Planning your Commercial Property's Post-Damage Reconstruction
Read our blogs to know what you can do to revamp the look of your commercial property!
Here at SERVPRO, we may focus a lot on residential work, but a big part of our services extend to commercial businesses. Part of this is because at SERVPRO of Torrance not only do we clean up the disaster, we are also certified to plan and execute reconstruction, carrying through to the very end. We pride ourselves in serving our local businesses to make our community clean and safe.
When your commercial property suffers from damage, the reconstruction planning process differs from the residential planning process in the permits one must acquire under special commercial construction codes. Commercial buildings serve as places of work and/or for consumers to shop. They are public areas that must follow codes to protect the space users and the business owners. Reconstruction for commercial areas can sometimes be large scale jobs due to multiple story buildings for large workspaces and warehouses.
To begin planning your commercial property’s reconstruction, you can choose a separate construction company or stick with us here at SERVPRO. A construction plan must be made and this can be done with the help of our technicians. The plan must adhere to the city’s codes, which can be found on your city’s website. Each city’s codes vary because every area has its own culture and rules that work for the people. For example, the parts of California that are prone to earthquakes have codes for structures to be built in a way that prevents shaking the most, and some even have special mechanisms to center the building’s mass while in movement. For Torrance, all of the information regarding codes and the permit process is here.
Once your plan is developed, it is used to apply for a permit. This plan is submitted along with the permit to be reviewed if it follows the guidelines for your city. You will get an acceptance or denial in a few weeks, maybe even months depending on the city you’re located and the degree of construction you're performing.
Once the permit is accepted, the company you choose may begin working. And if you’re denied, don’t worry! The plan can easily be revised to fit your city’s guidelines, they will usually give you feedback as to why you were not approved.
These steps are a basic outline to the process of reconstructing your commercial business. To learn more about commercial businesses related topics, read our blogs. And if you have any questions regarding disaster recovery or construction, give us a call and we’d be happy to respond.
"Faster to Any Disaster!"
This motto is taken seriously here at SERVPRO, because we understand that a fast response is crucial for emergency disaster situations. Take water damage for example. An old pipe breaks and gallons of water start to pool in the basement or garage of your property. Every minute that passes, the damage worsens and grows into a more dangerous situation. This is why we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays so our community of Torrance has the help it needs when in crisis. Our technicians are trained to respond quickly and keenly in all damage predicaments. Having a professional on sight would also keep you and your family safe, with knowledge that the water pooled in the property poses a risk to electrical shock and shortage. You may have not known this, and that’s why we are here!
In fire damage cases, do not call us first but of course, the fire department which can be reached under the emergency number, 911. The first responders will extinguish the fire, and we come in after to clean up all the ash, soot, and even water damage from the hoses used to put out the fire. We understand that fire damage is an incredibly intrusive feature of natural disaster that is felt in all senses. Upon first call, we will make it a point to visit your property for inspection as soon as possible. Burnt areas are susceptible to collapse due to the weakening of the property’s structural integrity. Every disaster situation has its own reasons why a quick response is essential to minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency. To dive deeper into each category of damage, visit our blog page. And don’t forget that when confronted with damage, SERVPRO is “Faster to any disaster!”
What to Know About the Categories of Water Damage
When SERVPRO is confronted with a water damage job, there are many things to consider to make sure we move forward with the best plan. One of the things considered is the category of water damage we’re working with. Not all water damage jobs are equal, and each category is met with different precautions and procedures to yield the best outcome. It is also important for you as a homeowner to understand the category of water damage your property is facing to make sure everyone is safe and at a proper distance from any dangerous areas. Here’s some insight on the categories of water damage:
Category 1- Clean Water
These types of situations are leaks and floods of water that are not hazardous. This includes overflowing bathtubs, defective appliances like refrigerators, or a rainwater leak in the home. These are category 1 because the water poses no health risk.
Category 2- Grey Water
Grey water is when the water may contain some pollutants like urine, mold, or dirt that can be of a health risk if exposed to us. Leaks from a washing machine, clogged toilets with only urine or overflowed aquariums can yield this category of water damage. This type of damage is recommended to be responded to immediately because this water can leave lasting effects on your home if not tended to quickly.
Category 3- Black Water
This type of water damage contains very hazardous contaminants in the water requiring our workers to wear special protective gear to deal with these jobs. Clogged plumbing systems, flood runoff from lakes, oceans, or rivers and sewer backups are all examples of black water category damage. In the event of this damage, it is imperative action is taken immediately and everyone is evacuated from the affected areas.
If you are ever confronted with any of these categories of water damage, call SERVPRO of Torrance at our emergency service line to get help in making your property “Like it never even happened.” We are here to assist you in unpredictable events like this, and will guide you through every step of the way. To learn more about water damage, check out our other blogs.
Fire Damage and how to Protect you and your Loved ones from it
Read our blogs on fire damage for more information and useful preparation tips.
Negligence can cause a fire incident in your house, which can not only damage your property but also cause injuries to your family and pets. Usually, it just takes a cigarette or an open gas supply to start a raging fire which can engulf the whole place in flames within minutes.
However, there are a few steps that can save your loved ones from this deadly hazard, but before we get to that, you need to understand what happens during a fire.
What Happens During a Fire?
- Fires are very fast, and within a few minutes, they can spread over a large area. They spread quickly by burning items present in the vicinity.
- It is a common-known fact that fires are hot, but how hot are they? A room engulfed in flames can reach a temperature of above 100 degrees at the floor level. The situation is worse at eye level because temperatures in the area ucan reach around 600 degrees.
- A fire engulfs the whole place in darkness because of the black smoke. This smoke usually contains toxins and poisonous gases that can cause drowsiness and disorientation. Fire feeds on oxygen and thus, will deprive you of it which will cause you to lose consciousness. This condition is known as Asphyxiation.
How to Protect Your Home from Fire?
- You should keep all the electrical cords away from the reach of pets because they can chew on them, which can result in short circuits and hence, fires.
- Replace flamed candles with flameless ones to avoid accidental fires.
- Always maintain your smoke alarms.
- Always conduct inspection and maintenance of your heating sources at regular intervals.
- Keep flammable items away from your stove and oven.
- Always keep your gas-powered dryer checked and maintained.
- Many household items are flammable; therefore, always store them in a cool place away from excessive sun exposure.
- Place fire extinguishers at places where you can access them immediately in case of a fire hazard.
- Your fireplace can also start a deadly fire, so install a fire screen in front of it.
If you follow these few simple instructions, then it will be easy for you to protect your family, pets and home from a fire incident.
What you need to know about Construction Permits
Imagine you live in a neighborhood where every house looks the same, and every block matches the one that came before. The neighborhood is organized into perfect symmetry, then one day the annoying guy down the street builds a hot pink addition to the front side of his property. The roof is a sickening green-yellow, and the edges protrude out onto the sidewalk. The window trimmings are a gaudy royal blue, and the front door to this weird forward addition is a bright fire engine red.
I bet you think that scenario is excessive and unrealistic, and that’s because it is! The reason you’ve never seen/heard of something like this is because of construction permits. Construction permits are official approvals for projects/remodels to homes and commercial buildings which are issued by the local government. A specific example would be adding some concrete to your driveway. The design and land usage must be approved by the association if you have one, and the local building department.
Keep in mind, a construction permit is not needed for simple repairs around the house. You don’t need to submit an application to patch a wall, or fix a leaky faucet. The construction permit is used for major mechanical or structural changes to a house, like space additions or work on gas lines. The whole point of the construction permit is to make sure that the annoying guy down the street doesn’t ruin the aesthetic of the neighborhood with his hot pink front addition. It’s also for the crazy lady next door that thinks she can reconfigure all her electrical wires by herself, even though she’s never done anything even remotely close to it before. The permits are used to keep everyone safe, and to allow the neighborhood to look its best.
Confront water damage with the attitude of Darth Vader!
We should thank Star Wars for providing us with Darth Vader, one of the most unforgettable villains in science fiction. If you’re struggling to cope up with the disastrous effects of rain, including terrible water damage, you should take some inspiration from this character. Think of how Darth Vader never feared the dark side and always believed in his powers. His ice-cold demeanor is what we all need to emulate when we face unexpected stressful situations such as heavy rainfall.
In case of unexpected heavy rainfall and storm, you should focus on staying safe and keeping everyone else safe too. Rainwater can cause a lot of damage to your property and if it mixes with the electrical system of your house, it can end up taking your life. You need to have faith in yourself and take control of the situation. Lord Vader would “...find your lack of faith disturbing” and wouldn’t hesitate to show you its consequences. Hence one should believe in themselves and remain strong during tense situations such as a heavy storm. Do not fear the Dark Side and dive into these tips to live through rain fearlessly.
Turn Off Electrical Appliances
The first thing you should do when it’s raining cats and dogs is to turn off all electrical appliances present in your house. If possible, turn off the main breaker so that there is no electricity running through your house. This will make sure that nobody has to experience an electric shock if the rainwater enters the electrical system of your house.
Use a Mop to Clean Wet Floors
Rainwater can enter your house and flood your floor as well as your furniture. When it rains, you should remain alert and use a mop to dry excess water inside your house. It will save your expensive flooring and furniture from getting ruined and reduce the chances of your family members slipping while walking on a wet floor.
Keep Doors and Windows Tightly Shut
To make sure that rainwater does not enter your house, close all doors and windows. If there is a space between the bottom of your door and the floor, cover it up so that water does not enter through it. Moreover, look for leaks in walls and ceilings. If you find water seeping inside your house, follow the next tip.
Call a Professional Rain Damage Restoration Company
A professional rain damage restoration company can save you from the disastrous aftermath of heavy rainfall. Water seeping into your house through walls and ceilings can leave permanent marks on your walls which make your house look unappealing. Moreover, the water can mess with the electrical wiring of your house. A professional restoration company will restore the pre-rainfall condition of your house and save you from the terrible effects of unexpected rainfall.
“When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master!” –Darth Vader’s famous dialogue for Obi-Wan now holds true for you as well. You’ve learned everything and you’re ready for the battle against the aftermath of rainfall. Follow these pro tips and believe in yourself so that you can deal with the consequences of heavy rainfall.
How fire and water damage can go hand in hand
A fire can spark in your home for various reasons. The top causes of home fires are from kitchen appliances, heaters, smoking, candles, and faulty wiring. Some of these are uncontrollable circumstances, so it is best to be prepared for such a situation.
When a fire does spark in your home, immediately call the fire department. They will come and extinguish the fire using water and sometimes foam. This method pulls the oxygen away from the fire in turn extinguishing it. During this process, water gets into your home and can cause additional damages.
Fire can damage your home in many ways. It can burn the walls of your home, damage the structural integrity of your home, and the smoke and soot can travel through the vents making the air dangerous to breathe.
Water can damage your home by leaving moisture left in places meant to be dry, making your property more prone to mold growth. Water can also damage the structural integrity of your property, making it dangerous to be in close proximity of.
In the event of a fire, damages can be vicious. Here at SERVPRO, we have the experience necessary to make your property look “Like it never even happened.” We understand the stress that comes with damage restoration… no need to worry, SERVPRO will be there in a hurry!
What to do when you smell smoke from a fire
How to prevent a fire like this
You’re lying down, scrolling your bedtime Facebook feed like usual when your nose detects the distinct charred smoke effervescing from the seams of your bedroom door. What do you do? What do your instincts tell you? In dire moments in between life and death, panic and fear set in, impairing your judgment to make the right call on the spot.
We’ve all probably been briefed in safety training at some point of our lives and told not to panic in case of emergencies. Once something in your house catches fire, it can grow into a blazing white hot mess consuming everything inside in no time. And, if you’re a hoarder or collector who accumulates newspapers, boxes and other flammable materials, those possessions can add fuel to the fire.
Smokey Bear shouldn’t be the only one prepared for such circumstance. One must always be prepared in case of an emergency and you need pre set instructions to kick in during these pivotal moments. Let’s go through a couple of important things you should do in case of a fire.
- Know your way out: Smoke from the fire can fill up rooms almost instantaneously. Thereby, decreasing your vision clarity every passing second. If you need to feel your way through to the exit, it might be too late. You must be well aware of all the emergency exits, windows and main exits in order to safely evacuate the building with all your family members. Since, the thick black smoke will be filling up the place, it might block some of the exits. You must be familiar with all the possible escape routes to go for an alternate exit if one is blocked from collapsing debris or black smoke.
- Call 911 immediately and sound the alarm: You might be one of the first people in the vicinity to know of the fire. You can save many other unsuspecting victims by sounding the fire alarm on your way out. This will allow others to start evacuating simultaneously, preventing further damage. The first thing you should do once you establish your safety is to call 911 for disaster control.
Now, here’s what you should NOT do in case of a fire emergency and pay attention:
- Using the elevator: If you’re a resident of a building, you must use the fire exit or regular stairs because when the fire alarms are rung, most elevators are automatically sent to the lobby level and restricted for the Fire Department’s use only.
- Opening doors better left closed: Oftentimes when a fire starts in one part of the room isolated by a closed door, it’s not recognized until the fire eats through the door or smoke seeps in. If you see smoke coming out from beneath the door, through the hinges or seams, then touch the door or the door knob to feel if it’s hot. If it is, do NOT open the door, keep it confined within the room.
For yours’s and everyone’s safety, please call 911 immediately to get the fire extinguished. Damage control can be done after. Remain calm, exit the building, then call for help.
(SERVPRO of Torrance specialized in fire and smoke remediation)
How to freshen up your commercial property
When owning a commercial building, you most likely would want your property to look visually appealing to impress customers and to foster a comfortable work environment for the employees. It may seem like a trying task to make your property stand out from the rest, but these often overlooked areas are the keys to making your commercial property the best in the game.
As our society leans toward industrialization, our cities have lost their naturally occurring plants and trees that contribute to making a place beautiful and peaceful. With that, it’s smart to incorporate as much plant and shrubbery in your commercial property planning as possible. Some examples of this can be climbing vines, a rooftop garden, a fountain with or without fish, bird feeders, shrubbery, flowers lining the walkways of your building, and any other ways that nature can be incorporated into your property.
Up-to-Date Outside Appearance
The styles in which buildings and signs are designed changes throughout the years. If you want your commercial property to keep attracting people and potential employees, you must stay up to date with the current design trends. This isn’t as hard as it seems! The font and size of your commercial business’ name on your property can be changed to be more visually appealing and with the times. If budget permits, the shell of your commercial property can be remodeled by simply updating the style of windows or the color of the walls. The way your property is presented reflects greatly in the business it accrues.
Up-to-Date Inside Appearance
Obviously, the inside of your commercial business is just as important as the outside. Some easy ways to make it look modern and appealing are:
- Comfortable seating areas
- Don’t keep the walls bare! Put up at least a beautiful work of art or picture.
- Indoor plants
- Walls with softer colors to foster a more at-ease environment for customers or employees
- Avoid cramping spaces with unnecessary furniture, keep things nice and open
- Smell!! Put on essential oil diffusers or air fresheners
The biggest key to keeping your commercial property beautiful is having a strong maintenance schedule. This is where a lot of businesses go wrong, in that the lack of maintenance causes the property to look older and worn out faster and ends up costing the business more in the long run. Maintaining the beauty of your property is the most important part in standing out as a commercial business.
Torrance! Follow these safety tips if you suspect mold
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Torrance for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Torrance specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (310)320-2112