Archived Commercial Blog Posts
What You Need to Know About Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems
Proper maintenance of the sprinkler system is vital.
What You Need to Know About Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems
If your commercial building in Normandy Park,WA, catches on fire, the best way to minimize the damage is to put it out quickly. This is where having a fire sprinkler system comes in handy. Many businesses have saved valuable property and resources through the use of these sprinklers. If you already have a system or are considering getting on installed, here are a few things you should know.
Many people are under the impression that the fire sprinkler is activated by smoke, but that alone will not set off the system. The sprinkler will not go off until the temperature rises high enough for it to become active. Because heat rises, the system should go off relatively quickly once a fire has started; however, not all of heads will actually be triggered. Only those in the general vicinity of the flames should start working.
Proper maintenance of the sprinkler system is vital. Pipes that feed to the sprinkler heads are filled with pressurized water, which is released in the event of a fire. If this accidentally goes off or springs a leak, you are looking at quite a bit of water damage. Regular inspection can help prevent this type of catastrophe.
No matter what type of fire suppression you use, there will be some sort of cleanup that is necessary. One of the best ways to save time and money is to find a fire restoration company that will cover both the fire damage and the fire sprinkler cleanup for you. Talk to your insurance company following the fire to see if your policy will help cover the cost.
Having your fire sprinkler system properly installed and regularly maintained is the best way to ensure that it will go off when need be. Even with the system, your business in Normandy Park,WA, will likely have suffered from some destruction, but it should be less than what it would have been.
Combating Water Damage Caused by Your Fire Sprinkler System
Several scenarios or errors can cause your fire sprinkler system to malfunction and initiate flooding
The fire suppression system in your commercial building is essential to promptly stopping a fire. However, any component is vulnerable to malfunction, which can unleash excessive amounts of water, leading to flooding and property damage. You might need to learn how to prevent such mechanical failures, as well as what actions to take when your sprinklers create water damage.
Causes for Accidental Discharge
Generally, the sprinklers fire system in a Harbor Island,WA, building activate when they detect air temperature that ranges between 155 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. There are other factors that can trigger these devices at inappropriate times.
- Deteriorating corrosion
- Frozen or burst caps
- Unintentional heating
- Other mechanical failures
Keep an eye out for these potential issues and resolve them. For instance, proper insulation can stop the sprinklers from freezing, while adjustment stops them from activating during warm temperatures. Regular inspection and maintenance by a professional can prevent corrosion and any other issue that causes the untimely water release.
How to Handle Discharge
Even though modern fire sprinklers use water more efficiently, you should take your property's potential exposure to it seriously. Whether the accident is flooding the establishment, or the equipment is superficially wet, it can harm your business if not handled immediately. After discovering the incident, immediately turn off the water to reduce further destruction. After that, call a water damage repair service as soon as possible. You might also want to gather necessary information and contact the insurance company.
Mitigating the Damage
While you wait for the restoration company to arrive, you should try to reduce some of the damage. If there is no electrical equipment or other hazards, attempt to move important items to an unaffected area. Drying out certain items can help the repair technicians perform their job effectively.
Several scenarios or errors can cause your fire sprinkler system to malfunction and initiate flooding. Stop these issues from emerging and create a plan to decrease the damage to your business.
Understanding and Dealing with Category Two Water Damage
Gray water has chemical and biological contaminants
While it may come as a surprise for many commercial property owners, there are several types of water damage. Also, a failed water pipe repair may lead to different categorizations of water damage. For instance, the broken pipe may be from a clean source, but when left to sit, the water becomes contaminated by other components. While it is beneficial to learn of the different water categories, the focus of this article is on type two.
Category Two Water Loss
Many refer to category two water as gray water because of its color. However, flooded areas may change the color tone, so color alone cannot describe the water category and classification. While it has not reached the level of class three, often polluted with raw sewage, gray water has similar characteristics.
• Chemical and biological contaminants
• Nutrients of microorganisms
While a failed water pipe repair can lead to category two water loss, there are other causes. For instance, though sewage is not the main component of gray water, a toilet backup or a sump pump failure can also lead to this category developing. However, more commonly, a pipe break on a multilevel property causes flooding on an upper level that then seeps through building materials to the lower levels. The water that reaches these lower levels can become gray water, or category two water.
While you can clean up category one water damage because it is clean water, you are better off contacting a water removal specialist in the Des Moines,WA, area to remove category two water. Category two water loss requires certain protections that professionals know of and prepare for. Therefore, it is better and likely safer to hire a cleanup company.
Although water pipe repair is likely in a commercial property flood, it is not the only cause of water loss. Also, while there may be an urge to remove the water immediately from your property, you are likely better off outsourcing the work to a company equipped for the variety of water categories that may be present.
What Causes Fire Sprinklers to Activate
Sprinklers undergo tests to prevent unintended activation. It is important to allow a sprinkler company to inspect every part of the sprinkler and review environmental conditions at the time of the activation. This can help to prevent the problem from recurring in the future.
There are several likely causes of Fire Sprinkler activation.
Fire sprinklers may turn on due to:
Clean Up and Restoration after the Fire Suppression Systems Activates.
Depending on how many sprinklers activated, extensive water damage may be present. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will start with:
• Remove standing water
• Promote drying
• Restore or replace damaged materials
The sprinkler company should replace any sprinklers that didn’t work properly. If environmental conditions were the cause, it is crucial to prevent activation from happening again. Have sprinklers regularly inspected and maintained to reduce the likelihood of another malfunction.
If the sprinklers in a building activate, it is important to find out why. This can prevent future false alarms and reduce the risk of damage. If a sprinkler system or any other source causes flooding, rely on a mitigation and restoration firm in Seattle, WA.
What To Do If Fire Sprinklers Accidentally Activate
Fire sprinkler systems are designed and extensively tested for reliability. A fire safety system may still accidentally activate and cause flooding in a commercial building in Seattle, WA. A property owner or facility manager can take measures to limit damage, identify the cause of activation, and ensure that the system will function in the event of a real fire.
The best ways to immediately minimize damage include:
• Turning off the water supply
• Removing as much water as possible
• Contacting a mitigation company
Depending on the severity of flooding, it may be advisable to contact the property insurance provider and initiate a claim. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can provide an estimate.
Beating Mold Growth With Quick Remediation
If mold is found, SERVPRO has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
Water damage can occur in a matter of moments. A pipe bursts, and you suddenly have a flood in your building. Your roof leaks, and you can begin to see ceiling tiles drip. From the minute excess moisture is present, you have a small window of time, usually within 24-48 hours, to fix the damage and dry the area before mold can start to grow. Here is a step-by-step rundown of how quickly you want to respond.
Call the Experts
Your best line of defense to prevent mold growth is to call water restoration experts as soon as you know you have water issues. They can arrive within hours to provide an assessment:
• Location of the problem
• Scope of the damage
• Tasks involved in restoration
• Cost estimate for job
As soon as you give them permission to do so, they can start the process of fixing your building.
Dry the Area
Mold loves moisture, so the first thing the technicians in Seattle,WA, are likely to do is to deprive it of a damp place to grow. They extract water so that the water damage doesn't spread. They take out all the saturated, unsalvageable material. Then they make sure every surface is dry before they start to rebuild.
Reinforce the Protection
Before they leave, experts will probably want to reinforce your building so that you are protected from future problems like the one that caused the damage. They may recommend mold prevention measures such as mold-resistant drywall or paint. It is also appropriate to ask technicians for tips on how you can provide a better seal to your building so that moisture stays outside and doesn't put you at risk for a mold problem.
If you have water damage in your commercial property, the best way to prevent secondary damage such as mold is to have the problem repaired as soon as you can. Stop mold growth before it has a chance to start.
24 hour response
Water Damage can be devastating for your commercial building. Getting back into your company after it has been damaged by water is our first priority.
Flooding in your commercial building doesn’t have to be as disastrous as it may seem. Using the services of SERVPRO of South/West Seattle for flood damage cleanup. If your company suffers a broken pipe or if the fire suppression system malfunctions you will need our expert cleaning and extractions crews. Call us day or night because we are available 24 hours a day.
Getting back into your company after it has been damaged by water is our first priority. We rely on your business as much as you rely on ours. Let SERVPRO of South/West Seattle be there for you in your time of need. We extract the water and place drying equipment quickly, even if it’s in the middle of the night. We respond to all calls at all hours of the day.
Smoke Damaged Electronics: Why You Should Always Call a Professional
A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics
Smoke Damaged Electronics
An electrical fire, or any fire, can leave your electronics in disarray. While it is tempting to turn everything on and see if it still works, it is best to avoid powering on most items. There are elements of a fire that can be hazardous to your electronics, and that damage may become irreversible if powered on. It is best to leave the cleaning and testing to the professionals and avoid these common smoke damage pitfalls.
1. Avoiding Magnetic Charges
Though it may not be common knowledge, smoke does have a magnetic charge. This charge can short your laptops circuit board, or damage other machinery and appliances. To protect your laptop, you should take it in for a professional computer cleanup, letting the staff know about your concerns. Best case scenario, they save your computer; worst case, maybe they salvage your files.
2. Dealing with Black Film
A regular and electrical fire can leave a smoke residue on your electronics called black film. This film infiltrates the internal components of your items, insulating them and making them vulnerable to overheating. It is necessary to dismantle all parts and thoroughly clean them.
3. Removal of Acidic Soot
In addition to magnetic charges and black film, the remnants of soot on your electronics are acidic which can lead to degradation. This means that if the soot is not adequately cleaned off, your item’s life span will diminish, likely substantially.
4. Cleaning with Appropriate Equipment
While most businesses employ janitorial staff, it is important to note that electronics cleaning is a specialized field. Many janitors do not have the necessary tools or experience to clean electronics after a fire. You will likely want to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Seattle,WA, area.
A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics. While the fire itself can be destructive, it is the smoke damage that does the most harm to these items. The intricate components and the variety of smoke, film and soot, make hiring a professional most beneficial.
Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage
Drying and dehumidifying damaged area in a Harbor Island, WA commercial building
Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage
A flood in your Harbor Island,WA, building can leave your business in awful shape. If you've had damage due to a sewer backup or flooded toilet, it's possible that your furniture, business equipment or important documents have become saturated, and that areas have been exposed to dangerous viruses or bacteria. It's important to enlist the help of a professional water damage restoration company to effect emergency repairs and do the sewer cleanup. Following the steps outlined below, their team of experts can use specialized skills and equipment to get your building back to its original condition.
1. Inspect and Assess
The sewer cleanup process begins with the water mitigation experts making a thorough inspection and assessing the damage. The water is tested to check for contaminants, and the exact nature of the damage determined. Based on these results, the water professionals determine the best techniques and equipment to employ.
2. Remove Contents
Any items, including office equipment, furniture and appliances, are removed from the water-damaged area. Using a variety of specialized methods, salvageable items are completely dried, cleansed and disinfected, and electronic items are restored.
3. Removal of Water
After all items have been removed from the affected areas of the building, water removal can begin. Various pieces of high-efficiency equipment, including trash pumps, sump pumps and truck-mounted extractors, are used to take any excess water out of the building. All remaining contaminated materials, such as drywall and carpeting, are removed. Specially formulated cleaners are used to eliminate any remaining contaminants.
4. Dehumidifying and Drying
After all excess water is removed and the area disinfected, the technicians then completely remove any moisture that remains. Heavy-duty dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to do the job.
5. Final Restoration
Once everything has been thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and dried, the process of restoring the damaged areas can begin. This process can vary considerably depending on the extent of the damage, ranging from some drywall or carpet replacement to reconstruction of entire sections of the building.
Following the procedures outlined above, a sewer cleanup company can get your business back to normal, safely, quickly and efficiently.
3 Power Backup Options for Businesses
Commercial generator in Mercer Island,WA
Power Backup Options
A power outage may slow down business, but it does not mean a commercial property must completely shut down. Power backup equipment can protect and sustain the core systems of a company. These three power backup options can provide electricity and prevent damage to computers and servers in offices in Mercer Island,WA.
1. Power Generator and Fuel Supply
Most business owners should consider a commercial standby generator. Three-phase designs have fortified components that provide more power than manual consumer-grade generators. Smaller businesses may be able to use a single-phase generator. Calculate your power needs over various periods of time to choose the right equipment.
Standby generators can be powered by diesel, natural gas, or propane. A smaller portable generator may run on gasoline. Operate a consumer-grade manual gas generator outside to prevent carbon monoxide from accumulating in a building.
2. Automatic Transfer Switch
An ATS monitors the supply of power and will automatically activate a standby generator in the event of a power outage. The ATS will also transfer the power source back to the utility and shut down the generator as soon as the power turns back on.
3. Uninterruptable Power Supply
A UPS is a useful solution for preserving data and functionality for computer systems and servers. This component sustains power to systems for a short period to cover the transfer between utility power to generator power and back again.
Regardless of which type of generator and backup equipment you choose, you can safely operate electrical equipment and core systems during a power outage. Make sure that you have enough fuel to meet your needs for at least several days in case of a severe storm or prolonged outage. Keep in mind that most fuel types have a limited shelf life. Contact a commercial damage restoration company if a property sustains damage during a storm in Mercer Island,WA.