What Can Vandalism Cost a Business?
Need help cleaning up vandalism?
What Can Vandalism Cost a Business?
by Blyss Cruz
Vandalism, the criminal act of willfully destroying or defacing property, can create an unpleasant and unsafe atmosphere within your business for employees and customers alike. Graffiti, broken windows, landscape sabotage, destroyed signage and defaced property are widespread forms of vandalism affecting commercial properties. Vandals can cost businesses thousands of dollars in damage to property, image and reputation, not to mention the costs associated with preventing further destruction.
Property Repair and Replacement
Repair and replacement costs may be substantial, depending on the extent of the vandalism. Paint must be bought to cover graffiti, windows have to be ordered to replace those that are broken, and new landscaping materials will have to be purchased and installed if necessary. If you are unable to complete these tasks on your own, you will have to hire someone to do so, adding to the overall cost. Signage may have been bent or scratched beyond repair; therefore, new signage will need to be designed and purchased. In the meantime, your business may be unidentifiable by potential customers.
Loss of Revenue
Vandalism may create the impression of an economically depressed area causing a significant reduction in new and existing customer traffic. Vandalism also discourages business within an affected area, by creating a feeling of diminished safety and security. For instance, graffiti is often associated with gang activity, and a fear of violent criminals can deter customers. This reduction in customer traffic directly affects the amount of sales revenue your company generates. Some companies feel the effects of vandalism so deeply they are forced to move to a different neighborhood just to remain in business.
Tarnished Image and Confidence
Vandalism may tarnish your company’s image and reputation in the eyes of your customers and employees. Customers may associate a lack of caring about the exterior condition of your business with reduced quality or inferior customer service. Employees may lose confidence in the safety of their work area, for fear of encountering the criminal who conducted the vandalism. This could lead to workplace turnover, and all the costs associated with hiring and training new employees.
Increased Crime Potential
The amount and type of vandalism, combined with the length of time before it is removed or repaired, may encourage further vandalism in the area. For example, if graffiti is the chosen communication method between two rival gangs, it will be applied in highly visible areas. If your business is the chosen location, quickly covering the graffiti is recommended to curb the amount of time the message is displayed, as additional, rebuttal graffiti may appear. Neighborhoods rife with graffiti and other vandalism may be attractive to other criminals, as they may perceive it as a lack of caring within the community. For these reasons, simply being located in an area with other vandalism puts your business at risk.
Measures may be taken to improve security and reduce access to your property. Installing visible surveillance cameras and an alarm system can provide a significant deterrent against criminal activity. Erecting fences with ID card access controls and installing better lighting can prevent unwanted individuals from entering your premises. Various types of landscaping can assist with keeping vandals away, such as prickly shrubs or closely planted hedges. While costly, implementing one or more of these measures may save you considerably in the long run.
Need Vandalism and Grafitti Cleanup Services? Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores (586) 741-5050.
Sewage Backup - Detroit
Sewage Backup - Detroit
Sometimes city storm sewers cannot keep up during a heavy downpour. Flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage. During the holiday weekend, this property had 10-12 inches of water containing sewage in the basement. Our flood damage professionals extracted the water in a timely and cost-effective manner.
SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building, big box store, or smaller property, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.
Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores if you experience storm damage to your property – our experts are standing by @ (586) 741-5050.
Examine Your Business Insurance Policies
Does your insurance cover this?
Examine Your Business Insurance Policies
When you own a business, you have a lot to protect, and the right small business insurance coverage can be important to your continued success.
Imagine if your business had a fire or flood, and equipment, office furniture, supplies, inventory – basically everything was damaged. Then you find out your business only has liability insurance. So not only do you have to pay to have everything removed and discarded, you have to replace everything. You may have been saving money on insurance premiums, but the replacement costs could far outweigh any savings and the expense could actually make your business go under.
Insurance coverages and policies change all the time. Your business may have changed during a coverage year and your policy may no longer be adequate. It’s important to review your policy with your insurance agent annually to make sure you are fully covered in case of a disaster.
At SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores we are always Here to Help! (586) 741-5050.
Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace
Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace by Alarm.org
No matter what type of business you conduct at your workplace, fire safety should always be a main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.
- Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire.
- Check on your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.
- Don't overload your circuits.
- Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
- Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.
In the Event of a Fire
- Upon finding a fire, call 911 immediately and don't hang up with the emergency responder until told to do so.
- Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
- Never use elevators during an evacuation.
- Follow the escape plan and meet at a per-determined place outside of your building and away from danger. Conduct a headcount to ensure all of your staff has evacuated.
- The best way to ensure the safety of your staff is through fire prevention and preparation. Talk with your staff about fire safety in the workplace today.
SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help. Our experts are standing by 24/7 (586) 741-5050
What happens if you do not clean up after a flood?
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Home After a Flood?
Erin Doman on May 4, 2016
Failure to completely clean up your home after a house flood can lead to severe and costly damage that can affect the hidden corners of your home without you even realizing it. Not only can this damage the structural integrity of your home, but it can lead to costly repairs for your electrical system, HVAC, etc.
Above all, failure to clean up after your house floods can create perfect conditions for mold to grow, which can lead to illness. Mold can be unpleasant–even dangerous, for some people. Mold can cause severe allergy symptoms as well as lead to asthma, which is particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. However, there are things you can do to prevent the growth of mold after a house flood, including the use of special equipment, chemicals, and utilizing a professional company, like SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores.
It is a smart idea to invest in an air purifier to prevent the growth and spreading of mold spores.Air purifiers can help keep your indoor air free of more than just mold spores. These appliances can also remove unpleasant odors, pollen, pet dander and more from your air, which helps promote a healthy home. It is recommended that anyone who experiences allergies or asthma symptoms invests in an air purifier.
6 Things you should do after a flood
6 Things You Should Do After Your House FloodsErin Doman on May 4, 2016
One of the most damaging and devastating things you can ever experience as a homeowner is a flood. There are many causes of household flooding including:
- Heavy rains
- Sewer back-up
- Malfunctioning sump-pump
- Burst pipes
No matter what the cause, you should still know what you should do if your house floods. Taking care of the problem earlier will help reduce the amount of damage after and will make clean-up and repair easier.
1. Safety First
The first step in any major home disaster is to remain safe. You may be forced to leave your home if the flooding is bad enough. Make sure you are also safe when you return to your home to begin dealing with the aftermath. This may include turning off the power, as water and electricity obviously do not mix. Be sure to wear protective clothing–such as rubber boots and gloves–when you reenter your home. Not only will you be dealing with the water itself, but also whatever else the water has been in contact with, namely debris or even sewage. It is best to protect yourself against whatever harmful chemicals and items the flooding may have washed in.
Be sure to never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters, or even in close proximity to the water for an extended period of time. If the water was high enough to reach your refrigerator or any of your pantry cabinets, it is safest practice to go ahead and throw the food away and just buy more. Be sure to thoroughly wash any dinnerware, glasses, and flatware that might have been caught in the house flood before you use it again.
2. Stopping and Removing Water
One of the first things you should do when your house floods is stop the source of water coming in if at all possible. If your sump-pump is broken or malfunctioning, replacing it will help keep up with any continuing rains and may prevent further damage to your basement, garage, crawl space, or main floor. Calling the city to remove debris from storm drains may also be necessary in order to help stop flooding.
If your flooded home was caused by a burst pipe, fix the plumbing as soon as possible to lessen water damage. The sooner you stop the water from coming in, the sooner you can get to cleaning up and repairing any damages.
After that, it’s time to remove the water. Depending on the level of flooding you have experienced or even the rooms in your home that have been affected, your process might change. You may need to bail water out using buckets and bins or use hoses to drain large amounts of water from your basement. As the water begins receding, you can use a wet vacuum to suck remaining bits of water and moisture from carpets and floors. If you’re lucky and the damage is minimal, you might be able to simply mop the mess up. Click Here to contact SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores
3. Drying Out Your Home
Even if you are successful in removing all of the standing water from your home, everything will remain damp and wet, especially if heavy rains have increased the humidity in your area. If you have power, use your air conditioning and portable fans to help dry the wet areas of your home.
Dehumidifiers are also a big help, especially in closed off spaces such as basements or crawl spaces. Dehumidifiers work by removing excess moisture from the air. This is the easiest way to dry out your home and minimize the potential water damage you might be dealing with, as it does not require you to actively clean. However, in the case of a house flood, dehumidifiers are only supplemental and you are likely to need multiple methods of action. Dehumidifiers are recommended for anyone who lives in a damp climate or an area that experiences longer rainy seasons, as they can prevent some of the problems associated with this type of weather, both for you and your home.
4. Calling the Insurance Company
Your homeowners’ insurance will vary depending on what policies you have, but many insurance companies cover flooding due to storms, backed-up city sewers and storm drains, broken sump-pumps or burst pipes. The insurance company will send an adjuster to look at and assess the damage and determine if it is a covered loss. If your losses and damages are covered, the sooner you call the insurance company, the sooner they will pay out. Repairs can become costly, but the insurance money will help get your home back in order quicker with less of a financial burden on you.
Your insurance company may not be able to send an adjuster right away, especially if your flooding is part of a larger weather event. Document values of everything and take as many photos as possible before, during, and after clean-up. This will help the adjuster when he or she is able to come assess the damage.
Once the water is gone and you have called your insurance company, it’s time to begin post-flood care. You can call in a professional clean-up crew or else begin work yourself. This may involve determining what is salvageable and throwing away anything that is too damaged or no longer safe to use. If the flooding in your home was widespread, you may have to bring in a roll-off dumpster for easy disposal of larger damaged items, as you will find your trash bags filling quickly.
Be aware that you may need to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent mold and mildew from spreading in your home. Furniture may also need to be dried out, cleaned or thrown away depending on the level of water damage. Unless you are exceptionally handy, it is probably best to call in a professional company that specializes in mold removal. Mold can begin developing within the first 24 hours after a flood, and once it has started growing it can be difficult to fully remove. The quicker you remove items from water and begin drying them, the less likely they are to be lost to mold, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and have a professional assess the situation.
The aftermath of a house flood can typically take the longest amount of time. You may have broken windows from the water rushing in, flooring that may need to be replaced, and broken possessions in need of repair. After your insurance company pays out for qualified damages, you can hire a contractor if one is needed. Be sure to board up any broken windows and remove any harmful debris from flooded areas.
If you have electronics that were submerged in water or were damaged in the flood, make sure to have them checked out by a professional before plugging them back in to a power source. This includes your television sets, stereos, game consoles, computers, and appliances.
If you are unsure about what your first steps for home repairs should be when your house floods, then hiring a construction company that specializes in flood or natural disaster repairs can be helpful. They can determine if walls need replaced or if your floors have been compromised by the flood waters. A professional construction company can help you safely enjoy your home once again. Contact SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores for a free inspection at (586) 741-5050.
Leave on the Air Conditioning to Avoid Mold
Leave on the Air Conditioning to Avoid Mold
Leave on the Air Conditioning to Avoid MoldLeaving the air conditioning running in your home will not only cool your home, it will help remove moisture from the air and help circulate and filter the air. By: Dwight Barnett
Air Conditioner featured Outside of Home
Leaving the air conditioning running in your home will not only cool your home, it will help remove moisture from the air and help circulate and filter the air.
Question: In the process of selling my home, the buyers requested a home inspection. My problems started when the mold inspector reported elevated spores were four to five times the amount found outside. After paying a contractor to clean and treat for molds, the follow-up test showed the levels were even higher. The buyer refused to complete the deal. What made the mold grow so fast, and did we get ripped off by the contractor? A.N., Evansville, Ind.
Answer: With a little investigation, I was able to gain some additional information about the sale of your home. It seems that soon after the initial inspection, the home was left vacant with the utilities off. The resulting enclosed dark and damp environment created an almost perfect situation for mold spores to grow.
In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked.
If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air.
Molds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent. Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to "On."
Normally, mold cleaning and remediation processes disturb the spores, which become airborne and can settle on unclean or untreated surfaces, where they continue to thrive in the humid, warm, dark conditions.
In my opinion, the remediation contractor failed you in that he did not warn you of the potential for recontamination.
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that self-cleaning should be considered if the area to be treated is less than 10 square feet. A guide to treatment and cleaning is available at http://www.epa.gov/mold/index.html. You can also learn more about mold remediation contractors and remedies for contaminated buildings.
An article by Dr. Ronald E. Gots that appeared in The Laker magazine underscores the myth surrounding phobias about molds and mold contamination.
Basically, the article states that there are no scientific studies that show molds are unhealthy at typical indoor levels. Reactions to molds that have been documented are: allergic responses, minor irritant effects and infections in individuals with impaired immune systems.
Molds present at typical indoor levels have never been scientifically shown to cause any other illness.
Even when mold spores were at elevated levels, there were no similar elevated reports of illnesses. Examples from the article show certain occupations that are exposed to extremely high concentrations of mold spores.
What is Mold?
What is Mold?
What is Mold?
Mold (or mould) is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Fungi that exist as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds and yeasts cause disease or food spoilage, others play an important role in biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.
Mold is also found in damp building materials where it often appears like stains and comes in a variety of colours. A must smell is an indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. If mold is allowed to grow in homes or offices it can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Some molds such as the Dry Rot Fungus, Serpula lacrymans, are highly destructive. For more details about dry rot fungus read Occurrence and Significance of Dry Rot Fungus, Serpula lacrymans.
Mold growth requires moisture. The sources of moisture could be Washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.
Molds release small “spores” into the air. So, when mold grows indoors, the number of mold spores and fragments is usually higher indoors than it is outdoors. These spores are small enough that people can actually inhale them deep into the lungs. Inhalation of spores poses risk of developing respiratory problems. With the exception of winter months mold spores are always present outdoors.
Give us a call at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores for an inspection at your house or business if you suspect a problem at (586) 741-5050.
Damaging Winds Basics
Damaging Winds Basics
Severe Weather 101
Damaging Winds Basics
- What are damaging winds?
- Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.
- Are damaging winds really a big deal?
- Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.
- Who is at risk from damaging winds?
- Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.
People living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.
Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores if you experience Storm Damage to your property at (586) 741-5050.
Don't Get Trapped In Your Basement!
Don't let this be your only way out
Don’t get trapped in your basement
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
The old saying “Always leave yourself an out” is especially true when it comes to home fires. When the basement stairs are blocked, or fire and thick, black smoke are racing down a hallway toward a dead-end bedroom, windows that are large enough for you to escape—and for firefighters to enter—become essential lifesaving equipment. These all-important escape hatches are called egress windows.
You may have installed smoke detectors, but if you haven't provided a way out once they blare, you've only done half the job. This is especially true for upstairs bedrooms and basements, where the stairway is often the sole escape route. If that stairway is blocked, you can be trapped.
According to the International Building Code, “Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, alley, yard or court.”
Few of us think of windows as lifesaving equipment— but they are! When you need to escape a house fire or other disaster, or when rescue personnel need to enter—the right size egress window can make the difference between life and death.
Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.