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When To Replace Your Generator

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Having a properly humming generator is an important part of keeping your office running smoothly

When To Replace Your Generator

When severe storms hit, there is a significant chance your business will lose power. Thankfully, a properly working generator can keep you up and running in Whittier, CA. Still, no machine lasts forever and yours will eventually become outdated and fail. Know when to expect problems and purchase a new one before it malfunctions.

Backup System Failures
Generator problems prone to developing over time include:

  • Overheating complications
  • Coolant and oil leaks
  • Circuit breaker shorts
  • Battery system failure
  • Switchgear trouble

Having no power during a severe weather event is distressing, but it is even worse when your building sustains severe structural damage. Should yours become compromised, hire a storm renovation expert to rush to your site and make everything look “Like it never even happened.”

Backup System Replacement
Expect your generator to run properly for 10,000 to 20,000 hours. Typically, it takes 20 to 25 years to reach this much usage. Have yours evaluated after surpassing either of these milestones to determine whether an upgrade should be considered.
Constantly improving technology means newer models are much smaller than their previous iterations, yet they are still able to produce the same amount of power. Newer devices are also optimized to comply with current air quality regulations, unlike those manufactured prior to 2000.
Even though your backup machine may have plenty of life left to give, its manufacturer may have discontinued support. When replacement parts become impossible to obtain, it is fated that yours will eventually become inoperable. Contact your distributor and ask if service can be reasonably expected.
Whichever model you select, choose one sized correctly for the job you intend to handle. Larger systems running below their full capacity collect undesirable carbon deposits. When smaller systems get pushed beyond their limits, the excessive wear causes early failure. Avoid either situation by researching and consulting a knowledgeable salesperson.
Having a properly humming generator is an important part of keeping your office running smoothly. Check that yours has not fallen out of date and, if it has, selects an improved version that accurately matches your needs.

5 Post-Fire Steps for Businesses

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Board up windows and door of a building Board up services in Friendly Hills, CA

Prepare Your Plan Before A Disaster Occurs

Taking the proper steps after a commercial fire in Friendly Hills, CA, could mean the difference between business recovery or permanent closure. Amid the chaos, it's difficult to know what to do. It pays to create a fire restoration plan now should the worst ever happen.

1. Document, Document, Document
After a disaster, document as much as possible. It’s particularly beneficial to have “before” pictures already on hand. Take photographs of as much of the affected area as safely possible. Log all contacts you’ve made, the reason for contact and the contact’s response. Keep all receipts and note each remediation expense incurred.

2. Shut Off Utilities
One of the critical initial steps you should take is shutting off all utilities. Taking this extra precaution diminishes the chance of additional fire or water damage. Shut gas and electricity off at the meter. Turn off the water at the main valve. Have a professional inspect the area and equipment before resuming their use.

3. Call Your Insurance Company
Report the fire to your insurance company immediately. Your agent can advise you of the next course of action. Timely communication helps to avoid overlooked details or delays in payment. Your fire insurance policy probably states that you’re responsible for moderating the loss as much as possible until the fire restoration process is complete. The insurance company may not cover secondary damage.

4. Collect Important Documents and Valuables
After the flames are out, wait for the fire department to inspect the area. Firefighters will permit you to enter the building when it’s safe. Grab any valuables you can safely reach (e.g., essential documents, employee records, credit cards and money).

5. Secure the Building
Mitigating additional damage means securing the property from weather, animals, theft or vandalism. Depending on the type and extent of loss, you may need to hire fire damage restoration professionals for board-up and/or tarp services. Security fencing may also be necessary. Save receipts in case the insurance company will reimburse these.
The fire restoration process isn’t as simple as dealing with just burned materials. Water damage restoration and smoke cleaning will also be necessary. 

5 Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Buildings

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe A leaking toilet can drive up your monthly water bill.

Common Water-Related Problems

Some plumbing issues may seem insignificant, but identifying and fixing these problems while they're small is vital when it comes to protecting your building. A small problem, such as a drop in water pressure, is often indicative of a larger issue, like a broken pipe. Make sure you regularly inspect your building in South Whittier, CA, for the following common water-related problems.

1. Pinhole Leaks
Pinhole leaks are common water repair issues for older buildings. Cast-iron pipes are only designed to last approximately 25 years, although certain circumstances can cause them to deteriorate sooner. Keep an eye out for silent leaks by checking for spikes in your water bill or a drastic drop in water pressure.

2. Dripping Faucets and Toilets
Much like pinhole leaks, dripping bathroom appliances can slowly, yet steadily, drive up your monthly water bill. Take the time to inspect your commercial bathrooms and make any necessary repairs.

3. Clogged Drains
Customers tend not to treat commercial bathrooms with the same respect that they would their own residential ones. This can lead to many undesirable items getting flushed and ultimately clogging your drains. This can cause a wide range of issues, from an unsightly bathroom to severe toilet overflow.

4. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is a good indicator for several issues, such as leaking pipes. The low pressure is a result of water escaping through the leak, and not making it to the faucet where it's supposed to make its exit.

5. Structural Damage
Cracked, bulging or otherwise warped walls, ceilings and foundation can signal the presence of a serious leak. These deformities are caused by water accumulating within the walls and ceiling and are a good indication of a major flooding problem caused by a leaking or broken pipe.
A broken pipe, backed up toilet, and clogged drain are all common plumbing issues for commercial building owners. Staying on top of the issue can help reduce the amount of damage your building suffers and keep your business running smoothly. Contact water restoration experts for professional help.

Steer Clear of Flooded Streets

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Pickup truck on a flooded street If you ever encounter a flooded street, the best practice is to find a new route or to stop your car

Avoid Becoming A Passenger In A Floating Projectile

There are many unknown dangers one encounters in a flood. It's impossible to tell the depth of the water or the speed at which it's moving. If you ever suffer through an unexpected flood in West Whittier, CA, you should never drive on a flooded street.

1. Floods Are Destructive
Floods are unpredictable and cause lasting damage. Flooding in a home can cause damage great enough to require storm damage restoration services for cleanup. Flooded roads have the capability to cause equal damage as they turn vehicles into massive, heavy, floating projectiles.

2. Your Vehicle Could Be Carried Away
Despite the size and weight of a car, any vehicle has the potential to be moved by rushing flood waters. It takes only twelve inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. We've all seen the video footage of cars being swept away during hurricanes and floods. Never try to navigate through a flooded street.

3. You Could Lose Control
Cars that get carried away on flooded roads are no longer under the control of their drivers. The obvious concern is that you cannot navigate the car once it begins to float and have no control over the direction it travels. But, your car may also flip over or even sink. If you ever do find yourself in a floating car and the water is not moving, get out and move to higher ground. However, you should never get out of a car to enter moving water.
If you ever encounter a flooded street, the best practice is to find a new route or to stop your car. Watch or listen to the news reports during a weather emergency for travel tips and information about which roads to avoid in your area. Make every effort to avoid becoming a passenger in a floating projectile.

Top 5 FAQs About Mold

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on ceiling Mold damage in a South Whittier, CA home

Tips That Can Help If Your Home Has Mold Damage

Black mold is a relatively common problem for most residential properties. It typically appears when and where you least expect it, and many homeowners are unsure how to tackle the issue. Educating yourself on the causes, dangers, and remedies for mold is a good place to start. Read on if your house in South Whittier, CA, is currently suffering from a mold problem.

1. Where Does Mold Usually Grow in Homes?
Mold thrives in both dark and moist areas. Places in your house that come into frequent contact with water, such as your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room are especially susceptible to mold growth. Darker, less frequented areas, such as a basement or attic, are also susceptible.

2. Does Mold Go Away on its Own?
Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that it would die off and go away if you deprive it of the nutrients it needs. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Depriving it of moisture and nutrients only prevents it from spreading further, it won't make it go away.

3. How Do You Get Rid of Mold?
You may be able to resolve the mold issue yourself, if it's a small case. White vinegar and baking soda are both excellent, non-toxic solutions that you can use in mold cleanup projects.

4. What Causes Mold Growth?
A moisture problem almost always invites mold growth. This is why you can typically find it growing in your shower, in your laundry machine or near the water pipes in your basement. Allowing old food to remain in your refrigerator can also invite black mold.

5. How Do You Prevent Mold Growth?
Keeping your house clean and dry is a great way to start. Ensure that you're maintaining proper humidity levels to prevent additional condensation from building up. Conduct regular home inspections to check for mold as well.
There's no reason to panic if you do find black mold growing in your home. Ensure that the situation is resolved quickly and effectively by contacting mold remediation experts to assist with the issue.

When Will Insurance Cover Pipe Damage?

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage Of Water From Stainless Steel Pipe On Gray Background Bursting pipe in Whittier, CA

Natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis can devastate lives and homes. In the aftermath of such an event, in cases where a person's property has suffered damage, there is often a great deal of worry over repair costs. It is important to know what your insurance policy will and will not cover. One area where there may exist some uncertainty over exactly what an insurance company will pay to have repaired is broken pipes. Insurance coverage will vary depending on your policy and circumstance, but most insurance companies have similar policies regarding certain subjects. Keep reading to learn more about how insurance companies treat broken pipes.

Does Insurance Cover Broken Pipe Repair?

So does insurance ever pay to fix broken pipe systems? Most insurance companies do not consider normal pipe damage as their responsibility. As a result, for the most part policies will not pay out for harm done to pipes unless the harm is a result of a sudden accident that the homeowner could not reasonably be expected to stop or a disaster like a flood. Though, hiring a professional restoration company to deal with any damage done to the home itself because of a flood from burst or leaking pipes is generally covered by the policy.

When Will Insurance Not Cover Broken Pipe Repair?
Broken pipes are generally not covered by insurance policies when their brokenness may be attributed to irresponsibility or negligence on the policyholder's part. This applies in the following cases:

  • Pipe damage from clogs.
  • Pipe damage from freezing.
  • Pipe damage from ignoring signs of damage like mold or hairline fractures.

If the pipes in your home in Whittier, CA, break due to typical wear and tear and the passage of time, insurance companies generally will not pay out in this situation either.

When Will Insurance Cover Broken Pipe Repair?
Insurance companies will cover broken pipe repair in some situations though. In the wake of a natural disaster like a flood or tornado is one such time.

Insurance coverage in regards to broken pipes is not complicated. However, before contacting your insurance company, you should be aware of why your pipes broke.

3 Furnace Maintenance Tips

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Technician looking over a gas furnace with a flashlight before cleaning it. Proper furnace maintenance can save you money, extend the life of your furnace, and help avoid potential fire damage

Furnace Maintenance Tips

A furnace that is not properly maintained can increase your heating bill, break down or even cause a fire that could leave you with a fire cleaning bill. These three furnace maintenance tips can help keep your furnace running smoothly.

1. Do Not Wait Until It Gets Cold
Repairs can take multiple days to complete or even longer if a part has to be ordered. Additionally, technicians are usually busier in the winter months, so if you wait until winter to request an inspection, you may have to wait longer to book an appointment and if the inspection turns up anything that needs repairing, you may be stuck with no furnace during cold weather.

2. Check For Gas Leaks
If you have a gas furnace, it is important to check for gas leaks. The lines that supply gas to your unit can wear out, develop small holes or become loose-fitting over time. If you notice a rotten egg smell around your gas lines, you may have a leak. If you suspect a leak, you should shut off the gas to your home and call a repair technician. Gas leaks can cause explosions that can lead to fires and the need for fire cleaning.

3. Change Your Filters
Clogged air filters restrict airflow which can shorten the life of your fan motor, cause your furnace to use more energy, reduce indoor air quality, such as lingering smoke smells from cooking, and clog ductwork. Filters should be changed every one to three months. If you have lingering smoke smells due to clogged filters, consider using the services of a smoke cleaning company in Friendly Hills, CA, to remove them.
Proper furnace maintenance can save you money, extend the life of your furnace, and help avoid potential fire damage that could create a need for fire cleaning. Start your maintenance plan now to make sure you are ready for winter weather.

Why Mold Smells and How To Prevent It

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Woman covering her nose while looking at wall with black mold A musty smell might indicate there is mold in your building

That musty smell that is lingering in your back office might not be the best thing for your business in South Whittier, CA. Compounds such as mycotoxin that are released by mold growth are what cause this smell. If you have noticed a moldy aroma in your commercial building lately, read on to learn why mold smells and how you can prevent it from growing in your business.

Why Does Mold Smell?

Molds can produce potent compounds that they release into the air. One of these compounds, mycotoxin, is particularly well-known because it has a strong and unpleasant smell that can produce the musty odor generally associated with mold. If you notice this smell, it is generally an indication that mold is in your building. Remember, mold inside of a building is never good, and you should remove the growth as soon as possible. If it is extensive, you may have to have mold remediation performed on your building. Be sure to hire qualified professionals for this task since removing mold is no easy task.

How Can It Be Prevented?
The key to preventing mold is to control the moisture levels in your building. Be sure to perform regular maintenance on your office space to excess moisture inside. This may include:

  • Fixing leaking plumbing
  • Ensuring your roof is sealed
  • Monitoring flooding on ground levels
  • Maintaining a dehumidifier

When any offices or items within them get wet, you need to dry them within a day or two to stop mold from growing. Any absorbent materials will need to be thrown away and replaced. If you already have mold in certain areas, you need to remove it immediately and get rid of excess moisture. This can generally be done with a light detergent and a good scrub brush.
If you have noticed a musty smell in your office building, it is likely related to compounds, such as mycotoxin, that is released by mold growth. You can prevent mold from growing in your building through regular maintenance, drying any areas or items that get wet, and removing visible mold growth immediately.

What Happens if Your Building's Sprinkler System Malfunctions

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Fire systems can activate without the presence of fire

What Happens if Your Building's Sprinkler System Malfunctions

If you own a commercial building in Whittier, CA, sprinkler maintenance must be part of your building's regular upkeep. Fire systems can activate without the presence of fire due to the following:

  • Hot lights
  • Frozen pipes
  • Corroded pipes
  • Accidental contact

The National Fire Protection Association recommends year-round inspections to ensure that sprinklers activate to extinguish fires and don't malfunction. Inspections also prevent unintentional activation that can reduce the below risks.

Property Damage
When a sprinkler system activates, gallons of water flood the space. It is necessary to contact a professional commercial cleaning service that can remove excess water as soon as possible. Water can quickly penetrate porous surfaces, including carpets, upholstery, and window treatments. Hard surfaces, including office equipment and furnishings, can be irreparably damaged by fast-moving water.

Water that forcefully discharges from a malfunctioning sprinkler system can quickly grow the mold spores that penetrate the air, walls, ceilings, and floors. Year-round sprinkler maintenance can identify potential risks for accidental activation that may lead to flooding and mold formation. Once mold forms, it is necessary to undertake mold remediation measures, including air filtration, to remove contaminants from the environment.

Shortly after fire sprinklers activate, water that penetrates surfaces can cause odors. These smells are due to mold spores suspended in the air or wet materials like wool carpets and upholstery. Professional odor removal methods, including ozone treatment, are often the only way to eliminate these unpleasant aromas.

Document Damage
Paper documents and files are particularly vulnerable to water damage from faulty fire sprinklers. If your business relies on paper files, it is crucial to contact a professional restoration service within hours of a sprinkler-related flood. Document freeze-drying methods can salvage your business's vital papers, but only if they are employed promptly.
Diligent fire sprinkler maintenance can ensure fire safety and avoid unintentional and costly damage to you and your Whittier, CA, building tenants.

Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Every business needs flood insurance

Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance

If you rent your business space in West Whittier, CA, you probably have renter's insurance to cover these possibilities:

  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Legal and medical liability
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Plumbing and electrical malfunctions

Suppose the office or retail space you rent becomes flooded after a storm. The National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or private supplemental insurance coverage, can pay for the following.

Your landlord's flood insurance policy likely only covers structural damage to the building you rent; however, an NFIP policy covers repair or replacement of your furnishings, records or inventory for up to $500,000. You can also buy an excess insurance supplemental plan for a higher threshold of coverage.

Mold Remediation
When floodwater damage is excessive, it is necessary to extract water immediately. Renter's insurance typically does not cover water removal services. NFIP and supplemental insurance will pay for this and for professional mold remediation services to perform air filtration to remove mold spores lingering in the air. For these claims to be approved, a business must demonstrate that it acted promptly and in good faith to remove excess water leading to mold.

Temporary Relocation
Renters may need to relocate temporarily while storm restoration professionals undertake cleaning. NFIP policies and renter's insurance will generally not pay for your business's temporary relocation. Fortunately, you can count on supplemental coverage to pay for things like temporary rent and equipment until your space is ready for your return.

Business Interruption
NFIP policies do not cover the costs to keep your business running after a flood causes an interruption. You need to purchase a separate insurance policy to include things like vendor bill payment, employee salaries, and rent on temporarily unusable office space.
Whether or not your West Whittier, CA business operates in a flood zone, supplemental flood insurance coverage can ensure protection from unexpected damage that can lead to permanent closure.