Office fires happen from time to time. It’s not uncommon for under-maintained break room appliances to catch fire and, occasionally, an old outlet or faulty appliance will cause a spark that catches the carpet or baseboards alight. Fortunately, these fires can usually be put out quickly but the damage done can be extensive. Sometimes it is just smoke and soot damage with light scorching or a wrecked appliance, but other times entire sections of wall or partial rooms may need to be rebuilt.
Naturally, you have scheduled commercial fire damage restoration for your office. But the process will go more smoothly if you know how to prepare. Believe it or not, most of your preparation steps are damage control relating to soot, which is the most common source of fire-related damage after a fire. Soot is staining and very easy to spread if you are not careful.
Avoid Tracking Soot Away from the Damaged Area
The first step is to be very careful about where you step. Soot is staining an in many cases, there is a great deal of loose soot on the carpet, walls, and nearby surfaces that could easily be spread throughout the office if someone is careless. Be careful and strict about not tracking that soot further out into your office space. Do not try to clean up the soot yourself, allow employees to try and clean it or task your maintenance task to vacuuming the area. This is a recipe for disaster and can potentially achieve exactly what you are trying to avoid.
Wrap and Remove Damaged Furniture
If there is damaged or soot-covered furniture that is at risk of tracking soot around the office or being moved by employees, remove it with care. Your first instinct may be simply to grab the furniture and carry it out but this is also a common recipe for tracking soot through the office, not to mention staining your work clothes. Your best bet is to use plastic tarps and tape. Gingerly wrap the furniture in the tap, so as not to disturb the soot, and seal the tarp with tape before carrying the furniture out of the office for restoration or disposal.
Cordon Off the Damaged Area
Find a way to block off the damaged area from curious onlookers and careless employees who might walk through the soot If you have actual cordon ropes or retractable ribbons normally used to control customer lines, use these to indicate that employees are not to cross the boundaries. In a pinch, line the outside of the damaged area with desks or chairs lined in a tarp to create an uncrossable barrier. This way, employees cannot track through the soot or curiously investigate a potentially dangerous area.
Provide Alternate Services for Staff if Necessary
If the damage occurred in a way that blocks the break room or restrooms, naturally you will need to provide your employees with alternative facilities. Break room damage can often be temporarily remedied with a mini-fridge and microwave placed on a table on the other side of the office. If the fire damage blocks an important restroom, allow your employees extra time to go one floor up or down or, if you are a small office, ask your nearby neighbors if their restrooms can become available until repairs are complete and be understanding about the time it takes for employees to walk out and back as needed.
Be Ready On Schedule
Fires can be highly disrupting to your workplace schedule, but remember to keep track of when you have scheduled your restoration services and have someone available to oversee the process. You may want this taken care of ASAP during work hours or you may want to schedule for the nearest weekend with a maintenance professional present to open the doors. If your commercial space has recently experienced a fire and you need fire restoration services, contact us today. We will do everything we can to meet your needs and your schedule.
Few things are more frightening than finding a mysterious puddle by your water heater. A giant 50-to-60-gallon tank that holds 125 degree water can cause severe damage if it malfunctions and lets all that water into your house. The good news is that you can fix your water heater, or at least minimize the threat. Here are the steps you need to take to deal with a leak in your water heater.
Stopping The Damage
1. Find The Water Source
When you first note a puddle under your water heater, dry the area and inspect the heater carefully. If nothing jumps out at you, put a dry towel underneath your water heater and wait a day. If you have a leak somewhere, the towel will get wet and you will be able to trace it back to its source.
2. Turn Off The Power
If you have determined that the water is leaking from your heater, turn it off. If it is electric, switch off the power at the circuit breaker. If it is gas-powered, turn off the gas at the base of the tank.
3. Turn Off The Water
Most water heaters have valves above them that control the flow of water into them. Turn this off. If you can’t reach the valve, you might have to shut off the water for the whole house.
4. Determine The Source Of The Problem And Fix It
This step is necessarily vague as there are a number of things that can go wrong with a water heater. A variety of them are listed below. In general terms though, valves and fittings can wear away and need replacing.
Possible Sources Of The Leak
1. The temperature pressure relief valve (the little lever at the bottom that drains water to a safe place when the pressure gets too high in the tank) can wear down after years of use. Lift the lever and see if that stops the leak. If it doesn’t, the valve will need replacing.
2. The pipes leading to the inlet and outlet of your tank may have gotten corroded. The damaged lengths will need replacing.
3. A washer on the drain valve may wear away and need replacing, or the drain might just need cleaning up.
4. If water is dripping from the seams in your tank, it is time to replace the water heater.
5. Anode rods might need to be re-screwed in with plumber’s sealing tape.
When To Call A Professional Restoration Company
Whether you had a slow drip from your tank or a sudden flood, the water can do serious damage to your building. It can soak up into dry wall and seep down into the concrete, causing stains and weakness in the structure. A sudden blow out can leave a good inch of water on your floor, and this exposure can warp and weaken wooden parts of the home. Carpet flooring and other features can start bleeding colors and lose shape. Worst, within 24 hours mold spores will start sprouting, leaving their tell-tale smell and causing people with allergies to them to feel sick. If your tank has saturated a part of your house, you want to call a company who can dehumidify your house as soon as the water heater has been taken care of to prevent any of that from happening.
Fortunately, Satin Touch is on call around the clock to dry out your home. If the water damage is severe, we will inventory, pack up, and move your belongings to a warehouse where we can treat it for the water damage. Once it is all safe, we will return it to you.
Satin Touch takes our job of restoring your home seriously and want to help you. If you want to know more about our services, contact us.