What is ERP? It stands for Emergency Ready Plan. Now that we know the acronym, what does it mean and why do we need it? Below are the reasons why an ERP is so important for a business and how SERVPRO of Marshalltown can help you.
An emergency ready plan is a genius way to identify very important locations of your business. Whether you are looking for water shut off, electrical breaker boxes, phone panels, internet, you name it, and SERVPRO will tag it! Giving your staff the tools to identify where things are located could be a life saver.
Let’s look at an example. You own a three-story hotel and a pipe burst on the second floor in the middle of the night. What should you do? First, locate the main water shut off. Easy right? Well, maybe, but does the entire staff know where to find the shut off? Water is now flooding, and employees are scrambling to find the main stuff off which could take minutes or much longer. With an ERP in place for your business, we put together an action plan that all employees can access in case an emergency should arise. Included in the ERP is a map layout of your entire building, with all the main shut offs identified. This could end up saving you thousands of dollars in secondary damages the faster you can shut off the source and limit your damages.
Along with identifying important shut off points, we also log your providers information for every service such as phone company, internet provider, water, electric, cable, etc. In this log you can find service name, address, and phone number for easy access. When you receive your plan, we can make multiple copies so they can be spread throughout the building for any employee to access at any time if needed. You can also download an app with all the information already stored making it available anytime and anywhere. The app also makes direct contact calls with SERVPRO of Marshalltown in case of emergency!
Right about now you are probably asking yourself “This sounds great, but how much will my company be charged for such a great service as an ERP?”. Guess what….it’s FREE!! Contact SERVPRO of Marshalltown now to start the process of creating your business Emergency Ready Plan and be prepared for any unexpected event.
Construction Commercial Cleaning
After any construction work to your business, you’re likely more than ready to move back into the space that has been under construction and back to normal.
Why do you need post-construction cleanup?
- To make sure the air is clean to breathe.
- To remove debris from places you might not clean on your own.
- To ensure dust is removed from all the places it has settled without you realizing.
A construction project creates a lot of dust and mess that you see (e.g. sawdust, drywall particles, and more) as well as a lot of impurities that you don’t see. The dust and gases that have released into your business and even into your ventilation system. It’s important to not just hire a regular cleaning service to come in and surface clean your business. Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown today to help with your post construction clean up!
What Commercial Buildings are Most Susceptible to Mold
Several factors, environments, and building components impact the susceptibility and speed in which mold grows. There are three aspects of a property that could indicate a high chance of mold growth.
• Building Age
• Ventilation Systems
• Building Materials
While these three indicators don’t mean that mold is an inevitability — they do influence the severity and likelihood of mold.
Older buildings are indeed more likely to have mold — but it’s not always a guarantee. Aging buildings have simply been around longer and therefore have been defending against the elements for extended periods of time. There are also time periods where certain building practices made ventilation and air circulation a mess.
Commercial buildings built during the 70s are notorious for poor ventilation practices — so mold in these properties is not uncommon.
No matter how old a building is, poor ventilation can lead to condensation. As we’ve mentioned, moisture is what mold feeds off of, and poor air circulation equates to stagnant air and condensation buildup — which in turn leads to mold.
The final indicator that a building may be susceptible to mold growth is right in front of you — the building materials. Certain walls provide ideal food for mold, while others are far less likely to trap moisture. So, what are these building materials that hold water more than others?
• Paper-faced drywall is a popular choice for many homes and commercial buildings, and for a good reason. It doesn’t hold hardly any moisture and isn’t very susceptible to mold growth.
• Solid lumber is pretty common in older buildings. It’s made from a part of the tree called heartwood and does a good job of holding moisture before releasing condensation.
• Sheathing plywood comes from combining strips of sapwood. Compared to solid lumber, it doesn’t do nearly as well at combatting mold growth.
• Particleboard & MDF are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to fighting off mold growth. Fungi love to grow in the medium-density boards and underlayment.
• Brick is probably the best building material for preventing mold growth, but only if it’s done correctly. How brick is laid ultimately determines if wood framing gets water damage.
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Tips for Developing a Fire Drill Procedure for Your Business
Many businesses experience devastating fires every year. If you’re a business owner in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, Grundy Center, Wellsburg, Reinbeck or any other town in our service area and you have employees on the premises, we want to help you prepare them for the possibility of a fire and keep them safe. Here’s how you can begin to create a fire evacuation drill procedure for your business:
Consult with your local fire officials.
Getting in touch with your local fire department is often a great place to start on any aspect of fire preparedness for your business. They will typically be happy to consult with you on fire safety measures your business can take, including the best evacuation routes and fire procedures to go over with your staff.
Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes.
Once you have your evacuation routes set, mark them clearly with signs and communicate with staff on what this means. Involving your employees in the fire safety process will make everyone feel safer and prepare them for when you start scheduling regular drills.
Schedule fire drills frequently.
Your staff needs to be so familiar with evacuation procedures that they have no questions about what to do should a fire break out. The best way to prepare them is to hold regular fire drills, at least once every quarter. These should be mandatory drills that require everyone to leave the premises according to the established escape route, gather at a predesignated area and be accounted for by a supervisor once everyone is evacuated. They should also be trained not to leave the designated area until given the all-clear sign to return to the building.
Run different fire scenarios. Fires can start due to a myriad of reasons, so it is important to prepare for all possibilities when you hold your fire drills. Practice for different situations by blocking off different exits and having the fire drill originate in different parts of the building to give everyone the tools they need to escape safely regardless of what type of fire is started.
If your business has experienced fire damage, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown anytime, day or night. We are a local business that specializes in commercial fire restoration and are ready to be there quickly when you need us. Call (641) 758-9746.
Follow These Safety Habits to Prevent A Dangerous Grill Fire
Grill season lasts well into the fall, and most of us are likely making good use of our grills to cook our favorite warm weather foods. Grilling allows you to get outside and enjoy the extra daylight summer has to offer, but they also cause many deaths and injuries as well as millions of dollars in property damage each year. No matter how frequently you use your grill, you should always practice good safety habits to avoid a fire.
Create a safe zone around your grill. While setting your grill up on your deck may be convenient, it’s not a good choice for its location. Grill fires can flare up and easily spread to surrounding property, including porches, patio railings and decks. Grill fires can also melt vinyl siding. It’s recommended that you keep at least a three-foot safe zone around your grill at all times away from your home’s structure.
Clean your grill grates often. Food particles and fat can build up on the grill over time, creating a prime opportunity for a grease fire to break out on your grates. Giving the grill a quick brush after each use helps keep down flammable buildup.
Never leave the grill unattended. Just as you would not leave your stove top unattended, you should never walk away from a lit grill, even if the lid is down. Fires can start in an instant. As a rule, you should keep your eye on the grill at all times and keep a fire extinguisher nearby so you can immediately stop a fire from spreading if one occurs.
Inspect the grill regularly. While charcoal grills pose fewer hazards, you need to be extremely vigilant about frequently checking the gas lines of a propane grill. The seals around the propane tank and the lines that transport the gas can become worn with time and allow gas leaks that can potentially lead to dangerous explosions. If you see any signs of wear on the tank or the lines, carefully and safely replace them.
If a grill fire damages your home in Alden, Traer, Dysart, Melbourne or anywhere in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown at (641) 758-9746 any time, day or night . We’ll be there quickly to protect your property from further damage and restore it to its original state, “Like it never even happened.”
Marshalltown Area Residents: Don’t Let Your Garden Hose Be the Culprit of Water Damage
Remember that warm week in early April? People were thronging to places like Riverview Park to enjoy the weather.
Have You Ever Done This?
We had one client whose son took advantage of the near 80-degree temps to hook up the hose and wash his car. Lots of people probably did.
Of course, Iowa temps in April are a crazy roller coaster, and about a week later they dropped below freezing, with a little bit of snow and ice to boot. The water left in the line from the hose still being hooked to the house expanded and cracked the copper water pipe that ran inside. And the homeowner had no idea. Guess what happened.
The Unsuspected Culprit
Once it warmed back up, they turned on the hose again without realizing water was running down into their basement. We see this a lot.
If it’s a big crack, it will cause immediately noticeable water damage. If it’s a small one, it causes a leak that can go unnoticed and result in mold formation
Either way, you can prevent it.
How To Prevent Water Damage From Your Garden Hose After a Freeze
If you used your hose during that early warm streak and haven’t turned it on again, and if the water pipe is exposed, you can simply go down to where the line comes into your basement, have someone turn the hose on full blast and monitor the pipe for any leaking.
If you have turned on your hose again after using it during the warm weather, you should go inspect the area around the pipe in your basement for any signs of water leaking or damage.
To prevent this in the future, make sure you winterize by unhooking all garden hoses well before temperatures drop below freezing in the fall and waiting to reattach until temperatures have stabilized in the spring. If you do use your hose in early spring, it’s always good to unhook it immediately afterward.
See any problems or have concern? Call us right away at 515-233-4544. Water can spread and be absorbed quickly, so you don’t want to wait.
SERVPRO of Marshalltown Will Guide You to the Right Solution
SERVPRO of Marshalltown is available 24 hours/7 days per week. Our highly trained and IICRC-certified staff is ready to come out and let you know what needs to be done, whether our services are needed or not, at no charge.
If you just need a plumber - we’ll tell you that. If you need help with water damage repair and/or mold remediation, you can trust SERVPRO as the No. 1 brand in the restoration industry.
We have superior equipment and tools to evaluate your damage and make all the repairs so it’s “Like it never even happened.”
Get A Free Emergency Ready Profile for Your Business From SERVPRO of Marshalltown
We’re heading into storm season here in the Midwest. Is your business ready to handle severe tornado or flood damage? What about a disaster that can happen any time of year, like a fire or a water line break?
No one can prevent every disaster from happening, but if your business is prepared with a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), you’ll recover more quickly. You’ll also give your business the best chance of reopening. About 50 percent of companies never reopen after extended interruptions from disasters.
Insurance companies know this too, which is why most recommend that businesses make an emergency response plan part of their overall contingency plans.
Let SERVPRO of Marshalltown Help You Put Your Profile Together
We enjoy the process of putting together ERPs, and we do it for FREE. It gives us a chance to get to know you and your business so we can serve you in the best possible way should a disaster ever strike.
Our highly certified technicians will work closely with you to develop your profile containing all the critical information you’ll need in the event of an emergency.
What’s In the ERP?
This well-organized document includes:
- Primary staff and local emergency contacts
- Primary contractor/vendor contacts (electrician, internet provider, HVAC, etc.)
- Utility shut-off locations with photos for fast identification
- All needed information for your insurance company
- Property overview with maps, photos, and structural descriptions
- Building access information
- Ability to add extra reports of your own (evacuation floor plans, lead/asbestos reports)
Access Your ERP With an Easy-to-Access Mobile App and Web Portal
Once we’ve captured all your information, SERVPRO of Marshalltown will make it all available to you through our quick and easy-to-use SERVPRO® Ready Plan mobile app and web portal. Ready Plan is password secured and allows you to manage your profile and share your information with people you choose, such as property or facility managers.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
The sooner you call us, the sooner we’ll create your ERP, which can make the difference between the life and death of your business.
Call (641) 758-9746 to set up an appointment as soon as possible, before a disaster hits.
We serve businesses in Marshalltown and the surrounding areas, including Iowa Falls, Wellsburg, Reinbeck, State Center and Dike.
Staying Safe When Severe Storms Are in the Forecast | SERVPRO® of Marshalltown
Severe weather events like thunderstorms and tornadoes pose danger to properties and people. Educating yourself and being prepared are the best ways to keep yourself safe in a severe weather scenario.
Know the Difference Between Watches and Warnings
When severe weather is forecasted for your area, it's important to understand the difference between a watch and a warning in order to react appropriately. A thunderstorm watch means there is potential for severe storms to develop, but one hasn't been identified by radar. Conversely, a warning means that a thunderstorm is imminent or occurring in the area, and you should immediately take shelter.
Be Ready To Take Shelter
Make sure the safest area of your home where you take shelter has an emergency kit that includes extra food and water as well as flashlights and first-aid supplies. If your home doesn't have a basement, you should know where the next safest place is to take shelter. Generally, you should choose a place on the ground floor away from exterior windows or doors, such as a bathroom or closet.
Set Up a Backup for Emergency Alerts
While most people will rely on their smartphones for weather alerts, this should only be your first line of defense. Storms can knock out cell reception, and cell phones can die during power outages. Set up a backup like a battery-powered NOAA weather radio so you never miss a pertinent alert.
SERVPRO of Marshalltown is ready to help you recover from storm damage. We are a local business and can be there quickly in an emergency. If you live in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, Wellsburg or any of the surrounding areas, call us at (641) 758-9746.
Watch Out for Those Summer Pop-Up Storms
When the days get longer and the sun gets hotter, pop-up summer storms are expected in Iowa. Storms like this may not seem too threatening, but you should remember that any storm with thunder has the ability to develop dangerous conditions such as hail, high winds and lightning strikes.
Find out how to protect yourself no matter where you are when severe weather develops. It will keep you and your family safe all summer long.
Know your options for shelter. The best place to be in the event of severe weather is an interior room of your own home or office with no exterior windows or doors. However, if you get caught on the road in the storm, staying in your car is the second-safest thing to do. Pull the car over, turn off the engine and avoid touching anything metal inside the vehicle until the storm passes.
Practice electrical safety. If a building is struck by lightning, the electrical charge will rush to the ground—often through electrical wires in the walls of the home. When this happens, a power surge can be transferred to anything that is plugged into the wall. If you have time before a storm moves through, unplug everything in your home to prevent this from happening. As an extra measure of protection in case you forget to unplug something like a computer, use surge protector extensions in every outlet.
Avoid direct contact with concrete. Structures made of concrete may feel like a safe option when faced with severe weather, but when it comes to lightning, they can actually be quite dangerous. Concrete is often constructed with steel bars at the center for reinforcement, which can become a conductor if electricity moves through it. Avoid leaning against concrete walls or laying on a concrete floor when a storm is moving through.
Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. The good news about summer storms is that they don’t last long, but that can cause a false sense of security when the skies become clear. Lightning strikes can occur as far as 25 miles away from the storm clouds, so officials advise waiting at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap before heading back outside.
If your Marshalltown, Grundy Center, State Center, Reinbeck, Iowa Falls or Wellsburg home or business is damaged from a storm, SERVPRO of Marshalltown can be there quickly to help prevent more damage and begin restoring your property back to its former condition. Contact us to learn more about our storm restoration process. Call (641) 758-9746, any time night or day.
When You Sustain Storm Damage, Depend on SERVPRO of Marshalltown
It’s always a serious and stressful situation when your home or commercial property is damaged during a storm. While some storm damage can be simple to deal with, big storms can bring water, electrical and structural damage into the mix, which is why choosing a restoration company that can handle anything is key—as well as choosing one that is a legitimate business with your best interests in mind.
Starting the recovery process following storm damage may feel like an overwhelming task, but it’s worth putting in the effort to make sure it is done right, including finding a restoration company you can count on.
Why SERVPRO Is the Best for Storm Damage
We’ve built a strong reputation. Many times after a storm unscrupulous companies will move into an area, obtain partial payment and never be heard from again. Needless to say, these companies are normally not community members or restoration industry leaders—but we are. We have worked hard to build a reputation that showcases our trustworthiness, and when you work with us, you will see that reflected in everything we do.
The resources we have are scalable. Regardless of how large the storm is or how much of the area it impacted, you can count on us to be able to help no matter what. With our national SERVPRO® partners by our side, we can call for reinforcements when needed to make sure we can scale up and provide excellent service after storms of any caliber.
The service you will get is unparalleled, at any hour. Discovering you have damage will never be an enjoyable process, but no matter when you discover it, we will be around to help. We are available 24 hours a day, meaning whenever you discover damage, you can give us a call. We will immediately begin formulating a response to tackle your damage and return your property to its pre-storm state.
When you experience damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown right away at (641) 758-9746.