lights and Exit Signs

During a fire, conditions can be chaotic and confusing. Electrical power to the building will most likely be lost. Smoke can obscure vision and make it difficult to navigate even a highly familiar building. People will be tense and possibly on the verge of panic. Emergency lights and exit signs make it more likely that individuals will be able to see well enough to get out of the building and to a safe area.

Emergency lights are designed to come on when main power supplies are lost. Similarly, lighted exit signs switch to emergency power when they no longer get electricity from the main source. These devices help light up emergency evacuation routes and make it clear where doorways and exits can be found.

These lights and signs should be tested regularly to ensure proper operation. This often involves simply pressing the "test" button to ensure they correctly switch to standby power. A monthly 30-minute minimum function test and an annual 90-minute function test should also be conducted and documented.

#3: Fire Extinguishers

Most fire codes require access to fire extinguishers in a commercial setting. They provide individuals with a means to put out small fires or stop the spread of a larger fire long enough for a safe evacuation of the building.

In general, fire extinguishers should be mounted on walls at distances of less than 75 feet, meaning that no one should have to travel more than 75 feet to get to a fire extinguisher. There should also be extinguishers mounted near exits to ensure easy access and that no one must go farther into a burning building to find an extinguisher.

Make sure your employees know how to operate a fire extinguisher and that the extinguishers are maintained and inspected regularly.

#4: Fire Sprinkler/Standpipe Systems

In some commercial facilities, a sprinkler system may be used. These systems react to heat and turn on a water sprinkler to suppress or extinguish larger fires.

Sprinkler and standpipe systems will likely require the services of licensed inspectors to ensure they are maintained and are in proper working order. Tests and inspections should include:

  • A monthly check to ensure all control valves are in the proper position.
  • A quarterly test of the system's main drain.
  • An annual inspection by a professional sprinkler system contractor.
  • A five-year reconstruction of the backflow device and internal inspection of the sprinkler pipes.

Have questions about Fire Safety in your building? Call us at 410-242-7370. We’re here to help.

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About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.

We're Your Commercial Flooding Specialists

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

A business can have a flood at any time, although water damage most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to water intrusion because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level – this is also where businesses typically store important documents and inventory. There are several reasons why your Catonsville business could flood, including:

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface Fire to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Fire supply-line break or hot-Fire tank failure
  • And many more

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your business's structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Not only that but the damage to inventory and important documents could be dramatic and irreversible.

The bottom line: a flooded business can jeopardize your health, safety, and your business’s integrity. It’s worth making the call to SERVPRO of Catonsville to let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

Why should you rely on SERVPRO of Catonsville when your business experiences flooding?

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days a week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill your Insurance Directly – One Less Thing for You to Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • We use Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Questions about flooding or water damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready to Help! 410-242-7370

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About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.

Does Your Business Have an Emergency Plan?

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Is your business prepared in case a disaster or emergency should occur?

Disasters and resulting business interruptions can devastate companies; in fact, as many as 50% of businesses that experience a disaster never reopen. With the proper planning and proactive restoration, you can be better prepared to survive any situation.

The benefit of having a detailed emergency action plan is crucial. A well-developed plan can help mitigate the effects of disasters and help you return to business quickly, saving time, unnecessary frustration and money. Those few minutes and hours immediately following a loss can be significant in determining the amount of time the property will be non-functional. Fast response can mean the difference between restoration and cleaning versus costly replacement resulting from prolonged exposure and secondary damage.

Developing a solid working contingency plan and networking with reputable vendors to assist you in your time of need are essential in your recovery efforts. Having a reliable company to respond immediately and begin emergency procedures is a critical part of any contingency plan.

As part of a Franchise System, SERVPRO of Catonsville has access to over 10,000 quality teammates with thousands of pieces of commercial equipment and service vehicles that can typically respond to a crisis within hours.

SERVPRO of Catonsville can provide you a free emergency preparedness plan to help minimize interruption, overall costs and tenant inconvenience. Listed below are some of the items that are found in the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP):

  • Immediate Response Checklist - An organized and prioritized list of persons who need to be contacted when an emergency occurs, including insurance contacts and emergency service providers.
  • Building and Grounds Information - Building statistics and key support companies (i.e. security, engineering and elevator).
  • Content Information – Inventories of contents and locations of valuable documents, articles and other important items. This also includes machinery and office equipment inventory lists and information as well as vital documents and records.

As a free service to you, we will catalog all this important information into a customized Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business.

Call us today at 410-242-7370 for a straight, no-nonsense discussion on how to get your business back up and running following an adverse situation.

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About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.

Is Your Business Ready for Winter?

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Winter weather officially hit the Catonsville area this week. Was your business prepared?

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your business if you’re not ready for it. Freezing rain and low temperatures, damaging winds, sleet and snow can all cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to prepare your Catonsville business.

To help prevent costly winter storm damages, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before winter weather hits:

  1. Check your Catonsville business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to your property and potentially lead to personal injuries.
  2. Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potentially slippery or hazardous areas.
  3. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water or ice could be present.
  4. Take steps to prevent frozen pipes and avoid costly water damage to your property.

Even with proper precaution, the unexpected can happen. SERVPRO of Catonsville has the equipment, expertise, and experience to help with the cleanup and restoration of winter weather damage.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Catonsville to strike back. 410-242-7370.

Protect Your Commercial Building from Water Damage

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage and Your Business

Every day, thousands of commercial buildings experience water damage. In some cases, the damage is from storms or flash floods.  In others, it is simply from a leak.  Quite often the damage is from a fire being extinguished -- in fact, counter-intuitively, most fires result in more water damage than fire damage. Water is the most common type of damage that commercial buildings experience. When it is not dealt with promptly and effectively, the problem can rapidly grow from a minor issue to something costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. SERVPRO of Catonsville can help.

Here are a few suggestions for how to best protect your business from water damage and minimize the fall-out when something does happen:

Prepare An Emergency Plan

Given how integral water is to all life and most industries, it is almost guaranteed that a commercial building will have to deal with water damage at some point. Thus, one of the best things a business owner can do is prepare for that inevitability ahead of time to keep losses to a minimum. Because water damage in Catonsville can grow exponentially if not addressed immediately, time is of the essence.  Be prepared by having a company like SERVPRO of Catonsville on your speed dial.

Your emergency plan should include:

A blueprint is showing where the shut-off points are for water, electricity and gas plus a set of instructions on how to shut them down fast.
 A conveniently located toolbox.
 A list of emergency phone numbers, such as the fire department, plumbers, SERVPRO of Catonsville, emergency personnel, and police.

After you have an emergency plan in place for your commercial building, you should focus on prevention. Inspecting vulnerable areas is a good practice.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Check all rooftop penetrations, both interior and exterior.
Look for water stains.
Check all flashing, drains and seals.

Inspect Your Walls Regularly

Check wall joints around doors and windows.
Check flashing and sealant integrity.

Inspect Your Windows Regularly

Check for air seal integrity.
Test all locks and other mechanical parts.
Check flashing and joints.
Look for water stains or mold growth on window sills and interior walls.

Emergency plans and inspections are both measures to lessen any disruption to your commercial building.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too, and are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.  We're Faster to Any Disaster.

We are just a phone call away to help.

410-242-7370

Most Common Causes of Fires In Commercial Buildings

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fires due to equipment failures might make headlines but 85 percent of the fires that occur in commercial buildings are due to human error or intent, reports Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services (MMARMS).

 Over 3,000 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occur every year in the US because of fire and fires consume $10 billion in property damage costs annually. MMARMS reports that 70-80,000 workplaces experience fire every year, causing disruption of public services and utilities and the loss of valuable property and information.

Arson is the leading cause of damage, death and workplace injuries that occur in commercial buildings. Arson doesn’t just financially affect a business owner or company, it injures or kills workers and fire fighters; it results in job loss for many; and fire can easily spread to other buildings and damage public utilities. The motive for arson might be a way to camouflage other crimes, it can be instigated by an unhappy worker or client, or arson may occur due to mental instability. Economic and political grievances may lie behind an arson attack and arson may be committed in cases of insurance fraud. Simple vandalism is another common cause of arson.

Human Error

FM Global hazards manager George Capko points out that fires in warehouses are rare compared to those that occur in commercial buildings where people work. A smoldering cigarette, a forgotten coffee pot or a paper-laden computer are common causes of commercial fires.

 Fire risk increase the higher the number of people that work in a building: it’s the use of equipment rather than the equipment itself that is usually the cause of a commercial fire.   

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Catonsville  to handle cleanup and restoration. We provide emergency response 24/7 and will respond quickly in your time of need. Contact us 410-242-7370

Preventing Water Damage in a Commercial Building

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

According to disaster safety.org, here are some items to keep in mind to prevent water damage in a commercial building. When looking at your property, keep in mind that it isn't always the obvious that causes water damage. 

 Ground Maintenance:

Grounds maintenance and landscaping are major components of the interconnected systems that work together to protect a commercial building from water damage. In sometimes unexpected ways these outdoor activities and elements can have sudden and extreme impact on the building itself. 

The Building Envelope 

All buildings are different, but each is at risk for water damage. From a minor roof leak to violently destructive hurricanes, any unwanted water intrusion can significantly impact the value of a commercial property. Protecting the roofs, walls, windows, and other components of ‘the envelope’ are essential to reduce the likelihood of water damage.

HVAC Systems 

Proper operation and maintenance of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system is essential to reduce the risk of water damage to a commercial building.  

SERVPRO Of Catonsville is IICRC trained and certified to clean up after all types of water damage. The quicker we get in to clean up, the less damage there will be and you can get back to operating your business!

Protect your Commercial Building from Water Damage

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage and Your Business

Every day, thousands of commercial buildings experience water damage. In some cases, the damage is from storms or flash floods.  In others, it is simply from a leak.  Quite often the damage is from a fire being extinguished -- in fact, counter-intuitively, most fires result in more water damage than fire damage. Water is the most common type of damage that commercial buildings experience. When it is not dealt with promptly and effectively, the problem can rapidly grow from a minor issue to something costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. SERVPRO of Catonsville can help.

Here are a few suggestions for how to best protect your business from water damage and minimize the fall-out when something does happen:

Prepare An Emergency Plan

Given how integral water is to all life and most industries, it is almost guaranteed that a commercial building will have to deal with water damage at some point. Thus, one of the best things a business owner can do is prepare for that inevitability ahead of time to keep losses to a minimum. Because water damage in Catonsville can grow exponentially if not addressed immediately, time is of the essence.  Be prepared by having a company like SERVPRO of Catonsville on your speed dial.

Your emergency plan should include:

A blueprint is showing where the shut-off points are for water, electricity and gas plus a set of instructions on how to shut them down fast.
 A conveniently located toolbox.
 A list of emergency phone numbers, such as the fire department, plumbers, SERVPRO of Catonsville, emergency personnel, and police.

After you have an emergency plan in place for your commercial building, you should focus on prevention. Inspecting vulnerable areas is a good practice.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Check all rooftop penetrations, both interior and exterior.
Look for water stains.
Check all flashing, drains and seals.

Inspect Your Walls Regularly

Check wall joints around doors and windows.
Check flashing and sealant integrity.

Inspect Your Windows Regularly

Check for air seal integrity.
Test all locks and other mechanical parts.
Check flashing and joints.
Look for water stains or mold growth on window sills and interior walls.

Emergency plans and inspections are both measures to lessen any disruption to your commercial building.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too, and are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.  We're Faster to Any Disaster.

We are just a phone call away to help.

410-242-7370